Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol II (1901).djvu/456

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Hort
Hort
444

junior optime). Undaunted by this disappointment, but still weak from the effects of his recent illness, he sat for the classical tripos and was placed fifth in the first class (1850).

He at once devoted himself to the task of studying for the two newly created triposes in moral science and natural science. He read with prodigious energy, and next year (1851) obtained a first class in both subjects, winning also the Whewell prize for proficiency in moral philosphy in the moral science tripos, and securing in the natural sciences tripos the mark of distinction both in botany and in physiology. Hort was probably too reserved and too much of a student to be what is termed 'a popular man' as an undergraduate. But he had several fast friends, the most intimate of these being J. Ellerton, afterwards the famous hymn writer, Gerald Blunt, the rector of Chelsea, J. B. Mayor, J. E. B. Mayor, Henry Bradshaw, Gorham, Vernon Lushington, Vansittart, and Westlake.

Towards the close of his undergraduate career he read with Westcott, then a recent B.A. residing in Trinity and taking pupils. Thus the friendship sprang up which was destined to be productive of a remarkable alliance in theological studies. About the same time he became acquainted with Lightfoot (afterwards Bishop of Durham), whose attached friend he was for the rest of his life. He graduated B.A. in 1850, M.A. in 1853, B.D. in 1875, and D.D. in 1876.

In 1852 he was elected to a fellowship at Trinity at the same time as his friend Lightfoot ; and it is a good illustration of his versatility that in 1852 he was president of the Union Debating Society, where he was a frequent speaker, and was regarded as 'one of the rising hopes of the Cambridge school of botanists' (cf. obituary notice by G. S. Boulger in the Journal of Botany, February 1893). At this period of his life also he made full use of the privilege of personal acquaintance with F. D. Maurice. This was an epoch in his life. Maurice's influence and Maurice's teaching were a kind of revelation to him. Through Maurice he was brought into contact with Charles Kingsley, Tom Hughes, Daniel and Alexander Macmillan, Mr. J. M. Ludlow, and others, with whose endeavours on behalf of working men and in interests of a social and educational reform he was in strong sympathy. Maurice supplied that which the old evangelicalism and the Oxford movement had failed to give a philosophy of religion penetrating beneath traditional views and controversies.

Between 1852 and 1857 Hort resided at Cambridge, devoting himself to study, turning night into day, and laying up a store of ill-health in after years. It was during this period that he laid the foundation for the minute investigation of the text of the New Testament, and in conjunction with Dr. Westcott first undertook the scheme of a joint editorship of a critical edition of the New Testament in Greek. He found time, however, for other things. Thus, as a labour of love, he edited and saw through the press the Hulsean prize essay, written by his friend and contemporary, Henry Mackenzie, on 'The Beneficial Influence of the Christian Clergy on European Progress in the first Ten Centuries.' Mackenzie died in 1853. The essay was issued under Hort's editorship in 1855. Hort was also associated with his friends, Prof. J. E. B. Mayor and Lightfoot, in editing 'The Journal of Classical and Sacred Philology,' of which the first number was issued in 1854. Hort himself was a frequent contributor.

On 12 March 1854 he was ordained deacon at Cuddesdon, and in 1856 priest at Ely. In 1856 he was appointed to examine for the natural sciences tripos ; he was employed in useful work on the library syndicate, and in other new departments of university life. In the same year (1856) he contributed to the 'Cambridge Essays' a striking essay on S. T. Coleridge, which has been regarded by competent judges as one of the most successful endeavours to appreciate and interpret Coleridge.

In 1857 he married Fanny, daughter of Thomas Dyson Holland of Heighington, near Lincoln. As his marriage meant the forfeiture of his fellowship, he accepted immediately afterwards the living of St. Ippolyts cum Great Wymondley, near Hitchin, in Hertfordshire, which was in the patronage of Trinity College. For the next fifteen years (1857-72) he lived in this quiet secluded parish. He discharged his pastoral duties conscientiously. He had two churches to serve, and two volumes of the sermons that he preached there have been posthumously published. But his natural bent was towards his studies, and these he prosecuted with unremitting energy. To bad health was added the anxiety of straitened means. After repeated warnings he was compelled by doctor's orders to give up all work between 1863 and 1865. During this interval he made Cheltenham his headquarters, and took long summer visits to Switzerland. On resuming his pastoral work in 1865, he was drawn more and more into the current of university work at Cambridge. He examined frequently for the moral science tripos, and in 1871 he was ap-