1814 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Susanna Duncombe

John Nichols, in Literary Anecdotes of the XVIII Century (1812-15) 8:277-78.



Mr. Duncombe's widow died, at an advanced age, Oct. 28, 1812. She inherited much of her Father's taste for the Fine Arts, and of his genius for letters, softened by a refined judgment and feminine delicacy. Her union with Mr. Duncombe tended to expand her natural talents and to exemplify her education; which enabled her justly to venerate the eminent circle in which she was born to shine — Young, Harris, Hawkesworth, Richardson, Isaac Hawkins Browne, Chapone, Carter, and others equally dear to Literature. Mr. Duncombe's preferment at and near Canterbury led them to fix their residence there, where her Father soon after joined them, and continued with them until his death. After the decease of Mr. Duncombe, she adopted a more retired life, accompanied by her only surviving daughter; and although her advancing years cast their autumnal tints over her once brilliant mind, yet they sufficiently marked the beauty of the days that had passed, and rendered perhaps more eminent the "light that now shines more and more in perfect day." She has not left any literary work to perpetuate her fame; but her story of "Fidelia and Honoria" in the Adventurer, and some small contributions in the Poetical Calendar, and Nichols's Poems, and a few transient effusions of genius that never met the public eye, principally in the Gentleman's Magazine, have assisted to chear her friends with the remembrance of her with respect and delight. She was interred in the church of St. Mary Bredman, in the same vault with her husband, whose tomb is thus inscribed:

"The Rev. John Duncombe, M.A. Rector of this Parish, with that of St. Andrew annexed, Vicar of Herne, and one of the Six Preachers in the Cathedral. Ob. Jan. 19, 1786, aet. 56."