28 February 2010

Thomas Newcomb (b. 1675)

From Chalmers' Biographical Dictionary:

Newcomb (Thomas), M.A. son of a worthy clergyman in Herefordshire, and great grandson, by his mother's side, to the famous Spenser, was born in 1675, and was, for some time educated at Corpus Christi college, Oxford; but we do not find his name among the Graduates. He was afterwards chaplain to the second duke of Richmond, and rector of Stopham in Sussex, in 1734, when he published a translation of "Velleius Paterculus". For some time before this he lived at Hackney, in rather distressed circumstances. So early as 1718, he was author of an excellent poem, under the title of "Bibliotheca," which is preserved in the third volume of Nichols's "Select Collection of Miscellany poems," and on which Dr. Warton thinks Pope must have formed his goddess Dulness, in the "Dunciad." Besides the many productions of Dr. Newcomb reprinted in that collection, he was author of several poems of merit; particularly of "The last Judgment of Men and Angels, in twelve books, after the manner of Milton," 1723, folio, adorned with a fine metzotinto portrait; of another, "To her late majesty queen Anne, upon the Peace of Utrecht;" "An Ode to the memory of Mr. Rowe;" and another, "To the memory of the countess of Berkeley." He also translated several of Addison's Latin poems, and Philips's "Ode to Mr. St. John."

Dr. Newcomb died probably about 1766, in which year his library was sold, and when he must have been in his ninety-first year.

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