Lockwood, Frank (DNB01)
LOCKWOOD, Sir FRANK (1846–1897), solicitor-general, second son of Charles Day Lockwood, stone-quarrier at Levitt Hagg, near Doncaster, was born at Doncaster in July 1846. In 1860 the family moved to Manchester, and in 1863 he entered the grammar school (having been previously at a private school at Edenbridge) under Mr. Walker, afterwards head-master of St. Paul's School. In October 1865 he proceeded to Caius College, Cambridge, where he took a 'pass' degree in 1869, 'going out' in political economy. In 1869, having abandoned the idea of holy orders, he entered Lincoln's Inn and was called to the bar in January 1872. He at once joined the old midland circuit, and attended sessions at Bradford, Leeds, and other places. A fair measure of success was speedily awarded him, and in 1875 he held fifteen briefs in one assize at Leeds. During his early days at the bar the habit of drawing he had learnt from his father grew upon him, and his rapid sketching in court of judges, witnesses, and litigants gave him occupation and secured him notice. For some of these early sketches he appears to have found a market; but in later life, though he still continued to sketch, he tossed them from him with careless indifference. In September 1874 he married Julia, daughter of Salis Schwabe of Glyn-y-garble, Anglesea. His practice steadily increased, and from 1879, when, at the request of the presiding judge, he defended the burglar and murderer, Charles Peace, his name was always much before that large section of the public who follow 'celebrated trials' with an interest that never flags. He took silk in 1882. In politics he was a liberal. His first attempt to get into parliament was at King's Lynn, and was unsuccessful, as also was his first contest at York in November 1883, when, however, he was beaten by twenty-one votes only. At that time he, like the majority of liberal candidates, refused to vote even for an inquiry into home rule for Ireland, but he pledged himself to support household suffrage and elective local government in that country, and for making those pledges he incurred the public censure of Lord Salisbury, who, however, lived to make them both good. In October 1884 he became recorder of Sheffield, and in November 1885 he and his great friend, Mr. Alfred Pease, were returned to the House of Commons for York, which city he continued to represent till his death. From 1885 to 1895 Lockwood led a very busy life both professionally and socially. 'His tall powerful frame, his fine head crowned with picturesque premature white hair, his handsome healthy face, with its sunshine of genial, not vapid good nature, made him notable everywhere. So powerful was this personality that his entrance into a room seemed to change the whole complexion of the company, and I often fancied that he could dispel a London fog by his presence' (see Lord Rosebery's letter in Mr. Birrel's sketch, Sir Frank Lockwood, 1898).
In the House of Commons Lockwood, though he took no active part in debate, was a great figure, and his sketches depicting the occasional humours of that assembly were in much demand. During the vacation of 1894 Lord Rosebery, the premier (to whom Lockwood was warmly attached), offered him the post of solicitor-general, which he accepted, in succession to Sir Robert Reid, who became attorney-general. The election of 1895 restored Lord Salisbury to power, but owing to a difficulty about the scale of his successor's remuneration, Lockwood nominally remained solicitor-general until August 1895, when Mr. (now Sir Robert) Finlay succeeded him. In the vacation of 1896 he accompanied Charles Lord Russell of Killowen [q. v. Suppl.], the lord-chief-justice of England, to the United States of America. About May 1897 his health showed signs of failing, and it gradually declined until his death at his house in Lennox Gardens on Sunday, 19 Dec. 1897, in the fifty-second year of his age. His wife and two children, both daughters, survived him.
Lockwood made no pretensions to be considered a learned lawyer, nor was he accounted a consummate advocate; but his sound sense, ready wit, good feeling, and sympathetic nature, set off as these qualities were by a commanding presence and good voice, placed him in the front ranks of the bar, and easily secured him a large business. Both outside and inside his profession he enjoyed a large and deserved popularity with all sorts and conditions of men. He had all the domestic virtues, and was nowhere more appreciated than in his own home. His death was unexpected and chilled many hearts. A collection from his sketches was publicly exhibited in London after his death for the benefit of the Barristers' Benevolent Association, and some of the sketches have been reproduced in an album, 'The Frank Lockwood Sketch Book,' London, 1898, obl. 4to. His lecture on 'The Law and Lawyers of Pickwick,' published by the Roxburghe Press in 1894, went into a second edition in 1896. There is a memorial window and tablet in York Cathedral.[Sir Frank Lockwood, a Sketch, 1898, by the present writer.]