Gresham Professor of Rhetoric

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The Professor of Rhetoric at Gresham College, London, gives free educational lectures to the general public. The college was founded for this purpose in 1596 / 1597, when it appointed seven professors; this has since increased to eight and in addition the college now has visiting professors.

The Professor of Rhetoric is always appointed by the Mercers’ School Memorial Trust, which is administered by the Worshipful Company of Mercers. The title is a broad one, and Professors of Rhetoric have included historians, poets, educators and literary critics.

(Years given as, for example, 1596 / 1597 refer to Old Style and New Style dates.)

1 Caleb Willis March 1596 / 1597
2 Richard Ball 1598
3 Charles Croke 14 January 1613 / 1614
4 Henry Croke 26 May 1619
5 Edward Wilkinson 13 April 1627
6 John Goodridge 6 November 1638
7 Richard Hunt 29 November 1654
8 William Croune FRS 8 June1659
9 Henry Jenkes 21 October 1670
10 John King[1] 2 October 1676
11 Charles Gresham 20 August 1686
12 Edward Martyn 4 December 1696
13 John Ward 1 September 1720
14 Joseph Whateley 19 January 1759
15 Joseph Thomas Waugh[2] 11 April 1797
16 F Newnham 7 January 1808
17 Edward Owen[3] 13 November 1817
18 Charlton Lane 23 April 1863
19 Thomas Francis Dallin 9 July 1875
20 J E Nixon 4 February 1881
21 Foster Watson 22 January 1915
22 Oliver Elton 19 April 1929
23 George Stuart Gordon 2 May 1930
24 Arthur William Reed 8 December 1933
1939–1945 Lectures in abeyance
25 Rowland Walter Jepson 6 June 1946
26 Lord David Cecil 27 June 1947
27 Nevill Coghill 14 October 1948
28 William Empson 1953
29 Richard Hughes 1954
30 Bonamy Dobrée 1957
31 Stephen Spender 1961
32 John Wain 1963 (Hilary term)
33 Cecil Day-Lewis 1963–1964
34 Patric Dickinson 1965–1967
35 Sir Robert Birley 1968–1982
1983–1984 vacant
36 John Morley Pick 1985
37 Jan Kott 1986
38 John Morley Pick 1987
39 J M Rae 1988
40 Sir Andrew Derbyshire 1990
41 Peter G Moore 1 September 1992
42 Peter Hennessy 1 September 1994
43 Lynette Hunter 1 September 1997
44 Richard Sorabji CBE FBA 1 September 2000
45 Kathleen Burk 1 September 2003
46 Rodney Barker 1 September 2006
47 Richard J. Evans 1 September 2009
48 Belinda Jack 1 September 2013[4]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ William, Birken. "King, John". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/47336.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. ^ "Waugh, Joseph Thomas (WH784JT)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  3. ^ "Owen, Edward (OWN802E)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  4. ^ 'Four Century Old Tradition continued through The Mysteries of Reading and Writing: Belinda Jack appointed to London’s Oldest Professorship' Gresham College press release concerning the appointment

Further reading[edit]

  • Ward, John (1740). The Lives of the Professors of Gresham College. New York & London: Johnson Reprint Corporation.