Biographies of Some Obscure Contributors to 19th-century Periodicals

Prepared by Eileen Curran, Emerita Professor of English, Colby College,

for the Victoria Research Web

 

Introduction

The Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals names "some 12,000 authors" of articles in a mere forty-three monthlies and quarterlies (5:vii) and leaves many more unidentified. While some of the same writers reappear in the thousands of monthlies and quarterlies not indexed in Wellesley and of weeklies and annuals, those journals would provide thousands of additional authors. The majority of these contributors remain as unknown once we learn their names as they were as anonymous writers. One of the justifications for anonymous publication was that each article spoke with the authority of the journal, no matter how young and still unknown, or simply unknown, the writer might be. Accepting that argument would mean that we need only a "biography" of the journal--the publishing histories that in Wellesley precede tables of contents. Nevertheless our natural instinct is to ask who these obscure journalists were; we want to know what knowledge or experience lay behind the articles we read. Moreover, learning something about contributors means learning something about 19th-century journalism and literary life, in fact about life and literature then, separately as well as together.

The biographies that follow set a few of these obscure contributors before us in what limited detail can be discovered. They represent a mere drop in the bucket--or a small drop glancing off the bucket, a restricted view of the subject, since I began many of them when working on the Foreign Quarterly Review. Even those added since then often take us beyond the British Isles, for 19th-century Britain was never as insular as we fancy. Intellectual curiosity took people abroad, or commercial interests, or a lower cost of living, or need for material for the next book, or a search for health or for new gambling spots (German spas provided both), among many impetuses to travel.

Some of these now unknown men and women aspired to be among the stars; one finds disappointed, frustrated men who never achieved the glory, or even the simple success, they sought--who didn't get the jobs they wanted, whose articles weren't accepted by their periodicals of choice. Inadequate education, limited ability, lack of connections, lack of the time and freedom that money can provide--or lack, whatever the advantages, of sustained effort--all this one finds in these biographies. Others, again for a wide variety of reasons, recognized the minor role they played and were content with it--not for lack of ambition but with a clear-sighted pride in what they had done. Nor should we neglect the con men, the paranoid or otherwise delusional, those unfortunately addicted to alcohol or drugs. If a century and a half later few of these names are remembered, here are people who spoke to, sometimes for, their contemporaries. Some were prolific contributors to the periodical press; others claimed only a few minutes in the pulpit the press provided.

None of these people appear in the Dictionary of National Biography or in other national biographical dictionaries (Dictionary of American Biography, Dictionary of Canadian Biography, Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie or the not yet completed Neue Deutsche Biographie, etc.); a small number do receive brief entries in Boase's invaluable Modern English Biography. If a source is used in a single biography, bibliographical information appears there. Some sources (e.g., Carlyle's printed correspondence, various manuscript collections) yield information on more than one person dealt with here. For those I give identifying information on the first appearance, then use a brief tag; there will be a full bibliography at the end. There may be some inadvertent difficulties. For example, I give names of German libraries as they were when I corresponded with them in the 1960s; names, even locations of manuscript collections, may have changed. Some letters that I used in British manuscript collections have since been published; I try to cite publishing data but probably have missed a few.

Along the way I have received immense assistance from decades of reference and interlibrary loan staff at the Colby College Library and from librarians and archivists in several countries who have patiently checked their records and on occasion brought out boxes of yet uncatalogued material for me to examine. Microfilm, the computer and the internet have made it much easier to search from my desk in Maine but don't excite the same feeling as unavoidably breaking Leonard Horner's seal on the paper bands holding together applications for the first professorships at the new London University. (Once I finished with them, the letters, flecked with green and yellow and brown molds, were taken off to be fumigated. You can use them now in the University College Library, cleaned, deodorized, and numbered.)

-- E. C., Summer 2002

Update 2004: Fleming, Kater, Mackenzie, Moscati, de Sanctis, Wilberforce

As in the introduction to the earlier installment, I would call attention to the geographical sweep of these stories and to the struggles of these men--financial, spiritual, psychological. Two very different men are Italian emigres; another is second generation English from German stock, while a fourth lived in Germany for several years. Yet another, after filling diplomatic positions in the Caribbean area, came to a bad end in New York. Some went through sharp life (not limited to mid-life) crises, struggling to find a calling or at least an income, at times beginning brilliantly or with great promise before disappearing.

Some of the sketches are shorter than they should be, some longer. Just trying to untangle the wild tales of the soi-disant Marquis di Moscati from the possible facts of his life, asking if he was more con man or more victim of British snobbery, has produced an unconscionably long sketch. At the other end, I regret the relative brevity of the sketch of Edward Wilberforce, who remains overshadowed by others in his well-known extended family--and whose long professional life as a barrister is scarcely touched upon here.

Generally I have identified periodicals but not individual articles if these can be found in readily available sources like The Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals and the on-line list of markings in the Athenaeum. As much as possible I have given the titles of articles in periodicals that have not been similarly indexed; occasionally I cite published bibliographies.

-- E. C., Winter 2004

Update 2011: Dauney, Devereux, Gordon, Grimes, Kirwan, Robinson, Smirnove

*Professor Curran died on April 22, 2013, at the age of 85. (An announcement, with a short tribute, can be found here.) This set of biographies will remain here as part of her distinguished scholarly legacy. It is hoped that eventually some of her notes for additional biographies will be published here, as well. Those with additions or corrections to this material may send them to webmaster [AT] victorianresaerch [DOT] org

Albizzi || Austin || Barker || Beckwith(-Lohmeyer || Belinaye || Bell || Dauney || Devereux || Fleming || Gordon || Grimes || Kater|| Kirwan || Mackenzie || Moscati || Robinson || de Sanctis || Smirnove || Wilberforce

 

Count (Rinaldo) Ottavio degli Albizzi

The count was born in 1804 in Florence, Italy, son of Giuseppe Pietro Albizzi (1745-1827) and nephew of the Marquis Albizzi. A cavalry officer in the army of Charles X of France, he was wounded in Paris fighting against the insurgents of July 1830. Possibly he then returned, with a brother, to Florence; sources are unclear on his movements in the early 1830s. By January 1835 he was in London, where he sought an audience with Sir Robert Peel. He claimed acquaintance with several aristocratic and political figures, mainly correspondents of Antonio Panizzi, on the basis of having "been recommended to" some of them and "presented to" others. He may have been in England longer, or he was a quick wooer; in April 1835, at St.Mary-le-Strand church in London, he married Mary Sophia Haywood, daughter of Martin Haywood of London and Southey Hall (Francis Haywood was a close friend of Panizzi). They had 3 sons and 2 daughters, born between 1836 and 1846.

The Albizzis were living in Hay Park in 1836 but moved to Shrewsbury, where Albizzi taught French from 1838 (or perhaps earlier) through 1841. As far as we know, life was calm for a few years, disturbed by nothing more than a new baby every other year. Then the following story reached London (Times, 13 December 1841, p 5, col. c):

"LUDICROUS FRACAS. The Ten Towns Messenger reports proceedings before the Mayor of Shrewsbury, wherein Dr. Mackenzie, the editor of the Salopian Journal, and Count Albizzi, a French teacher, were the parties accused of a desperate fracas. The Salopian Journal had given offence to the Count by a severe critique on the performances of a young lady at the Shrewsbury musical festival. A violent paper war was carried on between them for some time, in which the most abusive epithets were exchanged. At length the Count waited on the editor to exchange blows. Dr. Mackenzie was knocked down, and the Count, placing his foot on his fallen enemy, commenced belabouring him with a stick. The editor then drew forth a pistol and threatened to shoot his assailant if he did not liberate him. The pistol was fortunately wrenched from his hand by a police officer before any mischief was done. The magistrates bound over both parties to keep the peace."

Presumably the publicity given this incident made it difficult for Albizzi to recruit new students in Shrewsbury. After returning to London, he tried to earn money as a writer, with limited success. The Rev. Joseph Edwards, a master at King's College School, London, recommended him to George Long, editor of the Biographical Dictionary projected by the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (SDUK). Albizzi wrote to Long (7 Feb. 1842) that he had "already furnished some articles to the foreign quarterly Review, the frazer Magazine &c &c." Some brief notices in the Foreign Quarterly at this time may be his, but a change of publishers late in 1841 already had that journal in turmoil. Nothing of his has been identified in Fraser"s, and I have been unable to trace the book on the French Revolution of 1830 that he claimed Saunders and Otley published. In April Albizzi did some research in the British Museum Reading Room (signed in by Panizzi, who was ever willing to assist Italian expatriates), and early in May he submitted several contributions for the Biographical Dictionary's first volume. Long rejected all of them, re-assigning the subjects to other writers.

By now he was probably desperate. A month or two later he entered into a conspiracy with Elzelina van Aylde Jonge, who called herself Mme. Ida Saint-Elme ("la Contemporaine"), proposing to sell the British government, through Lord Aberdeen (Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs), a collection of letters purportedly from and/or implicating Louis Philippe (who had supplanted Albizzi's old patron, Charles X of France) in plots against Great Britain. The asking price was L8,000 to L9,000, but Aberdeen did not bite, instead consulting Louis-Philippe, who unsurprisingly branded the letters forgeries. Whether they were or not, Albizzi had misplayed his hand and had no future in London. By 1846 he had returned to Florence, where he died on 6 July 1851. His two oldest sons died young, within the decade of his death. The other three children survived and married into Florentine professional and aristocratic circles. He was a member of the Alfred Club on Albemarle Street: an inexpensive club which John Timbs called "the asylum of doting tories and driveling quidnuncs" (Curiosities of London, 1867). Early in the century, the Alfred had welcomed exiles like Ugo Fosedo (Vincent 52).

An Ottavio degli Albizzi, perhaps this man, published Elementi di geologia e di mineralogia [of Tuscany] in Florence in 1851.

Sources: Count Pompeo Litta, Famiglie celebri Italiane 11 (Turin, 1876), disp. 178-180.

Gentleman's Magazine, June 1835, p. 654. (Litta calls him Rinaldo Ottavio, but Albizzi did not use Rinaldo in England. Rinaldo Ottavio and Ottavio may be safely identified as the same man by their marrying the same woman at the same time.) BL Add.Mss. 40412/244 (Albizzi to Peel); 43051/264-292 (Albizzi and others to and from Ld. Aberdeen). SDUK (Albizzi to Geo. Long, 7 Feb. 1842). BMRR


George Austin

Born sometime after 1805, youngest son of Jonathan Austin of Creeting Mill, Suffolk. Brother of John and Charles Austin (see DNB) and brother-in-law of Sarah Taylor Austin. A linguist and Saxon scholar, he lived chiefly in Freiburg, Germany. "Said to be excessively shy," he had at least as serious a writers block as his brother John. In 1828 he proposed writing for the SDUK but their minutes do not indicate any submissions. He contributed to the Foreign Quarterly Review at least twice in the 1830s. In Sept. 1837 Gladstone �wrote to Mr G-- Austine,� but there seems no further mention of him. He may have died before 1846; his father�s will made in that year does not mention him.

Sources: Gladstone Diaries, 2:314. Hamburgers, 54, 235. Janet Ross, Three generations of Englishwomen (London, 1893), 89. UCL SDUK. BMRR.


Thomas C. Banfield

There was only one Thomas C. Banfield, whose middle name was Collins; there was no Thomas Charles Banfield. Dates were 1802 - 1855. A lengthy biography will be posted at this site in the near future.


Charles Barker

Charles Barker, who is not to be confused with Charles Edward Barker, was born in May 1797 in York, son of the Rev. Thomas Barker. One brother, Thomas, took a degree from Queens' College Cambridge and was a life-long vicar of Thirkleby, Yorks. Charles, however, declared that he did "not belong to the Church" and had "no view whatever to the Clerical profession."

He was educated at York Grammar School, then privately under the Rev. William Noddins, a Fellow of Magdalene College Cambridge living in York. In 1816 he entered Trinity College Cambridge, receiving his B.A. in 1821 and M.A. in 1824. In 1822 he won a £10 prize for the best essay on William III. "His habits were for the most part those of a recluse Student, and he indulged them to a degree which nothing but a robust and healthy constitution could have enabled him to bear" (Testimonials, 6). After his B.A. he continued to live at Trinity, taking private pupils. Sometime before 1824 he observed the monitorial system at Charterhouse, in what capacity is not clear. In Feb. 1824 he applied for the Classical Mastership at the new Edinburgh Academy; in March he changed this to an application for an English mastership. He was hired but dismissed after a year's trial. Urged by Leonard Horner to apply for the English Professorship at University College London in 1828, he instead applied for the History Professorship, then withdrew the application. Later periods would have called him manic-depressive or bi-polar; his letters describe alternating between intense exciteability "which sometimes elevates me to a pitch that I believe myself capable of everything, and at another, depresses me so low that I fancy myself worth nothing, and, what is worse, that there is nothing in the world worth anything."

His family was said to be literary and artistic. A brother contributed to Punch. A sister, Anne Elizabeth (Nancy; born 1790), in 1811, against the wishes of both families, married T. Perronet Thompson, who later edited the Westminster Review. With another brother-in-law, Henry Southern, Barker shared the Westminster's literary reviewing from 1824 to 1832; John Bowring claimed that Barker "was the critic of a large portion of the light literature noticed in the Westminster," though Wellesley identifies only one collaboration and one possible review, both in 1826. Barker also contributed to the London Magazine in 1825-26, when Southern edited it, and helped Southern edit the last series of the Retrospective Review (1827-28), for which he also wrote. He contributed to the Spectator from its start in 1828 at least through 1830 (including "The Three Days at Paris. By an Eye Witness,(3:7 Aug. 1830: 585-7); to the Foreign Quarterly Review in 1829; possibly to SDUK publications. Little of his apparently voluminous work has been identified.

He lived in Paris in 1830 and 1833, the last we hear of him. In 1853 two of his Retrospectivearticles were republished posthumously as Characters and Anecdotes of Charles the Second; the anonymous editor wrote that he was printing them "for readers of another generation." John Bowring said that Barker died young, choking on an ear of barley.

Sources: Testimonials in favour of Charles Barker, as a Candidate for the Situation of English Master in Edinburgh Academy; Additional Testimonials. Both Edinburgh, 1824.

"Editor's Preface," Barker's Character and Anecdotes of Charles the Second. London, 1853.

John Bowring. Autobiographical Recollections. London, 1877. 72-3.

L[eonard] G[eorge] Johnson. General T. Perronet Thompson 1783-1869: His military, literary and political campaigns. London, 1957. 163-4, 188.

George L. Nesbitt. Benthamite Reviewing: The first twelve years of the Westminster Review, 1824-1836. NY, 1934. 26.

Frank P. Riga and Claude A. Prance. Index to The London Magazine. NY: Garland, 1978. 128, 130.

Venn, Pt. II, 1:150.

Ms. letters to R. Maugham, 23 Apr. 1829; Leonard Horner, 31 Jan., 15 June, and 14 Oct., all 1828. SDUK, Brougham Papers, and College Corresp., all UCL.

Wellesley.


Charles Beckwith(-Lohmeyer)

Beckwith was born in London in 1810; the son of Charles William Lohmeyer (born in England 1769/1770; died in Copenhagen 1855). His brother, John Henry (Beckwith-) Lohmeyer, was an employee in London of the publisher Richard Bentley. Charles worked in Copenhagen as a civil engineer and teacher of English. In Denmark he published schoolbooks and translations from English; in England Bentley published his translations from Danish, mainly of Hans Christian Andersen.

Confusion piles upon confusion. Both Charles and John Henry are referred to at times as Beckwith, at times as Lohmeyer, and at times as Beckwith-Lohmeyer, with no consistency even in a close associate's usage. Sometimes it seems that when they weren't Beckwith-Lohmeyer, Charles was Beckwith and John Henry was Lohmeyer, but then Mr. Beckwith turns out to be John Henry and Mr. Lohmeyer Charles. A safer rule, at least for the 1840s and 1850s: if he is in England, whatever he is called, he's John Henry; if in Denmark, Charles. Bentley's factotum who met Hans Christian Andersen on the latter's first visit to England in 1847 and before long annoyed Andersen ("He digs in and is so piteous"--Diaries 175), though referred to as Mr. Beckwith, is John Henry, not Charles as Wullschlager calls him (309); the same man signed as John Henry Lohmeyer when he received payment for Charles Beckwith's translations from Andersen, who referred to his translator as Mr. Lohmeyer.

