• Mellini, Peter. "Seaman, Sir Owen, baronet (1861–1936)." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Ed. H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. Oxford: OUP, 2004. Online ed. Ed. Lawrence Goldman. May 2006.
Index to poems
  • Jones, William R.. “Brown, Thomas (bap. 1663, d. 1704).” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Ed. H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. Oxford: OUP, 2004.

Born April 24, 1862, to Mary Sidgwick and Edward White Benson, future archbishop of Canterbury (1882-1896), Arthur Christopher Benson became a popular essayist of Edwardian England, the librettist of England's beloved anthem, "Land of Hope and Glory," and the editor of Queen Victoria's letters. Benson received his education at Temple Grove School, East Sheen, at Eton 1874-81, and at King's College, Cambridge, 1881-84. He joined Eton in 1885 and until 1903, when he retired, was both well-liked schoolmaster and school historian. He published poetry from 1892 and essays from 1896. It was Benson's libretto for Elgar's "Coronation Ode" (1902), commissioned by the composer (perhaps at the instance of Edward VII), that brought the man of letters national fame. He left Eton in 1903 to co-edit Victoria's correspondence in 3 vols. (1907), for which he was made commander of the Royal Victorian Order. Benson then went to live in the Old Granary in Cambridge, in March 1906 to Hinton Hall at Haddenham, and last to Magdalene College, Cambridge, to which he was elected fellow in October 1904. Benson went on to become president of Magdalene in 1912 and Master in 1915. He suffered from hideous bouts of depression, first at Eton in 1882 and then in 1908-09, 1918, and 1922. In poems sometimes neglected in his later collections (such as "Courage"), Benson gave expression to this disabling trauma. He never married and was openly, if (it seems from his diaries) asexually, gay. On June 17, 1925, Benson died of a heart attack. He was remembered warmly every closing night of the London Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, which climaxed in a choric version of the patriotic "Land of Hope and Glory" -- audience joining in with performers -- until 2001, when it was withdrawn after objections from conscientious objectors to the Afghanistan war.


  • Benson, Arthur C. Le Cahier Jaune: Poems. Eton: George New, 1892. PR 4099 B5C2 Robarts Library
  • --. Coronation Ode, Set to Music by Edward Elgar: Book of Words. Notes by Joseph Bennett. London: Boosey, 1902. M 1533 .E38 OP. 44 Music Library
  • --. Hymns and Carols. Eton: Spottiswoode, 1907.
  • --. Lord Vyet and Other Poems. London and New York: John Lane, 1897. LE B474kz Robarts Library
  • --. Lyrics. London: John Lane, 1895. PR 4099 B5L8 Robarts Library
  • --. Monnow: An ode. Eton: Drake, 1896.
  • --. Ode in Memory of the Rt. Honble. William Ewart Gladstone. Eton: Drake [privately printed], 1898.
  • --. Ode to Japan. London: Chiswick Press, 1902.
  • --. Peace and Other Poems. London and New York: John Lane, 1905.
  • --. Poems. London: Elkin Matthews and John Lane, 1893. PR 4099 B5P6 1893 Robarts Library
  • --. The Poems of A. C. Benson. London and New York: John Lane, 1909. PR 4099 B5P6 1909 Robarts Library
  • --. The Professor and Other Poems. London and New York: John Lane, 1900. PR 4099 B5P7 Robarts Library
  • --. Selected Poems. London: John Lane the Bodley Head, 1924. PR 4099 B5S4 Robarts Library
  • --. Extracts from the letters of Dr. A.C. Benson to M.E.A. Ed. M.E. Allen. London: Jarrolds, 1926? PR 4099 .B5Z483 1926 Robarts Library
  • Hyam, R. “Benson, Arthur Christopher (1862-1925).” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Ed. H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. Oxford: OUP, 2004.
  • Henry James: Letters to A.C. Benson and Auguste Monod. Ed. E.F. Benson. London: E. Mathews and Marrot, 1930. end J354 A175 1930a Fisher Rare Book Library
  • Newsome, David. On the Edge of Paradise: A. C. Benson, the Diarist. London: John Murray, 1980. PR 4099 B5Z79 1980 Robarts Library

The photograph of A. C. Benson was taken by A. H. Fry in 1899 and is published in The Diary of Arthur Christopher Benson, edited by Percy Lubbock (London: Hutchinson, [1926]).

