Boone, James Shergold (DNB00)

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BOONE, JAMES SHERGOLD (1799–1859), miscellaneous writer, was born on 30 June 1799. In 1812 he was sent to Charterhouse, where he distinguished himself winning composition prizes in 1814 and 1816 (see Charterhouse, 1816). In 1816 he became a student of Christ Church, Oxford. In 1817 he obtained a Craven scholarship, won the chancellor's prize for Latin verse on ‘The Foundation of the Persian Empire,’ and the Newdigate for English verse (The Christ Church Newdigate Prize Poems, 1810-21 (1823), pp. 23-26). Whilst an undergraduate he wrote ‘The Oxford Spy in Verse,’ the first four ‘dialogues’ of which appeared in 1818, the fifth and last in 1819. This anonymous satire on Oxford University life created a great sensation at the time of its publication. In 1820 he received the chancellor's prize for the Latin essay, and contenting himself with an ordinary degree took his B.A. 24 May 1820. Soon after he left Oxford he was offered a seat in the House of Commons by an owner of a pocket borough who was struck with his great abilities. Boone declined this offer, and occupied his time in lecturing in London on the union and mutual relation of art and science. In June 1822 the first number of ‘The Council of Ten’ was published. Of this monthly periodical he was the editor and almost the sole contributor. Its life, however, was a short one, and it expired with its twelfth number. Boone took his degree of M.A. 4 March 1823, and about this time published ‘Men and Things in 1823: a Poem in three Epistles with Notes,’ in which he showed his great admiration for Canning. For some years he was a master at the Charterhouse; but having taken orders he accepted in June 1832 the appointment of incumbent of St. John's Church, Paddington. Here he remained until his death on 26 March 1859. A brass was erected to his memory in the chancel of St. John’s. He was a successful preacher. In 1859 he was appointed ‘select preacher’ at Oxford, but was prevented by his illness from ever fulfilling the duties of that office. At due time he was editor of the ‘British Critic and Theological Review.’ He was twice married. There were no children by either marriage.

He was the author of the following works: 1. ‘An Essay on the Study of Modern History,’ 1821, 8vo. 2. ‘National Education: a Sermon,’ &c., 1833, 8vo. 3. ‘The Educational Economy of England,’ Part i. on the External Economy of Education; or the ‘Means of providing Instruction for the People, 1838, 8vo. 4. ‘The Need of Christianity to Cities: a Sermon,’ &c., 1844, 8vo. 5. ‘One Manifold, or a System; Introductory Argument in a Letter addressed to Raikes Currie, Esq., M.P,,’ 1848, 8vo. 6. ‘Sermons on Various Subjects and Occasions, with a Brief Appendix on the Modern Philosophy of Unbelief,’ 1853, 8vo. 7. ‘Two Sermons on the Prospect of a General War,’ 1854, 8vo. 8. ‘The Position and Functions of Bishops in our Colonies; a Sermon,’ &c., 1856, 8vo. 9. ‘Sermons chiefly on the Theory of Belief,’ 1860, 8vo.

[Mozley's Reminiscences (1882), ii. 200-4, Notes and Queries, 3rd ser. iii. 510, iv. 35, 98, 138, 153, 299; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

G. F. R. B.