Bibliographies and library catalogues further confuse matters. The mistaken identification of Charles Beckwith and Charles Boner is dealt with below. The Library of Congress catalogue conflates Charles Beckwith Lohmeyer and John Charles Beckwith (born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1789; in Denmark as an army officer between 1805 and 1808; served in the Peninsula, lost a leg at Waterloo; lived chiefly in the Vaudois valley in Piedmont 1827 to his death in 1862). Assisting that confusion, John Charles apparently did not use "John"; the DNB calls him Charles Beckwith after its initial use of the full name; and he would be the "Lieut. Col. Chas. Beckwith" admitted to the British Museum Reading Room in July 1830. Interestingly, the mother of John Charles was a sister of William Otis Haliburton, therefore an aunt of Thomas Chandler Haliburton, the creator of Sam Slick and a contributor to Bentley's Miscellany. With both Beckwith-Lohmeyers also employed by Bentley, there may be a family connection.

But to return to Charles Beckwith. He married Amalie Stahl, daughter of J. V. C. Stahl (connected with the Royal Theater) and Aue Catherine Sadoline née Middleton. With his wife, Beckwith kept a girls' school at Nörregade, Copenhagen. When in 1846 Andersen began to plan a visit to England, he turned to Beckwith for English lessons, which began at the end of 1846 and continued into 1847. Beckwith always presented himself as a close friend of Andersen, and indeed Andersen allowed Beckwith to publish some of his translations in England before the original Danish was published at home. Nevertheless the relationship was often strained, and Andersen could not ignore the criticism he heard of Beckwith's ability as a translator. Beckwith died [in Denmark?] in 1874.

Contributed to Bentley's Miscellany, Literary Gazette, Athenaeum.

Translated: 1. Claude og Pauline, eller Kjörlighed og Stolthed. The Lady of Lyons, or Love and Pride, Skuespil af E. L. Bulwer. Copenhagen, 1843.

2. Hans Christian Andersen. A poet's bazaar. 3 vols. London: Bentley, 1846. "Biography of Hans Christian Andersen," 1:1-27, is by Beckwith.

3. H. C. Andersen. A Christmas greeting to my English friends. London: Bentley, 1847. This translation appeared before the work's Danish publication. [Bredsdorff's Danish lit in Eng. trans. and Erslew both assign the translation to Charles Boner; in fact, Erslew Suppl., 1:22-23, considers "Charles Boner" a pseudonym used by C. Beckwith-Lohmeyer; he also attributes to Beckwith translations actually by Boner. The British Library and Wullschlager assign Christmas greeting to Beckwith; Bentley Receipts 51/281 shows that Lohmeyer collected payment for Beckwith's articles in Bentley's Miscellany and for "The Shadow" & "The Old Street Lamp" used in "Christmas Greeting."]

4. H. C. Andersen. The two baronesses. A romance in three parts. 2 vols. London: Bentley, 1848. Publ. before the work's Danish publication.

5. H. C. Andersen. Rambles in the romantic regions of the Hartz Mountains, Saxon Switzerland, &c. London: Bentley, 1848. "With the author's sanction." Several footnotes signed "Translator." Rambles takes up pp. 1-105, 117-251. Pp. 255-294, "Albert Thorvaldsen; A biographical sketch," reprint work by Andersen transl. by Beckwith and previously publ. in Bentley's Miscellany.. Pp. 106-116, "Saint Christopher, A Catholic legend," are not by Andersen but author not identified. Rambles the first translation into English of Andersen's travel books (Bredsdorff, Danish lit. in Eng., 177).

6.     H. C. Andersen. Pictures of Sweden. London: Bentley, 1851. Notes by the translator.

Published: Verbal distinctions. Et Tillög til engelske Löseböger, Copenhagen, 1861.

For other English-Danish textbooks, published in Copenhagen between 1844 and 1851, see Erslew Suppl., 2:238.

Sources: The diaries of Hans Christian Andersen, selected and transl. by Patricia L. Conroy and Sven H. Rossel. Univ.Washington P, 1990.

Elias Bredsdorff. H. C. Andersen og England. Copenhagen, 1954.

-----. Danish literature in English translation, with a special Hans Christian Andersen supplement. A bibliography. Copenhagen, 1950.

Thomas Hansen Erslew. Almindeligt Forfatter-Lexicon for Kongeriget Danmark med tilhörende Bilande, fra 1814 til 1840. Copenhagen, 1847.

-----.Supplement til "Almindeligt Forfatter-Lexicon for Kongeriget Danmark med tilhörende Bilande, indtil Udgangen af Aaret 1853. 2 vols. Copenhagen, 1858, 1860.

Jackie Wullschlager. Hans Christian Andersen. The life of a storyteller. N.Y.: Knopf, 2001. Ignores John Henry and mistakenly considers all references to Beckwith or Lohmeyer to mean Charles.

BLPC. Bentley Archives, BL. Athenaeum index. Wellesley.

 


Count Henry George de la Belinaye

Born 19 Nov. 1799, in London, the younger son and third of four children of the Marquis Armand Marie de la Belinaye (d. 1836) by his wife Marie Louise Julia (1771-1859), Breton aristocrats who emigrated at the time of French Revolution. Parents were married in a Roman Catholic chapel in London and later re-married in a civil service in Paris, 15 Aug. 1821. His older sister, Mary, married Charles Philippe Auguste, Marquis de Grimaldi.

He and his older brother Armand were educated in part at the French Academy, Penn, near Beaconsfield, Bucks. He qualified as a surgeon, had a Harley Street practice from 1823 to 1842, and served as physician to the French, Austrian, and Russian Embassies, as Physician Extraordinaire to the Duchess of Kent, and as surgeon to an Italian troupe of opera singers which included Giulia Grisi. During this time he dropped his title, resuming it after 1842 when he closed his medical practice. (In Oct. 1836 he received a ticket of admission to the British Museum Reading Room as "Henry Belinaye, Esq.") He lived at 17 George Street, Hanover Square; later in Fulham; married before 1840; was widowed before May 1847, when he married Miss Sarah Maunch. By the first marriage he had at least one daughter, Evelina Anne, who in 1858 married Thomas Lance. At some point Belinaye moved to Florence, Italy, where he died on 10 Jan. 1873.

Contributed to the Foreign Quarterly Review and probably to medical journals.

Published: medical texts: On the removal of stones from the bladder (London 1825); The sources of health and disease in communities (London, 1832); Compendium of lithotripsy (London 1837).

Sources: BL Add.Ms. 47,494; Royal College of Surgeons registers; SDUK; BMRR. [Julia C. Byrne]. Gossip of the century. London: Ward & Downey, 1892. 2:115.


Gavin Mason Bell

A banker and journalist, Bell was born in 1806, in Nassau, Bahamas, the eldest son of Robert Bell of Nassau. He was educated chiefly in Scotland, then studied law for 4 years. In 1831 he married Agnes Tod of Stornoway, who died in 1838; in 1850 he married Mary Anne Reaston, daughter of John Reaston of Duffield, Yorks. In 1840 he was said to have 14 years' experience in joint-stock banking in Scotland and England. If true, banking must have been his day job while he aspired to a different role. In the 1830s he published literary and philosophical books: The Literary Album (Glasgow, 1829); Universal Mechanism; as consistent with the creation of all things (Glasgow, 1830); The Scottish Martyr: the Rev. Richard Cameron (Edinburgh, 1833; repr. 1842); Life of Donald Cargill (Glasgow, 1836). In the early 1840s he made his living as a writer and journalist while trying to find other, non-literary employment. In quick succession he published books on banking questions: Philosophy of Joint-Stock Banking (London, 1840; repr. 1855), some chapters previously published in the "metropolitan press"; Country Banks and the Currency (London, 1842); Banker's and Merchant's Pocket Guide (Glasgow, 1843; rev. ed. London 1856). He edited the Great Northern Advertiser of Newcastle upon Tyne, perhaps for most of its run, 24 Dec. 1840 - 23 Nov. 1843 (but not for its continuation as the Newcastle Advertiser) and edited or co-edited the new Railway Herald (17 Apr. 1843-10 Apr. 1847; the length of Bell's tenure is unknown); contributed to the short-lived Cerberus (17 June - 18 Nov. 1843) and from July 1843 through Jan. 1846 to the Foreign and Colonial / New Quarterly Review. He may have been introduced to the last-named periodical by William Ewart Gladstone, then at the Board of Trade, who was closely connected with the Foreign and Colonial from its start and to whom Bell, writing from Newcastle upon Tyne in May and June 1843, had offered his services. Not required at the Board, Gladstone replied, and Bell remained a journalist. In mid-February 1844 Bell wrote again to Gladstone in search of a job, again unsuccessfully. He continued writing for periodicals to which he had already contributed and began to contribute to the new Banker's Magazine (first published in 1844). In 1846 he published A Guide to the Investment of Capital; or, How to lay out money with safety and profit. Being a popular exposition of the various descriptions of securities, with hints for the guidance of capitalists (London: C. Mitchell).

He wrote the weekly leading article in the Banking department of the Atlas for "upwards of three years" and contributed to theWestminster Review (no articles identified) and to unnamed metropolitan and provincial newspapers. Gradually he also returned to early interests, contributing to the Journal of Sacred Literature, which John Kitto started in 1848, as well as to Kitto's Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature. He also listed among the periodicals for which he wrote Hunt's New York Magazine. In the 1850s he served as secretary of the London Chartered Bank of Australia. No date of death has been found; the last record dates from 1856.

Sources: "Dictionary of Living Authors,"The Critic 12 (l July 1853), 358 [these biographies were written by their subjects]. Gladstone letter registers, BL Add. Mss. 44,554 - 44,555. Prefaces to his published books.


 William Dauney

William Dauney (1800-1843), Scottish advocate, colonial administrator, and music historian, was born in Aberdeen on 27 Oct. 1800, the son of William Dauney of Falmouth, Jamaica. He was subsequently adopted by his childless uncle Alexander Dauney (1749-1833), LL.D., Professor of Law at King's College, Universsity of Aberdeen; Dr. Dauney's wife, Margaret (1751/52-1831) was a daughter of the Rev. Robert Pollock, Principal and Professor of Divinity at Marischal College University of Aberdeen.

Educated at Dulwich College, London, and the University of Edinburgh, Dauney was called to the Scottish Bar on 13 June 1823. He is best known as a music critic and as an historian and archaeologist of Scottish music. In 1831-32 he served on a three-man committee to investigate and organize the music literature in the Advocates' Library, Edinburgh. There he discovered the Skene Ms., which he published as Ancient Scottish Melodies (Edinburgh, 1838); to this he added a 'Dissertation Illustrative of the History of the Music of Scotland.' The work shows what are probably the earliest versions of many Scottish tunes. He was a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and contributed to the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society and to the Foreign Quarterly and the Edinburgh Review, always on musical subjects.

Shortly after 1838 Dauney went to Demerara as Solicitor-General for British Guiana. He died in Georgetown, Demerara, on 28 July 1843. He was survived by his wife, Margaret (c.1800-1874) and by Alexander Dauney, born in London in 1833, the elder of their two sons, a barrister of the Middle Temple.

Sources:   New Grove Dict. of Music & Musicians (1980), vol. 7.  Gent.Mag., Oct. 1843, p.446.   FQR 22 (Jan. 1839), 444.   Blackwood's 45 (Jan. 1839), 1-16.  "Minutes of the Curators," Advocates' Library 1821-1849, pp. 44, 68, 77, 84-85.  Dauney to M. Napier, 12 May 1836
(BL Add.Ms. 34,617/429).
 

 Hon. Humphrey de Bohun Devereux (1812-1880)

Humphrey de Bohun Devereux was born on 29 June 1812, the fourth son of Henry Fleming Lea, 14th Viscount Hereford, and Frances Elizabeth, daughter of Sir George Cornewall. He studied at Haileybury College between 1828 and 1830, taking prizes in Classics, History, Political Economy, Bengali, Arabic, and Essays. In 1829 he entered the Civil Service of the East India Company on the Bengal Establishment and went to India in 1830 with the rank of writer. He returned home on absentee allowance in March 1832, staying until November 1834. In 1835 he was appointed assistant to the Commissioner for the Government of the Territory of the Rajah of Mysore. In 1843 he was again in England, living at 21 Chapel St. Grosvenor Place; we find him on 27 April accompanying George Cornewall Lewis, then of the Poor Law Office, to the British Museum Reading Room, where on Lewis's recommendation Devereux obtained a reader's ticket. At this time he was a non-resident member of the Madras Literary Society and an auxiliary of the Royal Asiatic Society. For some years he was magistrate and collector at Howrah. According to O'Byrne, he held the rank of lieutenant in the Royal Artillery, while his obituary indicates that he was always a civilian. He retired to England several years before his death, possibly before his marriage on 2 October 1860 to Caroline Antrobus, the daughter of Sir Edmund Antrobus. He served as deputy lieutenant of Herefordshire. He died 19 May 1880.

Devereux contributed to the Foreign Quarterly Review in 1834 and to the Edinburgh Review in 1854 (see Wellesley).

Sources : Obituary notice, Times, 22 May 1880, p. 12; Burke's Peerage 1088; O'Byrne 282; Dodwell and Miles, Bengal Civil Servants, 124-25; als, G. C. Lewis to Sir Henry Ellis, 29 Apr. 1843 (BL Add.Mss. 48,340, fol. 45); Percy Wigram, in Frederick Charles Danvers, et al., Memorials of Old Haileybury College (Westminster, 1894), 395--which erroneously gives date of death as 22 Nov. 1863, in India. BMRR.


Samuel Fleming

The little we know about Samuel Fleming comes from his applications for assistance from the Royal Literary Fund (RLF) and a single begging letter to Lord Brougham. Even his contemporaries were not sure how much to believe; on the back of one application the secretary of the RLF noted "Not authenticated." To complicate matters, Fleming varied between giving great detail and being vague and general. Though many of his claims may be legitimate, he probably wanted them to be taken in a grander sense than they merited.

Fleming was born about 1768. From 1791 to 1797 he taught Greek and Latin--as "resident teacher" at various schools in the London area and as private tutor to sons of the nobility. Though described by one former employer, Charles Parr Burney, as "more than qualified," he apparently was not a success, never staying long in a position, at Burney's making "an abrupt and most unhandsome retreat," to everyone's "great inconvenience." After that he fantasized of starting his own day school but was never employed again in someone else's school. From 1797 into the early 1830s he claimed that he supported himself by contributing to a number of London periodicals and by tutoring; among his pupils he named William Henry West Betty ("The Young Roscius," 1791-1874). It is doubtful that he earned much as a writer. He claimed to have edited the Universal Magazine in 1804 (the first volume of a new series, with a new publisher) and in 1806 something called the Commercial Telescope, though he could not decide whether the latter was a periodical which he "edited, & in a great measure, composed" or a book. In 1827 - 1828, he said, he contributed to two of James Silk Buckingham's periodicals, the short-lived Sphynx (8 July 1827 - 25 Apr. 1829) and the more successful Athenaeum (first issue 2 Jan. 1828; unfortunately there are no markings of the early issues); also to the Monthly Review, the London Magazine (in its faltering final years), the Foreign Review (begun in 1828), and the New Monthly Magazine. Nothing has been identified as his in any of these. He did identify his contributions to the London Spy(which lasted for only 3 issues n 1831-1832). All along he published pamphlets, usually at his own expense; they included An Impartial Statement of the Merits and Services of Opposition (1797); Cobbett and the Learned Languages. A speech on the utility of the learned languages (1807); Why are we poor? addressd to the industrious classes (1820/21); Defence of Queen Caroline; and Parallel between the Jews and the Scotch (the printers attested to his authorship of some of these). He translated, he said, Mme de Stäel's Delphine (usually he spelled her name "Stahle") and, again from the French, Count Dal Pozzo's work on Catholic Emancipation (1829). He edited Sir Edward Sherburne's poems, with a life of the poet and a preface.

He had been, he claimed, co-director of the British Forum in New Bond Street. Several times he added "A.M." after his name, but I have found no evidence that he had any degree from Oxbridge, Trinity College Dublin, or the Scottish universities. He never mentioned parents, origins, or family, and early on declared himself "destitute of Friends." He seems always to have lived quietly alone in lodgings, staying at an address for years. The few unequivocal recommendations came from landlords and landladies who let him stay even when he was seriously in arrears on his rent.

In 1827 Burney noticed that Fleming was "gradually subsiding into the character of a rather regular Beggar." In 1828, 1832, and 1833 the RLF gave him small grants (£5 each time). About 1834, when he was earning less than £2 a month, he was guilty of an unspecified forgery when seeking aid from the Society of Schoolmasters, who informed the RLF and probably others, bringing a halt to even small handouts. By October 1838 he was in the St.Pancras Workhouse, New Road; he was still there when he was last heard from on 2 Nov. 1839.

Contributions: Fleming gave titles only of his contributions to the London Spy:

Character of Julius Caesar suggested by an article in Blackwood's Magazine.

Character of Cataline under a new point of view.

A Grecian party in imitation of the Symbosia of the ancients.

The tailor's abroad a parody on the "Schoolmaster abroad"

Remarks on the general prevalence of music.

Reminiscences of an old pedagogue [not found in BL copy].

