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To John Ladgate.

Songe to Ella.

John Ladgate's Answer.

All Written 1768 - Published 1775

Songe to Ella.

Songe to Ella Dr Fry B6493 RESIZED.jpg

Songe to Ella.

bristol charter.png

OK, this is not a first printing, but it is presented here to highlight that Chatterton's works were still being given to Rowley in 1792, in what appears to be a very learned Bristol tome!

Bristol: an abstract of the city charter. Containing the institution of mayors, recorders, sheriffs, town clerks, and all other officers whatsoever: as also a common council. To which is added, by way of Appendix, a brief historical account of the antient Lords, Constables, & Wardens of Bristol Castle. (They knew how to write a title in those days).

The edition includes 'Song to Ella,' from the 'justly celebrated Rowley,'  which is a little strange considering that by this time it was commonly accepted that Chatterton was the author of Rowley.  The copy shown here is marked as a second edition, and I have seen one with the same date, which is stated to be a first edition because it was unmarked. There was also an edition in 1832, which still contains the 'Song' with Rowley as the author.  It is possible that there was an earlier edition of the supposed 1792 'first edition.' 

Click the images above to go to the title page or to the Song to Ella.

(.QE!.) is currently working on this page.  It's a gradual build type of a thing.  The other works relevant to this page will appear here in due course but will probably develop into a number of pages.


By Turgotus

Translated by Roulie for

W. Canynge Esq.

Written 1768 - Published 1777 

Battle of Hastyngs p237 small.jpg

The above is the Start of the Poem

It runs to 38 pages in

Tyrwhitt's 1777 edition of

Rowley's Poems

 The Original Manuscript is Missing

Tyrwhitt used the Text from

'A copy made by Barrett

From the Original in

Chatterton's Handwriting.'


The Parlyamente of Sprytes

Written 1768 - Published 1782, 1789

Age: 15, Colston's School


Plaied bie the

Carmelyte Freeres at

Mastre Canynges

Hys Greete Howse,

Before Mastre Canynges

And Byshoppe Carpenterre,

On dedicatynge the chyrche of

Oure Ladie of Redclefte, hight.


Wroten bie T. Rowleie and J. Iscam


Part of the title page of

The Parlyamente of Sprytes

The First Full Printing From

William Barrett's History of Bristol, 1789

The Challenge

For a Collaborator

The Manuscript Original,

According to Taylor (1971),

Is at the British Museum. 

The British Museum reference: f.5.


The Auction, A Poem

Written January / February 1769

london Feb 1769 Epistle to a Friend Titl
London Feb 1769 Epistle to a Friend 1 SN

Contentious or what!

Meyerstein accepts

'The Auction, A Poem'

(& The Beckford Elegy)

as Chatterton's

 Taylor Disagrees,

As do Other academics.

Parts were first printed as

A Familiar Epistle to a Friend

In the February & March 1769

 Editions of the London Magazine

The first full printing of

The Auction, A Poem,

Was by Kerslake in 1770.

The Auction, A Poem


Ǽlla: A Tragycal Enterlude,

or Discoorseynge Tragedie.

Epistle to Mastre Canynge on Ǽlla.

Letter to the Dynge Mastre Canynge.

Written 1769 - Published 1777

Age: 16, Colston's School

p.27 - Dr Fry 100.jpg

Dr. Fry's Transcript. BPL: B6493

The image above is a snippet from Dr. Fry's transcript of a Catcott transcript of Chatterton's original manuscript of Ǽlla: A Tragycal Enterlude, or Discoorseynge Tragedie. 

No complete Ms. of Ǽlla in Chatterton's hand is known to exist, which is strange; it must be out there somewhere (he says hopefully). Even the first printing of it, in 1777, was from a Catcott transcript. 

Chatterton's letter to Dodsley, 15th February, 1769, has an extract, 'Part of  Ǽlle's Speech to his Soldiers going to give Battle to the Danes.........

It is possible that Dr Fry sometimes used a 'copyist,' to transcribe works for him; so, is this a copy in Dr. Fry's handwriting, or not? What would certainly help is a book once owned by Dr. Fry and complete with his annotations - that would be definitive.

The Challenge

Here's hoping that a Collaborator will help with the following:

  1. ULC (Cambridge), Add. 6295 (unknown hand), f.55. 

  2. Historical Society of Pennsylvania: Letter to Dodsley, 15th February 1769

  3. British Museum: f.36 v. 

  4. British Museum: (Barrett and an unknown hand) f.87a

Ǽlla: A Tragycal Enterlude