1824 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Capel Lofft

Anonymous, Obituary in New Monthly Magazine NS 12 (July 1824) 327-28.



At Montcallier, near Turin, on the 26th of May, C. Loft Esq. He was born at Bury St. Edmund's in 1751, and studied the law, in which profession he became a barrister. He was generally known as Capel Lofft, of Troston Hall; and was in no respect a common-place man. Among the earliest recollections of him, is his appearance at the County Meetings held at Stowmarket, daring the last 25 years of the late King's reign. His figure was small, upright, and boyish; his dress — without fit, fashion, or neatness; his speaking — small-voiced, long sentenced, and involved; his manner — persevering, but without command. On these occasions, Mr. Lofft invariably opposed the Tory measures which those meetings were intended to sanction; and he was assailed, as invariably, by the rude hootings and hissings of the gentry and the rabble. Undismayed however by rebuff, he would fearlessly continue to advocate the cause of civil and religions freedom, conscious that though his voice was powerless, his cause was strong. Mr. Lofft's conversational powers were of a high order; his richly stored mind would throw out its treasures when surrounded by his friends, and few, if any, ever left him without improvement, or shared his converse without pleasure. His first publication was, we believe, The Praises of Poetry, a poem, in 1775. After this, he published several legal and political tracts; the latter zealously advocating the cause of the American colonies against the Government at home. His more literary works are Eudosia, a poem; translations of the first and second Georgics of Virgil; Notes on Milton's Paradise Lost; Laura, or an Anthology of Sonnets, 5 vols., and several novels and poems within the last few years, during a residence abroad. Mr. Lofft was a warm politician in the Whig school, an earnest black-letter enthusiast in literature, and in private life an amiable man.