Wikipedia historical people entries including Ralph Allen

Ralph Allen

Prior to Now on Combe Down link: Ralph Allen and Prior Park

Ralph Allen
Bornc. 1693
Died29 June 1764 (aged 70–71)
Bath, Somerset, Great Britain
Resting placeClaverton, Somerset
Occupation(s)Postmaster, merchant and philanthropist
Known forReforming the British postal system

Ralph Allen (c. 1693 – 29 June 1764) was a British postmaster, merchant and philanthropist best known for his reforms to Britain's postal system. Born in St Columb Major, Cornwall, he moved to Bath, Somerset to work in the municipal post office, becoming its postmaster by 1712. Allen made the system more efficient and took over contracts for the British mail service to cover areas of England up to the Anglo-Scottish border and into South Wales.

He purchased local stone mines from his postal profits and had Prior Park built as his country house to show off the versatility of Bath stone, using the old post office as his townhouse. Working alongside architect John Wood, the Elder, the stone Allen mined was heavily used in construction work for development works in Bath. However, the mines did not consistently make a profit and he subsidised them from his postal profits.

After his death, he was buried in a pyramid-topped tomb in Claverton, Somerset. Allen is commemorated in the names of streets and schools in the city of Bath and was the model for the character of Squire Allworthy in the 1749 novel The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling by Henry Fielding.[1]

Early life

Much is unknown or obscure regarding Allen's early life. The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography gives his father as Philip Allen, reputed to be an innkeeper.[1] As a teenager, Allen worked at the Post Office at St Columb, run by his grandmother. He moved in 1710 to Bath, where he became a post office clerk, and at the age of 19, in 1712, became the Postmaster of Bath.[2] In 1742 he was elected Mayor of Bath.[3]

Involvement in the postal system

Allen's second postal contract, 1727, at the Bath Postal Museum

At the age of 27, Allen took control of the Cross and Bye Posts in the South West under a seven-year contract with the General Post Office, although he had no official title.[4] At the end of this period he had not made a profit, only breaking even,[3] but he had the courage to continue.[5]

Over the next few years, he reformed the postal service.[6] He realised that post boys were delivering items of mail along their route without them being declared and that this was lost profit. He introduced a "signed for" system that prevented the malpractice.[7] He also improved efficiency by not requiring mail to go via London.

Allen's reputation grew and he took over more and more of the English postal system, signing contracts every seven years until he died aged 71. It is estimated that he saved the Post Office £1,500,000 over a 40-year period.[8] He won the patronage of General Wade in 1715, when he disclosed details of a Jacobite uprising in Cornwall.[9]

Bath stone and his residences

With the arrival of John Wood in Bath, Allen used the wealth gained from his postal reforms to acquire the stone quarries at Combe Down and Bathampton Down Mines.[3][10] Hitherto, the quarry masons had always hewn stone roughly providing blocks of varying size. The resulting uneven surface is known as "rubble" and buildings of this type – built during the Stuart period – are visible throughout the older parts of Bath.[11]

The distinctive honey-coloured Bath stone, used to build the Georgian city, made Allen a second fortune. The building in Lilliput Alley, Bath (now North Parade Passage), which he used as a post office, became his town house[12] and in 1727 he refronted the southern rubble wall, extended the house to the north and added a new storey.[13] John Wood the Elder refers to this in his "Essay towards the future of Bath". Allen was astute at marketing the qualities of Bath stone and erected an elaborately ornate building a few feet to the north of his house to demonstrate its qualities. The extension (as Wood refers to it) has become known as "Ralph Allen's Town House", though whether it was designed by Wood is unproven and many local historians consider it unlikely.[14][15][16] Allen continued to live there until 1745, when he moved to Prior Park, and the town house became his offices.[17]

Allen had the Palladian mansion of Prior Park built (1742) on a hill overlooking the city, "To see all Bath, and for all Bath to see".[10] He gave money and the stone for the building of the Mineral Water Hospital in central Bath 1738.[18] In 1758 he bought Claverton Manor, just east of Bath.[19]

Allen had a summer home built in the coastal town of Weymouth in Dorset, overlooking the harbour at number 2 Trinity Street, opposite the Customs House.[20] There is a plaque on the house to commemorate Allen. His Bath stone was used in the Georgian buildings of Weymouth.[21]


Allen's tomb in Claverton

After Allen died in Bath on 29 June 1764,[22] he was buried in a pyramid-topped tomb in Claverton churchyard, on the outskirts of the city.[23] A marble bust stood in the Mineral Water Hospital (later the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases) and was moved to the hospital's new building at Combe Park in 2019.[24]

His name is commemorated in Ralph Allen Drive which runs past his former home at Prior Park. Now a busy road from Combe Down village to Bath city centre, this was the route by which the stone from his quarries at Combe Down was sent on wooden sledges down to the River Avon. Prior Park College, a private school for 11- to 18-year-olds, is housed in Allen's former home and incorporates a boys' boarding house named Allen House.[25] The Prior Park Landscape Garden and Palladian bridge are cared for by the National Trust, who brought the garden back from dereliction in 1993.[26][27] He is also remembered in Ralph Allen School, one of the city's state secondary schools.[28]

The Ralph Allen CornerStone in Combe Down village opened in the autumn of 2013. This houses the archives of the Combe Down Heritage Society and provides a community hub and information centre as part of the legacy of the project to infill the stone mines underneath the village.[29] Writer Henry Fielding used Allen as the model for Squire Allworthy in the 1749 novel The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling.[3]

See also


  1. ^ a b Buchanan, Brenda J. "Allen, Ralph". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/386. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. ^ Staff, Frank (1966). The Penny Post, 1680–1918, p. 57. London: Lutterworth Press
  3. ^ a b c d "Ralph Allen Biography". Bath Postal Museum. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  4. ^ "Ralph Allen". St Mary the Virgin, Claverton. Archived from the original on 6 August 2016. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  5. ^ "Ralph Allen's Postal Contract". A History of the World. BBC. Archived from the original on 7 November 2016. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  6. ^ Tombs, R. C. (1899). The Bristol Royal Mail. Post, Telegraph, and Telephone. Bristol: Arrowsmith. pp. 8–16.
  7. ^ "Ralph Allen (1693–1764)". Royal Mail. Archived from the original on 21 January 2018. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  8. ^ "Ralph Allen of Prior Park". National Trust. Archived from the original on 21 January 2018. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  9. ^ "Ralph Allen". Jane Austen Centre. 16 July 2011. Archived from the original on 17 October 2013. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  10. ^ a b "Ralph Allen". Bath UK. Archived from the original on 21 January 2018. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  11. ^ Greenwood, Charles (1977). Famous houses of the West Country. Bath: Kingsmead Press. pp. 70–74. ISBN 978-0-901571-87-8.
  12. ^ "060219.Bath, A Room with a View". Bath Daily Photos. 18 February 2007. Archived from the original on 21 August 2008. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  13. ^ Historic England. "The Ralph Allen Town House (1395830)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  14. ^ Ross, Kay. "Building Report on The Friends Meeting House, York Street, Bath" (PDF). The House Historians. Bath and North East Somerset. Archived (PDF) from the original on 21 January 2018. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  15. ^ Holland, Elizabeth (1992). The Kingston Estate Within the Walled City of Bath: A Composite Plan of the 1740s Showing the Work of John Wood and Others. Blackett Press. ASIN B00ILBPT60.
  16. ^ "Ralph Allen's House, Terrace Walk, Bath". Images of England. English Heritage. Archived from the original on 18 October 2012. Retrieved 10 January 2009.
  17. ^ "060219.Bath, A Room with a View". Bath Daily Photos. 18 February 2007. Archived from the original on 21 August 2008. Retrieved 16 April 2009.
  18. ^ "Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases". Bath Heritage. Archived from the original on 13 November 2017. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  19. ^ "The History of Claverton Manor". American Museum & Gardens. Retrieved 17 November 2020.
  20. ^ Knowles, Rachel. "Ralph Allen - Weymouth's first Georgian tourist". Regency History. Archived from the original on 21 January 2018. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  21. ^ "Ralph Allen black plaque in Weymouth". Blue Plaques. Archived from the original on 20 January 2018. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  22. ^ Tregellas, Walter Hawken (1885). "Allen, Ralph" . In Stephen, Leslie (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. Vol. 01. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  23. ^ Historic England. "Mausoleum to Ralph Allen, in churchyard to south of St Mary's Church (1214536)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 14 January 2008.
  24. ^ "Mineral Water Hospital history makes its way to the RUH's Combe Park site". Bath Echo. 18 December 2019. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  25. ^ "Our History". Prior Park College. Archived from the original on 21 January 2018. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  26. ^ "History: Prior Park, Bath, England". Parks and Gardens UK. Parks and Gardens Data Services Ltd. Archived from the original on 26 December 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  27. ^ "Development of the garden at Prior Park". National Trust. Archived from the original on 3 April 2015. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  28. ^ "About our School". Ralph Allen School. Archived from the original on 20 January 2018. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  29. ^ "Ralph Allen CornerStone". Ralph Allen CornerStone. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 20 January 2018.


  • Boyce, B. (1967). The benevolent man: a life of Ralph Allen of Bath.
  • Erskine-Hill, Howard (1975). "'Low-Born Allen': Ralph Allen (1693–1764)". The Social Milieu of Alexander Pope.
  • Davis, S. (1985). Ralph Allen: benefactor and postal reformer (Booklet). Bath Postal Museum.
  • Hopkins, A. E. (ed.) (1960). Ralph Allen's own narrative, 1720–1761.
  • Peach, R.E.M. (1895). The life and times of Ralph Allen. D. Nutt.

William Warburton

Prior to Now on Combe Down link: William Warburton

William Warburton
Bishop of Gloucester
DioceseDiocese of Gloucester
In office1759–1779
PredecessorJames Johnson
SuccessorJames Yorke
Other post(s)Dean of Bristol (1757–1760)
Personal details
Born(1698-12-24)24 December 1698
Died7 June 1779(1779-06-07) (aged 80)
Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England

William Warburton (24 December 1698 – 7 June 1779) was an English writer, literary critic and churchman, Bishop of Gloucester from 1759 until his death. He edited editions of the works of his friend Alexander Pope, and of William Shakespeare.


St Mary's church at Brant Broughton, where Warburton was rector from 1727
Prior Park, Warburton's home from 1745

Warburton was born on 24 December 1698 at Newark, Nottinghamshire, where his father, George Warburton was town clerk.[1] He was educated at Oakham and Newark grammar schools, and in 1714, he was articled to Mr Kirke, an attorney, at East Markham. In 1719, after serving his articles he returned to Newark, where he began to practise as a solicitor,[1] but, having studied Latin and Greek, changed his mind and was ordained deacon by the Archbishop of York in 1723.[2] He was ordained as a priest in 1726, and in the same year began to associate with literary circles in London.[1]

Sir Robert Sutton gave Warburton the small living of Greasley, in Nottinghamshire, exchanged next year for that of Brant Broughton in Lincolnshire. He was, in addition, rector of Firsby from 1730 until 1756, although he never lived in the village.[2] In 1728, he was made an honorary M.A. of the University of Cambridge.[3]

At Brant Broughton for 18 years he spent his time in study, the first result of which was his treatise on the Alliance between Church and State (1736). The book brought Warburton into favour at court, and he probably only missed immediate preferment by the death of Queen Caroline.[2]

A series of articles defending the writings of Alexander Pope against charges of religious unorthodoxy,[1] led to a friendship with the poet which contributed greatly to Warburton's social advancement. Pope introduced him to both William Murray, later Lord Mansfield, who obtained for him the preachership of Lincoln's Inn in 1746, and to Ralph Allen, who, in Dr Johnson's words, "gave him his niece and his estate, and, by consequence, a bishopric." Warburton married Gertrude Tucker, in September 1745,[1] and from that time lived at Allen's estate at Prior Park, in Gloucestershire, which he eventually inherited in 1764.[2]

He became prebendary of Gloucester in 1753, chaplain to the king in 1754, prebendary of Durham in 1755, Dean of Bristol in 1757, and Bishop of Gloucester in 1759.[2]

Literary works

By 1727 Warburton had written the notes he contributed to Lewis Theobald's edition of Shakespeare,[2] published a Critical and Philosophical Enquiry into the Causes of Miracles,[1] and contributed anonymously to a pamphlet on the jurisdiction of the Court of Chancery, The Legal Judicature in Chancery stated (1727). This was an answer to another anonymous pamphlet, written by Philip Yorke, later Lord Chancellor.[2]

The Divine Legation

After Alliance between Church and State, his next and best-known work, Divine Legation of Moses demonstrated on the Principles of a Religious Deist (1738–41, in two volumes), preserves his name as the author of the most daring and ingenious of theological paradoxes. The deists had made the absence of any inculcation of the doctrine of a future life an objection to the divine authority of the Mosaic writings. Warburton boldly admitted the fact and turned it against the adversary by maintaining that no merely human legislator would have omitted such a sanction of morality. Warburton's extraordinary power, learning and originality were acknowledged on all sides, though he excited censure and suspicion by his tenderness to the alleged heresies of Conyers Middleton. The book aroused much controversy. In a pamphlet of "Remarks" (1742), he replied to John Tillard, and Remarks on Several Occasional Reflections (1744–45) was an answer to Akenside, Conyers Middleton (who had been his friend), Richard Pococke, Nicholas Mann, Richard Grey, Henry Stebbing and other critics. As he characterised his opponents in general as the "pestilent herd of libertine scribblers with which the island is overrun," it is no surprise that the publication of the book created many bitter enemies.[2]

Defence of Pope

Either in quest of paradox, or unable to recognise the real tendencies of Alexander Pope's Essay on Man, Warburton defended it against the Examen of Jean Pierre de Crousaz through a series of articles he contributed to The Works of the Learned in 1738–9. Whether Pope had really understood the tendency of his own work has always been doubtful, but there is no question that he was glad of an apologist, and that in the long run Warburton's jeu d'esprit helped Pope more than all his erudition. This led to a sincere friendship between the two men, with Pope fostering Warburton as a literary collaborator and editor. As part of this effort, in a 1743 edition of the Dunciad published under Warburton's editorship, Pope persuaded Warburton to add a fourth book, and encouraged the substitution of Colley Cibber for Theobald as the "hero" of the poem. On his death in 1744, Pope's will bequeathed half of his library to Warburton, as well as the copyright to all his printed works. Warburton would subsequently publish a full edition of Pope's writings in 1751.[2]

