John Pomfret(1667 - late November 1702)
Works in ECPA
- The Choice. ()
- Cruelty and Lust. An Epistolary Essay. ()
- Dies Novissima: OR, THE LAST EPIPHANY. A Pindarick Ode, on Christ's Second Appearance to Judge the World. ()
- Eleazer's Lamentation over Jerusalem; paraphrased out of Josephus. ()
- An Epistle to Delia. ()
- The Fortunate Complaint. ()
- An Inscription for the Monument of Diana Countess of Oxford and Elgin. ()
- LOVE Triumphant over REASON. A Vision. ()
- On the General Conflagration, and ensuing Judgment. A Pindaric Essay. ()
- On the Marriage of the Earl of A— with the Countess of S— ()
- A Pastoral Essay on the Death of Queen Mary, Anno, 1694. ()
- A Prospect of Death. A Pindaric Essay. ()
- REASON: A POEM. ()
- Strephon's Love for Delia justified: In an Epistle to Celadon. ()
- To a Painter, drawing Dorinda's Picture. ()
- To another Friend under Affliction. ()
- To his Friend inclin'd to Marry. ()
- To his Friend under Affliction. ()
- To the Painter, after he had finish'd Dorinda's Picture. ()
- Upon the Divine Attributes. A Pindaric Essay. ()
- Poems upon Several Occasions. By the Reverend Mr. John Pomfret [poems only]. The Sixth Edition, Corrected. With some Account Of his Life and Writings. To which are added, His Remains. London: printed for D. Brown without Temple Bar, J. Walthoe in the Temple Cloysters, A. Bettesworth, and E. Taylor, in Pater-Noster-Row, and J. Hooke in Fleetstreet, 1724. , 132, vi, 17p. (ESTC N21233)
John Pomfret was born at Luton, Bedfordshire, the son of Thomas Pomfret (d. 1705),
vicar of Luton, and his wife, Catherine, daughter of William Dobson of Holborn. Pomfret
was educated at Bedford Grammar School and Queens' College, Cambridge, graduating
BA in 1685 and MA in 1688. He took holy orders upon leaving Cambridge and was curate
of Maulden from 1687 to 1695, when he became its rector. Pomfret married Elizabeth
Wingate, at Luton on 13 September 1692, by whom he had one surviving son, John (bap.
1702). Pomfret began writing poetry as early as 1694, when he wrote a "pastoral essay" on the death of Queen Mary (pub. 1699). In 1700 he published, anonymously, his best
The Choice, a poem about the joys of a retired lifestyle in the country. It was an instant success
(four quarto editions appeared during 1701) and was widely anthologized throughout
the 18th century. Samuel Johnson later included Pomfret in his prefaces. In the same
year, Pomfret also published
A Prospect of Death and
Reason. Pomfret's Miscellany Poems on Several Occasions, which contained 17 poems, was published in 1702. It included
Upon the Divine Attributes,
On the General Conflagration, and ensuing Judgment and
Cruelty and Lust. Pomfret was appointed to the rectory of Millbrook in June 1702. He came to London,
apparently in search of preferment from the bishop of London, but contracted smallpox,
and died shortly after. He was buried at Maulden in December 1702.
The Works of the English Poets, from Chaucer to Cowper; including the Series Edited, with Prefaces, Biographical and Critical, by Dr Samuel Johnson: and the most approved translations. The Additional Lives by Alexander Chalmers, F.S.A. Vol. VIII. London: J. Johnson et al., 1810. 301-336. Google Books edition. Web. 17 Nov. 2016. https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=TXEJAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA301
Baines, Paul, Julian Ferraro, Pat Rogers, eds. The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Eighteenth-Century Writers and Writing, 1660-1789. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011. 273. Print.
Leigh Hunt, John Pomfret, and the Politics of Retirement. European Romantic Review 25(4) (2014): 423-442. Print.
John Clare and eighteenth-century poetry: Pomfret, Cunningham, Bloomfield. Eighteenth Century 42(3) (2001): 264-278. Print.
Studies of individual works
Bernatovich, Bernard V. A Study of John Pomfret's 'The Choice': The Sources, the Appreciation, the Art, and the Influence of One of the Most Popular Poems During the Eighteenth Century. Unpub. doct. diss. Loyola Univ. of Chicago, 1971. Web. 17 Nov. 2016. http://ecommons.luc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2162&context=luc_diss
'The Choice' by John Pomfret: A Modern Criticism. Enlightenment Essays 6 (1975): 12-18. Print.