Open main menu

Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 07.djvu/165

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
Bryce
Brydall
159

the regium donum, an annual endowment paid by the lord-lieutenant to the presbyterian ministers (abolished in 1869). This had been distributed as a free gift without conditions; it was now for political reasons proposed greatly to increase its amount, but to require the recipient to first take the oath of allegiance, and to have the lord-lieutenant an absolute veto on its bestowal. The ministers of Bryce's denomination vehemently denounced these terms, but when they found that the stipend could not be otherwise obtained, they submitted and took it. He alone stood firm, holding that the requirements were dishonouring to Christ of the supreme head of the church, and tended to enslave a minister of religion and to degrade his office. Although separated thereby from his fellow-ministers, and unsupported by the parent church in Scotland, he maintained his principles, and thus, as others gradually gathered round him, became the founder of a branch of the presbyterian church which took the name of the Associate Presbytery of Ireland. This body was ultimately united with the Scottish united presbyterian church, which had by that time come to adopt similar views of spiritual independence. Mr. Bryce was a man of originality and literary culture, but he published little except several statements of his case and position in the question just described. He died at Killaig at the age of ninety, 24 April 1837, having preached twice on the sabbath preceding his death.

[Information from the family.]


BRYCE, JAMES, the younger (1806–1877), schoolmaster and geologist, was the third: son of James Bryce (1767–1857) [q. v.] and of Catherine Annan of Auchtermuchty in Fifeshire, and was born at Killaig, near Coleraine, 23 Oct. 1806. He whs educated first by his father and eldest brother (the Rev. Dr. Bryce, still living), and afterwards at the university of Glasgow, where he graduated B.A. in 1828, having highly distinguished himself in classical studies. He had intended to study for the bar, but, finding this beyond his means, adopted the profession of teaching, and became mathematical master in the Belfast Academy, a foundation school of considerable more in Ulster. In 1836 he married Margaret, daughter of James Young of Abbeyville, county Antrim, and in 1840 was appointed to the high school of Glasgow, the ancient public grammar school of that city, and held this office till his resignation in 1874. He was a brilliant and successful teacher both of mathematics and geography, but his special interest lay in the study of natural history. He devoted himself to geological researches, first in the north of Ireland, and afterwards in Scotland and northern England. He began in 1834 to write and publish articles on the fossils of the lias, greensand, and chalk beds in Antrim (the first appeared in the 'Philosophical Magazine' for that year), and these having attracted the notice of Sir R. Murchison and Sir C. Lyell led to his election as a fellow of the Geological Societies of London and Dublin. His more important papers (among which may be found the first complete investigation and description of the structure of the Giant's Causeway) appeared in the 'Transactions' of the London society, others in the 'Proceedings' of the Natural History Society of Belfast and of the Philosophical Society of Glasgow, of which he was more than once president. He also wrote 'A Treatise on Algebra,' which went through several editions, an introduction to 'Mathematical Astronomy and Geography.' 'A Cyclopædia of Geography,' and a book on 'Arran and the other Clyde Islands,' with special reference to their geology and antiquities. He was a warm advocate of the more general introduction into schools of the teaching of natural history sa well as natural science, and set the example of giving teaching voluntarily in these subjects,for which there was in his day no regular provision in the high schools of Scotland. In 1868 he received from his university, in the reform of which he had borne a leading part, the honorary degree of LL.D. After resigning his post at Glasgow, he settled in Edinburgh, and published his later contributions to geology in the 'Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.' He was a keen and accurate observer, and, having an ardent love of nature and great physical activity, continued his field work in the highlands of Scotland with unflagging zeal to the end of his life. While examining a remarkable mass of eruptive granite at Inverfarigaig, on the shores of Loch Ness, he disturbed some loose stones by the strokes of his hammer, and caused the blocks above to fall on him, killing him instantaneously, 11 July 1877. He was then past seventy, but in the full enjoyment of his mental as well as physical powers.

[Infomation from the family.]


BRYDALL, JOHN (b. 1635?), law-writer, son of John Brydall, of Jesus College, Cambridge, and of St. Alban's Hall, Oxford, and of the Rolls, a captain in the regiment of foot raised for the king's service by the Inns of Court, and a famous master of pike-exercise, was a native of Somerset. He entered Queen's College, Oxford, as a commoner in 1651, proceeded B.A., entered Lincoln's Inn, and became secretary to Sir Harbottle