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37 and 39, LONDON ST., READING, 

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THIS memoir has been compiled at the request 
of Mrs. Liddell, and has had the advantage of her 
constant encouragement. 

Many friends of the late Dean have most kindly 
contributed to the volume their recollections of his 
life at various times and under different aspects. 
Their contributions have, as far as possible, been 
duly acknowledged. 

The compiler of the memoir may himself claim, 
without presumption, to write with an authority 
based upon adequate knowledge. It was his good 
fortune to be admitted to Westminster School by 
Mr. Liddell in 1851. For four years he was under 
him there, and rose to be a member of his Sixth 
Form. From 1858 to 1877 he was a resident 
student of Christ Church, and as undergraduate, 
Tutor, and Censor, was brought into very varied 
and often very intimate relations with the Dean. 
The friendship which he was thus privileged to 
enjoy extended over nearly half a century, and was 
only ended by the Dean's death. 


vi Preface 

The story of Dean Liddell's life, down to the year 
1834, has been largely drawn from his letters to his 
parents, and from a MS. autobiography which he 
wrote in his old age for the instruction of his 
children, but which unfortunately terminates at that 
early date. 

He was never a great letter- writer, and during 
his long residence at Oxford, where he was able 
to meet his chief friends in daily intercourse, his 
correspondence was not voluminous. There exist, 
however, a good many letters addressed to Robert 
Scott and H. Halford Vaughan, which have been 
courteously placed at the disposal of the writer, and 
from which quotations have been freely made. Sir 
Henry W. Acland, his oldest living friend, has 
contributed many charming reminiscences ; and from 
the letters written to him by Dr. Liddell, when both 
had retired from active life, some interesting selec- 
tions have been made. 

The arrangement of the narrative is designedly 
unmethodical, especially in that portion which deals 
with the long period of his life as Dean. It has 
bee'n thought best to mention subjects as they were 
naturally suggested, rather than to arrange events 
in a strict chronological sequence. 

The writer desires to express his cordial thanks 
to the many friends who have given advice and 
help, and especially to the Rev. T. Vere Bayne, 
his former colleague as Tutor and Censor, whose 
uninterrupted residence at Christ Church for more 
than fifty years has made him an almost final 

Preface \\\ 

authority on all matters connected with its history 
since 1848, and whose vigilant criticism has been 
most kindly and most usefully applied to the revision 
of the proof-sheets of a work in which he has taken 
a very warm interest from the beginning. 

Thanks are due to Mr. Ryman Hall for permission 
to reproduce the crayon portrait by Mr. George 
Richmond, R.A. 

April, 1899. 




THE LEXICON \ . . . .... . . 65 


DEANERY OF CHRIST CHURCH (1855-91) .... 134 

DEANERY OF CHRIST CHURCH (contintieef) . . . .166 

DEANERY OF CHRIST CHURCH (continued} .... 231 




INDEX "V 281 



GEORGE RICHMOND, R.A. . . Frontispiece 

G. F. WATTS, R.A. . . . .. To face p. 238 

H. HERKOMER, R.A ,,265 



CHRIST CHURCH CATHEDRAL IN 1813 . . . To face p. 149 

CHRIST CHURCH CATHEDRAL (1856-1870) . ,,154 



IN 1856 . . . . . ... 161 



Between pp. 194 and 195 









HENRY GEORGE LIDDELL was born on February 
6, 1811. He was the eldest child of the Rev. 
Henry George Liddell, whose elder brother, Sir 
Thomas Liddell of Ravensworth, was created Baron 
Ravensworth at the coronation of George IV. 
This peerage, advanced to an earldom in 1874, 
was a revival of a barony created in 1745, which 
became extinct in 1784. He was thus a member, 
on his father's side, of an ancient and honourable 
family of the county of Durham, and his mother, 
Charlotte Lyon, was fourth daughter of the Hon. 
Thomas Lyon, brother of the eighth Earl of 

He was born at Binchester, 'a good square 
stone house placed on an eminence facing the 
Bishop's Palace at Auckland, and distant from 


2 Childhood and Schooldays [CH. i 

that town about a mile.' It belonged then to 
the Lyon family, but was afterwards bought by 
Bishop Van Mildert and pulled down. Here Mr. 
Liddell and his wife lived, with his wife's brothers 
and sisters, serving his first curacy in the adjoin- 
ing parish of South church. He was soon promoted 
to the benefice of Redmarshall, near Stockton, and 
then to the Rectory of Boldon, a village on the 
high road between Newcastle-on-Tyne and Sunder- 
land. Boldon was thus the home of the family 
during the childhood and boyhood of the future 
Dean. He describes himself as a studious boy, 
fond of the children's books of the day, such as 
Mrs. Sherwood's and Miss Edgeworth's tales, Sand- 
ford and Merton, Robinson Crusoe, and the Swiss 
Family Robinson. 

' On my sixth birthday I was promised a great 
honour and reward. My father took me up into 
his study and inducted me into the mysteries of 
the Eton Latin Grammar. I remember the day, 
the place, and the fact as clearly as if it were 
yesterday. I continued to make pretty good pro- 
gress under his kind teaching; but I fear that as 
I went on from day to day I did not regard the 
honour so great as I did on the first day.' 

At the early age of eight, as was usual in 
those days, came the first great sorrow and separa- 
tion in his life his transference from the bright 
country home to the rough discipline of a private 
school. He was sent with his younger brother 
Thomas, who was but seven years old, to Bishop- 

CH. i] Private School 3 

ton Grove, a house standing a little distance from 
the road leading from Ripon to Studley Royal. 
The school was kept by a Mr. Weidemann, a 
choleric man and an indifferent teacher. 

' In the course of a long life, I have not es- 
caped several sharp and severe sorrows, though 
I have to thank God for blessings far exceeding 
the sufferings. But I do not think that any sorrow 
of youth or manhood equalled in intensity and 
duration the blank and hopeless misery which 
followed the wrench of transference from a happy 
home to a school such as that which received 
us in the summer of 1819. I remember, as if it 
was yesterday, the sinking of heart, the sense of 
desolation, the utter despair, the wish that I could 
die on the spot, when my kind and loving father 
parted with us in the Master's study, and passing 
out of the green gate of the little garden in front 
of the house, disappeared from sight. His heart, 
as he told me afterwards, was as heavy as ours. 
But we did not then know this.' 

It was a rough place, with little kindness, un- 
intelligent teaching, the frequent use of the cane, 
and the inevitable bullying. 

'We little boys were made to sit at the long 
desks with our hands over our eyes ; and certain 
big fellows, having needles fixed in little balls of 
sealing-wax, blew these missiles through pea- 
shooters, so as to pin our ears to our heads.' 

In September 1823, at the age of twelve, Liddell 
was entered at Charterhouse School, where he 

B 2 

4 Childhood and Schooldays [CH. i 

remained till 1829. The long journey from Boldon 
occupied four days. His description of the school 
as it then was is worth recording, for at that 
time, under the famous Headmaster Dr. Russell, 
it occupied a leading position among English 
Public Schools, and in numbers nearly equalled 
Eton. On the night after his arrival in London, 
his cousin, Robert Liddell, afterwards the well- 
known Vicar of St. Paul's, Knightsbridge, took 
him to Mr. Watkinson's house in Charterhouse 

' Here I was turned into the ' Long Room/ 
a low, dark, dirty apartment, measuring (I should 
think) about 70 feet by 15, with an excrescence 
at the upper end, added to accommodate in- 
creasing numbers of boys. Here we breakfasted, 
dined, and supped; and this was our only sitting- 
room. The upper boys had cupboards between 
the windows, and a sort of table-desk in front of 
each cupboard, so that the doors of the cupboards 
being open they formed a sort of screen, and 
enabled them to read and write in comparative 
privacy. The lower boys sat on benches placed 
along the dining tables, and while the upper boys 
were at work were compelled, on pain of prompt 
punishment, to keep absolute silence. The upper 
fire was reserved for the upper boys. At the 
lower end was another fire, to which the lower 
boys were allowed to go ; but the little fellows 
did not see much of it. Each boy had a small 
locker of two shelves, in which he kept his books 
and whatever else he chose. . . . The only place 
we had to wash in was a narrow room, with 

CH. i] At Charterhouse 5 

leaden troughs on either side, and cocks to supply 
water, which was caught in small leaden or pewter 
basins. Unless we found our own towels, we had 
nothing wherewith to dry ourselves but a long 
roller-towel behind the door. Considering that 
London was not much cleaner than it is to-day, 
it must not be wondered at if we boys, especially 
the little ones, were not remarkable for cleanli- 
ness. On Saturday and Sunday, however, when we 
went out to visit friends, we managed to make our- 
selves tolerably smart. I really wonder how this was 
achieved ; the circumstances were not favourable. 

' The bedrooms were small and crowded. In 
the room in which I was placed there were five 
beds, with not much space round them. Next 

me was a fellow named , who became the 

plague of my life. He delighted in teasing and 
vexing me in every way he could. One morning 
I woke and found my hair sticking to the pillow. 
Getting it loose, I found the whole pillow soaked 
with blood, and there was a boot (of the kind 
in those days called Bluchers) lying near my head. 

It turned out that I had been snoring, and had 

thrown his boot at me and hit me on the nose. 
However, it could not have been much of a blow, 
as it failed to wake me. I suppose it stopped 
my snoring. 

' I do not retain so vivid a recollection of my 
early days at Charterhouse as of Bishopton. I 
only know I detested both. One of my letters 
preserved by my dear father is, after three years' 
experience, dated " Beastly Charterhouse." 

' Dr. Russell was a revolutionary schoolmaster. 
He introduced what was called the " Bell and 

6 Childhood and Schooldays [CH. i 

Lancaster system " into the school ; that is, the 
lessons were taught in the lower Forms by boys, 
and heard by the Masters. In order to rise from 
one Form to another, except in the lowest and the 
highest Forms, a boy had to serve as Praepositus 
or teacher of a Form for, I think, six weeks ; 
and, as I have said, the Master came round and 
heard the lesson as it had been prepared under 
the direction of the boy-teacher, who was also 
responsible for the order and good conduct of the 
Form during school-hours. It was a system devised 
to save expense in Masters, and no doubt it was 
not without advantage to the teaching boys, though 
the benefit received by the taught was doubtful. 
But to a boy who was not physically strong, the 
office was a sore burthen ; and to those who were 
not mentally strong, it was a waste of time both to 
themselves and to their Form. I served as Prae- 
positus, I think, three times, and hated it extremely. 
One of the Masters, Andrew Irvine, a Scotsman 
(afterwards incumbent of a parish in Leicester, 
I think, and a notable preacher), used to go about 
the school roaring at the luckless Praepositi. 
" Liddell," I remember him shouting to me, " you're 
as saft as butter ! " . . . Every half-hour the Form 
was required to stand up, for change of posture, 
for a quarter of an hour (I think these were the 
appointed times). Old Watkinson Watkey, we 
called him came by and said, " Liddell, why is 
not your Form standing ? " "I beg pardon, Sir," I 
said, " I did not observe the time." " You, Sir," 
he shouted, "you not know the time ! You, who 
make more show with your watch than any boy 
in the school ! " This was in allusion to a crimson 

CH. i] Dr. Russell's Teaching 7 

silk watch-guard, which passed round my neck, 
and after meandering over my waistcoat was 
attached to the watch in the pocket. Rough 
treatment of this sort was not calculated to en- 
courage shy or timid boys. 

' When we got into the upper school, consist- 
ing of the two head Forms, one was delivered 
from this servitude of teaching. But Russell's 
tongue (he heard the lessons of these Forms himself) 
was not always under control. Many of us had 
a rough time of it even there. Once, I remember 
(I know not on what occasion), he told me " I was 
as lazy as I was long, and should bring down my 
father's grey hairs with sorrow to the grave." 
I was no doubt somewhat listless, having out- 
grown my strength, but I hardly deserved this 
reproach. It certainly did me no good. ... It was 
long before I shook this listlessness off, if indeed 
I have ever done so. Canning used to apply to 
me the words in Tennyson's Miller s Daughter, 

"To be the long and listless boy, 
Late-left an orphan of the Squire," 

though the last line certainly was inapplicable. 

' One of Dr. Russell's rules was to constitute 
a Form between the Sixth and Fifth (or, as he would 
say, the First and Second), which he called the 
Emeriti, i. e. those who had served their time in 
lower Forms, and were entitled to be placed in 
the Sixth as vacancies occurred. Before joining 
the Emeriti, we were obliged to learn all the Odes 
and Epodes of Horace by heart, and to be able 
without book to translate them and answer all 
questions grammatical, geographical, and historical. 
I achieved this task, but with much labour ; for 

8 Childhood and Schooldays [CH. i 

I never had that facility which many others have 
of retaining in memory the actual words of poets 
or others. However, I succeeded at last in satisfy- 
ing the Doctor. Then came a time of blissful 
ease and indolence. The Emeriti were supposed 
to learn the same lessons as the Sixth. They 
were, however, seldom called on to exhibit their 
knowledge, but were expected to sit in rapt atten- 
tion, drinking in the wisdom displayed by the head 
Form, corrected as it was and amplified by the 
Master's turgid style. It needed, one would have 
thought, no great knowledge of boy-nature to 
predict the consequences. We did not trouble 
ourselves to prepare the lesson ; and when, on 
very rare occasions, we were called on to produce 
what we had learnt, or were supposed to have 
learnt, great was the consternation, grievous the 
display of ignorance, and vehement the wrath of 
the Doctor. 

' Before I rose to a place in this curious Form, 
it was my lot to sit next W. Makepeace Thackeray. 
He never attempted to learn the lesson, never 
exerted himself to grapple with the Horace. We 
spent our time mostly in drawing, with such skill 
as we could command. His handiwork was very 
superior to mine, and his taste for comic scenes 
at that time exhibited itself in burlesque repre- 
sentations of incidents in Shakespeare. I remember 
one Macbeth as a butcher brandishing two blood- 
reeking knives, and Lady Macbeth as the butcher's 
wife clapping him on the shoulder to encourage 
him. Thackeray went to Cambridge, and I never 
met him after we left school till I went to 
Westminster as Headmaster in 1846. After 

CH. i] Religious Teaching 9 

that he often used to join Mrs. Liddell and myself 
when riding in Rotten Row. On one occasion 
he turned to her and said : " Your husband ruined 
all my prospects in life; he did all my Latin 
verses for me, and I lost all opportunities of 
self-improvement." It is needless to add that this 
was a pure fiction I had trouble enough to do 
my own verses. At this time Vanity Fair was 
coming out in monthly parts in its well-known 
yellow paper covers. He used to talk about 
it, and what he should do with the persons. 
Mrs. Liddell one day said, " Oh, Mr. Thackeray, 
you must let Dobbin marry Amelia." " Well," he 
replied, " he shall ; and when he has got her, he 
will not find her worth having." . . . 

' As to religious instruction, we were not better 
off than boys in most of the schools of those 
days. On Sundays, an hour before church, we 
were assembled in the great schoolroom, and were 
called on to read parts of the Bible, each boy in 
his turn taking a single verse. The Doctor was 
very particular in requiring due emphasis to be 
laid on words and phrases, chiefly (I remember) 
by means of a pause before and after the word 
or phrase to be emphasized. Woe betide him 
who failed to read distinctly and make the proper 
pauses. The Doctor roared at him, just as in 
a lesson from Euripides or Cicero. I remember 
I used to count the verses and the boys above 
me, to see which verse would fall to my lot, and 
carefully studied how to read it with due attention 
to the prescribed rules. Generally, I succeeded 
pretty well. Sometimes, however, a boy read so 
badly that the next to him had to read the verse 


io Childhood and Schooldays [CH. i 

again. This put my calculation out, and I learnt 
as a precaution to study one or two verses pre- 
ceding that which would properly come to me. It 
was not a bad lesson in reading, but had not 
much of religion in it. ... 

' When I was about fifteen years of age, I was 
confirmed with others by Bishop Blomfield. His 
charge to us boys was most impressive. I re- 
member well the effect it had on myself, and the 
earnestness with which I prayed for help, and 
the good resolutions I formed. Many of these 
impressions were blurred and destroyed in the 
course of ordinary school life, but some re- 
mained and exerted an influence over all my days. 
Charterhouse, indeed, at that time, in common 
with most other schools, was not a place to foster 
religious impressions or to bring out the best part 
of a boy's nature. I believe I passed through the 
ordeal with less scathe than many others. I am 
sure that my aspirations rose to a higher level 
than they attained at the wretched Yorkshire 
school, from which I passed to the great London 
school. Thank God, these things are better 
now. . . . 

' In July or August, 1829, I left Charterhouse. 
Never did pilgrim departing from an inhospitable 
mansion shake the dust from off his feet with 
more hearty satisfaction than I did on quitting the 
noble foundation of old Thomas Sutton. It grieves 
me now, when I see how differently boys regard 
their old schools, to think how cordially I hated 
both my own places of education. I do not think 
it was entirely my own fault. What I have written 
above may in some degree justify my feelings. 

CH. i] End of School Life 1 1 

But I was too happy at home to have loved any 

' I left Charterhouse a fair grammar scholar, but 
with very little classical reading. Russell's teaching 
did not favour extensive acquirement. Four or 
five Greek plays, with Person's notes, two or three 
books of the Iliad, a little Pindar, Cicero's Offices 
and some of his Orations, with some few additions, 
constituted the bulk of what we read in school. 
But we learnt by heart all the Odes and Epodes of 
Horace (as I have before said), and the Georgics of 
Virgil, for which I am, and have been, always grate- 
ful. We also read most of the Satires and Epistles. 
But Greek Prose was almost untrodden ground. 
Herodotus and Thucydides were known only by 
name. I do not recollect having read any Greek 
Prose, except Plato's Apology. On the other hand, 
I devoured a large quantity of English Literature ; 
and having at that time a tolerably retentive 
memory, I amassed a good deal of general infor- 

The few letters which help to illustrate this 
period of Liddell's life are mostly written to his 
father, his constant correspondent. He left 
Charterhouse a tall thin lad, having somewhat 
overgrown his strength. He had, as he describes, 
been well trained there in Greek and Latin, 
although within a narrow range of authors, and 
had read a good deal of general literature. Of 
Mathematics he was as ignorant as the average 
schoolboy ; but the instruction of his father's 
Curate soon made up the deficiency, and when 

c 2 

12 Childhood and Schooldays 

he began residence at Oxford he had already 
gained some acquaintance with Differential Calculus 
and Analytical Geometry. 

It was delightful beyond measure to exchange 
smoky London for the country home in the north. 
That home was indeed no longer at Boldon, his 
father having recently accepted the living of 
Whickham, a village two miles from Ravensworth. 
It may seem strange that school life had no 
pleasing memories for him ; but he was of 
a somewhat shy and reserved disposition, of 
studious habits and tastes, not ready to make 
many friends, and with his dearest thoughts and 
affections centred in his home. And a home so 
far distant from London had not been easily 
accessible. The journey by coach occupied a long 
while and cost several pounds. It was therefore 
usual for Liddell to spend the shorter holidays, 
at Christmas and Whitsuntide, with his aunts at 
Bath, or at Shotesham Rectory in Norfolk with 
his aunt, Mrs. J. Fellowes. No wonder then that 
home visits were exceptionally dear, and that the 
prospect of spending nearly a year with his family, 
in the interval between school and college, was 
eagerly welcomed. 



SHORTLY before leaving Charterhouse in the 
summer of 1829, Liddell went to Oxford, in order 
that he might be entered on the books of Christ 
Church. He was matriculated on May 9. The 
Dean at that time was Dr. Samuel Smith, who 
two years later exchanged the Deanery with Dr. 
Gaisford for the Golden stall at Durham. The 
Senior Censor was Thomas Vowler Short, after- 
wards Bishop of St. Asaph. 

The matriculation completed, Liddell returned 
to Charterhouse, and when the summer holidays 
came, he travelled home, and waited there for 
a summons into residence at the University. This 
never came, and after Easter, 1830, it was thought 
expedient to send him up to Oxford. He was 
unable at first to secure rooms in college, and for 
a fortnight lived at the Mitre Hotel, attending 
Chapel, Lectures, and Hall dinner. He ultimately 
was assigned small rooms in the now demolished 
Chaplains' Quadrangle. 

14 Life at Christ Church [CH. n 

' So began my life at Christ Church. I felt very 
solitary. Not a single man in college did I know, 
except Andrew Dunlop, an old Carthusian. When 
there was a knock at the door, I looked longingly 
for the person entering, hoping that some one had 
taken compassion upon me. I was very shy, and 
it was a kind of penance to go into Chapel or Hall 
under the eyes of the old stagers . . . and I got into 
the habit of going in early that I might avoid the 
supposed inquisition of strange eyes. In Lecture 
I felt more at ease. My Tutor, Robert Biscoe, soon 
discovered that I took pains in preparing my work, 
and used to appeal to me to correct the errors or 
ignorances of some of the other men. ... In Lecture 
I was now first introduced to the intricacies of 
Thucydides, and was fain to have recourse to 
Hobbes' translation, which however was nearly as 
difficult as the Greek. It was the first time in my 
life that I had ever used a " Crib," and I do not 
remember that I ever indulged in another such 
assistance till I had to grapple with the Rhetoric 
and Ethics of Aristotle. 

* I returned to Christ Church, of course, after the 
Long Vacation. Soon after we met, my Tutor 
intimated to me that there was to be an Election 
to Bishop Fell's Exhibitions, and that I was to be 
a candidate. One of the conditions for election 
was one year's previous residence. Now I had 
only resided for the two short Summer Terms, and 
a few days of the Michaelmas Term. How this 
difficulty was got over, I know not. But I was 
admitted as a candidate, and was duly elected, to 
the great joy of myself and my parents. I remember 
I went down on my knees and thanked God that 

CH. n] Nominated to Studentship 15 

I had been enabled to relieve my father of some 
portion of the expense of my education, though, as 
I remarked in my letter announcing the fact, ".40 
a year is poor interest for all the money you have 
spent on me." 

'On December 15 of the same year I wrote: " My 
dear father and mother : Never did I take up my pen 
with more pleasure than I do now to tell you that 
I have this day received intimation from the Dean 
that I am to be a Student. After Collections he 
called me up and said that Dr. Dowdeswell [a non- 
resident Canon] had most kindly allowed him to 
nominate a Student for him ; and that he was most 
glad that he had an opportunity of showing his 
entire satisfaction with my conduct since I had 
become a member of Christ Church." To explain 
this, I may notice that in those days the Dean and 
Canons in rotation nominated young men to Student- 
ships. In many cases these nominations were mere 
matters of favour, and were bestowed on the sons 
of Canons, or some other of their relations and 
friends, without regard to merit. But the Dean 
and some of the Canons had begun of late to 
nominate Commoners of the House on the recom- 
mendation of the Censors and Tutors, and to such a 
recommendation my appointment was due. Robert 
Scott, Fellow and then Master of Balliol, was one of 
the batch of Students appointed at the same time ; 
and he also was recommended for merit : the rest 
all, I believe, owed their nomination to favour and 
interest. Mr. Gladstone had been appointed two 
years before, just before he took his degree better 
late than never. 

' After I became Student I .had not to complain of 

1 6 Life at Christ Church [CH. n 

solitariness. Our Mess in Hall was a pleasant one, 
and I had to resist, rather than seek, invitations. . . . 
I was elected to the Union Debating Society, and 
heard Gladstone make his last speech there, against 
the Reform Bill. He struck me as equally fluent 
and able as a speaker as in future times. Of course 
his knowledge was more limited and his experience 
less ; but in copiousness of language, ease in delivery, 
and lucidity of arrangement there was nothing to 

'In the summer of 1831, the old Dean, Samuel 
Smith, exchanged his Deanery for a Prebendal Stall 
at Durham, with Thomas Gaisford, Professor of 
Greek at Oxford ; and on our return in October 
we found the new Dean in possession. The ex- 
change was, I believe, effected by Bishop van Mildert 
of Durham, whose niece (Miss Douglas) Gaisford 
had married. I do not remember that the change 
of rulers was much felt, and I find no notice of the 
matter in my letters. 

' In January 1832, I reached Oxford a day late, 
and was hauled up before old Gaisford on Monday 
morning, though in very good company, there being 
about forty others in the same scrape with myself. . . . 
When I began to apologize and excuse myself for 
not having been back in time, my set oration was 
cut short by Daniel Veysie, the Censor, who ex- 
claimed : " Well, Mr. Dean, perhaps you will not 
notice Mr. Liddell's absence this time, as I believe 
it is the first time he has ever missed being back 
in time." Of course I was a man of too much 
politeness to contradict the reverend gentleman's 
assertion ; but the real fact is, I never was back 
to the day from the time I became a resident 

O w < 

s l 


9 o 





Q .- 

s * 

CH. ii] The 'Ten Tribes' 17 

member of Christ Church. This is a sad con- 
fession. I hope it will not come to the ears of 
Christ Church undergraduates.' 

In 1832 Liddell became one of the original 
members of a club which, from its consisting of 
ten members, and meeting at the house of Tribe 
the tailor, opposite Tom gate, was called the ' Ten 
Tribes ' ; to which was added ' and little Benjamin 
their ruler,' Benjamin Harrison being the President. 
Of the ten original members, five were Bachelors of 
Arts and five undergraduates. The list, as given 
by Liddell, is worthy of record. The five Bachelors 
were Charles Wordsworth (afterwards Bishop of 
St. Andrews), Walter Kerr Hamilton (afterwards 
Bishop of Salisbury), and Benjamin Harrison (after- 
wards Archdeacon of Maidstone) these three had 
taken first classes in Classics ; the remaining two 
were Henry Denison (afterwards Fellow of All 
Souls), who had taken a Double First, and Henry 
Anthony Jeffreys, a First-class man in Mathematics 
(afterwards Vicar of Hawkhurst). Jeffreys outlived 
all the rest, and died a few months after the Dean. 

Of the undergraduate members, all were subse- 
quently distinguished. They were Francis H . Doyle, 
afterwards Sir Francis (Fellow of All Souls and 
Professor of Poetry) ; Stephen Denison (Scholar 
of Balliol and Fellow of University College) ; Henry 
Halford Vaughan (Fellow of Oriel and Regius Pro- 
fessor of Modern History) ; James Ramsay (after- 
wards Marquess of Dalhousie and Governor-General 
of India) ; and Liddell himself. All were members 


1 8 Life at Christ Church [CH. n 

of Christ Church, except Stephen Denison. The 
club met of an evening after Hall dinner, for wine 
and talk, but so moderate were their habits that 
the ten members consumed, in four nights, less than 
four bottles of wine. 

The life of an undergraduate of studious tastes, 
busily engaged in reading for honours, was not likely 
to be full of incident. Liddell enjoyed the com- 
panionship of a few chosen friends, among whom 
were Canning, the future Governor-General, and 
Lord Lincoln, afterwards Duke of Newcastle, in 
addition to those already mentioned. Fifteen months 
before the time of examination he had read through 
all his prescribed books, and had every reason to 
look forward hopefully to the result. 

' But,' he writes, ' I fear there will be a good deal 
to do yet. For though I have, it seems, gone through 
all the regular books, yet there remains behind 
a world of volumes explanatory and illustrative of 
them, which it would be highly advantageous, if not 
absolutely necessary, to know. However, it is satis- 
factory to know that the line of road is cut, and that 
now there is nothing to do but to lay down the stones 
and get them well beaten in.' 

He determined to forgo the delights of a visit to 
his home in the Long Vacation, and was anxious 
to be allowed to remain at Oxford, if only the Dean 
would grant permission. He urged his father to 
state his case to the Bishop of Durham, and get him 
to intercede with the ' Old Bear/ as he called the 
Dean. But Gaisford was obdurate. The difficulty, 

CH. n] Reading for Honours 19 

however, was met by a kind invitation from Augustus 
Page Saunders, who up to that time had been 
Mathematical Tutor at Christ Church, and was now 
just elected to the Headmastership of Charterhouse. 
Saunders held the Curacy of Cuddesdon, a living 
then attached to the See of Oxford, and he invited 
Liddell to spend the summer months with him there, 
together with three other Christ Church men, Bruce 
(afterwards Lord Elgin), Lincoln, and Canning. On 
the departure of Saunders for his school work in 
September, George Anthony Denison took his place 
as Curate, and the invitation was extended to the 
close of the Long Vacation. It was a happy and 
profitable time. 

' We keep very steady to our reading, average 
nine hours per diem, cricket and bathing in the 
intervals. I am improving immensely in water 
transactions, take running headers, jump over vast 
bushes into the water, &c. ; and at cricket dare look 
at the ball without shutting mine eyes. We had 
a match with the " clods " the other day, in which 
I played, and to my own and other people's astonish- 
ment smote the ball with most wonderful " vis," and 
added some dozen to the score.' 

Denison was a delightful host. Many years after- 
wards Liddell writes of him : 

1 In those days he was, I might say, a radical 
reformer, and took in the Westminster Review. 
I remember the glee with which he sketched 
a picture of himself being sent down as a Commis- 
sioner to inquire into the state of the University 

D 2 

2O Life at Christ Church [CH. n 

of Oxford, summoning Dean Gaisford to appear 
before him. " Take a seat, Sir," he would affably 
say, "and attend to the questions I am about to 
ask." Quantum mutatus ! ' 

At Christmas, 1832, Liddell allowed himself a short 
holiday at home, partly perhaps that he might see 
his father's new abode at Easington, a parish* situated 
about two miles from the sea, on the high road 
between Sunderland and Stockton, in a bleak posi- 
tion, its church serving as a landmark to seamen. 
This was his father's home till he gave up clerical 

With the year 1833 the Final Examination was 
drawing perilously near. The beginning of June 
was the fatal time. In January of that year he 
writes : 

' Reading is not going on as well as I could wish. 
Thank God I am perfectly well, and shall have no 
excuse to offer on the ground of health. Canning 
is going on pretty well too. He comes to breakfast 
with me every morning before Chapel, which is 
a wonderful effort of voluntary exertion on the part 
of two men who, I believe, love their beds as sincerely 
as any of God's creatures, except perhaps that abso- 
lute dormouse, my brother Charlie/ 

It is interesting to note that, as a recreation in 
the intervals of hard work, Canning, Vaughan, and 
Liddell used to read together the early poems of 
Tennyson. In a letter addressed to the present 
Lord Tennyson in October, 1897, Liddell writes: 

' I have been reading, as many more are doing, 

CH. n] Doiible First Class 21 

your memoir of your father with intense interest. 
Will you allow me a word or two ? In vol. i. p. 206 
Dean Bradley seems to claim the merit of being the 
first to introduce your father's poems into Oxford. 
This claim appears to refer to 1842. I must, for 
the honour of a few Oxford men, be allowed to put 
in an earlier claim. In June 1833, three Christ 
Church men took their degree. They were reading 
hard, and met every evening for an hour for tea and 
recreation. The recreation consisted in reading aloud 
the poems published in 1830 and 1833. I have 
the two thin volumes before me, and looking them 
over remember our especial delight in Mariana, 
The Arabian Nights, Oriana, The Lady of Shalott, 
The May Queen, &c., but especially in The Lotos 
Eaters! [The three young men's names are then 
given.] ' Nor were we the only Oxford men who 
were thus early devoted to your father's works. 
I may mention Doyle, afterwards Sir Francis, who 
said to me after the appearance of the Idylls, "If 
Milton could read Guinevere it would make him pale 
with jealousy"/ 

The result of the examination satisfied Liddell's 
most sanguine hopes. He gained a Double First 
Class. On June 15 he wrote to his father : 

' I have to announce my final success, for which 
most devoutly do I thank Heaven, and under that 
your kindness and care of me in so providing for 
my well-being now and of old.' 

It was a brilliant Class List, containing, besides 
Liddell, four other Christ Church men, Canning, 
W. E. Jelf, R. Scott, and H. H. Vaughan ; Jackson 

22 Life at Christ Church [CH. n 

of Pembroke, afterwards Bishop of London, and 
R. Lowe of University, afterwards Viscount Sher- 
brooke. Liddell was the only Christ Church man 
who achieved the distinction of a Double First 
Class, his great friend Canning being in the Second 
Class in Mathematics. 

' I was anxious to start at once for Easington, 
knowing well the real pleasure I should communicate 
to my parents and the delight I should myself enjoy. 
But Saunders was very anxious to parade a Double 
First Charterhouse man to his boys, in hopes of 
exciting them to do likewise. I at once consented, 
being, as I said, " bound to do all in my power " to 
assist him, after all that he had done for me. 
Accordingly I went, asked for a holiday for the 
school, and dined with the masters in Brook Hall. 
My health was proposed, and I had to return thanks. 
It was the first speech I ever made, and I should 
not have been sorry if it had been the last. Oratory 
was not, is not, my forte/ 

Then came the well-earned rest of the Long 
Vacation ; a time spent partly at Easington, and 
partly in Scotland in company with his cousin, the 
Hon. Henry T. Liddell, afterwards first Earl of 
Ravensworth. Edinburgh, a city which he had not 
seen since he was twelve years old, won his un- 
stinted admiration. 

* I am now/ he writes, ' in the queen of cities, the 
modern Athens, the most beauteous of the beautiful ; 
the but words fail me when I attempt to express 
the extreme admiration I feel for all around me. 

CH. ii] V aca ti on i n Scotland 23 

It is in sooth a glorious place. I could spend hours 
in gazing on the magnificent views which present 
themselves at every turn. . . . Whether I go to Rome 
or Naples or Athens or Constantinople, never shall 
I see a city so noble as is this.' 

From Edinburgh they went to Invercauld, and 
thence to Blair Athol, where they were hospitably 
received by Lady Glenlyon, mother of the young 
Duke of Athol. Here Liddell killed his first stag. 

' One incident I must record,' he writes to his 
father, ' inasmuch as therein is contained a triumph 
little inferior to those which I once had the pleasure 
of conveying to you by letter from Oxford. With 
my own hand, and the gun of the Hon. H. T. Liddell, 
of Eslington House, did I slaughter a noble hart. 
His horns are not remarkable, but I am resolved 
to perpetuate the memory of so great a triumph by 
carrying off his head, the which I shall hope to show 
you. The deer shooting here is much harder work 
than at Invercauld; for the deer are so numerous, 
and congregate in herds so large, that it is impossible 
to stalk them quietly and calmly; they are generally 
found below you, under the summit of a very steep 
hill ; then you run full tilt down upon them, among 
stones huge and rough and loose, till you arrive at 
a ledge over which you look, and behold the most 
magnificent sight in the world, a hugeous herd of 
red-deer, who, the moment you come in sight, look 
up, give a snuff, and off they gallop. It is not much 
in favour of shooting that you have had this run, 
for it cannot be expected that your head and eye 
can be very steady after such a feat, for the run is 
sometimes, in the case of novices, about a mile. 

24 Life at Christ Church [CH. n 

The old hands run nearly all day. My deer was 
achieved after a run of about a quarter of a mile, 
and I fired off my arm without a rest. . . . The sport 
is grand. Nothing I ever saw equal to it V 

In October 1833, Liddell returned to Oxford. His 
future was now assured. More than three years 
before his tutor, Robert Biscoe, had sounded him as 
to his intentions of staying up and becoming a tutor, 
and he had answered that, though he had not even 
dared to hope for a studentship, and had never 
considered any consequences of such an event, he 
had not the slightest objection to embracing such 
a career. Now, after his brilliant success in the 
Schools, a tutorship would as a matter of course be 
offered him in due time ; in the meanwhile there 
was a delightful interval, to be spent in equipping 
himself more completely for his future work. The 
Dean gave him kind counsel. 

'He recommends me to recover all my French 
and proceed with German, accompanying this advice 
with a recommendation to pursue my classical 
studies, to verse myself in Divinity, and not 
neglect my scientific pursuits. He added that 
what leisure time I had would be fully occupied 
by keeping pace with the reading of the day, with- 
out which no gentleman can go into society.' 

Some time later the Dean took advantage of 
Liddell's German knowledge by asking him to trans- 

1 It should be mentioned that this method of stalking in Athol 
Forest, now obsolete, is described in Scrope's Deerstalking, published 
in 1839. 

CH. n] Return to Oxford 25 

late for his use Godfrey Hermann's Review of 
Gottling's Hesiod. Gaisford himself had never learnt 
German. He is said indeed to have visited the 
continent only once, when he made an expedition to 
Leyden to consult some MSS. Here he became 
acquainted with sundry Professors ; and it happened 
on one occasion that one of these learned men made 
a slip in some metrical rule. Gaisford interposed, 
and poured forth (in Latin) a flood of learning 
from Hephaestion and other Greek authors on 
metres. The Dutch Professor held up his hands 
and exclaimed : ' O vir magnae profecto sapientiae, 
si tarn in rebus quam in verbis incaluisses /' 

There is no period of academic life more profit- 
able and agreeable than the time immediately 
succeeding the struggle of the Honour Schools. 
The drudgery of work is over ; one's own tastes 
may be pursued without misgivings; the methods 
of study acquired by the discipline of the Schools 
may now be applied on an extended scale ; the 
mind has been enriched, and strengthened for 
further efforts. Moreover, Liddell had good friends 
among his brother students to foster his intel- 
lectual growth : among them H. A. Jeffreys, 
a brilliant mathematician and a man of singular 
beauty of character, ' rS>v ^ety iS^v longe optimus,' 
as Liddell described him some years afterwards, and 
Robert Scott, one of the most fastidious scholars of 
his time. Scott and Liddell had been appointed by 
the Dean to the post of Sub-Librarian, and had thus 
constant access to the splendid collection of books, 


26 Life at Christ Church [CH. n 

pictures, and engravings contained in the College 
Library. In making the appointment Gaisford ad- 
vised Liddell to make himself well acquainted with 
the contents of the Library, referring with much 
gusto to the motto he had seen over Bishop Cosin's 
Library at Durham : Nosse bonos libros non minima 
pars est bonae eruditionis. This phrase Liddell used 
in after-days to quote when himself appointing 
young students to the same honourable post. He 
also spent some time with private pupils ; among 
them was Viscount Leveson, afterwards Earl Gran- 
ville. He describes him as 

' A very nice fellow, a great friend of Canning's, 
though, I fear, inexorably idle. But he has to 
work for his bread, and I hope he may reform. 
He is to be, if possible, a Diplomatist. When 
he came up to Christ Church, Canning said to 
him, " Leveson, your mind is like a garden that 
has been left without cultivation, and the only 
wonder is there are so few weeds in it." At that 
time he had such an objection to work that I 
used (with his consent) to lock him into my study, 
so that he could not get out without my leave, 
nor could any idle friends come in to disturb him. 
I carried him successfully through his examin- 
ations, and he remained my kind friend to the 
end of his life.' 

His letters show him hard at work at classics, 
French, and German ; and having now made up 
his mind to enter Holy Orders, he was studying 
Divinity, and attending the lectures of the Regius 
Professor, Dr. Burton. The works of Bull and 

CH. ii] Appointed Tutor 27 

Waterland, the gift of Lord Ravensworth in com- 
memoration of his Double First, served as the 
first instalment of his Theological library. At the 
Gaudy of 1834 he delivered the Commemoration 
Speech, celebrating Archbishop Dolben. Rewrote 
for the Latin Essay on ' The Administration of 
the Roman Provinces/ but was beaten by Scott. 
There was a question of his standing for a 
Fellowship at Merton and at Balliol, where the 
emoluments were higher than at Christ Church, 
and the position in some important respects more 
dignified. He was also tempted by an offer to 
pursue researches in Asia Minor, in succession to 
Mr. Pashley, who had accompanied one of H.M.'s 
frigates which was exploring those coasts. This 
offer he was strongly inclined to accept, but he 
was dissuaded by the Dean and Dr. Pusey ; and 
in the end remained quietly at Christ Church, till 
the time should come when a Tutorship would fall 
to him. His vacations were spent in various places. 
At Easter, 1835, ne visited Cambridge with his 
friend Charles Wordsworth, stayed at the Lodge at 
Trinity, and saw ' the celebrated Fellows of Trinity, 
Sedgwick, Whewell, Peacock, and Thirl wall.' In 
the Long Vacation of that year he spent some 
weeks at Heidelberg, in company with H. Halford 
Vaughan, and worked hard at German ; visiting on 
his way home the chief beauties of the Rhine. 

In January 1836, he became Tutor. Thirteen 
pupils were assigned to him, among whom were 
the future Bishop Ryle, Charles T. Newton, and 

E 2 

28 Life at Christ Church [CH. n 

Henry W. Acland. The Earl of Wemyss (then 
Mr. Charteris) was soon afterwards added to the 

' I would gladly have waited a little,' he writes, 
'for I had only just taken my M.A. degree, and 
should have been glad of a space of time for 
preparation. I wrote to my mother that I was 
meditating over the air, tone, and gesture to be 
assumed when my first Lecture enters the room, 
all properly attired in academical costume, and 
some of them perhaps more fit to lecture their 
Tutor than to receive instruction from him.' 

In April of the same year he again writes : 

' I have again assumed the tutorial chair, and 
circles of reverential youths look to my nod, as 
that of great wisdom. Moreover, I know not 
whether they have been awed by my sternness at 
Collections, or if dignity has insensibly accrued 
to my person, but I find that these youths respect- 
fully lift their caps from their heads when they 
cross my path in the Quadrangle.' 

He speaks of his own pupils as ' a very good 
set who will keep all my wits at work.' And it 
should be remembered that the duties of a College 
Tutor in those days and indeed till much later 
were not quite what they are in modern Oxford. 
There was none of the sub-division of subjects 
which is now (to the clear advantage of teacher 
and learner) universally adopted. The College 
Tutor was expected to guide and supervise the 
whole of his pupils' work, and more or less to 

CH. n] Work as Tutor 29 

read with them the chief ancient authors which 
they were taking up, whether poets, philosophers, 
historians, or orators. There were indeed on the 
staff of Christ Church certain college officers, who 
delivered formal courses of Lectures to the men of 
each year the Catechist, the Rhetoric Reader, and 
the Greek Reader : but these officers were Tutors 
also ; and for the bulk of the instruction each Tutor 
was almost solely responsible, so far as his own 
pupils were concerned ; and if he was anxious to 
do his best for them, his labours were very heavy 
and covered a vast field. And the Tutor's re- 
lation to his pupils was also, in theory at least, 
of a more directly pastoral character than is now 
the case. As a rule, the College Tutor of those 
days was in Holy Orders ; for indeed all but 
a few Fellowships or Studentships were ten- 
able for any lengthened time only under this 
condition. At Christ Church the first twenty 
of the hundred and one Students were called 
' Theologi,' and were bound to be in Priest's Orders. 
This restriction placed the tuition of a college 
in the hands of clergymen, and a conscientious 
Tutor would regard his position as involving the 
discharge of sacred duties in safeguarding, as far 
as possible, his pupils' career, and giving them help 
in their religious life. 

Liddell devoted himself heart and soul to his 
new work ; and many of his early pupils, separated 
from him by only a short interval in age, became 
his close personal friends. His admirable scholar- 

3O Life at Christ Church [CH. n 

ship, his wide literary culture, and his refined 
artistic tastes, all combined to interest and even 
to fascinate them. It is now for the first time 
that his letters speak much of art ; but he had 
the hand and eye, as well as the enthusiasm, of 
an artist, and his life-long friendship with Newton, 
Acland, and Ruskin was founded in a large 
measure upon the profound artistic sympathy 
which then united them. Mr. Ruskin was not 
indeed, strictly speaking, a pupil of Liddell's ; his 
college Tutor was the Rev. W. L. Brown. But 
they were drawn together, even in those early 
days, by common artistic tastes and sympathies ; 
and in his ' Praeterita ' Mr. Ruskin refers to 
Liddell in words which deserve to be quoted : 

' There was one Tutor however, out of my 
sphere, who reached my ideal, but disappointed 
my hope then as perhaps his own, since : a 
man sorrowfully under the dominion of the Greek 
avd-yKr) the present Dean. He was, and is, one 
of the rarest types of nobly-presenced English- 
men, but I fancy it was his adverse star that 
made him an Englishman at all the prosaic and 
practical element in him having prevailed over 
the sensitive one. He was the only man in Oxford 
among the masters of my day who knew any- 
thing of art ; and his keen saying of Turner 
that " he had got hold of a false ideal " would 
have been infinitely helpful to me at that time, 
had he explained and enforced it. But I suppose 
he did not see enough in me to make him take 
trouble with me, and, what was much more 

CH. ii] Work as Tutor 31 

serious, he saw not enough in himself to take 
trouble, in that field, with himself.' 

So anxious was Liddell to spare no pains to 
make himself fit for his new duties that, when 
the Long Vacation of 1836 came, he resolved to 
spend almost the whole of it at Oxford. 

' I cannot say for certain,' he writes to his 
mother, ' whether I shall visit you or not this 
summer. Believe me, I should only be obeying 
my inclination, if I were to stay the greater part 
of the Long Vacation at home. But I must 
fairly tell you, it appears to me incompatible 
with my office in this place so to do. I have 
much, very much, to learn to qualify myself for 
the fit discharge of my Tutorial duties ; and 
the only opportunity I have to make up deficien- 
cies is during the vacations. I am sorry to say 
that at home I cannot read with effect : I have 
tried and it has failed. My duty therefore is to 
stay in such places as will enable me to do so; 
and the most congenial place is Oxford.' 

As a matter of fact he did go home for a short 
time ; but most of the Vacation was spent at 
Oxford, and, from his account of his way of life, 
well spent. 

' I have adopted a new style of life on the 
advice, and backed by the example, of Talbot, 
a student of Christ Church, and nephew of Lord 
Fitzroy Somerset. I get up at six or a little 
after and take a walk, sometimes diversified by 
a bathe, before breakfast. The effect is ex- 
cellent. I find myself able to sit at my books 

32 Life at Christ Church [CH. n 

from 9.30 to 5 without inconvenience, and I 
never was better. Indeed, so pleasing is the 
quiet and peace which reign here, that I look 
forward with great regret to the approach of Term, 
when turbulent youths will once again break the 
stillness of the academic groves.' 

That stillness had indeed been rudely broken 
in the preceding six months, by the din and 
violence of the controversy connected with the 
appointment of Dr. Hampden to the Regius Pro- 
fessorship of Divinity. It is interesting to read 
Liddell's account of the affair, and his judgment 
on its merits. Dr. Burton's unexpected death had 
caused the vacancy. 

' I had attended Dr. Burton's lectures in pre- 
paration for my Ordination, and, in common with 
others, felt the highest admiration and love for 
him. Great interest was felt in his successor ; 
for the appointment rested with Lord Melbourne, 
who did not possess the confidence of Churchmen. 
On Feb. 8, 1836, came a letter from his Lord- 
ship, offering the chair to Dr. Hampden. The 
Doctor was an Oriel man, who had become 
Principal of St. Mary Hall. In a letter to my 
father, I speak of him as a person well known 
for the amiableness of his manner, and the 
uprightness of his life (I might have added, for 
his learning in Aristotelic philosophy), but who was 
unhappily distinguished for very strange, undefined, 
and almost unintelligible notions on Theological 
subjects. Such were the self-confident opinions 
of a young man of twenty-five years. I con- 

CH. n] Dr. Hampden 33 

tinued : " On Tuesday, Pusey, Newman, and others 
of that party assembled and prepared a memorial to 
His Majesty, setting forth that they apprehended 
danger to the Church by the appointment of 
a Professor holding such opinions as appeared 
in Dr. Hampden's theological works, more par- 
ticularly in the Bampton Lectures for 1832. 
This was signed by upwards of seventy M.A.s, 
chiefly Tutors, and dispatched to the Archbishop 
on the following night. On Wednesday the Heads 
of Houses, roused by the energy of the Move- 
ment party, called a meeting. To the horror 
and surprise of the Doctors, the Principal of 
St. Mary Hall himself appeared. ' Strange/ said 
the Dean of Christ Church, ' very strange, 
that you should be here, Mr. Principal : we have 
met to talk of you. Do you mean to stay ? ' 
' I do,' was the reply. ' And to vote ? ' interposed 
Shuttleworth (Warden of New College). ' I have 
not made up my mind/ said Hampden. 

' " A very angry discussion followed, after which 
certain propositions (I know not what) were put 
to the vote. On the first two, Hampden was 
left in a minority, himself taking no part. On 
the third, the division was equal, whereupon Dr. 
Hampden interposed, and by his vote turned the 
decision of the august body in his own favour. 
They separated in no good humour : and the 
minority dispatched a private remonstrance to 
Lord Melbourne, which his Lordship diplomati- 
cally promised to give his attention to. After 
this strong display of opinion, Hampden wrote 
to Ministers offering to resign, if he inconveni- 
enced them at all. This was on Thursday. On 


34 Life a t Christ Church [CH. n 

Saturday, Newman put out a pamphlet entitled, 
Elucidations of Dr. Hampderis Theological State- 
ments, being a summary of his opinions on 
various heads arranged in numbers, as I. Rule 
of Faith. II. The Holy Trinity. III. The 
Incarnation, &c., and each head copiously proved 
by extracts from the Professor-elect's Bampton 
Lectures, &c. As I said before, the statements 
are very obscure ; in the hands of a Socinian 
they might be stated as Socinian principles ; in 
Dr. Hampden's probably they may all be shown 
to be Church of England. But even this most 
favourable statement of them will show how 
improper a person he is to be Divinity Professor. 
He would do no good, nor, I apprehend, much 
harm ; for he is a man without eloquence, or any 
moral power over men's minds, so far as appears : 
so that the chief harm would be that the Pro- 
fessorship would be entirely nugatory; all solid 
meat would be taken out of men's mouths, and 
dust blown into their eyes. Here the matter 
rests. I did not sign the Masters' memorial, 
because I conceived this proceeding to be uncon- 
stitutional and irregular ; and the delay, if not 
refusal, of the Archbishop to present it (for it 
has not been presented), makes me think he takes 
the same view. I see by to-day's paper that 
Lord Melbourne has had an interview with the 
King at Brighton ; and I am told that in a Minis- 
terial paper has appeared a letter detailing the 
proceedings in ' Golgotha.' As Shuttleworth is 
very indignant at this letter, it is presumed the 
statement is accurate, and therefore proceeds 
from an eye-witness." ' 

CH. n] 7 he Hampden Controversy 35 

In May following he adds the sequel : 

' You want to hear more about Hampden, and 
the statute which has been passed concerning him. . . 
The University has withdrawn from him all she had 
before entrusted, on her part, to the Professor, viz. 
the appointment of Select Preachers, and the judging 
on heresy, &c., in sermons preached by others ; 
which, though in itself almost nugatory, yet amounts 
to a strong vote of censure. I was very glad not to 
have a vote, as I know not how I should have 
exercised it. But pray most flatly contradict the 
notion that the leaders of the business had any 
political bias. I really and truly believe that if they 
were asked to-morrow whether Lord Melbourne 
or Sir Robert Peel was to hold office, they would 
(supposing the thing depended on their word) decline 
giving judgment. They were actuated simply by 
what they judged a high duty, and believed they 
would be betraying their trust if they did not use it. 
Of course this is no defence of what they have done ; 
that must stand or fall on its own merits ; but it 
is a defence of their motives and wishes against such 
shocking and unchristian attacks as that which has 
appeared in the Edinburgh Review, and which (I am 
shocked to say) is the production of a man for whom 
I had a high respect and great admiration even 
Dr. Arnold of Rugby *. Alas, poor human nature ! 
What a miserable thing art thou, breaking forth and 

1 In a letter to Vaughan he describes the famous scene in the 
Theatre : ' Arnold came, saw, and of course did not conquer. I am 
sorry to say that his physiognomy by no means counteracts the 
extremely unpleasant notion I had been led to form of him from 
the " Malignants " article. A more savage, truculent expression than 
that day sate upon his brow, I think I never saw. He did not speak, 
sate upon a benh retired, and withdrew early.' 

