Thomas Warton by Reynolds

Thomas Warton (1728-1790). . Portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792), 1784. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Thomas Warton
Born January 9 1728(1728-Template:MONTHNUMBER-09)
Basingstoke, Hampshire, England
Died May 21 1790(1790-Template:MONTHNUMBER-21) (aged 62)
Oxford, England
Occupation Literary historian, critic, and poet
Language English
Nationality United Kingdom British
Ethnicity English
Alma mater Trinity College, Oxford University
Notable work(s) "To the River Lodon"

Rev. Thomas Warton (9 January 1728 - 21 May 1790) was an English poet, literary historian, and literary critic. He served as Oxford Professor of Poetry and Poet Laureate, and wrote the earliest history of English poetry.[1] He is sometimes called Thomas Warton the younger to distinguish him from his father.



Warton was educated under his father at Basingstoke and at Oxford. At the age of 19 he published a poem of considerable promise, The Pleasures of Melancholy, and 2 years later attracted attention by The Triumph of Isis (1749), in praise of Oxford, and in answer to Mason's Isis. After various other poetical excursions he published Observations on Spenser's Faery Queen (1754), which greatly increased his reputation, and in 1757 he was made Professor of Poetry at Oxford, which position he held for 10 years. After bringing out some editions of classics and biographies of college benefactors, he issued, from 1774-1781, his great History of English Poetry, which comes down to the end of the Elizabethan age. The research and judgment, and the stores of learning often curious and recondite, which were brought to bear upon its production render this work, though now in various respects superseded, a vast magazine of information, and it did much to restore our older poetry to the place of which it had been unjustly deprived by the classical school. His edition of Milton's minor poems has been pronounced by competent critics to be the best ever produced. Warton was a clergyman, but if the tradition is to be believed that he had only 2 sermons, 1 written by his father and the other printed, and if the love of ease and of ale which he celebrates in some of his verses was other than poetical, he was more in his place as a critic than as a cleric. As a poet he hardly came up to his own standards. He was made Poet Laureate in 1785, and in the same year Camden Professor of History, and was one of the earlist to detect the Chatterton forgeries, a task in which his antiquarian lore stood him in good stead.[2]

Youth and educationEdit

Warton was born and baptized at Basingstoke, Hampshire, the younger son of Thomas Warton the elder, vicar of Basingstoke,[3] and Oxford Professor of Poetry from 1718 t 1726.[1] Joseph Warton was his elder brother.[3] From a precociously early age he attempted English verse. At 9 he sent his sister a verse translation of an epigram by Martial.[4]

Warton's early education was at Basingstoke Grammar School,[5], under the direction of his father. At age 16 he entered Trinity College, Oxford, matriculating in the university on 16 March 1743-4. He earned a B.A. in 1747, and, after taking holy orders, engaged in tutorial work in the college. He earned an M.A. in 1750, succeeded to a fellowship the next year, and in 1767 proceeded to the degree of B.D.[3]


Throughout his life Warton remained a college don, and, although he read and wrote extensively until his death, he never claimed to be a professional man of letters. He often represented to his friends that his functions as a tutor left him little time for regular literary work. But, as a matter of fact, he did not regard his tutorial obligations very seriously. Lord Eldon wrote of him: "Poor Tom Warton! He was a tutor at Trinity; at the beginning of every term he used to send to his pupils to know whether they would wish to attend lecture that term" (Twiss, Eldon, iii. 302).[3]

Christopher North stated that "Tom Warton was the finest fellow that ever breathed." In person he was, in middle life, unattractive, being, according to the most truthful observers, a fat little man, with a thick utterance resembling the gobble of a turkey-cock. With his love of scholarly study he combined somewhat slovenly habits and a taste for unrefined amusements. He delighted in the society of the Oxford watermen, and shocked the susceptibilities of his fellow-dons by often appearing in the Watermen's company on the river with a pipe in his mouth.[6]

