Chatterton, Thomas (DNB00)
CHATTERTON, THOMAS (1752–1770), poet, born at Bristol on 20 Nov. 1752, was the posthumous son of a poor schoolmaster, who died on 7 Aug. 1752. His parents, Thomas Chatterton of Bristol and Sarah Young of Stapleton, were married on 26 April 1748 at Chipping-Sodbury in Gloucestershire, and had three children, Thomas, Mary (nearly four years his senior), and a brother (Giles Malpas), who died in infancy. Thomas was born in a small tenement immediately behind Pyle Street charity school, of which his father had been master, and was baptised on 1 Jan. 1753 at St. Mary Redcliffe. For nearly two hundred years his paternal ancestors had been hereditary sextons of the church. Chatterton's father has been described by one of his pupils as a roystering and rather ‘brutal fellow,’ who was remarkable for having so wide a mouth that he could put his clenched fist inside it. He was, however, a man of ability. He was a skilled numismatist and collected several hundred Roman coins, afterwards in the museum of Sir John Smith, bart., of Ashton Court. Southey has preserved ‘A Catch for Three Voices’ by him (iii. 495) in the 1803 edition of the Works of Chatterton. He read Cornelius Agrippa, affected a belief in magic, and was fond of books.
Chatterton's mother—who was born in 1731 and died on 25 Dec. 1791, aged 60—early in 1753 removed to a house on Redcliffe Hill, opened a dame's school, and took in sewing. Mrs. Chatterton, the poet's grandmother, and Mrs. Edkins, formerly Miss James, who assisted Mrs. Chatterton as a sempstress, and who is usually spoken of as Chatterton's foster-mother, lived with the family. They soon removed to a smaller house, up a court, at the back of No. 50, thenceforth memorable as Chatterton's home at Bristol. Chatterton was at first regarded as stupid. At four he knew but one or two letters of the alphabet. At five he was sent as a day scholar to Pyle Street school, of which Stephen Love became master in 1757. He was soon returned as a dull boy. He was regarded by his mother until the age of six and a half as ‘little better than an absolute fool.’ One day, seeing his mother tearing up as waste paper an old French musical folio of her husband's, the boy, as she said, ‘fell in love’ with the illuminated capitals. From that moment his dormant powers seem to have been awakened. He rapidly learned to read, and was taught from the Gothic characters of an old black-letter Bible. At seven he was remarkable for his brightness, and at eight had become an insatiable reader. He sat for hours as if he were in a trance, and would break abruptly into passionate weeping. He even then systematically neglected both food and sleep. At home his favourite haunt soon came to be a dusty lumber-room, overlooking a little back garden. He held this room before long under lock and key as his own exclusively. Another favourite haunt was the church of St. Mary Redcliffe, to which he had at all times ready access. The sexton was the boy's uncle, Richard Phillips, to whom Chatterton had peculiarly endeared himself. His sister has related how, on a pedlar promising to bring presents to herself and her brother, Chatterton answered, ‘Paint me an angel with wings and a trumpet to trumpet my name over the world.’ Though grave in manner he loved a joke. Edward Smith's aunt Martha spoke of him years afterwards laughingly (Gent. Mag. new ser. x. 603) as ‘a sad wag of a boy.’ Though at times passionate, he was always singularly winning in his manners. In his eighth year he was nominated to Colston's Hospital, the bluecoat school of Bristol. He was admitted as a scholar on 3 Aug. 1760, on the recommendation of John Gardiner, vicar of Henbury. To his annoyance he was only taught reading, writing, arithmetic, and the church catechism. He told his foster-mother that he could have learned more at home. The junior usher, Thomas Phillips, gave him encouragement. Whenever the boy was released from school he locked himself up in his attic. There he was busily engaged, with a great piece of ochre in a brown pan, a bottle of black lead, and pounce bags of charcoal, in making up heraldic designs and in teaching himself to draw knights in armour, castles, and churches. From his earliest childhood Chatterton had been familiar with the heraldic escutcheons upon the tombs in St. Mary Redcliffe, and intimately acquainted with the peculiarities of various kinds of mediæval palæography. Early in that century seven old oak chests in the muniment room over the great north porch of St. Mary Redcliffe had been broken open by the authorities in order to get at some important deeds. Conspicuous among these chests was a huge one bound with iron, and secured with six keys, ‘cysta serrata cum sex clavibus,’ known since the wars of the Roses as Canynge's coffer. The keys had been lost, the locks were forced, and the documents were thenceforth left unguarded. Gradually the whole of the contents of the seven receptacles had disappeared, the poet's father carrying off the last sweepings of the muniment room. The boys' bibles were covered by the schoolmaster with many of the parchments, while with the remainder his widow made thread papers for herself and dolls for her children. In the winter of 1762 Chatterton was confirmed by the Bishop of Bristol, and was greatly impressed by the ceremony. It happened at the same time to be his turn for the week to be doorkeeper at Colston's. Then it was that he wrote his first poem, ‘On the Last Epiphany, or Christ coming to Judgment.’ It appeared in ‘Felix Farley's Bristol Journal’ on 8 Jan. 1763. Soon afterwards he paraphrased the ninth chapter of Job and several chapters of Isaiah. He became more cheerful after he began to write poetry. As a new year's gift Chatterton's sister gave him at this time a pocket-book, which at the close of 1763 he returned to her filled with writings of his own, chiefly poetical. Two of them, ‘A Hymn for Christmas Day’ and ‘Sly Dick,’ both written when he was eleven, have been preserved. He had begun to devote a good part of the few pence given him weekly for pocket-money to borrowing books from the circulating libraries. He hired among others a black-letter copy of Speght's ‘Chaucer.’ Between his eleventh and twelfth year he drew out a list of over seventy works read by him, chiefly in history and divinity. Meanwhile he had become interested in the Canynges and other Bristol celebrities associated with St. Mary Redcliffe.
