Horatio ('Horace') Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford
Person Male Born 1717 Died 1797
Writer and collector. Youngest son of Sir Robert Walpole. His gothic novel "The Castle of Otranto"' was published in 1764. But his passion was his gothic creation, his house at Strawberry Hill, which is open to the public and well worth a visit.
His parents separated before his birth and he was brought up in Arlington Street by his much loved mother. Weak and effeminate he became an MP and used politics as an easy way to fund his life of leisure. This involved friendships with many other young men with similar aesthetic interests. His relationship with Thomas Gray was particularly jealous and difficult. He never married but did invent the word 'serendipity'.