Alexander Stopford Catcott
1692 - 1749
Stopford died three years before Chatterton was born but still managed to influence him through his sons and his paraphrase of psalm 104, which was published in The Universal Magazine in 1759, and reprinted in 1768, in Alexander Catcott's 'A Treatise on the Deluge'.
Chatterton, through his friendship with George Symes Catcott, was able to gain access to the libraries of the Catcott brothers, where he must have had the opportunity to read Stopford's works, including his paraphrase of psalm 104, as well as The Court of Love, A Vision from Chaucer; and various sermons etc. It should be noted that the Chatterton family attended services at Temple Church, where Stopford's son, the Rev. Alexander, was the vicar.
According to Chatterton's sister Mary, in a letter to Herbert Croft, which Croft published in Love and Madness (p.144), Chatterton at, 'About his 10th year he began (with the trifle my mother allowed him for pocket money) to hire books from the circulating library and we were informed by the usher made rapid progress in arithmatick. Between his 11th and 12th year he wrote a caterlogue of the books he had read to the number of 70. History and divinity were the chief subjects.'
Click the title pages below to read Stopford's various works. Apparently some 'experts' claimed that The Court of Love was a work by Chaucer - you now have the chance to read the book and decide for yourself. Alexander Stopford Catcott was also a contributor to OVID'S Metamorphoses, book 13, p.435.