His attention was one day awakened by coming upon one of his father's old fragments of parchment then in use by his mother as a silk winder. He exclaimed that he had found a treasure. He then collected all the remaining morsels of parchment anywhere discoverable in the house, and took them to his attic. On 7 Jan. 1764, in ‘Felix Farley's Bristol Journal,’ appeared his satiric poem, a fable, entitled ‘The Churchwarden and the Apparition.’ It referred to the vandalism of one Joseph Thomas, then churchwarden of St. Mary Redcliffe. In another part of the same number appeared a letter signed ‘Fulford, the gravedigger,’ which has been suspected to have been Chatterton's first literary disguise. On 14 April 1764 he wrote another satiric poem on a religious dissembler, called ‘Apostate Will.’ In the summer of 1764 Chatterton first spoke about certain old manuscripts which he said had come into his possession through his father from Canynge's coffer in the muniment room of St. Mary Redcliffe. He told a schoolfellow, James Thistlethwaite, that he had lent one of these old manuscripts to the junior usher, Phillips, who a few days later showed a discoloured piece of parchment on which was ‘Elinoure and Juga,’ the earliest produced of the so-called ancient poems, though the latest printed of them all during Chatterton's lifetime. It was first published five years afterwards in the May number for 1769 of Hamilton's ‘Town and Country Magazine.’ Chatterton had therefore written it when he was no more than in the middle of his twelfth year. Phillips was at once convinced of its antiquity. Chatterton had already adopted an obsolete method of spelling, and adapted to his use a mass of words from the old English dictionary of Nathan Bailey, and from that of John Kersey. With the help mainly of the latter he compiled a glossary for his own purpose in two parts: 1. Old words and modern English; 2. Modern English and old words. From the outset he never had any confidant as to his methods. His success with Phillips encouraged a new experiment. Henry Burgum was then carrying on business as a pewterer, in partnership with George Catcott, at a house now known as 2 Bridge Parade. There Chatterton one day, early in 1767, looked in upon him with the announcement that, among some old parchments from Redcliffe Church, he had just discovered an emblazonment of the De Bergham arms with a pedigree, showing Burgum's relationship with some of the noblest houses in England, and his direct descent from one of the Norman knights who came over with the Conqueror. A few days afterwards Chatterton placed in his hands, neatly written out in an ordinary boy's copybook, ‘An Account of the Family of the De Bergham, from the Norman Conquest to this time, collected, from original Records, Tournament Rolls, and the Heralds of March and Garter's Records, by Thomas Chatterton.’ Elaborate references were made in it all down the margin to various authorities. Burgum accepted this account of his high lineage as a thing proven, and with it a parchment eight inches square, on which Chatterton had painted an heraldic blazon of the De Bergham coat of arms, and gave five shillings to the discoverer. For a second instalment of the pedigree, brought to him a few days later, continuing it to the reign of James II, he gave another five shillings. On some of the leaves of the first instalment were written two of Chatterton's spurious antiques, ‘The Tournament’ and ‘The Gouler's Requiem.’ In the second instalment Chatterton introduced ‘The Romaunte of the Cnyghte,’ purporting it to have been written in 1320 by John de Bergham, one of the pewterer's ancestors. Burgum went to London, a little while afterwards, to have his pedigree duly authenticated at the Heralds' College, and learned that there was no record of a De Bergham ever having borne arms. The whole affair may be regarded as a schoolboy's practical joke. Chatterton's first conception of the ‘Rowley Romance’ dated from 1765. Its central figure was an imaginary monk of the fifteenth century, Thomas Rowley, afterwards spoken of as a secular priest at St. John's Church, the friend and confessor of the great merchant and mayor of Bristol, William Canynge the younger. It has been ingeniously suggested (Gent. Mag. new ser. August 1838) that a clue is readily discoverable to Chatterton's selection of the name of Rowley from a passage in Bailey's Dictionary, which accounts for Charles II's nickname of Rowley. An old epitaph in St. John's Church, Bristol, recording the death, on 23 Jan. 1478, of Thomas Rowley, a merchant of that seaport, might as readily have guided him in his choice of the christian name and parish, in 1465, of his purely imaginary Rowley, ‘prieste of St. Johan's, Bristowe.’ What is most wonderful, however, about the ‘Rowley Romance’ is that Chatterton produced with his boyish hand the poetical works not of one alone, but of twelve antique poets. While he was preparing the earlier of these elaborate fabrications, he left the school, on 1 July 1767, and on the same day was apprenticed to John Lambert, an attorney of Bristol, whose office at the time was on St. John's Steps. At the signing of his indentures 10l. was paid over by Colston's trustees to Lambert. Chatterton's office hours were worse even than his school hours, being from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. all the year round. He was treated persistently as a mere office drudge, required to sleep with the office boy, and to take his meals in the kitchen. He was allowed every day to spend an hour at his own home, from 8 to 9 p.m. He was only once—upon a Christmas eve—known to have exceeded the prescribed limit, till 10 p.m. Shortly after the commencement of Chatterton's apprenticeship the attorney's office was removed to the first floor of the house now numbered 37 Corn Street, opposite the Exchange. Chatterton had many friends, conspicuous among whom were Thomas Palmer, apprentice to a jeweller in the same house; Thomas Cary, a pipe-maker, called his ‘second self;’ William Smith, sailor and actor; John Broughton, an attorney, who afterwards collected his miscellanies, and many others. But he confided his secret to no one. He worked regularly at the office. His duties, which were chiefly the copying of precedents, engaged him upon an average no more than two hours every day. But after two years and nine months' occupation he had penned three large volumes: a folio of 334 closely written pages of law forms and precedents, another containing thirty-six notarial acts, and the ordinary book filled with notices and letters; all of them in his symmetrical and clerkly handwriting. The rest of his time was given up to self-education, and to the elaboration of an extraordinary number of his pseudo-antique poems. His studies ranged, according to Thistlethwaite's account (Milles, p. 456), from heraldry to metaphysics, from astronomy to medicine, from music to antiquities and mathematics. On the Sundays he took solitary rambles into the country, whence he seldom returned without bringing back with him sketches he had taken of churches or ruins.
