A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Churchill, Charles

Churchill, Charles (1731-1764).—Satirist, s. of a clergyman, was ed. at Westminster School, and while still a school boy made a clandestine marriage. He entered the Church, and on the death of his f. in 1758 succeeded him in the curacy and lectureship of St. John's, Westminster. In 1761 he pub. the Rosciad, in which he severely satirised the players and managers of the day. It at once brought him both fame and money; but he fell into dissipated habits, separated from his wife, and outraged the proprieties of his profession to such an extent that he was compelled to resign his preferments. He also incurred the enmity of those whom he had attacked, which led to the publication of two other satirical pieces, The Apology and Night. He also attacked Dr. Johnson and his circle in The Ghost, and the Scotch in The Prophecy of Famine. He attached himself to John Wilkes, on a visit to whom, at Boulogne, he d. of fever.