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Narva and Mored

An African Eclogue

Written & Published May 1770

Chatterton's Narva and Mored, Miscellanies in Prose and Verse, 1778.

Narva and Mored was first published in The London Magazine in  May 1770, with the signature 'C,' Brooke Street, June 12.  The 2nd printing from the 1778 edition of Chatterton's Miscellanies in Prose and Verse, derives its text from The London Magazine.  The two editions  differ only in some additional punctuation in the 1778.  View Control Page

Chatterton Meets William Beckford

Lord Mayor of London

Chatterton Portrait frontispiece in Dix 1837

Dix's Image of Chatterton

Chatterton Met William Beckford Lord Mayor of Londonge
Chatterton's Letter to The Political Register 1770 to William Beckford Lord Mayor of London

Part of Chatterton's letter to the Lord Mayor, signed as 'Probus' one of Chatterton's pen-names.

Click the letter to read it in full.

The Political Register 1770 pp 328-331

Chatterton shows he had confidence enough and ideas big enough, at the age of 17, to manipulate a meeting with the Lord Mayor of London.  

His manipulation started with an article in the Middlesex Journal, written on the 18 May but not published until the 25th, the day after Beckford had the nerve to 'instruct' the King to dissolve parliament.  The timing was perfect; now when Chatterton asked to meet with the Lord Mayor he was welcomed as a political ally; little did they know that Chatterton was happy to write on 'both sides of the question,' he was a living version of Apostate Will.

Here is a boy who has a plan, he has gone from the disappointment of rejection by Walpole, to seeking the support of William Beckford, Lord Mayor of London, and the talk of the whole of England.

Chatterton must have been delighted with how things had gone; as can be seen by his letter home to Mary on the 30th May 1770, but he was to be thrown into fits of despair on the 21st June, when, out of the blue, Beckford up and died!  

The only known remnant of the letter (see below), is a single piece from the corner of the letter with writing on both sides of it. It is described in a presentation by Tom Routledge, which he made to the Chatterton Society in 2003. 

Chatterton's Letter to his sister Mary, recto, 30th May 1770 Routledge
Chatterton's Letter to his sister Mary, verso, 30th May 1770 Routledge

Click any of the images to read Tom Routledge's presentation and to read the letter in full.  

Chatterton's Letter to his sister Mary, 30th May 1770 Tom Routledge Presentation

O! Quickly may the Friendly Ruin Fall

(Elegy 3 - To Maria)

Written & Published May 1770

Chatterton's Elegy 3 to Maria Town & Country Magazine

Elegy 3, To Maria, O! Quickly may the Friendly Ruin Fall.  It seems that the  version in this magazine differs from the handwritten transcript in Bristol Reference Library, which is the only copy in manuscript form.

This is one of my favourite poems, which probably means I am a pleb - I knows what I likes and I likes what I knows!


Click the magazine to read the first printing in the Town and Country Magazine.

The transcript 'original' will appear here when Bristol Reference Library reopens after the pandemic eases, sometime during 2021.

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