LL.D., F.R.S., F.S.A.


"He was a man, take him for all in all,
I shall not look upon his like again."
...... A merrier man,
Within the limits of becoming mirth,
I never spent an hour's talk withal."
Love's Labour's Lost.





JAMES ORCHARD HALLIWELL, as he was first known to the Literary world (having assumed the name of Phillipps in 1873 by Royal licence), peacefully expired on Thursday, Jan. 3rd, 1889, at his quaintly built yet picturesquely placed "Bungalow", as he was wont to call Hollingbury Copse, two and a half miles from Brighton; and from his Self-planned "rustic Wigwam", as well as almost self-planted gardens and groves, extensive views of the boundless sea in front, and of the grand country for miles and miles around, could be commanded.

His illness was short but very painful at last, having suffered more of less for some years from the cruel cause of his ultimate death. This almost unexpected event has brought much distress of mind to his disconsolate widow and large circle of friends "at home", and also "abroad"; especially in America, where he had many sincere admirers, who must ever mourn the loss of so true-hearted and accomplished a Shakespearean scholar, and gentle-minded a man.

It is perhaps needless to say of him that, by his kindly manners, genial and engaging ways, he took possession of the hearts of all who ever had the happiness to share his friendship. There was something in his nature and appearance that created an instant impression of admiration in the minds of those who came in contact with him, but of which he was to the last modestly unconscious; such was the simplicity and unselfishness of his character, throughout the whole of a tolerably long life. In this life, like to poor humanity in general, he had to undergo "the ills which flesh is heir to" in many trying and anxious times, the "res angusta domi", even in his, on the whole, happy career, being amongst them. It was not until after years, when he came into the enjoyment of considerable property through the death of his father-in-law, Sir Thos Phillipps, his first wife being, by the will of her Grandfather, sole heiress to large settled estates; that he was free from the cares attendant upon bringing up a family of four daughters, now well-married, and gained that sufficient repose of mind as to worldly means, which an Author needs, more perhaps // than any other profession (if we may except an Artist's), in this struggling, strange eventful career of ours. It was, therefore, a great solace and comfort to him to find, at last, the means of living at his comparative ease, although in doing so he did not in any way relinquish his earnest love of Letters, nor give up, for the mere pursuit of idle pleasures, the higher instincts of his cultivated nature.

On the contrary, he settled down in his later years to a more determined pursuit of his favourite study, that of the plays and poetry of Shakespeare, his Life and Fortunes, together with the whole range of Elizabethan Dramatic Literature, and of which he became, and will no doubt long, if not for ever, remain, the greatest exponent and chief reliable authority, we have had amongst us.

In his admirably arranged Library, or, as he termed it, "Workshop", at Hollingbury Copse, alas! now probably to be razed to the ground - as there is no expectation of such a home of one of Literature's distinguished sons being preserved in its present form, he devoted many early hours of each day, to these special enquiries. Surrounded by some of the rarest books, prints, deeds, drawings, and MSS. of Shakespeare's times, ever brought together in one centre, as it were, he at length produced his magnum opus, the well-known and world-renowned Outlines of the Life of Shakespeare (although, as to size, his much greater work -- a sumptuous edition of Shakespeare's Works, with a revised life of the Poet, was issued by subscription in sixteen Folio volumes, of which only 150 copies were printed, during the years 1853-65). Of the "Outlines", he lived to see -- most unexpectedly to him -- a seventh edition demanded; and, the cry being still for more, he was occupied, at the time of his lamented demise, in preparing for an eighth. This was to contain much additional matter from the unbouded stores of information he possessed, and the successful researches he had been able to make in his various visits to the Record Office, where he was a diligent student to the last. To these may be added the visits he paid to the many Municipal and other Collections of deeds and charters in our country, and which he had been in the habit of "rummaging", as he quaintly and characteristically called these systematic inspections, from year to year. In these his Summer holidays, or "tours of investigation", he was always accompanied by his now widowed wife, a younger daughter of the late Mr W.J. Hobbes, of Stratford-upon-Avon, who for many years practised there as a solicitor, who encouraged him greatly by her presence and the interest she took in his literary and general pursuits.

