The Kings Candlesticks - Family Trees
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John GILES of Southwick House [10494]
Mary SAUNDERS [10495]
(Abt 1759-1852)
James ALLEN of Burnham. [15315]
(Abt 1736-1813)
Sarah DODD [11665]
William GILES [7495]
Sophie ALLEN [7496]

Rev John Allen GILES D.C.L. of Churchill Court SOM [2048]


Family Links

1. Anna Sarah DICKINSON [7494]

Rev John Allen GILES D.C.L. of Churchill Court SOM [2048]

  • Born: 26 Oct 1808, Mark SOM
  • Marriage (1): Anna Sarah DICKINSON [7494] on 17 Dec 1833 in Bridgewater
  • Died: 24 Sep 1884, Sutton SRY aged 75
  • Buried: Churchill Court SOM

bullet  General Notes:

John was a Fellow of Corpus Christi, Oxford a classical and antiquarian scholar. An Anglican Clergyman he had doctrinal differences with the Church and served a term in prison for a minor infraction of ecclesiastical law. As a consequence he was obliged to make ends meet with his pen, producing a stream of publications, many of a decidedly utilitarian nature, such as a series of "cribs" of Greek and Latin texts for schoolboys.
Ref: Unattributed

Giles John Allen (1808-1884), translator and literary editor, son of William Giles and his wife Sophie, nee Allen, was born on 26 October 1808 at Southwick House in the parish of Mark, Somerset, the home of his father and grandfather. Aged 16 he entered Charterhouse as a Somerset scholar. From Charterhouse he was elected to a Bath and Wells scholarship at Corpus Christi College Oxford, in November 1824. In the Easter term of 1828 he obtained a double first class, and shortly afterwards graduated B.A. In a pamphlet of 1829 he opposed Catholic emancipation, but argued that Irish absentee landlords should be compelled to return to their estates and improve the lot of the peasantry. He was awarded a Vinerian scholarship in 1830, and took his M.A. In 1831, and DCL in 1838. His election to a Fellowship at Corpus on 15 November 1832 followed his college scholarship as a matter of course.
Giles wished to become a barrister, but his parents persuaded him (to his regret then and later) to take orders. He was ordained deacon in 1832 and priest in 1835, and held the curacy of Cossington, Somerset, jointly with the headship of Bridgwater School. On 17 December 1833 he married Anna Sarah Dickinson (d.1896), and vacated his fellowship. His Scriptories Graeci Minores had been published in 1831, and his Latin grammar in 1833. In 1834 he was appointed to the headmastership of Camberwell College School, and on 24 November 1836 was elected headmaster of the City of London School. He had imaginative and sometimes advanced ideas for the schools development, but lacked the personality to gain the confidence of staff and pupils, and failed to keep discipline; on 8 January 1840 the school committee asked him to resign. He retired to Windlesham Hall, Surrey, which he had built, and there took pupils, and it engaged in literary work.
In 1846 Giles became curate of Bampton, Oxfordshire, where he continued taking pupils, and edited and wrote many works. By 1848 he was printing several of these on his own press at his house at Bampton; he trained local girls in typography, and by the early 1850s the press was expanding to take on more ambitious work. In 1847 he applied unsuccessfully for the chair of modern languages and literature at Oxford, stating that since 1828 he had spent "a very large portion" of his time in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Switzerland, and so on (BL,Add,MS34576,fol.507).
In 1854 Samuel Wilberforce, Bishop of Oxford, required Giles, on pain of losing his curacy, to suppress his Christian Records, which argues that the Gospels were put together around AD 150. Giles complied under protest, but printed the correspondence in a pamphlet, The Bishop of Oxford's Letters, in which he observes that he has "no wish to become a martyr, even though my becoming so would probably do me more worldly good than ever the church has done me", and complains "that the Bishop denies to me that liberty of thought which he claims for himself". Disaffection with the church helps to explain his disastrous act of good nature on 5 October 1854, when he performed the marriage of one of his printing girls (who had requested secrecy to avoid "rough music") outside the legal hours, falsified its date in the parish register, falsely entered that it was performed by licence, and forged the mark of a witness who was not present. Local reactions show an irritation with his conduct as curate, one of the vicars wrote to Wilberforce rejoicing "that we are freed for ever from the ministrations of one who for many reasons was quite unfitted for his office, (Oxon,RO,CPZ,1/22), and Giles wild attempts to influence witnesses and obscure the facts made matters worse.
On 6 March 1855 he was tried at Oxford assizes. He spoke on his own behalf; Wilberforce also spoke for him, although for the rest of his life Giles was to blame him as a malicious instigator of the prosecution. Giles was found guilty, but strongly recommended to mercy; Lord Campbell sentenced him to a year's imprisonment in Oxford Castle. There was much sympathy for him in the University and county, and after three months imprisonment he was released by Royal warrant on 3 June.
Giles moved to Notting Hill, and in 1857 took the curacy, with sole charge, of Perivale in Middlesex. In 1861 he became curate of Harmondsworth, but resigned after a year went to live at Cranford where he took pupils, subsequently moving to Ealing. In 1867 he bought the living of Sutton in Surrey which he held for 17 years. He died at the rectory there on 24 September 1884 and was buried at Churchill, Somerset. His wife survived him, and he left two sons, one in the Bengal police, the other Herbert Alan Giles, professor of Chinese at the University of Cambridge. He also left two daughters: Anna Isabella, married to Dundas W. Cloete of Churchill Court, Somerset, and Ellen Harriet . . . . .
Ref: Dictionary of National Biography.

