In 1877 he began a series of letters on current topics in the ‘Manchester Weekly Times,’ an offshoot of the ‘Examiner,’ under the pseudonym of ‘Verax.’ Among these able letters were five entitled ‘The Crown and the Cabinet,’ suggested by certain doctrines set forth in Sir Theodore Martin's ‘Life of the Prince Consort’ which seemed to him incompatible with the English constitution. A caustic criticism of the letters appeared in the ‘Quarterly Review’ for April 1878, and Dunckley replied in seven letters entitled ‘The Crown and the Constitution.’ His exposition of the rights and functions of the responsible ministers of the crown gave great satisfaction to his personal and political friends, who, on 15 Jan. 1879, gave him a complimentary banquet at the Manchester Reform Club. At the same time he was presented with 300 volumes of books and 81 pieces of silver. The ‘Verax’ letters were continued in the ‘Weekly Times’ until 1888, and afterwards in the ‘Manchester Guardian.’ A selection of the earliest letters was reprinted in a volume in 1878. The two series mentioned above were also reprinted in the same year. Others, on ‘Our Hereditary Legislators,’ were separately issued in 1882, and on ‘Capital Punishment’ in 1884. In 1890 he wrote a biography of Lord Melbourne for the series called ‘The Queen's Prime Ministers,’ and in 1893 edited Barnford's ‘Passages in the Life of a Radical and Early Days.’ He contributed several political articles to the ‘Contemporary Review’ (1889 and 1891) and ‘Cosmopolis’ (1896), and six articles on the ‘English Constitution,’ ‘The South Sea Bubble,’ ‘Stock Exchanges,’ ‘Privileged Classes,’ and ‘Nationalisation of Railways’ in the Co-operative Wholesale Society's Annual, 1891–5.
In 1878 he was elected a member of the Reform Club, in recognition of services rendered to the liberal party. In 1883 the university of Glasgow conferred on him the degree of LL.D., and in 1886 he was placed on the commission of the peace for Manchester. A further mark of esteem was the presentation to his wife of his portrait, painted by Emslie, in February 1889. This is now in the possession of Miss Dunckley.
He died suddenly in a tramcar on 29 June 1896 while on his way to his home in Egerton Road, Fallowfield, near Manchester, and his body was cremated at the Manchester Crematorium, Withington, on 2 July.
Dunckley married on 7 Oct. 1848 Elizabeth Arthur, daughter of Thomas Wood of Coventry, and left two sons and three daughters.
[Men of the Time, 14th ed.; Manchester Guardian, 30 June 1896; Manchester City News, 4 July 1898; Addison's Roll of the Graduates of Glasgow, 1898, p. 171; Memoir of W. Dunckley (grandfather), edited by H. Dunckley, 1888; Verax Testimonial, 1879; information kindly supplied by Miss Dunckley, Fallowfield.]
DURNFORD, RICHARD (1802–1895), bishop of Chichester, eldest son of the Rev. Richard Durnford and his wife Louisa, daughter of John Mount, was born at Sandleford, near Newbury, Berkshire, on 3 Nov. 1802. His childhood was passed at Chilbolton, near Andover, Hampshire, where his father acted as locum tenens for the rector. At the age of eight he was sent to the Rev. E. C. James's preparatory school at Epsom, and three years later was taken home by his father to be under his own instruction, with the view of standing for a scholarship at Winchester. Failing election at that school, he stood for a king's scholarship at Eton, where he was successful in 1814. There he became the pupil of the Rev. Charles Yonge, and a favourite with John Keate [q. v.], the head-master. At this time he showed great facility for Latin verse, two specimens of which are given in ‘Musæ Etonenses,’ and he was a contributor to the ‘Etonian,’ edited by W. M. Praed and Walter Blunt. While yet at Eton he matriculated on 24 March 1820 at Pembroke College, Oxford, and in July 1822 was elected to a demyship at Magdalen College. He was one of the founders of the Oxford Union (at first styled the Union Debating Society), and was president in the first year (1823) and again in 1825 and 1826. He graduated B.A. on 27 April 1826 and M.A. on 28 June 1827. He was elected probationer fellow of Magdalen College in 1827, and full fellow in the following year, and was ordained deacon at Oxford in 1830 and priest in 1831. From 1826 to 1832 he was private tutor to Edward Harbord, eldest son of Lord Suffield, and spent two years in travel on the continent, where he acquired unusual fluency in speaking French, Italian, and German.
In 1833 Durnford was presented to the living of Middleton, Lancashire, by Lord Suffield, but was not inducted until 1 July 1835. His connection with the parish, which continued for thirty-five years, was in every respect a happy one. From the first he obtained a wonderful hold of his flock, and he was successful in carrying out extensive improvements in educational institutions, in church extensions, and with the concurrence and help of his parishioners erected a new national school in 1842, developed the Sun-