Open main menu

Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 42.djvu/279

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
Orum
Osbald
273

practice in Sunderland, purchased it, and in the same year married. He lived in Sunderland until shortly before his death, when he took a farm at Bishopwearmouth. He was surgeon to the Sunderland Eye Infirmary and consulting surgeon to the Seaham Infirmary.

Orton, although only locally conspicuous in his lifetime, brought about, by his energy, changes which affected the whole empire. Throughout his life he was a busy medical practitioner and an active reformer. Sunderland owes to his initiative its system of lighting by gas, its water-supply, its public baths, its library, and its institute. But his services were not confined to Sunderland. It was owing to his repeated protests, and to the public attention which he drew to the iniquity of taxing light and air, that the chancellor of the exchequer was at last obliged to repeal the duty which for many years had been levied upon glass and windows. Orton suggested to the government that, if light was still to be taxed, the duty should be regulated by the size of the panes, and not by the number of windows, as had hitherto been done; so that the wealthy and those who could afford large sheets of plateglass should pay more than their poorer neighbours. He also advocated the imposition of a moderate house duty, commencing at a certain rental, to make good the loss of revenue, if it was found that the duty could be entirely abolished. The latter scheme was eventually adopted. Orton also took a lively interest in maritime affairs, and turned his attention to the means and appliances for saving life at sea. He projected a new form of reel lifebuoy, and invented a lifeboat which was light, low in the water, open so that the sea passed through it (the crew being encased in waterproof bags), and practically incapable of being capsized; for these he took out a patent in 1845 (No. 10898). The boat was used on one or two occasions. Orton died on 1 Sept. 1862 at Ford North Farm, Bishopwearmouth. He is buried in the cemetery of that town. He wrote no book; the ‘Essay on the Epidemic Cholera of India,’ London, 1831, 8vo, is by his uncle of the same name as himself.

[Information kindly given by his daughter, Mrs. Modlin, the Rev. A. E. Rubie, head master of the Richmond Grammar School, Yorkshire, and R. B. Prosser, esq.; Sunderland Times, 10 Sept. 1862; Gent. Mag. 1862, xiii. 644–6.]

D’A. P.


ORUM, JOHN (d. 1436?), vice-chancellor of Oxford University, was a member of University College, and graduated as D.D. He is mentioned on 29 Jan. 1399 (Boase, Reg. Exeter College, p. 25;, and in 1406 and 1408 was vice-chancellor or commissary for Richard Courtenay. Orum was made archdeacon of Barnstaple on 1 Nov. 1400, and held this office till 1429; he also appears as archdeacon of Cornwall in 1411 (Le Neve, Fasti Eccl. Angl. i. 398, 406). He held the prebend of Holcomb at Wells in 1408, and in 410 received a canonry there. On 4 Jan. he received the prebend of Fridaythorpe, York, which preferment he had vacated before October 1412 (ib. iii. 187). On 21 Dec. he received the church of Road, Somerset (Weever, Somerset Incumbents, p. 177), but exchanged it for Ashton Keynes, Wiltshire, on 18 April 1414. On 23 Feb. 1429 Orum became chancellor of Exeter (Oliver, p. 281 ; but Tanner says 18 Feb.) He seems to have resigned the chancellorship before 21 Sept. 1436, and probably died soon afterwards. In accordance with his will, dated 27 Sept. 1436, Orum was buried in the porch of Exeter Cathedral. He left 40s. for the perpetual chanting of an antiphon there, and gave a cope to the cathedral.

Orum was author of 'Lecturæ super Apocalypsim habitæ in Ecclesia Wellensi: 1, De ecclesia; 2, De avaritia; 3-6, De cantu.' These lectures are contained in Bodleian MS. 2722. Some of the other anonymous tracts in the same manuscript may possibly be by him.

[Tanner's Bibl. Brit.-Hib. pp. 562-3; Le Neve's Fasti Eccl. Angl. i. 398, 406, iii. 187, 471; Oliver's Bishops of Exeter, pp. 217, 281, 294, 346.]

C. L. K.


OSBALD (d. 799), king of Northumbria, was, before his accession, one of the chief of the Northumbrian nobles, and was probably a member of the royal house. In December 779 he joined another ealdorman named Æthelheard in attacking Beam, son of Ælfwold, who had been made king the year before on the expulsion of King Æthelred. The two ealdormen are said to have burned Beam, setting fire, no doubt, to his house or fortress at Seletune (probably Silton, in the North Riding of Yorkshire). Alcuin, writing to King /Ethelred after his restoration in 793, addressed Osbald 'patricius,' and another ealdorman along with the king, the three being exhorted to good living. When Æthelred was murdered on 20 April 796, some of the nobles made Osbald king. After a reign of only twenty-seven days he was deserted by all the royal following and the nobles. He therefore fled the kingdom and was outlawed. He took refuge in Lindisfame, and while there probably received the letter sent him by Alcuin, reminding him that for the last two years the