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WILLIAM STUBBS (1825-1901)

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Originally appearing in Volume V25, Page 1049 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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WILLIAM STUBBS (1825-1901), English historian and bishop of Oxford, son of William Morley Stubbs, solicitor, of Knaresborough, Yorkshire, was born on the 21st of June 1825, and was educated at the Ripon grammar school and Christ Church, Oxford, where he graduated in 1848, obtaining a first-class in chapters, the book does not afford an adequate idea of his place as a writer of history. What that is cannot be determined without taking into account the prefaces to some of the volumes which he edited for the Rolls series. Several of them contain monographs on parts, or the whole, of the author's work, written with remarkable literary skill. In these his language is vigorous and dignified; he states the results of his labour and thought with freshness and lucidity; tells numberless stories in a most delightful manner, and exhibits a wonderful talent for the representation of personal character; the many portraits of historic persons of all orders which he draws in these prefaces are as brilliant in execution as they are exact and convincing. Among the most notable examples of his work for the Rolls series are the prefaces to Roger of Hoveden, the Gesta regum of William of Malmesbury, the Gesta Henrici II., and the Memorials of St. Dunstan. Both in England and America Bishop Stubbs was universally acknowledged as the head of all English historical scholars, and no English historian of his time was held in equal honoui in European countries. Among his many distinctions he was D.D. and hon. D.C.L. of Oxford, LL.D. of Cambridge and Edinburgh, Doctor in utroque jure of Heidelberg; an hon. member of the university of Kiev, and of the Prussian, Bavarian and Danish academies; he received the Prussian order Pour le Write, and was corresponding member of the Academic des sciences morales et politiques of the French Institute. Stubbs was a High Churchman whose doctrines and practice were grounded on learning and a veneration for antiquity. His opinions were received with marked respect by his brother prelates, and he acted as an assessor to the archbishop in the trial of the bishop of Lincoln. His tastes were those of a student, and he did not disguise his dislike of public functions and the constant little journeys which take up so much of a bishop's time. Nevertheless he fulfilled all his episcopal duties with diligence; and threw all his heart into the performance of those of a specially spiritual nature, such as his addresses at confirmations and to those on whom he conferred orders. As a ruler of the Church he showed wisdom and courage, and disregarded any effort to influence his policy by clamour. In character he was modest, kind and sympathetic, ever ready to help and encourage serious students, generous in his judgment of the works of others-, a most cheery companion, full of wit and humour. His wit was often used as a weapon of defence, for he did not suffer fools gladly. An attack of illness in November 1900 seriously impaired his health. He was able, however, to attend the funeral of Queen Victoria on the and of February 1901, and preached a remarkable sermon before the king and the German emperor on the following day. His illness became critical on the loth of April, and he died on the ,22nd. In 1859 he had married Catherine, daughter of John Dollar, of Navestock, and had a numerous family. See Letters of William Stubbs, Bishop of Oxford, ed. W. H. Hutton. (W. Hu.)
End of Article: WILLIAM STUBBS (1825-1901)
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