In September 1768 a new bridge had been opened for foot passengers, and it was generally known that in the following November it would be publicly inaugurated. The whole city was startled by the appearance in ‘Felix Farley's Bristol Journal,’ on 1 Oct. 1768, of an account of the mayor's first passing over the old bridge in 1248. The description purported to have been taken ‘from an old manuscript,’ and was transmitted to the printer of the journal by one signing himself ‘Dunelmus Bristoliensis.’ Curiosity was at once awakened as to the source from which this curious document had emanated, the original of which is now at the British Museum (Add. MS. 5766 B 8). Chatterton shortly afterwards appeared at the newspaper office, and was recognised as the bearer of this singular contribution. He said upon inquiry that he was employed by a gentleman in transcribing certain ancient manuscripts, and that he was at the same time writing complimentary verses to a lady to whom the gentleman in question was engaged. The description, he added, was copied from a parchment procured by his father from the muniment room of St. Mary Redcliffe. Yet Chatterton frankly admitted to a friend of his own age, John Rudhall, that ‘he was the author of it’ (Milles, 437), showing him afterwards how the appearance of antiquity might be readily counterfeited. He had meanwhile applied, under his now familiar assumed name, to contribute to the ‘Town and Country Magazine,’ in the next number of which (November 1768) appeared this notice: ‘D. B. of Bristol's favour will be gladly received.’ Three weeks or a month after the account of the procession over the old bridge had been published, George Catcott, Burgum's partner, heard for the first time, according to his own statement (Gent. Mag. 11 Sept. 1788), of certain ancient manuscripts in the muniment room of St. Mary's. Elsewhere he says, less probably, that it was a year earlier (see ib. xlviii. 347, 403). Catcott was a bustling, vain, and eccentric man, who boasted that there were no books in his library less than a hundred years old. He now made Chatterton's acquaintance, and received from him, as gifts, one after another of the Rowley poems. First among them in point of time was the ‘Bristowe Tragedie, or the Dethe of Syr Charles Bawdin’—four years afterwards published in quarto, as the earliest of all the Rowley poems separately printed. On its being first issued from the press, in 1772, Horace Walpole ascribed it to Dr. Percy, the bishop of Dromore. When taxed with its authorship by his sister and mother, Chatterton from the first acknowledged that he had written it. Soon after this ‘The Epitaph on Robert Canvnge' was placed in Catcott's hands, and a few days later the largest of all the so-called Rowley parchments, containing, in sixty-six verses, Rowley’s ‘Challenge to Lydgate,’ the noble ‘Songe to Ælla, Lorde of the Castel of Brystowe, ynne daies of yorc,’ and Lydgate’s ‘Answer to Rowley,' It was this dearly prized ‘original' that Catcott exultantly took to William Barret [q. v.] Chatterton’s first gift to Barrett was ‘Turgot’s Account of Bristol, translated by Rowley from Saxon into English,' in return for which Barrett lent the boy for a while Thomas Benson’s ‘Vocabularium Anglo-Saxonicum’ and Stephen Skinner’s ‘Etymologicon Lingufe Anglicanam’ Chatterton knew no Latin, however, though familiar with English poetry and antiquities. O)n his subsequent introduction, in l768, to George Catcott’s elder brother, the Rev. Alexander Catcott, vicar of the Temple Church, Chatterton obtained access to the Bristol Library. Thence he was enabled to borrow Geoffrey of Monmouth’s ‘History of the Britons,’ Fuller’s 'Church History,’ and Holinshed’s ‘Chronicles.’ Aided by these later researches, Chatterton gave the final touches to the antique poems that he had been secretly preparing. He gave them to George Catcott and William Barrett. A foreshadowing of one of the earliest of these, written when he was fifteen, was the fragment of a so-called ancient poem entitled ‘The Unknown Knight, or the Tournament,' enclosed in his letter of 6 March 1768 to his bedfellow at Colston's, Baker, who had some time before emigrated to Charlestown, South Carolina. He it was for whom, in his explanation at Felix Farley’s printing-office, he affected to be copying the antique manuscripts, and for whom he really, before the close of that year, had written ten love poems addressed to Baker's innamorata, Eleanor Hoyland. The information contained in a more highly elaborated poem, entitled ‘The Tournament,” was long supposed to have been wholly inaccessible to him save through an old Latin manuscript of William of Worcester; whereas it turned out that these particulars were readily derived by him from a printed record under William Halfpenny's engraving of Redclille Church, published in 1746, a copy of which he must often have seen hanging up in the parlour of his friend, Henry Kater, the sugar-baker. Another longer poem, purporting to be written two centuries afterwards by Rowley and John à Iscam, was ‘a most merry interlude,’ called ‘The Parliament of Sprites.' Of another dramatic poem, ‘Goddwyn,' two scenes only have been preserved. The subject of ‘Goddwyn is continued in the ‘Battle of Hastings.’ Duplicate copies of ‘ No. 1 ’ were given by Chatterton to Catcott and Barrett. On being pressed by Barrett to produce the ‘original’ from which it had apparently been copied out, Chatterton admitted that it was his own composition. But, on being further pressed by Barrett, he poroduced as indubitably Rowley’s English version from the Saxon of Turgot, ‘No. 2,’ a still lengthier instalment. It was for some time a matter of bewilderment how Chatterton could have contrived to make the names of the chiefs correspond so exactly with the ‘Roll of Battle Abbe,' the fact being that he had only to turn for them to Holinshed’s ‘ Chronicles.' The ‘Battle of Hastings’ is surpassed by the tragical interlude of ‘Ælla,’ which may be accepted as his masterpiece. ‘Ælla,’ in the poet’s handwriting, was in 1768 handed to Catcott in manuscript. Chatterton, on :Il Dec. 1768, wrote to James Dodsley, offering to rocure for him several ancient poems, including ‘the oldest dramatic piece extant,’ written by Rowley, a priest of Bristol, who lived in the reigns of Henry VI and Edward IV, and asking him to direct his answer to ‘D. B., care of Mr. Thomas Chatterton.' Having waited in vain for nearly two months, he wrote again to Dodsley, on 15 Feb. 1769, under his own name, saying that on the receipt of a guinea he should be enabled to obtain a copy of the tragedy of ‘Ælla’ already referred to in his previous communication. It is uncertain whether he ever received any answer from Dodsley. Both these letters were turned up on the clearing out of Dodsley’s counting-house, and were first published in 1813 in John Britton's ‘History of Redclifle Church,’ pp. 71, 72. On 25 March 1769 he wrote, from Corn Street, Bristol, to Horace Walpole a brief note signed Thomas Chatterton, enclosing, among other curious manuscripts, ‘The Ryse of Peyncteynge in Englande,’ as having possibly an especial interest for the author of ‘Anecdotes of Painting.’ The packet, which contained besides some verses about Richard Coeur de Lion, was sent to Walpole under cover to his bookseller, Bathoe. Walpole answered in a long and courteous letter dated 28 March 1769. Walpole spoke of printing Rowley's poems, and invited further correspondence. Chatterton answered without delay on 30 March, forwarding further particulars as to Rowley and Abbot John, and enclosing additional manuscripts, such as the poem on ‘War,’ and the ‘Historie of Peyncters yn Englande.’ He informed Walpole at the same time that he was the son of a poor widow who supported himself with much difficulty, and that he was clerk to an attorney, but had a taste for more elegant studies. The revelation changed Walpole's whole manner; moreover, shortly after the receipt of this second letter, Walpole showed the enclosures to Mason and Gray (Cole MSS. vol. xxv. fol. 50 b), both of whom at once pronounced them fabrications, and advised their being returned without delay to Chatterton. Walpole, while retaining the manuscripts, wrote to Chatterton, saying that when he had made a fortune he might unbend in his favourite studies. Chatterton, in a brief note dated 8 April, begged for the immediate return of his manuscripts. Receiving no answer to this, he consulted Barrett as to what further reply should be made. He wrote on 14 April, insisting upon the genuineness of the Rowley papers, and requesting their return as documents likely to be of use to his friend the intending historian of Bristol. At the moment of the arrival of this communication Walpole was starting for Paris, and paid no attention to Chatterton's wish. Having been detained in France six weeks, and having then returned to London, more than three months had elapsed when Walpole received from Chatterton a final and haughty letter on 24 July demanding the papers. Walpole calls this note singularly impertinent, while Southey pronounces it ‘dignified and spirited.’ Walpole now returned all the papers to Chatterton, and ‘thought no more of him or them.’ Chatterton's feelings are expressed in his lines ‘To Horace Walpole,’ written in August 1769. Walpole's defence of his conduct, in answer to an attack in Warton's ‘History of English Poetry’ (vol. ii. § 8), was privately printed at Strawberry Hill in 1779, and afterwards published in the ‘Gentleman's Magazine’ in 1782.
