Hull, Thomas

, a late dramatic and miscellaneous writer, and an actor, was born in the Strand, London, in 1728, where his father was in considerable practice as an apothecary. He was educated at the Charter-house, with a view to the church, but afterwards embraced his father’s profession, which, however, he was obliged to relinquish after an unsuccessful trial. What induced him to go on the stage we know not, as nature had not been very bountiful to him in essential requisites. He performed, however, for some time in the provincial theatres, and in 1759 obtained an engagement at Covent-garden theatre, which he never quitted, unless for summer engagements. In one of these he became acquainted with Shenstone the poet, who, observing his irreproachable moral conduct, so different from that of his brethren on the stage, patronized him as far as he was able, and assisted him in writing his tragedy of “Henry II.” and “Rosamund.” It was indeed Mr. Hull’s moral character which did every thing for him. No man could speak seriously of him as an actor, but all spoke affectionately of his amiable manners and undeviating integrity. He was also a man of some learning, critically skilled in the dramatic art, and the correspondent of some of the more eminent literary men of his time. His poetical talents were often employed, and always in the cause of humanity and virtue, but he seldom soared above the level of easy and correct versification. In prose, perhaps, he is entitled to higher praise, but none of his works have had more than temporary success. He died at his house at Westminster, April 22, 1808. For the stage he altered, or wrote entirely, nineteen pieces, of which a list | may be seen in our authority. His other works were, I. “The History of sir William Harrington,” a novel, 1771, 4 vols. 2. “Genuine Letters from a gentleman to a young lady his pupil,1772, 2 vols. 3. “Richard Plantagenet,” a legendary tale, 1774, 4to. 4. “Select Letters between the late duchess of Somerset, lady Luxborough, miss Dolman, Mr. Whistler, Mr. Dodsley, Shenstone, and others,1778, 2 vols. This is now the most interesting of his publications, and contains many curious particulars of literary history and opinions. The letters were given to him by Shenstone. 5. “Moral Tales in verse,1797, 2 vols. 8vo. 1

1 Biog. Dram. Greaves’s Re-collections of Shenstone. Preface to the “Select Letters.