He enjoyed drinking beer, especially in taverns, and, although he was the life and soul of his college common-room, was never quite at home in the intellectual salons of London. Fanny Burney wrote of a meeting with him in 1783: "He looks unformed in his manners and awkward in his gestures. He joined not one word in the general talk" (Mme. D'Arblay, Diary, ii. 237). When he visited his brother at Winchester College he is said to have indulged in all manner of boyish pranks with undignified amiability, and, owing to his bulk, with ludicrous awkwardness.[6]

His vacations were invariably spent in archæological tours, during which he examined old churches and ruined castles. He thus acquired a thorough knowledge and affection for Gothic architecture, which few of his contemporaries regarded as of any account.[3]

Early writingEdit

A collection of Five Pastoral Eclogues which is said to have been published in 1745 was placed by his friends to his credit. In the same year (aged 17), he wrote The Pleasures of Melancholy, which was published anonymously 2 years later. It was little more than a cento of passages from Milton and Spenser, but evidenced that appreciation of 16th- and 17th-century poetry which was characteristic of almost all that he wrote.[4]

In 1749 he made a wide academic reputation by the publication of The Triumph of Isis, an heroic poem in praise of Oxford, with some account of the celebrated persons educated there and appreciative notices of its specimens of Gothic architecture. It was written by way of reply to William Mason's Isis, published in 1746, which cast aspersions on the academic society of Oxford, chiefly on the ground of its Jacobite leanings. Warton at the time inclined to the Jacobite opinions for which his father had made himself notorious in the university. Mason magnanimously admitted the superior merits of the rival poem, but in later life he and his friend Horace Walpole rarely lost an opportunity of depreciating Warton's literary work.[4]

Warton soon issued another poem entitled Newmarket: A satire (London, 1751), and a collection of verses by himself (under the pseudonym of "A Gentleman from Aberdeen") and others, called The Union, or Select Scotch and English pieces (Edinburgh, 1753). In accordance with the spirit of his Triumph of Isis, Warton encouraged at Oxford — largely by his genial example — all manner of literary effort among resident members of the university. He was for two successive years poet-laureate to the common-room of his college. He contributed poetry to The Student, an Oxford monthly miscellany of literature, of which 19 numbers appeared between 31 Jan. 1750 and 3 July 1751. For the Encænia of July 1751 he wrote and published an ode which Dr. William Hayes set to music. The Oxford collections of poems of 1751, 1761, and 1762 contain verse by him.[4]

In 1760 he brought out anonymously a good-humoured satire on the conventional guide-books to Oxford in A Companion to the Guide, and a Guide to the Companion, being a Complete Supplement to all the Accounts of Oxford hitherto published. … The whole interspersed with Original Anecdotes and Interesting Discoveries, occasionally resulting from the subject, and embellished with perspective Views and Elevations neatly engraved (2nd ed. corrected and enlarged, London, n.d. [1762?], 8vo; another ed. 1806). But Warton's most amusing contribution to academic literature was his anthology of Oxford wit, which he edited anonymously under the ugly title of The Oxford Sausage; or Select Poetical Pieces written by the most celebrated Wits of the University of Oxford (London, 1764, 8vo; 1772, 8vo; 1814, 8vo; 1815, 12mo; and 1822, 12mo); some pieces by Cambridge men were included.[4]

In a more serious spirit he devoted himself to the history of his own college, and published learned biographies of two distinguished members of the foundation. The Life and Literary Remains of Ralph Bathurst … President of Trinity College in Oxford was published in London in 1761, 8vo, and an article originally contributed to the Biographia Britannica in 1760 reappeared subsequently as a substantial volume called The Life of Sir Thomas Pope, founder of Trinity College, Oxford: Chiefly compiled from Original Evidences, with an Appendix of Papers never before printed (1st edit. London, 1772, 8vo; 2nd edit., corrected and enlarged, London, 1780, 8vo). This exhaustive biography of Sir Thomas Pope "resuscitated," in the opinion of Horace Walpole, "more nothings and more nobodies than Birch's Life of Tillotson.” It comprised numerous extracts from valuable historical manuscripts at the British Museum and the Bodleian Libraries, several of which were forwarded to Warton by Francis Wise, but there is unhappily reason to believe that some of the documents alleged to date from the 16th century were forgeries of recent years. Although a strong case has been made against Warton in the matter, his general character renders it improbable that he was himself the author of the fabrications. He was more probably the dupe of a less principled antiquary (cf. Engl. Hist. Review, xi. pp. 282 et seq., art. ‘Thomas Warton and Machyn's Diary,’ by the Rev. H.E.D. Blakiston).[4]

