Person NameConybeare; Frederick Cornwallis (1856-1924); scholar, expert on Armenia
ForenamesFrederick Cornwallis
Epithetscholar, expert on Armenia
ActivityFC Conybeare was educated at Tonbridge School, 1868 and gained a scholarship to University College, Oxford in 1876. In 1880, he was elected to a Fellowship at University College, which he resigned in 1887 in order to carry out research. He had already begun to study Armenian, becoming 'a master of the ancient Armenian language and literature.' His interests were not limited to Armenia; according to James Rendel Harris 'he was at home in other Eastern languages, as well as in all the great languages and literatures of the West, both past and present.'

Conybeare travelled widely throughout his life. In 1888, he made his first journey to the East, visiting Cairo and Jerusalem, and Armenia, where he made discoveries which turned his interests from classical to theological texts. He went on to Kars, Georgia, Tiflis, St Petersbury, and Stockholm. In 1889-1890 he visited India and Burma; in 1891-2 he returned to Armenia. He usually spent winters abroad because of his wife's health. The summer months were spent in Oxford working on a succession of books and monographs. In 1898, he published a book on the Dreyfus case, which made a great sensation in England and France. The outbreak of the First World War came as a great shock to him; he believed that it was due to British diplomacy and the actions of Lord Grey. He wrote a letter to a friend, Kuno Meyer, in which he used 'very violent language about Lord Grey and Mr Asquith.' Unfortunately the letter was published, and he was denounced in the press as a pro-German, losing a number of friends. His friend, AC Clark, wrote that 'This unhappy event shook Conybeare's health and he was never the same man again.' He sold his house in Oxford in 1917, and spent the next few years abroad in the States, the South of France, and South America. In 1921, he took a house at Folkestone, where he died, after a seizure, on January 9th 1924.
RelationshipsMarried Mary Emily Max-Muller in 1883, who died in 1886. In 1888, he married Jane MacDowell.


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