Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Ord, John Walker
ORD, JOHN WALKER (1811–1853), topographer, poet, and journalist, born at Guisborough, Yorkshire, on 5 March 1811, was son of the principal partner in the firm of Richard Ord & Son, tanners and leather merchants of that place. He entered the university of Edinburgh, and, being intended for the medical profession, was apprenticed to Dr. Knox, the eminent lecturer on anatomy. While at Edinburgh he was intimate with Prof. Wilson and Hogg, the ‘Ettrick Shepherd.’ Eventually he abandoned the study of medicine, and, coming to London in 1834, he started, two years later, the ‘Metropolitan Literary Journal,’ a paper which was afterwards merged in the ‘Britannia.’ His literary labours brought him into intercourse with Thomas Campbell, Sheridan Knowles, Douglas Jerrold, and the Countess of Blessington. He afterwards retired to his native county, and died at Guisborough on 29 Aug. 1853.
His works are: 1. ‘England: a historical Poem,’ 2 vols., London, 1834–5, 8vo. 2. ‘Remarks on the Sympathetic Condition existing between the Body and the Mind, especially during Disease,’ London, 1836, 8vo, forming a supplement to the ‘Metropolitan Literary Journal.’ 3. ‘The Bard, and minor Poems,’ 1841, 12mo. 4. ‘Rural Sketches and Poems, chiefly relating to Cleveland,’ London, 1845, 12mo. 5. ‘The History and Antiquities of Cleveland, comprising the Wapentake of East and West Langbargh, North Riding, County of York,’ London, 1846, 4to. Prefixed is a portrait of the author, engraved by B. F. Lloyd & Co., Edinburgh. Boyne says: ‘This work is written in a fulsome style. The author was unfit for such a great work; he was not an antiquary’ (Yorkshire Library, p. 190).
He also edited ‘Roseberry Topping: a Poem by Thomas Pierson,’ Stockton, 1847, 12mo, and left unfinished ‘The Bible Oracles.’
[Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. viii. 531, x. 140; Schroeder's Annals of Yorkshire, ii. 388; Whellan's York and the North Riding (1859), ii. 206.]