Thomas Tickell, (17 December
1685 – 23 April 1740), was a minor English poet and man of
The son of
a clergyman, he was born at Bridekirk near Carlisle.
preliminary education he went in 1701 to the Queen's
College, Oxford, taking his M.A. degree in 1709.
fellow of his college in the next year, and in 1711 University
Reader or Professor of Poetry. He did not take orders, but by a dispensation
from the Crown was allowed to retain his fellowship until his
marriage in 1726 in Dublin.
Tickell acquired the name ‘Whigissimus’, because of his close
association with the Whig
In 1717 he was appointed Under Secretary to Joseph Addison
, Secretary of State.
Tickell was appointed secretary to the Lords Justices of Ireland a
post which he retained until his death in 1740, at Bath.
owned house and small estate in Glasnevin on the banks of the River
Tolka which later became the site of the Botanic
A double line of yew trees (known as
Addison’s Walk) from Tickell’s garden is incorporated into the
His grandson Richard Tickell
a playwright and married Mary Linley
the Linley musical dynasty.
Tickell's success in literature, as in life, was largely due to the
friendship of Joseph Addison
procured for him (1717) an under-secretaryship of state, to the
chagrin of Richard Steele
, who from
then on bore a grudge against Tickell. During the peace
negotiations with France, Tickell
published in 1713 the Prospect of
In 1715 he brought out a translation of the first book of the
contemporaneously with Alexander Pope
's version. Addison's reported
description of Tickell's version as the best that ever was in any
language roused the anger of Pope, who assumed that Addison was the
author. Addison instructed Tickell to collect his works, which were
printed in 1721 under Tickell's editorship.
Kensington Gardens (1722), Tickell's longest poem, is sometimes
viewed as inflated and pedantic.
It has been said that
Tickell's poetic powers were awakened by his admiration for the
person and genius of Addison, and undoubtedly his best work is the
sincere and dignified elegy addressed to the Earl of Warwick on
Addison's death. His ballad of Cohn and Mary
was for a
long time the most popular of his poems. Tickell contributed to
and The Guardian
- "T Tickell", in Johnson's
Lives of the Poets;
- The Spectator;
- Ward's English
- His Works were printed in 1749 and are included in
Chalmers's and other editions of
the English Poets.