Martin Joseph Routh

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Always verify your references, sir !

Dr. Martin Joseph Routh (18 September 175522 December 1854) was President of Magdalen College from 28 April 1792 until his death.


  • I think sir, since you care for the advice of an old man, sir, you will find it a very good practise, always to verify your references, sir!
    • Advice given to Dean John William Burgon, (29 November 1847), in response to the question: "Every studious man, in the course of a long and thoughtful life, has had occasion to experience the special value of some one axiom or precept. Would you mind giving me the benefit of such a word of advice?"; quoted in Lives of twelve good men, by John William Burgon, 1888, vol. 1 p. 73.
  • It will lead to nothing, I fear, sir
    • Remarked to William Palmer, on the eve of his 1840-1 journey to Russia to improve Anglican-Orthodox relations. The trip reaped little success; quoted in Notes of a Visit to the Russian Church in the Years 1840, 1841, by William Palmer, 1882, p. 10.
  • But I know, my friends, that you may object to me what St. Irenaeus says.
    • Said to his congregation after an exposition of his own theology; quoted in Essays and addresses, Herbert McLachlan, Manchester University Press, 1954, p. 354
  • Wait, sir, until I am gone!
    • Standard reply to people proposing changes in the running of Oxford University; quoted in Colin Gordon, Beyond the Looking Glass (1982), p. 37

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