F 2 

36 Life at Christ Church [CH. n 

deforming and blotting over qualities and characters 
that might adorn a higher race of beings. I hope 
that, for the present at least, we are quiet again. 
Dr. Hampden has issued notice of lectures without 
as heretofore requiring a certificate from the Head 
or Tutor of the respective colleges to which his 
hearers may belong. The Bishops have taken 
diverse lines. The Bishop of Exeter wrote long 
ago to Exeter College (whence come most of his 
candidates for Orders) saying that he would not 
require attendance on either Professor's Lectures 
(Regius or Margaret) ; college testimonials would 
suffice. The Bishop of London told a Christ Church 
man, who asked him whether of the twain he should 
hear, that he would abide by the recommendation 
of his college ; whereon the Dean refused to give 
any such recommendation. So anomalous is our 
present condition/ 

To those who knew Liddell in later days, and 
appreciated his attitude towards all religious con- 
troversy, especially when introduced into academical 
questions, the tone of these letters will appear some- 
what surprising : but it is interesting to read his 
own comment on them, when he perused them in 
his old age. 

' Notwithstanding,' he writes, ' that the opinions 
expressed in these letters savour something of 
presumption, considering that they were written by 
a young M.A., who had not yet the right to vote 
in Convocation, I must say that on the whole they 
are moderate and impartial. I see nothing for 
a man of eighty-two to be ashamed of in them.' 
' The word " moderate," ' he adds, ' recalls to my 

CH. n] Newman and Halford Vaiighan 37 

mind a little incident that must have occurred about 
this time. My friend Vaughan, who had been 
elected to a Fellowship at Oriel, was having tea 
with Newman, who was anxious to enlist all the 
younger Fellows in his cause. " Do you like your 
tea strong ? " asked Newman. " No thank you," 
said Vaughan, " rather weak than otherwise." " Ah, 
I see," retorted Newman, " moderation in all things.'" 

Liddell's attitude towards Dissenters was then 
strangely different from what it afterwards became. 

' I hope/ he writes to Vaughan in 1834, ' you have 
already signed a petition against admitting Dissenters 
to the Universities. If not, you will find one either 
at Rivington's or Hatchard's, whither instantly repair, 
and enrol your name among all the good and wise 
of the land/ 

One more reference to Dr. Hampden's case may 
be noted. About the middle of the ensuing Michael- 
mas Term the new Professor took up his residence 
in Christ Church. 

' He appeared in chapel this morning (November 5) 
for the first time, and, strange enough, the chapter 
read for the second lesson was Acts xxiii the very 
passage which had been applied by Arnold in the 
Edinburgh Review to his " Persecutors." ' 

Some years afterwards in 1843 Liddell was 
again concerned with Dr. Hampden, in the then 
famous but now forgotten suit of Macmullen v. 
Hampden. A letter to his mother, dated Nov. 30, 
1843, tells the tale as far as it relates to his own 
share in it. 

38 Life at Christ Church [CH. n 

' Yesterday I had an occupation which I hope will 
be the last of the kind that I shall ever have, 
viz., to sit in judgment for nine mortal hours. 
Dr. Hampden, the Regius Professor of Divinity, 
has refused to take such steps as will enable a 
Mr. Macmullen to take his degree of B.D., because 
he thinks that Mr. Macmullen has (on his part) 
taken a wrong course. Mr. Macmullen, not being 
able to take his degree, is debarred from certain 
advantages which would otherwise accrue to him 
in his college (Corpus). And therefore he brings an 
action for damages against Dr. Hampden. The cause 
having been decided against Dr. Hampden in the 
Vice-Chancellor's Court, an appeal was made to the 
court above (called the Delegates of Appeals in 
Congregation) to reverse the decision. Of these 
Delegates seven in number I unluckily am one. 
And yesterday we took our seats at ten, and sat 
listening to legal arguments from Mr. Erie, one 
of the first Barristers in Westminster Hall, on 
Hampden's side, and Hope, a contemporary of my 
own, against him, till seven o'clock in the evening, 
with one quarter of an hour's interruption. A 
pleasing variety to a studious life this, is it not ? 
And now we have to plod through all these long- 
winded arguments, looking up authorities, cases, 
&c., &c., and hold conferences in order to make 
up our minds how to give judgment. I hope we 
shall do it right. But I fear we are quite as likely 
to be wrong as right. However, we must do the 
best we can. When any cases of appeal came 
before the Duke of Manchester, when Governor 
of Jamaica, he used to say, the moment the Counsel 
began, " Stop sir, stop ! I affirm the judgment of the 

CH. n] George Marshall 39 

Court below." " But, your Grace," began the horrified 
Counsel. ..." I affirm it, with costs," interrupted 
his Grace. I fear it will hardly do to follow this 
summary and convenient course here.' 

Among his pupils in this early stage of his tutorial 
life was one who has lately passed away, and whose 
memory will long be affectionately cherished by 
very many Christ Church men, the saintly George 
Marshall, afterwards Censor of Christ Church, and 
in later life Rector of Milton. Marshall had just 
come up from Charterhouse, and to Liddell's high 
delight had won a college exhibition, the prelude, 
in his case, to a distinguished academical career. 
He was among the first fruits of Saunders' work 
at Charterhouse. 

1 1 hope and trust he will not fall off under my 
care. He is a well-disposed, modest, clever lad, 
and it would grieve me, I am sure, quite as much as 
it could his nearest and dearest friends, to see him 
go wrong. However, I hope that, humanly speaking, 
there is very little chance of it. But I cannot help 
feeling, more and more, how heavy a responsibility 
rests upon me ; while, from the nature of the place, 
one has much less power of interfering with a man's 
acts and habits, than at school and elsewhere.' 

These words will serve to illustrate the feelings 
with which Liddell regarded his position as Tutor, 
and with which he entered Holy Orders at Christ- 
mas, 1836. His letters at this time dwell upon the 
necessity of a season for thought and preparation 
for ' so important, and for me so awful a change 

40 Life at Christ Church [CH. n 

of life.' A few weeks before the Ordination he 
writes in answer to his father : 

' Your letter was doubly welcome, both as coming 
from those I love so dearly, and yet so much less 
than in duty and gratitude I ought, as also by 
reason of the principal topic it dwelt upon. Yes, 
indeed, my dear father, I do want your prayers, 
yours and my mother's, and of all that feel any 
interest in me. The step I am going to take is 
one of awful responsibility. Would I could feel 
as deeply as it deserves the depth and breadth 
of its importance ! But I am sorry to say that 
my mode of life has a strong tendency to attach 
my first thoughts to other subjects of a too worldly 
kind ; and it often requires an effort to fix my mind 
on that which ought to be if it could be the only 
subject on which it delighted to dwell. However, 
this cannot be. I am obliged to spend most of my 
time in preparing lectures on alien subjects, and the 
very week before I present myself for Ordination 
will be spent amid the bustle and excitement of 
a college examination. But I am sensible that 
I cannot complain of this : all kinds of life must 
have their peculiar temptations, and I doubt not but 
that this of mine has its advantages, which, trans- 
planted to another soil, I might miss just as much 
as I do now the quiet and leisure which I should 
desire for a season, to devote myself to the studies 
and meditations immediately suited for my approach- 
ing change of life. But still these temptations are 
many and great, and therefore much need have I, as 
I said before, that you and all of you should earnestly 
intreat the Giver of all good gifts to support me by 
His Grace, that I may not greatly fall. Mysterious 

CH. n] Ordination 41 

dispensation, that the prayers of men, who cannot 
save their own souls, should stand in stead others 
besides themselves ! Yet, thank God, I feel and 
believe that it is a very truth. In my prayers it 
is that I can best know what a son's affection for 
his parents, a brother's for his brothers and sisters, 
is and ought to be. And you think of me then with 
a more thorough love than otherwise ; you have 
assured me that you do so. Thank you for that 
assurance ; it has done me good. And so partly 
while we feel that each perhaps at the same moment 
is sending up prayers for the other, and so are 
kindled to a higher and holier frame of mind 
partly by recollecting that the Spirit hath said 
how effectual shall be the fervent prayer of a 
righteous man (O Lord, grant that I too may be 
righteous !), we know that in some measure our 
salvation depends on our mutual efforts, and so 
our affections are not confined to this side the 
grave, but stretch forward into the boundless realms 
of Eternity.' 

It is interesting to remember that this simple and 
pathetic letter was written at a time when Newman 
and Pusey were already exercising a mighty influence 
over the religious thought of Oxford, and three 
years and a half after Keble's Sermon on National 
Apostasy. It may be inferred that Liddell was quite 
untouched by that movement ; and indeed in the 
letters preserved in his family scarcely a reference 
to it can be traced. Newman was just ten years 
his senior ; and ten years make a vast interval in 
college life. Liddell's tastes were at no time eccle- 
siastical. He was now busily occupied with his 


42 Life at Christ CJmrch [CH. n 

pupils and his own studies ; and his leisure hours 
were devoted to the improvement of his artistic 
knowledge and skill. He always disliked contro- 
versy ; and for the present was thoroughly contented 
with the Church position as defined by the more 
moderate school of English Divines. Yet he did 
not wholly elude the magic of the great teacher. 
In later years he would sometimes call up the 
memories of those early days, and tell of his being 
persuaded by Newman to undertake the translation 
of some passages from the Fathers for publication. 
' I can show you what I did,' he said one day, and 
took down some volumes from his library shelves. 
Then, after a long and fruitless search, he shut the 
books : ' Pshaw ! I cannot. I have entirely forgotten 
which were the passages that I translated ! ' It would, 
however, be a mistake to infer that Liddell was 
untouched at the time by the influence of a 
movement which swayed the whole religious life of 
Oxford. He was an occasional attendant at the 
meetings of Dr. Pusey's Theological Society : and 
in a sermon preached at Christ Church in 1890 
he recalled some memories of Newman as he had 
known him. 

' Comparatively few persons now living,' he said, 
' can remember the days when Newman began to 
influence academic life, and to be a power among us. 
I am of that number. I was admitted to what I 
considered a high honour, to some degree of inter- 
course with the great theologian of Oriel, and I 
undertook (at his request) to make one or two of 

CH. n] Estimate of Dr. Newman 43 

the translations from ancient ecclesiastical documents 
which appeared in the early numbers of the Library 
of the Fathers l . 

' He exercised a sort of spell over the younger 
men with whom he came in contact. This was 
some half-century ago. What a vista to look back 
through ! What changes have taken place in 
thought and feeling, ecclesiastical, theological, philo- 
sophical, scientific, political, social, in that half- 
century ! It seems like a dream, a dream indeed 
full of vivid recollections. It makes me look back 
on the time when, with many others since departed, 
I hung upon the sermons which he preached from 
St. Mary's pulpit, or listened to those penetrating 
discourses which he used to deliver on (I think) 
Wednesday evenings in Adam de Brome's chapel. 
Some of those hearers followed him without flinching, 
however far he advanced from the teaching of that 
Church in which he had been reared ; some, alarmed 
by the manifest direction of his steps, drew back 
and refused to listen any longer to his persuasive 
accents. I need not attempt to enlarge on the 
character of his intellect, the subtle charm of his 
language, his lofty and self-denying purpose. . . . But 
one thing I cannot but notice, that, whereas most 
of those who leave the Church of their fathers, be 
it the Church of this realm or another, prove to 
be the bitterest enemies and the most active 
opponents of that Church, Cardinal Newman 
never followed that unworthy course. He had 
convinced himself that there were things in our 

1 They were really some passages from Ignatius, and form Nos. 1-12 
of the ' Records of the Church,' to be found among the Tracts for the 

G 2 

44 Life at Christ Church [CH. n 

Church that he could not away with, and that he 
should find in the Roman Church a satisfaction 
and a cure. But he did not therefore, as the 
manner of many is, assail us with acrimonious 
criticism or contemptuous reproach ; and if at times 
he replied to attacks somewhat sharply, he seemed 
to do so in obedience to the imperious and inflexible 
principles of his new mistress.' 

In the same sermon he contrasts the style of 
preaching of Cardinal Newman and Dr. Liddon, 
whose death had just occurred. 

' Let me pause for a moment in order to say 
a few words as to the preaching of the Cardinal 
and Canon. My reminiscences may seem trivial 
or superficial, but they are, I think, somewhat 
characteristic. It has been my fortune to hear 
both these great preachers, one in my earlier 
years, one at a mature age. It. is difficult to say 
which was the more impressive ; but it is certain 
that the impressions were produced by means so 
different as to be almost contrary. I seem to see 
John Henry Newman, standing (to use a familiar 
phrase) bolt upright in the pulpit, with spectacles 
on nose, with arms as it were pinned to his side, 
never using the slightest action except to turn over 
the leaves of his sermon, trusting entirely for effect 
to the modulation of a voice most melodious, but 
ranging, I believe, through a very limited scale, 
yet riveting the attention of his hearers as if 
they were spell-bound. One sermon still dwells 
in my memory with vivid force it was that on 
the character of Saul the King. We marvelled 
how so little apparent effort was followed by effects 

CH. n] The Martyrs^ Memorial 45 

so great and permanent. Many who now hear me 
must have seen our lost friend, Dr. Liddon, with no 
less sweetness but much greater vehemence of voice 
and tone, exerting himself to the utmost, with head 
thrown back, with flashing eye, and such intense 
energy of declamation, as left him at the close of 
his discourse in a state of great exhaustion. The 
earnestness of both these great teachers was the 
same ; the thoughtfulness inspired by them was 
equal. We may be proud that both were sons 
of Oxford.' 

The beauty of this extract will justify its inser- 
tion : and it shows Liddell's appreciative estimate 
of Newman's influence, an influence by which he 
was never for a moment dominated. 

But if there is little trace of his sympathy with 
the Oxford movement, he gave but cold support 
to the Evangelical protest against it. 

'There is a project here,' he writes in 1838, 'to 
put up a monument to the martyred Bishops, 
Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer. There are and 
will be many difficulties about it, arising from the 
disturbed state of the theological opinion both 
generally in the country and particularly at Oxford. 
However, I hope the thing may be got successfully 
forward. If so, when the architectural question of 
what is to be comes to be discussed, I shall take 
a very lively interest in the business.' 

Then, and apparently not till then ! 
In the years 1837-8, his pupil Acland was travel- 
ling in the Mediterranean for his health. In a letter 

46 Life at Christ Church [CH. n 

written to him at Athens, after giving a budget of 
home news, Liddell adds : 

' But what can these Western turmoils have of 
interest for you, who are now, I hope, enjoying the 
pure air of Attica, and warming all your classical 
associations by treading the ground which gave 
them birth ? What would I give to be with you, 
while you trace the long walls, and seek the 
olives of Academus, and the white hill of Colonus, 
and all those other places whose names are to us 
as household words ! Now do, my dear Acland, 
take pains, and make many (I need not &b& faithful) 
sketches of that fair land, and gladden my eyes 
with more representations of these spots which 
I have sometimes fondly dreamed to look on, 
but now can scarce expect to do so. Especially 
will you make me a correct drawing of the 
Temple of Nike" Apteros which they have lately 
restored ? Also, will you find out what the rock 
of the Acropolis is, and generally what is the 
nature of the soil ? Lastly, the precise distances 
of well-known points would be a very useful 
thing to know. But it were endless to suggest 
points on which you might give me information. 
I should like to hear all and everything that you 

This extract serves as an instance of his relations 
to his favourite pupils, and his enthusiasm for 
ancient art. Lord Wemyss, in a letter to Mrs. 
Liddell, adds a characteristic touch to the picture. 

' I regarded myself as the most fortunate of under- 
graduates at Christ Church in being assigned to him 

CH. ii] Love of Art 47 

as one of his pupils, and from the first we became 
fast friends a friendship that, as you know, lasted 
through life. Art was a great bond of sympathy 
between us ; and I well recollect his handing to 
me, to look at, an engraving of a Raphael picture. 
This, when he handed it to me, I took hold of with 
one hand, to his great consternation. He quickly 
took it from me and said, " Never hold an engraving 
with one hand, for then you mark and crumple it. 
Always use two hands and hold it thus : one 
hand near the top, on one side, the other near 
the bottom on the opposite side." Need I say 
that this lesson I have never forgotten, though 
I fear the Classics he so well taught me are 
things of the forgotten past ! ' 

But Lord Wemyss ought not to have forgotten 
them, for Liddell was an excellent Tutor. 

' I admired and loved him from my heart/ writes 
another old pupil, the Rev. H. A. Harvey. ' His 
mode of giving advice and instruction endeared 
him to me. They were given in few, but telling 
words. You felt that your sense and your honour 
and your character as a Christian were appealed 
to ; you were not coaxed or preached to. Some 
thought him rude and haughty; he appeared to 
me to be a good specimen of the //eyaXo^i/^oy, 
the character in Aristotle which he evidently 
admired. He used to instance it in Dr. Johnson. 
I owe an immense deal to Liddell. He fired my 
ambition, and he taught me to read the Greek 
Testament regularly and " like a Christian," for he 
had no idea of cramming for an examination. . . . 
He was a great man for the text of books. At that 

48 Life at Christ Church [CH. n 

time it was not customary for the Tutors to see 
their pupils of an evening ; but Liddell did it, 
at least with me, and would give me special help 
then in any books in which he thought me behind- 
hand. The example which he himself set of 
industry was evidenced by the way in which we 
used to find him working at his Lexicon. In the 
interval between one Lecture and another he would 
be found standing at his desk over his interleaved 
copy of the first edition, correcting and amending 
it. And that standing desk recalls his advice which 
I have ever since treasured both in reading and 
in writing : " Keep your books open, ready to be 
returned to when you come back to work." ' 

In the year 1838 he experienced a very heavy 
sorrow, the first great bereavement of his life, in the 
unexpected death of his sister Harriett, at the age 
of eighteen. She was a singularly beautiful girl, 
and had already attracted the love of one of Liddell's 
most intimate friends, Stephen Denison, who has 
been before mentioned as a member of the ' Tribes ' 
club, and had, like his brother, attained high distinc- 
tion at Oxford. Harriett Liddell had shown symptoms 
of delicacy in the winter of 1837-8, but nothing 
serious was apprehended ; and though, during the 
early spring, she had been ailing and weak, plans 
were being formed and discussed for a happy summer 
tour on the continent. However, in the end of April, 
a visit to London, and consultation with Sir James 
Clarke, revealed the existence of very grave lung 
mischief, and she grew worse so rapidly that she 
sank to her rest before the end of the second week 

CH. n] Death of his Sister 49 

of May. The blow, so sudden and so heavy, brought 
out all that was deepest and tenderest in Liddell's 
character. His letters show the poignancy of his 
grief, the warmth of his affection, and his anxious 
desire to comfort the mourners and the almost 
broken-hearted Stephen Denison. He would not 
have wished his words to be quoted. After the 
funeral at Wimbledon he was obliged to return to 
his Oxford duties, but 

' though I can get on pretty well when I have 
a lecture, yet alone I find it impossible to collect 
my thoughts and prevent them from straying to 
other scenes and other times. ... I have resumed 
my original intention of being ordained Priest on 
next (Trinity) Sunday. Reading the Bible, I find, 
is the only thing in which I can find lasting relief 
just now, and I do not know any reason to put it off.' 

And on the day of his Ordination he writes : 

' I have read your memoir of our beloved, not 
with dry eyes not with dry eyes. I would set my 
seal to the truth of every word of it. No parent's 
fondness could exalt or magnify the gentle unassuming 
virtues of that bright and lovely creature. It is a trite 
saying, but the more I think of it, the more true 
I think it in her case, that she was too good and 
pure to remain among us. And earnestly did I raise 
my mind in prayer, while I kneeled this day before 
the Bishop, that I might by God's Holy Spirit be 
enabled so to purify myself here on earth, and so 
exalt my being while I am left here, that I may 
be able of a truth " to put on Christ/' and be made 


50 Life at Christ Church [CH. n 

meet to see her once more face to face, and to dwell 
with her never more to part' 

The wound healed gradually ; and work at Oxford 
went on quietly, strenuously, and successfully. The 
great labour of his life, the Lexicon, had now made 
considerable progress, and was the constant com- 
panion of his spare hours. His duties as a Tutor 
grew in interest and importance, as the number of 
his pupils increased, and they requited the pains 
bestowed upon them by acquitting themselves 
brilliantly in the Schools. The excellence of his 
College lectures is still remembered ; and Sir Henry 
Acland tells of a petition made by those who 
were attending his weekly lectures on the Acts of 
the Apostles that he would break through the 
customary rule, and give them every week some 
additional lectures on the subject. After full con- 
sideration he felt obliged to decline the request, on 
the ground that his consent might seem to cast 
a slur upon his brother Tutors. 

His taste on all matters of Art, carefully trained 
by congenial study, had by now gained a wider 
appreciation ; he was recognized as an authority on 
the subject in Oxford. 

'I have lately,' he writes in Nov. 1839, 'had an 
office conferred on me which pleased me, though 
it is rather honourable than profitable. Mr. Taylor 
(father of little Michael Angelo Taylor), some time 
an Oxford Tutor and dignitary, left a sum of money 
for building and endowing a College for the promo- 
tion of modern languages and literature. This sum 

CH. n] College Lectiires 51 

was paid on Michael Angelo's death. Also a Dr. 
Randolph left some money to build a Picture and 
Statue Gallery. The two are to be combined, and 
one building erected for the two purposes one 
building that is, as to outward appearance, though 
within the two will be kept separate. Now the 
University have desired a number of architects to 
send in plans for competition, and have appointed 
a Delegacy to decide on the best. I am one of the 
said Delegacy. So you see the Liddell name 
becomes connected with the Fine Arts on all sides. 
Tell my father that Mr. Cockerell (an old school- 
fellow of his) and Salvin, whom you know, I think, 
have sent in far the best plans, architecturally, and 
I do not doubt one of them will get the prize. But 
Cockerell's will be far too expensive to execute. 
I hope Salvin's may be managed. But do not say 
anything about this. I ought not to talk of it.' 

Professor Cockerell's design was, as is well known, 
ultimately accepted. 

As time went on, additional honours and duties 
fell to his lot. In 1838, Gaisford had appointed 
him Greek Reader in Christ Church, in the place 
of Kynaston, who had been elected High Master 
of St. Paul's. This involved the preparation of 
lectures to be delivered to the whole of the first 
year men. He was appointed, he writes, 

' above the head of one of my seniors, which, though 
gratifying to me, will be more so to you probably. 
For indeed, I had rather he had been appointed, 
partly because I have quite enough to do, partly 
because some little heart-burning may arise in con- 

H 2 

52 Life at Christ Church [CH. n 

sequence of the old boy's marked preference for me, 
on this as well as on some other occasions.' 

In 1842 he became Select Preacher for the first 
time *, and during his tenure of that office he wrote 
to his sister : 

' I have now preached both my sermons for the 
Term before the University, not without applause. 
I must tell you that the Dean told me he was very 
much pleased with my second sermon : "Very much, 
I liked it very much. I thought it a very excellent 
composition." This is much from him, and I did 
not in the least expect it. He did not hear my first, 
he said. "He debarred himself from the pleasure 
of hearing me, because of the badness of the day." 
I suppose this will give you pleasure to hear, and 
therefore I record it/ 

A little later, in June 1844, he writes to his mother: 

' I preached my last University sermon yesterday. 
I had great compliments. Gaisford and Dr. Hamp- 
den, wonderful to relate, concur in their praises. 
The subject was Unify, not Uniformity; an attempt 
to persuade people to agree to differ, a rather delicate 
subject ; but I am assured I handled the matter so 
as not to appear a partisan, or to attack any persons 
specially so the Dean says.' 

He was naturally called upon to act as Public 
Examiner; and in 1845 was elected White's 
Professor of Moral Philosophy. In. the same year 

1 Canon Ellacombe, who was examined by him for his B.A. 
degree, heard his first University sermon. 'As he stood up he 
looked the picture of firmness and almost defiance ; but I can re- 
member the astonishment of the undergraduates when they saw 
the evident nervousness of the man whom they so dreaded.' 

CH. n] Professor of Moral Philosophy 53 

he became Censor ; and was also appointed by 
Bishop Blomfield to the office of Whitehall Preacher. 
In the following year he became Proctor. In 
January 1846 he writes: 

' The Tutor next to me has a brother who has 
turned Roman Catholic, and he is not quite clear of 
suspicion ; so he has resigned his place, though he 
declares that he has no intention of leaving the 
Church. This throws all our arrangements into 
confusion, and puts four new pupils into my hands, 
so that in all I have no less than thirty-six. What 
with the Professorship, and my Whitehall Sermons, 
and lecturing these thirty-six, I shall have no easy 
berth. And I fear with my Proctorship, an office 
soon to come to me, it will be still worse.' 

Of his work as Professor, Osborne Gordon, who 
succeeded Liddell as Proctor, spoke with great 
admiration in his Oratio Procuratoria. He men- 
tioned the crowd of students who attended, and the 
clearness with which the opinions of ancient Philo- 
sophers were illustrated and explained in their 
bearings on questions of modern days. Liddell 
used to illustrate the Ethics by quotations from Jane 
Austen's novels and other modern writings. 

One more distinction must be recorded ; his 
appointment in January 1846 as domestic Chaplain 
to H.R.H. Prince Albert. On January 14 he wrote 
to his sister : 

' You will be glad to hear that, on my return to 
Oxford yesterday, I found a letter from Mr. G. 
Anson, Secretary to Prince Albert, offering me the 

54 Life at Christ Church [CH. n 

Prince's Chaplaincy vacated by the elevation of 
Wilberforce to the Episcopal Bench. It is only an 
Honorary appointment, i. e. there is no pay. Still it 
is an honour, and the offer is conveyed in very hand- 
some terms, for it speaks of my " eminent Academ- 
ical and professional career" ; and says the Prince is 
anxious to attach to his person " one who has kept 
the even tenour of his way amid the perils by which 
his path at Oxford was beset." So that I suppose 
I may consider it as a sign that my name is not 
unknown or unnoticed in high quarters. Also, Mr. 
Anson was pleased to say that the Prince was anxious 
that the appointment should not be merely nominal, 
but that he wished sometimes to have personal com- 
munication with his Chaplains, yet that the duties 
would not be of such a kind as to infringe upon my 

This appointment was the beginning of a gracious 
friendship which ripened from year to year, as the 
Prince learnt to appreciate more and more the sound 
judgment and generous theological opinions of his 
new Chaplain, He always showed cordial and 
helpful sympathy with his subsequent work at 
Westminster, paid frequent visits to the school, 
and took a keen interest in the proposal for its 
removal into the country, even visiting, in company 
with the Headmaster, several sites which had 
been suggested for its new home. The Queen, 
it is not improper to state, shared her Consort's 
feelings : their confidence in him was shown by 
placing the Prince of Wales under his charge at 
Oxford in 1859, as well as by many other marks 

CH. n] Whitehall Preacher 55 

of Royal favour. In April 1846 he was for the 
first time summoned to Windsor to preach before 
the Court. 

His sermons before the University and in the 
Chapel Royal, Whitehall, attracted considerable 
notice, from the grace of their diction, the dignity of 
their delivery, and the calm and deliberate judgment 
with which the fundamental truths of Theology were 
brought into relation with the questions and needs 
of the day. Liddell was never a popular preacher, 
in the usual sense of the expression. He never 
aimed at mere effect, he never studied to please his 
audience, or engage their attention by rhetorical arts. 
His language was always severely simple, but never 
lacking stateliness and beauty. He was rarely, 
if ' ever, controversial ; he desired to go beyond 
controversy, and exhibit Divine Truth in a more 
exalted relation. And at Whitehall, in those days, 
an opportunity was afforded of speaking on weighty 
topics to a congregation singularly well adapted to 
encourage the preacher to put forth his very best. 
It was customary for the Bishop of London, as Dean 
of the Chapels Royal, to nominate two persons, one 
from each of the old Universities, who held office 
for a period of two years, and were responsible for 
the bulk of the Sunday sermons. The Chapel was 
the Banqueting Hall of the ancient Palace now 
the United Services Museum fitted up, somewhat 
incongruously, for Divine worship. A huge Royal 
Pew faced the Pulpit, which was placed midway 
along the Eastern side of the building, with reading 

56 Life at Christ Church [CH. n 

desk and clerk's pew in front of it. There were 
special sittings assigned to members of the two 
Houses of Parliament, to Cabinet Ministers, and 
the various Heads of Departments who occupied 
official residences in Whitehall. Many distinguished 
families also were then resident in that neighbour- 
hood a district not as yet abandoned to clubs and 
offices and had the privilege of seats in the Chapel ; 
and the general public were not excluded. The 
congregations, especially during the sessions of Par- 
liament, were very large, and comprised many of the 
foremost and ablest men of the day. Liddell was 
fully equal to the task of preaching before so critical 
an audience, and attracted great numbers to hear 
him. He speaks more than once in his letters of 
the large congregations many people standing 
some even sent away ; of Peel and Canning among 
his hearers ; and of requests by strangers to be 
allowed to read the sermon just delivered. 

Dean Boyle, in his Recollections, writes : 

' It was interesting to see Peel and some members 
of his Government on Sundays at Whitehall Chapel, 
listening attentively to the Oxford and Cambridge 
preachers. H. G. Liddell, afterwards Dean of Christ 
Church, preached once on the text " Stretch forth 
thy hand." " One of the most remarkable sermons 
I have ever heard," said Peel to a friend as he left 
the Chapel ; and on my telling this to Mr. Packe, 
then M.P. for Leicestershire (I think), he said, 
" I daresay Sir Robert will put Liddell's name on 
his Bishop's list ". ' 

CH. n] Estimate of his Sermons 57 

A comment in Liddell's handwriting adds : 

1 1 am heartily glad Mr. Packe's prophecy was 

not fulfilled. I hope I should have had resolution 

enough to decline such an offer. I was quite unfit 
to be a Bishop.' 

Up to this time Liddell's career had been 
one of uninterrupted progress and well-deserved 
success. He was among the foremost of the 
Oxford Tutors : he had gained a Professorship, 
and was discharging its duties admirably, attract- 
ing many graduates and undergraduates to his 
official lectures : he was becoming very favour- 
ably known as a preacher : and the publication 
of the Lexicon in the summer of 1843 had won 
for him the grateful approbation of every Greek 
scholar, and had already made " Liddell and Scott " 
a name full of awful meaning to every school- 
boy. **' 

It is interesting to read the estimate formed 
of him at this time by his very intimate friend 
Stephen Denison, who writes to Mr. Thomas Lyon 
Fellowes in May 1845 : 

' As I know that Henry Liddell has confided 
to you a secret (which I need not further par- 
ticularize) I cannot resist taking the opportunity 
of half an hour's leisure to say how very great 
an interest I take in his success, and how ex- 
tremely anxious I am that his hopes should be 
realized ; and as you are so closely connected 
with the object of his attachment, I believe you 
will not think me impertinent in saying a few words 

I - 

58 Life at Christ Church [CH. n 

about one of the dearest friends I have in the 
world. I have known him so long, and been so 
very intimate with him, and under such very 
peculiar circumstances, that I believe no man is 
better authorized to speak of him than myself. 
... I have now known him about fifteen years 
as intimately as possible ; and I have always 
noted him down in my mind as the most nearly 
" blameless " man I ever knew ; the most generous, 
kind-hearted, amiable fellow, with a delicacy of 
feeling and taste almost too refined for the rough 
work of everyday life. I need not speak to 
you or to any one of his intellectual powers : they 
are known to all the literary world. But I may 
say that I know no one with such abilities and 
learning who is at the same time so modest and 
unpretending. If an amiable, excellent, very clever 
and accomplished man, highly connected, belong- 
ing to a delightful family, having innumerable 
friends, enjoying a reputation both for talent and 
excellence rarely attained so early in life, and 
whose prospects of advancement and honours are 
the fairest that can be : if such a man can make 
a woman happy, Henry Liddell is the man.' 

This letter refers to an event which took place 
early in 1845, and which soon changed the course 
of his life and formed the prelude to more than fifty 
years of domestic happiness, his engagement to be 
married to Miss Lorina Reeve. It would be un- 
becoming to dwell at length upon this occurrence, 
and all that it involved. It is enough to insist, in 
passing, upon the fact that no estimate of Liddell's 
character would be complete which did not take 

CH. n] Engagement to be married 59 

into account the brightness and helpfulness of his 
domestic life in all its relations ; his devotion to 
his wife and children ; the close bond of deep 
mutual affection ; the prominent place they occu- 
pied in all his thoughts and plans of usefulness. 
The love which hitherto had been centred in his 
parents and brothers and sisters, now without 
losing its old objects gathered new ones for its 
exercise, and received in turn strength and stead- 
fastness from them ; and, in the joys of an almost 
ideally refined and charming home, was found a 
consecration of all labour, and a resting-place of 
all ambition. 

' Be not ambitious,' he writes just after receiving 
the appointment to the Royal Chaplaincy, ' desire 
not high place for me. We shall be far happier 
in a private station with a competency than with 
dignity and wealth. I feel it to be so from the 
bottom of my heart. Cares, occupation, troubles, 
business, all sorts of things will interfere with the 
placid and happy enjoyments of life. . . . Freedom, 
contentment, sufficiency that is what we want. 
More than this is " vanity and vexation of spirit ".' 

The immediate effect of his engagement was 
a resolution to leave the work at Christ Church, 
and to seek some sphere of activity which a wife 
could share. The College would miss him much. 
Gaisford, in his quaint way, told Dr. Bull that 
' he was going to sustain a great loss ; that he 
found that love and lexicography were not incom- 
patible.' Liddell had determined to resign his 

I 2 

60 Life at Christ Church [CH. n 

various offices at Oxford in the summer of 1846, 
at the end of the academical year, and was dis- 
cussing future plans, when the offer by Dean 
Gaisford of the Headmastership of Westminster 
brought a happy solution of the question. 

The offer was not wholly unexpected. Dr. 
Williamson's resignation of the Headmastership, 
after eighteen years' service, was rumoured in the 
spring of 1846, and the nomination of his successor 
rested absolutely with the Dean of Christ Church. 
It was not likely that, when the choice had 
to be made, Gaisford would prefer any one to 
Liddell, whose claims were conspicuous, and for 
whom the Dean had already on many occasions 
shown his high regard. He was known to be 
engaged to be married, and to be seeking fresh 
work. The offer came on May 5. 

' This morning, after Chapel, the Dean called 
me to follow him to his house, and without many 
words told me that he had determined to propose 
to me to become Headmaster of Westminster. 
He said he did not wish for an immediate answer, 
for there would probably be several questions I 
would wish to ask before I determined.' 

The matter had indeed been already privately 
discussed between Liddell and his friend Saunders 
of Charterhouse, and inquiries about the condition 
of the school and the chief difficulties to be faced 
had been made of the Rev. T. W. Weare, a 
brother student, then Under- master at Westminster, 
who was most anxious to secure Liddell for his 

CH. n] Westminster School in 1846 61 

new chief. There were many questions to be con- 
sidered. The numbers of the school had fallen 
of late to between seventy and eighty, and 
its ancient prestige had greatly declined. The 
neighbourhood of the school was bad ; parents 
preferred country schools ; and for these and other 
reasons it had come to pass that the College and 
the boarding-houses were only partly filled. The 
school, moreover, had no property of its own, but 
was dependent on the Dean and Chapter for all 
its funds beyond a few small statutory allowances ; 
and all money spent upon improvements dimin- 
ished their income. There were three boarding- 
houses, Grant's, Benthall's, and Scott's ; but these 
were not Chapter or school property. They be- 
longed to private owners who had bought them 
on speculation when the school was flourishing, 
and could only be re-purchased at a considerable 
price. In two of them, no master lived, and the 
discipline was under very imperfect control. The 
forty Queen's Scholars were lodged in the College, 
and were more or less under the supervision of 
the Under-master, who occupied the adjoining 
house : but, as the Queen's Scholars were always 
elected from the town boys, who, with the ex- 
ception of a very few day boys, were the occupants 
of the boarding-houses, it was clear that if the 
College was to be in a satisfactory state, the condi- 
tion of the boarding-houses must be first looked to. 
The teaching staff, moreover, was very small 
and ineffective. The Headmaster took the highest 

62 Life at Christ Church [CH. n 

Forms, the Vllth and Vlth. The whole of the 
Lower School was taught by the Under-master. 
The intermediate Forms were in the hands of 
three Ushers, two of whom were ' old stagers/ 

'The Shell Usher' (writes Canon Rich, who 
was Captain in Williamson's last days) ' was rather 
a jolly old fellow, but he got very little out of 
his Form ; and sham exercises were often given 
up on the chance of their not being looked at. 
The Usher of the Vth was certainly a clever man, 
but I am not sure that he was a good teacher.' 

There were no Class-rooms, except the Library, 
where the Headmaster taught his boys. The 
rest of the work was all done amid the publicity 
and noise of the big schoolroom. In College there 
was but one spacious chamber, the long Dormitory, 
used day and night, for study and sleep, by the 
forty Queen's Scholars. 

It was clear that the new Headmaster would 
have to make many changes, and offend many 
prejudices, if he were to bring the school up to 
a decent level. Liddell had a high conception of 
efficiency, and a brilliant reputation to sustain, and 
he was determined not to accept the Mastership 
unless he came to some clear understanding with 
the Dean and Chapter, and knew exactly what 
to expect from them. Fortunately Dr. Buckland, 
who had lately succeeded Samuel Wilberforce as 
Dean of Westminster, was equally anxious to effect 
improvements ; and as he was at this time still a 
Canon of Christ Church, Liddell was able to consult 

CH. ii] Offered Westminster Headmastership 63 

him at once, on the very day on which the Dean's 
offer was made. 

' I met Buckland by appointment, and walked 
three times round the meadow with him, discuss- 
ing the whole subject. He told me freely all 
that it was intended to do, and all that I might 
expect from the Chapter. He said they were 
going to make a thorough reform of the whole 
management of the institution ; that means might 
be devised for getting rid of two Ushers who 
at present interfere with all prospects of improve- 
ment ; that all Old Westminsters with whom he 
had spoken the Archbishop of York, Lord Gran- 
ville Somerset, &c. had expressed their hopes 
that I should be appointed ; that Sir Robert Peel 
and Sir James Graham both desired it ; and 
that all Westminsters confessed that they had no 
man of their own who could hope to restore the 
College to its ancient glories. The present emolu- 
ments are ^600 or ^700 a year. The house is 
very good, he says, but no one can live in it 
under ;i,ooo a year; and as the Dean himself 
cannot keep a carriage, of course a Prebendary 
cannot, nor the Master, unless he has a private 

Liddell was naturally not without perplexity; if 
he took the post, it would be necessary to have 
a clear promise from the Chapter, as to ways and 
means ; he would be obliged to supersede some of 
the Ushers, a painful task ; and to get effective 
control over the boarding-houses. But all this 
was so far satisfactorily settled, or in the way of 

64 Life at Christ Church 

settlement, that before the end of May he felt 
himself able to write to his future wife : 

' I have seen Dean Buckland, and have accepted 
the terms offered. It is now publicly known that 
I am Archididascalus Westmonasteriensis elect. I 
have been already congratulated by several Old 
Westminsters with warm wishes for my success. . . . 
And so, now, it is all settled, and a heavy weight 
is off my mind, though I have taken a heavy yoke 
upon my neck. At least, there will be some very 
disagreeable work to begin with. But I have made 
up my mind to begin in earnest, and go through 
with it.' 

At the close of the Summer Term he left Christ 
Church. His marriage took place at the end of 
July, and, after a short holiday in North Wales, he 
settled down to his new and arduous task. 



THE Lexicon was the great work of Liddell's 
life. It was begun while he and Robert Scott were 
still Bachelors of Arts, perhaps as early as 1834. 
After many years of arduous labour, it was published 
in the summer of 1843. But that date marks the 
completion of only the first stage in an undertaking 
which was continued almost to the close of his life ; 
the eighth edition being published, after careful 
revision, in 1897. The Lexicon was his constant 
companion in Term and in Vacation. His spare 
moments were regularly devoted to the task of 
revising, correcting, and enlarging its pages, and 
bringing it up to the level of advancing scholarship. 
For many years with Scott as his coadjutor, and then 
for many years unaided, he continually endeavoured 
to make the bulky volume as perfect as possible : 
and to this unremitting care is due the permanent 
success of the work. There has been no room for 
a rival : it has never become out of date. 

It cannot now be ascertained to what cause the 


66 The Lexicon [CH. m 

book owed its origination. The simplest account 
is that it was due to a request from Talboys, the 
well-known Oxford publisher, for whose firm it was 
undoubtedly at first undertaken. It is said that 
Talboys first sounded Scott, who, after taking time 
to consider the proposal, said that he would accept 
it if Liddell would join with him. Talboys' death 
led to its ultimate publication by the University 
Press. There is, however, a tradition that the 
authors were first encouraged to their task by 
the suggestion of William Sewell, then Fellow of 
Exeter and a leading Oxford Tutor, known after- 
wards as Founder and third Warden of Radlev 


College. Sewell is reported to have met Liddell 
at a gathering of some Essay Club in Oxford, at 
which the subject of Greek Lexicography was dis- 
cussed, and to have urged him to undertake the 
task of compiling a Greek-English Lexicon. Un- 
doubtedly Sewell was well able to judge of the 
ability of Liddell and Scott to perform such a work, 
for he had but lately examined them both for their 
Degree : and the need of a new Lexicon was 
universally acknowledged. It is certain that Gais- 
ford gave the writers constant encouragement : and 
his own example would have been a powerful 
incentive to the two young Students of Christ 
Church. In a letter to Vaughan Liddell writes : 

* Sewell thinks the Oxford mind is running too 
much to pure Theology : if you think so too, and 
also like him regret it, you will be glad to hear that 
some of us are in all likelihood about to close an 

CH. in] Earlier Lexicons 67 

engagement with Talboys for a Lexicon founded 
chiefly on Passow; indeed I dare say it will be 
nearly a translation. This sentence is rather 
arrogant, for the "some of us," after all, is only 
Scott and myself. At present you need say 
nothing about it. The Dean encourages the 
project very much, and has given us a number 
of valuable hints.' 

It is indeed a matter of surprise that such a 
work had not already been done. We can scarcely 
understand how without some such help the 
average student in those days was able to fight 
his way through Greek authors. Till a very few 
years previously, there had been no such book as 
a Greek-English Lexicon ; Greek was interpreted 
to the English reader only through the medium 
of the Latin tongue. One can still remember 
Schrevelius, Hederic, and Scapula as the ultimate 
authorities at school ; and formidable volumes they 
were. Some poor attempts had been recently made 
to provide a Greek-English Lexicon by Donnegan, 
Dunbar, and Giles ; but none of these books was at 
all adequate to the requirements of scholars : they 
were unscientific in the treatment of words, and 
suffered from lack of methodical arrangement, and 
redundancy of English equivalents ; or else from 
over-brevity. In Germany, however, a better type 
of Lexicon had been published by F. Passow, based 
upon the profound work of his elder colleague 
Schneider. Schneider, who was Professor and 
Chief Librarian at Breslau, .had, at the beginning 

K 2 

68 The Lexicon [CH. m 

of the century, issued a Greek-German Lexicon, 
which he subsequently enlarged and improved. 
This became the standard work in Germany. It 
was a monument of industry and learning; but it 
suffered from lack of methodical arrangement. It 
was reserved for Passow, a pupil of Jacobs and 
Hermann, and himself a Professor at Breslau, to 
make use of the materials provided by Schneider, 
and to exhibit them in orderly and instructive 

' His leading principle was to draw out, wherever 
it was possible, a kind of biographical history of 
each word, to give its different meanings in an 
almost chronological order, to cite always the 
earliest author in which a word is found thus 
ascertaining, as nearly as may be, its original 
signification and then to trace it downwards, 
according as it might vary in sense and construc- 
tion, through subsequent writers 1 .' 

In order to carry out this plan, Passow spent his 
first efforts upon Homer and Hesiod, and in sub- 
sequent editions added an examination of the Ionic 
prose of Herodotus; but his early death in 1833, 
at the age of forty-six, prevented the completion 
of a wider undertaking. 

It was upon this work of Passow that the new 
Oxford Lexicon was avowedly based : and in the 
first three editions his name appeared on the title- 

1 Quarterly Review, March 1835. From this article, and another 
in March 1845, both, it is believed, from the pen of Mr. Fishlake, 
much may be learnt about Greek lexicography. 

CH. in] Passows labours 69 

page. But from the outset a vast amount of 
additional work was found necessary. The Preface 
to the first edition is now so little known that it 
may be well to quote from it the authors' description 
of the task which they undertook : 

' We at first thought of a translation of Passow's 
work, with additions. But a little experience showed 
us that this would not be sufficient. Passow indeed 
had done all that was necessary for Homer and 
Hesiod, so that his work has become a regular 
authority in Germany for the old Epic Greek. But 
he had done nothing further completely. For though 
in the fourth edition he professes to have done 
for Herodotus the same as for Homer, this is not 
quite the case. He had done little more than 
use Schweighauser's Lexicon which is an excellent 
book, and leaves little of the peculiar phraseology 
of Herodotus unnoticed, but is very far indeed from 
being a complete vocabulary of the author. One of 
us, accordingly, undertook to read Herodotus care- 
fully through, adding what was lacking to the 
margin of his Schweighauser. The other did 
much the same for Thucydides. And between us 
we have gone through the Fragments of the early 
Poets, Lyric, Elegiac, &c., which were not in the 
Poetae Minores of Gaisford ; as well as those of the 
early Historic and Philosophic writers; and those of 
the Attic, Tragic, and Comic Poets, which were 
dispersed through Athenaeus, Stobaeus, &c. . . . 
But besides all our own reading and collections, 
we have made unfailing use of the best Lexicons 
and Indexes of the great Attic writers Wellauer's 
of Aeschylus, Ellendt's of Sophocles, Beck's of 

^o The Lexicon [CH. m 

Euripides, Caravella's of Aristophanes, Ast's of 
Plato, Sturz's of Xenophon, with Reiske's and 
Mitchell's of the Attic Orators. The reader will 
see by this that we have thrown our chief strength 
on the phraseology of the Attic writers. We have 
also sedulously consulted Bockh's Index to Pindar; 
and for Hippocrates, who ought to be closely joined 
with Herodotus, we have used Foesius' CEconomia, 
with the references in the Index of the Oxford 
Scapula. After the Attic writers, Greek under- 
goes a great change ; which begins to appear 
strongly about the time of Alexander. Aristotle's 
language strikes us at once as something quite 
different from that of his master Plato, though the 
change of styles cannot be measured quite chrono- 
logically : as, for instance, Demosthenes was con- 
temporary with Aristotle ; yet his style is the purest 
Attic. Here, as in painting, architecture, &c., there 
are transition periods the old partly surviving, the 
new just appearing. But the change is complete 
in Polybius, with the later Historic writers, and 
Plutarch. We have therefore not been anxious 
to amass authorities from these authors, though we 
have endeavoured to collect their peculiar words 
and phrases. For Aristotle, we have used Sylburg's 
Indexes, and those in the Oxford editions of the 
Rhetoric and Ethics ; for Theophrastus, Schneider's 
Index; for Polybius (of course) Schweighauser's 
Lexicon; for Plutarch, Wittenbach's Index. Attic 
phraseology revives more or less in Lucian ; but 
for that reason most of his phrases have earlier 
examples, though in some of his works (as the Verae 
Historiae, Tragopodagra, Lexiphanes, &c.), many 
new or rare words occur. We have taken them 

CH. in] Arrangement of the work 71 

from Geel's Index to the edition of Hemsterhuis 
and Reiz. But in these, and writers of a like 
stamp, we have seldom been careful to add the 
special reference, being usually content with giving 
the name of the author. Another class of writers 
belongs to Alexandria. We have not neglected 
these. The reader will find the Greek of Theocritus 
pretty fully handled ; and he will not turn in vain 
to seek the unusual words introduced by the learned 
Epic school of that city, Callimachus, Apollonius, &c., 
or by that wholesale coiner Lycophron. We have 
also been careful to notice such words as occur first, 
or in any unusual sense, in the Alexandrian version 
of the Old Testament, and in the New Testament. 
We must not omit to mention, that in the first part, 
viz., from B to K inclusive, we have been saved 
much labour, and have very much enriched our 
Lexicon, by consulting Hase and Dindorfs new 
edition of Stephani Thesaurus. We only wish we 
could have had their assistance for the whole.' 

Such was the task undertaken by two young 
men, who, though at the outset fairly at leisure, 
soon found that they were able to devote to it 
only those few hours of each day which could 
be spared from other duties. Liddell, as we have 
seen, became a College Tutor at the beginning 
of 1836, and Scott won a Fellowship at Balliol 
College in 1835, an< ^ after five years of residence 
there accepted the College living of Duloe in 
Cornwall, and settled down, as a married man, to 
parochial work in that distant part of England. 
He did not give up his share in the labour 

72 The Lexicon [CH. m 

which they had jointly undertaken ; but the 
separation rendered the work far less easy, and 
a heavier portion of the burden was necessarily 
thrown upon the partner resident in Oxford, within 
reach of Oxford libraries and the Clarendon Press. 

Passow had not only provided a solid foundation 
for future workers, but he had also indicated 
the true system on which a Lexicon should be 
constructed; and among the many excellences 
of the new Lexicon none was more remarkable 
than its admirable and instructive arrangement. 
Instead of the old and bewildering fashion of 
grouping words, including compounds, under their 
primitive forms (or forms supposed to be primitive), 
a uniform alphabetical arrangement was adopted. 
The uses of each word were traced from its sim- 
plest and most rudimentary meaning to its various 
derivative and metaphorical applications ; the steps 
which connected these different shades of meaning 
were clearly marked ; and each gradation was illus- 
trated as far as possible historically, by apt quotations 
from authors of successive dates *. For such a treat- 

1 In a very interesting article in the Fortnightly Review of January 
1899, Professor Max Miiller writes : 

'The value of Liddell's Greek Dictionary consists in the consummate 
sobriety of its author. There is never too much, and yet there is 
hardly ever any essential meaning or any classical passage left out. 
The various meanings assigned to each word seem to spring up in 
regular succession, and we seldom find a Hysteron Proteron even 
from a merely chronological point of view. Yet chronology is not the 
only measure by which the stages or the growth of a word should be 
determined, and the Dean's good sense has generally kept him on 
the via media between a purely chronological and purely logical 
arrangement of meanings.' 

