Catharine Donaldson1

F, #205801, b. 11 September 1779, d. 1852
Last Edited=12 Jul 2011
     Catharine Donaldson was born on 11 September 1779.1 She was the daughter of Hay Donaldson and Janet McCall.1 She died in 1852, unmarried.1

Citations

  1. [S34] BP1970 page 815. See link for full details for this source. Hereinafter cited as. [S34]

Anne Donaldson1

F, #205802, b. 19 September 1782, d. October 1825
Last Edited=12 Jul 2011
     Anne Donaldson was born on 19 September 1782.1 She was the daughter of Hay Donaldson and Janet McCall.1 She died in October 1825 at age 43, unmarried.1

Citations

  1. [S34] BP1970 page 815. See link for full details for this source. Hereinafter cited as. [S34]

Margaret Donaldson1

F, #205803, b. 14 November 1783, d. 16 February 1801
Last Edited=12 Jul 2011
     Margaret Donaldson was born on 14 November 1783.1 She was the daughter of Hay Donaldson and Janet McCall.1 She died on 16 February 1801 at age 17.1

Citations

  1. [S34] BP1970 page 815. See link for full details for this source. Hereinafter cited as. [S34]

Isabella Donaldson1

F, #205804, b. 21 May 1785, d. 11 December 1809
Last Edited=12 Jul 2011
     Isabella Donaldson was born on 21 May 1785.1 She was the daughter of Hay Donaldson and Janet McCall.1 She died on 11 December 1809 at age 24, unmarried.1

Citations

  1. [S34] BP1970 page 815. See link for full details for this source. Hereinafter cited as. [S34]

Helen Donaldson1

F, #205805, b. 4 February 1788, d. 1828
Last Edited=12 Jul 2011
     Helen Donaldson was born on 4 February 1788.1 She was the daughter of Hay Donaldson and Janet McCall.1 She died in 1828, unmarried.1

Citations

  1. [S34] BP1970 page 815. See link for full details for this source. Hereinafter cited as. [S34]


Emma de Blois Russell1

F, #205806, d. December 1885
Last Edited=12 Jul 2011
     Emma de Blois Russell was the daughter of James Russell.1 She married George Hay Donaldson, son of Stuart Alexander Donaldson and Betty Cundale, on 4 September 1844.1 She died in December 1885.1
      From 4 September 1844, her married name became Donaldson.1

Citations

  1. [S34] BP1970 page 816. See link for full details for this source. Hereinafter cited as. [S34]

James Russell1

M, #205807
Last Edited=16 Sep 2006

Child of James Russell

Citations

  1. [S34] BP1970 page 816. See link for full details for this source. Hereinafter cited as. [S34]