Chatterton was embittered by the repulse. He satirised all the leading people of Bristol, even those who were the most intimately associated with himself, and to whom he was under some small personal obligations. His derisive poetical ‘Epistle to the Rev. Alexander Catcott,’ written on 6 Dec. 1769, and his prose ‘Postscript to the Epistle,’ dated the 20th of the same month, brought their hitherto friendly acquaintance abruptly to a close. One Bristolian alone never had from him other than the most respectful treatment. This was Michael Clayfield, a distiller, of Castle Street, to whom he was first introduced in the autumn of 1769. He it was who lent Chatterton Martin's ‘Philosophical Grammar’ and one of the volumes of Martin's ‘Philosophy.’ Thanks to him also, he obtained access to books on astronomy, out of his study of which came his fine metrical celebration of ‘The Copernican System.’ This appeared in the ‘Town and Country Magazine,’ to which in 1769 he had supplied in all no less than sixteen contributions. Among these, in the October number, was his affecting ‘Elegy on Thomas Phillips,’ then recently deceased, formerly junior usher at Colston's Hospital.
Chatterton's position at Lambert's had become at last intolerable. The attorney burnt any manuscripts not on business, calling them ‘stuff.’ Chatterton at last wrote to Clayfield, avowing an intention of suicide. Lambert intercepted the letter, and at once forwarded it to Barrett, who so earnestly remonstrated with Chatterton, that the boy was moved to tears. It was after this interview that Chatterton wrote to Barrett perhaps the most characteristic letter he ever penned. It is facsimiled (i. cxvii) in the 1842 edition of Chatterton's ‘Works,’ and may be turned to in the original manuscript in Chatterton's handwriting at the British Museum (5766 B, 75). He says in it that nineteen-twentieths of his composition is pride. The editor of the 1842 edition of his ‘Works’ (i. cxvi) says that one day he snatched a pistol from his pocket, and, holding it to his forehead, exclaimed, ‘Now, if one had but the courage to pull the trigger.’ His seven fatalistic lines on suicide were without doubt written about this period. One morning, in the spring of 1770, Lambert found conspicuously placed on Chatterton's desk a document in the boy's handwriting, which is still preserved under a glass case in the library of the Bristol Institution. It is entitled ‘The last Will and Testament of me, Thomas Chatterton of Bristol,’ and begins thus: ‘All this wrote between eleven and two o'clock on Saturday, in the utmost distress of mind, 14 April 1770.’ It is a bitter expression of his misery, with sarcastic bequests to his acquaintance.
On Lambert's reading this extraordinary document Chatterton's indentures were at once cancelled. A guinea subscription was got up among a few friends. With barely five pounds in his pocket after paying his fare, Chatterton left Bristol for London by coach on 24 April. His first letter to his mother, dated two days later, gives a graphic description of his journey. Through a cousin, Mrs. Ballance, he obtained shelter in a house in Shoreditch where she was lodging, and the tenant of which was one Walmsley, a plasterer. There he remained for the first seven weeks of his life in town, sharing the bed of the plasterer's nephew, a young man of twenty-four years of age, according to whose evidence the boy hardly ever slept, writing with a sort of fury all through the night. Before his advent to London Chatterton had contributed to several of the leading periodicals. On the first day of his arrival in town he called upon four of these editors or publishers, receiving from them all, as he tells his mother, 'great encouragement.' During the next four months he is known to have written largely in eleven of the principal publications tnen in circulation : the 'Middlesex Journal,' the 'Court and City Journal,' the 'Political Register,' and the 'London Museum;' as well as in the 'Town and Country,' the 'Christian,' the 'Universal,' the 'Gospel,' the 'London,' the 'Lady's,' and the 'Freeholder's' magazines. Such was the rapidity with which he wrote at this time, that of the 444 lines of his sati- rical poem of 'The Exhibition,' the unpublished manuscript of which yet lies at the Bristol Library, tne first line was dated 1 May, und the last line 3 May, the whole of it having been run off at a heat at Shoreditch. The merest fragment of it (fourteen lines in all) has been printed, the rest having been suppressed as unfit for publication. Chatterton's life, however, was not licentious. He retained his affection for his family. He was abstemious in diet, preferring a few cakes and a glass of water for his meals ; drinking tea and disliking hot meat. Chatterton's letters to his mother speak of his literary employments, and show that he was still thinking of his Rowley manuscripts. He wrote squibs, tales, and songs, and tried to rival Junius by letters signed 'Decimus' in the 'Middlesex Journal.' He wrote a letter signed 'Probus,' addressed to the Lord-mayor Beckford [q. v.], which procured him a personal interview with Becklord himself. It appeared in June in the 'Political Register. A second was written, but was never published ; for when Chatterton's hopes were at their highest, Beckford's death on 21 June was annoimced. At the first shock of those tidings Chatterton, according to Mrs. Ballance, 'was perfectly frantic and out of his mind, and said he was ruined.' Walpole eight years afterwards averred, in his attempted vindication of himself (p. 51), that he had seen in Chatterton's handwriting that second letter to lord-mayor Beckford signed 'Probus,' and a letter of his to Lord North signed 'Moderator,' both of them being dated 20 May, the former a denunciation of, the latter a panegyric on, the administration. The imputation, though based solely on Walpole's assertion, tallies with Chatterton's remark to his sister on 30 May, that 'he is a poor author who cannot write on both sides.' A second letter was sent by Chatterton to his friend Gary, with this endorsement : —
Accepted by Bingley, set for and thrown out of the 'North Briton,' 21 June, on account of the lord mayor's death : —
|Lost by his death on this essay .||1||11||6|
|Gained in elegies . . .||2||2||0|
|„ in essays . . .||3||3||0|
|Am glad he is dead by . .||3||13||6|
Chatterton's change of residence about this time was indicated by the dates attached in the 'London Magazine' to his two 'African Eclogues;' 'Nerva and Mored' being dated 2 May, Shoreditch, and 'The Death of Nicou,' 12 June, Brooke Street. In quitting Shoreditch he bore with him to nis new abode near Holbom not only the good opinion of Walmsley and his nephew, but the testimony to his exemplary conduct while under their roof of Mrs. Ballance, his cousin, the plasterer's wife, and her niece, aged 27. Once only during his stay with them, as Crofts states on their testimony (p. 1 18), did he stay out all night, Mrs. Ballance assuring the author of 'Love and Madness' that on that night to her certain knowledge he lodged at a relation's. There can be no doubt that in removing to Brooke Street he was in search of greater seclusion. There, for the first time in his life, he had a sleeping apartment entirely to himself, in which he could write all through the night. He was by this time beginning to lose heart as to his chances in London. Hamilton, of the 'Town and Country Magazine,' gave him no more than 10l. 6d. for sixteen songs; while Fell, of the 'Freeholder's Magazine,' gave him the same sum for the two hundred and fifty lines of 'The Consuliad.' The whole of his earnings during May and June could not possibly have exceedea 12l.
