1842 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Boyse

C. H. Timperley, in Encyclopaedia of Literary and Typographical Anecdote (1842) 2:662n.



Samuel Boyse was born at Dublin in 1798. At an early age he was sent to Glasgow, where he married a tradesman's daughter before he was twenty. This imprudent step, added to the extravagance of himself and wife, involved him in misery. He published a volume of poems at Edinburgh addressed to lady Eglinton, who liberally rewarded him; and an elegy on the countess of Stormont, procured him, from lord Stormont, a handsome present. From Edinburgh he came to London, with a recomendatory letter, written by the duchess of Gordon, to Mr. Pope, and another to chancellor King, both of which he neglected to deliver. He loved mean company, and indulged in the habits of low life. His principal support was writing for periodical publications. The wretched situation he was in at this time, is thus described by one who knew him — "He sat up in bed with the blanket wrapped about him, through which he had cut a hole large enough to receive his arm, and placing the paper on his knee scribbled to the best manner he could the verses he was obliged to make." In 1745 he wrote an Historical Review of the Transactions of Europe. He also published numerous poems, none of which are now read, except the Deity, which is admitted into many collections, and has been praised by two different writers, Fielding and Harvey. He died in 1749, in Shoe-lane, and was buried at the expense of the parish.