Leonard Welsted

(bap. 3 June 1688 - August 1747)

Works in ECPA

alphabetical listing / listing in source editions

Source editions

  • Dodsley, Robert, 1703-1764. A Collection of Poems in Six Volumes. By Several Hands. Vol. IV. London: printed by J. Hughs, for R. and J. Dodsley, 1763 [1st ed. 1758]. 6v.: music; 8⁰. (ESTC T131163; OTA K104099.004)

Biographical note

Leonard Welsted was born at Abington, Northamptonshire, the son of the local rector of the same name (c. 1649-1694), and his wife Anne, née Stavely (1663-1694). Welsted was educated at Westminster School (1703-07) before being admitted to Trinity College, Cambridge, as a pensioner in 1707, but he did not take a degree. Welsted's first wife, Frances (1688-1724), was a daughter of the composer Henry Purcell (1659-1695). Welsted published a series of early poems addressed to statesmen and noblemen in an attempt to elicit patronage. He welcomed the Hanoverian accession in 1714 and satirized the Tory wits. Pope later derided him in both Peri Bathos and The Dunciad. Welsted served as clerk in the Ordinance Office (1725-1747), which meant he could live in the Tower of London, and was made commissioner of the lottery in 1731. Welsted died at the Tower of London in 1747. In 1787 John Nichols edited Welsted's Works, in Verse and Prose in which he included a short memoir.


DMI 2299; ODNB 29029; NCBEL 573


  • Fineman, Daniel A. Leonard Welsted, Gentleman Poet of the Augustan Age. Diss. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 1950. Print.
  • Sambrook, James. The Life of the English Poet Leonard Welsted (1688-1747): The Culture and Politics of Britain's Eighteenth-Century Literary Wars. Lewsiton/Lampeter: The Edwin Mellen Press, 2014. Print.

Reference works