Edition of Shakespeare

In 1747 his edition of Shakespeare was published, incorporating material from Pope's earlier edition. He had previously entrusted notes and emendations on Shakespeare to Sir Thomas Hanmer, whose unauthorised use of them led to a heated controversy. He also accused Lewis Theobald, with whom he had corresponded on Shakespearean subjects as early as 1727, of stealing his ideas, and denied his critical ability.[2]

Later works

Warburton was further kept busy by replying to the attacks on his Divine Legation from all quarters, by a dispute with Bolingbroke respecting Pope's behaviour in the affair of Bolingbroke's Patriot King, and by a vindication in 1750 of the alleged miraculous interruption of the rebuilding of the temple of Jerusalem undertaken by Julian, in answer to Conyers Middleton. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, "Warburton's manner of dealing with opponents was both insolent and rancorous, but it did him no disservice."[2]

He continued to write for as long as the infirmities of age allowed, collecting and publishing his sermons, and attempting to complete the Divine Legation, further fragments of which were published with his posthumous Works. He wrote a defence of revealed religion in his View of Lord Bolingbroke's Philosophy (1754), and Hume's Natural History of Religion called forth some Remarks ... by a gentleman of Cambridge (1757) from Warburton, in which his friend and biographer, Richard Hurd, had a share.[2]

In 1762 he launched a vigorous attack on Methodism under the title of The Doctrine of Grace. He also engaged in a keen controversy with Robert Lowth, later bishop of London, on the book of Job, in which Lowth brought home charges of lack of scholarship and of insolence that admitted of no denial. His last important act was to found in 1768 the Warburtonian lecture at Lincoln's Inn, "to prove the truth of revealed religion ... from the completion of the prophecies of the Old and New Testament which relate to the Christian Church, especially to the apostasy of Papal Rome."[4]


Warburton died at Gloucester on 7 June 1779. He left no children, his only son having predeceased him.[1] In 1781 his widow, Gertrude, married[1] the Rev. Martin Stafford Smith.[5]

Posthumous publications and biographies

His works were edited in seven volumes (1788) by Richard Hurd with a biographical preface, and the correspondence between the two friends—an important contribution to the literary history of the period—was edited by Samuel Parr in 1808. Warburton's life was also written by John Selby Watson in 1863, and Mark Pattison made him the subject of an essay in 1889.[6]


Coat of arms of William Warburton
Impaled with the arms of the Diocese of Gloucester.
Argent a chevron between three cormorants Sable a canton Gules.[7]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Knight, Charles, ed. (1858). "Warburton, William". The English Cyclopaedia. Biography—Volume 6. London: Bradbury and Evans.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Chisholm 1911, p. 318.
  3. ^ "Warburton, William (WRBN728W)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  4. ^ Chisholm 1911, pp. 318–319.
  5. ^ Barchas, Janine (2012). Matters of fact in Jane Austen history, location, and celebrity. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 9781421407319.
  6. ^ Chisholm 1911, p. 319.
  7. ^ "1760 Warburton W, Bishop of Gloucester". Baz Manning. Retrieved 8 June 2024.


Church of England titles
Preceded by Dean of Bristol
Succeeded by
Preceded by Bishop of Gloucester
Succeeded by

Francis Thomas-Fitzmaurice, 3rd Earl of Kerry

Francis Thomas-Fitzmaurice, 3rd Earl of Kerry (9 September 1740 – 4 July 1818) was an Irish peer. He was the heir to a great inheritance, but his extravagance led to the loss of all his Irish estates.

He was the only son of William Fitzmaurice, 2nd Earl of Kerry, and Lady Gertrude Lambart, daughter of Richard Lambart, 4th Earl of Cavan and Margaret Trant. His father died when he was only seven and he became a Ward in Chancery. He was educated at Trinity College Dublin where he took his degree of Bachelor in Arts in 1758 and Master in Arts in 1759.

In 1768 he married Anastasia Daly, younger daughter and co-heiress of Peter Daly of Queensbury, County Galway. She obtained a divorce by Act of Parliament from her first husband (who was also her cousin), Charles Daly of Loughrea, in order to marry Lord Kerry. The Kerry marriage caused much comment, most of it adverse: apart from the decision to divorce her previous husband, a step which was still felt by many in polite society to be scandalous, Anastasia was much older than her husband, socially she was not his equal, and she was a Roman Catholic. Like her husband she was extravagant, and she was blamed by his family for her husband's disastrous financial losses. Nonetheless, the inscription which he had placed on her tomb in Westminster Abbey makes it clear that he never regretted marrying her: it states that for 31 years she made him the happiest of mankind, due to her "charity, benevolence, truth, sincerity, meekness and simplicity".

Others who knew the couple took a more jaundiced view: Horace Walpole called Lord Kerry "a simple young Irish peer that has married an elderly Irishwoman, who was divorced on his account, and wasted a vast estate on the idlest ostentation". The Earl's cousin, whose son was his heir, William Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne wrote uncharitably that "he fell in love with a married lady twenty years older than himself, the daughter of an eminent Roman Catholic lawyer, and she having obtained a divorce, married her; [she was] an extraordinarily vain person. Having their way to fight up into good society, and having no children, they sold every acre of land that had been in our family since Henry II's time".

Lady Kerry died on 9 April 1799. Her husband died in 1818 and was buried in the same tomb in Westminster Abbey. He had no children and the title became an additional title of the Marquess of Lansdowne, descendants of his uncle John Petty, 1st Earl of Shelburne.


  • Cokayne Complete Peerage 13 volumes (1910-1959) Reprinted Gloucester 2000 Vol VII, p. 215
  • Collins, Arthur Peerage of England 12 volumes London 1812 Vol. II, p. 437
  • National University of Ireland Galway Landed Estates Database Estate: Fitzmaurice (Earl of Kerry)
Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by Earl of Kerry
Succeeded by

Thomas Maude, 1st Baron de Montalt

Thomas Maude, 1st Baron de Montalt (c. 1727 – 17 May 1777) was an Anglo-Irish politician.[1]

Montalt was the son of Sir Robert Maude, 1st Baronet and Eleanor Cornwallis, daughter of Thomas Cornwallis and Emma Charlton. He succeeded to his father's baronetcy on 4 August 1750. He was elected to the Irish House of Commons as the Member of Parliament for County Tipperary in 1761 and sat until 1776. In 1765 Montalt held the office of High Sheriff of Tipperary and was invested as a member of the Privy Council of Ireland in 1768. On 18 July 1776 he was created Baron de Montalt of Hawarden in the Peerage of Ireland.[1]

He never married and upon his death his barony became extinct.[1] His estate and baronetcy were inherited by his younger brother, Cornwallis Maude, 1st Viscount Hawarden.


  1. ^ a b c John Debrett, Debrett's Peerage of England, Scotland, and Ireland, Volume 2 (1828), 794.
Parliament of Ireland
Preceded by Member of Parliament for County Tipperary
Succeeded by
Peerage of Ireland
New creation Baron de Montalt
Baronetage of Ireland
Preceded by Baronet
(of Dundrum)
Succeeded by

Viscount Hawarden

Prior to Now on Combe Down link: Prior Park after Ralph Allen

Viscount Hawarden
Quarterly: 1st and 4th, Azure a Lion rampant Argent (Maude); 2nd and 3rd, Argent three Bars Gemelles Sable over all a Lion rampant Gules charged on the shoulder with a Cross Crosslet fitchée Or
Creation date5 December 1793
Created byGeorge III
PeeragePeerage of Ireland
First holderSir Cornwallis Maude, 3rd Baronet
Present holderRobert Connan Wyndham Leslie Maude, 9th Viscount Hawarden
Heir apparentHon. Varian Maude
Subsidiary titlesBaron de Montalt
Maude Baronetcy of Dundrum, County Tipperary
Seat(s)Great Bossington Farm, Kent
Former seat(s)Dundrum House
MottoVirtute Securus
(Safety by manliness)[1]

Viscount Hawarden is a title in the Peerage of Ireland.


It was created in 1793 for Sir Cornwallis Maude, 3rd Baronet, who had earlier represented the borough of Roscommon in the Irish House of Commons. He had succeeded his older brother, Sir Thomas, as third Baronet of Dundrum. He married Mary, a niece of Ralph Allen, through whom lands in Combe Down, Somerset, came into his family. His son, the third Viscount, sat in the House of Lords as an Irish representative peer from 1836 to 1850. His son, the fourth Viscount, was an Irish Representative Peer from 1862 to 1886 and served as a government whip from 1866 to 1868 and from 1874 to 1880 in the Conservative administrations of the Earl of Derby and Benjamin Disraeli. In 1886 the fourth Viscount was created Earl de Montalt, of Dundrum in the County of Tipperary, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. However, this title became extinct on his death in 1905 while he was succeeded in his other titles by his cousin, the fifth Viscount. He was the eldest son of the Very Reverend the Hon. Robert William Henry Maude, second son of the first Viscount. His son, the sixth Viscount, was killed at an early age in France during the First World War while serving as a lieutenant in the Coldstream Guards[2] and was succeeded by his cousin, the seventh Viscount.[3] He was the son of Ludlow Eustace Maude, younger son of the aforementioned Robert William Henry Maude. As of 2010 the titles are held by the latter's grandson, the ninth Viscount, who succeeded his father in 1991.

The Maude Baronetcy, of Dundrum in the County of Tipperary, was created in the Baronetage of Ireland on 9 May 1705 for the first Viscount's father Robert Maude. He represented Gowran, Canice and Bangor in the Irish House of Commons. His eldest son, the second Baronet, sat as a Member of the Irish Parliament for County Tipperary. In 1776 he was created Baron de Montalt, of Hawarden in the County of Tipperary, in the Peerage of Ireland. However, this title became extinct on his death in 1777 while he was succeeded in the baronetcy by his younger brother, the aforementioned third Baronet, for whom the barony was revived in 1785.

Family Seat

The family seat is Great Bossington Farm, near Adisham, Kent.

The former was Dundrum House, an eighteenth-century Palladian house in the style of Sir Edward Lovett Pearce,[4] near Cashel, County Tipperary. An extra storey was added to the house c.1890 by 4th Viscount Hawarden. After being sold by the Maude family in 1908, the house became a convent. It later became a hotel, in 1981.

Maude Baronets, of Dundrum (1705)

Barons de Montalt (1777)

Maude Baronets, of Dundrum (1705; Reverted)

Viscounts Hawarden (1793)

Earls de Montalt (1886)

Viscounts Hawarden (1793; Reverted)

The heir apparent is the present viscount's son, Hon. Varian John Connon Eustace Maude (born 1997)[5]


  1. ^ Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage
  2. ^ "Viscount Hawarden among those killed in battle". New York Tribune. 3 September 1914. p. 3. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  3. ^ Hesilrige 1921, p. 458.
  4. ^ Jones, Mark Bence. Burke's Guide to Country Houses. p. 115.
  5. ^ Morris, Susan; Bosberry-Scott, Wendy; Belfield, Gervase, eds. (2019). "Hawarden, Viscount". Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage. Vol. 1 (150th ed.). London: Debrett's Ltd. pp. 1768–1773. ISBN 978-1-999767-0-5-1.

Works cited

Cornwallis Maude, 1st Viscount Hawarden

Cornwallis Maude, 1st Viscount Hawarden (19 September 1729 – 23 August 1803) was an Anglo-Irish peer and politician.[1]

Hawarden was the second son of Sir Robert Maude, 1st Baronet and his wife, Eleanor Cornwallis, daughter of Thomas Cornwallis and Emma Charlton.[1]

Hawarden succeeded to the baronetcy following the death of his unmarried older brother, Thomas Maude, 1st Baron de Montalt, in 1777. He served as the Member of Parliament for Roscommon in the Irish House of Commons between 1783 and 1785. He was created Baron de Montalt of Hawarden in the Peerage of Ireland on 29 June 1785. He was further honoured when he was created Viscount Hawarden, also in the Peerage of Ireland, on 5 December 1793.[1]

He had 16 children with three wives.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Mosley, Charles, ed. (2003). Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knighthood (107 ed.). Burke's Peerage & Gentry. p. 1826. ISBN 0-9711966-2-1.
Parliament of Ireland
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Roscommon
With: George Sandford
Succeeded by
Peerage of Ireland
New creation Viscount Hawarden
Succeeded by
Baron de Montalt
Baronetage of Ireland
Preceded by Baronet
(of Dundrum)
Succeeded by

Cornwallis Maude, 3rd Viscount Hawarden

Cornwallis Maude, 3rd Viscount Hawarden (28 March 1780 – 12 October 1856) was a British Conservative politician.

Hawarden was the son of Cornwallis Maude, 1st Viscount Hawarden, by his second wife Anne Isabella (née Monck), and succeeded his half-brother in the viscountcy in 1807. In 1836 he was elected an Irish representative peer and took his seat on the Conservative benches in the House of Lords. He served as a Lord-in-waiting (government whip in the House of Lords) under Sir Robert Peel from 1841 to 1846 and under the Earl of Derby in 1852.

Lord Hawarden married Jane, daughter of Patrick Crawford Bruce, in 1811. She died in 1852. Hawarden survived her by four years and died in October 1856, aged 76. He was succeeded in the viscountcy by his only son Cornwallis, who was created Earl de Montalt in 1886.



Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
Thomas Ralph Maude
Viscount Hawarden
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Representative peer for Ireland
Succeeded by

Capability Brown

Lancelot "Capability" Brown
A portrait painting of Brown painted by Nathaniel Dance, c. 1773
Lancelot Brown

Kirkharle, Northumberland, England
Baptised30 August 1716
Died6 February 1783(1783-02-06) (aged 67–68)
London, England
Bridget Wayet
(m. 1744)

Lancelot "Capability" Brown (born c. 1715–16, baptised 30 August 1716 – 6 February 1783),[1] was an English gardener and landscape architect, who remains the most famous figure in the history of the English landscape garden style. He is remembered as "the last of the great English 18th-century artists to be accorded his due" and "England's greatest gardener".

