University of Virginia Library

Dryden as a Cambridge Editor
Arthur Sherbo

As early as 1729, at which date Elijah Fenton's edition of The Works of Edmund Waller was published, it was known that Wentworth Dillon, fourth Earl of Roscommon (1633?-1685), "began to form a Society for the refining, and fixing the standard of our language; in which design his great friend Mr. Dryden was a principal assistant" (p. lxxvii). Some two hundred years later, Professor Carl Niemeyer recalled attention to this "academy" by quoting the relevant passage from a copy of a manuscript biography of the Earl, written by Knightly Chetwood, his intimate friend. Chetwood's son John, a Fellow of Trinity Hall, died in 1752 and left all his father's books and manuscript sermons to Wadham Knatchbull, also a Fellow of Trinity Hall; the copy of the manuscript biography of Roscommon in the Baker MSS in the Cambridge University Library bears the information that the original was "in the hands of Mr. Knatchbull Fellow of Trinity Hall."[1] Chetwood wrote that Roscommon "set himselfe, to form a sort of Academy" whose members were "the Marquess of H:, who undertook the Translation of Tacitus, an Author perfectly suited to his tast. He carried it on a good way, & corrected a great many Mistakes in the Version of Mr Ablancourt. The Lord Maitland was another, who then began his excellent translation of Virgil." Others were the "Earle of D. . .t, one of the most accomplish'd persons of the Age, [who] came sometimes among them, as did the Lord Candish, the Ingenious coll: Finch, Sr Charles Sc. . .gh, Mr Dryden, whom Lord Ros: look'd upon, as a naturall rather than a correct Poet, & therefore calls him somewhere, The luxurious Father of the fold. There were some


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few others of less note & Abilities." As there is a reference to Roscommon's writing "his Essay on translated verse [1684], in emulation of that finish'd Poem, An Essay upon Poetry" by the Earl of Mulgrave, published in 1682, Niemeyer puts the date of formation of the academy in the early eighties. He identifies the members as the Marquess of Halifax; Richard Lauderdale, fourth Earl of Maitland; the Earl of Dorset; Lord Cavendish (later the Duke of Devonshire); Colonel Heneage Finch (husband of the famous poetess); and Sir Charles Scarborough. Neither he nor anybody else has sought to trace the later history of this group or to conjecture, for one can only conjecture, upon the identities of the "others of less note & Abilities."

The existence of a group of poets and scholars which included Dryden in the role of "principal assistant" to the founder, the Earl of Roscommon, suggests the possibility that this association may be in the background of some of Dryden's editorial ventures. Professor Katherine Lynch states that Dryden introduced various "eminent hands" to the publisher Jacob Tonson, and the 1680 translation of Ovid's Epistles by Dryden and seventeen other writers was the result.[2] The editors of the California Dryden (Vol. I, Poems, 1649-1680) do not know "precisely what part Dryden played in arranging for the collection known as Ovid's Epistles. . . . He has sometimes been described as the editor of the volume, but there is no evidence that he acted in that capacity. It seems more likely that Tonson collected the pieces, and engaged Dryden, because of his great prestige, to write the preface. . . . Dryden . . . may well have suggested the project to Tonson" (p. 324). None of Dryden's seventeen collaborators is known to have been a member of Roscommon's academy, but a number of them also contributed to Miscellany Poems (1684). The editors of the California Dryden (Vol. II, Poems, 1681-1684) state that "Dryden's role in putting together this first one in a series of Tonson-Dryden miscellanies cannot be determined" (p. 374) and cite Hugh Macdonald's Dryden bibliography, p. 67 in their footnote. Macdonald wrote, however, that "although Tonson and Dryden were in close collaboration at any rate over Sylvae, Dryden probably acted rather as an occasional adviser in the compilation of the four parts published during his lifetime than as the actual selector of his fellow poets."[3] The California editors continue, after naming the Earl of Roscommon as a contributor to Miscellany Poems (1684): "Among other contributors connected with Dryden, or to be connected with him later, were Thomas Creech, Richard Duke, the Earl of Mulgrave, Thomas Otway, the Earl of Rochester, Thomas Rymer, Sir Charles Sedley, Sir Carr Scrope, George Stepney, and Nahum Tate. In short, Miscellany Poems seems to have been something of a coterie production with Dryden as the major figure."[4]

Contributors to both Ovid's Epistles (1680) and Miscellany Poems (1684)


