Tollet, Elizabeth (DNB00)

TOLLET, ELIZABETH (1694–1754), poetess, born in 1694, was the daughter of George Tollet, commissioner of the navy in the reigns of William III and Anne. Her earlier years were spent in the Tower of London, where her father had a house; the later at Stratford and West Ham. She knew Sir Isaac Newton, who commended some of her first essays. She died at West Ham on 1 Feb. 1754, leaving her estate to her eldest nephew, George Tollet (see below).

She was the author of ‘Poems on several occasions. With Anne Boleyn to King Henry VIII. An Epistle,’ London, 1755, and [1760?], 12mo. This volume contains a musical drama entitled ‘Susanna; or Innocence Preserved,’ and some competent Latin verse. The best of her English poems are reprinted in Nichols's ‘Collection,’ vi. 64; and ‘Winter Song’ and ‘On a Death's Head’ are in Frederic Rowton's ‘Female Poets of Great Britain,’ 1848.

George Tollet (1725–1779), Shakespearean critic, born in 1725, was the son of George Tollet, Elizabeth's brother, by his wife, Elizabeth Oates, of the Isle of Man. He was admitted to Lincoln's Inn 2 July 1745, and was called to the bar. He was wholly devoted to books, and led a secluded bachelor life at Betley, Staffordshire, where he died on 21 Oct. 1779. He contributed some notes to Johnson and Steevens's edition of Shakespeare. Shortly before his death, he complained that many of his valuable suggestions were appropriated by the editors in the second issue of their work without acknowledgment. Johnson and Steevens included in their edition of Shakespeare an engraving of a curious window of painted glass representing the ancient English morris-dance in the old hall at Betley, with a description by Tollet, which is reprinted in Hinchliffe's ‘Barthomley,’ pp. 193–202.

[Gent. Mag. 1815, ii. 484; Baker's Biogr. Dram. (1812) i. 715, iii. 310; Simms's Biblioth. Stafford.]

T. C.