Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Maltby, Edward
MALTBY, EDWARD (1770–1859), bishop of Durham, was born in the parish of St. George of Tombland, Norwich, on 6 April 1770, and baptised on 8 April by Samuel Bourn (1714–1796) [q. v.] His father, George Maltby (d. August 1794, aged 64), was a master weaver and deacon of the presbyterian congregation at the Octagon Chapel. His first cousin William [q. v.] is noticed below. In 1779 Maltby entered the Norwich grammar school, under Samuel Parr [q. v.]; he was at the head of the school in 1785, when Parr resigned, and on Parr's advice he was then sent to Winchester, under Joseph Warton. According to Taylor, he was a pupil of William Enfield [q. v.], at Thorpe, near Norwich; if so, it must have been in preparation for Winchester. Bishop Pretyman (afterwards Tomline) [q. v.] of Lincoln, who had married a daughter of his uncle, Thomas Maltby, entered him at Pembroke Hall, Cambridge, where he had a distinguished career. He was Browne's medallist for epigrams in 1790 and for Greek ode in 1790 and 1791. In the latter year he obtained the Craven scholarship after a three weeks' contest. In 1792 he was chancellor's medallist and eighth wrangler. He graduated B.A. 1792, M.A., by royal mandate, 1794, B.D. 1801, D.D. 1806.
Pretyman made him his domestic chaplain, and gave him the prebend of Leighton Buzzard in Lincoln Cathedral in 1794, in addition to the vicarages of Buckden, Huntingdonshire, and Holbeach, Lincolnshire. A letter (19 July 1817) from Parr to Canning, recommending him as preacher at Gray's Inn, speaks of his whig politics and his advocacy of catholic emancipation, and describes him as ‘grave, unaffected, and very impressive’ in the pulpit. From 1824 to 1833 he was preacher at Lincoln's Inn. In September 1831 he was made bishop of Chichester, and was translated to Durham in 1836. Before his appointment the palatinate jurisdiction of Durham was separated from the episcopal and vested in the crown (21 June 1836).
Maltby's Greek scholarship is conspicuous in many of his sermons, but is best known by his useful labours in connection with Greek prosody and metre. At Durham he heartily entered into the scheme for the Durham University (charter granted June 1837), to which he ultimately left his valuable library. He was also a senator of the London University, and a fellow of the Royal and Antiquarian societies. In politics and in educational matters his views were of the old whig type. His liberality of action was sometimes misconstrued. In 1838 he was present with Bishop Stanley of Norwich at the meeting of the British Association in Newcastle-on-Tyne. While there, both Maltby and Stanley subscribed to a forthcoming volume of sermons by William Turner (1761–1859) [q. v.], a local unitarian divine. The appearance of the subscription list excited some commotion, public indignation was stirred by a leader in the ‘Times,’ and it is said that Maltby was burnt in effigy. Both bishops explained the matter as ‘a personal compliment,’ Stanley adding that his subscription was private, and the use of his name unauthorised. Maltby's explanatory letter, 25 Oct. 1838, expresses his repugnance to unitarian doctrine, and refers to the existence of neutral ground in topics of practical religion.
Maltby retained the charge of his diocese till his eighty-seventh year, when increasing infirmities made him anxious to be relieved of his duties. In 1856 a special act of parliament (19 & 20 Vict. c. 115) provided for the retirement of the bishops of London (Blomfield) and Durham, and Maltby immediately resigned on a pension of 4,500l. a year. He died in his ninetieth year, on 3 July 1859, at 4 Upper Portland Place, London. His portrait, painted in 1832 by Sir William Beechey [q. v.], is at Durham.
His chief classical publication was ‘Lexicon Græco-prosodiacum … correxit … auxit, et Græcis vocibus Latinam versionem subjecit Edv. Maltby,’ &c., Cambridge, 1815, 4to; 2nd edit. 1824, 4to. This work was based on Thomas Morell's ‘Thesaurus,’ Eton, 1762, 4to. An abridgment appeared as ‘A New and Complete Greek Gradus,’ &c., 1830, 8vo; 2nd edit. 1840, 8vo; 3rd edit., edited by John Grabham, 1851, 8vo. Maltby contributed notes on Euripides to Duncan's edition, Glasgow, 1821, 8vo, 9 vols.
Besides single sermons (1806–35), charges (1835–53), and tracts, he published: 1. ‘Illustrations of the Truth of the Christian Religion,’ &c., Cambridge, 1802, 8vo; 2nd edit. 1803, 8vo; 3rd edit. 1803, 8vo. 2. ‘A Letter to the Freeholders of the County of Huntingdon,’ &c., 1807, 8vo. 3. ‘Reflections upon … Public Affairs … by an Englishman of the Old School,’ &c., 1809, 8vo. 4. ‘Thoughts on the … British and Foreign Bible Society,’ &c., 1812, 8vo. 5. ‘Sermons,’ &c., 1819, 8vo. 6. ‘Sermons,’ &c., 1820, 8vo. 7. ‘Sermons preached in the Chapel of Lincoln's Inn,’ &c., 1831, 8vo. 8. ‘Two Sermons … at Durham before the University,’ &c., 1843, 8vo. Though not mentioned in Julian's ‘Hymnology,’ 1892, he edited two collections, viz. ‘Psalms and Hymns … for the Churches of Buckden and Holbeach,’ &c., 1815, 12mo; and ‘Psalms and Hymns,’ &c., 1824, 16mo.
[Biog. Dict. of Living Authors, 1816, pp. 219, 441; Norfolk Tour, 1829, ii. 1351 sq.; Christian Reformer, 1838 pp. 797 sq., 849 sq., 1859 p. 422; Taylor's Hist. of Octagon Chapel, 1848, p. 50; Romilly's Graduati Cantabr. 1856; Clerical Directory, 1858, p. 269; Annual Register, 1859, pp. 456 sq.; Haydn's Dict. of Dates, 1860, p. 229; extracts from burial register of St. George of Tombland and from baptismal register of Octagon Chapel, Norwich; Notes and Queries, 13 July 1861, p. 23.]