- Martin Postle
(b Fenny Compton, Warwicks, Aug 25, 1745; d Cheltenham, Feb 1, 1824).
English writer, collector and clergyman. The son of a clergyman, Bate-Dudley (he added ‘Dudley’ to his name in 1784 in order to inherit a legacy) succeeded his father as rector of the parish of North Farmbridge, Essex; by his mid-twenties, however, he preferred to spend his time in London, where his ebullient behaviour earned him the nickname of ‘the fighting parson’. In 1772 he became editor of the Morning Post; six years later he left to found the rival Morning Herald. The following year he was imprisoned for 12 months for libelling Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond.
Bate-Dudley was a close friend of the actors David Garrick and Sarah Siddons as well as a leading supporter of Thomas Gainsborough. He mounted spirited defences in his newspapers of Gainsborough’s art, often at the expense of Joshua Reynolds, the Royal Academy’s president, whose pretensions towards high art Bate-Dudley felt militated against the interests of his own favourite. ...