John Allen Giles Diary and Memoirs - His character comes across in the diary as one which attracts a good deal of sympathy. There are plenty of touches of a rather dry sense of humour, and a refreshing tolerance and broadmindedness over such issues as churchmanship which is more in tune with the present age than with his own. Dr Prior writes that " in his domestic circle he was uniformly kind and courteous," but also that "with all his learning and unquestionable ability, he was not a successful man in life, and failed to win a higher position than that of a country clergyman. The reason is not far to seek. There was wanting in him the tact to turn his opportunities to the best of advantage." The loss of the headship of the City of London School was anything but a trivial incident. The Dictionary of National Biography says that "he failed to preserve discipline; the school did not do well under him, and he resigned." A revealing alternative explanation is preserved in the memoirs of his brother Charles Edmund Giles, who was a lodger at the time.
"My brother's house was pleasant to a boy, but just the sphere to frustrate all efforts towards serious ends. In it pleasant society was to be found, a pretty warm hearted sister in law attracting all by vivacity, as my brother himself did by amiable temper and hospitality. The school was founded by the city common council and it might easily be predicted that with pride and money to back it there would be a great foundation some day of prizes and scholarship, and that the Head of such an establishment would find himself among the biggest of such Principals. All this my brother, in whom my father and others predicted ruin for want of common sense, failed to see; with an income at starting of some 1200 pounds a year he sacrificed a certainty of three fold that sum in a few years, and the honour and real good to be achieved by guiding the vulgar trading mind of London towards higher things, all he sacrificed to his mere dislike of vulgar minded intemperance by the school committee. He never showed any the smallest desire to conciliate the men whose vote at the Annual Elections could remove him, and in fact courted his ruin by every means in his power. In two years he accomplished this and resigned his post with nothing to fall back upon save an active mind and body and his old Oxford reputation for scholarship, also with a heavy burden of debt on his hands."
Ref: Giles Papers Auckland Museum - Jennifer Abrahamson NZ 2009

The John Allen Giles Diary and Memoirs manuscript.
Marjorie Chetham [13129] John Allen Giles Gt Grandaughter, approached her cousin Ian Murray and suggested that the manuscript, of which they each had half, should be put together and Ian agreed and gave his half to her. In the 1990s she approached David Bromwich of the Somerset Record Office who was very interested in the document and published "The Diary and Memoirs". The original manuscript is in the Bodleian Library in six volumes. It is handwritten on large unlined paper with original watercolours, sketches, poems and pieces of material from three generations of wedding dress; also locks of hair from the heads of the two sons who died when very young.
Ref: C Stubbs.

Court Of Bankruptcy, Basinghall St, London.
Before Commissioner Sir Charles F Williams.
Reverse Of Fortune Of A Man Of Literature.
Re Giles - the insolvent in this case is Dr John Allen Giles, described in his schedule as of Everett Street, Brunswick Square, London; afterwards of No.2 New College St, Oxford; and then of Headington, Oxfordshire, Clerk and Doctor In Civil Law.
The solicitor carrying him through the court is Mr Looker of Oxford, and on the 27th of last month he was released from Oxford Castle by Mr Thomas Lowton Robins, the keeper, in pursuance of an order issued out of this Court.
Dr Giles states in his schedule that his debts are L 3112 13s 4d., and his credits L1070.; but the Messenger assured the Reporter that, in all probability, there would be nothing realised for the creditors. The property possessed by his wife she derived under the will of Mrs Ann Dickinson, the late of Ware, Herts., over which he declares he has no control. In May, 1841, he was possessed of plate, household furniture, etc of the value of L700., and his library of books was worth L450. At the time that he petitioned this Court, in September, he stated that he had only 10s in his possession, and no books, papers, or deeds. Among his losses is an item of L150., the estimated value of articles of which he has been robbed by a tenant named Samuel Bundy Williams, who was convicted of a felony, and sentenced to two years imprisonment. The expenses of the prosecution are put down at L50., and Williams (the convict) who is described as of Regent Street, London, is entered in the schedule as a "doubtful" debtor to the estate for L200. Dr Giles is the well-known author of "The Fathers of the English Church", and translator of the Venerable Bedes Works. He had, since his liberation from Oxford Castle, removed two boxes from Oxford to an inn in the Old Bailey, London, and Mr Crewe, a solicitor, this day appeared on behalf of several creditors to obtain the advice and assistance of the court.
Mr Crewe stated that there were good reasons for believing that the boxes contained valuable manuscripts, etc and he had accordingly obtained an attachment in the Lord Mayors Court to prevent the insolvent disposing of the property. Dr Giles positively refused to give up the boxers and their contents, alleging that he was not bound to do so, inasmuch as he had filed his petition in this Court, and they formed part of the excepted articles set forth in his schedule. He further insisted that the boxes merely contained wearing apparel and his private papers.
The Learned Commissioner remarked that Mr Crewe could not compel Dr Giles to complete the manuscripts, which he (Sir Charles) was aware had been already appreciated for their value - particularly the translation of the Venerable Bede's Works.
Mr Crewe was desirous that the boxes might be brought into court, and delivered into the custody of the proper officer, with the view that the contents might be disposed of for the benefit of the creditors, in any way that the Learned Commissioner might think proper to direct, before the insolvent received his final order.
After some discussion, the Commissioner ordered that the boxers, etc should be removed by the Messenger of the Court to the officers of the official assignee; Mr Crewe consenting to withdraw the attachment issued out of the Lord Mayors Court.
J. F. Ackerman, of Oxford, licenced victualler, obtained his interim order without opposition, and the court fixed the 11th of November next for the insolvent to come up for his final discharge.
Ref: Jackson's Oxford Journal 26 October 1844.

