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The European Magazine and London Review (hereafter EM), printed for John Fielding, John Debrett, and John Sewell began its existence in January 1782. In a letter dated 5 August 1782 Isaac Reed wrote to William Julius Mickle that he had "no opportunity of speaking to Fielding until late in the last month. He is very desirous of having your assistance in his magazine," the first indication of Reed's possible involvement in the EM.[1] In a second letter, dated 13 November 1782, Reed again wrote to Mickle and told him, among other things, "While I have been writing, a letter from Fielding is come to me in which he says that his editor was so dilatory last month that he has been obliged to discharge him and wishes I would give him some assistance till he can get settled again. . . . I have no objection to rendering him a temporary aid" (Gilmer, p. 206). I believe I can show that Reed's temporary aid lasted until the time of his death and that despite one recorded disclaimer he was editor in fact if not in name for the roughly twenty-five years from November 1782 to his death early in January 1807. First the disclaimer: Henry Meen, a friend of Reed's, writing to Bishop Percy in Ireland on 25 November 1799, told Percy that Reed asserts he is not the editor of the European Magazine, "nor does he wish to be so considered." Indeed, as Meen wrote, "Mr. Reed seems to be somewhat displeased" to be consulted by Percy "under the character of editor of the abovementioned Magazine.[2] In a letter of 8 Oct. 1789, Reed's very good friend Dr. Ralph Heathcote reminded him, "Thou hast had three commissions to execute a long time, and I am afraid The European Magazine and other important avocations will never suffer them to take place." Next year Heathcote wrote to complain he had not heard from Reed for a year and wished he could "find time from the European Magazine," and in 1791 he wrote to tell Reed that he had dropped his subscription to the magazine, adding, "however, I am glad it flourishes, as you are so mainly interested in it."[3] James Boaden, in whose company Reed dined at "Mr. Kemble's" on 18 January 1801, in his Life of John Philip Kemble (2 vols. (1825), II. 432), stated that Reed "ably and steadily conducted his magazine [the EM] for


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[the next] twenty-five years and amid all the changes of opinion, adhered inflexibly to his own." The sheer number of Reed's own contributions to the EM from 1782 through 1806, the contributions of others for which he was demonstrably responsible, and the very good probability that a number of other contributions were encouraged or solicited by him all add up to his being the prime mover in the policies and conduct of the magazine.

On 11 August 1783 Reed recorded a "Meeting of the Proprietors of the European Magazine" in his diary, followed a month later with a second meeting in which "Mr. Reed presented a Sketch of the Articles to be hereafter agreed upon and Ordered to be considered against the next meeting." At the 12 March 1784 meeting of the proprietors, of whom Reed was, of course, one, it was "Agreed . . . that Mr. Reed draw up on Advertizt to be produced at the next meeting. . . . That the Magazine for the present be deposited in Mr. Reed's Chambers No. 3 Staple Inn as soon as possible." On the twenty-fifth the proprietors agreed "That the Plates be deposited in a Box in Mr. Reed's Chambers" (Diaries, p. 274; see also p. 276 for other meetings). When Reed died and his library was sold, among other items listed were "Letters, relating to Articles that have appeared in the European Magazine" (p. 399): "Miscellaneous Prints, several from European Magazine"; "Forty-three Portraits, published for European Magazine chiefly proofs"; five more items immediately following, simply listed as "Ditto"; and "Prints to the European Magazine, a large parcel" (p. 404). Sixteen years after Reed's death, W. Howe issued a Catalogue of the Genuine Collection of Prints of the Late Isaac Reed, ESQ. . . . which listed some 1900 portraits and 600 "Topographical Views, etc." under the general heading of "Proofs and Prints from the European Magazine." Reed's indignation at Bishop Percy's assuming that he was editor of the magazine may be put down to his extreme reluctance to be known as the author or editor of anything, writing to John Nichols, for example, "I declare I have such a horror of seeing my name as Author or Editor, that if I had the option of standing in the pillory, or in standing formally before the publick in either of those lights, I should find it difficult which to choose" (Diaries, p. 265). It was not until 1803 that he allowed his name to appear on a title-page.

I wrote above of "the sheer number of Reed's own contributions to the EM," a statement that would seem to be in conflict with the fact that he has hitherto been known to have contributed only four pieces and possibly a fifth.[4] Yet both John Nichols and James Bindley make statements that contradict what is known about Reed's contributions, the first writing quite unambiguously that Reed "was a constant contributor to it for many years,


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particularly in the biographical and critical departments," and the second, much less clearly, stating that Reed "for many years maintained the character and respectability" of the magazine (Lit. Anecd. II. 667; EM 51 [Feb. 1807], 86). I have identified fifty-five contributions by Reed, one of them in three parts and three others in two parts, alerted to these by a correspondent in the January 1810 EM (p. 24) who stated that a "C. D." who had enthusiastically written about Thomas Randolph and his play The Muse's Looking Glass in remarks supplementary to Joseph Moser's in the January 1803 EM (p. 17) was Isaac Reed. Reed had simply taken the last letter of his two names for his signature, a not uncommon practice with correspondents to the periodicals, as, for example, Richard Gough and Samuel Pegge in the Gentleman's Magazine. Although I have searched in vain for C. D.'s remarks on Randolph in the EM, Reed's biographical sketch of the playwright and his praise of The Muse's Looking Glass in the 1782 Biographia Dramatica (I. 365-367) are consonant with the statements of the pseudonymous correspondent in the 1810 EM.[5] Most of Reed's contributions as C. D. are reprintings of various letters, poems, memoranda, and other documents with an introductory headnote. In what follows I list these in chronological order with some comments which corroborate Reed's identity as C. D. and with quotation of some passages of interest.

