1729–1811, English antiquary and churchman, b. Shropshire. In 1782 he became Protestant bishop of Dromore (Ireland). He achieved literary fame as the editor of the Reliques of Ancient English Poetry
(3 vol., 1765), a collection of 176 English and Scottish ballads. Its publication initiated a general interest in earlier literary forms and exercised a great influence on the romantic poets in Germany as well as England.
See his letters (ed. by C. Brooks and D. N. Smith, 6 vol., 1944–61).
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