City Readers Digital Historic Collections at the New York Society Library
John Walker (1732-1807)
John Walker (18 March 1732 in Colney Hatch, Middlesex – 1 August 1807 in London) was an English stage actor, philologist and lexicographer. Early in life he 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. After some experiences in conducting a school at Kensington he commenced to teach elocution, and in this found his principal employment for the rest of his life. In 1775 he published his Rhyming Dictionary, which achieved a great success and has been repeatedly reprinted, and in 1791 his Critical Pronouncing Dictionary, which achieved an even greater reputation, and has run into some forty editions. He was the friend of the leading literary men of his time, including Samuel Johnson and Edmund Burke.
He 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.