Page:Dictionary of National Biography, Second Supplement, volume 2.djvu/360

This page needs to be proofread.
Ingram
Ingram
340

consoled as proxime accessit with the Madden prize. He was elected a fellow two years later, obtaining a dispensation from the obligation of taking holy orders. He had thought of the law as a profession, in case he failed to obtain the dispensation. At a later period, in 1852, he was admitted a student of the King's Inns, Dublin, and in 1854 of Lincoln's Lin. But after taking his fellowship he was actively associated with Trinity College in various capacities for fifty-three years.

Elected a member of the Royal Irish Academy on 11 Jan. 1847, Ingram gave further results of geometrical inquiry in papers which he read in the spring on 'curves and surfaces of the second degree.' At the same time he was extending his knowledge in many other directions, in classics, metaphysics, and economics. Although Carlyle met him as a young member of Trinity during his tour in Ireland in 1849, he only recognised him as author of the 'Repeal' song, and described him as a 'clever indignant kind of little fellow' who had become 'wholly English, that is to say, Irish rational in sentiment' (Carlyle's Irish Journey, 1849 (1882), pp. 52, 56). In 1850 Ingram visited London for the first time, and also made a first tour up the Rhine to Switzerland. In London he then made the acquaintance of his lifelong friend, George Johnston Allman [q. v. Suppl. II]. Other continental tours followed later.

In 1852 Ingram received his first professorial appointment at Trinity, becoming Erasmus Smith professor of oratory. Three years later the duty of giving instruction in English Uterature was first attached to the chair. Thus Ingram was the first to give formal instruction in English literature in Dubhn University, although no independent chair in that subject was instituted till 1867. A public lecture which he delivered in Dublin on Shakespeare in 1863 showed an original appreciation of the chronological study of the plays, and of the evidence of development in their versification (see The Afternoon Lectures on English Literature, Dubhn, 1863, pp. 93-131 ; also ibid. 4th ser., 1867, pp. 47-94). A notable paper on the weak endings of Shakespeare, which, first read before a short-lived Dublin University Shakespeare Society, was revised for the New Shakspere Society's 'Transactions' (1874, pt. 2), defined his views of Shakespearean prosody.

In 1866 Ingram became regius professor of Greek at Dubhn, a post which he held for eleven years. Although he made no large contribution to classical Uterature, he proved his fine scholarship, both Greek and Latin, in contributions — chiefly on etymology — to 'Hermathena,' a scholarly periodical which was started at Trinity College in 1874 under his editorship. A sound textual critic, he had little sympathy with the art of emendation.

In 1879 Ingram became librarian of Trinity College, and displayed an alert interest in the books and especially in the MSS. under his charge. He had already described to the Royal Irish Academy in 1858 a manuscript in the library of Roger Bacon's 'Opus Majus' which supplied a seventh and hitherto overlooked part of the treatise (on moral philosophy). He also printed 'Two Collections of Medieval Moralised Tales' (Dublin, 1882) from medieval Latin manuscripts in the Diocesan Library, Derry, as well as 'The Earliest English [fifteenth century] Translations of the "De Imitatione Christi"' from a MS. in Trinity College library (1882) which he fully edited for the Early English Text Society in 1893. Ingram was also well versed in library management. Two years before becoming university librarian he had been elected a trustee of the National Library of Ireland, being re-elected annually until his death, and he played an active part in the organisation and development of that institution. When the Library Association met in Dublin in 1884, he was chosen president, and delivered an impressive address on the library of Trinity College.

In 1881, on the death of the provost, Humphrey Lloyd [q. v.], Ingram narrowly missed succeeding Mm. Dr. George Salmon [q. V. Suppl. II] was appointed. He became senior fellow in 1884, and in 1887 he ceased to be librarian on his appointment as senior lecturer. The degree of D.Litt. was conferred on him in 1891. In 1893 he received the honorary degree of LL.D. from Glasgow University. In 1898 he became vice-provost, and on resigning that position next year he severed his long connection with Dublin university.

Throughout his academic career Ingram was active outside as well as inside the university. He always took a prominent part in the affairs of the Royal L-ish Academy, serving as secretary of the council from 1860 to 1878, and while a vice-president in 1886 he presided, owing to the absence through illness of the president (Sir Samuel Ferguson), at the celebration of the centenary of the academy. He was president from 1892 to 1896. In 1886 Ingram became an