SAMPSON, John. Schull, County Cork 1862 — 9.11.1931. British (Irish) Gipsy Scholar. Son of James S., a mining engineer from Cornwall, and Sarah Anne MacDermott. He was mainly self-taught as he early lost his father (1872 or when 14) and had to leave school. Seven years apprenticed to a lithographer and engraver in Liverpool, then opened a small printing business, but continuously also studied. From 1892 Librarian of Liverpool University, retired 1928. In 1901 began gipsy studies prompted by Augustus John and soon became the leading authority in the U.K. Married, three children.
Publications: The Dialect of the Gypsies of Wales. Being the Older Form of British Romani preserved in the Speech of the Clan of Abram Wood. 23+230+419 p. Oxford 1926 (gr. & dict.).
– edited William Blake’s Poetical Works. 1905; Romani translation of Fitzgerald’s versions of the quatrains of Omar Khayyam, 1902.
– articles in JGLS.
Sources: *A. Sampson (his grandson), The Scholar Gypsy: The Quest For A Family Secret. 1997; http://www.sampsongenealogy.com/getperson.php?personID=I85184&tree=ONS; Wikipedia with photo.
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