On 4 July he sent to the 'Town and Country Magazine,' with a brief note, signed with his familiar initials, D. B., the last and one of the most exquisitely finished of all his Rowley poems, 'An Excelente Balade of Charitie.' It was rejected. Fortunately he had just then completed the adaptation and expansion of a musical extravaganza called 'Amphitryon,' which he had begun writing nearly a year before at Bristol. In its improved and enlarged form it appeared now as 'The Revenge: a Burletta. Written for Marylebone Gardens it was there acted, not certainly during its author's lifetime, but some time before 1777. It was first published in 1796, twenty-five years after the death of Chatterton. The original manuscript was accidentally discovered in 1824 by Mr. Upcott, one of the librarians of the London Institution, on the counter of a city cheesemonger. In 1841 it was purchased by the British Museum with the manuscripts of Samuel Butler, the bishop of Lichfield. On one of its last leaves is written, in Chatterton’s handwriting, a receipt for 5l. 5s. paid for the copyright by Lutfman Atterbury. Chatterton immediately sent a box of presents to his family, including a china tea-service, a cargo of patterns, a curious French snutilbox, and a tan for his mother, another fan for his sister, some British herb tobacco for his grandmother, and some trifles for Thorne. Two more of Chatterton's home letters have been preserved, both to his sister. On 20 July he tells her besides, ‘Almost all the next "Town and Country Magazine” is mine.’ On its publication, eleven days afterwards, however, he finds that Hamilton has held almost all his contributions over, and for the few that appear he receives no payment. On 12 Aug. Chatterton addresses to George Catcott the last letter he is known for certain to have addressed to any one. He writes: ‘I intend going abroad as a surgeon. Mr. Barrett has it in his power to assist me greatly by his giving me a physical character. I hope he will.’ He speaks of a roposal for building a new spire for St. Mary Radcliffe, and concludes: ‘Heaven send you the comforts of christianity! I request them not, for I am no christian.' His narrow resources were now rapidly drawing to an end. In his Brooke Street lodgings he had won the affection of all who knew him. Though literally starving he could never be persuaded to accept of invitations, which were fretpnent, to dine or sup. ‘One evening, however, according to Warton, ‘human frailty so far prevailed over his dignity as to tempt him to partake of a regale of a barrel of oysters, when Mr. Cross observed him to eat most voraciously,' 'Three days afterwards Mrs. Angel. knowing that during those three days he had eaten nothing, begged him, on 24 Aug., to take some dinner with her, ‘but’ (see Croft, p. 121) ‘he was offended at her expressions, which seemed to hint- that he was in want, and assured her he was not hungry,' Withdrawing into his garret at nightfall and quietly locking himself in, death came to him before daybreak on 25 Aug. 1770. When, on his continued non-appearance in the morning, the attic door was broken open, it was fiiund, from the contents of a nearly empty phial still grasped in his hand, that he had died from the effects of arsenic. Barrett, in his ‘History of Bristol,’ nearly 'twenty years later, says (p. 647) that the drug with which he poisoned himself was opium. But Croft, who nine years before had stated that it was arsenic (Love and Madness, p. 122), had heard the facts from the coroner. Covering the floor of the garret were minute fragments of paper which were the torn-up atoms of all the manuscripts that had remained at the last in his possession. Among them in all probability was his manuscript ‘Glossary.’ It remains still doubtful, however, whether those Chatterton or Rowley poems which are known to have been at one time in existence, but which have never yet been published, such as ‘The Justice of the Peace,’ ‘The Flight; the unfinished tragedy of ‘The Dowager,’ and that other complete tragedy, a mere fragment of which reached the hands of Barrett, entitled ‘The Apostate,’ perished on this occasion, or were torn up as ‘stuff’ by Lambert. Chatterton’s remains, enclosed in a shell, were interred in the Shoe Lane workhouse burying-ground on 28 Aug. 1770, as appears from the register of burials at St. Andrew’s, Holborn, where the name is entered as ‘William Chatterton,’ to which another hand has added ‘the poet.’ Years afterwards, when that site had to be cleared for the building up of the new Farringdon Market, the pausers’ bones, all huddled together, were remove to the old graveyard in the Gray's Inn Road. A wildly improbable story about the exhumation and reinterment of his remains at Bristol was first told by George Cumberland in Dix`s Appendix A (p. 299), and afterwards reiterated more in detail by Joseph Cottle in Pryce’s ‘Memorials of the Canynges Family’ (p. 293). A still wilder story was put forth in 1853 by Mr. Gutch in ‘Notes and Queries' (vii. 138, l39), and which purported to be an authentic record of the coroncr’s inquest. on the occasion of Chatterton's suicide. 1*`our years afterwards, however, Mr. Moy Thomas was able to demonstrate, from the parish books of St. Andrew’s, Holborn, in the ‘Athenæum ’ of 5 Dec. 1857, the spurious character of the whole narrative. The books also showed that Chattert on died in the first. house from Holborn on the lefthand side, the last number of all in Brooke Street, No. 39. It is shown by an entry in Chat terton's pocket-book that there were st ill owing to him by the publishers more than eleven guineas for writings of his already in their possession and accepted. Three of his contrfiiutions appeared in the ‘Town and Country Magazine’ for September, and others in the numbers for October and November, among these latter being his friend Cary's simple but afiecting ‘Elegy on Chatterton.' Nearly a year after Chatterton’s death, at the first. banquet of the Royal Academy, Horace Walpole heard for the first time from Goldsmith, on 23 April 1771, of the tragic close of the boy’s career. Tyrwhitt, the editor of Chaucer, gave to the world in 1777 the first edition of Rowley. Warton, the historian of English poetry, accorded to that monk in 1778 a distinct place among the poets of the fifteenth century; while Dean Milles, the president of the Society of Antiquaries, published in 1782 his superb edition in 4to of the ‘Rowley Poems,’ with elaborate commentaries in proof of their authenticity. Arguments one way or the other, however, have long since ceased. By internal and external evidence alike Chatterton is now known to have been the one sole author of these productions. The proofs are abundant. The Rowleyan dialect is of no age, but rather, as Mathias expresses it, ‘a faetitious ancient diction at once obsolete and heterogeneous.' In the mere penmanship of the so-called originals there is a more than suspicious absence of the old contractions, with a super-abundance of capitals, rare in antique manuscripts. The poems swarm with anachronisms in statements of fact. and in style and metre. There are many plagiarisms, besides, from later writers.
