Coventry, Francis

, the eldest son of Thomas Coventry, esq. by Anna Maria Brown, was born in Cambridgeshire, and educated at Magdalen college, Cambridge, where he took his bachelor’s degree in 1748, and his master’s in 1752. He was a young man of very considerable talents, and would probably have been more distinguished for polite literature, had he not been cut off in the prime of life by the small pox, in 1759, soon after he bad been presented by his relation, the earl of Coventry, to the donative or perpetual curacy of Edgware. He published “Penshurst,” an elegant poem, 1750, reprinted in Dodsley’s collection, with a poetical epistle to “The hon. Wilmot Vaughari in Wales.” He was also the author of | a paper in the “World,” on the absurdities of modern gardening and of the well-known satirical romance of “Pompey the Little,1751. Mr. Gray told Mr. Waipole, in a letter of that date, “Pompey is the hasty production of Mr. Coventry (cousin to him you know), a young clergyman. I found it out by three characters, which made part of a comedy that he shewed me, of his own writing.” This cousin was Henry Coventry, author of the “Letters of Philemon to Hydaspes,” and who was one of the writers of the “Athenian Letters.” He was a fellow of Magdalen college; once, we are told, a religious enthusiast, and afterwards an infidel. He died Dec. 29, 1752. 1

1 Nichols’s Bowyer. Cole’s ms Alhense. British Essayists, Preface to the World. Lord Orford’s Works, vol. V. p. 388.