John Kelly (scholar)

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John Kelly LL.D. (1750–1809) was a Manx scholar.

Kelly was born at Douglas, Isle of Man, the son of a wine cooper. He was educated by Philip Moore, later joining his venture with other Manx scholars and clergymen to translate the Bible into Manx, his contribution was a revision of the books of the Old Testament, the transcription, and supervision of the printing at Whitehaven. He was engaged on this task for six years. Kelly was admitted to St John's College, Cambridge and graduated as a Doctor of law in 1799.

John Kelly published works on the "ancient gaelic" before devoting himself to his major work A Triglot Dictionary of the Celtic Language, as spoken in Man, Scotland, and Ireland, together with the English. The publication of this vocabulary was interrupted by a fire that destroyed the printed volumes, and part of the manuscript; it was eventually prepared and amended for an 1866 edition from the surviving manuscript at the Manx Society.

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