A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature, by John W. Cousin


Faber, Frederick William (1814–1863). — Theologian and hymn-writer, was born at Calverley, Yorkshire, and ed. at Harrow and Oxford, where he came under the influence of Newman, whom he followed into the Church of Rome. He wrote various theological treatises, but has a place in literature for his hymns, which include The Pilgrims of the Night, My God how wonderful thou art, and Sweet Saviour, bless us ere we go.

Fabyan, Robert (died 1513). — Chronicler, was born in London, of which he became an Alderman and Sheriff. He kept a diary of notable events, which he expanded into a chronicle, which he entitled, The Concordance of Histories. It covers the period from the arrival of Brutus in England to the death of Henry VII., and deals mainly with the affairs of London. It was not printed until 1515, when it appeared under the title of The New Chronicles of England and France.

Fairfax, Edward (1580?-1635). — Translator, natural son of Sir Thomas F., lived at Fuystone, near Knaresborough, in peace and prosperity. His translation of Tasso’s Jerusalem Delivered, on which his fame is founded, is a masterpiece, one of the comparatively few translations which in themselves are literature. It was highly praised by Dryden and Waller. The first ed. appeared in 1600, and was dedicated to Queen Elizabeth. F. also wrote a treatise on Demonology, in which he was a devout believer.

Falconer, William (1732–1769). — Poet, son of a barber in Edinburgh, where he was born, became a sailor, and was thus thoroughly competent to describe the management of the storm-tossed vessel, the career and fate of which are described in his poem, The Shipwreck (1762), a work of genuine, though unequal, talent. The efforts which F. made to improve the poem in the successive ed. which followed the first were not entirely successful. The work gained for him the patronage of the Duke of York, through whose influence he obtained the position of purser on various warships. Strangely enough, his own death occurred by shipwreck. F. wrote other poems, now forgotten, besides a useful Nautical Dictionary.

Fanshawe, Catherine Maria (1765–1834). — Poetess, daughter of a Surrey squire, wrote clever occasional verse. Her best known production is the famous Riddle on the Letter H, beginning “’Twas whispered in heaven, ’twas muttered in hell” often attributed to Lord Byron.

Fanshawe, Sir Richard (1608–1666). — Diplomatist, translator, and poet, born at Ware Park, Herts, and ed. at Cambridge, travelled on the Continent, and when the Civil War broke out sided with the King and was sent to Spain to obtain money for the cause. He acted as Latin Sec. to Charles II. when in Holland. After the Restoration he held various appointments, and was Ambassador to Portugal and Spain successively. He translated Guarini’s Pastor Fido, Selected Parts of Horace, and The Lusiad of Camoens. His wife, née Anne Harrison, wrote memoirs of her own life.

Faraday, Michael (1791–1867). — Natural philosopher, son of a blacksmith, was born in London, and apprenticed to a book-binder. He early showed a taste for chemistry, and attended the lectures of Sir H. Davy (q.v.), by whom he was, in 1813, appointed his chemical assistant in the Royal Institution. He became one of the greatest of British discoverers and popularisers of science, his discoveries being chiefly in the department of electro-magnetism. He had an unusual power of making difficult subjects clearly understood. Among his writings are History of the Progress of Electro–Magnetism (1821), The Non-metallic Elements, The Chemical History of a Candle, and The Various Forces in Nature. F. was a man of remarkable simplicity and benevolence of character, and deeply religious.

Farmer, Richard (1735–1797). — Shakespearian scholar, born at Leicester, and ed. at Cambridge, where he ultimately became Master of Emanuel College He wrote an Essay on the Learning of Shakespeare (1767), in which he maintained that Shakespeare’s knowledge of the classics was through translations, the errors of which he reproduced. It is a production of great ability. F. was a clergyman, and held a prebend in St. Paul’s.

Farquhar, George (1678–1707). — Dramatist, born at Londonderry, son of a clergyman, and ed. at Trinity College, Dublin, on leaving which he took to the stage, but had no great success as an actor. This, together with an accident in which he wounded a fellow-actor with a sword, led to his relinquishing it, and giving himself to writing plays instead of acting them. Thereafter he joined the army. Love and a Bottle (1698) was his first venture, and others were The Constant Couple (1700), Sir Harry Wildair (1701), The Inconstant (1703), The Recruiting Officer (1706), and The Beau’s Stratagem (1707). F.’s plays are full of wit and sparkle and, though often coarse, have not the malignant pruriency of some of his predecessors. He made an unfortunate marriage, and died in poverty.

Farrar, Frederic William (1831–1903). — Theological writer, born in Bombay, and ed. at London University and Cambridge, was for some years a master at Harrow, and from 1871–76 Head Master of Marlborough School. He became successively Canon of Westminster and Rector of St. Margaret’s, Archdeacon of Westminster and Dean of Canterbury. He was an eloquent preacher and a voluminous author, his writings including stories of school life, such as Eric and St. Winifred’s, a Life of Christ, which had great popularity, a Life of St. Paul, and two historical romances.

Fawcett, Henry (1833–1884). — Statesman and economist, born at Salisbury, and ed. at Cambridge, where he became Fellow of Trinity Hall. In 1858 he was blinded by a shooting accident, in spite of which he continued to prosecute his studies, especially in economics, and in 1863 published his Manual of Political Economy, becoming in the same year Prof. of Political Economy in Cambridge Having strong political views he desired to enter upon a political career, and after repeated defeats was elected M.P. for Brighton. He soon attained a recognised position, devoting himself specially to parliamentary reform and Indian questions, and was in 1880 appointed Postmaster–General, in which office he approved himself a capable administrator. His career was, however, cut short by his premature death, but not before he had made himself a recognised authority on economics, his works on which include The Economic Position of the British Labourer (1871), Labour and Wages, etc. In 1867 he married Miss Millicent Garrett, a lady highly qualified to share in all his intellectual interests, and who collaborated with him in some of his publications. There is a life of him by Sir L. Stephen.

