Regency-Explorer-Quiz: Who is “Mr X”? is in search of “Mr. X” !

Here is a little quiz for all History Sleuths: Who is the historic person described below?  Read all about his appaerance, his characteristics and his life up to the year 1815.

Questions to answer:

Who is X?
Who is A?
Who is B?
What is the name of Y?
What is the name of Z?

Write your answers in the comment field below. There are glory and honour to gain – as well as the fun of solving a quiz.

Enjoy it!

Here is your challenge:

Name:       X
Birthday: xx. xx. 17xx / London.
Profession: writer

  • Figure: tall, straight and upright in carriage
  • Countenance: His steps are short and firm, his approach cheerful, almost dashing
  • Hair: black and straight, parted in the centre
  • Eyes: brown, brilliant, reflective, kind and gay, with a look of observant humor

  • Eyebrows: black
  • Mouth: large and hard, with a long upper lip
  • Chin: retreating
  • Specifics of speech: tends to make little inarticulate ejaculations
  • Specifics of health: shortsighted; often plays the invalid


  • As a schoolboy, he stammers and is shy. His poems are despised and ridiculed by his teachers. From being bullied at school, X has a deep-seated sense of injustice.
  • As a young man he becomes a literary lion-cub.
  • He has a gift for friendship, is flippant, informal and tends to the ludicrous.
  • X owns exuberant fantasy and extraordinary linguistic skills.
  • He likes Chaucer’s verse style, adapted to English, and loves Italian literature for its colour and imaginative sensual experience.
  • Not being good with money; friends often have to save him from ruin. He returns their favours by writing about them in his papers.
  • His lifelong habits are flirting and playing the invalid.
  • He does not like physical contests.

Family background:

He is the youngest son and the second youngest of 9 children. His parents had come to England from Philadelphia in the late 1770ies.

Personal Life:

He meets his future wife, Mary Anne, in 1801. They marry in 1809. Their first child, a son, is born in 1810, followed by a son in 1812 and a daughter in 1813.


1791 to 1799: Christ’s Hospital in London. X can’t go to university, as he suffers from a speech impediment (his stammering was later cured).

Professional career:

  • After schooling, X spends some time visiting his school-fellows, haunting the book-stalls and writing verses.
  • In 1801 his poems are published for the first time, thus introducing him into literary and theatrical society. He continues to write, e.g. a tragedy, a farce and a comedy.
  • From 1803, he starts working as a clerk in the law office of his brother, A.
  • In the same year, rumors about an invasion of England lead X to volunteer. Due to good connections, he becomes a clerk in the war office. The work as a clerk does not prevent him from his writing. He contributes theater critics and articles for several magazines.
  • In 1808, X quits the war office and joins a new project of his brother B, a printer. B founds the newspaper Y, which advocates abolition of the slave trade, catholic emancipation, and reform of parliament and the criminal law. X becomes the editor of Y.
  • From 1810–1811 he additionally edits a quarterly magazine, the Z.

In conflict with the law:

1812 an article attacking the Prince Regent results in prosecution of X and B. They are trialed in December and sentence of two years’ imprisonment. X is imprisoned at the Surrey County Gaol from 1813 to 1815. He continues writing for Y in prison and bears his imprisonment with stoicism, thus attracting general attention and sympathy. He is often visited by Lord Byron.


2 thoughts on “Regency-Explorer-Quiz: Who is “Mr X”?

  1. Nice quizz, I enjoyed it!
    Mr X is James Henry Leigh Hunt – a school fellow of Samuel Coleridge, by the way.
    A and B are Stephen Hunt and John Hunt.

    Y is the newspaper “Examiner”. “Z” is “The Reflector”.

    • Thanks, Pia, your answers are correct!

      I am pleased you enjoyed the quizz. I will do more quizzes, so drop by again.

      Source of information on Mr. Hunt:
      Anthony Holden: The Wit In The Dungeon: The Life of Leigh Hunt; Little, Brown, 2006.

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