  • Reid, Hugh. "Warton, Joseph (bap. 1722, d. 1800)." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Ed. H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. Oxford: OUP, 2004. Online ed. Ed. Lawrence Goldman. Sept. 2010.
  • Ridler, Ann Margaret. "Thomson, James (1834–1882)." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Online ed. Ed. Lawrence Goldman. Oxford: OUP, 2004.

Born in Grahamstown, South Africa, in 1885, Kingsley Fairbridge was educated at St. Andrew's College, but at eleven, his family moved to Umtali in the eastern highlands of Rhodesia. He was a Rhodes scholar at Oxford, where he graduated with a first from Exeter College in October 1908. In the following year he published Veld Verse and Other Lines. His life work was the founding of the "Society for the Furtherance of Child Emigration to the Colonies", afterwards incorporated as the Child Emigration Society. The Fairbridge Farm Schools were the fruit of this. To save working-class children in Britain from an impoverished life, he proposed to resettle them to overseas colonies. He opened a school for this purpose at Pinjarra near Perth in 1913. Two more schools opened at Molong, near Orange, in 1937. and at Glenmore, Victoria. Fairbridge also established the Prince of Wales Fairbridge Farm School at Cowichan Station, near Duncan, on Vancouver Island, in Canada, in 1935. This continued operating until 1950. Fairbridge died in Perth just 39 years old, July 19, 1924, weakened by malaria contracted in Mashonaland during his youth. He is buried in Pinjarra, 120 miles south of Perth. His wife, Ruby Whitmore, a nurse he met in Oxford, wrote of his verse in December 1927: "The Veld was his public school, and in this school he learned, among other things, to understand the native mind and the mind and ways of the animals about him. The natives responded to his sympathy and gave him their stories and legends" (Veld Verse, v).

  • Fairbridge, Kingsley Ogilvie. The Autobiography of Kingsley Fairbridge, preface by L. S. Amery, epilogue by Arthur Lawley, ed. V. F. Boyson (London: Oxford University Press, H. Milford, 1928). DT 958 F3 1928 Robarts Library
  • --. Veld Verse and Other Lines (London: David Nutt, 1909). British Library
  • --. Veld verse (London: Oxford University Press, 1928). PR 6011 A36V45 1928 Robarts Library
  • Fairbridge, Ruby E. Pinjarra: The Building of a Farm School (London: Oxford University Press, 1937). 010821.e.43 British Library
  • Fairbridge Canada Association. The Fairbridge Heritage Project

With thanks to Philip Herringer in Adelaide, South Australia (email correspondence July 16, 2003).


Born September 19, 1796, at Kingsdown, Bristol, Hartley Coleridge was the oldest son of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. He was the subject of one of his father's finest poems, "Frost at Midnight," and of Wordsworth's astute "To H. C. -- Six Years Old." After his parents separated, Hartley was brought up by Robert Southey at Keswick. At Oxford Hartley first felt keen disappointment at his failure to win the Newdigate Prize for best poem and in 1819 he lost an Oriel fellowship through eccentric, unseemly, and perhaps drunken behaviour and had little luck afterwards. He became a schoomaster at Ambleside, Cumbria, 1823-28, but the school failed. He published literary journalism in London as well as Biographia Borealis (1832), a biographical reference work, and Poems, songs and Sonnets (1833), which proved to be his most successful work. He retired to the life of a recluse at Grasmere and Rydal Water until his death on January 6, 1849. His grave lies in the southeast corner of Grasmere churchyard.

  • Durrant, Cherry. “Coleridge, (David) Hartley (1796-1849).” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Ed. H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. Oxford: OUP, 2004.
  • Griggs, Earl Leslie. Hartley Coleridge; his life and work (Folcroft, Pa.: Folcroft Library Editions, 1971; PR 4468 G75 1971 Robarts Library)
  • Stephens, Fran Carlock. The Hartley Coleridge letters : a calendar and index (Austin: Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin, 1978; Z 6616 C7S73)
  • Seccombe, Thomas. “Brown, Thomas Edward (1830-1897).” Rev. Sayoni Basu. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Ed. H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. Oxford: OUP, 2004.