Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Arundell, Francis Vyvyan Jago

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ARUNDELL, FRANCIS VYVYAN JAGO (1780–1846), antiquary and oriental traveller, was born at Launceston in July 1780, being the only son of Thomas Jago, a solicitor in that town, who married Catherine, a daughter of Mr. Bolt, a surgeon at Launceston. He was educated at Liskeard grammar school and at Exeter College, Oxford, where he took the degree of M.A. in 1809, and after having been ordained in the English church he took a curacy at East Antony in his native county. From youth to old age Mr. Jago was imbued with a love of antiquarian study, and after his institution in 1805 to the rectory of Landulph on the banks of the Tamar, he thre himself with avidity into the history of Cornwall. When Nicholas Condy, an artist at Plymouth, published a series of views of Cothele, the ancient seat of Lord Mount Edgcumbe, Mr. Jago supplied the description of the house which accompanied them. In the church of Landulph is a brass to the memory of Theodoro Palæologus, descended from the last of the christian emperors of Greece, who died on 21 Jan. 1636-7, and an account of this inscription, and of the person whom it commemorated, was printed by Mr. Jago in the volume of the 'Archæologia' for 1817, and reprinted in Davies Gilbert's 'Cornwall' (iii, 365), This paper was afterwards amplified into 'Some Notice of the Church of Landulph,' which was published in 1840, and a reprint of which, with additions by Mr, Polsue of Bodmin, was announced some years ago. One of Mr. Jago's ancestors married a co-heiress of John Arundell of Trevarnoe, and Mr. Jago assumed that name in addition to his own on 25 Feb. 1815. Next year (17 Oct.) he married Anna Maria, second daughter of Isaac Morier, consul-general at Constantinople, and sister of James Morier, the author of 'Hajji Baba.' After this marriage Mr. Arundell turned his thoughts towards the East, and became in 1822 the chaplain to the British factory at Smyrna, where he remained for fourteen years. With characteristic energy he began, very soon after settling at Smyrna, to arrange a tour of exploration in Asia Minor. The months from March to September 1826 were spent in a pilgrimage to the seven churches of Asia and an excursion into Pisidia, a narrative of which was issued in 1828. This book was very favourably received, and with this encouragement he ventured in 1833 upon another tour of 1,000 miles through districts the greater part of which had hitherto been undescribed by any European traveller, when he made an especial study of the ruins of Antioch in Pisidia. Two volumes describing these discoveries were published in 1834. Although he made a third tour in 1835 and 1836 through Palestine, no account of his travels was published. Whilst residing at Smyrna Mr. Arundell made large collections of antiquities, coins, and manuscripts; on his return to England the coins were sold to the British Museum. He gave great assistance to the brothers Lysons in their history of Cornwall, and at one time contemplated the publication of a history of that county on his own account. It has even been said that some plates were engraved for it. The materials which he collected for histories of Smyrna and of his native town of Launceston were never used, and are probably lost. He died at Landulph on 5 Dec. 1846, and was buried in its church, not far from the tomb of Palæologus. His widow died in Osnaburgh Street, London, on 2 June 1869, aged 80.

[Gent. Mag. vol. lxxxvi. pt. ii. 462 (1816), 27 N.S. 206-8 (1847); C.S. Gilbert's Cornwall, ii. 4, 162, 446-7; Bibliotheca Cornub. i. 7-8, iii. 1037.]

W. P. C.