poet, born in Hampshire, educated at Westminster School; studied at Corpus Christi, Oxford, and obtained a Fellowship at All-Souls' College; wrote plays and satires, but is best known to fame as the author of "Night Thoughts," which has been pronounced "his best work and his last good work," a poem which was once in high repute, and is less, if at all, in favour to-day, being written in a mood which is a strain upon the reader; it is "a little too declamatory," says Professor Saintsbury, "a little too suggestive of soliloquies in an inky cloak, with footlights in front"; his "Revenge," acted in 1721, is pronounced by the professor to be "perhaps the very last example of an acting tragedy of real literary merit"; his satires in the "Love of Fame; or, The Universal Passion," almost equalled those of Pope, and brought him both fame and fortune; he took holy orders in 1727, and became in 1730 rector of Welwyn, in Hertfordshire; his flattery of his patrons was fulsome, and too suggestive of the toady (1681-1765).

The Nuttall Encyclopaedia. . 1907.

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