Denton, Thomas (1724-1777) (DNB00)

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Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 14
Denton, Thomas (1724-1777)

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DENTON, THOMAS (1724–1777), miscellaneous writer, was born at Seberham, Cumberland, in 1724. He was educated by the Rev. Josiah Relph, and edited his master's poems when published by subscription in 1747. He entered Queen's College, Oxford, and graduated B.A. in 1745, and M.A. in 1752. He became curate to the Rev. Dr. Graham at Arthuret and Kirk Andrews, Cumberland, and there privately printed a ‘local poem’ called ‘Gariston.’ In 1753 he became Graham's curate at Ashtead, Surrey. Here he recommended himself to an ‘old and infirm’ Lady Widdrington, who persuaded Graham to resign the rectory in his favour. He was instituted 14 Nov. 1754. He married a Mrs. Clubbe, who had been companion to Lady Widdrington, and received a legacy from her mistress. Denton died at Ashtead 27 June 1777, leaving a widow and seven children. Lord Suffolk, the patron, gave the next presentation to his widow, and by judicious management she turned the gift into a ‘very comfortable annuity.’ Denton published:

  1. A manual of devotions called ‘Religious Retirement for One Day in Every Month,’ from John Gother, fitted for protestant readers.
  2. ‘Immortality, or the Consolation of Human Life, a Monody,’ 1754, reprinted in Dodsley's collection.
  3. ‘The House of Superstition: a Vision,’ 1762, prefixed to Gilpin's ‘Lives of the Reformers.’ Both are poems in imitation of Spenser.

He also compiled the supplemental volume to the first edition of the ‘General Biographical Dictionary’ (1761).

[Chalmers's Dict.; Hutchinson's Cumberland, ii. 419; Manning and Bray's Surrey, ii. 635.]