Remarks on modern London.

Essay on plausibility.

Comparative anatomy of nations: or new traits of character in the English, Scotch, & Irish, pp. 484-85. Signed "Crito."

Remarks on the ignorance of the London editors of newspapers.

A poetical elegy on the death of Miss Fanny [paper torn].

A poetical address for the pupils of the [paper torn] academy at Newport, Isle of Wight.

Essay on the decline of dramatic compostion.

Cataline and his associates, pp. 500-501. Signed "Fabius."

Sources: RLF case 61. Ms. letter to Lord Brougham, 1 June 1839 (Brougham Papers UCL)


Hunter Gordon

Hunter Gordon (1799/1800-1855), a barrister, journalist, and writer on history and politics, was born in 1799/1800, the eldest son of James Farquhar Gordon of Edinburgh. The family was well connected; for example, Hunter appears among family mourners of Lord Douglas Gordon Hallyburton, deputy lieutenant of Forfarshire (1777-1841). He earned an M.A. at the University of Edinburgh, where he is recorded in 1815 as winning a prize for Latin Poems in the Senior Greek Class (Caledonian Mercury, 6 May 1815). He was admitted at Lincoln's Inn on 2 Nov. 1825. Between 1825 and 1844 he kept chambers at the Temple, with addresses at various times at Devereux Court, 1 King's Bench Walk, and Essex Chambers. In 1837 he was a temporary special pleader on the Oxford circuit, Stafford sessions, and a special pleader from 1840 through summer 1842. Late in 1842 he moved to Manchester, having been appointed Deputy Registrar of the Court of Bankruptcy there.

Like many others, however, he devoted his time as much to historical studies and journalism as to the law. In 1829 he probably wrote on Italian politics in the Foreign Review. He claimed friendship with Cyrus Redding and "personal knowledge" of Henri Beyle (Stendhal), suggesting that he may also have written for the New Monthly Magazine in the 1820s. He published a pamphlet, Considerations on the War in Poland, in 1831. In the same year, with increasing British opposition to Russian suppression of the Polish revolution of 1830-1831 and abrogation of the Polish constitution, Gordon joined Bach, Arthur White, and Andrew V. Kirwan in forming a committee for the relief of Polish refugees in Britain. The following year their small project became part of the Literary Association of the Friends of Poland started by Thomas Campbell, Prince Adam Czartoryski, and other well-known British and Polish figures. Though Gordon was elected a member of its governing council and was the Friends's volunteer working secretary, his relations with the group were sometimes uneasy. Campbell described him as "that long, grinning mountain cat."

If Russian ambitions worried Gordon, so did those of the Catholic church, particularly of the Jesuits. He published The present state of the controversy between the Protestant and Roman Catholic Churches in 1837 (a French translation appeared in 1842), but he needed more employers, and more income. He was a friend of journalists like John Robertson of the London and Westminster / Westminster Review; may Gordon have contributed to them? Late in December 1841 John Thomas Graves, recommending Gordon to the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (SDUK), described him as "an indefatigable reader of modern history, and a very constant writer" who "gave several articles some years ago to the British and Foreign Review." None have been identified; the one article specifically named by Graves does not appear anywhere in the British and Foreign. Though titles of periodicals were sometimes confused--British and Foreign Review, Foreign Review, Foreign Quarterly Review--it is logical that Gordon would contribute to the British and Foreign, which was started in 1835 as "an offshoot of the Literary Association of the Friends of Poland" (Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals 3:62). Graves's recommendation did bring Gordon new employment; thirteen articles, most dealing with Jesuits, Jansenists, and Huguenots, appeared in SDUK's Biographical Dictionary in 1842-1843. However, Gordon clashed with George Long, the editor, who was at least as difficult as Gordon. Worse, Long was often delinquent in paying contributors. In 1841-42 and 1845 Gordon also contributed four articles to the Athenaeum, all on French history and emphasizing the position of the Church in France. (The on-line Athenaeum attributions mistakenly give these to "Gordon, Alexandre?," a civil engineer to whom the actual Athenaeum markings assign only an 1833 article on "Resistance of water to the passage of boats.")

Although the Friends of Poland remained active, Gordon's interests had taken a different direction. He did not attend the May 1842 annual meeting of the Friends and retired from the Council, undoubtedly unhappy about the Association's recent support of the Roman Catholic Church in Poland, in opposition to the Greek Church. At the same time he seems to have been exploring several other new fields. In 1840-1841 Gordon is listed as a new member of the Phrenological Society (Phrenological Journal, 1841, p. 339). In 1842 he was a founding member of the Philological Society.

After his move to Manchester he published The right of search question (London,1843);Letter to ... Lord Brougham ... on the influence of the French Revolution on the Church of France (London, 1848); The question of the Irish Colleges … (London, 1849). The last two are consistent with his recent studies and the first raises questions of international law. Aside from these works, his later years would seem to have been preoccupied by Manchester matters. In 1849, for example, he became a member of the Historic Sociey of Lancashire and Cheshire.

He said he had known Dr. Thomas Arnold and knew the Arnold family.

Sources: Reports of the annual general meetings of the London Literary Association of the Friends of Poland, vol. 8 (1840), iii, 21-23, 28, 56, 62; vol. 9 (1841), 3, 4, 35-36, 72; vol. 10 (1842), 99. Lincoln's Inn 2:115. R. D. Collison Black, A catalogue of pamphlets on economic subjects published between 1750 and 1900 and now housed in Irish Libraries (N.Y.: Augustus M. Kelley, 1969), 307. Cyrus Redding, Literary Reminiscences and Memoirs of Thomas Campbell (London: Charles J. Skeet, 1860), 2:256-57. Carlyle Coll. Letters 19:41n8. Clarke's Law List. Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, 1849-1850 session. SDUK Papers, UCL (ms. letters from J. T. Graves to Thos. Coates, 21 Dec. 1841, and from Gordon to Geo. Long and Thos. Coates, 1842-43; accounts of payments to Biographical Dictionary contributors). Curran, "Foreign Rev.," VPR 24 (1991), 132, 135.


Thomas Grimes

A  Quaker educator, translator and reviewer, Thomas Grimes was born in Cranfield, Bedfordshire, on 14 June 1798, the son of Daniel and Ann Grimes.  [Two other Thomas Grimes, also Quakers and one also of Cranfield, were contemporaries.]   For the first 39 years of his life, he seems to have lived as a student and then as a teacher in Quaker schools.  As long as he was single, the low pay was enough even to allow "Mr. Thomas Grimes" to appear in 1823 as one of the first subscribers to Jeremiah Holmes Wiffen's proposed translation of Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered .  An intelligent and ambitious young man must have found much stimulation in these circles.

He was advancing in his profession and his community.   In 1824 Grimes became a schoolmaster at Colchester, Essex, under the Kendall Trust,  a move that enabled him to marry on 21 December 1824, at Devonshire House, Mary Tyler (born 1797/1798).  He printed "An Address to the Public on Opening a School at Colchester," was instrumental in founding a Mechanics" Institute in Colchester, and contributed to the Colchester Gazette. Before long he also had a growing family and family losses:  a girl was born in 1826, a boy in 1827, but in 1828 there was a stillborn child, followed by another son in 1830 and the death of another child, probably in early infancy, in 1834.  He tried to earn extra money with his pen but seemed unable to sustain his efforts.  He compiled a Dictionary of History in the 1830s that seems to have remained unpublished; in 1832 he published a long article in the Foreign Quarterly Review that for almost a decade was not followed by other articles there or elsewhere.  The timing was bad; many contributors, even established ones, complained that in the 30s, with revolutions on the Continent and Reform Bill debate at home engaging readers" interest,, editors were no longer interested in the usual offerings.  In short, Grimes's income was never adequate for his family expenses.  Not yet having gotten his foot inside the publishing door, he complained only of the "lack of encouragement, from Friends with Children" and in 1837 resigned his schoolmastership. 

In the same year he moved his family to Godalming, Surrey, where he may have had connections; several years earlier, on 22 July 1831, he had given Godalming as his address when he first received a reader's ticket at the British Museum (recommended by Joseph John Gurney of Norwich, the Quaker philanthropist).  Now he hoped to support his family by writing full time for London periodicals, on topics of comtemporary  interest; even so, for the first few years he seems to have had little success.  In 1840 and 1842 he was finally able to place a number of articles, in theBritish and Foreign Review, Christian Reformer, Classical Journal, Dublin Review, Eclectic Magazine, and Gentleman's Magazize.   His success was short-lived; editors accepted at most two articles from him.  Blackwood's rejected his "Translations from von Chamisso" and the Dublin Review asked him to re-write articles several times before deciding not to accept them.  Life was certainly not easy.  His letters mention serious want, but he still bravely sought to persuade editors to publish his work and he made a number of trips to London to use the British Museum library. 

Mary Grimes died in Godalming on 27 March 1843; Thomas was already dangerously ill of "brain fever." After recovering, he moved to London in August 1843.  Apparently giving up on journalism, he looked for teaching positions.  In January 1844 he was teaching at Holland House Establishment, Hammersmith, but by February "the young gents" department" had been closed because of the illness of the woman who ran the school.  Grimes next sought a position as a tutor or companion; he was tutoring in November 1844, the last I have traced him before his death on 20 May 1850, at Hans Place, Chelsea.  He was buried at Hammersmith.  At his death he was described as a non-member of the Society of Friends.  Three children survived him.

The British Library attributes to a Thomas Grimes a "Pilgrim's song," beginning "I journey through a desert drear and wild," published in London in 1859.  While the sentiment could well be our Thomas Grimes's and this a posthumous publication, the name, as alre

The following articles have been reliably identified as by Grimes:

British and Foreign Review :

"Pulpit eloquence in America," 10 (Apr. 1840), 608-644.

'speeches of Daniel Webster," 13 (June 1842), 509-542.

Dublin Review :

"Affghanistan," 12 (May 1842), 386-419.

"Algeria," 13 (Aug. 1842), 1-33.

Eclectic Review :

"France since the revolution of 1830," 76 (Sept. 1842), 335-353.

Foreign Quarterly Review:

"Mexican antiquities," 9 (Jan. 1832), 90-124.

Sources : Ms. letters from Grimes and Mary Grimes to H. R. Bagshawe, 24 March 1842 - 26 Nov. 1844 (Archbishop's House, Westminster Cathedral, London); from Grimes to Lord Brougham, George Long, and Thomas Coates (Brougham Papers and SDUK Coll., UCL).  Blackwoods mss., NLS, ms.30,661/149.  BMRR.  S. H. G. Fitch, Colchester Quakers (1962), 73.  Joseph Smith, A Descriptive Catalogue of Friends" Books (London 1867, 1:872.   Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals; Mary Ruth Hiller, "The Eclectic Review 1805-1868,"VPR 27 (1994), 222, 261.  "New Translation of Tasso," unpaginated, bound at end of The Works of Garcilasso de la Vega … By J. H. Wiffen (London: Printed for Hurst, Robinson, and Co., 1823).  Additional information kindly supplied by Mr. Milligan, librarian of Friends" House, London.


Edward Kater

One by one in the 1750s and 1760s three Kater brothers emigrated from the tiny German duchy of Lippe-Detmold to Bristol, joining a maternal uncle who had settled there in the sugar refining business. The middle brother, Henry (1748-1795), married an Englishwoman, Anne Collins; their only child, Capt. Henry Kater (1777-1835; see DNB), left Bristol and sugar, joined the army, was engaged under Col. Lambton in the trigonometric survey of India, and pubished extensively in scientific journals. In 1810 Capt. Kater married Mary Frances Reeve; they had three children: Mary Agnes (1811-1827); Henry Herman (1813-1881); and Edward (1816-1866), the subject of this sketch.

Edward inherited wealth and position, perhaps also a tendency to depression or melancholia. On his father's side there were the sugar-refining fortunes, the Captain having been heir to both his father and a bachelor uncle. Edward's mother had brought to the marriage the Yorkshire manors of Mexborough and Wickersley and buildings and lands in Richmond and Swinton, all in the Reeve family at least since the beginnng of the 18th century; her own mother was known for holding court as the lady of Mexborough Manor. Capt. Kater was consulted by the "Admiralty, the War Office, the makers of scientific equipment, manufacturers and mathematical scholars," who knew of his inventions and discoveries, many of them standardizing measurements or aiding navigation. However, after the death in 1827 of his daughter, a mathematical prodigy, the Captain became reclusive, still working on his experiments but narrowing his circle to a few scientific friends (Macmillan 18-19).

In February 1833, when Edward was in his teens. his mother died; two years later he lost his father. For a few years the sons remained in the family's London home, York House, Regent's Park, though Henry Herman was away from home during some of this time, attending the Royal Military College at Sandhurst before entering Magdalene College Cambridge for the Michaelmas 1836 term. H.H., we are told, "pursu[ed] his Cambridge studies, and liv[ed] an active social life" (Macmillan 24). Perhaps the social life prevailed, since he seems to have kept only 4 terms at Magdalene, leaving in December 1837. Back in London, Henry Herman continued to move in the best social circles. At Queen Victoria's coronation (28 June 1838), he was "One of the Earl Marshal's gold stick Officers" (Venn), "responsible for ushering the duchesses to their appointed seats, and for assisting in the distribution of the medals specially struck for the occasion." Not long after this joyous day, he was thrown from his horse in Regent's Park, near his house, and sustained a fractured skull (Macmillan 25-26). The accident seemed to change him. After his recovery he began to dispose of London property and to assemble what he needed for a new life; in August 1839 he left for Australia, taking with him goods, servants, and livestock (including "the famous sires of some of Australia's best racehorses").

Soon after H.H. left Cambridge, Edward took his place there, at Downing College rather than Magdalene, matriculating as a fellow-commoner in Lent term 1838. Edward's stay was only slightly longer than his brother's. Downing's records do not reveal when Edward left Cambridge, whether after the summer of 1838 or Michaelmas term 1839. Early in February 1840, he received a ticket of admission to the British Museum Reading Room; no longer having a family home, he was staying with the Rev. Dr. James William Worthington, the first vicar of Holy Trinity Church, Gray's Inn Road. By March he had become a member of the Parthenon Club, 20 St.James Square, and was receiving his mail there. (In April Worthngton became editor of the Foreign Quarterly Review, where he published Edward's articles. Worthington also had a role in the Church of England Quarterly Review and started and edited the Foreign and Colonial Quarterly Review, later called the New Quarterly Review.)

Soon Edward Kater was busy making or re-establishing connections and joining scientific societies. Though Macmillan's history of the Kater family claims that neither Edward nor Henry Herman "showed any interest in the matters that preoccupied their father" (19), Edward's activities tell a different story. On 17 March 1840 he sent a paper to J. F. W. Herschel, an old friend of his father, asking Herschel to communicate it to the Royal Society; it was titled "Description of an Escapement for an Astronomical Clock, invented by the late Captain Henry Kater, F.R.S. &c., drawn up from his own memorandums by his son Edward Kater, Esq." Herschel presented it to the Society on 19 March and also asked if Edward would like to be a fellow. Yes, please, Edward replied on 28 March. He was proposed for membership, "from personal knowledge," by several eminent scientists and explorers, all Fellows of the Society: Herschel, H. Harvey, Basil Hall, F. Beaufort, W. H. Smyth, John George Children, and E. B. Beaumont. The paper was published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 130 (1840), 335-340.

On 6 July 1840, by which time he was writing from 13 Nottingham Terrace, Edward indicated his intention to become a member of a new or projected Historical Society of Science. By 19 November 1840, when he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society, he was already a member of the Royal Institution and a fellow of the Statistical Society. At some point he became a member of the Royal Irish Academy. He contributed to the Foreign Quarterly Review in 1840-41 and probably contributed to other periodicals in which Worthington had a hand.

He was also establishing his place socially. He acquired a townhouse at 46 Sussex Gardens--as the family history notes, "at Bayswater, then a fashionable suburb" (Macmillan 22). He moved in literary and theatrical circles. On 9 May 1841 he was an evening guest after a dinner William Macready gave for the French actress Mlle Rachel (Elisabeth Félix)--no slight to be on the evening list, which included people like Charles Babbage, Anna Jameson, Sir Edward Fitzgerald, John Forster, Miss Helena Faucit, Samuel Lover, and Richard Lalor Sheil. A year later, on 22 May 1842, Kater was again Macready's evening guest, as were most of the 1841 group as well as Robert Browning, Daniel Maclise, Thomas Carlyle, and others almost equally eminent. There is one change: guests are the "E. Katers." The new Mrs. Kater was the former Georgianna Mary Seton. There were no children of the marriage.

He died at 4 Camden Place, Cambridge, on 7 July 1866, of "Apoplexy 12 Hours Certified," aged 50. Present at the death was one Theodore Henry Skinner of the same address. Under "Occupation," the death certificate notes "Fundholder." Boase, which gives him one of its shortest entries, does not even identify his parentage and education. At Edward's death, many of Capt. Henry Kater's possessions passed to Henry Herman Kater in Australia; in 1873 the latter gave some of these to the Sydney Observatory and the University of Sydney, where they remain.

