1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Adolphus, John Leycester

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ADOLPHUS, JOHN LEYCESTER (1795–1862), English lawyer and author, was the son of John Adolphus (1768–1845), a well-known London barrister who wrote a History of England to 1783 (1802), a History of France from 1790 (1803) and other works. He was educated at Merchant Taylors’ School and at St. John’s College, Oxford. In 1821 he published Letters to Richard Heber, Esq., in which he discussed the authorship of the then anonymous Waverley novels, and fixed it upon Sir Walter Scott. This conclusion was based on the resemblance of the novels in general style and method to the poems acknowledged by Scott. Scott thought at first that the letters were written by Reginald Heber, afterwards bishop of Calcutta, and the discovery of J. L. Adolphus’s identity led to a warm friendship. Adolphus was called to the bar in 1822, and his Circuiteers, an Eclogue, is a parody of the style of two of his colleagues on the northern circuit. He became judge of the Marylebone County Court in 1852, and was a bencher of the Inner Temple. He was the author of Letters from Spain in 1856 and 1857 (1858), and was completing his father’s History of England at the time of his death on the 24th of December 1862.