1750 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Shadwell

William Oldys, Adversaria, 1750 ca.; Notes and Queries S2 11 (9 March 1861) 182.



SHADWELL. — The character of Capt. Hackum, in Thomas Shadwell's comedy The Squire of Alsatia, was drawn (as I have been told by old John Bowman the player) to expose Bully Dawson, a noted sharper, swaggerer, and debauchee, about town, especially Blackfriars and its infamous purlieus.

Tom Shadwell died suddenly of an apoplexy (or by taking too large a dose of opium given him by mistake) at Chelsea, near London, Nov. 20, 1692, in the fifty-third year of his age, and was buried in the church there the 25th of the same month. See his Funeral Sermon by Nich. Brady, 4to. 1693.

If Shadwell could not match Ben Jonson in his learning, in the deep reach of his plots, the innocence of his humorous characters, and the chastity of his morals, and other qualifications of his mind, he did at least in the corpulency of his body. Whence among many other sarcasms, we may account for this extraordinary epitaph of Tom Brown:—

And must our glorious Laureat then depart?
Heav'n, if it please, may take his loyal heart;
As for the rest, sweet Devil, bring a cart.