CH. in] Qualifications needed for the work 73 

ment of the language there were requisite not only 
the guidance of a methodical and logical mind, and 
a thorough knowledge of the principal Greek writers, 
but also a perfect mastery of the English tongue, so 
'as to select with readiness the appropriate renderings, 
and to distinguish with nicety between the various 
so-called synonyms. The illustrations chosen should 
be sufficient, but not too numerous ; and so chosen 
as to display the delicate transitions of signification. 
To achieve this successfully, scholarship in the 
fullest sense of the word was absolutely necessary, 
together with a keen appreciation of idioms, of the 
force of particles, and of those subtle distinctions 
of phraseology with which Greek pre-eminently 
abounds. To these high qualifications some 
measure of philological and antiquarian knowledge 
must be added ; and to accomplish the task, a dogged 
perseverance, undaunted by delays and weariness. 
Liddell, in one of his letters, expresses a longing for 
the x a ^ K * vr *P' La of the grammarian Didymus, untired 
by the drudgery of his monotonous toil. 

The progress of the Lexicon is not often mentioned 
in Liddell's correspondence; but occasional references 
are found. He describes how Scott and he used to 
meet in his rooms at the south-west corner of the 
Great Quadrangle (Staircase in. 4) and work away 
from seven till eleven each night, one holding the 
pen, the other searching for authorities in books 
and indexes which lay open on the table. On one 
of these nights, in November 1838, Scott was late 
in arriving, and excused himself on the plea that he 


74 The Lexicon [CH. m 

had been engaged in the Fellowship election at 
Balliol, and he added in a tone of satisfaction, ' We 
have elected an undergraduate, by name Jowett.' 
On another occasion Liddell writes : 

' The Lexicon has been in abeyance during Col- 
lections, otherwise it has been going on reasonably 
well ; but I rather shudder at the length of time it 
imposes on us, more, certainly, than I had calculated 
on. However, if we get through it, it will be 
satisfactory to think (as I believe we shall have 
good right to think) that we shall have performed 
a very useful and much wanted work. But if any 
one would appear who would undertake it, being 
also competent thereto, I would not be loth to 
resign my share, and make him a present of all 
I have done hitherto.' 

He resolutely gave up to the work all his Long 
Vacations, with the exception of that which followed 
his sister's death, and postponed his first visit to 
Switzerland till after the publication of the book in 
1843. As the printing advanced, the tie was closer ; 
every page had to be carefully looked through and 
every reference verified. In spite of the devoted 
help of George Marshall, generously acknowledged 
in the Preface, the labour was very severe. In 
July 1842 he writes to Scott: 

'You will be glad to hear that I have all but 
finished Tl, that two-legged monster, who must in 

ancient times have worn his legs a-straddle, 

else he could never have strode over so enormous 

CH. Ill] 

The monster 17 


a space as he has occupied and will occupy in 

He then draws a picture of the creature in human 
form, and adds : 

' Behold the monster, as he has been mocking 
my waking and sleeping visions for the last many 

Later in the same Long Vacation he describes in 
a letter to his sister his mode of life : 

' I get up at 5 every morning, work hard till 
about 6.30 or 7, have a cup of coffee and bit of 
bread, work hard till about n, have breakfast, 
work hard till 2, go out with Vaughan or alone, 
walking or skiffing, dine at 5, work a little at night, 
and have tea (if any) with Vaughan, and go to bed 
at 9.30. I have got through a good deal of work, and 
hope that, as far as the Lexicon goes, I have broken 
the neck of it. We are going merrily along, and 
the printers, as well as myself, seem not a little 
glad that we are nearer the end than the beginning.' 

So the work gradually grew to its completion ; 
and by the side of the larger Lexicon was being 

L 2 

y6 The Lexicon [CH. m 

prepared an abridgement for the use of schools, 
which the Press for convenience sake desired to 
print at the same time. This smaller volume was 
entrusted wholly to the care of George Marshall, 
who also took a heavy share of the laborious task 
of verifying all passages quoted in the larger book. 
Of the abridgement it is enough to quote the 
emphatic testimony of the Quarterly Review that 
it is ' by much the best manual for beginners that 
has ever come from the press.' In the summer 
of 1843 tne Lexicon was published. 

'We send it forth,' wrote the authors in the 
Preface, ' in the hope that it may in some wise 
foster and keep alive the accurate study of the 
Greek tongue ; that tongue which has been held 
one of the best instruments for training the young 
mind ; that tongue which, as the organ of Poetry 
and Oratory, is full of living force and fire, abound- 
ing in grace and sweetness, rich to overflowing ; 
while for the uses of Philosophy it is a very model 
of clearness and precision ; that tongue in which 
some of the noblest works of man's genius lie 
enshrined, works which may be seen reflected 
faintly in imitations and translations, but of which 
none can know the perfect beauty, but he who can 
read the words themselves, as well as their inter- 

' We now dismiss our book,' they add at the 
close of the Preface, ' with feelings of thankfulness 
that we have had health and strength to bring 
it to a close. We know well how far it is from 
what it might be, from what we ourselves could 
imagine it to be. But we hope that, by pains 

CH. in] Extracts from Preface 77 

and accuracy, we have at least laid a good 
foundation ; and we shall be ready to profit by 
any criticisms that may be made upon it, whether 
public or private. For the present we shall be 
content if it shall in any sort serve that end of 
which we spoke in the outset ; if, that is, it shall 
tend to cherish or improve the accurate study 
of the classical writers of Greece. We cannot 
look for much more. For the writer of Dic- 
tionaries, says Johnson in his Preface, has been 
" considered not the pupil, but the slave of science, 
the pioneer of literature, doomed only to remove 
rubbish, and clear obstructions from the path 
through which learning and genius press forward 
to conquest and glory, without bestowing a smile 
on the humble drudge that facilitates their pro- 
gress." His labours have been compared to "those 
of the anvil and the mine " ; or even worse, 

Condendaque Lexica mandat 
Damnatis, poenam pro poenis omnibus unam. 

' But our own great English Lexicographer, 
who with his gloomy mind delighted to heap 
reproaches upon himself, has himself also re- 
moved much of that reproach by the noble work 
which will carry his name wherever the English 
tongue is spoken. And we at least are well 
pleased to think that, if our book prove useful, 
it has been our lot to follow, however humbly, 
in the same career of usefulness that he chose 
for his own.' 

The Lexicon was received with the utmost favour, 
and the demand for it exceeded the authors' expec- 
tation. In 1845 Liddell reports that: 

j& The Lexicon [CH m. 

' Dindorf, a great German scholar, has written 
a most complimentary letter to the chief printer, 
saying that he now relinquishes all intentions of 
undertaking a Greek-English Lexicon which he had 

But though so warmly and deservedly welcomed, 
the work needed constant attention and unremitting 
care in supervision, so that each successive edition 
might mark a clear advance on the previous one. 
Within nine months of the publication a second 
edition was called for. This was issued in 1845, 
a third in 1849; the fourth edition, in which the 
name of Passow was omitted from the title-page, 
was published in 1855 ; the two next editions were 
in 1 86 1 and 1869. The seventh, embodying perhaps 
the most important improvements of any, came 
in January 1883; and in 1897, ten years after Scott's 
death, and only a few months before Liddell himself 
was called to his rest, the eighth edition was issued, 
of the same bulk, and from the same plates, as the 
previous edition, but containing many corrections, 
and four pages of addenda and corrigenda l . Many 

1 By the courtesy of the Delegates of the Clarendon Press, the 
following information has been furnished as to the editions of the book. 

The first edition was put to the press in March 1841, and was 
published (3,000 copies) in 1843 at 42^. 

The second edition (6,000 copies) in 1845, at the same price. 

The third edition (6,000 copies) in 1849, at the same price. 

The fourth edition (8,000 copies) in 1855, at 30^. 

The fifth edition (10,000 copies) in 1861, at $is. 6d. 

The sixth edition (15,000 copies) in 1869, at $6s. This was at the 
time intended to be the final revision, and the number then printed 
was calculated to last eleven years. 

The seventh edition was revised by Liddell alone, and came out 

CH. in] The several editions 79 

words were re-written, and many new words inserted 
in the body of the work. And though he was then 
in his 8 yth year, his handwriting was as clear as 
in his younger days, and he took the same care with 
the accentuation. 

Throughout this long period of fifty-four years 
the labour of improving the Lexicon was never 
intermitted. Author after author was read through, 
and careful references were made to every note- 
worthy use of word or phrase ; the help of Indexes 
thus gradually giving way to the actual perusal of 
the whole text of the writers themselves. Even 
Passow's laborious treatment of Homer was found 
to be quite unsatisfactory. 

'I regret/ wrote Liddell in 1853, 'to find how 
much better the Lexicon might be ! I have been 
going over the Homeric part, and find, alas ! many, 
many errors both of sense and taste. I wish we 
had at once seen that the best way was only to use 
Passow as a convenience, and that all real work should 
have been done by ourselves. It would have been 
less labour in the end.' 

And not only the Greek authors themselves, but 
all the chief modern works dealing with the Greek 
language had to be carefully examined. The new 

in 1883, and electrotype plates were then taken. From these plates 
additional copies were struck off in 1885, 1886, and 1890. 

The eighth edition was ordered in 1895 and appeared in 1897. 
The corrections are such only as could be introduced into the existing 
electrotype plates. 

Sir Henry Acland calculates that there are more than 20 million 
letters, stops, and accents in the volume ; and this is confirmed by the 
Controller of the Press. 

So The Lexicon [CH. m 

Paris edition of Stephani Thesaurus was, as it came 
out, in constant use. Much help was afforded by 
Rost and Palm's Greek-German Lexicon, and Dr. 
Veitch's Greek Verbs, Irregular and Defective. The 
etymological portion of the work was entirely re- 
cast, with the help particularly of the writings of 
Georg Curtius ; and in the later editions, as the 
book was now widely circulated in America, Pro- 
fessors Drislerof New York, Goodwin of Cambridge, 
Massachusetts, and Gildersleeve of Baltimore, con- 
tributed very valuable assistance throughout the 
volume : Professor Drisler's name appearing on the 
title-page of the American edition '. 

So the life's work, or bye-work, went on ; an 
engrossing occupation for spare moments in the 
busy career at Westminster and Oxford, and a re- 
creation in the retirement of Ascot. 

' I remember one day,' writes the Dean of Dur- 
ham, ' having to call on Liddell on College business, 
and was told that he was in the Library. Thither 
I went to seek him, and found him seated in one of 
the small rooms to the south. As I came in, he 
looked up, with that kind look of his, and said, 
" You have found me at the very end of a life's 

1 ' Some of the old objectionable etymologies,' writes Professor Max 
Miiller, ' have now been removed and replaced by others which are 
supported by Curtius in his Grundziige der Griechischen Etymologic. 
But such has been the progress of Comparative Philology since the 
days of Curtius, such, more particularly, the improvement in the more 
delicate handling of phonetic rules, that a careful revision by a young 
scholar such as I was in the fifties and sixties would be very useful 
even now, and would be highly appreciated by classical scholars, who 
rightly recognize in every true etymology the pre-historic development 
of Greek words and Greek ideas.' (Fortnightly Review, Jan. 1899.) 

CH. in] Liddell and Mr. Ruskin 81 

task ; for I am writing the last sheet of the last 
edition of the Lexicon which I shall undertake. 
I shall henceforth leave it to others to correct, or 
future editions may come out as I have left this one." 
I said, he would miss it very much, such an old 
friend ; and after my bit of business, I left him. 
In the following October Term, I had again to 
trouble him ; and hearing again that he was in the 
Library, I found him busy on one of the sheets of 
the lately issued edition, preparing already for the 
next. I reminded him of what he had said, and 
with a laugh he confessed that he could not keep 
his hands off it ; that so many people had sent him 
corrections and suggestions for the new edition, that 
he felt he could not lay down the task. And so he 
continued working steadily at it, I believe, down to 
the very end.' 

Sometimes Liddell's older friends, who had known 
the range of his artistic tastes, and remembered the 
rare promise of his younger days, were inclined to 
regret that he had devoted so much of his life to the 
drudgery of Lexicography. This regret is implied 
in Mr. Ruskin's words already quoted, when he 
speaks of ' the prosaic and practical element in him 
having prevailed over the sensitive one/ and describes 
him as 'a man sorrowfully under the dominion of the 
Greek dvdyKri! When Liddell read those words, in 
1886, he wrote to Mr. Ruskin as follows : 

' Your Christ Church Choir I have read with 
much interest. It calls back old times and revives 
the memory of many things. . . . As for myself, I have 
to thank you for your kindly expressions. Kindly 


82 The Lexicon [CH. m 

I call them, though I am sensible that, under the 
kindliness, lies severe censure. But I think this 
censure is based upon an over-estimate of my 
umquhile capacities. To alter your phrase, I conceive 
you to say that by bowing my neck under some kind 
of dvdyKrj, I have become a Philistine instead of 
becoming, as was possible, a true Israelite. Well, 
I hope I am not an absolute Philistine. But I am 
sure that I never could, with any success, have 
attempted a way 

qua me quoque possim 
Tollere humo, victorque virura volitare per ora. 

This, I suppose, is what you mean. 

I None of us, in looking back, but must say with 
old Samuel Johnson, " I have lived a life of which 
I do not like the review." But this is different 
from imagining that one might have done great 
things instead of little. Enough of myself.' 

To this Mr. Ruskin replied : 

' I am very grateful for your letter. What 
was held back in my reference to you was chiefly 
my own mortified vanity, at your praising other 
people's lectures, and never mine ! and sorrow that 
you kept dictionary making, instead of drawing trees 
at Madeira in colour. 

I 1 hope what further words may come, in after 
times, as I go on, will not pain you ; though I was 
very furious about the iron railing through Christ 
Church meadow. 

' Ever your affectionate pupil, 


The publication of the Lexicon gave a respite 
from incessant occupation ; and in the Long Vacation 

CH. in] First Visit to Switzerland 83 

of 1843 Liddell paid his first visit to Switzerland. 
His impressions of Swiss scenery are recorded in 
two letters. To his sister Charlotte he writes from 
Thun : 

' Here I am, rather unexpectedly, in the midst 
of the most beautiful scenery that I ever saw, more 
beautiful than I ever conceived. To-day it is 
slightly raining, and the high Alps are wrapt in 
clouds. But yesterday morning was bright and 
clear, and the chain of the Bernese Alps stood sharp 
against the sky the Jungfrau, Wetterhorn, and 
all the rest dazzling one with their everlasting 
snow. We went up the lake in a steamer to Inter- 
laken and got up to a height which commands the 
lake of Brienz, where we were some twelve English 
miles nearer to the high mountains. But it is not 
near so beautiful a scene as from my bedroom 
window at this place : and verily I bless God for 
having made so fair a scene. ... I long to see an 
Alpine pass and glacier. But the days are gone 
when I should have eagerly climbed every height, 
and thought each day wasted in which I had not 
walked twenty or thirty miles. I feel that one 
ought to come to Switzerland at a much earlier 
time of life than I have done, at a time when one 
is more alive to the wondrous scenes of Nature, the 
rock, the mountain, and the flood, when one's health 
and body are more fresh and vigorous, and one is less 
alive to petty annoyances. However, I will not 
complain, and I am glad to find that, though my 
hair is falling off and going grey, I yet feel much 
of youthful ardour and freshness return when I 
breathe this fresh and sparkling air, and look on 

M 2 

84 The Lexicon [CH. m 

these scenes which are all Nature's own, and bid 
defiance to man's art to alter them.' 

To Scott he wrote later : 

' Tell Mrs. Scott that I cannot less well appreciate 
the scenery of Cumberland and Westmoreland from 
having been in Switzerland. Indeed I am pleased 
to find that really beautiful scenery interests one 
the more, the more one sees. It is not the actual 
scale, but the relative proportions and colour, and 
a thousand nameless things, that make beautiful 
scenery. If she challenges me to say that Cumber- 
land is as sublime as Switzerland there I must 
demur. To be in the heart of the Bernese Alps 
(much finer they, me judice, than Mont Blanc), to 
see and hear avalanches " momently falling," to 
look on real peaks, thousands of feet above you, 
when you are yourself at twice the elevation of any 
Cumberland hill, shining in the smoothest, brightest, 
purest covering of eternal snow in relief against 
a dark-blue sky, or at sunset passing through a 
hundred hues, from pure white through the grada- 
tions of yellow, orange, roseate red (a quite 
indescribable colour so delicate, so rich), and then 
again fading into silver white, heightened by the 
moonbeams : this, with all their beauties of form 
which the pencil cannot give, far less words, renders 
the Bernese Alps from the Faulhorn the sublimest 
scene I ever hope to see.' 

It is strange that, possessing so keen a sense for 
the beauties of Nature, and so deep a love for 
History and Art, Liddell very rarely travelled 

CH. m] Swiss Scenery 85 

abroad. After his marriage, he seldom left England, 
except under Doctor's orders. He visited Athens 
only once, when he was cruising in the Mediter- 
ranean for his health ; and, more strange still, he 
never visited Rome, though his Roman History 
seems to show close familiarity with its topography. 



IN entering upon his work at Westminster in 
September 1846, Liddell began a very important 
period of his life, comprising many successes indeed, 
but many grave cares and anxieties. 

He brought his bride to their new home in 
the ancient low-roomed house on the east side of 
Dean's Yard, adjoining the archway which leads into 
Little Dean's Yard. This house had originally 
formed part of the Prior's lodgings, but had for 
long been assigned to the Headmaster, and its walls 
were hung with the portraits of former occupants, 
including the famous antiquary Camden, who had 
been Headmaster in Elizabeth's reign, 1593-99. 
Since that distant time, no one had been chosen for 
the Headmastership who had not been educated at 
the school ; and the selection of a non- Westminster 
was an innovation which, though admitted to be 
necessary, was a severe shock to the venerable 
traditions of the place. All the chief school build- 
ings, as well as the Headmaster's house, were part 

School Buildings 87 

of the ancient Abbey, lying close against it on its 
southern side. The schoolroom was formed out of 
a portion of the Monks' dormitory; the Abbot's 
refectory was the dining-hall of the forty Queen's 
Scholars. They had in olden times been lodged in 
the Abbey granary, but had been transferred in 
1732 to a new dormitory, begun while Atterbury 
was Dean, from a design furnished by the Earl of 
Burlington based upon an earlier design of Wren's, 
which stretched along the western side of the 
Infirmary garden. The cloister garth was the boys' 
fighting green ; the Abbey was their chapel. The 
school was without property of its own, and was 
entirely dependent on the Dean and Chapter, who 
were not accustomed to be over-generous, or to 
spend much anxious thought upon the special 
requirements of the boys. The neighbourhood was 
bad ; and, to reach the chief playground in Vincent 
Square an open space of about ten acres many 
low streets had to be traversed. The river indeed 
provided a place for recreation not yet rendered 
perilous by crowded steamboat traffic ; but the 
Thames then received the whole drainage of London, 
and its tidal waters were by no means without their 

Liddell was encouraged by a cordial welcome from 
all persons connected with the school, and his own 
reputation augured well for the success of his rule. 
Buckland, but lately made Dean, was, as we have 
seen, most ready to back him to the utmost in all 
that he attempted, and was himself profoundly 

88 Headmastership of Westminster [CH. iv 

dissatisfied with the existing state of the school. 
Arthur Stanley describes a conversation with 
Buckland in the previous January, as they were 
travelling down to Oxford together: 

' He talked a great deal and very sensibly about 
the reform of Westminster School, the abuses of 
which he described at great length, particularly in 
the physical department counterpanes in the dormi- 
tory not washed for eleven years, school not cleaned 
since Queen Elizabeth died, tyranny and cruelty 
among the boys, three of whom he had been instru- 
mental in expelling. All this he meant thoroughly 
to look into, and thought of writing a pamphlet on 
the subject, and made me give him a detailed 
account of great parts of the system at Rugby.' 

In Mrs. Gordon's Life of Buckland, the College is 
thus described : 

1 Buckland found that Dean Atterbury's dormitory, 
after over a hundred years' use as bedroom, sitting- 
room, and playroom, was in a most dismal condition, 
with the walls blackened by smoke, and here and 
there hung with moth-eaten green baize curtains ; 
the tables and lockers seamed and scarred in all 
directions ; and the floor . Taking his children to 
see the place, their father asked, "Well, children, 
what 's this floor like ? " The answer was prompt, 
" The fossil ripple-marks in our hall at home." 
[A fossil slab of ripple-marks now in the Oxford 
Museum.] The floor was only cleaned once a year, 
so that its rough surface was not to be wondered at, 
as the boys did a great deal of cooking there amongst 
their other diversions.' 

CH. iv] Changes on the Staff 89 

Many of the Chapter too, if not all, shared the 
Dean's sympathy with reforms, and Liddell speaks 
particularly of the sub-Dean, Lord John Thynne : 

' Who is a real gentleman (as they say in Ireland), 
a most agreeable, kind, good man, who will do all 
that lies in his power to promote the good of the 
school and my wishes.' 

The great body of Old Westminsters also desired 
to encourage the new Headmaster; and the entries 
of new boys were eminently satisfactory. But the 
task before him was not an easy one. 

' I shall have to begin,' he writes, ' with some 
very unpleasant business. I shall have to turn off 
people who consider themselves excellent servants 
of the College. I shall have to make myself many 
enemies. But nothing can be done without this. 
I shall have the concurrence and support of all 
Westminsters whose opinions are worth having. 
I shall be warmly seconded by Buckland and Weare, 
and by all the electors, so I shall, in reliance on all 
this favour, boldly throw down the gauntlet, and 
make a clean sweep.' 

The existing ushers gave place to new men of 
Liddell's own choice, all of whom were admirably 
fitted for their posts ; the Rev. Stephen J. Rigaud, 
a double First Class man and Fellow of Exeter 
College, the Rev. James Marshall, of Christ Church, 
and the Rev. B. F. James, of Exeter College. 
Rigaud five years later became Headmaster of 
Ipswich School, and afterwards Bishop of Antigua. 
Mr. James spent the whole "of his working life at 


90 Headmaster ship of Westminster [CH. iv 

the school, and died soon after his retirement. 
Mr. Marshall remained at his post for nearly thirty 
years, and still possesses, in the dutiful affection of 
many generations of Westminster men, their grateful 
appreciation of a very noble ideal of faithful service 
and pure and lofty aims. With such assistants 
many changes, which would otherwise have been 
difficult, were made comparatively easy. Stricter 
discipline and more industry were enforced ; the 
work of the Forms was re-cast ; proper provision was 
made for the teaching of French and Mathematics, 
and Wordsworth's Greek Grammar and Edward VI's 
Latin Grammar took the place of the antiquated 
Westminster manuals. 

The Under-master, the Rev. Thomas W. Weare, 
cordially welcomed all improvements. He had been, 
as has been said, a fellow-student of Liddell's at 
Christ Church, and his lengthened experience of 
Westminster, as boy and master, gave a special 
value to his advice and assistance. To him belonged 
by custom the entire management of the College ; 
and it was his wish to co-operate with his new chief in 
introducing such changes as would adapt the College 
life to modern requirements without impairing its 
ancient autonomy. Two great blows had recently 
been aimed at its traditions by Samuel Wilberforce, 
during his short reign as Dean, and both had been 
parried. He had proposed that a master should reside 
actually in the College building, so as to live among 
the Queen's Scholars, and to exercise a constant 
check upon their independence. Such an intruder 

CH. iv] Improvements to Dormitory 91 

would have found himself stirring a hornets' nest. 
Wilberforce had also made a determined effort to 
abolish the Latin Play; but this had been met by 
a unanimous protest from the whole body of Old 
Westminsters, addressed to Dean Buckland soon 
after his appointment. Reforms such as these, 
dictated by a spirit unfamiliar with the ^0o? of 
a Public School, would have no place in the plans 
of the new Headmaster and his colleague the Under- 
master. But they heartily supported the Dean and 
Chapter in their proposal, already made in June 
1846, to carry out certain structural alterations in 
the College building. Below the great Dormitory, 
the only home of the Queen's Scholars by day and 
night, there was a spacious cloister, inaccessible to 
the boys, but open to the College garden, and used 
by members of the Chapter and their families as 
a sheltered walk, or a serviceable tea-room at garden 
parties. This area it was now proposed to enclose, 
and to form within it large rooms which would afford 
proper accommodation as day quarters for the 
Queen's Scholars. The Dean and Chapter were 
not willing to advance the necessary funds for this 
improvement, but they issued an appeal to Old 
Westminsters and others ; and within a short time 
the new rooms were constructed, and a Sanatorium 
was also built at the south end of the College, con- 
taining adequate provision for sickness, and a home 
for a resident Matron, who was to look after the boys' 
linen, and tend them when on the sick list. This was 
a vast improvement. Hideous indeed was the Sana- 

N 2 

92 Headmasters/tip of Westminster [CH. iv 

torium, and hideous and gloomy beyond words were 
the new apartments of the College. Buckland had 
no aesthetic sensibilities, and was fond of corrugated 
iron ; and it was thought fair that if the boys in- 
habited the cloister, they should at least be deprived 
of the privilege of a sight of the green grass and 
stately plane-trees of the garden. The windows 
of the new rooms were accordingly placed high up, 
and were glazed with an opaque substance which 
excluded even the sky. They were prison cham- 
bers ; but the boys became accustomed to them, 
and they led at once to the disuse of the Dormitory 
as a day room. Liddell's own sense of what was 
beautiful or decorous must have caused him many 
a sigh over such ugly and mean quarters. In the 
College Hall, too, the ancient open fire in the centre 
of the floor, its smoke escaping through the louvre 
in the roof, gave place to a square iron erection of 
a singularly inartistic character, which however had 
one decided merit, in that it provided two clear 
and bright fires admirably adapted for the making 
of toast. Many were the laments of the boys over 
the abolition of the old fire-place : but when about 
forty years later this iron structure was in its turn 
replaced by a more worthy successor, it had so far 
established itself in the affections of the boys that 
its loss was the theme of plaintive epigrams at the 
Election dinner. ' Ah,' said Liddell to his neigh- 
bour as he sat there as Elector, ' they lament its 
loss now: but you should have heard how they 
abused me when it was first put up ! ' 

CH. iv] Life in the College 93 

The great schoolroom, also, many years after 
worthily restored, was now stripped of its ancient 
benches, picturesque in their decay, and hewn and 
hacked by the knives of many generations, and in 
their place was fitted spick and span modern oak 
furniture with iron supports, supplied at small cost 
from the neighbouring depot of the National Society. 
It was very ugly, but much more convenient for 

The life of the boys within the walls of College 
had been from time immemorial very independent. 
Authority was in the hands of the ten ' Seniors,' 
the Captain and three monitors at their head. 
There were curious customs of all sorts, many of 
them unsatisfactory survivals, and the life was 
rough ; and for the ten junior boys, who were 
Fags, not only rough but hard. Most of the 
menial offices of the College were performed by 
them, and little time was left for their school work. 
The allowance for the food of the Queen's Scholars 
was so inadequate that they paid a considerable 
sum each Term for breakfasting at the boarding- 
houses, and a great deal of evening cooking went 
on at the three fires in the long Dormitory. These 
evil economies were now to a great extent abolished ; 
proper meals were provided in the Hall, and ad- 
ditional service, the latter indeed at the expense of 
the boys, or rather of their parents. An annual 
charge was also made in the bills for the improve- 
ments to the College buildings, till the whole expense 
was paid off. This tax outlasted Liddell's time. 

94 Headmaster ship of Westminster [CH. iv 

It will be well to insert here an account of the 
new Headmaster's work at Westminster, from 
the pen of the Rev. James Marshall, who writes 
with an authority and knowledge possessed by 
him alone. It gives a very interesting picture 
of Liddell's position, and an appreciative estimate 
of his character : 

'When Mr. Liddell came to Westminster, the 
school, as is well known, was at a very low ebb. 
There were even vacancies in College for want 
of a sufficient number of boys qualified by con- 
tinuance in the school to make up the statutable 
complement of forty. Mr. Liddell had from the 
first caused it to be fully understood that he would 
only accept the Headmastership on the express 
condition that he should bring his own assistant- 
masters. Irritation was naturally to be expected 
on the part of the gentlemen who retired, and 
of their many and warm friends. Some disquiet 
from this cause was also more widely spread. The 
Old Westminsters were a manly, warm-hearted, 
outspoken body of gentlemen and scholars, devoted 
to their school, and jealous of its traditions ; a little 
exclusive, perhaps, from a genuine doubt whether 
anything outside Westminster could equal what 
was within it. 

' I am glad of the opportunity of acknowledging 
one very kindly and characteristic tradition. At 
the annual dinner of the Old Westminsters it was 
the custom to invite the Masters as guests. It 
was also the custom, on that occasion, for those 
Masters who were clergymen, to wear cassock and 
bands, and the pudding-sleeved gown. We edified 

CH. iv] Mr. Marshall's Letter 95 

the passers-by in St. James' Street by stepping 
across the pavement in this guise, and passing into 
the Thatched House, where we dined in the room 
of the Kitcat Club. 

' This important constituency welcomed a Head- 
master of such high academical distinction, of such 
weight of personal character, and, I think I must 
add, of such a presence ; but were at the same time 
somewhat dismayed at seeing that four out of the 
five Masters were non- Westminster men. The Old 
Westminsters were not free from the inconsistencies 
that are usually found in large and irresponsible 
bodies. They were anxious for improvement, and 
at the same time nervously alarmed lest any actual 
step taken in that direction should impair the 
characteristic spirit of the school. Their attitude 
therefore, or at least the attitude of many of their 
number, was one of watchfulness rather than of 
unreserved confidence. 

' Meantime, the criticisms on the Dean and 
Chapter were free and frequent, and sometimes 
bitter. This criticism the Abbey authorities 
naturally resented. They were willing to do all 
that they thought could fairly be required of them. 
Dean Buckland in particular entered con amore into 
the plan of structural alterations designed for the 
better accommodation of the Queen's Scholars. But 
they were plainly determined to resist indefinite 
encroachments on the part of the school : and with 
some reason, for a school, be it where it may, has 
a capacious maw which is not easily satisfied. 

' The new Headmaster felt his position very 
keenly ; the more so, perhaps, because his personal 
influence at Oxford had been unquestioned and 

g6 Headmaster ship of Westminster [CH. iv 

extraordinarily great. He was fully alive to his 
responsibilities, and grieved that, in discharge of 
them, he was sometimes forced to run counter to 
the feelings and opinions of men whose regard he 
valued and whose position he respected. He was 
by no means one who wore his heart upon his 
sleeve ; but once, in course of conversation, with 
a very resolute, but at the same time a sadly 
pained expression, he took upon his lips the words 
" I have set my face like a flint." 

' This prejudice was gradually but not slowly 
dissipated. The restoration of the Play had a very 
reassuring effect. It had been intermitted in 1846, 
and a question had been raised about its continuance 
in future. This was set at rest by Dean Buckland's 
answer to a memorial presented by the Marquis 
of Lansdowne, and signed by nearly all the Old 
Westminsters then living. Accordingly in December 
1847, Hervey Vaughan Williams, the Captain, in his 
dress as Queen's Scholar, with the usual courtly 
addition of knee-breeches and silk stockings, stepped 
forward on the Dormitory stage to tender the new 
Headmaster a greeting in the old well-recognized 
form. And when, in the Prologue, he thus struck 
the dominant note 

Gaudere multos, qui nuric audiunt, puto, 
Quod prodit in scenam iterum nostra fabula ; 
Gaudemus et nos ; anno namque proximo 
Omissa multos terruit, baud iniuria : 

the burst of applause which followed ; the pleasurable 
excitement or rather enthusiasm shown by so many 
refined and intelligent faces ; and, in the older men, 
the look of kindly encouragement for boyhood, made 
up a scene not soon to be forgotten by those who 
witnessed it. 

CH. iv] Increase of Numbers 97 

' Prince Albert, to whom Mr. Liddell was domestic 
Chaplain, was present at a fourth special representa- 
tion of this Play, and afterwards at that of 1851. 

' The school increased in numbers and was in 
a fair way of recovering its old connexion. Many, 
some of high rank, several of great distinction, again 
sent sons to their old school. It was seen that 
Mr. Liddell, though not an Old Westminster, was 
in the best sense of the term a Public School man ; 
and that, while he would prune unsparingly erratic 
and mischievous growths, he would leave untouched 
the free, manly, and honourable stock of the Public 
School spirit. He was too wise a man to sacrifice 
a use because of an abuse. 

' The tide continued for some time steadily to 
rise ; but counteracting forces came gradually into 
play. It is worthy of the great position formerly 
occupied by the school that the checks to its 
prosperity should be closely connected with the 
great movements of national thought. 

' One of these, which is still in full force, had 
already made itself felt in Reform, Catholic Emanci- 
pation, and Free Trade. 'The "Spirit of the Age," 
which with the "March of Intellect" was a phrase 
much in vogue at that time, was emphatically one 
of inquiry. That a thing had been was no pre- 
sumption that it should be. In that respect the age 
might be represented by Dr. Arnold, of whom it 
was said that he always awoke in the morning with 
the idea that everything was an open question. 
This was actually the case at Westminster School 
from the time of Mr. Liddell's appointment. Every- 
thing connected with it was a subject of discussion 
with a view to possible alteration or abolition. The 


98 Head master ship of Westminster [CH. iv 

subjects and mode of instruction, the discipline, the 
constitution of the College, the relation of the school 
to the Chapter, to the Universities, and to the Public, 
were all in their turn brought under the microscope, 
and had to await the result of the scrutiny ; and, 
to crown all, it was extremely doubtful whether 
Westminster School was to remain at Westminster, 
or to migrate to another site. All these uncertain- 
ties were perfectly well known in London, and 
consequently among the boys. This knowledge 
made discipline none the more easy, and would 
have had a very prejudicial effect, but for the 
cordial union among the Masters, a union which 
was naturally based on the warm regard and high 
admiration which was felt by all for their chief. 
All wise policy for a School, as for a State, must be 
far-sighted. It was impossible to plan for the future, 
when all the elements which entered into the com- 
bination might be swept away at six months' notice. 
' There is no doubt that Mr. Liddell chafed against 
these limitations, which in every direction hampered 
his designs. He was a strong man with his hands 
tied. But no sign of impatience appeared. There 
was no cooling of his interest in the boys, no 
diminution of the care with which he superintended 
the work of the school or discharged his own 
special office of the teaching of the Sixth Form. 
Of the manner of that teaching I naturally had no 
experience ; I can only speak of results. Boys used 
to pass from my Form into the Sixth. Occasionally 
their answers to examination questions would pass 
through my hands ; and I have noticed how boys' 
minds have been enriched by even a short period 
of intercourse with the Headmaster. 

CH. iv] Impediments to Progress 99 

' For the school in general a system of periodical 
examinations was devised and gradually developed 
under Mr. Liddell and his successor, till it became 
theoretically almost perfect. Practically fewer papers 
and questions, and greater strictness in exacting 
answers, would perhaps have been better for the 
lower Forms. The arrangement was such that 
favouritism was impossible ; and, after the minute 
and unsparing criticism of the Public School Com- 
mission of 1864, there was no question of the justice 
with which the boys had been classified or elected 
into College or to the Universities ; nor, it may be 
added, a hint that a single shilling of the funds 
administered by the school authorities had been 
misapplied. Meantime every idea of material im- 
provement was met by a non possumus. The 
restoration of the ample and nobly proportioned 
schoolroom, the provision of class-rooms, and an 
almost unique school Library and adjuncts, works 
which have since been so successfully carried out, 
could not even be attempted while the tenure of 
the school was uncertain, and while there was no 
arbitrament possible between the claims of the 
school and Chapter on one another. It was some- 
times forgotten that the Dean and Chapter were 
Trustees for their own body as well as for the 
school. Unfair judgments were passed upon them. 
When the school was empowered to manage its 
own affairs, it was found that the service of the 
Queen's Scholars in Hall could not be conducted 
on the same lavish scale as before. 

' The second great movement which impeded 
the prosperity of the school was the attention 
which began to be paid to matters affecting the 

o 2 

ioo Headmastership of Westminster [CH. iv 

health of individuals and the public. The Duke 
of Buccleuch's Sanitary Commission, which was 
favoured by Prince Albert and Sir Robert Peel, 
reported in 1844, two years before Mr. Liddell came 
to Westminster. There was a growing feeling in 
favour of the country in preference to town for the 
residence of boys. The feeling was increased by 
an unhappy event which soon followed. 

' Dean Buckland had lost no time in devising 
a scheme for pipe-draining the precincts, which was 
to be carried out by the sanitary authorities. In 
the preliminary soundings, notwithstanding all pre- 
cautions, a source of malaria was tapped, with its 
most disastrous consequences. Typhoid fever at- 
tacked the Dean and two of his family, and was 
fatal to two young and promising boys who had 
lately been elected into College. Two Canons' 
daughters also died. The terrible disease entered 
the Headmaster's house, and Mrs. Liddell was for ten 
days in imminent danger. Her alarming illness 
naturally excited general interest and sympathy. 
Consequently the accidental and temporary un- 
healthiness of Westminster became known far and 
wide; and the impression made was so deep that 
it did not disappear when the cause of the disease 
had been removed. It was useless to point out 
that the school had been before, and afterwards 
continued to be, remarkably free from serious illness. 

' Still the belt of building towards the South 
and West kept spreading, and the river, before 
the main drainage of London was taken in hand, 
became year by year less attractive. Mr. Liddell, 
who had been profoundly moved by the visitation 
of fever, seems gradually to have become convinced 

CH. iv] Fever at the school 101 

of the impossibility of maintaining a great residential 
school at Westminster. I have heard him express 
that opinion in very strong terms ; and I think 
that he welcomed preferment to the Deanery of 
Christ Church not only for its own sake, but also 
because it relieved him from a position of great 

' The strain upon his powers must have been 
very great, and was not sufficiently estimated at the 
time. Besides the administration of a Public School 
under special embarrassments, and the teaching 
of the Sixth Form, he before long imposed upon 
himself the difficult and responsible task of preaching 
at intervals to the boys. This was full work for 
one man. But he was also on the Oxford Uni- 
versity Commission, which was very industrious 
in its sittings. The revision of his Lexicon was 
a constant drain upon his time, and with it he was 
engaged in the severe labour of combining in an 
orderly narrative his researches into Roman History. 
And London society would not forgo its claim 
on one so fitted to adorn it, who was living in its 
very midst. Yet with all this variety of care and 
exertion, there was rarely any appearance of hurry, 
still less of irritation ; but uniformly the same 
dignified composure of demeanour. It is no wonder 
that, after nine such years, his health should have 
broken down, and that he should have had medical 
orders to recruit himself during two winters in 
Madeira, soon after entering upon the duties of 
the Deanery.' 

After mentioning the Lexicon and the Roman 
History, Mr. Marshall refers to Liddell's literary 
style : 

IO2 Headmasters kip of Westminster [CH. iv 

' It has this quality of excellence, that it never 
draws attention to itself. This purity of diction is 
characteristic. He would have boys and men say 
what they mean, and mean what they say, and was 
ruthless in stripping off the purpurei panni. An 
undergraduate in his paper work at an Oxford 
examination had introduced, a propos of nothing, a 
fine expression derived from Hooker, and ultimately, 
I imagine, from the Schoolmen, " The angels fell 
by reflex thought." Mr. Liddell used to describe, 
with some gusto, the state of imbecility to which the 
unfortunate man was reduced, when he was asked 
in viva voce to explain the meaning of his words. 

' The same nervous simplicity extended to his 
Latin style. The prologues which he wrote to be 
spoken before the Westminster Play exemplify his 
power of compelling a somewhat intractable language 
to express exactly what he felt. One specimen is 
appended; a description of the famous Exhibition 
of 1851 : 

Ergo anno iam peracto bis millesimo 

Mire aedificatum vidimus Palatium, 

Cui non rigebat mole saxea latus 

Firmique solido roboris fulcimine, 

Sed vitrea sic micabat pulchritudine, 

Et paene incredibili artificis sollertia, 

Tanquam si nebula mane consurgens novo 

Gelata medio constitisset aethere. 

Sed inerat aedi si quid usquam splendidi 

Si quid magnified, si quid ignoti prius 

Ars hominum efficere posset atque industria; 

Denique natura si quid olim cautius 

Terrae in latebris condidisset abditis, 

Si quid sub alto condidisset aequore, 

Sive in inaccessis montibus, id inerat quoque 1 . 

1 Another instance may be quoted in the elegiac lines which told of 
the 'Adelphi,' a play originally acted at the funeral games of Aemilius 

CH. iv] Latin Prologues 103 

' Mr. Liddell's speech had, of course, all the refine- 
ment of breeding and culture, but it breathed of the 
North in the greater richness of the vowel sounds, 
and the more distinct articulation of consonants. 
The aspirate made itself felt in such words as "who," 
" when," and " where." I have often thought that 
the greater play thus habitually given to the lips 
made them more expressive than their owner quite 
realized. He certainly had the power of saying 
much without words. For instance, one of his 
pupils at Christ Church, a man of mark, was observed 
to be preparing his work for lecture with a care that 
was by no means usual in his case. Being rallied 
by his friends, he said, " Well, you know, I can't 
stand Liddell's look when I am breaking down." 
This silent punishment, be it observed, was for those 
who did not use their gifts, not for those who had 
no gifts to use. 

' His sermons to the boys were strong, clear, and 
sometimes severely simple. One in particular deeply 
affected them, when he spoke of their schoolfellows, 
some lying beneath the " bleak Crimean shore," 
others upon it with their brave comrades in arms 
enduring privation and toil, and living in hourly 
familiarity with death. In the year 1851 he preached 
before the Queen a sermon on faith, hope, and charity, 

Paullus, and at Westminster in the December following the death of 
General Wolfe (1759) and the death of the Duke of Wellington (1852). 
The ' swing ' of the verses still lingers in the memory after an interval 
of forty-six years. 

Fabula quae prodit nata est dum maxima Roma 

Prosequitur Paulli funera moesta sui ; 
Dein nostram redit in scenam, volventibus annis, 

Ut Wolfi exsequias Anglia tristis obit ; 
Tertia sors restat vocat illam tertius Heros 
Te, Wolfi, maior, maior et Aemilio. 

IO4 Headmastership of Westminster [CH. iv 

which was afterwards published by command. That 
perhaps gives the best idea of his spiritual insight 
and reach of intellect, and suggests the thoughts on 
which he most loved to dwell. 

' In his preaching there was the same withdrawal 
of self as in his writing. This was not mere literary 
method, or good taste ; it was the result of genuine 
Christian humility, which shrunk from display, but 
was deeply rooted, and was part of the staple of his 
inner life. I venture to assert, against all possible 
contradiction, that no estimate of the late Dean's 
character can be just and full, which does not take 
this gracious quality into account. 

'It is unnecessary for me to speak of Dean 
Liddell's reputation for learning. But, great scholar 
as he was, his noblest lessons were taught less by 
what he knew than by what he was. Those who were 
brought into close relations with him, especially 
minds that had the plasticity of youth, learned by 
the mere association to loathe what was mean and 
cowardly, to covet earnestly the best gifts, and to 
be true in thought and word by the strength of Him 
who is the Truth.' 

This admirable testimony to the Headmaster's 
work and character may be briefly supplemented by 
some reminiscences of those who were boys under 

i. One vivid impression, which length of time 
has not wholly effaced, was that of awe. The new 
comer, called up to stand before him and the Under- 
master, both dressed in full canonicals, with bands, 
cassock, and Geneva gown, and to answer questions 
with the object of having his place in the school 

en. iv] LiddelVs demeanour 105 

determined, experienced the unpleasant sensation of 
sinking into his shoes, before a presence so majestic, 
a voice so deep, a manner so reserved. And this 
first impression was not transitory. It was renewed 
every Saturday morning, when the Headmaster went 
round the school, visiting Form after Form, and 
reading out the week's order of merit, the ' principes' 
as the list was called from the winners of the top 
places. This review of the week's work was a severe 
and alarming scrutiny, and idlers met with stern 
rebuke. Yet even while they dreaded his advent, the 
boys learnt to attach immense importance to his brief 
words of comment, and to be greatly encouraged by 
his praise. There was indeed much gentleness 
underlying his austere demeanour. On one occasion 
when he had to rebuke a boy of good ability who, 
week after week, had fallen below his proper place in 
Form, his voice faltered, and his eyes moistened, as 
he spoke in fatherly condemnation of the folly and 
wrong of this continued idleness. He never spoke 
in anger : he never lost perfect self-control. He 
had learnt the value of self-command. In a letter 
from Westminster to an intimate friend who had 
been appointed to the Headship of a College at 
Oxford, he wrote with the frankness of old acquaint- 
ance on the importance of calmness in dealing with 
young people : 

' Perhaps you will not take it ill if I take the 
liberty of an old friend to add a piece of advice. 

Several persons who formerly knew you at , in 

talking over with me the chances of the election, 


io6 Headmastership of Westminster [CH. iv 

doubted the propriety of electing you, because (they 
said) you did not exercise sufficient control over 
your temper in dealing with undergraduates. I am 
afraid I cannot boast of a very good temper myself. 
But I am fully aware and try to exercise what 
I feel of the great and primary importance of per- 
fect coolness and deliberation in speaking to and 
dealing with young persons. I know not whether, 
and how far, what I have heard is true. If it is not 
true, then what I say is naught. If it is, you are 
(I am sure) candid enough to set what I say down 
to the right and only motive.' 

But gradually, to the feeling of awe was added 
that of affection, as the boys rose in the school and 
came under his personal instruction in the Sixth 
Form. For he was an admirable teacher : thorough, 
clear, suggestive, stimulating; exacting in the care 
which he demanded in the preparation of book-work, 
but singularly interesting in the instructiveness of 
his comments and the wide range of his illustrations. 
He was not a mere textual scholar, but an historian 
and statesman. His Juvenal lesson still lingers in 
the memory, as a model of what a lesson should 
be; the boys were not only well drilled in the text 
and allusions, but were referred to the best modern 
satires, and indirectly led to an appreciation of much 
of the noblest English literature. He was fond of 
poetry, and taught the elder boys to recite it well. 
During a portion of the year, there were ' speeches ' 
in the great schoolroom on Friday mornings, at the 
end of the lesson, in the presence of all the boys, 
when the members of the Sixth Form stood up 

CH. iv] Tke Challenges 107 

by the Headmaster's table, and repeated passages of 
English poetry which had been previously selected. 
On one occasion, when the present Vicar of St. Peter's, 
Bournemouth, had recited the whole of Gray's 'Elegy' 
with faultless taste and without a single mistake, an 
emphatic 'Thank you, Fisher' gave an apt expression 
to the feeling of all the listeners, and a more than 
ample reward to the reciter. 

In those ancient days, a rudimentary knowledge 
of Hebrew was most wisely required of the elder 
boys who were candidates for the Universities. 
Liddell taught this subject in a very interesting 
manner, although it was generally believed that he 
had acquired all his knowledge in the short interval 
between his appointment as Headmaster and his 
entering on his office. 

2. The challenges, or examination for admission 
into the College, were a severe tax upon the Head- 
master's powers of endurance. According to modern 
custom, the candidates would be tested by an 
examination lasting a few days or a few hours : 
but in those more leisurely times the competition 
extended over two months, occupying almost daily 
the interval between morning school and dinner; 
the minor candidates, as they were called, were 
pitted one against another in pairs, engaging in a 
curious conflict partaking somewhat of the nature 
of the old academical disputations. Short passages 
of Greek or Latin, previously selected by the Head- 
master from the Greek Epigrams or Ovid's Meta- 
morphoses, were construed, and then the lower boy, 

p 2 

io8 Headmastership of Westminster [CH. iv 

called the challenger, asked his opponent certain 
questions founded upon the words or sentences in 
the passages. If the upper boy, the challengee, 
could not answer them, and the challenger himself 
answered them correctly, the former lost his place, 
and became in turn the challenger. So the contest 
went on, till the stock of questions was exhausted. 
In some challenges, the number of questions was 
limited, in others it was not; and two boys who 
had been carefully drilled in the Greek and Latin 
grammars would keep up the contest throughout a 
whole day, from early morning till nine at night. It 
was a mode of examination which demanded rigid 
grammatical accuracy, and the Headmaster, who 
presided, had to be continually on the alert to note 
every question and answer, and to give a prompt 
decision on all doubtful points. Around him stood 
the ' Helps,' elder boys who had prepared the 
combatants for the fray, and acted as advocates 
for their several clients. When a question arose 
as to the exact meaning or derivation of a word, 
the large dictionaries were referred to ; and Liddell 
and Scott was of course the authority for Greek. 
Sometimes discussions would arise even as to the 
correctness of this august volume, and ' Helps ' 
would boldly venture to quote Scapula or Schreve- 
lius against the new Lexicon. But Liddell was 
always good-tempered and always reasonable, and 
enjoyed the keen advocacy of the boys. It used 
indeed to be told but this was an amusing libel 
which no one really believed that when an admitted 

CH. iv] School Epigrams 109 

error was pointed out, Liddell would say, ' Ah, yes, 
Mr. Scott wrote that paragraph/ This tradition, 
however, gives a point to the following anecdote, 
which is narrated on the authority of the actual 
writer of the bold effusion. Once a year, on the 
Friday before the election to the Universities, it 
was customary for the Headmaster to come into 
school, carrying a bowl containing Maundy money, 
the little silver coins which were supplied from the 
Royal Mint. He would then call upon the boys to 
gather round him, and to read epigrams upon Theses 
announced a few hours before. These epigrams 
supposed to be the boys' own composition were 
rewarded by gifts of the silver pence ; the very best 
gained four coins : a four-penny, three-penny, two- 
penny, and penny piece ; the others were rewarded 
by a less complete set. Upon one occasion, when 
the challenges had revealed some mistake in the 
Lexicon, the thesis for school epigrams happened 
to be ' Scribimus indocti doctique! A boy delivered 
the following epigram : 

Two men wrote a Lexicon, Liddell and Scott ; 

Some parts were clever, but some parts were not. 

Hear, all ye learned, and read me this riddle, 

How the wrong part wrote Scott, and the right part wrote Liddell. 

The audacious poet survived the venture, and 
gained not only a hearty laugh, but a full comple- 
ment of pence, from the Headmaster. 

On another occasion, soon after the schoolroom 
had received its new and mean furniture, the thesis 
mutandus locus est was given out, and produced the 

no Headmastership of Westminster [CH. iv 

following epigram from the pen of one of the senior 
boys, now a dignified Registrar in Chancery : 

'Mutandus locus est, 1 and those who rule 

Act up to this ; improvements come in swarms. 
They change the ancient customs of the school, 

And will not even leave to us our forms. 
Instead of those old desks with many a name 

Carved over, they would bring us to propriety 
By filling school unutterable shame 

With benches from the National Society ! 

Another delightful epigram on the same thesis 
was read by a very small boy : 

I was placed in the 'fourth' when I came here, 
By Mr. Liddell and Mr. Weare; 
But I've done pretty well, so I think I've some claims 
To be placed in the 'fifth' under Mr. James. 

It is evident that liberty of speech was not then 
curtailed at Westminster. 

3. The moral tone of the school was undoubtedly 
raised under Liddell's rule, and the manners grew 
less rough, as the conditions of life were made more 
comfortable. It was of great benefit to the boys to 
be guided by masters who were thorough gentlemen, 
and entirely imbued with the Public School spirit. 
They all trusted the boys, were ready to accept their 
word, and would take no unfair advantage of them. 
There are no memories of Liddell which are not 
associated with a chivalrous sense of honour ; and 
boys instinctively grew to be honourable and 
truthful themselves. 

