Hughes, John (1790-1857) (DNB00)

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For works with similar titles, see John Hughes.


HUGHES, JOHN (1790–1857), author, born 2 Jan. 1790, was the only child of Thomas Hughes, D.D., clerk of the closet to George III and George IV, vicar of Uffington, Berkshire, and canon of St. Paul's Cathedral, by his wife Mary Anne, daughter of the Rev. George Watts, vicar of Uffington. 'Clever, active Mrs. Hughes' was an early friend of Sir Walter Scott, whom she visited with her husband in 1824 (Lockhart, Life of Scott, p. 524, 1 vol. ed., 1845). John Hughes was educated at Westminster School and at Oriel College, Oxford, where he graduated B.A. 1812 and M.A. 1815. He gained the prize for Latin verse, and recited an English ode when Wellington and the united sovereigns visited Oxford in 1814. He was the author of the macaronic Oriel grace-cup song, 'Exultet mater Oriel' (Notes and Queries, 3rd ser. iii. 66). About 1820 Hughes went to live at Uffington, but on the death of his father, thirteen years later, removed to Donnington Priory, Berkshire. He died at Brompton on 13 Dec. 1857. He married, 14 Dec. 1820, Margaret Elizabeth, second daughter of Thomas Wilkinson, esq., of Stokesley Hall, Yorkshire, and had by her a family of six sons and one daughter. An account of the eldest son, George Edward Hughes of Donnington Priory, is given in the 'Memoir of a Brother,' by the second son, Mr. Thomas Hughes, Q.C., judge of county court, who is the well-known author of 'Tom Brown's Schooldays.'

Hughes was a good scholar and linguist, a clever draughtsman and wood-carver (cp. Miss Mitford, Recollections, 1859, chap, xxxvii.) Some forcibly written letters to his sons when boys and young men are printed in the 'Memoir of a Brother.' His chief publications were: 'An Itinerary of Provence and the Rhone made during the year 1819,' with etchings by the author, London, 1822, 8vo, a work praised by Scott in the preface to 'Quentin Durward,' and an edition of 'The Boscobel Tracts,' Edinburgh and London, 1830, 8vo; 2nd edit. Edinburgh and London, 1857, 8vo. He also published 'Lays of Past Days,' 1850, 16mo; an ode recited in the Theatre, Oxford, 1814; and 'Pompeii' (an ode) [1820?], 4to. 'Views in the South of France … engraved by William Bernard Cooke [q. v.], &c.,'1825, fol., contained illustrations from sketches made by Hughes.

[Gent. Mag. 1858, 3rd ser. iv. 225; Hughes's Memoir of a Brother; Miss Mitford's Recollections; Burke's Landed Gentry, 1868, s.v. 'Hughes of Donnington Priory;' Brit. Mus. Cat.]

W. W.