Mr. J.O. Halliwell (Phillipps) joined the British Archaeological Association as an original member, and attended the first Congress // of Canterbury, with his old College friend, the late Mr Thomas Wright, M.A., F.S.A., with whom he continued on the most intimate terms until his lamented decease in 1877; he was also closely connected with the now only remaining founder of the Soceity, Mr. C. Roach Smith, F.S.A. (unquestionably the best Roman antiquary of the day), and for whom he ever had the most friendly and affectionate regard. With the late Mr. Thomas Joseph Pettigrew, F.R.S., the Honorary Treasurer and main supporter of the Association, for many years, he was on terms of sincere friendship, as well as with the late Mr. J.R. Planche, the eminent Dramatic writer, Historian, and Herald, for a long time one of the Honorary Secretaries, and afterwards one of its Vice-Presidents. To the latter he always considered he was indebted for the interest and kindly encouragement he gave to him as a young author and antiquary, when the first Shakespeare Society was founded in 1841, and did such useful and lasting work, until Mr. Planche's lamented death in 1880. To the Journal of the British Archaeological Association, the subject of his memoir contributed many learned and interesting papers as a reference to the Index will show, and to the last he continued to be a Vice-President, as well as an earnest well-wisher to the Association, as shown, amongst other things, by his hospitable and elegant Entertainments offered to the members at the Congresses, held under the presidency of the late Marquess of Hertford, at Evesham, in 1875, and at Brighton, under that of the Duke of Norfolk, E.M., in 1885.

The members of the above Society have therefore in every respect to mourn the loss of a most devoted and earnest friend, since he was one of those who stood firmly by the Association, when a large number of its members -- soon after the first Congress held at Canterbury in 1844 -- left the original body, through a trifling difference of opinion -- and subsequently formed a new Society, now known as the Royal Archaeological Institute.

The cause of the Secession need not here be entered into, since Time, the great healer of almost all quarrels, has happily effaced the bitter recollections of this, and brought into harmony, and almost union, the now "sister" Societies -- the Association and the Institute.

At the period referred to, however, things wore a dark aspect, and had it not been for the staunch and steadfast conduct of the then President, the Lord Albert Conyngham (father of the present Earl of Londesborough), aided by the energetic efforts of the Hon. Treasurer, T.J. Pettigrew, F.R.S., F.S.A., the Hon-Secretaries, C. Roach Smith, F.S.A., T. Crofton Croker, F.S.A., and general members of the original // Association, including such men as J.R. Planche, F.S.A., J.O. Halliwell, F.R.S., George Godwin, F.R.S., Thomas Wright, M.A., F.S.A., J.G. Waller, F.S.A., the Rev. R.H. Barham (Ingoldsby), Dr. Beattie, and many other well-known and influential individuals, the British Archaeological Association might have ceased to exist, and the good it has since done been lost, with its still admirably conducted Journal, to the great world of letters.

As many inaccurate accounts have appeared in the Press of Mr. Halliwell's early career, it may be as well to state that on November 13th, 1837, he matriculated at Trinity College, Cambridge, and that in the following year he obtained an open Scholarship at Jesus College, to which he removed, and was soon after appointed Librarian by the Master; -- here in 1838, he published his first book, entitled A Brief Account of the Life, Writings, and Inventions of Sir Samuel Morland, Master of Mechanics to Charles II, as an 8vo. volume.

On the 30th of May 1839, and at the almost unprecedented age of nearly nineteen (as he was born the 21st June 1820), he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, having been an F.S.A. some time before, as well as an F.R.A.S.*

* The late Lord Brougham was, it is recorded, a Fellow of the Royal Society at even an earlier age!

In 1840 he published ten books, and becoming acquainted with Sir Thomas Phillipps, Bart., of Middlehill, near Broadway, Worcestershire, a great Bibliophilist, in 1841 he was invited to his house, and treated like a son, a room being always kept for him, and a welcome given whenver he liked to come. Here he fell in love with the eldest daughter of his host, a charming and accomplished lady, and was accepted by not only herself, but by Sir Thomas also; who, however, changing his mind afterwards, tried to break off the engagement, in which he failed completely, the young people being publicly married at Broadway Church in June 1842. From this cause arose an intense bitterness of feeling towards them both, on the part of Sir Thomas, which lasted to the day of his death, and was accompanied by many petty persecutions and cruelly spiteful insinuations; all of them, however, they happily lived through; although at times encountering almost straitened circumstances, in their domestic life. These were, however, as already intimated, gallantly overcome by the young and sorely tried couple, through their devotion and faith in one another. The diligent and industrious way in which the husband met the situation, by issuing more books on his favourite subjects than at any other time of his life, enabled them to weather the storm, until the demise of Sir Thomas Phillipps brought his dearly loved wife, as sole heiress of Middle- // hill, into a large, although as far as her father had been able to make it so, a sadly deteriorated and encumbered property.