Fawkes, Francis (1721–1777). — Poet and translator, born near Doncaster, and ed. at Cambridge, after which he took orders. He translated Anacreon, Sappho, and other classics, modernised parts of the poems of Gavin Douglas, and was the author of the well-known song, The Brown Jug, and of two poems, Bramham Park and Partridge Shooting.

Feltham, Owen (1602?-1668). — Religious writer, author of a book entitled Resolves, Divine, Moral, and Political (c. 1620), containing 146 short essays. It had great popularity in its day. Though sometimes stiff and affected in style, it contains many sound, if not original or brilliant, reflections, and occasional felicities of expression. F. was for a time in the household of the Earl of Thomond as chaplain or secretary, and published (1652), Brief Character of the Low Countries.

Fenton, Elijah (1683–1730). — Poet and translator, ed. at Cambridge, for a time acted as secretary to the Earl of Orrery in Flanders, and was then Master of Sevenoaks Grammar School. In 1707 he published a book of poems. He is best known, however, as the assistant of Pope in his translation of the Odyssey, of which he Englished the first, fourth, nineteenth, and twentieth books, catching the manner of his master so completely that it is hardly possible to distinguish between their work; while thus engaged he published (1723) a successful tragedy, Marianne. His latest contributions to literature were a Life of Milton, and an ed. of Waller’s Poems (1729).

Ferguson, Adam (1723–1816). — Philosopher and historian, son of the parish minister of Logierait, Perthshire, studied at St. Andrews and Edinburgh University, in the latter of which he was successively Professor of Mathematics, and Moral Philosophy (1764–1785). As a young man he was chaplain to the 42nd Regiment, and was present at the Battle of Fontenoy. In 1757 he was made Keeper of the Advocates’ Library. As a Prof. of Philosophy he was highly successful, his class being attended by many distinguished men no longer students at the University. In 1778–9 he acted as secretary to a commission sent out by Lord North to endeavour to reach an accommodation with the American colonists. F.’s principal works are Essay on the History of Civil Society (1765), Institutes of Moral Philosophy (1769), History of the Progress and Termination of the Roman Republic (1782), and Principles of Moral and Political Science (1792), all of which have been translated into French and German. F. spent his later years at St. Andrews, where he died in 1816 at the age of 92. He was an intimate friend of Sir Walter Scott. The French philosopher Cousin gave F. a place above all his predecessors in the Scottish school of philosophy.

Ferguson, Sir Samuel (1810–1886). — Poet and antiquary, born at Belfast, the son of parents of Scottish extraction, he was ed. at Trinity College, Dublin, from which he received in 1865 the honorary degree of LL.D. He practised with success as a barrister, became Q.C. in 1859, and Deputy Keeper of the Irish Records 1867, an appointment in which he rendered valuable service, and was knighted in 1878. He was a contributor to Blackwood’s Magazine, in which appeared his best known poem, The Forging of the Anchor, and was one of the chief promoters of the Gaelic revival in Irish literature. His collected poems appeared under the title of Lays of the Western Gael (1865), Congal, an epic poem (1872), and his prose tales posthumously (1887), as Hibernian Nights’ Entertainments. His principal antiquarian work was Ogham Inscriptions in Ireland, Wales, and Scotland.

Fergusson, James (1808–1886). — Writer on architecture, born at Ayr, was engaged in commercial pursuits in India, where he became interested in the architecture of the country, and published his first work, Picturesque Illustrations of Ancient Architecture in Hindustan (1840), which was followed by An Historical Inquiry into the True Principles of Beauty in Art (1849), and A History of Architecture in all Countries from the Earliest Times to the Present Day (1865–67). He also wrote Fire and Serpent Worship, etc., and a book on the use of earthworks in fortification.

Fergusson, Robert (1750–1774). — Scottish poet, son of a bank clerk, was ed. at the University of St. Andrews. His father dying, he became a copying clerk in an Edinburgh lawyer’s office. Early displaying a talent for humorous descriptive verse, he contributed to Ruddiman’s Weekly Magazine, then the principal Scottish receptacle for fugitive poetry. His verses, however, attracted attention by their merit, and he published some of them in a collected form. Unfortunately he fell into dissipated habits, under which his delicate constitution gave way, and he died insane in his 24th year. His poems influenced Burns, who greatly admired them.

Ferrier, James Frederick (1808–1864). — Metaphysician, born in Edinburgh, and ed. there and at Oxford, he was called to the Scottish Bar in 1832, but devoted himself to literature and philosophy. In 1842 he was appointed Prof. of History in Edinburgh, and in 1845 translated to the Chair of Moral Philosophy and Political Economy at St. Andrews. He published in 1854 Institutes of Metaphysics, and ed. the collected works of his father-inlaw, Prof. Wilson (“Christopher North.”)

Ferrier, Susan Edmonstoune (1782–1854). — Novelist, daughter of James F., one of the principal clerks of the Court of Session, in which office he was the colleague of Sir Walter Scott. Miss F. wrote three excellent novels, Marriage (1818), The Inheritance (1824), and Destiny (1831), all characterised by racy humour and acute character-painting. Her cheerful and tactful friendship helped to soothe the last days of Sir W. Scott.

Field, Nathaniel (1587–1633). — Dramatist and actor, was one of “the children of the Queen’s Revels,” who performed in Ben Jonson’s Cynthia’s Revels in 1600. He wrote A Woman’s a Weathercock (1612), Amends for Ladies (1618), and (with Massinger) The Fatal Dowry (1632).

