Carlisle, Nicholas (DNB00)

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CARLISLE, NICHOLAS (1771–1847), antiquary, was born at York in January or February 1771, and was half-brother of Sir Anthony Carlisle [q. v.] Having entered the naval service 01 the East India Company, he amassed considerable property as purser, with which he generously assisted his brother at the commencement of the latter's professional career. He must have retired early, for in September 1806 he became a candidate for the office of secretary to the Society of Antiquaries, to which he was elected in the following January, his principal opponent being Dr. Dibdin. 'He never,' says his biographer in the 'Gentleman's Magazine,' 'did more for the Society of Antiquaries than was absolutely necessary,' but having installed himself in the society's apartments in Somerset House, devoted his time to the execution of a series of laborious and in their day useful compilations. Between 1808 and 1813 he produced topographical dictionaries of England, Ireland, Wales, and Scotland. In 1818 he published 'A Concise Description of the Endowed Grammar Schools of England and Wales,' a work of considerable value, the materials for which he had collected by issuing circulars. His 'Collections for a History of the Ancient Family of Carlisle' appeared in 1822, and a similar work on the family of Bland in 1826. In 1828 he wrote <An Historical Account of Charitable Commissions,' and in 1837 printed privately a memoir of Wyon, the engraver to the mint, with an appendix on the controversies between him and Pistrucci. He indexed the first thirty volumes of the 'Archæologia' and the first fourteen reports of the charity commissioners, and was for a time a commissioner himself. 'His long-continued but unsuccessful attempts to establish professorships of the English language in various continental universities' procured him several foreign orders, and led him to compile (1839) 'An Account of Foreign Orders of Knighthood.' Having been appointed a gentleman of the priyy chamber, he wrote on the history of that body. In 1813 he became as assistant librarian of the Royal library, and accompanied that collection to the British Miiseum, where he only attended two days in the week. He died at Margate 27 Aug. 1847, leaving the character of an amiable and worthy man, whose abilities were by no means commensurate with his industry.

[Gent. Mag. August 1845, pp. 205-9.]

R. G.