  • VII (March 1785), 180. On the two versions of the first stanza of Edward Fairfax's translation of Tasso, anticipating John Payne Collier in the Critical Review, 5th series, vol. 5 (1817), 193-204.
  • XI (Feb. 1787), 65-66. Three extracts from Mist's Weekly Journal, 1727 and 1728, on Milton. Part of the first extract is quoted in William Riley Parker's biography of Milton (pp. 1164-65).
  • XI (April 1787), 221-222. Reed reprints a "Character of Sir Paul Pyndar" from a pamphlet entitled Vox Veritatis . . . , by "Thomas Browne, Gent. 4to. Printed 1683" (STC 5185).
  • XII (July 1787), 42-47. Samuel Johnson's The Fountains reprinted. Reed points out in his headnote that the tale is not to be found in Sir John Hawkins's edition of Johnson's works. Reed included the tale in an added (fourteenth) volume of the works which he edited in 1788.
  • XII (Aug. 1787), 107-108. The first printing of a Garrick letter (No. 912 in the Little and Kahrl edition of the Garrick letters).
  • XII (Sept. 1787), 181. Two letters, Hans Sloane to Sir Richard Blackmore and Blackmore's reply. Not in Albert Rosenberg's biography of Blackmore. First printed here. Not in Samuel Ayscough's catalogue of MSS in the British Museum (1782).
  • XIII (Feb. 1788), 77-78. Samuel Johnson's Preface to Payne's Universal Chronicle reprinted. Not in Hawkins nor in Reed's additional volume of the collected works.
  • XIII (March 1788), 161. The originals of two letters from Colley Cibber to Dr. William Oliver. I have not found them in biographical accounts of either man. Reed asked that the letters "be printed literally with all their peculiarities" and went on to discuss "the unsettled state of orthography at the time ]1742[ these letters were written," adding that he


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    had some letters of Pope's which would "show that he also was very negligent on this subject."
  • XIII (April 1788), 237-238. Two letters copied from the original MSS. of Thomas Baker (see below) on the subject of Edmund Spenser. The letters are not in the Index to the Baker Manuscripts, 1848, which covers the holdings of the British Library and the Cambridge University Library. I have not seen the Baker letters in the Bodleian.
  • XV (Feb. 1789), 88. Extracts of two letters from Conyers Middleton to Lord Hervey, reprinted, writes Reed, from "a Newspaper, I think the St. James's Chronicle, near Thirty Years ago." Not mentioned in Robert Halsband's biography of Lord Hervey. They are from British Library Add. MSS. 5846 f. 21. Reed wrote a manuscript life of Middleton (Gilmer, p. 22).
  • XVI (Sept. 1789), 168-169, "Some Account of the Life of James Gibbs, Esq. the Celebrated Architect" was, according to Reed, "published immediately after his death in the News-paper of the Day." The EM "Account" is taken verbatim from the Scots Magazine (Sept. 1760), pp. 475-476 in the form of a letter from Aberdeen. The DNB account of Gibbs omits some of the details in the EM, including a humorous anecdote about his father.
  • XVIII (Sept. 1790), 167-168. Anecdotes of Anthony Benezet. Reed's anecdotes are at least once at variance with, and contain material not in, Memoirs of the Life of Anthony Benezet by Roberts Vaux (Philadelphia, 1817, reprinted in London).
  • XVIII (Sept. 1790), 177-182. Letters of Dr. John Shebbeare and Sir Robert Fletcher. The EM is among the bibliographical references in the DNB account of Shebbeare.
  • XIX (June 1791), 415-416. Richard Farmer's "Directions for the Study of English History" (see below).
  • XX (July and Aug. 1791), 21-24, 101-103. In a long headnote Reed gives a biographical sketch of Sir Charles Whitworth, letters to and from whom he reprints. The Calendar of State Papers has yet to cover the period of these letters, although a number of others are printed in the volumes of the Historical Manuscripts Commission.
  • XX (Sept. 1791), 169. A letter of Lord Chesterfield to the unnamed Dr. William Dodd for whose identity as recipient Reed had "the best authority." Reed edited Dodd's Thoughts in Prison (Diaries, pp. 263, 268). The letter is number 2443 in Bonamy Dobrée's edition of Chesterfield's Correspondence (p. 2751).
  • XX (Oct. 1791), 285-288. Reed corrects an error in Boswell's account of Richard Savage in the Life of Johnson. A letter from Savage to Theophilus Cibber is quoted. An extract from the letter is quoted in Clarence Tracy's biography of Savage, p. 44, n. 18. One of the longest of Reed's contributions.
  • XX (Dec. 1791), 410-411. Reed proves an anonymous pamphlet attributed to Lord Somers was not by him. DNB notes that the pamphlet's "authenticity is doubtful."
  • XXI (June 1792), 421-424. "The following EXTRACTS were made many Years ago from the Manuscript mentioned by Mr. [William] Ellis in his 'CAMPAGNA OF LONDON,' and are at the Service of The EUROPEAN MAGAZINE." These are "Extracts from [Edward] ALLEYN'S JOURNAL; entitled 'The FOUNDERS 1st Booke of Accounts, from October 1617, to September, 1622." This is from MS. NO. IX in George F. Warner's Catalogue of the Manuscripts and Muniments of Alleyn's College of God's Gift at Dulwich (London, 1881), pp. 165-195 and contains some information lacking in Webster's selections of "some other


