Thomas Warton (January 9, 1728 - May 21, 1790) was an English academic and poet, holder of the title of Poet Laureate from 1785.
Warton was born in Basingstoke, Hampshire, England, and was the younger brother of Joseph Warton. He was educated at Winchester College and Trinity College, Oxford, where he subsequently became a Fellow. He was appointed Professor of Poetry at the university in 1757, and held the post for ten years. In 1785, he was appointed Camden Professor of History, as well as poet laureate. He was a friend as well as a rival of Samuel Johnson.
Among other important contributions, Warton, along with his brother, was among the first to argue that Sir Thopas, by Geoffrey Chaucer, was a parody. Warton contributed to the general project of the ballad revival. He was a general supporter of the poetry of Thomas Gray -- a fact that Johnson satirized in his parody "Hermit hoar, in solemn cell."
History of English Poetry (1774-81)
The Oxford Sausage (ed.) (1764) -- an anthology of verse
Inquiry into the Authenticity of the Rowley Poems (1770)