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Demaus, Robert (DNB01)

DEMAUS, ROBERT (1829?–1874), biographer of Latimer and Tyndale, born about 1829, was educated at Edinburgh University, where he was signet medallist and graduated M.A. on 13 Feb. 1850. He became master of the Breadalbane school at Aberfeldy in Perthshire, and in 1850 addressed a 'Letter to the Right Hon. Earl Granville, Lord President of the Council' (Edinburgh, 8vo), criticising the recent regulations enacted by the committee of council on education for improving the efficiency of the government school teachers. In the same year he was appointed principal of the grammar school at Alnwick; in 1857 he became a fellow of the Educational Institute of Scotland, and in 1858 he was nominated master at the West End Academy, Aberdeen. In 1860 he was ordained deacon by the Bishop of Down and Connor, and in 1862 priest by the same prelate. From 1860 to 1865 he was chaplain to Thomas George Suther, bishop of Aberdeen, and in 1865 he became senior curate of St. Luke's, Chelsea, where he remained until his death. In 1869 he was also appointed principal of Whitelands Training College, an institution founded by the National Society for training school-mistresses for the church schools.

Demaus is best remembered for his biographies of Latimer and Tyndale. His 'Hugh Latimer' (London, 8vo) appeared in 1869, a new and revised edition being published in 1881. In 1871 he issued 'William Tyndale: a Contribution to the early History of the English Bible,' a work of great biographical and bibliographical excellence. A new edition, slightly revised by Mr. Richard Lovett, appeared in 1886. In compiling these two works Demaus showed great thoroughness of research as well as critical ability and power of narrative. In the case of Tyndale his investigations were so complete that the subsequent publication of the 'Letters and Papers of Henry VIII has added nothing of importance in regard to the history of the reformer. Demaus died of apoplexy at 11 St. Leonard's Terrace, Chelsea, on 15 March 1874.

Besides the works already mentioned Demaus was the author of:

  1. 'The Analysis of Sentences; with applications to parsing, punctuation, and composition,' Edinburgh, 1858, 12mo; 4th edit. 1871, 8vo.
  2. 'A Class-book of English Prose,' Edinburgh, 1859, 8vo.
  3. 'Introduction to the History of English Literature,' Edinburgh, 1860, 8vo.
  4. 'The Young Scholar's Guide,' Edinburgh, 1860, 16mo.
  5. 'A Class-book of Scripture History,' Edinburgh, 1863, 8vo.
  6. 'English Literature and Composition,' London, 1866, 8vo.
  7. 'The Jesuits. A Historical Sketch,' London, 1873, 8vo.

He also edited 'Selections from "Paradise Lost"' (Edinburgh, 1857, 8vo; 2nd edit, 1859, 12mo), and contributed several biographies to 'British Heroes and Worthies,' London, 1871, 4to.

[Demaus's Works; Crockford's Clerical Directory; Boase's Modern English Biography.]

E. I. C.