Shepherd, Samuel (1701/2–1785), Church of Ireland minister and poet, was born in Limerick, son of John Shepherd, archdeacon of the diocese. Having obtained his early education from Mr Cashin of Limerick, Samuel entered TCD (April 1720), graduated (BA 1724, MA 1727), and was ordained in the established church. In 1730 he married Kitty Anyon; they had six children. He was appointed vicar of the union of Kildraught and Straffan, with a church at Celbridge, Co. Kildare (1736), and was to remain there for the rest of his life, although he enjoyed the additional living of Timahoe, Queen's Co. (Laois) from 1742. He appears to have achieved some fame as a preacher: his collected sermons, published posthumously (1790) by his daughters Elizabeth and Marianne, run to 538 pages.
It may have been his prowess as a preacher that won him appointment as chaplain to two lord lieutenants: the duke of Dorset (qv) during his first term (1731–6), and the earl of Chesterfield (qv) during his short-lived tenure (1745–6). Such rubbing of shoulders with the establishment might have been expected to bring him some worthwhile preferment, but in Shepherd's case it was not to be. Indeed, it was only in 1754, during Dorset's second term, that he was admitted to the cathedral chapter as prebendary of Donadea, and that after some prompting from Shepherd in a poem inscribed to the duke. In truth, he did not covet advancement in the church, preferring the simple, uncomplicated life of a country parson, a lifestyle that he lauded in this poem. He died in 1785.
In addition to a long topographical poem about Leixlip, a neighbouring village, Shepherd published separately two other poetical pieces during his lifetime. However, a volume running to 247 pages entitled Part of the poetical works of the late Samuel Shepherd was published posthumously in Dublin (1790). For the most part the verse in this collection is trite and pedestrian, much of it laudatory effusions addressed to persons of noble birth. However, in some of the many poems he addressed to Kitty Anyon, both before and after their marriage, he was to produce verse in some degree memorable.