|Encyclopaedia Britannica 11th Edition||Public Domain via Project Gutenberg|
(1663-1704), English satirist, of "facetious memory" as Addison designates him, was the son of a farmer at Shifnal, in Shropshire, and was born in 1663. He was entered in 1678 at Christ Church, Oxford, where he is said to have escaped expulsion by the famous lines beginning, "I do not love thee, Dr Fell." He was for three years schoolmaster at Kingston-on-Thames, and afterwards settled in London. Under the pseudonym of Dudly Tomkinson he wrote a satire on Dryden, The Reasons of Mr Bays changing his Religion: considered in a Dialogue between Crites, Eugenius and Mr Bays, with two other parts having separate titles (1688-1690, republished with additions in 1691). He was the author of a great variety of poems, letters, dialogues and lampoons, full of humour and erudition, but coarse and scurrilous. His writings have a certain value for the knowledge they display of low life in London. He died on the 16th of June 1704, and was buried in the cloister of Westminster Abbey.
His collected works were published in 1707-1708. The second volume contains a collection of Letters from the Dead to the Living, some of which are translated from the French. His Comical Romance done into English (1772, the Roman Comique of Scarron) was reprinted in 1892.