Literary criticEdit

Meanwhile Warton pursued his study of early English literature, and in 1754 he published Observations on the Faery Queen of Spenser, which established his reputation as a critic of exceptional learning. A 2nd edition in 2 volumes, corrected and enlarged, appeared in 1762. The work abounded in illustrative parallels from other poets, and embodied the results of much reading in mediæval romance and archæological research.[4]

The book won immediately the warm approval of Dr. Johnson. "You have shown," Johnson wrote to Warton on 16 July 1754, "to all who shall hereafter attempt the study of our ancient authors the way to success by directing them to the perusal of the books those authors had read." The correspondence thus opened led to a long friendship, which, although interrupted by dissimilarity of literary taste, was only finally dissolved by death. Warton entertained Johnson on his visit to Oxford in the summer of 1754, and obtained for him the degree of M.A. in February 1755. Warburton was as enthusiastic an admirer as Johnson of Warton's Observations,’ but Warton's work was acutely, if savagely, criticised by William Huggins in The Observer Observed.[4]

With characteristic versatility Warton then turned from English literature to the classics, and set about a translation of Apollonius Rhodius. Johnson encouraged him to persevere in this and other literary labours, and not to fritter away his time on college tuition, saunters in the parks, and long sittings in hall and the coffee-houses. But the Apollonius Rhodius was never completed. He amiably abandoned it to devote his leisure to finding subscribers for Johnson's Shakespeare, to which he contributed a few notes, and he wrote at Johnson's request numbers 33, 93, and 96 of Johnson's Idler (1758–9). He is also said to have sent occasional papers to The Connoisseur, The World, and The Adventurer, but these have not been identified (Drake, Essays, ii. 194).[4]

Professor of PoetryEdit

In 1757 Warton was elected Oxford Professor of Poetry. He held the post for two successive terms of 5 years each. His lectures, which were delivered in Latin,[4] were confined to classical topics. Only one of them was printed. It was entitled De Poesi Græcorum Bucolica, and was included in Warton's edition of Theocritus.[7]

While holding the professorship he seems to have almost abandoned his study of English literature for the Latin and Greek classics. In 1758 he published a selection of Latin metrical inscriptions (Inscriptionum Romanorum Metricarum Delectus); and 8 years later he reprinted, with an original Latin preface, a similar collection of Greek inscriptions, known as Cephalas' Anthologiæ Græcæ.[7]

In 1770 appeared from the Clarendon Press Warton's elegant edition of Theocritus, with some notes by Jonathan Toup. The book met with approbation at home, but its scholarship was deemed by continental scholars to be defective; in England it was superseded by the editions of Thomas Gaisford in his Poetæ Græci Minores (1814–20), and of Christopher Wordsworth (1844).[7]

On 7 December 1767 Warton took his degree of B.D.. In 1771 he was elected a fellow of the London Society of Antiquaries, and on 22 October of that year he was appointed to the small living of Kiddington in Oxfordshire.[7]

History of English PoetryEdit

Meanwhile Warton had embarked on his great venture of a history of English poetry. Pope had contemplated such a work, and prepared an elaborate plan, which his biographer, Owen Ruffhead, printed. Gray, about 1761, also sketched out a history of English poetry, but he likewise never got beyond a preliminary sketch.[7]

In 1768 Gray wrote that he had long since dropped his design, "especially after he heard that it was already in the hands of a person [i.e. Warton] well qualified to do it justice, both by his taste and his researches into antiquity." Warton sent his first volume to press in 1769. Many months later, on 15 April 1770, Gray, acting on the suggestion of Hurd, sent Warton his skeleton plan, in which the poets were dealt with not chronologically, but in groups according to their critical affinities (Gray, Works, i. 53, iii. 365). Warton's work was then far advanced on more or less strictly chronological lines, and he made no change in his scheme after reading Gray's notes. Warton's history owes nothing to Gray.[7]

