views updated


PALGRAVE , English family. sir francis (1788–1861) was an English historian. The son of a London stockbroker named Meyer Cohen, Palgrave was an infant prodigy and, at the age of eight, made a French translation of The Battle of the Frogs and the Mice, a Greek classic attributed to Homer, which was published by his father (1797). When he married a non-Jew in 1823 he became a Christian and adopted his mother-in-law's maiden name. In 1827 he qualified as a barrister, but displayed increasing interest in English history and his plans for the publication of the national records were officially approved. Knighted in 1832, Palgrave became first deputy keeper of the Public Records in 1838, retaining the post until his death. In this capacity he was in effect the chief organizer of the Public Record Office and distinguished himself as the first English historian to make systematic use of medieval records. His two outstanding works were The Rise and Progress of the English Commonwealth (1832) and The History of Normandy and England (4 vols., 1851–64). Francis Palgrave's four sons also gained renown in various spheres. sir francis turner (1824–1897) became assistant secretary of education (1855–84). A close friend of the poet Tennyson, he is remembered for his classic anthology, The Golden Treasury of the Best Songs and Lyrical Poems in the English Language (1861; revised 1896), which went through dozens of editions. Between 1885 and 1895 F.T. Palgrave was professor of poetry at Oxford. william gifford (1826–1888) was born in London and educated at Charterhouse school and Oxford. After serving as an army officer in India, he converted to Catholicism and was for some time a Jesuit missionary in Syria and Arabia. He later renounced Catholicism, briefly changing his name back to "Cohen," and then became a diplomat, ending his career as British minister-resident in Montevideo. He published a Narrative of a Year's Journey through Central and Eastern Arabia, 18621863 (1865). sir robert harry inglis (1827–1919), a successful banker, edited The Economist (1877–83) and The Dictionary of Political Economy (3 vols., 1894–99). He also published his father's collected historical works (1919). The youngest son, sir reginald francis douce (1829–1904), who was clerk of the House of Commons (1886–1900), edited the Rules, Orders and Forths of Procedure of the House of Commons (1886–96), and wrote The Chairman's Handbook (1877).


R.H. Emden, Jews of Britain (1943), 77–82: Edwards, in: J.M. Shaftesley (ed.), Remember the Days. Essays… Presented to Cecil Roth (1966), 303–22; E. Elath, Britanniah u-Netiveha le-Hodu (1971), 164–5. add. bibliography: odnb online; M. Allan, Palgrave of Arabia: The Life of William Gifford Palgrave, 18261888 (1972); B. Braude, "The Heine-Disraeli Syndrome Among the Pal-graves of Victorian England," in: Todd M. Endelman (ed.), Jewish Apostasy in the Modern World (1987), 108–41.