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    items of interest" (p. 166). The extracts in the EM were unknown to Webster who lists other printed extracts on pp. 194-195.
  • XXII (Oct. 1792), 254-255. "The following circumstantial and artless account of the Catastrophe of the celebrated and accomplished EARL of ESSEX, is copied from an ancient manuscript which has the title 'The Execution of the sometime good Earle of Essex.' As it has never been printed, and contains some circumstances not to be found in Camden's account, I send it to be inserted in your Magazine."
  • XXII (Oct. 1792), 257-262. Reed writes a long headnote prefatory to printing the hitherto unprinted "ACCOUNT of Mr. RUSSELL's JOURNEY from GIBRALTAR to SALLEE, MEQUINEZ, and FEZ, and of his Return back again by Way of TANGIER; beginning the 7th of June 1729, and ending the 10th of August following." The Account "contains a Sequel to 'The History of the Revolutions of the Empire of Morocco, upon the Death of the late Emperor Muley Ishmael, by Captain [John] Braithwaite, who accompanied John Russell, ESQ. his Majesty's Consul-General, into those Parts, and was an Eye-Witness to the most remarkable Occurrences therein mentioned." DNB gives the dates covered by Russell's account as July 1727 to Feb. 1728.
  • XXII (Dec. 1792), 409-413. On the death of Dr. Godfrey Goodman, Bishop of Gloucester, who died "in the faith and communion of the Mother Church of Rome." Most of the information in Reed's contribution, taken from various named sources, will be found in the DNB account of Bishop Goodman except for an interpolated italicized note on p. 413 of the EM.
  • XXIII (Feb. 1793), 84-85. An account by Reed of Robert Fleming, a dissenting divine who prophesied the emptying of the fourth phial of the Book of Revelations. Reed's bibliography of Fleming's works includes a title, A Practical Discourse occasioned by the Death of King William, wherein a character of him is given. To which is added, a poetical Essay on his Memory, which does not appear in the DNB or in the British Library catalogue of printed books.
  • XXV (Feb. 1794), 95-96. Reed gives some biographical data about Edward Gibbon, also quoting some marginalia of Charles James Fox about Gibbon in his copy of the first volume of Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. These include a poem on Gibbon by Fox beginning "King George in a fright, | Lest Gibbon should write | The story of Britain's disgrace." I have found no mention of the poem in an admittedly not exhaustive search of works on Gibbon and Fox. There is no entry for Gibbon, for example, in the index to John W. Derry's Charles James Fox (London, 1972) despite the friendship of the two men.
  • XXV (Feb. and April 1794), 108-110, 265-267. Reed writes "A course of very miscellaneous reading led me a few years since to note the various Instances of Longevity which occurred to me" and quotes from the Public Advertiser (largely), "Rudder's Gloucestershire," the "Historical Register" and a few other sources.
  • XXVI (Sept. 1794), 169-171. "I transmit for your Magazine the Copy of a Letter from the late LORD BATHURST [Henry, 2nd Earl Bathurst], and, as I believe, in his own Hand-writing. It does not appear to whom it was sent, having neither Signature, Address, nor Date: the latter, however, was certainly in the Year 1735. It contains some of the Politics of the Times; and to explain it the better, I have added a few notes." The letter is not mentioned in John Campbell's Lives of the Lord Chancellors . . . of England (5 vols. 1846); Bathurst was a Lord Chancellor.
  • XXVII (Jan. 1795), 44-46. In a long headnote Reed explains something about a seventeenth-century pamphlet by James Stanley, 7th Earl of Derby, which


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    he reprints. The Declaration (the first word of the long title) is noticed in the DNB and in Collins's Peerage.
  • XXVII (Feb. 1795), 80. "I send for your Repository two original Letters which have never been printed; one from Mr. Pope, the other from Stephen Duck. The former was transcribed from the copy of Homer now in the British Museum, many years since; the other is the original in the hand of the threshing Poet." The Pope letter is at II. 181 in George Sherburn's edition of Pope's letters; the Duck letter to Dr. Oliver of Bath is noted in the DNB account of Duck.
  • XXVII (June 1795), 365-368. "Some Account of Ralph Heathcote, D. D. Written in 1789, by Himself." For Heathcote and Reed, see above.
  • XXVIII (July 1795), 14-15. "The following Memoranda, copied some years ago from loose papers found in Bene't College, Cambridge, may perhaps afford some entertainment to your readers." Expenses for "ye settyng forth of ye Comedye of Job" in the year 1553. Not listed in the Harbage-Schoenbaum Annals of the English Drama, 975-1700.
  • XXIX (Feb. 1796), 91. An account of Sir John Laurence. Sheriff of London (1658) and Lord Mayor (1665). Reed quotes a description of the terrible plague in Sir John's mayoralty from William Maitland's History of London (2 vols., 1775).
  • XXIX (March 1796), 148-150. In a long original contribution Reed blasts Gilbert Wakefield for a false anecdote about Dr. Frederic Cornwallis, "late Archbishop of Canterbury" in Wakefield's Observations on Pope. The anecdote is not mentioned in the DNB account of Archbishop Cornwallis. Reed appends a letter from Bishop Hough to Lord Digby, later published in John Wilmot's life of the Bishop (1812), pp. 86-88.
  • XXX (Oct. 1796), 244-246. "The following Letters from the celebrated LORD ROCHESTER to his Lady were given me, many years ago, by a DERBYSHIRE BARONET, who assured me they were never printed. . . . they place the character of this licentious Nobleman in a rather new point of view." The seven letters are known.
  • XXX (Oct. 1796), 249-251. "Extracts from the Register book of the Parish of Amwell, near Ware, in Hertfordshire," ranging from 1567 to 1599. Reed was buried at Amwell, having visited there often.
  • XXX (Nov. 1796), 324-328. "As a Sequel to the Account of the Journey of the TESHOO LAMA printed in your Magazine Vol. XXVI, p. 249, I send you a Translation of the EMPEROR of CHINA's Letter to the DALAI LAMA, on the Death of TESHOO LAMA."
  • XXXI (Feb. 1797), 86-87. Reed gives the original complete Prologue to William Henry Ireland's Vortigern, one from which, he writes, "you will see that the Author was not so firm a believer [that Shakespeare wrote the play] as he has been generally supposed." The abbreviated prologue appeared in the EM in April 1796 (p. 272).
  • XXXII (Dec. 1797), 386-389. A reprinting of Oliver Goldsmith's story of Miss Frances Braddock, from the biography of Beau Nash, with six notes by Reed. Reed wrote a short biography of Goldsmith for volume II of Goldsmith's Essays (1795). An end note signed "Editor" may be by Reed.
  • XXXIII (Jan. 1798), 9-10. "The following Three Letters are literally copied from the Originals, with all their peculiarities of spelling in the hand-writing of the Author of Hudibras." On Thursday 25 Sept. 1788 Reed noted that Richard Farmer "again recommended to me the republication of Butler's Works for the executn. of which he lent me the materials he had collected." Two years later, again at Emmanuel College where Farmer was Master, Reed "sat down to Butler's Manuscript," and when Dr. Treadway Nash's edition of Hudibras was published in 1793 it contained


