In 1866 he was appointed professor of history and English literature in Owens College, Manchester, and was principal from 1890 to 1897, when he retired. He took an active part in the foundation of Victoria University, of which he was vice-chancellor from 1886 to 1890 and from 1894 to 1896. In 1897 the freedom of the city of Manchester was conferred upon him, and in 1900 he was elected master of Peterhouse, Cambridge.
His most important work is his standard History of English Dramatic Literature to the Age of Queen Anne (1875), re-edited after a thorough revision in three volumes in 1899. He also wrote The House of Austria in the Thirty Years' War (1869), Great Britain and Hanover (1899), The Electress Sophia and the Hanoverian Succession (1903); he edited Crabbe's Poems (2 vols., 1905-1906) and Pope's Poetical Works (1869); he wrote the volumes on Chaucer and Dickens in the "English Men of Letters" series, translated Curtius's History of Greece (5 vols., 1868-1873); he was one of the editors of the Cambridge Modern History, and with AR Waller edited the Cambridge History of English Literature (1907, etc.).
This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.