Nicholas Amhurst

Nicholas Amhurst (16 October 1697 – 27 April 1742) was an English poet and political writer.

Amhurst was born at Marden, Kent. He was educated at Merchant Taylors' School, and at St John's College, Oxford. In 1719 he was expelled from the university, ostensibly for his irregularities of conduct, but in reality (according to his own account) because of his whig principles. His politics were sufficiently evident in many of his works: a congratulatory epistle to Addison, in Protestant Popery; or the Convocation (1718), an attack on the opponents of Bishop Benjamin Hoadly; and in The Protestant Session by a member of the Constitution Club at Oxford (1719), addressed to James, first Earl Stanhope, and printed anonymously, but doubtless by Amhurst.

He had satirized Oxford morals in Strepkon's Revenge; a Satire on the Oxford Toasts (1718), and he attacked from time to time the administration of the university and its principal members. An old Oxford custom permitted, on public occasions, some person to deliver from the rostrum a humorous, satirical speech, full of university scandal. This orator was known as 'Terræ filius'. In 1721 Amhurst produced a series of bi-weekly satirical papers under this name, which ran for seven months and incidentally provides much curious information. These publications were reprinted in 1726 in two volumes as Terræ Filius; or, the Secret History of the University of Oxford. He collected his poems in 1720, and wrote another university satire, Oculus Britanniæ, in 1724.

Caleb D'Anvers

On leaving Oxford for London he became a prominent pamphleteer on the opposition (whig) side. On the 5 December 1726 he issued the first number of The Craftsman, a weekly periodical, which he conducted under the pseudonym of Caleb D'Anvers. The paper was aimed mainly towards the overthrow of Sir Robert Walpole's government; there is some debate about its effects, with most historians agreeing it was doing little more than preaching to the converted. Nevertheless it reached a circulation of 10,000 copies and was one of the biggest magazines of its time with authors such as Henry Fielding, John Gay and Alexander Pope contributing to it. For this success Amhurst's editorship was not perhaps chiefly responsible. It was founded, and in the beginning financed, by Henry St John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke and William Pulteney, the latter of whom was a frequent and caustic contributor. In 1737 an imaginary letter from Colley Cibber was inserted, in which he was made to suggest that many plays by Shakespeare and the older dramatists contained passages which might be regarded as seditious. He therefore desired to be appointed censor of all plays brought on the stage. This was regarded as a "suspected" libel, and a warrant was issued for the arrest of the printer. Amhurst surrendered himself instead, and suffered a short imprisonment. On the overthrow of the government in 1742 the opposition leaders did nothing for the useful editor of the Craftsman, and this neglect is said to have hastened Amhurst's death, which took place at Twickenham.

References


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Amhurst, Nicholas — (1697 1742)    Satirical poet, political pamphleteer, and editor of the political journal The Craftsman, founded in 1726, to which he contributed under the pseudonym of Caleb D Anvers of Gray s Inn. While at St. John s College, Oxford, he… …   British and Irish poets

  • Amhurst, Nicholas — ▪ British author born Oct. 16, 1697, Marden, Kent, Eng. died April 12, 1742, Twickenham, Middlesex       satirical poet, political pamphleteer on behalf of the Whigs, and editor of The Craftsman, a political journal of unprecedented popularity… …   Universalium

  • Marden, Kent — Coordinates: 51°10′28″N 0°29′39″E / 51.174477°N 0.494198°E / 51.174477; 0.494198 …   Wikipedia

  • 1718 in literature — The year 1718 in literature involved some significant events and new books.Events* The Freethinker (newspaper) is founded by Ambrose Philips and Hugh Boulter. * Laurence Eusden becomes Poet Laureate of Great Britain. * Voltaire is released from… …   Wikipedia

  • Danvers — Danvers, D Anvers or d Anvers may refer to: Contents 1 Places 2 People 3 Fictional characters 4 Other Places In Canada …   Wikipedia

  • 1731 in literature — The year 1731 in literature involved some significant events and new books.Events* The Gentleman s Magazine is launched by Edward CaveNew books* Anonymous The Life of Mr. Cleveland, Natural Son of Oliver Cromwell * Corporate authorship The… …   Wikipedia

  • 1742 in literature — The year 1742 in literature involved some significant events and new books.Events* February 12 Robert Walpole, the most divisive prime minister for a century or more to come, resigned but was elevated to the peerage and moved into the English… …   Wikipedia

  • Marden railway station — Marden Marden station …   Wikipedia

  • Milebush — Coordinates: 51°11′09″N 0°29′36″E / 51.185810°N 0.493230°E / 51.185810; 0.493230 …   Wikipedia

  • Chainhurst — Coordinates: 51°12′06″N 0°28′36″E / 51.201570°N 0.476610°E / 51.201570; 0.476610 …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.