Dallas, Alexander Robert Charles (DNB00)

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DALLAS, ALEXANDER ROBERT CHARLES (1791–1869), divine, was descended from William Dallas, of Budgate, Nairnshire, in 1617. His father was Robert Charles Dallas [q. v.], his mother Sarah, daughter of Thomas Harding of Nelmes, Essex. He was born at Colchester 29 March 1791, and, having received his early education at a school of some standing in Kennington, was appointed in 1805 to a clerkship in the commissariat office of the treasury. He was soon promoted, and was actively employed both at home and abroad. He was present at the battle of Waterloo, but on the peace of 1815 retired upon half-pay. In May 1818 he married his first wife and settled in London, intending to study for the bar; but decided to take orders, and in 1820 matriculated as a gentleman-commoner of Worcester College, Oxford. He was ordained a deacon 17 June 1821, and priest in August of the same year. After serving in several successive curacies he was instituted to the vicarage of Yardley, Hertfordshire, in 1827; a few days before he was nominated to a stall in Llandaff Cathedral by Bishop Sumner. In 1828 Sumner, as bishop of Winchester, gave him the rectory of Wonston, Hampshire. He showed zeal and tact as a parish priest. In 1828 he was appointed rural dean of a large district, and for many years he acted as chaplain to Bishop Sumner in the dioceses of Llandaff and Winchester. The Archbishop of Canterbury conferred on him his M.A. degree.

In 1840 Dallas visited Ireland for the first time, in 1843 he founded the Society for Irish Church Missions, and was its honorary secretary for twenty-one years in Dublin, Connemara, and elsewhere. As recorded on his monuments ‘he was instrumental in having erected 21 churches, 49 schoolhouses, 12 parsonages, and 4 orphanages, in connection with the society's operations.’ In 1849 he married for the second time. His wife, who survived him, published ‘Incidents in the Life and Ministry of the Rev. Alex. R. C. Dallas, A.M.’ (1871), containing an autobiography. He died at Wonston 12 Dec. 1869, and was buried, as he desired, in his own churchyard. Inscriptions to his memory have been placed in St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin; in the mission church, Townsend Street, Dublin; and in the parish church of Clifden, Connemara, co. Galway.

Of his numerous writings the following may be specified: 1. ‘Sermons on the Lord's Prayer,’ 1823. 2. ‘Sermons to a Country Congregation,’ 1825. 3. ‘Cottager's Guide to the New Testament,’ 6 vols. 4. ‘Guide to the Acts and Epistles,’ 4 vols. 5. ‘Revelation Readings,’ 3 vols. 6. ‘Pastoral Superintendence,’ 1841. 7. ‘Castelkerke,’ 2nd ed. 1849. 8. ‘The Point of Hope in Ireland's Present Crisis,’ 2nd ed. 1850. 9. ‘The Story of the Irish Church Missions,’ 1867. 10. ‘A Mission Tour Book in Ireland.’

[Incidents in the Life and Ministry of the Rev. Alex. R. C. Dallas, A.M., by his Widow; Men of the Time (ed. 1868), 223.]

B. H. B.