Margaret Dunlop Gibson - Encyclopedia




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"MARGARET DUNLOP GIBSON (1843-1920), and Lewis, Agnes Smith (1843-), British orientalists, were twin daughters of John Smith, solicitor, of Irvine, Ayrshire. They were born at Irvine Jan. II 1843 and educated at private schools and by private tuition, principally in classics and oriental and modern languages. In 1883 Margaret married the Rev. James Young Gibson (d. 1886), the translator of Cervantes, and in 1887 Agnes married the Rev. Samuel Savage Lewis, fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge (d. 1891). The two sisters made together several journeys to Syria and Palestine, visiting Sinai six times, and in 1892 they discovered and photographed the Syro-Antiochene, or Sinaitic palimpsest, the most ancient known MS. of the four Gospels in Syriac. Four years later they brought to England the first leaf of the Hebrew Ecclesiasticus. In 1897 they founded and endowed the Westminster Theological College at Cambridge. In 1915 both were made gold medallists of the Royal Asiatic Society; they also received honorary degrees from St. Andrew's, Dublin, Halle and Heidelberg universities. They published numerous works on Syriac, and especially Sinaitic, MSS., on Arabic Christian MSS. and other ancient literatures. Mrs. Lewis also, before her marriage, published travel books and stories. In 1892 she wrote a Memoir of her husband and late in life published a volume of poems (1917). Mrs. Gibson died at Cambridge Jan. II 1920.

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