1808 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Francis Fawkes

Anonymous, "Francis Fawkes, M.A." European Magazine 54 (September 1808) 193.



This truly ingenious poet was a native of Yorkshire. He was collated, by Archbishop Herring, to the vicarage of Orphington and St. Mary Cray, in Kent. He was one of the chaplains to the Princess Dowager of Wales, the author of many poems, and particularly celebrated for his translations of Anacreon, Sappho, Bion, Moschus, and Musaeus, printed in 12mo. 1760; his Idylliums of Theocritus, 1767; and his Argonautics of Apollonius Rhodius. About the time that he published his original poems by subscription, he associated much with the artists, was a visiting member of the club at the Turk's Head, in Gerrard-street, and, we think, once officiated as their chaplain, and preached a sermon in Covent-garden church, at their annual celebration, on St. Luke's day. He has, in his poems, frequently taken occasion to compliment some of the members of the Academical Society. Of the late James Paine, Esq. he says,

'Tis thine to bid the pile ascend,
The pillar rise, the arch to bend, &c.

In his contemplation of the print of the section of St. Paul's cathedral, he consigns to the celebrity of the remotest ages the names "Of Rooker, Gwin, and Wale." He has also celebrated Hayman, and many other artists.

We believe that he alluded to his own figure in these lines:—

Emerging awful from a cloud of smoke,
The tall lean doctor snapt his box, and spoke,
"Peace to the beau, and ev'ry scented belle;
Who cries tobacco has an odious smell."

In his elegy upon OLD DOBBIN, he is said, under the appellation of DAME JOLT, to have made his friends merry with a character well known in the Kentish rounds.

Ye maids of Cray, your butter'd rolls deplore,
Dame Jolt's brown horse, Old Dobbin, is no more!...
This honest steed brought butter ev'ry day
From stoney Cudhum down to wat'ry Cray;
Fresh butter, meet to mix with nicest rolls,
And sometimes eggs, and sometimes geese with fowls, &c.

In short, though a humourist, he was universally esteemed, not only as a very ingenious writer, but as a most agreeable companion and a respectable divine.