Hervey, Thomas Kibble (DNB00)

HERVEY, THOMAS KIBBLE (1799–1859), poet and editor, son of James Hervey, was born at Paisley on 4 Feb. 1799. He was brought to Manchester in 1803, where his father settled as a drysalter, and he was educated at the Manchester grammar school. After being articled to a solicitor at Manchester, he was transferred to a London office, and subsequently was set to qualify for the bar. He was entered about 1818 at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he remained two years. While there he published some poems which, unfortunately for his success as a barrister, brought him much into notice. He went to London, and never returned to take his degree, nor was he ever called to the bar. The poem which had so much success was entitled ‘Australia,’ of which a second edition, with some additional pieces, came out in 1824. He contributed novelettes and poems to several of the annuals. His popular poem, ‘The Convict Ship,’ first appeared in the ‘Literary Souvenir’ for 1825. He edited the ‘Friendship's Offering’ for 1826 and 1827, and the ‘Amaranth’ for 1839. In 1827 he migrated to Paris, but soon returned to London in straitened circumstances. He wrote in its early days for the ‘Dublin Review.’ After contributing for many years to the ‘Athenæum,’ he was appointed sole editor of that journal on 23 May 1846, which charge he relinquished at the end of 1853, in consequence of ill-health. He was a sound critic of art as well as of literature, and afterwards wrote frequently in the ‘Art Journal.’

On 17 Oct. 1843 he married Eleanor Louisa (b. 1811), daughter of George Conway Montagu of Lackham, Wiltshire. She was herself a poetess of merit, and by her Hervey left an only son. Hervey was a charmingly genial and witty companion, and, according to his brother, was as a young man extremely eloquent. He died on 27 Feb. 1859 at Kentish Town, London, and was buried at Highgate cemetery.

In addition to ‘Australia,’ he published the following separate works: 1. ‘The Poetical Sketch-Book,’ 1829, 12mo; this contained the third edition of ‘Australia.’ 2. ‘Illustrations of Modern Sculpture, with descriptive Prose and illustrative Poetry,’ 1834, 4to. 3. ‘The Book of Christmas, with Illustrations by R. Seymour,’ 1836, 8vo. 4. ‘The English Helicon of the Nineteenth Century,’ 1841, 8vo. 5. ‘A Selection of Essays from the Livre Cent et Un,’ 3 vols. In 1866 his widow collected his poems and published them, with memoir and portrait, at Boston, United States of America.

[Gent. Mag. April 1859, i. 431; Art Journal, 1859, p. 123; J. F. Smith's Manchester School Reg. (Chetham Soc.), iii. 284; Alaric Watts, by his son, 1884, i. 275; John Francis, by J. C. Francis, 1888, i. 89, 362; Lester's Criticisms, 3rd edit. 1853.]

C. W. S.