Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Walpole, Robert (1781-1856)

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WALPOLE, ROBERT (1781–1856), classical scholar, born on 8 Aug. 1781, was the eldest son of Robert Walpole, clerk of the privy council and envoy to Portugal, by his first wife, Diana, daughter of Walter Grossett. Horatio Walpole, first baron Walpole [q. v.], was his grandfather. He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, whence he graduated B.A. in 1803, M.A. in 1809, and B.D. in 1828. At Cambridge he gained the prize for a Greek ode on ‘Melite Britannis subacta,’ Cambridge, 1801, 8vo. In 1805 he published ‘Comicorum Græcorum Fragmenta.’ In 1809 he became rector of Itteringham, Norfolk, in 1815 rector of Tivetshall, Norfolk, and in 1828 rector of Christ Church, Marylebone, London. He held Itteringham and Christ Church till his death. Soon after leaving college Walpole had travelled in Greece, and in 1817 he published his ‘Memoirs relating to European and Asiatic Turkey’ (2nd edit. 1818), and in 1820 ‘Travels in various Countries of the East,’ two interesting volumes consisting mainly of unpublished papers written by John Bacon Sawrey Morritt [q. v.], John Sibthorp [q. v.], Dr. Hunt, and other travellers, with descriptions of antiquities and notes and excursuses by Walpole himself. He was also joint author with Sir William Drummond [q. v.] of ‘Herculanensia,’ published in 1810.

Walpole died in Harewood Street, London, on 16 April 1856. He had estates at Carrow Abbey, near Norwich, and at Scole Lodge, Osmundeston, Norfolk. On 6 Feb. 1811 he was married to Caroline Frances, daughter of John Hyde. By her he had two sons and two daughters. Besides the works mentioned, he was the author of: 1. ‘Isabel,’ &c.; verse translations from the Spanish, &c.; severely criticised in ‘Edinburgh Review,’ vi. 291. 2. ‘Specimens of scarce Translations of the seventeenth century from the Latin Poets,’ London, 1805, 8vo.

[Gent. Mag. 1856, i. 659; Foster's Index Ecclesiasticus; General Hist. of County of Norfolk, 1829 i. 129, ii. 1314; Biogr. Dict. of Living Authors, 1816; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

W. W.