John Allen Giles Diary and Memoirs.
Page 239
Not having kept any journal of this year (1844), I cannot say on what day I left Boulogne in April, but I certainly spent three months or more in Paris, where I first of all rescued my watch from captivity (he had pawned it for 100 francs in November 1843), and resuming my residence in Rue des SS Peres, resumed also my labours at the various public libraries. In July I was again settled in the Little Cottage at Heddington Hill, but left it in October in consequence of the pecuniary difficulties into which the booksellers, Pickering, Bohn, and Black and Armstrong had involved both themselves and me. I took advantage of an Act of Parliament by which those who suffered in this way by the losses of others could be allowed time to extricate themselves, and so I succeeded at last in getting out of the troubles that for more than 12 months has annoyed me so seriously.

Pages 293 to 301.
These pages contain much detail of the correspondence between Dr Giles and his bishop of Oxford. They relate to the Bishop's objection to Giles challenging church doctrine on details of the Gospels.
Page 302.
Saturday, September 16, 1854.
Herbert was now very ill of typhus fever, and his mother and I took it by turns to sit by him both night and day, and the fatigue and anxiety which this caused us, led in a great measure to the irregularities which I thoughtlessly committed and the calamity which was thus bought upon us.
Page 304.
Saturday, October 7, 1854.
Butler the shoemaker came and complained to me that I had married his apprentice without his knowing it. I told him the young man was of full age and therefore could no longer be an apprentice, that I had only done as they had requested me, in order to save the young woman from a public scandal, and perhaps from being cast off altogether. If however he, Mr Butler, was in any way injured by my action, I would make him any compensation he might require. He said no more, but as it appeared wrote to the Bishop telling him what had happened, and either falsifying or aggravating every particular.

From the Bishop of Oxford.
Beckett, October 9, 1854
My dear Sir,
A most serious charge is brought against you, as to which I must beg from you an answer. It is that you have knowingly and wilfully married without banns or licence a servant maid in your family to an apprentice, a minor to a minor, without consents, at between the hours of six and seven in the morning.
I am very truly yours
S. Oxon.

Although much alarmed at the receipt of this letter, and aware that I had been very sarcastic in my former letter to his lordship, I did not anticipate any charge of a criminal nature for an act, certainly of negligence and inattention to church ceremonies, but not fraudulent nor in any way beneficial to myself. . . . .

Illegal Solemnisation Of Marriage By A Clergyman.
On Monday last the Rev. John Allen Giles, DCL of Bampton, was charged before the magistrates of Witney, Oxford, with having, on the fifth of October solemnised matrimony, in the parish church of Bampton, between the hours of six and seven o'clock in the morning. Mr Robinson, of Oxford, solicitor, conducted the prosecution, and Mr Westell, solicitor, of Witney attended on behalf of the Rev Dr Giles. The court was densely crowded. The young man and woman who had been married had absconded to avoid giving evidence, but had been arrested in London, and were in attendance during the investigation. Their names are Richard Pratt, an apprentice to a shoemaker, and Jane Green, a housemaid in Dr Giles service. They proved that on the day set forth in the charge they were married by Dr Giles about a quarter past 6 a.m. No one was present save themselves, the doctor, his son master Arthur, and a maid servant named Green. Charlotte Lait, another servant of Dr Giles, was not present, and the mark on the Registry purporting to be hers was not made in their presence. No application was made for a licence, and no banns were published. (It was stated by Green that Dr Giles showed her a document which he said was a licence, and which was stamped with a large seal, and had "S Oxon" written in one corner; but no licence was found in the register chest, we're all licences were usually deposited, and the witness did not know what became of the document referred to.)
An attempt had been made to induce the witness Pratt to depose that he was married on Tuesday the third, and not on the fifth, and he had agreed to do so. Charlotte Lait also, whose mark had purported to be in the register book as present at the ceremony, swore that the marriage took place on the third, and that she made the mark on the day. (She afterwards admitted that Dr Giles had instructed her to make the statement, and she will probably be prosecuted for perjury). After the examination of the parish clerk and other witnesses a discussion took place respecting the nature of the offence upon which Dr Giles was to be called on for his defence, it being contended for the prosecution that the charge for marrying without banns or licence, as well as for marrying before eight in the morning, was fully proved; but, as the offence specified in the warrant of apprehension was for the latter charge only, it was determined to proceed upon that at present, and that a second information should afterwards be laid for the more serious offence of marrying without banns or licence.
Dr Giles was then asked what he had to say in answer to the charge, but under the direction of his professional adviser, he declined to enter on his defence beyond saying that he pleaded not guilty to any charge of felony most loudly. The magistrates came to the decision, that the case must be sent for trial at the next assizes; but agreed to accept bail for the appearance of Dr Giles, himself in L500, and two sureties of L250 each.
Another charge was then laid against Dr Giles, for having, in August 1853, solemnised matrimony, between the hours of seven and eight, in the parish church of Bampton; and upon this charge the evidence of a single witness was taken, and the further hearing remanded until tomorrow, the 27th inst., at 10 o'clock. Bail was put in to answer both charges, and Dr Giles was then released from custody. The question whether the witness Charlotte Lait, should be committed for wilful perjury, was reserved until the next hearing, tomorrow.
Ref: Daily News 26 October 1854.

