Hunter, Robert, Esq.

, author of the celebrated “Letter on Enthusiasm,” and, if Coxeter be right in his ms conjecture in his title-page of the only copy extant, of a farce called “Androboros.” He was appointed lieutenant-governor of Virginia in 1708, but was taken by the French in his voyage thither. Two excellent letters, addressed to colonel Hunter while a prisoner at Paris, which reflect equal honour on Hunter and Swift, are printed in the 12th volume of the Dean’s works, by one of which it appears, that the “Letter on Enthusiasm” had been ascribed to Swift, as it has still more commonly been to the earl of Shaftesbury. In 1710 he was appointed governor of New York, and sent with 2700 Palatines to settle there. From Mr. Cough’s “History of Croyland Abbey,” we learn, that Mr. Hunter was a major-general, and that, during his government of New-York, he was directed by | her majesty to provide subsistence for about 3000 Palatine? (the number stated in the alienating act) sent from Great Britain to be employed in raising and manufacturing naval stores; and by an account stated in 1734, it appears that the governor had disbursed 20,000l. and upwards in that undertaking, no part of which was ever repaid. He returned to England in 1719; and on the accession of George II. was continued governor of New York and the Jerseys. On account of his health he obtained the government of Jamaica, where he arrived in February 1728; died March 31, 1734; and was buried in that island. 1


Nichols’s Bowyer. Biog. Dram. Swift’s Works.