Douglas, Philip (DNB00)


DOUGLAS, PHILIP (1758–1822), master of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, was born at Witham, Essex, 28 Sept. 1758. His father was Archibald Douglas, colonel of the 13th dragoons, and M.P. for Dumfries Boroughs in 1771. He was educated at Harrow, and admitted a pensioner of the above college in 1776. He proceeded B.A. in 1781 (when he was third in the second class of the mathematical tripos), M.A. 1784, B.D. 1792, D.D. 1795. He was elected joint tutor of his college in 1787, and proctor of the university in 1788. On 1 Jan. 1795 he became master, an office which he held till his death; and in 1796 was presented by the crown, on the recommendation of Mr. Pitt, then M.P. for the university, to the vicarage of Gedney, Lincolnshire. In 1797, after the death of Dr. Farmer, master of Emmanuel College, Douglas was nominated by the heads of colleges for the office of protobibliothecarius, together with Mr. Kerrich of Magdalene College; but the senate, resenting what was regarded as the unjust exclusion of Mr. Davies of Trinity College by the heads in favour of one of their own body, elected Mr. Kerrich by a large majority. Douglas was vice-chancellor 1795–6 and 1810–11. During the latter year he presided at the installation of the Duke of Gloucester as chancellor. He married in 1797 Miss Mainwaring, niece to Dr. Mainwaring, Lady Margaret professor of divinity, by whom he left a son and a daughter. It was on this occasion that Mr. Mansel, afterwards master of Trinity College and bishop of Bristol, wrote the epigram, in allusion to the thinness of both the lady and the gentleman:—

St. Paul has declared that persons though twain
In marriage united one flesh shall remain;
But had he been by when, like Pharaoh's kine pairing,
Dr. Douglas of Bene't espoused Miss Mainwaring,
The Apostle, methinks, would have altered his tone,
And cried, these two splinters shall make but one bone.

Douglas died 2 Jan. 1822, aged 64, and was buried in the college chapel.

[Masters's Hist. of Corpus Christi College, ed. Lamb, 1831, p. 258; Nichols's Illustrations, vi. 715.]

J. W. C-k.