1871 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Richard Daniel

Whitwell Elwin, Note in Works of Pope, ed. Elwin and Courthope (1871-1889) 7:136n.



Mr. [Nicholas] Whaley had been a fellow of Wadham College, Oxford. He went over to Ireland under the patronage of Dr. Lindsay, Archbishop of Armagh, who died in 1724, and he held a living worth near a thousand a year. His title was disputed by Dr. Daniel, the Dean of Armagh, whom Swift calls "the greatest puppy and vilest poet alive," and the cause was about to be heard before the English House of Lords. The present custom of having the decision of appeals to the law lords did not then prevail, and peers were canvassed by the friends of the parties, and constantly voted without regard to the justice of the case. Swift and Sheridan were exerting their influence for Mr. Whaley, and enlisted Pope in their service, who evidently thought that the report he had received of Whaley's "merit" and Daniel's "demerit" ought to supersede the question of legal right. Law, on this system, resolved itself into personal preferences.