Fielding, Henry (1707–1754). — Novelist, was born at Sharpham Park, near Glastonbury. His father was General Edmund F., descended from the Earls of Denbigh and Desmond, and his mother was the daughter of Sir Henry Gould of Sharpham Park. His childhood was spent at East Stour, Dorset, and his education was received at first from a tutor, after which he was sent to Eton. Following a love affair with a young heiress at Lyme Regis he was sent to Leyden to study law, where he remained until his father, who had entered into a second marriage, and who was an extravagant man, ceased to send his allowance. Thrown upon his own resources, he came to London and began to write light comedies and farces, of which during the next few years he threw off nearly a score. The drama, however, was not his true vein, and none of his pieces in this kind have survived, unless Tom Thumb, a burlesque upon his contemporary playwrights, be excepted. About 1735 he married Miss Charlotte Cradock, a beautiful and amiable girl to whom, though he gave her sufficient cause for forbearance, he was devotedly attached. She is the prototype of his “Amelia” and “Sophia.” She brought him £1500, and the young couple retired to East Stour, where he had a small house inherited from his mother. The little fortune was, however, soon dissipated; and in a year he was back in London, where he formed a company of comedians, and managed a small theatre in the Haymarket. Here he produced successfully Pasquin, a Dramatic Satire on the Times, and The Historical Register for 1736, in which Walpole was satirised. This enterprise was brought to an end by the passing of the Licensing Act, 1737, making the imprimatur of the Lord Chamberlain necessary to the production of any play. F. thereupon read law at the Middle Temple, was called to the Bar in 1740, and went the Western Circuit. The same year saw the publication of Richardson’s Pamela, which inspired F. with the idea of a parody, thus giving rise to his first novel, Joseph Andrews. As, however, the characters, especially Parson Adams, developed in his hands, the original idea was laid aside, and the work assumed the form of a regular novel. It was published in 1742, and though sharing largely in the same qualities as its great successor, Tom Jones, its reception, though encouraging, was not phenomenally cordial. Immediately after this a heavy blow fell on F. in the death of his wife. The next few years were occupied with writing his Miscellanies, which contained, along with some essays and poems, two important works, A Journey from this World to the Next, and The History of Jonathan Wild the Great, a grave satire; and he also conducted two papers in support of the Government, The True Patriot and The Jacobite Journal, in consideration of which he was appointed Justice of the Peace for Middlesex and Westminster, and had a pension conferred upon him. In 1746 he set convention at defiance by marrying Mary MacDaniel, who had been his first wife’s maid, and the nurse of his children, and who proved a faithful and affectionate companion. F. showed himself an upright, diligent, and efficient magistrate, and his Inquiry into the Increase of Robbers (1751), with suggested remedies, led to beneficial results. By this time, however, the publication of his great masterpiece, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling (1749), had given him a place among the immortals. All critics are agreed that this book contains passages offensive to delicacy, and some say to morality. This is often excused on the plea of the coarser manners of the age; but a much stronger defence is advanced on the ground that, while other novelists of the time made immorality an incentive to merriment, F.’s treatment of such subjects, as Lowell has said, “shocks rather than corrupts,” and that in his pages evil is evil. On the other hand, there is universal agreement as to the permanent interest of the types of character presented, the profound knowledge of life and insight into human nature, the genial humour, the wide humanity, the wisdom, and the noble and masculine English of the book. His only other novel, Amelia, which some, but these a small minority, have regarded as his best, was published in 1751. His health was now thoroughly broken, and in 1753, as a forlorn hope, he went in search of restoration to Lisbon, where he died on October 8, and was buried in the English cemetery. His last work was a Journal of his voyage. Though with many weaknesses and serious faults, F. was fundamentally a man of honest and masculine character, and though improvident and reckless in his habits, especially in earlier life, he was affectionate in his domestic relations, and faithful and efficient in the performance of such public duties as he was called to discharge. Thackeray thus describes his appearance, “His figure was tall and stalwart, his face handsome, manly, and noble-looking; to the last days of his life he retained a grandeur of air and, though worn down by disease, his aspect and presence imposed respect upon people round about him.”

Summary. — Born 1707, ed. Eton, studied law at Leyden, came to London and wrote dramas, called to Bar 1740, published Joseph Andrews 1742, became journalist, appointed a magistrate for Middlesex, etc., and published Inquiry into Increase of Robbers 1751, published Tom Jones 1749, Amelia 1751, died at Lisbon 1754.

His works are included in Ballantyne’s Novelists’ Library with a biography by Scott (1821). An ed. in 10 vols. with a study by L. Stephen was published by Smith, Elder and Co. (1882); another in 12 vols. by Prof. Saintsbury, Dent and Co. (1893), and various others. There are various Lives by Watson (1807). Lawrence (1855), and A. Dobson (Men of Letters, 1883).

Fielding, Sarah (1710–1768). — Novelist, was the sister of the above, who had a high opinion of her talents. She wrote several novels, including David Simple (1744), The Governess, and The Countess of Dellwyn. She also translated Xenophon’s Memorabilia and Apologia (1762).

Filmer, Sir Robert (died 1653?). — Political writer, son of Sir Edward F., of East Sutton, Kent, was ed. at Cambridge He was an enthusiastic Royalist, was knighted by Charles I. and, in 1671, was imprisoned in Leeds Castle, Kent. He is notable as the defender, in its most extreme form, of the doctrine of the divine right of kings, which he expounded in a succession of works, of which the latest and best known, Patriarcha, appeared in 1679. His theory is founded on the idea that the government of a family by the father is the original and method of all government. His doctrines were afterwards attacked by Locke in his Treatise on Government. He was opposed to the persecution of old women for supposed witchcraft.

