Thomas Tickell

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Portrait of Thomas Tickell by Sylvester Harding Thomas Tickell by Sylvester Harding.jpg
Portrait of Thomas Tickell by Sylvester Harding

Thomas Tickell (17 December 1685 – 23 April 1740) was a minor English poet and man of letters.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north-northwest. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.



The son of a clergyman, he was born at Bridekirk near Cockermouth, Cumberland. He was educated at St Bees School 1695–1701, [1] and in 1701 entered The Queen's College, Oxford, taking his M.A. degree in 1709. He became fellow of his college in the next year, and in 1711 University Reader or Professor of Poetry. He did not take orders, but by a dispensation from the Crown was allowed to retain his fellowship until his marriage to Clotilda Eustace in 1726 in Dublin. Tickell acquired the name ‘Whigissimus’, because of his close association with the Whig parliamentary party.

Bridekirk human settlement in United Kingdom

Bridekirk is a township and a parish in the Allerdale district in the county of Cumbria, England. It is around 3.2 kilometres (2 mi) north of the Derwent river and about the same distance from the nearest large town of Cockermouth just south of the river. Bridekirk is just outside the Lake District National Park and is not far from the Maryport and Carlisle Railway.

Cockermouth market town and civil parish in Cumbria, England

Cockermouth is an ancient market town and civil parish in the Borough of Allerdale in Cumbria, England, so named because it is at the confluence of the River Cocker as it flows into the River Derwent. The mid-2010 census estimates state that Cockermouth has a population of 8,204, increasing to 8,761 at the 2011 Census.

Cumberland Historic county of England

Cumberland is a historic county of North West England that had an administrative function from the 12th century until 1974. It was bordered by Northumberland to the east, County Durham to the southeast, Westmorland and Lancashire to the south, and the Scottish counties of Dumfriesshire and Roxburghshire to the north. It formed an administrative county from 1889 to 1974 and now forms part of Cumbria.

In 1717 he was appointed Under Secretary to Joseph Addison, Secretary of State. In 1724 Tickell was appointed secretary to the Lords Justices of Ireland, a post which he retained until his death in 1740, at Bath.

Joseph Addison 17th/18th-century English essayist, poet, playwright, and politician

Joseph Addison was an English essayist, poet, playwright, and politician. He was the eldest son of The Reverend Lancelot Addison. His name is usually remembered alongside that of his long-standing friend Richard Steele, with whom he founded The Spectator magazine.

Lord Justices (Ireland)

The Lord Justice of Ireland was an ancient senior position in the governance of Ireland, held by a number of important personages, such as the Earl of Kildare.

Tickell owned a house and small estate in Glasnevin on the banks of the River Tolka, which later became the site of the Botanic Gardens. A double line of yew trees (known as Addison's Walk) from Tickell's garden is incorporated into the Gardens.

Glasnevin Suburb in Leinster, Ireland

Glasnevin is a neighbourhood of Dublin, Ireland, situated on the River Tolka. While primarily residential, Glasnevin is also home to the National Botanic Gardens, national meteorological office and a range of other State bodies, and Dublin City University has its main campus and other facilities in and near the area.

River Tolka River of Counties Meath and Dublin, Ireland

The River Tolka, also once spelled Tolga, is one of Dublin's three main rivers, flowing from County Meath to Fingal within the old County Dublin, and through the north of Dublin city, Ireland. By flow of water, the Tolka is the second largest river in Dublin, following the Liffey, but runs more slowly than the Dodder.

He married in 1726 Clotilda Eustace, daughter and co-heiress of Sir Maurice Eustace of Harristown, County Kildare, and his second wife Clotilda Parsons. Maurice was in turn the nephew and heir of the immensely wealthy judge and landowner Sir Maurice Eustace, Lord Chancellor of Ireland. Clotilde, who outlived her husband by more than fifty years, was described by her family as "a most clever and excellent lady". They had four surviving children, including John, father of Richard. We have it on the authority of Samuel Johnson that Tickell was a devoted family man and temperate in his habits.

County Kildare County in Leinster, Ireland

County Kildare is a county in Ireland. It is located in the province of Leinster and is part of the Mid-East Region. It is named after the town of Kildare. Kildare County Council is the local authority for the county which has a population of 222,504.

Sir Maurice Eustace was an Irish politician, barrister and judge of the seventeenth century who spent the last years of his career as Lord Chancellor of Ireland. This was an office for which he felt himself to be entirely unfit, and in which he was universally agreed to have been a failure.

The office of Lord High Chancellor of Ireland was the highest judicial office in Ireland until the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922. From 1721 to 1801, it was also the highest political office of the Irish Parliament: the Chancellor was Speaker of the Irish House of Lords. The Lord Chancellor was also Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of Ireland. In all three respects, the office mirrored the Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain.

His grandson Richard Tickell became a playwright and married Mary Linley, of the Linley musical dynasty.

Richard Tickell (1751–1793) was an English playwright and satirist.

Mary Linley British musician

Mary Linley (1758–1787) was one of seven musical siblings born to Thomas Linley the elder and his wife Mary Johnson. She sang publicly until she married the playwright Richard Tickell in 1780.


Tickell's success in literature, as in life, was largely due to the friendship of Joseph Addison, who procured for him (1717) an under-secretaryship of state, to the chagrin of Richard Steele, who from then on bore a grudge against Tickell. During the peace negotiations with France, Tickell published in 1713 the Prospect of Peace .

In 1715 he brought out a translation of the first book of the Iliad contemporaneously with Alexander Pope's version. Addison's reported description of Tickell's version as the best that ever was in any language roused the anger of Pope, who assumed that Addison was the author. Addison instructed Tickell to collect his works, which were printed in 1721 under Tickell's editorship. [2]

Kensington Gardens (1722), Tickell's longest poem, is sometimes viewed as inflated and pedantic. It has been said that Tickell's poetic powers were awakened by his admiration for the person and genius of Addison, and undoubtedly his best work is the sincere and dignified elegy addressed to Addison's stepson Edward Rich, 7th Earl of Warwick on Addison's death: [2]

He taught us how to live, and oh! too high, the price for knowledge, taught us how to die.

His ballad of Cohn and Mary was for a long time the most popular of his poems. Tickell contributed to The Spectator and The Guardian . *His Works were printed in 1749 and are included in Chalmers's and other editions of the English Poets. [2]


  1. The story of St Bees 1583-1939. Pub the Old St Beghian Club.
  2. 1 2 3 Chisholm 1911.

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James FitzEustace of Harristown, 3rd Viscount Baltinglass (1530–1585) James FitzEustace, the eldest son of Roland FitzEustace, the 2nd Viscount of Baltinglass and Joan, daughter of James Butler, 8th Baron Dunboyne. He was born in 1530 and died in Spain in 1585. Baltinglass's family was traditionally associated with the FitzGerald family, the earls of Kildare, but prudently remained loyal to Henry VIII during the "Silken Thomas" Rebellion of 1534-35. For their loyalty they were granted additional lands. Later in the 1540s Thomas FitzEustace, James's grandfather, was created first Viscount Baltinglass by a grateful king. But like many other old English Pale families, the FitzEustaces later became disillusioned.


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