In 1774 the first volume of Warton's history of English poetry appeared under the title of History of English Poetry from the Close of the Eleventh to the Commencement of the Eighteenth Century; to which are prefixed Two Dissertations: 1. On the Origin of Romantic Fiction in Europe; 2. On the Introduction of Learning into England. The 2nd volume appeared in 1778; and the 3rd in 1781, preceded by an additional dissertation on the Gesta Romanorum. This volume brought the history down to the end of Queen Elizabeth's age. The 4rth volume, which would have carried the topic as far as Pope, though repeatedly promised, never appeared.[7]

Another edition, edited by Richard Price (1790–1833), appeared in 1824, with numerous notes from the writings of Ritson, Douce, Ashby, Park, and others, and the work was re-edited by Mr. W.C. Hazlitt in 1874, when Warton's text was ruthlessly abbreviated or extended in an ill-advised attempt to bring its information up to the latest level of philological research.[7]

At the outset Warton's great undertaking was cautiously received. In so massive a collection of facts and dates errors were inevitable. Warton's arrangement of his material was not flawless. Digressions were very numerous. His translation of old French and English was often faulty. In 1782 Joseph Ritson attacked him on the last score with a good deal of bitterness, and Warton, while contemptuously refusing to notice the censures of the "black-letter dog," was conscious that much of the attack was justified. Horace Walpole found the work unentertaining, and Mason echoed that opinion. Subsequently Sir Walter Scott, impressed by its deficiencies of plan, viewed it as "an immense commonplace book of memoirs to serve for" a history; and Hallam deprecated enthusiastic eulogy. On the other hand, Gibbon described it as illustrating "the taste of a poet and the minute diligence of an antiquarian," while Christopher North wrote appreciatively of the volumes as "a mine."[7]

Last yearsEdit

Warton never completed his great History, and, after the appearance of the third volume in 1781, he dissipated his energies in other laborious, but less useful, literary undertakings. In that year he wrote, for private circulation, a model history of his parish of Kiddington as "a specimen of a history of Oxfordshire." It was published in 1783, and reissued in 1815. In 1782 he issued a pamphlet on the Chatterton and Rowley controversy, strongly supporting the theory that the poems were modern forgeries. The title ran: An Enquiry into the Authenticity of the Poems attributed to Thomas Rowley, in which the Arguments of the Dean of Exeter [i.e. Jeremiah Milles] and Mr. Bryant are examined’ (London, 1782, 8vo; a second edition, corrected, London, 1782, 8vo).[8]

Warton's literary work secured for him in his later life an honoured place in London literary society, to which Johnson had years before introduced him. The cordiality of his early relations with Johnson was not continuously maintained, and they occasionally caused one another much irritation. The doctor always cherished affection for Warton, but in a frolicsome mood he parodied his friend's poetry with a freedom that Warton found it difficult to excuse. Warton showed his resentment by often treating Johnson with a coolness which once led Johnson to say of him that he was the only man of genius known to him who had no heart. But in 1776 Johnson revisited him at Oxford in Boswell's company, and all went happily. In 1782 Warton was admitted into the Literary Club, and was popular with its chief members.[8]

Verses on Sir Joshua Reynolds's painted window at New College, written and published in 1782, elicited a warm letter of gratitude from the painter. The poem is notable for its enthusiastic praise of Gothic architecture. In 1785 Warton was elected Camden professor of history at Oxford, and his inaugural lecture was printed by his biographer, Mant. Shortly afterwards, on the death of William Whitehead (14 April 1785), he was created poet-laureate.[8]

On the publication of Warton's first official ode in honour of the king's birthday, a clever squib appeared, entitled Probationary Odes for the Laureateship. The volume adumbrated the Rejected Addresses of the brothers Smith. Warton, who was described as "a little, thick, squat, red-faced man," was handled with especial rigour, and his genuine "birthday" ode was quoted verbatim as signally characteristic of the ludicrous tameness incident to the compositions of laureated poetasters. Similar odes proceeded from Warton's pen until his death, and none of them retrieved his poetic reputation in the sight of discerning critics.[8]

