Men of Kent and Kentishmen/John Hawkesworth

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John Hawkesworth,

ESSAYIST, ETC.,

Was born at Bromley in 1713, though some give his birthplace in London. Though of humble birth he devoted himself early to literature, and became the successor of Dr. Johnson as compiler of the Parliamentary Debates for the "Gentleman's Magazine." In 1752 he commenced the periodical known as "The Adventurer," in which he wrote about half the articles (140 in number), the rest being chiefly by Johnson, Bathurst and Warton. His papers consist chiefly of Eastern tales and stories of domestic life, exhibiting a fine imagination and a keen knowledge of human nature. His style resembles the Rambler of Johnson, with less pomp of diction. In 1761 he edited the works of Swift, prefixing a life which Johnson speaks of as a narrative "dignified with much elegance of language and force of sentiment." In 1772 he undertook the task of compiling into one narrative an account of the Voyages of Byron, Wallis, Carteret and Cook, which was published in 3 vols., 4to., and for which work he received £6,000. It was» however, not favourably received, and his chagrin on this account is said to have shortened his days. He died at Bromley in 1773, where a monument in the church is erected to his memory. His Eastern romance of "Almoran and Hamet," published separately, 1761, has been greatly admired.

[See "Gentleman's Magazine," passim; Preface to "Adventurer," in "British Essayists," Boswell's "Life of Johnson," etc."]