They did not, however, enjoy for many years this altered state of affairs, for Mrs. Halliwell-Phillipps having been thrown from her horse at Worthing, whilst riding with her daughters, received such injuries as to cause her to become a confirmed invalid, terminating in her much regretted death in the Spring of 1879.

One of the most interesting episodes in Mr. Halliwell's life was being the means, through the publication of a little tract entitled On the Last Days of William Shakespeare, of purchasing, in 1861, "New Place," Stratford on Avon, where the poet lived and died, and which, with the ruined foundations of the house and remains of the old gardens and bowling-green attached to it, forms one of the principal objects of Shakespearean attraction in the celebrated town. This was done chiefly by Mr. Halliwell's exertions, coupled with those of his old and valued friend, the late Mr. W.O. Hunt (for fifty-six years Town Clerk of Stratford), who assisted him in every possible way to raise the necessary funds, by subscriptions from the public, which amounting at last to nearly #5,000, he was enabled to carry out his intention of dedicating the purchase to the town of Stratford-on-Avon, for ever.*

* Mr. Halliwell, in conjunction with Mr. W.O. Hunt, founded the Museum at Stratford-upon-Avon, and with that gentleman gave to it very many valuable books, pictures, and other objects of Shakespearean interest. He also lately offered to the Corporation of Stratford-upon-Avon, to Autotype, at his own expense, the most important of the records relating in any way to Shakespeare or his family connections.

This great and good work was achieved without fee or reward, or even a charge for expenses being made by Mr. Halliwell, although then a comparatively poor man. Yet he met with the fate of many benefactors who unselfishly seek, for the love of a cause, to work assiduously and gratuitously for it, encountering towards the last years of his life many petty envies and jealousies even in Stratford-on-Avon itself, where a certain set of would-be great people, suddenly affected to be the almost Heaven-sent guardians of the Corporation Records; (the whole of which Mr. Halliwell had long before diligently examined, and which he catalogued at his own expense), and by means of a "Record Committee", on which there was no one, probably, who could read a line of such documents, sought to reflect upon Mr Halliwell's want of care in his previous use of them, as well as to insinuate, that he had fully repaid himself by the knowledge he had acquired, by their examination; -- thereby adopting the absurd doctrine that a literary man is sufficiently rewarded by the effort he makes to unfold the contents of certain rare and valuable Deeds and Charters, at his own cost, //time and trouble included, for the Corporation of any City or Town with whom such Documents, for many generations, have laid perdu, of course unread, if not unknown; -- a singular rendering indeed of the old axiom, "Virtue is its own Reward!"

It was probably this piece of ignorant and bombastic "officialism", as we learn from the pungently, yet good-humouredly written pamphlets, issued from Hollingbury Copse, in self-defence, that induced Mr. Halliwell-Phillipps to give up his annual practice of visiting the town he loved so well, and had done so much for, not only as a Trustee of the Shakespeare Birth-Place and "New-Place" property, but of helping constantly and consistently to keep up its renown,by his ever generous purse and industrious pen.

However, let us hope that in spite of the ingratitude and coldness thus shown to him towards the close of his literary life, by those who ought to have behaved far differently; the memory alone will remain at Stratford-on-Avon of the good he did for that historic old town, in his love and devotion to its best interests, in his many Shakespearean studies and researches connected with it, and exemplified by so many of his publications, even to the last "labour of love" upon which he was engaged, as already noticed, when the relentless hand of death, so untimely and unfortunately, snatched him away "from our midst". And, that one only thought will now remain in the town he served so well and so disinterestedly at all times and seasons, how best to do honour to the memory of such a distinguished man as James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps was -- not only in the cause of Shakespearean literature itself, but for the good he ever usefully sought to do in the world of letters as well as in the world at large.

Although an Author willing at all times to assist the studies of others, by imparting the information he had obtained in the various subjects of his researches, Mr. Halliwell-Phillipps was not free from the envy and ill-feeling to which literary men are subjected by their less eminent yet jealour fellow-workders. Genial and courteous as he was to all around, it is difficult for his friends to understand how he could have been one of the two men, who excited "the anger" of the writer of the following paragraph, taken from the introduction to, or "Forewords" of, the last, or last but one of the publications of the New Shakspere Society, dated 1886, entitled Some Three Hundred Fresh Allusions to Shakespeare, etc.

