William Macneile Dixon

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William Macneile Dixon (1866 – 31 January 1946) was a British author and academic.


Dixon was born in India, the only son of the Reverend William Dixon and attended Methodist College Belfast.[1] He studied at Trinity College, Dublin, where he was twice Vice-Chancellor's Prizeman in English verse, Downes' Prizeman, and Elrington Prizeman, and graduated First-Class, with the First Senior Moderatorship, in the Modern Literature School, and Second Class, with the Junior Moderatorship, in the Mental and Moral Science School. He also took considerable part in the public life of the University: he was President of the University Philosophical Society, auditor of the College Historical Society, and chairman of the students' committee for celebrations of the College's tercentenary. In 1891 he was appointed Professor of English Literature in Alexandra College, Dublin, and was also a Dublin University Extension Lecturer; and in 1894 he was elected Professor of English Language and Literature in the Mason Science College, afterwards Birmingham University. He was also Professor of Literature to the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists. He was chosen President of the Library Association of the United Kingdom in 1902, and re-elected in 1903. Lastly, on the transference of Professor Walter Raleigh to Oxford, Professor Dixon received the appointment to the Regius Professorship of English Language and Literature at the University of Glasgow from 1904 until 1935.

Besides articles in the Quarterly Review and other periodicals, Professor Dixon's publications included English Poetry from Blake to Browning; A Tennyson Primer; In the Republic of Letters; a monograph on Trinity College, Dublin, in the College History Series; and The Human Situation (1937), a collection of his Glasgow Gifford lectures that sold its way into seven editions. This is a remarkable conspectus of man's place in the universe which ranges over a very wide field of scientific and philosophical inquiry.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Portrait of Mrs. Macneile Dixon, by Kate Bunce

In 1891 he married Edith Wales, daughter of G. F. Wales, M.D., F.R.C.S.E. A Portrait of Mrs. Macneile Dixon was painted by the Birmingham artist Kate Bunce.[3]

He was a member of the Royal Ulster Yacht Club.

While visiting Edinburgh, Dixon died on 31 January 1946.[4]


  1. ^ Henderson, JW (1939). Methodist College Belfast 1868–1938 a Survey and Retrospect Volume One. Belfast: Methodist College. p. 78.
  2. ^ 101 Great Books of our Time. London: The Sunday Times, 1961; p. 65
  3. ^ "Lot 59: Kate Elizabeth Bunce 'Portrait of Mrs. Macneile Dixon' O/B". Invaluable. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  4. ^ "Obituary. Professor W. Macneilie Dixon". The Glasgow Herald. 1 February 1946. p. 6. Retrieved 26 January 2019.

This article incorporates text from Who's Who in Glasgow 1909 by George Eyre-Todd, a publication now in the public domain.

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Sir Walter Raleigh
Regius Professor of English Language and Literature,
University of Glasgow

Succeeded by
Peter Alexander