Richard Claverhouse Jebb


Sir Richard Claverhouse Jebb OM FBA FRSE (27 August 1841 – 9 December 1905) was a British classical scholar.

Richard Claverhouse Jebb
Richard Claverhouse Jebb - Imagines philologorum.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Cambridge University
In office
Serving with
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Personal details
Born(1841-08-27)27 August 1841
Dundee, Scotland
Died9 December 1905(1905-12-09) (aged 64)
Springfield House, Cambridge, England
Resting placeSt Giles Cemetery, Cambridge, England
Political partyConservative


"Ajax MP". Caricature by Spy published in Vanity Fair in 1904.

Jebb was born in Dundee, Scotland. His father Robert was a well-known Irish barrister; his mother was Emily Harriet Horsley, daughter of the Reverend Heneage Horsley, Dean of Brechin. His grandfather Richard Jebb was a judge of the Court of King's Bench (Ireland). His sister was the social reformer Eglantyne Louisa Jebb, founder of the Home Arts and Industries Association; his niece, Eglantyne's daughter Eglantyne Jebb, co-founded the Save the Children Fund and wrote the Declaration of the Rights of the Child.

Jebb in 1873 (far right), Shakespeare Society, Trinity College, Cambridge

He was educated at St Columba's College, Dublin 1853–55 then Charterhouse School 1855–1858. He then studied Classics at Trinity College, Cambridge.[1]

He was a Member of the Cambridge Apostles, the intellectual secret society, from 1859. He won the Porson and Craven scholarships, was senior classic in 1862, and became fellow and tutor of his college in 1863. From 1869 to 1875, he was public orator of Cambridge University; Professor of Greek at Glasgow from 1875 to 1889, and Regius Professor of Greek at Cambridge from 1889 until his death. His successor was Henry Jackson. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1902. In 1891 Jebb was elected Member of Parliament for Cambridge University; he was knighted in 1900. Jebb was acknowledged to be one of the most brilliant classical scholars of his time, a humanist and an unsurpassed translator from and into the classical languages.[citation needed] A collected volume, Translations into Greek and Latin, appeared in 1873 (ed. 1909). He received many honorary degrees from European and American universities, including when in May 1902 he was at Caernarfon to receive the honorary degree DLitt (Doctor of Letters) from the University of Wales during the ceremony to install the Prince of Wales (later King George V) as Chancellor of that university.[2]

In 1904, he was elected as a member to the American Philosophical Society.[3] In 1905, he was made a member of the Order of Merit.

Jebb married Caroline Lane Reynolds, daughter of Reverend John Reynolds, on 18 August 1874; Caroline Lane Reynolds was born in 1840 in Evansburg, Pennsylvania. She was married in 1856 to US Army Lieutenant Adam J. Slemmer and the couple lived at military outposts in South Carolina, Florida, and Wyoming Territory. After his death in 1868, she lived briefly in Cambridge, England, and was visiting Paris at the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War.

In 1874, she married Richard Claverhouse Jebb and joined social circles embracing George Eliot, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Charles Darwin, Mark Twain, and Bret Harte. His wife was a member of the Ladies Dining Society in Cambridge, with 11 other members.

He died at his home, Springfield House[4] in Cambridge, on 9 December 1905 and was buried at the St Giles Cemetery (now known as the Parish of the Ascension Burial Ground) in Cambridge.[5]

His wife died and was cremated in America, but her ashes were interred in his Cambridge grave.


History of Greek literature (Hungarian edition, Budapest, 1894)

The most important of Jebb's publications are:

  • The Characters of Theophrastus (1870), text, introduction, English translation and commentary (re-edited by JE Sandys, 1909)
  • The Attic Orators from Antiphon to Isaeus (2nd ed., 1893), with companion volume, Selections from the Attic Orators (2nd ed, 1888)
  • Bentley (1882)
  • Sophocles (3rd ed., 1893) the seven plays, text, English translation and notes, the promised edition of the fragments being prevented by his death
  • Bacchylides (1905), text, translation, and notes
  • Homer (3rd ed., 1888), an introduction to the Iliad and Odyssey
  • Modern Greece[6] (1901)
  • The Growth and Influence of Classical Greek Poetry (1893).

His translation of the Rhetoric of Aristotle was published posthumously under the editorship of J. E. Sandys (1909). A selection from his Essays and Addresses,[7] and a subsequent volume, Life and Letters of Sir Richard Claverhouse Jebb (with critical introduction by A. W. Verrall) were published by his widow in 1907;[8] see also an appreciative notice by J. E. Sandys, History of Classical Scholarship, iii. (1908).

The Archives and Special Collections at Amherst College holds a collection of his papers.


  1. ^ "Jeb, Richard Claverhouse (JB858RC)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  2. ^ "The Royal visit to Wales". The Times. No. 36759. London. 5 May 1902. p. 10.
  3. ^ "APS Member History". Retrieved 28 June 2021.
  4. ^ Biographical Index of Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN 0-902-198-84-X.
  5. ^ A Guide to Churchill College, Cambridge: text by Dr. Mark Goldie, pp. 62, 63 (2009)
  6. ^ Jebb, Richard Claverhouse (24 April 1901). Modern Greece; two lectures delivered before the Philosophical Institution of Edinburgh, with papers on 'The progress of Greece' and 'Byron in Greece. Macmillan and Co., Limited – via HathiTrust.
  7. ^ "Review of Essays and Addresses by Sir R. C. Jebb". The Athenaeum (4158): 9–10. 6 July 1907.
  8. ^ "Review of Life and Letters of Sir Richard Claverhouse Jebb, O.M., Litt.D. by Caroline Jebb with a chapter by A. W. Verrall". The Athenaeum (4178): 645–646. 23 November 1907.


  •   This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 15 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 299.
  • This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainGilman, D. C.; Peck, H. T.; Colby, F. M., eds. (1905). New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead. {{cite encyclopedia}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)

External linksEdit

  •   Media related to Richard Claverhouse Jebb at Wikimedia Commons
  •   Works by or about Richard Claverhouse Jebb at Wikisource
  • Richard Claverhouse Jebb Papers, Amherst College Archives and Special Collections
  • Works by or about Richard Claverhouse Jebb at Internet Archive
  • Works by Richard Claverhouse Jebb at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)  
  • Works by or about Richard Claverhouse Jebb in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
  • Richard Claverhouse Jebb at Find a Grave
  • British Academy Fellowship entry
  • Trinity College Chapel
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Cambridge University
With: Sir George Stokes to 1892
Sir John Eldon Gorst from 1892
Succeeded by
Academic offices
Preceded by Regius Professor of Greek Cambridge University
Succeeded by