Burn, Robert (DNB12)

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BURN, ROBERT (1829–1904), scholar and archæologist, born at Kynnersley, Shropshire, on 22 Oct. 1829, was second son of Andrew Burn, rector of Kynnersley, by his second wife. His elder brother, George, fourth classic and chancellor's medallist at Cambridge in 1851, was fellow of Trinity College. Robert entered Shrewsbury school under Benjamin Hall Kennedy [q. v.] in 1843 and Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1849. He had remarkable skill in the writing of Latin hexameter verse. He was senior classic in 1852, and took a second class in natural science in 1853. He was elected a fellow of Trinity in 1854, and spent the rest of his life at Cambridge. He was ordained deacon in 1860 and priest in 1862. For many years he lectured on classical subjects; from 1862 to 1872 he was a tutor of Trinity, and discharged the duties of that office with conspicuous success. He vacated his fellowship on his marriage in 1873, but was re-elected next year, and was also appointed prælector in Roman archæology.

Burn, who frequently visited Rome and its neighbourhood during his vacations, was one of the first Englishmen to study the archaeology of the city and the Campagna, and he published several important works dealing with it, viz.: 1. 'Rome and the Campagna,' Cambridge and London, 1871; now edit. 1874. 2. 'Old Rome,' an epitome of the former work, 1880. 3. 'Roman Literature in Relation to Roman Art,' 1888. 4. 'Ancient Rome and its Neighbourhood,' 1895. He received an honorary degree from Glasgow University in 1883.

Burn was a distinguished athlete in his youth and a good tennis player up to middle age; but for the last twenty years of his life, though his intellectual interests were unabated, he was an invalid confined to a bath-chair. He died on 30 April 1904 and was buried in St. Giles's cemetery at Cambridge. There is a brass to his memory in the ante-chapel of Trinity College.

He married in 1873 Augusta Sophia Prescott, a descendant of Oliver Cromwell; he left no issue.

[Private information; personal knowledge.

J. D. D.