SCM 29 - Dallaway
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DALLAWAY: 
A MAN OF MANY PARTS
By LILIAN E. BROWN

IN the S.C.M. for September 1954 under a paragraph headed "A `Horrible' Name," one reads that when certain Arundel residents learned their road, known hitherto as Torton Hill Road, was to be called Dalloway Road (a misprint, of course, for Dallaway) they lodged an appeal against the Council's decision. The appeal was successful despite the fact that "the name of Dalloway, it might have been thought, would be an honoured one in West Sussex as that of a historian long famous among the County's worthies for his researches into local history. But a generation has arisen, it appears, who know not Joseph."

Having read the paragraph, I paused. Why should the townsfolk of Arundel recognise Dallaway more readily than his brethren recognised Joseph? Had he any distinct connection with the place? True, said I to myself, after editing The History of the Rape of Chichester in 1815 Dallaway edited The History of the Rape of Arundel in 1819, but that does not prove he ever trod the streets of Arundel town; for, after all, the material forming the histories had been collected and preserved by Sir William Burrell - Dallaway's work therefore had consisted chiefly in the copying and arranging of old records. (The original MSS., by the way, are now lodged safely in the British Museum.)

Thus I argued, having always pictured the Rev. James Dallaway as passing long leisurely years in a retired rectory of East Sussex where, having polished off the two Rapes, from time to time he wrote a paper on some antiquarian subject. He was never a member of the Sussex Archaeological Society since his death occurred twelve years before its foundation in 1846; nevertheless early members may have known him - they certainly made reference to and quoted from some of his writings; facts that, however unreasonably, had caused me mentally to place his parsonage in the neighbourhood of Lewes.

By this time I felt I must repair my own ignorance concerning the historian, if only on behalf of reluctant Arundelians! I knew of no memoirs, or any life-history. What about the Dictionary of National Biography? That might give a few details. And so one day I found myself seated at a table in the richly-stored reference room of Worthing's library reading with amazement of the amount of work accomplished by my retired and retiring rector - the real Dallaway can have known few hours of comfortable ease and dreaming in a cosy study; restless activity rather than restful leisure filled his days!

Brief gleanings from the D.N.B. show that he was born at Bristol in 1763, the only remaining son of James Dallaway, banker, of Stroud, Gloucestershire. He was educated at Cirencester Grammar School, and at Trinity College, Oxford (B.A. 1782, M.A. 1784). He failed to obtain a fellowship owing - it is supposed - to satirical verses he had written on an influential member of the College. Taking Orders, he served a curacy near Stroud. Later he lived at Gloucester where, from 1785-1796, he was editing Bigland's Collections of Gloucestershire. In 1789 he was elected fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and in 1792 published a book on Heraldry and Armorial Ensigns. The dedication to the Duke of Norfolk brought him under the notice of that noble-man "who thenceforward was his constant patron." Also "through the Duke's introduction he was appointed chaplain and physician to the British Embassy at the Porte." (Yes, physician; for it seems he had taken his M.B. degree at Oxford in 1794.)

After his return from the East he published Constantinople, Ancient and Modern ... with Excursions to the Shores and Islands of the Archipelago and the Troad (1797). This work was translated into German and was "pronounced by the great traveller, Dr. Clarke, to be the best on the subject." On January 1st, 1797, he was appointed secretary to the Earl Marshall and retained the office until his death in 1834. In 1799 the duke presented him with the living of South Stoke (near Arundel) "which he resigned in 1803 on the duke procuring for him the vicarage and sinecure rectory of Slinfold." In 1801 "in exchange for the rectory of Llanmaes, Glamorganshire (given him by the Marquis of Bute) he obtained the vicarage of Leather-head, Surrey," and retained the benefices of Slinfold and Leatherhead until his death.

In 1811 he also obtained a prebend in the Cathedral Church of Chichester. In 1811, too, he "was engaged by the Duke of Norfolk to edit (at the nobleman's expense) the History of the three Western Rapes of Sussex." We have seen that Dallaway edited two volumes but, by his request the third volume, The Rape of Bramber, was undertaken by Edmund Cartwright and published in 1830. In 1800 he married Harriet Anne, daughter of John Jeffries of Gloucester, and left an only child, Harriet Jane. His wife was the author of a useful Manual of Heraldry for Amateurs.

In addition to activities mentioned above, James Dallaway published many works-with long titles and sub-titles-on Anecdotes on English Art; Observations on English Architecture; on Architecture of the Fifteenth Century, also Architecture from the Norman Conquest onwards; a history of Leatherhead, and the antiquities of Bristol; on Sculpture among the Ancients. He edited Letters, etc., including those of Lady Mary Wortley Montague and Walpole. No wonder the D.N.B. makes the comment that in some cases, although he wrote well, there are "marks of haste," also some inaccuracy. Still, we of Sussex owe him much.

SCM 29 1955 Page 42-44

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