John Allen Giles


Rev John Allen Giles 1808–1884 was an English historian He was primarily known as a scholar of Anglo-Saxon language and history He revised Stevens' translation of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People He was a fellow at Corpus Christi College, Oxford1

Contents

  • 1 Biography
  • 2 Works
  • 3 Marriage and children
  • 4 References
  • 5 External links

Biographyedit

The son of William Giles and his wife Sophia, née Allen, he was born on 26 October 1808 at Southwick House, in the parish of Mark, Somerset At the age of sixteen he entered Charterhouse School as a Somerset scholar From Charterhouse he was elected to a Bath and Wells scholarship at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, on 26 November 1824 In Easter term 1828 he obtained a double first class, and shortly afterwards graduated BA, proceeding MA in 1831, in which year he gained the Vinerian scholarship, and took his DCL degree in 1838 His election to a fellowship at Corpus on 15 November 1832 followed his college scholarship as a matter of course2

Giles wished to become a barrister, but was persuaded by his mother to take orders, and was ordained to the curacy of Cossington, Somerset The following year he vacated his fellowship, and was married In 1834 he was appointed to the head-mastership of Camberwell College School, and on 24 November 1836 was elected head-master of the City of London School The school did not do well under him, and he resigned on 23 January 1840; his resignation, however, has also been attributed to some misfortune connected with building speculations He was succeeded by George Ferris Whidborne Mortimer He retired to a house which he built near Bagshot, and there took pupils, and wrote2

After a few years Giles became curate of Bampton, Oxfordshire, where he continued taking pupils, and edited and wrote a great number of books Among them was one entitled Christian Records, published in 1854, which related to the age and authenticity of the books of the New Testament Samuel Wilberforce as bishop of Oxford, required him, on pain of losing his curacy, to suppress this work, and break off with another literary After some letters, which were published, he complied with the bishop's demand2

On 6 March 1855 Giles was tried at the Oxford spring assizes before Lord Campbell, on the charges of having entered in the marriage register book of Bampton parish church a marriage under date 3 October 1854, which took place on the 5th, having himself performed the ceremony out of canonical hours, soon after 6 am; of having falsely entered that it was performed by license; and of having forged the mark of a witness who was not present He pleaded not guilty, but it was clear that he had committed the offence to cover the pregnancy of one of his servants, whom he married to her lover, Richard Pratt, a shoemaker's apprentice Pratt's master, one of Giles's parishioners, instituted the proceedings Giles spoke on his own behalf, and declared that he had published 120 volumes His bishop also spoke for him He was found guilty, but strongly recommended to mercy Lord Campbell sentenced him to a year's imprisonment in Oxford Castle After three months' imprisonment he was released by royal warrant on 4 June2

After two or three years Giles took the curacy, with sole charge, of Perivale in Middlesex, and after five years became curate of Harmondsworth, near Slough At the end of a year he resigned this curacy, and went to live at Cranford, nearby, where he took pupils, and after a while moved to Ealing He did not resume clerical work until he was presented in 1867 to the living of Sutton, Surrey, which he held for seventeen years, until his death on 24 September 18842

Worksedit

Much of Giles's work was hasty, and done for booksellers His Scriptores Græci minores was published in 1831, and his Latin Grammar reached a third edition in 1833 He published a Greek Lexicon in 18392

Between 1837 and 1843 Giles published the Patres Ecclesiæ Anglicanæ, a series of thirty-four volumes, containing the works of Aldhelm, Bæda, Boniface, Lanfranc, Archbishop Thomas, John of Salisbury, Peter of Blois, Gilbert Foliot, and other authors Giles published his translation of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britanniae in 18423 and it includes the Prophecies of Merlin4 Several volumes of the Caxton Society's publications were edited by him, chiefly between 1845 and 1854 Among these were Anecdota Bædæ et aliorum, Benedictus Abbas, de Vita S Thomæ, Chron Angliæ Petroburgense, La révolte du Conte de Warwick, and Vitæ quorundam Anglo-Saxonum His Scriptores rerum gestarum Willelmi Conquestoris was published in 18452

Giles contributed to Bohn's Antiquarian Library translations of Matthew Paris 1847, Bede's Ecclesiastical History, and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, 1849, and other works In 1845 he published Life and Times of Thomas Becket, 2 vols, translated into French, 1858; in 1847, History of the Ancient Britons, 2 vols, and in 1848, Life and Times of Alfred the Great2 In 1848, he produced Six Old English Chronicles5 which mostly reprinted previously published material

In 1847–8 appeared his History of Bampton, 2 vols, and in 1852 his History of Witney and some neighbouring Parishes While at Bampton, in 1850 he published Hebrew Records on the age and authenticity of the books of the Old Testament, and in 1854 Christian Records on the Age, Authorship, and Authenticity of the Books of the New Testament, in which he contended, in a preface dated 26 October 1853, that the "Gospels and Acts were not in existence before the year 150", and remarks that "the objections of ancient philosophers, Celsus, Porphyry, and others, were drowned in the tide of orthodox resentment" see Letters of the Bishop of Oxford and Dr J A G, published in a separate volume2 A review of Giles' 1854 Christian Records,67 states, "His Giles object is to establish that the historical books of the New Testament are without any evidence, external or internal, of origin from an apostolical period or source ; and abound in irreconcilable discrepancies"8

