Sir Richard Claverhouse “Uncle Dick” Jebb OM

Sir Richard Claverhouse “Uncle Dick” Jebb OM

Dundee, Dundee City, Scotland
Death 9 Dec 1905 (aged 64)
Cambridgeshire, England
Burial Cambridge, City of Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England
Plot 4I2
Memorial ID 5935490 · View Source
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A CAMBRIDGE APOSTLE: #145, elected Nov., 1859; resigned Feb. 1868; Senior Classic 1862.

Number #24 refers to "A Cambridge Necropolis" by Dr. Mark Goldie from March 2000 for Friends of The Parish of The Ascension Burial Ground, total 49.

Classical scholar who also became Member of Parliament for Cambridge University; from 1869 to 1875, he was public orator of Cambridge University; Professor of Greek at Glasgow from 1875 to 1889, and Regius Professor of Greek at Cambridge from 1889 until his death. His successor was Henry Jackson. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1902.

He was a member of the Cambridge Apostles, the secret intellectual society which he joined in 1859; 11 members of which are buried in 'Ascension':

& Wittgenstein*

* see biographies in ODNB

In 1874 he married Caroline Lane Slemmer, nee Reynolds, born in 1840 in Evansburg, Pennsylvania, and joined social circles embracing George Eliot, Tennyson, Charles Darwin, Mark Twain, and Bret Harte. They lived in Glasgow, where he husband was a professor, but spent summers in Cambridge until the death of Benjamin Hall Kennedy vacated the Regius Professor of Greek at Cambridge.

She had been married in 1856 to U.S. Army Lieutenant Adam J. Slemmer and the couple lived at military outposts in South Carolina, Florida, and Wyoming Territory. After his death in 1868, she lived briefly in Cambridge*, England, and was visiting Paris at the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War.

* She had a first cousin in Cambridge: Jeanette Potts, wife of a private coach called Robert Potts. The Pottses lived at 15 Fitzwilliam Street, Cambridge, and she lived with them.

Lady Caroline Jebb's ashes only ARE buried in 'Ascension'; the Observer reported on July 18, 1930 that Lady Jebb died in Erie, Pennsylvania, while visiting family.

Sir Richard Jebb was referred to as 'Uncle Dick' in the 1952 book "Period Piece : A Cambridge Childhood" written by Gwen Raverat, the daughter of Sir George and Lady Maud Darwin. His wife was referred to in the same book as 'Aunt Cara'.

"In her will she [Lady Jebb] left directions that her body should be cremated and the ashes sent to Cambridge, to be buried under Richard's tombstone in St. Giles' Cemetery where they lie today."

"Caroline Slemmer Jebb was cremated and her remains were shipped to Buffalo, New York. I am still thinking her remains are with her second husband in your Ascension Cemetery, but do not know if that will ever be able to be verified."

Death of the Day - Date July 11th 1930 - Jebb, Lady - Friday afternoon, in her 90th year, at St. Vincent Hospital, widow of Sir Richard Claverhouse Jebb, O.M. Friends may attend service at 519 W. 6th St. on Sunday at 4 o'clock.


Sunday final services for Lady Jebb, 89, who died Friday afternoon, in the home of her niece, Mrs. Wm. Spencer, 519 W. 6th St., who is one of the five survivors were held at 4 p.m. Sunday in the Spencer residence. The Very Rev. Francis B. Blodgett, dean of the Cathedral of St. Paul, officiated at the service. Following the Erie service, remains were removed to Buffalo, N.Y. for cremation.

