Item 54 - Letter from Henry Jackson to Nora Sidgwick

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Letter from Henry Jackson to Nora Sidgwick


  • 8 Mar 1904 (Creation)

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Henry Jackson was born in 1839, the son of an eminent Sheffield surgeon of the same name. He attended Sheffield Collegiate School and Cheltenham College before entering Trinity College Cambridge in 1858. He graduated BA in 1862 as third Classic. He was elected a Fellow of Trinity in 1864 and became Assistant Tutor in 1866, Praelector in Ancient Philosophy in 1875 and Vice-Master in 1914. In 1906 he succeeded R. C. Jebb as Regius Professor of Greek. Jackson was a great reformer, both within the college and the university. Together with Henry Sidgwick and others he essentially established the Cambridge supervisory system by introducing it in the classical side at Trinity. Other disciplines and other colleges soon followed suit.

Jackson's area of study was Greek philosophy, but he did not publish greatly - editing book 5 of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics and writing a series of pieces on Plato's later theory of ideas in the Journal of Philology. His greater achievement was in his lectures and his ability to train the next generation of classical scholars; his more eminent students included R. K. Gaye, Francis Cornford and R. G. Bury. He died in 1921.

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Announces that he intends to be in Cambridge all the following week, and that he would very much like to see the letters of which she speaks. States that he had intended to send with this letter the notices of the College meetings for 1865, 1867 and 1868, and two notices for a meeting for the alteration of statutes in 1869, but hopes to go to the College library the following day to fill up the missing year, 1866, and undertakes to send all the documents together. Refers also to his intention to verify that Henry Sidgwick began to lecture on Moral Sciences in October 1867. States that he had not fully realised the extent of Henry's activity with regard to the College meetings etc. between 1865 and 1869. Refers to the Classical Tripos Syndicate, which led to the reforms that took effect in the examination of 1872. States that she would be able to get the date of 'the pamphlet from Mr Clark at the Registry, where, he claims, she would also find 'a very amusing fly-sheet, in which Henry describes Dr Guest, the Master of Caius, as "that dashing innovator".' Wishes that he had revised his notes before she copied them, as some of them were 'both hasty and rough.'

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