Serious Charge Against Dr Giles, of Bampton, Oxford.
This report in Jacksons Oxford Journal carries a long verbatim account of the hearing on the 26th of October as summarised above in the Daily News, plus the following report on the resumed hearing, the next day.
Friday October 27.
The enquiry was to be resumed this morning before the Bench of County Magistrates at Whitby, and they met at the Town Hall accordingly, when, after some delay, Mr Westell, the attorney of Dr Giles, announced to the bench that his client, acting under the advice of his friends, would not appear to answer the charge, and that his bail would submit to have their recognizances being forfeited. The usual proclamation was then made for Dr Giles to appear; and as he did not, the Magistrates directed the recognizances of L500 to be estreated.
Ref: Jackson's Oxford Journal 28 October 1854

Oxford Assizes - March 6.
The Queen v Giles (Clerk)
The Rev John Allen Giles, DCL, having been called at the sitting of the court, surrendered in discharge of his bail, to take his trial upon four indictments which had been found against him. The first indictment charged that he, being curate of Bampton, in this county, solemnised the office of matrimony between Richard Pratt and Jane Green on the 5th of October 1854, and feloniously made in the marriage register book of the said Parish a certain false entry respecting the particulars of the said marriage. This said entry was alleged to be false in three particulars - first, in stating that the marriage took place on the third of October whereas it took place on the fifth; secondly, in stating that the marriage took place by licence, whereas there was no licence; and thirdly, in stating that one C. Late was present at the marriage, and signed her mark in the register book as a witness, whereas the said C. Late was not present at the marriage, and did not sign her mark in the register. The prisoner pleaded that he was not guilty.
After a protracted trial, the jury found the prisoner guilty. The jury said they were extremely sorry that they could not come to any other conclusion than that the entry was false in each particular. They strongly recommended the prisoner to mercy, a recommendation which was joined in by the counsel for the prosecution.
The prisoner then addressed the court at some length in mitigation of punishment. He referred to his early life and his toilsome devotion to literature, which had resulted, he said, in the publication of as many as 120 volumes. He had entered the church, a vocation for which he was entirely unfit, in obedience to the wishes of his father; but he had been chiefly devoted to literature, and he suggested that his devotion to his studies had rendered him unfit for the common affairs of life, to which circumstances he attributed the errors which he had committed in connection with this transaction. He implored the court to deal mercifully with him, and afford him an opportunity of redeeming his character and becoming a useful member of society.
Lord Campbell, in passing sentence, said this was a most painful case. The prisoner had attained the highest honour which his university could confer, and there could be no doubt that he possessed most extensive attainments and the most eminent abilities. It was therefore, most distressing to see him standing at the bar of a criminal court to receive sentence. He (Lord Campbell) was still totally at a loss to account for the motives by which the prisoner had been actuated. He was satisfied that the suspicion which had been propagated, that he had been guilty of some immorality which he wished to conceal, was entirely without foundation, for it was proved that the young man and woman were attached to one another, and were about to be united in lawful matrimony. Still, the prisoner had flagrantly violated the law of the land, and he could not be unconscious of the impropriety of making a false entry in the register of marriages, on the purity of which the safety of society depended. The prisoner had got rid of those witnesses; he had violated truth in his letters, and he had called on Charlotte Late, his servant, to state what he knew to be false. In the hope that he would not only repent of his conduct, but eventually be restored to society, and become an ornament to the literary world, the sentence would be mitigated to imprisonment in the common jail of the county for one year.
Ref: Belfast News 9 March 1855.

John Allen Giles Diary and Memoirs.
Page 313.
I admit the justice of all his lordship said. I was not in my normal state of mind, when the marriage took place; the illness of Herbert kept me up night after night, and I was distracted by a multitude of things - in addition to the fact that I had never had any experience of the laws passed in Parliament to maintain the authority of the Church.