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were Sir Carr Scrope, Nahum Tate, Richard Duke, the Earl of Mulgrave, Thomas Rymer, Thomas Otway, six of the seventeen in the earlier volume and of the same number in the later. Two names among the contributors to Miscellany Poems bring one back to the academy, for the Earl of Roscommon translated two odes by Horace, while Knightly Chetwood translated part of the second Georgic as well as one of Virgil's Eclogues. It will be recalled that Chetwood, as the Earl of Roscommon's biographer, wrote that "others of less note & Abilities" were members of the Earl's academy, and I am fairly confident that he modestly remained an anonymous member of this group. He was the intimate friend of Roscommon and Dryden. Both he and Dryden wrote commendatory verses to the Earl's Essay on Translated Verse (1684) and he edited the Traitté touchant l'Obeissance Passive (1685), translated by the Earl from the English of Dr. Sherlock. Besides his contribution to the 1684 Miscellany Poems, he was associated with Dryden in an edition of Saint Evremond's Miscellaneous Essays (1692), and wrote the Life of Virgil and the Preface to the Pastorals for Dryden's Virgil (1697). He also translated the life of Lycurgus for the English edition of Plutarch's Lives, another work edited by Dryden. All this, in my opinion, makes him a charter member of the Earl of Roscommon's abortive "academy," the Earl dying in 1685 and the original design of refining and fixing the English language giving way to a number of projects under the general leadership of Dryden.

Professor Niemeyer, in his identification of "coll: Finch" as Heneage Finch, notes that he is probably the "F . . . ch" described in two lines of Thomas Otway's epistle to Richard Duke, published in the 1684 Miscellany Poems. He might have noted that in the list of the second subscribers to Dryden's Virgil there appeared the names of "The Hon. Col. Finch," of "The Hon. Doctour Finch," of "Tho. Finch, Esq.," and of "George Finch." If the identification is accepted, there is good reason conjecturally to number Otway and Duke among the "few others of less note & Abilities," for they both contributed to Ovid's Epistles and Miscellany Poems, Duke to the extent of six pieces. What is more, Duke translated the fourth satire of Juvenal for Dryden (1693) and contributed to Dryden's edition of Plutarch's Lives in English translation. And for whatever, if any, value as evidence of such an association, it should be pointed out that Duke's poetry was posthumously published in 1717 with that of the Earl of Roscommon and of the Duke of Buckingham. Duke also contributed two anonymous amatory songs to Dryden's third miscellany, Examen Poeticum (1693). He had written commendatory verses for Absalom and Achitophel (1681), along with Nathaniel Lee and, for the third edition, Nahum Tate. Even earlier, in 1679, he wrote verses on Dryden's play Troilus and Cressida. He, with Dryden and Sir Carr Scrope (or Scroop), contributed to Mrs. Barker's Poetical Recreations in 1688.[5] Scrope, it is well to repeat, was another of the group of six writers who contributed to Ovid's Epistles and to Miscellany Poems. As part of the recurrence of certain names


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of writers known to Dryden or connected in some way with his efforts it is also necessary to note that Duke joined with Tate and Otway in contributing commendatory verses to the second edition of Thomas Creech's translation of Lucretius (1683). Creech, who contributed five pieces to Miscellany Poems, was also one of the translators of Dryden's English edition of Plutarch's Lives (1683-86), as were also Duke, Chetwood, John Caryl (translator of one of Ovid's epistles in the 1680 volume), Thomas Rymer (another contributor to the 1680 Ovid's Epistles), and John Evelyn. It may be well to dispatch John Evelyn's part in these editorial ventures, for he was not exactly one of Dryden's friends. He did, however, join Otway, Tate, Duke, and Mrs. Aphra Behn (another contributor to Ovid's Epistles) in writing commendatory verses on Creech's Lucretius and he contributed two poems for the second of Dryden's miscellanies, Sylvae (1685). Macdonald notes that in 1694 Dryden and Evelyn were among those who dined at Edward Sheldon's home (p. 134, n. 3).