Unlike other architects including William Kent, he was a hands-on gardener and provided his clients with a full turnkey service, designing the gardens and park, and then managing their landscaping and planting. He is most famous for the landscaped parks of English country houses, many of which have survived reasonably intact. However, he also included in his plans "pleasure gardens" with flower gardens and the new shrubberies, usually placed where they would not obstruct the views across the park of and from the main facades of the house. Few of his plantings of "pleasure gardens" have survived later changes. He also submitted plans for much smaller urban projects, for example the college gardens along The Backs at Cambridge.

Criticism of his style, both in his own day and subsequently, mostly centres on the claim that "he created 'identikit' landscapes with the main house in a sea of turf, some water, albeit often an impressive feature, and trees in clumps and shelterbelts", giving "a uniformity equating to authoritarianism" and showing a lack of imagination and even taste on the part of his patrons.[2]

He designed more than 170 parks, many of which survive. He was nicknamed "Capability" because he would tell his clients that their property had "capability" for improvement.[3] His influence was so great that the contributions to the English garden made by his predecessors Charles Bridgeman and William Kent are often overlooked; even Kent's champion Horace Walpole allowed that Kent "was succeeded by a very able master".[4]

Early life and Stowe

Lancelot Brown was the fifth child of a land agent and a chambermaid, born in the village of Kirkharle, Northumberland, and educated at a school in Cambo until he was 16. Brown's father, William Brown, had been Sir William Loraine’s land agent and his mother, Ursula (née Hall[5]), had been in service at Kirkharle Hall. His eldest brother, John, became the estate surveyor and later married Sir William's daughter. His older brother George became a mason-architect.

After school Lancelot worked as the head gardener's apprentice at Sir William Loraine's kitchen garden at Kirkharle Hall until he was 23. In 1739 he journeyed south to the port of Boston, Lincolnshire.[6] Then he moved further inland, where his first landscape commission was for a new lake in the park at Kiddington Hall, Oxfordshire.[7] He moved to Wotton Underwood House, Buckinghamshire, seat of Sir Richard Grenville.[8]

Ha-ha and house at Berrington Hall in Herefordshire, Brown's last big project, a new-build designed by his son-in-law, placed to exploit views in two directions.

In 1741[9] Brown joined Lord Cobham's gardening staff as undergardener at Stowe Gardens, Buckinghamshire,[1] where he worked under William Kent, one of the founders of the new English style of landscape garden. In 1742, at the age of 26, he was officially appointed Head Gardener, earning £25 (equivalent to £4,900 in 2023) a year and residing in the western Boycott Pavilion.

Brown remained at Stowe until 1750. He made the Grecian Valley at Stowe under William Kent's supervision. It is an abstract composition of landform and woodland. Lord Cobham let Brown take freelance work from his aristocratic friends, thus making him well known as a landscape gardener. As a proponent of the new English style Brown became immensely sought after by the landed families. By 1751, when Brown was beginning to be widely known, Horace Walpole wrote somewhat slightingly of Brown's work at Warwick Castle:

The castle is enchanting; the view pleased me more than I can express, the River Avon tumbles down a cascade at the foot of it. It is well laid out by one Brown who has set up on a few ideas of Kent and Mr. Southcote.

By the 1760s, he was earning on average £6,000 (equivalent to £1,036,000 in 2023) a year, usually £500 (equivalent to £86,300 in 2023) for one commission. As an accomplished rider he was able to work fast, taking only an hour or so on horseback to survey an estate and rough out an entire design. In 1764, Brown was appointed George III's Master Gardener at Hampton Court Palace, succeeding John Greening and residing at the Wilderness House.[8] In 1767 he bought an estate for himself at Fenstanton in Huntingdonshire from Spencer Compton, 8th Earl of Northampton and was appointed High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire for 1770, although his son Lance carried out most of the duties.[10]

Landscape gardens

It is estimated that Brown was responsible for more than 170 gardens surrounding the finest country houses and estates in Britain. His work endures at Belvoir Castle, Croome Court (where he also designed the house), Blenheim Palace, Warwick Castle, Harewood House, Highclere Castle, Appuldurcombe House, Milton Abbey (and nearby Milton Abbas village) and in traces at Kew Gardens and many other locations.[11]

Badminton House in Gloucestershire: features of the Brownian landscape at full maturity in the 19th century

His style of smooth undulating grass, which would run straight to the house, clumps, belts and scatterings of trees and his serpentine lakes formed by invisibly damming small rivers were a new style within the English landscape, a 'gardenless' form of landscape gardening, which swept away almost all the remnants of previous formally patterned styles.

Brown's Pond at Sandleford, Berkshire. One of a string of former priory fish ponds adapted by Brown who was at Sandleford on behalf of Elizabeth Montagu from 1781.

His landscapes were at the forefront of fashion. They were fundamentally different from what they replaced, the well-known formal gardens of England which were criticised by Alexander Pope and others from the 1710s. Starting in 1719, William Kent replaced these with more naturalistic compositions, which reached their greatest refinement in Brown's landscapes.

At Hampton Court Brown encountered Hannah More in 1782 and she described his "grammatical" manner in her literary terms: "'Now there' said he, pointing his finger, 'I make a comma, and there' pointing to another spot, 'where a more decided turn is proper, I make a colon; at another part, where an interruption is desirable to break the view, a parenthesis; now a full stop, and then I begin another subject.'"[12] Brown's patrons saw the idealised landscapes he was creating for them in terms of the Italian landscape painters they admired and collected, as Kenneth Woodbridge first observed in the landscape at Stourhead, a "Brownian" landscape (with an un-Brownian circuit walk) in which Brown himself was not involved.

At Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, Brown dammed the paltry stream flowing under Vanbrugh's Grand Bridge, drowning half the structure with improved results


Perhaps Brown's sternest critic was his contemporary Uvedale Price, who likened Brown's clumps of trees to "so many puddings turned out of one common mould."[13] Russell Page, who began his career in the Brownian landscape of Longleat but whose own designs have formal structure, accused Brown of "encouraging his wealthy clients to tear out their splendid formal gardens and replace them with his facile compositions of grass, tree clumps and rather shapeless pools and lakes."[14]

Richard Owen Cambridge, the English poet and satirical author, declared that he hoped to die before Brown so that he could "see heaven before it was 'improved'." This was a typical statement reflecting the controversy about Brown's work, which has continued over the last 200 years. By contrast, a recent historian and author, Richard Bisgrove, described Brown's process as perfecting nature by "judicious manipulation of its components, adding a tree here or a concealed head of water there. His art attended to the formal potential of ground, water, trees and so gave to English landscape its ideal forms. The difficulty was that less capable imitators and less sophisticated spectators did not see nature perfected... they saw simply what they took to be nature."[citation needed]

This deftness of touch was recognised in his own day; one anonymous obituary writer opined: "Such, however, was the effect of his genius that when he was the happiest man, he will be least remembered; so closely did he copy nature that his works will be mistaken."[citation needed] In 1772, Sir William Chambers (though he did not mention Brown by name) complained that the "new manner" of gardens "differ very little from common fields, so closely is vulgar nature copied in most of them."[15]


Capability Brown produced more than 100 architectural drawings,[16] and his work in the field of architecture was a natural outgrowth of his unified picture of the English country house in its setting:

"In Brown's hands the house, which before had dominated the estate, became an integral part of a carefully composed landscape intended to be seen through the eye of a painter, and its design could not be divorced from that of the garden"[7]

Humphry Repton observed that Brown "fancied himself an architect",[17] but Brown's work as an architect is overshadowed by his great reputation as a designer of landscapes. Repton was bound to add: "he was inferior to none in what related to the comfort, convenience, taste and propriety of design, in the several mansions and other buildings which he planned". Brown's first country house project was the remodelling of Croome Court, Worcestershire, (1751–52) for the 6th Earl of Coventry, in which instance he was likely following sketches by the gentleman amateur Sanderson Miller.[7]

Fisherwick, Staffordshire, Redgrave Hall, Suffolk, and Claremont, Surrey, were classical, while at Corsham his outbuildings are in a Gothic vein, including the bathhouse. Gothic stable blocks and decorative outbuildings, arches and garden features constituted many of his designs. From 1771 he was assisted in the technical aspects by the master builder Henry Holland, and by Henry's son Henry Holland the architect, whose initial career Brown supported; the younger Holland was increasingly Brown's full collaborator and became Brown's son-in-law in 1773.

Subsequent reputation

Memorial to Capability Brown in the church of St Peter and St Paul, Fenstanton, Cambridgeshire

Brown's reputation declined rapidly after his death, because the English landscape style did not convey the dramatic conflict and awesome power of wild nature. A reaction against the harmony and calmness of Brown's landscapes was inevitable; the landscapes lacked the sublime thrill which members of the Romantic generation (such as Richard Payne Knight and Uvedale Price) looked for in their ideal landscape, where the painterly inspiration would come from Salvator Rosa rather than Claude Lorrain.

During the 19th century he was widely criticised,[18] but during the twentieth century his reputation rose again. Tom Turner has suggested that the latter resulted from a favourable account of his talent in Marie-Luise Gothein's History of Garden Art which predated Christopher Hussey's positive account of Brown in The Picturesque (1927). Dorothy Stroud wrote the first full monograph on Capability Brown, fleshing out the generic attributions with documentation from country house estate offices.

Later landscape architects like William Sawrey Gilpin would opine that Brown's 'natural curves' were as artificial as the straight lines that were common in French gardens.[19] Brown's portrait by Nathaniel Dance, c. 1773, is conserved in the National Portrait Gallery, London. His work has often been favourably compared and contrasted ("the antithesis") to the œuvre of André Le Nôtre, the French jardin à la française landscape architect.[1][20] He became both "rich and honoured and had 'improved' a greater acreage of ground than any landscape architect" who preceded him.[1][19]

A festival to celebrate the tercentenary of Brown's birth was held in 2016. The Capability Brown Festival 2016[21] published a large amount of new research on Brown's work[22] and held over 500 events across Britain as part of the celebrations.[23] Royal Mail issued a series of Landscape Stamps[24] in his honour in August 2016.

The Gardens Trust with support from Historic England, published Vulnerability Brown: Capability Brown landscapes at risk[25] in October 2017 to review the issues facing the survival of these landscapes as well as suggested solutions.

A commemorative fountain in Westminster Abbey’s cloister garth was dedicated for Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown after Evensong on Tuesday 29 May 2018 by the Dean of Westminster, Dr John Hall. The fountain sits over an old monastic well in the garth. It was designed by Ptolemy Dean, the Abbey's Surveyor of the Fabric, and was developed with the assistance of gardener Alan Titchmarsh. The fountain was made in lead by sculptor Brian Turner.[26]

Personal life

The grave of Capability Brown in the churchyard of St Peter and St Paul, Fenstanton, Cambridgeshire

On 22 November 1744 he married Bridget Wayet (affectionately called Biddy) from Boston, Lincolnshire, in Stowe parish church.[27] Her father was an alderman and landowner while her family had surveyors and engineers among its members. They had eight children: Bridget in 1746, Lancelot (known as Lance), William (who died young), John in 1751, a son in 1754 who died shortly afterwards, Anne who was born and died in 1756, Margaret (known as Peggy) in 1758 and Thomas in 1761.[28]

In 1768 he purchased the manor of Fenstanton in Huntingdonshire in East Anglia for £13,000 (equivalent to £2,180,000 in 2023) from Lord Northampton. This came with two manor houses, two villages and 2,668 acres of land.[29] The property stayed in the family until it was sold in lots in 1870s and 1880s. Ownership of the property allowed him to stand for and serve as High sheriff of Huntingdonshire from 1770 to 1771.[30] He continued to work and travel until his sudden collapse and death on 6 February 1783, on the doorstep of his daughter Bridget Holland's house, at 6 Hertford Street, London while returning after a night out at Lord Coventry's.[31]

Horace Walpole wrote to Lady Ossory: "Your dryads must go into black gloves, Madam, their father-in-law, Lady Nature’s second husband, is dead!".[32] Brown was buried in the churchyard of St. Peter and St. Paul, the parish church of Brown's small estate at Fenstanton Manor.[33] He left an estate of approximately £40,000 (equivalent to £6,080,000 in 2023), which included property in Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire and Lincolnshire.[34] His eldest daughter Bridget married the architect Henry Holland. Brown sent two of his sons to Eton. One of them, Lancelot Brown the younger, became the MP for Huntingdon. His son John joined the Royal Navy and rose to become an admiral.

