Martin Joseph Routh

Classical scholar and college head

Dr. Martin Joseph Routh (18 September 175522 December 1854) was President of Magdalen College from 28 April 1792 until his death.

Always verify your references, sir !


  • I think sir, since you care for the advice of an old man, sir, you will find it a very good practise, always to verify your references, sir!
    • Advice given to Dean John William Burgon, (29 November 1847), in response to the question: "Every studious man, in the course of a long and thoughtful life, has had occasion to experience the special value of some one axiom or precept. Would you mind giving me the benefit of such a word of advice?"; quoted in Lives of twelve good men, by John William Burgon, 1888, vol. 1 p. 73.
  • It will lead to nothing, I fear, sir
    • Remarked to William Palmer, on the eve of his 1840-1 journey to Russia to improve Anglican-Orthodox relations. The trip reaped little success; quoted in Notes of a Visit to the Russian Church in the Years 1840, 1841, by William Palmer, 1882, p. 10.
  • But I know, my friends, that you may object to me what St. Irenaeus says.
    • Said to his congregation after an exposition of his own theology; quoted in Essays and addresses, Herbert McLachlan, Manchester University Press, 1954, p. 354
  • Wait, sir, until I am gone!
    • Standard reply to people proposing changes in the running of Oxford University; quoted in Colin Gordon, Beyond the Looking Glass (1982), p. 37

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