The Times/1923/Obituary/Thomas Finlayson Henderson

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OBITUARY.

DR. T. F. HENDERSON.

Mr. T. F. Henderson, an able, learned, and accurate Scottish scholar, died on Chrmistmas Day at his residence, the lonely farmhouse called the Wraes, in a part of Renfrewshire that retains unspoiled the characteristics of old Scotland.

Thomas Finlayson Henderson was born in Fifeshire in 1844, the second son of the Rev. Archibald Henderson. He was educated at St. Andrews, which University conferred on him in 1914 an honorary LL.D. Originally intended for the Church, he very soon devoted himself to literary work, first on the staff of the "Encyclopaedia Britannica" and then on that of "The Dictionary of National Biography," for which he wrote many Scottish lives. He was also a contributor of several chapters to the "Cambridge History of English Literature." He was recognized as an authority on Burns, and he was joint editor with the late W. E. Henley of the "Centenary Burns." To this Henley contributed a life of the poet, but to Henderson fell the spade-work of the undertaking. For the first time Burns was edited with the care usually reserved for editions of the ancient classics.

Henderson was also an authority on the life of Mary Queen of Scots, and in his "Casket Letters of Mary Queen of Scots" he sought to prove her authorship of those famous documents. He also wrote a standard "History of Scottish Vernacular Language," and other works. His writings, as is often the case with works of real scholarship, were not remunerative, and a grant from the Royal Literary Fund did much to relieve his last years. That fund had helped the widow of Burns—"The Bonnie Jean" of immortal song—and after the lapse of a century it again helped the editor and biographer of the poet. Mr. Henderson was of a shy and retiring nature, yet to his few intimate friends he was known as a man of high and pure character, ever ready to help with his knowledge those who asked his aid.

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