1807 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Bp. Robert Lowth

Robert Southey, in Specimens of the Later English Poets (1807) 3:278.



This eminent man is so well-known, that little could be said of him here, which is not fresh in the mind of every scholar. He was the son of the Rev. William Lowth, Rector of Buriton, Hants, and gave at Winchester school early promise of the talents which afterwards distinguished him. At Oxford he filled the chair of the Professor of Poetry for nine years, which he quitted in 1751. In 1762, he published his Introduction to English Grammar. In 1763, he entered into a controversy with Bishop Warburton, and, like all controversialists, the two antagonists disgraced themselves, and each other. But this conduct was not natural to Lowth; and when he and Warburton met, the latter, in his surprize at his amiable and gentle manners, bore ample testimony to his virtues. It is to the honour of both, that mutual shame produced a friendship; a rare instance of liberality between men of different opinions. Bishop Lowth died in consequence of a paralytick stroke, on the 3rd of November 1787.