Gardens and parks

Many of Capability Brown's parks and gardens may still be visited today. A partial list of the landscapes he designed or worked on includes:

More than 30 of the gardens are open to the public.[39]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d "Lancelot Brown". Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. 2007. Retrieved 12 March 2012.
  2. ^ Wickham, 2
  3. ^ McKenna, Steve (17 April 2016). "Highclere Castle: The real-life Downton Abbey". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  4. ^ Walpole, Horace (1905) [1780]. On Modern Gardening. Canton, Pa.: Kirgate Press. p. 87. at Internet Archive
  5. ^ "About Capability Brown | Capability Brown". Archived from the original on 15 February 2018. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  6. ^ Brown 2011
  7. ^ a b c Colvin 1995.
  8. ^ a b c Lancelot 'Capability' Brown Date: 1716 – 1783 Landscape Gardener, The Twickenham Museum, archived from the original on 14 February 2012, retrieved 14 March 2012
  9. ^ Hinde, Thomas (1986), Capability Brown: the Story of a Master Gardener, London: Hutchinson, p. 19, ISBN 0-09-163740-6
  10. ^ "HOW THE MANOR OF FENSTANTON WAS EXCHANGED FOR TASTE" (PDF). Cambridgeshire Gardens Trust. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 March 2016. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  11. ^ a b "Lancelot 'Capability' Brown (1716–1783)". Kew History & Heritage. Kew Gardens. Archived from the original on 8 October 2012. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
  12. ^ Quoted in Peter Willis, "Capability Brown in Northumberland" Garden History 9.2 (Autumn, 1981, pp. 157–183) p. 158.
  13. ^ Uvedale Price. An Essay on the Picturesque. J. Robson, London, 1796. Page 268. (In the 1794 edition this is on page 191.)
  14. ^ Page, Russell (3 May 1994) [1962]. Education of a Gardener (Paperback). The Harvill Press. p. 384. ISBN 0-00-271374-8. ISBN 978-0-00-271374-0
  15. ^ Chambers, William (1772). A Dissertation on Oriental Gardening. W. Griffin. p. v.
  16. ^ Rutherford, Sarah; Evans, Ceryl (2019). "Capability Brown's Drawings: A Reference Catalogue of Drawings by Brown or his Office (c.1740s–83) Including Architectural Drawings and Landscape Scenes". Historic England. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
  17. ^ Repton, Humphry (1752–1818); Repton, John Adey (1775–1860) (1803). Observations on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening. London: T. Bensley.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link) at Internet Archive.
  18. ^ "Sir Uvedale Price, 1st Baronet". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 2012. Retrieved 12 March 2012.
  19. ^ a b Clifford, Derek Plint (2012). "Garden and landscape design". Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
  20. ^ "André Le Nôtre". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. 12 March 2012. Retrieved 12 March 2012.
  21. ^ "Home page | Capability Brown". Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  22. ^ "INTERACTIVE MAP | Capability Brown". Archived from the original on 8 April 2019. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  23. ^ "Executive Summary of Evaluation Report on the Capability Brown Festival 2016" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 June 2018.
  24. ^ "Royal Mail Marks 300th Anniversary of Capability Brown's Birth - News | Capability Brown". Archived from the original on 8 April 2019. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  25. ^ "Vulnerability Brown" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 January 2022. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  26. ^ "'Capability' Brown fountain dedicated". Westminster Abbey. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  27. ^ Rutherford. Page 32.
  28. ^ Rutherford. Pages 33, 35, 36.
  29. ^ Rutherford. Page 42.
  30. ^ "A Capable Sheriff". Capability Brown Festival. 2016. Archived from the original on 8 April 2019. Retrieved 12 August 2018.
  31. ^ Rutherford. Page 43.
  32. ^ Walpole, Horace (1861). "The Letters of Horace Walpole: Earl of Orford". Bohn's English Gentleman's Library. 8. Covent Garden; London: Bradbury and Evans; Henry G. Bohn: 331. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
  33. ^ I Never Knew That About England's Country Churches
  34. ^ Rutherford. Page 44.
  35. ^ "Adderbury Conservation Area Appraisal" (PDF). Cherwell District Council. September 1997. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 May 2017. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
  36. ^ Boarstall people
  37. ^ Turner, Roger (1999). Capability Brown and the Eighteenth Century English Landscape (2nd ed.). Chichester: Phillimore. pp. 112–114.
  38. ^ Pevsner, N., et al. 1992, The Buildings of England: Northumberland
  39. ^ Ross, David. "Capability Brown biography". Britain Express. Retrieved 14 March 2012.


  • Brown, Jane (2011), The Omnipotent Magician: Lancelot "Capability" Brown, 1716–1783, London: Chatto & Windus, ISBN 978-0-7011-8212-0 ISBN 978-0-7011-8212-0.
  • Colvin, Howard (1995) [1954], A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600–1840 (3rd ed.), New Haven: Yale University Press, p. 1264, ISBN 978-0-300-06091-1
  • Colvin, Howard (2008) [1954], A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600–1840 (4th ed.), New Haven: Yale University Press, ISBN 978-0-300-12508-5
  • Hinde, Thomas (1987), Capability Brown: The Story of a Master Gardener, New York: W. W. Norton, ISBN 0-393-02421-0 ISBN 0-09-163740-6.
  • Stroud, Dorothy (1975) [1950], Capability Brown (2nd revised ed.), London: Faber and Faber, ISBN 0-571-10267-0 ISBN 0-571-13405-X.
  • Rutherford, Sarah (2016). Capability Brown and His Landscape Gardens (Hardback). London: National Trust Books. ISBN 978-1-909-88154-9.
  • Turner, Roger (1985), Capability Brown and the Eighteenth Century English Landscape, New York: Rizzoli, ISBN 0-8478-0643-X 2nd edition, Phillimore, Chichester (1999) ISBN 0-297-78734-9, ISBN 1-86077-114-9.
  • Wickham, Louise, Gardens in History: A Political Perspective, 2012, Windgather Press, ISBN 1905119437, Amazon preview

Further reading

Media related to Capability Brown at Wikimedia Commons

Alexander Pope

Alexander Pope
Portrait by Michael Dahl, c. 1727
Portrait by Michael Dahl, c. 1727
Born(1688-05-21)21 May 1688 O.S.
London, England
Died30 May 1744(1744-05-30) (aged 56)
Twickenham, Middlesex, England
Resting placeSt Mary's Church, Twickenham, Middlesex, England
OccupationPoet, writer, translator
GenrePoetry, satire, translation
Literary movementClassicism, Augustan literature
Notable worksThe Dunciad, The Rape of the Lock, An Essay on Criticism, his translation of Homer

Alexander Pope (21 May 1688 O.S.[1] – 30 May 1744) was an English poet, translator, and satirist of the Enlightenment era who is considered one of the most prominent English poets of the early 18th century. An exponent of Augustan literature,[2] Pope is best known for his satirical and discursive poetry including The Rape of the Lock, The Dunciad, and An Essay on Criticism, and for his translations of Homer.

Pope is often quoted in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, some of his verses having entered common parlance (e.g. "damning with faint praise" or "to err is human; to forgive, divine").


Alexander Pope was born in London on 21 May 1688 during the year of the Glorious Revolution. His father (Alexander Pope, 1646–1717) was a successful linen merchant in the Strand, London. His mother, Edith (née Turner, 1643–1733), was the daughter of William Turner, Esquire, of York. Both parents were Catholics.[3] His mother's sister, Christiana, was the wife of famous miniature painter Samuel Cooper. Pope's education was affected by the recently enacted Test Acts, a series of English penal laws that upheld the status of the established Church of England, banning Catholics from teaching, attending a university, voting, and holding public office on penalty of perpetual imprisonment. Pope was taught to read by his aunt and attended Twyford School circa 1698.[3] He also attended two Roman Catholic schools in London.[3] Such schools, though still illegal, were tolerated in some areas.[4]

In 1700, his family moved to a small estate at Popeswood, in Binfield, Berkshire, close to the royal Windsor Forest.[3] This was due to strong anti-Catholic sentiment and a statute preventing "Papists" from living within 10 miles (16 km) of London or Westminster.[5] Pope would later describe the countryside around the house in his poem Windsor Forest.[6] Pope's formal education ended at this time, and from then on, he mostly educated himself by reading the works of classical writers such as the satirists Horace and Juvenal, the epic poets Homer and Virgil, as well as English authors such as Geoffrey Chaucer, William Shakespeare and John Dryden.[3] He studied many languages, reading works by French, Italian, Latin, and Greek poets. After five years of study, Pope came into contact with figures from London literary society such as William Congreve, Samuel Garth and William Trumbull.[3][4]

At Binfield he made many important friends. One of them, John Caryll (the future dedicatee of The Rape of the Lock), was twenty years older than the poet and had made many acquaintances in the London literary world. He introduced the young Pope to the ageing playwright William Wycherley and to William Walsh, a minor poet, who helped Pope revise his first major work, The Pastorals. There, he met the Blount sisters, Teresa and Martha (Patty), in 1707. He remained close friends with Patty until his death, but his friendship with Teresa ended in 1722.[7]

Pope's villa at Twickenham, showing the grotto; from a watercolour produced soon after his death

From the age of 12 he suffered numerous health problems, including Pott disease, a form of tuberculosis that affects the spine, which deformed his body and stunted his growth, leaving him with a severe hunchback. His tuberculosis infection caused other health problems including respiratory difficulties, high fevers, inflamed eyes and abdominal pain.[3] He grew to a height of only 4 feet 6 inches (1.37 metres). Pope was already removed from society as a Catholic, and his poor health alienated him further. Although he never married, he had many female friends to whom he wrote witty letters, including Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. It has been alleged that his lifelong friend Martha Blount was his lover.[4][8][9][10] His friend William Cheselden said, according to Joseph Spence, "I could give a more particular account of Mr. Pope's health than perhaps any man. Cibber's slander (of carnosity) is false. He had been gay [happy], but left that way of life upon his acquaintance with Mrs. B."[11]

In May 1709, Pope's Pastorals was published in the sixth part of bookseller Jacob Tonson's Poetical Miscellanies. This earned Pope instant fame and was followed by An Essay on Criticism, published in May 1711, which was equally well received.

Around 1711, Pope made friends with Tory writers Jonathan Swift, Thomas Parnell and John Arbuthnot, who together formed the satirical Scriblerus Club. Its aim was to satirise ignorance and pedantry through the fictional scholar Martinus Scriblerus. He also made friends with Whig writers Joseph Addison and Richard Steele. In March 1713, Windsor Forest[6] was published to great acclaim.[4]

During Pope's friendship with Joseph Addison, he contributed to Addison's play Cato, as well as writing for The Guardian and The Spectator. Around this time, he began the work of translating the Iliad, which was a painstaking process – publication began in 1715 and did not end until 1720.[4]

In 1714 the political situation worsened with the death of Queen Anne and the disputed succession between the Hanoverians and the Jacobites, leading to the Jacobite rising of 1715. Though Pope, as a Catholic, might have been expected to have supported the Jacobites because of his religious and political affiliations, according to Maynard Mack, "where Pope himself stood on these matters can probably never be confidently known". These events led to an immediate downturn in the fortunes of the Tories, and Pope's friend Henry St John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke, fled to France. This was added to by the Impeachment of the former Tory Chief Minister Lord Oxford.

Pope lived in his parents' house in Mawson Row, Chiswick, between 1716 and 1719; the red-brick building is now the Mawson Arms, commemorating him with a blue plaque.[12]

The money made from his translation of Homer allowed Pope to move in 1719 to a villa at Twickenham, where he created his now-famous grotto and gardens. The serendipitous discovery of a spring during the excavation of the subterranean retreat enabled it to be filled with the relaxing sound of trickling water, which would quietly echo around the chambers. Pope was said to have remarked, "Were it to have nymphs as well – it would be complete in everything." Although the house and gardens have long since been demolished, much of the grotto survives beneath Radnor House Independent Co-educational School.[8][13] The grotto has been restored and will open to the public for 30 weekends a year from 2023 under the auspices of Pope's Grotto Preservation Trust.[14]


Mawson Arms, Chiswick Lane, with blue plaque to Pope

Essay on Criticism

An Essay on Criticism was first published anonymously on 15 May 1711. Pope began writing the poem early in his career and took about three years to finish it.

At the time the poem was published, its heroic couplet style was quite a new poetic form and Pope's work an ambitious attempt to identify and refine his own positions as a poet and critic. It was said to be a response to an ongoing debate on the question of whether poetry should be natural, or written according to predetermined artificial rules inherited from the classical past.[15]

The "essay" begins with a discussion of the standard rules that govern poetry, by which a critic passes judgement. Pope comments on the classical authors who dealt with such standards and the authority he believed should be accredited to them. He discusses the laws to which a critic should adhere while analysing poetry, pointing out the important function critics perform in aiding poets with their works, as opposed to simply attacking them.[16] The final section of An Essay on Criticism discusses the moral qualities and virtues inherent in an ideal critic, whom Pope claims is also the ideal man.

The Rape of the Lock

Pope's most famous poem is The Rape of the Lock, first published in 1712, with a revised version in 1714. A mock-epic, it satirises a high-society quarrel between Arabella Fermor (the "Belinda" of the poem) and Lord Petre, who had snipped a lock of hair from her head without permission. The satirical style is tempered, however, by a genuine, almost voyeuristic interest in the "beau-monde" (fashionable world) of 18th-century society.[17] The revised, extended version of the poem focuses more clearly on its true subject: the onset of acquisitive individualism and a society of conspicuous consumers. In the poem, purchased artefacts displace human agency and "trivial things" come to dominate.[18]

The Dunciad and Moral Essays

Alexander Pope, painting attributed to English painter Jonathan Richardson, c. 1736, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Though The Dunciad first appeared anonymously in Dublin, its authorship was not in doubt. Pope pilloried a host of other "hacks", "scribblers" and "dunces" in addition to Theobald, and Maynard Mack has accordingly called its publication "in many ways the greatest act of folly in Pope's life". Though a masterpiece due to having become "one of the most challenging and distinctive works in the history of English poetry", writes Mack, "it bore bitter fruit. It brought the poet in his own time the hostility of its victims and their sympathizers, who pursued him implacably from then on with a few damaging truths and a host of slanders and lies."[19]

According to his half-sister Magdalen Rackett, some of Pope's targets were so enraged by The Dunciad that they threatened him physically. "My brother does not seem to know what fear is," she told Joseph Spence, explaining that Pope loved to walk alone, so went accompanied by his Great Dane Bounce, and for some time carried pistols in his pocket.[20] This first Dunciad, along with John Gay's The Beggar's Opera and Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, joined in a concerted propaganda assault against Robert Walpole's Whig ministry and the financial revolution it stabilised. Although Pope was a keen participant in the stock and money markets, he never missed a chance to satirise the personal, social and political effects of the new scheme of things. From The Rape of the Lock onwards, these satirical themes appear constantly in his work.

In 1731, Pope published his "Epistle to Burlington", on the subject of architecture, the first of four poems later grouped as the Moral Essays (1731–1735).[21] The epistle ridicules the bad taste of the aristocrat "Timon".[22] For example, the following are verses 99 and 100 of the Epistle:

At Timon's Villa let us paſs a day,
Where all cry out, "What ſums are thrown away!"[22]

Pope's foes claimed he was attacking the Duke of Chandos and his estate, Cannons. Though the charge was untrue, it did much damage to Pope.[citation needed]

There has been some speculation on a feud between Pope and Thomas Hearne, due in part to the character of Wormius in The Dunciad, who is seemingly based on Hearne.[23]

An Essay on Man

An Essay on Man is a philosophical poem in heroic couplets published between 1732 and 1734. Pope meant it as the centrepiece of a proposed system of ethics to be put forth in poetic form. It was a piece that he sought to make into a larger work, but he did not live to complete it.[24] It attempts to "vindicate the ways of God to Man", a variation on Milton's attempt in Paradise Lost to "justify the ways of God to Man" (1.26). It challenges as prideful an anthropocentric worldview. The poem is not solely Christian, however. It assumes that man has fallen and must seek his own salvation.[24]

Consisting of four epistles addressed to Lord Bolingbroke, it presents an idea of Pope's view of the Universe: no matter how imperfect, complex, inscrutable and disturbing the Universe may be, it functions in a rational fashion according to natural laws, so that the Universe as a whole is a perfect work of God, though to humans it appears to be evil and imperfect in many ways. Pope ascribes this to our limited mindset and intellectual capacity. He argues that humans must accept their position in the "Great Chain of Being", at a middle stage between the angels and the beasts of the world. Accomplish this and we potentially could lead happy and virtuous lives.[24]

The poem is an affirmative statement of faith: life seems chaotic and confusing to man in the centre of it, but according to Pope it is truly divinely ordered. In Pope's world, God exists and is what he centres the Universe around as an ordered structure. The limited intelligence of man can only take in tiny portions of this order and experience only partial truths, hence man must rely on hope, which then leads to faith. Man must be aware of his existence in the Universe and what he brings to it in terms of riches, power and fame. Pope proclaims that man's duty is to strive to be good, regardless of other situations.[25][failed verification]

Later life and works

FATHER of all! in every age,
In every clime adored,
By saint, by savage, and by sage,
Jehovah, Jove, or Lord!

