Joseph Dacre Carlyle
He was born in 1759 at Carlyle, where his father practised as a physian. He was educated at the Carlisle grammar school and was then entered at Christ's College, Cambridge, whence he presently removed to Queens' College, proceeded B.A. in 1779, and was elected a fellow of Queens', took his M.A, degree in 1783, and B.D. in 1793. During his residence at Cambridge he profited by the instructions of a native of Baghdad, whose Europeanised name was David Zamio, and became so proficient in oriental languages that he was appointed Sir Thomas Adams's Professor of Arabic on the resignation of Dr. Craven in 1796.
In the meantime he had obtained some church preferment at Carlisle, and had succeeded Paley in 1793 as chancellor of that city. In 1792, he published in 4to the 'Rerum Ægyptiacarum Annales,' translated from the Arabic of Yûsuf ibn Taghri Birdi, a meagre work of slight historical value; and in 1796, also 4to, 'Specimens of Arabian Poet' (with some account of the authors selected) translations in which a certain elegance of diction is more striking than the fidelity to the spirit and colour of the originals.
In 1799, he was appointed chaplain to Lord Elgin's mission to Constantinople, with the special duties of learned referee; and he made a tour through Asia Minor, Palestine, Greece, and Italy, collecting Greek and Syriac manuscripts for a proposed new version of the New Testament, which unfortunately he did not live to accomplish.
Returning to England in September 1801, he was presented the living of Newcastle-on-Tyne; but his health had been seriously impaired by the fatigues of travel, and he also suffered from a special and painful malady, to which he succumbed on 13 April 1804.
His 'Poems suggested chiefly by Scenes in Asia Minor, Syria and Greece,' together with some translations from the Arabic, were published after his death, 1805, 4to, with extracts from his journal and a preface by his after. He had also almost completed an account of his tour through the Troad, which was never published, and had advanced so far in his Arabic Bible, revised from Walton's text, that it was issued at Newcastle, edited by H. Ford, professor of Arabic at Oxford, in 1811.
Some manuscripts from Carlyle's collection
- Minuscule 470
- Minuscule 471
- Minuscule 472
- Minuscule 473
- Minuscule 474
- Minuscule 475
- Minuscule 488
- Lectionary 232
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Lane-Poole, Stanley (1887). "Carlyle, Joseph Dacre". In Stephen, Leslie. Dictionary of National Biography 9. London: Smith, Elder & Co.