Sources: David S. Macmillan, The Kater Family 1750-1965 (Sydney, 1966). Essential but not always trustworthy (or coherent); based on family records and family tradition.

Venn; Boase; BMRR; Kater to J. O. Halliwell, Edin.U.L. mss. LOA 100/36; Macready Diaries, ed. Toynbee 2:135, 171. Death certificate.

I am particularly grateful for the help received from William Bell, Archivist, Sheffield Libraries Archives; Mrs. Gill Jackson, Information Officer, Royal Society; Elizabeth Stratton, Archivist, Downing College, Cambridge; Mrs. Aude Fitzsimons, Assistant Librarian, Magdalene College, Cambridge.


Andrew Valentine Kirwan

A fair amount may be discovered about Andrew V. Kirwan--pieces of a large jigsaw puzzle gathered from his own anonymously published articles, a few of his letters, an obituary notice. He was born in 1804, the eldest son of Thomas Kirwan of Well Park, co. Dublin, a Commissioner of the Peace in Ireland. His mother was educated "by French teachers at a famous and fashionable school kept by a French emigrant refugee." His father was "early in life a prisoner of war in France," having been captured in a ship bound for the West Indies in 1797 or 1798. What sent him on that dangerous voyage the son does not say.

Often Kirwan seems, or presented himself as, an outsider--a Protestant Irishman, an Irishman in England, trained in French language and culture, giving Irish and French references when he sought British employment. As a young man he gave his London address as the Berners Hotel, Berners Street; it was a street where one found nationals of many Continental countries, if not political exiles often to some extent disaffected. In 1827 some of his letters from Berners Street were franked by Richard Wogan Talbot, and Kirwan asked that replies be sent under cover to Talbot. Talbot, of Malahide Castle, co. Dublin, subsequently Baron Talbot of Malahide and then Baron Furnival, the quiet M.P. for co. Dublin from 1807 to 1830, was generally a member of the loyal opposition.

Of Kirwan's early education we know little. It was Irish, for he left Ireland for the first time at the end of 1818, when, almost 15, he visited London and France. Yet he had read Voltaire and other French writers by the time he was 9, probably having been taught French by his mother. After the 1818 visit, he returned to France "once at least every year, and some times twice or thrice a year through 1849. In February 1821 he was back in London, this time as a law student at Gray's Inn. He was called to the Irish bar in 1825, admitted barrister at Gray's Inn in May 1828, practiced successively in Dublin and London. More and more, after travels and residences abroad, he returned to London, not Dublin. Law Lists in 1837 and 1840 describe him as a special pleader, with chambers at 68 Chancery Lane, attached to the Oxford circuit and sessions as counsel; the 1840 directory adds "parliamentary draftsman." He was admitted to the Middle Temple on 7 May 1849 and in 1850 retired from practice because of ill health. He complained of being unwell as early as 1825 and frequently thereafter; in 1827, when he was 23, he already spoke in the past tense of "having been a hunter and shooter." Nevertheless he travelled frequently, referring to "our wandering selves" and to having a "great deal of experience in foreign countries." While still a law student, in addition to the annual trips to France, he visited Edinburgh in 1823 or 1824, Spain in 1825, Africa and Holland some time in the decade. After his admission to the bar, most of the travel, which increase over the years, taking him even to "Eastern" lands, may have been connected to his legal work, since it abruptly stopped when he retired from the law.

While still a law student he began a career as a legal writer, furnishing practice cases to The Jurist from 1824 to 1844 and later with F. A. Carrington publishing three volumes of Reports of cases argued and ruled at Nisi Prius (1844-1853). He wanted to contribute to general periodicals; in June 1827 he offered Blackwood's Magazine an article on "The newspaper press of Ireland." His letters to William Blackwood were maladroit; if the article was as awkwardly written, rejection was inevitable. The New Monthly Magazine, however, accepted a few articles between 1828 and late 1830. According to an obituary notice in The Law Times, he contributed to the Parliamentary Review (either the short-lived 1827 review, a continuaion of the 1825-1826 Parliamentary history and review, or a later short-lived Parliamentary review, & family magazine, 1833-1834, edited by J. S. Buckingham). The Law Times credited him with contributions to the Athenæum; the incompletely marked file of that weekly identifies nothing by him, and the Law Times does not indicate the date of his contributions.

The freshly minted barrister, however, saw himself first and foremost as a lawyer, not a journalist, and he needed a job. In spite of his advantages and, one assumes, considerable personal charm, he found himself, or thought himself, at a disadvantage: he was Irish. Years later he remembered that "The most inveterate prejudices were then [mid-1820s] entertained against Irishmen, not merely against Irish hodmen and servants, but against educated Irishmen" [Fraser's 62:122-123]. Given his fluency in French, Irishness did not hold him back on the Continent, where he mainly worked from 1828 through 1831. Much later he claimed to have been well acquainted since 1824 (when he was only 20 and not yet a barrister) "with the bar, the parquet, and with some of the judges, with eminent physicians, surgeons, artists, actors, and men of letters in France." He mentioned seeing "the vintage gathered in" in the 1820s (and in the early 1840s he was a guest at a Paris dinner given by London wine merchants). Possibly the Dublin Kirwans were related to Galway Kirwans who settled in Bordeaux in the early 18th century as wine merchants; in the 19th century that family also included journalists. That connection, however, would not explain his wanderings. In 1828 and 1829 he was in Warsaw, Moscow, and St. Petersburg as well as France, Switzerland, and Germany; 1830 found him in the "north of Europe," in Vienna, and before December in Munich. There he published English, French, and German editions of A Letter from Munich to the Rt. Hon. the Ld. Palmerston, his Britannic Majesty's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs on the Late Happy Change of Ministry in England . The pamphlet, which may be a bid for future government employment, does not mention his current position. Early in 1831 he was back in Vienna, then in Russia, returning to Paris in September. In 1844, referring to these trips to Vienna, he added that they were "our good or ill fortune" (just as in 1840 he spoke of having "been familiar" with Boulogne-sur-Mer, "I am sorry to say, for nearly twenty years"). He liked to raise, and not answer, tangential questions like this.

Whatever Kirwan had been doing on the Continent, he was unemployed when he returned to England at the end of October 1831. A letter to Lord Brougham dated 3 November 1831 is essentially a job application. He understands that several Commissioners of Public Charities are still to be appointed and would like to be one of them; his second choice would be "the place of a Commissioner of Bankrupts." His qualifications? He says nothing about his activities during the past four years, only that since the previous December he had "not ceased to propagate similar opinions [as in his Letter from Munich] touching our excellent Ministry and their measures in most of the capitals of Europe." How had he gained influential audiences across the Continent? He stresses his party position in England: "a Whig by birth, by education, and conviction, and … a member of Brooks's long, long before the present men were in power." "Many members of the House of Commons … can speak as to my personal character at length." Was he a party p.r. man or a young man with chutzpah? Brougham does not seem to have responded to his plea for employment.

The remaining years of the 1830s are largely a blank. On 18 March 1836, Gladstone, then a Conservative out of office, noted in his diary that he had written to "Kirwan" (Diaries 2:229); the subject is not specified. At some time, perhaps during the 1830s, Kirwan contributed to French political journals. Meanwhile he continued to practice law in London, and in 1840 the Court of Exchequer, on behalf of the proprietors of the Times, appointed him a commissioner for taking evidence of bankers in several continental cities in the case of Bogle v. Lawson. In 1840-1841 he sent a series of letters to the Times on France's economy and military preparations. These led to two books published in London in 1841: The Ports, Arsenals, and Dockyards of France, By a Traveller and, claimed on the title page of his later Modern France, an anonymous The Military System and Garrisons of France. Finally Kirwan had a reputation and a career. He continued to write for the Times and as late as 1849 was referred to as "one of The Times men." He also established long-term relationships with other periodicals, for a few writing even more after his retirement from the law in 1850. He contributed to Fraser's Magazine (1841-63), the Foreign Quarterly Review (1843-45), the British Quarterly Review (1845-59, 1863), and briefly to the Dublin University Magazine (early 1849). Much later he claimed that in 1841 or 1842 there had been a suggestion that he write for Blackwood's (in a letter to Blackwood in May 1862 that may be taken as another, and still unsuccessful, offer to contribute). He added other periodicals in the 1860s: Macmillan's Magazine (1863-65) and The Reader, A review of current literature, which ran from 1863 to 1867 (for details of his work in The Reader, see Byrne diss. 322-23). The list is incomplete if we trust the 1862 letter to Blackwood; he had, he said, been "a contributor to at least four Reviews, and one Magazine (Fraser)" since 1841/42--a careful distinction between Reviews and Magazines that leaves us two Reviews short. According to the Law Times, Kirwan also wrote on foreign politics and legal subjects for the Morning Herald, Chronicle, and Morning Post. The identity of the middle title is not clear. Morning Chronicle? Nothing has been identified, but in a July 1844 FQR article, Kirwan, who often referred to or quoted his own work without acknowledging authorship, quotes from the Morning Chronicle. Or the much later Chronicle published from 30 March 1867 to 15 Feb. 1868?

One cannot dispute the Law Times's description of Kirwan as "a zealous and industrious student both in law and in literature"; he also wrote knowledgeably on food and wine, gave dinners and attended dinners. The article on France in the Encyclopædia Britannica is his, and in retirement he published two more volumes that brought together earlier articles: Modern France, its journalism, literature and society in 1863 and Host and Guest: A book about dinners, dinner-giving, wines, and desserts in 1864.

Kirwan died at his home in Pimlico, London, on 22 October 1870.

Sources (in addition to those cited above):

Boase. The Law Times, 49 (29 Oct. 1870), 459. Foster, Register of Admissions to Gray's Inn, 424. Register of Admissions to … the Middle Temple, 2:512. Clarke's Law List. BMRR (first on 18 March 1822; described as "student at law"). Luther A. Brewer, My Leigh Hunt library (Iowa City: U.Iowa P., 1938), 110-111.

Kirwan scattered autobiographical information throughout his articles and books; see particularly, in Fraser's: "Social and political life five-and-thirty yars ago," 62 (July 1860), 113-32; "France and Paris forty, thirty, and twenty years ago," 3 nos., 62 (Sept. 1860), 389-408; (Nov. 1860), 569-590; 63 (Feb. 1861), 184-197.

Ms. letters: to Brougham, 3 Nov. 1831 (UCL); to Blackwood, 1 June 1827, 26 June 1827, 5 May 1862 (NLS).

For information on Bogle v. Lawson (though Kirwan is not mentioned), see The History of The Times, vol. 1, "The Thunderer" in the making 1785-1841 (N.Y.: Macmillan, 1935), 416-18; vol. 2, The tradition established 1841-1884 (N.Y.: Macmillan, 1939), 17-20, 139.

The Bodleian Libr., Oxford, holds a small notebook (ms. Eng. Misc. g.3) inscribed "Andrew V. Kirwan / Gray's Inn / February 1821" and containing biographical notes on 17th-18th century lawyers, often those with Irish connections; an essay on legal views on lunacy; definitions of legal terms; notes on cases in the Court of the King's Bench, some dated 1822. Though the Bodleian catalogue says "Perhaps owned by George Kirwan, 66 Fleet Street Dublin about 1830-1840. Found in Gough room about 1889," there is no doubt of the original owner and writer of the notebook; perhaps George K. was a relative in whose care Andrew left papers before setting off on one of his trips to the Continent.


Charles Kenneth Mackenzie

Charles Kenneth Mackenzie was born in 1788, probably in Scotland, the eldest son of Kenneth Francis Mackenzie (1748-1831) and his wife Anne Townsend Mackenzie (1764-1846). The Mackenzies were an ancient Scottish famiy, "allied to the best blood of Scotland"; Charles was born into a junior branch, the Mackenzies of Redcastle. His was a large family, with eleven surviving children--four younger sons and six daughters. Charles was considerably older than his brothers. The youngest, J. F. Townsend Mackenzie, born about 1813, entered the army and somewhat unromantically caught cold in Fife, developed pneumonia, and died in 1833. The next youngest son, Colin, was almost twenty years younger than Charles but close in age to James and Kenneth. Colin (1806-1881) joined the East India Company as a cadet in 1825 and spent most of his life in military service in the East--in the first Afghan War, in the 1856-57 India mutiny; a prisoner at times, a witness to the murder of his friend Sir William Hay Macnaghten. James was a civilian doing business in China and India. Of Kenneth we know least, and the name of only one daughter appears--Mary, the next oldest child to Colin. Colin's first wife, Adeline Pattle, was the older sister of the photographer Julia Margaret (Pattle) Cameron and of Maria Pattle Jackson, Virginia Woolf's grandmother.

Charles must have had a lonely, difficult childhood. In the late 1780s or early 1790s his father, a Scottish barrister, purchased Lusignan, a "very large" plantation in Demerara which generally "gave a very good income," supporting the family for almost fifty years. Kenneth Francis Mackenzie's ties to the Caribbean area were strengthened when about 1793 he was appointed attorney general in Grenada, serving also as President of the Council. At the start of Julien Fedon's rebellion of 1795-96, when Ninian Home, the governor, and over forty of his associates were taken hostage (and later murdered), Kenneth Mackenzie became de facto governor, "the chief authority left in George Town," dealing with a rebellion fueled by racial, national, and religious animosities. He led British troops in their efforts to control the rebellion, with its continuing massacres of English planters and their families; later he was accused variously of acting too slowly or too quickly. After a few months, English help began to trickle in; large reinforcements arrived early in 1796 at the same time as a new governor arrived, and President Mackenzie, by now ill, returned to Britain. He had, he said, exhausted his private fortune in providing for his troops and seeing to public needs, but he was never reimbursed the £20,000 he claimed. (See [Helen Douglas Mackenzie], Storms and sunshine of a soldier's life. Lt.-General Colin Mackenzie C.B. [Edinburgh: David Douglas, 1884], 1:3-6, 11, which repeats the family account as told much later by Charles's younger brother Colin--who was not born until ten years after the Grenada rebellion. Also see Raymund P. Devas, The Island of Grenada (1650-1950) [St. George's, Grenada: U. of the West Indies, 1964], 103-155, for a detailed history of the rebellion; pp. 122-135, 140, 147, and 151 discuss Kenneth Mackenzie's role, quoting both his defenders and detractors.)

Was Charles in Grenada during this dreadful time, or had he been sent to school or left with relatives in Britain? If the history of his younger brothers gives any clue, Charles's early years were difficult wherever he was. Their father was rigid, stern. Decades later Helen Mackenzie wrote that Colin's "was not a happy childhood. Every offence was visited with severity; flogging ad libitum was the rule, so that when the boys caught sight of their father they preferred escaping to meeting him." Anne Mackenzie brought no softening touch: the discipline "was not mollified by any interference on the part of their mother, though she was most tender to her children as long as they were babies" (Storms and sunshine 1:7). For Charles's younger brothers, boarding school did not improve matters: "Colin often regretted the desultory manner in which he had been educated, and the inferior schools to which he had been sent. When about twelve he was placed wth his elder brothers, James and Kenneth, at a school in Cumberland, of which he used to speak with horror, from the "brutal severity of the punishment" (1:9).

There is a gap in our knowledge of the family after the parents' return to Britain in 1796. Kenneth senior continued his fruitless efforts to have the government acknowledge his services in Grenada and recompense him for his out-of-pocket expenses. For more than a decade his claims kept them in London, where Colin was born in 1806. By then Charles, whatever his preparatory education, had begun medical studies at the University of Edinburgh. In 1808 he was chosen president of the Royal Medical Society of Edinburgh, a society of medical students and post-graduates; he received a medical degree in 1809, with a dissertation on asphyxia. Among his fellow medical students, the future ethnologist James Cowles Prichard (1786 -1848) became a life-long friend. Mackenzie, who seems never to have practiced as a doctor, also extended his studies beyond medicine; soon after taking his degree he published essays on Scottish mineralogy that led to an 1812 book, Outlines of the Mineralogy of the Ochil Hills. (Several sources also credit him with a degree of doctor of law; it was not an Edinburgh degree, and I have found no record of his receiving a degree anywhere else.)

Mackenzie then returned to London, in the same year becoming a Licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians. He may soon have discontinued his medical studies: he is said to have joined the Duke of Wellington's Peninsular army not long after taking his medical degree--as either an "amateur" or an aide de camp and secretary to the Duke. Several relatives were officers, particularly in India, and when the Allied forces commanded by Sir Arthur Wellesley (not yet Wellington) defeated the French on 27-28 July 1809 at Talavera, in western Spain, the 3rd Division was led by a Lieutenant General Mackenzie. Perhaps Charles was a hanger-on in a relative's camp rather than an insider at Wellington's elbow.

