Lumby, Joseph Rawson (DNB01)

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LUMBY, JOSEPH RAWSON (1831–1895), author and divine, was the son of John Lumby of Stanningley, near Leeds, where he was born on 18 July 1831. He was admitted on 2 Aug. 1841 into the Leeds grammar school. In March 1848 he left to become master of a school at Meanwood, a village now absorbed in Leeds. Here his ability attracted the notice of friends, by whom he was encouraged to proceed to the university. In October 1854 he entered Magdalene College, Cambridge, where in the following year he was elected to a Milner close scholarship. In 1858 he graduated B.A., being bracketed ninth in the first class of the classical tripos. His subsequent degrees were M.A. 1861, B.D. 1873, D.D. 1879.

Within a few months of graduation Lumby was made Dennis fellow of his college, and began to take pupils. In 1860 he gained the Crosse scholarship, and in the same year was ordained deacon and priest in the diocese of Ely. For clerical work he had the chaplaincy of Magdalene and the curacy of Girton. In 1861 he won the Tyrwhitt Hebrew scholarship, and was appointed classical lecturer at Queens' College. In 1873 his name was added to the list of the Old Testament Revision Company, and into this work and its sequel, the revision of the Apocrypha, he flung himself with much ardour. He just lived to see the appearance of the revised version of the Apocrypha. In 1874, being now a widower through the death of his first wife, he was chosen fellow and dean of St. Catharine's, and, having resigned his curacy at Girton, was made curate of St. Mark's, Newnham. The following year he was appointed, on the nomination of Trinity Hall, to the vicarage (non-stipendiary) of St. Edward's, Cambridge. His sermons here were much appreciated by undergraduates. In 1879 he was elected to the Norrisian professorship of divinity, and was also Lady Margaret preacher for that year. Having vacated his fellowship at St. Catharine's by a second marriage, he was appointed to a professorial fellowship in that college in 1886. In 1887 he was made prebendary of Wetwang in the cathedral church of York, and acted as examining chaplain to the archbishop of York and the bishop of Carlisle. On the death of Fenton John Anthony Hort [q. v. Suppl.] in 1892 he was unanimously chosen to succeed him as Lady Margaret professor of divinity. But he did not long enjoy the honour, dying at Merton House, Grantchester, near Cambridge, on 21 Nov. 1895.

Lumby's literary career showed remarkable activity. He was one of the founders of the Early English Text Society, and edited for it 'King Horn' (1866), 'Ratis Raving' (1867), and other pieces. For the Rolls series, being requested by the master of the rolls to continue the work of Professor Babington, he edited vols. iii-ix. of Higden's 'Polychronicon' (1871-86), and vol. i. of the 'Chronicon' of Henry Knighton (1889). To the Pitt Press series he contributed editions of Bacon's 'Henry VII' (1876), 'Venerabilis Bædæ Historiæ. … Libri iii. iv.' (in conjunction with Professor John E. B. Mayor, 1878), More's 'Utopia,' in Robynson's English translation (1879), More's 'History of Richard III' (1883), and Cowley's 'Essays' (1887). As co-editor of the 'Cambridge Bible for Schools,' he edited, with commentary, 'The Acts (chaps, i-xiv., 1879; completed 1884), '1 Kings' (1886), '2 Kings' (1887), 'The Acts' in the 'Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools' (1885), also in 'The Smaller Cambridge Bible for Schools' (1889), and for this last series '1 Kings' (1891). To the 'Sunday School Centenary Bible' he contributed a 'Glossary of Bible Words' (1880), republished in the same year in an altered form by the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge. For the 'Speaker's Commentary' he edited '2 Peter' and 'Jude' (1881); for 'A Popular Commentary' the 'Epistles to the Philippians' and 'Philemon' (1882); and for 'The Expositor's Bible 'the two 'Epistles of St. Peter' (1893).

Besides these works for various series Lumby wrote the chapter on 'The Ordinary Degree' in Seeley's 'Guide' (1866), 'Three Sermons on Early Dissent,' &c. (1870), 'A History of the Creeds' (1873), 'A Sketch of a Course of English Reading' (1873), 'Hear the Church' (1877), 'Greek Learning in the Western Church' (a pamphlet, 1878), preface to a 'Compendium of Church History' (1883), 'A Popular Introduction to the New Testament' (1883), and articles in the 'Cambridge Companion to the Bible' (1893). He was also a contributor to the ninth edition of the 'Encyclopaedia Britannica.'

[Private information; Armley and Wortley News, 29 Nov. 1865; article signed W. T. Southward in the Cambridge Review, 28 Nov. 1895; personal knowledge.]

J. H. L.