1787 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Bp. Robert Lowth

Anonymous, in "Memoirs of Lowth" Gentleman's Magazine 57 (December 1787) 1124.



Of this gentleman [Glocester Ridley], and of Mr. Spence, the Bishop had intended to give Lives in the Biographia Britannica: and communicated, in 1782, to Mr. Nichols, the substance of the biographical notes on them, preserved in his Collections; with an intimation, that, of the seven poems under Mr. Spence's name, reprinted in the Collection from the Oxford Verses, the two first were by Christopher Pitt (to whom the Bishop was related by his mother's side); the two next by Mr. Rolle, who in 1782 enjoyed (and we hope still enjoys) a New College living in Dorsetshire; and the three last were by Bp. Lowth himself; the subjects, 1. On the Death of King George II. and Inauguration of George III. 1761; 2. On the Marriage of their present Majesties; 3. On the Birth of the present Prince of Wales. In this last, in the printed copies, appears a chasm, which was originally filled with an animated episode on the then recent Russian tragedy. After this anecdote, it is superfluous to say, that the Bishop was intimately acquainted with Mr. Spence, who addressed to him an Epistle of Horace, and by Mr. S's friends was entrusted with the first publication concerning Stephen Duck.