1811 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Richard Cumberland

Anonymous, Obituary in Gentleman's Magazine 81 (May 1811) 501.



May 7. At Mr. Henry Fry's in Bedford-place, Russell-square, in his 80th year, Richard Cumberland, esq. a character of long and very distinguished celebrity in the republick of letters; of whom we shall give a biographical memoir in our next Number. His remains were interred on the 14th, in Poets' Corner, Westminster-abbey, not many yards distant from the shrine of Garrick; and the following Oration was delivered by the Dean of Westminster, at the close of the funeral ceremony of his departed friend: — "The person you see now deposited is Richard Cumberland, an author of no small merit; his writings were chiefly for the Stage, but of strict moral tendency; they were not without faults, but they were not gross, abounding with oaths and libidinous expressions, as I am shocked to observe is the case of many of the present day. He wrote an much as any; few wrote better; and his works will be held in the highest estimation as long as The English language will he understood. He considered the Theatre a school for moral improvement, and his remains are truly worthy of mingling with the illustrious dead which surround us. Read his prose subjects on divinity! — there yon will find the true Christian spirit of the man who trusted in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ: even may God forgive him his sins, and at the resurrection of the just receive him into everlasting glory!"