top of page

Love and Madness 1780, 2nd edition.

Pages containing anything related to Chatterton:

The below listed pages are from the 5th edition and as a guide when analysing the other editions.


View Page126 

  • The first mention of 'Chatterton' in this volume. Four lines only from The Execution of Sir Charles Bawdin (nothing else).

View Pages 141 - 154

  • pages 141 -142 :  Croft has no doubts that Chatterton wrote the whole.

  • page 143 -144 :  Chatterton (min-biography).

  • page 144 :  Croft states that Chatterton's father was a schoolmaster and Sexton & that he died 'very soon after, if not before, the birth of his son.'  Chatterton 'who indisputably received no other education than what he picked up at a charity-school at a place called St Augustine's Back in Bristol.  [Croft is wrong on a few points, which you will know having read the other biographies, for example, Chatterton's father was not a Sexton].

  • (144/145) Chatterton's letter to the newspaper re the 'Bridge Narrative'

  • (146) Croft is sure Chatterton knew Latin: Dunhelmus Bristoliensis.  First mention of Barrett and Catcott 'To these gentlemen he produced, between Oct. 1768, and April 1770...all Rowley's poems, except the "ballad of Charitie.'  Chatterton only produced two 'originals' the rest were all 'transcripts.'

  • (147) Barrett and Catcott were not generous to Chatterton or his family.  Mrs Chatterton received £5, Mary had her whitlowed finger cured by Barrett.

  • (148) Antiquarian at Cambridge states Chatterton, had he lived, could not have escaped hanging.

  • (149 - 150) Chatterton was 'addicted to women, like all youths of strong imaginations'

  • (150/1) Chatterton wrote on both sides of the question. Croft quotes from Memoirs of a Sad Dog, "As I know the art of Curlism pretty well,..." signed Harry Wildfire; this is a long piece spread over two monthly sections in the Town and Country magazine: July & August. 

  • (154) A few lines from The Story of Canynge.

View Pages 155 - 161

  • (155) Croft: "..preserve the false spellings and stops. Let Chatterton's sister tell her own story in her own way." "...forgery. For Chatterton's sake, the English language should add another word to its dictionary."  Croft also mentions song to Aella, & the chorus to Godwin. 


  • (156) Macpherson & Ossian. Lady Anne Lindsay & Auld Robin Gray. Quotes son of Sirach ‘When a rich man speaketh, every man holdeth his tongue: and lo! What he says is extolled to the clouds: but if a poor man speak, they say, What fellow is this? Chatterton. Rowley. Catcott. 'Chatterton's father was a bit of a poet.'  Sarah and Mary might have believed ‘that injured Justice demanded their lives at Tyburn, for being the mother and sister of him who was suspected to have forged the poems of Rowley.


  • (157) Croft: ‘With regard to the fact, the mother and sister either believe, or pretend to believe, with the pewterer, that all of Rowley’s poems came out of the old chest in the church. The case is, none of the three knows any thing of the matter.’ 

  • (158) Junius.

  • (159) 'Psalmanaazar and D’eon are not to be compared with Chatterton.' John the Painter (Aka. James Aitken), hanged for arson in 1777, some observations on Rowley's poems among his papers (according to Croft)?

  • (160/1) Mary sent Chatterton a catalogue of the books he had read, to the amount of many hundreds. Astrea Brokage. Town and Country mag Jan 1770.

View Pages 161 - 164

  • [.QE!.]  Mary’s letter to Croft, starts: “Concious, of my own inabilitys to write to a man of letters…” [.QE!.]  E.H.W.Meyerstein states 'I don't know if Croft altered Mrs. Newton's spelling, but in no autograph letter of her's that I have seen is it so illiterate as in this piece justicative of September 22, 1778. The others were supervised, perhaps.'

View Pages 165 - 169  : Apostate Will is on page 168.

  • (p.165) Croft: " will next read the earliest production of Chatterton which I have been able to find [Apostate Will : see p.168 below]. It is transcribed from an old pocketbook in his mother’s possession. It appears to be his first, perhaps his only, copy of it; and is evidently his handwriting. By the date he was eleven years and almost five months old." 

  • [.QE!.] Croft goes on to talk about apologies made by or for two other poets when ‘young.’ He compares Addison’s early work, when he was 27, and Chaulieu, a french, fucking poet at forty. (Yes I know it should be ‘sucking’ and not ‘fucking, but I am convinced it was a play on words by Croft, using the long ‘s’ to his advantage).

  • (p.166) Compares Pope at twelve, Cowley at thirteen.

  • [.QE!.] The idea that Chatterton had no tutor/mentor and that his family had no abilities, runs through various editors/biographers. Basil Cottle calls Sarah a ‘nonentity,’ which is too unfair for words!  Although, it is possible that Basil was using the word ‘nonentity’ to mean ‘not known.’  However, Croft has no excuse with the following: When we read the ode which Pope wrote at twelve and another by Cowley at thirteen, we are apt to suspect a parent, friend, or tutor, of an amiable dishonesty....Suspicions of this nature touch not Chatterton. He knew no tutor, no friend, no parent  at least no parent who could correct or assist him.’  Really? It's time we put the record straight and instead of thinking the worst of Sarah, we look at what she achieved: firstly, she was foremost in Chatterton’s development, having taught him to read and, judging by the letters home, was loved dearly by him! She got him enrolled into Colston's School, which came complete with an apprenticeship; furthermore, according to Mary, he was never two nights together without visiting his family. It is clear to me that Sarah never stopped doting on her son, otherwise why would he continue to visit the family home so regularly.

