Baskerville virgil

Robert Andrews, Works of Vergil Englished, Birmingham, UK, 1757. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Robert Andrews
Born 1723
Died 1766
Occupation clergyman, poet, translator
Nationality British
Period 1752–1766
Notable work(s) The Works of Virgil, Englished, Eidyllia; or, Miscellaneous poems
Spouse(s) Hannah Hazlewood[1]
Rev. Robert Andrews (1723-1766) was an English poet and translator of Virgil, and a nonconformist minister.[2]


Andrews was descended from an eminent nonconformist family which had lived for nearly 2 centuries at Little Lever and at Rivington Hall, near Bolton, Lancashire.[2]

He received his theological education at the Dissenting academy of Dr. Caleb Rotheram, at Kendal.[2]

In 1747 he was chosen in 1747 minister of the Presbyterian congregation at Lydgate, in the parish of Kirkburton, Yorkshire. He continued to hold this charge till about 1753, when he became minister of Platt Chapel, a place of worship for Protestant dissenters in Rusholme], Lancashire. He stayed there about 3 years.[2]

He afterwards presided over a Presbyterian congregation at Bridgnorth, where he remained till his health broke down and he became mad.[2]



In the earlier part of his life he sent to the press a criticism on the sermons of his friend, Rev. John Holland, and some animadversions on Dr. John Brown's Essays on the Characteristics.[2]

A volume of poems, called Eidyllia and dedicated to Hon. Charles Yorke, was published in 1757; the preface contains a polemic against rhyme.[2]

In 1766 Baskerville reprinted Andrews' Odes in a Quarto edition, dedicated to Charles Yorke.[3] This book is exceptionally rare - the English Short Title Catalogue lists only 3 known copies in libraries around the world,[4] compared with around 70 known library copies of Andrews' Virgil.[5]

Virgil EnglishedEdit

The work for which Andrews is remembered, his Virgil Englished, was published in the year of his death, 1766. It was printed by vamous Birmingham printer John Baskerville.

The book is dedicated to Hon. Booth Grey (1740-, the son of Harry Grey, 4th Earl of Stamford), who would later be the MP for Leicester from 1774 to 1784. The translation is in blank verse, with the intention of conveying the sense of Virgil line for line. The work has since been described as an "eccentric, line–by-line, completely unreadable translation".[6] Others have described it as "monumental and austere".

In the preface, Andrews wrote a defense of the use of blank verse and a commendation of Virgil as a defender of liberty. He describes Virgil as inspiring a spirit of liberty that finds perfection ‘under the inviolable authority of a British King and Parliament’.[1] The work is available as a Print on demand publication from the Eighteenth Century Collections Online.[7]



  • Eidyllia; or, Miscellaneous poems. Edinburgh: printed by Hamilton, Balfour, & Neil, 1757.
  • Odes. Birmingham, UK: privately published, printed by John Baskerville, 1766.


  • Animadversions on Mr. Brown's Three essays on the Characteristicks. London: J. Noon, 1752.


  • Virgil, Virgil Englished. Birmingham, UK: privately published, printed by John Baskerville, 1766.

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy WorldCat.[8]

See alsoEdit


  • PD-icon.svg Mew, James (1885) "Andrews, Robert" in Stephen, Leslie Dictionary of National Biography 1 London: Smith, Elder, p. 409 . Wikisource, Web, July 2, 2016.


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Andrews, Robert", on the website of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Template:ODNBsub), 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Mew, 409.
  3. Gaskell, Philip (2011). John Baskerville: A Bibliography. Cambridge University Press. pp. 50. ISBN 0521170729. 
  4. "Odes". English Short Title Catalogue. British Library. Retrieved 7 September 2013. 
  5. "The Works". English Short Title Catalogue. British Library. Retrieved 7 September 2013. 
  6. Patterson, Annabel M. (1987). Pastoral and Ideology: Virgil to Valéry. University of California Press. pp. 12. ISBN 0520058623. 
  7. Andrews, Robert (2010). The Works of Virgil, Englished. Gale ECCO, Print Editions. ISBN 1140971654. 
  8. Search results = au:Robert Andrews, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, July 2, 2016.

External linksEdit


PD-icon.svg This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain, the Dictionary of National Biography (edited by Leslie Stephen). London: Smith, Elder, 1885-1900. Original article is at: Andrews, Robert

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