Ode, inscribed to John Howard, Esq. F.R.S. author of “The State of English and Foreign Prisons” …

London, printed for J. Dodsley, 1780

4to, pp. 19, [1] (blank), with engraved frontispiece by Bartolozzi illustrating a scene out of Howards’s work on Prisons (1777), with Howard addressing a prisoner while a gaoler looks on; uncut, and stitched as issued.


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First edition of Hayley’s didactic poem on John Howard, the prison reformer. A second edition appeared the following year.

William Hayley (1745-1820), was a poet whose verse was popularly successful, and who on the death of Warton was offered and declined the laureateship. He was a patron of the sculptor John Flaxman with whom his son worked for a time. He wrote a didactic poem An Essay on Sculpture in 1800. He was a friend of his fellow poet William Cowper whose biography in wrote in 1803. He was also close to Romney to whom he addressed his Epistle on Painting (1777) and whose biography he wrote in 1809.

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