Warton, Thomas, The Elder; Joseph; And Thomas, The Younger

(1688-1800)
   • Thomas, the elder, the father, 1688-1745
   The son of Antony Warton, vicar of Godalming, Surrey, he graduated, B.A. (1709-10), M.A. (1712), and B.D. (1725) from Magdalen College, Oxford. His Jacobite sympathies made him popular and he was elected professor of poetry at Oxford for two terms from 1718 to 1728. In 1717-1718 Warton circulated both in manuscript and in print a satire in verse on George I, entitled The Turnip Hoer. In 1723 he became vicar of Basingstoke, Hampshire, and master of the grammar school, where he remained until his death at Basingstoke. Among his pupils was the great naturalist Gilbert White (1720-1793). After his death his son Joseph issued, by subscription, Poems on Several Occasions by the Rev. Thomas Warton (1748). Some of his poems: "Against Dress," "A Farewell to Poetry," "A Paraphrase on the 13th Ode of the 3d Book of Horace," "An American LoveOde," "Avaro, a Tale," "Cupid Acquitted, a Tale," "Ode to Sleep," "Paraphrase on the 13th Chap. of Isaiah."
   • Joseph, the elder son, 1722-1800
   Born at his grandfather's vicarage in Dunsfold, Surrey, he was educated at his father's school at Basingstoke, then at Winchester College and graduated from Oriel College, Oxford. He took holy orders immediately afterwards and was his father's curate at Basingstoke until his father's death. He was second master, then headmaster at Winchester College from 1755 to 1793, when he resigned after the boys mutinied. Between 1759 and 1768, he was awarded the degrees of M.A., B.D., and D.D. from Oxford University. He died at Wickham, Hampshire, and was buried beside his first wife in the north aisle of Winchester Cathedral. His most important critical work is an Essay on the Genius and Writings of Pope (1756, 1782). He and his brother popularized the early Romantic conception of poetry with their enthusiastic use of nature and natural scenery. Some of his publications: The Enthusiast, or The Lover of Nature, 1744. Odes on Various Subjects, 1746. An Ode, Occasioned by Reading Mr. West's Translation of Pindar, 1749. The Eclogues and Georgics of Virgil, 1753. Some of his poems: "Against Despair," "On Shooting," "The Happy Life," "The Revenge of America," "To the Nightingale," "Verses Written at Montauban in France, 1750."
   • Thomas, the younger, 1728-1790
   Born at Basingsoke, he graduated from Trinity College, Oxford, and was a don at Oxford throughout his life. In 1754 he published Observations on the Faery Queen of Spenser, which established his reputation as a critic of exceptional learning, and won unstinting praise from Dr. Johnson, which resulted in a long friendship between them. From 1757 to 1767 Warton was professor of poetry at Oxford. In 1770 from the Clarendon Press appeared Warton's book on Theocritus (c. 308-c. 240 B.C.). He was appointed poet laureate in 1785. He wrote odes, sonnets and light verse, and between 1774 and 1781 he published in three volumes History of English Poetry. In 1771 he took on the living of the small parish of Kiddington in Oxfordshire. He died at Oxford. Some of his other publications: Five Pastoral Eclogues, 1745. Pleasures of Melancholy, 1745. The Triumph of Isis, 1749. Newmarket, a Satire, 1751. The Union, or Select Scotch and English Pieces, 1753. Some of his poems: "Elegy on the Death of Frederic Prince of Wales," "For the New Year, 1786," "Job, Chapter 39," "The Castle Barber's Soliloquy," "The First of April," "The Grave of King Arthur."
   Sources: Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. EighteenthCentury English Verse. Dennis Davison, ed. Penguin Books, 1988. Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite DVD, 2006. English Poetry: Author Search. ChadwyckHealey Ltd., 1995 (http://www.lib.utexas.edu:8080/search/epoetry/author.html). English Romantic Poetry and Prose. Russell Noyes, ed. Oxford University Press. 1956. Garden Poems. John Hollander, ed. Alfred A. Knopf, 1996. Microsoft Encarta 2006 (DVD). Microsoft Corporation, 2006. The National Portrait Gallery (www.npg.org.uk). Odes on Various Subjects by Joseph Warton. London: printed for R. Dodsley and sold by M. Cooper, 1746 (Ximenes Rare Books Inc. (http://www.polybiblio.com/ximenes/B3419.html). Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources (http://library.stanford.edu). The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The New Oxford Book of Eighteenth Century Verse. Roger Lonsdale, ed. Oxford University Press, 1984. The Oxford Book of Travel Verse. Kevin Crossley-Holland, ed. Oxford University Press, 1986. The Oxford Companion to English Literature. 6th edition. Margaret Drabble, ed. Oxford University Press, 2000. The Penguin Book of Bird Poetry. Peggy Munsterberg, ed. 1984. The Poetical Works of John Scott and Thomas Warton. Thomas Park, ed. J. Sharpe, 1808.

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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