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LE FANU, PHILIP (fl. 1790), divine, son of William Le Fanu, by his wife Henriette Roboteau de Pugebaut, was born in Ireland about 1735. His ancestors were refugee Huguenots who fled from Caen in Normandy on the revocation of the edict of Nantes (Taylor, p. 450). He graduated M.A. at Trinity College, Dublin, in 1755, and took the degree of D.D. in 1776. He translated the Abbé Guenée's 'Lettres de certaines Juives à Monsieur Voltaire,' under the title 'Letters of certain Jews to Voltaire, containing an Apology for their People and for the Old Testament,' against Voltaire's aspersions, both by way of indirect attack upon Christianity, 2 vols. Dublin, 1777; 2nd edit. 1790. He is also said to have written a 'History of the Council of Constance,' Dublin, 1787, 8vo.

A brother, Peter Le Fanu (fl. 1778), was author of 'an occasional prelude.' entitled 'Smock Alley Secrets.' which was produced at the Dublin Theatre in 1778 (Baker, Biog. Dram.)

Le Fanu's sister-in-law, Mrs. Alicia Le Fanu (1753-1817), was eldest daughter of Thomas Sheridan, and favourite sister of the dramatist Richard Brinsley Sheridan [q. v.] She was born in January 1768, and married in 1776 Philip's brother, Joseph Le Fanu. She was the author of a patriotic comedy entitled 'Sons of Erin, or Modern Sentiment.' which was acted 'once only' at the Lyceum Theatre, London, on 13 April 1812 (Genest, viii. 279). She died on 4 Sept. 1817 at Dublin, and was buried in St. Peter's graveyard. Of her three children the eldest, Thomas Philip, was dean of Emly and father of Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu [q. v.] the novelist. Another of Philip's brothers, Henry Le Fanu, a captain in the 56th regiment, married Anne Elizabeth, youngest child of Thomas Sheridan, who died at Leamington on 4 Jan. 1837, aged 79 (Gent. Mag. 1837, ii. 585), leaving a daughter Alicia Le Fanu (fl. 1812-1826), who, in addition to some long-winded historical romances, and stories in verse, published in 1824 'Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Mrs. Frances Sheridan, mother of the late Right Hon. R. B. Sheridan, by her Grand-daughter' (see Gent. Mag. 1824, i. 583).

[Webb's Compendium of Irish Biog. p. 288; Smiles's Huguenots, p. 410; Harvey's Genealog. Tables of Families of Sheridan, Le Fanu, and Knowles; Memoirs of Mrs. Sheridan, passim; Gent. Mag. 1817, ii. 285; Allibone; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

T. S.