Born on January 4, 1835, in Coulston, Surrey, Lyall received his education at Eton and Haileybury College. He joined the Indian civil service at Bulandshahr in the Doab in 1856 and served in many capacities until his retirement in 1887. After being honoured for fighting in the Mutiny in 1857-58, Lyall successively became commissioner of Nagpur, commissioner of West Berar, the governor-general's agent in Rajputana, and (from 1878 to 1881) foreign secretary to the Government of India. During this period he helped negotiate peace and a monarchy in Afghanistan, a solution that earned him more honours, the C.B. (1879) and K.C.B. (1881). His last position, as Lieutenant-governor of the North-west Provinces and Oudh, enabled him to introduce local self-government there. After returning to England, Lyall served on the India Council from 1888 to 1902, and then as a privy councillor under Edward VII. These services earned him a K.C.I.E (1887) and a G.C.I.E. (1896). Throughout his life Lyall enjoyed the life of a man of letters, historian, essayist, and poet. His literary achievements brought him advanced degrees, a D.C.L. from Oxford (1889) and an LL.D. from Cambridge (1891), a fellowship at King's College Cambridge (1893), and membership in the British Academy (1902), among other honours. He and Cora Cloete of Cape Town married in 1863 and had four children, both sons and daughters. He died of a heart attack on April 10, 1911, and is interred at Harbledown, near the Canterbury of Chaucer's General Prologue.

  • H., B. H. "Lyall, Sir Alfred Comyn." Dictionary of National Biography 1901-11. 492-94.
  • Lyall, Alfred Comyn. Asiatic studies, religious and social. 2nd edn. London: J. Murray, 1884. R.H L Robarts Library.
  • --. "VIII. From the close of the seventeenth century to the present time." History of India. Ed. A. V. Williams Jackson. London: Grolier society, ca. 1906-07. 9 vols. HIn J128hi Robarts Library.
  • --. The Life of the Marquis of Dufferin and Ava. London: Murray, 1905. 2 vols. DA 17 .D9L82 1905 Robarts Library.
  • --. The Rise of the British Dominion in India. New York: Scribner, 1893. HIn L981r Robarts Library.
  • --. Studies in literature and history. London: John Murray, 1915. AC 8 .L93 1915 Robarts Library.
  • --. Tennyson. New York: Macmillan, 1902. PR 5581 .L8 1902 Victoria College Library.
  • --. Verses Written in India. London: K. Paul, Trench, 1889. PR 4894 .L7V4 Robarts Library.
  • --. Warren Hastings. London: Macmillan, 1889. DS 473 .L95 Robarts Library.
  • Reid, Hugh. "Warton, Thomas (1728–1790)." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Ed. H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. Oxford: OUP, 2004. Online ed. Ed. Lawrence Goldman. May 2006.
  • Carnall, Geoffrey. "Southey, Robert (1774–1843)." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Ed. H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. Oxford: OUP, 2004. Online ed. Ed. Lawrence Goldman. Jan. 2011.

William Roscoe was born March 8, 1753, in Liverpool. In 1774 he became an attorney and during his long life proved a great supporter of the city and its arts. Of the several volumes of poetry that he published, some on the slavery trade, others on Liverpool and its environs, only one poem, The Butterfly's Ball and the Grasshopper's Feast, which he wrote for his son Robert, had lasting popularity. It first appeared in Gentleman's Magazine in November 1806 and in a volume of its own, in 1807, issued by John Harris, who initiated with it a series of children's books. He died on June 30, 1831, in Liverpool. His Poetical Works were published posthumously in London in 1853. For a life, see George Chandler, William Roscoe of Liverpool (London: B. T. Batsford, 1953; PR 5236 R56 1953 Robarts Library).


Thomas Macaulay was born October 25, 1800, at Rothley Temple, Leicestershire, was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, and was called to the Bar in 1826. His political career began in the House of Commons as a Whig member for the borough of Calne, and then for Leeds. In 1834, the year of his successful appointment to the Supreme Council of India codifying criminal law, Macaulay publiushed Essays Critical and Historical. He returned to Britain in 1838 and became a House of Commons member for Edinburgh from 1839 to 1847, during which period he served as Secretary for War in 1839-41 and Paymaster-General in 1846-47. In this period he brought out his immensely popular Lays of Ancient Rome (1842), out of which generations of school-children were taught the story of Horatius. After losing his seat, Macaulay brought out the work that remains a best-seller, his The History of England (1848-55) from James I (1688). This brought him an invitation to be member of the House of Commons for Edinburgh again in 1852, but five years later he was made 1st baron, Lord Macaulay of Rothley Temple. He retired to Holly Lodge, Westminster, and died December 28, 1859.

  • The letters of Thomas Babington Macaulay, ed. Thomas Pinney, 6 vols. (London: Cambridge University Press, 1974-; DA 3 M3 A4 Robarts Library)
  • Millgate, Jane. Macaulay (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1973; DA 3 M3M5 Robarts Library)
  • Trevelyan, George Otto. The life and letters of Lord Macaulay (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978; DA 3 M3T6 Robarts Library)
Index to poems

Thomas Carlyle was born on December 4, 1795. After attending Annan Academy and Edinburgh University, he taught mathematics for a time before finding his vocation as one of the foremost essayists, biographers, and historians of his century. At first he devoted himself to introducing German literature into English in translation, but his reputation stands on his original prose: Sartor Resartus (1834), History of the French Revolution (1837), Heroes, Hero-Worship and the Heroic (1840), Past and Present (1843), and Frederick the Great (1858-65). The little poetry he published was composed before 1840 and appears as an appendix in his volumes of essays, but they have a popularity far greater than their number or their academic rating would suggest. The death of his life-long partner and wife, Jane Welsh, in 1866 brought an end to his great writing. Carlyle died on February 5, 1881, and is buried at Ecclefechan.

  • Carlyle, Thomas. "Appendix." Critical and Miscellaneous Essays. Vol. I. London: Chapman and Hall, 1872. [the poems]
  • --. Works. Ed. H. D. Traill. 30 vols. London: Chapman and Hall, 1897-99.
  • Kaplan, Fred. Thomas Carlyle: A Biography. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1983. PR 4433 K3
  • Kaplan, Fred. “Carlyle, Thomas (1795-1881).” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Ed. H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. Oxford: OUP, 2004.
  • Tarr, Rodger L. Thomas Carlyle: A Descriptive Bibliography. University of Pittsburgh Press, 1989. Z 8147 T38 Robarts Library