1829 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Edward Thurlow

Anonymous, Obituary in Gentleman's Magazine 99 (August 1829) 174-75.



June 4. In Regency-square, Brighton, aged 47, the Right Hon. Edward Hovel Thurlow, second Lord Thurlow of Thurlow, in Suffolk, Patentee of the Bankrupts' Office, Clerk of the Presentation in the Petty-bag Office, Clerk of the Hanaper, and of the Custody of Lunatics, and Idiots, and Registrar of the Diocese of Lincoln.

His Lordship was born June 10, 1781, the elder son of the Right Rev. Thomas Thurlow, D.D. Bishop of Durham, by Anne, daughter of Mr. William Beere. He was educated at the Charter-house, and afterwards at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he was created MA. July 16, 1801.

In 1806 he succeeded his uncle the Chancellor as second Lord Thurlow, in pursuance of a special remainder in the patent.

Lord Thurlow wrote and published a large quantity of poetry. We believe the first which appeared were some sonnets prefixed to a private edition of The Defence of Poesy; the author Sir Philip Sidney, Knight, 4to, 1810. They were reprinted in Verses on several occasions, vol. I. 8vo, 1812 (see our Vol. LXXXII. i. 41; a notice of the second edition, pt. ii. p. 353; and of an Appendix, ibid. p. 579.)

In 1814 appeared in 4to, his Moonlight, a Poem; with several copies of verses (see vol. LXXXIV. i. 53); in 8vo, The Doge's Daughter, a Poem, in two cantos; with several Translations from Anacreon and Horace, dedicated to Lord Chancellor Eldon (vide ibid. p. 357); Ariadne, a Poem, in three Parts, 8vo, (ibid. part ii. p. 149); and Carmen Britannicum, or, the Song of Britain, written in honour of his Royal Highness George-Augustus-Frederick Prince Regent. (ibid. p. 252.)

All these were printed in 1814, and from that time his Lordship appears to have rested until 1822, when he again published several small volumes; two of them were modernized versions of Arcita and Palamon, after the excellent poet Geoffrey Chaucer; and The Knight's Tale, and the Flower and the Leaf, from the same old English bard. An original poem under this date is entitled Angelica, or the Rape of Proteus, printed in 12mo; as was a thin volume of Poems on several occasions; the second edition, several poems being added. Lord Thurlow had paid great attention to the elder English poets, and his Lordship's poetry possessed in excess one of their faults, that of employing too great a complication of mythological figures and phrases on modern and inappropriate subjects. In a sonnet to Gifford of the Quarterly Review, he has well imitated the nervous style of the poet which that gentleman so ably edited — the classical Ben Jonson. His Lordship generally employed the Spenserian stanza. From the year 1813 to 1819, he was a very constant contributor to this Magazine. (See our General Index, vol. III. p. 538.)

Lord Thurlow assumed the name of Hovel in 1814, that having been the name of the family of his grandmother, the wife of the Rev. Thomas Thurlow, Rector of Ashfield. She was the daughter and at length coheiress of Robert Smith, who was the male descendant of Richard Hovel, Esquire of the Body to King Henry the Fifth, but whose more immediate ancestors had first added the name of Smith to that of Hovel, and had been called Hovel, alias Smith, and whose father dropped the name of Hovel altogether.

Lord Thurlow married, Nov. 13, 1813, Miss Mary Catherine Bolton, an actress of Covent-garden Theatre, and eldest daughter of Mr. James-Richard Bolton, an attorney in Long Acre. By this lady, who survives him, he had three sons; 1. the Right Hon. Edward-Thomas, born in 1814, and now Lord Thurlow; 2. the Hon. Thomas-Hugh; 3. the Hon. John-Edmund.