The themes Frederick Locker-Lampson wrote about


Frederick Locker-Lampson was an English man of letters, bibliophile and poet.


He was born at Greenwich Hospital. His father, who was Civil Commissioner of the Hospital, was Edward Hawke Locker, youngest son of the Captain William Locker who gave Nelson the memorable advice "to lay a Frenchman close, and beat him." His mother, Eleanor Mary Elizabeth Boucher, was a daughter of the Revd. Jonathan Boucher, vicar of Epsom and friend of George Washington.

After a desultory education, Frederick Locker began life in a colonial broker's office. Soon he obtained a clerkship in Somerset House, whence he was transferred to Lord Haddington's private office at the Admiralty. Here he became deputy-reader and precis writer. In 1850 he married Lady Charlotte Bruce, daughter of the Lord Elgin who brought the famous marbles to England, and sister of Lady Augusta Stanley. After his marriage he left the Civil Service, in consequence of ill-health.

In 1857 he published London Lyrics, a slender volume of 90 pages, which, with subsequent extensions, constitutes his poetical legacy. Lyra Elegantiarum (1867), an anthology of light and familiar verse, and Patchwork (1879), a book of extracts, were his only other publications in his lifetime.

In 1872 Lady Charlotte Locker died. Two years later Locker married Miss Hannah Jane Lampson, the only daughter of Sir Curtis Miranda Lampson, Bart., of Rowfant House, Sussex, and in 1885 he added his wife's surname to his own to form a new family surname, Locker-Lampson. He died at Rowfant on 30 May 1895 and is buried in Worth churchyard near Crawley, Sussex.

He had five children: Eleanor by his first wife, and Godfrey, Dorothy, Oliver and Maud by his second. Eleanor married first Lionel Tennyson, younger son of the poet Lord Tennyson, and after his death married the writer and Liberal politician Augustine Birrell.

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