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    manuscript notes of Zachary Grey, the former editor of Hudibras, supplied by Reed (Diaries, pp. 161, 185, 286). The first letter is dated "Junii 28" and is "For Dr. Luke Ridgely, my most honoured friend"; the second letter, undated and addressed to "Deare Madam" ("If you had pleasd to have weighd my words. . .") was "on the same paper"; and the third, to his "Deare Sister," can be found in Butler's Satires and Miscellaneous Poetry and Prose, ed. by René Lamar (1928) p. 399. There are numerous differences of spelling and punctuation in the two versions of the letter to his sister. Dr. Ridgely's name is given as "Dr. Luke Rugeley" in William Munk's Roll of the Royal College of Physicians of London, 2nd ed. (1878), I. 267-268, where an obituary notice is quoted: "Dr. Luke Rugeley, a very eminent and famous physician, died in his house, in Bloomsbury-square, the beginning of this week [5 Sept., 1697], in the 81st year of his age, and has committed his choice secret of curing sore eyes to a surgeon of this city, for whom he had an entire affection." Alumni Cantabrigienses gives both spellings of the name. I have found no reference to Ridgely or to the first two letters in the literature on Butler, including Treadway Nash's edition of Hudibras (1793), on which, as noted above, he was assisted by Reed.
  • XXXIV (July 1798), 9-10. "In the new Edition of Lord Orford's Catalogue of Royal and Noble Authors (a very imperfect and erroneous Compilation, as I may probably at a future time demonstrate to you), mention is made of the following Dialogue by Lord Chesterfield as remaining still in Manuscript. A Copy of it has been several years in my possession; and therefore, as it may gratify some of your readers, I transmit it to you for your publication. Lord Orford calls it 'A Dialogue in Prose on his (Lord Chesterfield's) going to Court, 1762.' See Lord Orford's Works, Vol. i., p. 538." Thomas Park's edition of Horace Walpole's Catalogue (1806) contains a number of handsome acknowledgments of the help given by Reed, who had offered Walpole a number of additions to the work in 1774, too late for inclusion (Diaries, pp. 298-299, and 263).
  • XXXV (Jan. 1799), 9-14. A long "Account of Benjamin Kennicott, D. D." with extensive unsigned notes. This is a much fuller account than that in the DNB, including, among other matter, Kennicott's long and singular dedication of his Two Dissertations . . . to his "honoured Benefactors," among them Ralph Allen and Dr. William Oliver.
  • XXXV (Feb. 1799), 81-83. "I send you an Original Letter which lately fell into my hands." The writer "seems to have been Chaplain to Bishop Turner, then Bishop of Ely." The letter, dated "Ely House, Feb. 7th, 1684-5," is an expression of grief at the death of Charles II. The letter was "(Directed) To the Rev. Mr. Francis Roper, Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge." An "Editor[ial]" footnote gives biographical information about Roper, including the fact that he was "collated to a prebend in the Cathedral of Ely 12th March 1685-6, and installed April 1, 1686."
  • XXXV (April 1799), 225-229. A never-before printed account of the Roman theatre of Saguntum in Valencia, "translated from the Latin, and corrected by an eminent literary Character" was "lately found amongst the papers of a deceased friend." The letter is from "Emmanuel Martini to the Most Illustrious and Honorable Antony Felix Zondadardi, Archbishop of Damascus, and Pontifical Legate to the Catholic King." Dated "From my study, 6th Jan. 1709."
  • XXXV (April 1799), 241-244. A fourteen-line headnote introductory to the reprinting of "the Present Communication . . . indorsed 'An intercepted Letter directed to one Linwell Chapman, in Pope's Head Alley, dated from Llanthen, the 8th of the 2nd month 1660." The letter treats of a conspiracy and is signed "Your faithful brethren and fellow-labourers in


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    the Lord's work, Des, Presid. R. Hughes, Clarke." Livewell (sic) Chapman was apprehended for a seditious pamphlet in 1655. See H. Plomer, Dictionary of Printers and Booksellers . . . 1641-1667 (1907), p. 44.
  • XXXV (April 1799), 258-260. [A busy month for Reed]. "I send you a Poem by RICHARD SAVAGE, which is so scarce as to have eluded the search of the Collector of the Works of that unfortunate genius, and by consequence does not, as it ought, form a part of that Edition, or of the English Poets by Dr. Johnson." The poem is titled "A Poem, Sacred to the Glorious Memory of our late and most gracious Sovereign Lord King George I." Clarence Tracy in his biography of Savage writes of the poem that "Savage later suppressed this poem . . . , so successfully that it did not appear in his works or any other collection" (p. 81). I do not know if it was elsewhere reprinted.
  • XXXVIII (Dec. 1800), 417-418. "I send you two letters [of Mrs. Elizabeth Montagu], which you may be assured are genuine, as the originals are now before me." The letters, one dated solely "Saturday Night" and the other, "Sandelford, Aug. 9th, 1764," are to Dr. Messenger Monsey. "For many years he and the Earl of Bath were accounted rivals in a prolonged flirtation with Mrs. Montagu" (DNB). The letters are not included in the four-volume collection of letters, second edition, 1809, nor are they in Reginald Blunt's two-volume biography of Mrs. Montague (1923).
  • XXXVIII (Dec. 1800), 423. Reed gives an account of the Hon. Mrs. Monk's poem on her husband written "on her death-bed, while at Bath," which "having been published in [Theophilus] Cibber's Lives of the Poets, and [in] Poems by Eminent Ladies, I send you transcribed from a more correct copy." The poem is at III. 203 in Cibber's Lives (1753). There are substantive differences between the two versions in thirteen of the twenty-one lines of the poem.
  • XXXIX (Jan. and March 1801), 9-12, 191-193. "The following Notes taken by Lord Orford at Woburn Abbey are not inserted in his works. A very few copies were printed and given away, but they seem entitled to a wider circulation." Allen T. Hazen notes the EM printing of the notes but does not identify C.D.[6]
  • XXXIX (April 1801), 247-248. "The following letter to the DUKE D'AGUILLON from SIR EDWARD HAWKE, written soon after the GLORIOUS 20th of November 1759, shows the honour and spirit of the brave English Commander in so true a light, that I am persuaded there is no British bosom but will be fired with sentiments of gratitude and patriotism on the perusal." The letter is dated from the "Royal George, Dec. 12, 1759" and can be read in Montagu Burrows's life of Admiral Hawke (1883), pp. 414-416.
  • XL (Aug. 1801), 89-90. In a copy of the works of SIR THOMAS BROWN, printed in 1686, which formerly belonged to DR. WHITE KENNET, Bishop of Peterbrough, I find the following memorandum, in the handwriting of that Prelate. It contains circumstances not generally known." The work in question is not in the Peterborough collection in the Cambridge University Library.
  • XLI (Jan. and Feb. 1802), 9-10, 89-90. "The correspondence I now send you is copied from the originals in the hand-writing of the two great men whose names stand at the head of this communication," i.e. Dr. Joseph Butler, Bishop of Durham, and Dr. Samuel Clarke. See The Works of Bishop Butler, ed. J. H. Bernard, 2 vols. (1900), I. 331-338; the EM is acknowledged as the place of the first printing of the letters.
  • XLV (Feb. 1809), 98. "STRICTURES ON DR. JOHNSON'S MONUMENT IN ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL. Though not where this eminent Writer