Finlay, George (1799–1875). — Historian, of Scottish descent, was born at Faversham, Kent, where his father, an officer in the army, was inspector of government powder mills. Intended for the law, he was ed. at Glasgow, Göttingen, and Edinburgh, but becoming an enthusiast in the cause of Greece, he joined Byron in the war of independence, and thereafter bought a property near Athens, where he settled and busied himself with schemes for the improvement of the country, which had little success. His History of Greece, produced in sections between 1843 and 1861, did not at first receive the recognition which its merits deserved, but it has since been given by students in all countries, and specially in Germany, a place among works of permanent value, alike for its literary style and the depth and insight of its historical views. It was re-issued in 1877 as A History of Greece from the Roman Conquest to the Present Time (146 B.C. to 1864).

Fisher, John (c. 1469–1535). — Controversialist and scholar, born at Beverley, and ed. at Cambridge, entered the Church, and became in 1504 Bishop of Rochester. He wrote in Latin against the doctrines of the Reformation, but was a supporter of the New Learning, and endeavoured to get Erasmus to teach Greek at Cambridge Through his influence the Lady Margaret Professorship of Divinity were founded at both the University by Margaret Countess of Richmond, and in 1502 he became first prof. at Cambridge, where he was also (1505–8) Head of Queen’s College He was also instrumental in founding Christ’s and St. John’s College For opposing the divorce proceedings of Henry VIII. he was burned. Made a cardinal in 1535, he was beatified in 1886.

Fiske, John (1842–1901). — Miscellaneous writer, was born at Hartford, Connecticut. The family name was Green; but this he dropped, and adopted that of his mother’s family. After being at Harvard he studied for, and was admitted to, the Bar, but did not practise. He wrote on a variety of subjects, including mythology, history, and evolution. Among his books on these subjects are, Myths and Mythmakers (1872), Cosmic Philosophy, Darwinism, The Idea of God, Origin of Evil. He was also the author of many works on America. These include Old Virginia, New France and New England, The American Revolution, and Discovery of America (1892).

Fitzgerald, Edward (1809–1883). — Translator and letter-writer, was born near Woodbridge, Suffolk, son of John Purcell, who took his wife’s surname on the death of her father. in 1818. He was ed. at Bury St. Edmunds and Cambridge Thereafter he lived in retirement and study with his parents until 1838, when he took a neighbouring cottage. In 1856 he married a daughter of Bernard Barton, the poet, from whom, however, he soon separated. Afterwards he lived at various places in the East of England, continuing his studies, with yachting for his chief recreation. By this time, however, he had become an author, having written a life of his father-inlaw prefixed to his collected poems (1849), Euphranor, a dialogue on youth (1851), and Polonius, a Collection of Wise Saws and Modern Instances (1852). Becoming interested in Spanish literature, he published translations of Six Dramas of Calderon. Thereafter turning his attention to Persian, he produced (1859), anonymously, his famous translation of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyám. He also published translations of the Agamemnon of Æschylus, and the Oedipus Tyrannus and Oedipus Coloneus of Sophocles. In his translations F. aimed not so much at a mere literal reproduction of the sense of the original, as at reproducing its effect on the reader, and in this he was extraordinarily successful. In the department of letter-writing also he attained an excellence perhaps unequalled in his day.

Fitzstephen, William (died 1190). — Was a servant of Thomas à Becket, witnessed his murder, and wrote his biography, which contains an interesting account of London in the 12th century.

Flavel, John (1627–1691). — Divine, born at Bromsgrove, studied at Oxford, was a Presbyterian, and was settled at Dartmouth, but ejected from his living in 1662, continuing, however, to preach there secretly. He was a voluminous and popular author. Among his works are Husbandry Spiritualised and Navigation Spiritualised, titles which suggest some of his characteristics as an expositor.

Flecknoe, Richard (died 1678). — Poet, said to have been an Irish priest. He wrote several plays, now forgotten, also miscellaneous poems, some of them sacred, and a book of travels. His name has been preserved in Dryden’s satire, MacFlecknoe, as “throughout the realms of nonsense absolute;” but according to some authorities his slighter pieces were not wanting in grace and fancy.

Fletcher, Andrew (1655–1716). — Scottish statesman and political writer, son of Sir Robert F. of Saltoun, East Lothian, to which estate he succeeded at an early age. He was ed. under the care of Bishop Burnet, who was then minister of Saltoun. Being firmly opposed to the arbitrary measures of the Duke of York, afterwards James II., he went to Holland, where he joined Monmouth, whom he accompanied on his ill-starred expedition. Happening to kill, in a quarrel, one Dare, another of the Duke’s followers, he fled to the Continent, travelled in Spain and Hungary, and fought against the Turks. After the Revolution he returned to Scotland, and took an active part in political affairs. He opposed the Union, fearing the loss of Scottish independence, and advocated federation rather than incorporation. He introduced various improvements in agriculture. His principal writings are Discourse of Government (1698), Two Discourses concerning the Affairs of Scotland (1698), Conversation concerning a right Regulation of Government for the Common Good of Mankind (1703), in which occurs his well-known saying, “Give me the making of the songs of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws.”

Fletcher, Giles, and Phineas (1588?-1623) (1582–1650). — Poets, were the sons of Giles F., himself a minor poet, and Envoy to Russia. Phineas, the elder, was ed. at Eton and Cambridge, and entered the Church, becoming Rector of Hilgay, Norfolk. He wrote The Purple Island (1633), a poem in 10 books, giving an elaborate allegorical description of the body and mind of man, which, though tedious and fanciful, contains some fine passages, recalling the harmonious sweetness of Spenser, whose disciple the poet was. He was also the author of Piscatory Dialogues. GILES, the younger, was also ed. at Cambridge, and, like his brother, became a country parson, being Rector of Alderton. His poem, Christ’s Victory and Triumph (1610), which, though it contains passages rising to sublimity, is now almost unknown except to students of English literature, is said to have influenced Milton.

Both brothers, but especially Giles, had a genuine poetic gift, but alike in the allegorical treatment of their subjects and the metre they adopted, they followed a style which was passing away, and thus missed popularity. They were cousins of John F., the dramatist.

