- orator and philosophic writer, born at Dublin, and educated at Dublin University; entered Parliament in 1765; distinguished himself by his eloquence on the Liberal side, in particular by his speeches on the American war, Catholic emancipation, and economical reform; his greatest oratorical efforts were his orations in support of the impeachment of Warren Hastings; he was a resolute enemy of the French Revolution, and eloquently denounced it in his "Reflections," a weighty appeal; wrote in early life two small but notable treatises, "A Vindication of Natural Society," and another on our ideas of the "Sublime and Beautiful," which brought him into contact with the philosophic intellects of the time, and sometime after planned the "Annual Register," to which he was to the last chief contributor. "He was," says Professor Saintsbury, "a rhetorician (i. e. an expert in applying the art of prose literature to the purpose of suasion), and probably the greatest that modern times has ever produced" (1730-1797).
The Nuttall Encyclopaedia. James Wood. 1907.
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