John Mowat

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John Lancaster Gough Mowat (1846-94), a Fellow of Pembroke College, Oxford, was the third son of James Mowat, Wesleyan Minister in Jersey, and Elizabeth Lancaster. His siblings were James, George and Elizabeth.


Born in Peter Street, St Helier, on 25 September 1846, he was educated at the Wesleyan Collegiate Institution, Taunton. He won a Channel Islands scholarship at Exeter College, Oxford, in 1865 and won a first in Classical Moderations, 1867, and a second in the Final Schools, 1869.

He became Fellow of Pembroke in 1871, lecturer, senior bursar and junior dean in 1872, Proctor in 1885, and Curator of the Bodleian Library from 1889 until his death. He was also Bursar of Lincoln College.

He was an antiquarian, a botanist, and a great pedestrian. In 1882 he edited an old Latin glossary, Sinonoma Bartholomei, and in 1887 a medico-botanical glossary, Aiphita. In 1892 he published his Notes on the Oxfordshire Doomsday.

He completely explored the line of the Roman Wall between England and Scotland, and in 1885 published A Walk along the Taufelsmauer and Pfahlgraben. He hanged himself in him rooms in Pembroke College on 7 August 1894 during a fit of temporary insanity.

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