Plumptre, James (DNB00)

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PLUMPTRE, JAMES (1770–1832), dramatist and divine, born in 1770, was the second son of Robert Plumptre [q. v.], president of Queens' College, Cambridge, by his wife, Anne Newcome. His sister Anna is separately noticed. James was educated at Dr. Henry Newcome's school at Hackney, where he took part in amateur theatricals, and acquired a strong taste for the drama. In 1788 he entered at Queens' College, Cambridge, but migrated to Clare Hall, whence he graduated B.A. in 1792, M.A. in 1795, and B.D. in 1808. In 1793 he was elected fellow of Clare. On 18 May 1812 he was presented to the living of Great Gransden, Huntingdonshire, which he held till his death there on 23 Jan. 1832. He was unmarried.

Plumptre devoted himself chiefly to dramatic literature. He wrote plays, advocated the claims of the stage as a moral educator, and endeavoured to improve its tone. He also wrote some religious books. Besides pamphlets, letters, single sermons, and hymns, he published: 1. ‘The Coventry Act; a Comedy,’ 1793, 8vo. 2. ‘A concise View of the History of Religious Knowledge,’ 1794, 12mo. 3. ‘Osway: a Tragedy,’ 1795, 4to. 4. ‘The Lakers: a Comic Opera,’ 1798, 8vo. 5. ‘A Collection of Songs … selected and revised,’ 3 vols., 1806, 12mo. 6. ‘Four Discourses relating to the Stage,’ 1809, 8vo. 7. ‘The Vocal Repository,’ 1809, 8vo. 8. ‘The English Drama purified,’ 3 vols. 1812; a selection of expurgated plays. 9. ‘Three Discourses on the Case of Animal Creation,’ 1816, 12mo. 10. ‘The Experienced Butcher,’ 1816, 12mo. 11. ‘Original Dramas,’ 1818, 8vo. 12. ‘A Selection from the Fables by John Gay,’ 1823, 12mo. 13. ‘One Hundred Fables in Verse, by various Authors,’ 1825, 8vo. 14. ‘Robinson Crusoe, edited by Rev. James Plumptre,’ 1826; republished in 1882 by the S.P.C.K. 15. ‘A Popular Commentary on the Bible,’ 2 vols. 1827, 8vo.

Plumptre, John (1753–1825), dean of Gloucester, cousin and brother-in-law of the preceding, born in 1753, was the eldest son of Septimus, younger brother of Robert Plumptre [q. v.] He was educated at Eton and King's College, Cambridge, where he was elected fellow in 1775, graduated B.A. in 1777, and M.A. in 1780. In 1778 he was presented to the vicarage of Stone, Worcestershire, in 1787 was elected prebendary of Worcester, in 1790 rector of Wichenford, and in 1808 dean of Gloucester. He died on 26 Nov. 1825, having married his cousin Diana, daughter of Robert Plumptre. She died on 18 June 1825, leaving three sons. Plumptre was a good classical scholar, and published: 1. ‘Ecloga Sacra Alexandri Pope, vulgo Messia dicta, Græce reddita,’ 1795, 4to; 2nd edit. 1796, to which was appended ‘Inscriptio sepulchralis ex celeberrima elegia Thomæ Gray [etiam Græce reddita].’ 2. ‘Miltonis Poema Lycidas Græce redditum,’ 1797, 4to. 3. ‘The Elegies of C. Pedo Albinovanus … with an English version,’ London, 1807, 12mo. From the place of publication it would seem that he was also author of ‘The Principles of Natural and Revealed Religion,’ 2 vols. Kidderminster, 1795, 8vo, which is anonymous, and has been attributed to his cousin, James Plumptre.

[Works in Brit. Mus. Library; Gent. Mag. 1825 i. 651, ii. 646, 1832 i. 369; Biogr. Dict of Living Authors, 1816; Biogr. Dram. vol. i. pt. ii. p. 575; Pantheon of the Age; McClintock and Strong's Cyclop.; Foster's Index Eccl.; Forster's Life, i. 342; Le Neve's Fasti, i. 445; Allibone's Dict. of English Lit.; Burke's Landed Gentry, 1894, ii. 1620; Notes and Queries, 1st ser. x. 104, 2nd ser. ix. 66.]

A. F. P.