1808 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Cunningham

Samuel Egerton Brydges, "William Cunningham" Censura Literaria 7 (1808) 219.



WILLIAM CUNNINGHAM, a self-taught poet, died at Maglerabeg, near Dromore in Ireland, Dec. 27, 1804, aet. 24. He had been nothing more than a weaver-boy, who receiving instruction at one of the Bishop of Dromore's Sunday-schools, made such a progress as to be able to request a loan of books in a copy of such verses as instantly engaged the bishop's attention and patronage. He was then placed at the Diocesan school of Dromore, where he made a rapid progress in Latin and Greek; and qualified himself to become an assistant teacher in the academy of the Rev. Dr. Bruce of Belfast. A rapid consumption, however, soon came on, and baffled the powers of medicine, terminating in early youth a career that promised much reputation. A few of his poetical compositions are to be found in the Gentleman's Magazine.