The death of this aged clergyman, who was a remarkable example of the pursuit of learning in spite of disadvantageous circumstances in his early life, has been recorded in our obituary. He was a native of Winlaton, in Durham, and was born in a humble rank, and apprenticed to a village blacksmith. Like the American blacksmith, Elihu Burritt, he had a great talent and appetite for studying language, beating the words into his head as he worked at the anvil. He thus acquired, with little instruction except from books, a reading knowledge of Latin, Greek, French, and other European languages—Hebrew, Arabic, Syriac, and Persian. These accomplishments brought him into notice among the local clergy and their friends, and he was encouraged to prepare for taking holy orders, which he did in 1842, having also taken the degree of Doctor of Philosophy by examination, at a German University. In 1854, after serving as a curate, he was presented to the vicarage of Collierley, a parish of six thousand souls near Gateshead, with an income of £300 a year, and has continued in the ministry of that parish to an advanced age.
Source: The Illustrated London News, No.2254—Vol. LXXXI, Saturday, July 15, 1882, p.56