Florence of Worcester (died 1118). — Chronicler, was a monk of Worcester. His work is founded upon that of Marianus, an Irish chronicler, supplemented by additions taken from the Anglo–Saxon Chronicle, Bede’s Lives of the Saints, and Asser’s Life of Alfred. After his death it was brought down to 1295.

Florio, John (1553?-1625). — Translator, son of an Italian preacher, exiled for his Protestantism, but who appears to have lost credit owing to misconduct, born in London, was, about 1576, a private tutor of languages at Oxford In 1581 he was admitted a member of Magdalen College, and teacher of French and Italian. Patronised by various noblemen, he became in 1603 reader in Italian to Anne of Denmark, Queen of James I. He published First Fruites (1578). Second Fruites (1591), consisting of Italian and English Dialogues, and his great Italian dictionary entitled A World of Wonder, in 1598. His chief contribution to pure literature is his famous translation of The Essays of Montaigne, in stately if somewhat stiff Elizabethan English.

Fonblanque, Albany William (1793–1872). — Journalist and political writer, was of Huguenot descent, the son of a Commissioner in Bankruptcy. He was bred to the law, but deserted it for journalism, in which he took a high place. He wrote much for The Times, and Westminster Review, and subsequently became ed. and proprietor of the Examiner. His best articles were republished as England under Seven Administrations (1837). He also wrote How we are Governed. In 1847 he was appointed Statistical Sec. to the Board of Trade.

Foote, Samuel (1720–1777). — Actor and dramatist, born at Truro of a good family, and ed. at Oxford, succeeded by his extravagance and folly in running through two fortunes. To repair his finances he turned to the stage, and began with tragedy, in which he failed. He then took to comedy, and the mimetic representation of living characters, for which his extraordinary comic powers highly qualified him. He also became a prolific author of dramatic pieces. He wrote 20 plays, and claimed to have added 16 original characters to the stage. Several of his pieces, owing to the offence they gave to persons of importance, were suppressed, but were usually revived in a slightly modified form. His conversation was agreeable and entertaining in the highest degree. Among his best works are An Auction of Pictures, The Liar, and The Mayor of Garratt (1763), The Lame Lover (1770), The Knights (1749), Author (suppressed) 1757, Devil upon Two Sticks (1768), The Nabob (1779), The Capuchin (1776).

Forbes, James David (1809–1868). — Natural Philosopher, son of Sir William F., of Pitsligo, was born and ed. at Edinburgh He studied law, and was called to the Bar, but devoted himself to science, in which he gained a great reputation both as a discoverer and teacher. He was Prof. of Natural Philosophy at Edinburgh, 1833–1859, when he succeeded Sir D. Brewster, as Principal of the United College at St. Andrews. He was one of the founders of the British Association in 1831. His scientific investigations and discoveries embraced the subjects of heat, light, polarisation, and specially glaciers. In connection with the last of these he wrote Travels through the Alps (1843), Norway and its Glaciers (1853), Tour of Mont Blanc and Monte Rosa (1855), and Papers on the Theory of Glaciers.

Ford, John (c. 1586?). — Dramatist, born probably at Ilsington, Devonshire, was admitted to the Middle Temple in 1602, and appears to have practised as a lawyer. His chief plays are The Lover’s Melancholy (1629), ’Tis Pity, The Broken Heart, and Love’s Sacrifice (1633), Perkin Warbeck (1634), The Lady’s Trial (1639), and Fancies Chaste and Noble (1638). He also collaborated with Dekker and Rowley in The Witch of Edmonton (1624). F. has a high position as a dramatist, though rather for general intellectual power and austere beauty of thought than for strictly dramatic qualities. C. Lamb says, “F. was of the first order of poets.” He had little humour; his plays, though the subjects are painful, and sometimes horrible, are full of pensive tenderness expressed in gently flowing verse. The date of his death is uncertain.

Ford, Paul Leicester (1865–1902). — Novelist and biographer, was born in Brooklyn. He wrote Lives of Washington, Franklin, and others, ed. the works of Jefferson, and wrote a number of novels, which had considerable success, including Peter Sterling (1894), Story of an Untold Love, Janice Meredith, Wanted a Matchmaker, and Wanted a Chaperone. He died by his own hand.

Ford, Richard (1796–1858). — Writer on art and travel, ed. at Winchester and Cambridge, and travelled for several years in Spain, becoming intimately acquainted with the country and people. He wrote a Handbook for Travellers in Spain (1845), which is much more than a mere guide-book, and Gatherings from Spain (1846). An accomplished artist and art critic, he was the first to make the great Spanish painter, Velasquez, generally known in England.

Fordun, John (died 1384?). — Chronicler, said to have been a chantry priest and Canon of Aberdeen. He began the Scotichronicon, for which he prepared himself, it is said, by travelling on foot through Britain and Ireland in search of materials. He also compiled Gesta Annalia, a continuation. He brought the history down to 1153, leaving, however, material to the time of his own death, which was subsequently worked up by Walter Bower (q.v.).

Forster, John (1812–1876). — Historian and biographer, born at Newcastle, ed. at the Grammar School there, and at University College, London, became a barrister of the Inner Temple, but soon relinquished law for literature. In 1834 he accepted the post of assistant ed. of the Examiner, and was ed. 1847–55. In this position F. exercised a marked influence on public opinion. He also ed. the Foreign Quarterly Review 1842–3, the Daily News in 1846, and was Sec. to the Lunacy Commission and a Commissioner 1861–72. His historical writings were chiefly biographies, among which are Statesmen of the Commonwealth of England (1836–9), Life of Goldsmith (1854), Biographical and Historical Essays (1859), Sir John Eliot (1864), Lives of Walter S. Landor (1868), and Charles Dickens (1871–4). He also left the first vol. of a Life of Swift. F., who was a man of great decision and force of character, concealed an unusually tender heart under a somewhat overbearing manner.