Reverend John William Donaldson1

M, #205808, b. 7 June 1811, d. 10 February 1861
Last Edited=12 Jul 2011
     Reverend John William Donaldson was born on 7 June 1811 at London, England.2 He was the son of Stuart Alexander Donaldson and Betty Cundale.1 He married, firstly, Eleanor Leathes Mortlock, daughter of Sir John Chetham Mortlock, in 1840.1 He married, secondly, Louisa Rawlins, daughter of John Rawlins and Louisa Winnall, on 1 January 1852 at Handsworth Church, Staffordshire, England.3 He died on 10 February 1861 at age 49 at London, England.4
     He graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge University, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, in 1834 with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.).1 He graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge University, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, in 1837 with a Master of Arts (M.A.).1 He was the Headmaster between 1841 and 1855 at King Edward VI Grammar School, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, England.1 He graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge University, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, in 1844 with a Bachelor of Divinity (B.D.).1 He graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge University, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, in 1849 with a Doctor of Divinity (D.D.).1 He was a Fellow and Tutor at Trinity College, Cambridge University, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England.1 He was a Classical Examiner at University of London, London, England.1 He was a philologist and author.1 Donaldson, John William (1811–1861), philologist, born in London on 7 June 1811, was the second son of Stuart Donaldson, Australia merchant, and brother of Sir Stuart Donaldson. His grandfather, Hay Donaldson, was town clerk of Haddington, near Edinburgh, and his mother was Betty, daughter of John Cundale of Snab Green, Arkholme, Lancashire. He was educated privately, and at fourteen was articled to his uncle, a solicitor. In 1830, while in his uncle's office, he went up for an examination at University College, London, and gained the first prize in Greek. His ability attracted the attention of the examiner, George Long, by whose advice he was sent to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he matriculated in 1831. He gained a scholarship in 1833, and in 1834 was second in the classical tripos and senior optime. He proceeded MA in 1837, BD in 1844, and DD in 1849. He was elected fellow and tutor of Trinity in 1835, and up to his marriage in 1840 devoted himself to lecturing, teaching, and making himself master of the results of German philology. He was president of the union in 1839, and in the same year he was ordained deacon and published his New Cratylus, or, Contributions towards a More Accurate Knowledge of the Greek Language, said to be ‘the only complete treatise on inflected language then in existence either in England or on the continent’. Donaldson was right to stress the importance of the study of comparative philology, but his tone was polemical and his conclusions were doubtful. In 1844 Donaldson published Varronianus, which he defined in the preface to the third edition as ‘an attempt to discuss the comparative philology of the Latin language on the broad basis of general ethnography’. Although the work was unsystematic and of no lasting value, it involved him in a violent controversy with Professor T. H. Key, who accused him of plagiarism.

Donaldson lost his fellowship in 1840 on his marriage to Laetitia, daughter of Sir John Mortlock, banker at Cambridge, with whom he had two sons and two daughters. His first wife predeceased him, and he went on to marry Louisa, daughter of John Rawlins; they had three daughters. After taking pupils for a time at Winfrith in Dorset, in 1841 Donaldson was appointed headmaster of King Edward's School, Bury St Edmunds, an appointment unfortunate for the institution and for himself. He was deficient in judgement and administrative power, and the school declined under him, notwithstanding his efforts to obtain reputation by the publication of Latin and Greek grammars, which met with little acceptance beyond the sphere of his personal influence and involved him in controversy. They were probably too scientific for school use, and his conviction of the defects of standard grammars had been expressed with indiscreet candour. He was active in the cultural life of Bury St Edmunds, where he greatly improved the Athenaeum.

Donaldson resigned the headmastership in 1855 partly on account of the outcry caused by the publication of Jashar; fragmenta archetypa carminum Hebraicorum; collegit, ordinavit, restituit J. G. Donaldson, which appeared at the end of 1854. In this extraordinary work he endeavoured to show that fragments of a book of Jashar are to be found throughout the Old Testament scriptures up to the time of Solomon, that the book was compiled in the reign of that monarch, and that its remains constitute ‘the religious marrow of the scriptures’. The work was heavily criticized and Donaldson's religious orthodoxy was questioned. Although he defended his position in a vigorous pamphlet, he failed to convince his critics.

After resigning his headmastership Donaldson took up his residence at Cambridge, where he obtained a high reputation as a tutor, and he was elected one of the classical examiners of the University of London. In 1856 he produced a lengthy essay entitled ‘Classical scholarship and classical learning’, which despite its characteristically intemperate style contains interesting suggestions about the improvement of university classical teaching. He prepared new and improved editions of his New Cratylus, Varronianus, Jashar, and Greek Grammar; he also wrote a disquisition on English ethnography in the Cambridge Essays, and the article ‘Philology’ in the eighth edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and in 1858 completed K. O. Müller's unfinished History of Greek Literature.He began a Greek dictionary, which was to have been the great work of his life. Unfortunately he worked far too hard, both as author and teacher. When advised to take six months' rest he replied that this would cost him £1500. The neglect of the advice proved fatal. On coming to London in January 1861 he found himself unable to conduct the university examination, and on 10 February he died there at his mother's house, 21 Craven Hill, killed by overwork.

