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Papers of TH Green (1836-1882), Fellow of Balliol (1861-1882)


Biographical information

Born 7 April 1836; second son of Rev. Valentine Green, Rector of Birkin, near Ferrybridge, Yorkshire.

Education: Rugby, from the age of 14.

Balliol: matriculated 30 May 1855; Trinity 1855-1859 (Benjamin Jowett was his tutor, and they were later on close terms, although Jowett did not always approve of Green's philosophical ideas). 2nd Classical Moderations; 1st Literae Humaniores; 3rd Law and History. B.A. 1859. Union Society (President 1861). Associated with the Old Mortality Club.

Married 1871, Charlotte (1842-1929), daughter of J.A. Symonds of Clifton, and sister of John Addington Symonds (Balliol Trinity 1858); she became very involved in Balliol life, even after her husband's death, and was a benefactor of the college.

Career as philosopher and academic; political theorist; interested in questions of social reform:

Lecturer in Ancient and Modern History, Balliol, 1860; Chancellor's Essay Prize 1862; Fellow of Balliol 1861-1882 (one of the first lay fellows of an Oxford college).

Assistant Commissioner for the Royal Commission on Education 1865-6 (Schools Enquiry Commission). Later, a patron of Oxford High School.

Delegacy of Oxford Local Examinations; President of the Oxford Temperance Union 1876; Oxford Town Council 1876 (he was concerned with improving relations between the town and university).

Whyte's Professor of Moral Philosophy 1878.

The character Professor Henry Grey in Mrs Humphrey Ward's Robert Elsmere (1888) is supposed to be based on T.H. Green.

Died 26 March 1882. Buried in St. Sepulchre's Cemetery, Oxford. Benefactor of Balliol.

Publications include:An estimate of the value and influence of works of fiction in modern times, the essay which won the Chancellor's prize (1862).

The Philosophical Works of David Hume (edited, 1874).

Prolegomena to Ethics, edited by A.C. Bradley, a former pupil of Green (1883). Based on Green's professorial lectures of 1880-2.

Collected Works, edited by R.L. Nettleship (Fellow of Balliol, one of Green's pupils and later colleague) (1885-88).

Provenance of the papers

Charlotte B. Green left her husband's papers to the College on her death in 1929.

Abbreviations used

CBG - Charlotte Green

RLN - Richard Lewis Nettleship


and for further information:

In the Modern Manuscripts collections, see the Jowett Papers, and the correspondence collection. See also Mynors MS 395.

See also: The Balliol College Register 1833-1933 (entry under 1854-5).

The Dictionary of National Biography. ODNB

Joseph Foster, Alumni Oxonienses (1888).

R.L. Nettleship, Memoir of T.H. Green (1906), also printed in volume III of Nettleship's edition of Green's Works.

Melvin Richter, The Politics of Conscience: T.H. Green and his Age (1964).

Geoffery Thomas, The Moral Philosophy of T.H. Green (1987).

There are various articles, etc., on Green to be found in the Balliolenses files in Balliol Library.




- John Jones, 8 January 1996

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