Thus far, then, aside from any pre-1680 associations of various writers with Dryden, there are a number of contributors to Ovid's Epistles (1680), Plutarch's Lives (1683-86), and Miscellany Poems (1685). Some of these same writers were to be associated with Dryden in collections either edited by him or in which he had a part. Perhaps a list of names will make for the simplest exposition of these associations, despite some repetition of what has already been said. The collections are Ovid's Epistles, 1680 (OE); Miscellany Poems, 1684 (MP); Plutarch's Lives, 1683-86 (Lives); Sylvae, 1685 (Sylvae); Juvenal, 1693 (J); Examen Poeticum, 1693 (EP); Annual Miscellany, 1694 (AM); Lucian's Works, 1711 (Lucian).

  • Sir Car Scrope OE, MP He was of Westminster School, Dryden's old school. Scrope contributed the prologue to Nathaniel Lee's Rival Queens, 1676/7, which was dedicated to the Earl of Mulgrave and which had commendatory verses by Dryden. And he was associated with Dryden in contributing to Lee's Mithradates, 1677/8.[6] He died in 1680.
  • Earl of Mulgrave OE, MP, EP Mulgrave collaborated with Dryden in translating one of Ovid's Epistles; Dryden had dedicated Aureng-Zebe to him in 1676 and was to dedicate his translation of the Aeneid to him in 1697.
  • Nahum Tate OE, MP, J, Lucian Macdonald, p. 67, n. 4 suggests that "it is possible that Tate collaborated with Dryden in assisting Tonson in some of his undertakings." Tate was the author of the second part of Absalom and Architophel, being asked to write it by Dryden. Dryden wrote a prologue for Tate's The Loyal General in 1680. And there is a connection with the Earl of Roscommon's academy in that the Earl of Dorset, one of the members, was Tate's patron.
  • Richard Duke OE, MP, Lives, EP He followed Dryden at Westminster School and Trinity College, Cambridge.
  • Thomas Otway OE, MP He and Dryden were not on good terms in 1676


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    (Macdonald, p. 212); he died in 1685. His presence in these collections may stem from his friendship for Duke and Colonel Finch.
  • Thomas Rymer OE. MP Rymer's attack on Dryden's plays came in 1692 in his Short View of Tragedy.
  • John Caryll OE, MP, Lives He was the uncle of Pope's friend. Caryll was a prominent Catholic and author of Naboth's Vineyard, 1679, a poem which "probably gave more than a hint to Dryden" for his Absalom and Achitophel (Macdonald, p. 214). Dryden's conversion to Catholicism occurred about 1685.
  • John Somers OE, Lives He was later Lord Somers. Attribution to him of a coarse satire against Dryden in 1683 is probably incorrect (Macdonald, p. 234). In a letter dated 26 November 1699 Dryden wrote that Somers, then Lord Chancellor, was his "Enemy."[7]
None of the remaining contributors to OE reappears in the later collections. Of these, Mrs. Behn was at one time a great admirer of Dryden (Macdonald, p. 161, n. 2), while Elkanah Settle had no reason to love him. Samuel Butler, who died in 1680, lived close to Dryden but nothing is known of their relationship. Thomas Flatman contributed verses to Remains of John Oldham in 1684, as did Dryden and Tate (Macdonald, p. 38, n. 2), and he and Dryden also contributed verses to another work in 1685. He, like Dryden, was a fellow of the Royal Society. [John] Pulteney was at Westminster School under the famous Dr. Busby, also Dryden's schoolmaster. If the Mr. Wright who contributed to the volume was James Wright, tentatively so identified by Macdonald (p. 17), author of Historia Histrionica, 1699, he later contributed prefatory verses to Dryden's Virgil. Both an Edward Wright and a John Wright contributed verses to Luctus Britannici, or The Tears of the British Muses for the Death of John Dryden (1700). Neither Floyd nor Pooley, the other two contributors to OE, has been further identified. Dryden, it can be seen, knew most of the contributors to the 1680 collection.

New names appeared in MP. There is no reason to elaborate Dryden's connection with the Earl of Roscommon or with Knightly Chetwood, or with Thomas Creech. Prominent among the new contributors were

  • William Bowles MP, Sylvae, J He was a Fellow of King's College from 1680-88. I can find no connection with Dryden other than his contributing to these three collections. He may very well have been known to Charles Dryden who was admitted to Trinity College, Cambridge in 1683.
  • George Stepney MP, J Stepney was of Westminster School and Trinity College, Cambridge. He was a friend of Charles Montague, Earl of Halifax; both of them, with Prior, Duke, and Charles Dryden (the poet's son) contributed to a Cambridge University volume of verses on the death of Charles II and the accession of James II (Macdonald, p. 253, n. 1). Charles Dryden also contributed to his father's Plutarch.