A report in the North Wales Chronicle dated 10 March 1855 gives further insights.
. . . . . Numerous witnesses were examined, and amongst them the Lord Bishop of Oxford, by whom the case was most clearly established.
The defence set up was, that the defendant was overwhelmed with his literary labours, and through an utter recklessness had made these fatal mistakes, but not with the intention of injuring or defrauding anyone. Several clergyman gave the defendant a very good character.
The jury retired for 10 minutes, and then returned into court with a verdict of guilty; but recommended the prisoner to mercy.
Dr Giles asked permission to address the court, which was readily conceded. He said it appeared he had offended against church and state. He admitted that he was an unworthy member of the former; but in going into it he had carried out the wishes of his deceased father. It was entirely opposed to his own inclination. He had worked for years past very hard, at the rate of 12 hours a day, publishing the ancient records of this country. 120 volumes were the result of his labours. He had never sought favour from anyone. If anyone asked him a favour, he had always done it. That had always been his misfortune. He felt that, had he been placed in any other position of life than the church, he could have followed a successful career, and been a useful member of society. He was the eldest of 16 children. He had never had a penny from his friends since he was 18 years of age. He took his degrees in this university. He felt his head sometimes affected by great studies. He then stated to his Lordship that, in the present case he had no motive to serve, and begged earnestly for his Lordship to take a merciful consideration of his case, and not send him to prison. If he was sent to prison he certainly should not outlive it. . . . . .
Lord Campbell then pronounced the sentence of 12 months imprisonment without hard labour and the article reports. "the defendant appeared to feel the sentence most acutely"
Ref North Wales Chronicle 10 March 1855

John Allen Giles Diary and Memoirs.
Page 312 - Oxford Castle.
I was consigned to Oxford Castle, nominally for 12 months; but it was signified to me privately that I should be set free before that time, and that it was impossible wholly to excuse such a wholesale neglect of the law as I had committed. I was accordingly released after a few weeks by order of the Secretary of State, with the concurrence of Lord Campbell himself. The Bishop of Oxford also interceded for me, possibly proprio motu, for he must have felt that his vengeance for my taunting letter was complete, and nine tenths of the University took up my cause. . . . . Dr Giles believed implicitly, with much support, that the prosecution was sought by the Bishop of Oxford in spite of the bishop's protestations to the contrary.

Page 314.
. . . . . the Governor of Oxford Castle Mr Harrison behaved to me with the greatest kindness and courtesy. . . . . Some weeks later his brother, . . . . . showed me a letter from the Governor, written on the day of the trial, and characterising the treatment I had received as a shameful persecution.
Pages 313 to 327.
Contain substantial reference to the outpouring of support Dr Giles received, after his conviction.

Insolvent Debtors Court.
Before Mr Commissioner Murphy.
In Re. Rev. John Allen Giles.
Mr Reed appeared to oppose in the case of this insolvent, formerly of Bampton, Oxford, who applied under the Protection Act. He said the second hearing might be appointed, and if necessary he could oppose on the next occasion.
The Court assented; and the 16th of April was fixed for the final order.
Ref: Daily News & Morning Chronicle 13 March 1856
The collater can find no reference to this matter in Dr Giles diary. Was it related to his insolvency reported on the 26th Oct 1844 above?

John Allen Giles Diary and Memoirs
Page 460.
Tuesday, October 7, 1873. Received the following letter from Herbert.
Ningpo August 7, 1873
My dear father,
Another mighty victory have you gained - for how can you defeat an enemy more completely than by outliving him? To be still in the enjoyment of life and health while a foe is rotting in a vault is no trifle, and cancels whole years of insolence of office. You probably have long ago forgiven poor Soapy Sam, and time may even have toned down the bitterness of the old lady's hate; but there are two living beings who grew up cursing the Bishop of Oxford as they rose in the morning and lay down at night, making it their grace before dinner and there thanksgiving after - Ellen and I. No one taught us to curse the soapy prelate, and the old lady used to say Hsh! as we did so, though she enjoyed it all the time; but we learnt by instinct to hate and to curse the man who had sacrificed us and ours on the altar of bigotry and spite. I don't think we shall ever be able to do anything else then think of the old rascal thus; we began to hate to young and too hotly. . . . . .
N.B. I expect to hear the news of his death from the old lady about two months hence.
. . . . . I have been busy with my two Chinese books. The second must be a hit. I am sure it will pay well. Perhaps I shall be able to send the old lady another velvet gown. I ought to send you one this time; only I know you don't go in for that sort of thing. By the way I was thinking, and am now, of dedicating the Colloquial Idioms to you, only there would be nothing ąpropos in so doing, and by putting the name of a certain man out here in it, I could get an introduction for it in a very valuable quarter. I think I hear you say, "Sacrifice sentiment to dollars" and shall very likely take your advice. Still if you would like to appear in the next, write and say to.
Your affectionate son
H. A. Giles.

