Founded in May 1793 by a pair of high-Anglican Tory clerics, Rev. Robert Nares (1753–1829) and Rev. William Beloe (1756–1817), the British Critic had been set up in deliberate opposition to such liberal publications as the Analytical Review and the Monthly Magazine. Apparently in receipt of £100 from Pitt’s Secret Service fund during the first year of its life (Roper, p. 180 n. 36), the magazine maintained a steadfastly pro-governmental, anti-revolutionary stance throughout the 1790s, and even as late as 1809 was pledging itself to persevere in preserving ‘our rights, liberty and property from the attacks of Republicans and Levellers’ (vol. 34, p. iv). Although the British Critic was ostensibly dedicated to reviewing all serious and worthwhile publications, in reality, it has been said, the reviewer was ‘a counsel constantly retained by the Crown and Establishment to defend these from the misrepresentation and calumny of writers who belonged to the Opposition’ (Graham, p. 222). It is interesting to note, however, that the magazine was among the first to review Wordsworth’s poetry favourably, overlooking any levelling tendency in Lyrical Ballads (1798), for example, and praising the volume’s ‘judicious degree of simplicity’ (vol. 14, p. 364).