Frowde, Philip (DNB00)

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FROWDE, PHILIP (d. 1738), poet, was the son of Philip Frowde, deputy postmaster-general from 1678 to 1688 (Haydn, Book of Dignities, p. 198). His grandfather, Colonel Philip Frowde, for his faithful adherence to Charles I and Charles II was knighted on 10 March 1664–5 (Le Neve, Knights, Harl. Soc., p. 190), and appointed governor of the post office (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1660–1667; London Daily Post, 28 Dec. 1738). From Eton, where young Philip was contemporary with Walpole (dedication to The Fall of Saguntum), Frowde passed to Magdalen College, Oxford, as a gentleman-commoner, and became one of Addison's pupils (A. B., The History of Saguntum, p. 51). He did not take a degree. To vol. ii. of ‘Musarum Anglicanarum Analecta,’ 8vo, Oxford, 1699, edited by Addison, Frowde contributed (pp. 145–7) ‘Cursus Glacialis, Anglicè, Scating.’ In May 1720 Curll published these justly admired verses as Addison's, together with an English version also supposed to be Addison's, and an impudent preface by one T. N., who states that although Addison was well known to be the author, he had always allowed Frowde to pass them as his own. An anonymous imitation in English appeared in 1774; there is also a translation in ‘Miscellanea,’ by J[ames] G[lassford], 4to, Edinburgh, 1818 (pp. 24–9). Frowde wrote likewise a frosty blank verse tragedy entitled ‘The Fall of Saguntum,’ 8vo, London, 1727, in which the influence of ‘Cato’ is clearly perceptible. It was acted at Lincoln's Inn Fields on 16 Jan. 1726–7 (Genest, Hist. of the Stage, iii. 191–192), Quin representing Eurydamas and delivering the prologue by Theobald. The tragedy obtained only about three representations, and is chiefly remarkable for an exquisitely absurd dedication to Sir Robert Walpole, who is described as ‘bringing the learning and arts of Greece and Rome into the cabinet; either that to instruct in the depths of reasoning; or these in the rules of governing.’ Previously to its performance an enthusiastic friend, A. B., possibly Frowde himself, undertook to explain for the benefit of ‘a lady of quality’ the numerous histori- cal and classical allusions in the play in ‘The History of Saguntum,’ 8vo, London, 1727, in which he is also at pains to prove the dramatist's superiority over Silius Italicus, from whose ‘Punica’ the plot is partly derived. Another lugubrious tragedy in blank verse, ‘Philotas,’ 8vo, London, 1731 (another edition, 12mo, London, 1735), brought out at Lincoln's Inn Fields on 3 Feb. 1730–1, with Quin again in the cast, met with an even colder reception, though it was suffered to run for six nights (ib. iii. 310–11). Fielding has introduced an ironical encomium on ‘Philotas’ in ‘Joseph Andrews.’ Frowde died unmarried at his lodgings in Cecil Street, Strand, in December 1738, and was buried in the cemetery in Lamb's Conduit Fields (London Daily Post, 22 and 28 Dec. 1738; Admon. Act Book, P. C. C. 1739). His portrait, by T. Murray, painted in 1732, was engraved by Faber in 1738 (Noble, Continuation of Granger, iii. 307–8).

[Baker's Biog. Dram. 1812, i. 257–8, ii. 217, iii. 146; Hist. Reg. vol. xxiii.; Chron. Diary, p. 49; Luttrell's Relation of State Affairs, 1857, i. 521, ii. 158, iv. 199; Will of Sir P. Frowde (P. C. C. 99 and 127, Bunce); Chester's London Marriage Licenses (Foster), col. 517.]

G. G.