Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Dallaway, James
DALLAWAY, JAMES (1763–1834), topographer and miscellaneous writer, only son of James Dallaway, banker of Stroud, Gloucestershire, by Martha, younger daughter of Richard Hopton of Worcester, was born at Bristol on 20 Feb. 1763, received his early education at the grammar school of Cirencester, and became a scholar on the foundation of Trinity College, Oxford (B.A. 1782, M.A. 1784). He failed to obtain a fellowship in consequence, it is supposed, of his having written some satirical verses on an influential member of the college. Taking orders he served a curacy in the neighbourhood of Stroud, where he lived in a house called ‘The Fort.’ Subsequently he resided at Gloucester, and from about 1785 to 1796 he was employed as the editor of Bigland's ‘Collections for Gloucestershire.’
In 1789 he was elected a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and in 1792 he published ‘Inquiries into the Origin and Progress of the Science of Heraldry in England, with Explanatory Observations on Armorial Ensigns,’ 4to. The dedication to Charles, duke of Norfolk, earl marshal, brought him under the notice of that nobleman, who thenceforward was his constant patron. Through the duke's introduction he was appointed chaplain and physician to the British embassy at the Porte. He had previously taken the degree of M.B. at Oxford 10 Dec. 1794. After his return from the East he published ‘Constantinople, Ancient and Modern, with Excursions to the Shores and Islands of the Archipelago and to the Troad,’ Lond. 1797, 4to. This work, which was translated into German (Chemnitz, 1800, 8vo; Berlin and Hamburg, 1801, 8vo), was pronounced by the great traveller, Dr. Clarke, to be the best on the subject. Dallaway at the same time announced his intention to publish ‘The History of the Ottoman Empire, from the Taking of Constantinople by Mohammed II in 1452 to the Death of the Sultan Abdulhamid in 1788, as a continuation of Gibbon;’ but this he did not accomplish.
On 1 Jan. 1797 he was appointed secretary to the earl marshal. This office, which he retained till his death, brought him into close connection with the College of Arms. In 1799 the Duke of Norfolk presented him to the rectory of South Stoke, Sussex, which he resigned in 1803 on the duke procuring for him the vicarage and sinecure rectory of Slinfold, which is in the patronage of the see of Chichester. In 1801, in exchange for the rectory of Llanmaes, Glamorganshire, which had been given to him by the Marquis of Bute, he obtained the vicarage of Leatherhead, Surrey. The two benefices of Leatherhead and Slinfold he held till his death. From 1811 to 1826 he also held a prebend in the cathedral of Chichester. He was engaged in 1811 by the Duke of Norfolk to edit, at that nobleman's expense, the ‘History of the three Western Rapes of Sussex,’ for which manuscript collections had been made by Sir William Burrell [q. v.], and deposited in the British Museum. The first volume, containing the Rape and City of Chichester, was published in 1815; the first part of the second volume, containing the Rape of Arundel, appeared in 1819. The Rape of Bramber was at Dallaway's request undertaken by the Rev. Edmund Cartwright, who published it in 1830. Dallaway died at Leatherhead on 6 June 1834.
He married in 1800 Harriet Anne, daughter of John Jefferies, alderman of Gloucester, and left an only child, Harriet Jane. Mrs. Dallaway was the author of a useful ‘Manual of Heraldry for Amateurs,’ 1828.
In addition to the above-mentioned works he published: 1. ‘Anecdotes of the Arts in England, or Comparative Remarks on Architecture, Sculpture, and Painting, chiefly illustrated by specimens at Oxford,’ Lond. 1800, 8vo. 2. ‘Observations on English Architecture, Military, Ecclesiastical, and Civil, compared with similar buildings on the Continent; including a critical Itinerary of Oxford and Cambridge, also historical notices of Stained Glass, Ornamental Gardening, &c., with chronological tables and dimensions of Cathedral and Conventual Churches,’ Lond. 1806, 8vo; extended and revised edition, 1834. 3. ‘Statuary and Sculpture among the Ancients, with some account of Specimens preserved in England,’ London, 1816, 8vo. Three hundred and fifty copies of this work were printed, but two hundred of them were destroyed by fire at Bensley's printing-office. 4. ‘History of Leatherhead,’ privately printed, prefixed to his wife Harriet Dallaway's ‘Etchings of Views in the Vicarage of Leatherhead,’ Lond. 1821, 8vo. 5. ‘William Wyrcestre Redivivus. Notices of Ancient Church Architecture in the Fifteenth Century, particularly in Bristol,’ Lond. 1823, 4to. 6. ‘Account of all the Pictures exhibited in the Rooms of the British Institution from 1813 to 1824, belonging to the Nobility and Gentry of England, with remarks critical and explanatory,’ Lond. 1824, 8vo. 7. ‘Discourses upon Architecture in England from the Norman Conquest to the Reign of Elizabeth,’ Lond. 1833, 8vo. 8. ‘Antiquities of Bristow in the Middle Centuries,’ Bristol, 1834, 8vo.
He also edited ‘Letters of the late Dr. Rundle, Bishop of Derry, to Mrs. Sandys, with introductory Memoirs,’ 2 vols. 1789; ‘The Letters and other Works of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, from her original MSS., with Memoirs of her Life,’ 5 vols. 1803; and ‘Walpole's Anecdotes of Painting,’ including Vertue's ‘Catalogue of Engravers,’ 5 vols. 1826–8. Dallaway was not altogether successful as a topographical and biographical historian. He wrote well, but both his ‘History of Sussex’ and his edition of Walpole's ‘Anecdotes’ exhibit marks of haste, and are carelessly and inaccurately compiled.[Gent. Mag. n.s. i. 627, ii. 318; Cat. of Oxford Graduates (1851), 168; Le Neve's Fasti (Hardy), i. 282; Literary Memoirs (1798), 139; Biog. Dict. of Living Authors (1816), 85; Lowndes's Bibl. Man. (Bohn), 580.]