One who can speak from the most intimate know- 
ledge of him writes : 

CH. iv] Special School Services in 

' What I should like brought out is his great 
aversion to exaggerations about anything, and his 
love of exact truth. I think of late years at West- 
minster he scarcely ever punished except for a lie, 
and then he had no mercy. There was nothing 
that disturbed him so much as to feel that any one 
was not speaking the exact truth to him ; he never 
trusted them again. I have heard that boys used to 
say they could not tell Liddell a lie and look him 
in the face ; and I have heard him say, " I can call 
no man a gentleman who can act a lie, even if he 
does not tell it." He was truth itself, and even 
what is called " humbug " he could not endure.' 

The Under-master taught the Queen's Scholars the 
same lesson. The latter was indeed, perhaps, over- 
sensitive on one point. Upon entering College from 
his house, he would always give a prolonged warning 
by putting the key noisily into the lock, and turning 
it in a very leisurely fashion ; or if he passed through 
College in the day-time, he would cough, or rattle 
his bunch of keys, to enable the boys to know 
that he was near. Perhaps they sometimes took 
advantage of this courtesy ; but on the whole, it 
was respectfully appreciated. 

The institution of special school services in the 
Abbey had much influence on the religious life of 
the boys, and brought the Headmaster into a new 
relation to them. Before Liddell's time, they had 
attended the Abbey simply at the usual morning 
and evening services on Sunday, and never in full 
numbers. Leave out was always granted to boys 
who had friends in London, from noon on Saturday 

H2 Headmastership of Westminster [CH. iv 

till Sunday evening. Many, therefore, were always 
away from the Abbey services, and the remnant sat 
in their accustomed places in the choir. The sermons 
were preached by the Canon in residence, and had 
no special reference to the needs and difficulties of 
boys. Liddell resolved to have an occasional service 
for the school alone, at which he might himself 
preach. He accordingly got leave from the Dean 
and Chapter to use the Abbey on the first Sunday 
of each month, at eight o'clock in the morning. The 
whole school then attended, and no leave of absence 
was granted. There was no music, but the prayers 
were read by the Under-master, and Liddell preached 
from his stall. They were, as Mr. Marshall has 
already stated, very remarkable sermons : simple, 
direct, stately, dealing with the incidents of school 
life, and the current events of the history of the day. 
They made a deep impression on the boys. One 
on the death of the Duke of Wellington, and of 
Liddell's favourite pupil, Hervey Vaughan Williams- 
he printed for private circulation, with the line from 
Tennyson as its motto, ' The path of duty is the 
way to glory.' At other times, though he would not 
print his sermon, he would, at their earnest request, 
put it into the hands of the elder boys, and they 
would copy it for themselves : a good test of the 
value they attached to it. The services were greatly 
liked, and did much good ; but the hour was un- 
comfortably early, and the stopping of ' leave out ' 
was a tiresome incident of them. In the winter, 
moreover, the Abbey, then untouched by any system 

CH. iv] The Latin Play 113 

of heating, was piercingly cold, even dangerous to 
delicate boys without great coats and before the 
breakfast hour : and it was but dimly lighted with 
a few wax candles. One can still recall the chill 
and the darkness, and the prayers unrelieved by 
music or singing, and then the magnificent English 
and sonorous tones of the preacher. Perhaps the 
sermons gained in impressiveness from the fact that 
' Early Abbey,' as it was called, came only once a 

4. The Latin Play, performed before the Christ- 
mas holidays, was, from the point of view of the 
Queen's Scholars, the greatest event of the year. 
The erection indeed of the theatre in the actual 
Dormitory threw all domestic arrangements into con- 
fusion for some weeks beforehand, and the constant 
rehearsals were perhaps to some extent a hindrance 
to school work. But larger considerations happily 
prevented any change in the time-honoured custom 
dating from Queen Elizabeth's reign; and the 
crowded and enthusiastic audience assembled in the 
narrow and uncomfortable theatre showed the very 
wide interest taken in the performance by the tlite 
of London society. The Prologues were, as a 
rule, written by the Headmaster, and specimens of 
Liddell's felicitous Latinity have been already given. 
The Epilogues were humorous satires on the foibles 
of the day, and were usually the work of some 
Old Westminster of scholarly tastes. Many possess 
sterling merit as specimens of Latin adapted as a 
vehicle for the expression of. modern ideas, and for 


H4 Headmastership of Westminster [CH. iv 

their refined and delightful humour. The Chartists, 
the Peace Congress, and the ' Bloomer ' dress fur- 
nished the themes of three of the best Epilogues 
during Liddell's time. In the last of these, Thais, 
Pythias, and Dorias come upon the stage dressed 
in half-masculine costume, to the horror of their 
former lovers. Thais invites Thraso to cross the 
Atlantic with her to America, and is met with the 
reply : 

Ah ! me mare terret ; 
Ipsaque tu terres, horrida imago mart's ! 

Mrs. Dexter, Mrs. Bloomer's representative in 
England, threatened an action at law for the 
ridicule thrown upon the cause she advocated ; 
being especially annoyed at the lines (probably 

the only ones at all intelligible to her) : 

Bloomer tu, Dexter an audis, 
Nil opus hie inquam est dexteritate tua. 

By a strict etiquette, the Play was always omitted 
on the death of a Royal personage. The Queen 
Dowager died on December 2, 1849, when all the 
preparations for the year were well advanced, the 
theatre erected, and the tickets issued. What was 
to be done ? The Queen's Scholars audaciously took 
the matter into their own hands, and wrote a letter 
to the Prime Minister, Lord John Russell, who was 
an Old Westminster, entreating him to represent to 
Her Majesty the disappointment and inconvenience 
which would result if the Play were abandoned. 
They also wrote to Colonel Phipps, the Queen's 
private secretary. Through these two persons, both 

CH. iv] ea o e ueen owager 115 

of whom took it for granted that the application was 
made with the full sanction of the school authorities, 
Her Majesty was approached, and most graciously 
and considerately allowed the performance of the 
Play, provided it did not take place on the day of 
the funeral. The matter then came, for the first 
time, to the Headmaster's ears, and the triumph of 
the boys was short-lived. He interposed without 
a moment's delay, and wrote as follows to Colonel 
Phipps : 

' I regret extremely to find that the Queen's Scholars 
of St. Peter's, Westminster have thought fit to 
apply to Her Majesty to sanction the performance 
of the usual Latin Play, while the remains of Her 
late Gracious Majesty the Queen Dowager are still 

* It is probable that the application was understood 
to be sanctioned by the Dean of Westminster or 
myself. It was however made without our know- 
ledge ; and if we had been consulted we should 
certainly not have allowed it to be made. 

' It is the feeling of all the authorities of the school, 
as well as of many old Westminster men, that this 
would not be a proper occasion on which to break 
through an old custom of respect paid by the Royal 
foundation to the Family of the Sovereign. The 
personal excellence, as well as the exalted station 
of Her late Majesty, demand this tribute. We 
therefore, with all gratitude for the consideration 
shown by Her Majesty, and especially for the 
extremely kind and gracious way in which Her 
pleasure was conveyed, beg leave to decline the 
permission which She has accorded.' 

Q 2 

n6 Headmastership of Westminster [CH. iv 

The Play was accordingly most properly omitted ; 
and in the Prologue of the following year a fitting 
reference was made to the death of the Queen 

5. The Headmaster had already, in the previous 
year, run counter to the wishes of the boys in another 
matter of great importance in their estimation the 
Eton and Westminster boat-race. This contest 
had begun in 1829 ; and, in spite of the disparity in 
the numbers of the two schools, Westminster had 
been victorious in four out of the eight races which 
had already taken place ; and in 1 846, on the course 
from Putney to Mortlake, had gained so decisive 
a victory that it was arrogantly asserted by the 
boys that if Eton were beaten again she would 
probably refrain from challenging her adversary in 
future years. So in 1847 there was a general 
enthusiasm in favour of the race ; a new boat was 
built by Noulton and Wyld ; it was named after 
Mrs. Liddell, and launched by her; and on July 29 
the race was rowed on the ebb tide from Barker's 
rails to Putney. But the fates were adverse, and 
Eton gained an easy victory. 

Liddell, however, felt grave misgivings as to the 
expediency of such a contest. To row so long a 
course was a severe tax upon the physical power 
of the boys ; too much time was spent in preparation, 
and too much interest was devoted to the event : 
and the necessary publicity of a contest on London 
waters was in itself an evil. Dr. Williamson had 
felt similar scruples, and had prevented the race 

CH. iv] Eton and Westminster Race 117 

from taking place in 1838, though he had allowed 
it in subsequent years. And now it was definitely 
abandoned ; not without many regrets on the part 
of the boys and the old members of the school, but 
with the full concurrence of the authorities. In 
1860, under Dr. Scott, an Etonian Headmaster, an 
attempt was made to revive the contest on a shorter 
course ; but after four years' experience it was finally 
given up. The London river had by this time 
become too crowded and dangerous for practice ; and 
Eton was overwhelmingly superior in numbers. 

So the work went on, busily and hopefully. The 
school grew in numbers and in reputation ; there 
seemed every prospect of its steady advance. Then 
came the first great blow and crushing anxiety. 
The fever which desolated the precincts did not 
spare the school ; two of the Queen's Scholars died, 
as has been already mentioned, and Mrs. Liddell lay 
for ten days unconscious, at the point, as it seemed, 
of death. Through the skill of Dr. Watson, and 
the assiduous care of Dr. Acland, who was hastily 
summoned from Oxford to watch by her bedside, 
her life was happily saved. 

But the effect of this outbreak upon the fortunes 
of the school was immediate. The entries in 1846-7 
had been 47. Three years afterwards they were 
37, and in the succeeding years, 30, 32, 34, 37, 
and 23 respectively. The rumour of unhealthiness, 
founded upon this one outbreak which could be 
traced to a definite source of infection, spread abroad 
among the public : boys were withdrawn and the 

n8 Headmastership of Westminster [CH. iv 

numbers would not rise. Cholera, too, came to 
London in the summer of 1849, and the Head- 
master was obliged hastily, and on his own responsi- 
bility, to postpone the meeting of the school in 
September. This act brought him into collision 
with the Dean of Westminster, who thought he had 
exceeded his powers, and usurped the Decanal 
authority ; and a correspondence ensued, containing 
among others this severe letter from Buckland : 

' The tone of your last letter, which I received at 
Woburn Abbey, where I had not access to our 
statutes, and in which you " express what you think 
should be the proper rule for your conduct in such 
matters," makes it imperative that we should come 
to a distinct understanding as to the duties of our 
respective offices in this College. . . . You say 
"you believe the Headmaster always has regulated 
the length of the holidays without reference to the 
Dean." I have inquired of the Chapter Clerk, 
whose recollections are most exact, whether in his 
father's time any extension of the customary weeks 
of vacation was ever made by the Headmaster 
without permission first obtained of the Dean. His 
reply was, Never, except when the Sovereign com- 
manded it. I therefore think that your recent 
extension of the holidays, on account of the cholera, 
without consulting the Dean (whom a letter might 
have reached in twenty-four hours in any part of 
the kingdom if sent to the Deanery) was a virtual, 
if not a direct violation of our statute, Cap. 14, de 
vitanda aeris contagione. . . . As you refer to the 
practice of other collegiate schools, I must inform 
you that in my own case, as a scholar of Winton 

CH. iv] JJean tfucKlanas Letter 119 

College, Dr. Huntingford, of his sole authority as 
Warden, gave me leave of absence for six weeks of 
ordinary school time ; and that on my waiting on the 
Headmaster, Dr. Goddard, of whom I had asked 
no permission, on the eve of my departure for these 
six weeks, he said to me that had he been Warden, 
or possessed power to prevent it, I should not have 
had this indulgence. In the case of Rugby, which 
you refer to, and where you say Dr. Arnold stipulated 
for absolute power as the condition of his accepting 
office, I consider such a foundation by a private 
individual (and governed by lay Trustees, not one 
of whom is necessarily resident, nor accustomed to 
collegiate or academic habits) to form no parallel 
to the collegiate establishments of Winchester, Eton, 
and Westminster ; and if Dr. Arnold (my friend and 
relative), whose transcendental love of liberty induced 
him to admit of no law within that school but his 
own will, and tolerate no superior to himself, and 
to stipulate, as a condition of his accepting office, 
that there should be in Rugby School no control 
superior to his own : if he had been nominated under 
similar conditions by the Dean of Christ Church or 
Master of Trinity, and proposed to the Dean of 
Westminster as the successor of Dr. Williamson, 
I must have exercised my veto, and would not and 
could not have assented to such a stipulation without 
violating my oath to keep the Statutes of our 
College. The effect of your proposal " that the 
boys ought to look to the Headmaster as supreme" 
would amount to a reversal of the past and present 
order of authorities recognized by the tradition of 
all Old Westminsters, viz. that within this College 
we know but three authorities, the Sovereign, the 

I2O Headmasters/lip of Westminster [CH. iv 

Dean, and the Headmaster ; and to substitute a new 
order of precedence, consisting of the Sovereign, the 
Headmaster, and the Dean. I should consider my 
assent to such an abdication of my proper place to 
be a betrayal of that office which has been entrusted 
to me by the Sovereign, and nothing but the mandate 
of our Royal Visitor, reversing our statutes, will 
induce me to abandon a tittle of my rights, in 
a manner that would degrade myself and all my 

To this stormy epistle the Headmaster returned 
a gentle answer, pointing out that he had regarded 
the question as one of expediency and not of right, 
and that it had been practically impossible to con- 
sult the Dean before deciding on the matter, which 
it was imperatively necessary to settle without any 

Gradually the conviction grew that the only real 
remedy for the school, if it was to retain its ancient 
character of a Boarding school, was to be found 
in its removal to the country. Schemes were then 
discussed by which such a fundamental change 
might be carried out. Prince Albert gave the 
assistance of his warm sympathy and co-operation, 
and various sites, including Cooper's Hill and Caver- 
sham, were visited. At one time it was contemplated 
that the school should be removed at the public 
expense, so as to make room for a magnificent 
avenue which, beginning at Buckingham Palace, 
should end at the Victoria Tower, the Abbey 
standing out on its north side. But there were 

CH. iv] History of Rome 121 

insuperable difficulties in the way of every scheme ; 
and the Public Schools Act has finally settled the 
question of the retention of Westminster, on its 
existing site, as a great London school. 

The Headmaster's hands were always full of 
work. In addition to the ordinary burdens and 
anxieties of his post, he had the unending task of 
correcting and enlarging the Lexicon. Moreover he 
undertook to write, for Mr. Murray, a History of 
Ancient Rome. This work was first published in 
1855, in two volumes. It was soon afterwards 
abridged into a School History, and in this form 
has ever since retained its place on Mr. Murray's 
list as ' The Student's History of Rome, to the 
Establishment of the Empire.' That it so main- 
tains its position, though it has never been revised 
or brought up to date by the introduction of the 
results of modern research and discoveries, is a strong 
testimony to its sterling merits. It is a thoroughly 
useful book 1 , well illustrated, well arranged, and 
admirably written. Mr. Marshall thus speaks of 
its opportune publication : 

'The History of Rome had its own seasonable- 
ness. Niebuhr had revolutionized the scheme of 
Roman History. But his influence had nearly 
spent itself. Scholars began to weary of disquisi- 
tions which, however learned, acute, and brilliant, 
resulted after all for the most part in conjecture. 
They craved to realize the full-blooded life of the 

1 An Italian translation of the larger History reached its sixth edition 
as long ago as 1886. 


122 Headmastership of Westminster [CH. iv 

Roman State without being worried by perpetual 
suggestions of doubt and discussions of hypotheses. 
Mr. Liddell's history came opportunely to satisfy 
this want. He did what could only be done by 
a writer of historical instinct and sound judgment, 
who was saturated with knowledge of his subject. 
He gave a masterly summary of what was ascer- 
tained respecting the original races which coalesced 
in the Roman people, and the evolution of their 
not less complicated political system. I recollect 
the pride and interest which I felt when I was 
allowed to read the MS. of the chapter which 
describes the Senate, and there for the first time 
found a clear, concise, yet adequate account of 
the constitution and functions of that memorable 

This book was the only historical work that came 
from Liddell's pen. But he was always deeply 
interested in the study of history ; and his friends 
at Oxford had been anxious, several years before, 
to encourage him to devote himself seriously to the 
subject. In 1849 he was strongly urged to apply 
for the Regius Professorship of Modern History, 
vacant by the death of Dr. Cramer. From his 
intimate friend J. M. Wilson, who had succeeded 
him as Professor of Moral Philosophy, he received 
the following letter : 


' I passed through London a week ago, and 
was sorry to hear that you were absent. I wished 
to see you, having a strong desire that you should 

CH. iv] H. Halford J^angkan 123 

come to Oxford as Professor of Modern History. 
Is there any probability of this ? I cannot tell you 
how much we want you here. I am certain your 
being here (or coming among us as Arnold did) 
would be of the greatest service to us. I should 
take twice the interest in my own lectures if I had 
any one to speak to respecting them, but I have no 
one. Depend upon it you can have no better sphere 
of work than Oxford is at present, and your coming 
would be life to not a few. I wish I could induce 
you to make application for the Professorship. I 
cannot help thinking that you might easily procure 
it ; and the railroad would make coming and going 

' Very truly yours, 


He felt himself, however, quite unable to act on 
the suggestion, and the Professorship was accepted 
by his friend H. Halford Vaughan, whose brilliant 
lectures deservedly attracted very large audiences. 
They are now so completely forgotten that it may 
be interesting to read what Liddell wrote about 
them to Vaughan himself: 

' I hear on all hands the highest encomiums on 
your lectures. Conybeare of Christ Church, for 
instance, writes me word that, though he was himself 
prevented from hearing them, " he has talked of 
them with many clever men of various political 
views and has only heard one opinion of them." 
" All," he adds, " seem struck with the great beauty 
of the language, with the imagination and wide 
illustration, as well as the philosophical power of 

R 2 

124 Headmasters hip of Westminster [CH. iv 

mind shown in them." "Suggestive" is a term 
popularly applied to them. There is also a general 
wish as well as (I may as well tell you) a general 
expectation to see at least your first two lectures 
in print. People say they want to have an oppor- 
tunity of reading what gave them so much pleasure 
in the hearing; and some did not go to hear, .in 
the hope that they should be able to read. Unless 
you have some reason against printing, I think you 
would gratify many persons by so doing. I hear 
also from Conybeare the following, which agrees 
with what you wrote me word of, viz. " the large 
attendance perhaps frightened some of the Heb- 
domadal Board. From whatever cause, there is 
an agitation carrying on by Greswell and others 
against the Modern History School : they argue 
that it will beat Natural Science out of the field. 
Daubeny and Acland refuse to join this illiberal 
crusade ".' 

In a short sketch of Vaughan's life written many 
years later Liddell describes the lectures as well 
deserving the success which they at first attained : 

' He read me portions of them at Hampstead, 
and I well remember a most graphic picture of 
the household of William the Conqueror and his 
rollicking sons. But before long he got tired of 
the work, showed great caprice and irritability in 
his intercourse with his friends at Oxford, and 
finally resigned the Professorship into the hands 
of Goldwin Smith in 1858. 

' Vaughan's personal appearance was striking. 
His features were large, well-defined, and mobile, 
especially his eyes. They revealed at one time 

CH. iv] First University Commission 125 

bright enjoyment of some humorous thought or 
word, or admiration of some strong and vigorous 
sentiment ; at another time they were fixed on you 
with an intensity of expression that seemed to pierce 
to your very soul. He had an immense " fell " of 
rough hair, of which his father the judge once said, 
"To my certain knowledge the masons refused to 
buy Halford's hair to mix with their mortar ; it was, 
they said, too coarse." This gave a sort of wild 
Olympian character to his head.' 

It will not be necessary to say much about 
Liddell's labours on the first Oxford University 
Commission. The Commission was issued under 
the great seal in August 1850, and held its first 
meeting on October 19 in that year. The Com- 
missioners were S. Hinds (Bishop of Norwich), 
A. C. Tait (Dean of Carlisle), F. Jeune (Master of 
Pembroke), H. G. Liddell, J. L. Dampier (Vice- 
Warden of the Stannaries), Baden Powell (Savilian 
Professor of Geometry), and G. H. S. Johnson 
(Fellow of Queen's). The Secretary was Arthur 
Stanley, and the Assistant Secretary Goldwin Smith. 
No fewer than eighty-seven meetings were held, and 
from only one of these was Liddell absent. It was 
through their work together on this Commission that 
Liddell's friendship with Stanley ripened into that 
close and affectionate intimacy which only closed 
with Stanley's death. 

The strain of this work, coming as an addition 
to his duties as Headmaster, was lightened by 
the great interest which he took in the question 

126 Headmaster ship of Westminster [CH. iv 

of University Reform. He had for many years 
been convinced of the necessity of remodelling the 
constitution of the University by getting rid of the 
supremacy of the Heads of Houses, and giving 
real power to the great body of residents engaged 
in education. Early in life he had written a 
pamphlet on the subject; and his long collegiate 
and academical experience had convinced him that 
the unenlightened and even reactionary rule of the 
Hebdomadal Board made all improvement at their 
hands impossible. He had observed the action of 
the Heads of Houses in the various theological con- 
troversies of his time, and had had ample evidence of 
its unwisdom. The chief reforms recommended by 
the Commission were the revival of the Ancient 
House of Congregation, upon a reformed basis, 
as an effective Legislative body ; a reconstruction 
of the Professorial system, so as to give it a leading 
place in the educational machinery of the University; 
the relaxation of the obligation to take Holy Orders 
as a condition of the tenure of Fellowships ; the 
removal of local and other restrictions on the 
tenure of scholarships and Fellowships ; the abolition 
of the distinction between Nobleman, Gentleman 
Commoner, and Commoner; and the introduction 
of a new class of students not belonging to any 
College or Hall. 

These recommendations were the result of pro- 
longed deliberations ; and they expressed a unanimity 
only arrived at after much discussion. In a letter 
to Vaughan, Liddell writes : 

CH. iv] Changes recommended 127 

' You know very well that all the more important 
of these recommendations were compromises, and 
that perhaps not one certainly not myself of the 
Commissioners would wish to see them adopted 
exactly as they stand. But the spirit and tendency 
of them was (I think) approved by all.' 

Mr. Vaughan, owing to his position as Professor, 
and his long intimacy with Liddell, carried great 
weight with the Commissioners. 

' Your answers formed the text of our debates, 
and I carried propositions in general terms founded 
on your proposal for remodelling Congregation and 
the Hebdomadal Board. Your arguments in favour 
of Lodging Houses told.' 

The subsequent changes in the constitution of 
the University as embodied in the Act of 1854, 
and the Ordinances of the several Colleges, were 
based upon, but were by no means identical with, 
the recommendations of the Commissioners. 

It was obvious that the contemplated alterations 
in the tenure of Fellowships and scholarships would 
affect materially the relations existing between West- 
minster School and Christ Church. Ever since 
Queen Elizabeth's time, boys had been elected annu- 
ally from the College at Westminster to studentships 
at Christ Church ; and these studentships stood 
on the footing of Fellowships, in being tenable for 
life subject to certain conditions. The Commis- 
sioners recommended that the studentships should 
for the future be divided into two classes, corre- 
sponding to Fellowships and scholarships at other 

128 Headmastership of Westminster [CH. iv 

Colleges ; and that a certain number of the junior 
studentships (or scholarships) should be set apart 
for Westminster candidates, and should be tenable 
no longer for life, but for a period of seven years. 
This change would alter the whole status of the 
Westminster students. It was not likely that so 
radical a proposal would be welcomed at the school 
or at Christ Church. Indeed, among all the Oxford 
potentates, Dean Gaisford had stood alone, if not 
in irreconcilable hostility to the Commissioners, cer- 
tainly in contemptuous disregard of them. ' From 
the Dean of Christ Church/ says the report, ' alone 
of all the Heads of Colleges, no answer was received 
to any of the communications of the Commission.' 

When Liddell was appointed Commissioner he 
deemed it an act of courtesy to write to Gaisford 
and acquaint him of the fact. The reply was 
somewhat chilling : 


' Though you desire me to refrain from 
acknowledging your letter, I must write shortly to 
say that I can express no opinion as to the propriety 
of your accepting the office of Commissioner in 
the projected visitation of the University ; but as 
to the Commission itself I feel, in common with 
almost every one both at Oxford and Cambridge, 
that it is a measure which can be productive of no 
good, and may eventually breed discord and disunion, 
and destroy the independence of those bodies. 
' I am, yours faithfully, 


CH. iv] Illness at Westminster 129 

The changes in the constitution of Christ Church, 
including the alteration in the tenure of the West- 
minster studentships, did not take effect till 1858. 
Indeed, owing to unexpected delay in the sealing of 
the Ordinance, the boys chosen from Westminster in 
that year were, to their surprise and delight, elected 
on the ancient footing, and were the very last to be 
inscribed on the venerable roll of ' Students of Christ 
Church,' as it had existed from the time of King 
Henry VIII. 

The domestic life of the Headmaster, which had 
begun so brightly, was not without its sorrows and 
anxieties. The terrible fever of 1848 has been 
already mentioned. In 1853 came scarlet fever: 
two of his children suffered from it, and with his 
second son, a child nearly three years old, it proved 
fatal. He died on November 27. The trouble was 
the greater, because Mrs. Liddell was not allowed to 
share in the nursing of her child, or indeed to be near 
him. The doctors had insisted on her absence. So 
the burden of the trial fell on Liddell himself, and he 
shared by day and night the labours of the nurse. 

' Nothing can be done,' he writes to his mother, 
' but to support nature and trust in God. He has 
so far taken his food very well, and if he continues 
to do so we may continue to hope.' 

Of his wife he says : 

1 She must not come near our dear angelic little 
child. I can call him by no other name so good 
and patient and gentle he is. I am sitting by him 


130 Headmastership of Westminster [CH. iv 

now, while the nurse goes out to get a little air, and 
every quick-drawn breath goes to my heart. One 
does not know how one loves them, till a time like 
this comes.' 

To H. H. Vaughan, he wrote later : 

' My presentiments were too just. On Sunday 
the 2yth, just a week after you saw me, my dear, 
dear little boy died. It was a miserable week, each 
day bringing many alternations of hope and fear. I 
buried him on Wednesday, and resumed my labours. 
But I was so worn out by watching and anxiety, 
added to my usual work, that I fell ill on Saturday ; 
and, though I am much better to-day, they have 
said that I must leave town, and remain quiet for a 
few days at least. My wife is not allowed to return 
home. One of the other children has had the same 
direful disease, but (thank God) favourably. The 
other two are well.' 

To Acland he wrote just afterwards from Tan- 
hurst, a house on Leith Hill kindly lent by Mr. 
Justice Vaughan Williams, father of the present 
Lord Justice : 

' I cannot even yet believe that we shall never 
see again on earth his fair face with those gentle 
bright blue eyes and silken hair. A more healthy 
strong child never was. A more docile obedient 
child never was. I hardly can remember when 
it was necessary to speak a second time. His 
winning pretty ways are stamped in our memories, 
I believe, for ever. His thoughtful happy dis- 
position made him the favourite wherever we went ; 
and I verily believe the grief of my father and 

CH. iv] Appointment to Ch. Ch. Deanery 131 

mother is hardly inferior to our own. You will 
pardon these babblings of fondness. But I watched 
him alone through that dreadful illness, and it 
relieves me to write so to those who can and will, 
I know, feel with me.' 

Those who were then at the school will remember 
how the boys shared in their Headmaster's sorrow, 
and how touchingly he thanked them, when they 
spontaneously requested that the annual Play, for 
which all preparations had been made, should not 
take place. 

The burden of responsibility, and the conviction 
of the impossibility of raising the school to a high 
level in numbers and prestige, so long as it remained 
in London, disposed him, in 1854, to seek some 
other sphere of work ; and he was near to accepting 
the Mastership of Sherburn Hospital in the county 
of Durham. But happily no such retirement was 
necessary. On June 2, 1855, Dean Gaisford died, 
and there was scarcely a doubt that Liddell would 
be his successor. He first received definite news 
of the appointment in the following letter from his 
old pupil the present Earl of Wemyss, then Lord 

June 6, 1855. 


' I went to Lord Palmerston this morning, to 
urge your appointment. He told me that he had 
heard so much in your favour, that he had taken 
the Queen's pleasure about it the day before yester- 
day, but that his time had been so fully occupied 

s 2 

132 Headmasters hip of Westminster [CH. iv 

yesterday, that he had not had time to write to you. 
Upon my asking him if / might announce this to 
you, he begged of me to do so, as it would save 
his writing to ask you to call upon him to-morrow 
morning at 11.30, at which hour he wishes to see 
you. He added, in his jocose manner, " you may 
tell him likewise, that I hope he will excuse my 
having named him to the Queen, without having 
previously obtained his consent." I can assure you 
that nothing could have given me greater pleasure 
than to be thus the means of communicating in- 
telligence so pleasing to my old tutor and friend. 
I rejoice most sincerely at your appointment, as I 
feel confident that in your hands Christ Church* 
will hold out every possible inducement to us to 
send our sons there, in the full confidence that you 
will turn them out gentlemen and useful members of 

' Yours ever, 

' ELCHO.' 

Then came the hurry of the remaining weeks of 
the Summer Term, and at last the leave-taking. 
Those who were then boys at the school will recall 
the presentation in the big schoolroom of the 
silver vase which was their parting gift, and the 
addresses read by the captain of the Queen's Scholars 
and the head Town Boy addresses which Liddell 
afterwards carefully docketed, and preserved to the 
end of his life among his most treasured papers 
and then the supper at the Headmaster's house. 
There was genuine sorrow in saying Farewell : for 
the boys were very proud of their splendid Head- 

CH. iv] Farewell to Westminster 133 

master ; and Mrs. Liddell had endeared herself in a 
thousand ways to the whole school, having taken 
a kindly interest in all their doings. The actors in 
the annual Play owed her a special debt of gratitude 
for the pains and taste which under the guidance of 
Sir Charles Newton she had expended upon the 
due arrangement of their classical dresses ; and those 
of them who had acted female parts, for the lessons 
she had taught them as to their gait, restraining 
their stride within feminine limits, and teaching 
them the management of their arms. To many of 
those then present it was a parting for life, but 
6me looked forward, in just confidence and with 
delightful anticipations, to a renewal of the friend- 
ship before long within the walls of Christ Church. 



' I WISH I could convey to you the cheer which 
followed the announcement by Lord Palmerston 
of your appointment in the House. It said more 
than I can say, and would have gratified you, I am 
sure.' These words of a member of the House of 
Commons expressed a feeling very generally shared 
by all who were interested in the welfare of Oxford, 
and especially in the welfare of Christ Church. 
The distinguished career and European reputation 
of the new Dean, and the important services which 
he had lately rendered to the cause of University 
Reform, made his appointment not only obvious 
and proper, but also very widely acceptable. At 
Christ Church itself, however, there prevailed an 
old-fashioned conservatism, which had regarded with 
dislike and apprehension the changes recommended 
by the Commission, and which dreaded the ex- 
perience of the rule of one who had been a prominent 
member of that body. 

' The expectation of us all/ writes the Bishop of 
Gibraltar, ' but I cannot say the hopes, were fixed 
upon the able and distinguished Headmaster of 

The Chapter of Christ Church 135 

Westminster. Many of us at that time were strong 
conservatives as regards the affairs of Christ Church, 
and little wished to have one who was a liberal, and 
had been an influential member of the University 
Commission, to be our ruler. Moreover, he was 
personally unknown to all but the seniors.' 

It speaks well for them and for him that he 
received a generous and courteous welcome from all 
the residents, and entered upon his new office amid 
every expression of cordial goodwill. The Sub- 
Dean, Archdeacon Clerke, kindly offered the use of 
his house while the Deanery was being prepared 
for its new occupants. The Chapter of that time 
comprised many distinguished men, but representing 
very different opinions, and various types of Church- 
manship. The Sub-Dean had been chaplain to 
Bishop Bagot, and was a delightful example of the 
courteous, old-fashioned, tolerant Churchman, just 
touched by the Oxford Movement, but cautious in 
accepting its lead. He was now serving Bishop 
Wilberforce as faithfully as he had served his pre- 
decessor, but probably with some bewilderment of 
mind. Next to the Sub-Dean, though much his 
senior in years, came Dr. Barnes, then in venerable 
old age. He had been appointed to a studentship 
sixty-five years before, had filled the various college 
offices, had been a Canon since 1810, and during 
the great war had served, from 1 796 to 1 802, as 
Major of the University Volunteers. Dr. Pusey, the 
Regius Professor of Hebrew, had been Canon since 
1828. He was at the height of his influence, 

136 Deanery of Christ Church [CH. v 

and brought the weight of long experience and 
high academical position, in addition to his unique 
ecclesiastical authority, as a force to be reckoned with 
in all matters relating to reform at Christ Church. 
Dr. Bull, the Treasurer, enjoyed, in addition to 
his Christ Church preferment, another Canonry at 
Exeter, a Prebendal Stall at York, and the delightful 
Vicarage of Staverton, Northants, his usual summer 
residence 1 . He had been Tutor and Censor in 
bygone days, was a courtly gentleman, a refined 
scholar, and a shrewd man of business. Dr. Jelf, 
who had been Tutor to the King of Hanover, was 
Principal of King's College, and much occupied in 
his London duties. He was a kindly, reasonable, 
and friendly man. Dr. Jacobson was the Regius 
Professor of Divinity. His opinions were definitely 

1 Dr. Bull's preferments are summed up in a once well-known 
epigram : 

' In a coach with Will Whip, ere the use of the Rail, 
To Town I once travelled ; and inside the Mail 
Sat a Canon of Exeter ; on the same perch 
Sat a Canon of Oxford's Episcopal Church. 
Next came one who held (I own the thing's small) 
In the Minster of York a Prebendal Stall ; 
And last came a Vicar all comely and fair, 
With a Vicarage snug and some hundreds a year. 
Now good reader you'll think that the coach was quite full 
No, there was but one traveller, Dr. John Bull \ ' 

An old Christ Church student may perhaps venture to express his 
dislike of the modern fashion of addressing members of our Chapter 
as ' Canon ' so and so. A title of very indefinite and often of infini- 
tesimal value thus takes the place of a specially honourable designation ; 
for it has been customary for the University to confer the degree of 
D.D. upon Canons of Christ Church by Decree of Convocation. Dr. 
Pusey was never called ' Canon ' Pusey. 

CH. v] Powers of the Dean and Chapter 137 

liberal, and in favour of University Reform. Dr. 
Ogilvie, the Regius Professor of Pastoral Theology, 
had been chaplain to Archbishop Howley, and asso- 
ciated, in far distant times, as Tutor of Balliol, with 
the radical changes which created the greatness of 
that college. He was now quite without enthusiasm 
for reform, and inclined to resent all novelties. Dr. 
Heurtley, the junior member of the Chapter, was the 
Margaret Professor of Divinity, a gentle, holy man, 
of the old evangelical school, not without strong 
conservative convictions, but never unmindful of 
Christian charity. 

It was a heterogeneous body: with none of its 
members, except Dr. Jacobson, was the new Dean 
likely to be in warm sympathy. Yet to the Dean 
and Chapter then belonged the whole government 
of Christ Church ; the students had absolutely no 
power or authority. Though the Censors and 
Tutors were responsible for the discipline and the 
tuition of the undergraduates, they were without 
a voice in all questions relating to the property or 
the general administration of the House. The Dean 
and Chapter were the sole governors. As an illus- 
tration of the subordinate position then occupied by 
the students, it may be mentioned that the High 
Table on the dais in the Dining Hall, at which 
the Dean and Canons sat twice a year upon the 
annual ' Gaudy ' days, was habitually occupied not 
by the Tutors, but by the undergraduate noblemen, 
or ' Tufts,' who ranked as Doctors, and thus sat 
daily above their preceptors at their common meal. 


138 Deanery of Christ Church [CH. v 

It was a strange survival from the sixteenth century, 
and was not likely to endure much longer. In 
relating the story of Dean Liddell's rule, it will be 
necessary to note briefly the inevitable changes by 
which the educational staff obtained their proper 
position in the government of their College. 

The old pre-eminence of Christ Church in the 
Honours Schools had not been maintained in recent 
years, and the new Dean was likely to have an up- 
hill task in once more establishing it. DeanGaisford 
had not given much encouragement to competition 
by members of the House for academical dis- 
tinctions, though he was a steady and strenuous 
supporter of all good work done by them within its 
walls ; and his profound scholarship and untiring 
industry could not but make a deep impression on 
all the abler men who came under his influence. He 
had been in many respects a great ruler, strong in 
sturdy independence and simple straightforwardness ; 
his authority was undisputed, and on the whole he 
had guided the fortunes of Christ Church with 
dignity and success. But kind as he was at heart, 
he was not distinguished for urbanity of demean- 
our : an epigram used to contrast him with his 
contemporary, the courtly Warden of All Souls : 

Gaisford and Sneyd each other's lectures seek, 
The one learns manners, and the other Greek. 

The story of his appointment to the Greek Chair 
illustrates this characteristic, and may be given in 
Liddell's words : 

'In 1810, Gaisford had published an edition of 

CH. v] Gaisford and the Greek Chair 139 

the Grammarian Hephaestion, which established his 
reputation as one of the chief Greek scholars of the 
day. In the next year, the Professorship of Greek 
became vacant by the promotion of William Jackson 
to the Bishopric of Oxford. The choice of his 
successor lay between Elmsley and Gaisford. Dean 
Jackson had retired from his high office to seclusion 
in the village of Felpham, near Chichester. But he 
was still consulted by Lord Grenville (the Chancellor) 
and other great men in London on all Oxford 
appointments. There could be no doubt as to 
which of the two distinguished scholars would have 
his recommendation. The old Dean did not hesitate 
to put Gaisford forward. He sent for his former 
pupil to Felpham, told him to get a copy of his 
Hephaestion bound in the best style, and to send it 
with a letter, which he dictated himself, to Lord 
Grenville. He obeyed, and in due course received 
from his Lordship the gratifying information that the 
Prince Regent had been pleased to place the Regius 
Professorship at his disposal. The story went that 
he replied not this time from the dictation of Cyril 
Jackson : 

" MY LORD, I have received yours, and accede 
to the proposal. Yours, 


' He held the office till his death in 1855, and 
justified his appointment by the various excellent 
editions of Greek authorities which he published. 
He never gave lectures.' 

Dean Liddell adds : 

' I had been recommended by Lord Palmerston to 
succeed Gaisford in the Deanery of Christ Church. 

T 2 

140 Deanery of Christ Church [CH.V 

Who was to succeed to the Professorship ? I remem- 
ber that Charles Clifford of All Souls was deputed by 
the Prime Minister to consult me about it. " Won't 
you take it yourself," he asked, " and relieve us of 
all further trouble ? " I declined the offer, partly 
because I knew there were better Greek scholars 
than myself in the University, partly because I 
thought it inexpedient that the Professorship should 
be attached to the Headship of a College. " Well 
then," Clifford said, " you must see Lord Palmerston, 
and tell him who you think ought to be appointed." 
Consequently I was summoned to an interview with 
Lord Palmerston, and mentioned several names 
Scott, Newton, and Jowett. As to Scott, I said 
there was (in part) the same objection that I felt in 
my own case ; he was Head of a College. Newton 
and Jowett were, I thought, both of them inferior to 
him in Greek Scholarship. But Newton had earned 
a high reputation in one department of Greek 
literature in inscriptions a department which had 
hitherto received scanty encouragement in Oxford, 
and I thought this gave him a strong claim. " Oh 
yes," said Lord Palmerston, " I know that man ; ask 
him whether he will accept." I did so ; but Newton 
was unable to relinquish his post at the British 
Museum for a Professorship which was at that time 
worth only ^40 a year paid by Christ Church. In 
the end Jowett was appointed. As Professor, he 
devoted himself chiefly to the task of familiarizing 
English readers with the master works of Greek 
philosophy, or providing what Mark Pattison ir- 
reverently and wrongly called "cribs." His trans- 
lations of Plato and Thucydides are masterly 
transfusions of Greek thought and language into 

CH. v] Reforms at Christ Church 141 

English. They may be read as if they had been 
originally written in the vernacular tongue/ 

It is interesting to add that, in 1893, when the 
Greek Chair was again vacant, some correspondence 
with reference to Jowett's successor passed between 
Mr. Gladstone and Dr. Liddell, who was then, like 
Cyril Jackson in 1811, living in dignified retirement, 
in a quiet country home. 

The first important question which the new Dean 
had to face was the reform of the constitution of 
Christ Church in accordance with the recommenda-" 
tions of the Royal Commission. The Commission 
had clearly pointed out the evil arising from the 
close system of nomination to studentships by the 
Dean and Canons, from the inadequate emoluments 
of the students, and from the absence of all participa- 
tion by them in the government of the House and 
the management of its property. 

1 At Christ Church,' says the report, ' the students, 
those from Westminster excepted, are nominated by 
the Dean and Canons in turn, the Dean having two 
turns. It is true indeed that many of these dignitaries, 
especially the Dean, have taken pains to make 
creditable appointments ; but it is notorious that 
studentships are often given as a matter of favour, 
and that the relations or friends of Canons are likely 
to be preferred. 

' The Dean and Canons have only to surrender 
their patronage, and to invite the best scholars in 
England to compete for their studentships. . . . The 
studentships should be divided into two classes, 

142 Deanery of Christ Church [CH. v 

corresponding to the fellowships and scholarships 
of Colleges. Means should be found to increase 
the value of the studentships, especially the senior 
studentships, in order to enable Christ Church to 
compete fairly with other Colleges. It is not unreason- 
able to expect that something should be done by the 
Chapter, whose own income is very large, if not 
while the present vested rights subsist, yet on the 
occurrence of vacancies.' 

The Commissioners proceed to suggest the sup- 
pression, for this purpose, of the two canonries 
unconnected with professorships ; the suspension of 
election to twenty studentships pending the settle- 
ment of the new Ordinance ; and the reservation 
of a definite proportion of junior studentships for 
Westminster School. 

The Ordinance of 1858, which effected the first 
change in the ancient foundation of King Henry VIII, 
was framed on these lines. The Dean and Canons 
were still to be the sole governing body, the sole 
administrators of the property ; but in place of the 
large body of students appointed except the West- 
minster men by a system of private nomination, 
there were now created twenty-eight senior student- 
ships and fifty-two junior studentships, twenty-one 
of the latter to be connected with Westminster 
School. All the rest, both senior and junior, were 
thrown open to public competition. The senior 
students would rank as fellows of Colleges but 
without the real position and authority of fellows 
the junior students, as scholars. The Canonries 

CH. v] Ordinance 0/1858 143 

were reduced from eight to six. In order to ensure 
an effective and impartial electoral Board, the election 
of students, whether senior or junior, was placed in 
the hands of the Dean, six Canons, and the six senior 
members of the Educational Staff. Thus, for the 
first time, the students had equal powers with the 
Canons in this important matter ; and the system 
of private nomination was abolished for ever. But 
the appointment of the College Officers (Censors 
and Readers) still rested with the Dean and Canons ; 
and their authority, in all matters connected with the 
property of the College, was in no respect curtailed. 
This change effected an important and most salu- 
tary reform. But it was naturally unpalatable, for 
various reasons, to many of the Canons. The pro- 
posals of the Commissioners were often and fully 
considered at Chapter meetings, but unanimity did 
not prevail. Towards the close of their discussions, 
Dr. Pusey saw the uselessness of offering further 

' I shall not write to the Commissioners/ he told 
the Dean, ' a single voice will not be heard by 
unwilling ears. I have done what I could towards 
retaining the old Christ Church. Fuit Ilium. The 
Commissioners, with yourself and Dr. Jacobson, will 
be responsible for the new. I shall be very glad 
if the Commissioners' plan should work better than 
I hope of it. ... The Act has deluded us with 
a show of power of negativing propositions which 
we think disadvantageous to the College. I shall 
not keep up an ineffectual struggle, though I must 
think that we have been treated ill.' 

144 Deanery of Christ Chztrch [CH. v 

The Dean replied : 

' With regard to the Ordinance, it is matter for 
difference of opinion. Old Christ Church is, so far 
as I can see, in a state of decay, and must (if not 
restored) fall into decrepitude. The measure pro- 
posed for restoring it may be good or bad. It can 
hardly reduce it lower than it is. Neither you nor 
I may see the success which I hope for. But I cheer- 
fully accept the responsibility.' 

That success, however, was only partial. The 
changes then effected were not destined to be final. 
It was not likely that this newly-created body of 
senior students, comprising the whole educational 
staff of the College, and recruited yearly by the 
election of able young men from other Colleges who 
had no traditional reverence for old Christ Church, 
would acquiesce in holding an anomalous position, 
immeasurably inferior to that of fellows elsewhere. 
It was inevitable that a movement should soon 
begin to alter the status of the students, and give 
them a recognized place in the administration of the 
corporate property. After much controversy, and 
many negotiations between the Chapter and the 
students, a body of Referees was appointed in 
February 1866, who were to decide all matters 
at issue. Archbishop Longley and Sir John T. 
Coleridge were named for this purpose by the 
Canons ; Sir Roundell Palmer by the Dean ; Sir 
William Page Wood and the Hon. Edward Twisleton 
by the students. Their recommendations were em- 
bodied in an Act of Parliament, ' The Christ Church 

CH. v] Statutes 0/1882 145 

Oxford Act/ which was passed in 1867. By this 
Act the government of the Foundation, and the 
disposal and management of its possessions and 
revenues, were vested in the Dean, Canons, and 
Senior Students. Certain powers with respect to 
the Cathedral Church, its services and ministers, 
were reserved to the Dean and Chapter, and ample 
revenues were set apart for a Chapter Fund. The 
Act made careful provisions for the various com- 
plications resulting from the composite nature and 
divergent interests of the new Governing Body. 

' The Dean,' writes the Bishop of Gibraltar, ' had 
a difficult part to play, as he was head of both the 
contending parties. That the revolution, for it was 
no less, created no discord or ill-feeling was due 
in a large measure to the impartial and conciliatory 
attitude which he took throughout/ 

It was also due it should be added to the 
generous acceptance by the Chapter of their altered 

So matters remained till 1877, when Oxford was 
again thrown into the crucible, and the Parliamentary 
Commission, of which Lord Selborne was chairman, 
made drastic changes in the character and tenure 
of College emoluments. Under statutes which 
became law in 1882, the names of 'senior' and 
'junior' student were abolished; the latter became 
scholars ; the former, under the ancient title of 
students, were divided into two classes, official and 
non-official, with different conditions of election and 


146 Deanery of Christ Church [CH. v 

Such, in brief outline, were the successive changes 
in the constitution of Christ Church which Dean 
Liddell witnessed, and for which he was largely 
responsible. He was not indeed on more than 
one Commission. He refused though pressed 
to serve on the executive Commission which followed 
upon the first, for the purpose of framing or ap- 
proving the new Ordinances. This refusal was 
chiefly based on the ground that it would be un- 
desirable for the new Dean, just entering on his 
office, to be hampered by duties which would have 
a distinctly party character, and would necessarily 
involve much unpleasant controversy. 

' The more I think of it ' (he writes to Vaughan) 
'the more unwilling I am to begin my reign at 
Oxford conjointly with an office of Commissioner. 
Is no one else to be found ? ' 

In 1876 he was again invited to serve on the 
Commission which Mr. Disraeli's Government pro- 
posed to issue, and to allow his name to appear 
in the Bill which was to be introduced at the 
beginning of the session of 1877. He was then 
in quite an altered position in the University. He 
had but lately served for four years as Vice- 
Chancellor, and had won the respect and confidence 
of all parties, and his acceptance of office would, 
as he was assured by Lord Salisbury, 'singularly 
add to the strength of the Commission and the 
value of its work.' Lord Salisbury's invitation was 
privately backed by influential members of his party. 

CH. v] Improvements at the Deanery 147 

' I am sure,' wrote Sir John Mowbray, 'your ac- 
ceptance of the post will inspire confidence in every 
quarter, Conservative and Liberal.' But after much 
consideration the Dean declined the offer; mainly, 
it is believed, on the ground that his acceptance 
would deprive the Commission of the services of a 
distinguished Oxford man who had more leisure than 
himself for the task, and who would, in the Dean's 
judgment, be of more use as a Commissioner. No 
doubt he was also influenced by his unwillingness 
to embark once more, at the age of 66, on the strife 
and vexation connected with University reforms, of 
which he had already had his full share. 

Dean Liddell's name will be for long associated 
with the buildings of Christ Church. On becoming 
Dean he was for the first time in his life able to indulge 
his artistic tastes on an adequate scale, and without the 
restrictions which had hampered him at Westminster. 
First, of necessity, came his new home, the Deanery. 
It needed many alterations. To his refined taste are 
due the panelling and decorations of drawing-room 
and hall, the opening out of the long gallery on the 
first floor as an additional reception-room, and 
the construction of the stately staircase, called the 
' Lexicon ' staircase, because its cost was defrayed 
from the profits on that book. Much delay took place 
before the Deanery was fit for occupation ; a fire 
at Baker's factory in Lambeth destroyed all the new 
woodwork just as it was on the point of completion. 
However, early in 1856 the work was almost finished. 
On February 12, he wrote .to his mother: 

u 2 

148 Deanery of Christ Church [CH. v 

' As I sit in this now very beautiful house, and 
admire all that has been done, I feel sensible how 
worthless it all would be, if we had not kind parents 
and kinsfolk and friends to join us in admiration ; 
and so it is with birthdays and all that brings joy 
in this life. . . . Painters and paperers still linger, 
but we are now very nearly done, and hope to throw 
open our doors for an evening musical party next 
week. They are intending to get up the ' Macbeth ' 
music, with choruses, some glees, and other music, by 
the help of some of the young men and some ladies, 
if they are not too prudish to join. The gallery 
will be a good place for sound, forty-four feet long, 
opening by a wide archway upon the stairs, so that 
a great number may be present not to mention 
the drawing-room. I wish you, like my father, had 
seen the house before it was done, in order that you 
might appreciate what has been done. We have 
spent all my father's magnificent present upon the 
sideboard, which I hope he will soon come to 
admire. It is really, I think, or rather will be (for 
it is not finished), most beautiful. I have not yet 
got anything with your present for my library, for 
that room at present remains untouched/ 

About a fortnight later he adds : 

' The house is all but finished, and now nothing 
remains but the pleasant task of showing it to our 
friends and paying the bills. We begin with two 
musical evenings on Thursday and Saturday next, 
without any dinner parties. All the College will 
be asked on the two nights, and all whom we know 
among Heads of Houses, &c., are asked. We very 
much wish you could all be here. You could sit 
and hear it all quietly in your own bed-room, if you 

To face page 148. 


