[Rev.] Philip Francis (?1708-73)

Life
[The Elder;] b. Dublin; ed. TCD, BA 1728; m. Elizabeth Rowe; taught in Dublin, and moved to London, then to Skeyton, Norfolk, and afterwards to Esher where he kept the school in which Edmund Gibbon was his most distinguished pupil, with his own son, 1752; appt. private chaplain to Lady Caroline Fox; he taught Charles James Fox to read, and and accompanied him to Eton; his bilingual edition of The Odes, Epodes and Carmen Seculare of Horace (Dublin 1742), was subscribed by 458 persons, and often reprinted; he also wrote Eugenia (London 1752) and Constantia (1754) - both tragedies; issued pamphlets against Pitt, 1761-64; appt. rector of Barrow, Suffolk, 1762-73; appt. chaplain at Chelsea Hospital, 1764-69; received a crown pension of 300, 1764; d. in Bath; his son and namesake [q.v.] is believed to have been the author of the Letters of Junius. PI ODNB CAB

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Works
A Poetical Translation of the works of Horace, with the Original Text and Critical Notes Colllected from the best Latin and French Commentators by the Rev’d Mr Philip Francis
(London: A. Millar 1749).

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Criticism
W. B. Stanford, Ireland and the Classical Tradition (1984), cites Philip Francis, Horace (1742) [trans]. See also George Saintbury on Sir Philip Francis [History of English Literature].

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Quotations
Horace’s Ars Poetica: ‘Your opening promises some great design / And shreds of purple with broad lustre shine / Sew’d on your poem … [Incipit gravibus plerumque et magna professis / Purpureus latus qui splendeat, unus et alter/Assuitur pannus …] (Provided on Modbrits by Paul Delany, SFU, California - on the origins of On ‘purple patch’.)

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References
D. J. O’Donoghue
, Poets of Ireland : A Biographical Dictionary (Dublin: Hodges Figgis & Co 1912): see Moore’s Diary, Vol. 6, p.65 for verdict on his poetry.

Peter Kavanagh, Irish Theatre (Tralee 1946), lists Eugenia, trag. (DL 17 Feb 1752) 1752; Constantine, trag. (CG 23 Feb 1754; publ. 1754), both coolly received; flipped a coin with Henry Jones at the time when the latter’s Essex was acted (Murphy, in Gray’s Inn Journal; Genest).

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British Library lists Constantine, a tragedy [see ref. under Henry Jones in CAB]; Odes, Satires, Epistles of Horace, in British Poets, Vol. 97-98 (1822); also in Works of Greek and Roman Poets, Vol. 12 (1813); Works of Horace, in Works of the English Poets, Chalmers volv xix (1810); Demosthenes, trans. (1757); Odes, Epodes, and Carmen Seculare of Horace in Latin and English, P.F. (1743); Works of Horace (1745, ‘50, ‘53, ‘56, ‘65, ‘91, ‘1807); Eugenia, trag., based on Cenie by Francoise Paula Huguet de Grafigny (1752).

Belfast Public Library holds Eugenia.

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