Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Calvert, Frederick Baltimore

CALVERT, FREDERICK BALTIMORE (1793–1877), actor and lecturer on elocution, son of Charles Calvert, steward of the Duke of Norfolk, at Glossop Hall, Derbyshire [see under Calvert, Charles], was baptised on 11 April 1793, and entered Manchester school on 12 Jan. 1804. Thence he was sent to the Roman catholic college at Old Hall Green, Hertfordshire, with a view to receiving holy orders; but he took to the stage, and in the course of his career alternated leading parts with the elder Kean, Macready, and the elder Vandenhoff. In 1824 he published ‘A Defence of the Drama,’ which had an extensive circulation, and was read by John Fawcett to the members of the Theatrical Fund at their annual dinner in that year. In 1829 he became elocutionary lecturer of King's College, Aberdeen, and gave lectures on oratory, poetry, and other literary subjects in the large towns of England. He afterwards proceeded to America, where he lectured on the English poets, and on returning to England gave evening discourses at the leading athenæums on what he had seen during his visit to the western hemisphere. About 1846 he was appointed master of the English language and literature in the Edinburgh Academy. In the winter of 1847–8 he gave readings of the English poets in connection with the Edinburgh Philosophical Institution. Some years after he became lecturer on elocution to the free church colleges of Edinburgh and Glasgow. He died at his residence, 2 West Newington, Edinburgh, 21 April 1877. He was a man of great literary refinement, and had an extensive acquaintance with the literature of Greece and Rome, as well as with that of England and France. He married, in 1818, Miss Percy of Whitby, by whom he had a numerous family; his youngest son, Michael Talbot Calvert, made a reputation as a tragic actor, under the stage name of Henry Talbot. Calvert was the author of: 1. ‘A Defence of the Acted Drama,’ in a letter to T. Best, Hull, 1822. 2. ‘Principles of Elocution,’ by T. Ewing, thoroughly revised and greatly improved by F. B. Calvert, 1852; another edition, 1870. 3. A Letter to the Very Rev. Dean Ramsay, Edinburgh, on ‘The Art of Reading and Preaching distinctly,’ 1869. 4. ‘The De Oratore of Cicero,’ translated by F. B. Calvert, M.A., 1870. 5. ‘An Ode to Shakespeare.’

[Smith's Manchester School Reg. ii. 233. iii. 334; The Era, 6 May 1877, p. 13.]

G. C. B.