If I am right, thy grace impart
Still in the right to stay;
If I am wrong, O, teach my heart
To find that better way!

Save me alike from foolish pride,
Or impious discontent,
At aught thy wisdom has denied,
Or aught thy goodness lent.

Teach me to feel another’s woe,
To hide the fault I see;
That mercy I to others show,
That mercy show to me.

Mean though I am, not wholly so,
Since quickened by thy breath;
O, lead me wheresoe’er I go,
Through this day’s life or death!

To thee, whose temple is all space,
Whose altar, earth, sea, skies!
One chorus let all Being raise!
All Nature’s incense rise!

Pope, "The Universal Prayer"[26]

The death of Alexander Pope from Museus, a threnody by William Mason. Diana holds the dying Pope, and John Milton, Edmund Spenser, and Geoffrey Chaucer prepare to welcome him to heaven.

The Imitations of Horace that followed (1733–1738) were written in the popular Augustan form of an "imitation" of a classical poet, not so much a translation of his works as an updating with contemporary references. Pope used the model of Horace to satirise life under George II, especially what he saw as the widespread corruption tainting the country under Walpole's influence and the poor quality of the court's artistic taste. Pope added as an introduction to Imitations a wholly original poem that reviews his own literary career and includes famous portraits of Lord Hervey ("Sporus"), Thomas Hay, 9th Earl of Kinnoull ("Balbus") and Addison ("Atticus").

In 1738 came "The Universal Prayer".[27]

Among the younger poets whose work Pope admired was Joseph Thurston.[28] After 1738, Pope himself wrote little. He toyed with the idea of composing a patriotic epic in blank verse called Brutus, but only the opening lines survive. His major work in those years was to revise and expand his masterpiece, The Dunciad. Book Four appeared in 1742 and a full revision of the whole poem the following year. Here Pope replaced the "hero" Lewis Theobald with the Poet Laureate, Colley Cibber as "king of dunces". However, the real focus of the revised poem is Walpole and his works. By now Pope's health, which had never been good, was failing. When told by his physician, on the morning of his death, that he was better, Pope replied: "Here am I, dying of a hundred good symptoms."[29][30] He died at his villa surrounded by friends on 30 May 1744, about eleven o'clock at night. On the previous day, 29 May 1744, Pope had called for a priest and received the Last Rites of the Catholic Church. He was buried in the nave of St Mary's Church, Twickenham.

Translations and editions

The Iliad

Pope had been fascinated by Homer since childhood. In 1713, he announced plans to publish a translation of the Iliad. The work would be available by subscription, with one volume appearing every year over six years. Pope secured a revolutionary deal with the publisher Bernard Lintot, which earned him 200 guineas (£210) a volume, a vast sum at the time.

His Iliad translation appeared between 1715 and 1720. It was acclaimed by Samuel Johnson as "a performance which no age or nation could hope to equal". Conversely, the classical scholar Richard Bentley wrote: "It is a pretty poem, Mr. Pope, but you must not call it Homer."[31]

The Odyssey

Frontispiece and title page of a 1752 edition of Pope's Odyssey

Encouraged by the success of the Iliad, Bernard Lintot published Pope's five-volume translation of Homer's Odyssey in 1725–1726.[32] For this Pope collaborated with William Broome and Elijah Fenton: Broome translated eight books (2, 6, 8, 11, 12, 16, 18, 23), Fenton four (1, 4, 19, 20) and Pope the remaining 12. Broome provided the annotations.[33] Pope tried to conceal the extent of the collaboration, but the secret leaked out.[34] It did some damage to Pope's reputation for a time, but not to his profits.[35] Leslie Stephen considered Pope's portion of the Odyssey inferior to his version of the Iliad, given that Pope had put more effort into the earlier work – to which, in any case, his style was better suited.[36]

Shakespeare's works

In this period, Pope was employed by the publisher Jacob Tonson to produce an opulent new edition of Shakespeare.[37] When it appeared in 1725, it silently regularised Shakespeare's metre and rewrote his verse in several places. Pope also removed about 1,560 lines of Shakespeare's material, arguing that some appealed to him more than others.[37] In 1726, the lawyer, poet and pantomime-deviser Lewis Theobald published a scathing pamphlet called Shakespeare Restored, which catalogued the errors in Pope's work and suggested several revisions to the text. This enraged Pope, wherefore Theobald became the main target of Pope's Dunciad.[38]

The second edition of Pope's Shakespeare appeared in 1728.[37] Apart from some minor revisions to the preface, it seems that Pope had little to do with it. Most later 18th-century editors of Shakespeare dismissed Pope's creatively motivated approach to textual criticism. Pope's preface continued to be highly rated. It was suggested that Shakespeare's texts were thoroughly contaminated by actors' interpolations and they would influence editors for most of the 18th century.

Spirit, skill and satire

Pope's poetic career testifies to an indomitable spirit despite disadvantages of health and circumstance. The poet and his family were Catholics and so fell subject to the prohibitive Test Acts, which hampered their co-religionists after the abdication of James II. One of these banned them from living within ten miles of London, another from attending public school or university. So except for a few spurious Catholic schools, Pope was largely self-educated. He was taught to read by his aunt and became a book lover, reading in French, Italian, Latin and Greek and discovering Homer at the age of six. In 1700, when only twelve years of age, he wrote his poem Ode on Solitude.[39][40] As a child Pope survived once being trampled by a cow, but when he was 12 he began struggling with tuberculosis of the spine (Pott disease), which restricted his growth, so that he was only 4 feet 6 inches (1.37 metres) tall as an adult. He also suffered from crippling headaches.

In the year 1709, Pope showcased his precocious metrical skill with the publication of Pastorals, his first major poems. They earned him instant fame. By the age of 23, he had written An Essay on Criticism, released in 1711. A kind of poetic manifesto in the vein of Horace's Ars Poetica, it met with enthusiastic attention and won Pope a wider circle of prominent friends, notably Joseph Addison and Richard Steele, who had recently begun to collaborate on the influential The Spectator. The critic John Dennis, having found an ironic and veiled portrait of himself, was outraged by what he saw as the impudence of a younger author. Dennis hated Pope for the rest of his life, and save for a temporary reconciliation, dedicated his efforts to insulting him in print, to which Pope retaliated in kind, making Dennis the butt of much satire.

A folio containing a collection of his poems appeared in 1717, along with two new ones about the passion of love: Verses to the Memory of an Unfortunate Lady and the famous proto-romantic poem Eloisa to Abelard. Though Pope never married, about this time he became strongly attached to Lady M. Montagu, whom he indirectly referenced in his popular Eloisa to Abelard, and to Martha Blount, with whom his friendship continued through his life.

As a satirist, Pope made his share of enemies as critics, politicians and certain other prominent figures felt the sting of his sharp-witted satires. Some were so virulent that Pope even carried pistols while walking his dog. In 1738 and thenceforth, Pope composed relatively little. He began having ideas for a patriotic epic in blank verse titled Brutus, but mainly revised and expanded his Dunciad. Book Four appeared in 1742; and a complete revision of the whole in the year that followed. At this time Lewis Theobald was replaced with the Poet Laureate Colley Cibber as "king of dunces", but his real target remained the Whig politician Robert Walpole.


By the mid-18th century, new fashions in poetry emerged. A decade after Pope's death, Joseph Warton claimed that Pope's style was not the most excellent form of the art. The Romantic movement that rose to prominence in early 19th-century England was more ambivalent about his work. Though Lord Byron identified Pope as one of his chief influences – believing his own scathing satire of contemporary English literature English Bards and Scotch Reviewers to be a continuance of Pope's tradition – William Wordsworth found Pope's style too decadent to represent the human condition.[4] George Gilfillan in an 1856 study called Pope's talent "a rose peering into the summer air, fine, rather than powerful".[41]

Pope's reputation revived in the 20th century. His work was full of references to the people and places of his time, which aided people's understanding of the past. The post-war period stressed the power of Pope's poetry, recognising that Pope's immersion in Christian and Biblical culture lent depth to his poetry. For example, Maynard Mack, in the late 20th-century, argued that Pope's moral vision demanded as much respect as his technical excellence. Between 1953 and 1967 the definitive Twickenham edition of Pope's poems appeared in ten volumes, including an index volume.[4]


Major works

Translations and editions

Other works

  • 1700: Ode on Solitude
  • 1713: Ode for Musick[44]
  • 1715: A Key to the Lock
  • 1717: The Court Ballad[45]
  • 1717: Ode for Music on St. Cecilia's Day
  • 1731: An Epistle to the Right Honourable Richard Earl of Burlington[46]
  • 1733: The Impertinent, or A Visit to the Court[47]
  • 1736: Bounce to Fop[48]
  • 1737: The First Ode of the Fourth Book of Horace[49]
  • 1738: The First Epistle of the First Book of Horace[50]


See also


  1. ^ Goldsmith, Netta Murray (2002), Alexander Pope: The Evolution of a Poet, p. 17: "Alexander Pope was born on Monday 21 May 1688 at 6.45 pm when England was on the brink of a revolution." This date in the Gregorian calendar is a Friday. The equivalent New Style date is 31 May.
  2. ^ "Alexander Pope". Poetry Foundation. 29 April 2021. Archived from the original on 27 April 2021. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Erskine-Hill, Howard (2004). "Pope, Alexander (1688–1744)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/22526 (subscription required)
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Alexander Pope", Literature Online biography (Chadwyck-Healey: Cambridge, 2000). (subscription required)
  5. ^ "An Act to prevent and avoid dangers which may grow by Popish Recusants" (3 Jas. 1. c. 4). For details, see Catholic Encyclopedia, "Penal Laws Archived 6 August 2020 at the Wayback Machine".
  6. ^ a b c Pope, Alexander. Windsor-Forest Archived 17 June 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Eighteenth-Century Poetry Archive (ECPA).
  7. ^ Rumbold, Valerie (1989). Women's Place in Pope's World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 33, 48, 128.
  8. ^ a b Gordon, Ian (24 January 2002). "An Epistle to a Lady (Moral Essay II)". The Literary Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on 7 October 2007. Retrieved 17 April 2009.
  9. ^ "Martha Blount". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2009. Archived from the original on 30 January 2012. Retrieved 17 April 2009.
  10. ^ The Life of Alexander Pope, by Robert Carruthers, 1857, with a corrupted and badly scanned version available from Internet Archive, or as an even worse 23MB PDF. For reference to his relationship with Martha Blount and her sister, see pp. 64–68 (p. 89 ff. of the PDF). In particular, discussion of the controversy over whether the relationship was sexual is described in some detail on pp. 76–78.
  11. ^ Zachary Cope (1953) William Cheselden, 1688–1752. Edinburgh: E. & S. Livingstone, p. 89.
  12. ^ Clegg, Gillian. "Chiswick History". People: Alexander Pope. Archived from the original on 20 September 2011. Retrieved 16 March 2012.
  13. ^ London Evening Standard, 2 November 2010.
  14. ^ Fox, Robin Lane (23 July 2021). "The secrets and lights of Alexander Pope's Twickenham grotto". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 10 December 2022. Retrieved 24 July 2021.
  15. ^ Rogers, Pat (2006). The Major Works. Oxford University Press. pp. 17–39. ISBN 019920361X.
  16. ^ Baines, Paul (2001). The Complete Critical Guide to Alexander Pope. Routledge Publishing. pp. 67–90.
  17. ^ "from the London School of Journalism". Archived from the original on 31 May 2008.
  18. ^ Colin Nicholson (1994). Writing and the Rise of Finance: Capital Satires of the Early Eighteenth Century, Cambridge.
  19. ^ Maynard Mack (1985). Alexander Pope: A Life. W. W. Norton & Company, and Yale University Press, pp. 472–473. ISBN 0393305295
  20. ^ Joseph Spence. Observations, Anecdotes, and Characters of Books and Men, Collected from the Conversation of Mr. Pope (1820), p. 38 Archived 2 April 2023 at the Wayback Machine.
  21. ^ "Moral Essays". Archived from the original on 9 August 2021. Retrieved 9 August 2021.
  22. ^ a b Alexander Pope. Moral Essays Archived 21 April 2023 at the Wayback Machine, p. 82
  23. ^ Rogers, Pat (2004). The Alexander Pope encyclopedia. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-06153-X. OCLC 607099760.
  24. ^ a b c Nuttal, Anthony (1984). Pope's Essay on Man. Allen & Unwin. pp. 3–15, 167–188. ISBN 9780048000170.
  25. ^ Cassirer, Ernst (1944). An Essay on Man; an introduction to a philosophy of human culture. Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300000344.
  26. ^ A Library of Poetry and Song: Being Choice Selections from The Best Poets. With An Introduction by William Cullen Bryant, New York, J. B. Ford and Company, 1871, pp. 269-270.
  27. ^ McKeown, Trevor W. "Alexander Pope 'Universal Prayer'". Archived from the original on 28 January 2017. Retrieved 12 April 2007. Full-text Archived 17 June 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Also at the Eighteenth-Century Poetry Archive (ECPA).
  28. ^ James Sambrook (2004) "Thurston, Josephlocked (1704–1732)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/70938
  29. ^ Ruffhead, Owen (1769). The Life of Alexander Pope; With a Critical Essay on His Writings and Genius. p. 475.
  30. ^ Dyce, Alexander (1863). The Poetical Works of Alexander Pope, with a Life, by A. Dyce. p. cxxxi.
  31. ^ Johnson, Samuel (1791). The Lives of the Most Eminent Poets with Critical Observations on their Works. Vol. IV. London: Printed for J. Rivington & Sons, and 39 others. p. 193. Archived from the original on 7 April 2023. Retrieved 20 March 2023.
  32. ^ Homer (1725–1726). The Odyssey of Homer. Translated by Alexander Pope; William Broome & Elijah Fenton (1st ed.). London: Bernard Lintot.
  33. ^ Fenton, Elijah (1796). The poetical works of Elijah Fenton with the life of the author. Printed for, and under the direction of, G. Cawthorn, British Library, Strand. p. 7. Archived from the original on 21 April 2023. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
  34. ^ Fraser, George (1978). Alexander Pope. Routledge. p. 52. ISBN 9780710089908.
  35. ^ Damrosch, Leopold (1987). The Imaginative World of Alexander Pope. University of California Press. p. 59. ISBN 9780520059757.
  36. ^ Stephen, Sir Leslie (1880). Alexander Pope. Harper & Brothers. pp. 80.
  37. ^ a b c "Preface to Shakespeare, 1725, Alexander Pope". ShakespeareBrasileiro. Archived from the original on 11 January 2020. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  38. ^ "Lewis Theobald" Archived 14 August 2020 at the Wayback Machine Encyclopaedia Britannica.
  39. ^ Genetic studies of genius by Lewis Madison Terman Stanford University Press, 1925 OCLC: 194203
  40. ^ "Personhood, Poethood, and Pope: Johnson's Life of Pope and the Search for the Man Behind the Author" by Mannheimer, Katherine. Eighteenth-Century Studies - Volume 40, Number 4, Summer 2007, pp. 631-649 MUSE Archived 3 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  41. ^ George Gilfillan (1856) "The Genius and Poetry of Pope", The Poetical Works of Alexander Pope, Vol. 11.
  42. ^ a b c d e f g h i Cox, Michael, editor, The Concise Oxford Chronology of English Literature, Oxford University Press, 2004, ISBN 0-19-860634-6
  43. ^ Alexander Pope (1715) The Temple of Fame: A Vision. London: Printed for Bernard Lintott. Print.
  44. ^ Pope, Alexander. ODE FOR MUSICK. Archived 17 June 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Eighteenth-Century Poetry Archive (ECPA).
  45. ^ Pope, Alexander. The Court Ballad Archived 17 June 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Eighteenth-Century Poetry Archive (ECPA).
  46. ^ Pope, Alexander. Epistle to Richard Earl of Burlington Archived 17 June 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Eighteenth-Century Poetry Archive (ECPA).
  47. ^ Pope, Alexander. The IMPERTINENT, or A Visit to the COURT. A SATYR. Archived 17 June 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Eighteenth-Century Poetry Archive (ECPA).
  48. ^ Pope, Alexander. Bounce to Fop Archived 17 June 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Eighteenth-Century Poetry Archive (ECPA).
  49. ^ Pope, Alexander. THE FIRST ODE OF THE FOURTH BOOK OF HORACE. Archived 17 June 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Eighteenth-Century Poetry Archive (ECPA).
  50. ^ Pope, Alexander. THE FIRST EPISTLE OF THE FIRST BOOK OF HORACE. Archived 17 June 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Eighteenth-Century Poetry Archive (ECPA).


