Dr. Glo'ster Ridiey was of the same family with Dr. Nicholas Ridley, Bishop of London, who fell a martyr to the persecutions of Queen Mary. He was born 1702, on board the Gloucester East-Indiaman, from whence he took his name; educated at Winchester; Fellow of New College, Oxford, LL.B. 29 April, 1729. Here he laid the foundation of those acquirements, which afterwards distinguished him as a poet, historian, and divine. For many years his only preferment was the small college living of Weston Longueville, in Norfolk, and the donative of Poplar in Middlesex: to these the College afterwards added the donative of Rumford in Essex. In this seclusion he was content with domestic happiness; and the friendship-of a select few, distinguished for learning and worth In 1740 and 1742 he preached eight sermons at Lady Moyer's Lecture, which were published in 1742, 8vo. In 1763, he published "The Life of Bishop Ridley" in 4to. In 1765, he published his "Review of Philips's Life of Cardinal Pole;" and in 1768 in reward for his labours in this controversy, and in another which the "Confessional" produced, was presented by Archbishop Secker to a golden Prebend at Salisbury. He died Nov. 3, 1774, aet. 72, leaving a widow, and four daughters; of whom Mrs. Evans, the only married one, published several novels.
In the latter part of his life, he lost both his sons; each a youth of abilities. The elder, James Ridley, was author of, 1. The Tales of the Genii. 2. A humorous paper, called "The Schemer," afterwards collected into a volume. 3. The History of James Lovegrove, Esq.; and some other literary works. Thomas, the younger, died of the small-pox, a writer at Madras.
Two poems by Dr Ridley, one styled "Jovi Eleutherio, or an offering to Liberty;" the other, called "Psyche," are in Dodsley's Collection. "Meampus," the sequel of the latter, has since been published by subscription. His Transcript of the Syriac Gospels has been published with a literal Latin translation by professor White, in 2 vols. 4to at Oxford.
From a Note to Nichols's Collection of Poems, Vol. VIII. p. 74.