Richard Owen Cambridge

Richard Owen Cambridge

Richard Owen Cambridge (born 14 February 1717 in London; died 17 September 1802 in Twickenham) was a British poet.

He was educated at Eton and at St John's College, Oxford. Leaving the university without taking a degree, he took up residence at Lincolns Inn in 1737. Four years later he married, and went to live at his country seat of Whitminster, Gloucestershire. In 1751 he removed to Twickenham, where he enjoyed the society of many notable persons. Horace Walpole in his letters makes many jesting allusions to Cambridge in the character of newsmonger.

His chief work is the Scribleriad (1751), a mock epic poem, the hero of which is the Martinus Scriblerus of Alexander Pope, John Arbuthnot and Jonathan Swift. The poem is preceded by a dissertation on the mock heroic, in which he avows Cervantes as his master. The satire shows considerable learning, and was eagerly read by literary people; but it never became popular, and the allusions, always obscure, have little interest for the present-day reader. He made a valuable contribution to history in his "Account of the War in India on the Coast of Coromandel" from the year 1750 to 1760 (1761). He had intended to write a history of the rise and progress of British power in India, but this enterprise went no further than this one work, as he found that Robert Orme, who had promised him the use of his papers, contemplated the execution of a similar plan.

The Works of Richard Owen Cambridge, includes several pieces never before published. It contains an Account of his Life and Character by his Son, George Owen Cambridge (1803), the Scribleriad, some narrative and satirical poems, and about twenty papers originally published in Edward Moore's paper, "The World". His poems are included in Alexander Chalmers' "English Poets" (1816).



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