According to a New York newspaper quoted by Redding (Yesterday and to-day, 2:175), Mackenzie remained with Wellington's army "until the battle of Toulouse," 10 April 1814. However, he was in England for a year or more during that time, seeing to the publication of his book and further securing his position in the scientific world. In January 1812 he was elected a fellow of the Linnean Society and admitted in November of that year; in December he indicated that he was "desirous of admission into the Geological Society," to which he was elected in January 1813. To the Linnean Society he first gave his address as "Portugal"; other addresses at this time were all in London. If he then returned to the Peninsula, perhaps it was about the time that General J. Mackenzie commanded a division during the botched siege of Tarrazona, 3 - 11 June 1813.

After leaving the Peninsular Army, Mackenzie travelled on the Continent for several months. Once back in England, he continued to cultivate London scientific, political, and literary / journalistic circles. On 6 Jan. 1815 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society; his sponsors were mainly members of the Linnean and Geographical Societies. He contributed to newspapers and magazines; an obituary notice in the Edinburgh Evening Courant, which others copied, said that these included the Edinburgh and Quarterly, but nothing has been identified as his in either. He received, and renewed, a ticket of admission to the British Museum Reading Room. He acquired the support of George Canning, who was appointed to the Foreign Office in September 1822. With that backing, Mackenzie moved towards a diplomatic career. He accompanied a British commission to Mexico in 1823; on 10 October he was named consul at Vera Cruz. Before that, however, he seems to have returned to Scotland, or at least to have had interests there; we hear that "he turned himself to mercantile affairs, and a cleverer young man wasna in-a' Embro'" (Blackwood's 27 (Apr. 1830), 679).

His fortunes were rising as those of his family fell. In the early 1820s the senior Mackenzies were in financial straits because of a drop in the Demerara plantation's productivity. They moved to Fife, then a few years later to Wales, where the two youngest boys became day scholars with a Rev. Dr. Donne in Oswestry. Though brother Colin would have liked a university education, the best their father could manage for him was an appointment to an East India Company cadetship in 1825. Charles came to his aid, payting an estimated £500 for Colin's outfit and passage. At the end of 1825 Charles was appointed consul-general to Haiti, "with particular instructions [from Canning] to obtain and to transmit to him accurate accounts regarding the population, the industry, and the produce of Hayti," a task he "fulfilled in a very clear and satisfactory manner." The patronage that had brought him this far, however, became a mixed blessing. Canning died in early August 1827, less than a year after becoming prime minister. A few months later Mackenzie returned to England (bringing "a few Specimens of plants that I collected in Haiti" for Dr. W. J. Hooker, an old friend who was now Regius professor of botany at Glasgow University) and was left dangling, technically with a position but with nothing to do, the report he had written for Canning kept under wraps by the government. (This charge, like the description of Mackenzie's Haiti mission, is made in "The British Colonies. Letter Third. To his Grace the Duke of Wellington, &c. &c. From James M'Queen, Esq.," Blackwood's Magazine 27 [Feb. 1830], 24. James Macqueen [1778-1870] had managed a sugar plantation in Grenada in the 1790s, when Mackenzie's father was attorney general / Council President; later Macqueen was a journalist and entrepreneur in Glasgow and London. In 1824 he published The West India Colonies: the calumnies and misrepresentations circulated against them examined and refuted.)

Mackenzie's consulship was officially terminated on 10 October 1828; he had simultaneously held the title of Hanoverian consul-general to Haiti and retained that title until February 1830. While seeking new government employment, at the end of 1828 he turned to his pen for support, writing articles that appeared in the January and April 1829 issues of the Foreign Quarterly Review and successfully applying to another old friend, Macvey Napier, for work on the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Though he was unhappy cooling his heels in London, he explained to Dr. Hooker that "I can't stir from town, until I know my future destination" and to Macvey Napier that he stayed only because his claims in Downing Street had not yet been settled. Whatever those claims were, they, like his father's earlier claims on the government, did not seem likely ever to be settled. He had as little hope of present government employment, "for I find that valuable as Mr Canning's approbation is, that it is not at the present day a passport to Ministerial patronage."

The growing split in the party between Wellington and the Canningites worked against Mackenzie. His Haiti report, like his career, remained stalled until 1830, when finally "the results of his labours have been, after much delay, and to the dismay of the British anti-colonists, drawn forth from the archives of the Foreign-office, by order of the House of Commons, and printed for the information of the members of that House and of the public." This would be Notes on Haiti , two volumes published in London early in 1830. They did not include the totality of Mackenzie's reports: "Much, however, as had been disclosed by the papers, darker and more conclusive information still remains behind, in the Report which Mr MacKenzie was commanded and commissioned to make, and which he did make, but which has been suppressed somewhere and even a review of the whole transmitted for the Quarterly Review, withheld by, it is believed, the official influence which controls that publication" (Macqueen, op.cit.).

Finally Mackenzie received new employment. On 20 Feb. 1830 he was named Commissioner of Arbitration to the Mixed British and Spanish Commission at Havana, Cuba. A few months later George IV died, Parliament was dissolved, and by year's end the Whigs were in power. If Mackenzie had already gone out to Cuba, he was soon back in London, where we find him from late 1830 into 1832. In November 1830 he became for a short while the first editor of The Albion, a conservative evening daily, writing its leaders. He contributed to the first number of The Metropolitan, published 1 May 1831, and continued to contribute through 1832, on Polish affairs and other subjects; his friends Thomas Campbell and Cyrus Redding were respectively nominal editor and actual sub-editor (Redding, Campbell, 2:284). In 1832 he was a member of the Council of the newly formed Literary Association of the Friends of Poland, of which Campbell was president (Redding, Campbell, 2:290-291; his sister-in-law claimed that "One of [Colin Mackenzie's] brothers became Secretary of the Polish Association' and even persuaded Colin to join the Polish army; see Storms and sunshine 1:26-27).

More personal matters also kept Mackenzie in London into 1832. His father, who was again living there, died in the course of the year; Colin was home from India on sick leave. The five brothers tried unsuccessfully to agree on "the best way of disposing" of the Demerara estate, which Colin referred to as "our paltry inheritance" and which created problems for years. Finally, his appointment re-affirmed, Charles returned to Cuba in 1832, but in 1834 Palmerston, at the Foreign Office, dismissed him from Government service. It proved to be a permanent dismissal.

All in all, the 1830s were not kind to the family. The youngest brother, Townsend, died on 29 January 1833. The remaining brothers still could not agree about the Demerara estate. By August 1835 Colin was declaring himself entirely out of patience; then in 1836 he lost his young wife, only 24 and already the mother of three daughters. In 1838, again back in England on sick leave, Colin was involved in a "disagreeable lawsuit." Charles's life seems similarly unsettled, as reflected less dramaticaly in his history with the Royal Society. He lost membership early in the decade, was re-admitted in June 1832 only to have his membership cancelled in 1835, "from the non-payment of his annual contribution"; the next year he was "re-admitted by ballot into the Society."

From this point on, Mackenzie's activities are particularly difficult to trace. The Edinburgh Evening Courant obituary notice described him as "a ripe scholar and an excellent linguist, with great versatile literary attainments." According to Redding, after 1834 Mackenzie "turned his attention not only to literature [i.e., journalism] and the politics of the day, but to divers commercial operations" (Yesterday and today, 2:175). The nature of these remains obscure. About 1846 business took him to the United States for a few years; in 1850-1851 he was back in London. There he fell in with Robert Pearse Gillies, whom he would have known as the first editor of the Foreign Quarterly Review. Gillies enlisted Mackenzie's help in a plan to bring out the first number of a "New Foreign Quarterly Review," but Mackenzie "was called away to America" before anything could appear (Gillies to Brougham, 18 March 1852; ms. UCL). Thereafter Mackenzie lived in the U.S., "chiefly in Boston and New York, in both of which cities he counted numerous friends, not the least known of whom was Prescott the historian" (Redding 2:175). During this time he sent reports on American events to at least one English newspaper. Some accounts of his death suggest that he was in straitened circumstances in his last years.

Charles Mackenzie died 6 August 1862, aged 75, of "accidental burning" in an extensive fire that started at the Rainbow Hotel, "a sort of English chop and lodging house" in New York City. The Rainbow Hotel occupied the first three floors of a six-story building at 31-33 Beekman Street, in a block that was mainly commercial and manufacturing; Mackenzie shared a third-floor room with a William Simmons, who also died, and whose age was given variously as 35 and 26. (Boase mistakenly dates the death as 6 July. Joseph Irving, The Book of Scotsmen [Paisley: Alexander Gardner, 1881], 306, gives age at death as 74; while the first newspaper accounts of the fire were vague or confused about his age, the death certificate and Redding give it as 75.) His body was returned to Liverpool, England. I have found no evidence that he ever married.

Contributions:

Foreign Quarterly Review:

"Humboldt's Political and Statistical Account of Cuba," 3 (Jan. 1829), 400-433.

"Mexico," 4 (Apr. 1829), 165-204.

Memoirs of the Wernerian Natural History Society, Edinburgh:

"Analysis of compact Feldspar from Pentland Hills," 1 (1808-10), 616-28.

"Outlines of the mineralogy of the Ochil Hills," 2 (1811-16), 1-23.

"Outlines of the mineralogy of the Ochil Hills," Thompson, Ann. Phil. 3 (1814), 116-126.

Sources [in addition to those cited above]:

Death certificate, Municipal Archives and Records Center, N.Y.C.

Letters from Mackenzie to Macvey Napier, 1815-1829: BL Add.Mss. 34611/175, 208, 279, 355; 34613/456; 34614/37-38. To Dr. William J. Hooker, 24 July 1828: Kew Gdns. mss., Hooker corr. xliii 170.

Information from Lynn Crothall, Linnean Society Library; Irene A. Ferguson, Special Collections, Univerity of Edinburgh Library; Mrs. Gill Jackson, Royal Society Library; Andrew Mussell, Geological Society Archives.

Cyrus Redding, Literary reminiscences and memoirs of Thomas Campbell (London: Charles J. Skeet, 1860), 2: 284, 290-291; Yesterday and to-day (London: Newby, 1863), 2:173-177.

Obituary notices in New York Times, Thurs., 7 Aug. 1862, p.3 (as "William McKenzie"); N. Y. Times, 9 Aug. 1862, p.5 (name corrected to "Charles Mackenzie"). New York Herald, 7 Aug. 1862, p. 9; N. Y. Herald, 9 Aug. 1862, p. 5. New York Daily Tribune, 7 Aug. 1862, p. 2. Edinburgh Evening Courant, 23 Aug. 1862, p. 7, and "Death of a Scottish Litterateur in New York," 28 Aug. 1862, p. 2. Gent.Mag., Oct. 1862, 504. Foreign Office List, July 1864, 166.

Edinburgh University List of Graduates in Medicine.


Moscati, Francesco Maria [Francis M.] di [or de]

[Revised March 2005]

The "Marquis di Moscati" is a difficult subject. His fantasy view of his life presents a figure larger than life, an imposter according to many. Still, just when one decides that his claims are all lies, evidence turns up to give credit to some, and one must once again re-evaluate everything.

Moscati was born in Italy about 1774. In France and at first in England he usually did not call himself Marquis, describing himself simply as a Neapolitan gentleman. Some English suggested that his origins fell far below that. At a young age, his story went, he left his homeland for political reasons, serving as an officer under Bonaparte himself throughout the Napoleonic wars--or only in Egypt (1798-1799) and on the retreat from Moscow (1812), or under Murat. Or he was Napoleon's aide-de-camp at Austerlitz (2 Dec. 1805). Whatever the role, he entertained well-to-do Londoners with tales of battlefield adventures. How true were they? He told this bizarre anecdote: "In 1810, one of my lieutenants was killed at the battle of Lintz; he was a Pole of a very violent temper, a bloody duellist, and much addicted to sensuality. I forwarded his skull to Dr. Gall [the phrenologist]..." [paper read on 5 Nov. 1832 to London Phrenological Society, printed in Lancet]. There were two clashes at Linz, on 5 and 17 May 1809, not 1810; in the first, Austrian forces were defeated by Württemberg forces, in the second by Württemberg and Saxon forces. Where do Moscati and a violent womanizing Pole fit in, to say nothing of decapitating one's own dead officer, wrapping up the head and shipping it off? May the Linz of this story be the Austerlitz of another tale? The latter reference appears only in the 1898 reminiscences of an elderly woman who as a child in the late 1830s or early 1840s had heard Moscati's tales.

During the period of the Napoleonic wars Moscati probably was contributing to Roman and other Italian periodicals, wherever he may have been physically. A generally reliable list of his writings that Moscati drew up in 1833 for the Royal Literary Fund (RLF) includes yearly "improvisations" in the Annali Arcadici from 1807 through 1814. In the 1832 paper he also claimed, during those pre-Waterloo years, a "criticosatirical article" in the Efemeridi Letterarie di Venezia attacking Gall's first work on craniology and attacks on Gall and phrenology in unnamed German and French periodicals. Though Gall, he said, tried to overcome his scepticism, and though he himself "made use of the skulls of the killed in battle," he still resisted until Pius VII issued a bull excommunicating Gall and condemning his system; then Moscati, while still entertaining reservations, supported Gall in the Revue Encyclopédique in 1817. This account requires careful scrutiny. The RLF list has him contributing to the Révue Encyclopédique only from 1821 to 1830, in his Paris period; moreover, this periodical began publication in 1819. Pius VII apparently issued no such bull; he did issue a condemnation of the Carbonari in 1821, threatening excommunication to those who remained members, and some Moscatis were connected with the Carbonari--but were they relatives of this Moscati? Earlier the Austrian Emperor, Francis I, not the Pope, had suppressed Gall's work. The RLF list does include "a bitter Satyr against the Roman Church published in 1818" without identifying place of publication or a specific subject for satire.

In 1817 Moscati was living in Rome. There, he said, he discussed phrenology, art, and politics with people like Prince Ludwig of Bavaria (later Ludwig I), the sculptors Canova and Thorvaldsen, and August von Kotzebue, the popular German dramatist. Ludwig and the others were indeed in Rome in 1817-1818; the evidence goes no further. Moscati was at least engaged in respectable, though probably low-paying literary work (scholarly or hack, depending on one's view), providing notes and explanatory essays for mainly antiquarian and architectural studies and contributing Latin improvisations to the Diorio. He was also giving Italian lessons to English visitors to Rome.

Then for unknown reasons he was again obliged to leave Italy, according to family tradition (which however gives no clear date) crossing France and Belgium to reach England, along the way leaving a sister in a French convent. He never mentioned this trip, always claiming that he first arrived in England on 6 October 1831. For once incontrovertible evidence gives him the lie. First, an advertisement appeared in The Times at least five times, first on 1 August 1818 and then repeated daily, over a year later, from 18 through 21 October 1819: F. Moscati, a gentleman from Naples but latterly of Rome, where he had taught Italian to "English visiters" there, now offered Italian language lessons in London, at half a guinea per hour. In 1818 his address was 15 Skinner Street, Snowhill, later 284 Strand. He could also be contacted at Mr Bell's, bookseller, of Oxford Street.

Second, parish records show that on 22 April 1821, at St.Pancras Old Church, London, Francesco M. Moscati married, by special license, Emma Handford; the handwriting in the parish records is identical to that of later documents signed by the "Marquis de Moscati." Both bride and groom were described as single, of age, and "of this parish." The special license allowed the ceremony to be performed anywhere and without the usual 15 days' residency in a parish; the "of this parish" of the marriage certificate might be pro forma, or Moscati had moved again. Soon after the wedding the couple settled in Paris, where Moscati contributed regularly to the periodical press and dreamt of being a literary figure. Between 1821 and 1830 he contributed not only to the Révue Encyclopédique but also to the Journal asiatique and Bulletin scientifique, using the signature F.M. He also contributed pieces signed only M. to the daily Constitutionnel ; testimony under oath in 1836 in a London court identified these as translations rather than original work. In addition to his periodical work, he said, the Paris publisher Ladvocat brought out his pseudononymous "romance," Le Monstre Politique . He also claimed an article on Chateaubriand in the Foreign Review . Though in 1827 William Fraser, the Foreign's editor, did recruit Continental contributors, the review of Chateaubriand (1 [April 1828 ], 468-489) at most includes small bits by Moscati.

