1813 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Robert Potter

R. B. M., "Aeschylus Potter" Gentleman's Magazine 83 (March 1813) 196-97.



March 2.

Mr. URBAN,

On looking over Rivington's Continuation of Dodsley's Annual Register for 1804, I find in the Chronicle, pp. 35 and 36, a Memoir of the late learned Mr. Potter (known to many by the designation of Aeschylus Potter), who had died in that year: and, on referring to your Magazine for August 1804, it appears that the Editor of the Register has copied his notice from your Obituary.

I am inclined to think that part of the statement is not correct; that part in which it is stated that "till Mr. Potter had completed his Translation of Sophocles, he had not attained any preferment in the Church higher than that of Vicar of Lowestoft." This probably should be read, "higher than that of Vicar of Scarning;" but of that I am not clear. If my recollection serve me right, Lord Chancellor Thurlow had given Mr. Potter the stall at Norwich before the living of Lowestoft became vacant. In this I am to a certain degree bourne out by the Gentleman's Magazine. For in May, 1788, at the end of the review of the Translation of Aeschylus, there is a very just and proper mention made of Mr. Potter's promotion to a Prebend of Norwich by the Lord Chancellor, unexpected and unsolicited; and in Gentleman's Magazine, July 1789, in the list of Ecclesiastical Preferments, is, "Rev. Mr. Potter, Lowestoft and Kessingland V. V. vice Arrow, deceased." — I have always understood, that during Mr. Potter's residence on his stall at Norwich, these united or consolidated vicarages were offered to him, without solicitation from any quarter, by Bagot the then Bishop of Norwich; that the offer was wholly unexpected by Potter; he not considering that he had any claim upon the Bishop's patronage, or expectation from it; and that Potter's mind was very peculiarly impressed by such a disinterested and honourable mark of the Bishop's favour, which was conferred in the true spirit of that very kind-hearted, considerate, and very learned Prelate. This testimony to Mr. Potter's merits appeared still higher, because, at the time the offer was made, the preferment was the best that the Bishop had to dispose of; and if I do not mistake, those united Vicarages were the best subject of patronage that fell vacant during the seven years that that estimable Prelate held the see.

To you, Mr. Urban, no apology is requisite for the foregoing correction; because I am sincerely persuaded, that your anxious wish is, and always has been, in whatever publication you may have been occupied, to transmit facts to posterity in the most correct form that your means of information would enable you to collect them.

R. B. M.