John Walker (lexicographer)

Last updated
John Walker's grave, Old St Pancras Churchyard, London John Walker's grave, Old St Pancras Churchyard, London.JPG
John Walker's grave, Old St Pancras Churchyard, London

John Walker (18 March 1732, in Colney Hatch, Middlesex – 1 August 1807, in London) was an English stage actor, philologist and lexicographer.

Colney Hatch historic district in London, Britain

Colney Hatch is the historical name for a small district within the London Borough of Barnet in London, England. Colney Hatch refers to a loosely defined area centred on the northern end of Colney Hatch Lane (B550), which connects Friern Barnet with Muswell Hill, crossing the North Circular Road. The area is predominantly residential with a mixture of Victorian and Edwardian houses and much more recent development.

Middlesex historic county of England

Middlesex is a historic county in southeast England. Its area is now almost entirely within the wider urbanised area of London. Its area is now also mostly within the ceremonial county of Greater London, with small sections in other neighbouring ceremonial counties. It was established in the Anglo-Saxon system from the territory of the Middle Saxons, and existed as an official administrative unit until 1965. The county is bounded to the south by the River Thames, and includes the rivers Colne and Lea and a ridge of hills as the other boundaries. The largely low-lying county, dominated by clay in its north and alluvium on gravel in its south, is the second smallest by area of England's historic counties, after Rutland.

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital and largest city of England and the United Kingdom, with the largest municipal population in the European Union. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.



Early in life Walker became an actor, his theatrical engagements including one with David Garrick at Drury Lane, and a long season in Dublin, Ireland. In 1768 he left the stage.

David Garrick English actor, playwright, theatre manager and producer

David Garrick was an English actor, playwright, theatre manager and producer who influenced nearly all aspects of theatrical practice throughout the 18th century, and was a pupil and friend of Dr Samuel Johnson. He appeared in a number of amateur theatricals, and with his appearance in the title role of Shakespeare's Richard III, audiences and managers began to take notice.

Drury Lane street in Camden and Westminster in central London, England

Drury Lane is a street on the eastern boundary of the Covent Garden area of London, running between Aldwych and High Holborn. The northern part is in the borough of Camden and the southern part in the City of Westminster.

After running a school at Kensington, Walker began to teach elocution, and this became his principal employment for the rest of his life. He was the friend of the leading literary men of his time, including Samuel Johnson and Edmund Burke.

Kensington District within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in central London

Kensington is an affluent district in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in the West End of central London.

Elocution is the study of formal speaking in pronunciation, grammar, style, and tone.

Samuel Johnson English poet, biographer, essayist, and lexicographer

Samuel Johnson, often referred to as Dr. Johnson, was an English writer who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, playwright, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor, and lexicographer. He was a devout Anglican. Politically, he was a committed Tory. The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography describes Johnson as "arguably the most distinguished man of letters in English history". He is the subject of James Boswell's The Life of Samuel Johnson, described by Walter Jackson Bate as "the most famous single work of biographical art in the whole of literature".

Walker is buried in Old St Pancras Churchyard in London, just east of the small church, to the north side of Sir John Soane's distinctive monument. The grave was fully restored by Baroness Burdett Coutts in 1877.

St Pancras Old Church Church

St Pancras Old Church is a Church of England parish church in Somers Town, Central London. It is dedicated to the Roman martyr Saint Pancras, and is believed by many to be one of the oldest sites of Christian worship in England. The church is situated on Pancras Road in the London Borough of Camden, with the surrounding area and its international railway station taking its name. St Pancras Old Church, which was largely rebuilt in the Victorian era, should not be confused with St Pancras New Church (1819-1822) about 860 metres (940 yd) away, on Euston Road.


In 1775 Walker published his Rhyming Dictionary, which achieved a great success, and was often reprinted. His Critical Pronouncing Dictionary (1791) achieved an even greater reputation, and had some 40 editions.

Walker's Rhyming Dictionary was made by John Walker and released in 1775. It is an English reverse dictionary, meaning that it is sorted by reading words in reverse order. As spelling somewhat predicts pronunciation, this functions as a rhyming dictionary.


    Related Research Articles

    Leonard Rossiter actor

    Leonard Rossiter was an English actor. He had a long career in the theatre but achieved his greatest fame for his television comedy roles, most notably starring as Rupert Rigsby in the ITV series Rising Damp from 1974 to 1980, and Reginald Perrin in the BBC's The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin from 1976 to 1979.

    John Barnett British composer

    John Barnett was an English composer and writer on music.

    Charles Hawtrey (actor, born 1858) British actor and producer

    Sir Charles Henry Hawtrey was an English actor, director, producer and manager. He pursued a successful career as an actor-manager, specialising in debonair, often disreputable, parts in popular comedies. He occasionally played in Sheridan and other classics, but was generally associated with new works by writers including Oscar Wilde and Somerset Maugham.

    Thomas Lodge was an English physician and author during the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods.

