For sheer hard work and productivity, Victorian Church of England clergymen put the rest of us to shame. Here, for example, is the entry in my well-thumbed 1908 edition of Crockford’s Clerical Directory for the Reverend Professor W. W. Skeat (above), of 2, Salisbury-villas, Cambridge. It is unlikely that this tremendous output could have been maintained without a modest domestic staff and freedom from any commitment other than very occasionally to Mrs. Skeat (Bertha) and their six children, of whom Professor Skeat’s eldest son and namesake spent six years in the civil service of Selangor (Malaya), before contracting malaria—then joining the staff of the British Museum, where he remained for thirty years. Incidentally, Skeat père makes no mention here of his close collaboration with J. A. H. Murray on the original Oxford English Dictionary:
SKEAT, Walter William, 2, Salisbury-villas, Cambridge.—Fell. of Ch. Coll. Cam. B.A. (14th Wrang.) 1858; 1st cl. Theol. Exam. 1859, M.A. 1861, D.Litt. 1886, Incorp. M.A. at Ex. Coll. Ox. 1875. Hon. LL.D. (Univ. of Edin.) 1884. Hon. D. Litt. (T.C.D.) 1892. Ph.D. (Univ. of Halle) 1894. D.C.L. (Ox.) 1896; D.C.L. (Dur.) 1899. F. Br. Acad. D[eacon] 1860 Ely, P[riest] 1861 Nor. M. Antiq. S. of Cam; M. Coun. of Philolog. S. of Cam; Pres. of Philog. S. of Lon; Elrington and Bosworth Prof. of Anglo-Saxon, Cam. 1878. C. of E. Dereham 1861–62; Godalming 1863; Math. Lect. of Ch. Coll. Cam. 1863–71; Engl. Lect. 1867–83. Author and Editor, Songs and Ballads of Uhland, translated from the German, 1864; Lancelot of the Laik, 1865; Parallel Extracts from MSS. of Piers Plowman, 1866; Romans of Partenay, or the Tale of Melusine, 1866; A Tale of Ludlow Castle, a Poem, 1866; Piers the Plowman, vol. i. 1867; Piers the Plowmans Crede, 1867; The Romance of William of Palerne, or William and the Werwolf, with an in-edited fragment of Alexander, 1867; Havelok the Dane, 1868; A Moeso-Gothic Glossary, 1868; Piers the Plowman, vol. ii. 1869; Piers the Plowman, School ed. 1869; The Bruce, by Master John Barbour, part i. 1870; Joseph of Arimathie, or the Holy Grail, 1871; Chatterton’s Poems, 2 vols. 1871; The Gospel of St. Mark in Anglo-Saxon, from MSS. 1871; Specimens of English (1394–1579), 1871; Specimens of English (1298–1393), 1872; Chaucer’s Treatise on the Astrolabie, 1871; Piers the Plowman, vol. iii. 1873; Questions for Examination in English Literature, 1873; Seven Reprinted Glossaries, 1873; The Bruce, part ii. 1874; The Gospel of St. Luke in Anglo-Saxon, 1876; Chaucer’s Prioresses Tale, &c. 1874; Seven Reprinted Glossaries, 1874; Ray’s Glossary Reprinted, 1874; The Two Noble Kinsmen, 1875; Shakespeare’s Plutarch, 1875; Five Glossaries, 1876; Chaucer’s Man of Law’s Tale, &c. 1877; The Bruce, part iii. 1877; Piers the Ploughman, vol. iv. part i. 1877, part ii. 1884; The Gospel of St. John in Anglo-Saxon, 1878; Alexander and Dindimus, 1878; Etymological Dictionary of the English Language, parts i. and ii. 1879, part iii. 1880, part iv. 1881, 3rd ed. 1898; The King’s Quair, 1884; Ælfric’s Lives of Saints, part i. 1881, part ii. 1885, part iii. 1800, part iv. 1900; A Concise Etymological Dictionary, 1882, 3rd ed. 1886, new ed. 1901; The Gospel of St. Mark in Gothic, 1883; Fitzherbert’s Husbandry, E. Dial. S. 1883; The Tale of Gamelyn, 1884; Piers the Plowman, Student’s ed. 2 vols. 1886; Principles of English Etymology, 1887; The Gospel of St. Matthew in Anglo-Saxon, 1887; Concise Dictionary of Middle English, 1888; Chaucer’s Minor Poems, 1888; Chaucer’s Legend of Good Women, 1889; Encycl. Bri. Art, Langland; Chaucer’s Prologue, 1890; Principles of English Etymology, 2nd series, 1890; Primer of English Etymology, 1892; Twelve Facsimiles of Old English MSS. 1892; The Complete Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, 6 vols. 1894; 1 vol. 1894; A Student’s Pastime, 1896; Nine Specimens of English Dialects, 1895; Pegge’s Derbicisms, 1896; Chaucerian and other Pieces, 1897; The Chaucer Canon, 1900; Notes on English Etymology, 1901; Lay of Havelock, 1902; Chaucer’s Knight’s Tale (modernised) 1904; Chaucer’s Man of Law’s Tale, and others (modernised) 1904; Chaucer’s Prioress’s Tale, and others (modernised) 1904; Piers the Plowman (modernised) 1905; A Primer of English and Classical Philology, 1905; Pierse the Ploughman’s Crede (new ed.) 1906; The Proverbs of Alfred, 1907.