  • "The Author as Editor: Congreve and Pope in Context."The Book Collector 41 (no 1) Spring, 1992:9-27.
  • Davis, Herbert, ed. (1966). Poetical Works. Oxford Standard Authors. London: Oxford U.P.
  • Mack, Maynard (1985). Alexander Pope. A Life. New Haven: Yale University Press.
  • Ostrom, Hans (1878). "Pope's Epilogue to the Satires, 'Dialogue I'." Explicator, 36:4, pp. 11–14.
  • Rogers, Pat (2007). The Cambridge Companion to Alexander Pope. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Tillotson, Geoffrey (2nd ed. 1950). On the Poetry of Pope. Oxford, at the Clarendon Press.
  • Tillotson, Geoffrey (1958). Pope and Human Nature. Oxford, at the Clarendon Press.

Richard Warner (antiquary)

Rev. Richard Warner (1763–1857) was an English clergyman and writer of a considerable number of topographical books based on his walks and his interest in antiquarianism.[1]

Early life

Richard Warner was born in St. Marylebone on 18 October 1763. His father, also Richard Warner, was a respectable London tradesman who owned the Two Civet Cats & Olive Tree, an Italian warehouse or delicatessen shop in fashionable New Bond Street.[2]

His early education was undertaken by a Scottish nanny, but at the age of five he was separated from his happy home life and sent to a boarding school located closer to the centre of London. His removal from this unhappy environment came in about 1775 when his father retired and moved his family to the sedate town of Lymington on the south coast. There Warner was educated at Christchurch Grammar School, which was housed in a chamber high above the Lady chapel of the ancient Priory church. He there met and befriended fellow student Harry Burrard of Walhampton near Lymington, who became a distinguished naval officer. From his elevated classroom the schoolboy Warner more than once witnessed large gangs of smugglers landing their contraband on nearby Hengistbury Head in broad daylight. It was while at Christchurch that Warner became interested in antiquities and started to dig into ancient barrows. He met naturalist Gustavus Brander, who resided next to the church.[3]

Warner decided to enter the priesthood and fully expected to attend Winchester College to pursue this career. A family friend had promised to nominate him for a foundation as soon as he became a Poser at the College, but on the very day of the entrance examination he told Warner’s father that he would instead be nominating another boy in obligation to his patron, possibly Lord Somerset, to whom he was chaplain. Warner's dreams of going on to a fellowship at New College, Oxford and subsequent ordination as a churchman were shattered. Bitterly disappointed, he remained at Christchurch for a further seven years. During this time he considered following some of his former school friends into the Royal Navy, and indeed had the option of becoming a Midshipman on board the 44-gun frigate HMS Romulus. However, an impassioned letter from his father persuaded him to reconsider and pursue a land-based career.[3] He instead went to work in an attorney's office.[1]

Warner started his further education late, matriculating at St. Mary's Hall, Oxford in 1787, aged 24.[4] He stayed there for nearly three years. He had a chance to become a curate to the Rev. William Gilpin at Boldre in Hampshire, who needed Warner as he could no longer carry out his duties. Warner had, however, left Oxford without graduating, and there was a diversion: with the support of Warren Hastings, he was ordained by William Markham, Archbishop of York at Bishopthorpe, as from Magdalen Hall. After three months as curate in the village of Wales, South Yorkshire, he went on to Boldre as curate. Gilpin became a mentor to his curate, passing on to Warner his love of literature, walking and the countryside.[1][5]

Later, in 1793, Warner became the Rev. Henry Drummond's curate at Fawley.[1] By this time he had published several further books on Lymington, a transcription of Hampshire's Domesday Book entries, and a reissue of ancient cookery books including a Forme of Cury.

Clergyman in Bath

Warner obtained his first position as a minister at All Saints in Bath in 1794 and after only a year he moved on to the nearby St James' Church. Warner was still writing books for both interest and profit. In 1795 a first novel, a two volume historical Gothic fiction inspired by the ruins of Netley Abbey near Southampton was published. Also in 1795, A History of Hampshire was published under Warner's name, but this is thought to be someone else's work. Now based in Bath he was able to investigate the many local antiquities and published many articles and two books on that city. Warner married in 1801 and became a father in 1802. He was at St James' Church until 1817.[1]

In August 1796 Warner went on holiday to Wales, walking an average 26 miles a day, and recorded his travels in letters that were later published. Their success led further books on other tours, including the Scottish borders, the western counties and another tour of Wales.[1][6]

William Wordsworth and his friend James Losh dined as guests of Warner in July 1798.[7] Losh was a friend, while Wordsworth collected travel writing in the picturesque register, including works by Gilpin and Warner.[8][9]

In 1804 Warner preached a sermon that proved contentious, later published under the title War inconsistent with Christianity, on Matthew 26:52. The audience included officers and men of the Bath Volunteers militia. Warner was defended by Thomas Parsons, a local Baptist minister.[10] The sermon, for a fast day, provoked many replies, but sold well, and Warner repeated it in 1805, on the next fast day.[11] The essay by Parsons supporting him was reprinted in 1813.[12] In 1808, Warner published Letter to the People of England, on Petitioning the Throne for the Restoration of Peace.[13] The prominence of these eirenic works by a Church of England cleric has led to an interpretation of a phrase in William Blake's prophetic book Jerusalem, "ask him if he is Bath or if he is Canterbury", with Warner's "peace party" represented by Bath as metonym. The suggestion is from the Blake scholar David Erdman.[14]

Later life

Warner published satirical books on Bath society under noms de plume, 1807–9. As priest, he took on also the parish of Great Chalfield in 1809, presented to it by Sir Harry Burrard-Neale: it is thought he never resided there.[15][16]

In 1814 Warner started a fortnightly periodical, Omnium (the) Gatherum; or, Bath, Bristol, and Cheltenham literary repository, edited anonymously with Joseph Hunter. Just seven numbers were published.[17] Hunter believed that "liberality of sentiment" of sentiment had held Warner back from further advancement in his clerical career, despite popular success: he supported Charles James Fox and parliamentary reform, but opposed Catholic emancipation. George Henry Law, a later Bishop of Bath and Wells, proved more sympathetic.[6]

Warner died in 1857 and was outlived by his wife, Ann Pearson, who died in 1865. They had two daughters.[6]


  • A companion in a tour round Lymington (1789)
  • Hampshire extracted from Domes-day book (1789)
  • Antiquitates culinariae; or, Curious tracts relating to the culinary affairs of the Old English, with a preliminary discourse, notes, and illus. (1791)
  • An attempt to ascertain the situation of the ancient Clausentum (1792)
  • Topographical remarks relating to the South-western parts of Hampshire (1793)
  • General view of the agriculture of the county of Hants (1794)
  • The history of the Isle of Wight (1795)
  • Netley Abbey: a Gothic story (1795)
  • An illustration of the Roman antiquities discovered at Bath (1797)
  • A Walk through Wales (1799)
  • A walk through some of the western counties of England (1800)
  • History of Bath (1801)
  • A Second Walk through Wales (1800)
  • A tour through the northern counties of England, and the borders of Scotland (1802)[18]
  • Chronological History of our Lord and Saviour: an English Diatessaron (1803)
  • National Blessings reasons for National Gratitude[19]
  • Bath characters : or, sketches from life / by Peter Paul Pallet (1808)
  • Divine Providence evidenced in the Causes, Consequences, and Termination of the late War (1814)[20]
  • A Letter to ... Henry Ryder, D.D. Lord Bishop of Gloucester, on the Admission to Holy Orders of Young Men, Holding ... Evangelical Principles, to which is Added a Biographical Sketch of the Late Rev. Archibald Maclaine (1818),[21] with a reply in the same year from "Mephibosheth"[22]
  • Sermons on the Epistles or Gospels for the Sundays throughout the year (including Christmas-Day and Good-Friday) for the use of families and country congregations... (1819)
  • Illustrations, historical, biographical and miscellaneous, of the novels by the author of Waverley: with criticism, general and particular (1823)
  • Literary Recollections (1830)
  • Great Britain's crisis!: reform; retrenchment; economy; the farmers and labouring poor: a letter to the Rt. Hon. Sir James Graham, Bart. (1831) JSTOR 60204077


  1. ^ a b c d e f Lee, Sidney, ed. (1899). "Warner, Richard (1763-1857)" . Dictionary of National Biography. Vol. 59. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  2. ^ Nicholas Tracy (2002). The Age of Sail: The International Annual of the Historic Sailing Ship. Conway Maritime Press. pp. 132–. ISBN 978-0-85177-949-2.
  3. ^ a b Warner, Richard (1830). Literary Recollections. London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green.
  4. ^ s:Alumni Oxonienses: the Members of the University of Oxford, 1715-1886/Warner, Richard (2)
  5. ^ "CCEd, Ordination Record, ID 35423". Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  6. ^ a b c Hicks, Michael. "Warner, Richard". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/28766. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  7. ^ Juliet Barker (13 October 2009). Wordsworth: A Life. HarperCollins. p. 154. ISBN 978-0-06-185021-9.
  8. ^ Woof, Robert (2 September 2003). William Wordsworth: The Critical Heritage, Volume I 1793-1820. Routledge. p. 28. ISBN 9781134966738. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  9. ^ Burwick, Frederick (26 March 2009). The Oxford Handbook of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. OUP Oxford. p. 95. ISBN 9780199229536. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  10. ^ Brock, Peter (8 March 2015). Pacifism in Europe to 1914. Princeton University Press. p. 374. ISBN 9781400867493.
  11. ^ Ceadel, Martin (1996). The Origins of War Prevention: The British Peace Movement and International Relations, 1730–1854. Clarendon Press. p. 189. ISBN 9780198226741.
  12. ^ Linden, Wilhelmus Hubertus (1987). The International Peace Movement, 1815–1874. Tilleul Publications. p. 8. ISBN 9789080013414.
  13. ^ Parr, Samuel; Bohn, Henry George (1827). Bibliotheca Parrianna: A catalogue of the library of the late reverend and learned Samuel Parr ... Printed for J. Bohn. p. 679. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  14. ^ Damon, S. Foster (14 May 2013). A Blake Dictionary: The Ideas and Symbols of William Blake. UPNE. p. 38. ISBN 9781611683417. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  15. ^ 'Parishes: Great Chalfield', A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 7 (1953), pp. 59-66. URL: Date accessed: 27 December 2009.
  16. ^ Gentleman's Magazine, Or Monthly Intelligencer. Edward Cave. 1858. p. 102.
  17. ^ Dictionary of Anonymous and Pseudonymous English Literature. Ardent Media. 1926. p. 252.
  18. ^ s:A tour through the northern counties of England, and the borders of Scotland
  19. ^ National Blessings reasons for National Gratitude: a sermon [on Ps. cvii. 2] preached ... December 5, 1805, the day of General Thanksgiving. To which are prefixed animadversions on two sermons ... by the Rev. E. Poulter ... and a character of the late Right Hon. W. Pitt. 1806.
  20. ^ O'Gorman, Frank; Donald, Diana (14 December 2005). Ordering the World in the Eighteenth Century. Palgrave Macmillan UK. p. 62. ISBN 9780230518889. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  21. ^ Warner, Richard (1818). A Letter to ... Henry Ryder, D.D. Lord Bishop of Gloucester, on the Admission to Holy Orders of Young Men, Holding ... Evangelical Principles, to which is Added a Biographical Sketch of the Late Rev. Archibald Maclaine. Richard Crutwell. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  22. ^ A Reply to a letter addressed by the Rev. R. Warner ... to ... H. Ryder, Lord Bishop of Gloucester, on the admission to Holy Orders of young men holding (what are commonly called) Evangelical principles. By Mephibosheth. With a prefatory address to the same ... prelate. 1818.