The Rector's Golden Wedding (John Allen Giles)
The Rev. Dr. and Mrs Giles were "at home" on Monday to a large number of their friends and parishioners, who assembled to congratulate them on their golden wedding. On the 17th December, 1833, they were married, and on the 17th December, 1883, they celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of that important event. Few couples are allowed to enjoy so long a period of wedded life, and it was therefore no wonder that the congratulations offered to Dr. and Mrs Giles were hearty and sincere. The large number of presents that commemorated the occasion had been arranged in the library, where they were inspected and admired by the visitors. Refreshments were served in the dining-room, conspicuous among them being a wedding-cake, bearing on flags the date of the marriage and of its fiftieth anniversary. Of this interesting memento the visitors, of course, all partook. Mrs Giles was naturally much affected on the occasion, and her emotion was not lessened by the many marks of esteem which were exhibited during the day. The Rector was unwearying in the discharge of his duties as host in spite of his burden of 75 years and the number of his guests. A very interesting object which he showed them, and one which will no doubt become a heirloom in his family, was the umbrella presented by the Emperor of China to his son. Those who are acquainted with the prominent part which umbrellas play in the etiquette of the Chinese nation will understand the estimation in which the recipient of this unusual mark of favour must have been held. The gift was made to one who not only officially represents this country in the Far East, but who is a very accomplished Chinese scholar. The present was one of which Dr. Giles may naturally be proud. No fewer than 120 persons called on Monday afternoon to offer their congratulations, among the number being Sir Thomas and Lady Owden, Dr and Mrs Barrett, the Rector of Morden, Mr and Mrs Woods etc. In the evening there was a quiet family party, at which sons and daughters, and many grandsons and granddaughters, were present. Amongst the gifts were the following:- From the officials of St Nicholas and Christchurch, a handsome repousse gold salver, accompanied by a beautifully illuminated vellum scroll with the names of the donors. From the ladies, a fine repousse gold and silver centrepiece, also accompanied by a scroll. Both of these presents of antique style and workmanship, and included in the last was a mahogany box containing a dozen handsome silver dessert knives, with mother-of-pearl handles. There were also a solid gold repousse pin tray, a gold thimble, a gold-tipped scent bottle, silver entrée dishes, silver crumb gatherer, French china afternoon tea set, Venetian glass mirror, several exquisite baskets of flowers, wedding bouquets of great elegance, and many other things of value and beauty.
Ref: Jennifer Abrahamson NZ 2009

The Rev John Allen Giles DCL., died at his residence, Sutton Rectory, Surrey, on Wednesday. He was a man of some note in his day, having taken a double first as a scholar of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, in Easter term 1828, a time when double firsts were scarcely as common as now, owing to the multiplication of the schools in which honours are to be obtained. He obtained the Vinerian University Scholarship and proceeded M.A. in 1831, was subsequently elected a Fellow of his College, and took the D.C.L. in 1838. Ordained deacon in 1832 by the Bishop of Rochester (Dr Murray), and admitted to priests orders in 1835 by the Bishop of Winchester (Dr Sumner), he held the headmastership of Camberwell Collegiate School from 1834 to 1836, when he was appointed headmaster of the City of London School, which post he resigned in 1840. From 1845 to 1854 he held the curacy of Bampton Oxfordshire, and he was afterwards for some time curate in charge of Perivale, Middlesex. He was instituted to the rectory of Sutton in 1867. The name of Dr Giles is known as a scholar in various branches of learning. He edited or translated the works of Lanfranc and of the Venerable Bede, "Letters of St Thomas of Canterbury," the "The Codex Apocryphus Novi Testamenti," "Sculptores Graeci Minores," "Terentii Comoediae," "Severi Sancti Carmen," and "The Works of King Alfred the Great." He was also the author of the "Life and Times of King Alfred the Great," "Life and Letters of Thomas į Becket," "The History of Bampton," "The History of Witney," a "History of the Ancient Britons," "First Lessons on Common Subjects," a "Story Book of English History," etc.
Ref: Jackson's Oxford Journal 27 September 1884
Many of these titles are available to copy and read Online at Internet Archive:

A similar Obituary appeared in the New York Times dated September 26 1884.

