1772 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Chatterton

John Langhorne, Review of Chatterton, Execution of Sir Charles Bawdin in The Monthly Review 47 (August 1772) 150.



This ancient poem is said to have been the production of Thomas Rowlie, a priest in the fifteenth century, and is supposed to have been written some time after the event which is the subject of it, and which happened in Bristol, in the year 1461, when Edward IV. and the Duke of Gloucester (afterwards Richard III.) were in that city. We cannot think, on account of the smoothness of the numbers, that the poem is of so early a date as is suggested. There is, however, a natural pathos, and a beautiful simplicity in it, which cannot but recommend it to the lovers of antique poetry.