William 'Strata' Smith (geologist)

William Smith
William Smith in 1837
Born(1769-03-23)23 March 1769
Died28 August 1839(1839-08-28) (aged 70)
Northampton, England
Known forGeological map of England and Wales
AwardsWollaston Medal (1831)
Scientific career

William 'Strata' Smith (23 March 1769 – 28 August 1839) was an English geologist, credited with creating the first detailed, nationwide geological map of any country.[1] At the time his map was first published he was overlooked by the scientific community; his relatively humble education and family connections prevented him from mixing easily in learned society. Financially ruined, Smith spent time in debtors' prison. It was only late in his life that Smith received recognition for his accomplishments, and became known as the "Father of English Geology".[2]

Early life

Smith was born in the village of Churchill, Oxfordshire, the son of John Smith (1735–1777), the village blacksmith, and his wife Ann (née Smith; 1745–1807).[3] His father died when Smith was eight years old, and he and his siblings were raised by his uncle, a farmer also named William Smith.[4] Largely self-educated, Smith was intelligent and observant, read widely from an early age, and showed an aptitude for mathematics and drawing. In 1787, he met and found work as an assistant for Edward Webb of Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire, a surveyor. He was quick to learn and soon became proficient at the trade.

In 1791, Smith travelled to Somerset to make a valuation survey of the Sutton Court estate, and building on earlier work in the same area by John Strachey.[5] He stayed in the area for the next eight years, working first for Webb and later for the Somersetshire Coal Canal Company, living at Rugborne Farm in High Littleton. During this period, Smith inspected coal mines in the area, where he first observed and recorded the various layers of rock and coal exposed by the mining. Smith's coal mine studies, combined with his subsequent observations of the strata exposed by canal excavations, proved crucial to the formation of his theories of stratigraphy.

Life's work

Tucking Mill House, near Monkton Combe, Somerset. A plaque on the house next door to Tucking Mill House states incorrectly that it was the home of William Smith.

Smith worked at one of the estate's older mines, the Mearns Pit at High Littleton, part of the Somerset coalfield and the Somerset Coal Canal.[6] As he observed the rock layers (or strata) at the pit, he realised that they were arranged in a predictable pattern and that the various strata could always be found in the same relative positions. Additionally, each particular stratum could be identified by the fossils it contained, and the same succession of fossil groups from older to younger rocks could be found in many parts of England. Furthermore, he noticed an easterly dip of the beds of rock—low near the surface (about three degrees), then higher after the Triassic rocks. This gave Smith a testable hypothesis, which he termed The Principle of Faunal Succession, and he began his search to determine if the relationships between the strata and their characteristics were consistent throughout the country.[7] During subsequent travels, first as a surveyor (appointed by noted engineer John Rennie) for the canal company until 1799 when he was dismissed, and later, he was continually taking samples and mapping the locations of the various strata, and displaying the vertical extent of the strata, and drawing cross-sections and tables of what he saw. This would earn him the name "Strata Smith".[8] As a natural consequence, Smith amassed a large and valuable collection of fossils of the strata he had examined himself from exposures in canals, road and railway cuttings, quarries and escarpments across the country. He also developed methods for the identification of deposits of Fuller's earth to the south of Bath, Somerset.[9]

Engraving from William Smith's 1815 monograph on identifying strata by fossils showing an Encrinus

He published his findings with many pictures from his fossil collection, enabling others to investigate their distribution and test his theories. His collection is especially good on Jurassic fossils he collected from the Cornbrash, Kimmeridge Clay, Oxford Clay, Oolitic limestone and other horizons in the sequence. They included many types of brachiopods, ammonites and molluscs characteristic of the shallow seas in which they were deposited. Some of the names he coined (like Cornbrash) are still used today for this formation.

It could be seen from Smith's findings that the deeper – and therefore older – the strata were, the more the fossilised species within them differed from living organisms. This gave great support and impetus to the hypothesis of biological evolution (which pre-dated the work of Charles Darwin).[10]

Publication and disappointment

Bust of W. Smith, in the Oxford University Museum of Natural History

In 1799 Smith produced the first large-scale geological map of the area around Bath. Previously, he only knew how to draw the vertical extent of the rocks, but not how to display them horizontally. However, in the Somerset County Agricultural Society, he found a map showing the types of soils and vegetation around Bath and their geographical extent. Importantly, the differing types were coloured. Using this technique, Smith could draw a geological map from his observations showing the outcrops of the rocks. He took a few rock types, each with its own colour. Then he estimated the boundaries of each of the outcrops of rock, filled them in with colour and ended up with a crude geological map.

William Smith's 1815 map 'A delineation of the Strata of England and Wales, with part of Scotland.'

In 1801, he drew a rough sketch of what would become the first geological map of most of Great Britain. Smith travelled extensively across Great Britain working as a mineral surveyor allowing him to meet prominent people such as Thomas Coke, 1st Earl of Leicester, and the Duke of Bedford.[11] In 1815 he published his geological map, coloured on an especially prepared base map by John Cary at a scale of 5 miles to the inch and titled 'A delineation of the Strata of England and Wales, with part of Scotland.' While this was not the world's first geological map (a map of the United States by William Maclure was published six years earlier),[12][13] Smith's was the first geological map covering such a large area in detail,[14] and is one of the first stratigraphical analyses to utilize palaeontological indices.[15] Conventional symbols were used to mark canals, tunnels, tramways and roads, collieries, lead, copper and tin mines, together with salt and alum works. The various geological strata were indicated by different colours, applied to the map by hand. Smith used a graded colouring method applying a bolder colour to the edge representing the base of each stratum, thus depicting its stratigraphical relations. The map is similar to modern geological maps of England (albeit today's maps use flat-colouring) reflecting its general accuracy in the eastern and south eastern regions of the country. However Smith's geology of western part of England and Wales was much less detailed and accurate. Smith included a 'Sketch of the succession of STRATA and their relative Altitudes' on the map, showing the disposition of strata from London to the mountains of Snowdonia. This was not a new technique in itself, but its appearance on a map, with the clear intention of illustrating the relationship between relief and rocks and their structure, was novel.[16]

In his book Strata Identified by Organized Fossils (London 1816–1819),[17] Smith recognised that strata contained distinct fossil assemblages which could be used to match rocks across regions.[18] In 1817 he drew a remarkable geological section from Snowdon to London, a development of the ‘sketch’ on his map, illustrating the three-dimensional relationship between geology and landscape via a perspective sketch of the landscape showing the topography. Effectively this was the first block diagram, now routinely used in geography textbooks and animations.[19]

Silhouette of W. Smith, 1833

A common narrative in some recent accounts of Smith’s life and his map asserts that rivalry built up between Smith and the first President of the Geological Society, George Bellas Greenough, who was also engaged in producing a geological map of England and Wales.[20][21][22] However original sources point to this narrative not being the case and indicate Smith was used by John Farey Sr., another 'practical man' (i.e. mineral surveyor), to prosecute Farey's own grievances against the Geological Society in an article in The Philosophical Magazine by which he both started and fuelled the story that Smith was disrespected and there was ill-feeling towards him by the Geological Society men and Greenough in particular.[23] In the following issue Greenough replied, publicly declaring his view as being non-antagonistic by stating:

Your correspondent considers me, in common with many other persons, actuated by feelings of hostility towards Mr. Smith. Now my feelings towards that gentleman are directly the reverse. I respect him for the important services he has rendered to geology, and I esteem him for the example of dignity, meekness, modesty, and candour, which he continually, though ineffectually, exhibits to his self-appointed champion.[24]

Another common but misleading narrative in some recent accounts of Smith’s map has Greenough's 1820 map undercutting the price and sales of Smith's map, thereby citing Greenough as a primary cause of landing Smith in debtor's prison. However, Greenough's map could not have contributed to the debts for which Smith was consigned to prison as the Greenough map, although dated 1819 on the map, was not published until May 1820, after Smith's incarceration. In fact Smith's maps retailed at 5 guineas, which was the same price as that privileged to Geological Society members for purchase of the Greenough 1820 map. However the Greenough map retailed to public at 6 guineas, thereby being a more expensive purchase than Smith’s map.[25] Also, although neither map sold well, the number of sales of Smith's map appears to have topped those of Greenough's map (only 196 copies recorded as sold) and there are only 15 names in common between Smith's subscribers' list and the list of those who bought the Geological Society's map.[26]

Smith's various projects, starting with a mortgage taken to purchase his estate at Tucking Mill in Somerset in 1798, accrued financial commitments that ran into a series of difficulties which he managed to withstand by borrowing money from sympathetic creditors and mortgagors and funding repayments by taking on a relentless schedule of work commissions between 1801 and 1819. However a project to quarry Bath Stone near his property, for sale to the London property development market, failed to return the significant investment it had required due to poor quality stone and Smith found himself in default to co-investor Charles Conolly. Smith had used his Bath estate as security against Conolly's loan but there was excess to pay. In attempting to stave off his debt Smith sold his 'fossil collection' to the British Museum for £700,[27] but this proved insufficient and funds fell short of the sum owed to Conolly by £300 and as a consequence Smith was sent to debtors' prison in 1819. Through all this financial turmoil, Smith managed to publish his map and subsequent associated publications but in 1817 he remarked "My income is as yet not anywise improved by what has been done, the profits being required to liquidate the debt incurred by publication."[28]

On 31 August 1819 Smith was released from King's Bench Prison in London, a debtor's prison.[29] He returned to 15 Buckingham Street, his home since 1804, to find a bailiff at the door and his home and property seized. Smith then worked as an itinerant surveyor for many years until one of his employers, Sir John Johnstone, recognised his work and talent and took steps to gain for him the respect he deserved, appointing Smith as Land Steward to his estate in Hackness near Scarborough. Between 1824 and 1834 Smith lived and was based in Hackness, then moving to Scarborough where he was responsible for the design of the Rotunda, a geological museum devoted to the Yorkshire coast, creating the cylindrical layout and arrangement of fossil display on sloping shelves.

Later recognition

William Smith's grave adjoining St Peter's Church, Northampton

It was not until February 1831 that the Geological Society of London conferred on Smith the first Wollaston Medal in recognition of his achievement.[30] It was on this occasion that the President, Adam Sedgwick, referred to Smith as "the Father of English Geology". That year Smith was awarded a pension of £100 a year by King William IV.[31] In 1835 Smith travelled to Dublin for the meeting of the British Association, and there unexpectedly received an honorary Doctorate of Laws (LL.D.) from Trinity College.[32]

In 1838 Smith was appointed as one of the commissioners to select building-stone for the new Palace of Westminster. He died in Northampton, and is buried a few feet from the west tower of St Peter's Church, Northampton, now a redundant church. The inscription on the grave is badly worn but the name "William Smith" can just be seen. Inside St Peter’s Church is an impressive bust and inscription.

Subsequent modern geological maps have been based on Smith's original work, of which several copies have survived[33] including one which has been put on display (alongside the Greenough map) at the Geological Society of London which can be visited by the public, free and without an appointment.[34]


William Smith's fossil collection (right) that helped him produce the first geological map, on display in the British Museum
  • The first geological map of most of Great Britain, much copied in his time, and the basis for all others.
  • Geological surveys around the world owe a debt to his work.
  • His nephew John Phillips lived during his youth with William Smith and was his apprentice. John Phillips became a major figure in 19th century geology and paleontology—among other things he is credited as first to specify most of the table of geological eras that is used today (1841).
  • A crater on Mars is named after him. (see List of craters on Mars: O-Z#S)
  • The Geological Society of London presents an annual lecture in his honour.
  • In 2005, a William Smith 'facsimile' was created at the Natural History Museum as a notable gallery character to patrol its displays; others were Carl Linnaeus, Mary Anning, and Dorothea Bate.[35]
  • His work was an important foundation for the work of Charles Darwin.
  • The Rotunda Museum in Scarborough was re-opened as 'Rotunda – The William Smith Museum of Geology', on 9 May 2008 by Lord Oxburgh; however, the Prince of Wales visited the Rotunda as early as 14 September 2007 to view the progress of the refurbishment of this listed building.
  • A building at Keele University containing the Geography, Geology and the Environment department is named after two William Smiths, both influential in the development of mapping. The first William Smith (1546?–1618) laid the foundations of the conventions of county mapping and of urban cartography. The second William Smith commemorated in the building's name is William Smith the author of the first geological map of England and Wales and subject of this article.[36]

