Lambert, John (1815-1892) (DNB00)

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LAMBERT, Sir JOHN (1815–1882), civil servant, son of Daniel Lambert, surgeon, of Hindon, and afterwards of Milford Hall, Salisbury, Wiltshire, by Mary Muriel, daughter of Charles Jinks of Oundle, Northamptonshire, was born at Bridzor, Wiltshire, on 4 Feb. 1815. He was a Roman catholic,and in 1823 he entered St. Gregory's College, Downside, Somerset. In 1811 he was articled to a Salisbury solicitor, and practised in Salisbury till 1857. He took a leading part in local politics, was a strong advocate of free trade, and reformed the sanitary condition of the city. In 1854 he was elected mayor of Salisbury, and was the first Roman catholic who was mayor of a cathedral city since the Reformation. In 1857 he was appointed a poor-law inspector. In 1863 Lambert went to London at the request of Mr. C. P. Villiers, then president of the poor-law board, to advise on the measures necessary to meet the poverty due to the American civil war, and the Union Relief Acts and Public Works (Manufacturing Districts) Act of that year were prepared in conformity with his recommendations. After the passing of the Public Works Act Lambert superintended its administration. In 1866 he was engaged in preparing statistics for Earl Russell's Representation of the People Acts, which were introduced in 1866, and gave similar assistance to Disraeli in connection with the Representation of the People Bill of 1867. Prior to the resignation of Lord Russell's administration, he was offered the post of financial minister for the island of Jamaica, which he declined- In 1867 he drew up the scheme for the Metropolitan Poor Act. and under it was appointed receiver of the metropolitan common poor fund. About this time, too, he elaborated schemes for the poor-law dispensary system.

Lambert was a member of the parliamentary boundaries commission of 1867, of the sanitary commission which sat for two or three years. In 1869 and 1870 he went to Ireland at the request of Mr. Gladstone obtained information in connection with the Irish Church and Land Bills, and prepared special records for the cabinet. In 1870 he was nominated C.B., and in 1871, when the local government board was formed, he was appointed its first permanent secretary, and was entrusted with the organisation of the department. As a member of the sanitary commission he compiled in 1872 a digest of the sanitary laws and in the same year was chairman of the commission which drew up the census of landed proprietors in Great Britain. This was issued as a blue book, and is now known as 'The Modern Domesday Book.' In 1879 Lambert was made K.C.B. In the same year he prepared the report far the select committee of the House of Lords on the conservancy of rivers, and also recognised the audit staff of the local government board. In 1882, in consequence of failing health, he resigned the secretaryship of the local government board. He continued, however, to advise in parliamentary matters, and was chairman of the boundaries commission of 1884-5; which did its work with extraordinary rapidity. In 1885 he was sworn in of the privy council. Lambert was a gifted and highly accomplished musician, and profoundly versed in the ecclesiastical music of the middle age. He was a member of the Academy of St. Cecilia at Rome, and received a gold medal from Plus IX for his services in promoting church music. He was very fond of flowers, and devoted much attention is their cultivation. Lambert died at Milford House, Clapham Common, on 27 Jan. 1892, and was buried at St. Osmund's Church, Salisbury, of which he was founder. He married in 1838 Ellen Head (d. 1801), youngest daughter of Henry Shorto of Salisbury, and left two sons and three daughters. The best portrait of Lambert is a photograph taken by Maull & Co.

Lambert's chief musical publications were: Totum Antiphonarium Vesperale Organisatarum in ecclesiis accommodatum, cujus ope contus Vesperarum per totum annum sono Organi comitari potent,' 4to, 1849; 'Hymnarium Vesperale, Hymnos Vesperales totius anni complectens, ad usum Organistrarum accommodatum,' 8vo; 'Ordinarium Missæ e Graduale Romano in usum organistrarum adaptatum,' 8vo, 1851. With Henry Formby he prepapared: 'Missa pro Defunctis e Graduate Romano, cum discantu pro Organo'; 'Officium Defunctorum usui Cantorum accommodatum' The Vesper Psalter, &c-, &c, with misical notation. 18mo, 1850; 'Hymns and Songs,' with accompaniment for organ or pianoforte, 1853; 'Catholic Sacred Songs,' 1853: and several brief collections of hymns and songs for children. His other works include: 'The true mode of accompanying the Gregorian Chant,' 1848; 'Harmonising and singing the Ritual song;' 'A Grammar of Plain Chant;' 'Music of the Middle Ages, especially in relation tn its Rhythm' and Mode of Execution, with Illustrations,' 1857; 'Modern Legislation as a Chapter in our History.' 1965; and 'Vagrancy Laws and Vagrants,' 1868. He also made various contributions to periodical literature, including an article 'Parliamentary Franchises past and present,' in the 'Nineteenth Century,' December 1869. and a series of 'Reminiscences' in the 'Downside Review.'

[Times, 29 Jan. 1892; Downside Review, vol. viii. No. 1, xi. No. 1 (on p. 81 is a list of his contributions to the Review); Burke's Knightage, 1890. p. 1588; Cosmopolitan. vol. iii. No. 8, p. 153; Men of the Time, 1884, p. 670.]

W. A. J. A.