Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Neale, Erskine

NEALE, ERSKINE (1804–1883), divine and author, born on 12 March 1804, was son of Dr. Adam Neale [q. v.], and brother of William Johnson Neale [q. v.] He was educated at Westminster School 1815–16, and at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. 1828, and M.A. 1832. On 24 June 1828 he became lecturer of St. Hilda's Church, Jarrow, in the county of Durham, was appointed vicar of Adlingfleet, Yorkshire, on 19 Oct. 1835, rector of Kirton, Suffolk, in 1844, and vicar of Exning with Lanwade, Suffolk, in 1854. He possessed a very curious collection of autographs, including a number of letters written by the Duke of Kent referring to his public life, and elucidating the mutiny at Gibraltar. His knowledge of handwriting led to his being subpœnaed on the part of the crown at the trial of Ryves v. the Attorney-General in June 1866, when it was sought without success to establish the claim of Mrs. Serres, the mother of Mrs. Ryves, to be the Princess Olive of Cumberland. He died at Exning vicarage on 23 Nov. 1883, after an incumbency of twenty-nine years.

In his day Neale was a well-known author, possessing a ready and graphic pen and considerable stores of information. His chief work, 1. ‘The Closing Scene, or Christianity and Infidelity contrasted in the Last Hours of Remarkable Persons’ (1st ser., 1848; 2nd ser., 1849), ran to several editions, and was reprinted in America; but it is not a work of authority. He was also author of: 2. ‘The Living and the Dead,’ 1827; 2nd ser., 1829. 3. ‘Reason for Supporting the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts,’ 1830. 4. ‘Sermons on the Dangers and Duties of a Christian,’ 1830. 5. ‘Whychotte of St. John's, or the Court, the Camp, the Quarter-Deck, and the Cloister,’ 1833, 2 vols. 6. ‘The Life-Book of a Labourer: Essays,’ 1839; 2nd edit., 1850. 7. ‘The Bishop's Daughter,’ 1842; 2nd edit., 1853. 8. ‘Self-Sacrifice, or the Chancellor's Chaplain,’ 1844; 2nd edit., 1858. 9. ‘Experiences of a Gaol Chaplain,’ 1847, 3 vols.; three editions: a fictitious work. 10. ‘The Track of the Murderer marked out by an Invisible Hand: Reflections suggested by the Case of the Mannings,’ 1849. 11. ‘Scenes where the Tempter has triumphed,’ 1849. 12. ‘The Life of Edward, Duke of Kent,’ 1850; 2nd edit., 1850. 13. ‘The Earthly Resting Place of the Just,’ 1851. 14. ‘The Riches that bring no Sorrow,’ 1852. 15. ‘The Summer and Winter of the Soul,’ 1852. 16. ‘Risen from the Ranks, or Conduct versus Caste,’ 1853. 17. ‘My Comrade and my Colours, or Men who know not when they are beaten,’ 1854. 18. ‘The Old Minor Canon, or a Life of Struggle and a Life of Song,’ 1854; 2nd edit., 1858. 19. ‘Sunsets and Sunshine, or Varied Aspects of Life,’ including notices of Lola Montes, Neild, Hone, and Cobbett, 1862.

[Notes and Queries, 1885, 6th ser. xii. 465, 1886, 7th ser. i. 31, 115, 156; Men of the Time, 1872, p. 716.]

G. C. B.