Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol III (1901).djvu/201

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Monier-Williams
Monsell
187

an honorary fellow of University College in 1892, and was keeper and perpetual curator of the Indian Institute. He received the honorary degree of D.C.L. from Oxford in 1875, of LL.D. from Calcutta, and of Ph.D. from Gottingen. He was created a K.C.I. E. in 1887, when he assumed the additional surname of Monier.

Failing health obliged Sir Monier to relinquish in 1887 his active professorial duties, which had become very onerous owing to the institution of the honour school of oriental studies at Oxford in 1886. He ceased to reside in the university, spending the winter months of every year in the south of France. The last years of his life he devoted chiefly to the completion of the second edition of his 'Sanskrit-English Dictionary.' He gave the final touches to the last proof-sheet of this work only a few days before his death. He died at Cannes on 11 April 1899. His remains were brought back to England and interred in the village churchyard at Chessington, Surrey. In 1848 Monier Williams married Julia, daughter of the Rev. F. J. Faithfull, rector of Hatfield, and had by her a family of six sons and one daughter.

Monier-Williams's activity as a scholar was directed mainly towards the practical side of Sanskrit studies, and to the diffusion in England of a knowledge of Indian religions. Taking little interest in the oldest phase of Indian literature, represented by the Vedas, he devoted himself almost exclusively to the study of the later period, or that of classical Sanskrit. The three texts of which he published editions are Kalidasa's plays 'Vikramorvasi' (1849) and 'Sakuntala' (1853; 2nd ed. 1876), besides the 'Nalopakhyana, or Episode of Nala' (2nd ed. 1879), from the 'Mahābhārata.' He further wrote several works relating to the language of ancient India, a 'Sanskrit Grammar' (1846), which reached a fourth edition in 1876, an 'English-Sanskrit Dictionary' (1851), a 'Sanskrit Manual for Composition' (1862), and a large 'Sanskrit-English Dictionary' (1872 ; 2nd ed. 1899). Monier-Williams was also a successful translator of Sanskrit. His rendering of 'Sakuntala' in prose and verse (1853) reached a sixth edition in 1894, and his 'Indian Wisdom' (1875), which consists chiefly of translated specimens of Sanskrit literature, appeared in a fourth and enlarged edition in 1893. Shortly before and after the beginning of his career as Boden professor, he wrote some Hindustani manuals. One of these was 'An Easy Introduction to the Study of Hindustani' (1858), and another his 'Practical Hindustani Grammar' (1862).

Ever since his inaugural lecture at Oxford on 'The Study of Sanskrit in relation to Missionary Work in India' (1861), Monier-Williams was a frequent advocate of the claims of missionary enterprise in India. This interest led him to devote much of his time to writing books meant to diffuse a knowledge of Indian religions in England. Most of them have enjoyed a considerable popularity. These works are entitled 'Hinduism ' (1877), 'Modern India and the Indians '(1878), 'Religious Life and Thought in India' (1883), 'Buddhism' (1889), and 'Brahmanism'(1891).

[Personal knowledge and information supplied by members of the family, especially Mr. C. Williams, an elder brother of Sir M. Monier-Williams.]

A. A. M.

MONK-BRETTON, Baron. [See Dodson, John George, 1825-1897.]

MONSELL, WILLIAM, Baron Emly (1812-1894), politician, born on 21 Sept. 1812, was the only son of William Monsell (d. 1822) of Tervoe, co. Limerick, who married in 1810 Olivia, second daughter of Sir John Allen Johnson W T alsh of Ballykilcavan, Queen's county. He was educated at Winchester College from 1826 to 1830, and among his schoolfellows were Roundell Palmer (afterwards Earl of Selborne) and W. G. Ward (Selbourne, Memorials, n. ii. 411). On 10 March 1831 he matriculated from Oriel College, Oxford, but left the university without taking a degree.

At the general election in August 1847 Monsell was returned to parliament for the county of Limerick, and represented it, as a moderate liberal, without a break until 1874. He joined the Roman catholic church in 1850, and throughout his parliamentary career spoke as the leading representative of its hierarchy. As a resident and conciliatory landlord he was popular with his tenantry, and in the House of Commons he promoted the cause of agricultural reform. His prominence in parliament is shown by his selection to propose the re-election of Speaker Denison (Hansard, February 1866, pp. 4-7 ; Denison, Diary, pp. 184-5).

Monsell filled many offices. He was clerk of the ordnance from 1852 until the office was abolished in February 1857, and from that date to September 1857 he was president of the board of health. On 13 Aug. 1855 he was created a privy councillor. For a few months (March to July 1866) he was vice-president of the board of trade, and from 1866 to 1868 he acted as