Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol II (1901).djvu/214

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Farrer
Faucit
202

gulation of railways, and the acts of parliament dealing with electric lighting. Indeed, so effectual was the exercise of his unseen and quiet influence that in the period between 1872 and 1886 almost all the reforms of and additions to our system of commercial law were only brought about with the concurrence of the secretary of the board of trade. In 1883 he was created a baronet in recognition of his services.

Though dogmatic in his views, and of a controversial temperament in economic matters, especially distrustful of the extension of state interference, and a free trader of unyielding temper, he yet maintained cordial relations with successive ministers, and as head of a department he was popular and successful because of the confidence with which he treated his subordinates.

On vacating his office he was able without further restraint to employ his energies to the full in combating unorthodox economic theories, and in exposing what he regarded as financial heresy. Bounties under any circumstances, in his view, constituted a vicious economic anachronism, and his straightforward letter in the 'Times' on the sugar convention, reprinted in pamphlet form in 1889, had considerable effect in influencing public opinion. He attacked Mr. Goschen's finance (1887–90) in a series of articles in the 'Contemporary Review,' which were reprinted in 1891. Subsidising local bodies from imperial funds, the reduction of the sinking fund, and the increased expenditure on army and navy were features in this financial policy on which he dwelt with great severity. Effective use of this criticism was made in the general election of 1892. Towards bimetallism he maintained almost as hostile a front as towards fair trade, and took a leading part in founding the Gold Standard Defence Association in 1895. His 'Studies in Currency,' a collection of essays, were published in 1898. In February 1899 he was appointed president of the Cobden Club, of which he had long been an active member.

He was a member of the London County Council from 1889 to 1898, and for several years acted as vice-chairman. While holding this position he did not hesitate to expose the conduct of the council in paying a higher than the market rate for labour, and published in 1892 a memorandum entitled 'The London County Council's Labour Bill, Market Rate or Fancy Rate.'

On 22 June 1893 he was created a peer with the title of Lord Farrer of Abinger. He died at Abinger Hall, near Dorking, on 12 Oct. 1899, and his body was cremated at Brookwood cemetery on 15 Oct. He married first, on 10 Jan. 1854, Frances, daughter of William Erskine of the Indian civil service ; she died 15 May 1870, leaving three sons and one daughter. He married, secondly, on 30 May 1873, Katherine Euphemia, daughter of Hensleigh Wedgwood [q. v.]

There is a portrait of Farrer in oils by Frank Holl, R.A., in the possession of his son, the present Lord Farrer.

Besides the pamphlets mentioned above, Farrer wrote: 1. 'Free Trade versus Fair Trade' (Cobden Club publication), 1882; 3rd edit. 1886. 2. 'The State in its Relation to Trade,' 1883. 3. ' Retaliation and Commercial Federation' (Cobden Club), 1892. 4. The Preface to 'Reminiscences of Richard Cobden,' 1895. 5. 'Studies in Currency, 1898, or Inquiries into certain Modern Problems connected with the Standard of Value and the Media of Exchange,' 1898. 6. 'What is a Bounty?' 1899.

[Times, 13 Oct. 1899 ; G. E. C[okayne]'s Complete Peerage, viii. 210 ; private information.]

W. C.-r.

FAUCIT, HELENA SAVILLE (better known as Helen Faucit), subsequently Lady Martin (1817–1898), actress, was born in 1817. She came on both sides of an acting stock. Saville Faucit, an actor in the Margate company, married Harriet Diddear, the daughter of his manager, who, as Mrs. Faucit from Norwich, played, 7 Oct. 1813, at Covent Garden Desdemona. Six children were born, five of whom appeared on the stage. Of these Helen was the youngest ; Harriet, her sister, afterwards Mrs. Humphrey Bland, played at the Haymarket in 1828, presumably on 30 Sept., Letitia Hardy in 'The Belle's Stratagem' to the Hardy of Farren, and was on the stage until her death on 5 Nov. 1847. The similarity of name since she acted as Miss Faucit led to subsequent confusion. After living in a, boarding-school at Greenwich, Helen Faucit stayed at Brighton, and afterwards with her sister at Richmond, where she met Edmund Kean. In the autumn of 1833, having received some instruction from Percival Farren, whose brother, William Farren [q. v.], subsequently married her mother, she appeared at the Richmond theatre as Juliet, a performance she more than once repeated.

Her first appearance in London took place at Covent Garden on 5 Jan. 1836, not, as was at first advertised, in Juliet, but as Julia in Sheridan Knowles's 'Hunchback,' Charles Kemble, who, like most who came under the spell of the debutante, took a warm interest in her, resuming his original part of