Amhurst, Nicholas

Amhurst, Nicholas

▪ British author
born Oct. 16, 1697, Marden, Kent, Eng.
died April 12, 1742, Twickenham, Middlesex

      satirical poet, political pamphleteer on behalf of the Whigs, and editor of The Craftsman, a political journal of unprecedented popularity that was hostile to the Whig government of Sir Robert Walpole.

      Expelled from the University of Oxford in 1719 (probably because of his outspoken views and his satirizing the university in verse), Amhurst settled in London and began a series of satirical papers, Terrae Filius (“Son of the Land”). The Craftsman, founded in 1726, published articles by Tories as well as by Whigs. In 1737 Amhurst published in it a letter purporting to come from Colley Cibber, then poet laureate, attacking the new (censorship) act for licensing plays; for this “suspected libel,” Amhurst and the printer of the journal were imprisoned. After release he was forgotten and passed the rest of his life in obscurity and poverty.

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