Neale, the author of the ‘Romance of History,' truly says (Lectures, ii. 75): ‘Perhaps there never was a more slender veil of forgery woven than that which he threw around his pretended ancient productions.` Yet forgery is hardly the word; for, after all, the most heinous charge directed against Chatterton can only in fairness be thus summed up now, as it was in 1782, by Henry Maty’s ‘New Review’ (pp. 218-33): ‘Gentlemen of the jury, the prisoner at the bar is indicted for the uttering certain poems composed by himself, purporting them to be the poems of Thomas Rowley, a priest of the fifteenth century, against. the so frequently disturbed peace of Parnassus, to the great disturbance and confusion of the Antiquary Society, and likewise notoriously to the prejudice of the literary fame of the said Thomas Chatterton.’ Southey’s letter in the ‘Monthly Magazine' for November 1799, announcing the subscription edition of Chatterton’s works, which was eventually published in 1803 for the benefit of his family, secured comfort at last to his surviving relatives, whose only pecuniary benefit from his poems until then had amounted to seventeen guineas. Lewis, a Bristol artist, painted a well-known picture of Chatterton in the lumber-room, which, though a mezzo-tinto, passed eventually into a wide circulation. Two dramas, each entitled ‘Chatterton,’ have been produced; one in France by Alfred de Vigny, and one in England by Messrs. Jones and Herman in collaboration, which was first performed at the Princess's Theatre on 22 May 1884. A cenotaph was erected, by public subscription, in his native place in 1840, and afterwards re-erected in 1857 (see Bristol Past and Present, iii. 348), near the north-east angle of Redcliffe churchyard. Shelley celebrates Chatterton in ‘Adonais.’ Coleridge dedicates to his memory his most impassioned ‘Monody.' Keats inscribes to him lovingly his maiden poem ‘Endymion.' Horace Walpole says of Chatterton, ‘I do not believe there ever existed so masterly a genius.’ Joseph Warton declares that he was ‘a prodigy of genius, and would have proved the first. of English poets had he reached a mature age.' Dr. Johnson said of him, ‘This is the most extraordinary young man that has encountered my knowledge.' Malone declared him to be ‘the greatest genius that England has produced since the days of Shakespeare.’ Britton, Southey, Wordsworth, Byron, Moore, Scott, Campbell, have all spoken of him in the highest terms, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, besides inditing in his honour one of the noblest sonnets in the language (see Hall Caine, Recollections of Rossetti, p. 186), speaks of him elsewhere (ib. chap. vi.) as ‘the absolutely miraculous Chatterton, and declares him to be, without any reservation, ‘as great as any English poet whatever.'
Chatterton’s appearance has been described by those who were familiar with it. According to them all he was well grown and manly, having a proud air and a stately bearing. Whenever he cared to ingratiate himself, he is said to have been exceedingly repossessing; though as a rule he bore himself as a conscious and acknowledged superior. His eyes, which were grey and very brilliant, were evidently his most remarkable feature. One was brighter than the other (Gent. Mag. new ser. x. 133), appearing even larger than the other when flashing under strong excitement. George Catcott describes it as ‘a kind of hawk’s eye,’ adding that ‘one could see his soul through it.’ Barrett, who had observed him keenly as an anatomist, said ‘he never saw such eyes—fire rolling at the bottom of them.' He acknowledged to Sir Herbert Croft (Love and Madness, p. 272) that he had often purposely differed in opinion from Chatterton ‘to see how wonderfully his eye would strike fire, kindle, and blaze up!’
Eight reputed portraits of Chatterton are said to be in existence. But of these one alone is of indisputable authenticity.
- ‘Hogarth’s Portrait of Chatterton,’ so entitled, was on view in 1867 at the second special exhibition of national portraits in South Kensington. It was lent by the Salford Royal Museum. To that institution it had been presented a few years previously by Alderman Thomas Agnew, the picture dealer. But it is most certainly not a portrait of Chatterton.
- Gainsborough is supposed by some to have painted the poet's likeness, solely because of this entry at p. 87 of the artist's biography by Fulcher: 'It is said that Chatterton also sat to Gainsborough, and that the portrait of the marvellous boy, with his long owing hair and childlike face, is a masterpiece.' Two quite inconsistent descriptions of this picture are given in 'Notes and Queries,' 2nd ser. iii. 492, 6th ser. v. 367.
- Francis Wheatley, R.A., is stated to have painted Chatterton's portrait. But the assertion that he did so rests solely on the fading recollections years afterwards of Mrs. Edkins, as jotted down by George Cumberland in appendix A, p. 317, of Dix's untrustworthy 'Life of Chatterton.'
- A profile of Chatterton, sculptured in relief by some unknown artist, decorated a rustic monument raised in 1784 in the grounds of the Hermitage, near Lansdowne Crescent, Bath, the residence of Philip Thicknesse (see Gent. Mag. vol. liv. pt. i. p. 231).
