Francis Coventry

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Francis Coventry (1725 – 1754?) was an English cleric and novelist, best known for The History of Pompey the Little.


A native of Cambridgeshire, he was educated at Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he proceeded B.A. 1748 and M.A. 1752.[1] He was appointed by his kinsman the Earl of Coventry to the perpetual curacy of Edgware, and died of smallpox at Whitchurch.[2]


Illustration to Pompey the Little, by John June

Coventry was the author of:[2]

  • Penshurst, a poem, inscribed to William Perry, esq., and the Hon. Mrs. Elizabeth Perry, 1750, reprinted in vol. iv. of Dodsley's Miscellanies;
  • the fifteenth number of the World, 12 April 1753, containing Strictures on the Absurd Novelties introduced in Gardening;
  • the satirical romance and roman à clef, Pompey the Little, or the Adventures of a Lapdog, 1751 (5th ed. 1773), which Lady Mary Wortley Montagu preferred to Peregrine Pickle. Several characters in were intended for ladies well known in contemporary society.


  1. ^ "Coventry, Francis (CVNY744F)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  2. ^ a b  Stephen, Leslie, ed. (1887). "Coventry, Francis". Dictionary of National Biography. 12. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 

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