Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Moises, Hugh

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MOISES, HUGH (1722–1806), school master, son of Edward Moises, M.A., vicar of Wymeswold, Leicestershire, was born at that place on 9 April 1722, and was educated first at Wrexham School, Denbighshire, and afterwards at the grammar-school of Chesterfield, Derbyshire, under the Rev. Dr. Burroughs. In 1741 he removed to Trinity College, Cambridge, of which society his elder brother, Edward Moises, afterwards vicar of Masham, Yorkshire, was a fellow. He graduated B.A. in 1745, with a good reputation as a classical scholar, and was soon afterwards elected a fellow of Peterhouse. In the same year he became an assistant in the school of his old master at Chesterfield, where he continued till 1749. In that year he proceeded M.A., and was, on the recommendation of Bishop Keene, appointed headmaster of the grammar-school at Newcastle-upon-Tyne in succession to Richard Dawes [q. v.] The school at the time had scarcely any scholars, but Moises soon raised it to a high state of efficiency, ‘not only,’ as Brand observes, ‘by his great learning and abilities, but by the sweetest manners and most uniform conduct’ (Hist. of Newcastle, i. 390). His dignified demeanour during school-hours is said to have inspired his pupils with ‘reverence and awe,’ but unlike Busby, with whom his biographer compares him, he ‘tempered necessary severity with affability and kindness.’ Early in the year after his appointment the corporation of Newcastle raised his salary from 50l. to 120l. a year, and on 21 April 1761 they appointed him to the morning-lectureship of All Saints' in consideration of the continued success of the school. He was, on 14 June 1779, appointed master of St. Mary's Hospital, Newcastle. He lived to see many of his scholars occupying positions of high dignity and importance. The most distinguished of them were John Scott, afterwards Earl of Eldon and lord-chancellor; his brother, William Scott, afterwards Lord Stowell; and Cuthbert Collingwood, afterwards Lord Collingwood, the admiral.

In 1787 Moises was presented to the rectory of Greystoke, Cumberland, and resigned the mastership of the school, after holding it for nearly forty years, being succeeded by his nephew, the Rev. Edward Moises, M.A., vicar of Hart and Hartlepool from 1811. After residing at Greystoke for some years he resigned the rectory at the patron's request, and he spent the latter years of his life in Newcastle. In 1801 he was appointed one of the chaplains to his old pupil, Lord Eldon, who had just been raised to the woolsack. He died at his house in Northumberland Street, Newcastle, on 5 July 1806. In 1810 a fine mural monument, executed by Flaxman, with an elegant Latin inscription composed by Sir William Scott, afterwards Lord Stowell, was erected to his memory in St. Mary's porch, St. Nicholas's Church. The expenses, amounting to about 400l., were defrayed by a subscription among his pupils, whose names are printed in Nichols's ‘Illustrations of Literature’ (v. 120).

[Memoirs by the Rev. John Brewster (privately printed), Newcastle, 1823, 8vo, reprinted in Nichols's Illustr. of Lit. v. 94–129; Campbell's Lives of the Chancellors, 1847, vii. 7–10, 15, 19, 66; Gent. Mag. July 1806, p. 684; Graduati Cantabr.; Martin's Privately Printed Books, 2nd edit. p. 310; Richardson's Table Book, iii. 55; Twiss's Life of Lord Eldon, i. 31.]

T. C.