  • '[Croft] : Chatterton was the Sexton’s son'  [which we know is incorrect]  ...Satire was his fort, if anything can be called his fort, who excelled in every thing he undertook....  And ‘...Catcott has another later poem of Chatterton’s, called, I think, ‘The Exhibition.’ The church here also supplied his indignation with a subject. But, as the satire is rather severe, and the characters are living, Catcott does not permit it to be copied.'

  • (167) [.QE!.]  Croft compares Chatterton to Milton because they both had that rare ability of being musical. Mentions The Exhibition.

  • (168/9) Apostate Will includes pronunciation tip: ‘The e in key is, I believe, in the Somersetshire pronunciation, a.

View Pages 170 - 179

  • (170)  Happiness


  • [Croft] Though it may not be next in order of composition, for I shall send you nothing which is already printed.

  • [.QE!.] According to Taylor, the poem misses the last two lines: The Saint and Sinner Fool and Wise attain, An equal Share of Easiness and Pain. Finis.  Catcott in B5315, has curst instead of first (Croft )in line 36, Taylor also has curst p.404.   Catcott also misses out two lines (65 and 66 in T, P.405): Then what avails the anxious spitting Pain, Thy Laugh-provoking Labours all are vain.  [.QE!.]    You can see why Catcott chose to ignore these two lines. 


View Pages (179 - 180)

  •  The Resignation


View Pages 181 - 185 

  • (Linked to online edition). Sarah and Mary say that Chatterton's Sunday's were generally spent in walking alone, into the country round Bristol, as far as the day would allow him time to return before night. He never failed to bring home drawings of churches or something which had struck him. That he had a turn for drawing, you will see by the figure of a warrior (perhaps Aella) presenting a church on his knee...[??]. Chatterton's sketch of Beckford's statue [??]...of which an engraving is prefixed to his Miscellanies, and the Town and Country Magazine.  Chatterton had acquired skills in heraldry, architecture, music; astronomy, surgery, &c.  Burgum (I think), taught himself Latin and Greek.

View Pages 186 - 191

  • Catcott’s role in the Rowley / Chatterton story.  Catcott is the man least to be believed. Chatterton believed that genius was no less common to a man and woman, than a pair of eyes or a nose, and asked his sister to improve herself in copying music, drawing, and everything which requires genius.  Chatterton left Bristol for the first time in April 1770, never to return.  Walpole.

View Pages 191 - 193

  • Chatterton’s 1st letter to his Mother, April 26th, 1770  

  • ‘Here I am, safe, and in high spirits’.  TP1064

  • page 193: Walpole.


View Pages 194 - 197

  • Chatterton’s 2nd letter to his Mother, May 6th, 1770 

  •  ‘I am surprised that no letter has been sent to my last.'

  • TP1083

View Pages 197 - 201

  • Chatterton’s 3rd letter to his Mother, May 14th, 1770  

  • ‘Don't be surprised at the name of the place. I am not here as a prisoner.'

  • The 'King's Bench' Letter. TP1087

View Pages 202 - 205

  • Chatterton’s Letter to his Sister, May 30th, 1770 

View Pages 205 - 207

  • Chatterton’s Letter to his Sister, June 19th & 29th, 1770 

View Pages 207 - 209

  • Chatterton’s Letter to his Mother, July 8th, 1770 

View Pages 209 - 210

  • Chatterton’s Letter to his Sister, July 11th, 1770 

View Pages 210 - 211

  • Chatterton’s Letter to his Sister, July 20th, 1770 

  • 'I am now about an Oratorio...'

View Pages 211 - 212

  • Memoirs of a Sad Dog - Harry Wildfire

  • Published Town and Country Magazine, July, 1770. p.375

  • [Croft] : 'All the originals of his letters here printed, except the original of this last [20th July, which Croft was allowed to keep], are in the possession of his mother, or sister, who, I believe, are still living in Bristol, and keep little day-schools.'  

  • [Croft] : quotes Duff who 'admits but three original geniuses in poetry, Homer, Ossian, and Shakespeare.'--- [Croft] : 'Would not Chatterton complete the triumvirate better than Ossian?

  • [.QE!.] Surely Croft  should either replace Chatterton with Rowley, or Ossian with Macpherson. After all he knows that Macpherson is Ossian.

View Pages 211 - 212 

WORKING ON THIS AT THE MOMENT 22/02/2022 another 70 pages to analyse and list.

Notes for [.QE!.] while working on this page:

Still to analyse the other pages above, for example 186 - 216; 217-276

Temporary working document  - see Google docs as easier to work there.

I have a vague recollection that Croft mentions Lambert's name in one of his later works??

bottom of page