See also


  1. ^ Simon Winchester, The Map That Changed the World, pp. xvi, 7, HarperCollins, 2001 ISBN 0060193611
  2. ^ Thomas George Bonney (1898). "Smith, William (1769–1839)" . In Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. Vol. 53. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  3. ^ Matthew, H. C. G.; Harrison, B., eds. (23 September 2004). "The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. ref:odnb/25932. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/25932. Retrieved 1 December 2019. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  4. ^ Winchester (2001), The Map That Changed the World, p. 27
  5. ^ "Smith's other debt". Geoscientist 17.7 July 2007. The Geological Society. Archived from the original on 10 March 2008. Retrieved 13 August 2008.
  6. ^ "William Smith 1769–1839 "The Father of English Geology"". Bath Royal Literary & Scientific Institution. Archived from the original on 1 February 2014. Retrieved 23 February 2013.
  7. ^ "William Smith (1769–1839)". University of California Museum of Paleontology. Retrieved 23 February 2013.
  8. ^ "William Smith". Natural History Museum. Retrieved 23 February 2013.
  9. ^ Macmillen, Neil (2009). A history of the Fuller's Earth mining industry around Bath. Lydney: Lightmoor Press. p. 9. ISBN 978-1-899889-32-7.
  10. ^ Asimov, I. (1982) Exploring the Earth & the Cosmos, Crown Publishers Inc., New York, p. 200
  11. ^ Phillips, John (1844). Memoirs of William Smith (First ed.). London: John Murray. p. 54. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  12. ^ 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica
  13. ^ Greene, J.C. and Burke, J.G. (1978) “The Science of Minerals in the Age of Jefferson”. Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, New Series, Vol. 68, No. 4, pp. 1–113 [39]
  14. ^ "William Smith's Geological Map of England". Earth Observatory. NASA. 10 May 2008. Retrieved 23 February 2013.
  15. ^ Gillispie, Charles Coulston (1960). The Edge of Objectivity: An Essay in the History of Scientific Ideas. Princeton University Press. p. 295. ISBN 0-691-02350-6.
  16. ^ Hawley, Duncan (2016). "Spotlight on William Smith's 1815 geological map: 'A delineation of the strata of England and Wales with part of Scotland...'". Geography. 101(part1): 35–41. doi:10.1080/00167487.2016.12093981.
  17. ^ Smith, William (1816). "Strata identified by organized fossils". Retrieved 30 May 2024 – via Smithsonian Libraries.
  18. ^ Palmer, Douglas (2005). Earth Time: Exploring the Deep Past from Victorian England to the Grand Canyon. Wiley. ISBN 978-0470022214.
  19. ^ Hawley, Duncan (2016). "Spotlight on William Smith's 1815 geological map: 'A delineation of the strata of England and Wales with part of Scotland ...'". Geography. 101(part1): 35–41. doi:10.1080/00167487.2016.12093981.
  20. ^ Winchester, Simon (2001). The Map That Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology. Viking Penguin. ISBN 978-0-670-88407-0.
  21. ^ "Map Collections". Lapworth Museum of Geology. University of Birmingham. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  22. ^ "Lot 121, Greenough (George Bellas), A Geological Map of England & Wales by G. B. Greenough Esq. F.R.S., President of the Geological Society, published by the Geological Society, 2nd edition, November 1st. 1839". Dominic Winter Auctions Printed Books, Maps & Documents 31 January 2018. Dominic Winter Auctions. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  23. ^ Farey, John Sen Mineral Surveyor (1819). "Free remarks on the Geological work of Mr Greenough". Philosophical Magazine. 54 (256): 127–132. doi:10.1080/14786441908652198.
  24. ^ Greenough, G.B. (1819). "Observations on certain free remarks by Mr. Farey published in the last number of the Philosophical Magazine". Philosophical Magazine. 54 (257): 205–206. doi:10.1080/14786441908652212.
  25. ^ Minutes of 7 January. Geological Society. 1820.
  26. ^ Sharpe, Tom (2016). "William Smith's 1815 Map, a delineation of the strata of England and Wales: its production, distribution, variants and survival". Earth Sciences History. 35 (1): 47–61. doi:10.17704/1944-6187-35.1.1.
  27. ^ Eyles, Joan (1967). "William Smith: The sale of his geological collection to the British museum". Annals of Science. 23 (3): 177–212. doi:10.1080/00033796700203276.
  28. ^ Torrens, Hugh (2016). "William Smith (1769–1839): His struggles as a consultant, in both geology and engineering, to simultaneously earn a living and finance his scientific projects to 1820". Earth Sciences History. 35 (1): 1–46. doi:10.17704/1944-6187-35.1.1.
  29. ^ Randy Moore, Mark D. Decker, More Than Darwin: An Encyclopedia of the People and Places of the Evolution-creationism Controversy, p. 327, Greenwood Press, 2008 ISBN 978-0313341557.
  30. ^ "November 1826 – June 1833". Proceedings of the Geological Society of London. I: 271. 1834. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  31. ^ Palmer, D. An unsung hero put on the map. Nature 412, 120 (2001).
  32. ^ British Association at Dublin in 1835. Nature 136, 232–233 (1935).
  33. ^ Eyles, V.A; Eyles, Joan M. (1938). "On the different issues of the first geological map of England and Wales". Annals of Science. 3 (2): 190–212. doi:10.1080/00033793800200871.
  34. ^ "Visiting the William Smith Map". Geological Society of London. Retrieved 2 October 2022.
  35. ^ Review by Miles Russell of Discovering Dorothea by Karolyn Shindler at (accessed 23 November 2007)
  36. ^ "William Smith Building". History in Keele Buildings. Keele University. Retrieved 10 February 2018.

Other sources

Peter Augustine Baines

Prior to Now on Combe Down link: Bishop Baines

Peter Augustine Baines

Vicar Apostolic of the Western District
Appointed3 March 1829
Term ended6 July 1843
PredecessorPeter Collingridge
SuccessorCharles Michael Baggs
Other post(s)Titular Bishop of Sigus
Ordination7 April 1810
Consecration1 May 1823
by Daniel Murray
Personal details
Born25 June 1786 or 25 January 1787
Peartree Farm, Kirkby, near Liverpool, England
Died6 July 1843
Prior Park College, Bath, Somerset, England
BuriedDownside Abbey, Stratton-on-the-Fosse, Somerset, England
DenominationRoman Catholic
Previous post(s)Coadjutor Vicar Apostolic of the Western District (1823–1829)

Peter Augustine Baines (1786/87–1843) was an English Benedictine, Titular Bishop of Siga and Vicar Apostolic of the Western District of England.


For his early education he was sent to Lamspringe Abbey, near Hildesheim, in the Kingdom of Hanover, where he arrived in 1798. Four years later the monastery was suppressed by the Prussian Government,[1] and the monks and their pupils returned to England. Some of them, including Baines, took refuge at the recently founded monastery at Ampleforth, Yorkshire. He joined the Benedictine Order, and held in succession every post of authority in the monastery, the priorship alone excepted.

In 1817 Baines left Ampleforth and was appointed to Bath, one of the most important Benedictine missions in the country. There he became a well-known figure, his sermons attracting attention not only among Catholics, but also among Protestants. His printed letters in answer to Charles Abel Moysey, Archdeacon of Bath, became known as Baines's Defence.[2]

Bishop Peter Bernardine Collingridge, Vicar Apostolic of the Western District selected Baines as his coadjutor. He received episcopal consecration as Titular Bishop of Siga by Archbishop Daniel Murray at Dublin, 1 May 1823.

Bishop Baines soon began to formulate schemes for the future of the district, on a large scale. It was without a regular seminary for the education of its clergy. The Western District differed from the other three in that the bishop had always been chosen from among the regular clergy, Benedictines or Franciscans, and a large proportion of the missions were in their hands. Baines thought that he saw the solution of his difficulty in utilising the recently opened Downside School, near Bath, under Benedictine management. Baines proposed that the whole community of monks at Downside should be transferred from the Anglo-Benedictine Congregation, and placed under the Bishop of the Western District, but these proposals were not warmly received.

In 1826 Bishop Baines' health worsened and he was ordered a long tour on the Continent. He spent the greater part of the time in Rome. Bishop Collingridge died on 3 March 1829, the same year in which Catholic Emancipation was passed. Bishop Baines returned to England, in restored health, to succeed as vicar Apostolic.

An 1829 painting of him by Ann Agnes Trail (Sister Agnes Xavier)

He at once revived his scheme for the seminary at Downside, and, having failed to secure the consent of the monks, he put forward the contention that the monasteries at Downside and Ampleforth had never been canonically erected, for, owing to the unsettled condition of the English mission, the formality of obtaining the written consent of the ordinary had been overlooked. He drew the drastic conclusion that all the monastic vows had been invalid, and that the property belonged to the bishops. The case was argued out in Rome, but it was considered that, even if the strict law was on Bishop Baines' side, equity demanded that the rights of the Benedictines should be maintained, and a sanatio was issued by papal authority, making good any possible defects in the past. Leave was given for four monks at Ampleforth, including the prior, to be secularised. They left, together with thirty of the boys, to join Bishop Baines, who had himself been secularised, in founding a new college.

The site chosen was Prior Park College, a large mansion outside Bath, which Bishop Baines bought, and he set to work to build two colleges at either end of the "mansion house", which he dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul respectively, the former being intended as a lay college, the latter as a seminary, but the new college never became prosperous. In 1840 the number of vicariates in England was raised from four to eight, Wales being separated off into a district of its own. Bishop Baines continued over the Western District for three years more, when his sudden death took place.

On 4 July 1843, he distributed the prizes at Prior Park; the following day he preached at the opening of the new church of St Mary on the Quay, Bristol, returning to Prior Park in the evening, apparently in his usual health; but the following morning he was found dead in his bed. His funeral was at Prior Park and some years later, his body was removed to Downside Abbey.

An oil painting of him, formerly at Prior Park, is now at the Bishop's House (St. Ambrose), Clifton. There is an engraving in the Catholic Directory for 1844. Also a large portrait hangs in the Chapel of the Lady of our Snows at Prior Park College.



  1. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia, Peter Augustine Baines
  2. ^ The following links provide information about the communications between Bishop Baines and Dr Moysey: [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], "Short list of indexed books(page 891) - eBooks search engine". Archived from the original on 1 May 2008. Retrieved 27 April 2009., [8][permanent dead link]
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by Vicar Apostolic of the Western District
Succeeded by

Alexander Raphael

Alexander Raphael
Member of Parliament
for St Albans
In office
Preceded byBenjamin Bond Cabbell
Succeeded byJacob Bell
Member of Parliament
for Carlow
In office
June 1835 – 19 August 1835
Personal details
Madras, India
Died1850(1850-00-00) (aged 74–75)
Political partyWhig

Alexander Raphael (1775–1850) was a British politician who was the first British-Armenian to serve in the House of Commons.[1] He was returned as a Whig MP from the Irish constituency of County Carlow, at a by-election in June 1835. However the election was challenged on petition and he was unseated on 19 August 1835. Raphael succeeded in re-entering the House of Commons as a Catholic Whig from St Albans in 1847 and retained the seat until his death.

Prior to serving in Parliament, he had been Sheriff of London for 1834, where he lost the tip of his left index finger in a fight with a criminal.[2]

Early life

Raphael was born in Madras, India to father Edward Raphael, a founder of Carniac Bank who passed away in 1791, and mother Maria Stephana Manuel, who died in 1790. He was baptised as a Catholic. His father was reportedly descended from Armenians (surnamed either Gharamiants or Kharan) who moved to New Julfa, Iran in the mid-17th century and then Madras. Raphael was tutored by Father Nicholas Pusani.[3]


St Raphael's Church, Surbiton

His legacy is St Raphael's Church in Surbiton, London, which he financed and had built as a family chapel. Completed in 1848, only two years before his death, it was later opened to the public as a Roman Catholic church by his nephew, Edward.[4]


  1. ^ Seth, Mesrovb Jacob (1937). Armenians in India: From the Earliest Times to the Present. Calcutta. p. 595. ISBN 9788120608122.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  2. ^ David Marshall Lang.Armenia: Cradle of Civilization. George Allen and Unwin Publishers. British ISBN 0-04-956008-5
  3. ^ Kennedy, David A (30 January 2018). "From Madras to Surbiton. Alexander Raphael, unbeaten champion, 1775-1850". Kingston History Research. Retrieved 7 February 2024.
  4. ^ "Saint Raphael - Our Church". Official website. Archived from the original on 21 October 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  • Parliamentary Election Results in Ireland, 1801-1922, edited by B.M. Walker (Royal Irish Academy 1978)
  • Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs
  • James Corbett, A History of St Albans states that Alexander Raphael was a Whig, as does F.W.S. Craig in British Parliamentary Election Results 1832-1885.
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member of Parliament for County Carlow
With: Nicholas Aylward Vigors
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of Parliament for St Albans
1847 – 1850
With: George Repton
Succeeded by

Cornwallis Maude, 1st Earl de Montalt

The Right Honourable
The Earl de Montalt
Maude as caricatured in Vanity Fair, November 1881
Cornwallis Maude

(1817-04-04)4 April 1817
London, England
Died9 January 1905(1905-01-09) (aged 87)
TitleEarl de Montalt
Viscount Hawarden
(m. 1845; died 1865)
Parent(s)Cornwallis Maude, 3rd Viscount Hawarden
Jane Crauford Bruce

Cornwallis Maude, 1st Earl de Montalt (4 April 1817 – 9 January 1905), styled The Honourable Cornwallis Maude until 1856 and known as The Viscount Hawarden from 1856 to 1886, was a British Conservative politician.


Maude was the only son of Cornwallis Maude, 3rd Viscount Hawarden, and his wife Jane (née Bruce).

Political career

Maude succeeded his father in the viscountcy in 1856 but as this was an Irish peerage it did not entitle him to an automatic seat in the House of Lords. However, in 1862 he was elected an Irish representative peer, and later served in the Conservative administrations of the Earl of Derby, Benjamin Disraeli and Lord Salisbury as a Lord-in-waiting (government whip in the House of Lords) from 1866 to 1868, 1874 to 1880 and 1885 to 1886. In the latter year, he was created Earl de Montalt, of Dundrum in the County of Tipperary, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. Between 1885 and 1905 he also held the honorary post of Lord-Lieutenant of County Tipperary.


Lord de Montalt married Clementina, eldest daughter of Admiral Charles Elphinstone Fleeming, in 1845, and had ten children, of whom eight survived infancy. She was a noted amateur photographer. She died in 1865. One of their sons, the Honourable Cornwallis Maude, a captain in the Grenadier Guards, was killed in action at the Battle of Majuba Hill in 1881. Of their daughters, probably the best known is Kathleen, who was divorced for adultery by her first husband, Gerald Brooke, in 1886, a case which aroused enormous media interest. Lord de Montalt died on 9 January 1905, aged 87, at a hotel at Holyhead, Anglesey. While waiting for a boat to Ireland he became too ill to travel and died. As he had no surviving sons the earldom became extinct on his death. He was succeeded in his other titles by his cousin Robert Henry Maude.


Honorary titles
Preceded by Lord Lieutenant of Tipperary
Succeeded by
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Earl de Montalt
Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by Viscount Hawarden
Succeeded by
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Representative peer for Ireland
Succeeded by

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