Written by Abigail Wharne, Archivist
Friday, 20 May 2016

While I was away on a two-week placement at the V&A Archive, and at the IRMS Conference, where I won an award (more on this to follow!), I received a brilliant email from Simon Ashdown, one of our librarians. He had discovered the inscription pictured above inside a copy of a classical dictionary, published in 1859. It belonged to Philip Boobyer, who attended Brighton College between 1873 and 1875 as a day boy.

There are two parts to this story: the inscription itself and the life of the man who wrote it, and we would like your help with the first part. Although an attempt at translation has been made, we were wondering if there are any Latin scholars out there who would like to have a go. If you think you can help, please get in touch with your translation via email, post or telephone. A high-quality copy of the inscription can be found below:

The second part of the story is much easier to tell, thanks to the kind help of Philip Reason, a technician in our physics department. He found a lengthy online biography of Philip Boobyer, which outlines his illustrious career as a medical officer working in Basford, Nottingham. The biography describes his pioneering work in abolishing the ‘pail closet’ system, and success in freeing Nottingham of enteric fever.

It seems his career in classics didn’t take off!

Abigail Wharne


Abigail joined the Development team in April 2015, having previously worked for the University of Sussex Special Collections, East Sussex Record Office and Towner Art Gallery. She regularly answers historical enquiries and catalogues archive material, so that it can be accessed by College staff and the public.

Abigail also manages the school’s heritage collections, including rare books and a wide range of artefacts. As a qualified teacher, she enjoys using archives to inspire and educate Brighton College pupils.

Telephone01273 681135

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