Combe, William, 1742-1823

Alternative names

Hide Profile

William Combe was a British author of comedic and satirical poetry and imaginary letters. Employed as a propagandist by the Pitt Government from 1788-1806. He spent the later years of his life frequently imprisoned for debt.

From the guide to the William Combe receipt, November 19, 1801, (Ohio University)

British author, known as Dr. Syntax.

From the description of Letters to "My Dear Sir" and Mr. B. Cooke, 1762-1820. (Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens). WorldCat record id: 122369318

British author.

From the description of Papers, [1813-ca.1823] (Duke University Library). WorldCat record id: 36854620

Epithet: of Add MS 29300

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000000367.0x000177

William Combe was an English author who had a character as colorful as his prose. He sought to keep the circumstances of his early life hidden, but he was likely born in Bristol and educated at Eton. After squandering a modest inheritance, he worked a number of odd jobs before settling in London, where he began to write. He was a prolific and highly diverse author-for-hire, and often published anonymously or under a pseudonym; he is probably best known for the Dr. Syntax books of verse and for his spurious letters of Lord Lyttleton. He lived an extravagant lifestyle beyond his means, and spent considerable time in prison.

From the description of William Combe letters and manuscript page, circa 1805-1806. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 63664561

William Combe (1742-1823), writer, was educated at Eton. He lived in different parts of England and France before settling in London, where he remained for the rest of his life. He was employed by booksellers, compiling translated travels and histories, and wrote for The Times, 1803-1809. He published novels, metrical satires and political pamphlets, and wrote letterpress for illustrated works. He also authored a series of popular poems featuring his comic creation Dr Syntax. Combe died at Lambeth on 19 June 1823.

From the guide to the William Combe: Literary commonplace book, c. 1804, (Cambridge University Library, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives)

English adventurer; "Dr. Syntax."

From the description of Autograph document signed : [London?], 1798 Apr. 2. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270512212

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Clarke, James Stanier, 1765-1834. Autograph letter signed : [n.p.], to John Romney, "Saturday" [postmarked: 1800 June 25]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf William Combe: Literary commonplace book, c. 1804 Cambridge University Library, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives
referencedIn Harlan W. Hamilton collection of correspondence, 1704-1958 Ohio University
referencedIn William Henry Hoffman Collection on Napoleon I, Napoleon I, William Henry Hoffman Collection on, (bulk 1789-1821), 1585-1913 John Hay Library, Special Collections
referencedIn English book illustrations collection: prints, 1802-1866. Princeton University Library
creatorOf Combe, William, 1742-1823. William Combe receipt [manuscript] November 19, 1801. Ohio University, Alden Library
referencedIn Hamilton, Harlan W. (Harlan Ware), 1902-. Harlan W. Hamilton collection of correspondence 1704-1958. Ohio University, Alden Library
creatorOf Combe, William, 1742-1823. Autograph document signed : [London?], 1798 Apr. 2. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Hoare, Prince, 1755-1834. Autograph letter signed : [n.p.], to an unidentified friend, 1823?. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn English literature mss., ca. 1750-ca. 1979 Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington)
creatorOf Combe, William, 1742-1823. Papers, [1813-ca.1823] Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
creatorOf Combe, William, 1742-1823. Letters to "My Dear Sir" and Mr. B. Cooke, 1762-1820. Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens
referencedIn William Combe: Literary commonplace book, c. 1804 Cambridge University Library, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives
creatorOf Combe, William, 1742-1823. William Combe letters and manuscript page, circa 1805-1806. Pennsylvania State University Libraries
referencedIn Autograph File, C, 1554-2002. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Combe, William, 1742-1823. Manuscript poems of Dr. Syntax (W. Combe) : manuscript, 1807. HCL Technical Services, Harvard College Library
creatorOf Combe, William, 1742-1823. Autograph letter signed : to George Romney, 1798 Nov. 12. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn E. 1. Richard Carew of Anthony to John Dunbarre; Anthony [co. Cornwall], 3 Apr. 1615. Lat. Signed. f. 13. 2. William Combe to Mrs. Swinney; Lambeth Road, 5 Dec. 1816, 20 Aug. 1821, ff. 14, 17. 3. G[eorge] Fitz Clarence [natural son of William IV.] to... British Library
creatorOf William Combe receipt, November 19, 1801 Ohio University
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Bement, Clarence S. (Clarence Sweet), 1843-1923, person
associatedWith Clarke, James Stanier, 1765-1834. person
associatedWith Combe William 1742-1823 person
associatedWith Foot, Jesse, 1744-1826, person
correspondedWith Hamilton, Harlan W. (Harlan Ware), 1902- person
associatedWith Hoare, Prince, 1755-1834. person
associatedWith Hoffman, William Henry, 1867-1916 person
associatedWith Romney, George, person
associatedWith Romney, George, 1734-1802, person
associatedWith Zaehnsdorf (Firm), corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Denbigh Castle (Denbigh, Wales)
Subject
Poetry
Political satire, English
English poetry--19th century
Male authors, English--Correspondence
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1742-03-25

Death 1823-06-19

Britons

English

Information

Permalink: http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6dv2tq8

Ark ID: w6dv2tq8

SNAC ID: 61074760