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  • The Hon. John Stafford MP, Sylvae He wrote the epilogue for Thomas Southerne's The Disappointment, 1684; Dryden wrote the prologue for the play. Giles Jacob, in his Historical Account of the Lives and Writings of our Most Considerable English Poets, 1724, describes "Mr. Stafford" as "A great friend of Mr. Dryden's and Colonel Sackvil, of the Family of the Lord Dorset." This last relationship establishes another link with Roscommon's academy, as the Earl of Dorset was a member. What is more, it has been recently suggested that John Stafford was the brother of Mrs. Anastasia Stafford, whose marriage Dryden celebrated in a poem of about 1686 to 1688, and that "Dryden was one of a group of people drawn together by their common Catholicism. As the editor of the Miscellany volumes, however, Dryden was acquainted with one of the Staffords before his conversion, and it may be that his association with the Staffords began as a literary relationship."[8] In 1697 in a note on his translation of Virgil's eighth Pastoral Dryden wrote, "The Eighth and Tenth Pastorals are already translated to all manner of advantage by my excellent friend Mr. Stafford. So is the episode of Camilla, in the Eleventh AEneid."
  • Sir Charles Sedley MP Dryden had dedicated The Assignation, 1673, to him. He is Lisideius of the Essay of Dramatic Poesy, 1668. Macdonald notes that Sedley, Dryden, Mrs. Behn, and Granville all contributed poems to a collection of 1691 (p. 82), and that Dryden and Shadwell had a common friend in Sedley (p. 190), a fact which may explain Shadwell's presence in MP.
  • John Cooper OE, MP, Lives Cooper's contribution to OE was to the second edition, 1681, translating the epistle which had been paraphrased by Mrs. Behn for the first edition. He was of Westminster School and Trinity College, Cambridge.
  • Thomas Adams MP He, with Nahum Tate, wrote preliminary verses to Dryden's The Medal, 1682. He was admitted a pensioner to Trinity College, Cambridge, from Westminster School on 13 May, 1651, one year after Dryden was admitted to Trinity. There seems little doubt that his presence in MP must be put down to Dryden's influence.
The only other name is that of the Earl of Rochester, dead four years, whose poetry was drawn on for this collection as well as for EP and AM. It is only because Professor Ward had not traced the identity of the other contributors to MP and their connections with Dryden that he could write, of that collection, that "no doubt Tonson again made himself responsible for soliciting contributions from a number of persons, including Sedley, Mulgrave, Roscommon, Otway, Creech, Shadwell, and others." By "again" Professor Ward means that Tonson was responsible for getting contributors to Plutarch's Lives 1683-86.[9] Professor Ward, to go on to Dryden's translation of Juvenal


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and Persius, believes "it is not possible to determine upon what basis the 'several hands' were chosen or upon what principle the assignments were made" (p. 255). The basis, almost surely, again was Dryden's acquaintance with the contributors.

The contributors to Dryden's translation of Plutarch's Lives have been treated separately elsewhere[10] and it remains only to say that John Evelyn, who contributed to the Lives, is also represented in Sylvae, 1685. Dryden wrote in his Preface to Sylvae: "I hope it will not be expected from me, that I shou'd say any thing of my fellow undertakers in this Miscellany. Some of them are too nearly related to me, to be commended without suspicion of partiality: Others I am sure need it not; and the rest I have not perus'd." Only Charles Dryden was "nearly related." There are, moreover, more anonymous pieces in this collection than in any of the other three miscellanies, and it is likely, although only conjectural, that Dryden had less to do with their inclusion than did Tonson. Again conjecturally, Dryden may be referring to these anonymous pieces when he says that he had not "perus'd" the rest. He knew Charles Stafford; he may have known Bowles; and it was either Creech or the Earl of Lauderdale, both very well known to him, who translated part of Virgil's fourth Georgic for the collection. The only new names in Sylvae are those of Dryden's son, Charles, and "H. D. Esq." He is Henry Dickinson, the translator of Father Simon's Critical History of the Old Testament, whom Dryden in 1682 termed "an ingenious young gentleman my Friend" (Macdonald, p. 33). His poem is immodestly titled "Upon the late Ingenious Translation of Pere Simon's Critical History." Charles Dryden also contributed to his father's translation of Juvenal and to AM. The new names in the Juvenal are

  • Stephen Harvey J, AM He, too, was of Trinity College, Cambridge, having been admitted a pensioner on 17 May 1641.
  • William Congreve J. EP, AM Congreve's appearance in this collection marked the beginning of a friendship that ended with Dryden's death.
  • Thomas Power J Power was also of Westminster School and Trinity College, Cambridge. He became a Fellow of Trinity College in 1684, one year after Charles Dryden, another of the translators of Juvenal, was admitted to that college.