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    was interred, nor very early after his death, yet in St. Paul's Cathedral, and in the year 1796, an honorary monument was erected by private subscriptions; of which, after all, I fear it may be justly said, that it is of greater expense as to execution than propriety as to form. One cannot but lament that false taste (for I give it the mildest name) should have here destroyed characteristic truth, and brought even our Christian feelings into some sort of question. Not to mention his shorn head, was Dr. Johnson ever publicly seen with three bare limbs, and a fourth wrapped in a blanket? Why, then, is his image so represented? and this too in so sacred a place. And, in these commemorative tokens, why must a proof of the Sculptor's knowledge of Anatomy, the Nude, and the habiliments of other times and countries, ever be accounted a prime consideration, and one to which not only all we see daily around us of personal attire, but the ordinary forms of elegancy, must give place? Reflections of this kind might be made with regard to much of what we meet with in the other arts that imitate the human figure; and from them this useful conclusion, it is presumed, might be satisfactorily drawn, viz. that in a country of the first consequence, where learning and ingenuity are, and have been long, eminently displayed, it is needless, nay that it is palpable bigotry, in artists so violently to disregard the established forms of dress, and to follow patterns which in reality have often nothing more to recommend them than their age, their quaintness, or their capability of shewing much of the naked frame. [¶] The subject is indeed copious, but too level to ordinary thought to ask many words of explanation. And it is to be hoped, the Reverend Body authorized to decide as to the admission of these honorary memorials into this sacred edifice, will, in future, take courage to trust to their own ideas alone respecting the dress, or no dress, of its carved figures, and esteem themselves most probably far better judges (with much fewer misleading prejudices) of this kind of propriety than any board of Dilettanti or individual artist whatsover." Rarely did the soft-spoken, often monosyllabic, Reed express himself so strongly.
  • XLVII (May 1805), 376-380. A catalogue of the pictures of the Shakespeare Gallery with prices they commanded. In his prefatory statement Reed deplored the "chilling apathy" which made the sale necessary. He concluded, "It is unnecessary to add that when any of the performances here enumerated shall hereafter change their present owners it will most probably be at a considerable advance in price."
  • XLVII (June 1805), 419-422. "The letter I now send you has lost its cover; but I think there can be no doubt concerning the person to whom it was addressed" [i.e. the Earl of Chesterfield]. The writer was Sir Thomas Robinson, "Long" Sir Thomas (1700?-1777); the date "20th March 1756," in response to one of the "6th instant." There is no reference in Bonamy Dobrée's edition of Chesterfield's correspondence to a letter of 6 March 1756 to Sir Thomas.
  • XLIX (June 1806), 418-419. "The following Memoranda relative to some eminent persons connected with this respectable seminary [Christ College, Cambridge], were copied many years ago from a MS. in the British Museum."
  • L (July 1806), 26-28. Reed reprints the text of "a Court held at Stationers' Hall, On Friday, the 22d day of May, 1685," about "the licensing and entering of all books and papers for the better government of the Press." He contributed it "as it proves the arbitrary character of the last of the infatuated Stuarts [King James]" and "as it ascertains the early outrages meditated by the Crown against the liberty of the Subject."

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  • LI (Sept. 1806), 214-215. Reed corrects Richard Cumberland's statement that his play The West Indian ran twenty-eight nights without any after-piece: "I well remember (for I was present and the bill of the play, now before me, warrants the assertion,) that the first representation of the West Indian, 19th January, 1771, was followed by the performance of Bickerstaffe's Daphne and Amyntor, and at no time was the West Indian acted without an after-piece being added to it." Recourse to Reed's Diaries reveals that he was at the first performance of the play and that he saw it again on May 2 of the same year (pp. 68, 69).

Two letters from Bishop Warburton to Dr. Oliver in the July 1790 EM (p. 9) owe their presence there to Reed, for Nichols states that the "two following letters [which he later quotes] to Dr. Oliver of Bath . . . are transcribed from the Originals (presented to the late Mr. Isaac Reed by Sir John Elliot, and now in the possession of James Bindley, ESQ.)" (Lit. Anecd. V. 581-582). A correspondent signing himself G. H. contributed three letters from Tobias Smollett to Daniel Mackercher to the March 1784 EM (pp. 169-171), the longest of which is number eleven in Edward S. Noyes's edition of The Letters of Tobias Smollett (1926), p. 130. Noyes notes, "This letter was first printed in the European Magazine for March, 1784, from MS. then in the possession of Isaac Reed, the Editor. The MS. was inserted by Reed in a copy of Smollett's translation of Don Quixote, sold at auction in 1807. Its present location is unknown." This is, then, an indirect contribution by Reed. Anecdotes of William Julius Mickle in the June 1782 EM (pp. 451-452), the first volume of the periodical, is almost surely by Reed, given his relationship to Mickle and his authorship of the biographical sketch of Mickle in the Sept. and Nov. 1789 EM.[7] "Memoirs of Eyles Irwin, ESQ." appeared in March 1789 (pp. [179]-181). Irwin, a minor poet, was born in Calcutta and spent much time in the civil service in India. Reed edited both the 1775 and 1783 editions of Pearch's Collection of poems, in the latter of which he added five poems by Irwin, one of which was the first Eastern Eclogue, titled "Alexis: or, the Traveller. To Thomas Pearson, Esq." Now, Major Thomas Pearson, who also spent much time in India, dying there, was another of Reed's very good friends (Diaries, passim), so that one has the Reed/Pearson/Irwin connection. What is more, Irwin and his brother James subscribed, as did a Mr. Mathew Irwin, to Mickle's translation of the Lusiad, a work which Reed did much to promote. The account of Irwin in the 1812 Biographia Dramatica (I.ii.179-181) is taken verbatim, with some omissions, from the EM "Memoirs." And, to round matters off, in the Dec. 1785 EM (p. 470) there is a poem by Irwin on Hayley with Hayley's answer thereto. Poems by Irwin appeared in the October 1804 (pp. 298-299) and December 1805 (pp. 463-464) numbers of the EM. And I have no doubt whatsoever that the "Epitaph on Isaac Reed, ESQ., Late of Staple-Inn," by E. I., in the March 1807 EM, is Irwin's poetic farewell to his friend.

