The Times/1931/Obituary/Laurence Arthur Burd

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Mr. L. A. Burd

Mr. Laurence Arthur Burd, who died at Repton on April 12, at the age of 67,was Sixth Form Master at Repton School for 37 years. Born at Shrewsbury on June 1, 1863, he was at Clifton College under Dr. Percival, and went up to Balliol College, Oxford, as a classical exhibitioner n 1881. He took first classes in Moderations and Lit. Hum., and was still remembered by his tutor 30 years later as “my first pupil and my best.” After travelling for a year as tutor to Lord Acton's son, in 1886 he went to Repton, where he remained for the rest of his life. To the outside world Mr. Burd was known chiefly as the historian of Machiavelli. In 1891 appeared his edition of “Il Principe,” for which Lord Acton wrote an introduction. This was followed in 1897 by an article in Italian, “Le Fonti letterarie di Machiavelli nell' Arte della Guerra,'” published at Rome by the Reale Accademia dei Lincei. Later he contributed to the Cambridge Modern History the chapter on “Florence and Machiavelli.” He also contributed “The Evolution of a Public School” to “The Public Schools from Within.”

At Repton, starting from nothing, he built up in his last 20 years one of the best-equipped and most attractive libraries to be found in a public school. But his chief work was the teaching of the Classical Sixth, for which his exact scholarship knowledge of history and modern languages, and conscientiousness in preparation admirably qualified him. He was a man of many hobbies—fishing, the 'cello, stamp-collecting, cycling and portrait photography—but he tool them up one at a time until he had achieved success in each.

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