1832 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Capel Lofft

William Clarke and Robert Shelton Mackenzie, in The Georgian Era: Memoirs of the most eminent Persons who have flourished in Great Britain (1832-34) 3:569.



CAPEL LOFFT, the son of a barrister, was born in London, in November, 1751, and received his education at Eton and Peter-house College, Cambridge, where he was distinguished for his classical attainments, and produced a Latin poem in praise of Shakspeare, which procured him the notice of Garrick, whose friendship proved, at a subsequent period, very serviceable to him. After having gone through the usual forms, he was, in 1775, called to the bar, and practised till 1781; when, succeeding to the Capel estates, he retired to Tuston, in Suffolk, and acted, with great credit, as a magistrate, for several years. In 1800, however, being dismissed from his office, for a humane but mistaken interference in behalf of a young woman under sentence of death, he resumed the practice of his profession, and was chosen recorder of Aldborough in 1810. He subsequently quitted England, to reside with his family on the continent, and died at Montcallier, on the 26th of May, 1824. Mr. Lofft is not only favourably known as an author, but as the encourager of merit in others; and, in particular, of the genius of Bloomfield, as we have already noticed in our memoir of that poet. The principal of his literary productions are, Timoleon, a tragedy; Eudosia, a poem, in blank verse; a translation of the two first Georgics of Virgil; Laura, or an Anthology of Sonnets; and a volume of Aphorisms from Shakspeare. His professional works are, A Collection of Common Law Cases, from 1772 to 1774; two volumes of law maxims, entitled Principia turn Juris Universalis turn praecipue Anglicani; Essay on the Law of Libel; and an edition of Gilbert's Law of Evidence. Mr. Lofft also wrote several political pamphlets, and contributed largely to most of the periodical publications of his day.