In another path of literature he was yet to win a deserved triumph. In 1785 he published what was intended to be the first of a series of volumes — an edition of Milton's early poems. The title ran: Poems upon Several Occasions, English, Italian, and Latin, with Translations, by John Milton, viz. Lycidas, L'Allegro, Il Penseroso, Arcades, Comus, Odes, Sonnets, Miscellanies, English Psalms, Elegiarum liber, Epigrammatum liber, Sylvarum liber. With Notes, Critical and Explanatory, and other Illustrations, London, 1785. This is one of Warton's best works. It is described by Professor Masson as the best critical edition of Milton's minor works ever produced. The second volume was to have contained Paradise Regained and Samson Agonistes, but Warton died before it was finished.[8]

Suffering from an attack of gout he went to Bath early in 1790, and returned to Oxford thinking himself cured; but on 20 May 1790 he was seized in the common-room of his college with a paralytic stroke, and died on the following day. He was buried in the ante-chapel of the college. The chair in which he is said to have been taken ill is preserved in the old library of the college.[8]



Warton's name is a landmark in the history of English literature. His great history exerted a signal influence on its contemporary currents. Together with Percy's Reliques it helped to awaken an interest in mediæval and Elizabethan poetry. By familiarising his contemporaries with the imaginative temper and romantic subject-matter of the poetry that was anterior to the 18th century, Warton's work helped to divert the stream of English verse from the formal and classical channels to which the prestige of Pope had for many years consigned it.[4]

But, however critics have differed in the past, the whole work is now seen to be impregnated by an intellectual vigour which reconciles the educated reader to almost all its irregularities and defects. Even the mediæval expert of the present day, who finds that much of Warton's information is superannuated and that many of his generalisations have been disproved by later discoveries, realises that nowhere else has he at his command so well furnished an armoury of facts and dates about obscure writers; while for the student of 16th-century literature, Warton's results have been at many points developed, but have not as a whole been superseded.[7]

His style is unaffected and invariably clear. He never forgot that he was the historian and not the critic of the literature of which he treated. He handled with due precision the bibliographical side of his subject, and extended equal thoroughness of investigation to every variety of literary effort.[7] No literary history discloses more comprehensive learning in classical and foreign literature, as well as in that of Great Britain.[8]


As a poet, too, Warton left his impress on the course of English literature. His verse gained considerable vogue in its day. A collection was first published in 1777, and reached a 4th edition in 1789. At the time of his death he was preparing a new and corrected edition of his poems. The volume appeared as The Poems on various Subjects of Thomas Warton, B.D., late Fellow of Trinity College, Professor of Poetry and Camden Professor of History at Oxford, and Poet-Laureat: Now first collected, London, 1791, 8vo.[8] Another edition, edited, with a memoir, by Richard Mant, appeared at Oxford in 1802, 2 vols., and this was frequently reprinted in collected editions of the English poets.[6]

Warton on occasion showed full command of Pope's style and meter, but most of his verse is imitative of Milton and Spenser. Dr. Johnson contemptuously wrote of Warton's poetry that it consisted entirely of

Phrase that time hath flung away,
Uncouth words in disarray,
Trick'd in antique ruff and bonnet,
Ode and elegy and sonnet.

Johnson's scorn notwithstanding, Warton was an apt disciple of his 16th- and 17th-century masters, and as the reviver of the sonnet, which had been very rarely essayed in England since Milton, he was himself the master of many pupils who bettered his instruction. His sonnets treat side by side of the charms of antiquity and the charms of nature. A sonnet written on a flyleaf of Dugdale's Monasticon is followed at a near interval by another on the "River Lodon." The versification was often uncouth, but Warton's sincere admiration for nature and antiquity alike, though not expressed in his sonnets or elsewhere with much subtlety, arrested attention in his own time by its novelty, and lent distinction to his poetic achievements. Wordsworth, Coleridge, Hazlitt, and Charles Lamb were appreciative readers of Warton. Christopher North said with much justice "the gods had made him poetical, but not a poet."[6]