- Chatterton is said to have drawn a picture of himself in his bluecoat dress, being led by his mother towards the canopied altar-tomb of William Canynge. No such drawing, however, has been anywhere discovered.
- An odious fancy sketch, hideously out of drawing and execrably engraved, has for many years passed current among the print-sellers of a portrait of Chatterton.
- Prefixed to Dix's 'Life of Chatterton,' in the October of 1837, as its frontispiece, was an exquisite engraving, by 11. Woodman, of what purported to be a portrait of the poet drawn by Nathan Branwhite, from a picture in the possession of George Weare Braikenridge. A letter, however, from an obscure Bristol sugar-baker, named George Burge, written on 23 Nov. 1837, to a private friend, first published in the 'Gentleman's Magazine' for December 1838, and twice afterwards in 'Notes and Queries,' 2nd ser. ii. 231, and 2nd ser. iii. 53, declared that this picture was painted by Morris and intended as a portrait of his own son. The portrait was therefore suppressed in a second edition of Dix's book. It is stated, however, in the same place (Notes and Queries, iii. 53), that Chatterton's mother wrote a letter (omitted by Dix) saying that she had had her son painted in a red coat by Morris. This is clearly
- Morris's portrait of Chatterton in a red coat—a cabinet picture representing him in profile to the right, as a child of eleven years of age, with grey eyes and auburn hair flowing on his shoulders. This portrait belonged to Sir Henry Taylor. It was presented by Mrs. Newton, Chatterton's sister, to Southey, in return for his kindness in producing an edition of her brother's works for her benefit (Cottle, Recollections, i. 271). Miss Fenwick bought it at South^s sale, and gave it to Wordsworth. On Wordsworth's death his widow gave it to Sir Henry Taylor. It is fairly represented by Goodman's engraving from Branwhite.
Chatterton's works, with one exception, appeared posthumously:
- 'An Elegy on the much lamented Death of William Beckford, Esq.,' 4to, pp. 14, 1770.
- 'The Execution of Sir Charles Bawdwin' (edited by Thomas Eagles, F.S.A.), 4to, pp. 26, 1772.
- 'Poems supposed to have been written at Bristol, by Thomas Rowley and others, in the Fifteenth Century' (edited by Thomas Tyrwhitt), 8vo, pp. 307, 1777.
- 'Appendix' (to the 3rd edition of the poems, edited by the same), 8vo, pp. 309-333, 1778.
- 'Miscellanies in Prose and Verse, by Thomas Chatterton, the supposed author of the Poems published under the names of Rowley, Canning, &c.' (edited by John Broughton), 8vo, pp. 245, 1778.
- 'Poems supposed to have been written at Bristol in the Fifteenth Century by Thomas Rowley, Priest, &c., [edited] by Jeremiah Milles, D.D., Dean of Exeter,' 4to, pp. 545, 1782.
- 'A Supplement to the Miscellanies of Thomas Chatterton,' 8vo, pp. 88, 1784.
- 'Poems supposed to have been written at Bristol by Thomas Rowley and others in the Fifteenth Century' (edited by Lancelot Sharpe), 8vo, pp. xxix, 329, 1794.
- 'The Poetical Works of Thomas Chatterton,' Anderson's 'British Poets,' xi. 297-322, 1795.
- 'The Revenge: a Burletta; with additional Songs, by Thomas Chatterton,' 8vo, pp. 47, 1795.
- 'The Works of Thomas Chatterton' (edited by Robert Southey and Joseph Cottle), 3 vols. 8yo, 1803.
- 'The Poetical Works of Thomas Chatterton' (edited by Charles B. Willcox), 2 vols. 12mo, 1842.
- 'The Poetical Works of Thomas Chatterton' (edited by the Rev Walter Skeat, M.A.), Aldine edition, 2 vols. 8vo, 1875.
The principal documents in the Rowleyan and Chattertonian controversy are as follows:
- 'Letter to the editor of the Miscellanies sect. viii. 8vo, pp. 139-64, 1778.
- 'The History of English Poetry, by Thomas Warton,' vol. ii. sect. viii. 8vo, pp. 139-64, 1778.
- 'Remarks upon the Eighth Section of the Second Volume of Mr. Warton's History of English Poetry' (by Henry Dampier),8yo, pp.48, 1778.
- 'Observations on the Poems of Thomas Rowley, in which the authenticity of those Poems is ascertained, by Jacob Bryant,' 8vo, pp. iv, 597, 1781.
- 'An Examination of the Poems attributed to Thomas Rowley and William Canynge, with a Defence of the Opinion of Mr. Warton,’ 8vo, pp. 38, 1782.
- ‘Observations on the Poems attributed to Rowley, tending to prove that they were really written by him and other ancient authors’ (by Rayner Hickford of Thaxted), 8vo, pp. 35, 1782.
- ‘Remarks on the Appendix of the edition of Rowley's Poems’ (by the Rev. John Fell of Homerton), 8vo, pp. 35, 1782.
- ‘Cursory Observations on the Poems attributed to Thomas Rowley, a Priest of the Fifteenth Century; with some remarks on the commentaries on those Poems by the Rev. Jeremiah Milles, Dean of Exeter, and Jacob Bryant, Esq.; and a salutary proposal addressed to the friends of those gentlemen’ (by Edmund Malone), 8vo, pp. 62, 1782.
- ‘Enquiry into the authenticity of the Poems attributed to Thomas Rowley, in which the arguments of the Dean of Exeter and Mr. Bryant are examined, by Thomas Warton,’ 8vo, pp. 126, 1782.
- ‘Strictures upon a Pamphlet entitled Cursory Observations, &c.; with a Postscript on Mr. Thomas Warton's enquiry into the same subject’ (by Edward Burnaby Greene), 8vo, pp. 84, 1782.
- ‘The Prophecy of Queen Emma; an ancient Ballad lately discovered, written by Johannes Turgotus, Prior of Durham, in the reign of William Rufus; to which is added by the editor an account of the discovery and hints towards a vindication of the authenticity of the Poems of Ossian and Rowley’ (by William Julius Mickle), 4to, pp. 40, 1782.
- ‘An Archæological Epistle to the Reverend and Worshipful Jeremiah Milles, D.D., Dean of Exeter, President of the Society of Antiquarians, and Editor of the superb edition of the Poems of Thomas Rowley, Priest, to which is annexed a Glossary, extracted from that of the learned Dean’ (by William Mason, according to a correspondent of the Gent. Mag. vol. lxxxvi. pt. i. pp. 489, 490, but far more probably by John Baynes of Gray's Inn, according to the editorial footnote on p. 489), 4to, pp. 18, 1782.
