A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Thirwall, Connop

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Thirwall, Connop (1797-1875). -- Historian, was b. at Stepney, the s. of a clergyman, and ed. at the Charterhouse and Camb. He studied law, was called to the Bar in 1825, and in the same year pub. a translation of Schleiermacher's Critical Essay on the Gospel of St. Luke. After this, having changed his mind, he took orders in 1827, and the next year translated, with Julius Hare (q.v.), the first vol. of Niebuhr's History of Rome, and pub., also with him, The Philological Museum (1831-33). He was an advocate for the admission of Dissenters to degrees, and in consequence of his action in the matter had to resign his Univ. tutorship. Thereupon Lord Brougham, then Lord Chancellor, presented him to the living of Kirkby Underdale. Between 1835 and 1847 he wrote his great History of Greece, which has a place among historical classics. In 1840 he was made Bishop of St. David's, in which capacity he showed unusual energy in administering his see. The eleven charges which he delivered during his tenure of the see were pronouncements of exceptional weight upon the leading questions of the time affecting the Church. As a Broad Churchman T. was regarded with suspicion by both High and Low Churchmen, and in the House of Lords generally supported liberal movements such as the admission of Jews to Parliament. He was the only Bishop who was in favour of the disestablishment of the Irish Church.