Other writingEdit

Besides the works mentioned, Warton published ‘A Description of the City, College, and Cathedral of Winchester. Exhibiting a Complete and Comprehensive Detail of their Antiquities and Present State. The whole illustrated with several Curious and Authentic Particulars collected from a Manuscript of Anthony Wood, preserved in the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford; the College and Cathedral Registers, and other Original Authorities, never before published,’ London, n.d. [1750], 12mo. Some of Warton's notes were utilised in the well-illustrated volumes called ‘Essays on Gothic Architecture, by the Rev. T. Warton, Rev. J. Bentham, Captain Grose, and the Rev. J. Milner,’ London, 1800, 8vo.[6]

An unpublished manuscript by Warton, entitled Observations, Critical and Historical, on Churches, Monasteries, Castles, and other Monuments of Antiquity in various Counties of England and Wales, supplies records of his vacation tours between 1759 and 1773. The manuscript was described by Henry Boyle Lee in the Cornhill Magazine for June 1865 (pp. 733 sqq.).[6]

Critical introductionEdit

by Thomas Humphry Ward

Thomas Warton is in his poetry chiefly imitative, as was natural in so laborious a student of our early poetical literature. The edition of his poems which was published by his admirer and his brother’s devoted pupil, Richard Mant, offers a curious example of a poet ‘killed with kindness’; for the apparatus of parallel passages from Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton, and others, is enough to ruin any little claim to originality which might have been put forward for him. The Pleasures of Melancholy is a cento of Il Penseroso, Comus, and The Faerie Queene; the Ode on the Approach of Summer is a mere echo of L’Allegro. Again, the influence of Gray makes itself far too strongly felt in Warton’s elegiac poems and odes.

But there are reasons why his genial figure should not be altogether excluded from a representative English anthology. It has often been said that his History of English Poetry, with Percy’s Reliques, turned the course of our letters into a fresh channel; but what is more noticeable here is that his own poetry — or much of it, for he is not always free from the taint of pseudo-classicalism — instinctively deals with materials like those on which the older writers had drawn. In reaction against the didactic and critical temper of the earlier half of his century, he is a student of nature; he is even an "enthusiast," in Whitehead’s sense. He has two passions ... the passion for "antiquity" and the passion for nature; for the Bodleian Library and for

‘The field, the forest, green and gay,
The dappled slope, the tedded hay;’

and, we may add, for Oxford, his home for forty-seven years, at whose service he was always ready to place his invention, his humour, and his gift of satire. The real Warton is to be looked for in the writings in which these passions find their vent; in the History, in the Sonnets (a form of composition which he revived among us), and in the Humorous Pieces; not in the ‘quit-rent odes’ which were wrung from him by the unhappy necessities of his laureateship.[9]


Warton became Oxford Professor of Poetry of Poetry in 1757, and held the position until 1767.[10]

He was appointed Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom in 1785, and held the position until his death.[1]

A portrait of Warton, by Sir Joshua Reynolds, is in the common-room of Trinity College, Oxford. It was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1784. There is a good mezzotint by Hodges. An engraving by Holl is prefixed to Mant's ‘Memoir,’ and another, by W. P. Sherlock, is published in Nichols's Literary Illustrations (iv. 738).[6]

In 1855 James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps, Thomas Wright, and others, formed in Warton's honour a Warton Club for the publication of contributions to literary history, but the club was dissolved the next year after issuing 4 volumes.[6]




