William Johnson Cory (1823-1892)


English schoolmaster and author, son of Charles Johnson of Torrington, Devonshire, he was born on the 9th of January 1823. He was educated at Eton and King’s College, Cambridge. Whilst at Cambridge he gained the chancellor’s medal for an English poem on Plato, and the Craven Scholarship. In 1845, after graduating at the university, he was made an assistant master at Eton, where he remained for some twenty-six years. He has been called “the most brilliant Eton tutor of his day.”
 
Cory had a great influence on his pupils, and deftly defended the Etonian system against the criticism of Matthew James Higgins but he was forced to resign from Eton at Easter 1872 after an "indiscreet letter" which Johnson had written to a pupil was intercepted by the parents and brought to the notice of the headmaster. Johnson retired to Halsdon, which he had inherited, and changed his name on 17 October 1872 to Cory (the maiden name of his paternal grandmother) before emigrating for health reasons to Madeira in February 1878, where he married and had a son. He returned to England in September 1882, settling in Hampstead, where he died on 11 June 1892. He was buried at Hampstead on 16 June.

 
They told me, Heraclitus, they told me you were dead,
They brought me bitter news to hear and bitter tears to shed.
I wept as I remember’d how often you and I
Had tired the sun with talking and sent him down the sky.
 
And now that thou art lying, my dear old Carian guest,
A handful of grey ashes, long, long ago at rest
Still thy pleasant voices, thy nightingales, awake;
For Death, he taketh all away, but them he cannot take.

William Johnson Cory (1823-1892)


English schoolmaster and author, son of Charles Johnson of Torrington, Devonshire, he was born on the 9th of January 1823. He was educated at Eton and King’s College, Cambridge. Whilst at Cambridge he gained the chancellor’s medal for an English poem on Plato, and the Craven Scholarship. In 1845, after graduating at the university, he was made an assistant master at Eton, where he remained for some twenty-six years. He has been called “the most brilliant Eton tutor of his day.”
 
Cory had a great influence on his pupils, and deftly defended the Etonian system against the criticism of Matthew James Higgins but he was forced to resign from Eton at Easter 1872 after an "indiscreet letter" which Johnson had written to a pupil was intercepted by the parents and brought to the notice of the headmaster. Johnson retired to Halsdon, which he had inherited, and changed his name on 17 October 1872 to Cory (the maiden name of his paternal grandmother) before emigrating for health reasons to Madeira in February 1878, where he married and had a son. He returned to England in September 1882, settling in Hampstead, where he died on 11 June 1892. He was buried at Hampstead on 16 June.

 
They told me, Heraclitus, they told me you were dead,
They brought me bitter news to hear and bitter tears to shed.
I wept as I remember’d how often you and I
Had tired the sun with talking and sent him down the sky.
 
And now that thou art lying, my dear old Carian guest,
A handful of grey ashes, long, long ago at rest
Still thy pleasant voices, thy nightingales, awake;
For Death, he taketh all away, but them he cannot take.

William Johnson Cory (1823-1892)


English schoolmaster and author, son of Charles Johnson of Torrington, Devonshire, he was born on the 9th of January 1823. He was educated at Eton and King’s College, Cambridge. Whilst at Cambridge he gained the chancellor’s medal for an English poem on Plato, and the Craven Scholarship. In 1845, after graduating at the university, he was made an assistant master at Eton, where he remained for some twenty-six years. He has been called “the most brilliant Eton tutor of his day.”
 
Cory had a great influence on his pupils, and deftly defended the Etonian system against the criticism of Matthew James Higgins but he was forced to resign from Eton at Easter 1872 after an "indiscreet letter" which Johnson had written to a pupil was intercepted by the parents and brought to the notice of the headmaster. Johnson retired to Halsdon, which he had inherited, and changed his name on 17 October 1872 to Cory (the maiden name of his paternal grandmother) before emigrating for health reasons to Madeira in February 1878, where he married and had a son. He returned to England in September 1882, settling in Hampstead, where he died on 11 June 1892. He was buried at Hampstead on 16 June.

 
They told me, Heraclitus, they told me you were dead,
They brought me bitter news to hear and bitter tears to shed.
I wept as I remember’d how often you and I
Had tired the sun with talking and sent him down the sky.
 
And now that thou art lying, my dear old Carian guest,
A handful of grey ashes, long, long ago at rest
Still thy pleasant voices, thy nightingales, awake;
For Death, he taketh all away, but them he cannot take.

Support us in conserving your local history.
14 South Street and The Market House-Great Torrington-Devon-EX388AF
Telephone - 01805 622306
Email - enquiries@torringtonmuseum.org.uk
Registered Charity 1166793
© 2016 Great Torrington Heritage Museum
Please support us in conserving your local history.
14 South Street and The Market House, Great Torrington, Devon, EX38 8AF.
Telephone - 01805 622306
Email - enquiries@torringtonmuseum.org.uk
Registered Charity 1166793
© 2016 Great Torrington Heritage Museum
Please support us in conserving your local history.
14 South Street and The Market House, Great Torrington, Devon, EX38 8AF.
Telephone - 01805 622306
Email - enquiries@torringtonmuseum.org.uk
Registered Charity 1166793
© 2016 Great Torrington Heritage Museum