Open main menu
This page needs to be proofread.
599
SELBoRNE, 2ND EARL of—SELBY

original language, and to give the hymns “in the genuine uncorrupted text of the authors themselves.” In the course of his labours as editor of this volume he was struck by the unity which was presented by Christian hymnody, “ binding together by the force of a common attraction, more powerful than all causes of difference, times ancient and modern, nations of various race and language, Churchmen and Nonconformists, Churches reformed and unreformed ” (Preface). In the same field of literature Lord Selborne further laboured by the publication of another collection called The Book of Praise Hymnal; a contribution to an edition of Bishop Ken's hymns; a paper on English Church Hymnody at a Church Congress; and the article in the Encyclopaedia Britannica on “ Hymns ” (q.v.), which was republished a.s a separate volume in 1892.

During the last few years of his life Lord Selborne engaged in the composition, for the benefit of his children, of memorials of his own life and of the lives of many members of his family. These Memorials, Part II., Family and Personal, in 2 vols., which were published in 1896, Memorials, Part II., Personal and Political, also in 2 vols., were edited by his daughter, Lady Sophia Palmer, and published in 1898. In the years 1880–1881 Lord Selborne wrote to his son a series of letters on religious subjects, dealing in an elementary way with natural and revealed religion, the inspiration of the Bible and Biblical criticism. These were published in 1898, under the title of Letters to His Son on Religion, by Roundell, First Earl of Selborne.

In person Lord Selborne was of about the average height: his manners when among strangers were somewhat reserved; his style, both in speaking and writing, was fluent, tending to diffuseness; his oratory was marked by uniform good sense and lucidity, both of arrangement and language; and if he never reached the highest level of oratorical excellence, he never descended to what was commonplace or irrelevant. As a judge, whether in the Supreme Court or in the House of Lords, he displayed high qualities: he was patient, courteous, logical and learned, and his judgments contain many valuable expositions of the principles of law. The fusion of law and equity, the reorganization of the whole judicial system of England, and the association of all the supreme tribunals in one common home were works of no ordinary magnitude or importance, and give a character of unusual importance to his chancellorship. That Lord Selborne was a truly religious man it is impossible to doubt: his whole life was regulated and inspired by a sense of his duty towards God and his fellowmen, and a long life spent amid the temptations of legal and public life left not the faintest stain on his memory. He was a devout member of the Church of England, to which he looked up with unstinted affection and reverence; and he found in its service and formularies an adequate satisfaction for all his religious feelings. He belonged to the High Church school, which was influenced bty the teaching of Newman and Pusey and the Oxford teachers o their day; but he by no means slavishly followed them. With the later High Church movement, usually described as Ritualism, he had less sympathy. His life was prosperous, for from his first prize at the university till his acquisition of an earldom, he went on a course of almost unbroken success. He had the double dignity of having refused the highest prize in his profession for conscience' sake, and of having accepted that dignity without loss of consistency; in his life he acquired a high reputation and the sincere admiration of his fellowmen, as well as an abundant fortune and ample titular distinctions. His life was also happy, for he had pleasure in his work, he loved and was loved by his wife and children; e had a strong constitution, and retained his bodily and mental powers to the last; his faith in the religion of his youth was unshaken to the end; and he lived throughout his long life with the consciousness of rectitude.  (E. F.) 


SELBORNE, WILLIAM WALDEGRAVE PALMER, 2nd Earl of (1859-), son of the preceding, was educated at Winchester and University College, Oxford, where he took a first class in history. In 1883, being then Viscount Wolmer, he married Lady Beatrix Cecil, 3rd daughter of the 3rd marquess of Salisbury. He served a political apprenticeship as assistant private secretary to the chancellor of the exchequer, (Mr Childers) from 1882 to 1885, when he was elected Liberal member of parliament for East Hampshire. Like his father, he became a Liberal Unionist when in 1886 Mr Gladstone proposed Home Rule for Ireland, and he retained his seat till 1892, when he was elected for West Edinburgh. From 1895 to 1900 he was under-secretary for the colonies, having Mr Chamberlain as his chief, and during the difficult period before the outbreak of the South African War he came rapidly to the front. In 1900 he entered the cabinet as first lord of the admiralty, and held this office till 1905, when he succeeded Lord Milner as high commissioner for South Africa and governor of the Transvaal and Orange River colonies. He assumed office at Pretoria in May of that year. He had gone out with the intention of guiding the destinies of South Africa during a period when the ex-Boer republics would be in a transitional state between crown colony government and self-government, and letters patent were issued granting the Transvaal representative institutions. But the Liberal party came into office in England in the December following, before the new constitution had been actually established, and the decision was now taken to give both the Transvaal and Orange River colonies self-government without delay. Lord Selborne loyally accepted the changed situation, and it was due in considerable measure to his moderation, common sense, administrative gifts and appreciation of the Boers' standpoint, that the experiment proved successful. He ceased to be governor of the Orange River Colony on its assumption of self-government in June 1907, but retained his other posts until May 1910, retiring on the eve of the establishment of the Union of South Africa. No one had done more to effect that union. The despatch, dated January 7th, 1907, in which he reviewed the situation in its economic and political aspects, was a masterly and comprehensive statement of the dangers inherent in the existing system and of the advantages likely to attend union. The force of its appeal had a marked influence on the course of events, while the loyalty with which Lord Selborne co-operated with the Botha administration was an additional factor in reconciling the Dutch and British communities. He returned to England with his reputation as a statesman enhanced by the respect of all parties, and with a practical experience, second only to that of Lord Milner, of British imperialism in successful operation. This experience made him a valuable ally in the movement among the Unionist party at home for Tariff Reform and Colonial- Preference, to which he could now give his whole-hearted support.


SELBORNE, a village in the Petersfield parliamentary division of Hampshire, England, 4% m. S.S.E. of Alton station on the London & South-Western railway. It is pleasantly situated in a thickly wooded valley, and is celebrated as the birthplace and scene of the work of Gilbert White the naturalist; his house is in the village, and his memorial and grave are in the ancient church. Fine views over the district of which he wrote are obtained from the hills (between 500 and 700 ft.) in the neighbourhood.


SELBY, WILLIAM COURT GULLY, 1st Viscount (1835-1909), Speaker of the British House of Commons, was born on the 29th of August 1835, the son of Dr James Manby Gully of Malvern. His grandfather was Daniel Gully, a Jamaican coffee planter, He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was president of the Union. He was called to the bar in 1860, went the northern circuit, and took silk in 1877. In 1880 and 1885 he unsuccessfully contested Whitehaven as a Liberal, but was elected for Carlisle in 1886, and continued to represent that constituency until his elevation to the peerage. In April 1895 he was elected Speaker by a majority of eleven votes over Sir Matthew White Ridley (cr. Viscount Ridley, 1900), the Unionist nominee. In 1905 he resigned and was raised to the peerage with the title of Viscount Selby, the name being that of his wife, Miss Elizabeth Selby (d. 1906), whom he married in 1865. He died on the 6th of November IQOQ, and was succeeded by his son, James William Herschell Gully (b. 1867).


SELBY, a market town in the Barkston Ash parliamentary division of the West Riding of Yorkshire, England, 131/2 m. S. of York on the Great Northern and North-Eastern railways. Pop. of urban district (1901) 7786. It stands.in a level plain on the left bank of the river Ouse, by which communication is provided with the Humber. The church of St Mary and St German belonged to a Benedictine abbey founded under a grant from William the Conqueror in 1069 and raised to the dignity of a mitred abbey by Pope Alexander II. The monastic buildings have practically disappeared, but the church was a splendid building of various dates from Norman to Decorated, the choir