Richard Ford - Encyclopedia

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RICHARD FORD (1796-1858), English author of one of the earliest and best of travellers' Handbooks, was the eldest son of Sir Richard Ford, who in 1789 was member of parliament for East Grinstead, and for many years afterwards chief police magistrate of London. His mother was the daughter and heiress of Benjamin Booth, a distinguished connoisseur in art. He was called to the bar, but never practised, and in1830-1833he travelled in Spain, spending much of his time in the Alhambra and at Seville. His first literary work (other than contributions to the Quarterly Review) was a pamphlet, An Historical Inquiry into the Unchangeable Character of a War in Spain (Murray, 1837), in reply to one called the Policy of England towards Spain, issued under the patronage of Lord Palmerston. He spent the winter of1839-1840in Italy, where he added largely to his collection of majolica; and soon after his return he began, at John Murray's invitation, to write his Handbook for Travellers in Spain, with which his name is chiefly associated. He died on the 1st of September 1858, leaving a fine private collection of pictures to his widow (d. 1910), his third wife, a daughter of .Sir A. Molesworth.

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