Derrick, Samuel

, a native of Ireland, was born in 1724. Being intended for trade, he was some time placed with a linen-draper in Dublin; but disliking his business, he quitted it and his country about 1751, and commenced author in London. Soon after he arrived at the metropolis, he indulged an inclination which he had imbibed for the stage, and appeared in the character of Gloucester in “Jane Shore,” but with so little success, that he never repeated the experiment. After this attempt he subsisted chiefly by his writings; but being of an expensive disposition, running into the follies and excesses of gallantry and gaming, he lived almost all his time the slave of dependence, or the sport of chance. His acquaintance with people of fashion, on beau Nash’s death, procured him at length a more permanent subsistence. He was chosen to succeed that gentleman in his offices of master of the ceremonies at Bath and Tunbridge. By the profits of these he might have been enabled to place himself with ceconomy in a less precarious state; but his want of conduct continued after he was in the possession of a considerable income, by which means he was at the time of his death, March 7, 1769, as necessitous as he had been at any period of his life. He translated one piece from the French of the king of Prussia, called “Sylla,” a dramatic entertainment, 1753, 8vo; “A Voyage to the Moon,” from the French of Bergerac, 1753; “Memoirs of the Count de Beauval,” from the French of the marquis d’Argens,“1754, 12mo;” The third Satire of Juvenal translated intoJEnglish VC.rse,“1755, 4to and he edited an edition of Dryclen’s poetical works, with a life and notes, 1762, 4 vols. ^vo, a beautifully printed work, which had very little success. In 1759 he published a” View of the Stage,“under the na^e of Wilkes in 1762,” The Battle of Lora,“a poem in 1763,A Collection of Voyages,“2 vols. 12mo, and some other compilations, with and without his name, which, indeed, in ibe literary world, was of little consequence. The most amffsing of his works, was his” Letters written from Liverpool, CilSSter, &c." 2 vols. 12mo. Derrick lived rather to amuse than instruct the public, and his vanity and absurdities were for many years the standing topics of the newspaper wits. A few, not unfavourable, anecdotes of Derrick are given in Boswell’s Life of Johnson. 1

1 Tiiosj. Dram. —Boswell’s Life of Johnson. Isaac Reed’s ms Anecdotes, 3 vols. 8vo, in the possession of the Editor.