Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Lucas, Henry (fl.1795)

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LUCAS, HENRY (fl. 1795), poet, son of Dr. Charles Lucas [q. v.], the Irish patriot, was born at Dublin about 1740, and obtained in 1757 a scholarship at Trinity College, Dublin, whence he graduated B.A. in 1759, and M.A. in 1762 (Cat. of Dublin Graduates). He became a student at the Middle Temple, but abandoned the law to write complimentary occasional verse of a very obsequious order. He published: 1. 'The Tears of Alnwick; a Pastoral Elegy on the Death of the Duchess of Northumberland,' 1777, 4to. 2. 'A Visit from the Shades, or Earl Chatham's Adieu to his Friend, Lord Camden; a Poem,' London, 1778, 4to. 3. 'Poems to her Majesty, to which is added a new Tragedy, entitled the Earl of Somerset, literally founded on History,' 1779, 4to. This work is dedicated to the queen, and included among its subscribers Dr. Johnson, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Benjamin West, and Peter Pindar. It commences with 'The Ejaculation,' occasioned by seeing the royal children, 'magnum Jovis incrementum,' which is followed by 'An Oblation; a Lyric Poem on her Majesty's happy Delivery of a Daughter, the now amiable Princess Sophia,' and concludes with 'The Earl of Somerset,' a tragedy (in blank verse), which has a fine engraved frontispiece, and deals with the poisoning of Sir Thomas Overbury, who expires in the fourth act with the words, 'Oh, how transient are human joys ! and all this world is—Oh !' Johnson, to whom he insisted on reading the tragedy, may well have exclaimed (as he is said to have done) 'I never did the man an injury' (Gent . Mag. 1791, i. 500). 4. 'The Cypress Wreath; a Poem to the Memory of Lord Robert Manners;' a fulsome eulogy of the Duke of Rutland's family, 1782,4to. 5. 'A Pastoral Elegy in Memory of the Duke of Northumberland,' 1786 6. 'Cœlina, a Mask … commemorative of the Nuptials of their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Wales and Princess Caroline,' London, 1795. In a 'P.S. au lecteur,' Lucas piteously complains that though 'satire never yet tainted his public pen,' he had never been able to obtain a trial on the stage. He is also credited by Baker with 'Love in Disguise,' an opera, 1776 (Biog. Dram. 1812, i. 464).

[Taylor's Univ. of Dublin, p. 456; Biog. Dict. of Living Authors, 1816, p. 210; Johnson's Letters, ed. G. B. Hill, ii. 9, 10; Lucas's Works in Brit. Museum Library.]

T. S.