He soon contracted scrofula known at that time as the "King's Evil" because it was thought royalty could cure it. Instead of writing the whole work himself he dictated to Hector who then took the copy to the printer and made any corrections.
After working as a teacher he moved to London where he began to write for The Gentleman's Magazine. His early works include the biography The Life of Richard Savage the poems "London" and "The Vanity of Human WiSamuel Johnsons" and the play Irene. S.