Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Way, Albert

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745927Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 60 — Way, Albert1899Warwick William Wroth

WAY, ALBERT (1805–1874), antiquary, born at Bath on 23 June 1805, was the only son of Lewis Way of Stanstead Park, near Racton, Sussex, by his wife Mary, daughter of Herman Drewe, rector of Comb Raleigh, Devonshire.

The father, Lewis Way (1772–1840), born on 11 Feb. 1772, was the second son of Benjamin Way of Denham, and was elder brother of Sir Gregory Holman Bromley Way [q. v.] He graduated M.A. in 1796 from Merton College, Oxford, and in 1797 was called to the bar by the Society of the Inner Temple. He afterwards entered the church and devoted to religious works part of a large legacy left him by a stranger, named John Way. He founded the Marbœuf (English protestant) Chapel in Paris, which was completed by his son. He was active in schemes for the conversion of the Jews, but was not a little imposed upon by unworthy converts who became inmates of his house, hence Macaulay's lines:

    Each, says the proverb, has his taste. 'Tis true
    Marsh loves a controversy, Coates a play,
    Bennet a felon, Lewis Way a Jew,
    The Jew the silver spoons of Lewis Way.

He died on 26 Jan. 1840 (Trevelyan, Life of Macaulay, chap. i.; cf. Notes and Queries, 5th ser. xi. 453, 7th ser. i. 87, 137).

Albert Way was educated at home and at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. in 1829, and M.A. in 1834. In early life he travelled in Europe and the Holy Land with his father. In 1839 he was elected fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and was ‘director’ of the society from 1842 till 1846, when he left London to live at Wonham Manor, Reigate. He was a founder in 1845 of the Archæological Institute.

Way was a skilful draughtsman and a good English antiquary, who contributed much to the publications of the Society of Antiquaries and other societies. His principal publication was his well-known edition for the Camden Society of the ‘Promptorium Parvulorum sive Clericorum’ (1843–65, 4to), the English-Latin dictionary compiled by Geoffrey the grammarian [q. v.] Way died at Cannes on 22 March 1874. He married, 30 April 1844, Emmeline, daughter of Lord Stanley of Alderley, by whom he had a daughter. His widow presented to the Society of Antiquaries a hundred and fifty volumes of dictionaries and glossaries from his library, and two volumes of his drawings of prehistoric and other remains. She also presented to the society his fine collection of impressions of mediæval seals. The society possesses a wax medallion portrait of Way by R. C. Lucas.

[Annual Reg. 1874, p. 147; Proceedings of Soc. of Antiquaries, 1874, pp. 198 f.; Burke's Hist. of the Commoners, s.v. ‘Way of Denham;’ Ward's Men of the Reign; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

W. W.