Edward Lovett

Profile

Edward Lovett (1852- 1933) lived in Croydon and during his life amassed a huge collection of objects mostly relating to his passion for folklore, charms, amulets and superstitions.

He worked for much of his life at the Bank of Scotland in the City of London, rising to the rank of Chief Cashier, but in his leisure time he took great pleasure in his collecting trips to the working-class areas of London. He acquired a wealth of material from sites such as herbalist shops, the barrows of costermongers and the city's dockyards, collecting from people neglected by most historians.

While a regular lecturer and author of numerous articles, Lovett was a rather marginal figure in folklore circles and never attained the same degree of influence as many of his peers. He was, however, well-known to many museum curators and fellow collectors, and corresponded closely with both Henry Wellcome and his curatorial staff. The fruits of this relationship were the exhibition The Folklore of London, curated by Lovett, and held in the Wellcome Historical Medical Museum in 1916.

He published a book, Magic in Modern London, in 1925. Although he was himself dismissive of the idea that amulets could work as effective magical objects, he did, poignantly, make his younger son an amulet to wear against the dangers of the front during World War I.