Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 supplement/Ewald, Alexander Charles

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EWALD, ALEXANDER CHARLES (1842–1891), historical writer, was born at Jerusalem in 1842.

His father, Christian Ferdinand Ewald (1802–1874), was born of Jewish parentage near Bamberg, joined the Christian church in 1822, connected himself with the London Society for Propagating the Gospel among the Jews, was ordained by the bishop of London in 1836 (having previously been in Lutheran orders), laboured assiduously among the Jews in North Africa, and in 1841 left Tunis as chaplain to Dr. Alexander, the first Anglican bishop of Jerusalem. An account of his work is given in his ‘Missionary Labours in Jerusalem’ (London, 1846). The archbishop of Canterbury conferred upon him in 1872 the degree of bachelor of divinity, and he died at Norwood two years later (9 Aug. 1874).

Alexander was educated abroad and was appointed to a clerkship in the public record office in 1861, rising to be senior clerk by 1890. While there he was mainly responsible for the completion of the work begun by Sir Thomas Duffus Hardy in 1835, namely, a full calendar and précis of the ‘Norman Rolls-Henry V.’ This was printed in vols. xli. and xlii. of the ‘Deputy-keeper's Reports’ (1880 and 1881), and was supplemented by a glossary of obsolete French words, also prepared by Ewald. He gained the ear of a wider public by a popular sketch of the ‘Life’ of the young pretender, and he followed this up by a series of pleasantly written volumes upon the lighter side of historical research, until his premature death at 31 Victoria Road, Upper Norwood, on 20 June 1891. His numerous compilations include:

  1. ‘A Reference Book of English History,’ 1866 and 1867.
  2. ‘Our Constitution: an Epitome of our Chief Laws and System of Government,’ 1867.
  3. ‘The Last Century of Universal History (1767–1867),’ 1868.
  4. ‘Our Public Records: a Brief Handbook to the National Archives,’ 1873.
  5. ‘Life and Times of Algernon Sydney,’ 1873, 2 vols.
  6. ‘Life and Times of Prince Charles Stuart, Count of Albany,’ 1875 and 1883, 2 vols.
  7. ‘Sir Robert Walpole: a Political Biography,’ 1877.
  8. ‘Representative Statesmen,’ 1879, 2 vols. 9. ‘Stories from the State Papers,’ 1881, 2 vols.
  9. ‘The Rt. Hon. Benjamin Disraeli and his Times,’ 1883, 2 vols.
  10. ‘Leaders of the Senate: a Biographical History of the Rise and Development of the British Constitution,’ 1884–5, 2 vols.
  11. ‘Studies Re-studied: Historical Sketches from Original Sources,’ 1885, 8vo.
  12. ‘The Life of Sir Joseph Napier, Bart.,’ 1887.
  13. ‘Paper and Parchment’ (Record Office Studies), 1890.

[Times 22 and 25 June 1891; Athenæum, 1891, i. 831; M'Clintock and Strong's Encyclopædia of Bibl. Lit. Suppl. 1887, ii. 365; Ewald's Missionary Labours, 1846; Allibone's Dict. of Engl. Lit.; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

T. S.