Richard Morris (8 September 1833 – 12 May 1894), was an English philologist.
He was born at Bermondsey on 8 September 1833, of Welsh parentage. He was trained for an elementary schoolmaster at St. John's College, Battersea, but his education was for the most part self-acquired. In 1869, he was appointed Winchester lecturer on English language and literature in King's College School. In 1871, he was ordained, and served for two years as curate of Christ Church, Camberwell. From 1875 to 1888, he was head-master of the Royal Masonic School for Boys at Wood Green, and afterwards for a short time master of the old grammar school of Dedham in Essex. His diploma of LL.D. came from Lambeth, being given him in 1870 by Archbishop Tait. The university of Oxford conferred upon him the honorary degree of M. A. on 28 May 1874.
As early as 1857, Morris showed the bent of his mind by publishing a little book on The Etymology of Local Names. He was one of the first to join as an active member the Chaucer, Early English, and Philological societies, founded by his lifelong friend, Dr. F. J. Furnivall. None of his colleagues surpassed him in the devotion which he expended upon editing the oldest remains of our national literature from the original manuscript sources, on the same scientific principles as adopted by classical scholars. Between 1862 and 1880, he brought out no less than twelve volumes for the Early English Text Society, of which may be specially mentioned three series of Homilies (1868 seq.) and two of Alliterative Poems (1864). In 1866, he edited Chaucer for the Aldine Poets (2nd edit. 1891). This was the first edition to be based upon manuscripts since that of Thomas Tyrwhitt, and remained the standard one until it was superseded by Professor Skeat's edition (1894-7). In 1869, he edited Spenser for Macmillan's Globe edition, again using manuscripts as well as the original editions. In 1867, he published at the Clarendon Press, Oxford, Specimens of Early English, which has been augmented in subsequent editions by Professor Skeat. These are books for scholars and students...
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