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Purdon, Edward (DNB00)

PURDON, EDWARD (1729–1767), bookseller's hack, born in co. Limerick about 1729, was son of the Rev. Edward Purdon, M.A. In 1744 he entered Trinity College, Dublin, where he acquired Goldsmith's friendship. After dissipating his inheritance, he enlisted. Subsequently he settled in London, and became a ‘scribbler in the newspapers.’ Entering the service of Ralph Griffiths [q. v.], he translated for him Voltaire's ‘Henriade,’ which appeared in the ‘British Ladies' Magazine.’ Probably Purdon had a share also in the ‘Memoirs of M. de Voltaire,’ by Goldsmith, which accompanied the poem. In 1759 he was compelled to publish an apology in the ‘London Chronicle’ for an abusive pamphlet, in the form of a letter to David Garrick, against Mossop and other Drury Lane performers (Lowe, Theat. Lit. pp. 140, 273). He fell dead in Smithfield on 27 March 1767. Goldsmith's epitaph on him, for the Wednesday Club, has preserved his memory.

[Gent. Mag. 1767, p. 192; Notes and Queries, 4th ser. viii. 453, 558; Forster's Life of Goldsmith, i. 25, 168, ii. 60; O'Donoghue's Poets of Ireland, 211; London Chronicle, 13, 14, 15 Oct. 1759; Publ. Advertiser, 7 Feb. 1759.]

E. I. C.