Customs officer


Herman Melville, born August 1, 1819, in New York City, was educated at the New York Male High School (1825-29), Grammar School of Columbia College (1829-30), and Albany Academy (1830-31). He entered service in merchant shipping in 1839 and travelled the seas until 1844. This life led him to pen novels of the sea, notably Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life (1846), Omoo: A Narrative of Adventures in the South Seas (1847), Mardi: And a Voyage Thither (1849), Redburn: His Voyage (1849), White-Jacket; Or, The World in a Man-of-War (1850), and Moby-Dick: or, The Whale (1851). The public lost interest in his later fiction, although his short-fiction collection The Piazza Tales (1856) held masterpieces like Bartleby the Scrivener. Melville then turned to poetry, his Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War, some of the greatest poems about the Civil War, appearing in 1866. During his life as a customs inspector, and up to his death on September 28, 1891, he produced three more volumes of verse. He was survived by Elizabeth née Shaw, his spouse from 1847, two sons and two daughters.

  • Collected Poems of Herman Melville. Ed. Howard P. Vincent. Chicago: Packard, 1947. PS 2382 V5 Robarts Library
  • The Melville Log: A Documentary Life of Herman Melville, 1819-1891. Ed. Jay Leyda. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1951. Supplement, New York: Gordian Press, 1969. PS 2386 .L4 Robarts Library
  • Melville, Herman. Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War. New York: Harper, 1866. B-12/0855 Fisher
  • --. Clarel: A Poem and Pilgrimage in the Holy Land. 2 vols. New York: Putnam's, 1876.
  • --. John Marr and Other Sailors, With Some Sea-Pieces New York: De Vinne, 1888.
  • --. Timoleon Etc. New York: Caxton, 1891. PS 2384 .T5 1891A Robarts Library

William Allingham, born at Ballyshannon, published and edited verse from 1850 to his death in London on November 18, 1889. He worked for the customs service in London until his retirement in 1870, when he became sub-editor of Fraser's Magazine, then editor from 1874 to 1879. He married Helen Paterson, the water colourist. He was buried in St. Anne's Church cemetery, Ballyshannon, plot 201. His books of poetry include:

  • Allingham, William. Poems (London: Chapman and Hall, 1850; del A446 A155 1850 Fisher Rare Book Library)
  • --. Day and Night Songs (London: G. Routledge, 1855; 821 .A437 OISE/UT CLC)
  • --. Laurence Bloomfield in Ireland (London: Macmillan, 1864; del A446 L38 1864 Fisher)
  • --. Fifty Modern Poems (London: Bell and Daldy, 1865; del A446 A155 1865 Fisher)
  • --. Songs, Poems, and Ballads (London, G. Bell, 1877; PR 4004 A5A6 1877)
  • --. Evil May Day (London: D. Stott, 1883; del A446 E95 1883 Fisher)
  • --. Blackberries (London: G. Philip, 1884; del A446 B43 1884 Fisher)
  • --. Irish Songs and Poems (London: Reeves and Turner, 1887; del A446 I75 1887 Fisher)
  • --. Rhymes for the young folk (London, Cassel 1887; del A446 R49 1887 Fisher)
  • --. Flower pieces, and other poems (London, Reeves and Turner, 1888; del A446 F56 1888)

For his personal life, see A diary, edited by H. Allingham and D. Radford (London: Macmillan, 1907; PR 4004 A5Z52 1907 Robarts Library). Alan Warner has published a book of criticism, William Allingham (Lewisburg, Pa.: Bucknell University Press, 1975; PR 4004 .A5Z875 Robarts Library). For the standard biographical summary see Robert Welch, “Allingham, William (1824-1889)”, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, ed. H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison (Oxford: OUP, 2004).