Paget, Francis Edward (DNB00)

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PAGET, FRANCIS EDWARD (1806–1882), divine and author, born on 24 May 1806, was eldest son of Sir Edward Paget [q. v.] by his first wife, Frances, daughter of William, first lord Bagot. On 16 Sept. 1817 he was admitted to Westminster School (Reg. ed. Barker and Stenning, 1764–1883, p. 176), whence he proceeded to Christ Church, Oxford, matriculating on 3 June 1824 (Foster, Alumni Oxon. 1715–1886, iii. 1057). From 1825 to 1836 he held a studentship, and graduated B.A. in 1828, and M.A. in 1830. To the Oxford movement of 1833 he lent his earnest support. In 1835 he was presented to the rectory of Elford, near Lichfield, and for some years was chaplain to Dr. Bagot, bishop of Bath and Wells. Elford Church was carefully restored under his auspices in 1848, and its dedication festival was made an occasion of annual reunion among Staffordshire churchmen. He published an account of the church in 1870. Paget died at Elford on 4 Aug. 1882, and was buried there on the 8th. On 2 June 1840 he married Fanny, daughter of William Chester, rector of Denton, Norfolk.

Paget's most important work is a privately printed volume entitled ‘Some Records of the Ashtead Estate and of its Howard Possessors: with Notices of Elford, Castle Rising, Levens, and Charlton,’ 4to, Lichfield, 1873, a valuable but uncritical compilation from family papers and other private sources.

His views on church and social reforms found expression in many pleasantly written tales, among which may be mentioned: 1. ‘Caleb Kniveton, the Incendiary,’ 12mo, Oxford, 1833. 2. ‘St. Antholin's, or Old Churches and New,’ 8vo, London, 1841; a protest against building churches after the ‘cheap and nasty’ method. 3. ‘Milford Malvoisin, or Pews and Pewholders,’ 8vo, London, 1842. 4. ‘The Warden of Berkingholt, or Rich and Poor,’ 12mo, Oxford, 1843. 5. ‘The Owlet of Owlstone Edge,’ 8vo, London, 1856. 6. ‘The Curate of Cumberworth and the Vicar of Roost,’ 8vo, London, 1859. 7. ‘Lucretia, or the Heroine of the Nineteenth Century,’ 8vo, London, 1868; a satire on the sensational novel. 8. ‘The Pageant,’ and many others. To vols. ix., xvi., and xviii. of ‘The Englishman's Library,’ 12mo, 1840, &c., he contributed ‘Tales of the Village;’ while to ‘The Juvenile Englishman's Library,’ 12mo, 1845, &c., of which he was for some time editor, he furnished ‘Tales of the Village Children,’ two series; ‘The Hope of the Katzekopfs,’ a fairy tale, issued separately under the pseudonym of ‘William Churne of Staffordshire,’ 12mo, Rugeley, 1844 (on which an extravaganza in verse, called ‘Eigenwillig, or the Self-willed,’ was founded, 8vo, London, 1870), and ‘Luke Sharp.’ While examining the manuscripts at Levens Hall, Westmoreland, he came across some letters from Richard Graham (1679–1697), youngest son of Colonel James Graham (1649–1730) [q. v.], who died prematurely while keeping terms at University College, Oxford, and his tutor, Hugh Todd. These formed the materials of a volume which he called ‘A Student Penitent of 1695,’ 8vo, London, 1875. He also published several volumes of sermons, prayers, and religious treatises. His last work, entitled ‘Homeward Bound,’ 8vo, London, 1876, attracted some attention. In 1840 he edited Bishop Patrick's ‘Discourse concerning Prayer’ and ‘Treatise of Repentance and of Fasting,’ to rank with the series of reprints from the writings of English bishops issued by John Henry Newman.

[Guardian, 16 Aug. 1882, p. 1124; Halkett and Laing's Dict. of Anon. and Pseud. Lit.]

G. G.