GILES, JOHN ALLEN <>, D.C.L. (1808-1884), editor and translator, son of William Giles and his wife Sophia, whose maiden name was Allen, was born on 26 Oct. 1808 at Southwick House, in the parish of Mark, Somerset, the residence of his father and grandfather, and at the age of sixteen entered Charterhouse <,_1800%E2%80%931879/G> as a Somerset scholar. From Charterhouse he was elected to a Bath and Wells scholarship at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, on 26 Nov. 1824. In Easter term 1828 he obtained a double first class, and shortly afterwards graduated B.A., proceeding M.A. in 1831, in which year he gained the Vinerian scholarship, and took his D.C.L. degree in 1838. His election to a fellowship at Corpus on 15 Nov. 1832 followed his college scholarship as a matter of course. He wished to become a barrister, but was persuaded by his mother to take orders, and was ordained to the curacy of Cossington, Somerset. The following year he vacated his fellowship, and was married to Miss A. S. Dickinson. His 'Scriptores Gręci minores' had been published in 1831, and his 'Latin Grammar' reached a third edition in 1833. In 1834 he was appointed to the head-mastership of Camberwell College School, and on 24 Nov. 1836 was elected head-master of the City of London School. He failed to preserve discipline; the school did not do well under him, and he resigned on 23 Jan. 1840; his resignation, however, has been attributed to some misfortune connected with building speculations (Times, 7 March 1855, p. 12). He retired to a house which he built near Bagshot, and there took pupils, and engaged in literary work. After a few years he became curate of Bampton, Oxfordshire, where he continued taking pupils, and edited and wrote a great number of books. Among them was one entitled 'Christian Records,' published in 1854, which related to the age and authenticity of the books of the New Testament. The bishop of Oxford, Samuel Wilberforce, required him, on pain of losing his curacy, to suppress this work, and break off his connection with another literary undertaking on which he was engaged. After some letters, which were published, had passed on the subject, he complied with the bishop's demand.
On 6 March 1855 Giles was tried at the Oxford spring assizes before Lord Campbell, on the charges of having entered in the marriage register book of Bampton parish church a marriage under date 3 Oct. 1854, which took place on the 5th, he having himself performed the ceremony out of canonical hours, soon after 6 a.m.; of having falsely entered that it was performed by license; and of having forged the mark of a witness who was not present. He pleaded not guilty, but it was evident that he had committed the offence out of foolish good nature, in order to cover the frailty of one of his servants, whom he married to her lover, Richard Pratt, a shoemaker's apprentice. Pratt's master, one of Giles's parishioners, instituted the proceedings. Giles spoke on his own behalf, and declared that he had published 120 volumes. His bishop also spoke for him. He was found guilty, but strongly recommended to mercy. Lord Campbell sentenced him to a year's imprisonment in Oxford Castle. His fate excited much commiseration in the university, and after three months' imprisonment he was released by royal warrant on 4 June (Times, 7 March and 7 June 1855). After the lapse of two or three years he took the curacy, with sole charge, of Perrivale in Middlesex, and after remaining there five years became curate of Harmondsworth, near Slough. At the end of a year he resigned this curacy, and went to live at Cranford, in the immediate neighbourhood, where he took pupils, and after a while removed to Ealing. He did not resume clerical work until he was presented in 1867 to the living of Sutton in Surrey, which he held for seventeen years, until his death on 24 Sept. 1884. His literary tastes and some peculiarities of manner and disposition are said to have injured his popularity, but he was kind and courteous. His wife survived him, and he left two sons, one in the Bengal police, the other, Herbert Allen Giles, Professor of Chinese at the University of Cambridge. He also left two daughters, the elder married to Dundas W. Cloeté of Churchill Court, Somerset, the younger unmarried.
Much of Giles's literary work was hasty, and done as task work for booksellers. Still, historical scholars, especially those who began to study before the publication of the Rolls Series of editions, have reason to remember him with gratitude, although his editions of historical works are frequently disfigured by carelessness, and lack of arrangement, indexes, and every kind of critical apparatus. Many of his works require no notice. Besides those already noticed he published a 'Greek Lexicon,' 1839. Between 1837 and 1843 he published the 'Patres Ecclesię Anglicanę,' a series of thirty-four volumes, containing the works of Aldhelm, Będa, Boniface, Lanfranc, Archbishop Thomas, John of Salisbury, Peter of Blois, Gilbert Foliot, and other authors. Several volumes of the Caxton Society's publications were edited by him, chiefly between 1845 and 1854. Among these were 'Anecdota Będę et aliorum,' 'Benedictus Abbas, de Vita S. Thomę,' 'Chron. Anglię Petroburgense,' 'La révolte du Conte de Warwick,' and 'Vitę quorundam Anglo-Saxonum.' His 'Scriptores rerum gestarum Willelmi Conquestoris' was published in 1845. He contributed to Bohn's Antiquarian Library translations of 'Matthew Paris,' 1847, 'Bede's Ecclesiastical History,' and the 'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle,' 1849, and other works. In 1845 he published 'Life and Times of Thomas Becket,' 2 vols., translated into French, 1858; in 1847, 'History of the Ancient Britons,' 2 vols., and in 1848, 'Life and Times of Alfred the Great.' In 1847-8 appeared his 'History of Bampton,' 2 vols., and in 1852 his 'History of Witney and some neighbouring Parishes.' While at Bampton, in 1850 he published 'Hebrew Records' on the age and authenticity of the books of the Old Testament, and in 1854 'Christian Records on the Age, Authorship, and Authenticity of the Books of the New Testament,' in which he contends, in a preface dated 26 Oct. 1853, that the 'Gospels and Acts were not in existence before the year 150,' and remarks that 'the objections of ancient philosophers, Celsus, Porphyry, and others, were drowned in the tide of orthodox resentment' (with reference to this book see Letters of the Bishop of Oxford and Dr. J. A. G., published in a separate volume). In 1853 he began to work on a series called 'Dr. Giles's Juvenile Library,' which went on appearing from time to time until 1860, and comprises a large number of school-books, 'First Lessons' on English, Scottish, Irish, French, and Indian history, on geography, astronomy, arithmetic, &c. He contributed 'Poetic Treasures' to Moxon's 'Popular Poets' in 1881
Ref: Dictionary of National Biography

Deaths Of Note.
The Rev John Allen Giles, rector of Sutton, Surrey, died at his residence, the Rectory, Sutton, on Wednesday morning. He was 76 years of age, was for some years master of the City of London School, and was the author of a well-known series of translations of the Greek classics adapted for use in schools.
Ref: Ipswich Journal 27 September 1894.

