Who was he?
Henry Fielding (Sharpham, 22 April 1707 – near Lisbon, 8 October
1754) was an English novelist and dramatist known for his rich earthy
humour and satirical prowess, and as the author of the novel Tom Jones
. Aside from his literary
achievements, he has a significant place in the history of
law-enforcement, having founded (with his half-brother John) what some
have called London's first police force, the Bow Street Runners, using
his authority as a magistrate.
Why was he in Bath?
In 1748 he is thought to have written part of Tom Jones
whilst staying in a
cottage in Twerton, Bath. He also stayed with his sister Sarah
at Widcombe Lodge. He was a
frequent guest of Ralph Allen
, who lived in
nearby Prior Park, and used him as a model for the character Squire Allworthy
in the novel.
After Fielding's death, Allen provided for the education and support of
The cottage in Twerton was demolished many years ago so the joint
memorial plaque is to be found on Widcombe Lodge:
The text reads
"Here lived Henry Fielding B. 1707 D. 1754 and Sarah Fielding B.
1710 D. 1768"
Location map of Widcombe Lodge (off map to South):
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