Henry James Pye (February 20, 1745-August 11, 1813), British poet
"Pye, though a convenient butt for the usual anti-laureate jokes, was, in fact, not so much a bad poet as no poet at all. (italics mine) He was not specially rhetorical, or specially silly, or specially extravagant, or ridiculously sentimental and pseudo-romantic. His house was the house of typically eighteenth century verse, empty and swept of all poetical life, not even garnished by any poetical stuff, not inhabited by devils at all—but simply empty." - The Cambridge History of English and American Literature
In the history of English literature, there were some great poet laureates, some bad poet laureates, and then there was Henry James Pye. The object of universal ridicule in literary circles, he attained the post of poet laureate through a heroic effort of asskissing, and even then only after William Hayley turned down the job.

And politics helped too. He served in Parliament from 1784 to 1790 and as a magistrate. (Incidentally, his prose work Summary of the Duties of a Justice of the Peace Out of Sessions (1808) is well regarded.) He was a supporter of William Pitt the younger and ingratiated himself with mad King George III, so the posting was perhaps inevitable.

His prose and literary criticism is favorably regarded; it’s his poetry that people didn’t like, endless volumes of it, everything from Pindarian odes to poems on ballooning. One example was the poem he wrote celebrating George III upon attaining the laureateship, packed with allusions to "feathered songsters" and the like. It inspired this response from George Stevens, punning on the famous nursery rhyme "Sing a Song of Sixpence":

When the Pye was opened
The birds began to sing
Wasn’t that a dainty dish
To set before the king?

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