Open main menu

Lever, Darcy (DNB00)


LEVER, DARCY (1760?–1837), writer on seamanship, born about 1760, was the eldest son of the Rev. John Lever of Buxton in Derbyshire, and nephew of Sir Ashton Lever [q. v.] In January 1770 he was entered in the Manchester school. He afterwards went out to India, where his life is vaguely described as ‘a somewhat eventful one.’ His adventures must have taken a nautical direction, and would seem too to have been profitable, as he returned to England at a comparatively early age and apparently in the enjoyment of a comfortable independence. In 1808 he published at Leeds ‘The Young Sea Officer's Sheet Anchor, or a Key to the Leading of Rigging and to Practical Seamanship,’ 4to, dedicated by permission to the lords of the admiralty. He was then living at Leeds, and in the introduction says that the work was planned many years before and was then finished ‘for the advantage of a young gentleman whose inclinations led him to the choice of a sea-faring life.’ It had an immediate success and continued for nearly forty years the text-book both in the royal navy and in the mercantile marine. Lever afterwards settled in Pontefract, and towards the end of his life divided his time between Alkrington Hall, near Manchester, the original seat of his family, and Edinburgh, where he died, 22 Jan. 1837. He married Elizabeth, only child of the Rev. William Murgatroyd, and by her had eight children.

[Manchester School Register, edited by the Rev. J. F. Smith, i. 155 (Chetham Society's Publications, vol. lxix.); Baines's Hist. of Lancashire, ii. 566.]

J. K. L.