1825 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Thomas Fitzgerald

Anonymous, "W. T. Fitzgerald" A New Biographical Dictionary of 3000 Cotemporary Public Characters (1825) 3:103-04.



W. T. FITZGERALD, a native of England, but descended from an Irish family, and he is said to be the heir of the family of the attainted Earl of Desmond. He was educated first at Greenwich school, and afterwards sent to the royal college of Navarre in Paris. On his return he was intended for the bar, but his friends procuring him a place in the Navy Pay Office, he continued there for many years, when he retired on a small pension, very imprudently, for he would now have been at the head of his department. Though Mr. Fitzgerald is not a poet of the first order, yet he has a ready talent at versification, and great willingness to exert it, as his numerous publications shew. But he derives his chief celebrity from his praiseworthy endeavour to promote the interests of the Literary Fund, for the anniversary dinner of which society he always prepares a poem, which he himself recites. Delivered by himself, his couplets tell well; but he is too apt to bestow his praises on certain political objects, a circumstance which, in a society whence politics ought to be excluded, is blameable. This has drawn upon him a severe castigation from the author of the "Rejected Addresses," who, in the first address, attributed to Mr. Fitzgerald, has given a very humorous and exact imitation of Mr. F.'s style, The author concludes with the following sarcasm; after representing him as lavishing unbounded praises on various place-holding characters he makes him wind up the whole with,

And if in Downing-street old Nick should revel,
England's prime minister, then bless the devil.