the distinction between Manslaughter and Murther, deduced by an Investigation of our Ancient Law, by the Lord Chief Baron Gilbert, giving an Account of that eminent Judge; also an Abstract of Locke on the Human Understanding,’ London, 1791, 8vo.
- ‘An Essay on the Effect of a Dissolution of Parliament on an Impeachment by the House of Commons for High Crimes and Misdemeanours,’ Bury St. Edmunds, 1791, 8vo.
- ‘Milton's Paradise Lost, printed from the 1st and 2nd ed. collated, the original system of orthography restored, the punctuation corrected and extended, with various readings, and notes chiefly rhythmical by C. L.,’ Bury St. Edmunds, 1792 (only the first book published).
- ‘The first and second Georgic of Virgil attempted in blank verse. Accedit ode Hebræa (Isaiæ, cap. v.) cum versionibus metrica prosaque,’ London, 1803, 12mo.
- ‘On the Revival of the Cause of Reform in the Representation of the Commons in Parliament,’ London, 1809, 8vo.
- ‘Aphorisms from Shakespeare,’ &c., Bury, 1812, 18mo.
- ‘Laura, or an Anthology of Sonnets (on the Petrarchan model) and elegiac Quatorzains, English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and German; original and translated in Five Volumes by C. L.,’ London, 1814, fcap. 8vo, 5 vols.
[Family records; Suppl. to Suffolk Chron. 24 April 1866; Gent. Mag. ii. 184; New Suffolk Garland, by John Glyde, jun., Ipswich, 1866.]
LOFFT, CAPELL, the younger (1806–1873), classical scholar, poet, and miscellaneous writer, fourth son of Capell Lofft the elder [q. v.], and only son by his second wife, was born 19 Feb. 1806 at Troston Hall, Suffolk. He was placed in 1814 on the foundation of Eton College, whence he proceeded in 1825 to King's College, Cambridge, and in due course became a fellow. Having obtained the Craven university scholarship—the highest classical distinction open in those days to King's men—in 1827, he graduated B.A. in 1829, M.A. in 1832. He was called to the bar of the Middle Temple in 1834, but never attained, if he sought, professional eminence. In October 1837 he vacated his fellowship by marriage, and in the same year published anonymously his first literary undertaking, a mental autobiography with a didactic purpose, entitled ‘Self-Formation, or the History of an Individual Mind, intended as a Guide for the Intellect through Difficulties to Success, by a Fellow of a College,’ in 2 vols., London. Harriet Martineau said that every parent of boys ought to read the book. Lofft's object is ‘to show, as the result of his own proper and personal experience, that self-instruction is the one great end of rational education,’ and ‘to point out how habits of thoughtfulness are to be formed.’ He ends by commending above all things for intellectual and moral advancement the efficacy of religion, a sense of which was first kindled in him, he tells us, by an excursion in Devonshire with the Bible as his sole companion, and the subsequent perusal of Law's ‘Serious Call.’ After his marriage Lofft resided for a short time in London, but a roving life was more to his taste, and he spent most of his time on the continent, where the strong liberal principles which he inherited from his father and visions of social perfectibility led him into the society of some of the chief political agitators of the time. His next publication, likewise anonymous, was an epic poem in twelve books, ‘Ernest,’ dedicated to the memory of Milton, and printed for the author in 1839. It was soon withdrawn from circulation. The poem embodies a German tradition of Ernest, a parallel to the Welsh one of Arthur, both of whom are to return and reign and fulfil other patriot prophecies. It represents the growth, struggles, and triumph of chartism. Dean Milman, when noticing the poem in the ‘Quarterly Review,’ December 1839, expresses the highest admiration of the genius of the unknown author, but condemns the work as wildly inconsistent and lawless in its style and object. A second edition was published in 1868 with the title ‘Ernest, the Rule of Right.’ In the preface the author complained of the unreadiness of the English people to adopt chartist measures.
Lofft was in America during the civil war, and while living in the wilds of Minnesota prepared an edition of the ‘Self-Communion’ of Marcus Antoninus, with critical notes to the Greek text. The title ran ‘Mαρκου Αντονινου … τα εἰς ἑαυτον, sive ad seipsum commentarii morales. Recensuit, denuo ordinavit, expurgavit, restituit, notis illustravit … C. L. Porcher, N. Eboraci U.S., A.D. 1861. A. liberatæ reip. l.’ In 1868 Lofft published in London ‘New Testament: Suggestions for Reformation of Greek Text from the self-conferred papal Dictatorship and blind Obstructiveness of mediæval monkish copyists. On principles of logical criticism. By R. E. Storer (i.e. Restorer).’ Both works, especially the latter, lack sound and sober criticism.
In his old age Lofft abandoned his wild political theories, and purchased two considerable estates, one in Sussex, and the other, called Millmead, in Virginia, U.S. He died at Millmead on 1 Oct. 1873. Lofft's wife was Mary, daughter of William Anderson, esq.,