Page:Dictionary of National Biography, Second Supplement, volume 3.djvu/13

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

and was president of the Edinburgh Shakespeare Society, and gave the annual lecture from 1874 till his death. To the 'British Controversialist' in 1860 he had contributed a series of papers which he reissued in 1861 as 'Shakespeare: a Critical Biography.' The work enjoyed a vogue as a useful epitome of the facts, although Neil accepted without demur the forgeries of John Payne Collier. It was translated into French and German. Neil, who was a frequent visitor to Warwickshire, issued a guide to Shakespeare's birthplace at Stratford-on-Avon as 'Home of Shakspere described' (Warwick, 1871, 12mo), and he edited the 'Library Shakespeare' (3 vols.) in 1875, besides several separate plays for school use.

Neil took a leading part in educational and philanthropic affairs in Edinburgh, where he was on intimate terms with Professors John Stuart Blackie, Henry Calderwood, John Veitch, and David Masson. He helped to found the Educational Institute of Scotland for granting fellowships to teachers. For the Craigmillar School for the Blind there, which he managed for some years, he compiled a book of poems on the blind and by the blind, entitled 'Dark Days brightened.'

In 1900 his health failed. He died on 28 Aug. 1901, while on a visit at Sullom Manse, Shetland, and was buried in Sullom churchyard. He married on 7 April 1848 Christina, youngest daughter of Archibald Gibson, who served in the navy and was with Nelson on the Victory at the battle of Trafalgar. She predeceased him on 26 Jan. 1901. He had issue three sons and five daughters, of whom one son and three daughters, all married, survive.

A painted portrait by George Barclay is in possession of his daughter at 53 Craiglea Drive, Edinburgh. His head was done in white alabaster by a sculptor of Glasgow in 1853.

Other of Neil's works include:

  1. 'Cyclopædia of Universal History,' 1855; 2nd edit. 1857 (with I. McBurney).
  2. 'Synopsis of British History,' 1856, 12mo.
  3. 'Student's Handbook of Modern History,' 1857.
  4. 'The Young Debater,' 1863.
  5. 'Culture and Self-culture,' 1863.
  6. 'Martin Luther,' 1863, 12mo.
  7. 'Epoch Men and the Results of their Lives,' 1865, 12mo.
  8. 'The Art of Public Speaking,' 1867, 12mo.
  9. 'The Debater's Handbook and Controversialist Manual,' 1874, 12mo; new edit. 1880.

Neil edited and compiled the larger part of 'The Home Teacher, a Cyclopædia of Self-instruction' (1886, 6 vols. 4to).

[James Love's Schools and Schoolmasters of Falkirk, 1898, pp. 232-8; Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 20 Sept. 1901 (memoir by Neil's son-in-law. Rev. Charles Davidson); Moffat Express, 5 Sept. 1901; Educational News, 7 Sept. 1901; private information; notes from Mr. James Downie.]

W. B. O.

NELSON, ELIZA (1827–1908), actress. [See under Craven, Henry Thornton.]

NELSON, Sir HUGH MUIR (1835–1906), premier of Queensland, born at Kilmarnock on 31 Dec. 1835, was son of the Rev. William Lambie Nelson, LL.D. Educated first at Edinburgh High School, and then at the university, where he came under the influence of Prof. John Wilson (Christopher North), he did not graduate, his father having decided in 1853 to go to Queensland, which was then attracting a number of enterprising Scotsmen.

The father settled in the colony at Ipswich, and Nelson entered a merchant's office; but, of fine physique, he soon sought open-air work on a farm at Nelson's Ridges, some six miles from Ipswich; thence he went to manage the Eton Vale station at Darling Downs. When he married in 1870, he settled with good results on the London estate in the Dalby district.

In 1880 Nelson entered the local public life as a member of the Wambo district under a new scheme of divisional boards. In 1883, while absent on a visit to Scotland, he was elected member of the house of assembly for Northern Downs. When in 1887 this electoral district was split up, he became member for the portion known as Murilla, which he represented continuously for the rest of his public life.

On 13 March 1888 Nelson for the first time took office, as minister for railways, under Sir Thomas McIlwraith [q. v. Suppl. I], continuing when the ministry was reconstituted under Boyd Dunlop Morehead till 7 August 1890. Throughout 1891, he was leader of the opposition. Although he seems to have been a supporter of Sir Samuel Griffith, it was not till Griffith's resignation on 27 March 1893 that he took office, joining McIlwraith as colonial treasurer. On 27 October 1893 he became premier and vice-president of the executive council, combining in his own hands the offices of chief secretary and treasurer. The colony was in the throes of the anxiety and depression which followed the bank crisis of