1819 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Nahum Tate

Richard Ryan, in Biographica Hibernica. A Biographical Dictionary of the Worthies of Ireland (1819) 2:592.



NAHUM TATE, the far-famed versifier of the Psalms, was the son of Dr. Faithful Tate, a clergyman of the county of Cavan, and was born in Dublin (to which place his father had been compelled to fly to save himself from the vengeance of the rebels, against whom he had given some information) in 1652. His father, who was thought to be puritanically inclined, afterwards became preacher of East Greenwich, in Kent, and lastly minister of St. Werburgh's, Dublin. At the age of sixteen, Nahum was admitted of Trinity college; but he does not appear to have attached himself to any profession. Of the circumstances of his life we only know that be was patronised by the Earl of Dorset; that be succeeded Shadwell in the office of poet laureat; that he was extremely poor, and died in the Mint, whither he had fled to avoid his creditors. He is characterised by Warburton as a cold writer, of no invention, but who translated tolerably when befriended by Dryden, with whom he sometimes wrote in conjunction. He was the author of nine dramatic performances, and a great number of poems; but is at present better known for his version of the Psalms, in which he joined with Dr. Brady. He died August 12th, 1715.