The testimony of Justin Martyr who wrote his "Apology for the Christians" in AD 151  does not name a single writer of the eight, who are said to have written the books of the New Testament The very names of the evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, are never mentioned by him —do not occur once in all his works It is therefore not true that he has quoted from our existing Gospels, and so proves their existence, as they now are, in his own time910

In 1853 he began to work on a series called Dr Giles's Juvenile Library, which went on appearing from time to time until 1860, and comprised a large number of school-books, First Lessons on English, Scottish, Irish, French, and Indian history, on geography, astronomy, arithmetic, &c He contributed Poetic Treasures to Moxon's Popular Poets in 18812

Marriage and childrenedit

Monumental brass in Dunsford Church, Devon, erected by Anna Isabella Giles to her husband Col Baldwin Fulford 1801–1871, displaying the arms of Giles: Azure, a cross between four cups uncovered or on a chief argent three pelicans vulning themselves proper11

Giles married Miss A S Dickinson, who survived him, and by whom he had children including:

  • son Giles, in the Bengal police,
  • Herbert Allen Giles, Professor of Chinese at the University of Cambridge
  • Anna Isabella Giles, eldest daughter, married firstly to Dundas W Cloeté of Churchill Court, Somerset,2 secondly in 1868 to Col Baldwin Fulford 1801–1871 of Great Fulford, Dunsford, Devon, a Justice of the Peace for Devon, Chairman of Quarter Sessions and Colonel of the 1st Royal Devon Yeomanry12
  • Younger daughter, unmarried2

Referencesedit

  1. ^ 1852 reprinted in Good stories from Oxford and Cambridge and the dioceses 1922 "Miss Brassie spilled a glass of wine when she was eight years old ; J A Giles was sitting next to her, and observed that it was an unladylike thing " Not so unladylike," replied she, " to spill the wine, as it is ungentlemanlike in you to tell me of it"
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l  "Giles, John Allen" Dictionary of National Biography London: Smith, Elder & Co 1885–1900 
  3. ^ It was reprinted in 1848 and 1896
  4. ^ Stewart, Robert John 2009 Merlin: The Prophetic Vision and the Mystic Life Arcata California: RJ Stewart Books p 180 ISBN 9780981924656 
  5. ^ Six Old English Chronicles, of Which Two Are Now First Translated from the Monkish Latin Originals; it included Ethelwerd's Chronicle, Asser's Life of Alfred, Geoffrey of Monmouth’s British History, Gildas, Nennius, and Richard of Cirencester Later posthumous editions allowed that the "translation of Nennius is substantially that of the Rev W Gunn, Published in 1819" and that the work attributed to Richard of Cirencester was actually an 18th century forgery by Charles Bertram
  6. ^ Giles, John Allen 1877 Hebrew and Christian Records: An Historical Enquiry Concerning the Age and Authorship of the Old and New Testaments 1 Trübner & Company p 3 Image of Title page at Google Books 
  7. ^ Giles, John Allen 1877 Hebrew and Christian Records: An Historical Enquiry Concerning the Age and Authorship of the Old and New Testaments 2 Trübner & Company p 3 Image of Title page at Google Books 
  8. ^ The Foreign Quarterly Review Treuttel 1854 p 552 His Giles object is to establish —against Paley especially— a set of purely negative results ; that the historical books of the New Testament are without any evidence, external or internal, of origin from an apostolical period or source ; and abound in irreconcileable discrepancies "Christian Records ; an Historical Inquiry concerning the Age, Authorship, and Authenticity of the New Testament" By the Rev Dr Giles, late Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Oxford London: Whittaker and Co 1854 Image of p 552 at Google Books 
  9. ^ Giles, John Allen 1877 "XIII Gospels not Named by Him" Hebrew and Christian Records: An Historical Enquiry Concerning the Age and Authorship of the Old and New Testaments 2 Trübner & Company p 122 The testimony of Justin Martyr who wrote his "Apology for the Christians" in AD 151, must remove all doubt that the four evangelic histories were already in his time the basis of Christian teaching and the exclusive record of Christ's life and miracles Such also is the common opinion respecting the origin of the Gospels : taking for granted the report made by Lardner, and from him copied into the "Evidences of Christianity", few persons have ever compared the report with the original witnesses ; and never felt a misgiving that statements could, even unintentionally, be so perverted Justin does not name a single writer of the eight, who are said to have written the books of the New Testament The very names of the evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, are never mentioned by him —do not occur once in all his works It is therefore not true that he has quoted from our existing Gospels, and so proves their existence, as they now are, in his own time Image of p 122 at Google Books 
  10. ^ Giles, John Allen 1854 Christian Records: an historical enquiry concerning the age, authorship, and authenticity of the New Testament p 71 Image of p 71 at Google Books 
  11. ^ Berry, William, Encyclopaedia Heraldica, Vol4
  12. ^ Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry, 15th Edition, ed Pirie-Gordon, H, London, 1937, pp 847–8, pedigree of Fulford of Fulford
Attribution

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: "Giles, John Allen" Dictionary of National Biography London: Smith, Elder & Co 1885–1900 

External linksedit

  • Works by John Allen Giles at Project Gutenberg
  • Works by or about John Allen Giles at Internet Archive
  • Works by John Allen Giles at LibriVox public domain audiobooks


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