1792 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Chatterton

Richard Farmer, "On Walpole and Chatterton" Gentleman's Magazine 62 (May 1792) 504.



Emman. Coll. May 25.
Mr. URBAN,
I see in your Magazine of the last month, p. 296, a letter with the signature of "Christi Seltzer"; a gentleman of whose existence I am as doubtful, as of that of old Rowley himself.
The subject is, whether Mr. Walpole, the present Earl of Orford, had any correspondence with the unfortunate Chatterton; and it is there asserted, that Mr. Walpole never wrote to him "any Letter whatever": and that I, amongst others, was "authorized and enjoined" by him to contradict the report of such correspondence.
Now is it possible, that Lord Orford should deny, or enjoin others to do so, what he himself has publickly declared to be true, and suffered you to tell all the world in your Magazine for May, 1782?
The fact is, and all that I know about it — more than two years ago, my Friend Mr. Steevens gave me the following information, which at that time I occasionally mentioned in the University:

"Mr. Walpole has authorized his friends to declare, that he never saw those Letters from Chatterton, which Mr. Barrett has printed, till they appeared in the new History of Bristol. Mr. W. also expresses his apprehensions, that, after his death, some pretended answers to them will be produced."

Yours, &c,
RICHARD FARMER.