CH. v] Chapel in old days 149 

did not feel equal to venturing into such a crowd ; 
for what will, I hope, be your bed-room opens into 
the gallery where the music will be performed. So, 
about 8 o'clock on Thursday evening, think of 
Madam making her first curtsey at the head of her 
own stairs in Oxford. This is a strange place for 
rumours. It has been reported that Mrs. Liddell is 

getting up private theatricals, and that Dr. C 

permits his daughter to personate one of the witches, 
while the Dean is expected to represent Macbeth ! ' 

Next came the work on the Cathedral ; a re- 
arrangement of the interior urgently needed, but 
not intended to be final. Not till seventeen years 
later was an adequate restoration of the building 
attempted. But the over-crowding of the con- 
gregation, who were confined within the restricted 
space of the choir itself, led to much irreverence ; 
and some alterations were imperatively necessary. 
Old Christ Church men will remember the daily 
scene in Chapel in those ancient days ; the choir cut 
off from the body of the Church by the heavy organ- 
screen ; and within its narrow limits the mob of 
undergraduates seated on rows of benches which 
faced westward, and crowded up against the altar 
rails ; the high barrier of stalls concealing the view 
of the choir aisles * ; the ' Prick bills ' walking up 

1 Keys, the Dean's Verger, was stationed at the entrance to the 
choir, and kept a stout dog-whip with which to belabour any dogs 
which as not unfrequently happened followed their masters into 
Chapel. Keys lived in the south transept, and his beer store was in 
a cupboard just below the pew, on the north side of the choir, in which 
the Deanery ladies sat. Dog-whip and beer were both summarily 
ejected by Dean Liddell, to the old verger's great annoyance. 

150 Deanery of Christ Church [CH. v 

and down, pricking in the men on to their lists as 
they managed to identify them ; the singing men and 
boys, on 'Surplice' prayer-days, bracketed out aloft 
under the shadow of the Norman arches, the men 
on one side, the boys on the other; the slovenly 
undevotional service, whether English Prayers on 
Sundays and Holy Days, or Latin Prayers on other 
occasions, when the sonorous tones of Dean Gaisford 
overpowered the responses of all other worshippers. 
Mr. Ruskin indeed has idealized the scene in his 
' Praeterita,' and his description does justice to his 
fine imagination, and deserves to be quoted : 

' In this choir, written so closely and consecutively 
with indisputable British History, met every morning 
a congregation representing the best of what Britain 
had become, orderly, as the crew of a man-of-war, 
in the goodly ship of their temple. Every man in 
his place, according to his rank, age, and learning; 
every man of sense or heart there recognizing that 
he was either fulfilling, or being prepared to fulfil, 
the gravest duties required of Englishmen. A well- 
educated foreigner, admitted to that morning service, 
might have learnt and judged more quickly and 
justly what the country had been, and still had 
power to be, than by months of stay in court or 
city. There, in his stall, sat the greatest divine of 
England under his commandant niche, her greatest 
scholar amongst the tutors the present Dean Lid- 
dell, and a man of curious intellectual power and 
simple virtue, Osborne Gordon. The group of 
noblemen gave, in the Marquis of Kildare, Earl 
of Desart, Lord Emlyn, and Francis Charteris, now 

CH. v] Ruskin's 'Christ Church Choir' 151 

Lord Wemyss, the brightest types of high race and 
active power ; Henry A eland and Charles Newton 
among the senior undergraduates, and I among the 
freshmen, showed, if one had known it, elements 
of curious possibilities in coming days. None of us 
then conscious of any need or chance of change, 
least of all the stern Captain, who, with rounded 
brow and glittering dark eye, led, in his old thunder- 
ous Latin, the responses of the morning prayer.' 

Nevertheless, it was high time that a change 
should be made. The arrangement of the interior, 
as it then was, dated from the reign of Charles I, 
when Brian Duppa was Dean, and the seventeenth- 
century woodwork was of interesting design and 
worthy of preservation. It was as far as possible 
kept. But the organ-screen was removed, and the 
organ placed on the floor of the south transept. 
The stalls of the Dean and Canons were shifted to 
a position westward of the third bay of the nave, 
so that almost the whole length of the church, as 
it then existed, was made use of for service. The 
seats were all re-arranged, and the lofty barriers at 
the sides of the choir removed ; the choir itself was 
assigned to the bulk of the undergraduates, the 
Censors sitting among them ; the Tutors and other 
graduates, as well as the noblemen and gentlemen 
commoners, sat westward of the transepts ; and 
under the central tower were placed the choristers. 
The pulpit occupied almost its present position, and 
the Vice-Chancellor's throne (now relegated to the 
Latin Chapel) was placed opposite to it. The 

152 Deanery of Christ Church [CH. v 

sounding-board of the pulpit added dignity to the 
episcopal throne, placed below the altar-steps on 
the south side. It is stated that the whole of this 
reconstruction was contrived out of the old wood- 
work, none of it being removed from the church, 
and no new materials introduced. The effect as 
a whole was good, and the services were vastly im- 
proved. More care was taken in selecting chaplains 
capable of intoning their part, and the choristers 
were diligently trained by Dr. Corfe, the organist. 
The church was no longer a by-word. 

Dr. Corfe was at this time sorely plagued by one 
of the choirmen, whose ' alto ' singing was miserably 
bad. He came to the Dean. ' Mr. Dean, I really 
cannot have that man singing any longer : he spoils 
the whole choir. If only he sang "bass," it would 
not so much matter ; but such an " alto " is intoler- 
able.' ' Very well, Dr. Corfe,' said the Dean, ' I 
will deal with the matter.' So the choirman was 
sent for. ' Dr. Corfe complains of your singing, and 
says he cannot have you sing "alto" any longer; 
but that it would not be so bad if you sang " bass." 
For the future, therefore, be good enough to sing 
"bass".' 'But, Mr. Dean,' rejoined the man, 'I 
cannot sing "bass".' 'Well,' answered Liddell, 
' I am no musician ; but sing " bass " you must. 
Good morning.' And for many a year afterwards, 
as can be but too well remembered, the man sang 
'bass,' till he was finally shelved. 

On ordinary week-days, Latin Prayers were 
always said at the College services. They were 

CH. v] Latin Prayers 153 

not abolished till the end of 1861, when the present 
Bishop of Gibraltar and Dean of Durham were 
Censors. It was supposed that the substitution of 
English for Latin would encourage devotion, but 
it is doubtful how far this has been the case ; and 
certainly there was a loss in the abandonment of 
the time-honoured book in its dingy brown binding, 
with its long S's that led the unwary astray (one 
Chaplain always read ' sumas ' as ' fumas ' in the 
Litany), and its quaint rendering of the Psalms, 
some verses of which must always linger in the 
memory. Who, that ever heard them, does not 
remember the Dean and Censors repeating with 
stentorian voice that mysterious verse : 

' Similisque factus sum onocrotalo gaudenti solitudine, ac buboni 
agenti in locis desertis ; ' 

or the in saecula saeculorum, Amen, rolled out in 
tones which made them sink into Lord Dufferin's 
memory, to be used, some years afterwards, as the 
most fitting ending for his famous Latin speech in 
Iceland J ? 

On Sundays and Holy Days there were Surplice 
Prayers ; the Holy Communion was celebrated once 
a month after the Choral Matins : its proper place, 
no doubt, but involving a service of nearly two hours' 
length before breakfast. College sermons were not 
known ; but when the Dean or a Canon preached 
in his turn before the University, the sermon always 
took place at Christ Church and not at St. Mary's. 
This ancient privilege has been surrendered since 

1 See Letters from High Latitudes^ ch. vi. p. 68. 

154 Deanery of Christ Church [CH.V 

1869, as a necessary result of the introduction of ten 
o'clock service with sermon, for the members of the 
House and for the general public. It was a privilege 
for which Dean John Fell contended fiercely in 1673, 
and it was then ordered, after reference to the King 
and Council, ' that from henceforth every Canon of 
Christ Church should (guatenus a member of the 
University) preach at St. Mary's, and (guatenus 
Canon) at Christ Church.' 

This rearrangement of the church was carried 
out under the Dean's close supervision, with the 
assistance of an architect, Mr. Billing. It was a 
thoroughly congenial task, and he was constantly 
engaged in it, superintending every detail. Even 
in the middle of August he was found in Oxford, 
having travelled up specially from Bamborough 
Castle to see that all was going right. 

' I spent the greater part of yesterday morning ' 
(he writes on August 17, 1856), 'in the church, 
going through all small details, so as to prevent, 
if possible, the necessity of my return. But it is 
very fortunate that I came. There would have 
been several enormous blunders. When work is 
going on, one ought always to be on the spot. The 
whole really will look very well. But I wish you 
could have seen it when it was quite clear and open. 
They have begun fixing the seats now.' 

The work was pressed on, so as to be finished 
before the re-assembling of the College in October ; 
but the Dean was not allowed to witness its com- 
pletion. On September 30 came the beginning of 


To face page 154. 

CH. v] Restoration of Cathedral in i8jo 155 

the serious illness which kept him away from Oxford 
for many months. He had been visiting an estate 
in Leicestershire, and on that day writes to his 
wife : 

' I renewed my cold by my Market Harborough 
trip, and Acland says I had better stay in bed. It 
is very tiresome, as I had fully calculated upon 
being up to welcome you. Nor have I been able 
to superintend the finishing of the church, as I 

These improvements in the interior of the Cathe- 
dral were intended to be of quite a temporary 
character. They had not been costly, had been 
hastily completed, and left very much to be done 
when a favourable opportunity should arise. That 
opportunity was not found until the new Governing 
Body had been created under the Ordinance of 1867. 
It was of happy omen for the future relations be- 
tween the Chapter and the students, that a cordial 
acceptance was given to a proposal made by the 
senior resident student, the Rev. T. Chamberlain, 
for the appointment of a Committee to confer with 
the Chapter on the question of the restoration of the 
Cathedral. This resolution was passed in March 
1868. There were difficulties to be faced at first; 
but a year afterwards matters had so far advanced 
that Mr. G. Gilbert Scott was asked to prepare 
plans and estimates. An appeal for funds was next 
made to the general body of Christ Church men. 
The Governing Body subscribed 1,000 from their 
corporate funds ; the Chapter, a like sum from 

x 2 

156 Deanery of Christ Church [CH. v 

the Chapter Fund; the Dean promised a private 
subscription of 500 ; and the other residents gave 
according to their means or inclinations. In the 
summer of 1870 the first contract with the builders 
was signed, and two years later the work was prac- 
tically completed, at a cost of more than ,17,000. 

Those who were privileged to serve on the 
' Restoration ' Committee under the presidency of 
the Dean will gratefully acknowledge the debt 
due to his untiring attention to every detail of 
the work, and to his exquisite artistic taste and 
well-balanced judgment. 

It was not indeed so much a 'Restoration' 
as an 'adaptation' of the church to its twofold 
purposes, to serve as the Cathedral Church of the 
Diocese, and the College Chapel. Before Dean 
Liddell's time, the first of these two objects had 
been for long almost unrecognized. There was 
an episcopal throne indeed, which was occasion- 
ally occupied, and there were Canons' Prayers 
on week-days, scantily attended. But the re- 
quirements of the College had always been first 
considered. The Cathedral Church was within the 
College gates, and was therefore only accessible 
at the pleasure of its Head. The Dean, moreover, 
claimed to be his own Ordinary, and the Bishops 
had met with scant courtesy from former Deans. 
Even in Dean Liddell's earlier years, the Bishop, 
on his rare visits, would slink into his seat from 
the side aisle as though he were almost an interloper. 
But after some years of diligent care in the 

CH. v] Changes in Nave and Choir 157 

improvement of the services, the Cathedral, made 
more convenient for a mixed congregation by the 
reconstruction of the interior in 1856, had become 
well attended by the general public, and there 
were larger demands upon its space at the Sunday 
services. The work undertaken in 1870 brought 
the church, in all essential points, into its present 
condition. The interior of the fabric was thoroughly 
cleaned, the whitewash brushed off, and the original 
surface exposed. The quaint seventeenth-century 
screens, which shut off the chapels north of the 
choir from the north transept, were removed. 
They were of unusual design, shaped as inverted 
arches, so as to form, with the Norman arches 
above them, complete circles with solid masonry, 
only partly pierced, below. The plain two-light 
windows which Brian Duppa had inserted throughout 
the church, and had filled with Van Ling's glass, 
were removed, and somewhat commonplace Per- 
pendicular windows took their place. One only 
of these curious windows remains. It was spared 
in compliance with a general request of members 
of the House, and may be seen at the west end 
of the north aisle of the nave. It represents 
Jonah under the gourd, and the city of Nineveh 
in the distance. The east window, then of 
Decorated tracery, and filled with gaudy French 
glass recently given in commemoration of the 
tercentenary of the foundation of the College, made 
way for a charming reconstruction of the eastern 
end in accordance with indications of earlier work 

158 Deanery of Christ Church [CH. v 

discovered by the architect. Portions of the French 
glass may still be seen distributed among the cleres- 
tory lights of the south transept. This transept, one 
bay of which had long been desecrated by its use 
as a Verger's house, was now brought wholly into 
the church ; and a curious chamber, which extended 
over the slype, was carefully rebuilt in accordance 
with traces found in situ. A light screen of open 
iron-work, wrought by Skidmore of Coventry, was 
carried round the nave and choir, so as to mark 
off the central portion of the church for Collegiate 
use without excluding the general congregation 
from full enjoyment of the service. At the west 
end of the nave an additional bay was built, 
replacing one of the three destroyed by Wolsey ; 
it was intended that it should be called Dr. Dowdes- 
well's bay, the cost being defrayed by a sum of 
money bequeathed some years before by that member 
of the Chapter. And when, before the restoration 
was completed, the Canon's house which separated 
the Cathedral from the Great Quadrangle became 
vacant, an approach to the church was made from 
the terrace through a double archway. This was 
completed in 1872, and now forms the chief 
entrance. The central tower arcade was also 
opened to view ; its Norman arches had been long 
hidden by the floor of the ringing chamber. But 
the bells were now removed altogether from the 
church, and a new belfry was constructed for them 
above the Hall staircase. There they were placed 
in a plain wooden case, irreverently called the 

To face page 158. 

CH. v] Improved Services 159 

4 Tea-chest,' which was some years afterwards hidden 
from view by the construction, from the designs of 
Mr. Bodley, of the stunted tower with four corner 
turrets, which rises at the south-east corner of 
the Great Quadrangle. It was Mr. Bodley's wish 
to surmount this lower tower by a lofty campanile 
of wood and copper; it is hoped that this design 
may yet be carried out. 

It remained to furnish the interior in a manner 
worthy of the building. The stalls and seats in 
the central portion were made of dark Italian walnut 
from Mr. Scott's designs. The floor of the choir 
was laid with rich marbles, surrounding designs in 
Maltese inlaid work. The Bishop's throne, a 
Diocesan memorial of Bishop Wilberforce, was also 
designed by Scott. Gradually other enrichments 
were added by various donors ; the place grew in 
beauty year by year. The altar frontal, and the 
richly-bound Bible of 1674, were the gifts of Dean 
Liddell's three eldest daughters. 

The Cathedral was indeed an object of his un- 
ceasing care, and is a worthy monument of his taste. 
And he desired to throw the building open as widely 
as possible to the public, and to have the services 
conducted with care and reverence. Although with 
no liking for any of the extreme developments in 
doctrine or ritual which were becoming so common, 
Dean Liddell was in hearty sympathy with every 
attempt made to meet the demand for more frequent 
and more reverent services. A weekly celebration 
of Holy Communion was introduced in 1865 ; to 

160 Deanery of Christ Church [CH.V 

this was subsequently added a celebration on Thurs- 
day mornings. Diocesan gatherings of various kinds 
were encouraged during the vacations, when the 
church was not needed for College purposes. Bach's 
Passion music was rendered for the first time on 
March 20, 1873, by the three choirs of Christ 
Church, Magdalen College, and the Chapel Royal, 
Windsor. Later in the same year Bach's Christmas 
music was rendered there, and the Church has again 
and again been used for such special services. If, 
a few years before Dean Liddell's time, a writer 
in the Ecclesiologist could describe the service at 
Christ Church as ' the most slovenly and irreverent 
that we have ever witnessed in any English 
Cathedral,' it may now claim to rank among the 
most beautiful, even in a University which boasts 
of New College and Magdalen Chapels. 

Another important architectural work is associated 
with the earlier years of Dean Liddell's rule. For 
some time past the Chapter had been accumulating 
funds for rebuilding an ancient part of the College, 
and, in a communication to Lord Palmerston in 1854, 
they expressed a hope that the undertaking would 
soon be begun. Many Christ Church men will 
remember the Chaplains' Quadrangle, the scene of 
innumerable bonfires, formed by the Old Library 
(the monastic refectory) on the north, Wolsey's 
kitchen on the west, the cloister and passage to 
the meadow on the east, and on the south a low 
range of venerable buildings where the Chaplains 
and Auditor had rooms. A narrow archway led 

7V> face page 160. 

From a Drawing made in 1856. 

CH. v] Meadow Buildings & Gt. Quadrangle 161 

eastward from the cloister to a somewhat mean 
block of buildings erected after the fire of 1669 
by Dean John Fell, which fronted the Broad Walk. 
It was now resolved to pull down Fell's Buildings 
and the south side of the Chaplains' Quadrangle ; 
and in their stead was erected the long range of 
Meadow Buildings, from the designs of Mr. Deane 
of Dublin, whose firm, then Deane and Woodward, 
had been the architects of the University Museum. 
The style is Rhenish Gothic, and the exterior 
elevation still perhaps invites criticism ; but the 
interior arrangements are excellent, and rooms have 
been provided for a large addition to the numbers 
of the College. The work was completed in 1865, 
some of the rooms having been occupied in the 
previous year. 

The Great Quadrangle in its turn required to 
be dealt with. No material alteration in its archi- 
tecture had been made since the time of its com- 
pletion under Dean John Fell, when the whole of the 
north side was built. At the same time Wolsey's 
work had been curiously transformed by the addition 
of an Italian balustrade running round the whole 
range of buildings, including even the Hall ; and the 
earth excavated from the centre of the Quadrangle 
had been piled up to raise the broad terrace, so that 
the bases of the shafts which were to support the 
vaulting of Wolsey's projected cloister were hidden 
below the level of the terrace walk. There had 
apparently been no uniformity of surface in the 
area of the Quadrangle before Fell's time; the 


1 62 Deanery of Christ Church [CH.V 

whole place was till then unfinished ; and a staple 
with ring for fastening horses was to be seen near the 
Deanery door as late as 1870, thus indicating that 
it could be reached on horseback in olden days. 
In 1842 the terrace had been very handsomely faced 
with grey Cornish granite. Now under Dean 
Liddell the crumbling surface of the soft Oolite 
stone of which the Quadrangle was built, long 
disintegrated by rain and frost, was renewed with 
a harder stone from the Taynton quarries wherever 
necessary. The shafts designed to carry the vaulting 
of the cloister received with perhaps an almost over- 
conscientious reproduction of Wolsey's unfinished 
project the slightly curved stones to show the 
intended springing of the vaulting ; the arches, 
which had been smoothed to the wall face, were 
renewed round the Quadrangle, and even introduced 
on the north side, where they had never existed 
before, and the terrace was lowered about fifteen 
inches to disclose the bases of the shafts. This 
change in the level of the terrace revealed the 
foundation of the external buttresses of the cloister. 
It was decided, but not without much hesitation, 
to leave them exposed. The balustrade, some parts 
of which had lately fallen in a storm, was removed, 
and battlements took its place. Beneath them was 
carved a line of shields, illustrative of the long 
history of the House. The Hall received its pin- 
nacles, and its splendid proportions were disclosed 
by the removal of the masking wall which connected 
it at its eastern end with the corner tower. Over 

CH. v] Cloisters and Chapter House 163 

Kill-Canon a small tower, originally intended by Fell 
for astronomical purposes, but never carried up beyond 
the line of the balustrade, was now completed. 

There remained the Chapter House, and the 
mutilated cloister, of which Wolsey had ruthlessly 
destroyed the western side, to be restored as far 
as possible to their original beauty. The cloister 
garth was cleared of a mass of earth which had 
accumulated there during three hundred years. The 
removal of the soil not only enabled the proportions 
of the. cloister itself to be appreciated, but also 
exposed to view some puzzling foundations of con- 
ventual buildings, possibly of the lavatory. The 
northern side of the cloister had long been used 
as a muniment room, for which purpose it was quite 
unfit, as Anthony a Wood complained two centuries 
before. All documents were now removed; the 
tracery of the windows was renewed throughout 
the cloisters to its original Perpendicular character ; 
the lierne vaulting of the roofs was restored ; and 
over the doorway of the Chapter House a most 
interesting remnant of an earlier building the bold 
experiment of a loftier vaulting in oak was suc- 
cessfully accomplished. The Chapter House an 
exquisite specimen of early English architecture 
had been strangely disfigured in the seven- 
teenth century. A party wall had been built across 
it, dividing it into two nearly equal portions, and 
the flooring of the inner part, which was used for 
Chapter business and hospitable dinners, had been 
raised within a few feet of the bases of the shafts 

Y 2 

164 Deanery of Christ Church [CH.V 

of the tracery which clothed the walls and the 
graceful eastern window with its five pointed lights. 
Beneath this floor a cellar had been formed, where 
the Chapter wine was stored. All these monstrous 
obstructions were now swept away, and the noble 
proportions of the room were once more shown. 

Such were the principal architectural works as- 
sociated with Dean Liddell's epoch. It is a matter 
of regret that the Meadow Buildings were not called 
by his name : but his statue the gift of Sir John 
Mowbray and Mr. Vere Bayne stands above the 
Kill-Canon archway, on its northern side. On the 
south side of the same archway is a modern statue 
of his great predecessor, John Fell. It was the 
gift of Liddell, as his initials indicate 1 ; and it takes 
the place of the earlier statue of the same famous 
Dean, familiar to many generations of Christ Church 
men, and often subject to indignities at their hands, 
which now rests in quiet seclusion in the garden 
of Nuneham Park, bearing the following inscription 
from Liddell's pen, recounting its chequered history : 

' Effigies quam aspicis viri optimi qui cur homun- 
cionibus quibusdam displiceret ipsi nesciebant in 
Aede Christi minio semel atque iterum illita hoc 
in recessu requiem obtinuit A. D. 1887.' 

Certainly to no other Dean than Fell did Christ 
Church owe so large a debt, in the reconstruction 
1 The inscription is : 


H. G. L. 


IT* 1-., 

CH.V] New Walk in Meadow 165 

and dutiful preservation of its buildings, as it has 
owed to Liddell. And as Fell planted the Broad 
Walk with its double line of seventy-two elm trees, 
so to Liddell is due the new avenue which leads 
from the gate of the Meadow Buildings to the 
river, superseding the narrow, damp, and unsavoury 
path which skirted the west side of the meadow 
by the Trill Mill stream J . 

1 This walk was formally opened in 1872 by Princess Louise. The 
crews of the Eights assembled in the Deanery Garden, and walked in 
procession from the Meadow gate to the Barges, carrying the flags of 
their respective colleges. 



MUCH more is needed for a successful ruler of an 
ancient, learned, and numerous society than artistic 
taste and high intellectual gifts. The Dean of Christ 
Church has to maintain the efficiency of a Cathedral 
establishment and of a great collegiate foundation. 
He has to gather round him, and guide with con- 
stitutional, but not arbitrary authority, a body of 
students comprising brilliant representatives of 
every department of academical study; and over 
a very large number of undergraduates he has to 
preside as the upholder of discipline, the encourager 
of industry, and the rewarder of merit. Firmness, 
tact, discernment, consideration, courtesy, are all 
necessary elements of success in so prominent 
a position; they largely create that authority 
without which chaos is likely to prevail, and that 
confidence which alone makes authority welcome. 
But confidence is proverbially a plant of slow 
growth; and a Headmastership has rarely, in 
Oxford experience, been found a good training 
for the Headship of a College. It was only by 

Matters of Discipline 167 

degrees that Dean Liddell, who never lacked 
authority, gained the full confidence of every 
member of his House ; it was only by degrees that 
respect changed into regard, and regard ripened 
into affection. 

There were difficulties at first. The unfortunate 
selection by the new Dean of a Tutor who did not 
understand how to deal with undergraduates made 
discipline for a time an arduous task. His own 
enforced absence for two consecutive winters in the 
island of Madeira was a serious interruption to his 
work, and kept him almost a stranger to many 
whom he desired to know. Fortunately his place, 
during the winters of 1856-7 and 1857-8, was well 
filled by the Sub-Dean, Archdeacon Clerke, who 
was deservedly popular, and held the reins of 
government with steady hands, ably supported 
by the Censors. A letter written by him to the 
Dean in February 1858 will remind old Christ 
Church men of an incident of not unfrequent 
occurrence in former days, and will bring to their 
memory one whose name has been happily associated 
with the fortunes of thel-Iouse since 1842, and who 
still, as senior Student of the Foundation, occupies 
a warm place in the affections of present and former 
members of Christ Church. 

' Our winter is now passing away. We are having 
a most mild one altogether; but have had enough 
snow to set the boys here at work one night at 
the old amusement of blocking up Kill-Canon. 
They are inclined to be more noisy than they were 

j 68 Deanery of Christ Church [CH. vi 

last Term, but I have not much to complain of. 
Our new noblemen seem to be a well-conducted 
set, and I hope we may improve, not spoil them. 
I am bound to speak well of Prout as Censor l . 
He shows firmness, and knows how to manage men, 
and they seem to respect him.' 

From time to time as happens in every College 
troubles and anxieties with regard to discipline 
would arise ; the most serious in Liddell's time was 
as far back as 1870; but the absolute calmness 
and impartiality of the Dean made such disorder 
comparatively easy to deal with. The Bishop of 
Gibraltar, who was Censor from 1861 to the end 
of 1869, describes his experience of such incidents : 

'After I had become Censor, and for the eight 
following years, I was brought into constant and 
intimate relations with the Dean. The discipline 
of the House rests with him and the Censors. The 
two Censors divided the Term between them, the 
Senior Censor being responsible for the first, the 
Junior for the second half. It was the custom for 

1 Mr. Prout was Junior Censor, having been unexpectedly called 
upon to take the office on Mr. Lloyd's retirement. The Senior Censor 
at this time was the brilliant scholar and quaint humorist Osborne 
Gordon, a man of singular power and wide popularity. He had been 
in office for several years under Gaisford, and was not perhaps quite 
in sympathy with Liddell's views, though he always loyally supported 
his chief. He left Christ Church in 1861, having accepted the College 
living of Easthampstead. 

It may be interesting to add a complete list of the Censors during 
Liddell's time as Dean. O. Gordon, till 1861 ; G. Marshall, till 1858 ; 
C. Lloyd, 1858 ; T. J. Prout, 1858-61 ; C. W. Sandford, 1861-9 ; 
G. W. Kitchin, 1861-3 ; T. V. Bayne, 1863-77 ; H. L. Thompson, 1870- 
77; H. Salwey, 1877-82; E. F. Sampson, 1877-94; H. S. Holland, 
1882-4; R. E. Baynes, 1884-7 5 W. Warner, 1887-92. 

CH. vi] Liddell at ' Collections ' 169 

the Censor in office to call upon the Dean every 
morning before ten o'clock, when lectures began, 
and to confer with him on any matter affecting 
the discipline, studies, or other interests of the 
undergraduates. On looking back on those inter- 
views, I see the Dean standing at his desk, busily 
engaged with his great Lexicon. What struck me 
most in him on these occasions was his perfect 
self-control, and his inflexible justice. Once or 
twice I had to report serious breaches of discipline. 
Trying, disappointing, and disheartening as those 
outbreaks of lawlessness were, the Dean was always 
calm, never made an error of judgment, was never 
provoked into a harsh act, or even into a harsh 

Harsh, perhaps, never ; but stern words often, 
at least in his earlier days. Many men who were 
undergraduates during his long reign would, if 
asked their impression, recall this special character- 
istic, that he was stern. It was not that he was 
naturally severe ; we know that he was gentle and 
tender-hearted ; but he was shy and reserved ; there 
were traditions of the Decanal office not associated 
with suavity of demeanour ; he was the official 
mouthpiece when fault had to be found ; and he 
was always sparing of praise. The result was that 
the more industrious members of the College some- 
times felt that they scarcely received their due meed 
of commendation and encouragement, while the less 
deserving experienced justice at his hands, un- 
tempered by leniency. ' Collections ' at the end 
of Term brought an ordeal not pleasant to be 


170 Deanery of Christ Church [CH.VI 

faced by the indolent or the unruly. The green 
baize covered table ; the row of Tutors who knew 
each victim's failings, and had often told him of 
them; the Dean seated at the north end of the 
table, with the terminal report before him; and 
then the examination badly done; the fatal record 
of lectures unattended, or other and graver mis- 
deeds ; at last the plain unvarnished words of 
rebuke which fell from the Dean's lips : this was 
no agreeable experience, and left no happy memory 
behind. And with many an undergraduate, this 
was almost all he knew of the Dean, this terrible 
review in Collections three times a year. Men did 
not understand that beneath that cold and impertur- 
bable presence there lay hid sympathy and tender- 
ness which would have gladly found expression 
under different circumstances. Sometimes the 
Censors had the painful duty of bringing young 
men before the Dean at his own house for severe 
punishment or serious warning. The same impres- 
sion was left on the culprits after their alarming 
interview. On one occasion an awkward mistake 
occurred. There were two brothers of the name of 

L , one of whom was a model of propriety, the 

other somewhat of a scapegrace. The latter was 
one morning to be brought before the Dean by the 
Censors. They had instructed the Dean as to 
the nature of the offence, and the character of the 
rebuke to be administered. The door opened, and 
an undergraduate appeared, to whom the Dean 
spoke at once, not mincing his words. But, on 

CH. vi] Mistaken Censiire 171 

looking round, the Censor to his dismay perceived 

that the wrong Mr. L had by some mischance 

answered the summons to attend : the good and 
not the bad brother was in the room. As soon 
as possible he intervened : ' I think, Mr. Dean, 
a mistake has been made; this is not the gentle- 
man we wished to bring before you, but his brother.' 
' Oh,' said the Dean, as he put up his eyeglass, and 
spoke in his coldest tones, ' the Censors have always 
spoken well of you. Be good enough to pass on to 
your brother what I have said to you. You may 
go.' And out the man went, but not in an amiable 
mood. On another occasion a junior student who 
had gained high University distinctions, and was 
of absolutely blameless character, called upon the 
Dean to enter his name as a candidate for the 
crowning reward of a successful career a senior 
studentship. As he entered the study the Dean, 
without at first completely turning from his desk, 
addressed the astonished undergraduate with marked 
severity : ' We're not going to have this sort of 
thing . . . and a student too ; it makes it worse ! ' 
Then he looked round, and seeing who his visitor 
was, he bluntly added, ' Oh ! they've sent the 
wrong man. Pray be seated, Mr. Paget.' For the 
person so assailed was no other than the future 
Dean, who thus learnt a lesson which has perhaps 
been of use to him in later years. 

A less strong, less dignified, less majestic figure 
would have suffered from this sternness of de- 
meanour; but Liddell's straightforward simplicity 

z 2 

172 Deanery of Christ Church [CH.VI 

and aristocratic bearing atoned for much, and, 
especially in his later years, he was universally 
venerated, while his manner became gentler, and 
his whole attitude towards undergraduates grew to 
be more fatherly, sympathetic, and genial. And 
when some young man who had gone through 
the experience of undergraduate days at Christ 
Church was exalted to the position of Tutor, he 
came to appreciate much that he had not known 
before, and to regard the Dean with profound and 
affectionate respect. He discovered that his chief 
always made the most generous allowance for errors 
of judgment and immaturity of knowledge in the 
young Tutor; that he gave to him the utmost 
encouragement and the wisest guidance ; and that 
he always supported the authority, even if privately 
he could not always commend the discretion, of every 
member of the educational staff. And so as the years 
passed, and Censors and Tutors came and went, 
there was one judgment which never faltered, one 
experience which extended over many generations ; 
a pillar of strength on which all came to rely with 
implicit confidence and grateful unanimity. 

In 1868 an occurrence of an unusual kind led to 
some perplexity. A Roman ecclesiastic, who after- 
wards obtained an undesirable notoriety, spent some 
time in Oxford, and was in the habit of frequenting 
undergraduates' rooms at Christ Church, and trying 
to unsettle their minds. Dr. Pusey was much con- 
cerned at this, and wrote more than once to the 
Dean on the subject. His letters, even at this 

CH. vi] Pusey and Roman Controversialist 173 

distance of time, have an interest of their own. In 
June 1868 he wrote: 

' I understand that a very clever Roman con- 
troversialist, Father of Pau, who has taken 

Mr. Comberbatch's duty at the Roman Catholic 
church for a time, is visiting a good deal with our 
undergraduates and talking controversy with them ; 
not particularly with such as think and believe as I 
do, for we might counteract his influence, but with 
others who understand less the ground upon which 
they stand. I fear that the effect of these visits 
will (as I have said with regard to Dr. Newman) be 
to produce unsettlement among our undergraduates, 
who are no match for a clever controversialist. 
Possibly you have heard this before. But if any 
persons leave the Church of England for Rome, my 
friends and I are the persons blamed ; whereas 
I suppose the intercourse with a controversialist 
who unsettles minds which have probably thought 
very little seriously on any subject, is probably the 
result of his friendship with the Roman Catholic 

' Of course, I do not look for any answer. I hope 
that, the Long Vacation being so near, what I fear may 

not be. But Father has been very successful 

among the English residents at Pau, and has, I 
understand, drawn away a good many. I under- 
stand that he has all the tact of a man of the world, 
and can adapt himself admirably to different minds. 
He seems to be especially addressing himself to this 
House, where the young men invite him to their 
rooms. You alone know whether anything can be 
done, except in the way of helping any who get 
perplexed and come to one.' 

174 Deanery of Christ Church [CH.VI 

The Dean answered this letter, and heard again 
from Dr. Pusey : 

' I had heard that Father was introduced not 

by the Roman Catholics but by an undergraduate 
who as yet calls himself a Presbyterian, and is, I 
suppose, a Roman Catholic in all but the declaration, 
which he promised not to make till of age. I did 
not mean to throw any blame ; only, if you did not 
happen to have heard it, to mention it, because 
I knew that the blame would come on me and my 
friends, and, if possible, that it might be prevented. 
I have had too sad experience in those cases for 
twenty-three years not to know what occasions them. 
I do not think that I have ever taught anything 
about the necessity of belonging to the Church, 
having been always happy about good Dissenters, 
who were acting according to their consciences, as 
belonging to the soul, though not to the body, of the 

In a later letter he adds, more generally : 

4 1 trust that it is not so grave a matter as was 
stated at first, but something passing. 

' Evil, in this imperfect world, lies close to all good. 
I do not decry genuine free inquiry, because some 
abuse it to scepticism ; or progress, because some 
understand by it casting aside truth ; so neither is 
reverence for authority an evil, because some follow 
authority which God never gave them. Nor can I 
be responsible for those whom people please to call 
by my name, whereas they themselves say, that we, 
the old Tractarians, were well enough for our day, 
but they have got beyond us. I learned what I 
learned from my mother ; the Catechism, the Holy 

CH. vi] Abolition of Distinctions 175 

Scriptures, our Divines, the Fathers, to whom we 
were directed. If people, like some of the young 
clergy, take Rome for their model, I am not sur- 
prised when they go there.' 

The Dean adopted the simple expedient of in- 
structing the porters not to allow Father to 

enter Christ Church ; and his stay in Oxford soon 
afterwards came to an end. 

Throughout the Dean's long reign, the number 
of undergraduates was well kept up. In 1855 
there were about 200 of them on the books ; in 
1891, about 280. The rooms were almost always 
full ; and though some old Christ Church families 
transferred their allegiance to other Colleges, the 
bulk of them remained faithful. One great change, 
which the first University Commission had strongly 
recommended, the Dean witnessed and approved : 
the abolition of the distinction between Noblemen, 
Gentlemen Commoners, and Commoners. What- 
ever might have been the justification, in older 
days, for the formal recognition of differences of 
rank among undergraduates, it was by now 
an anachronism, and did harm ; especially when 
young men were admitted to the enjoyment of 
peculiar privileges, whose intellectual equipment 
was below the ordinary level, and who were not 
even nominally employed in reading for a degree. 
When Gentlemen Commoners appeared at Collec- 
tions, and were examined in Creasy's Fifteen De- 
cisive Battles of the World as the staple of their 
Term's work, it was time that their order should 

176 Deanery of Christ Church [CH. vi 

cease to exist within the walls of Christ Church. 
They had degenerated into an idle clique of wealthy 
men, enjoying certain immunities, but bringing no 
corresponding advantage to the College 1 . It was 
far best that all such distinctions should vanish. 
This reform was effected under the Ordinance of 
1867, in which it was enacted that : 

'There shall be no distinctions in respect to 
academical dress, designation, College charges, or 
College payments, among Undergraduate members 
of the House, not being Junior Students nor 
Exhibitioners within the House.' 

The regard graciously shown to Mr. Liddell by 
Her Majesty and Prince Albert during the whole 
of his life at Westminster was continued after his 
preferment to the Deanery, and in Michaelmas 
Term 1859 H.R.H. the Prince of Wales became 
a member of Christ Church. He resided at Oxford 
for two years, living at Frewin Hall, but regularly 
attending Chapel and lectures, and occasionally 
dining in hall. In 1863 the Crown Prince of 
Denmark came into residence, the present Dean 
of Durham acting as his Preceptor; but his career 
at Oxford was interrupted by the breaking out 
of the war between Denmark and Prussia on the 

1 Some years before, Osborne Gordon had sent a Gentleman 
Commoner, who was devoid of classical tastes, to a course of lectures 
on ' The Atmosphere,' with a promise to examine him in Collections, 

and find out what he had learnt 'Well, Mr. ,' said Gordon, 

'what is the atmosphere composed of?' After much hesitation the 
man replied, ' Zinc.' ' Thank you,' said Gordon, ' that will do. Good 

CH. vi] Matriculation of Prince of Wales 177 

Schleswig-Holstein question. In 1872 H.R.H. Prince 
Leopold was entered on the books. He lived for 
three years at Wykeham House, and afterwards 
had rooms assigned to him in Canterbury Quad- 
rangle, which he occupied during occasional visits 
to Oxford. 

The matriculation of the Heir Apparent was 
naturally attended by exceptional ceremonial. The 
Dean has described it in a letter to his father, 
dated October 18, 1859: 

' I had not time to write last night, after our 
grand doings with the Prince of Wales. He came 
down in a royal carriage (not by special train) at 
about four o'clock. I received him on the platform, 
and followed him to his house. The Vice-Chan- 
cellor and Proctors then called to pay their respects ; 
then the Mayor and two Aldermen with an address ; 
I standing by and introducing them. Then I went 
down to Christ Church, where we had the gates 
shut, and all the men drawn up in the Quadrangle. 
At five he came, and the bells struck up as he 
entered. He walked to my house between two lines 
of men, who capped him. I went out to meet him, 
and as we entered the house there was a spontaneous 
cheer. All through the streets, which were very 
full, the people cheered him well. Then I took him 
up to the drawing-room, and entered his name on 
the buttery book. He then retired with his Tutor, 
Mr. Fisher, and put on a nobleman's cap and gown 
in the gallery, and returned to receive greetings as 
the first Prince of Wales who had matriculated since 
Henry V. He was also introduced to the Sub- 
Dean and Censors. I then walked him across the 

A a 

178 Deanery of Christ Church [CH. vi 

Quadrangle, and across the streets to Pembroke 
College, where we found the Vice-Chancellor waiting 
at the door. He took him upstairs, and there 
matriculated him in due form. This morning at 
eight he came down on foot from his house to 
chapel. His Governor is Colonel Bruce, brother 
of Lord Elgin, a very nice person indeed ; and his 
Equerry Major Teesdale, one of the heroes of Kars, 
a very pleasing young man. Now you will ask, how 
it all went off. Very well, very well. Colonel 
Bruce came down to see me this morning, and said 
everything was done a merveille, and that the whole 
ceremony was a kind of model of how to do this 
sort of thing, and that the Queen and Prince Consort 
would be highly gratified by the account which he 
should send. The Prince himself is the nicest little 
fellow possible, so simple, naif, ingenuous and 
modest, and moreover with extremely good wits ; 
possessing also the royal faculty of never forgetting 
a face.' 

One may venture to assert that those two years 
passed at Oxford by the Prince were very happy 
years. He did not read for a Degree, but he 
attended courses of lectures in history and kindred 
subjects. It may be permitted to describe one of 
these; a scene still imprinted on the memory. It 
was a private course given to the Prince by the 
Regius Professor of Modern History, Mr. Goldwin 
Smith, who was then residing at New Inn Hall; 
and the lectures took place in the dining-room 
there. Nearly opposite to the Hall was an ancient 
gateway, belonging originally to St Mary's College, 

CH. vi] Mr. Goldwin SmitJis Lectures 179 

and at this time forming the carriage entrance to the 
Prince's residence. Through this gateway he would 
pass at the hour of lecture, and quickly cross over 
the street. He always wore a nobleman's cap and 
gown, and was attended by his Tutor, Mr. Herbert 
Fisher, and by an Equerry or, sometimes, his 
Governor, Colonel Bruce. He took a seat at one 
end of the room, with his Tutor and Equerry on 
either hand ; and at the other end, nearest the fire, 
sat the Professor. On the side by the windows was 
gathered a small and specially selected group of 
four or five Christ Church undergraduates, who 
had been invited to make an audience, and afford 
the Prince a sense of companionship. All took 
notes, as the lectures went on ; and they were well 
deserving of the compliment. The text-book was 
the Annals of England, and the Professor began 
with the earliest sections ; and he would sit with 
one leg folded over the other, and talk delightfully, 
in his brilliant epigrammatic style, about the various 
subjects which were suggested as page after page 
was turned. 

The record of the distinctions gained by members 
of Christ Church in the Honours Schools was no 
doubt for many years far from being a brilliant 
one. This was a great disappointment to the Dean. 
He had entertained sanguine hopes that the opening 
of the studentships to public competition would ensure 
not only a constant supply of able Tutors, but also 
a body of junior students who would benefit largely 
by their instruction and take high degrees ; and that 

A a 2 

180 Deanery of Christ Church [CH.VI 

thus the intellectual tone of the whole College would 
be sensibly raised. To a certain extent this was 
effected, but only to a certain extent. The junior 
students were not sufficiently numerous to make 
any deep impression upon the whole society ; nor 
was it likely that in the undignified scramble for 
clever lads in which all Colleges were then as 
now engaged the chief prizes would fall to Christ 
Church, which had not the reputation of being a 
reading College. Westminster indeed always sent 
up its best men ; but its numbers were small, and 
these were often but of moderate ability. Many 
exceedingly good men were elected as senior 
students and became Tutors, though the unduly 
large proportion of clerical studentships con- 
siderably narrowed the field of choice. It was a 
grave disaster that one of the first two elected 
for this purpose, Mr. G. R. Luke of Balliol College, 
whose rare intellectual gifts and chivalrous devotion 
to his work made from the outset of his career 
at Christ Church a profound impression upon col- 
leagues and pupils alike, perished by drowning in 
March 1862, in the third year after his election. 
The loss was irreparable, and was keenly felt by 
the Dean. 

' He was far more hurt and pained ' writes Dean 
Kitchin 'than I ever saw him touched by any- 
thing, when the news reached him of the sad 
accident which deprived Christ Church of the 
splendid scholarship and enthusiasm of Mr. Luke. 
" How full of misfortunes Christ Church has been," 

CH. vi] Mr. G. R. Lukes death 181 

he cried, " ol Be yeipoves /teVovcrt, the best are taken 
from us." He was quite overcome with grief; for 
he not only had a high regard for Mr. Luke, but had 
hoped that through this infusion of new blood the 
old heart of Christ Church was waking up into fresh 
action, and that the former classical distinction of the 
House was coming back under Mr. Luke's enthusi- 
astic teaching and influence.' 

It should also be borne in mind that Christ 
Church has always been frequented by under- 
graduates who belong to the richer landed gentry 
of England. Such men have their future secured ; 
for many there are large estates to which they will in 
due course succeed ; they have not the same motive 
for exertion which rouses poorer men. Many are 
always content with a Pass degree ; to others, the 
various avenues to the Honours degree through 
the non-classical schools offer an attractive course ; 
and a large number of industrious students may 
make good use of their time, and yet not be found 
in the highest classes. There was plenty of 
thorough, sound, and conscientious work done within 
the walls of Christ Church, which produced no high 
distinctions ; and a harsh verdict was sometimes 
quite unjustly passed upon the College, and upon 
its stately chief. One such attack was made in 
the newspapers as early as December 1859, when 
the Dean had but recently recovered from the 
serious illness which kept him away from Oxford 
for two consecutive winters, and before the new 
Ordinance, from which so much was hoped, had had 

1 82 Deanery of Christ Church [CH.VI 

time to bear any fruit. Not only were strictures 
uttered against the College, but personal reflections 
were cast upon the Dean himself, who was accused 
of following ' the trail of preferment,' a ludicrously 
inappropriate charge. Liddell was naturally pained, 
as his private letters show ; but he declined to make 
any reply to the anonymous foe. Two generous 
answers were, however, written : the one by the 
Master of Pembroke, his late colleague on the Com- 
mission, and the other by his close personal friend, 
Arthur Stanley. 

It had been a great joy to Liddell, that on the 
death of Robert Hussey, the first occupant of the 
Chair of the lately founded Regius Professorship 
of Ecclesiastical History, Stanley had been ap- 
pointed as his successor. Though the appointment 
was made in December 1856, it did not involve the 
immediate residence in Oxford of the new Professor, 
who was then Canon of Canterbury, for the Canonry 
of Christ Church which had been annexed by Act 
of Parliament to the Professorship had not yet 
fallen vacant. But on Dr. Bull's death in February 
1858, the vacancy occurred, and Stanley came into 
residence at Christ Church in the Summer Term of 
that year. From that time till his appointment 
to the Deanery of Westminster in the autumn of 
1863 he was Liddell's close neighbour, his loyal 
colleague in the Chapter, and his chivalrous ally in 
academical disputes. His house was that which 
had been built by Dean Fell for the Canon of the 
third stall. It stands between Kill- Canon and 

CH. vi] Stanley as Canon of Christ Church 183 

Peckwater, and now forms part of the lodgings of 
the present holder of the Chair (Dr. Bright) ; having 
been enlarged by the annexation of portions of the 
residence of Dr. Barnes, upon his death in 1859. 

No other friend exercised so much influence as 
did Stanley over Liddell's opinions, or had so great 
a share of his confidence and affection, except 
perhaps the shrewd and caustic Scotchman who 
succeeded Liddell as Professor of Moral Philosophy, 
and afterwards became President of Corpus, the 
Rev. J. M. Wilson. 

It was a happy chance that Stanley came back 
to Oxford just at the time when Liddell was 
beginning to feel keenly his isolation, and to long 
for the support and sympathy of a friend. We have 
seen that to his colleagues in the Chapter his 
attitude as to reforms at Christ Church was by no 
means acceptable. Dr. Jacobson alone could be 
counted as his supporter on that body. And in the 
University the leaders of opinion were still of 
a strongly conservative type ; liberalism in aca- 
demical politics, and liberalism in theology, were 
alike distasteful. The earlier elections to the new 
Hebdomadal Council had not been of good augury 
for the cause of progress. The co-operation of an 
old friend, and particularly of a friend who had 
shared all the labours of the University Commission, 
was a source of great delight and encouragement 
to the Dean. He had warmly advocated the ap- 
pointment. ' Of all offices,' he wrote, ' this is the 
office for him ; and of all anen he is the man for 

184 Deanery of Christ Church [CH. vi 

the office.' But people at Oxford did not think 
so. At the outset of his new career Stanley was 
destined to find himself on the unpopular side. 
Those who had the good fortune to be at Oxford 
then, and to share his friendship, will remember 
how triumphantly he overcame the initial difficulties 
of his position ; how singular a power he exercised 
in the University pulpit and in his Professorial 
chair ; how rich a centre of universal hospitality 
his house was made. They will recall the fascinating 
talk, the playful wit, the radiant sympathy and 
charity, which brought together in delightful inter- 
course the cultivated London guest, the formal 
Oxford Don, and the shy undergraduate, in the 
pretty seventeenth century drawing-room, with the 
large water-colour drawing of Mount Sinai over the 
fireplace, and just above the mantelpiece the line of 
figures representing the opening procession of the 
States-General, with Mirabeau (as the host de- 
lighted to point out) walking at the head of the 
'tiers e*tat/ 

Stanley stood manfully by the side of the Dean 
in the Chapter, which body, as he told his mother, 
contained 'very explosive elements.' The mutter- 
ings of the storm over the Jowett stipend were 
beginning to be heard, and in the selection of senior 
students by the new body of electors, already men- 
tioned, serious differences of opinion prevailed. And 
in academical matters the same comradeship was 
found. There were many battles on behalf of liberty 
to be fought in the Hebdomadal Council; and 

CH. vi] The Jowett Question 185 

important elections, such as that for the Boden 
Professorship of Sanskrit, where great principles were 
involved, brought the need of skilful handlingof forces. 
The Jowett question came before the University in 
its various phases. Among these was the proposal 
to endow the Chair from University funds ; this 
was thrown out. Then came the futile prosecution 
of the Greek Professor for heresy, in the Vice- 
Chancellor's Court, by Dr. Pusey, Dr. Ogilvie, and 
Dr. Heurtley. This was doomed to failure from the 
outset. Stanley preached a famous sermon before 
the University just at this time, on Sexagesima 
Sunday, 1863, in which, without directly referring 
to the event which was present to the minds of all 
his audience, he spoke of the evils of theological 
controversy, and laid down certain rules for abating 
it. The first rule was the obvious but most 
necessary maxim, ' Never condemn a book unless 
you have read it.' He announced and enforced 
this with marked emphasis. On that same evening 
the present writer was in Stanley's drawing-room, 
and happened to take up a volume on Church 
history which had just been published. He ven- 
tured to ask his host what sort of a book it 
was. 'Oh, it is not worth much, it is not worth 
much.' And then, with a smile of inimitable arch- 
ness, he added, 'but indeed I haven't read it 1 !' 

1 The details of the long controversy relating to the endowment of 
the Regius Professorship of Greek have been intentionally omitted. 
They may be read in the memoirs of Dr. Pusey and of Mr. Jowett. For 
the final offer of Christ Church to raise the payment to the Chair from 
^40 to $oo a y ear ^e Dean was largely responsible. 

B b 

1 86 Deanery of Christ Church [CH. vi 

With the support of the Dean, in the Summer 
Term of the same year, Stanley had proposed 
Charles Kingsley for the honorary degree of 
D.C.L. This proposal was resisted by Dr. Pusey, 
who charged Mr. Kingsley with the heresy of uni- 
versalism, and also with having written Hypatia, 
a book not fit 'for our wives and sisters to read/ 
In the midst of the distressing controversy which 
this strange accusation involved, came the sad death 
of the Dean's infant son, Stanley's godson, only eight 
weeks old. 