Fortescue, Sir John (1394?-1476?). — Political writer, was descended from a Devonshire family. He was an eminent lawyer, and held the office of Lord Chief Justice of the King’s Bench (1442). During the Wars of the Roses he was a staunch Lancastrian. On the triumph of Edward IV. at Towton he was attainted, and followed the fortunes of the fallen Lancastrians, accompanying Queen Margaret to Scotland and Flanders. He fought at Tewkesbury, was captured, but pardoned on condition of writing in support of the Yorkish claims, which he did, considering that his own party appeared to be hopelessly ruined. He is said to have been at one time Lord Chancellor; but it is probable that this was only a titular appointment given him by the exiled family. His works are various defences of the Lancastrian title to the crown, and two treatises, De Laudibus Legum Angliæ (1537) (in praise of the laws of England), and On the Governance of the Kingdom of England, not printed till 1714, the former for the instruction of Edward, Prince of Wales.

Forster, John (1770–1843). — Essayist, was born at Halifax, and ed. at Bristol for the Baptist ministry. Though a man of powerful and original mind he did not prove popular as a preacher, and devoted himself mainly to literature, his chief contribution to which is his four Essays (1) On a Man’s Writing Memoirs of Himself, (2) On Decision of Character, (3) On the Epithet “Romantic,” (4) On Evangelical Religion, etc., all of which attracted much attention among the more thoughtful part of the community, and still hold their place. These Essays were published in 1805, and in 1819. F. added another on the Evils of Popular Ignorance, in which he advocated a national system of education.

Foster, Stephen Collins (1826–1864). — Song-writer, was born in Pittsburgh. He wrote over 100 songs, many of which had extraordinary popularity, among which may be mentioned The Old Folks at Home, Nelly Bly, Old Dog Tray, Camp Town Races, Massa’s in de cold, cold Ground, and Come where my Love lies Dreaming. He composed the music to his songs.

Fox, Charles James (1749–1806). — Statesman and historian, son of Henry F., 1st Lord Holland, was one of the greatest orators who have ever sat in the House of Commons. His only serious literary work was a fragment of a proposed History of the Reign of James the Second. An introductory chapter sketching the development of the constitution from the time of Henry VII., and a few chapters conducting the history up to the execution of Monmouth are all which he completed.

Fox, George (1624–1691). — Religious enthusiast, and founder of the Society of Friends, born at Drayton, Leicestershire, was in youth the subject of peculiar religious impressions and trances, and adopted a wandering life. The protests which he conceived himself bound to make against the prevailing beliefs and manners, and which sometimes took the form of interrupting Divine service, and the use of uncomplimentary forms of address to the clergy, involved him in frequent trouble. The clergy, the magistrates, and the mob alike treated him with harshness amounting to persecution. None of these things, however, moved him, and friends, many of them influential, among them Oliver Cromwell, extended favour towards him. From 1659 onwards he made various missionary journeys in Scotland, Ireland, America, and Holland. Later he was repeatedly imprisoned, again visited the Continent, and died in 1691. F.’s literary works are his Journal, Epistles, and Doctrinal Pieces. He was not a man of strong intellect, and the defence of his doctrines was undertaken by the far more competent hand of his follower, Barclay (q.v.). The Journal, however, is full of interest as a sincere transcript of the singular experiences, religious and others, of a spiritual enthusiast and mystic.

The best Life is that by Hodgkin, 1896. Journal (reprint, 1885).

Foxe, John (1516–1587). — Martyrologist, was born at Boston, Lincolnshire, and ed. at Oxford, where he became a Fellow of Magdalen College While there he gave himself to the study of the theological questions then in debate, and ended by becoming a Protestant, in consequence of which he in 1545 left his coll. He then became tutor in the family of Sir T. Lucy of Charlecote, and afterwards to the children of the recently executed Earl of Surrey. During the reign of Mary he retired to the Continent, and published, at Strasburg, his Commentarii (the first draft of the Acts and Monuments). Removing to Basel he was employed as a reader for the press by the famous printer Oporinus, who published some of his writings. On the accession of Elizabeth, F. returned to England, was received with kindness by the Duke of Norfolk, one of his former pupils, and soon afterwards (1563) published the work on which his fame rests, the English version of the Acts and Monuments, better known as The Book Martyrs. Received with great favour by the Protestants, it was, and has always been, charged by the Roman Catholics with gross and wilful perversion of facts. The truth of the matter appears to be that while Foxe was not, as in the circumstances he could hardly have been, free from party spirit or from some degree of error as to facts, he did not intentionally try to mislead; and comparison of his citations from authorities with the originals has shown him to have been careful and accurate in that matter. F., who had been ordained a priest in 1560, became Canon of Salisbury in 1563. He wrote sundry other theological works, and died in 1587. There is a memoir of him attributed to his son, but of doubtful authenticity. Some of his papers, used by Strype (q.v.), are now in the British Museum.

