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Benjamin Dumville (1872-1943)
Lecturer and Author

Benjamin Dumville, M.A. Lond., F.C.P.

Benjamin Dumville was a great-great-great-grandson of Edmund Dumville (c1701-1762). He was born on the 13th of February 1872 in Hackney, London, one of nine children of Benjamin Morgan Dumville (1848-1918), a publisher's clerk, and Agnes Maria Dumville née Cole. He married on the 24th of July 1903, in Hackney, Teresa Emily Tollerton.

In the 1891 and 1901 censuses Benjamin Dumville is described as a school teacher. On the title page of some of his books, from 1909 to 1915 and possibly before, he is described as 'Master of Method and Lecturer on Education in the L.C.C. Islington Day Training College'. On the title page of his book 'The Science of Speech' (1909), he is also described as 'Formerly Lecturer on French Phonetics for the London School Board' and 'Examiner in Oral French for the Examinations Board of the National Union of Teachers'.

In the preface dated March 1909 to 'The Science of Speech', Benjamin Dumville thanks Dr. A.T. Baker, M.A., Professor of French Language and Literature at the University of Sheffield. He said he owed his introduction to the serious study of phonetics, and much of his enthusiasm for the subject, to a period of association with Dr. Baker some ten years previously.

By 1917 he appears to be no longer 'Master of Method and Lecturer on Education in the L.C.C. Islington Day Training College'. The title page of 'The Fundamentals of Psychology' (1917) precedes that title by the word 'Late'.

Benjamin Dumville said, in the preface dated January 1940 to the third edition of 'Elements of French Pronunciation and Diction', that his greatest teacher was l'abbé Rousselot, late Director of the Laboratory of Experimental Phonetics at the Collège de France. Some of the books written by Benjamin Dumville are listed below. 'Child Psychology', published by Sports Publications in 2001, appears to be a copy of 'Child Mind', first published in 1913 or earlier. The titles of the chapters are the same.


F.C.P.: Fellow, College of Preceptors
preceptor: teacher or instructor
The College of Preceptors changed its name in 1998 to the College of Teachers.
L.C.C.: London County Council
London County Council was replaced in 1965 by the Greater London Council.
l'abbé: abbot or any priest or clergyman

In September 2010 we received an e-mail message from two academic researchers with a special interest in the history of phonetics, who are engaged in assembling a collection of books on early twentieth century phonetics which will be published as a set in the Major Works series by Routledge in 2012. They have already produced two similar sets for Routledge on nineteenth century phoneticians and the work of the British phonetician Daniel Jones. They are hoping to include in the new Major Works collection the work of Benjamin Dumville (1872-1943), 'The Science of Speech, an Elementary Manual of English Phonetics for Teachers' (1909).

If you have any more information on Benjamin Dumville, including details of his school and university education and his career posts, please send it to us through the 'Contact Us' page and we will forward it to the two academic researchers.

Books written by Benjamin Dumville, M.A. Lond., F.C.P.

See also:

Thomas Asprey Dumville (1772-1844), great-grandfather of Benjamin Dumville