Open main menu


HEYWOOD, JAMES (1687–1776), author, son of John Heywood, born at Cheetham Hill, Manchester, baptised at Manchester on 21 Feb. 1687, was educated at the Manchester grammar school. For many years he carried on the business of a wholesale linendraper in Fish Street Hill, London. He was a governor of St. Bartholomew's, Christ's, Bridewell, and Bethlem hospitals, and was elected alderman of Aldgate ward, but paid the customary fine of 500l. rather than serve the office. In his earlier years he contributed to the ‘Freethinker,’ the ‘Plain-dealer,’ and other publications, and a letter of his is printed in No. 268 of the ‘Spectator.’ These pieces, with some verses, he collected in a small volume of ‘Letters and Poems on Several Subjects,’ 1722; 2nd edition, with additions, 1726. The poems had previously been published with the title of ‘Original Poems on Several Occasions,’ 1721. He is alluded to by Steele in the ‘Guardian’ as a politician and brisk little fellow, who had the habit of twisting off the buttons of persons he conversed with. He died at his house in Austin Friars on 23 July 1776, aged 89.

[N. Drake's Essays illustrative of the Tatler, &c. 1805, iii. 331; Heywood's Letters, pp. 7, 32; Manchester Cathedral Registers; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

C. W. S.