Alfred Domett - Encyclopedia

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ALFRED DOMETT (1811-1887), British colonial statesman and poet, was born at Camberwell Grove, Surrey, on the 20th of May 1811. He entered St John's College, Cambridge, but left the university in 1833. He published one or two volumes of poetry and contributed several poems to Blackwood's Magazine, one of which, "A Christmas Hymn," attracted much admiring attention. For ten years he lived a life of ease in London, where he became the intimate friend of Robert Browning, of whose poem "Waring" he was the subject. An interesting account of the friendship between the two men appeared in The Contemporary Review for January 1905, by W. H. Griffin. (See also Robert Browning and Alfred Domett, edited by F. G. Kenyon, 1906). In 1842 Domett emigrated to New Zealand where he filled many important administrative posts, being colonial secretary for New Munster in 1848, secretary for the colony in 1851, and prime minister in 1862. He returned to England in 1871, was created C.M.G. in 1880, and died on the 2nd of November 1887. Among his books of poetry, Ranolf and Amolia, a South Sea Day Dream, is the best known (1872), and Flotsam and Jetsam (1877) is dedicated to Browning.

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