Professor J.G. Greenwood: Illuminated Address

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 133 Eng MS 1099
  • Dates of Creation
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      260 x 210 mm. 1 volume (ix + 19 + ii folios); Medium: vellum, with paper endpapers and silk doublures. Binding: full-bound in red morocco, elaborately tooled in gilt.
  • Location
      Available at John Rylands Library, Deansgate.

Scope and Content

Illuminated address presented to Professor Joseph Gouge Greenwood, LL.D., former principal of Owens College Manchester, by Associates of the College, in gratitude for his services to the College and community during thirty-eight years as professor and principal, November 1890; with numerous signatures.

Administrative / Biographical History

Joseph Gouge Greenwood (1821-1894), Professor and Principal of Owens College, Manchester, was born at Petersfield, Hampshire. He attended University College School, London, after which he proceeded to University College, London. In 1840 he graduated with honours in both classics and mathematics. In 1850 he accepted the offer of the chair of classics and history at the newly established Owens College in Manchester. Soon after his appointment as professor the subject of history was detached from his chair and assigned to Richard Copley Christie. Latin and classical Greek were later transferred to separate professors and during the last few years Greenwood retained only the teaching of Greek Testament criticism.

During the 1850s Greenwood translated the Pneumatics of Hero of Alexandria, edited by Bennet Woodcroft (1851), and began his Elements of Greek grammar (1857). In 1853 he took an active part in opening classes for the schoolmasters of primary schools. In 1858 he became honorary secretary of a working men's college and was instrumental in bringing about its amalgamation with Owens College, in 1861. He took a leading part in the movement that began in 1867 to raise Owens College to the level of a university institution. He did much of the detailed preparatory work for the Acts of Parliament of 1870 and 1871 which reconstituted Owens College as the Owens Extension College. The college was rebuilt on a new site and was opened in 1873.

Greenwood took a lead in the negotiations which led in 1880 to the granting of a charter to the federal Victoria University, of which Owens College was, until 1884, the only constituent college. He became its first vice-chancellor, holding the office until 1886. He believed that emotional and intellectual differences between the sexes required that they should be educated in separate institutions, and he was instrumental in delaying full co-education at Manchester until 1883.

In 1889 Greenwood resigned the principalship. He retired to Eastbourne, Sussex, where he died on 25 September 1894.

Source: A.W. Ward, 'Greenwood, Joseph Gouge (1821-1894)', rev. M. C. Curthoys, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004. By permission of Oxford University Press -

Access Information

The manuscript is available for consultation by any accredited reader.

Acquisition Information

Donated to the John Rylands Library by Miss Emily Greenwood in July 1947.


Description compiled by Jo Humpleby, project archivist, with reference to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography article on J.G. Greenwood.

Other Finding Aids

Catalogued in the Hand-List of the Collection of English Manuscripts in the John Rylands Library, 1937-1951 (English MS 1099).

Related Material

The Neild Family Papers at the JRUL include the recollections of Alfred Neild, a very close friend of J.G. Greenwood (ref.: GB 133 Eng MS 872).

The Owens College archive will include information on Greenwood's period of office as Principal (OCA).

Geographical Names