1796 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Gerard Hamilton

Anonymous, Obituary in Gentleman's Magazine 66 (August 1796) 702-03.



16 August. In Upper Brook-street, in his 69th year, the Right Hon. William Gerrard Hamilton, formerly secretary in Ireland. By his death there lapses an Irish pension of 2000 a year; and the bulk of his fortune goes to William Hamilton, esq. of Lincoln's-inn-fields. He was usually denominated Single-speech Hamilton; of which he was put in mind by Mr. Bruce, when on an insinuation of Mr. Hamilton's, that it was highly improbable any man should make such fine drawings as Mr. B. exhibited for his own, without ever hanging been known to excel in design, Mr. Bruce said, "Pray, Sir, did you ever make a famous speech in the House of Commons?" "Yes, I did." "And pray, Sir, did you ever make another?" "No, I did not." This gentleman was suspected by some to be the author of Junius's Letters; a suspicion which he endeavoured to strengthen by affected mystery whenever the subject was introduced. We know not, however, of any other proof of his literary merit that could give any improbability to such a rumour.