Ward, Edward

, a poet and miscellaneous writer, was of low extraction, and born in Oxfordshire about 1667. Jacob said of him, in his Lives of the Poets, that he kept a public house in the city, but in a genteel way, which was | much frequented by those who were adverse to the Whig administration. Ward, however, was affronted when he read this account, not because it made him an enemy to the Whigs, or the keeper of a public house, but because his house was said to be in the city. In a book, therefore, called “Apollo’s Maggot,” he declared this account to be a great falsity, protesting that his public house was not in the city, but in Moorfelds. Oldys says he lived a while in Gray’s-­Inn, and for some years after kept a public house in Moorfields, then in Clerkenwell, and lastly a punch-house in Fulwood’s-Rents, within one door of Gray’s-Inn, where he would entertain any company who invited him with many stories and adventures of the poets and authors he had acquaintance with. He was honoured with a place in the “Dunciad” by Pope, whom, however he contrived to vex, by retorting with some spirit. He died June 20, 1731, and was buried the 27th of the same month in St. Pancras church-yard, with one mourning-coach for his wife and daughter to attend his hearse, as himself had directed in his poetical will, which was written by him June 24, 1725. This will was printed in Appleby’s Journal, Sept. 28, 1731. Ward is most distinguished by his well-known “London Spy,” a coarse, but in some respect a true, description of London manners. He wrote one dramatic piece, called “The Humours of a Coffee-house,” and some poems in the Hudibrastic style, but not “England’s Reformation,” as asserted in Mr. Reed’s edition of the Biog. Dram. 1782. That was the production of Thomas Ward, who will be mentioned hereafter. 1

1 Cibber's Lives. Jacob’s Lives. Biog. Dram. Bowles’s edition of Pope.