Francis, Sir Philip (1740–1818). — Reputed author of The Letters of Junius, son of the Rev. Philip F., a scholar of some note, was born in Dublin. On the recommendation of Lord Holland he received an appointment in the office of the Sec. of State, and was thereafter private secretary to Lord Kinnoull in Portugal, and to Pitt in 1761–2. He was then transferred to the War Office, where he remained from 1762–72, during which period he contributed to the press under various pseudonyms. His next appointment was that of a member of Council of Bengal, which he held from 1773–80. While in India he was in continual conflict with the Governor–General, Warren Hastings, by whom he was wounded in a duel in 1779. He returned to England in 1780 with a large fortune, and entered Parliament as a Whig. In 1787 he was associated with Burke in the impeachment of Hastings, against whom he showed extraordinary vindictiveness. Later he was a sympathiser with the French Revolution, and a member of the association of the Friends of the People. He retired from public life in 1807, and died in 1818. He was the author of about 20 political pamphlets, but the great interest attaching to him is his reputed authorship of the Letters of Junius. These letters which, partly on account of the boldness and implacability of their attacks and the brilliance of their literary style, and partly because of the mystery in which their author wrapped himself, created an extraordinary impression, and have ever since retained their place as masterpieces of condensed sarcasm. They appeared in The Public Advertiser, a paper published by Woodfall, the first on January 21, 1769, and the last on the corresponding day of 1772, and were chiefly directed against the Dukes of Grafton and Bedford, and Lord Mansfield; but even the king himself did not escape. Not only were the public actions of those attacked held up to execration, but every circumstance in their private lives which could excite odium was dragged into the light. Their authorship was attributed to many distinguished men, e.g. Burke, Lord Shelburne, J. Wilkes, Horne Tooke, and Barré, and recently to Gibbon; but the evidence appears to point strongly to F., and, in the opinion of Macaulay, would “support a verdict in a civil, nay, in a criminal trial.” It rests upon such circumstances as the similarity of the MS. to what is known to be the disguised writing of F., the acquaintance of the writer with the working of the Sec. of State’s Office and the War Office, his denunciation of the promotion of a Mr. Chamier in the War Office, which was a well-known grievance of F., his acquaintance with Pitt, and the existence of a strong tie to Lord Holland, the silence of Junius when F. was absent, and resemblances in the style and the moral character of the writer to those of F.

Franklin, Benjamin (1706–1790). — American statesman, philosopher, and writer, was one of a numerous family. His father was a soap-boiler at Boston, where F. was born He was apprenticed at the age of 13 to his brother, a printer, who treated him harshly. After various changes, during which he lived in New York, London, and Philadelphia, he at last succeeded in founding a successful business as a printer. He also started a newspaper, The Gazette, which was highly popular, Poor Richard’s Almanac, and the Busybody Papers, in imitation of the Spectator. After holding various minor appointments, he was made deputy Postmaster–General for the American Colonies. In 1757 he went to London on some public business in which he was so successful that various colonies appointed him their English agent. In the midst of his varied avocations he found time for scientific investigation, especially with regard to electricity. For these he became known over the civilised world, and was loaded with honours. In 1762 he returned to America, and took a prominent part in the controversies which led to the Revolutionary War and the independence of the Colonies. In 1776 he was U.S. Minister to France, and in 1782 was a signatory of the treaty which confirmed the independence of the States. He returned home in 1785, and, after holding various political offices, retired in 1788, and died in 1790. His autobiography is his chief contribution to literature, and is of the highest interest.

Works (10 vols., Bigelow, 1887–9), Autobiography (1868), Lives by M’Master (1887), and Morse (1889).

Freeman, Edward Augustus (1823–1892). — Historian, son of John F., was born at Harborne, Staffordshire. He lost both his parents in childhood, and was brought up by his paternal grandmother. He was ed. at private schools, and as a private pupil of the Rev. R. Gutch, whose daughter he afterwards married In 1841 he was elected to a scholarship at Oxford He had inherited an income sufficient to make him independent of a profession, and a prepossession in favour of the celibacy of the clergy disinclined him to enter the Church, of which he had at one time thought. He settled ultimately at Somerleaze, near Wells, where he occupied himself in study, writing for periodicals, and with the duties of a magistrate. He was a strong Liberal, and on one occasion stood unsuccessfully as a candidate for Parliament. He was also twice unsuccessful as an applicant for professional chairs, but ultimately, in 1884, succeeded Stubbs as Prof. of Modern History at Oxford He had always been an enthusiastic traveller, and it was when on a tour in Spain that he took ill and died on May 16, 1892. F. was a voluminous author, and a keen controversialist. His first book was a History of Architecture (1849), and among the very numerous publications which he issued the most important were History of Federal Government (1863), The History of the Norman Conquest (6 vols., 1867–79), The Historical Geography of Europe (1881–2), The Reign of William Rufus (1882), and an unfinished History of Sicily. Besides these he wrote innumerable articles in periodicals, many of which were separately published and contain much of his best work. He was laborious and honest, but the controversial cast of his mind sometimes coloured his work. His short books, such as his William I., and his General Sketch of European History, are marvels of condensation, and show him at his best. His knowledge of history was singularly wide, and he sometimes showed a great power of vivid presentation.

Freneau, Philip (1752–1832). — Poet, born in New York, produced two vols. of verse (1786–8), the most considerable contribution to poetry made up to that date in America. He fought in the Revolutionary War, was taken prisoner, and confined in a British prison-ship, the arrangements of which he bitterly satirised in The British Prison Ship (1781). He also wrote vigorous prose, of which Advice to Authors is an example. Amid much commonplace and doggerel, F. produced a small amount of genuine poetry in his short pieces, such as The Indian Burying Ground, and The Wild Honeysuckle.

Frere, John Hookham (1769–1846). — Diplomatist, translator, and author, eldest son of John F., a distinguished antiquary, was born in London, and ed. at Eton and Cambridge He became a clerk in the Foreign Office, and subsequently entering Parliament was appointed Under Foreign Sec. In 1800 he was Envoy to Portugal, and was Ambassador to Spain 1802–4, and again 1808–9. In 1818 he retired to Malta, where he died He was a contributor to the Anti–Jacobin, to Ellis’s Specimens of the Early English Poets (1801), and to Southey’s Chronicle of the Cid. He also made some masterly translations from Aristophanes; but his chief original contribution to literature was a burlesque poem on Arthur and the Round Table, purporting to be by William and Robert Whistlecraft. All F.’s writings are characterised no less by scholarship than by wit.