Given the great intimacy between Reed and Pearson, it is almost impossible


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to believe that anybody other than Reed wrote the account of Pearson for the lead article in the April 1804 EM (p. [244]). Of particular interest is this paragraph: "In 1767 he married a sister of Eyles Irwin, Esq. well known in the poetical world, and of James Irwin, Esq., late a Director of the East India Company. This Lady unhappily died the year following, viz. 8th September 1768, and an elegant epitaph inscribed to her memory may be found, together with other poems of merit by Major Pearson, in 'Pearch's Collection of Poems, Vol. IV.'" Eight poems and "An Epitaph, on a lady who died the 8th of September, 1768, and is buried in Calcutta in Bengal" are by "T. P. Esq.," added to the 1775 edition of Pearch by its editor, Isaac Reed. In Jan. 1804 (pp. 4-5) an "Original Letter from the Late Joseph Ritson, ESQ." was reprinted. The recipient was a "Mr. R---," whom Bertrand Bronson has identified as Reed.[8] In May 1804 (p. 345) there was a quotation of "a MS. of Dr. Farmer's," and again I suspect it was Reed who tacked it on to "Bakeriana; or Biographical Extracts from Baker's MSS. Vol. XXXVI. in the Public Library at Cambridge" (pp. 343-345). On Wednesday 19 Sept. 1792 Reed, on one of his annual visits to Farmer in Cambridge, "Saw the Schools. Thence to the Library, from which I borrowed 2 Vols. of Baker's MSS." And on Thursday 8 Oct. 1795 he "copied from Baker's MSS. an accot. of Sir Christr. Hatton's institution to the Chancellorship of Oxford."[9] John Sewell, one of the original publishers of the EM, was another of Reed's friends; they, with John Ellis, friend to both and an account of whom Reed contributed to the magazine, "walked to Clapham and the neighbourhd" on 2 May 1784 and dined there. Reed and Sewell were thereafter together in company a number of times up to the time of Sewell's death in 1802 (Reed was at the funeral), Reed dining at Sewell's home, accompanying him and his sister to Clycombe, and doing various things with him. And it was Sewell who evidently sent Reed his share of the profits of the EM. When at Bath in 1796, Reed noted in his diary: "I received a parcel [of proofs, almost surely] from Mr. Sewell which employed me untill near dinner time."[10] Hence, the account of "The Late Mr. John Sewell," the lead article in July 1806 (pp. [3]-7), prefaced by a paragraph written by James Asperne, who had purchased "the entire property" of the magazine, is almost certainly by Reed, who included a first-hand account of Sewell's funeral.

James Bindley, commenting upon Reed's edition of Biographia Dramatica, states that "Since its publication in 1782, Mr. R. had continually interested himself in arranging and collecting materials for an improved edition; but about two years since [1805], finding himself unequal to continue his exertions, the property of this work was transferred to Messrs. Longman and Rees; and, on Mr. Reed's strongest recommendation, the completion of it was undertaken by Mr. Stephen Jones" (EM, 51 (Feb. 1807), 84. The revised Biographia was published in 1812. What has gone unnoted is that the accounts of plays, operas, afterpieces, etc. and playwrights in the


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monthly "Theatrical Journal" in the EM are the sources, often taken verbatim wholly or in part, for some 135 accounts in the 1812 Biographia Dramatica, the edition Reed was working upon up to 1805, two years before his death. Stephen Jones could, of course, have gone to the "Theatrical Journals" in the EM and used them for his sources. Indeed, since Reed died in January 1807 and the 1812 Biographia Dramatica used materials from the theatrical accounts in the EM up to December 1810, it is obvious that Jones was the later borrower. But Jones, born in 1763, was only nineteen years old in 1782 when the EM began publication. Still indentured to a printer in that year and later a corrector for the press, he could have had nothing to do with the EM in its early years, his only known connection with it coming after Reed's death. Add to this that the borrowings in the 1812 Biographia Dramatica include material from the very first number of the EM and, despite the fact that Jones or anybody else could have had recourse to the volumes of the EM at any time, one is tempted to see Reed as the borrower, or, more importantly, the actual writer of the review of plays and of the occasional biographical accounts of playwrights. In at least one instance this admits of fairly solid proof. The June 1794 EM printed a letter from Richard Farmer, dated Jan. 28, 1794, to his good friend Reed on the subject of the critic and playwright John Dennis's expulsion from College for stabbing a person. Farmer was able to show that the story was true by quoting the "Gesta Book" of Caius College (pp. 412-413). The exact same entry from the Gesta Book is quoted in the 1812 Biographia Dramatica, and while it can be argued that Jones could have borrowed this too, he would have had to pore over all the pages of the volumes of the EM rather than confining himself to the monthly Theatrical Journals. What is more, there is a biographical account of a Dr. Dowman in the book review section of EM I, parts of which, because he also wrote drama, were incorporated verbatim into the 1812 Biographia. So, too, with an account of Richard Brinsley Sheridan which was the lead article in the February 1782 EM. And so, too, with so many others. Of alternatives, i.e. Reed, while working on a revision of his 1782 edition of Biographia Drammatica wrote a number of reviews of plays and biographical accounts of playwrights which he intended to use later, or, Jones, a number of years after the inception of the EM, possibly as late as 1797, went systematically through the volumes of the EM gleaning not only extended accounts but even single phrases, which seems the likelier? Reed's knowledge of the drama, his constant attendance at the theatre as evidenced by his diaries, and his editorial experience with dramatic literature all point to him as the author of this great body of theatrical material. Reed's interest in biography is well attested by both Nichols and Bindley and is reflected in the canon of his writings. Since a goodly number of the reviews of the acted drama are of plays not listed in Reed's diaries, one may conclude that he did not write those reviews. Either he or Jones borrowed from them for the 1812 Biographia Dramatica.

