Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Thackeray, Francis

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THACKERAY, FRANCIS (1793–1842), author, born in 1793, was the sixth son of William Makepeace Thackeray (1749–1813), of the Bengal civil service, by his wife, Amelia (d. 1810), third daughter of Lieutenant-colonel Richmond Webb. Francis, who was uncle of the novelist, graduated B.A. from Pembroke College, Cambridge, in 1814 and M.A. in 1817. He became curate of Broxbourne in Hertfordshire. He died at Broxbourne on 18 Feb. 1842, leaving by his wife, Mary Ann Shakespear (d. 1851), two sons—Francis St. John and Colonel Edward Talbot Thackeray, V.C.—and one daughter, Mary.

Thackeray, who was famous in the family for his invention and narration of fairy tales, was the author of: 1. ‘A Defence of the Clergy of the Church of England,’ London, 1822, 8vo; supplemented in the following year by a shorter treatise, entitled ‘Some Observations upon a Pamphlet and upon an Attack in the “Edinburgh Review.”’ 2. ‘A History of William Pitt, Earl of Chatham,’ London, 1827, 8vo. Macaulay, in reviewing the work in the ‘Edinburgh Review’ for 1834, justly censured Thackeray for his extravagant laudation of his hero. The life, however, was painstaking, and contained a good deal of fresh information from the state paper office. 3. ‘Order against Anarchy,’ London, 1831, 8vo: a reply to Paine's ‘Rights of Man.’ 4. ‘Researches into the Ecclesiastical and Political State of Ancient Britain under the Roman Emperors,’ London, 1843, 8vo.

[Burke's Family Records, 1897; Herald and Genealogist, 1st ser. ii. 447–8; Cass's Monken Hadley, 1880, p. 74; Gent. Mag. 1842, i. 559; Hunter's Thackerays in India, 1897, pp. 112–113.]

E. I. C.