Froude, James Anthony (1818–1894). — Historian and essayist, 3rd son of the Archdeacon of Totnes, Devonshire, near which he was born, and brother of Richard Hurrell. F., one of the leaders of the Tractarian party, was ed. at Westminster School and Oxford, where for a short time he came under the influence of Newman, and contributed to his Lives of the English Saints, and in 1844 he took Deacon’s orders. The connection with Newman was, however, short-lived; and the publication in 1848 of The Nemesis of Faith showed that in the severe mental and spiritual conflict through which he had passed, the writer had not only escaped from all Tractarian influences, but was in revolt against many of the fundamental doctrines of Christianity. One result of the book was his resignation of his Fellowship at Oxford: another was his loss of an appointment as Head Master of the Grammar School of Hobart Town, Tasmania. In the same year began his friendship with Carlyle, and about the same time he became a contributor to the Westminster Review and to Fraser’s Magazine, of which he was ed. from 1860–74. These papers were afterwards collected and published in the 4 vols. of Short Studies on Great Subjects. In 1856 he published the first 2 vols. of the great work of his life, The History of England from the Fall of Cardinal Wolsey to the Spanish Armada, which extended to 12 vols., the last of which appeared in 1870. As literature this work has a place among the greatest productions of the century; but in its treatment it is much more dramatic, ethical, and polemical than historical in the strict sense; and indeed the inaccuracy in matters of fact to which F. was liable, combined with his tendency to idealise and to colour with his own prejudices the characters who figure in his narrative, are serious deductions from the value of his work considered as history. The English in Ireland in the Eighteenth Century appeared in 1872–4. On the death of Carlyle in 1881, F. found himself in the position of his sole literary executor, and in that capacity published successively the Reminiscences (1881), History of the First Forty Years of Carlyle’s Life (1882), Letters and Memorials of Jane Welsh Carlyle (1883), History of Carlyle’s Life in London (1884). The opinion is held by many that in the discharge of the duties entrusted to him by his old friend and master he showed neither discretion nor loyalty; and his indiscreet revelations and gross inaccuracies evoked a storm of controversy and protest. F. did not confine his labours to purely literary effort. In 1874–5 he travelled as a Government Commissioner in South Africa with the view of fostering a movement in favour of federating the various colonies there; in 1876 he served on the Scottish University Commission; in 1884–5 he visited Australia, and gave the fruit of his observations to the world in Oceana (1886), and in 1886–7 he was in the West Indies, and published The English in the West Indies (1888). The year 1892 saw his appointment as Prof. of Modern History at Oxford, and his lectures there were published in his last books, Life and Letters of Erasmus (1894), English Seamen in the Sixteenth Century (1895), and The Council of Trent (1896). F. was elected in 1869 Lord Rector of the University of St. Andrews, and received the degree of LL.D. from Edinburgh in 1884. By his instructions no Biography was to be written.

Fuller, Sarah Margaret (1810–1850). — Was born in Massachusetts, daughter of a lawyer, who encouraged her in over-working herself in the acquisition of knowledge with life-long evil results to her health. On his death she supported a large family of brothers and sisters by teaching. Her early studies had made her familiar with the literature not only of England but of France, Spain, and Italy; she had become imbued with German philosophy and mysticism, and she co-operated with Theodore Parker in his revolt against the Puritan theology till then prevalent in New England, and became the conductor of the Transcendentalist organ, The Dial, from 1840–2. She made various translations from the German, and published Summer on the Lakes (1844), and Papers on Literature and Art (1846). In the same year she went to Europe, and at Rome met the Marquis Ossoli, an Italian patriot, whom she married in 1847. She and her husband were in the thick of the Revolution of 1848–9, and in the latter year she was in charge of a hospital at Rome. After the suppression of the Revolution she escaped with her husband from Italy, and took ship for America. The voyage proved most disastrous: small-pox broke out on the vessel, and their infant child died, the ship was wrecked on Fire Island, near New York, and she and her husband were lost. Destitute of personal attractions, she was possessed of a singular power of conciliating sympathy. She was the intimate friend of Emerson, Hawthorn, Channing, and other eminent men.

Fuller, Thomas (1608–1661). — Divine and antiquary, son of a clergyman of the same name, was born at Aldwinkle, Northamptonshire. Possessed of exceptional intelligence and a wonderful memory, he became a good scholar, and distinguished himself at Cambridge, where he was sent. Entering the Church, he obtained rapid preferment, including the lectureship at the Savoy, and a chaplaincy to Charles II. He was a voluminous author, his works dealing with theology, morals, history, and antiquities. Among the chief are History of the Holy War, i.e. the Crusades (1643), The Holy State and the Profane State (1642), A Pisgah Sight of Palestine (1650), Church History of Britain, History of Cambridge University (1655), Worthies of England (1662), and Good Thoughts in Bad Times. The outstanding characteristic of F.’s writings is shrewd observation conveyed in a style of quaint humour. Lamb says, “His conceits are oftentimes deeply steeped in human feeling and passion.” But in addition there is much wisdom and a remarkable power of casting his observations into a compact, aphoristic form. The Worthies, though far from being a systematic work, is full of interesting biographical and antiquarian matter which, but for the pains of the author, would have been lost. Coleridge says of him, “He was incomparably the most sensible, the least prejudiced great man in an age that boasted a galaxy of great men.” F., who was of a singularly amiable character, was a strong Royalist, and suffered the loss of his preferments during the Commonwealth. They were, however, given back to him at the Restoration.

Lives by Russell (1844), J.E. Bailey (1874), and M. Fuller (1886).

Fullerton, Lady Georgiana (Leveson-Gower) (1812–1885). — Novelist, daughter of the 1st Earl Granville, and sister of the eminent statesman. She wrote a number of novels, some of which had considerable success. They include Ellen Middleton (1844), Grantley Manor (1847), and Too Strange not to be True (1864). She also published two vols. of verse. She joined the Church of Rome in 1846.


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