Stanley wrote at once : 

1 Most truly and deeply do I feel for you for you 
both. The recollection of that former loss was what 
made us all so fervently rejoice in this new gift 
so graciously sent, as it seemed ; so graciously, let 
us hope, taken away. What can I do for you 
I or my sister ? Anything that you wish, to ease 
you or Mrs. Liddell of any part of the coming 
burden, as it now will seem, of what before seemed 
such a bright prospect. I sent you a note this 
morning about the wretched affair of Monday. How 
different, oh, how different is the vexation, grief, 
and anxiety of things in which one's own failings 
and the failings of others are involved, and the pure 
peaceful sorrow, however keen, that hangs round the 
death-bed of a little child ! May God be with you ! 
May you long be spared to us ! You must have 
seen how much more closely the events and trials 
of the last year have drawn us together ; how great 
and constant a support you have been to me.' 

From Dr. Pusey, the other party to the Kingsley 

CH. vi] Letter from Dr. Pusey 187 

controversy, there came at the same time a letter 
to Mrs. Liddell : 


' Human sympathy avails but little. Yet you 
will let me express mine at your quick bereave- 
ment of the little one whom God lent you for so 
short a time. It is a sore trial ; only our good 
Father knows how to make all work together for 
good. I can to this day see the little one whom 
I lost above thirty years ago, just as she sat smiling 
then. I know then your sorrow. One comfort 
alone there is, that God, in His eternal love, created 
them just to appear in this redeemed world, and 
made them members of Christ and His own children, 
and then removed them spotless for that mansion 
which He ever in His love intended for them, 
where they behold Him and are blessed in sight of 
Him. It must be a beautiful band of souls which, 
born into this world of sin, were so taken away 
before they could know sin. He loved your child, 
whom He created out of love, better than you could 
love him ; and has provided for him, as He knew 
to be best. God comfort you ! 

' Yours very faithfully, 

' E. B. PUSEY.' 

The Oxford atmosphere was indeed charged at 
this time with controversy, and Stanley's chivalrous 
temper would not allow him to keep silence when 
the reputation of a friend or the credit of an un- 
popular cause was at stake. The Dean always 
shrank from such conflicts. Liddell had preached 
the sermon at Stanley's -ordination many years 

B b 2 

1 88 Deanery of Christ Church [CH.VI 

before : and often in conversation with friends 
would Stanley quote the words which in 1870 he 
printed in the preface to his Collected Essays. He 
there wrote : 

'Nor can I forbear to call to mind a solemn 
warning which, at one of those moments in life 
when even slight things are remembered, fell from 
a distinguished preacher, afterwards a dear and 
honoured friend, who, addressing a band of youth- 
ful candidates for ordination in the Cathedral at 
Oxford, after enumerating the great realities of 
theological study and of practical life which ought 
to occupy the thoughts of an English clergyman, 
added impressive words to this effect : "Avoid con- 
troversy, if possible. Few have ever entered into 
controversy without repenting of it. I might enforce 
this by many arguments. But I will content myself 
with repeating what I have already said : few have 
entered into controversy without repenting of it ".' 

Liddell, on reading these words, wrote as follows: 

' Let me thank you for your Collected Essays, 
which I shall read again with instruction and 
delight. Especially let me thank you for the kind 
and generous notice which you have taken of words 
uttered by me ah ! how many years ago words 
which I little expected to see revivified at the end 
of so long a period. When I wrote and spoke them, 
I had not in my mind such controversies as you have 
been engaged in. I was thinking of the ordinary 
run of young clerics in country parishes, where solid 
work and study of a positive and healthy kind are 
more likely to produce charity and largeness of mind 

CH. vi] Stanley and Westminster 189 

than devotion to controversy with nonconformists 
more narrow-minded perhaps than the young clerics 
themselves. Of course, controversial writing is 
necessary, and (properly conducted) most beneficial.' 

Stanley's friendship was very precious to the 
Dean; and when the time came, in 1863, for the 
inevitable change to Westminster, he wrote an urgent 
letter of entreaty that he would even then consider 
the possibility of remaining at Oxford. Unfor- 
tunately, through Stanley's absence from England, 
the letter did not reach him before his final choice 
was irrevocably made. 

' I apprehend from your language that if the 
Deanery of Westminster falls vacant, you know it 
will be offered you. Well, I heartily regret it, partly 
for selfish reasons, no doubt : but partly because I 
really think you would be both more useful and 
happier in your Chair at Oxford. Life in London, 
no doubt, has its bright side ; but to live perforce for 
eight months in WESTMINSTER is (experto crede) not 
an enviable lot. Preaching in the Abbey will give 
you a wide scope of influence ; but I know not how 
far your physical powers will be adequate to fill 
that vast space; and I much question whether any 
influence you may there exert will, in reality, be 
nearly so great as that which you have at Oxford. 
There, at best, you will infuse a flavour or a ferment- 
ing action into the mass ; at Oxford you create the 
flavour and the fermenting leaven itself. You will 
have a seat in Convocation. But that is a barren 
honour ; and I think you will soon come to the con- 
clusion that the time spent in that body of debate, 

igo Deanery of Christ Church [CH. vi 

not action, is wasted time. Nor will you be more 
at Her Majesty's service at Westminster than at 
Oxford ; nay, not so much. For being bound to eight 
months' residence, and desiring (as you will desire) 
some time for travel, the time at your command will 
become more limited than at present it is V 

When the matter was publicly announced, to- 
gether with Stanley's approaching marriage with 
Lady Augusta Bruce, another letter from Liddell 
expressed exactly his feelings : 

4 On your intended marriage I do most heartily 
and exultingly congratulate you. Since you lost 
her whose complete union with you was to me one 
of the most touching and lovely traits I have met 
with even in you I felt there was something 
wanted " to free the hollow heart from paining " ; and 
I felt that, under the circumstances, even in your 
case that something must be a wife. May Lady 
Augusta be all that you wish, and you all that she 
hopes ! 

' But here, alas ! my congratulations end. Neither 
for you, nor for us, nor for any one, can I look with 
pleasure on your leaving your living work here for 
the dead mass that will meet you at Westminster. 

thinks it an excellent appointment, because it 

will remove you from Oxford. So, no doubt, think 
the s and s, and " hoc genus omne." 

Hoc Ithacus velit et magno mercentur Atridae. 

Pardon my unavailing regrets. You receive no 
more honourable testimony than the universal sorrow 

1 This and the two following letters have been already published in 
Mr. Prothero's memoir of Dean Stanley. 

CH. vi] Stanleys Farewell Sermon 191 

of your friends and the joy of your non-friends at 
your promotion though " promotion " I cannot 
call it.' 

One more letter must be quoted ; a letter written 
immediately after Stanley's farewell sermon at Christ 
Church on November 29, 1863 : 

' My best and dearest friend, How have you torn 
open afresh all the wounds which the news of your 
departure caused ! I can scarcely see to write for 

1 And how nobly have you avenged the friends 
who would fain have continued you in the office of 
teaching good and giving true glory to God in this 
place. I wish for no other punishment upon those 
who have closed our pulpits against you (for the 
present not for long, I am confident), than that they 
should have heard you to-day.' 

Never again, however, till the first Sunday in Lent 
1871 did Stanley preach before the University. 
Dean Liddell entered on his office as Vice-Chancellor 
in October 1870, and resolved to redress this injustice 
without delay. He nominated Stanley to preach 
the annual sermon on the Jewish Interpretation of 
Prophecy in the ensuing Lent Term, having appointed 
Dr. Liddon to preach on the previous Sunday 
morning. He writes to his father : 

' Both sermons have been a great success. 
Liddon's was what is called the " Humility" sermon, 
always preached on the Sunday morning before Ash 
Wednesday. He delivered a very fine discourse to 
a very crowded church, though the Dean of St. Paul's, 

1 92 Deanery of Christ Church [CH. vi 

who was present, pronounced it not one of his best. 
Stanley's sermon yesterday afternoon was a noble 
sermon. The church was again crowded. He began 
by saying that he should not enlarge on the Prin- 
ciples of such interpretation, because he had spoken 
on that subject the last time that he had addressed 
a University audience, nine years ago! These last 
were not his own words. Since that time, except 
two sermons in Christ Church Cathedral, he has 
been silenced, so far as the University is concerned. 
The Archbishop of York, who was present, said 
it was a perfect scandal to the University that 
it should be so.' 

In Michaelmas Term 1872 Stanley was nominated 
by the Board appointed for the purpose as one of 
the Select Preachers for the ensuing year. Dean 
Liddell was still Vice-Chancellor, and in virtue of 
his office was chairman of this Board ; and each 
name, after receiving his approval, had to obtain 
the sanction of Convocation. It must be acknow- 
ledged that at this time Stanley had deliberately 
brought himself into even more than usual an- 
tagonism with Churchmen, by his proceedings in 
connexion with what was called the ' Westminster 
Communion/ and by his fierce denunciations in 
the Lower House of the ' damnatory clauses ' of 
the Athanasian Creed, and his contemptuous criti- 
cism of those who by explanatory notes would 
attempt ' to draw out the teeth of this old lion, who 
sits there in his majesty, and defies any explanation 
to take out his fierce and savage fangs.' But the 
more sagacious leaders of the Church party, though 

CH.VI] Oppositim to Stanley as Select Preacher 193 

offended and distressed, saw the unwisdom of con- 
testing his appointment. It was left to Mr. Burgon, 
and four other members of Convocation, to lead 
the opposition and summon the non-residents 
to vote. Some characteristic letters afterwards 
published were written by Burgon to Liddell as 
Vice-Chancellor, and received from him short but 
courteous repli'es, simply pointing out that the 
opposition to Stanley was in effect a vote of censure 
on the Board of nomination, and on himself in 
particular. The effort to prevent the appointment 
ended in failure ; it was carried by 349 to 287 votes. 
As a final protest against ' the unfaithfulness to the 
truth of God which the University manifested by its 
vote,' the Dean of Norwich (Dr. Goulburn) resigned 
his post as Select Preacher. 

On receiving the news of the result Stanley wrote 
to Liddell : 

4 You will have known, without my saying it, that 
I was more anxious for you than for myself, and 
more anxious for the University and the Church 
than for either of us. And now it seems like a 
sudden return into an unlooked-for haven of peace. 

' For me, I can truly say that even if there had 
been any personal annoyance which there was 
not it would have been a hundred-fold repaid by 
the kindness of my friends. Even the single vote of 
Dr. Lushington will be to me "a joy for ever 1 ." I 
wish that I could find some means of expressing my 
gratitude. I fear there is none, except to do the 

1 Dr. Lushington, at the age of ninety-one, travelled from London 
to record his vote for Stanley. 

C C 

1 94 Deanery of Christ Church [CH. vi 

best I can to justify the appointment. This, as well 
as so much else, I owe to you. May God bless you 
for it, and preserve you long among us. By accident, 
according to a long engagement, I had to give a 
lecture last night to a very homely audience in 
Southwark, and took the Bishop of Manchester with 
me. After the lecture, as you will see briefly 
reported in the Times, in a capital speech he took 
up the event of the day. It was the first allusion 
to it, but the audience quite understood, and the 
cheers were a good echo of those in the Oxford 

It has been shown that in the Chapter at Christ 
Church there were men of very various types of 
character, among whom there were likely to be many 
serious differences of opinion. And so it was with the 
new Governing Body established in 1867. A skilful 
guidance was needed if collisions were to be averted 
and business profitably transacted. Dean Liddell 
was pre-eminently good as a chairman. His personal 
dignity was itself a sufficient assertion of authority. 
He was fair to every one. He never spoke much, 
but never allowed debate to wander. He focussed 
opinion, and at the right moment elicited a decision, 
often drafting a resolution which happily embodied 
the gist of the conclusion at which the discussion 
pointed. He was very patient of tedious speakers, 
and would solace himself by taking out his gold 
pen, and after wiping it carefully on the sleeve 
of his gown (his invariable practice) would draw 
wondrous landscapes on the pink blotting paper 
which lay before him, while the stream of talk 

CH. vi] Blotting-paper Sketches 195 

flowed on. Churches, castles, bridges, ruined keeps 
and ivy-clad walls, woodland and river scenes, in 
endless variety, were the outcome of dreary sessions 
of the innumerable committees which Oxford crowds 
into the afternoons of its all too brief Terms. Many 
hundred sketches from his pen are still treasured 
up by his friends ; he would leave them on the 
table at the end of a meeting, and some admirer 
would carry them off, and well worth preservation 
they were. 

The services of so excellent a chairman and 
so practical a man of business were constantly in 
demand for University and civic matters, and in- 
volved many engagements in addition to the duties 
within the walls of Christ Church. The citizens 
claimed his assistance to guide them in the difficult 
work of the drainage of Oxford ; and he took a very 
deep interest in the questions which arose from time 
to time in relation to the prevention of floods in the 
Thames valley. His counsel was always sought 
for : so great and universal was the respect paid 
to his methodical and business-like habits, and to 
his sound and unbiassed judgment. 

Work such as this was entirely congenial to the 
Dean. He liked to have to deal with practical 
matters ; they were a recreation, by their very con- 
trast to his other duties. In the midst of his letters 
to Scott about minute corrections in the Lexicon, 
one comes upon questions, equally minute, con- 
cerning the drainage of a town near which his 
correspondent happened to be spending his vacation. 

c c 2 

196 Deanery of Christ Church [CH. vi 

He requires to be informed as to whether the town 
has been lately drained, and by whom ; what is the 
population of the area dealt with ; what is the 
length and size (sectional) of the main outfall sewer, 
and what the size of the secondary sewers ; what has 
been the expense per head of the works ; and whether 
the engineer employed has given satisfaction in 
point of attention and economy. And when the 
unhappy lexicographer had replied as well as 
he could to such unexpected and bewildering in- 
quiries, he received another long letter, containing 
an elaborate contrast between two classes of engineers 
those who deal with water-works, and those con- 
versant with drainage schemes. On one occasion 
Sir Henry Acland brought to Christ Church a 
learned German professor who was very anxious 
to have a sight of the famous writer of the Lexicon. 
On inquiring for him at the Deanery, they were told 
that he was in Christ Church Meadow. They went 
thither, but he was nowhere to be found. On asking 
a workman whether he had been seen there, ' Oh, 
yes,' said the man, ' he has just gone down the drain.' 
An adjacent man-hole was then approached, and 
in answer to a call, a loud voice was heard from 
below, and soon the majestic head emerged from 
the lower depths. The German professed himself 
more than satisfied, and declared that he had never 
before seen a famous scholar amid such peculiar 

In the drainage of the Thames valley Liddell 
had taken a deep interest from the time of his 

CH. vi] Thames Valley Drainage 197 

return to Oxford in 1855. Many evils attended 
the frequent recurrence of winter floods, but it was 
difficult to find a remedy. At last, after committees 
had spent many years in discussing various schemes, 
Sir John Hawkshaw was instructed to prepare a 
report; and the plan which he recommended in 1882 
involved very considerable undertakings. A new 
and more direct channel was to be cut for the 
Cherwell at its junction with the Thames ; and 
Iffley Lock was to be removed. This last proposal 
would render necessary the dredging of the river 
above Iffley, and many subsidiary works. 

It was natural that the proposed abolition of Iffley 
Lock should provoke fierce opposition, not only from 
all lovers of the river, but also from the City 
authorities, who owned the water-works and dreaded 
the consequences of the lowering of the water-level. 
But the favourable reception which the scheme as 
a whole met with at first, and the generous promise 
of subscriptions from residents in Oxford and 
riparian owners, emboldened the Dean, in company 
with the Master of Balliol, Mr. Jowett, then Vice- 
Chancellor, to enter into a formal agreement with 
the Thames Valley Drainage Commissioners, by 
which this body undertook to carry out Sir John 
Hawkshaw's scheme in its entirety for a sum of 
; 1 4,000, payable by instalments spread over three 
years. For this sum the Vice-Chancellor and the 
Dean made themselves personally responsible. The 
scheme, however, was only partially executed. The 
new mouth to the Cherwell, now called the Vice- 

io8 Deanery of Christ Church [CH. vi 

Chancellor's Cut, was opened; but in the face of 
the strong opposition aroused, it was found im- 
possible to complete the work of the removal of 
Iffley Lock. The Dean and Mr. Jowett had paid 
^"3,600 to the Commissioners, and had no legal 
claim to be re-imbursed ; but the subscribers con- 
sented to the repayment to them of this sum, and 
the balance of the money subscribed was returned. 
The result of the work has been to carry off the 
flood-water from the Cherwell valley with greater 
rapidity than before ; and although Iffley Lock still 
remains, the Thames valley has experienced con- 
siderable benefit from the widening of the weirs, 
which enables the flood-water to pass away more 

Among the recommendations of the first Oxford 
University Commission had been the establishment 
of a class of students unattached to any college 
or hall, but in all other respects members of the 
University, and subject to proper supervision in 
regard to studies and discipline. Of this scheme 
Liddell had always been an advocate, and it was 
largely due to his personal efforts that it was carried 
into effect in 1868 and successfully developed. The 
Dean of Durham, who was the first Censor of the 
Scholares non ascripti, writes gratefully of the help 
which he gave : 

' Liddell was the true founder and friend of that 
body. All the success of the movement, first re- 
commended by him, was due to his clear-headed 
advice and guidance. For he always stood by these 

CH. vi] Scholar es non ascripti 199 

poor lads, and did much to create a friendly feeling 
for them in the Hebdomadal Council and among 
the leading members of the University. This it 
was that carried the feeble society through the 
difficult years of its childhood, and indeed assured 
to it its present permanent state.' 

With his warm approval the ancient Congregation 
House adjoining St. Mary's Church was fitted up 
as a place for the common worship of the non- 
collegiate students ; and when in later years it was 
found practicable to build proper accommodation for 
them, he cordially supported the Master of Balliol 
in promoting the erection of the present convenient 
block of buildings, adjoining the Examination Schools, 
where a handsome library and lecture-rooms, as well 
as offices for the Censor and his staff, have been 
provided at considerable cost. 

To describe with any completeness the public 
services of Dean Liddell in matters affecting the 
interests of the University would almost entail 
the writing of a history of Oxford for a period of 
more than thirty-five years. During the whole of 
his tenure of the Deanery, with one short interval, 
he was a member of the Hebdomadal Council, for 
he was first elected in 1855 to fill a chance vacancy, 
and from 1858 to 1891 he served upon it without 
interruption. With that Council rests the initiative 
of all academical legislation. For all the changes 
many of them of a very important and even funda- 
mental kind which were effected during that long 
period he was largely responsible, for he exercised 

2OO Deanery of Christ Church [CH. vi 

a remarkable influence over the deliberations of the 
Council, and gradually emerged from the position 
of a party representative and came to be regarded 
by the whole University with a singular respect. 
He combined the knowledge, experience, good 
sense, courtesy, and impartiality which are invaluable 
on all important deliberative and executive bodies. 
He became a Curator of the Bodleian Library in 
1860, just at the time when his close personal friend 
H. O. Coxe was appointed Bodley's Librarian. To 
both Coxe and his successor, the present Librarian, 
he gave loyal and constant support. In the records 
of the Library indeed no great reforms are associated 
with his name ; but he seems to have been always 
on the side of progress, and to have supported the 
late Master of Balliol in developing the resources 
of the Library and rendering its vast stores more 
accessible to scholars. He was also instrumental 
in transferring some of its artistic treasures to the 
University Galleries. 

It should be added that from 1857 onwards he 
was a Delegate of the University Museum ; a 
Curator of the University Galleries from 1858; 
a Delegate of the Press from 1861. For many 
years he was a Commissioner under the Local 
Government Board Act, and a Curator of the 
University Chest. In all these offices his services 
were of the utmost value ; but it would be weari- 
some to describe his work in detail. It will suffice, 
as an illustration of its character and importance, 
to quote two letters written by men who are well 

CH. vi] Delegate of the Press 201 

qualified to estimate his merits, shown in two very 
different spheres of labour, both congenial to him. 
Mr. Lyttelton Gell, for many years Secretary to the 
Delegates of the Press, thus describes his services 
on that body : 

' The Dean first attended the Board on June 14, 
1 86 1, and the last meeting at which he was present 
was on December 18, 1891. It was only during 
the last quarter of this period from the autumn 
of 1884 that I had personal experience of his in- 
valuable influence upon the Board ; before that 
time my impressions are gathered from frequent 
reference to the Press records. 

' To the undergraduates of my own generation 
the Dean had been the Vice-Chancellor an Olympian 
figure, far removed ; and it was not until after some 
experience of Boards and business in London that 
I had the opportunity of realizing week by week 
across a narrow table his remarkable sagacity both 
in literary and in business problems. 

' In his earlier years the Press had owed much 
to his initiative ; but to me, meeting him first in 
Press business when he was already past seventy, 
the Dean appeared not so much then as an initiator, 
but rather as the pivet about which affairs revolved, 
as the Nestor who was steeped in accumulated 
experience, and whose judgment as to the wisest 
way of handling the staff, of transacting business, 
and of dealing with administrative questions, was 
invariably accepted. He understood the value of 
method, and of reference to fixed and pre-determined 
principles in the conduct of large affairs. Con- 
sequently one learnt to lean upon him as a rock 

D d 

2O2 Deanery of Christ Chiirch [CH. vi 

of consistency, as the man who would stem the 
hasty stampede from a settled policy, and arrest 
the snap-decisions which are the weakness of a 
Board so constituted. He represented a certain 
tradition which embodied the experience of a remark- 
able knot of Delegates by whom the Press, as we 
know it, had been built up and prepared for its im- 
mense and profitable expansion dating from Jowett's 
Vice-Chancellorship. Henry Smith, Mark Pattison, 
and the present Dean of Westminster had not long 
disappeared from the Board when my experience 
began ; and (omitting all reference to existing Dele- 
gates) the Bishops of Salisbury and Hereford, Arch- 
deacon Palmer and Alfred Robinson, were then still 
amongst their number. The Dean was very tenacious 
of certain forms and methods which then governed 
the conduct of the Delegacy ; and though to one 
fresh from business in London they seemed at first 
rather restrictive, yet I soon valued his wise in- 
sistence upon " the customs of the Board." The 
periodic arrivals of a new Chairman or new Delegates, 
necessarily inexperienced in the business referred 
to them, and sometimes inspired with all the self- 
confidence and precipitation which ignorance of 
wider considerations begets, fully justified the Dean's 
attitude ; and fortunately his authority was such, 
and his impartiality so absolute, that he had but 
to state that such a course or such a precedent 
should be followed, for every one to acquiesce. 

' His judgment was as sound in the literary as 
in the administrative sphere. He not only dis- 
cerned what was good from what was bad, but also 
he had consistent views as to what (apart from the 
question of intrinsic merit) it was wise for the Dele- 

CH. vi] Delegate of the Press 203 

gates to publish, and what not. Further, he knew 
the book which was worth improving, and many 
a proof-sheet profited by his taste and accuracy. 
To him, as Chairman of the School-books Committee, 
assisted by its Secretary, the present Dean Kitchin, 
the excellent little " Clarendon Press Series " owed 
much of its value. Himself a consummate critic, 
he helped to plan the volumes and to annotate them, 
and often revised the proof-sheets with his own 
hand. He was especially interested in the school 
editions of the great English writers which marked 
an epoch in educational views. English Literature 
indeed, like English Philology, always evoked his 
keen sympathy. He was assiduous in his care for 
the progress of the New English Dictionary, though 
perhaps his practical views made him uneasy at the 
expansion of its scale ; and he always regretted that 
the University had become pledged to so huge an 
expenditure without more precise information as 
to the state of the materials at the outset of the 
negotiations with the Philological Society in 1877. 
Looking back upon my recollections of his attitude 
towards the various projects which came before the 
Board, it seems to me that he attached a greater 
value to work in Teutonic Philology than to Latin 
and Greek scholarship. The labours of Skeat, 
Earle, Sweet, Brachet, and Vigfusson were certain 
of his special sympathy, and to Vigfusson in particular 
he was a never-failing friend. 

1 Towards one of the greatest of the Board's 
undertakings, the Revised Version, he always seemed 
to maintain a considerable reserve. The financial 
arrangements with the Revisers were made while 
he presided as Vice-Chancellor, so that there is 

D d 2 

2O4 Deanery of Christ Church [CH. vi 

every reason to assume that he concurred in the 
enterprise, though I entertain the impression that 
he was dissatisfied with the result, at any rate as 
regards the New Testament. 

' I had heard from the Dean, when he began to 
consider his retirement, that the Press would be the 
last of his University responsibilities which he would 
lay down ; and in fact the last University Board 
which he attended was that of the Press Delegacy, 
upon which he had through more than thirty years 
rendered such invaluable service. I met him in 
the Bodleian Quadrangle as he arrived, and he 
told me that when the meeting rose his final labour 
for the University would have been accomplished. 

' Oxford memories are so short, that most people 
nowadays take the Press for granted, and imagine 
that its reputation has always stood where it does, 
that it has always turned out plenty of important 
and well-printed books, and always contributed from 
^5000 to ,10,000 a year to the University Chest. 
As a matter of fact, these thirty years represented 
a revolution. At the outset of the Dean's experi- 
ence the Press was comparatively a small concern. 
Its publications were few and far between, and 
the possibility of deriving a regular annual income 
from the Press for University purposes was not 
established until Jowett's Vice-Chancellorship, 
1882-6. Similarly there was a certain disposition 
to take the Dean for granted, and to assume his 
qualities and his influence as part of the order of 
things. Doubtless his own modesty and his re- 
luctance to assert the authority which he possessed 
tended to this result. His influence was often 
almost intangible, the mere outcome of his presence. 

CH. vi] Gudbrand J^igfiisson 205 

For he was one of those men who affected every- 
thing for the better, morally and practically, out of 
sheer high principle, without any vanity, antagonism, 
or self-seeking. Other people might claim the 
actual credit for what the Dean had in reality 
rendered possible. It is absolutely not conceivable 
to imagine him claiming for himself the credit of 
anything, a characteristic which makes it all the 
greater pleasure to indicate the remarkable value 
of his services. He remained Olympian too high- 
minded to be touched with combativeness, or jealousy, 
or self-assertion, too shy and reserved to be eager 
to urge his own opinion, or even to express it unless 
it was essential, yet too wise and public-spirited to 
stand aloof, if his judgment, saturated with long 
experience, told him that the right decision was 
trembling in the balance.' 

The name of Vigfusson recalls a pathetic history, 
which is best told in the Dean's own language. 

'About the year 1864 I received a letter from 
Mr. (now Sir George) Dasent, desiring to interest 
me in the publication by the Clarendon Press of 
an Icelandic Dictionary. Mr. Cleasby, brother of 
Mr. Justice Cleasby, had lived many years in 
Scandinavian lands, and had made large collections 
for the purpose of a Dictionary of the most ancient 
and most classical tongue of the Norse nations. 
Mr. Dasent was well known as a Norse scholar ; 
and he proposed to himself to arrange Mr. Cleasby's 
materials and see the book through the press. To do 
the rough work and assist in the arrangement he had 
engaged a young Icelandic scholar, who had studied 
philology at Copenhagen and taken his Doctor's 

206 Deanery of Christ Church [CH. vi 

degree at that University, by name Gudbrand 
Vigfusson. The work was proposed by me to 
the Delegates of the Press, and accepted by them. 
It entailed much vexation and no little labour on 
us, which fell chiefly on me. Vigfusson came to 
Oxford, and was practically left to deal with 
Cleasby's work single-handed. He found it in 
great part a chaos, and he often told me that he 
could have done his task better and with less 
labour had he started de novo. He was a thorough 
scholar, worked like a horse, and was altogether 
a capital fellow. But his English was very defective, 
though he did not like to acknowledge this, and 
was apt to be more diffuse than necessary. For 
many weeks he used to come to me every morning 
at ten, with some pages which he had prepared, 
and I worked at them with him for an hour. This 
regularity of work was interrupted sometimes by 
official duties, and vacations came when it was 
necessary to revise his work by post. But I con- 
tinued to toil through every page, often twice ; and 
after much trouble the book was eventually published 
in 1874. The short preface which I wrote is 
dated 1869. 

'After the completion of the Dictionary I saw 
little of Vigfusson. He became acquainted with 
York Powell, the present Professor of Modern 
History at Oxford, and assisted by him published 
the " Sturlunga Saga " at the Clarendon Press. 

' Poor fellow ! he died of a liver complaint in 
1889. I visited him while he was being nursed 
at the Sarah Acland Home in Wellington Square. 
He fully appreciated the attention and comfort of 
the Home. He left me by his will the gold ring 

CH. vi] Vigfusson's Gratitude 207 

which was the symbol of his Doctor's degree at 
Upsala. I wore it constantly, and intended that 
on my death it should be given to York Powell. 
But I have unfortunately lost it. It flew from my 
finger when I was stripping rhododendron bushes 
of their seed-vessels in the garden at Ascot, and 
I failed to find it.' 

It should be added that shortly before his death, 
Vigfusson presented, with other books, an Icelandic 
Bible (Bishop Gudbrand's, 1584) to the Library of 
Christ Church, accompanied by a memorandum 
written by Mr. York Powell, but signed by himself. 
He says : 

' These books I wish in my lifetime to give to 
the Library of Christ Church, there to be preserved 
and remain as a remembrance of my grateful feeling 
towards Christ Church and those of her members 
herein named in especial. First to the Dean, for 
his well-timed protection in 1867, without which 
the Icelandic Dictionary would undoubtedly have 
broken down, and also for the constant, untiring, 
and experienced supervision which he gave to the 
Dictionary from first to last ; which I wish to record, 
though he himself would be unwilling to have it 
known ; for no one knows, and no one can ever 
know, how much the Dictionary, as it stands, owes 
to the Dean of Christ Church.' 

Then, after mention of the kindness and assistance 
given him by Dr. Kitchin and Mr. York Powell, 
he says : 

' By a strange coincidence, all three are Christ 
Church men.' And he concludes, ' I wish this 

208 Deanery of Christ Church [CH. vi 

memorandum to be affixed to Bishop Gudbrand's 
Bible, and therein to remain, as a record of my 
deep-felt gratitude. G. V.' 

To the value of the Dean's services at the 
University Galleries, no one is better qualified to 
bear testimony than one of his younger colleagues 
on that Board, the Rev. Dr. Woods, late President 
of Trinity College, who writes as follows : 

' Among the many services for which the Univer- 
sity has reason to be grateful to Dean Liddell, not 
the least important is the work which he did as 
Curator of the University Galleries work which 
I have heard him say was one of the pleasures of 
his life. For more than thirty years he was an 
active member of the Board, and to his initiative 
and administration were largely due the improve- 
ments effected during that period. He was appointed 
Curator shortly after his return to Oxford, on the 
death in 1858 of Mr. Sneyd, Warden of All Souls 
College. The University Galleries were at that 
time a recent institution. The building, one of 
Cockerell's finest and most original works, had been 
opened in 1845, and its interior must have presented 
at first a somewhat bare appearance, though the 
original models for the principal works of Sir F. 
Chantrey, presented by his widow in 1842, served 
to furnish part of the lower floor, and portraits from 
the Bodleian Library, many of which have since 
been returned, were hung in the Picture Gallery 
above. The deficiencies of the new institution 
were, however, soon supplemented. During the ten 
years which immediately succeeded its opening, 
more than eighty oil-paintings (including good 

CH. vi] Curator of University Galleries 209 

examples of Sir Joshua Reynolds and of the Dutch 
and early Italian Schools) were acquired by donation 
or bequest. The growth of the collection of prints 
and drawings was even more rapid. In 1845 t^ 6 
priceless series of drawings by Michael Angelo and 
Raffaello was purchased by a public subscription 
(towards which the second Earl of Eldon contributed 
^4000), and placed in the Galleries. This gift was 
supplemented by a loan from the Bodleian Library 
of the fine collection of German and other prints 
and drawings which had been bequeathed to it in 
1834 by Mr. F. Douce ; while in 1855 Mr. Chambers 
Hall, in addition to a previous gift of pictures, 
presented a large number of prints and drawings, 
including a valuable series of Rembrandt etchings. 

'On his appointment then as Curator in 1858 
Dean Liddell found the University Galleries in 
possession of a fair collection of pictures, and of 
a large mass of prints and drawings, many of them 
very recently acquired, and merely put away in 
cupboards to await arrangement. It is obvious 
that the rapid growth of the collections must have 
far outstripped the possibility of properly dealing 
with them at the time. The first duty of a Curator 
under these circumstances is to make himself 
acquainted with the contents of his collections, and 
there can be no doubt that the Dean spent much 
time over his work. Notes in his handwriting on 
the wrappers of the Douce prints and Rembrandt 
etchings show that he worked through them more 
than once, and quite towards the end of his time 
at Oxford I remember how clear and accurate was 
his knowledge of many of the prints and drawings. 
Without his knowledge and taste and trained eye 

E e 

2io Deanery of Christ Church [CH. vi 

it would have been doubly difficult to make any 
progress with the arranging, cataloguing, and mount- 
ing which were so urgently needed. At that time 
there were only three Curators besides Bodley's 
Librarian, who was constituted an official Curator 
so long as the Galleries contained any work of art 
belonging to the Library, and who naturally concerned 
himself mainly with the safe custody of these objects. 
Dean Liddell's colleagues in 185.8 were Dr. Cardwell, 
Principal of St. Alban Hall, and Dr. Wellesley, 
Principal of New Inn Hall. Dr. Cardwell was then 
old, and Dr. Wellesley, though a man of fine taste, 
as is evident from the important collection of prints 
and drawings which he made, does not seem to have 
spent much time or trouble on the Galleries, so that 
the chief burden of the work must have fallen on 
the Dean. Considerable progress, however, was 
made in the direction of sorting, cataloguing, and 
mounting many of the prints, though the Curators 
were hampered by the small means at their disposal. 
A short catalogue of the pictures was also prepared 
by Mr. Joseph Fisher, the first keeper of the 
Galleries, who held his office for forty-five years. 
On the death of Dr. Wellesley in 1866 (Dr. Cardwell 
had died in 1861) the Dean became the senior 
Curator, and the Board was strengthened by the 
appointment of Dr. (now Sir Henry) Acland, and 
Professor Rawlinson. For the next eighteen years 
the Board continued unchanged. Sir H. Acland's 
life-long friendship with the Dean, and their common 
interests and tastes, enabled them to work together 
with exceptional cordiality ; while Professor Rawlin- 
son undertook the responsible office of Treasurer. 
The effect of the new regime soon became apparent. 

CH. vi] Slade Professorship of Fine Art 211 

One matter which Dean Liddell, himself an amateur 
of considerable force, had much at heart was the 
dissemination of a knowledge of drawing. In the 
autumn of 1866 a temporary home was provided 
at the Galleries for the recently established School 
of Art. Classes were held by Mr. Macdonald, and 
were largely attended. On the establishment of 
the Ruskin School of Drawing in 1871, a portion 
of the basement of the Galleries was fitted up for 
the use of the evening classes of the School of Art ; 
and much encouragement was thus given to the 
study of drawing by boys and girls of the artisan 
class. A still more important service to the study 
of art at Oxford was the appointment of Mr. Ruskin 
as the first Slade Professor of Fine Art in 1869. 
By the regulations made under the Declaration of 
Trust, the lectures of the Professor are to be given 
at the University Galleries, and the Curators are 
represented on the Board of Electors to the Chair. 
Mr. Ruskin's acceptance of the Professorship was 
due principally, if not entirely, to the influence of 
his friends Dean Liddell (who was chairman of the 
Board of Electors) and Sir Henry Acland. It will 
be remembered how great was the enthusiasm with 
which Mr. Ruskin's lectures were welcomed. Many 
members of the University date from that period 
their first awakening to a sense of the beauty of 
Italian Art, and it may be doubted whether the 
interest of the University in painting and sculpture 
has ever again been so keen or so widely spread 
as it was then. No one felt more strongly than 
did the Dean how great was the advantage to 
Oxford of having Mr. Ruskin among its teachers ; 
and later on, when his connexion with the Uni- 

E e 2 

212 Deanery of Christ Church [CH. vi 

versity was severed, to no one did his loss mean 
more than to the Dean. I have heard him more 
than once refer with deep feeling to his sense 
of the personal loss to himself. Another matter 
with which the Dean and Sir Henry Acland were 
closely connected was the gift, in 1868, of ^"1200 
by the present Earl of Eldon to supplement his 
father's benefaction. This sum was to be applied 
in the first place to the maintenance and illustration 
of the series of Michael Angelo and Raffaello 
drawings, and secondly to the purchase of books, 
prints, and photographs illustrating Italian Art. One 
result of this benefaction was the preparation and 
issue in 1870 of Sir J. C. Robinson's catalogue of 
the drawings. Other additions made to the collec- 
tions, and improvements effected at the Galleries, 
during the years 1866-84 might be mentioned. The 
two surviving Curators certainly look back with 
satisfaction to the work done by them during that 
period under the chairmanship of Dean Liddell. 

* In 1884 a great change took place in the con- 
stitution of the Galleries Board, by the appointment 
of six additional Curators. The reason for this 
change was the increasing importance of the study 
of Classical Archaeology, and the need felt of having 
this subject adequately represented on the Board. 
The Dean continued as chairman of the enlarged 
body; and was chairman also of a committee 
appointed in 1885 to consider (i) what works of 
art in other University buildings would find a more 
fitting place in the Galleries; and (2) whether the 
present space was sufficient for the full and proper 
exhibition of the works of art at present in them. 
The recommendations of this important committee 

CH. vi] Herkomers portrait of Liddell 213 

virtually laid down the lines along which subse- 
quent changes have moved. The appointment of 
Mr. Percy Gardner to the Chair of Archaeology 
in 1887 was followed by the transfer to the Galleries 
of the Arundel Marbles and the establishment of an 
Archaeological Library. The difficulties caused by 
the conflicting claims of the Chantrey Collection and 
the continually increasing number of casts were 
partially met by a small extension of the Galleries, 
two new rooms on the ground floor and one on the 
basement being added in 1890. With all these 
changes Dean Liddell had much to do, and appeal 
was made to his judgment at every turn. Mean- 
while the other and older work at the Galleries, 
in which the Dean felt perhaps a more direct 
interest, was not neglected. The Michael Angelo 
and Raffaello drawings were admirably repaired and 
remounted, and have gained a new lease of life. 
Many pictures which required careful reparation 
were successfully dealt with, and on the redecoration 
of the picture-gallery in 1891 the pictures were 
rearranged, and a provisional catalogue of them 
was prepared by two of the Curators. In 1886, 
on the appointment of Mr. Herkomer to the Slade 
Professorship, a new studio, built after the Pro- 
fessor's own design, was added to the Galleries. 
To Professor Herkomer's munificence is due the 
fine portrait of Dean Liddell which now hangs in 
the Galleries. It was painted by him shortly before 
the Dean's departure from Oxford. 

' The time was now at hand when Dean Liddell 
was to give up the work which he had so long 
and so successfully carried on at the Galleries. The 
last meeting of the Curators which he attended 

214 Deanery of Christ Church [CH. vi 

was held on November 25, 1891. Reference was 
made to the fact that he would still continue to 
be a Curator, and it was ordered that the thanks 
of the Curators for his services in the chair be 
entered on the minutes. 

1 It will have become evident that any account of 
the Dean's work at the Galleries virtually means 
a history of the Galleries during the twenty-five 
years of his chairmanship. But the personal aspect 
of his work must not be altogether passed over. 
His younger colleagues could not but be conscious 
that they were associated with a remarkable man. 
He had a commanding personality, clear convictions, 
and a sound judgment. His wide experience and 
knowledge of men and affairs always made them- 
selves felt in a discussion, though he often delayed 
giving his opinion until he was asked for it. I had 
frequently occasion to consult him during the last 
few years of his time at Oxford, and I shall always 
gratefully remember his help and kindness. Beneath 
a certain brusqueness of manner there was great 
considerateness for other people. I remember, when 
it became necessary to appoint a deputy-keeper 
owing to Mr. Fisher's age and infirmities, with what 
great delicacy the Dean made the communication 
to him. The Dean was capable of strong attach- 
ment to those with whom he habitually worked, and 
I know that he loved the Galleries and everything 
connected with them. It will probably be long 
before any one man again does as much for them 
as was done by Dean Liddell between 1858 
and 1891.' 

In this interesting account Dr. Woods describes 
the appointment of Mr. Ruskin to the Slade 

CH. vi] 'Modern Painters' 215 

Professorship of Fine Art as having been brought 
to pass chiefly through the influence of Dean Liddell 
and Sir H. Acland, and he mentions the Dean's 
pleasure in welcoming Mr. Ruskin as a teacher of 
Art at Oxford. Mr. Ruskin's admiration for Liddell 
in earlier days has already been referred to. Their 
friendship had begun while Ruskin was an under- 
graduate J , but had been interrupted by his absence 
from Oxford and visits to the Continent. With 
the publication of Modern Painters Liddell had 
not been concerned ; he had not even heard of it 
as likely to appear. Many years afterwards (in 1879) 
he told Mr. Ruskin of his first sight of the volume : 

' Thirty-six years ago I was at Birmingham, 
examining the boys in the great school there. In 
a bookseller's shop window I saw Modern Painters, 
by a Graduate of Oxford. I knew nothing of the 
book, or by whom it was written. But I bought 
it, and read it eagerly. It was like a revelation 
to me, as it has been to many since. I have it 
by me, my children have read it ; and I think with 

1 In a letter written in 1837, Liddell thus describes Ruskin : ' I am 
going to drink tea with Adolphus Liddell to-night, and see the drawings 
of a very wonderful gentleman commoner here who draws wonderfully. 
He is a very strange fellow, always dressing in a greatcoat with 
a brown velvet collar, and a large neck-cloth tied over his mouth, 
and living quite in his own way among the odd set of hunting and 
sporting men that gentlemen commoners usually are. One of them, 
for instance , rode to London and back the other day in five and a half 
hours, a hundred and eight miles. However, he got rusticated for his 
pains, so he had better have stayed at home. But Ruskin does not give 
in to such fancies as these, and tells them that they like their own way 
of living and he likes his ; and so they go on, and I am glad to say 
they do not bally him, as I should have been afraid they would.' 

216 Deanery of Christ Church [CH. vi 

a pleasure, a somewhat melancholy pleasure, on 
those long past days.' 

The first volume was published in April 1843 ; 
and Liddell, when he penned the words just quoted, 
must have quite forgotten that after buying the 
book and studying it carefully, he ventured, after 
the appearance of the second edition in 1844, to note 
down and forward to the author some criticisms and 
corrections. He seems to have commented un- 
favourably on the style in which the volume was 
got up, and to have made various suggestions as 
to phrases and modes of expression, and some 
criticisms on the main thesis of the work. His letter 
is, unfortunately, not to be found ; but the nature 
of his comments may be gathered from Mr. Ruskin's 
reply : 

October 12, 1844. 


' I was on the very point of writing to beg 
for your opinion and assistance on some matters 
of art, when your invaluable letter arrived. I cannot 
tell you how glad and grateful it makes me ; glad for 
its encouragement, and grateful for its advice. For 
indeed it is not self-confidence, but only eagerness 
and strong feeling which have given so overbearing 
a tone to much of what I have written. I need 
some support, considering the weight and numbers 
of those against me ; and you will, I am sure, believe 
me when I say that I looked to none in the whole 
circle of the friends whom I most respect, with so 
much anxiety as to you : though I never ventured 
to hope for more than pardon from you for one 

CH. vi] Mr. Ruskin's Letter 217 

half of the book, even if (which I little anticipated) 
you should take the trouble of looking over it 
at all. You may judge, therefore, of the infinite 
pleasure which your kind letter gave me ; and, 
from the respect which you know I felt for all 
your opinions (even when I, in my ignorance, was 
little capable of understanding them, and felt most 
inclined to dispute them), you may judge of the 
deference I would yield to them now, when a little 
more acquaintance with high art has brought me 
into nearer sympathy with you. I wish there were 
something in your letter which I could obey without 
assenting to, that I might prove to you my govern- 
ability. But alas ! there is nothing of all the little 
that you say in stricture which I do not feel and 
which I have not felt for some time back. In 
fact, on looking over the book the other day, after 
keeping my mind off the subject entirely for two 
or three months, I think I could almost have 
anticipated your every feeling ; and I determined 
on the instant to take in future a totally different 
tone. In fact, the Blackwood part 1 was put in 
to please some friends (especially one to whom 
I am much indebted for his trusting me with his 
drawings) and the booksellers. The title-page is 
booksellers' work too, and was put in in defiance 
of my earnest wishes. I let it go, for I considered 
myself writing for the public, not for men of taste, 
and I thought the booksellers knew more about 
the public than I. I was wrong, however, and will 
allow nothing of the kind in future. 

1 This refers to Mr. Ruskin's reply to the severe criticisms of Turner 
which had appeared from time to time in Black-wood's Magazine, and 
to a review of Modern Painters in the number for October, 1843. 

F f " 

218 Deanery of Christ Church [CH. vi 

' But it seems to me that the pamphleteer manner 
is not confined to these passages: it is ingrained 
throughout. There is a nasty, snappish, impatient, 
half-familiar, half-claptrap web of young-mannishness 
everywhere. This was, perhaps, to be expected from 
the haste in which I wrote. I am going to try 
for better things ; for a serious, quiet, earnest, and 
simple manner, like the execution I want in art. 
Forgive me for talking of myself and my intentions 
thus, but your advice will be so valuable to me that 
I know you will be glad to give it ; especially as 
the matter I have in hand now relates not more 
to Turner than to that pure old art which I have 
at last learnt (thanks to you, Acland, and Richmond) 
to love. 

'As soon as I began to throw my positions 
respecting the beautiful into form, I found myself 
necessarily thrown on the human figure for great 
part of my illustrations ; and at last, after having 
held off in fear and trembling as long as I could, 
I saw there was no help for it, and that it must be 
taken up to purpose. So I am working at home 
from Fra Angelico, and at the British Museum from 
the Elgins. I passed through Paris in my return 
from the Alps, when I at last found myself up to 
admiration of Titian, and past Rubens (in matter of 
colour), and now therefore I think I shall do, when 
I have given a year or two to these pure sources. 
I don't think, with my heart full of Fra Angelico, 
and my eyes of Titian, that I shall fall back into 
the pamphleteer style again. 

' Don't suppose, however, with all this, that I am 
going to lose Turner. On the contrary, I am more 
tpris than ever, and that especially with his latest 

CH. vi] Mr. Ruskiris Letter 219 

works, Goldau, &c. Monomania, you think. Pos- 
sibly ; nevertheless, I should not have spoken so 
audaciously as I have under the influence of any 
conviction, however strong, had I not been able to 
trace, in my education, some grounds for supposing 
that I might in deed and in truth judge more justly 
of him than others can. I mean, my having been 
taken to mountain scenery when a mere child, and 
allowed, at a time when boys are usually learning 
their grammar, to ramble on the shores of Como 
and Lucerne ; and my having since, regardless of all 
that usually occupies the energies of the traveller, 
art, antiquities, or people devoted myself to pure, 
wild, solitary, natural scenery ; with a most unfor- 
tunate effect, of course, as far as general or human 
knowledge is concerned, but with most beneficial 
effect on that peculiar sensibility to the beautiful in 
all things that God has made, which it is my present 
aim to render more universal. I think too that just 
as it is impossible to trace the refinements of natural 
form, unless with the pencil in the hand the eyj 
and mind never being keen enough until excited by 
the effort to imitate so it is nearly impossible to 
observe the refinement of Turner unless one is in 
the habit of copying him. I began copying him 
when I was fourteen, and so was early initiated into 
much which escapes even the observation of artists, 
whose heads are commonly too full of their own 
efforts and productions to give fair attention to those 
of others. That it was politic to give expres- 
sion to all my feelings respecting Turner might 
well be denied, had my object in the beginning been 
what it is now. But I undertook, not a treatise on 
art or nature, but, as I thought, a small pamphlet 

F f 2 

220 Deanery of Christ Church [CH. vi 

defending a noble artist against a strong current of 
erring public opinion. The thing swelled under my 
hands, and it was not till I had finished the volume 
that I had any idea to what I might be led. I saw 
that I should have to recast the whole, some time 
or other ; and was too impatient to do something, to 
do so at once. So I let it go on as it was. The 
very end and aim of the whole affair was Turner ; 
and when I let the second edition appear without 
alteration, it was because I found my views on many 
points altering and expanding so rapidly that I 
should never have got the thing together again until 
the whole of the following portions were completed. 
So I determined to let it alone, write the rest first, 
and then recast the whole. I think I shall have it 
too long by me to run the risk of flippancy of 
manner again, and the illustrations will render it 
unnecessary for me to run into caricatured de- 
scription. I am going to Paris for some time, and 
then to Florence, before I put it finally together; 
chiefly to study the early Italian schools, for I want 
to bring the public, as far as I can, into something 
like a perception that religion must be, and always 
has been, the ground and moving spirit of all great 
art. It puts me into a desperate rage when I hear 
of Eastlake's buying Guides for the National 
Gallery. He at least ought to know better not 
that I should anticipate anything from looking at his 
art, but from his reputed character and knowledge. 

' I shall be, as you will easily conceive, no little 
time in getting my materials together. In fact, I 
have to learn half of what I am to teach. The en- 
gravers plague me sadly, and I am obliged at last 
to take the etching into my own hands, and this 

CH.VI] Mr. Ruskins Letter 221 

demands much time. In fact, I ought to have good 
ten years' work before I produce anything ; but the 
evil is crying, and I must have at it. I hope in 
twelve or eighteen months to see my way to a sort 
of an end ; and however imperfectly (owing to my 
narrow reading and feeble hand in exhibiting what 
I feel), I think I shall yet throw the principles of art 
into a higher system than ordinary writers look for : 
showing that the principles of beauty are the same 
in all things, that its characters are typical of the 
Deity, and of the relations which in a perfect state 
we are to hold with him ; and that the same great 
laws have authority in all art, and constitute it great 
or contemptible in their observance or violation. 

' And now can you tell me of any works which it 
is necessary I should read on a subject which has 
given me great trouble the essence and operation 
of the imagination as it is concerned with art ? Who 
is the best metaphysician who has treated the 
subject generally, and do you recollect any passages 
in Plato or other of the Greeks particularly bearing 
upon it ? 

' Do you know Eastlake at all, or any man con- 
nected with the National Gallery ? I hope you do 
all you can to put a stop to this buying of Guidos 
and Rubenses. Rubens may teach us much of mere 
art, but there is plenty of him in the country, and 
for Guido there is not even this excuse. We want 
Titians, we want Paul Veroneses. Our English 
school must have colour. Above all, we want the 
only man who seems to me to have united the most 
intense feeling with all that is great in the artist as 
such John Bellini. I don't hope yet for Giotto or 
Fra Angelico ; but if they would give us John Bellini 

222 Deanery of Christ Church [CH. vi 

and Titian I shouldn't grumble. I intend some time 
in my life to have a general conflagration of Murillos, 
by-the-by ; I suppose more corruption of taste and 
quenching of knowledge may be traced to him than 
to any man who ever touched canvas. 

' Pardon the villanous writing of this letter. I have 
been much interrupted, and have scarcely had a 
moment to myself, and I don't like to leave your 
kind one longer unanswered, or I would write rather 
more legibly. 

' Ever, my dear Sir, 

' Sincerely and respectfully yours, 

' J. RUSKIN.' 