There is a brass memorial to his memory in the Sutton Church and a beautiful window in Churchill Church.

bullet  Research Notes:

Catalogue of the Journals of John Allen Giles, c.1815-1884
Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

Doctor of Civil Law - DCL.
Some universities, such as the University of Oxford award Doctor of Civil Law (DCL) degrees instead of Doctor of Laws (LL.D.) degrees.
At Oxford, the degree of Doctor of Civil Law by Diploma is customarily conferred on foreign Heads of State, as well as on the Chancellor of the University.
The degree is a higher doctorate usually awarded on the basis of exceptionally insightful and distinctive publications that contain significant and original contributions to the study of law or politics in general. The degree of Doctor of Canon Law was replaced by the DCL after the Reformation
The DCL is senior to all degrees save the Doctor of Divinity which was traditionally the highest degree bestowed by the Universities.
Ref: Wikipedia

John Allen Giles writes;
A feeling common to all mankind leads them to enquire into the history of their forefathers. I have sought out all I could respecting my own family. The county of Somerset has always been remarkable for the large number of small landed proprietors who live in it. I was born in Southwick House, the principal house in Mark, a hamlet of a few houses in the large parish of Mark. Southwick House, with the estate of about 500 pound a year and more than once been in the possession of my family at various times, and had been alienated by marriage or will. It had belonged - not to my forefathers, but to my foremothers. In 1703 it belonged to "John Allen of Southwick."
The whole neighbourhood is an extensive plain, through which run three rivers, the Axe, the Brue, and the Parrot, all three Celtic names. The greater part of this wide plain was marshy and liable to floods when I was a child.
Of High Hall, once an ancient edifice just beyond and opposite to the bridge over the Rhine, only a small out-house remains, now a public house. It was once a fishing seat for the Abbats (sic) of Glastonbury who came down thither in their barges from the Abbey

Terry Heard writes 2021:
There is no record of Giles's burial in the St John Churchill churchyard, but that by the record of his wife, Anna's burial there is a note saying "interred in the private vault of Churchill Court". There are references in Giles's diary to him building a Mausoleum there, so I am pretty sure that he was placed in the Mausoleum, where Anna (and perhaps other family members too) joined him in due course. Unconfirmed

Images Courtesy Frognash Tree Ancestry; T Heard: T Avery.


bullet  Other Records

1. Census: England, 30 Mar 1851, The Church Yard Bampton Oxfordshire. John is recorded as head of house aged 42 married DCL and author born Mark Somerset

2. Census: England, 8 Apr 1861, The Rectory Perivale Middlesex. John is recorded as head of house married aged 52 DCL of Oxford Curate of Perivale tutor and author of ..... literature born Mark Somerset

3. Census: England, 3 Apr 1881, The Rectory West St Sutton SRY. John is recorded as aged 72, head of house, married, occupation Rector of Sutton, DCL Oxford, born Mark Somerset.
Also in the house was Raymond A Giles grandson aged 6 born Bengal Bangkypor, Bertram Giles grandson aged 6 born Hankow China, and three servants.

4. John Allen Giles.
John as Head Master of City of London School; at work; his home at Churchill Court; his memorial window at Churchill; memorial plaque in Churchill Churchyard

Terry Heard wrote 2021 of the Memorial Window.
I am interested to see that the three main figures are St Aegidius (= St Giles) (left), King Alfred (centre) and the Venerable Bede (right). Alfred and Bede being the subjects of two of Giles's major books, with the arms of Giles and Corpus Christi Oxford.

The Churchyard Memorial reads.
To the Memory of
John Allen Giles DCL
Fellow of Corpus Christi Oxon.
and Rector of Sutton Surrey
Born at Mark in this County 28 Oct 1808
Died at Sutton 24 Sep 1884
Erected by His Wife
Anna Sarah
Who Died 4 Sep 1896 Aged 84

5. John Allen Giles: Detail on his Memorial Window: St John Churchill SOM.
St Aegidius (= St Giles), King Alfred and the Venerable Bede.


John married Anna Sarah DICKINSON [7494] [MRIN: 114], daughter of Frederick DICKINSON [7497] and Mary STOW [12908], on 17 Dec 1833 in Bridgewater. (Anna Sarah DICKINSON [7494] was born on 12 Jun 1812 in Victualling-Yard, Deptford, Kent, England, baptised on 16 Jun 1812 in St Paul Deptford KEN, died on 4 Sep 1896 in St Lukes Rd Bath and was buried in Churchill Court SOM.)

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