Champion, Anthony (DNB00)


CHAMPION, ANTHONY (1725–1801), poet and versifier, was the son of Peter Champion, a member of a family long resident in the parish of St. Columb in Cornwall, who acquired a considerable fortune as a merchant at Leghorn. He was born at Croydon on 5 Feb. 1724-5, and was first educated at Cheam School. In 1739 he was sent to Eton, and, after stoppin there for three years, matriculated at St. Mgary Hall, Oxford, in February 1742, where he was placed under the care of Walter Harte, a distinguished tutor and a respectable man of letters. At Oxford he remained for two years, when he left without taking his degree, and entered as a student at the Middle Temple. He ultimately became a bencher of the inn, and continued to reside within its precincts until his death, when he left the society the sum of 1,000l. Champion was twice returned to parliament for a Cornish borough, and on both occasions through the influence of the Eliot family. His first constituency was St. Germans (22 April 1754), the second was Liskeard (30 March 1761). In the House of Commons he sat, like the illustrious Gibbon, who also represented the latter constituency, a mute observer of the scene, and although he dabbled in poetry, his effusions remained unpublished until after his death. He died on 22 Feb. 1801, and in the same year a volume of 'Miscellanies in verse and prose, English and Latin, by the late Anthony Champion,' was published by his lifelong friend, William Henry, lord Lyttelton. Numerous entries relating to Champion's ancestors will be found in the reprint by A. J. Jewers of the registers of St. Columb Major.

[Life prefixed to Miscellanies; Return of Members of Parliament, ii. 110, 124; J. H. Jesse's Etonians, ii. 168-9.]

W. P. C.