Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Chevallier, Temple

1358055Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 10 — Chevallier, Temple1887Robert Hunt

CHEVALLIER, TEMPLE (1794–1873), astronomer, was the eldest son of the Rev. Temple Fiske Chevallier, rector of Badingham, Suffolk. He was born on 19 Oct, 1794; was educated by his father and at the grammar schools of Bury St. Edmunds and Ipswich; entered Pembroke College, Cambridge, in 1813; obtained one of the Bell scholarships in 1814, and graduated in 1817 as second wrangler and second Smith's prizeman. He was elected a fellow of Pembroke College, and afterwords fellow and tutor of St. Catharine's Hall. In 1818 he was ordained by the bishop of Ely, and held the living of St. Andrew the Great, Cambridge, from 1821 to 1834. He proceeded M.A. in 1820 and B.D. in 1825. He published two volumes of sermons, delivered by him at this church. He held the appointment of Hulsean lecturer in 1826 and 1827, during which he published his lectures in two volumes, the second being entitled 'Of the Proofs of Divine Power and Wisdom derived from the Studv of Astronomy, and on the Evidence, Doctrines, and Precepts of Revealed Religion' (1835). It is affirmed that this volume suggested to Whewell the fundamental idea of his Bridgewater treatise upon astronomy and general physics. Chevallier was not only a mathematician and lecturer of great ability, but an able classical scholar. Wlide at Cambridge he acted as moderator in 1821-2 and 1826 in the mathematical tripos, and as examiner in the classical tripos for 1826. He was appointed professor of mathematics at Durluun in 1835, and also professor of astronomy in 1841. He held this appointment until 1871, and during nearly all this time he also filled the office of reader in Hebrew. Chevallier about 1835 became perpetual curate of Esh, near Durham. In a short time he was made honorary canon of Durham Cathedral (2 Oct. 1846), sub-warden of the university, rural dean, and eventually, in 1865, became a canon of Durham. He published in the journals of the Astronomical Society eighteen papers, thirteen of these being the results of his astronomical observations, and five of them on physical inquiries. He was also associated with Rümker in three papers, and with Thompson in two, one of these being 'Observations on the Planet Neptune.' Among these contributions to science we find 'Observations of the Planets Flora, Isis, and Neptune,' 'Diameters of the Sun,' and 'On a Method of finding the Effect of Parallax at different places, upon the time of disappearance and reappearance of a Star occulted by the Moon.' Chevallier also published translations of the 'Epistles' of Clement of Rome, of Polycarp, and of Ignatius, and the 'Apologies' of Justin Martyr and Tertullian. He edited as well an edition of 'Pearson on the Creed' (1849), and for the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge he produced 'Easy Lessons on Mechanics.

Chevallier was especially desirous of introducing scientific studies into education. In November 1837 he assisted in framing regulations for a class of students in civil engineering and mining in the university of Durham. This class was opened in January 1838, Chevallier taking a very active part in its direction. It was not successful, mainly through the contemporary system of apprenticeship; gradually declined in numbers, and practically came to an end in about six or seven years. In 1865 an attempt was made by the aniversity of Durham to establish a department of physical science at Durham, in which Chevallier was much interested; but it was virtually abandoned after some years. In 1871 the still existing College of Science was established at Newcastle, connected with and largely supported by the university of Durham. Chevallier was greatly interested in this experiment. In the same year, however, he resigned his professorship and other appointments, owing to his declining health and infirmities.

In person, Chevallier was rather under the middle size, of considerable activity, and of prepossessing appearance. He invariably showed considerable zeal and industry together with great kindness and benevolence, he died on 4 Nov. 1873. Chevallier married, 4 Oct. 1825, Catharine, fourth daughter of Charles Apthorpe Wheelwright, esq., by whom he had several children.

[Astronomical Society's Memoirs; Astronomical Society's Monthly Notes; Royal Society's Catalogue of Scientific Papers; Men of the Time, 1868; British Association Reports; Records of the University of Durham; private information from relatives and friends.]

R. H-t.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.63
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

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ii 11-9 f.e. Chevallier, Temple: for eldest son . . . . Suffolk read youngest son of the Rev. Temple Chevallier