Pottinger, Israel (DNB00)

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POTTINGER, ISRAEL (fl. 1770), dramatist, began life as an apprentice to a book-seller named Worral. Setting up for himself in Paternoster Row, he projected a variety of periodicals. One of them, ‘The Busy Body,’ was published thrice a week for twopence at the Dunciad, Paternoster Row, and to it Goldsmith contributed in 1759 (Forster, Life of Goldsmith, 1871, i. 212). Not meeting with much success, he next opened a circulating library near Great Turnstile, Holborn, and delivered for a time at Islington G. A. Stevens's popular ‘Lecture on Heads.’ He subsequently suffered from a mental disorder, but supported himself in his lucid intervals by his pen. In 1761 he published an unacted comedy called ‘The Methodist,’ which he described as ‘a continuation or completion of the plan of Foote's “Minor.”’ It was a scurrilous attack on Whitefield. A third edition appeared within the year. In the same year (1761) a farce by Pottinger, entitled ‘The Humorous Quarrel, or the Battle of the Greybeards,’ was acted at Southwark Fair, and subsequently published. ‘The Duenna,’ a comic opera in three acts, a parody on Sheridan's play, published in 1776, and ‘acted by his majesty's servants,’ is supposed to have been by Pottinger. A new edition appeared within the year.

[Baker's Biographia Dramatica (Reed and Jones), i. 580, ii. 178, iii. 40; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

G. Le G. N.