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JOHN MITCHELL KEMBLE (1807-1857)

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Originally appearing in Volume V15, Page 724 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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JOHN MITCHELL KEMBLE (1807-1857), English scholar and historian, eldest son of Charles Kemble the actor, was born in 1807. He received his education partly from Dr Richardson, author of the Dictionary of the English Language, and partly at the grammar school of Bury St Edmunds, where he obtained in 1826 an exhibition to Trinity College, Cambridge. At the university his historical essays gained him high reputation. The bent of his studies was turned more especially towards the Anglo-Saxon period through the influence of the brothers Grimm, under whom he studied at Gottingen (1831). His thorough knowledge of the Teutonic languages and his critical faculty were shown in his Beowulf (1833-1837), Tiber die Stammtafel der Westsachsen (1836), Codex Diplomaticus Aevi Saxonici (1839-1848), and in many contributions to reviews; while his History of the Saxons in England (1849; new ed. 1876), though it must now be read with caution, was the first attempt at a thorough examination of the original sources of the early period of English history. He was editor of the British and Foreign Review from 1835 to 1844; and from 184o to his death was examiner of plays. In 1857 he published State Papers and Correspondence illustrative of the Social and Political State of Europe from the Revolution to the Accession of the House of Hanover. He died at Dublin on the 26th of March 1857. His HoraeFerales, or Studies in the Archaeology of Northern Nations, was completed by Dr R. G. Latham, and published in 1864. He married the daughter of Professor Amadeus Wendt of Gottingen in 1836; and had two daughters and a son; the elder daughter was the wife of Sir Charles Santley, the singer.
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