Dryden's next collection was Examen Poeticum, 1693, the third of his Miscellanies. With the exception of the Earl of Mulgrave and Congreve, the other contributors had had no part in any of Dryden's earlier collections.

  • Joseph Addison EP, AM For the last ten years of his life [1690-1700] Dryden "drank with him [Addison] more than he was used to" (Macdonald, p. 74, n. 1, quoting Spence's Anecdotes.). Addison wrote the preface to the Georgics for Dryden's Virgil, 1697.

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  • Thomas Yalden EP, AM Samuel Johnson, in his life of Yalden, wrote that "among his contemporaries in the college were Addison and Sacheverell, men who were in those times friends, and who both adopted Yalden to their intimacy."[11]
  • Henry Sacheverell EP Friend of Addison and Yalden.
  • Henry Cromwell EP He contributed six pieces to the collection, but I find no link with Dryden, although one of his pieces, a translation of the fifteenth Elegy in the first Book of Ovid's "Love-Elegies" is "Inscrib'd to Mr. Dryden."
  • Nathaniel Lee EP He and Dryden were friends from at least 1677 to the time he was confined in Bethlehem Hospital. They collaborated in the play Oedipus, 1679. Lee died in 1692.
  • George Granville, later Lord Lansdowne EP, AM Granville was also of Trinity College, Cambridge. He was "evidently intimate with Dryden" (Macdonald, p. 61, n. 1). He contributed eleven pieces to a collection of 1691, in which Dryden's "Verses to Etherege" first appeared, and wrote some preliminary verses to Dryden's Virgil, 1697.
  • Bevil Higgons EP Cousin to George Granville. Higgons contributed verses to Luctus Britannici (1700), the collection published on Dryden's death.
  • Matthew Prior EP He was of Westminster School. His most immediate connection with Dryden was his and Montague's parody of Dryden's The Hind and the Panther, 1687.
  • Dr. Walter Pope EP He was Dryden's contemporary at Westminster School and a Fellow of the Royal Society.
  • [James] Talbot EP He was of Westminster School and was Charles Dryden's exact contemporary, both being admitted to Trinity College, Cambridge as pensioners on 26 June 1683. He was a Fellow of Trinity from 1689 on and Regius Professor of Hebrew from 1680-1704.
  • Jacob Allestry EP He died in 1686; he was of Westminster School.
  • J.[ohn] H.[ow] EP This is probably the John How who contributed verses to The History of Adolphus, 1691 (see Macdonald, p. 82).
  • Robert Wolseley EP He was the "Friend of the Author" who wrote the Epilogue to Dryden's Spanish Friar (Macdonald, p. 123). In the critical Preface he wrote for the Earl of Rochester's Valentinian (1685) Wolseley cited or quoted Dryden's work three times, always in laudatory contexts.
  • Sir John Eaton EP Edmond Malone identified him as a writer of songs. (Letters, pp. 10 and 146).
The remaining contributors were the late Duke of Buckingham, "Mat." [Martin] Clifford (also deceased), and the unidentified writers whose signatures were J.R., Dr. S[hort?[, Ld. V., Mr. S., and Ld. S. and Mr. C., the last two of whom combined forces in a poem.

The fourth part of Dryden's miscellanies, the Annual Miscellany for the year 1694, included poems by Charles Dryden, Addison, Congreve, Stephen


