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THE

POETICAL WORKS

WILLIAM COWPER.

LIFE OF THE AUTHOE.

HALIFAX:

MILNER AND SOWEKBY.

1864.

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MEMOIR

OF

WILLIAM COWPER.

In presenting to the reader a brief memoir of this gifted individual, we will endeavour, as much as possible, to refrain from indulging in any highly-coloured panegyrics upon his genius as a poet, or his piety as a Christian; yet we must be allowed to observe, that, in our opinion, ne deserves to be ranked among the first class of our English poets, and as to his piety as a Christian, we feel confident that no one will have the presumption to call that in question.

Cowper was the descendant of an ancient and honorable family, which resided in Sussex, about the middle ol t :e seventeenth century, when "William Cowper was created a baronet, which title descended to his grandson, who Iclt Sir William Cowper, who became Lord Chancellor of England, in the reign of Queen Anne, by whom he was raised to the peerage, being in the subsequent reign created Earl Cowper; and Spenser, who was appointed Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas in 1727. Spenser Cowper had three sons,—William, John, and Ashley; there was also a daughter called Judith, (who was married to Col. Madan), the author of "The Progress of Poetry," and of some poetical compositions, one of which was a poem "To Mr. Pope," and another "To the Memory of Mr. Hughes," author of "The Siege of Damascus," &c. William became Clerk to the House of Lords. Ashley, who was a barrister, and oneof the clerksof Parliament, left two daughters, one of whom was married to Sir Thos. Hesketh. John, who was brought up for the church,

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