Francis Hastings Doyle

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Doyle as caricatured by Spy (Leslie Ward) in Vanity Fair, November 1877

Sir Francis Hastings Charles Doyle, 2nd Baronet (21 August 1810 – 8 June 1888)[1] was a British poet.


Doyle was born near Tadcaster, Yorkshire, to a military family which produced several distinguished officers, including his father, Major-General Sir Francis Hastings Doyle, 1st Baronet, who was created a baronet in 1828.[2] He succeeded to the baronetcy on the death of his father in 1839.

He was educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford.

Studying law, he was called to the Bar in 1837, and afterwards held various high fiscal appointments, becoming in 1869, Commissioner of Customs. In 1834 he published Miscellaneous Verses, followed by Two Destinies (1844), Oedipus, King of Thebes (1849), and Return of the Guards (1866).

He was elected in 1867 Professor of Poetry at Oxford. Doyle's best work is his ballads, which include The Red Thread of Honour, The Private of the Buffs, and The Loss of the Birkenhead. In his longer poems his genuine poetical feeling was not equalled by his power of expression, and much of his poetry is commonplace.[3]


In 1844, he married Sydney Williams-Wynn, daughter of the MP Charles Williams-Wynn.

His eldest son Francis Granville Doyle (1846–1882) died of typhoid fever.[4]

Doyle's daughter Mary married Charles Carmichael Lacaita, MP and botanist.[5]

The baronetcy passed to a younger son Sir Everard Hastings Doyle, 3rd Baronet upon his death, and then later to his other son, Sir Arthur Havelock James Doyle, 4th Baronet.


  1. ^ E. I. Carlyle, ‘Doyle, Sir Francis Hastings Charles, second baronet (1810–1888)’, rev. Charles Brayne, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004.
  2. ^ The Plantagenet Roll of the Blood Royal: Clarence Volume. London. 1905. p. 272. 
  3. ^ John William Cousin A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature (1910) London, J. M. Dent & sons; New York, E. P. Dutton.
  4. ^ "The Late Captain Doyle". Bye-gones, relating to Wales and the Border Counties. Oswestry: Caxton Press: 162–163. December 1882. 
  5. ^ Debretts Guide to the House of Commons 1886

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainCousin, John William (1910). A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature. London: J. M. Dent & Sons. Wikisource 

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