Canton, William, 1845-1926

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Epithet: poet and journalist

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000000562.0x000259

Canton was a poet, journalist, and historian, much noted for his works related to children. Miss L (Alice Lachmund, 1877-1973) attended Smith College, but graduated from the University of Chicago (Ph.B.).

From the description of William Canton's letters to Miss L, 1913-1916. (Smith College). WorldCat record id: 184841452

William Canton was an English poet and journalist born October 17, 1825, on the island of Chushan, China where his father was in the British colonial civil service. His parents were Thomas Canton and Mary Thomas. After his father's death in Jamaica William was educated in France and briefly studied for the Catholic priesthood at the Benedictine College in Douai; his family were Catholics. Subsequent to the studies at the Benedictine College he left the Catholic Church and became a Protestant.

Settling in London in 1867 Canton taught and worked as a journalist. In 1874 he married Emma Moore. Their daughter, who died in 1877, was commemorated in a prose work The Invisible Playmate (1894) and was the first prose work to bring him recognition. Emma died in 1880.

Canton moved to Glasgow in 1876 and worked as an editor in various capacities. He married Annie Elizabeth Taylor in 1882. A daughter, Winifred Vida, was born in 1890 and a son, Guy Desmond, in 1896. In 1891 Canton returned to London as the general manager to the publishers Isbister & Co. and over time became editors of various magazines.

In 1901 Winifred died. That same year he began the writing of the History of the British and Foreign Bible Society, a work that took him nine years. He also wrote many popular books for the Bible Society as well as published poems and stories in various publications. He died May 2, 1926 at Hendon, London, where he has lived since 1912.

Miss L (Alice Lachmund) had initiated a correspondence with William Canton apparently in response to his writings. The letters she received from William Canton, as well as a letter from Mrs. Canton and Guy, were written between 1913 and 1916. Before giving the letters of William Canton's to Smith College Miss Lachmund had blackened out her name leaving only "Miss L." The letters were given as an anonymous gift.

Alice Lachmund (February 10, 1877-January 10, 1973) was born in St. Louis, Missouri to Charles and Fanny L. Lachmund. She was initially a member of the Class of 1899 of Smith College however she did not graduate from Smith. She did receive a Ph.B. from the University of Chicago and apparently taught home economics in the St. Louis school system. Lachmund did author an unpublished work entitled, The Naffz Family History (1960?).

From the guide to the William Canton's letters to Miss L MS 285., 1913-1916, (Mortimer Rare Book Room)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf William Canton's letters to Miss L MS 285., 1913-1916 Mortimer Rare Book Room
creatorOf Sydney Vale: vocal works, 1962-1983 British Library
creatorOf Canton, William, 1845-1926. William Canton's letters to Miss L, 1913-1916. Smith College, Neilson Library
creatorOf Kipling, Rudyard, 1865-1936. Rudyard Kipling collection of papers, 1882-1956 bulk (1882-1941). New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Lyall, Edna, 1857-1903. Ada Ellen Bayly letters, 1892-1893. Pennsylvania State University Libraries
referencedIn Autographed correspondence collection of British-Canadian writers, 1804-1954. Temple University Libraries, Paley Library
referencedIn Kempner, Alan H., 1897-1985,. Alan H. Kempner papers, 1809-1981. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Hudson, W. H. (William Henry), 1841-1922. W. H. Hudson papers, 1865-1921, 1933-43. University of Michigan
referencedIn Hudson, W. H. (William Henry), 1841-1922. Papers, 1865-1921, 1933-43. University of Michigan
creatorOf William Canton letter, 1888 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Alan H. Kempner Collection of Literary Letters and Manuscripts, 1809-1981. Columbia University. Rare Book an Manuscript Library
creatorOf Avebury, John Lubbock, 1st Baron, 1834-1913. Avebury Papers. A. General Correspondence, 1855-1911. Vol. XX (ff. 180). July-Dec. 1891. British Library
creatorOf Hudson, W. H. (William Henry), 1841-1922. Letters, to William Canton, 1887-1919. University of Michigan
referencedIn Colbeck, Norman. Norman Colbeck collection of English literary manuscripts, 1718-1725 ; 1822- 1928. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Dorothy Nevile Lees papers relating to Edward Gordon Craig and, The Mask, 1905-1963. Harvard Theater Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University
referencedIn Rudyard Kipling collection of papers, 1879-1956, 1882-1941 The New York Public Library. Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature.
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Canton, Annie person
associatedWith Canton, Annie. person
associatedWith Canton, Guy Desmond, 1896- person
associatedWith Colbeck, Norman. person
associatedWith Hudson, W. H. (William Henry), 1841-1922. person
associatedWith Kempner, Alan H., 1897-1985, person
associatedWith Kipling, Rudyard, 1865-1936. person
associatedWith Lachmund, Alice, 1877- person
correspondedWith Lees, Dorothy Nevile. person
associatedWith Lyall, Edna, 1857-1903. person
Place Name Admin Code Country


Birth 1845-10-27

Death 1926-05-02



Ark ID: w6wh3t21

SNAC ID: 24147376