Thursday, 9 May 2013

OLD TEMPLARS - notable people who have lived in Temple Street 2

Mr Robert Dick 

Lived at 37 Temple Street c1910-13 

From the Sussex Daily News, 18 July, 1913



Those who have been familiar these many years with the arresting personality of Mr Robert Thomson Dick will find it hard to realise that he has passed beyond their ken.

For although his life had extended far beyond the allotted span, no one could ever think of him as an old man, so firm to the last was his hold upon those faculties which govern the intellect and the frame.

The end to a long and adventurous life came, however, in that manner which suggests but a general transition, at his Brighton residence, 37 Temple Street, at 1.30pm yesterday, at the ripe old age of 89 years, Mr Dick having been born on 16 November 1824 during the reign of George IV.

There are many people still living who can remember his coaching establishment at 80, Montpelier Road, when he was known as Dr. Dick.

Mr Dick as a young man

Among those who came to him at Brighton for special tuition were the Hon A.J.Balfour, the sons of the Rt.Hon W.E.Gladstone and Sir Courteney Warner, MP.

The deceased was very proud of being a Scotsman, his native place being a small village near Dunbar in East Lothian, and still more proud was he of his intimate association with Thackeray and Charles Dickens with whom he was a contemporary.

Many and interesting were the tales he could recount of evenings spent with these brilliant 18th Century (sic) luminaries at the old Evans Supper Rooms in London.

He was eventually engulfed in the political whirlpool, and under the regime of Lord Palmerston, became a Fenian in the pay of the Government. He was also at the command of the late Lord Beaconsfield, when Mr Disraeli, during the time when that statesman sought to prove that the disestablishment of the Church of Ireland had no connection with Fenianism.

The late Mr. Dick was a wonderful linguist, and was conversant with the manners and customs of every European people, for he had travelled Europe over

Deeply interesting among his recollections was the exciting adventure of being taken prisoner by brigands, for which outrage the British Government claimed and won him £3000. Out of this sum he paid Garibaldi £1,000, in return for which Garibaldi made him a Captain in his company.
Guiseppe Garibaldi, Italian general and politician

It was this very company that saved the great library of the Vatican, which Captain Dick himself defended, standing with others upon the steps of the building with a pistol in each hand, threatening with his fellows to shoot the first man who threw a torch.

Mr Dick in later life
Mr Dick has left the memoirs of his colourful life in the hands of his daughter, Mrs A.C.Greenwood, to whom the sympathy of many friends is extended today.

Mr Dick's death was front page news in 1913

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