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SIR FRANCIS PALGRAVE (1788-1861)

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Originally appearing in Volume V20, Page 630 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SIR FRANCIS PALGRAVE (1788-1861), English historian, was the son of Meyer Cohen, a Jewish stockbroker, and was born in London in July 1788. He was educated privately and was so precocious a boy as to translate a Latin version of the Battle of the Frogs and Mice into French in 1796, which was published by his father in 1797. In 1803 Palgrave was articled to a firm of solicitors, but was called to the bar at the Middle Temple in 1827. On his marriage in 1823 with Elizabeth, daughter of Dawson Turner of Great Yarmouth, he had become a Christian, and had changed his name to Palgrave, the maiden name of his wife's mother. His work as a barrister was chiefly concerned with pedigree cases before the House of Lords. He edited for the Record Commission Parliamentary Writs (London, 1827—1834); Rotuli curiae regis (London, 1835); The antient kalendars and inventories of the treasury of his majesty's exchequer (London, 1836); and Documents and records illustrating the history of Scotland (London, 1837), which contains an elaborate introduction. In 1831 he published his History of England, Anglo-Saxon Period, later editions of which were published as History of the Anglo-Saxons; in 1832, his Rise and Progress of the English Commonwealth, pronounced by Freeman a " memorable book "; and in 1834 his Essay upon the original authority of the king's council. In 1832 he was knighted, and after serving as one of the municipal corporations commissioners, became deputy-keeper of the public records in 1838, holding this office until his death at Hampstead on the 6th of July 1861. Palgrave's most important work is his History of Normandy and England, which appeared in four volumes (London 1851-1864), and deals with the history of the two countries down to 11os. He also wrote Truths and Fictions of the Middle Ages (London, 1837, and again 1844); The Lord and the Vassal (London, 1844); and Handbook for Travellers in Northern Italy (London, 1842, and subsequent editions). Palgrave's four sons were: Francis Turner Palgrave (q.v.), sometime professor of poetry at Oxford; William Gifford Pal-grave; Sir Robert Harry Inglis Palgrave (b. 1827), an authority upon banking and economics generally; and Sir Reginald Francis Douce Palgrave.
End of Article: SIR FRANCIS PALGRAVE (1788-1861)
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