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William Dunkin, D.D. (1709?–1765), was an Irish poet.
William Dunkin was born in Dublin in around 1709. His parents died when he was young and he was left in early life to the charge of Trinity College, Dublin, by an aunt who left her property to the college with the condition that it should provide for his education and advancement in life. He took his B.A. degree in 1729, and D.D. in 1744.
As a young man he had a reputation for foolish acts and clever poems. He was introduced to Jonathan Swift, who became at once a very valuable patron to him. His ordination by the Archbishop of Cashel in 1735 and the increase of the annuity which he received from Trinity College from £70 to £100 in 1736 were both due to Swift's intercession, which caused his marriage and other imprudent acts to be overlooked. In 1739 Swift made a strenuous attempt to procure the living of Coleraine for him, but in this he was not successful. At that time Dunkin was keeping a school at Dublin, and in August 1746 Lord Chesterfield, with whom he had some intimacy, appointed him to the mastership of Portora Royal School, Enniskillen, which he held till his death on 24 November 1765.
Swift speaks of him as "a gentleman of much wit and the best English as well as Latin poet in this kingdom". Swift, writing of the "Vindication of the Libel", says "that poem was, I know, written by my very worthy friend Dr. Dunkin, with whom I have spent many a jovial evening; he was a man of genuine true wit and a delightful companion."
- Techrethyrambeia sive poëma in P. Murphorum Trin. Coll. subjanitorem, Dublin, 1730; a translation of Techrethyrambeia (Dublin, 1730)
- Carbery Rocks (the English version of Carberiæ Rupes), published among Swift's poems
- The Lover's Web, (Dublin, 1734); Epistola ad Franciscum Bindonem arm., cui adjiciuntur quatuor Odæ, (Dublin, 1741)
- Hymen's Triumph, a poem in the Gentleman's Magazine for 1743
- a prologue at the opening of a Dublin hospital, in the Gentleman's Magazine for 1745
- The parson's revels (1746), Ed. with notes and introd. by Catherine Skeen, Dublin : Four Courts Press, 2010, 978-1-84682-227-8
- Bœotia, a poem, (Dublin, 1747)
- The Bramin, an eclogue to Edm. Nugent, esq., (London, 1751) (Nugent was apparently an old pupil)
- An Ode on the death of Frederick, P. of Wales, with remarks by P. H. M. D', (Dublin, 1752)
- An Epistle to the Rt. Hon. Philip, Earl of Chesterfield, (Dublin, 1760)
- The Poet's Prayer, a poem in the Annual Register for 1774
- Select Poetical Works, (Dublin, 1769–70)
- Poetical Works, to which are added his Epistles to the Earl of Chesterfield, (Dublin, 1774).
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