Donaldson had a brilliant mind, but he lacked the scholarly virtues of moderation and restraint. Judgement too often forsook him in his speculations, and taste in his controversies. He theorized far too boldly from insufficient data, and put forward as certainties views which should only have been advanced as suggestions. In biblical criticism more especially he can only be regarded as a brilliant amateur. He was greatly beloved by his friends, who included N. C. Thirlwall and W. H. Thompson. The diarist Henry Crabb Robinson spoke enthusiastically of the charm of his conversation. Donaldson produced a large number of other books, pamphlets, and reviews, especially in Fraser's Magazine, and was part author with P. W. Buckham of The Theatre of the Greeks, which achieved considerable popularity in its time.

Richard Garnett, rev. Richard Smail

Sources
Venn, Alum. Cant. · The Athenaeum (16 Feb 1861), 230 · GM, 3rd ser., 10 (1861) · Bury and Norwich Post (19 Feb 1861) · T. L. Peacock, ‘Müller and Donaldson's History of Greek literature’, Fraser's Magazine, 59 (1859), 357–77 · J. W. Burrow, ‘The uses of philology in Victorian England’, Ideas and institutions of Victorian Britain, ed. R. Robson (1967), 180–204 · T. G. Hake, Memoirs of eighty years (1892)

Wealth at death
£18,000: probate, 3 April 1861, CGPLA Eng. & Wales
___

At the 1851 England Census, John William Donaldson, age 39, widower, is headmaster of the King George VI Grammar School at Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England. He is living at the grammar school, at 13 Northgate Street, with his sister-in-law Gertrude and four children by his late wife Eleanor.

___

Death notice in The Times on 12 February 1861:

On the 10th inst., after four weeks severe illness, at the residence of his mother, 21, Craven-hill, Hyde-park, the Rev. John William Donaldson, D.D., M.A., and late Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, aged 49.2,4

Children of Reverend John William Donaldson and Eleanor Leathes Mortlock

Citations

  1. [S34] BP1970 page 816. See link for full details for this source. Hereinafter cited as. [S34]
  2. [S18] Matthew H.C.G., editor, Dictionary of National Biography on CD-ROM (Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 1995), Richard Garnett, ‘Donaldson, John William (1811–1861)’, rev. Richard Smail, accessed 28 March 2010. Hereinafter cited as Dictionary of National Biography.
  3. [S203] Announcements, The Times, London, U.K., Saturday, Jan 03, 1852; pg. 7; Issue 21002; col F—Marriages. Hereinafter cited as The Times.
  4. [S203] The Times, Tuesday, Feb 12, 1861; pg. 1; Issue 23854; col A—Deaths.
  5. [S499] Andrew Thompson, online unknown url, Andrew Thompson (Australia), downloaded 6 July 2011.

Eleanor Leathes Mortlock1

F, #205809, d. 14 November 1850
Last Edited=12 Jul 2011
     Eleanor Leathes Mortlock was the daughter of Sir John Chetham Mortlock.1 She married Reverend John William Donaldson, son of Stuart Alexander Donaldson and Betty Cundale, in 1840.1 She died on 14 November 1850.1
     She was also known as Laetitia Mortlock. From 1840, her married name became Donaldson.1

Children of Eleanor Leathes Mortlock and Reverend John William Donaldson

Citations

  1. [S34] BP1970 page 816. See link for full details for this source. Hereinafter cited as. [S34]
  2. [S499] Andrew Thompson, online unknown url, Andrew Thompson (Australia), downloaded 6 July 2011.

Sir John Chetham Mortlock1

M, #205810
Last Edited=8 May 2012
     Sir John Chetham Mortlock was a banker at Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England.1

Children of Sir John Chetham Mortlock

Citations

  1. [S34] BP1970 page 816. See link for full details for this source. Hereinafter cited as. [S34]
  2. [S6013] W. Pilgrim, "re: Maitland Family," e-mail message to Darryl Roger LUNDY (101053), 30 April 2012. Hereinafter cited as "re: Maitland Family."