Gurney, Joseph (1804-1879) (DNB00)

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For works with similar titles, see Joseph Gurney.

GURNEY, JOSEPH (1804–1879), shorthand writer and biblical scholar, eldest son of William Brodie Gurney [q. v.], was born in London on 15 Oct. 1804. He first attended an important committee of the House of Commons in 1822, and continued to take notes till 1872. On his father's resignation in 1849, he was appointed shorthand writer to the houses of parliament. Like his father, he manifested a great interest in religious and philanthropic movements. He was for more than fifty years a member of the committee of the Religious Tract Society, and latterly its treasurer. He was also treasurer of the baptist college in Regent's Park. He was well versed in biblical criticism and devoted much time to bringing out popular commentaries on the Bible. The best known of these was ‘The Annotated Paragraph Bible, containing the Old and New Testaments according to the authorised version, with explanatory Notes, Prefaces to the several Books, and an entirely new selection of references to parallel and illustrative Passages,’ two vols., London, 1850–60, 8vo, published by the Religious Tract Society. It was very successful, and received high praise from scholars of repute. The notes were prepared by competent men under Gurney's supervision. Besides two or three other bibles, he brought out ‘The Revised English Bible,’ London, 1877, 4to, on the same lines as, and closely resembling, the later official revised version. The profits of his literary works he gave to the Religious Tract Society. On his retirement from the office of shorthand writer to the houses of parliament in 1872, the office was conferred on his nephew, Mr. William Henry Gurney Salter. Gurney died at Tyndale Lodge, Wimbledon Common, on 12 Aug. 1879, and was interred at the Norwood cemetery. He married first Emma, daughter of E. Rawlings, esq., and secondly, Harriet, daughter of J. Tritton, esq., of Lombard Street.

[Private information; Athenæum, 23 Aug. 1879, p. 241; Sunday at Home, 1879, p. 810, with portrait.]

T. C.