1815 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. George Gregory

John Nichols, in Literary Anecdotes of the XVIII Century (1812-15) 9:195-96.



Dr. Gregory, by his learning and industry, acquired considerable celebrity. His first publication, a volume of "Essays, Historical and Moral, 1785," was anonymous; but, being favourably received, he acknowledged them in a second edition. To a volume of Sermons, 1787, are prefixed "Thoughts on the Composition and Delivery of a Sermon." In 1788 he published a "Translation of Bishop Lowth's Lectures on the Poetry of the Hebrews," 2 vols. 8vo.; a "Life of Thomas Chatterton, with Criticisms on his Genius and Writings, and a concise View of the Controversy concerning Rowley's Poems, 1789," 8vo; a revised edition of Dr. Hawkesworth's Telemachus, with a new Life of Fenelon, 1795, in 2 vols. 4to; a Continuation of Hume's History of England, 1795, 8vo; "The Oeconomy of Nature explained and illustrated, on the Principles of modern Philosophy, 1796," 3 vols. 8vo; "Lessons, Astronomical and Philosophical, for the Instruction of British Youth, 1797," 12mo; "The Elements of a Polite Education, carefully selected from the Letters of Lord Chesterfield to his Son, 1801," 12mo. He excelled in a knowledge of Mechanicks; and was an extremely useful Member of the several Committees of the Humane Society, which at various times have been appointed to determine the Prizes awarded to the Inventors of the best mode of preserving the lives of shipwrecked Mariners. Some years after the death of Dr. Kippis, he engaged with the Booksellers to proceed with the "Biographia Britannica;" and with that view he wrote a Preface to the Sixth Volume (see p. 179), which was unfortunately consumed. He was for several years the conductor of the "New Annual Register," on principles opposite to that published by Mr. Dodsley; which, during the administration of Mr. Addington, he had the address to change to a Ministerial work; a circumstance by which, it is supposed, he obtained the Vicarage of West Ham, where he afterwards constantly resided, as a respectable Parish Priest, without any extraordinary exertion of literary talent beyond that of editing a new "Cyclopaedia;" for which, by his original course of study, he was well qualified, and in which such articles as are original are entitled to commendation. He was some time Preacher at the Foundling Hospital. At the time of his death, March 12, 1808, he was Domestic Chaplain to the Bishop of Landaff, Prebendary of St. Paul's, Vicar of West Ham, and Lecturer of St. Giles, Cripplegate.