George Miller

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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Miller, George, D.D., author of the Philosophy of History and numerous theological works, was born in Dublin, 22nd October 1764. He entered Trinity College in 1779, and in May 1789 was elected a Fellow. His memoirs contain many interesting details regarding his school-fellow, Wolfe Tone, the fortunes of the Historical Society, the opposition to the appointment of Hely-Hutchinson as Provost, and the efforts made by his party to secure the post in future for "distinguished alumni of the University." The particulars of his deputation to London and interview with Edmund Burke regarding the appointment of a provost, are specially worth perusal.

In 1793, as Senior Non-Regent of the University, his best efforts were put forth to smooth the way for the admission of Catholics to degrees. In the same year he made an extended tour in England, and became acquainted with Sir Joshua Reynolds and other distinguished personages. Dr. Miller married in 1794, and settled down diligently to college work — in 1795 he delivered a series of lectures on the Philosophy of History, which were first published between 1816 and 1828, in 8 vols., and have since run through several editions. The correction of the last edition, for Mr. Bohn, employed the author to within a week of his death. "Examining the progress of every leading nation in Europe, from its first foundation, through all the vicissitudes of wealth and poverty, of triumph and decay, and developing the causes of their several catastrophes, he views them in combination, and elucidates the general principles of the European commonwealth, by their reciprocal actions and impressions."

In 1804 he accepted the living of Derryvullen, in the diocese of Clogher, and in 1817 became head master of the Royal School of Armagh. He strenuously opposed Catholic Emancipation — in the words of his biographer — "that fatal policy of statesmen, by which Roman Catholics were admitted, in the year 1829, to political power." He was the ardent supporter of the Church Education Society, and a formidable opponent of Dr. Pusey and his party. Dr. Miller died 5th October 1848, aged 83.

Sources

241a. Miller, George, D.D., Philosophy of History. 4 vols. London, 1848-'9.

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