Hanmer, John (1809-1881) (DNB00)

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HANMER, Sir JOHN, afterwards Lord Hanmer (1809–1881), poet and politician, born 22 Dec. 1809, was son of Thomas Hanmer, colonel of the royal. Flints militia, who died in 1818, by Arabella Charlotte, daughter of Thomas Skip Dyot Bucknell, esq., M.P., of Hampton Court. He was eighteenth in descent from Sir John de Hanmere, constable of Carnarvon Castle in the time of Edward I. He was educated first at Eton and afterwards at Christ Church, Oxford, where he matriculated on 3 Dec. 1827, but did not proceed to a degree. He succeeded his grandfather, Sir Thomas Hanmer, as third baronet in 1828, was M.P. in the liberal interest for Shrewsbury from 1832 till 1837, for Kingston-upon-Hull from 1841 till 1847, and for the Flint boroughs in six parliaments, from 1847 till 1872. On 24 Sept. 1872 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Hanmer of Hanmer and Flint, both in the county of Flint. Hanmer supported free trade and religious liberty, voted for the total repeal of the corn laws (though his views in this respect were afterwards modified), and advocated the adoption in their place of a 'moderate fixed duty.' He sought to abolish bribery at elections, and declined to stand for Kingston-upon-Hull in 1847 on the failure of full assurance that 'his election should be made in obedience to and in conformity with the law.'

In 1836 Hanmer privately printed 'Poems on various Subjects,' and in 1839 published 'Fra Cipolla and other poems,' containing, besides new matter, many of the shorter pieces previously printed. The title-poem is a translation of the tale of 'Friar Onion,' from the 'Decameron,' and the story of the 'Friar and the Ass' is founded on an old Italian novel; both indicate a keen perception of beauty, and some power of describing it. In 1840 appeared 'Sonnets,' dealing mostly with Italian subjects and scenes, and nearly all of a high level of excellence. In 1872 he printed 'Notes and Papers to serve for a Memorial of the Parish of Hanmer,' subsequently enlarged for private issue in 1877, as 'Memorial of the Family and Parish of Hanmer.' It contains some quaint and interesting information, and in an appendix are added 'Sonnets and Epigrams, with other Rhymes, written long since by John, Lord Hanmer,' many reprinted from the 'Sonnets' of 1840. Hanmer died on 8 March 1881 at Knotley Hall, near Tunbridge Wells, and was buried at Bettisfield, Whitchurch, on the 15th. He married, 3 Sept. 1833, Georgiana, youngest daughter of Sir George Chetwynd of Grendon Hall, Warwickshire; she died on 21 March 1880. On Hanmer's death the peerage became extinct. He was succeeded in the baronetcy by his brother, Major Wyndham Edward Hanmer, of the royal horse guards, father of the present baronet.

[Times, 11 and 15 March 1881, 2 Aug. 1847, 24 March 1880; Burke's Dict. of the Peerage and Baronetage; Stapylton's Eton School Lists; Foster's Alumni Oxon.; Ann. Reg. 1872; Hansard's Parl. Debates, 5 May 1842, 20 March 1854; Athenæum, 28 Dec. 1839; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

B. P.