Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 32.djvu/443

This page has been validated.
Leigh
Leigh
437

3 Nov. 1818. He was educated for the medical profession at St. Bartholomew's Hospital, where he made acquaintance of his fellow-students, John Leech [q. v.], Albert Smith, and Mr. Gilbert à Beckett. He became L.S.A. in 1834, and M.R.C.S. in 1835, and resolved to practise his profession; but he soon abandoned medicine for literature. In 1841 he became a member of the 'Punch' staff very shortly after its formation, and he contributed to that journal until his death. Leigh was a good friend to Leech, whom he helped in many difficulties, and was also intimate with Thackeray. He was a good amateur actor, and with Dickens, Leech, and Jerrold was a member of the company which acted Ben Jonson's 'Every Man in his Humour' on 21 Sept. 1845, at Miss Kelly's Theatre, Dean Street, Soho (now the Royalty). Leigh played Oliver Cob. He never lost the interest in science which his early training had given him, and was jocularly known to his friends as 'The Professor.' Frith has noted his 'quaintly humorous conversation.' In 1850 Leigh lived at 10 Bedford Street, Bloomsbury, but before 1860 he had removed to Oak Cottage, Hammersmith, where he led a secluded life, and died on 24 Oct. 1889. He was the last survivor of the early writers in 'Punch.' His wife, Letitia Morrison, predeceased him.

Leigh's best-known work was 'Ye Manners and Customs of ye Englyshe. Drawn from ye Quick by Richard Doyle, to which he added some extracts from Mr. Pipe hys Diary,' London, 1849, 4to; 2nd edit., enlarged, 1876. This first appeared serially in 'Punch,' and owes much to Doyle's illustrations: but Leigh's application of ancient phraseology to affairs of an essentially modern character, such as a shareholders' meeting, made a decided hit. It is a clever, sarcastic chronicle of prevailing fashions and opinions. Leigh also wrote:

  1. 'Stories and Poems' in 'The Fiddle-Faddle Fashion Book,' London, 1840; a skit on contemporary fashion-books.
  2. 'The Comic Latin Grammar,' London, 1840, 8vo.
  3. 'The Comic English Grammar,' London, 1840, 8vo.
  4. 'Portraits of Children of the Mobility,' London, 1841, 8vo.
  5. 'Paul Prendergast, or the Comic Schoolmaster,' London, 1859, 8vo. This contains, besides Leigh's two previously published grammars, 'The Comic Cocker,' illustrated by 'Crowquill.' All these works excepting the last were illustrated by Leech.

[Information kindly supplied by John Tenniel, esq., and E. J. Milliken, esq.; Athenæum, 2 Nov. 1889; Frith's John Leech, vol. i. chaps, iii. and xiii.; Forster's Life of Dickens, i. 434; Everitt's English Caricaturists, p. 282.]

W. A. J. A.


LEIGH, RICHARD (fl. 1675), poet, born in 1649, was younger son of Edward Leigh of Rushall, Staffordshire. He entered Queen's College, Oxford, in Lent term 1666, and proceeded B.A. on 19 June 1669. He afterwards went to London and became an actor in the company of the Duke of York, where other actors bearing the same surname [see Leigh, Anthony and John], from whom he is to be carefully distinguished, were engaged at the same time. He attacked Dryden in 'A Censure of the Rota in Mr. Dryden's Conquest of Granada,' Oxford, 1673. He also wrote 'The Transposer Rehearsed, or the Fifth Act of Mr. Baye's Play; being a Postscript to the Animadversions on the Preface to Bishop Bramhall's Vindication,' Oxford, for 'the assigns of Hugo Grotius and Jacob van Harmine, on the North Side of Lac Lemane,' 1673, which Lowndes describes as scurrilous and indecent. It is wrongly ascribed by Andrew Marvell to Dr. Sam Parker. Leigh also published 'Poems upon Several Occasions and to several Persons,' 1675.

[Gent. Mag. 1848, pt. ii. p. 270; Lowndes's Bibl. Manual; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, iv. 533; Scott's Life of Dryden; Biog. Brit. art. 'Dryden,' p. 1751; Foster's Alumni Oxon.]

T. B. S.


LEIGH, SAMUEL (fl. 1686), author of a metrical version of the Psalms, born about 1635 (Wood), was son of Samuel Leigh of Boston, Lincolnshire. He was entered a commoner of Merton College, Oxford, in Michaelmas term 1660; left the university without a degree; retired to his patrimony, and was living in 1686 (ib.) He was the author of a solitary literary effort, 'Samuelis Primitiæ, or an Essay towards a Metrical Version of the whole Book of Psalms ' (London, 1661), in which his portrait appears. The book is dedicated 'to my most honoured father-in-law, Charles Potts, Esq., son to Sir John Potts, Knight and Barronet.' The title states that the work was 'composed when attended with the disadvantagious circumstances of youth and sickness.' The version, though eulogised by Dr. Manton and Gabriel Sanger, is of no value.

[Holland's Psalmists of Great Britain, ii. 54; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, iv. 478; Foster's Alumni Oxon.]

J. C. H.


LEIGH or LEE, Sir THOMAS (1504?–1571), lord mayor of London, son of Roger Leigh of "Wellington in Shropshire, was born about 1504 or 1505. He was descended from an ancient family settled before the conquest at High Leigh in Cheshire. Leigh was apprenticed to Sir Thomas Seymer, a member of the Mercers' Company, and on