Samuel Henry Butcher

Life
1850-1910 [S. H. Butcher]; b. Dublin 16 April; son of Samuel Henry Butcher (1811-1876), author of Ecclesiastical History, and Bishop of Meath (who resigned the Chair of Divinity at TCD and was succeeded by George Salmon in order to assume episcopal office); ed. Marlborough and Trinity College, Cambridge; winner of Bell and Waddington Schol.; Powis Medal, Chancellor’s Medal; member of ‘The Apostles’; with Andrew Lang, trans. Odyssey (1879); resigned Edinburgh chair of Greek in 1903, on death of his wife, and moved to London; d. London, 29 Dec., buried Dean cemetery, Edinburgh; of Butcher and Lang, trans. Odyssey (‘Tell me, Muse, of that man, so ready at need, who wandered far and wide’); published books on Aristotle, Homer, Demostenes and other classical authors, incl. Theory of Poetics and Fine Art (1895); Royal Commission on higher ed. in Scotland; organised Unionists against ‘danger of Home Rule’; Royal Commission on University Education in Ireland, 1901-02 and 1906-07; protested with W. B. Yeats and others against Dublin Corporation refusal to house Hugh Lane’s Impressionist Collection in a purpose-built municipal gallery (Freeman’s Journal, 13 Dec. 1904); 1st Pres. of Irish Classical Association, founder of Eng. Class. Assoc.; elected Unionist MP for Cambridge, 1906; made impassioned speech ag ains substitution of real University teaching in order to provide the education that Catholic laymen desired; spoke only on Irish issues; see Irish Book Lover, Vol 2. DIB ODNB OCIL

[ top ]

Commentary
W. B. Stanford
, Ireland and the Classical Tradition (IAP 1976; 1984), calls him the Professor of Greek at Edinburgh, Irish by birth and parentage, who fnd. the Classical Association of Ireland and became its first president in 1908. (p.69.) Further, ‘S. H. Butcher’s translation of the Odyssey, with Andrew Lang, is original in being done in prose, though the Wardour St. diction ultimately brought it to the ridicule of parody in Ulysses.’ (Ibid., p.171.)

[ top ]

References
University of Ulster (Central Library) holds works on Aristotle, Homer and other Greeks, incl. ... Fine Art [PN 1040.A7]; Harvard Lects. [DF77.B947]; Demosthenes [PA3949.A5]; Poetics [PA3893.P5]; ... Greek Genius (1893/1904) [PA3061.B8].

Belfast Central Library holds Two Sermons preached (at) TCD (1866)].

Booksellers: Hyland Catalogue (No. 224) lists An Introductory Lecture delivered in the Divinity School, TCD 1854 (1st edn. 1855), 56pp. Emerald Isle Books Catalogue (No 95) lists A Charge to the Clergy of the Diocese of Meath [...] Oct 1867 (Dublin: Hodges 1867|), 48pp.

[ top ]

Notes
James Joyce employs a sentence from Butcher and Lang’s translation of the Odyssey: ‘Tell me, Muse, of that man, so ready at need, who wandered far and wide’ (line 176); Ulysses (Corrected edn., 8.934; see Don Gifford, Ulysses Annotated, California UP 1989.)

Hugh Lane Appeal: S. H. Butcher joined with Augusta Gregory, Douglas Hyde, Somerville & Ross, Emily Lawless, George Russell, and W. B. Yeats in ‘An Appeal from Irish Authors’ (Freeman’s Journal, 13 Dec. 1904), protesting against Corporation judgement on Hugh Lane’s gallery. See Adrian Frazier, ‘Paris, Dublin: Looking at George Moore Looking at Manet’, in New Hibernia Review, 1, 1 (Spring 1997), pp.19-30. See also in Alan Denson, Letters from AE (London: Abelard-Schuman 1961), p.54, - as given under Jane Barlow, “Notes”, supra.

[ top ]