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Harvey, Yalden, George Granville, the Earl of Lauderdale (one of the members of Roscommon's academy), all of whom, with the possible exception of Lauderdale, had already contributed to one or more of Dryden's earlier collections. The new names are those of
  • John Dennis He and Dryden evidently became acquainted about this time (Letters, pp. 65-74).
  • Francis Knapp He was a demy (foundation scholar) at Magdalen College, Oxford from 1689-96; fellow-demys were Joseph Addison, from 1689-97, and Henry Sacheverell, from 1689-1701. I have no doubt that one of these two friends, both contributors to EP, brought Knapp to Dryden's attention.
  • Charles Hopkins Hopkins wrote Epistolary Poems, published by Tonson in 1694; he was "very much esteemed by Mr. Dryden," according to Giles Jacob. One of the poems in his collection is to Walter Moyle, a good friend of Dryden's (Macdonald, pp. 277-8). He evidently also knew Yalden, for one of his poems reprinted in The First Part of Miscellany Poems, 1716, V. 51, is addressed to him. In a letter of 1699 Dryden wrote of Hopkins that he was "a poet who writes good verses without knowing how, or why; I mean he writes naturally well, without art or learning, or good sence" (Letters, p. 124).
  • Henry Savile He died in 1687; the inclusion of one of the two poems for which he is remembered may be owing to his friendship with the Earl of Dorset.
The Mr. Glanvill who contributed translations of a chorus of Seneca's Troas and of three odes of Horace is almost without doubt John Glanvill (1664?-1735), characterized in the DNB as "poet and translator," whose first published work was Some Odes of Horace Imitated, 1690. I can trace no link to Dryden.

In 1693 Sir Henry Sheeres translated The History of Polybius the Megalopolitan; the publisher was Samuel Briscoe, and Dryden contributed a character of Polybius and his writings. Dryden knew Sir Henry at least as early as 1686 (Letters, p. 30), and there may, therefore, have been some connection between Dryden's contribution to the Polybius and Sir Henry's part in the translation of The Works of Lucian, published by Briscoe in four volumes in 1711, for which Dryden wrote a character of Lucian and his writings. The project had got under way before 1696, Briscoe stating in the dedication to the first volume that "The Life by Mr. Dryden, and some of the Dialogues, were done before and in the year 1696, and the rest in subsequent years." Dryden, in 1697, in a note on a line in his translation of Virgil's fourth Georgic, wrote of his "most ingenious friend, Sir Henry Shere." Nahum Tate had a part in the Lucian, but none of the other contributors had appeared in Dryden's collections. There were twenty-two contributors besides Dryden and Sheeres and Tate; of these twenty-two, ten had or may have had earlier connections with Dryden. They were


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  • Walter Moyle He is mentioned in Dryden's dedication of the Aeneid and was highly regarded by him (Macdonald, p. 278, n. 1). He was an acquaintance of Sheeres.[12]
  • Tom Brown Brown had written a prefatory poem to Creech's Lucretius, 1682, and was a favorite of the Earl of Dorset at whose table he coincided at least once with Dryden (Macdonald, p. 258, n. 4). He, with James Drake, John Savage, and Francis Manning were the translators of Miscellaneous Essays by Monsieur de St. Evremond, 1692, for which Dryden wrote a character of St. Evremond. Note that both Drake and Savage also contributed to the Lucian.
  • James Drake He wrote a character of Tom Brown for the collected edition of Brown's works, published, incidentally, by Samuel Briscoe. Drake was a contemporary of Charles Dryden's at Cambridge.
  • John Savage He is described in the Lucian as "of the Middle Temple," to which he was admitted on 17 May, 1686 (Register of Admissions to the Middle Temple).
  • Charles Blount, ESQ. Macdonald notes that Blount "seems to have been on good terms with Dryden from 1672 [he wrote a vindication of Dryden published in 1673] till his death" (p. 245, n. 2 and p. 204). Blount's elder brother, Sir Thomas Pope Blount, subscribed to Dryden's Virgil.
  • Samuel Cobb Part of his education was at Trinity College, Cambridge. He complimented Dryden in his Poetae Britannici, A Poem, 1700, as well as in Poems on Several Occasions, 1707. (See the Term Catalogue, III. 439, 535.)
  • Laurence Eachard (or Echard) Echard had praised Dryden's Amphitryon as an improvement on Plautus whose plays he, Echard, translated in 1694 (Macdonald, p. 130, n. 7), and Dryden had corrected the first volume of Echard's History of England (Macdonald, p. 167 and nn. 6, 7).
  • Charles Gildon Friend of Dryden and of Charles Blount, whose works he edited in 1695. The fact that Blount was dead in 1695 lends further credence to Briscoe's statement about the early date upon which the collection began. Edmond Malone states that the project was "announced by Motteux in his Gent. Journ. in June, 1693; and in March, 1694, said to be extremely forward."[13]
  • Hugh Hare He was admitted as a nobleman to Trinity College, Cambridge in May 1684, one year after Charles Dryden was admitted to Trinity.
  • John Philips He was of Westminster School and admitted as pensioner to Trinity College, Cambridge in June 1682; hence he would surely have been known to Charles Dryden. "Joannes Phillips Interioris Templi Alumni" wrote verses on Dryden's death for Luctus Britannici (1700). I believe Charles Dryden may have recommended Hare and Philips to his father, who in turn brought them to Briscoe's attention.


