People, Society & Culture of Tunbridge Wells in the 18th Century & later.

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Royal Tunbridge Wells
state that during that era more minor verse was written in England than at any other time, and how poor most of it must have been may be surmised after reading the volumes comprising The New Foundling Hospital for Wit, wherein, it is but natural to suppose, the best specimens were brought together. In that collection may be found poems by Christo­pher Anstey, Mark Akenside, Gray, Hanbury-Williams, and William Whitehead, one of the worst of Poets-laureate; but by far the greater part of the six volumes is filled with the output of anonymous amateur scribes, and such names at the foot of verses as are known are those of men who certainly were not dis­tinguished as poets, though some of them were famous in other walks of life. We find there some metrical effusions of David Garrick, Horace Walpole, Lord Carlisle, Charles James Fox, Lord Holland, Soame Jenyns, Lord Lyttleton, Charles Yorke, Elizabeth Carter—to name but a few. Nowhere did this pastime of verse-making flourish more than at the spas. " A few minutes are spent by some in making verses, as the waters or genius of the place, or as love and leisure inspire," wrote the author of the Concise Guard to Tun-250
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