John Hookham Frere

(21 May 1769 – 7 January 1846 / London, England)

John Hookham Frere
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John Hookham Frere PC was an English diplomat and author.


Frere was born in London. His father, John Frere, the member of a Suffolk family, had been educated at Caius College, Cambridge, and would have been senior wrangler in 1763 but for the competition of William Paley; his mother, Jane, daughter of John Hookham, a rich London merchant, was cultured and wrote verse in private. His father's sister Ellenor, who married Sir John Fenn, editor of the Paston Letters, wrote educational works for children under the pseudonyms "Mrs Lovechild" and "Mrs Teachwell". Young Frere was sent to Eton College in 1785, and there began an intimacy with George ... more »

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Best Poem of John Hookham Frere

The Friend Of Humanity, And The Knife-Grinder


"Needy Knife-grinder! whether are you going?
Rough is the road, your wheel is out of order--
Bleak blows the Blast;--your hat has got a hole in't,
So have your breeches!

"Weary Knife-grinder! little think the proud ones
Who in their coaches roll along the turnpike-
-road, what hard work 'tis crying all day, 'Knives and
'Scissars to grind O!'

"Tell me Knife-grinder, how came you to grind knives?
Did some rich man tyrannically use you?
Was it the squire? or parson of the parish;
Or the attorney?

"Was it the ...

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