MORRIS, Richard

MORRIS, Richard. Bermondsey 1833 — 12.5.1894. British Philologist, Early English and Pāli Scholar. Born in a family apparently of Welsh origin, attended Battersea Training College. Never studied in an university and was mainly self-taught. In 1871 obtained a curacy in Southwark. From 1875 Headmaster of Royal Masonic Institution for Boys at Wood Green in Middlesex. Until the 1870s he was mainly interested in English philology, but then, prompted by his friend Rhys Davids, started to work on Pāli. LL.D. 1870 Lambeth (procured by Archbishop Tait). Honorary M.A. 1874 Oxford.

RM was one of the most active contributors of the P.T.S. during its early period. He could derive much use of his experience as an editor (of early English texts) and applied his knowledge of linguistic history to the problem of the position of Pāli between Sanskrit and NIA. His Chaucer edition was the standard text until 1894.

Publications: The Etymology of Local names. 1857; Lectures on the Excellency of the Bible. 1858; Historical Outlines of English Accidence. 1872 and many edd.; Elementary Lessons in Historical English Grammar. 1874; English Grammar. 1874.

a number of text editions published by the Early English Text Society in the 1860s and 1870s, Chaucer. 1-6. 1866; Spenser. 1869.

long review of Rhys Davids’ Buddhist Suttas: Academy Oct. 1. 1881.

edited: Buddhavansa and Cariyāpitaka. L. PTS 1882; Puggalapaññatti. PTS 1883; Aṅguttara-nikāya. 1-2. L. 1885-1896 (PTS Text Series 3-4; continued by E. Hardy); “Saddhammopāyana”, JPTS 1887, 35-98.

edited with T. W. Rhys Davids: “Dāṭhāvaṁsa”, JPTS 1884, 109-151.

– “Folk-Tales in India, tr. from the Pāli Jātakas”, Folklore Journal 2, 304-310, 332-340, 370-377; 3, 56-79, 121-133, 242-256, 328-366; 4, 45-63, 168-182; “On Buddhaghosa and the Milindapañha”, IA 10, 1880 & 11, 1881, on MP also in Academy 12.1. & 24.12.1881; on Dhammapada 5, 83, Academy 25.4.1891; “Pāli, Sanskrit and Prakrit Etymologies”, Tr. of the 9th OC London 1892, 1, 1893, 466-517.

Sources: A.A. Macdonell, JRAS 1894, 607-610 (from Academy March 19th, 1894).

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