Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Bridges, Thomas

BRIDGES, THOMAS (fl. 1759–1775), dramatist and parodist, was a native of Hull, in which town his father was a physician of some repute. He was a wine merchant, and a partner in the firm of Sell, Bridges, & Blunt, who failed in Hull as bankers in 1759. In 1762 Bridges produced, under the pseudonym of Caustic Barebones, a travestie of Homer, in 2 vols. 12mo, which for the epoch is fairly spirited in versification, and obtained some popularity, but is not much wittier nor more decent than other works of its class. This was reprinted 1764, and in an enlarged form in 1767, 1770, and 1797. He also wrote 'The Battle of the Genii,' 4to, 1765, burlesquing, in a poem in three cantos, Milton's description in 'Paradise Lost' of the fight with the rebel angels; and 'The Adventures of a Bank Note,' 1770, 2 vols. 8vo, a novel to which in 1771 two other volumes were added. To the stage he contributed 'Dido,' a comic opera in two acts, produced at the Haymarket 24 July 1771, and printed in 8vo the same year; and the 'Dutchman,' a musical entertainment, played for the fourth time at the Haymarket 8 Sept. 1775, and also printed the same year. Some trace of humour is discoverable in the earlier piece; the latter is wholly flat. The 'Battle of the Genii' was for a time attributed to Francis Grose, the antiquarian.

[Genest's Account of the English Stage; Biographia Dramatica; an Address given to the Literary and Philosophical Society at Kingston-upon-Hull, 5 Nov. 1830, by Charles Frost, F.S.A., Hull, 1831; Lowndes's Bibliographer's Manual; Watt's Bibl. Brit.; Halkett and Laing's Dictionary of Anonymous and Pseudonymous Literature.]

J. K.