- ‘Vindication of the Appendix to the Poems called Rowley's, in reply to the answers of the Dean of Exeter, Jacob Bryant, Esq., and a third anonymous writer; with some further observations upon those Poems, and an examination of the evidence which has been produced in support of their authenticity, by Thomas Tyrwhitt,’ 8vo, pp. 223, 1782.
- ‘Rowley and Chatterton in the Shades, or Nugæ Antiquæ et Novæ; a new Elysian Interlude in Prose and Verse’ (by Thomas James Mathias), 8vo, pp. 44, 1782.
- ‘The genuine copy of a Letter found 5 Nov. 1782, near Strawberry Hill, Twickenham, addressed to the Hon. H——ce W——le,’ 8vo, pp. 34, 1783.
- ‘An Essay on the Evidence, external and internal, relating to the Poems attributed to Rowley; containing a general view of the whole controversy, by Thomas James Mathias,’ 8vo, pp. 118, 1783.
- ‘Chatterton and “Love and Madness.” A Letter from Denmark to Mr. Nichols, editor of the “Gentleman's Magazine,” respecting an unprovoked attack made upon the writer during his absence from England, by the Rev. Sir Herbert Croft, Bart.’ 8vo, pp. 30, 1800.
- ‘Chatterton's Works, edited by Southey and Cottle’ (reviewed by Walter Scott), ‘Edinburgh Review,’ iv. 214–30, April 1804.
- ‘An Introduction to an Examination of some part of the internal evidence respecting the antiquity and authenticity of certain publications said to have been found in manuscripts at Bristol, written by a learned priest and others in the Fifteenth Century; but generally considered as [sic] the supposititious productions of an ingenious youth of the present age, by John Sherwen, M.D.,’ 8vo, pp. 137, 1809.
- ‘Chalmers's English Poets’ (reviewed by Robert Southey), ‘Quarterly Review,’ xi. 492–5, July 1814.
- ‘Specimens of the British Poets’ (edited by Thomas Campbell), 8vo, vi. 152–62, 1819.
- ‘Chatterton: an Essay, by Samuel Roffey Maitland, D.D., F.R.S.,’ 8vo, pp. 110, 1857.
- ‘Essay on the Rowley Poems, by the Rev. Walter Skeat, M.A.,’ Aldine edition, ii. vii–xlvi, 1871.
The Chatterton manuscripts in the British Museum are ‘Additional MSS. 5766, A, B, and C.’ They were left by Barrett, in 1789, to Dr. Robert Glynn, who in 1800 bequeathed them to the trustees of the British Museum. A is a large thin folio containing twelve of the reputed Rowley originals, (1) ‘The Storie of William Canynge,’ beginning ‘Anent a brooklette as I laye reclined,’ (2) ‘The Yellow Roll,’ (3) ‘The Purple Roll,’ and (6) ‘W. Canynges Feast.’ B is a medium folio, in which are eighty-six manuscripts, the most remarkable of which are (4) ‘The Parliament of Sprites,’ (8) ‘The Account of the Mayor's passing over the Old Bridge,’ (48) and (49) the two letters from Chatterton which Horace Walpole said he never received, but which have clearly stamped on them the evidence of their having passed through the post-office into his possession, (52) ‘The Articles of Belief of Thomas Chatterton,’ and (75) the letter to Barrett. C is an octavo, consisting of twenty-two leaves of manuscript filled with heraldic and architectural drawings, only a few of which are of any importance. Another notable Chattertonian relic treasured up at the British Museum is the original manuscript of his burletta, ‘The Revenge,’ numbered among Additional MSS. 12050, all of it in Chatterton's handwriting. At the Bristol Library in the Queen's Road (see its Catalogue, p. 311) are, with other Chattertonian manuscripts, the holographs of ‘The Battle of Hastings’ and ‘The Tournament.’ At the Bristol Institution, in a glass case, is the poet's ‘Last Will and Testament.’
[Tyrwhitt’s Preface to Rowley's Poems. pp. vi-x. 1777; Broughton’s Preface to Chattterton's Miscellanies, pp. ix-xxiii, 1778; Croft's Love and Madness. pp. 90-1-10, 1780; Kippis's Biog. Brit. iv. 573-610, published separately as Gregory`s Life of Chatterton, 8 vo, pp. 263, 1789; Barrett`s Hist. of Bristol. 4to, pp. 626-47. 1789: Anderson's Brit. Poets, xi. 297-322, 1795: Horace Walpole's Works, 4to ed. iv. 234-43. 1798; Gardiner's Miscellanies in Prose and Verse. ii. 141-70, 1798; Davis's Life and Letters of Chatterton, 12mo, pp. 168. 1806; Chalmers English Poets, xv. 367-70, 1810; Britton’s Life, Character, and Writings of Chatterton, in Historical aud Architectural Essay on Redcliffe Church, pp. 54-72. 1813; Evans’s Continuation of Corry's Hist. of Bristol. 4to, ii. 201-11, 1810; Walsh’s English Poets, xxix. 115-33, 1822; Bristol Memorialist, pp. 283-6. 1823; Cottle's Malvern Hills, Poems and Essays. i. -1-7, ii. 380-432, 1829; [)ix's Life of Chattterton, 8vo. pp. 336, 1837; Cottle’s Early Recollections of Coleridge and Southey. i. 256-74, 1837; Willcox`s Life of Chatterton prefixed to Chambridge ed. of his Works, i. xvii clxvii, 1842: Southey's Life and Correspondence, ii. 185. 186, 1850: Garrard's Life of Edward Colston, p. 480. 1852; Pryce's Canynges Family. pp. 275-317, 1854; Martin's Life of Chatterton prefixed to his Poems, pp. ix-xlvi, 1865; Wilson’s Life of Chatterton, pp. 328, 1869; Bell's Life of Chatterton prefixed to the Aldine ed. of his Poems. i. xiii-cvii. 1871; Masson's Chatterton: a Story of 1770, in Essays, pp. 178-315, 1875; Watts on Chatterton, in Ward's English Poets, iii. 400-8, 1880; George's New Facts relating to the Chatterton Family, pp. 15, 1883; also the voluminous William Cole MSS., and Haslewood's collection of cuttings and correspondance with George Dyer, passim both in the British Museum.]