Samuel Henry Butcher


Butcher1850-1910.  The son of Samuel Butcher, Bishop of Meath; John Butcher, 1st Baron Danesfort, was his younger brother. He became an eminent classical scholar and, in his final years, a politician. As a student at Trinity he was Senior Classic and Chancellor's medalist. Elected Fellow in 1874, he left the College on his marriage, in 1876, to the daughter of Archbishop Trench. From 1876 to 1882 he was a Fellow of University College, Oxford, and from 1882 to 1903 he became Professor of Greek at Edinburgh University. He was President of the British Academy from 1909 to 1910.

Butcher's many publications included, in collaboration with Andrew Lang, a prose translation of the Odyssey.

He was one of the two Members of Parliament for Cambridge University, between 1906 and his death, representing the Unionist Party.

He died in London on 29 December 1910, and was interred at the Dean Cemetery in Edinburgh.


Memorial inscription Translation

Viro consummato carissimo humanissimo


Academiae Britannicae Praesidi
ad Senatum Britann. ab Univ. Cantabr. ter legato

Qui in formandis et consociandis inter se civibus quantum posset bonarum artium litterarumque praecipue Graecarum sincerus et cum reverentia quadam coniunctus amor ita doctrina et institutis monstravit ita ipse gestu sermone moribus expressit ut tam ab universis quam a suis ademptus lugeretur

cuius ex societate profectus est inque eandem denuo post amplissimos honores receptus P.C.

Eblanae natus est April.XVI MDCCCL
Edinae Litt. Graecas XXI annos professus
Londini mortuus Dec. XXIX MDCCCCX

Samuel Henry Butcher, President of the British Academy and thrice elected to Parliament as Member for Cambridge University, was a man of the greatest perfection, kindness and humanity.  By his teaching and practice, and by his manner, speech and habits, he so successfully demonstrated how effective a sincere and reverential love of fine art and literature, and in particular Greek literature, could be in instructing and bringing together his fellow citizens, that his death was mourned not only by his family, but by people everywhere.  He left the Fellowship of the College and later returned loaded with many honours.  The College arranged for this brass to be set up.  He was born in Dublin on 16th April 1850, was Professor of Greek in Edinburgh for twenty-one years, and died in London on 29th December 1910.

Samuel Henry Butcher

Brass located on the south wall of the Ante-Chapel.
Inscription text by A.W. Verrall.


Butcher brass.  Click for enlarged view


Click on the thumbnail for a larger image.


John Burnaby


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