Rhodes, William Barnes (DNB00)

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RHODES, WILLIAM BARNES (1772–1826), dramatic writer, second son of Richard Rhodes of Leeds, and of Mercy, his wife, was born on Christmas day 1772. In early life he was a writer in an attorney's office, but about 1799 he obtained the post of clerk in the Bank of England. His ability and assiduity led to his promotion in 1823 to the office of a chief teller, which he held till his death, which took place at Bedford Street, Bedford Square, London, on 1 Nov. 1826. He left a widow, and a daughter was born posthumously.

Rhodes is chiefly known as the author of a long popular burlesque, ‘Bombastes Furioso,’ which was produced, anonymously, at the Haymarket on 7 Aug. 1810, when Mathews took the part of the King of Utopia and Liston that of Bombastes. It was first printed in Dublin in 1813, but was not published with the author's name until 1822. Since then numerous editions have been issued. Rhodes was also a collector of dramatic literature, and made large purchases at the Roxburghe sale in June 1812. His library was sold by Sotheby in 1825. He also wrote: 1. ‘The Satires of Juvenal,’ translated into English verse, 1801, 12mo. 2. ‘Epigrams,’ 1803, 12mo.

[Gent. Mag. 1826, ii. 471; Genest's Account of the Stage, viii. 203.]

E. I. C.