Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Falconer, William (1801-1885)

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FALCONER, WILLIAM (1801–1885), translator of ‘Strabo,’ eldest son of the Rev. Thomas Falconer, M.D. (1772–1839) [q. v.], by Frances, only child of Lieutenant-colonel Robert Raitt, was born at Corston, Somersetshire, on 27 Dec. 1801, and baptised there on 21 July 1802. On 10 Dec. 1819 he matriculated from Oriel College, Oxford, and having taken a third class in classics and a first class in mathematics graduated B.A. in 1823, and proceeded M.A. in 1827. He was elected a Petrean fellow of Exeter College on 30 June in that year, and was mathematical examiner in the university in 1832–3, and again in 1836–8. In 1839 he opened the Petrean fellowships at Exeter College to natives of Cheshire by conveying a small incorporeal hereditament to Lord Petre for that purpose. His college presented him, 26 Jan. 1839, to the rectory of Bushey, Hertfordshire, where the tithes had been commuted at 765l. exclusive of glebe and tithe of glebe. He died at Bushey rectory 9 Feb. 1885. He married in 1840 Isabella, daughter of J. Robinson, and widow of W. S. Douglas; she died at St. Alessi, near Pistoja, 7 Feb. 1869. Falconer is known as one of the translators of ‘The Geography of Strabo,’ literally translated, with notes. The first six books by H. C. Hamilton, and the remainder by W. Falconer, with a complete index, appeared in ‘Bohn's Classical Library,’ 1854–6–7, three volumes. The text of ‘Strabo’ had been edited in 1807 by his father, and Thomas Falconer, M.D. [q. v.], had also prepared a translation the manuscript of which was used by his son.

[Falconer's Bibliography of the Falconer Family, 1866, pp. 17, 31; Boase's Register of Exeter College, p. 126; Times, 19 Feb. 1885, p. 7.]

G. C. B.