John Cunningham

Cunningham, John, an actor, who gained a reputation as a poet, was born in Dublin in 1729, and died at Newcastle 18th September 1773, aged about 44. At twelve years of age several of his fugitive pieces, not without merit, had found a place in the papers of his native city. Johnson says: "Although Cunningham cannot be admitted to a very high rank among poets, he may be allowed to possess a considerable share of genius. His poems have peculiar sweetness and elegance; his sentiments are generally natural, and his language simple and appropriate to his subject, except in some of his longer pieces where he accumulates epithets that appear to be laboured." He is now almost forgotten, although his tombstone avers that "his works will remain a monument for ages."


198. Johnson's English Poets: Edited by Alexander Chalmers. 21 vols. London, 1810.