Others surviving Lady Jebb are Mrs. J. Spencer Van Cleve, 333 W. 10th St., Erie; Mrs. William E. Reed of New York City; Lady Darwin of Cambridge England, her niece, and Lord Reynolds, of Philadelphia, a nephew. Caroline Lane Reynolds, the youngest daughter of the Rev. John Reynolds and Eleanor Evans Reynolds of Evansburg, Pa. ws born Dec. 26,1840. When she was 16 years old she was married to Lieut. Adam J. Slemmer of Norristown, Pa. who was later lieutenant colonel of the 4th United States Infantry in the Civil War stationed at Ft. Pickens. He was awarded a bronze medal by the New York Chamber of Commerce. Col. Slemmer died in 1868 and his widow in 1874 became the wife of Sir Richard Claverhouse Jebb, O.M. LHD, a member of parliament representing Cambridge. In 1900, he was knighted by Queen Victoria and received (O.M.?) King Edward VII in 1905, which was the year of his death. Lady Jebb returned to America in 1900 living in Washington, D.C. Her literary work included a book of Sir. Richard's life, which received notable comment from the London press in England. She has resided with Mrs.
Spencer since 1924.

He died at his home, Springfield, Newnham, Cambridge, on 9 December 1905.

Jebb, Richard Claverhouse.
Adm. pens. at TRINITY, Feb. 22, 1858.
[Elder] s. of Robert [barrister], of Desmond, Killiney, Co. Dublin. B. [Aug. 27], 1841, at Dundee [ Angus].
Schools [St Columba's College, Rathfarnham, Ireland, and] Charterhouse, London.
Matric. Michs. 1858;
Porson scholar, 1859;
Craven scholar, 1860;
1st Chancellor's medal, 1862;
B.A. (Senior Classic) 1862;
M.A. 1865;
Litt.D. 1885.
Fellow, 1863.
Assistant Tutor, 1865-75;
Tutor, 1872-4.
Hon. Fellow, 1888.
Classical Lecturer, 1863-75.
Orator, 1869-76.
Professor of Greek at Glasgow University [ Scotland], 1875-89.
Regius Professor of Greek at Cambridge [ Cambridgeshire], 1889-1905.
Rede Lecturer, 1890.
M.P. for the University, 1891-1905.
Hon. LL.D., Harvard [ USA], 1884;
Hon. Litt.D., University of Wales [ Wales];
Hon. D.C.L., Oxford;
Hon. LL.D., Dublin [ Ireland], Edinburgh [ Scotland] and Glasgow [ Scotland].
Hon. Professor of Ancient History, Royal Academy, 1898-1905.
Trustee of the British Museum, 1903-5.
Took a leading part in founding the British School of Archaeology at Athens [ Greece] in 1887.
Lecturer at Johns Hopkins University [ USA], 1892.
Member of Royal Commission on Secondary Education, 1894, and of Royal Commission on Irish University Education, 1901.
President of the Hellenic Society.
Married, Aug. 18, 1874, Caroline, dau. of the Rev. John Reynolds, LL.D., and widow of General Slemmer of the U.S. Army.
Author of many classical translations, articles and criticisms, etc. His greatest work was his edition of Sophocles' plays, "the most completely satisfactory commentary on a classical author that has been written."
Served for some time on the staff of The Times as leader-writer and reviewed.
Knighted, 1900.
O.M., 1905.
Died s.p. Dec. 9, 1905, at his residence, Springfield, Cambridge [ Cambridgeshire].
His portrait in the Hall of Trinity is "a faithful likeness; but the sitter was suffering at the time from hayfever, and the expression is consequently harassed."
The speeches delivered by him on June 16, 1874, were published by the Chancellor's request in the University Reporter for June 23, and were also privately printed.
(See Life and Letters, by Lady Jebb; List of Carthusians; D.N.B.; Who was Who, 1897-1916; Burke, L.G.; The Times, Dec. 11, 1905.)


Bio by: David Conway

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  • Maintained by: Martin Douglas Packer
  • Originally Created by: David Conway
  • Added: 6 Nov 2001
  • Find a Grave Memorial 5935490
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Sir Richard Claverhouse “Uncle Dick” Jebb OM (27 Aug 1841–9 Dec 1905), Find a Grave Memorial no. 5935490, citing Ascension Parish Burial Ground, Cambridge, City of Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England ; Maintained by Martin Douglas Packer (contributor 47912178) .