    Robert Helpmann Australian dancer, actor, theatre director and choreographer

    Sir Robert Murray Helpmann, CBE was an Australian ballet dancer, actor, director and choreographer. After early work in Australia he moved to Britain in 1932, where he joined the Vic-Wells Ballet under its creator, Ninette de Valois. He became one of the company's leading men, partnering Alicia Markova and later Margot Fonteyn. When Frederick Ashton, the company's chief choreographer, was called up for military service in the Second World War Helpmann took over from him while continuing as a principal dancer.

    John Philip Kemble 18th/19th-century English actor-manager

    John Philip Kemble was an English actor. He was born into a theatrical family as the eldest son of Roger Kemble, actor-manager of a touring troupe. His elder sister Sarah Siddons achieved fame with him on the stage of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. His other siblings, Charles Kemble, Stephen Kemble, Ann Hatton, and Elizabeth Whitlock, also enjoyed success on the stage.

    Anne Oldfield British actress

    Anne Oldfield was an English actress. She was born in London, to Anne Gourlaw and William Oldfield, a soldier.

    Jack Buchanan Scottish actor, singer, director and producer

    Walter John "Jack" Buchanan was a Scottish theatre and film actor, singer, dancer, producer and director. He was known for three decades as the embodiment of the debonair man-about-town in the tradition of George Grossmith Jr., and was described by The Times as "the last of the knuts." He is best known in America for his role in the classic Hollywood musical The Band Wagon in 1953.

    Henry James Byron British writer and theatre manager

    Henry James Byron was a prolific English dramatist, as well as an editor, journalist, director, theatre manager, novelist and actor.

    Thomas William Robertson English dramatist and innovative stage director

    Thomas William Robertson, usually known professionally as T. W. Robertson, was an English dramatist and innovative stage director best known for a series of realistic or naturalistic plays produced in London in the 1860s that broke new ground and inspired playwrights such as W.S. Gilbert and George Bernard Shaw.

    Edward Shuter British actor

    Edward Shuter was an English actor.

    John Fawcett (actor) English actor and playwright (1768-1837)

    John Fawcett was an English actor and playwright.

    John Lawrence Toole English actor

    John Lawrence Toole was an English comic actor, actor-manager and theatrical producer. He was famous for his roles in farce and in serio-comic melodramas, in a career that spanned more than four decades, and the first actor to have a West End theatre named after him.

    Alexander Walker Scott Australian entomologist

    Alexander Walker Scott was an Australian entomologist mainly interested in butterflies.

    Fred Terry 19th/20th-century English actor

    Fred Terry was an English actor and theatrical manager. After establishing his reputation in London and in the provinces for a decade, he joined the company of Herbert Beerbohm Tree where he remained for four years, meeting his future wife, Julia Neilson. With Neilson, he played in London and on tour for 27 further years, becoming famous in sword and cape roles, such as the title role in The Scarlet Pimpernel.

    J. C. Williamson actor and theatre manager

    James Cassius Williamson was an American actor and later Australia's foremost theatrical manager, founding J. C. Williamson Ltd.

    Robertson Hare British actor

    John Robertson Hare, OBE was an English actor, who came to fame in the Aldwych farces. He is remembered by modern audiences for his performances as the Archdeacon in the popular BBC sitcom, All Gas and Gaiters.

    Actor Person who acts in a dramatic or comic production and works in film, television, theatre, or radio

    An actor is a person who portrays a character in a performance. The actor performs "in the flesh" in the traditional medium of the theatre or in modern media such as film, radio, and television. The analogous Greek term is ὑποκριτής (hupokritḗs), literally "one who answers". The actor's interpretation of their role—the art of acting—pertains to the role played, whether based on a real person or fictional character. Interpretation occurs even when the actor is "playing themselves", as in some forms of experimental performance art.

    Robert Loraine British stage actor, actor-manager and soldier

    Robert Bilcliffe Loraine was a successful London and Broadway British stage actor, actor-manager and soldier who later enjoyed a side career as a pioneer aviator. Born in New Brighton, Liscard, Cheshire, England, his father was Henry Loraine and mother Edith Kingsley(born Mary Ellen Bayliss) and Robert made his first stage appearance in the English provinces in 1889. He served in the Boer War (1899–1902). He introduced the George Bernard Shaw play Man and Superman to Broadway in 1905.

    Terry family theatrical dynasty of the late 19th century and beyond

    The Terry family was a theatrical dynasty of the late 19th century and beyond. The family includes not only those members with the surname Terry, but also Neilsons, Craigs and Gielguds, to whom the Terrys were linked by marriage or blood ties.


    The public domain consists of all the creative works to which no exclusive intellectual property rights apply. Those rights may have expired, been forfeited, expressly waived, or may be inapplicable.

    <i>Encyclopædia Britannica</i> Eleventh Edition 1910 Encyclopedia

    The Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition (1910–11), is a 29-volume reference work, an edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica. It was developed during the encyclopaedia's transition from a British to an American publication. Some of its articles were written by the best-known scholars of the time. This edition of the encyclopaedia, containing 40,000 entries, is now in the public domain, and many of its articles have been used as a basis for articles in Wikipedia. However, the outdated nature of some of its content makes its use as a source for modern scholarship problematic. Some articles have special value and interest to modern scholars as cultural artifacts of the 19th and early 20th centuries.