Walker, Robert Francis (DNB00)

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WALKER, ROBERT FRANCIS (1789–1854), divine and author, son of Robert Walker of Oxford, was born there on 15 Jan. 1789. He received his earlier education at Magdalen College school, and while a chorister at chapel is said to have so attracted Lord Nelson by his singing that he gave him half a guinea. He entered New College, Oxford, in 1806, and graduated B.A. in 1811, and M.A. in 1813. In 1812 he was appointed chaplain to New College; in 1815 he became curate at Taplow; at the end of 1816 or the beginning of 1817 he removed to Henley-on-Thames; and in 1819 he went to Purleigh, Essex, where he was curate in charge to an absentee rector, the provost of Oriel College, Oxford. There he remained for thirty years, until failing health compelled him to give up his charge. In 1848, struck with paralysis, he went to reside at Great Baddow, near Chelmsford, and there he died on 31 Jan. 1854. He was buried at Purleigh.

He was twice married: first, to Frances Langton at Cookham, Berkshire, in 1814 (by her he had four sons and one daughter, and she died in 1824); and, secondly, to Elizabeth Palmer at Olney, on 30 Sept. 1830 (by her he had five sons, and she died in 1876).

Walker took a keen interest in ecclesiastical movements, his sympathies being with the evangelical party. He was specially interested in the German section of that party, and translated several of their works: 1. Hofacker's ‘Sermons,’ 1835. 2. Krummacher's ‘Elijah the Tishbite,’ 1836. 3. ‘Glimpse of the Kingdom of Grace,’ 1837. 4. ‘Elisha,’ 1838. 5. Burk's ‘Memoirs of John Albert Bengel, D.D.,’ 1837. 6. Barth's ‘History of the Church,’ 1840. 7. Blumhardt's ‘Christian Missions,’ 1844. 8. Leipoldt's ‘Memoir of H. E. Rauschen- busch;’ and he left at his death in manuscript Beck's ‘Psychology,’ Bythner's ‘Lyra Prophetica,’ Lavater's ‘Life and Prayers,’ and grammars of Danish and Arabic. In a memoir written by his friend, Rev. T. Pyne, a number of extracts of verse by him are given.

[Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1715–1886; Life by Rev. T. Pyne; information kindly supplied by his son, Rev. S. J. Walker.]

J. R. M.