We know little more about these years in Paris. In 1824 Moscati attended Gall's lectures. Probably he was involved again with liberal causes. Whatever was happening, Emma may have felt either neglected or bored. When Moscati returned to England, arriving by ship in London on 6 October 1831, he claimed that the political situation had forced him out of France and that he was trying to find his wife, who had been seduced by and had run off with an unnamed Irishman. He either did not find Emma or failed to persuade her to return to him. He had not intended to stay in Britain, he said; had long wished to settle in North America, but the search for Emma had exhausted his funds. At this point, he contacted "a friend in the country, whom I had intimately known in Paris"; this unnamed friend, who introducted him to others, was, I believe, Edward Bulwer (later Bulwer Lytton), who had lived in France, mainly in Paris, for considerable periods in 1825-1826 when he was working on Pelham. In January 1832 Bulwer, who was now living in London, sponsored Moscati for his first reader's ticket to the British Museum Reading Room (which Moscati regularly renewed). In the same year, as editor of the New Monthly Magazine Bulwer printed at least one article by Moscati. Later Moscati claimed that he was the author of Pelham (published anonymously), or at least had assisted in its writing, and had assisted Gabriele Rossetti (Dante Gabriel's father) with his edition of Dante—claims Bulwer and Rossetti denied in court. Rossetti pointed out that he first published his edition in London in 1826, five years before Moscati's return.

Moscati also left his card with some London booksellers. A series of introductions led him to Professor Michael Faraday, who in turn introduced him to the Royal Institution, where in March and April 1832 Moscati delivered a series of literary lectures, for which he was paid 30 gns. After the Royal Institution discontinued literary lectures in favor of scientific, he lectured in November at the Literary and Scientific Institution, which also paid him. The lectures led to more introductions, pupils, invitations to London dinner parties. In April, before the fourth Royal Institution lecture, he became acquainted with Dr. John Elliotson (1791-1868; see ODNB), an eminent but controversial physician who became professor of clinical medicine at London University in the same year. Elliotson quickly took possession of Moscati, even claiming that he had been Moscati's first and only real patron in England, that he had clothed Moscati and given him money, though one wonders if Moscati could really have been as shabby during his earlier months of town and country house visiting and London lecturing as Elliotson claimed. Elliotson, who had recently founded the London Phrenological Society, co-opted Moscati into its ranks, in spite of Moscati's continuing ambivalence towards phrenology. There is no way of knowing whether, without Elliotson, Moscati might have settled into a life of respectable literary hackwork and tall tales that amused many without hurting anyone, as in France. There is also no way of knowing the extent to which Elliotson was responsible for spreading, perhaps sometimes even creating, Moscati's English tall tales. Witnesses at later trials often swore that though they had heard certain stories, they had not heard the stories from Moscati; some even identified Elliotson as the source. Elliotson was a master at inflicting psychological damage, and his two-year control was disastrous for Moscati. He made much of Moscati's linguistic skills: arriving in England in 1831 without knowing a word of the language, he said, Moscati had mastered invariably idiomatic English in just four months, adding it to the 35 languages he already knew. (Of course, we know of Moscati's earlier years in London.) Then Elliotson turned around and privately and publicly, even in court, ridiculed Moscati's use of particular words: for example, "ruminate" in the sense of "meditate," a use the OED shows to have been acceptable at least since the 16th century. He treated Moscati as a child unable to take care of himself. In mid-March 1833 he asked the Royal Literary Fund to assist his protegé, who had not himself applied for aid, making the exaggerated claim that Moscati "had no source of income--not of a farthing." Elliotson collected the £20 granted and wrote the required letter of thanks, even telling Moscati not to thank the Committee. That at least is what Moscati understood him to say. Fortunately William Jerdan, always sympathetic to Moscati, urged him to write his own letter; he promptly did so, explaining why he had not written earlier. As if to show good intentions, Elliotson then sent some brief articles by Moscati to the Penny Cyclopaedia ; he later contended that his efforts to place Moscati's articles and to find students for him were always unsuccessfull. At times Elliotson's interest seems almost prurient, as when he nagged Moscati into revealing details of his debts: £11 for taxes, £6-odd to butcher, baker, etc.; £20 to redeem pawned property; nearly a year's unpaid rent (as of March 1833); and £5 borrowed from "a very young man who could ill lend him money." No wonder that Moscati came more and more to resent Elliotson's patronizing; the two men were set on a collision course. (Elliotson's next, more dramatic performers, a few years after his rupture with Moscati, were the teen-age Okey sisters, whose amazing responsiveness to mesmerism and magnetism Elliotson exhibited to fashionable audiences until the girls were denounced as frauds. Later he became personal physician to such men as Charles Dickens, William Makepeace Thackeray, John Forster, William Macready, and Wilkie Collins.)

In addition to the lectures already mentioned, four papers by Moscati were read to the London Phrenological Society, starting with "History and conversion of an anti-phrenologist" on 5 November 1832, followed by papers on 19 November 1832 and in January and February 1833 (on "The character and phrenological organization of Dr. Spurzheim" and "Wonderful events of 1832"); all were then published in the Lancet and reprinted in Boston, Massachusetts, in the new Annals of Phrenology. Elliotson assured the audience that Moscati, who was in the audience, wrote every word himself. (He evidently spoke with a strong accent; in the 1835 trial Moscati began by saying: "Little acquainted with the elegances and pronunciation of your language, I shall speak slowly and softly, and endeavour, as far as I can, to be understood by you." The Times' s court reporter was not sure that he always caught the words: "the plaintiff proceeded to address the Court, as far as the indistinctness of his foreign utterance was intelligible to us, as follows.")

From 1832 into early 1834 Moscati took private language students, going to their homes for the lessons, and also gave lectures in private homes. Sworn testimony identifies some of his clients and patrons; they were a distinguished group.

  • Richard Farnside, keeper of the land revenue account, secretary to the Phrenological Society, one of the managers of the Western Literary and Scientific Institution; proposed Moscati's lecture there. Had met Moscati at home of Mr. Hodges.
  • The Rev. Dr. Robert Fellowes (1770-1847, philanthropist; see ODNB). A patient of Dr. Elliotson, who introduced him to Moscati; employed Moscati to teach his children (he had two daughters and two sons).
  • Dr. Thomas Joseph Pettigrew (1791-1865; see ODNB), surgeon to the Dukes of Kent (he vaccinated Princess Victoria) and Sussex. A controversial man, among other things in 1835 accused of receiving a bribe. "In 1824 he moved to 8 Savile Row, where he later held popular soirées"; Moscati was the featured attraction at one of these. [See "deSanctis, Bartholomeo" for Dr. Pettigrew's assistance of another Italian emigre.]
  • John Roberts, a shipowner. Moscati lectured at his house in 1833, was paid £45. Roberts "acquired many friends by means of" Moscati's lectures.
  • Arnold Rogers, surgeon, introduced by Elliotson. Three times a week for 18 months Moscati taught him French and the Parisian accent.
  • William Rothery (1775-1864; see ODNB under his son, Henry Cadogan Rothery), Admiralty referee for the Treasury. Moscati taught his children Italian, was paid 65 gns. Had first seen Moscati at Dr. Pettigrew's conversazione; was introduced by Dr. [Joseph] Moore.

During this period Moscati was also successful in placing articles. His RLF list starts its English section with "Calaspo, the republican," in the June 1832 Blackwood's. Usually this article is credited to George Croly, who according to publisher's records submitted the article--probably for Moscati, a service Croly is known to have performed for other unknown writers. Since Croly was Registrar of the Royal Literary Fund at this time, a false claim to the article would not have gone uncontradicted. Croly, the editor of the Monthly, also did not contradict Moscati's claim to articles there ("Talleyrand," "Perrier," "The French Press," "The Inquisition 1818," "The French-jurisprudence," "The French-emigrant"). Moscati said he contributed to Belle Assemblée ("The Improvvisatori") and to the New Monthly, though he could not identify his articles in the latter. "Dare not," Joseph Snow, the RLF's clerk, wrote between lines; his implication is unclear. Under oath Bulwer Lytton testified that Moscati "once wrote three or four pages when I was the editor of the New Monthly Magazine [Nov. 1831 - Aug. 1833], for which he received remuneration" [Times, 4 July 1836]. In addition, Moscati said he had contributed leading articles to the True Sun. He contributed at least two short reviews to the Athenaeum, in the 17 Aug. 1833 and 1 Feb. 1834 issues; Charles Wentworth Dilke, the editor, testified that Moscati's reviews added up to "about a page." There are no marked files for the 1832 issues, which may have included more by Moscati.

Though Moscati seemed to be doing well, early in 1833 relations with Elliotson were becoming strained, and in August their differences came to a head. There was another source of stress which neither Moscati nor anyone else ever mentioned. About this time he began a relationship with a woman whom we know only as Mary; she appears on his death certificate as his wife. Born in London about 1806, she was 32 years younger than Moscati. They had two children: Frances Harriett, born in 1834, and Francis, born on 27 March 1836. Perhaps under a sense of his new responsibilities, or urged on by Mary, Moscati attempted to break loose from Elliotson, becoming his own worst enemy in the effort. It began insignificantly enough. He addressed "some letters" to Paganini through The Times, which printed them on its Letters page in May 1833. Then he spread reckless stories in Paris and London, claiming that he wrote leaders or foreign articles for The Times, had his own office there. The stories filtered back to Printing House Square, which ignored the annoyance until his Paris tailor wrote to him under cover to The Times, asking them to forward the letter. Finally, on 6 March 1834, The Times, which was known to be an implacable enemy once stirred, took notice, with a sneer and a threat: Moscati had no connection with the paper, and they would be "greatly obliged for any information which may enable us to expose, in some exemplary way, the conduct of this pretender." Moscati unwisely replied immediately, to The Times and to the Standard, scenting a conspiracy between Elliotson and The Times. Someone then told The Times of Moscati's saying that as a dinner guest at the home of the editor (Thomas Barnes), he had seen evidence of bribes from foreign governments--a receipt for £5,000 from Louis Philippe as well as gold bowls, fine china, and finer cashmere shawls presented by that ruler, by the Shah of Persia, and by other foreign monarchs. (What bribe-giver or bribe-taker is so naive as to expect written evidence of the bribe or to leave such evidence lying in plain sight? It all sounds like wide-eyed downstairs gossip.) The Times could not let such charges go unchallenged. They asked Moscati to deny saying such things; he did deny it, at the same time effectively reversing his denials by explaining that he had heard these stories from others in Paris and London. The exchange of letters went back and forth; The Times published everything while expressing its contempt for Moscati: "a person named Moscati...this pretender...this imposter"; "this person"; "Moscati's impudence and imposture"; "shuffling and disgraceful answers ... his folly and malignity ... this fellow." They even printed a letter between third parties that referred to the "numerous lies of the Prince of Imposters."

The Times' s letters quickly damaged Moscati's fortunes. On 9 Apr. 1834 Elliotson apologized to the Royal Literary Fund for his earlier support, sending them money to replace their grant to Moscati the previous year. People who had employed Moscati and invited him into their homes now would have nothing to do with him. He later recalled that in 1834 and 1835 he was driven to submitting articles under pseudonyms in order to get them published. Tradesmen to whom he owed money worried when they read their morning newspapers; in April or May 1834 he was imprisoned for a debt of £12. 10/. 11d. On 4 June 1834 he was discharged as an insolvent when it was shown that his creditors had no chance of collecting any of the debt owed them.

Within two weeks of his release Moscati responded to his opponents with a 40-page pamphlet, Mr. Moscati and John Elliotson, or, The revengeful attack of the Times explained and refuted, "printed for the author, and sold by him." Then he brought a libel action against The Times, citing loss of income resulting from their articles; it came to trial on 11 February 1835. He acted as his own lawyer, unmindful of the old adage, and easily proved loss of income. Sir John Campbell, for The Times, acknowledged that it had published the articles but pled justification and dragged out more of Moscati's tall tales in order to ridicule them, and him. He was not, Sir John maintained, a marquis; he had not fought in any part of the Napoleonic wars, let alone through all Bonaparte's battles, nor had he been to the Great Wall of China or to New York. Certainly he had not fought 93 duels, in each hitting his opponent in the left eye. The courtroom was at times convulsed in laughter. Eventually the judge persuaded Moscati to withdraw a juror, ending the trial.

A month later Moscati was in White Cross Street Debtors Prison. From there, more paranoid than ever, he wrote to William Jerdan, asking for RLF assistance to secure his liberty. "My persecutors," he wrote, "are very powerful, and very revengeful, and their conspiracy crescit eundo, but I shall do all in my power to unmask them. From this prison I have petitioned to obtain the permission of bringing another action against the Times Pro forma Pauperis, and I am assured that Sir Frederick Pollock will hold my Brief." Jerdan, arguing that Moscati was "insane to a high point" but not guilty or evil, hoped that the RLF could help him; of course they didn't. After Moscati again received his discharge, he did bring another libel action--not against The Times but against Longman and Company, the publisher of the London Medical Gazette. He did bring the action as a pauper, and Sir Frederick Pollock did represent him. Though Pollack, who had an extensive bankruptcy practice, seemed to thrive on unpopular cases, one must wonder what drew him to Moscati. Representing Longman was the Attorney General, Moscati's old adversary, Sir John Campbell. The case was heard on 2 July 1836; a full report appeared in The Times of 4 July. In an unsigned article on Moscati's 1834 pamphlet, the LMG had resurrected the tall tales ridiculed in the 1835 trial, added additional tales (like Moscati's claims to have "ravished 18 nuns in one night" and to have written Pelham), and called Moscati a liar and insane. Moscati replied, through counsel, that he had not told any of the stories he was accused of telling. The Attorney General excoriated Moscati as "utterly lost to all sense of honour, veracity and decency, ...a pest of society," and called witness after witness who swore they had heard the stories from Moscati himself; he also called Italian and French witnesses to counter Moscati's claim to a marquisate. Elliotson, one of those testifying against Moscati, acknowledged that he wrote the offending LMG article (Longman had refused to identify the author). Finally Lord Denman, the judge hearing the case, stopped the proceedings, berating Pollock for allowing the action to come forward.

Now comes a mystery. Some time in the six months following this second libel suit, the Times report was copied by a Philadelphia newspaper, the National Gazette , with the added information that Moscati had left England in disgust and was now in the U.S. Late in March 1837 that paper happened to be in the hands of a passenger on a steamboat leaving Louisville, Kentucky, for New Orleans, who told another passenger that Moscati was on board their ship. The second passenger, a Southern lawyer and politician named Henry Stuart Foote (1804-1880), struck up a conversation with "Moscati," who was going to New Orleans (Foote disembarked at Vicksburg). Was he really Moscati? On 11 April 1837 Moscati was in London, once again renewing his reader's ticket for the British Museum Reading Room. To suggest an American imposter posing as another imposter would smack too much of easy fiction. Moscati could have left England before the middle of July 1836, visited various places in the U.S., and at the end of March 1837 boarded a fast steamer in New Orleans to return to London. That scenario is beset by another difficulty. In a testimonial dated 5 November 1839 and sent to the RLF, Peter Perring Thoms, the proprietor of the Monthly Magazine in 1836 and 1837, affirmed that "my acquaintance with him [Moscati] commenced in Septr. 1836, ... has been continued uninterrupted to the present time, and that ... he wrote for me the following Popular Articles,... the first of which were

'Oct. 1836, leading article: The Present Crisis of Spain. pp. 248ff.: Louis Philippe, The cause of the present state of France pp. 376ff.: Armand Carrel and M. Thiers. Nov. 1836, leading article: Russia as it really is. Jan. 1837, The Acquavitaro of Longaro. Rome 1518 Feb. 1837, leading article: Italy. Its ancient grandeur & present state. Apr. 1837, pp. 392ff.: The ministry. Molé. Guizot. pp. 398ff.: Asmodeus and the Incognito No. 1.

Yes, Moscati could have made a quick trip to the States, leaving London sometime in January 1837 after submitting copy for the February article and returning at the end of March with two new articles in hand ready for the printers. However, if he did, why did he never write about American affairs? His articles in the Monthly after his "return" followed the pattern of his earlier articles there:

May 1837, pp. 514ff.; Asmodeus and the Incognito No. 2.
July 1837, pp. 17ff.: The literary & political Life of M. Guizot
Aug. 1837, pp. 129ff.: Memoir of Abd-el-Kader, the present Emir of Mascara.
Notes of the Month (also in Sept., Oct., Nov., and Dec.).
Sept. 1837, Asmodeus and the Incognito No. 3.
Dec. 1837, pp. 585ff.: Private and Public Life of Prince Talleyrand.

With Thoms no longer proprietor of the Monthly after 1837, Moscati had to find new employment. In 1838 the publisher W. S. Orr, of 2 Amen Corner, St.Paul's Churchyard, London, employed him "for several months in compiling materials for a work," paying him £2 a week. That year Moscati put together on his own a "Historical Moral & Weather Almanack"; one of Orr's assistants took it over in 1839, paying Moscati £10 for his work. Orr declared himself completely satisfied with Moscati's "integrity and industry"; this in fact is the type of work that Moscati seems to have done well in France. Unfortunately it was not highly paid work; Moscati was barely managing to get by. In 1839, facing renewal of his lease, he again sought assistance from the Royal Literary Fund, and again was denied.

