Charles Lempriere (1818)

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Charles Lempriere (1818-1901)

Charles Lempriere, a writer and politician, was the second son of Dr John Lempriere, compiler of the Classical Dictionary and his second wife, Elizabeth Deane

Early years

Born in 1818, he was educated at Merchant Taylors and St John's, Oxford. He was called to the Bar of the Inner Temple in 1844.

He travelled in Egypt and the Levant for various financial groups. In 1850 he became Central Agent of the Conservative Party. In 1861 he was sent by Sir Moses Montefiore to Mexico, then in a state of turmoil, to safeguard, as far as possible, threatened British interests.

Travelling by way of the United States, he wrote The American Crisis Considered , 1861, a strong defence of the cause of the South. In the following year he published Notes on Mexico , which had a large circulation.

Return to England

In 1865 he returned to political work in England. In 1866 he stood for Winchester, but was defeated. In 1867 his political services were rewarded by the Colonial Secretaryship of the Bahamas. Here his Tory views made him unpopular. He was accused of interference in elections. His house was sacked, and he was forced to resign.

He went to the United States and worked under Horace Greeley as a writer on the Tribune . On Greeley's death he organized in 1872 a colony of young Englishmen at Bockhorn in Western Virginia, on lines suggested by Tom Hughes. But this was a failure, and the colonists were half starved.

He returned to England in 1879, and for the next ten years travelled widely in the employ of financial syndicates. He died in 1901. His portrait is in Rosel Manor.

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