Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Greswell, Richard

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GRESWELL, RICHARD (1800–1881), 're-founder of the National Society,' born at Denton, Lancashire, on 22 July 1800, the fourth son of the Rev. William Parr Greswell [q. v.], was educated first by his father, and afterwards at Worcester College, Oxford, on the foundation of which college he was placed on 1 June 1818. In 1822, having gained a 'double-first,' he was appointed assistant tutor of Worcester, and in the next year full tutor, an office he retained for thirty years. He became fellow in June 1824. He graduated B.A. in 1822, M.A. in 1825, and B.D. in 1836. As a tutor he was learned and skilful, and his lectures were considered models in their way. For many years he devoted the proceeds of his tutorship to public and charitable objects, his personal expenses being defrayed from a modest fortune brought by his wife, Joana Julia Armitriding, whom he married in 1836. In 1843 he opened a subscription on behalf of national education, with a donation of 1,000l., and ultimately raised 250,000l. for the funds of the National Society. He was largely instrumental in establishing the new museum at Oxford, and was one of the founders of the Ashmolean Society. From 1847 to 1865 he acted as chairman of Mr. Gladstone's election committee at Oxford. He was a great benefactor to his father's parish of Denton, and by his exertions a new church, called Christ Church, was built and provided with parsonage, schools, and endowment (1853). Many kindly and beneficent acts are related of Greswell, whose 'chief characteristics were great and varied learning, boundless benevolence, and a childlike simplicity' (Burgon, Lives, ii. 118). His only publications were a paper 'On Education and the Principles of Art,' 1843, and a 'Memorial on the Proposed Oxford University Lecture-rooms, Library, Museums, &c.,' 1853. He died at Oxford on 22 July 1881, aged exactly 81 years. His daughter, Joanna Julia Greswell, published at Oxford in 1873 a 'Grammatical Analysis of the Hebrew Psalter.'

[Burgon's Lives of Twelve Good Men, 1888, ii. 93; Crockford's Clerical Directory, 1881; Foster's Alumni Oxon. ii. 564; Booker's Denton (Chetham Soc.), 1855.]

C. W. S.