Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Dyson, Charles

DYSON, CHARLES (1788–1860), professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford University, was the grandson of Jeremiah Dyson [q. v.], and the son of a clerk of the House of Commons. He was first sent to a private school at Southampton, and was then elected a scholar of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, where he became the intimate friend of Keble, Arnold, and Sir John Coleridge. To them he was ‘a great authority as to the world without and the statesmen whose speeches he sometimes heard,’ while his ‘remarkable love for historical and geographical research, and his proficiency in it, with his clear judgment, quiet humour, and mildness in communicating information made him particularly attractive to Arnold’ (Dean Stanley, Life of Dr. Arnold, ch. i. p. 13). He took his B.A. degree with a second class in 1808, and became an M.A. in 1816. From 1812 to 1816 he held the Rawlinsonian professorship of Anglo-Saxon at the university. Ordained deacon in 1816, Dyson became successively the incumbent of Nunburnholme in Yorkshire, Nasing in Essex, and finally of Dogmersfield, near Winchfield, Hampshire, to which living he was presented in 1836. There he built a rectory and a new church of great beauty. He was an admirable parish priest, and a man of deep learning, though he shrank from authorship. He contributed four poems, under the signature of ‘D.,’ to a volume entitled ‘Days and Seasons, or Church Poems for the Year,’ Derby, 1845. He died at his rectory, 24 April 1860.

[Guardian, 2 May 1860; Honours Register of the University of Oxford; Crockford's Clerical Directory, 1858.]

L. C. S.