Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Ingram, James

INGRAM, JAMES (1774–1850), Anglo-Saxon scholar and president of Trinity College, Oxford, son of John Ingram, was born 21 Dec. 1774, at Codford St. Mary, near Salisbury, where his family had possessed property for several generations. He was sent to Warminster School in 1785, and entered as a commoner at Winchester in 1790. On 1 Feb. 1793 he was admitted a commoner at Trinity College, Oxford, and was elected scholar of the college 16 June 1794. He graduated B.A. in 1796, M.A. in 1800, and B.D. in 1808; was for a time an assistant master at Winchester, became fellow of Trinity College 6 June 1803, and acted as tutor there. From 1803 to 1808 he was Rawlinsonian professor of Anglo-Saxon. On the establishment of the examination for undergraduates called ‘Responsions,’ in 1809, Ingram acted as one of the ‘masters of the schools.’ From 1815 to 1818 he filled the office of keeper of the archives, and from 1816 to 1824 was rector of Rotherfield Grays, a Trinity College living, near Henley-on-Thames. On 24 June 1824 he was elected president of his college, and proceeded D.D. Ingram was too deeply absorbed in antiquarian research to take much part in the management of the college or in the affairs of the university. At Garsington, near Oxford, of which Ingram was rector in virtue of his presidency, he superintended and largely helped to pay for the erection of a new school, of which he sent an account to the ‘Gentleman's Magazine,’ 1841, vol. i. He died 4 Sept. 1850, and was buried at Garsington, where there is a brass plate to his memory inserted in an old stone slab. He was married, had no family, and survived his wife. By his will he left the greater part of his books, papers, drawings, &c., to Trinity College, some pictures to the university galleries, and some coins to the Bodleian Library. There are two portraits of him in the president's lodgings at Trinity.

Ingram was a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and held a high rank among archæologists. As an Anglo-Saxon scholar he was perhaps the very best of his generation, and the most distinguished of John Mitchell Kemble's predecessors. In 1807 he published his inaugural lecture (as professor of Anglo-Saxon) on the utility of Anglo-Saxon literature, to which is added the geography of Europe by King Alfred (Oxford, 4to). His edition of the ‘Saxon Chronicle,’ London, 1823, 4to, was a great advance on Gibson's edition (Oxford, 1692, 4to), for Ingram had thoroughly explored the Cottonian MSS. in the British Museum. His edition of Quintilian (Oxford, 1809, 8vo) is correct and useful. The work by which Ingram is best known is his admirable ‘Memorials of Oxford,’ with a hundred plates by Le Keux, 3 vols. 8vo, Oxford, 1832–7 (reissued 1847, 2 vols.). Among his other publications are: ‘The Church in the Middle Centuries, an attempt to ascertain the Age and Writer of the celebrated “Codex Boernerianus”’ (anon.), 8vo, Oxford, 1842; ‘Memorials of the Parish of Codford St. Mary,’ 8vo, Oxford, 1844; and the descriptions of Oxford and Winchester cathedrals in Britton's ‘Beauties of England and Wales.’

[Annual Register, 1850; Gent. Mag. 1850, p. 553; Illustrated London News, 14 Sept. 1850; Oxford Calendar; personal knowledge and recollections; communication from Professor Earle of Oxford. Ingram is mentioned in Pycroft's Oxford Memories, and in G. V. Cox's Recollections of Oxford, p. 158.]

W. A. G.