1856 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Thomas Coombe

George and Evert Duyckinck, in Cyclopedia of American Literature (1856; 1875) 1:140.



THOMAS COOMBE, who first appears in our literature as a translator of some of his teacher Beveridge's Latin poems, was a native of Philadelphia, and after concluding his course at the College, studies theology, and visiting England to take orders, was on his return appointed an assistant minister of Christ Church. He sided with the liberal party at the outbreak of the Revolution, but disapproving of the separation from England, joined after that event the tory party. He was, in 1777, banished with others, by the legislature, to Staunton, Virginia, but was allowed on the score of sickness to remain. He soon after went to England. The Earl of Carlisle made him his chaplain, and he finally became a Prebendary of Canterbury, and one of the royal chaplains. In 1775, he published in London a short narrative poem, The Peasant of Auburn, or the Emigrant, accompanied by a few smaller poems. The tract is dedicated to Goldsmith, and seems designed as a continuation of the Deserted Village. It presents a lugubrious picture of the fortunes of an emigrant. We quote a few of its closing pages.