Grose, Thomas Hodge (DNB12)

GROSE, THOMAS HODGE (1845–1906), registrar of Oxford University, born at Redruth in Cornwall on 9 Nov. 1845, was fourth son of James Grose. An elder brother, James, went to India in 1860 in the civil service, and died as member of council at Madras on 7 June 1 898. Educated at Manchester grammar school, under the strenuous high - mastership of Frederick William Walker [q. v. Suppl. II], Grose was elected to a scholarship at Balliol College, Oxford, in 1864. He was one of the few to obtain four first classes, two in moderations and two again in the final schools (classics and mathematics). He graduated B.A. in 1868, proceeding M.A. in 1871. He entered as a student at Lincoln's Inn, but his plans changed and he did not go to the bar. In 1870 he was elected to a fellowship at Queen's College, being appointed tutor in the following year, and there the rest of his life was spent. In 1872 he was ordained deacon, but his clerical work was confined to the duties of college chaplain and sermons in the chapel. In 1887 he was elected to the hebdomadal council, and in 1897 to the office of university registrar, which he held till his death. In 1871 he had been president of the Union; and in 1887, when the finances of the society were in low water, he was appointed to the new office of senior treasurer, which likewise he continued to hold till his death. Between 1876 and 1898 he served as examiner in the school of literæ humaniores no less than a dozen times. He was also president of the Association for the Education of Women and of the Women's Suffrage Society, and latterly a member of the education committee of the Nottinghamshire county council. His only contribution to literature was to assist Thomas Hill Green [q. v.] in editing 'The Philosophical Works of David Hume' (1874–5).

Grose's best work was done in his rooms at Queen's. Shy and reserved in manner, with gestures that were awkward and a voice that was gruff, he won the respect and affection of many generations of undergraduates. Himself unmarried, he devoted his time and his money to fatherly relations among an ever expanding circle of those who were to him in the place of sons. He followed closely every stage of his pupils' future life, however far removed they might be from Oxford. In his early years he had been a keen fives-player and an Alpine climber. He was a member of the Alpine Club from 1900 till death, latterly his chief outdoor pursuit was field botany. Almost to the last he travelled much abroad, his interest being divided between natural scenery and art museums. In 1894 he paid a nine months' visit to India. His rooms ultimately became a storehouse of artistic objects and photographs brought back from foreign lands. He died in college, after a long and painful illness, on 11 Feb. 1906, and was buried at Holywell cemetery. The Union Society, who had two years before presented him with a service of silver plate inscribed 'Viro strenuo, suis carissimo, optime de Societate merito,' adjourned their debate out of respect to his memoir. His portrait by R. E. Morrison was presented by members of the college in 1903 and was hung in the college hall. After his death a memorial fund was formed for the assistance of undergraduates in need of aid.

[Personal knowledge; two pamphlets on the occasion of his death, printed at Oxford for private circulation, 1906.]

J. S. C.