Page:Dictionary of National Biography, Second Supplement, volume 2.djvu/69

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Fowler
Fowler
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literature. His edition of Bacon's 'Novum Organum,' which came out in 1878 (2nd edit. 1889), contains a valuable commentary on the text; the introduction clearly presents Bacon's place in the history of thought, and embodies much bibliographical research, for which Fowler had an aptitude. His monograph 'Locke' ('English Men of Letters' series, 1880) is notable for the historical setting of philosophical ideas, a feature already anticipated in his Denyer prize essay. An edition of 'Locke's Conduct of the Understanding, with Introduction,' followed (1881; new edit. 1901); monographs on 'Francis Bacon' (1881) and 'Shaftesbury and Hutcheson' (1882) appeared in the 'English Philosophers' series; the latter contains interesting new matter from the 'Shaftesbury Papers.'

'Progressive Morality ' (1884; 2nd edit. 1895) is a short work remarkable for the insight with which moral experience is probed and analysed, always with the practical end in view of discovering principles which may be helpful for the education of character. Of 'The Principles of Morals,' part. i. was in print as early as 1875, but was first published in 1886 in the joint names of John Matthias Wilson [q. v.] and Fowler; part ii. (the larger part) came out in Fowler's name alone (see prefaces to the two volumes and art. Wilson, John Matthias). Like 'Progressive Morality,' 'The Principles of Morals' is of permanent value; it expresses, with a difference due to the altered circumstances of the nineteenth century, the philosophical temper and outlook of the great English moralists of the eighteenth century, and retains a flavour of their style. Exactness, and even elegance, of style, very noticeable in the sermons which he preached at St. Mary's, mark all Fowler's writings.

On 23 December 1881 Fowler was elected president of Corpus Christi College, in succession to his friend Wilson. Fowler entered thoroughly into the life of his new college, writing its history, making himself fully acquainted with its educational needs and its finance, piloting it skilfully through the difficulties of the period of transition which followed 1882, when the statutes made by the commissioners of 1877 came into operation, and winning the esteem and affection of seniors and juniors. His exhaustive 'History of Corpus,' published in 1893 (Oxford Historical Society), is of special interest as the history of a 'Renaissance Foundation.' In 1898 he issued a less elaborate acoonnt of the college in the 'Oxford College Histories' series, and between 1889 and 1900 ho wrote a series of articles for this Dictionary on Corpus men of mark from Fox, the founder, to J. M. Wilson, his predecessor in the presidency. To this Dictionary he also contributed articles on the philosophical work of Bacon and Richard Price.

From 1899 till 1901 Fowler was vice-chancellor of the university. The work of the office was exceptionally heavy. The Boer war was in progress, and he as vice-chancellor, by arrangement with the war office, was charged with the duty of selecting for commissions in the army young university men ready to go to the front. From the strain of inquiry and correspondence involved his health never recovered. Largely through his influence the opposition in Oxford to conferring the honorary degree of D.C.L. at the encaenia of 1899 upon Cecil Rhodes, whose munificent endowment the university a few years after began to enjoy, proved innocuous.

Fowler, who was made F.S.A. in 1873, and hon. LL.D. of Edinburgh in 1882, proceeded to the degree of D.D. in 1886; and was elected hon. fellow of Lincoln in 1900. He died unmarried in his house at Corpus on 20 Nov. 1904, and was buried in the cemetery at Winterton. In the church there a choir-screen, with inscription, was erected to his memory; and there is a tablet in the cloister of Corpus. By his will he was a benefactor of the three colleges, Merton, Lincoln, and Corpus, with which he had been connected. A cartoon portrait by E. T. D. appeared in 'Vanity Fair' in 1889 (xxxi. 763).

[Foster's Alumni Oxonienses; The Times, 21 Nov. 1904; Athenaeum, 26 Nov. 1904; Oxford Magazine, 23 Nov. 1904; Letters of T. E. Brown, ed. with memoir by S. T. Irwin, 2 vols. 1900; Correspondence of Wilham Fowler of Winterton in the county of Lincoln, ed. by his grandson Canon Fowler of Durham, 1907; Crockford, 1903; Who's Who, 1903; Minutes of Evidence taken before the University of Oxford Commissioners (of 1877), part i. pp. 92-97 (Fowler's evidence taken 11 March 1873 and 26 Oct. 1877); private information supplied by his cousin. Canon Fowler, and others; personal knowledge.]

J. A. S.


FOWLER, Sir HENRY HARTLEY. first Viscount Wolverhampton (1830–1911), statesman, born in Sunderland on 16 May 1830, was the second son of Joseph Fowler, a Wesleyan minister, who was secretary of the Wesleyan conference in 1848, by