  • Observations on the 'Fairie Queene' of Spenser. (2 volumes), London: R. & J. Dodsley / Oxford, UK: J. Fletcher, 1754, 1762. Volume I, Volume II.
  • A Description of the City, College, and Cathedral of Winchester. London: R. Baldwin, 1760.
  • The Life and Remains of Ralph Bathurst. (2 volumes), London: R. & J. Dodsley, 1761.
  • A Companion to the Guide, and a Guide to the Companion. London: H. Payne, 1762.
  • The Life of Sir Thomas Pope, Founder of Trinity College, Oxford. London: T. Davis, 1772; London: Thomas Cadell, 1780.
  • The History of English Poetry. (3 volume), London: J. Dodsley; J. Walter; T. Becket; J. Robson; G. Robinson, and J. Bew; and Messrs. Fletcher, at Oxford, 1774-1781
    • The History of English Poetry. (2 volumes), London: Tegg, 1824.
    • The History of English Poetry: From the eleventh to the seventeenth century. (4 volumes), London: Ward Lock, 1875. Volume II
    • The History of English Poetry: From the twelfth to the close of the sixteenth century (edited by William Carew Hazlitt). 1871; New York: Haskell House, 1970
    • A History of English Poetry: An unpublished continuation (edited by Rodney M. Baine). Los Angeles: William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, University of California, 1953.
  • An Enquiry into the Authenticity of the Poems Attributed to Thomas Rowley. London: J. Dodsley, 1782.
  • Specimen of a History of Oxfordshire. London: printed for J. Nichols / J. Robson / C. Dilly / Fletchers, D. Prince & J. Cooke, Oxford / J. Merrill, at Cambridge, 1783.
    • also published as The History and Antiquities of Kiddington. London: J. Nichols, Son, & Bentley, 1815.
  • Essays on Gothic Architecture (by Warton, Rev. J. Bentham, et al). London: John Taylor, 1800.


  • Inscriptionum Romanorum Metricarum Delectus. 1758.[7]
  • The Union; or, Select Scots and English poems. Edinburgh:Archibald Monro / David Murray, 1753; London: printed for R. Baldwin, 1759.
  • The Oxford Sausage; or, Select poetical pieces. Oxford, UK: printed for G. Robinson & E. Newbury, London ; W. Dawson , Oxford; and sold by the Booksellors of Oxford and Cambridge, 1764.
  • Anthologiae Graecae a Constantino Cephala. Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press, for J. Fletcher, 1766.
  • Theocriti Syracusii quae supersunt. (2 volumes), Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press, 1770.
  • John Milton, Poems upon Several Occasions: English, Italian, and Latin, with translations. London: James Dodsley, 1785; London: G.G.J. & J. Robinson, 1791.


Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy WorldCat.[12]

Poems by Thomas WartonEdit

  1. To the River Lodon

See alsoEdit

Preceded by
William Hawkins
Oxford Professor of Poetry
Succeeded by
Benjamin Wheeler
Preceded by
William Whitehead
British Poet Laureate
Succeeded by
Henry James Pye

Sonnet Written at Stonehenge Thomas Warton Audiobook Short Poetry-0

Sonnet Written at Stonehenge Thomas Warton Audiobook Short Poetry-0


  • PD-icon.svg Lee, Sidney (1899) "Warton, Thomas (1728-1790)" in Lee, Sidney Dictionary of National Biography 59 London: Smith, Elder, pp. 432-436 . Wikisource, Web, Jan. 3, 2017.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Thomas Warton the Younger, Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. Web, Jan. 4, 2016.
  2. John William Cousin, "Warton, Thomas," A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature. London: Dent / New York: Dutton, 1910, 396-397. Wikisource, Web, Mar. 16, 2018.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Lee, 432.
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 Lee, 433.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Rev. Thomas Warton(1728-1790), English Poetry, 1579-1830, Center for Applied TEchnologies in the Humanities, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 Lee, 436.
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 Lee, 434.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 Lee, 435.
  9. from Thomas Humphry Ward, "Critical Introduction: Thomas Warton (1728–1790)," The English Poets: Selections with critical introductions (edited by Thomas Humphry Ward). New York & London: Macmillan, 1880-1918. Web, Feb. 27, 2016.
  10. The Cambridge History of English Literature Volume X, Cambridge University Press, 1967, 238.
  11. The Poetical Works of Thomas Gray, Thomas Parnell, William Collins, Matthew Green, and Thomas Warton (1853), Internet Archive, Web, Sep. 24, 2012.
  12. Search results = au:Thomas Warton, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, Jan.27, 2014.

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