Seaford House - Poet Laureates and Prime Ministers

Seaford House HHE

Old Seaford House belonged to Lord Howard de Walden, Baron Seaford. Alfred Lord Tennyson was said to have written the funeral ode to the Duke of Wellington whilst staying there. The house was rebuilt in 1860, only to be demolished to make way for a modern block of flats.This is part of a drawing by HH Evans entitled Old Seaford House and the Crouch. Harry Harison Evans (1849 - 1926) spent the greater part of his life producing detailed drawings of Seaford. The Museum holds has a large collection currently on display and has also produced "A Seaford Sketchbook" SB Publications 2001 of Evans' drawings.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) was a favourite of Queen Victoria. The poet lived in Seaford House with his family in 1851 but later moved to the Isle of Wight (where perhaps it was less windy!). A potted history of the life and works of Tennyson can be found in the Poetry Foundations website: The article refers to his friendship with one Edward Fitzgerald. Tennyson was reticent to publish his works and  Edward Fitzgerald worried away at Tennyson to have his work published. Fitzgerald loved both the poems and their author, although he was too stubborn to hide his feelings when a particular poem failed to win his approval. "Old Fitz" nagged at Tennyson, who in the spring of 1842 agreed to break his ten long years of silence and commenced publication of his works. FitzGerald (31 March 1809 – 14 June 1883) was also an English poet and writer, best known as the poet of the first and most famous English translation of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. He was the son of John Purcell Fitzgerald, who had left the Fitzgerald Almshouses in Croft Lane for the benefit of the town.

George Canning(1770 to 1827) was Prime Minister for only four months,before he died, the shortest period of office held by any UK prime minister. He had been MP for Seaford for a short time. Canning was both an MP for Seaford and a Prime Minister at the same time. Canning was a supporter of the movement for the abololition of slavery.

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