In the interest of space I shall list the EM articles and the 1812 Biographia Dramatica borrowings in an Appendix, noting now that verbatim


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borrowings are the rule rather than the exception. Those interested in pursuing any part of this material have, therefore, the necessary data. I shall comment on a few pieces of more than ordinary interest.

  • EM 1812 Biog. Dram.
  • VI. 174-6 G.A. Stevens I.ii.688-90 The account of Stevens in the 1782 Biographia is almost entirely different from that in the EM. Reed heard Stevens's "Lecture on Heads" at least twice (Diaries, pp. 59, 75). Additional information on Stevens appeared in this same volume of the EM, (pp. 340, 459) but it was not used in 1812. However, a letter by Stevens, reprinted in the October 1786 EM (pp. 174-175), is appended to the sketch of his life in 1812.
  • X. 19-21 Kenrick III.405-407 refers to and extensively quotes EM.
  • XII. 191-3 Mysterious Mother III.65-69 A headnote in the EM states that the account of the play "appears to have been intended as an article in 'The Biographia Dramatica' ]1782u[ but when it was suppressed, and an inferior one, in every point of view, substituted in its place, we are unable to give any information." The account in the 1782 Biographia is the framework for that in 1812, the latter's borrowings being verbatim. The 1812 version gives the names of Garrick and Johnson, both of whom were alive in 1782, instead of the earlier account which names no names. The 1812 version adds further parallels to the plot. The earlier account ends, "We intended to have given the reader a specimen of it; but having learnt that the sensibility of the author (to whom every respect is due) would be wounded by such an exhibition we deem ourselves bound to suppress it, however reluctantly." The 1812 account has a paragraph introducing quotation of the first scene of the play and a final paragraph of praise, the latter taken verbatim from the EM.
  • XIII. 58-9 F. Pilon I.i.572-574 Largely verbatim, but with some stylistic changes (revision?); for example, EM has "accordant," where 1812 has "consonant."
  • XXI. 163-5 John Hoole I.i.363-364 Reed met Hoole in 1777; they dined at the home of Daniel Braithwaite, another of Reed's good friends, in 1802 (Diaries, pp. 97, 229; see also pp. 130, 130-133, 135, 158, and 166).
  • XXV. 110-115, 179-184 Dr. Paul Hifferman I.i.333 The very short account in the Biographia refers to "some very amusing anecdotes" in the EM, citing this volume and pages. The 1812 account is a slightly revised version of the 1782.
  • XXVI. 85-86 George Colman, the elder I.i.138-139 The EM account is an avowed continuation of one in 1785 (VIII. 83-5).
  • XXIX. 3-4 Henry James Pye I.ii.584 Some omissions, but with this addition: "His odes are such as will not bring the Laurel [he succeeded Thomas Warton as Poet Laureate] into contempt; though we fear that the repetition of the same ideas, year after year, is not calculated to add much to an author's reputation." There is no entry for Pye in Reed's Diaries.
  • XXIX. 54-5 Days of Yore II.154 The adverse criticism in the EM, "This drama will add but little to the reputation of its author [Richard Cumberland], whose talents would be more successfully employed in comedy," is omitted in 1812.
  • XXX. 116 Don Pedro II.170 As with his Days of Yore (above), Cumberland is again adversely but not severely criticized in the EM, but not in 1812. Reed and Cumberland were together in company a number of times (Diaries, pp. 103, 124, 188,


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    192, 227, erroneously indexed as George Cumberland). In 1780 Reed could write "Cumberland is a contemptible fellow but justice is due him" (Diaries, p. 268). The very short, one-paragraph account of Cumberland in the 1782 Biographia is very much expanded in 1812. The former's criticism, "He is a very prolific, but unequal, writer; some of his Comedies making near approaches towards excellence, while others of his works, as may be presumed from the hasty composition of them [compare "too hastily composed" of the Don Pedro review], are by no means calculated to support the reputation he has acquired" (I. 106). Note the similarity of those last words to those in the review of Days of Yore (quoted above). All this would seem to support the attribution of these EM pieces to Reed.
  • XXX. 352 The Conspiracy II.122 The adverse criticism in the EM of Robert Jephson's play is omitted in 1812. Indeed, the very brief, one-paragraph, account of Jephson in 1782 is very much expanded in 1812, the latter version being very laudatory. Reed and Jephson first coincided in company in 1788 and twice two years later, each time at Edmond Malone's lodgings (Diaries, pp. 158, 177, 181). Malone accused George Steevens, Reed's very good friend, of criticizing Jephson's Law of Lombardy because Jephson was a friend of his.[11]
  • XXXII. 20 George Keate I.ii.419 The account in the Biographia is very much shorter than that in EM. Reed and Keate were in the same company on a number of occasions (Diaries, pp. 125, 136, 152-3, 166).
  • XXXII. 410 False Impressions II. 220 EM has "The play has most of the faults of this author's [Cumberland's] performances, and some of his merits. It is not however calculated (though it has been very successful) to increase the reputation of the author of the West Indian," which is omitted in 1812. Compare the words I have italicized with the remarks on the review of Don Pedro (above, XXX. 116).
  • XXXIV. 75-76 John Philip Kemble I.ii.422-427 Kemble was another of Reed's friends (see the index to Diaries).
  • XXXIV. 113 Cambro-Britons, by James Boaden II.78 Reed dined in Boaden's company but once, in 1801 (Diaries, p. 226).
  • XXXIV. 400 A Word for Nature III.422 EM comments on Cumberland's "haste" and suggests that "The produce of haste and carelessness are not calculated [my italics] to obtain lasting applause." Compare XXX. 116 and XXXII. 410.
  • XLI. 125 The Cabinet II.75 The account in the EM covers four columns; that in 1812, only some thirty words. They coincide only in "possesses [possession of] irresistible attractions." Reed or Jones? Who would pick out three words among so many others?
  • XLIV. 9-11 Richard Rolt I.ii.605-606 An anonymous correspondent wrote to the EM from Dublin in June 1803 to defend Rolt against "the injurious account" with which his memory "is degraded in the Biographia Dramatica 1782, 2 vols. 8 vo. and by Boswell in his Life of Johnson." Since there is no account of Rolt in David Erskine Baker's Companion to the Play-House, 2 vols., 1764, the predecessor to the 1782 Biographia, the 1782 account must be Reed's. Query: Did he write the EM account, or did he simply incorporate it into the 1812 Biographia?

