1744 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Hughes

Joseph Spence, 1744 ca.; in Anecdotes, ed. Osburne (1966) 1:211-12.



Hughes died in February 1719-20, on the first night his Siege of Damascus was acted; he wrote the Prologue and Epilogue for it in bed, and the Dedication to Lord Chancellor Cowper, only ten days before his death. He was about forty-five years old. It was the sight of that play in manuscript that recommended him entirely to Lord Cowper, who made him Secretary to the Commissions of the Peace a month after he read it: and when Lord Parker succeeded him, though Lord C. was too angry with him to desire him to continue any one else, he did desire him to continue Mr. Hughes. Lord Parker did so, and told him the Lord C. had recommended him to him, but that he had had a previous recommendation; which was his own merit. He was never in any circumstances till his secretaryship; which was but a few years before his death. — Mr. Strahan only received one hundred and twenty-five pounds for his play, and had not the pleasure of delivering that to him, but to his mother. He left above five hundred pounds to his family, who much wanted it.