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Shuckburgh, Evelyn Shirley (DNB12)

SHUCKBURGH, EVELYN SHIRLEY (1843–1906), classical scholar, born at Aldborough on 12 July 1843, was third and eldest surviving son (in a family of twelve children) of Robert Shuckburgh, rector of Aldborough in Norfolk, by his wife Elizabeth (d. 1876), daughter of Dr. Lyford, Winchester. Evelyn was educated for some time at a preparatory school kept at Winchester by the Rev. E. Huntingford, D.C.L. Thence he proceeded to Ipswich grammar school, under Dr. Hubert Ashton Holden [q. v. Suppl. I], the editor of Aristophanes, of whose teaching Shuckburgh always talked with enthusiasm. His father died in 1860, and in 1862 Shuckburgh entered Emmanuel College as an exhibitioner. He was shortsighted, which probably prevented his taking an active part in athletics, but he took the lead in the intellectual life of the college, and as a speaker at the Union Debating Society became widely known in the university. He was president of the Union in 1865, and graduated as thirteenth classic in the classical tripos of 1866. From 1866 to 1874 he was a fellow and assistant tutor of Emmanuel College. In the latter year, having vacated his fellowship by his marriage with Frances Mary, daughter of the Rev. Joseph Pullen, formerly fellow and tutor of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and Gresham professor of astronomy, he accepted an assistant mastership at Eton. There he remained for ten years, when he returned to Cambridge. He was soon appointed librarian of Emmanuel College, and devoted himself, apart from his comparatively light duties in this capacity, to teaching and writing. He wrote with great facility, and immediately after his degree had published anonymously various translations of classical works for university examinations. He now undertook the editing of many volumes of elementary school classics, chiefly for Messrs. Macmillan and the Cambridge University Press. These books were for the most part compilations, but the notes are clear and to the point, and it is noticeable that, instead of being spoilt as a scholar by work of this kind, he showed greater accuracy, width of knowledge, and scholarship in his later books than in his earlier. For his skill in such work he was selected by Sir Richard Jebb [q. v. Suppl. II] to adapt his edition of Sophocles for use in schools. Shuckburgh however lived only to publish the 'Œdipus Coloneus,' ’Antigone,' and 'Philoctetes.' In 1889 he executed a complete translation of Polybius, the first and, in some respects, the most arduous of his labours in this field, though in point of length it was surpassed, by his translation of the whole of Cicero's letters in Messrs. Bell's series (1889-1900). With his edition of Suetonius's 'Life of Augustus' (Cambridge University Press, 1896), Shuckburgh broke ground long unfilled in England. This work obtained for him the degree of Litt.D. from the university in 1902. 'The Life of Augustus' (1903) was a natural corollary to the life by Suetonius, and gives Shuckburgh's own views of Augustus and his age. 'A General History of Rome to the Battle of Actium' had appeared in 1894. In 1901 Shuckburgh produced for the University Press 'A Short History of the Greeks from the Earliest Times to B.C. 146,' and in 1905, for the 'Story of the Nations' series, 'Greece from the Coming of the Hellenes to A.D. 14.' He devoted some attention also to earlier English literature, editing in 1889 with an introduction 'The A.B.C. both in Latyn and Englishe, being a facsimile reprint of the earliest extant English Reading Book,' and in 1891 Sidney's 'Apologie for Poetrie' from the text of 1595. To his college he was devotedly attached, and made many contributions to college history, including the account (anonymously published) of the 'Commemoration of the Three Hundredth Anniversary of Emmanuel College' (1884); 'Lawrence Chaderton (First Master of Emmanuel College), translated from a Latin Memoir of Dr. Dillingham and Richard Farmer (Master of Emmanuel 1775-1797). An Essay' (1884); 'Two Biographies of William Bedell, Bishop of Kilmore, with a Selection of his Letters and an unpublished Treatise' (1902); and the 'History of Emmanuel College' in Robinson's series of 'College Histories' (1904). He also published from a MS. in the library of Emmanuel College in 1894 'The Soul and the Body, a Mediæval Greek Poem.'

Shuckburgh also contributed essays and occasional verses to literary journals. He wrote for the 'Edinburgh Review' on the correspondence of Cicero (January 1901), and prepared several memoirs for this Dictionary.

Shuckburgh was an excellent conversationalist and a man of wide reading. His literary work was too voluminous and produced too rapidly to be all of first-class merit, but it was never slipshod, though he was an ineffectual corrector of proof. No small part of his time was devoted to examining in his own and other universities and in the public schools. In 1901 he was appointed by the Intermediate Education Board for Ireland to report on secondary education in Irish schools. He died suddenly on 10 July 1906, in the train between Berwick and Edinburgh, while on his way to examine at St. Leonard's School, St. Andrews, and was buried at Grantchester, where for some years he had lived. He left a family of two sons and three daughters. Shuckburgh was tall and in countenance resembled Cardinal Newman. A good photograph hangs in the parlour of Emmanuel College, and in the library there is a bronze relief by Mr. E. Gillick.

[Information from the family; a Memoir by Dr. J. Adam in the Emmanuel College Magazine, 1906; personal knowledge.]

P. G.