Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Hastings, Thomas (1740?-1801)

HASTINGS, THOMAS (1740?–1801), pamphleteer and itinerant bookseller, was born in the bishopric of Durham about 1740. He was apprenticed to an uncle who helped to build Lord Lyttelton's mansion at Hagley, Worcestershire, and after rambling over England worked for a while as a carpenter upon the new buildings in Marylebone, London. He supported the popular cause in Fox's Westminster election of 1784, with 'The Book of the Wars of Westminster, from the fall of the Fox at the close of 1783, to the 20th day of the 3rd month of 1784, an Oriental Prophecy by Archy Macsarconica,' London, 1784, 4to, which was followed by other pamphlets in the style of oriental apologues, such as `The Regal Rambler, or the Eccentrical Adventures of the Devil in London, with the Manœuvres of his Ministers towards the close of the 18th century, translated from the Syriac MS. of Rabbi Solomon,' London, 1793, 8vo. These productions were hawked by the writer about the town. For some years he published in the newspapers on 12 Aug. an 'ode' on the birthday of the Prince of Wales, for which he received a small annual present from Carlton House. He was a regular attendant at the popular Sunday lectures; he dressed as a clergyman, and was known as 'Dr. Green.' He died in New Court, Moor Lane, Cripplegate, London, on 12 Aug. 1801, aged about 60.

[Gent. Mag. September 1801, p. 859; Nichols's Lit. Anecd. iii. 726.]

H. R. T.