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The Mr. Vernon, not otherwise identified, who translated one of the Lives might conceivably be "Henricus Vernon" of London who mourned Dryden's death in the collection Luctus Britannici (1700) and subscribed to the Virgil in 1697 along with a James Vernon. But there is also Thomas Vernon, ESQ. who was a five-guinea subscriber to the edition with the plates. One has too many Vernons from whom to choose. James Tyrrel, another of the contributors, is almost surely the author of a history of England; he was connected to the Blounts through the marriage of his sister to Sir Thomas Pope Blount, elder brother to Charles Blount, Dryden's friend and himself a contributor to the Lucian. The connection with Dryden is slight, but it is there. Eleven, then, of the twenty-four contributors to the Lucian, may have had no prior connection with Dryden.

One fact which should be added is that Dryden and four others (Cavendish, Scarborough, Dorset, Halifax) of the original "academy" were Fellows of the Royal Society, Dryden, Cavendish, and Scarborough being charter members. Seven others of those who contributed to the seven works discussed were also Fellows of the Royal Society, and of these, two (Evelyn, Pope) were also charter members.[14] More importantly, however, it has been seen that all but two of the seventeen who contributed to Ovid's Epistles were, or were to be, somehow connected with Dryden. So, too, were all the known contributors to Miscellany Poems, Sylvae, and the translation of Juvenal; fifteen of twenty-three in Examen Poeticum, ten of sixteen in Annal Miscellany; and thirteen of twenty-four in The Works of Lucian. Twenty-eight of the total number of all the identifiable contributors to these seven collaborative editions were Cambridge men, and of these twelve were Trinity College men.[15] Fourteen had attended Westminster School, as had Dryden.[16] Further, when it is realised that six of the noblemen had been privately educated, that at least two contributors (Tate and Congreve) had attended Trinity College, Dublin, and that two others (Caryll and Stafford) were Catholics and hence prohibited from attendance at university, the predominance of Cambridge men emerges the more strongly. Both in the above editions and in the collaborative translation of Plutarch, Dryden proved loyal to his university and to his college.[17]



"The Earl of Roscommon's Academy," MLN, 49 (1934), 432-437; the manuscript is Mm. 1.47 in vol. 36 of Baker's MSS in the Cambridge University Library. Niemeyer quotes from pp. 39-40 of the manuscript.


Jacob Tonson, Kit-Cat Publisher (1971), p. 17.


Macdonald's reasons for his view are based upon statements by Dryden and Tonson which lend themselves to interpretation other than his.


It will be seen that they omit John Caryll, John Cooper, William Bowles, Knightly Chetwood, and John Stafford.


Hugh Macdonald, John Dryden, A Bibliography of Early Editions and of Drydeniana (1939), p. 81; hereafter Macdonald.


See David Vieth, Attribution in Restoration Poetry (1963), p. 351.


Letters of John Dryden, ed. Charles E. Ward (1942), p. 129, Hereafter Letters.


Margaret Boddy in Notes and Queries (April, 1965), p. 150.


Charles E. Ward, The Life of John Dryden (1961), p. 203.


See my article in Études Anglaises, 32 (1979), 177-184.


Lives of the English Poets, ed. G. B. Hill (1905), II. 298.


Edmond Malone, ed., The Critical and Miscellaneous Prose Works of Dryden 4 vols. (1800), 3, 230.


Critical and Miscellaneous Prose Works of John Dryden, 1. 254, n. 5.


The remaining five are Flatman, Sheeres, Stepney, Prior, and Somers.


Duke, Stepney, Cooper, Adams, Dickinson, Hervey, Power, Lee, Granville, Cobb, Hare, and Charles Dryden.


Scrope, Duke, Stepney, Cooper, Flatman, Pulteney, Adams, Power, Lee, Prior, Pope, Allestry, Philips, and Charles Dryden.


A succession of Henry Cromwells attended Cambridge, so that one more contributor might very well be added to the number of Cambridge men.