"Two men made me very angry during the course of my work; the hog Duffett, for his burlesque of the Tempest, and Mr. J.O. Halliwell-Phillipps -- Hall-P. -- I think all the Hells are altered! but the best abbreviation for his name is Johp -- for his veiled system of // reference." Comment on this farrago of vulgarity and conceit, instead of high-toned criticism, as Members of the above Society have surely a right to expect, is unnecessary, and therefore we will leave the balderdash to the contempt it so well deserves.

It is very gratifying to turn from such senseless stuff as the foregoing to the following Prefatory Note, to the last issued volume of the Henry Irving Shakespeare, so ably and learnedly edited by Mr. Frank A. Marshall, an ardent admirer and old friend of the subject of this memoir, whom he always wrote or spoke of, as "His Master", in which occur words that not only do honour to the writer, but go far to show the estimation in which Mr. Halliwell-Phillipps was held by the bulk of literary men, and especially true Shakespearean commentators:--

"I cannot help referring here to a loss which all lovers and students of Shakespeare have recently sustained.

"As this volume was being prepared for publication, the news arrived of the death of Mr. Halliwell-Phillipps, whose long and loving devotion to the memoryof Shakespeare has given to us work the value of which it would be difficult to exaggerate.

"From the very commencement of this edition he took the warmest interest in it; and I owe much to the hearty encouragement which I always received from him. In spite of the fact that many of the conclusions arrived at, and of the opinions expressed in my Introduction, were contrary to those which, guided by the experience of a lifetime, he himself held, his criticism of our work was as generous as his help, in every way and wheneve we asked it, was ungrudgingly given. It is impossible not to feel that, not only I personally, but all concerned in the production of the Henry Irving Shakespeare, have lost a true friend. I had hoped to have had the benefit of his guidance in the preparation of the brief Life of Shakespeare which is to be given with the last volume of this edition: but this, alas, was not to be; and I can only hope that all of us, who are engaged in the study of Shakespeare, may try and imitate his untiring industry, his genuine modesty, his true kindness of heart, and his loyal enthusiasm in the work to which he devoted, not only his time, but what is dearer to many men than their time -- a great portion of his fortune."

The author of this brief "Chronicle" was an early and long-continued friend of the subject of it; and to this hour feels deeply the loss he and others have sustained in the deprivation of his every kindly, generous, and inspiring society, fully attested to and made manifest, by the already published tributes of affectionate regard for him, from the pens of accomplished writers throughout Europe and America. //

Having had the happiness and pleasure to know the honoured subject of this obituary notice so long, and his family from "the first to the second generation", including the estimable and amiable Lady, who, as his second wife and companion of recent years, helped him in every kindly and befitting manner, to dispense the many graceful hospitalities of Hollingbury Copse; the writer of it would, ere he close its feeble endeavour to portray his character or comment on his renown, venture to suggest to the many admirers and old friends of the departed, that now is the time that a combined effort should be made to raise a fitting monument to him, by a memorial in marble or brass in Stratford's famous Parish Church.

It should be placed as near to the resting-place of Shakespeare, whom he loved so well, and of whom he every discoursed so eloquently, as is possible. The author of these pages has already spoken of this idea to several friends, whom the late Mr. Halliwell-Phillipps knew well, and trusted equally, and who would gladly co-operate in the organisation of such a movement, and of which he, as the originator, would willingly undertake the duties of Honorary Secretary, if none better could be found. He would also suggest that the following noble lines of Tennyson's In Memoriam, -- so touchingly expressive, and appropriate in every way, might well be used as a fitting tribute to the loving work of J.O. Halliwell-Phillipps, on whatever monument was raised to his honoured memory!

" If, in thy second state sublime,
Thy ransom'd reason change replies
With all the circle of the wise,
The perfect flower of human time;

"And if thou cast thine eyes below,
How dimly character'd and slight,
How dwarf'd a growth of cold and night,
How blanch'd with darkness must I grow!

"Yet turn thee to the doubtful shore
Where thy first form was made a man.
I loved thee, Spirit, and love, nor can
The soul of SHAKESPEARE love thee more."