Get Your Premium Membership

Francis Hastings Doyle Biography | Poet

Photo of Francis Hastings Doyle

DOYLE, SIR FRANCIS HASTINGS CHARLES, Bart. (1810-1888), English man of letters, was born at Nunappleton, Yorkshire, on the 21st of August 1810. He was the son of Major-General Sir Francis Hastings Doyle, 1st baronet (1783-1839), and was educated at Eton and at Christ Church, Oxford, where he took a first-class in classics in 1831. He read for the bar and was called in 1837. He had been elected to a fellowship of All Souls’ in 1835, and his interests were chiefly literary. Among his intimate friends was Mr Gladstone, at whose marriage he assisted as “best man”; but in later life their political opinions widely differed. In 1834 he published Miscellaneous Verses, reissued with additions in 1840. This was followed byTwo Destinies (1844), The Duke’s Funeral (1852), Return of the Guards and other Poems (1866); and from 1867 to 1877 he was professor of poetry at Oxford. In 1869 some of the lectures he delivered were published in book form. One of the most interesting was his appreciation of William Barnes, and the essay on Newman’s Dream of Gerontius was translated into French. In 1886 he published his Reminiscences, full of records of the interesting people he had known. Sir Francis Doyle succeeded his father (chairman of the board of excise) as 2nd baronet in 1839, and in 1844 married Sidney, daughter of Charles Watkin Williams Wynn (1775-1850). From 1845 he held various important offices in the customs. He died on the 8th of June 1888. Doyle’s poetry is memorable for certain isolated and spirited pieces in praise of British fortitude. The best-known are his ballads on the “Birkenhead” disaster and on “The Private of the Buffs.”

Francis Hastings Doyle: Poems | Best Poems | Short Poems | Quotes