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  • L. 397 The Vindictive Man, by Thomas Holcroft III.381-382 Partly verbatim, but with the adverse criticism omitted or softened. Reed was never in Holcroft's company.

In addition to his own contributions, those demonstrably his and those conjecturally his, Reed was instrumental in soliciting contributions from friends and acquaintances. One learns from a biographical sketch of William Seward in the EM, almost surely by Reed although unsigned, that Seward "first amused himself with collecting the materials for what he called DROSSIANA in the present Magazine, which he began in October 1789, and continued without intermission to the end of his life" (Oct. 1799, p. 219). By the time of his death Seward had contributed 118 Drossianas, a not inconsiderable body of material, some of which went into a collection he entitled Biographiana, for which Reed wrote a biographical sketch of his dear friend Richard Farmer. On Tuesday, the eleventh of December 1781, Reed dined at the home of his friend Daniel Braithwaite; also present was Seward. Thereafter the two were together in company in May 1783, January 1786, December 1786, March 1792; in October 1793 Seward joined Reed at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and the following year Reed visited Seward in a house the latter had rented at Bemerton near Salisbury and stayed with him for a week (Diaries, passim). So, too, was it with William Julius Mickle, as can be seen from Reed's letters to him now in the James M. Osborn Collection in New Haven. In addition to a series of essays he called "Fragments by Leo," thirteen in number, appearing from May 1785 through June, 1788, Mickle also wrote a number of reviews for the EM.[12]

Reed's closest friends were Richard Farmer and George Steevens, and it should come as no surprise that Steevens should contribute some original material to the EM and that some of his pieces that had appeared elsewhere should be reprinted in the EM. A certain "Philo-Johnson" wrote some devastating criticism of Sir John Hawkins's Life of Johnson for the April and May, 1787 EM (pp. 223-227, 310-313), continued in the October number (pp. 262-264). Bertram Davis has attributed these to Steevens with some confidence,[13] but what he failed to notice and what reinforces his attribution is


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that immediately following the first installment of Philo-Johnson's blast is a letter signed "Curio" (p. 227) in which the writer sarcastically makes much of the fact that Hawkins, as editor of Johnson's Works, silently removed the last paragraph of the Preface to Shakespeare (the 1773 revised edition) with its great praise of Steevens's part in the revision. And Curio-Steevens then goes on to show that despite Hawkins's claim to have printed the 1765 Preface, which, of course, does not have the paragraph in question, the text of the Preface used is not that of 1765. What is more, and again this, while unnoted by Davis, helps further to strengthen his Philo-Johnson attribution, the Curio letter is immediately followed (pp. 227-229) by unsigned animadversions on "the late Mr. Whateley's Remarks on some of the Characters of Shakespeare" in its comparison of Richard III and Macbeth. These are by Steevens.[14]

Also by Steevens is the important "Account of the Writings of Dr. Samuel Johnson," appearing between Dec. 1784 and April 1785 (VI. 411-413; VII. 9-12, 81-84, 190-192, 249-250) in which he may have been helped by Reed, according to Marshall Waingrow.[15] Steevens also contributed anecdotes of Johnson under the title Johnsoniana in January 1785 (pp. 51-55). And his, too, are the account of, and proposals for, the reproduction of the "only genuine portrait of Shakespeare," i.e. the so-called Felton portrait, in the possession of the printseller William Richardson, in the October 1794 EM (pp. 277-281), followed in the next month (pp. 316-317) by a letter signed with his initials in "Vindication of a Passage in the Advertisement Prefixed to the Last Edition of Shakespeare," i.e. his 1793 edition.[16] The March 1790 EM has a print of Marmor Hardicnutianum facing page 177, with pages 177-182 devoted to remarks on this remarkable archaeological find from various persons, some also offering translations of the Anglo-Saxon verses inscribed thereon. The whole thing is Steevens's most famous hoax, the details of which can be read in the DNB or more fully in Nichols's Literary Illustrations (V. 430-432).[17] In Sept. 1790 Steevens's "Reasons why it is impossible that the Coffin lately dug up in the Parish Church of St. Giles, Cripplegate, should contain the Reliques of MILTON" appeared.[18] Others of his contributions may be relegated to a footnote.[19] And I suppose Reed saw to it that the Epitaph on Steevens by William Hayley was printed in the December 1801 EM (p. 407).

Richard Farmer, in response to a query from Reed about the critic John Dennis, wrote a letter dated Jan. 28, 1794, which appeared in the June 1794


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EM (pp. 412-413). In the May 1791 EM (pp. 415-416) Reed, writing as C. D., printed Farmer's "Directions for the Study of English History," prefacing the piece with the statement that the Directions were "written many years ago to a Friend by a Gentleman of great eminence yet living, whose name at present cannot be disclosed."[20] John Hoole, translator of Tasso and Ariosto, was another of Reed's friends—and of Dr. Johnson's. Hoole's "Narrative of What Passed in the Visits Paid by J. Hoole to Dr. Johnson, in his Last Illness, Three Weeks before his Death" appeared in the Sept. 1799 EM (pp. 153-158), almost fifteen years after the events related. The following month (pp. 225-227) Hoole, signing himself "J. H." in a footnote, contributed a piece entitled "Mrs. Anna Williams. The following Account of this Lady is copied from a Paper transmitted by Lady K[night], at Rome, to a Gentleman of great literary eminence [Hoole himself], and written by her Ladyship."[21] Dr. Charles Burney, another of Reed's friends, was the subject of a biographical sketch in the March 1785 EM (pp. [163]-64) which Roger Lonsdale declares "was undoubtedly authorized, if not written, by C. B. himself."[22] Reed almost surely solicited this. And as the possessor of much manuscript material of his deceased friend John Ellis, it was again, almost surely, Reed who caused to be printed in the March 1792 EM (p. 167) a letter from "Mr. [Nicholas] Fayting to Mr. Ellis" with an accompanying poem by Fayting's friend Mr. Taylor, also of St. John's College, Cambridge, later to be known as "Demosthenes" Taylor.