William Diaper

(1685 - 1717)

Works in ECPA

alphabetical listing / listing in source editions

Source editions

  • Diaper, William, d. 1717. Nereides: or Sea-Eclogues. London: Printed by J. H. for E. Sanger, at the Post-House, at the Middle-Temple-Gate in Fleetstreet, 1712. x, 69 p. (ESTC T126092)
  • Diaper, William, d. 1717. Dryades; or, The Nymphs Prophecy. A Poem. By Mr. Diaper. London: printed for Bernard Lintott at the Cross-Keys between the Two Temple-Gates, Fleet-Street, 1713. 34p. (ESTC T1006)
  • Diaper, William, d. 1717. Jones, John, b. 1696/7 Oppian, fl. 2nd cent. Oppian's Halieuticks of the Nature of Fishes and Fishing of the Ancients: In V. Books. Translated from the Greek, with an Account of Oppian's Life and Writings and a Catalogue of his Fishes. Part I (Books I and II). Oxford: Printed at the THEATRE, An. Dom. MDCCXXII., 1722. [8],13,232,[8]p. (ESTC T139002)

Biographical note

William Diaper, who was the son of Joseph Diaper of Somersetshire, was born in Bridgwater in 1685. He entered Balliol College, Oxford, in 1699, graduating BA in 1705. He took holy orders in 1709 and became a curate in the parish of Brent. In 1712 he published Nereides, or, Sea-Eclogues, a reimagination of the pastoral in a sea world, which he dedicated to William Congreve. Shortly afterwards, Bernard Lintot published Diaper's Dryades; or, The Nymph's Prophecy (1713), a georgic poem. By this time, Diaper had made contacts in London literary circles, and he came under the patronage of Swift and Bolingbroke. In 1714 Diaper became curate in Dean, near Basingstoke, and also at Crick, Northamptonshire. He was working on a translation of Oppian's Halieuticks, a Greek work on fish and fishing, when he died in 1717. His completed two books of the translation were published with three further books, translated by John Jones, a Fellow of Balliol, in 1722.


ODNB 37357; NCBEL 544; DMI 1511


  • Broughton, Dorothy. The Complete Works of William Diaper. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1951. Print.

Reference works

  • Baines, Paul, Julian Ferraro, Pat Rogers, eds. The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Eighteenth-Century Writers and Writing, 1660-1789. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011. 100. Print.
  • Forster, Harold. Supplements to Dodsley's Collection of Poems. Occasional Publication, No. 15. Oxford: Oxford Bibliographical Society, 1980. 102. Print.
  • Radcliffe, David H., ed. Rev. William Diaper (1686-1717). Spenser and the Tradition: ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830. Center for Applied Technologies in the Humanities, Virginia Tech, 2006. Web. 14 Oct. 2011. https://web.archive.org/web/20170908014740/http://spenserians.cath.vt.edu/AuthorRecord.php?recordid=32964.


  • Kupersmith, William. William Diaper and two others imitate Swift imitating Horace. Swift Studies 10 (1995): 26-36. Print.
  • Passmann, Dirk F. and Hermann J. Real. From 'Mossy Caves' to 'Rowling Waves': William Diaper's Nereides: or, Sea-Eclogues. Firchow, Peter E. and Hermann J. Real, eds., The Perennial Satirist: Essays in Honour of Bernfried Nugel. M√ľnster, Germany: Lit, 2005. 29-47. Print.
  • Rogers, Pat. Faery lore and 'The Rape of the Lock'. Review of English Studies 25 (1974): 25-38. Print.