Horace Mayhew

Horace Mayhew

A carte-de-visite portrait of the humorous writer Horace Mayhew (1816-1872), who was an early contributor to the journal Punch under Mark Lemon and a frequent contributor to Lloyd’s Weekly News under Douglas Jerrold’s editorship. He also wrote a considerable number of farces.

According to his entry in the Dictionary of National Biography, ‘[t]he death of his father about 1857 left him in easy circumstances, and he wrote little in later years. He was a handsome, captivating man, a brilliant talker and raconteur, and was very popular in society.’

On 7 September 1868 he married Emily Sarah Fearon, widow of the late Henry Samuel Fearon.

The couple appear on the 1871 census living at 33 Addison Gardens in Kensington with two servants, specifically a cook and a parlourmaid. Horace gave ‘Literary Gentleman’ as his profession.

Horace Mayhew died suddenly on 30 April 1872 at his residence in Kensington, leaving an estate valued at £9000.

‘Mr Mayhew was one of the “Brothers Mayhew,” whose literary efforts have been numerous and successful. The deceased gentleman’s own writings have all been of the light and humorous order […] For the last 20 year, however, he has been chiefly known as one of the writers engaged upon Punch. Mr Horace Mayhew married a widow lady a year or two ago, but leaves no issue. He was 56 years old, and his health has been known to be precarious for a considerable time. The final cause of death was the rupture of a blood-vessel’ (Morning Post, 2 May 1872).

His elder brother was the social researcher, journalist and playwright Henry Mayhew (1812-1887).

Photographed by Alexander Bassano of London.


Code: 127169
© Paul Frecker 2023