A. D. Godley


Alfred Denis Godley (22 January 1856 – 27 June 1925)[1] was an Anglo-Irish classical scholar and author of humorous poems.[2] From 1910 to 1920 he was Public Orator at the University of Oxford, a post that involved composing citations in Latin for the recipients of honorary degrees. One of these was for Thomas Hardy who received an Honorary D. Litt. in 1920, and whose treatment of rural themes Godley compared to Virgil.

He is mainly remembered today for his humorous verse, including macaronic pieces such as The Motor Bus, which playfully mixes Latin declensions with English.[citation needed]

Godley's published works include:

  • Verses to Order (1892)
  • Aspects of Modern Oxford (1894)
  • Socrates and Athenian Society in His Day (1896)
  • Lyra Frivola (1899)
  • Second Strings (1902)
  • Oxford in the Eighteenth Century (1908)
  • The Casual Ward (1912)
  • Reliquiae A. D. Godley (1926)

He also published translations of Herodotus (1921) and Horace's Odes (1898).

Godley was a first-cousin of The 1st Baron Kilbracken, who, as Sir Arthur Godley, was the long-serving Permanent Under-Secretary of State for India.


  1. ^ Mosley, Charles (2003). Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage. Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd. p. 2149.
  2. ^ "GODLEY, Alfred Denis". Who's Who. 59: 691. 1907.

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