Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Winstanley, John

WINSTANLEY, JOHN (1678?–1750), verse-writer, seems to have been an Irishman, and was born about 1678 (he himself states that he was sixty-seven years of age in 1745; Poems, 1751). Nothing is known of his career beyond the fact that he died in 1750, as stated in the preface to the second series of his poems, published under the editorship of his son in Dublin in 1751. He is described on the title-pages of his volumes as a fellow of Trinity College, Dublin, but he is not mentioned in Todd's ‘List of Graduates.’ His verse, which is often amusing and clever, seems to have escaped the attention of writers upon the eighteenth-century Irish writers. There is a fine engraved portrait of Winstanley prefixed to his ‘Poems written occasionally,’ Dublin, 1742, 8vo; among the subscribers were Swift, the Earl of Roscommon, Pope, and Colley Cibber.

[O'Donoghue's Poets of Ireland, pp. 262–3; O'Donoghue's Humour of Ireland.]

D. J. O'D.