The Times/1914/Obituary/John Wesley Hales

Professor J. W. Hales

Mr. John Wesley Hales, Emeritus Professor of English Literature at King's College, London, since 1903, died in London yesterday.

The son of William Hales, a Wesleyan minister, he was born at Ashby-de-la-Zouch in 1836 and educated at Christ's College, Cambridge, where he was a scholar. He graduated as fourth Classic in 1859 and 15th junior optime, and in 1860 was elected to a Fellowship. Among his contemporaries were Walter Besant, C. S. Calverley, John Seeley, Walter Skeat, and John Peile. Having married in 1867, when he was called to the Bar by Lincoln's Inn, he settled at Primrose-hill, where he lived for the rest of his life. He had already held several educational appointments, as a schoolmaster and University Extension lecturer, and he lectured successively at Bedford College and King's College School, until in 1882 he succeeded Professor Brewer in the Chair of English at King's College. He was twice Clark Lecturer at Trinity, Cambridge. Professor Hales did good pioneer work in the teaching of English at a time when English studies were not so flourishing as they are now. His various publications bear the mark of a careful and scholarly mind. He wrote a good many articles in the "Dictionary of National Biography," and as a practical antiquary he succeeded Sir Walter Besant as president of the Hampstead Antiquarian and Historical Society.

Professor Hales married in 1867 Henrietta daughter of Judge R. L. Trafford, of Oughtrington Hall, Cheshire, whose son William had graduated at Christ's in the same year as himself. One of his two sons is Mr. G. T. Hales, also of Christ's and now of the British Museum.

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