Moscati's death certificate identifies him as professor of languages; family tradition said at The Gower Street Institute, but no such Institute has been traced. At this time private tutors, particularly of languages, often styled themselves "professor." He probably found pupils in the general area of the British Museum and the new London University where he lived, an area being rapidly developed in the 1830s. He gave lessons in his students' homes, sometimes under the watchful eye of a governess. To reach the last pupils whom we can identify, however, he walked across London to Belgravia, to instruct a very young Sarah Isabella Thompson and her slightly older brothers, the children of John Vincent Thompson, Serjeant at Law (and brother of T. Perronet Thompson, who from January 1829 through January 1836 was co-editor and co-proprietor of the Westminster Review). Much work came as a form of charity: John Vincent Thompson "was always ready to help needy foreigners whether they were deserving or not." Years later Sarah Isabella, now Mrs. William Sidgwick, described her old Italian teacher in "A grandmother's tales," published in Macmillan's Magazine in October 1898. The anecdotes that precede and follow her discussion of Moscati can be dated between 1838 and 1840, inclusive. Mrs. Sidgwick's memory occasionally failed at that distance in time; one story about him, for example, involves an event that occurred after his death. Nevertheless she does bring him vividly before us, as the child saw him, in what may be the truest portrait we have. He was, she says, a somewhat shabby, snuffy old gentleman, "sadly marked with small-pox," who told tall tales about his past and exaggerated an ordinary sight in a walk across Hyde Park into something remarkable; a teacher never quite in control of his pupils but fondly remembered. (She uses "snuffy" three times in a single paragraph; the OED gives not only the obvious "bearing marks of ... snuff-taking" but also "ready to take offense.")

Moscati had moved every year or two until 1839, when he settled at 7 Little Charles Street, Regent's Park; he was still living there on 7 July 1846, when he appealed to Sir Robert Peel for help. Still blaming Elliotson (referred to only as "a wealthy and revengeful Physician") for most of his troubles, he wrote that "this year I have been very unfortunate both in obtaining pupils, and in having papers inserted in periodicals." Now 72, he had probably been unemployed longer than a year. During this time he received small alms from people besides Thompson. To Peel he named one we heard of earlier and others who were respectable but less well-known than that earlier group: "Dr Moore, of Savile Street, Dr [Henry Shuchburgh] Roots, of Russell Square, Mr L. H. Petit, of New Square, Lincoln's Inn, and Captain [John Richard] Groves [governor of Milbank penitentiary 1842-1854] ... have occasionally helped me in my distress." Dr. Moore, who had first met Moscati at the November 1832 meeting of the Phrenological Society, testified against him at the 1836 trial and was aware that Moscati had even threatened to kill him (and Elliotson), yet could not give up on him.

This period produces another mystery. Living at the Little Charles Street address at the time of the 1841 census were Mary Maccaty, aged 30, of independent means, with two children, Frances Harriett, aged 8, and Francis, aged 5; there was no adult male in the household. Maccaty was one of several variant spellings for Moscati; the names and ages of the children are correct, though Mary has subtracted some four years from her own age. "Independent means"? And where was Moscati? Given the presence of the governor of Milbank penitentiary on his list of benefactors, one must wonder if he was once more imprisoned; insolvents who had committed fraud or forgery were sometimes sent to Milbank. Since this predated the Married Woman's Property Act, Mary's "independent means" may have been safe only because she was not in fact Mrs. Moscati.

After some eight years at the Little Charles Street address, Moscati moved one last time. A year after the letter to Peel, on 30 June 1847, Moscati died at 79 Chalton Street, Somerstown, of cancer of the tongue. Mary was with him at the end, and the Thompsons were still looking out for him. Mrs. Sidgwick reported that "He died in great suffering which he bore with much patient dignity."

In the 1851 census Mary appears as a laundress living on Caroline Street, off Commercial Road in East London, with her children; Frances Harriett was a kitchen maid. In 1860 Frances married Robert Mann, a clerk, later a railway accountant. Francis jr. was successively a printer's clerk, a printer and billposter, and an advertising agent; he died on his birthday in 1910. Mary had died on 13 February 1886.

Sources: I am grateful to Mrs. Shane (Moscati) Abdelnour, Francesco Moscati's greatgreatgranddaughter, for family information. Information on the Italian and British branches of the family is on her website: http://www.geocities.com/shoanour; she has generously passed on to me the results of more recent research.

Other sources for the preceding sketch are RLF file #756 and the following issues of The Times: 17 May 1833; 7 March 1834; 12 March 1834, p. 5; 13 March 1834, pp. 2-3; 14 March 1834, p.5; 20 March 1834, p. 3; 5 Feb. 1835, p. 3; 10 Feb. 1835, p. 3; 11 Feb. 1835, p. 6; 12 Feb. 1835, pp.3-4; 4 July 1836. Also The Weekly Dispatch, Feb 15 1835, and The Sunday Times, July 1836.

Also Henry S. Foote, Casket of Reminiscences, 1874, repr. N.Y.: Negro Universities Press, 1968, pp. 71-73. [Sarah Isabella Sidgwick], "A grandmother's tales," Macmillan's Magazine 78 (Oct. 1898), 427-428; the ms. draft is among the Sidgwick Family Papers in the Pitts Theological Library, Archives and Manuscripts Dept., Emory University, and can be found on-line at www.pitts.emory.edu.

Also BL Add.Ms. 40,595, f.258 (Moscati to Peel, 7 July 1846); mss. letters, John Elliotson to SDUK (at UCL); Athenaeum marked files at City University of London and on-line; British Museum archives, Registers of readers; Roger Cooter, Phrenology in the British Isles: An annotated, historical biobibliography and index (Metuchen NJ & London: Scarecrow Press, 1989), pp. 64, 209, 241-242.


David Robinson

David Robinson, a writer in conservative periodicals on contemporary political, economic, and religious questions, was born on 22 July 1787 in Garton, East Riding, Yorkshire, but spent his adult life in London. Nothing is known of his parents, little of his own life. All his work was published anonymously or pseudonymously, and half of it can at best be only conjecturally identified.

Though Robinson was "educated for business" and began his working life in business, "at an early period of life accident determined literature as his profession." At first he wrote only occasionally, perhaps gratuitously, in local papers, but from 1821 "Writing was my sole employment for fifteen years." The first work he later acknowledged appeared from 1821 to 1823 in Dr. John Stoddart's New Times, a conservative government-backed London daily, when Robinson was already in his mid-thirties. His ambition was to write for the prestigious Quarterly Review. One article appeared in its 55th issue (dated Oct. 1822 but published in Feb. 1823), revised so heavily by the editor that Robinson was only "nominally author"; further articles were declined. Lowering his sights, in January 1824 Robinson moved to Blackwood's, a monthly that sought to be lively rather than decorous; here he stayed for eight years, through 1831. His first article, "Letter from Sampson Standfast, Esq. to Christopher North [the putative editor]", showed that Robinson had already mastered Blackwood's slashing style. John Stuart Mill, writing in The Examiner, condemned Robinson's December 1830 article on the "spirit of the Age" as "the raving of a party politician." At times Blackwood reined in Robinson's excesses; when differences between publisher and contributor became more frequent, Robinson sought work elsewhere. By the end of the relationship, Blackwood's had printed 92 of his articles; twenty of these were leaders and another nine were concluding articles. An early contribution was a four-page, double-columned poem, "New Lights" (Blackwood's 17 [June 1825], 732-735), in spirit an 18th-century political satire but written in an intricate stanzaic form at odds with the poem's content and probably Robinson's invention.

For the first year Robinson signed most of his Blackwood's articles "Y.Y.Y."; then he generally used no signature, occasionally signing as "One of the Old School", "One of the Democracy," "An English Freeholder," and "A Bystander," suggesting an individual apart. Yet while many periodical contributors were essentially freelancers, offering their work to any editor who would accept it, Robinson thought of himself as a staff member writing regularly for a single periodical. For several years Blackwood's published from 12 to 15 of his articles annually; he always took off one or two months but had two or three articles in some issues. With only two articles in the second half of 1831, his connection with the magazine ended.

Robinson identified his published work with meticulous care, listing only articles in issues that he had physically before him, sometimes noting that "The next six Nos. are lent" or "Five Nos. for 1826 are missing from my set; I think I gave them away." Probably he kept monthly financial records and then estimated the number of pages in an issue from the pay received; he never guessed at the titles of articles. These gaps in his records do not matter while he wrote for Blackwood's, since the publisher's papers, in the National Library of Scotland, identify Robinson's work. It's a different matter after he left Blackwood's for Fraser's Magazine, a London monthly similar to Blackwood's in politics and spirit. No publisher's papers are known to survive, and Robinson explained that "My necessities compelled me to sell my set of this work, therefore I cannot give a list.". He contributed to Fraser's for four years, he said, but beginning and ending when? His articles, he estimated, total 600 pages (he often underestimated the extent of his work). The Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals suggests, on subjects and style, that 32 articles over a six-year period are Robinson's, though his "four years" are more likely to be four years. Recent scholars have not discussed any Fraser's articles, staying with the authenticated articles in Blackwood's. And what did Robinson do after leaving Fraser's?

Robinson was a private person, but about 1846 illness and poverty, and chance, led him to surrender some of his privacy. He moved lodgings frequently, to back streets in respectable areas. In 1846 or 1847 he moved from Kensington to Pimlico, around the corner from the Charlotte Chapel, where about the same time the Rev. James Kelly had become minister. Kelly, an evangelical, anti-Tractarian Anglican, discovered the like-minded Robinson and sought help for him. First he asked Martin Tupper to intercede with the Royal Literary Fund, of which Tupper was a life member, on Robinson's behalf. Tupper in turn wrote to Octavian Blewitt, the secretary of the RLF, on 11 June 1847, that "Mr. Kelly will be able to give you particulars of the case which, for reasons of delicacy, I do not place on paper." Robinson's name never appears in the letter, which is included . Those particulars too delicate to be put into writing were probably not scandalous, though painful to someone like Robinson: the story of a a consumptive invalid, brilliant, hardworking when he could work, driven by illness to sell even his books and to accept charity first from friends and now from strangers as he tried to maintain a shred of respectability for his wife and his aged mother, who lived with them. Kelly soon called on Blewitt in person; he also recruited Dr. Edwin Lankester, physician to the Royal Pimlico Dispensary and a champion of medical reform and needy individuals, who in turn called on Blewitt. They learned that Robinson was not eligible for assistance, having published only periodical articles (and only one of those in the more respectable quarterly format). Nevertheless Lankester, who may have known that the RLF no longer turned away all journalists, prodded Robinson to submit his application.

Robinson signed it on 11 October 1847; Dr. Lankester forwarded it on 6 November, and the RLF Committee acted on it on 24 November. It is written partly in the first person, partly in the third, and is the chief source of information about Robinson's life. Unfortunately its account of the years between Fraser's and the application is confused. At first it repeats and seems to continue the time line above: "Writing was my sole employment for fifteen years [i.e., 1821-1836/37]; for four years after I left Frazer [1837/38 – 1840/41] I was wholly disabled by illness, but I have devoted to it [writing?] the greatest part of the last six years [1840/41 –1845/46]." The surprise here is the claim that he has written extensively for the last six years. What? where? Moreover, this part of his letter (first person) contradicts his explanation (third person) of "Cause of distress" on the official form: "Illness. Seven years since an abscess found in his left side which has been followed by two others connecting with the pleura & entirely disabling him from all exertion." According to this version he has not written since 1840; now the years 1837-1840 are unaccounted for. In late 1848 Lankester and Kelly, raising a subscription for Robinson (Blewitt pasted the appeal into Robinson's RLF file), added another piece of information: "Under his literary labours [New Times, Blackwood's, and Fraser's are mentioned] his health broke down, and subsequent efforts at gaining a livelihood in business have entirely failed." Combining the three accounts gives a plausible scenario: after a breakdown or illness forced Robinson to leave Fraser's in 1837, he was unable to work for four years; about 1841 he tried to return to the business world from which "accident" had removed him in 1821. Old friends may have given him some easy employment, but, already in his 50s, he was unable to regain his strength and perhaps also unable to adjust to a changing commercial world. His old illness (pleurisy?) returned, or a new illness developed, unfitting him for endeaour of any sort. Now, he said, he had "no source of income … but the kindness of friends." Eager to demonstrate that he did qualify for RLF aid, Robinson argued that his "articles in the Quarterly, Blackwood and Frazer would fill six, or eight, volumes" (a figure that Lankester later inflated to 26). It may not have been a wise move; the RLF, and particularly the powerful Blewitt, wanted supplicants to be humble. The application was rejected: "Authorship insufficient to establish a claim—not having published any separate work."

Robinson may have been hurt by being an outsider, aloof from the literary community. The RLF asked for "sponsors" who had known the applicant for a number of years and could attest that after a blameless life he was now in distress through no fault of his own. Robinson was able to engage people's loyalty; three of his sponsors had known him for 19 years and one for 26 years. They were upstanding citizens, elected sheriffs, merchants and shipowners; had good addresses; the births of their children were announced in the columns of the Time. However, they were unknown to the Committee of the Royal Literary Fund. (What happened about 1828 that caused Robinson to make several new business friends at that time?) William Blackwood was dead, and Robinson had never become close to the Fraserians.

As Robinson's health deteriorated, his friends had him moved to Wickham, Hampshire, for the sake of his health. He died there on 19 February 1849, aged 61, of "consumption no medical attendant," attended by an illiterate Eliza Higgins, who signed her mark as being "present at the death.". An obituary in the Athenaeum, copied in Gentleman's Magazine, bears the mark of Dr. Lankester, who used it to attack the RLF one last time, without naming the Fund: Robinson had been "for many years a contributor to the leading magazines, his writings in which often displayed great power, and excited much attention. Mr. Robinson was, however, one of those victims with which the bye-places of literature abound,--for want of some institution within the republic of letters itself on which the sick and the destitute might have a citizen's claim." His wife and mother survived him; there had been no children.

Sources

Royal Literary Fund archives, case 1180. His correspondence with the Blackwoods is in the National Library of Scotland, and there is apparently an ms. biography by Professor Alan Lang Strout in the Texas Technological University library. Death cert. Gent. Mag. Apr. 1849, 442.

Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals, vols 1; 3:989-992.

Hill Shine and Helen Chadwick Shine, The Quarterly Review under Gifford. Chapel Hill N.C.: U. North Carolina P., 1949.

Alan Lang Strout, A bibliograpy of articles in "Blackwood's Magazine" volumes i through xviii 1817-1825. Lubbock, Texas: Library Texas Technological College, 1959. P. 116 and passim.

Newspaper Writings by John Stuart Mill , ed. Ann and John M. Robson, UToronto P, 1986 (Collected Works of JSM, vol. 22), 229.

Frank Whitson Fetter, "The economic articles in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, and their authors, 1817-1853," Scottish Journal of Political Economy (June 1960), 85-107.

Anna Gamble, Protection and politics. Conservative economic discourse, 1815-1852. A Royal Historical Society Publication. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press, 1999.

Harold Perkin, Origins of modern English society. London and N.Y.: Routledge, 1990.

Salim Rashid, "David Robinson and the Tory macroeconomics of Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine," History of Political Economy 10 (1978), 258-270.


Dr Bartolomeo de Sanctis

A native of Rome, Bartolomeo de Sanctis in 1802 earned an M.D. degree from the University of Rome, where subsequently he was professor of Mathematics. He lost the professorship when the French occupied the city in 1813. With the help of Baron von Humboldt, the German scientist and his "best Friend and Protector," de Sanctis became military physician to the Dutch forces. He was said to be a fellow of several learned societies and colleges of medicine. After the peace of 1815, with recommendations from the Dutch government and from Sir Charles Stewart, then British Minister to Holland, de Sanctis went to England, hoping, he said, to join a scientific expedition. On 30 September 1816 he was admitted a Licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians in London; his name last appears in the "College Catalogue of ... Licentiates" in 1836.

In 1825 Thomas Joseph Pettigrew recommended de Sanctis for Royal Literary Fund assistance, declaring that "His writings in our own as well as Foreign Journals are very numerous"; de Sanctis was given a grant of £15. (Dr. Pettigrew continued to aid Italian emigrés; see Moscati, Francesco, above.. As surgeon to the Duke and Duchess of Kent, in 1819 he vaccinated Victoria; later he was surgeon to the Duke of Sussex.)

In a letter to Dr. Pettigrew dated 3 May 1829 (ms. RCP), Sir George Leman Tuthill discussed de Sanctis's insanity and urged the undesirability of the Duke of Sussex seeing him in that state. One of several indications of insanity was his attempted suicide; admission to Bethlem Hospital was mentioned as a possibility. Although de Sanctis continued to appear in the Catalogue of Licentiates for seven more years, no address was given after 1829. Moreover, though he had been a regular user of the British Museum library ever since his arrival in England, he last renewed his reader's ticket in March 1829.

