Whincop, Thomas (DNB00)

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WHINCOP, THOMAS (d. 1730), compiler, came of a London family which produced several divines of fair repute in the seventeenth century. John Whincop or Wincopp was appointed rector of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields in January 1641–2, a post which he resigned in 1643, though two years later he preached two sermons before the House of Commons (Journals, ii. 992). His son, Thomas Whincop, D.D., was appointed rector of St. Mary Abchurch on 10 Nov. 1681, preached the Spital sermon in 1701, and died in 1710 (Hennessy, Novum Repertorium, p. 297; cf. Cole, Athenæ, Add. MS. 5883, f. 23). The compiler may have been a son of this Dr. Whincop, but virtually nothing is known concerning him save that he lost considerable sums in the ‘South Sea bubble’ during 1721, and died at Totteridge, where he was buried on 1 Sept. 1730. Seventeen years after his death was printed, as by the late Thomas Whincop. ‘Scanderbeg; or Love and Liberty: a Tragedy. To which is added a List of all the Dramatic Authors, with some Account of their Lives; and of all the Dramatic Pieces published in the English language to the year 1747’ (London, 1747, 8vo). The work was nominally edited and brought up to date by Martha Whincop, the widow of the compiler, who dedicated the volume to the Earl of Middlesex and obtained a goodly list of subscribers; but it is clear that some of the articles were prepared by the biographical compiler John Mottley [q. v.], and it is probable that the whole ‘List’ was thoroughly revised by his hands (see List, pp. 264–8). The dramatic authors are divided into two alphabetical categories, those who flourished before and those who flourished after 1660, and the double columns are embellished by a number of small medallion portraits engraved by N. Parr. At the end is an index of the titles of plays. The book is neatly arranged, but cannot claim to be more than a hasty compilation, based for the most part upon the ‘English Dramatic Poets’ (1691) of Gerard Langbaine the younger. Whincop's labours have long since been merged in those of Victor, Baker, and Reed. The British Museum has a copy of the ‘List’ with copious manuscript notes by Joseph Haslewood.

[Baker's Biogr. Dram. i. 745; Lowe's Bibl. Account of Theatrical Literature, 1888, p. 360; Notes and Queries, 8th ser. iv. 9; Brit. Mus. Cat. The connection, if any, between Thomas Whincop and the William Whincopp, M.D. (1769–1832), noticed in Davy's Athenæ Suffolcienses, iii. f. 206, has not been discovered.]

T. S.