Conybeare, Frank Cornwallis

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Conybeare, Frank Cornwallis

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14 September 1856 - 9 January 1924


(from Wikipedia and ODNB entries)

Frederick Cornwallis Conybeare (1856–1924), biblical and Armenian scholar, was born at Coulsdon, Surrey, on 14 September 1856, the third son of John Charles Conybeare (1818/19–1884), barrister, of Coulsdon, and his wife, Mary Catharine, née Vansittart. He was educated at Tonbridge School from 1868 to 1876 (his father having moved to Tonbridge), and in January 1876 he proceeded with a scholarship to University College, Oxford. He resigned from the college in 1887 to focus on his research and the Armenian language.

He was elected fellow of his college in 1880 and praelector in philosophy and history. ON 12 December 1883 he married Mary Emily (1882-1886), the second daughter of Friedrich Max Müller, the philologist; she accompanied him on his travels and assisted him in translating R. H. Lotze's Outlines of a Philosophy of Religion (1892). He married secondly, in Nice on 22 January 1888, Jane (1859/60–1934), daughter of Edward Macdowell of Belfast; they had one son and one daughter.

The frankness with which Conybeare expressed his opinions endeared him to his friends but involved him in controversies. Having obtained private information about the Dreyfus affair Conybeare published in 1898 his much noticed pro-Dreyfus book, The Dreyfus Case. In 1904 he joined the Rationalist Press Association, which published his Myth, Magic, and Morals, a Study of Christian Origins (1909); its somewhat cynical scepticism elicited a rejoinder from William Sanday in A New Marcion (1909). But Conybeare also attacked the rationalist school, which denied the historicity of Jesus Christ, in The Historical Christ, published by the same association in 1914.

Soon after the outbreak of war in 1914 Conybeare, against the advice of friends, wrote a letter in reply to Professor Kuno Meyer in which he blamed the outbreak of war on Sir Edward Grey and H. H. Asquith.

He died at his home, 21 Trinity Gardens, Folkestone, Kent, on 9 January 1924.

For more information, see Wikipedia entry at: and Oxford Dictionary of National Biography entry here: .


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Conybeare, Mary Emily (1882-1886)

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12 December 1883 - 1886

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Welby, Victoria, Lady, 1837-1912 (1837-1912)

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Created 2015-10-28 by Anna St.Onge.


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D. S. Margoliouth, ‘Conybeare, Frederick Cornwallis (1856–1924)’, rev. Roger T. Stearn, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2015 [, accessed 14 Feb 2016]

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