Lewis Richard Farnell

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Lewis Richard Farnell
Vice-Chancellor of the
University of Oxford
In office
Preceded by Herbert Edward Douglas Blakiston
Succeeded by Joseph Wells
Personal details
Born 1856
Died 1934
Alma mater Exeter College, Oxford

Lewis Richard Farnell FBA (1856–1934) was a classical scholar and Oxford academic, where he served as Vice-Chancellor from 1920 to 1923.[1]

Early life and career[edit]

Lewis Farnell was born in Salisbury, southern England, in 1856. He was educated at the City of London School and Exeter College, Oxford, where he graduated with a first class degree in Literae Humaniores in 1878. He was elected as a Fellow of Exeter College in 1880 and a lecturer in classics in 1883. He was later Rector (head) of the College.

Between 1880 and 1893, Farnell made a series of tours of Europe, studying classical archaeology in Berlin and Munich, as well as travelling in Asia Minor and Greece.

From 1901 he was a corresponding member of the German Archaeological Institute, and in June that year he received the degree of D.Litt. from the University of Oxford.[2] In 1916, Farnell was elected a Fellow of the British Academy. He also received honorary degrees from the universities of Dublin (Ireland), St Andrews (Scotland) and Geneva (Switzerland).


From 1896, Farnell published many books,[3] including:

He delivered the following Gifford Lectures:[1]

  • Greek Hero Cults and Ideas of Immortality (1919–20)
  • The Attributes of God (1924–25)


In 1893, Farnell married Sylvia (born 1872), youngest daughter of Captain Christopher Baldock Cardew of East Liss, Hampshire, and granddaughter of the Lord Chancellor Richard Bethell, 1st Baron Westbury. They had three sons and one daughter. His great grandson is Timothy Farnell, the Great Britain Triathlete.[citation needed]

Farnell commemorated his brother,[4] George Stanley Farnell in the inscription of the 1896 edition of the first volume of the first edition of The Cults of the Greek States. The inscription read, "In memoriam fratris dilectissimi et nuper amissi, which means, "In memory of a most beloved and recently lost brother".


  1. ^ a b c Lewis Richard Farnell, Gifford Lectures.
  2. ^ "University intelligence" The Times (London). Saturday, 22 June 1901. (36488), p. 10.
  3. ^ Books by Lewis Richard Farnell, Alibris.
  4. ^ Buckingham, James Silk et al., The Athenaeum: A Journal of Literature, Science, the Fine Arts, Music, and the Drama, "Mr. G. Stanley Farnell", No. 3551, Nov. 16 (London, John C. Francis: 1895) [1]

Further reading[edit]

  • Lewis R. Farnell, An Oxonian Looks Back (memoir), Martin Hopkinson, London, 1934.

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
William Walrond Jackson
Rector of Exeter College, Oxford
Succeeded by
Robert Ranulph Marett
Preceded by
Herbert Edward Douglas Blakiston
Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University
Succeeded by
Joseph Wells