The Times/1916/Obituary/William Dunn Macray

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Obituary: Rev. W. D. Macray  (1916) 
William Dunn Macray (1826-1916)

Source: Obituary. The Times, Wednesday, Dec 06, 1916; Issue 41343; pg. 12; col C — The Rev. W. D. Macray.

The Rev. W. D. Macray

The Rev. William Dunn Macray, librarian, historian, and archæologist, died yesterday at Bloxham, Oxfordshire.

He was born in London in 1826, son of Mr. John Macray of Aberdeen, later Librarian of the Taylor Institution. He was educated at Magdalen College School, and was afterwards admitted an academical clerk of Magdalen College. Ordained in 1850, he became chaplain of New College, a post which he held until 1880, being also at the different times chaplain of Christ Church and of Magdalen College and curate of St. Mary Magdalen, Oxford. In 1870 he was presented by Magdalen College to the rectory of Ducklington, which he held until 1912, uniting with it for some years the small rectory of Yelford.

Appointed at the age of 14 assistant in the Bodleian Library, he remained in the service of that institution till 1905, when he retired on a pension. In 1891 Magdalen College elected him a "Research Fellow," to continue the College Register begun by Dr. Bloxam. The "new series" of this work he carried on through eight volumes, ending with the index volume, published in 1915. In 1902, on the occasion of the Bodleian Tercentenary, he received the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters; he had been a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries since 1873.

A man of good ability and admirable method and diligence, Macray made large additions to the volume of historical and archæogical knowledge. His first work was a manual of British historians down to smaller 1600, published in 1845, when the author was only 19. Five years later he isued the first of many catalogues that bear his name, that of the library of Bicton House, Devonshire. He was superintendent of the New Bodleian Catalogue from 1859 to 1874, when he was created special assistant in the M.S. Department, and in 1868 he published his "Annals of the Bodleian Library."

He was also the author of valuable reports on State Papers in the Royal and University Libraries of Sweden and Denmark, a long series of reports on manuscripts for the Royal Commission, and manuscript calendar, which occupied him some fourteen years, of the Muniments of Magdalen College. Among other of his works were volumes published for the Roll Series, the "Chronicon Abbatiæ de Evesham," the "Chronicon Abbatiæ Ramesciensis," and charters of the city and diocese of Salisbury, and also several works of curious interest published for the Roxburghe Club, amont them the history of Gridild the Second, "a narrative in verse of the Divorce of Katharine of Arragon."

He was greatly beloved in the rural parish of Ducklington, over which he reigned for more than forty years, for like Chaucer's "Persoun," whom he resembled in more ways than one—

          This noble example to his sheep he yaf.
          That first he wroughte and afterwards he taughte.

and indeed his modest faithfulness and combination of intelligence, information, and geniality, and Christian charity, made him esteemed and welcomed wherever he went and whatever he undertook. He married a daughter of Otto Schmidt, formerly of Berlin, who died in 1905, and had three sons and two daughters.


This work was published before January 1, 1923 and it is anonymous or pseudonymous due to unknown authorship. It is in the public domain in the United States as well as countries and areas where the copyright terms of anonymous or pseudonymous works are 97 years or less since publication.