To this letter Liddell seems to have written a 
long reply, and at the close to have desired his 
correspondent to drop for the future the formal style 
of address, and to call him simply by his surname. 

An answer came from Mr. Ruskin, who was then 
living at Herne Hill, by return of post : 

October 15, 1844. 


' You might think it affectation, were I to tell 
you the awkwardness with which I obey you, unless 
you considered the especially child-like position in 
which my good stars place me ; for while many not 
older than I are already entrusted with the highest 
responsibilities that can demand or arouse the 
energy of manly character, I am yet as much at my 
ease as I was ten years ago, leading still the quiet 
life of mere feeling and reverie, 

That hath no need of a remoter charm 
By thought supplied, or any interest 
Unborrowed from the eye ; 

CH. vi] Second Letter from Mr. Ritskin 223 

and in fact feeling scarcely any difference in myself 
from the time of impositions and collections, except 
in so far that I have discovered a great part of my 
time to have been lost, and made my way to a 
clearer view of certain ends which have been for- 
warded in nothing btit vision ; that I feel particularly 
ashamed of much that I have done, and particularly 
agonized about much that I have not done ; that I 
should not now write letters of advice to Henry 
Acland, nor spend my time at Rome in sketching 
house-corners. But these changes of feeling render 
me, if anything, less disposed to unpupil myself than 
I was before ; and therefore I obey you, though most 
willingly and gratefully, yet under protest, and only 
because there are better means of showing respect 
than mere matters of form. 

' I could say more on this point, but I don't want 
to let your letter remain unanswered two days, and 
as I am going early into town to-morrow I must 
go on to some things I have to say about the 
points noticed in your letter. I am glad of your 
countenance in my opposition of studies, though 
I am a little afraid that such versatility of admira- 
tion though it may make a good judge of art 
makes a bad master of it. Nevertheless for my 
present ends it is better it should be so. But 
though I can turn, and am glad to be able to turn, 
to the most opposed sources of thought and 
characters of beauty, surely we ought to demand 
in each kind the perfect and the best examples. 
The world is so old, that there is no dearth of 
things first-rate ; and life so short, that there is no 
excuse for looking at things second-rate. Let us 
then go to Rubens for blending, and to Titian 

224 Deanery of Christ Church [CH. vi 

for quality, of colour; to Cagliari for daylight, 
and Rembrandt for lamplight; to Buonarroti for 
awfulness, and to Van Huysum for precision. 
Each of their excellences has its use and order, 
and reference to certain modes and periods of 
thought, each its right place and proper dignity, 
incompatible. Any man is worthy of respect, in 
his own rank, who has pursued any truth or attain- 
ment with all his heart and strength. But I dread 
and despise the artists who are respectable in 
many things, and have been excelled by some one 
in everything. They are surely the more dangerous ; 
for mediocrity in much is more comprehensible and 
attractive than the superiority in singleness, which 
has abandoned much to gain one end. Murillo 
seems to me a peculiar instance of this. His 
drawing is free and not ungraceful, but most 
imperfect, and slurred to gain a melting quality 
of colour. That colour is agreeable because it has 
no force nor severity; but it is morbid, sunless, 
and untrue. His expression is sweet, but shallow ; 
his models amiable, but vulgar and mindless ; his 
chiaroscuro commonplace, opaque, and conven- 
tional : and yet all this so agreeably combined, 
and animated by a species of waxwork life, that 
it is sure to catch everybody who has not either 
very high feeling or strong love of truth, and to 
keep them from obtaining either. He sketched 
well from a model, and now and then a single 
figure is very fine. He was not a bad painter, but 
he exercises a most fatal influence on the English 
school, and therefore I owe him an especial grudge. 
I have never entered the Dulwich Gallery for 
fourteen years without seeing at least three copyists 

CH. vi] Turner and the Old Masters 225 

before the Murillos. I never have seen one before 
the Paul Veronese. 

' Next, with respect to Turner. I hope we are 
not opposed so much as you think. You know all 
my praise relates to his fidelity to, and love of, 
nature ; it does not affirm in him the highest degree 
of solemnity, or of purity, in feeling or choice ; and 
there is one circumstance which it seems to me 
has great influence on the minds of most men of 
feeling with respect to the works of the old masters 
as compared with him. On this subject the 
creation of pure light and the sacrifice of everything 
to that end I shall have much to say which (if 
it has not already occurred to you, as it is most 
probable it should) will be more pleasantly read 
in print than in these hieroglyphics. Putting, how- 
ever, this great source of power out of the question 
(and how much is involved in it I am not prepared 
to say), Turner will still appear rather in the light 
of a man of great power, drawing good indiscrimin- 
ately, and therefore necessarily in very different 
kinds and degrees, out of everything, than of one 
devoting his energies to the full development of 
any particular moral emotion. He is rather the 
philosopher who perceives and equally exhibits 
all, than the ardent lover who raises some peculiar 
object by all the glories of imagination and with 
all the powers of his heart. His powers I think 
you never denied ; at least when I first showed 
you my "Winchelsea" with the troop of soldiers 
at Oxford you said, " Yes, just like him, what no 

one else could do, but ." I am not quite sure 

what the particular " but " was ; whatever it was, 
the powers were admitted. These powers then 

G g 

226 Deanery of Christ Church [CH. vi 

seem employed with a versatility which gives a 
result in art very much like what Don Juan is in 
literature, in everything but its want of moral 
feeling ; a result containing passages and truths 
of every character, the most exquisite tenderness, 
the most gigantic power, the most playful familiarity, 
the most keen philosophy and overwhelming passion; 
and yet the whole will not produce on most men's 
minds the effect of a great poem. It does on mine ; 
but certainly not to the degree which it might 
perhaps have done had there been less power and 
more unity. But it is great in its kind, and there 
is a system in both the art and the poem which 
may be reasoned out, and a great whole arrived 
at by reflection, as out of the chaos of human life 
and circumstances of its Providence. You must 
have felt this, I think, in looking over the " Liber 
Studiorum," in which you pass from the waste 
of English lonely moorland, with the gallows-tree 
ghastly against the dying twilight, to the thick 
leaves and dreamy winds of the Italian woods ; 
from a study of cocks and hens scratching on 
a dunghill, to the cold, slow, colossal coil of the 
Jason serpent; from the sport of children about 
a willowy pond, to the agony of Rizpah. 

' Turner, as far as I can ascertain anything of his 
past life, is a man of inferior birth and no education, 
arising at a time when there were no masters to 
guide him to great ends, and by the necessity 
and closeness of his study of nature withdrawn 
from strong human interests ; endowed with singular 
delicacy of perception and singular tenderness of 
heart, but both associated with quick temper and 
most determined obstinacy, acting constantly under 

CH. vi] Turners temperament & training 227 

momentary impulses, but following out inflexibly 
whatever he has begun. Considering the little 
feeling for high art which, till within the last ten 
years, existed in this country, and the absence of 
sympathy with him in all but what he felt himself 
was the mere repetition of things bygone and 
which could not be bettered, we cannot but expect 
that there should be something to regret in his 
career, and something wanting to his attainments ; 
and we must be content to receive the great and 
new lessons which he has read to us out of 
the material world, without quarrelling with the 
pettinesses and inconsistencies perhaps unavoidable 
unless where art is the minister to vast national 
sympathies and the handmaid of religion. 

' I had much more to say, but my time is gone. 
I will attend to all you advise respecting the next 
book. I have not spoken about your kind defence 
of the present one, but cannot now. I think I shall 
be pretty sure not to use the language of any 
particular Church, for I don't know exactly which 
one I belong to. A Romanist priest, after a long 
talk under a tree in a shower at St. Martin's, 
assured me I was quite as good a Catholic as he. 
However, the religious language I shall use in what 
references I may have to make will be simply 
that of the Bible ; and a few allusions to the 
doctrine of the Trinity and the general attributes 
of the Deity will be all I shall require. Thank 
you much for your reference to Vaughan about 
imagination, &c. Thank you also for your careful 
notes of the errata in the old book, which I shall 
take care to alter. 

' If the only and single result of my labour had 

G g 2 

228 Deanery of Christ Church [CH. vi 

been that which you mention, some rest to your 
mind in a period of pain, it would have been enough 
reward for me, even without the privilege which 
the close of your letter allows me, of continuing, 
1 My dear Liddell, 

' Very truly and gratefully yours, 


These letters, apart from their high intrinsic 
interest, show the common ground of artistic sym- 
pathy which, in distant days, had united Liddell 
and Mr. Ruskin ; the profound respect with which 
Mr. Ruskin then regarded his senior (senior by only 
eight years), and the importance which he attached 
to his criticisms. It was a happy occurrence, there- 
fore, that twenty-five years afterwards, when the 
great teacher was at the zenith of his fame, he was per- 
suaded by his old friends, who had watched his career 
from those early times, to undertake the duties of 
a Chair which would bring him very prominently 
before the University, and give him an opportunity 
of instructing a large body of cultivated listeners on 
the topics nearest to his heart. The post was 
accepted somewhat diffidently. 

' I was very grateful for your letter/ he wrote 
to the Dean in January 1870. ' I was beginning 
to feel great discomfort in the sense of inability 
to do not indeed (for that I never hoped) what 
I would wish to do but what with more deliberation 
I might be able to do. Your permission to give 
only seven lectures this spring will give me ease 
of mind, and, I hope, better power of thinking. 

CH. vi] Mr. Ruskin as Slade Professor 229 

I am happy in the general thoughts of what may 
be possible to me ; clear enough, for all practical 
purposes, as to what I have to say ; and a little 
sanguine (yet not so as to be hurt by disappoint- 
ment) respecting the effect of carefully chosen 
examples of more or less elementary art, put within 
the daily reach of all students, with notes enough 
to enable them to look at once for their main 
qualities. It is pardonable to be sanguine when 
I have you and Henry Acland to advise me and 
help me. I am well assured you know that I will 
do my best, and that not in any personal vanity.' 

Dr. Woods has not exaggerated the deep im- 
pression which Mr. Ruskin's lectures, from 1869 
to 1879, made upon the Oxford world; and his 
influence as a resident was exercised in many and 
various ways, some perhaps not a little Quixotic. 
He had rooms in Corpus, and his friendship with 
his near neighbours at the Deanery ripened into 
close intimacy. He would not indeed dine with 

' I never dine out,' he wrote to Mrs. Liddell, ' tired 
or not. There is really nothing that makes me 
more nervously uncomfortable than the sound of 
voices becoming indecipherable round a clatter of 

But he would often consult the Dean on matters 
where wide classical knowledge was specially needed ; 
and there are letters from Liddell, written during the 
busiest days of his Vice-Chancellorship, discussing 
at great length, and illustrating by many quotations, 

230 Deanery of Christ C/ittrck 

the precise meaning of lov, and its identification 
with our ' violet,' and whether there was any Greek 
word answering exactly to our ' moss.' 

Some years afterwards Liddell endeavoured, but 
without success, to persuade Mr. Ruskin to entrust 
the publication of his works to the University Press, 
and to allow them to be sold at reasonable prices. 

' Many persons/ he wrote, ' wish to possess them, 
and cannot procure them except at a price which 
is prohibitive to all but the wealthy ; moreover 
the profit of the large prices demanded goes not 
to you (as it ought), but to speculating booksellers 
or agents.' 'The speculating booksellers,' replied 
Mr. Ruskin, ' make no profit on my books, except on 
those which are out of print by my own wish. The 
others are perfectly accessible, venal to all men ; 
the best of them for the price of a couple of 
bottles of good Sillery, and they shall not be sold 
cheaper. All my purposes in this matter are told 
at some length in Fors* 



THE Dean became Vice-Chancellor in Michaelmas 
Term, 1870, in succession to Dr. Leigh ton, Warden 
of All Souls College. No Dean of Christ Church 
had held the Vice-Chancellorship since Aldrich in 
1 692-4. Before that time it had not been uncommon 
for the two offices to be held together when occasion 
served. Owen and John Fell were conspicuous 
figures among the Vice-Chancellors of the seventeenth 
century. But the custom had fallen into desuetude, 
and Liddell broke through a venerable tradition in 
accepting the office. It was no light addition to his 
labours, and he was now fifty-nine years of age ; but 
by universal acknowledgment he discharged the 
onerous duties for four years with unsurpassed dignity 
and efficiency. The Vice-Chancellor is in a very real 
sense the Head of the University. He presides 
over its public assemblies and its Hebdomadal 
Council ; he is chairman of all committees and 
delegacies, and has a large share in the appointment 
of Professors, Examiners, and Preachers ; he is the 
chief representative of the University on all occasions 

232 Deanery of Christ Church [CH. vn 

of public ceremony, except during the rare official 
visits of the Chancellor himself. Much influence 
and much patronage thus belong to the holder 
of this important office ; and it is but natural that 
such power should not unfrequently be used during 
the short tenure of the office for the furtherance 
of the interests of the College of which the Vice- 
Chancellor of the time is Head, or for the advance- 
ment of political or ecclesiastical causes in which 
he is interested. Liddell brought to the work 
lengthened experience, thorough business habits, 
and familiarity with all academical questions ; but 
he also brought that entire impartiality and clear 
sense of justice of which we have so often spoken 
already, and altogether declined to allow private 
friendships or personal predilections to influence his 
conduct. He distinctly raised the whole conception 
of the office, and laid it down amid universal regret, 
having won the profound respect of members of 
every party a difficult achievement anywhere, but 
exceptionally difficult in the small world of Oxford. 

No very important events occurred during his 
Vice-Chancellorship. The new Chancellor, the 
Marquess of Salisbury, had been admitted to his 
office just before, and had presided at the Com- 
memoration of 1870. There was a momentary lull 
in the attempts to reform the institutions of the 
University; the Duke of Cleveland's Commission 
of inquiry into its revenues (the prelude to the 
Parliamentary Commission of 1877) began its in- 
vestigations in 1872. But reform was then, as always, 

CH. vn] Work as Vice- Chancellor 233 

in the air. The University Tests Act of 1871 in- 
volved many changes in the statutes, to bring them 
into harmony with the new enactments ; and on 
various questions connected with the examination 
statutes there were continual discussions, and some 
considerable alterations were made. One of the 
most important of these, affecting the Final Honours 
School of Literae Humaniores, came into force in 
1873. There were also many debates and proposals 
in connexion with the school of Theology, a school 
only founded in 1870; and a division was made 
in 1872 between the schools of Law and Modern 
History, which had formed one school since 1853. 

The Dean discharged his new duties with the 
utmost conscientiousness. He was very methodical 
in attendance at meetings and at University sermons ; 
nothing could exceed his punctual fulfilment of all, 
even the most tiresome, routine duties. 

' Nowhere,' writes Professor Max Miiller, in an 
article already referred to, ' was his silent influence 
felt so much as when as Vice-Chancellor he acted 
as chairman of committees. There was a restrain- 
ing influence in his very presence, people seemed 
ashamed of lowering themselves before him by 
selfish, ungenerous, or unacademic behaviour. No 
gossip was allowed in his presence, no insinuations 
were tolerated against anybody not present to de- 
fend himself; no uncommon event at meetings, par- 
ticularly when, at the same time, to disclose what is 
said on these occasions is considered dishonourable. 
If a debate had lasted too long, his question, " Is 
there anybody who wants to say anything else?" was 

H h 

234 Deanery of Christ Church [CH. vn 

generally sufficient to stop the flow of not always 
enlightening eloquence. As to any artifices of 
which chairmen are not always guiltless, such as 
proroguing a meeting instead of taking a vote, post- 
poning a decision in order to secure the presence 
of a few more favourable voters very harmless 
contrivances, it may be, in the eyes of so-called 
practical men, or men of business the Dean would 
never have condescended to any of them. He 
knew of no " roguery " that was permissible in order 
to secure success. Every one who has had the 
privilege of sitting on committees with the Dean 
knows what a change his absence made, and how 
truly and widely his services, nay, his very presence, 
were appreciated, particularly after he had left 

But he resolved to favour no party in the adminis- 
tration of his office. In making all appointments 
he took the utmost pains to find out the best men, 
and to dismiss all other claims but fitness. The 
selection of preachers gave him a good deal 
of trouble : his own knowledge of the foremost 
preachers in the English Church was naturally im- 
perfect; he used to consult his friends, and especially 
Stanley ; and one can remember the many questions 
asked, and the anxious desire to secure men of real 
merit, who would be likely to attract large congre- 
gations : the result being that divines of all parties, 
and from all parts of England, came up from time 
to time in answer to his invitation. Some, who 
travelled to Oxford to preach on a Sunday after- 
noon in Lent, were grievously disappointed at their 

CH. vn] University Sermons 235 

audience at that untoward time : accustomed to 
address crowded churches, they found themselves 
in an almost empty building; and the Vice-Chancellor 
shared their disappointment. But he had the satis- 
faction of securing Jowett (then scarcely ever heard) 
to preach a remarkable sermon in 1871, when the 
church was full to overflowing ; and Liddon and 
Stanley (as has been already mentioned) preached 
by his invitation on two consecutive Sundays in the 
same year. Dr. Pusey succeeded Dr. Stanley as 
preacher on the Jewish Interpretation of Prophecy. 
The present Bishop of Lincoln (then Principal of 
Cuddesdon) was followed by Mr. Stopford Brooke ; 
and odd juxtapositions such as these showed the 
generous breadth of the Vice-Chancellor's sym- 
pathies, or at least his desire to give every party 
in the Church a hearing in the University pulpit. 

One minor reform connected with St. Mary's was 
carried out at this period. Attendants at the sermons 
are familiar with the University Hymnal, in its dark 
blue cover; and perhaps, during some long sermon, 
have not been unwilling to peruse its contents and 
study the interesting notes at the end. But com- 
paratively few will recollect its first appearance 
in the Summer Term of 1872, or the poverty-stricken 
selection of verses from the old metrical versions 
of the Psalms which the present volume superseded. 
In 1871 the University authorized the preparation 
of a new hymnal, and the Delegates of the Clarendon 
Press appointed a small committee to compile the 
book. The committee consisted of the Vice- 

H h 2 

236 Deanery of Christ Chtirch [CH. vn 

Chancellor, as chairman ; Dr. W. Bright, Dr. Liddon, 
Mr. John Griffiths, Mr. Henry Smith, Mr. Wickham 
(now Dean of Lincoln), and the present writer. To 
these were added, as musical authorities, Dr. Corfe 
and Dr. Stainer. Each member of the committee 
sent in a list of the hymns which he considered most 
suitable for the special purpose of the book ; and when 
these had been printed a selection was made, and 
the volume now in use exhibits the survival of what 
were deemed the fittest. The Dean took a lively 
interest in the discussions. To his own special 
choice and advocacy is due the insertion of some 
stanzas of Milton's hymn on the Nativity. It was 
objected that there was no tune to suit the metre, 
but Dr. Stainer replied with a promise that one 
should be forthcoming ; yet the hymn has never 
(it is believed) been sung at St. Mary's. It was 
much wished that some Latin hymns should be 
introduced. Few, however, were really suitable, and 
in some which were selected changes had to be 
made. In the ' Ecce quern vates' Liddell's taste 
corrected the lines : 

Dexter in Parentis arce 
Qui cluis virtutibus 

into the sonorous words : 

Dexter assidens Parenti 
Summa nactus robora. 

And in the ' Dies irae ' he suggested the more 
rhythmical ' Crucis explicans vexilla ' instead of ex- 
pandens', the line being an almost necessary substitute 
for the original ' Teste David cum Sibylla.' 

CH. vn] The new Hymnal 237 

One can remember many delightful criticisms on 
modern hymnody which fell from the Dean's lips : 
they were the ripe judgment of a master of the 
English tongue; and the many warnings on the score 
of orthodoxy which were uttered by the otherwise 
silent mentor of the committee, Mr. Griffiths. The 
notes were compiled chiefly by Dr. Bright. Great 
care was exercised to bring the text, in every case, 
as near as possible to the original ; but it was not 
thought advisable to press this principle too far. 
The committee declined to substitute for the familiar 
opening of our Christmas hymn the far nobler 
original : 

Hark, how all the welkin rings, 
Glory to the King of kings ; 

although in ' Rock of Ages' they retained the strange 
expression ' When mine eye-strings break in death.' 
The doxologies and ' Amens ' of modern hymnals 
were deliberately omitted. The volume is not 
without its blemishes, but it has for many years 
fulfilled its purpose well ; and Liddell, who selected 
the type and binding, was greatly pleased with it. 

It was during this same busy period that the 
Dean, in 1875, completed his twentieth year of 
office ; and his portrait, painted by Mr. Watts, was 
presented to him at the Gaudy in the summer of 
1876, as a gift from members of Christ Church. 
It was arranged that Liddell's former pupil, Earl 
Granville, should make the presentation ; but, to 
the Dean's great disappointment, he was not well 
enough to attend. His place, however, was taken 

238 Deanery of Christ Church [CH. vn 

by Mr. Gladstone, and none who were present 
on that occasion are likely to forget the eloquent 
words with which he spoke of the Dean in 
proposing his health. To Liddell himself the cere- 
mony was not a little trying : 

' I had,' he writes, ' to sit under a shower-bath 
of praise from Mr. Gladstone. He delivered a really 
magnificent oration ; but I felt very uncomfortable 
under it, and made a very lame acknowledgment. 
It was quite miraculous (nothing less) to hear the 
torrent of eloquence he poured forth for more than 
half an hour.' 

It is interesting, as illustrating the great orator's 
extraordinary facility of speech, to add that only a few 
hours before, one of the Censors (the present writer) 
had, at Mr. Gladstone's special request, furnished 
him on a few sheets of note-paper with a list of the 
chief topics on which it would be proper for him to 
enlarge : and each in its order came forth, elaborated 
in the magnificent periods of the speaker. 

This mention of Mr. Gladstone recalls another 
visit of a very different kind, which he paid to 
Oxford fifteen years afterwards. He came on this 
later occasion not to Christ Church but to All Souls : 
not as an orator, but as a simple student ; and very 
delightful his visit was to all concerned. Liddell 
thus describes it in a letter to his son, who was 
then travelling in India : 

' I did not in my last letter tell you about Mr. 
Gladstone's visit to Oxford. It was very surprising. 

CH. vn] Mr. Gladstone at Oxford in 1890 239 

He wrote to Sir William Anson, saying that he 
should like to occupy rooms in All Souls (of which 
college he is an Honorary Fellow) for ten days or 
a fortnight, having some work on hand for which 
he should have to visit the Bodleian. No one 
would believe it at first. He seldom or never goes 
anywhere without Mrs. Gladstone ; and how was he 
to live alone in college rooms, without her solicitous 
attentions ? However, he came, stayed for about 
ten days, and seemed supremely happy. Politics 
were excluded altogether. I asked him to dinner, 
and invited some known scholars and literati to 
meet him. One day he dined in the common room, 
another at our club ; three days in All Souls Hall, 
and where on the other two or three days I do not 
remember. He made himself very agreeable, and 
talked to every conceivable person on every con- 
ceivable subject. Mr. Goschen says it was the 
most remarkable episode in a most remarkable 
life. One night Mr. Gladstone went to the Union. 
He declined to take part in any debate, but said 
he would give them a kind of lecture on certain 
recent discoveries of Assyrian antiquities as bearing 
on Homer. One of these was that the Assyrian 
Hades had seven gates, through which the mythical 
hero Ishtar had to pass. Now, he said, Homer 
speaks of an 'AtSao TriAa^rq?, which is interpreted 
gate-keeper ; so that it is clear Homer had the 
seven Assyrian gates in his mind. Q.E.D. He 
can persuade himself of anything. He values 
this discovery so highly that he has sent me 
a note of it for insertion in the Lexicon. By the 
way, I am ungrateful, for he paid the very highest 
compliment to the Lexicon.' 

240 Deanery of Christ Church [CH. vn 

Liddell's experience as Headmaster of West- 
minster made his advice especially valuable in 
relation to all Public School matters ; and though 
he avoided, as far as possible, engaging himself to 
the performance of duties which would call him 
away from Oxford, he could not escape them 
altogether. He was for many years on the council 
of Cheltenham College ; and his official connexion 
with Westminster gave him a permanent place on 
its new governing body from its creation in 1869. 

At Cheltenham he was one of a distinguished 
group of men who had been selected to co-operate 
with the local governors of that college. Lord 
Redesdale was chairman of the council ; and it 
was accustomed to meet, not at Cheltenham, but 
in Lord Redesdale's room at the House of Lords. 

' There were half a dozen men of mark,' writes the 
present Dean of Wells, ' among the council, besides 
the excellent chairman Lord Redesdale, a very 
hard man to convince of the goodness of a bad 
case, and a most kind friend to the college and 
to me. These were Dr. Liddell, Dean of Christ 
Church, Dr. Thompson, Master of Trinity, Sir 
Michael Hicks-Beach, Lord James of Hereford, 
Bartholomew Price, afterwards Master of Pembroke, 
and my own contemporary, W. L. Newman, whose 
solid intellect broke down under pressure of over- 
work in the early seventies. The Dean was 
excellent at business. His questions at a council 
meeting were few and piercing, his view clear, his 
solution practical. He brought to its deliberations 
exceptional gifts, exceptionally required there.' 

CH. vn] 'Election' at Westminster School 241 

The connexion between Westminster and Christ 
Church was, as we have seen, a very ancient and 
a very close one; and the Dean, by venerable custom, 
went every year to the school to elect boys to student- 
ships, now called scholarships, at Christ Church. 
He was accompanied by an examiner, usually one 
of the Censors or Tutors, who also had the status 
of an elector. At Westminster he was lodged at 
the Deanery, and there met his brother potentate, 
the Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, bent 
upon a like errand, and accompanied also by an 
examiner. In old days the visit began on the eve 
of Rogation Sunday, and lasted till the following 
Wednesday afternoon. Its duration has now been 
curtailed, and the date altered. Before the railway 
to Oxford was opened the journey was performed by 
road, and the Dean of those days could not return 
to his home at Oxford before Thursday afternoon. 
It was his duty to preach the University sermon 
on the Thursday morning, Ascension Day ; but this 
duty was in his absence always performed by one of 
the students. With the completion of the railway 
the return was, of course, easily effected on the 
Wednesday ; but so anxious was Dean Gaisford to 
observe the ancient tradition, as to the impossibility 
of his earlier return, that to the end of his life, 
though safely back in Christ Church on the previous 
night, he was careful not to appear in public till 
Thursday afternoon. 

The few days spent at Westminster were a 
pleasant episode in each Summer Term. There 

i i 

242 Deanery of Christ Church [CH. vn 

were dinner parties, and stately processions on the 
Sunday to the Abbey, where 'High' service was 
twice performed, and the electors sat in dignity, 
dressed in full canonicals ; and on the two follow- 
ing days there were processions through the cloisters 
to the big school, which was decorated for the 
occasion with ancient tapestry. The electors sat at 
a horse-shoe table, also covered with tapestry, the 
Dean of Westminster presiding. There they had 
to listen for several hours during two days, while 
the candidates for election were examined ' viva 
voce' by the Oxford and Cambridge examiners 
alternately. On the Monday evening there was 
a banquet to the electors in the college hall, and 
epigrams were recited by the Queen's Scholars. On 
the Wednesday there was again 'High' service in 
the Abbey, and at the conclusion the boys assembled 
in the college hall, and the Headmaster entered 
and read out the choice of the electors, and many 
a boy's destiny for life was then decided for better 
or for worse. It was a leisurely and dignified pro- 
ceeding, and had many good points, but it has been 
much shortened of recent years, the examination 
being now largely on paper. Dean Stanley used 
thoroughly to enjoy his sessions, with the Dean of 
Christ Church on one side of him, and the Master 
of Trinity on the other (each had precedence of his 
brother chief in alternate years) at the table in hall or 
school, and talked delightfully to them all the time. 
This annual visit to the school kept up an interest 
in Westminster on the part of the Christ Church 

CH. vn] Question of removal of 'Westminster '243 

authorities, who fully recognized the value to their 
college of the prosperity and good management of 
the school. It was very important that its boys 
should be well taught, and their numbers well main- 
tained. The question of the removal of the school 
into the country had been seriously considered, as 
we have mentioned, during Liddell's Headmaster- 
ship, and it was again discussed under his successor. 
In 1860 a large meeting of Old Westminsters was 
held in the schoolroom, under the presidency of 
Dean Trench, to consider the matter, and Liddell 
was asked to attend and speak. He gave his 
opinion, in no uncertain tones, in favour of removal, 
declaring that he saw no way by which its ancient 
prosperity as a boarding school, and its legitimate 
place among the leading Public Schools of England, 
could be maintained unless it was moved into the 
country. ' Even if an angel from heaven were to 
come down, I do not believe the school's fortunes 
could be retrieved, so long as it remains in London.' 
Many Old Westminsters present at the meeting 
were offended at so outspoken a declaration. They 
were very reluctant to approve of so radical a 
change as removal into the country, though indeed 
few of them sent their sons to the school. It 
was found impossible, without the support of the 
main body of Old Westminsters, to carry out such 
a scheme, and it was definitely abandoned. But 
there is no doubt that Liddell's forecast was largely 
justified ; the boarding houses have now for many 
years past become quite an insignificant part of the 

i i 2 

244 Deanery of Christ Church [CH. vn 

school : the increase in numbers and that not very 
large has come from the increased proportion of 

When the school under the provisions of the 
Public Schools Act acquired its own property, and 
was made independent of the Chapter, a governing 
body was created for it, upon which various interests 
were represented. The Dean of Christ Church 
was an ex officio member of the new body, and 
Christ Church also sent one elective member. 
Liddell was for many years regular in attendance 
at the meetings, and though he never spoke much 
his authority was very great. One important 
question came up from time to time, the ex- 
pediency of retaining the college with its forty 
Queen's Scholars in the enjoyment of their ancient 
autonomy within the college building. It was 
thought by some that to hamper the chief prizes 
of the school with the obligation to reside within 
the walls of college, at a time when the boarding 
element of the school was dwindling, was seriously 
to diminish the value of the scholarships, and 
unduly to restrict the competition for them. It 
was urged that the Queen's Scholarships the chief 
prizes of the school should be offered to general 
competition, without this restriction of residence in 
the college. To this proposal Liddell ultimately 
gave his full adhesion ; he had for long been 
favourable to it, but doubted the wisdom of carrying 
so great a change without evidence of a strong 
backing of public sentiment in its favour. The 

CH. vn] Liddelts impartiality 245 

question has been settled at least for a time 
by a compromise. The forty Queen's Scholars still 
exist within their college fortress ; but there are 
now twenty more scholars, of whom this obligation 
of residence is not exacted : so that clever boys who 
are desirous of living at home and attending the 
school as day-boys may yet enjoy the dignity of 
a Queen's Scholarship. 

Both at Cheltenham and at Westminster Dean 
Liddell had to perform the duty (perhaps the 
most arduous duty that belongs to governors of a 
school) of selecting a Headmaster. To this task he 
brought the same inflexible justice which he showed 
on every occasion. No consideration of personal 
friendship, or college claims, would influence him 
for a moment in preferring one whom he deemed 
a less worthy to a more worthy candidate. He 
would be even a little suspicious of such claims, 
and look with the utmost readiness on the merits 
of candidates who were strangers to him. It was 
a grand and a rare impartiality, and gave to his 
final judgment a unique weight and authority. 

He may be contrasted in this respect with a 
brother Head, who was always firmly convinced 
that members of his own college were of pre- 
eminent merit. ' They have not taken our man 

at ,' said one of his Fellows to him after an 

election to a Headmastership. ' Have they not ? ' 
said the chief, ' then they have made a very great 
mistake. He was by far the best of the candidates. 
By the way,' he added a few minutes afterwards, 

246 Deanery of Christ Church [CH. vn 

' can you tell me who were standing for that Head- 
mastership ? I have never heard their names.' 

It will perhaps be a matter of surprise to the 
reader that no reference has been made to Liddell's 
own sermons throughout his long tenure of the 
Deanery. It was certainly a matter of regret with 
those who remembered the excellence of his preach- 
ing during the years of his residence as Tutor (as 
has been previously mentioned), that after his return 
to Oxford as Dean he seldom preached before the 
University. Sir Henry Acland, one of the few 
persons now living who heard those earlier sermons, 
still cherishes the most enthusiastic admiration for 
Liddell as a theologian, insisting on his richly-stored 
mind, his well-balanced judgment, his uncontroversial 
temper, and wide charity. He instances particularly 
a sermon on John vii. 1 7, in which the phrase ' If any 
man will do his will ' was discussed with elaborate care 
and thoroughness. Other men of the older genera- 
tion fully confirm this estimate. Even in the last 
year of his life he received an urgent request from 
Dr. A. S. Farrer, Canon of Durham, that he would 
publish some of the sermons which he had preached 
more than half a century before at Whitehall or at 
St. Mary's. And Mr. Goldwin Smith, in recording 
his recollections of Liddell in those distant days, 
dwells on his high reputation as a theologian, and 
expresses his disappointment that the promise of that 
time was not fulfilled in later years. 

' There was, I think,' he writes, ' a certain turn in 
the course of the Dean's life and interests. In the 

CH. vii] Liddelts Sermons as Dean 247 

midst of the theological fray at Oxford between 
the Oxford school and its opponents, he preached 
one or two very able sermons of a liberal and 
philosophic kind, and raised the expectation that he 
was going to be, as he well might have been, a 
theological leader in that line. But he seemed 
afterwards to turn aside and to devote himself 
entirely to Classical pursuits, and to the production 
of the Lexicon which has been such a blessing to 
all scholars. Perhaps it was that his serene mind 
abhorred controversy, and foresaw that if he gave 
himself up to theology in those days, controversy 
must be the result. Still, by some of us the 
Lexicon, excellent as it is, was not accepted as a 
full indemnification for the disappointment of the 
hopes of light and leading with which we had been 

Whatever cause may be assigned, it is undoubtedly 
true that after Liddell's return to Oxford in 1855 ne 
rarely preached before the University except on 
Good Friday and Christmas Day, when it was his 
duty to do so. But his words were always well worth 
hearing. In Michaelmas Term, 1867, he delivered 
a very remarkable sermon on the philosophic basis 
of the doctrine of the Real Presence. It attracted 
wide attention, and was published ' in deference to 
opinions which the author is bound to respect/ He 
preached indeed not unfrequently in the Cathedral, 
after the introduction of morning sermons in 1869. 
It was his custom to address the undergraduates 
on the first Sunday of each Term ; and on these 
occasions he would deal with current events in the 

248 Deanery of Christ Church 

political and religious world, and with incidents 
connected with the common life which they shared 
together as members of Christ Church. He was 


occasionally persuaded to print his discourses for 
private circulation ; and a special interest still attaches 
to those which narrated the history of the Cathedral 
church, and described the demolition and partial 
reconstruction of the shrine of St. Frideswide. But 
there is no doubt that, as he grew older, he 
shrank more and more from theological discussions ; 
and indeed, as some of his later letters indicate, 
ceased to interest himself in questions which even 
in a remote degree trenched on theological con- 
troversy. Moreover, distaste for the attempt to 
solve matters insoluble was an abiding element of 
his character. In almost the last letter which he 
wrote to Sir Henry Acland (Christmas Eve, 1897), 
he refers to ' my old dislike of speculation in things 
we cannot know "Die Kerle die speculiren," 
Goethe says.' 



THE chief events of the Dean's long reign at 
Christ Church have now been briefly sketched, and 
an attempt has been made to give a faithful picture 
of some of the many phases of his busy public life. 
But the picture needs to be completed by a short 
description of his home life during the same period. 

When he came back to Oxford from Westminster, 
his family consisted of one son and three daughters, 
the youngest of whom was quite an infant, having 
been born in January of the previous year. Two 
daughters and three sons were born at the Deanery, 
and one of them, Albert Edward Arthur (whose 
names indicate his two godfathers, the Prince of 
Wales and Arthur Stanley), died in infancy, as 
has been already mentioned, in May 1863. For 
many years therefore the home life involved, for 
the parents, the care and training of their children, 
and all the delightful interests which gather round 
the life of a young family. The reminiscences of 
this period are full of charm ; and the apparent 
contrast between the public and private life of the 

K k 

250 Home Life [CH. vm 

Dean will perhaps surprise many who dealt with 
him only in official relations. 

The home life, as recalled by those who knew 
it best, was a very simple and happy one. He 
tried to be with his children as much as was possible 
amid the business of the Term, and of an evening 
was accustomed to hasten up to the drawing-room 
as soon as dinner (not so late then as now) was 
ended, that they might have their hour's reading 
before bed-time came between 8 and 9. He shared 
their enjoyment of good tales of adventure, and 
some favourite books he read over two or three 
times to different detachments of his children. The 
first book of his choice was The Children of the 
New Forest ; and as soon as they were old enough 
to appreciate Scott he would read some of the 
Waverley novels, selecting Ivanhoe to begin with, 
and then his own special favourites, The Antiquary 
and Old Mortality. He was intensely fond of Scott, 
both of his novels and of his poetry ; the ' swing ' 
of the verses had a peculiar charm for him ; and 
the listeners learnt to share his taste. Then, after 
the children had gone to bed, he was accustomed 
to work for an hour or more, correcting the Lexicon ; 
and when they grew older, and sat up till a later 
hour, he would delight in listening to their music 
as he went on uninterruptedly with his work. 

His children cherish with loving remembrance 
those early days. However pressing the calls upon 
his time might be, he still found leisure to be with 
them during some part of every day. Their first 

CH. vni] Leisure moments with his children 251 

thought, when family prayers were over in the 
morning, was to arrange the hour for a ride with 
him, which generally they took in turns. They con- 
sulted the Letts's diary which many will remember 
hanging by his fireplace in the study, and found 
there a list of his engagements for the day ; and 
according to these the time for the ride was fixed. 
On Mondays, when the Hebdomadal Council always 
met at one o'clock, a morning hour was necessarily 
chosen, involving the additional pleasure of a respite 
from lessons. The high ground about Bagley Wood 
and Foxcombe, or the forest glades of Wytham Park, 
were their usual resort. And as they rode, their 
father taught them to know the different forest 
trees, and to notice the clouds and shadows and 
all the beauties of nature, or would tell them tales 
from history, or talk of the books he was reading 
aloud to them ; and, as they grew older, would 
discuss various questions of the day. 

In holiday time he was able to be much more 
with his children, and shared in all their interests. 
After Christmas Day (on which festival it is 
the Dean's duty to preach in the Cathedral at 
Christ Church) the whole family were accustomed, 
so long as his father was alive, to go down to the 
grand-parents' home at Charlton Kings ; and then 
would come all sorts of Christmas amusements, and 
the Dean would help to prepare charades and com- 
pose parts for them to act. He was always expected 
to enter fully into their pastimes, and nothing was 
complete without his co-operation and approval. 

K k 2 

252 Home Life [CH. vm 

In 1 86 1 a small plot of land was bought near 
Llandudno, in order that a suitable house might 
be built as a holiday home. It was called Penmorfa, 
from the spot on which it stood, and was first 
inhabited in the long vacation of 1865. It was 
a delightful home for nine consecutive summers, 
till the growth cK Llandudno, and its invasion by 
excursionists, robbed it of its privacy and quiet. 
The spot chosen for the house was a singularly 
beautiful one, and at that time quite retired. It 
was close by the shore, at the south-east corner of 
the Great Orme's Head, facing due south. The 
view extended over the Conway estuary, first to 
the lower heights of Penmaenbach, Moel Llys, and 
Penmaenmawr, with the ridge of Tal-y-fan bounding 
the amphitheatre between them, and then beyond 
to the loftier summits of Foel Fras and Carnedd 
Llewellyn. To the west lay an expanse of shallow 
sea, with Anglesea behind ; and on a fine evening, 
when the tide was out and the sun set over the 
island, there were wondrous colours thrown on the 
hills, or reflected on the long stretch of wet sands. 
The place had been selected on account of the 
surpassing loveliness of the scene ; and at that time, 
and for many years afterwards, the Great Orme's 
Head was untouched by a carriage road, and was 
a wild and little frequented headland, scored by 
rough paths and sheep-tracks, and still containing 
some rare plants to reward the search of botanists. 
Here the long vacations were spent by the children 
and their parents in unclouded happiness ; there 

CH. vin] Home near Llanmiano 253 

were endless walks and scrambles on the Great 
Orme, picnics, and drives, and lessons in sketching, 
when their father would suggest views and teach 
them how to use pencil and brush. And instead 
of late dinner, there was a common high tea in 
which the children joined, one of them always sitting 
next their father unless some tiresome guest usurped 
the coveted place. Sometimes if the day had been 
hot, and the moon was near the full, the walk would 
be postponed till late, and a ramble by moonlight 
over the Great Orme was a rare and special treat. 

Visitors came and went. Among them was 
Mr. (now Sir William) Richmond, who spent eight 
weeks at Penmorfa engaged in painting ' The 
Sisters,' the exquisite picture of the three eldest 
daughters. Mr. Gladstone also came; and one 
day in the midst of a walk round the Great Orme 
he suddenly stopped, and clung to the Dean, 
declaring that he could not bear to look down 
upon the sea from the height which they had 
reached. They were on a steep and rocky path, 
and advance or retreat was equally difficult. The 
path became worse as they clambered down, the 
Dean leading Mr. Gladstone along, with eyes closed, 
while the rest of the party formed a sort of buttress 
to protect him on the seaward side. They were 
all thankful when the lower ground was safely 

Liddell's own tastes were of a very simple kind. 
He was abstemious, and scarcely touched wine. 
He was very regular in his hours, and never worked 

254 Home Life [CH. vm 

late at night. During the Oxford Term, he was 
always at morning chapel. He never smoked, and 
detested the pollution of the fresh air by the fumes 
of tobacco. He was in early life, and indeed for 
some years after he became Dean, a good walker, 
delighting in long walks : but Oxford engagements 
so greatly curtailed his leisure hours, that he found 
riding the best method of getting sufficient exercise 
in a short space of time. His favourite books were 
Shakespeare, Horace, Scott, and Bos well's Life of 
Johnson. They were always on his study table. 

' I read Boswell's Life of Johnson} he wrote, 
' again and again with ever increasing pleasure. 
I think if I was allowed only one book (besides the 
Bible) to take with me to a desert island, that would 
be the book.' 

The position of the Dean made it necessary that 
the Deanery should be a centre of hospitality, and 
throughout his long tenure of the office that hospi- 
tality was lavishly extended, not only to members 
of Christ Church and the wider circle of the 
University, but also to the frequent guests who 
visited Oxford. Mrs. Liddell's social duties made 
a great demand upon her time and strength, and 
many generations of Oxford men will recall with 
gratitude the refined courtesy and generous welcome 
shown to all their guests by host and hostess. 
The Dean indeed was not quite at his best if 
he lacked congenial neighbours at the table. He 
used to confess that he had no ' small talk,' and 
was sometimes not a little irresponsive in ordinary 

CH. vni] Hospitality at the Deanery 255 

conversation. The undergraduates, who were con- 
scientiously asked to breakfast at the Deanery, 
were often painfully nervous in his company, and 
he seemed to share their feelings. But with friends 
whom he liked, and with whose tastes he was in 
sympathy, he was the most delightful of companions ; 
full of accurate information, and ready to pour it 
out, on subjects of art, or history, or politics. 
He was a careful student of passing events, both 
domestic and foreign ; keenly interested in all the 
great movements of his time ; profoundly distrust- 
ful of Mr. Gladstone in his later developments ; 
cherishing warm admiration for some of the states- 
men of the older generation, especially Sir Robert 
Peel. He used sometimes to say that no deaths 
had inflicted so great loss upon England in his 
time as the deaths of the Prince Consort and 
Sir George Cornewall Lewis. He was full of 
bitter sorrow when the news of Gordon's death 
arrived. In answer to a birthday letter from his 
eldest daughter he wrote : 

1 1 ought not to reply to your affectionate words 
in so sad a strain. But really, just at present, my 
heart is woe for Gordon, and the feeling touches 
all my thoughts. It is the saddest, most dismal 
event that I have lived to see. When your Uncle 
Charles heard of it he burst into tears, and my 
feelings were close akin to his. What a true hero ! 
I was sure he would never be a prisoner. Better 
that he should die sword in hand than that he 
should fall into the hands of those savages.' 

256 Home Life [CH.VHI 

As the years passed on, there came to the home 
at the Deanery the inevitable alternations of joy 
and sorrow which life is sure to bring. There was 
the proud satisfaction of the parents when their 
younger son won a scholarship at Eton, and after- 
wards crowned a brilliant career at Christ Church 
by gaining a First Class in the Classical School, 
and a Fellowship at All Souls College. On hearing 
of his son's success in the Schools in July 1888 
he wrote : 

1 You can imagine no, indeed, you hardly can 
imagine the delight which we all felt on receiving 
Lionel's telegram announcing the news of your 
success. Never was success better deserved. . . . 
And now, my dear boy (I must still call you boy), 
you are fairly launched on the sea of life. You 
begin with good auspices, and I have no doubt 
that, so far as your own efforts go, as has been 
the beginning, so will be the whole course of 
your life. I cannot expect to see much of your 
future career. But I have seen enough of it to 
make me feel ready to depart in peace and in con- 
fidence. We are, indeed, very happy in our children. 
So long as my life is spared, your career will be, 
as it has been, one chief cause of happiness and 
contentment. Your mother will add her greetings 
to this imperfect expression of my own feelings/ 

There were three happy marriages, and delightful 
visits to the new homes of their son and daughters 
in Hants and Fife, with all the affectionate interest 
taken in the grandchildren whom they loved to have 
near them. The Dean's letters to his married 

CH. vm] Death of his daughter Edith 257 

daughters are full of simple kindly goodness ; every 
detail of their lives he wishes to hear of; and, as 
often as he can, he contrives to be with them. 

But there were heavy very heavy bereave- 
ments also. His intense affection for both parents 
made him feel very deeply the loss of his mother 
in 1871, and of his father in the following year. 
Then in June 1876 came the crushing blow of his 
daughter Edith's death at the age of twenty-two, 
following close upon the joy of her engagement to 
be married, and coming with a startling suddenness 
after an illness of three days. The sorrow was so 
profound, so sacred, that it must not be dwelt on, 
even at this distance of time. But one may be 
allowed to quote a letter which Sir James Paget, 
who had been called in to advise on the case, 
addressed to Sir Henry Acland immediately after 
hearing of the death : 

' This is surely the saddest thing that we have 
known among all the sadnesses that our calling 
has brought us to the sight of a very tragedy. 
Nothing seems wanting for the perfection of sad- 
ness, and one cannot discern, in any of this world's 
hopes, a gleam of consolation. May God grant 
peace and comfort in the sure hope of heaven's 
joy. It seems very hard to be unable to stand 
aside for a time, and let life run by, while one 
might try to learn wisdom from these sorrows. 
But it cannot be ; the work must be done, and, 
much worse, the pleasure must be worked out.' 

A window at the east end of the south choir aisle 

L 1 

258 Home Life [CH. vm 

at Christ Church, called the St. Catherine's window, 
enshrines his daughter's memory ; and her grave 
is just beyond it, in the quiet greensward which 
fringes the church. The inscription below the 
window tells the tale : 

*Ji Sacra memoriae EDITH/E 
Henrici et Lorinaa Liddell filiae, 
Quae, juveni constantissima fide 
Vix quinque dies desponsa, 
Morbo correpta subitaneo 

Animam Deo reddidit 
Junii die xxvi A.D. MDCCCLXXVI. 

Ave dulcissima, dilectissima Ave. 

The wound was long in healing. A rest in 
retirement at Holnicote brought back in some 
measure the needed calm and physical strength ; 
but the memory of those days was always fresh. 
From Holnicote the Dean wrote a few lines to his 
old friend Scott : 

' Many thanks such as an aching heart can 
render for your kind letter. We are here for 
three weeks or thereabouts : Sir T. Acland has 
most kindly lent us this quiet and beautiful place 
to rest in ; and we are all better, though what some 
of us had gone through, both in actual watching 
and still more in terrible anxiety, cannot soon be 

The death of Mrs. Liddell's aunt, Lady Smith, in 
1877, at the remarkable age of 103 years and 9 
months, and of her mother, Mrs. Reeve, in 1879, 
brought more sadness to the house ; but perhaps 
few deaths affected Dean Liddell more deeply than 

CH.VIII] Dean Stanleys death 259 

that of his very dear friend Arthur Stanley, which 
occurred after a short illness in July 1881, at the 
comparatively early age of sixty-five. Liddell's 
affection for the Dean of Westminster, who was 
less than five years his junior, has already been 
mentioned ; the two had been drawn together in 
many ways for many years, and were closely united 
in sympathies, religious and political. Liddell heard 
the news of his death when he was staying with his 
daughter, Mrs. Skene, at Pitlour, and wrote at once 
to Mrs. Liddell, who was then at Oxford : 

'Alas! alas! and so my worst fears are realized; 
and our dear, dear friend must be taken to his last 
rest in that Abbey which he loved so well, and 
which owes so much to him. Ah me ! Out of my 
own dear family no death could so rend my heart. 
Is there any one in England whose loss would be 
felt by so many, by people of so different conditions, 
creeds, and opinions ? There was an all-embracing, 
loving kindliness in his nature which disarmed 
enmity, and made even those who most differed 
from him regard him with affection. It is a public 
loss, of which we can scarcely estimate the effect 
or the amount. I cannot, I cannot bear to think 
that I shall never again press his hand, or be 
greeted by his friendly smile, or listen to the charm 
of his words. What a fatal year! Not to speak 
of our own family loss Rolleston, Coxe, and now 
our dear Stanley gone ! Tkey indeed were delivered 
from a state of hopeless disease, and they lived long 
enough in misery to make their nearest and dearest 
pray for their release. But he how sudden has 
been his departure, how little expected, how crushing 

L 1 2 

260 Home Life [CH.VHI 

to those who loved him ! Yet better so, than that he 
should have suffered a lingering and hopeless illness, 
and died after such a struggle as our poor friend at 

is making. Peace be with him, as it assuredly 

is with him. " Let me die the death of the righteous, 
and let my last end be like his." 

' I cannot pass, on this paper, from thoughts of 
our beloved friend to those business matters which 
must claim attention while we are left on earth to 
minister one to another. Presently I shall be more 
collected, and will write a few lines respecting what 
we can and may do this summer.' 

Next day he wrote again, having received by 
telegraph an urgent request to preach the funeral 
sermon on Stanley in Westminster Abbey : 

' The telegram arrived about 3 p.m. yesterday. 
I answered: "Most reluctantly I must decline. The 
distance and the heat I could not well bear." And 
I have written in detail to-day. I COULD not have 
got through a sermon in the Abbey I am sure 
I could not. Alas ! if it were not for you, my 
dearest, and my beloved children, and one or two 
others, I feel as if life were at an end for me. All 
with whom one had sympathy falling one by one. 
It is a sad privilege to survive.' 