Dr. de Sanctis considered himself a true Renaissance man. He identified a wide range of scientific interests (galvanism, electricity, magnetism, heat, light, sound, philosophical laws of harmony) but was, he said, as much a literary man as a scientist. He wrote poetry in Italian, translated Anacreon into Italian, carried on a "literary duel" in English on "the impossibility of the tonic accent or emphasis falling on a short syllable," and wrote Latin pieces in the style of Horace and Catullus. He even earned a little money writing Latin inscriptions for medals and monuments.

Only two brief notices in the Foreign Quarterly Review in 1828 have been identified as by de Sanctis; in spite of his claims to proficiency in English, the editor had to translate these. He edited The Italian Bee in London (L'Ape Italiano a Londra), indicating ties with the Italian community there. In 1817 the London publishers Schulze and Dean published his Lusus naturae Londini observatus descriptus, tabula et notis insuper illustratus.

Sources: I am grateful to Julie Beckwith, Deputy Manager, Library & Information Service & Collections Librarian, Royal College of Physicians, who combed their collection for information. See also Royal Literary Fund archives #547; British Museum Register of Reading Room tickets.


John Smirnove -- The Rev. James Smirnove

John Smirnove was born, probably in the 1780s, and he died, probably in the early 1840s; dates are unclear. The son of the Rev. James Smirnove [see below], he grew up in London and some time before 1825 succeeded his father as diplomatic secretary at the Russian Embassy. In October 1831 he was sent on a mission to Austria, returning in April 1833 to his position at the Embassy in London. In May 1836, in failing health, he was named Russian Consul General in Genoa, where it seems he died. His name disappeared from Royal Society lists in 1844; his death, but not its date or place, was reported at the 24 May 1845 meeting of the Linnean Society.

John Smirnove styled himself "Soc. Caes. Nat. Cur. Mosc. Socius," (Societas Caesarea Naturae Curiosorium Mosqueusis Socius, perhaps translatable as Fellow of the Imperial Moscow Society of Students of Natural History). In London he was elected Fellow of the Linnean Society on 18 Nov. 1823 and Fellow of the Royal Society on 5 May 1825. He was an early member of the Literary Union Club and of its executive Committee; in the latter capacity he blackballed a Polish applicant who later horsewhipped him. Probably confusing Smirnove's assignments to Austria and to Genoa, Cyrus Redding implied that this occurred not long before May 1836 and that the Russian government posted Smirnove to the Continent to defuse tensions. However, Smirnove's eighteen-month stay in Vienna seems more likely to have been the cooling-down period; one can easily imagine an exiled Pole reacting violently in autumn 1831 to an Anglo-Russian's perceived slight. The Genoa appointment, unlike that to Vienna, was on-going, and it offered Smirnove not only more responsibility but also the warmer climate deemed necessary for his health.

Smirnove published at least one paper in Transactions of the Linnean Society ("On the locust which lately devastated the southern provinces of Russia," 15: 1826-27: 507) and contributed to the Foreign Quarterly Review in 1827.

The Reverend James (Jakob Ivanovich) Smirnove , the father of John Smirnove, became chaplain and secretary to Count Woronzow and the Russian Embassy in London some time before 1792; he remained chaplain after passing the duties of secretary to his son in the early 1820s. James's dates are sometimes given as 1759-1842; however, since father and son are often confused, 1842 could be the date of the son's death. Cyrus Redding claimed that the father had been dead for "some years" before the horsewhipping episode, ruling out an 1831 date for the horsewhipping and an exaggeration if the horsewhipping occurred in 1836. In April 1833 John, the son, reported that his father had recently sent parcels to Russia for W. J. Hooker, and in February 1834 James Smirnove of 32 Welbeck Street, described by the British Library as "chaplain and/or secretary, the Russian embassy," corresponded with T. J. Pettigrew about ancient Russian bibles that Smirnove had borrowed from the Duke of Sussex's collection in 1827 and still had in his possession. At this time James Smirnove complained of "the weak State of my Eyesight which has been so for some time." (Son John, who was never a clergyman, lived at 46 Wigmore Street.)

James Smirnove was an authority on old coins and old books with a lively interest in the science and literature of his own time. He was a life subscriber to the Royal Institution from its start in 1800, and he was "an old acquaintance of the poet" Thomas Campbell, who provides our only surviving description of him. In January 1804 Campbell had become a candidate for the newly vacant Regent's Professorship at the University of Vilna. He reports that a month later, on the advice of his British supporters, "I called immediately … on Smirnove, the great High Priest—he is more than six feet high—of the Russian legation. He seems, on further acquaintance, to be a good-natured, sensible man; and to have considerable respect for the literature of this country, particularly for the writings of Dugald Stewart! He talked of my poetry! … Finding Smirnove somewhat liberal in his politics, I asked his opinion, fairly but confidentially, how far this passage [Pleasures of Hope Pt. 1, on Poland] might affect me? He promised, upon his honour, to read the passage, and give me his best judgment, whether it be likely to affect me or not. The man looks so very honest, that I have no doubt of his telling me sincerely what he thinks of it, and what his brother Muscovites are likely to think of it" (Campbell ed. Beattie 2:9-10). Smirnove must have given an honest, and discouraging, answer, for Campbell did not pursue his application but apparently did develop a friendship with this man who had impressed him so favorably from the start.

Over the years James Smirnove became a useful and trusted friend to several British scientific, aristocratic, and literary figures. Of Frederick North, 5th Earl of Guilford the ODNB reports that "On his deathbed [in Oct. 1827], to the disapproval of his relatives, he received communion according to the Greek rite from Father Smirnov, chaplain to the Russian embassy." [Both father and son spelled their name Smirnove, but others sometimes used variant spellings.]

Sources for John Smirnove: ms. letters from him to Sir William J. Hooker between July 1830 and Apr. 1836 (Kew Gardens Library). Proceedings of Linnean Society 1:245. Information from Royal Society and Linnean Society. Life and Letters of Thomas Campbell, ed. William Beattie, MD. one of his executors (London: Edw. Moxon, 1849), 2:7-10. Cyrus Redding, Literary Reminiscences and Memoirs of Thomas Campbell (London: Charles J. Skeet, 1860), 2:267.

Sources for James Smirnove: "Translator's Introduction" to his translation of Sergey Pleschééf, Survey of the Russian Empire (London: J. Debrett, 1792). Ms. letters from him to T. J. Pettigrew, 20 Aug. 1827 and 15 Feb. 1834 (BL Add. Ms. 56,230, ff. 117-120). The Charter and Bye-Laws of the Royal Institution of Great Britain (London, 1803).


Edward Wilberforce

Edward was the grandson of the great opponent of slavery, William Wilberforce (1759-1833; see DNB); the second son of Robert Isaac Wilberforce (1802-1857; see DNB) and Agnes Wrangham Wilberforce; and the nephew of Samuel Wilberforce (1805-1873; see DNB), Bishop of Oxford and then of Winchester. He was born on 9 November 1834, in East Farleigh, Kent, where his father was vicar. His mother died a week after his birth, and he was raised at first by his mother�s aunt and cousin, both named Jane Legard. In April 1837 the younger Jane became his step-mother. Later he was sent to Eton, but at a young age, probably at 13, he left to follow his cousin, Samuel Wilberforce's oldest son, Herbert William Wilberforce (1833-1856), who at 12 had left Eton to go to sea. For a time they served on the same ship, probably the Daedalus, but Herbert was sent home for insubordination in April 1852. Edward left shortly thereafter, after four years' service.

He returned to an uneasy house. Perhaps his place in the family would always have been painful; even after this point, his father would continue to mourn the wife he lost with Edward's birth (see Newsome 371). To make matters worse, the extended family was caught up in theological turmoil. Several members had joined the Roman Catholic church in 1850. Robert Isaac was torn, doubting the validity of the Anglican position, put off by some Roman practices, and keeping his uncertainties secret from Jane, his second wife and a loyal Anglican, who had been ill for some time. A year after her death in January 1853 Robert finally made the move, to the dismay of some friends and of Samuel, the brother to whom he had previously been close.

Edward's family encouraged him to join his older brother, William Francis Wilberforce, at Oxford. (Foster's Alumni Oxoniensis mistakenly has Edward matriculating at Balliol in June 1854. At some point he did attend Trinity College, Oxford.) However, he was still restless. He talked of becoming a "great writer," an ambition unacceptable to his father. A poem, "Lines on Brazil. By a middy," appeared in Bentley's Miscellany (32 [Dec. 1852], 624), but other manuscripts submitted to publishers had to be revised before appearing elsewhere a few years later. He retreated to Northumberland; in 1853 he dated from Bywell St. Peter's, Newcastle on Tyne, and spoke of reviewing books in the Newcastle Chronicle, a weekly with an anti-slavery history and radical associations.

He travelled on the Continent "for some months" before alighting temporarily in London, where in January 1856 he started a seriocomic monthly, The Idler: magazine of fiction, belles lettres, news, and comedy, editing it and drawing a number of well-known contributors during its 6-month run. In the same year he published Brazil viewed through a naval glass, with notes on slavery and the slave trade . After The Idler closed, he settled in Munich. He and his father had reconciled, and in the autumn of 1856 they and his brother travelled together through Germany. (The two sons, like their uncle Samuel, remained Anglicans, though Edward was less committed to the church than the other two.) Not long after his return to Munich, Edward was called to Italy, his father having died in Albano in February 1857. Later in 1857 Edward and Edmund Forster Blanchard, son of Laman Blanchard, published a volume titled simply Poems; Edward's often reflect bitterly on the theological disputes which entangled his extended family.

In 1860 Edward Wilberforce married Fannie, daughter of Alexander Flash of New Orleans, Louisiana (died 1865 in Mobile, Alabama), a slave-owner and probably a merchant with holdings in Europe. They had three sons and a daughter; the first child was born in Munich in 1861. Through most of the 1860s he supported the family as a journalist. His German experiences provided material for many articles, later reprinted as a book, and he wrote on a great variety of other subjects. After he was called to the Bar in 1866, his contributions to periodicals continued while he established himself as a barrister but came to a halt after 1872; his efforts at fiction had ended a few years earlier. Now he wrote on the philosophy or theory of the law. He was named a revising barrister (North-Eastern Circuit) in 1885 and a Master of the Supreme Court from 1899. However, he never gave up his literary studies, in his 60s and 70s becoming a Dante scholar and translating the Divine Comedy.

He was a member of the Athenaeum Club and lived in Brentwood, Essex, where he died on 7 January 1914.

He contributed to the Athenaeum in 1856 and from 1862 through 1871 (439 arrticles are identified as his in the marked file; see http://web.soi.city.ac.uk/~asp/v2/home.html). The Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals identifies his prose contributions to Temple Bar (1861-1863, 1865-1867, 1869, 1872); Cornhill Magazine (1863-1864, 1866); North British Review (1865); Edinburgh Review (1866-1867); and Dark Blue (1872). He also contributed essays to The Reader, 1863-1867 (John Francis Byrne, "The Reader: A Review of Literature, Science and the Arts, 1863-1867," unpubl. Ph.D. diss., Northwestern University, 1964, copyright 1965, p. 337)

In addition to titles already mentioned, he published: Social life in Munich (1863; reprints periodical contributions);One with another (fiction), 2 vols., 1865; The Duke's honour (fiction), 3 vols., 1870; Statute law; The principles which govern the construction and operation of statutes, 1881; The better waters of purgatory (Dante Society Lectures vol. 2, 1906). He translated Heinrich Kreissle von Hellborn's Franz Schubert: a musical biography, 1866; Dante's Inferno, and other translations, 1903; Dante's Inferno [with Purgatorio and Paradiso], 3 vols., 1909.

Gerhart Wiesend has translated, abridged, and annotatedSocial life in Munich, publishing it as Ein Snob in Mnchen. Die erstaunlichen Beobachtungen des Mr. Edward Wilberforce in München

Sources (in addition to those identified above):

Who Was Who, vol. 1. David Newsome, The Wilberforces and Henry Manning. The parting of friends (Cambridge MA: Belknap Press of Harvard UP: 1966), 160, 248-49, 397, 408-09. Standish Meacham, Lord Bishop. The life of Samuel Wilberforce (Cambridge MA: Harvard UP, 1970), for general background. Times (London) 12 Jan. 1914. VPR 32 (1999), 148, 157. BLPC. Ms. letters, Bentley Archives. Alvin Sullivan, ed., British Literary Magazines 3:505.

On-line sites used: Miquel de Avendano's Family Tree of Oswald Wrangham ... pt. II; also Mobile Co., AL, Wills, bk. 3, pt. 2, on the USGenWeb Project.

My thanks to Alan Tadiello, Assistant Librarian, Balliol College, Oxford, for checking Balliol and Oxford University records.


 

Future installments will cover most (if not all) of the following, and perhaps others as well:

BLAIR, Alexander, 1782-1878

BUNBURY, Selina, 1802-1887

BUSK, Mary Margaret (Blair), 1779-1863

CHURCHILL, James, born 1803/04; died between 1843 and Nov. 1846.

CLARKSON, Edward, 1787/88-1871

CORKRAN, John Frazer, 1811-1884.

DAUNEY, William, 1800-1843

DEVEREUX, Humphrey Bohun, 1812-1880

FISHER, George Thomas, d. 1847

FRASER, William, c.1805-1852?

FRIEDLAENDER, Dr. Eberhard David, 1799-living in 1886

GORDON, Hunter, 1799/1800-1859 or later

GRATTAN, Thomas Colley, 1792-1864.

GRIMES, Thomas, 1798-1850

HUSSEY, Rev. Thomas John, 1797-1866/67

KEEN, Benjamin, 1795-1839

KELLY, Walter Keating, 1806-1873

KIRWAN, Andrew Valentine, 1804-1870.

LEEDS, William Henry, 1786-1866.

LHOTSKY, Dr. Johann, 1795-after 1865

MacNAGHTEN, Francis, 1798-1869

MACRAY, John, 1796-1878.

MAZZINGHI, Thomas John, 1810-1893.

MICHALOWITZ, Edward Henry, later Michelson, Michelsen, 1795-1870.

MUEHLENFELS, Ludwig von, 1793-1861

MURRAY James, d. 1835

POTE, Benjamin Edward, 1795/96-1862

PRANDI, Fortunato, d. 1868

ROBINSON, David, 1787-1849

SINNETT, Edward William Percy, 1800?-1844

SINNETT, Jane (Fry) (Mrs. E. W. P.), 1805/06-1870

SMEATON, George, 1814-1880.

STAEHELE, Dr. Andreas, fl. 1820-1829

TAYLOR, George, 1772-1851.

TUFNELL, Edward Carleton, 1806-1886.

TURNER, John Hall, 1816-still living in 1865

TYTLER, Dr. John, 1790-1837

VIEUSSEUX, André, 1789/90-1858.

VILLIERS, Edward Ernest, 1806-1843

WALLACE, William, 1785/86-1839 [and 2 or 3 other William Wallaces, all of whom may have contributed to periodicals].

WHITEHEAD, Samuel Durham, born before 1790, died after 1831.

WILLIAMS, Edmund Sydney, 1817-1891.

WORTHINGTON, Dr. James William, 1799/1800-1879

© Copyright 2002-2013

Eileen M. Curran

Colby College, Emerita



[1] Letters from David Jennings Vipan to William Bodham Donne, Oct. - Dec. 1844, in private possession, quoted in Wellesley 3:71-75; additional paragraph from letter of 12 Dec. 1844 kindly transcribed for me by Prof. Hans de Groot. In future referred to as "Vipan."

[2] Gladstone to Canning, 15 & 17 June 1843 (BL Add.Mss.44,527, f.130); Gladstone's Registers of Letters, both Private and "Demi-official," records a number of letters concerning Banfield and Hungary, written or received between 10 May and 21 June 1843: BL Add.Mss. 44,553, f. 8; 44,554, ff. 3, 11.

[3] Copybk. VIII/1, Chadwick mss., University College London Library.

[4] Crabb Robinson diary transcripts 19:519, in Dr. Williams's Libr.; Banfield to Brougham, 1 Feb. 1844, and Nassau Senior to same, 2 Feb. 1844 (Brougham 2737, 34,265); Banfield to Council of UCL, n.d. [late 1843] and to Charles C. Atkinson, 1 Feb. 1844, both UCL College Corresp. J. R. McCulloch, apparently Banfield's first supporter in England, was University College's original Professor of Political Economy. The chair was declared vacant in April 1837 but not filled until 1854 (see Bellot, Univ. Coll. London, 106-107, 252).

[5] Letter dated only 26 March; "[1846?]" added. Harrowby Papers; transcript provided by Prof. de Groot.