Collis, John Day (DNB00)

COLLIS, JOHN DAY (1816–1879), educational writer, son of the Rev. Robert Fitzgerald Collis, prebendary of Kilconnell, co. Galway, by Maria, daughter of Edward Bourke of Nun's Island, Galway, was born 24 Feb. 1816, and, after being educated at Rugby 1832–4 under Dr. Arnold, entered Merton College, Oxford, as a postmaster in the latter year. In 1835 he became Eaton scholar of Worcester College, proceeding B.A. 1836, M.A. 1841, and B.D. and D.D. 1860. He was elected to a fellowship at his college, and gained the Kennicott, and Pusey and Ellerton Hebrew scholarships, 1839–41. Having been nominated to the head-mastership of Bromsgrove in December 1842, that school, through his indomitable energy, grew to be one of the best educational establishments in England. The tercentenary of the grammar school was celebrated on 31 March 1853. In 1856, through his exertions, the chapel was built at a cost of 1,500l., and new school rooms were erected and the old buildings enlarged and improved at a cost of 5,000l. He was nominated an honorary canon of Worcester Cathedral in 1854, and in 1856 was offered, but declined, the colonial bishopric of Grafton and Armidale. From 1863 to 1865 he held the Grinfield lectureship on the Septuagint at Oxford. His connection with Bromsgrove was severed in 1867 by his appointment to the vicarage of Stratford-on-Avon. During his incumbency Stratford church was restored and improved, and he completed the formation of the water terrace in the churchyard. He was the founder and first warden of Trinity College school at Stratford, 27 Jan. 1872. He married first, 18 June 1846, Josephine Martha, eldest daughter of John Chatfield Tyler of Kingswood, Gloucestershire, who died 16 Oct. 1868; and secondly, 11 Oct. 1871, Elizabeth, daughter of Edward Castleman of Chettle, Dorsetshire, and widow of Rear-admiral Douglas Curry of Shottery Hall, Stratford-on-Avon. Collis died at Shottery Hall 1 April 1879, and was buried in the Bromsgrove cemetery on 4 April. He was the author of: 1. ‘The Chief Rules of Greek Accentuation,’ 1849. 2. ‘Exercises and Examination Papers,’ 1851. 3. ‘The Chief Tenses of Latin Irregular Verbs,’ 1854, thirty-four editions. 4. ‘Ordination and other Sermons,’ 1854 and 1869. 5. ‘The Chief Tenses of Greek Irregular Verbs,’ 1855, thirty-four editions. 6. ‘Praxis Græca,’ three parts, 1855–6, many editions. 7. ‘Praxis Latina,’ 1856. 8. ‘Praxis Iambica,’ 1857, seven editions. 9. ‘Tirocinium Gallicum,’ 1857, four editions. 10. ‘Historical Notes on the Parish Church of St. John the Baptist, Bromsgrove,’ 1859. 11. ‘Pontes Classici,’ No. I. A Stepping-stone from the beginning of Latin Grammar to Cæsar, 1860; and No. II. A Stepping-stone from the beginning of Greek Grammar to Xenophon, 1860. 12. ‘Ponticulus Latinus, the History of Rome to the Destruction of Carthage,’ 1860. 13. ‘Ponticulus Græcus, Exercises from the Greek Testament, Æsop, and Xenophon,’ 1860. 14. ‘Praxis Gallica,’ 1864. 15. ‘Praxis Latina Primaria,’ 1867. 16. ‘German Card of Irregular Verbs,’ 1875. 17. ‘Pontes Latini,’ eleventh edition, 1878. 18. ‘Pontes Græci,’ 1879. 19. ‘The History of Bromsgrove School.’

[Stratford-on-Avon Herald, 4 and 10 April 1879; Times, 2 April 1879, p. 16; Illustrated London News, 9 April 1853, p. 277.]

G. C. B.