Fellowes, Robert (DNB00)

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FELLOWES, ROBERT, LL.D. (1771–1847), philanthropist, was born in 1771. His father was the eldest son of William Fellowes of Shottesham Hall, Norfolk. Fellowes was educated for the church at St. Mary Hall, Oxford, where he graduated B.A. on 30 June 1796, and M.A. on 28 January 1801. he took orders, but seems to have held no preferment. For over six years (1804–11) he edited the ‘Critical Review.’ He was the intimate friend of Dr. Parr, who introduced him to Queen Caroline, whose cause he espoused. He is said to have written all her replies to the numerous addresses presented to her in 1820. Francis Maseres, cursitor-baron of the exchequer, proved his friendship to Fellowes by leaving him at his death in 1824 nearly 200,000l. Fellowes erected to the memory of Maseres a monument in Reigate churchyard, with a eulogistic inscription in Latin. He used his fortune with great generosity, both in aiding private distress and in forwarding benevolent schemes. In 1826 he gave benefactions to encourage the study of natural philosophy at Edinburgh University. He was one of the promoters of the London University, now University College, Gower Street. Out of gratitude for the professional services of Dr. John Elliotson [q. v.], who held a chair of medicine in University College, he provided there two annual gold medals, the ‘Fellowes medals,’ for proficiency in clinical medicine. Fellowes interested himself in the opening of Regent's Park to the public, and in the emancipation of the Jews. He was an advanced liberal in politics, but drew the line at universal suffrage. In 1828 he purchased the ‘Examiner’ and made Albany Fonblanque [q. v.] editor. His religious publications always advocated practical philanthropy. By degrees he abandoned the distinctive tenets of the Anglican church, and in his most mature work, ‘The Religion of the Universe,’ he aims to divest religion of most of its supernatural elements. He lectured at the opening of the chapel of Barber Beaumont's philosophical institution [see Beaumont, John Thomas Barber].

Fellowes died in Dorset Square on 6 Feb. 1847, leaving a young family. He was buried at Kensal Green on 13 Feb. A long list of his publications is given in the ‘Gentleman's Magazine.’ His earliest work was 1. ‘A Picture of Christian Philosophy, or … Illustration of the Character of Jesus,’ 1798, 8vo; 2nd ed. 1799, 8vo; 3rd ed. 1800, 8vo; 4th ed. with supplement, 1803, 8vo. His political views are contained in 2. ‘An Address to the People,’ &c., 1799, 12mo. 3. ‘Morality united with Policy,’ &c., 1800, 12mo. 4. ‘The Rights of Property Vindicated,’ &c., 1818, 8vo. A taste for versifying is shown in his 5. ‘Poems, … Original and Translated,’ &c., 1806, 8vo (many of the translations are from Gesner). Most of his remaining publications are theological, the chief being 6. ‘The Anti-Calvinist,’ Warwick, 1800, 8vo; 2nd ed. London, 1801, 8vo. 7. ‘Religion without Cant,’ &c., 1801, 8vo. 8. ‘The Guide to Immortality,’ &c., 1804. 8vo, 3 vols. (a digest of the four gospels). 9. ‘A Body of Theology,’ &c., 1807, 8vo. 10. ‘The Religion of the Universe,’ &c., 1836, 12mo; 3rd ed. Lond. and Edinb. 1864, 8vo (with additions from his manuscripts). 11. ‘A Lecture delivered on Opening the Chapel … in Beaumont Square,’ 1841, 12mo. 12. ‘Common-sense Truths,’ &c., 1844, 12mo. Fellowes translated from the Latin Milton's ‘Familiar Epistles’ and ‘Second Defence of the People of England,’ for the 1806 edition. Some of his publications were issued under the pseudonym ‘Philalethes A.M. Oxon.’

[Gent. Mag. 1825, p. 207, 1847 (obituary notice); Monthly Repository, 1825 p. 592, 1826 pp. 127, 695; Fellowes's works.]

A. G.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.121
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

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301 i 31 Fellowes, Robert: after suffrage. insert In 1828 he purchased the ‘Examiner,’ and made Albany Fonblanque [q. v.] editor.