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Plummer, Charles


Scholar, fellow and chaplain of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and deacon of the Church of England; b. Heworth, Durham County, England, Jan. 24, 1851; d. Sept. 8, 1927. The son of the Rev. Matthew Plummer, he won a scholarship to Corpus Christi in 1869 and was elected to a fellowship in 1873. While serving as college dean (189198) he edited Bede's Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum (2 v. 1896) and later wrote the Life and Times of Alfred the Great (1902). Thenceforth he turned to Celtic studies and carried out John colgan's design of publishing the lives of the Irish saints. The Latin lives edited in his Vitae sanctorum Hiberniae (2 v. 1910), as well as the vernacular lives in the Bethada Náem nÉrenn (2 v. 1922), are models of erudition. His Miscellanea hagiographica Hibernica, published by the Bollandists in the Subsidia Hagiographica (Brussels 1925), contains a valuable catalogue of hagiographical materials, and his British Academy lecture, On the Colophons and Marginalia of Irish Scribes (London 1926), is a classic. He is buried in Holywell Cemetery in Oxford.

Bibliography: p. grosjean, Revue Celtique, 45 (1928) 431435. Obituaries by p. s. allen, f. m. stenton, and r. i. best in Proceedings of the British Academy 15 (1929) 463476.

[r. t. meyer]

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