It will be well to add in this place as the matter 
affected Liddell's private rather than his public 
life that on Stanley's death he was offered the 
Deanery of Westminster, and was very urgently 
pressed to take it. It was difficult to resist a pres- 
sure which implied an appreciation of his exceptional 
fitness for the post, and a gracious desire that he 

CH. vin] Offer of Deanery of Westminster 261 

should accept it, on the part of those whose wishes 
were almost equivalent to a command ; but Liddell, 
while feeling very deeply the honour paid to him, was 
conscious of his own inability at the age of seventy 
to undertake the very arduous duties of a new post, 
including the obligation of preaching sermons to 
vast congregations, and of guiding the services, and 
superintending all the varied matters of business 
connected with the rule of the great Abbey. It 
was a position rendered far more difficult than it 
would otherwise have been, from Stanley's splendid 
work as Dean ; it was one which for Liddell had no 
attractions : his experience had not fitted him for it ; 
he had never liked Westminster as a residence in 
former days, and was convinced that his health 
would break down if, at his now advanced age, he 
were once more to live there. His decision was 
quite clear, and was formed without any misgivings, 
and there is no doubt that it was a right one. He 
had yet strength for ten years more work in the 
familiar world of Oxford ; if he had been trans- 
planted to Westminster he would, in all probability, 
soon have sunk under the burden of the novel 
and uncongenial duties which would have faced 
him there. 

Liddell's health, however, had been for many years 
satisfactory. The weakness of the chest, which had 
assumed so alarming a character in 1856, had 
yielded to the prescribed remedies. After two 
winters spent in the island of Madeira ' that 
island of the Atlantic (as he alluded to it in 

262 Home Life [CH. vm 

a sermon more than thirty years afterwards) which 
by its equable climate and gentle air seems to 
realize the description given by the great lyric poet 
of Greece of the islands of the blest,' he returned 
to work with health fully restored. Except for 
crippling attacks of sciatica, painful and depressing 
at the time, he rarely ailed, and all the duties of 
his post were discharged year after year with 
unfailing regularity. In 1865, however, he met 
with a troublesome accident in Switzerland. He 
had been detained in Oxford that summer later 
than usual, owing to the contested election for 
Mr. Gladstone's seat at Oxford, which was then lost 
to Mr. Gathorne Hardy. 

4 It is very vexatious,' writes Liddell from the 
Sheldonian Theatre; 'the University is disgraced. 
To think that Oxford should reject Gladstone, and 
that such a constituency as Westminster should 
have returned Mr. John Stuart Mill ! ' 

After this annoying business Liddell started for 
Switzerland in company with Dr. Acland and one 
of Acland's sons, and made for Engelberg. There, 
while descending a steep path, he slipped on a moss- 
covered stone and turned his left foot. He was 
with difficulty brought to the hotel, being quite 
unable to walk, and having to wait on the mountain 
until dark, when a chaise-a-porteurs reached him. 
At Engelberg he was a prisoner for a week, and 
then travelled by easy stages to Paris, where 
M. Nelaton, the Emperor's surgeon, visited him 

CH. vni] Snowed up at Radley 263 

and discovered that the small bone of the leg was 
broken. It was properly set at once, and in time 
Penmorfa was reached, and the comforts of home 
obtained. Happily no permanent bad consequences 
resulted from the accident. 

In the severe winter of 1880-1 Liddell endured a 
strange and most unpleasant experience. On January 
1 8 he was travelling to Oxford from Bournemouth, 
in company with Mrs. Liddell, his youngest daughter 
and two sons, when on reaching a cutting near 
Radley station the train came to a standstill in 
a deep snow-drift. It could not be extricated, and 
the passengers were detained for nearly twenty-four 
hours in the carriage, without food, drink, warmth, 
or light. He described the event in a letter to 
Mrs. Skene : 

' You really have no need to distress yourself 
about us. Strange to say, we have none of us 
suffered materially from our Arctic experiences. 
I do not think I can remember such a day as 
Tuesday the i8th, with Tuesday night and 
Wednesday morning. The wind howled, and was 
so furious that the heavy railway carriages shook 
and rocked under its force. The snow drove in 
swirling eddies all round and round. It drove 
into the carriages through every crevice ; we had 
no light, for no lamp was in the carriages ; no 
warmth, for the hot-water tins were cold as ice ; 
no food to create inner warmth. Twenty-two hours 
without food at that temperature was indeed a great 
privation. Your mother and Vio were our great 
comforters. They retained their spirits, and to 

264 Home Life 

some extent their warmth, through all. I being 
held fast by the gout was a helpless piece of goods, 
I fear, but I hope I did not add materially to the 
difficulties. I should not have cared half as much 
if I could have got about. I think I suffered most 
in being carried by soldiers for about 200 yards 
from our . carriage to the station, the snow driving 
furiously in one's face, and the poor fellows stagger- 
ing with my weight through the deep snow. 
I wonder how they got me along at all. You 
would have been amused to see the motley party 
assembled about eleven on Wednesday morning in 
the little third-class waiting-room at Radley station, 
a stoker handing round tea from a kettle, and 
afterwards coffee in a bedroom ewer; all drinking 
in turn from the same tin can.' 

It is a matter of surprise that no lasting bad 
effects resulted from this rough experience. The 
Dean soon recovered from the shock and fatigue, 
and within a few weeks was able to discharge his 
multifarious duties with his accustomed regularity. 

A,,/, y ,',//// //, AW 

/,,////// //y /-y . ''. . M .;/,//,, / , // , . ' . 
. S/M6&n /></ /// ///' //'/////' 'f /<///> //,//,< >.;//// ( ,/ 

^air^if-> ,'7aAt4 



So the time passed on, every year adding authority 
and dignity to the venerable Dean. Honours 
came to him from various quarters. At Stanley's 
death he succeeded to his post of Professor of 
Ancient History at the Royal Academy. He be- 
came a Trustee of the British Museum, and received 
the Hon. Degree of LL.D. at Edinburgh. His 
duties at Christ Church were still discharged with 
unimpaired efficiency; nothing was neglected or 
delegated to others ; and those who shared in the 
government of the House wondered at the readiness 
with which he threw himself into the discussion 
of the many and various proposals for changes and 
improvements which emanated from the governing 
body. He had none of the conservative instincts 
which are so commonly found in elderly men : he 
welcomed reforms to the last. 

' Only a few months before his resignation,' writes 
Mr. Sampson, then Senior Censor, ' Sadler and myself 
and one or two others raised the question of what 
Christ Church did for poor men, and the "Extension" 
question generally (out of which the College at 

M m 

266 Resignation of the Deanery [CH. ix 

Reading grew). We had a large committee, and 
held long meetings, and the Dean \vas as wise 
and generous and far-sighted as ever. There was 
none of the natural inertia and non possiimus of 
old age, but he was kindly and hopeful, as though 
he were planning out a bit of work of which he 
would be able to see the issue.' 

But the burden of his office grew heavier with 
advancing years ; an exceptionally severe attack 
of sciatica in 1887 permanently impaired his walking 
powers ; and Liddell had often averred, both in 
public and in private, that he would not consent 
to retain the Deanery when he was no longer able 
to perform its duties efficiently. ' I have spoken 
to my medical adviser,' he once said at the Gaudy, 
' and have made him promise to tell me as soon 
as he thinks that I am becoming in any way unfit 
for my post : and as soon as that is told me I shall 
resign.' The audience thought perhaps of the 
Archbishop and Gil Bias ; but the statement was 
made in all sincerity, and the promise faithfully 
observed. In the summer of 1 89 1 the final resolution 
was come to, and resignation was determined upon. 
He wrote to Lord Salisbury on August 8 : 


' I have waited for the prorogation of Parlia- 
ment, when you will be in some measure freed from 
the pressure of business, before I communicate to 
you a purpose which I have deliberately formed. 
It is, to resign my office of Dean of Christ Church. 

' You will believe that it is not without many 

CH. ix] Letter to Lord Salisbury 267 

searchings of heart that I have come to this 
conclusion. Christ Church has been my home 
(barring nine years at Westminster) for more than 
sixty years. But it is my affection for the place 
that induces me to take this step. I am now in 
my eighty-first year, and feel that my work ought 
to be committed to younger and more vigorous 
hands. I will not say that I am unable to perform 
the routine duties of my office. But I am conscious 
of various infirmities incident to advancing years, 
and I cannot now take such part in academical 
and other business as ought to be undertaken by 
a person in my position. It cannot indeed be long 
before I must of necessity make the vacancy which 
I now propose to make voluntarily. But I wish, 
if I am permitted, to walk out of the Deanery rather 
than be carried out. This will be best for the 
college and myself. I have the satisfaction of 
believing that I leave the college in full efficiency, 
and that there never was a better or more devoted 
set of officers in charge. 

' At Christmas then I propose that my resignation 
shall take effect. I announce this purpose to your 
Lordship beforehand, that you may have time to 
consider whom you will recommend to be my 

' Meantime, in the interest of the college, it will 
I think be expedient not to let the matter be 
generally known. But this I leave to your better 

' I have the honour to remain, 
' Dear Lord Salisbury, 

' Yours very faithfully, 


M m 2 

268 Resignation of the Deanery [CH. ix 

And so at the end of 1891, after a reign extending 
over thirty-six years and one term, he retired from 
his high office. He had taken a comfortable house 
situated among the pine woods of Ascot, with shel- 
tered lawns and gardens, and a wide range of fine 
open country around, affording pleasant drives in all 
directions. Here he spent the remaining six years 
of his life, with his wife and unmarried daughters, 
in the enjoyment of well-earned and dignified repose. 

He was never idle, even in these years of leisure. 
His faculties were happily quite unimpaired. He 
seldom used spectacles, except when persuaded to 
wear them for reading of an evening. His hearing 
remained perfect, and his mind as vigorous as ever. 
He still worked, as has been recorded, at the 
Lexicon, making many corrections throughout, and 
compiling a few pages of addenda and corrigenda 
for the final edition, which was published in the 
year before his death. He delighted in reading 
modern literature, and especially good biographies. 
He enjoyed the society of his neighbours and 
welcomed their friendship, and showed a kindly 
sympathy with all their doings. His advice and 
assistance were continually sought for in matters 
of business, and he was always ready to give the 
help of his wise counsel and ripe experience, and 
found himself chairman of various small committees 
to promote local objects. He took as keen and 
lively an interest in the discussion as to the 
remodelling of a golf club as he had ever taken 
in matters of academical importance ; and busied 

CH. ix] Proposed Statue at Christ Church 269 

himself eagerly in the establishment of the Nursing 
Home in South Ascot, of which Mrs. Liddell is 
now President. He was often consulted as to the 
appointments to Oxford Chairs ; and he retained 
to the last one or two ties with the University. 
He was made an Honorary Student of Christ 
Church, and was still a Curator of the University 
Galleries ; and one of the last visits that he paid to 
Oxford was to take part in the election of a suc- 
cessor to Professor Wallace in the Chair of Moral 
Philosophy which he had himself occupied half 
a century before. One matter disturbed him a little 
in 1892: the urgent request which came from his 
old friends, Sir John Mowbrayand Mr. Vere Bayne, 
that he would allow them to place his statue in 
the niche on the north side of Kill-Canon. This 
proposal was genuinely distasteful to him. To 
Sir John Mowbray's first letter on the subject he 
replied : 

' I feel deeply the high honour which you and 
Mr. Bayne propose to bestow upon me, and I thank 
you both with all my heart for your kind too kind- 
appreciation of my services to Christ Church. . . . 
But I must ask you to forgive me if I demur to 
accepting this honour. Some time since, my kind 
friend Dr. Liddon, as I heard, proposed himself 
to place an effigy of me in the niche you mention. 
At that time I entreated that nothing of the kind 
should be done either by him or others. I have 
not changed my opinion. In the last few weeks 
I have received gifts and addresses far exceeding 
my expectation and, I fear, fa.r exceeding my deserts. 

270 Resignation of the Deanery [CH. ix 

I am more than grateful for the good opinions 
expressed of me, and I would fain hope that the 
honour you propose may at least be deferred. After 
a time people will perhaps take a different view of 
what is due to me, and may think that enough has 
been done. You will not, I am sure, think that 
I undervalue your kind proposal. On the contrary, 
I value it so highly that I think it goes beyond 
what I deserve.' 

To this Sir John Mowbray sent a reply, stating 
fully the grounds of the request, and Mr. Bayne 
joined with him in asking for a reconsideration 
of the adverse decision : but Liddell still pleaded 
that he might not be pressed to-rao-dai XiQwos. So 
the matter rested for a while ; but the governing 
body of Christ Church backed up the request by 
the unanimous expression of a hope that Dr. Liddell 
would not withhold his consent to the execution 
of the statue ; and in the end he was persuaded to 
waive his objections, and the statue (the work of 
Mr. Dressier) was put into its place in October 1893. 

He was fond of occupying some of his spare 
moments in writing to old friends ; and several charac- 
teristic extracts from his letters are worth recording. 
Sir Thomas Acland, his senior by two years, was 
engaged in writing a work (published subsequently 
under the title of Knowledge, Duty, and Faith, and 
containing a summary of philosophical principles as 
taught by great thinkers, ancient and modern), and 
he wrote in February 1894, asking for Liddell's 
judgment on some points : 

CH. ix] Letters from Ascot to old friends 271 

' I wish I could help you,' he replied, ' but the sum- 
mary of contents was too brief and general to enable 
me to form any conception of the substance of the 
treatise. And with regard to your account of Logic, 
I despair of saying anything worth sending. I fear I 
share Mountague Bernard's opinion that, after forty, 
Metaphysics become distasteful. I have so long dis- 
continued any study of Speculative Philosophy, and 
am so ignorant of what has been said or written 
by moderns, such as Herbert Spencer, Lotze, &c., 
that I could not give any judgment worth a farthing. 
I fear the present generation care little for such 
things, and that any attempt to popularize them 
would meet with small encouragement. I only 
wonder at your energy in continuing to pass specu- 
lative thoughts through the filter of your brain/ 

A few random quotations from his frequent letters 
from Ascot to Sir Henry Acland may be added : 

' You say you are " almost broken-hearted " at 
your want of religious depth in faith and love. 
This is one of your self-tormenting thoughts, which 
I have often attempted to combat. Dismiss such 
dubitations from your mind whenever they arise. 
As to love, I am sure that there cannot be a more 
loving nature than yours. To feel yourself "broken- 
hearted " for want of love is a proof in itself how 
warm and real is the sentiment in you. As to 
faith, I suppose you mean that the old provinces 
of faith are being invaded by conviction of new 
facts inconsistent with their maintenance. Must this 
not be so ? It is a question whether, after a certain 
age, it is worth while, as a matter of duty, to go into 
such questions. I, for instance, do not feel the least 

272 Resignation of the Deanery [CH. ix 

inclination to read the Gifford Lectures by (I forget 
his name), if he attempts to solve transcendental 
questions by abstract reasonings. The history of 
religion must be interesting. The philosophy of 
religion may be barren and provoking. I have 
been reading Scenes of Clerical Life, by George 
Eliot. I never read a tale more profound and 
striking than "Janet's Repentance." How different 
all our religious squabbles and doubts would be, 
if such questions were treated as she or Arthur 
Stanley treated them. But perhaps the tale would 
excite you too much. I did not know she was so 
powerful, and so completely fair to all varieties of 
religious thought and feeling.' 

' Have you read Max Miiller in the Fortnightly 
on Christianity and Mohammedanism ? A great 
deal of it is very striking and very humiliating. . . . 
His references to the theological points in the 
Koran are very remarkable. He falls back upon the 
character of Christ as the point in which there can 
be no comparison. I have always felt this. If all 
dogmatic Christianity crumbled away, there is the 
Rock which never can be moved.' 

' How can it be that men engaged in active life 
should not be " entangled with this world "? What- 
ever else Jesus Christ was, he certainly was a man : 
one to whom " nihil humani alienum erat "; one who 
consorted rather with publicans and sinners than 
with spiritual teachers ; one who rather approved 
of our trying to do our duty in that state of life 
to which we may have been called, than our trying 
to solve insoluble problems, and shaping our life 
accordingly. I will look back to my sermon on the 

CH. ix] Selections from Letters 273 

Atonement. It is very flattering to have a discourse 
remembered for forty years ! I fear I do not myself 
remember its tenor very accurately. Old Gaisford 

said he never remembered a sermon " after Wednes- 

j * 

' I sympathize with the anti-gambling people. 
If horse-racing could be practised without betting 
and swindling and all its vile concomitants, well 
and good. But this I fear is impossible. It is 
no use for Lord Derby, or the Duke of Portland, 
or Lord Rosebery, to run their horses " square," 
without betting. The wretched subordinates, and 
all who follow in their train, bet and court ruin. 
Ought I to let my house for the races ? I never 
doubted it before, but I have some qualms.' 

' Do you mean to subscribe to the Huxley 
memorial ? If so, I think you had better join the 
committee. It is quite true what you say about 
Christianity. But I think the true Christian spirit 
is best evinced by recognizing what is good in every 
man and every system.' 

1 1 have been delighted by reading The Relief of 
Chitral, by the two brothers Younghusband. I 
have also been reading Lord Roberts' Forty-one 
Years in India with the greatest satisfaction. If 
you have not read it, pray get it without delay. 
It is a simple, unpretending record of good, hard 
work, and makes one proud to think that we have 
such men. Incidentally we learn much of others 
of even greater note, especially John Nicholson, 
who was a true hero. . . . These are the sort of 
books that give me pleasure. Philosophy and, I 
must add, theology have no delights for me.' 

N n 

274 Resignation of the Deanery [CH. ix 

' How fast the leaves are falling ! Old George 
Richmond and old George Anthony Denison gone 
in one day. They were both honest, genial, lovable 
men ; Denison perhaps too positive and too sarcastic 
to deserve the last epithet. He was very violent, 
but transparently honest ; and that covers a multitude 
of shortcomings. To you, of course, the death of 
George Richmond is far the most heart-touching. 
And indeed the character and manner of the man 
must nearly touch all who knew him. The notice 
in the Times is fair, but not enthusiastic. Well, 
we are all going the same way, and our time for 
" crossing the bar " cannot be far removed. . . . 
I have been reading Mannings Life, a painful book. 
I think we are better off at home than under 
a supposed infallible guide, who seems only to irritate 
and promote disunion.' 

'What a curiously obscure poem is Keble's Sunday 
after Ascension \ Who could imagine that " down " 
in line two means " thistle-down " ? And then one 
is not disposed to be grateful to earth for fostering 
such down as produces thistles. The rest is more 
and more involved and obscure. Then one turns 
to Whitsunday, and lo ! all is clear, simple, and 
bright as crystal. I remember Hawkins of Oriel 
saying to a young lady who was ecstatic over the 
Christian Year with his chin up and his eyes half- 
closed, more suo, " Do you understand him ?" She 
might have answered, " Many things I understand 
and love ; other things are like sayings of St. Paul, 
hard to be understood." But I must confess 
that the clear and beautiful passages are far less 
numerous than the obscure. I have lately found 

CH. ix] Criticism on the ' Christian Year' 275 

a copy which was given me by Henry Jeffreys in 
1834. That was the tenth edition.' 

' I have no doubt that Ireland is " dear, romantic, 
and green." But in what respect is it " misunder- 
stood " ? It has been the prey of parties who did not 
try to understand it, but merely used it for their own 
purposes. Since Pitt's time, to the present day 
almost, this has been going on, and no doubt this 
game of shuttlecock has complicated the task of its 
honest rulers fatally. It is very surprising that 
the elections to small offices should be so entirely 
one-sided : anti-Catholic in the north, anti- Protestant 
in the greater part of the island. But why did the 
Catholics choose Wolfe Tone and Lord E. Fitzgerald 
(both, I believe, Protestants) for their chiefs at the 
end of the last century ? And why in one day did they 
submit to Parnell so implicitly, while now they are 
divided into three Catholic sections ? I confess it 
is hard to understand such things ; and if that is 
what you mean by " misunderstood," I am with you : 
but I do not think this is what you mean. You 
mean, do you not, that the English do not under- 
stand them ? Is not this due to the priests ? In 
Carlow, where I have stayed, the same repulsion 
does not exist, at least not to the same extent as 
you found it in Mr. Trench's country. And if you 
speak to Livingstone you will find a very different 
state of things in that part of the west in which 
he lives. 

' I think it is a pity that our Irish Church did not 
avail itself of the opportunity to make some greater 
alterations in the Liturgy. The high doctrines of 
the sacraments might well .have been relaxed, and 

N n 2 

276 Resignation of the Deanery [CH. ix 

with such relaxation much of the sacerdotal stiffness 
of Pusey, &c., might have been abated.' 

' I do not think that it can be fairly said that 
Judaism was the parent of Christianity. It was 
in distinct opposition to the prevailing Judaism that 
Christianity asserted itself, resting rather on Gentile 
tendencies than on Jewish. St. Paul cast aside 
Judaic principles altogether; and St. Peter was 
instructed to do the same, though he followed his 
instructions rather imperfectly/ 

'As to your worry, I will tell you what I used 
to do about disagreeable matters. I never opened 
a letter arriving late in the day, for I could not 
afford to lose my sleep by speculating on how 
I should reply to a perplexing question. If the 
letter or question was future or contingent, I thought 
it over in the day-time, and wrote a draft letter. This 
I put in my desk, and let it lie there till it was wanted. 
This enabled me to put the thing aside ; for having 
written my letter, so far as my information went, 
I found it useless to speculate, and so did not bother 
myself at night.' 

On July 23, 1896, the golden wedding was cele- 
brated at their Ascot home. It was a bright summer 
day, and many old friends from all quarters gathered 
together there to give their greetings and to show 
their affectionate regard for the Dean (as they would 
still call him) and Mrs. Liddell. 

Among the numerous presents was a picture sent 
by Mr. Hamilton Aide, accompanied by the following 
words : 

CH. ix] ' Crossing the bar' 277 

' I hope it is not inappropriate to ask your accept- 
ance of " A Golden Sunset," or at least the attempt 
to portray one, in which the grey mists that troubled 
the city were being absorbed in the tranquil glory 
of the sky. Such I believe is the evening of your 
married life, and such may it continue, for your 
family and friends.' 

Dr. Liddell replied : 

1 Allow me, in my own name and that of my wife, 
to thank you most sincerely for your beautiful sym- 
bolical drawing. So long as I live it cannot be 
long I shall look on it with delight, though I feel 
that the golden glow will gradually fade into dark- 
ness. I only hope that the twilight may be short, 
and that I may " cross the bar" before the glow has 
quite vanished.' 

That hope was fulfilled. He lived for eighteen 
months longer, without experiencing more than the 
gradual failure of power which accompanied advanced 
years. The end came as he had desired, quite 
suddenly and painlessly, on the evening of January 
1 8, 1898, and next day the big bell in Tom Tower 
announced to all Oxford that their old Dean had 
gone to his rest. 

His body lies, as he had desired that it might, 
close by the grave of his daughter Edith, in the 
peaceful precincts of the cathedral at Christ Church, 
under the shelter of the southern wall of the 
sanctuary. A Cornish granite cross marks the 
spot, and upon the wrought-iron gate leading to 
it, through the Slype, from .the eastern cloister, are 

278 Resignation of the Deanery [CH. ix 

placed his armorial bearings. Within the church, 
beneath the memorial to his daughter, is fixed 
a brass with this inscription : 

Dilectissimam juxta filiam sepultus est 

Henricus Georgius Liddell 


Academiae ornamentum fautor litterarum 

Ecclesiae Cathedralis in pristinum decorem restitutor 

Qui post labores otio tandem perfructus 

Efflavit animam 
Januarii die xviii MDCCCXCVIII. 

In the long series of rulers of Christ Church 
Dean Liddell will always hold a distinguished place. 
Other famous Deans will naturally challenge com- 
parison with him. Prominent among them is John 
Fell, who came after the tumult of the Civil War 
and the desolation inflicted upon Oxford under the 
Commonwealth. Fell was a man of large views 
and imperious will ; a divine, a scholar, and a wise 
patron of learning. To him is due the restoration 
and completion of the chief buildings of the college. 
But he was over-masterful and arbitrary; his rule 
belonged to an age when the sword had been 
scarcely sheathed, and rough and ready methods 
of enforcing authority and guiding opinion were 
adopted and approved. 

Dean Aldrich, who came almost immediately after 
Fell, was a man of peace and culture ; scholar, 
architect, musician, philosopher : illustrating his 
office in all sorts of ways, but happiest among 
his books and with his incessant pipe ; ' humble 


To face page 278. 

CH. ix] Estimate of Dean Liddell 279 

and modest to a fault,' as Hearne describes him, 
yet making others happy by his gentle and kindly 

Another great name is that of Atterbury ; but 
Atterbury was only for a short time Dean ; his 
fame at Christ Church is principally associated with 
his life as a student. He was a restless, over- 
bearing chief; and Smalridge, who succeeded him 
at Carlisle and Oxford, complained that his first 
duty at both places was to quench the fires which 
his predecessor had kindled. 

Cyril Jackson was a grand personage ; perhaps 
the most remarkable and the most successful in the 
long line of Deans. He knew how to win and retain 
the confidence of the great families of England ; 
Christ Church was never more famous or more 
popular than in his time ; and he took a lively 
and helpful interest in the work and careers of his 
undergraduates, encouraged them to do their best, 
followed them in their after-life with generous 
sympathy, and did not forget their merits when 
occasion came to recommend men for promotion. 
He evoked the enthusiastic loyalty of members 
of Christ Church by his splendid loyalty to their 
House, and his statue in the library is a fitting 
memorial of their deep affection for him. 

Of Dean Gaisford's sterling merits it will not be 
necessary to speak : his work, and the character of 
his rule, have been already described. 

Dean Liddell, as we have seen, if this brief 
memoir has not failed in its purpose may worthily 

280 Resignation of the Deanery 

rank with the greatest of his predecessors, in regard 
to learning and intellectual power. His devotion to 
Christ Church was unsurpassed ; his services to it 
were singularly great and various; and his majestic 
bearing, high authority, and unswerving rectitude 
raised him to a very lofty position among the rulers 
of Oxford. Humble and reverent, not caring for 
or seeking praise, he lived a long life of singular 
integrity ; he might have been assigned a higher 
place than any of his predecessors, if he could have 
thrown off his shyness and reticence, and allowed him- 
self to show and express how warmly he shared the 
interests of those over whom he was set, how keenly 
he rejoiced in their successes, and how eagerly he 
desired to encourage their efforts and to repress with 
a strong hand the idleness and extravagance which 
in every generation are apt to prevail among the 
wealthier undergraduates of our Universities. 

Assuredly it may be asserted that as his term of 
office was unequalled in duration, so it was un- 
equalled in importance. He witnessed and guided 
the transition from the old to the new Christ 
Church ; and has left a lasting memory of a rule 
marked by august dignity, by strenuous labours, 
and, above all, by dauntless equity. 


ACLAND, Sir Henry W., 28, 30, 45, 
50, 79 ., 117, 130, 151, 196, 

210, 212, 215, 246, 257, 262. 

Sir Thomas Dyke, 258; his 

work, Knowledge, Ditty, and 
Faith, 270. 

Aide, Mr. Hamilton, 276. 

Albert, H.R.H. Prince, 97, TOO, 
120, 176, 255; appoints Dean 
Liddell Domestic Chaplain, 53. 

Aldrich, Dean, 231, 278. 

Anglesea, 252. 

Anson, Sir William R., 239. 

Arnold, Dr., 35, 97, 119. 

Ascot, 268. 

Athol, Duke of, 23. 

Atterbury, Dean, 87, 279. 

Bagley Wood, 251. 
Bagot, Bishop, 135. 
Bamborough Castle, 154. 
Barnes, Dr., 135, 183. 
Bayne, Rev. T. V., 164, 168 n., 269. 
Baynes, R. E., 168 . 
Bernese Alps, 83, 84. 
Billing, Mr., 154. 
Binchester, I. 

Biscoe, Rev. Robert, 14, 24. 
Bishopton Grove, 2. 
Blomfield, Bishop, 10, 53. 
Boldon, 2. 

Boyle, Dean, extract from his 
Recollections, 56. 


Bradley, Dean, 21. 

Bright, Dr. W., 183, 236, 237. 

Brooke, Rev. Stopford, 235. 

Brown, Rev. W. L., 30. 

Bruce, Colonel, 178, 179. 

Lady Augusta, 190. 

Buccleuch, Duke of, his Sanitary 
Commission, 100. 

Buckland, Dean, 62, 64, 87, 91, 95, 
loo; letter on Dean Liddell's 
postponement of the meeting of 
school, 118-20. 

Bull, Dr., 59, 136, 182 ; his prefer- 
ments, 136 n. 

Burgon, Rev. J. W., 193. 

Burton, Dr., 26 ; his death, 32. 

Cambridge, 27. 

Canning, C. J., afterwards Earl 
Canning, 7, 18, 19, 20, 21, 56. 

Cardwell, Dr., 210. 

Chamberlain, Rev. T., 155. 

Charlton Kings, 251. 

Charterhouse School, 3-10 ; sys- 
tem of teaching at, 6. 

Cheltenham College, 240. 

Cherwell, the, 197. 

Christ Church, Oxford, 13, 134; 
Chapter, 135-7 ; students, 137 ; 
report of the Royal Commis- 
sion, 141 ; system of private 
nomination to studentships 
abolished, 143 ; appointment of 



a body of Referees, 144; Act 
of 1867, 145 ; alteration of the 
Deanery, 147; of the Cathedral, 
149, 151 ; Latin Prayers, 152; 
sermons, 153; work of restora- 
tion, 155-9; the Chaplains' 
Quadrangle, 160 ; the Great 
Quadrangle, 161 ; the Chapter 
House, 163; list of Censors, 
1 68 n. ; number of under- 
graduates, 175 ; abolition of 
differences of rank, 175; class 
of undergraduates, 181 ; new 
Governing Body in 1867, 194. 

Clarke, Sir James, 48. 

Cleasby, Mr., 205. 

Clerke, Archdeacon, Sub-Dean of 
Christ Church, 135, 167. 

Cleveland, Duke of, his Commis- 
sion of inquiry, 232. 

Clifford, Mr. Charles, 140. 

Cockerell, Professor, 51, 208. 

Coleridge, Sir John T., 144. 

Conway estuary, 252. 

Conybeare, Rev. C. R., 123. 

Corfe, Dr., 152, 236. 

Cosin, Bishop, motto over his 
Library at Durham, 26. 

Coxe, Rev. H. O., 259; appointed 
Bodley's Librarian, 200. 

Cramer, Dr., 122. 

Curtius, Georg, 80. 

Dalhousie, James Ramsay, after- 
wards Marq. of, 17. 

Dampier, J. L., 125. 

Dasent, Sir George, 205. 

Deane, Mr., 161. 

Denison, Ven. George Anthony, 
19, 274. 

Henry, 17. 

Stephen, 17, 18, 48; his 

estimate of Dean Liddell, 57. 

Denmark, Crown Prince of, at 
Oxford, 176. 

Desart, Earl of, 150. 

Dindorf, 78. 

Douce, Mr. F., 209. 
Dowdeswell, Dr., 15, 158. 
Doyle, Sir Francis H., 17, 21. 
Dressier, Mr., 270. 
Drisler, Professor, 80. 
Dufferin, Lord, 153 ; Letters from 

High Latitudes, 153 n. 
Dunlop, Andrew, 14. 
Duppa, Dean Brian, 151, 157. 
Durham, G. W. Kitchin, Dean of, 

80, 168 ., 176, 180, 198, 203, 207. 

Easington, 20, 22. 

Edinburgh, 22. 

Eldon, Earl of, 209, 212. 

Elgin, Earl of, 19, 178. 

Eliot, George, Scenes of Clerical 
Life, 272. 

Ellacombe, Rev. H. N., on Dean 
LiddelFs first University ser- 
mon, 52 n. 

Emlyn, Lord, 150. 

Engelberg, 262. 

Farrer, Dr. A. S., 246. 

Fell, Dean John, 154, 161, 231, 

278 ; his statue, 164. 
Fellowes, Mr. Thomas Lyon, 12, 


Felpham, 139. 
Fisher, Mr. Herbert W., 177, 179. 

Mr. Joseph, 210, 214. 

Fishlake, Mr., 68 n. 

Fortnightly Review, extract from, 

72 n. 

Foxcombe, 251. 
Frewin Hall, 176. 

Gaisford, Dean, 13, 16, 18, 24, 51,- 
59,60,66,241,279; his hostility 
to the first Oxford University 
Commission, 128; his death, 
131 ; appointed Regius Pro- 
fessor of Greek, 139. 

Gardner, Mr. Percy, 213. 

Cell, Mr. Lyttelton, on Dean 



Liddell's services as Delegate 
of the Press, 201-5. 
Gibraltar, Bishop of, 134, 168 ; on 
the changes in Christ Church, 


(lildersleeve, Professor, 80. 

Gladstone, Rt. Hon. W. E., 15, 
141, 255, 262; his speech on 
presentation of Dean Liddell's 
portrait, 238 ; visit to Oxford, 
239 ; at Penmorfa, 253. 

Mrs., 239. . 

Glenlyon, Lady, 23. 

Goodwin, Professor, 80. 

Gordon, General, his death, 255. 

Mrs., extract from her Life 

o/Buckland, 88. 

Rev. Osborne, 150, 168 ., 

176 .; on Dean Liddell's work 
as Professor, 53. 

Goulburn, Dr., 193. 
Graham, Sir James, 63. 
Granville, Earl, 26, 237. 
Grenville, Lord, 139. 
Griffiths, Rev. John, 236, 237. 

Hamilton, Walter Kerr, 17. 

Hampden, Dr., his appointment 
to the Regius Professorship of 
Divinity, 32 ; opinions, 33 ; ac- 
tion for damages against, 38. 

Hardy, Mr. Gathorne, 262. 

Harrison, Benjamin, 17. 

Harvey, Rev. H. A., on Dean 
Liddell, 47. 

Hawkins, Dr., Provost of Oriel, 

Hawkshaw, Sir John, his scheme 
for the drainage of the Thames 
Valley, 197. 

Heidelberg, 27. 

Herkomer, Mr., his appointment 
to the Slade Professorship, Ox- 
ford, 213. 

Hermann, Godfrey, his Review of 
Gottling's Hesiod, 25. 

Heurtley, Dr., 137, 185. 


Hicks-Beach, Sir M., 240. 
Hinds, S., Bishop of Norwich, 125. 
Holland, Rev. H. S., 168 n. 
Holnicote, 258. 
Howley, Archbishop, 137. 
Hussey, Rev. Robert, 182. 
Hymnal, University, 235-7. 

Icelandic Dictionary, publication 

of, 205. 
Iffley Lock, proposed abolition 

of, 197. 
Irvine, Rev. Andrew, 6. 

Jackson, Dean Cyril, 139, 141, 279. 

J., Bishop of Lincoln, 21. 

W., Bishop of Oxford, 139. 

Jacobson, Dr., 136, 143, 183. 
James of Hereford, Lord, 240. 

Rev. B. F., 89. 

Jeffreys, Rev. Henry Anthony, 17, 

25, 275. 

Jelf, Dr., 21, 136. 
Jeune, Very Rev. Francis, 125. 
Johnson, Rev. G. H. S., 125. 
Jowett, Rev. Benjamin, 74, 140, 

185 ., 197. 

Keble, his Sermon on National 
Apostasy, 41 ; his Christian 
Year, 274. 

Keys, the verger, 149 . 

Kildare, Marq. of, 150. 

Kingsley, Rev. Charles, 1 86. 

Kynaston, Rev. Herbert, elected 
High Master of St. Paul's, 51. 

Lansdowne, Marq. of, 96. 

Leighton, Dr., 231. 

Leopold, H.R.H. Prince, at Ox- 
ford, 177. 

Lewis, Sir George Cornewall, 255. 

Lexicon, Greek-English, publica- 
tion of, 57, 65, 76; origin, 66; 
Preface to the first edition, 
69-71, 76; arrangement, 72; 
O 2 



progress, 73; reception, 77; 
abridgement for schools, 76; 
number of editions, 78. 

Leyden, Dean Gaisford at, 25. 

Liddell, Albert Edward Arthur, 
death of, 186, 249. 

Arthur, his death, 129. 

Charlotte, 83. 

Edith, her death, 257. 

Harriett, her death, 48. 

Henry George, his birth, 

I ; parents, I ; at a private 
school, 2 ; Charterhouse, 3-10 ; 
religious instruction, 9 ; confir- 
mation, 10; hatred of school, 
10; reserved disposition, 12, 
169; matriculates at Oxford, 
13 ; life at Christ Church, 14 ; 
elected to Fell's Exhibition, 14 ; 
nominated a Student, 15 ; mem- 
ber of the club 'Ten Tribes,' 
17; his friends, 1 8, 25, 30; 
Long Vacation, 19; gains a 
Double First Class, 21 ; in Scot- 
land, 22 ; his first stag, 23 ; 
returns to Oxford, 24 ; studies 
Divinity, 26 ; pupils, 27, 39, 47 ; 
duties of a College Tutor, 28 ; 
artistic tastes, 30, 46, 50; on 
Dr. Hampden's appointment, 
32-6; attitude towards Dis- 
senters, 37 ; on the suit of 
Hampden v. Macmullen, 38 ; 
his Ordination, 40, 49 ; memo- 
ries of Cardinal Newman, 42- 
44 ; on the preaching of New- 
man and Dr. Liddon, 44; death 
of his sister Harriett, 48 ; ap- 
pointed Greek Reader, 51 ; 
Select Preacher, 52 ; elected 
White's Professor of Moral 
Philosophy, 53; Censor and 
Whitehall Preacher, 53 ; Do- 
mestic Chaplain to H.R. H. 
Prince Albert, 53 ; style of his 
sermons, 55; congregations, 56; 
publication of the Lexicon, 57, 

65, 76; engagement, 58; ap- 
pointed Headmaster of West- 
minster, 60 ; marriage, 64 ; 
Preface to the first edition 
of the Lexicon, 69-71, 76; 
severe labour, 74, 79 ; mode 
of life, 75 ; on Ruskin's criti- 
cism, 8 1 ; his first visit to 
Switzerland, 83 ; at Westmin- 
ster School, 86 ; reforms, 89 ; 
difficulties of his position, 94 ; 
system of periodical examina- 
tions, 99 ; strain on his powers, 
IOI ; literary style, 102 ; ser- 
mons to the boys, 103, 112: 
his austere demeanour, 105, 
169-72; gift of teaching, 106; 
the challenges or examinations 
for admission, 107 ; epigrams, 
109 ; moral tone of the school, 
no; his love of exact truth, 
in; special school services, 
m ; his prevention of the 
boat-race, 116; effect of the 
outbreak of fever, 117; letter 
from Dean Buckland on post- 
poning the meeting of school, 
118-20; his History of An- 
cient Rome, 121 ; on Vaughan's 
lectures, 123; his labours on 
the first Oxford Commission, 
125 ; friendship with Stanley, 
125, 183, 189 ; death of his 
son Arthur, 129; appointed 
Dean of Christ Church, 131 ; 
on the Professorship of Greek, 
140; refusal to act as Commis- 
sioner, 146 ; alterations of the 
Deanery, 147 ; restoration of 
the Cathedral, 149, 151, 156-9; 
supervision of the work, 154; 
illness, 155; services, 159; 
other important architectural 
works, 160-5 ; his statue, 164, 
269; enforced absence, 167; 
mode of discipline, 168; on 
Father , 174; on the Prince 


of Wales' matriculation, 177; 
his delight in Stanley's appoint- 
ment at Oxford, 182 ; death of 
his infant son, 186; sorrow at 
Stanley's appointment to West- 
minster, 189, 191 ; on Stanley's 
marriage, 190; Vice-Chancellor, 
191,231; his influence as chair- 
man, 194; interest in the work 
of drainage, 195 ; the Thames 
Valley scheme, 196-8; services 
to Oxford, 199 ; Curator of the 
Bodleian Library, 200 ; Dele- 
gate of the Press, 201-5 ; on 
the publication of an Icelandic 
Dictionary, 205 ; Curator of the 
University Galleries, 208-14; n 
Ruskin's appearance, 215 x . ; 
criticisms on Modern Painters, 
216 ; letters from Ruskin, 216- 
22, 222-8 ; influence as Vice- 
Chancellor, 233; his interest in 
the compilation of the University 
Hymnal, 235-7 ; his portrait, 
237 ; on Mr. Gladstone's visit 
to Oxford, 239 ; Council of 
Cheltenham College, 240; on 
the removal of Westminster 
School, 243 ; impartiality in 
selecting Headmasters, 245 ; 
his sermons, 246-8 ; his home 
life, 249 ; simple tastes, 253 ; 
favourite books, 254 ; hospital- 
ity, 254 ; death of his parents, 
257 ; of his daughter Edith, 257 ; 
of Dean Stanley, 259 ; declines 
the Deanery of Westminster, 
260; health, 261; accident to 
his foot, 262 ; caught in a snow- 
drift, 263 ; various honours, 
265 ; letter on his resignation, 
266 ; retires to Ascot, 268 ; ex- 
tracts from his letters to Sir 
Henry Acland, 271-6; cele- 
bration of his golden wedding, 
276 ; his death, 277. 
Liddell, Rev. Henry George, I. 

Liddell, Hon. Henry T., 22, 23. 
Mrs., 9, 129, 132, 149, 229, 

254, 259, 263, 269, 276; her 

illness, 100, 117; death of her 

infant son, 1 86. 

Robert, 4. 

Sir Thomas, I. 

Thomas, 2. 

Liddon, Dr., 191, 235, 236, 269 ; 

style of preaching, 45. 
Lincoln, E. King, Bishop of, 235. 

E.C. Wickham, Dean of, 236. 

Lord, 1 8, 19. 

Llandudno, 252. 
Lloyd, Rev. C., 168 n. 
Longley, Archbishop, 144. 
Louise, H. R. H. Princess, 165 n. 
Luke, Mr. G. R., 180. 
Lushington, Dr., 193. 
Lyon, Charlotte, I. 
Hon. Thomas, I. 

Macdonald, Mr., 211. 

Macmullen, Rev. R. G., his action 
against Dr. Hampden, 38. 

Madeira, Island of, 167, 261. 

Manchester, Jas. Fraser, Bishop 
of, 194. 

Duke of, 38. 

Marshall, Rev. Geo.,39, i68. ; his 
help in the work of the Lexicon, 
74 ; his abridgement of, 76. 

Rev. James, 89 ; on Dean 

Liddell's work at Westminster, 
94-101 ; on his literary style, 
102 ; on his sermons to the 
boys ; 103 ; on his History of 
Rome, 121. 

Melbourne, Lord, 32, 33, 35. 

Mildert, Bishop Van, 2, 16. 

Mill, Mr. John Stuart, 262. 

Mowbray, Sir John R., 147, 164, 

Miiller, Professor Max, 272 ; on 
Dean Liddell's Greek Diction- 
ary, 72 ., 80 . ; on his influence 
as Vice-Chancellor, 233. 



Ndlaton, M., 262. 

Newcastle, Duke of, 18. 

Newcastle-on-Tyne, 2. 

Newman, Cardinal, 33, 37, 41 ; 
his pamphlet, Elucidations of 
Dr. Hampderfs Theological 
Statements, 34 ; his influence, 
42 ; sermons, 43 ; style of his 
preaching, 44. 

W. L., 240. 

Newton, Sir Charles T., 27, 30, 
133, 140, 151. 

Nicholson, John, 273. 

Nuneham Park, 164. 

Ogilvie, Dr., 137, 185. 

Orme's Head, Great, 252. 

Owen, Dean, 231. 

Oxford. University Commission 
of 1850, 125; Commissioners, 
1 25 ; recommendations, 1 26, 127 ; 
Commission of 1877, 145 ; es- 
tablishment of non-collegiate 
students, 198; University Gal- 
leries, 208 ; collection of pic- 
tures, 209 ; work of cataloguing, 
210; classes, 211; lectures of 
Mr. Ruskin, 211; appointment 
of six additional Curators, 212; 
University Hymnal, compila- 
tion of, 235-7; Tests Act of 
1871, 233. 

Paget, Sir James, on the death of 

Edith Liddell, 257. 

Mr., afterwards Dean, 171. 

Palmer, Archdeacon, 202. 

Sir Roundell, 144. 

Palmerston, Lord, 131, 134, 139, 

140, 1 60. 

Passow, F., his Lexicon, 67. 
Pattison, Rev. Mark, 202. 
Peel, Sir Robert, 35, 56, 63, 100, 


Penmorfa, 252. 
Phipps, Colonel, 114, 115. 

Powell, Rev. Baden, 125. 

F. York, 206, 207. 

Price, Rev. Bartholomew, 240. 

Prothero, Mr., his memoir of 
Dean Stanley, 190 n. 

Prout, Rev. T. J., 168. 

Pusey, Dr., 27, 33, 41, 135, 136 ., 
185, 1 86, 235 ; on the reform 
of the constitution of Christ 
Church, 143 ; on a Roman con- 
troversialist, 172 ; on the death 
of Dean Liddell's infant son, 

Quarterly Review, extract from, 
68 n. 

Radley station, 263. 

Randolph, Dr., 51. 

Ravensworth, Baron, I. 

Earl of, 22, 27. 

Rawlinson, Rev. Geo., 210. 

Redesdale, Lord, 240. 

Redmarshall, 2. 

Reeve, Mrs., 258. 

Rich, Rev. J., 62. 

Richmond, George, 274. 
Sir William B., 253. 

Rigaud, Rev. Stephen J., 89. 

Ripon, 3. 

Roberts, Lord, Forty-one Years 
in India, 273. 

Robinson, Alfred, 202. 

Sir J. C., 212. 

Rome, 85. 

Rome, History of Ancient, 121. 

Rost and Palm's Greek-German 
Lexicon, 80. 

Ruskin, Mr., 30 ; his opinion of 
Dean Liddell, 30, 81 ; on the 
Cathedral of Christ Church, 
Oxford, 150; appointed first 
Slade Professor of Fine Art, 
21 1 ; his lectures, 211, 229; 
appearance, 215 . ; letters to 
Dean Liddell, 216-22, 222-8. 
Russell, Dr., Headmaster of 



Charterhouse, 4 ; the ' Bell and 

Lancaster' system, 5. 
Russell, Lord John, 114. 
Ryle, Bishop, 27. 

Salisbury, Bishop of, 202. 

Marquess of, Chancellor of 

Oxford, 232 ; letter from Dean 
Liddell on his resignation, 266. 

Sahvey, Rev. Herbert, 168 w. 

Sampson, Rev. E. F., 168 ., 265. 

Sandford, Rev. C. W., 1 68 n. 

Saunders, Rev. Augustus Page, 
19, 22, 60. 

Schneider, Professor, 67 ; his 
Greek-German Lexicon, 68. 

Scott, Dr., Headmaster of West- 
minster, 117. 

Mr. G. Gilbert, 155, 159. 

Rev. Robert, 25, 27, 84, 140, 

258; his share in the work of 
the Lexicon, 65 ; accepts the 
college living of Duloe, 71 ; 
his death, 78. 

Scrope, Deerstalking, 24 n. 

Selborne, Lord, 145. 

Sewell, Rev. William, 66. 

Sherbrooke, Viscount, 22. 

Short, Rev. Thomas Vowler, 13. 

Shotesham Rectory, 12. 

Shuttleworth, Dr., 33, 34. 

Smalridge, Dean, 279. 

Smith, Mr.Goldwin, 124, 125, 178, 
246 ; his lectures to the Prince 
of Wales, 179. 

Henry J. S., 202, 236. 

Lady, 258. 

Dean Samuel, 13, 16. 

Sneyd, Rev. L., 138, 208. 

Somerset, Lord Fitzroy, 30. 

Lord Granville, 63. 

Southchurch, 2. 

Stainer, Dr., 236. 

Stanley, Dean, 88, 235, 242 ; Secre- 
tary of the Oxford University 
Commission, 125 ; friendship 
with Liddell, 125, 183, 189; 

appointed Regius Professor of 
Ecclesiastical History, 182 ; 
his influence, 184 ; sermon on 
the evils of controversy, 185 ; 
letter on the death of Dean 
Liddell's infant son, 186; pre- 
face to his Collected Essays, 
1 88; Dean of Westminster, 189; 
marriage, 190; nominated Select 
Preacher, 192 ; death, 259. 

Staverton Vicarage, 136. 

Stockton, 2, 20. 

Strathmore, Earl of, I. 

Studley Royal, 3. 

Sunderland, 2, 20. 

Tait, Archbishop, 125. 

Talbot, Edw. Fitzroy, 31. 

Talboys, Mr., 66. 

Teesdale, Major, 178. 

4 Ten Tribes,' 17 ; list of members, 


Tennyson, Hallam, Lord, letter 
from Dean Liddell to, 20. 

Thackeray, W. Makepeace, 8. 

Thames Valley, the work of drain- 
age, 196-8. 

Thompson, Dr., Master of Trin. 
Coll., Camb., 204. 

Rev. H. L., 168 n. 

Thynne, Lord John, 89. 

Trench, Dean, 243. 

Trill Mill stream, 165. 

Twisleton, Hon. Edward, 144. 

University Galleries, 208. 

Vaughan, Henry Halford, 17, 20, 
21, 27, 35 ., 37, 66, 127, 130 ; 
Professor of Modern History, 
123; his lectures, 123 ; resigns 
the Professorship, 124; appear- 
ance, 124. 

Veitch, Dr., Greek Verbs, Irregu- 
lar and Defective, 80. 

Veysie, Rev. Daniel, 16. 

Vigfusson, Gudbrand, 205 ; his 



Icelandic Dictionary, 206 ; his 
death, 206 ; memorandum in 
Bishop Gudbrand's Bible, 207. 

Wales, H.R. H. the Prince of, 
placed under Dean Liddell's 
charge at Oxford, 54, 176; 
his matriculation, 177 ; attends 
lectures, 179. 

Wallace, Professor, 269. 

Warner, Rev. W., 168 . 

Watkinson, Mr., 4. 

Watts, Mr., his portrait of Dean 
Liddell, 237. 

Weare, Rev. T. W., 60, 90. 

Wellesley, Dr., 210. 

Wellington, Duke of, 112. 

Wells, Dean of, 240. 

Wemyss, Earl of, 28, 131, 151; 
on Dean Liddell, 46. 

Westminster School, 60, 86 ; con- 
dition of, 61 ; teaching staff, 
6 1 ; reforms, 89 ; construction of 
new rooms, 91 ; life of the boys, 
93 ; food, 93 ; restoration of 
the Play, 96 ; question of its 
removal, 98, 120, 243; move- 

ments checking its prosperity, 
97-101 ; system of periodical 
examinations, 99 ; effect of the 
outbreak of fever, 100, 117 ; ex- 
aminations for admission, 107; 
moral tone, no; Latin Play, 
113; the boat-race, 116 ; elec- 
tions to scholarships, 241-3. 

Whickham, living of, 12. 

Williams, Hervey Vaughan, 96; 
his death, 112. 

Mr. Justice Vaughan, 130. 

Williamson, Dr., 1 16, 1 19 ; resigns 
the Headmastership of West- 
minster, 60. 

Wilson, Rev. J. M., 183 ; letter 
from, 122. 

Wood, Sir William Page, 144. 

Woods, Dr., on Dean Liddell's 
services as Curator of the 
University Galleries, 208-14. 

Wordsworth, Charles, 17, 27. 

Wykeham House, 177. 

Wytham Park, 251. 

York, Archbishop of, 63, 192. 
Younghusband, The Relief 
Chitral^ 273. 



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