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ALFRED TENNYSON—the third of seven brothers, all or nearly all of whom have written poetry?was born August 5th, 1809, at Somersby, a small village in Lincolnshire, lying about midway between the markettowns of Spilsby and Horncastle, and containing at that time less than a hundred inhabitants.

Of this parish, his father, Dr. George Clayton Tennyson, was the rector. Dr. Tennyson was a man of energetic character,

1 Frederick, Charles (born at Somersby, July 4, 1808), ALFRED, Edward, Harold, Arthur, and Septimus (died at Cheltenham, September 7, 1866).



remarkable for his great strength and stature, and of very various talents—something of a poet, painter, architect, and musician, and also a considerable linguist and mathematician. He died in 1830. The poet's mother, whose maiden name was Elizabeth Fytche, and who was herself the daughter of a clergyman, lived to see her son famous, and died in 1865 at an advanced age.2

Those who care to study pedigrees will find, on referring to Burke's “ Dictionary of the Landed Gentry,” that our Poet can claim descent from a very ancient family—the D'Eyncourts of the Norman times, whose name has, by royal licence, been resumed by an elder branch of the house.

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1 William Howitt: “ Homes and Haunts of the Most Eminent British Poets” (London, 1847), ii. 48, where there is a view of the house in which Alfred Tennyson was born; “A New Spirit of the Age,” edited by R. H. Horne (London, 1844), ii. 31.

2 Mrs. Elizabeth Tennyson, died 21st February, 1865, aged eighty-four years; her sister, Miss Mary Anne Fytche, died March 10th, 1865, aged eighty-three years. These ladies were the mother and aunt of Alfred Tennyson. They both resided for many years in one house near Well Walk, at Hampstead, and they were both buried in one grave at Highgate Cemetery. The Poet Laureate attended as chief mourner on each occasion.

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