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James Emerson Tennent (1804 - 1869):
Civil servant


James Emerson was born in Belfast and was educated at Belfast Academy and Trinity College, Dublin. He was called to the Bar in 183l, and in 1832 he assumed his wife's surname, Tennent. He served as member of parliament for Belfast from 1832 to 1845, and for Lisburn, 1852 and went to fight on behalf of the Greeks. In Greece he met Lord Byron and subsequently published Travels in the Egean. His Spanish Grammar, now in the Linen Hall Library, is a tribute to his abilities as a linguist. In 1841 Sir Robert Peel appointed him Secretary to the India Board, and he wrote an account of Ceylon when he served as Civil Secretary there from 1845 to 1850. He was knighted and had honorary doctorates conferred upon him by Trinity College, Dublin, and Cambridge University. He was Secretary to the Poor Law Board, Permanent Secretary to the Board of Trade in Belfast. Charles Dickens dedicated Our Mutual Friend to him and attended his funeral.

Born: 7 April 1804
Died: 6 March 1869
Kate Newmann