Richard Jago

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Richard Jago

Richard Jago (1 October 1715 – 8 May 1781) was an English poet. He was the third son of Richard Jago, Rector of Beaudesert, Warwickshire.


Jago was educated at Solihull School in the West Midlands. One of the school's five houses bears his name. He afterwards referred to his schooling there with these lines,

"Hail, Solihull! respectful I salute,
Thy walls; more awful once! when from the sweets
Of festive freedom, and domestic ease,
With throbbing heart, to stern discipline
Of pedagogue morose I had return'd
But tho' no more his brow severe, nor dread
Of birchen sceptre awes my riper age.
A sterner tyrant rises to my view,
With deadlier weapon arm'd."

The pedagogue morose was one John Crompton (1704–35) and the sterner tyrant the literary critic and his pen. From there, in 1732, he went up to University College, Oxford, taking his MA degree in 1738.[1]


In 1737, Jago was ordained to the curacy of Snitterfield, Warwickshire. He became vicar of Harbury in 1746 and shortly after Chesterton both in Warwickshire followed by Snitterfield in 1754 where he took up residence until his death in 1781. Lord Willoughby de Broke presented him with the rectory at Kimcote in Leicestershire in 1771 and he resigned Harbury and Chesterton keeping Snitterfiled and Kimcote.[1] Snitterfield remained his favorite residence and it was there that he would die at the age of 66. He was twice married.


Jago's best-known poem, "The Blackbirds", was first printed in Hawkesworths Adventurer (No. 37, March 13, 1753), and was generally attributed to Gilbert West, but Jago published it in his own name, with other poems, in Robert Dodsley's Collection of Poems (vol. iv., 1755). In 1767 appeared a topographical poem, "Edge Hill, or the Rural Prospect delineated and moralized"; two separate sermons were published in 1755; and in 1768 "Labor and Genius, a Fable". Shortly before his death Jago revised his poems, and they were published in 1784 by his friend, John Scott Hylton, as Poems Moral and Descriptive.


  1. ^ a b Warwickshire People and Places, John Burman, 1936

See a notice prefixed to the edition of 1784; A. Chalmers, English Poets (vol. xvii., 1810); Frederick Leigh Colvile, Warwickshire Worthies (1870); some biographical notes are to be found in the letters of William Shenstone to Jago printed in vol. iii. of Shenstone's Works (1769).

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