A little bit more about Professor Eric Laughton. We still think fondly about him in our household. He gave my wife and me our final examination results. We'd got married in the second year-a matter that confused some of our lecturers no end, though not, I think, him, so he called us in together on results day and congratulated us both-we'd done pretty well-with, as I remember, though dimly, a combination of Edwardian charm and genuine affection for his pupils. He had a genuine warmth that we didn't see very often. We were very young and he was very eminent! What is left of the administrative files of the department (letters to colleagues etc) give the impression that he was well-liked among staff of the university and a man of some influence. His published work is very austere. Look at this. It's the preface to his book on the participle in Cicero, written in the days before databases and computers. I imagine a card index, painstakingly compiled over many years.
'The task of reading all that Cicero wrote'-that gives the measure of the man! Respect!-as they say.
There were lighter moments. We both remember reading (possibly in our second year) Seneca's Phaedra with him. The edition we were using was dreadful and the play isn't exactly one of the high points of Latin literature, especially when you think of the Euripides' version (Hippolytus)! He took us through the text in a series of lectures and we were getting near the end. When we reached line 1267, our lecturer started chuckling and said something like: 'I wish to draw your attention to the following line which I find particularly amusing'. In spite of the fact that Seneca doesn't have a conspicuous sense of humour, our lecturer had our undivided attention for the rest of the hour. You never know-he might crack another joke! This is the line in question (Theseus is sorting through the remains of the body of his son, Hippolytus who has been mangled, when his chariot has run out of control!?):
quae pars tui sit dubito; sed pars tui
'I'm not sure what part of you this is, but it's certainly a part of you.
The last Firth Professor of Latin didn't always take things absolutely seriously.
Eric Laughton (1911—88), who began as an Assistant Lecturer in Latin in 1936, was later Firth Professor of Latin 1952—76; Pro-Vice-Chancellor, 1968— 72), Dean of the Faculty of Arts, 1961—4, and Public Orator, 1955—68; his publications included Latin for Latecomers and The Participle in Cicero.
A forgotten Edwardian lecturer in the Classical Department of the University of Sheffield-J. H. Sleeman.
What a fabulous name for a lecturer in Classics-just say it aloud and think of Troy! J. H. Sleeman seems to have taught and researched into the Classics with great industry. He was as much concerned with explaining texts on a basic level (his edition of Caesar-see below) as providing research tools for the understanding of more esoteric authors (his lexicon to Plotinus). Here is his obituary from The Times showing that he survived to a good age (82):
From The Times of January 5th 1963
Professor J. H. Sleeman, Professor Emeritus of Classics in the University of Londlon, died yesterday in hospitaL at Penzance at the age of 82. John Herbert Sleeman was born on February 4. 1880 and brought up at Bristol. He was a scholar of Emmanuel Colege, C ambridge, where he read classics, and later a Fellow of Sidney Sussex College. After lecturing for some Years at Sheffield he became in 1918 Lecturer and a little later University Professor of Classics at Royal Holloway Colege, University of London, where he remained till his retirement in 1946, He took a full part in the affairs of the college, being an early staff representative on the governing body and a president of the local association of university teachers. In later years he was regarded with much respect on the Classical Board of Studies and Board of Examiners in the university. He was always a devoted and successful teacher of every type of pupil, very patient and accurate alike with the weak general and the good honours student, who all benefited by his ripe scholarship. He did valuable work also with post-graduates. His kindness and quiet humour endeared him both to colleagues and to students to whom he and his wife were always verv hospitable and helpful. His health was not strong and while bv husbanding his forces he contrived always to fulfil his teaching and administrative duties it was, to some extent. at the expense of publication. although among his published work was Tacitus. Agricola and Germania (1914). His special interest lay in Neo-Platonism and after his retirement he completed an index to Plotinus. This was accepted for publication but he fore- saw that it would not appear in his life- time. In 1918 he married Dorothy, daughter of Mrs. William Thorpe, of Chesterfield. PROF. J. IL SLEEMAN
The fifth Professor of Classics at Firth College (University of Sheffield) and first Firth Professor of Latin.
The following biography is taken from the Dutch version of Wikipedia (with the help of Google translator!). Apologies for any remaining infelicities in translation. There isn't an English entry. The accompanying pictures give evidence of the meticulous scholar mentioned in the Wikipedia notes. They show Summers' copy of the Latin dictionary, 'Lewis and Short'. thoroughly annotated and corrected(!) throughout and the notebooks that he painstaking complied with notes and vocabulary lists for his published editions mentioned below. Summers' Papers may be consulted in the Special Collections of the Sheffield University Library. Thanks to them for allowing me to see them.
Walter Coventry Summers (1869 - Torquay, 30 March 1937) was a British Latinist, specialist in the field of so-called 'silver latin' (literature from the period after Augustus), professor at the University of Sheffield.
After being a fellow at St John's College (Cambridge) and assistant lecturer at Owens College in Manchester, W.C. Summers in 1909 was appointed Firth Professor of Latin in Sheffield. Here he remained active until 1930.
His most famous publication is his Select letters of Seneca from 1910. In the foreword, he thanks his publisher that he has dared to publish a book that probably only few readers will find. It shows how much Summers was a pioneer in this field, and how much the study of Latin was burdened with prejudices (negative with respect to Seneca, positive with respect to the literature from the August period, the so-called 'golden' Latin). But the book has been reprinted numerous times until the 1990s. Summers precedes his selection from Seneca's letters with a very detailed analysis of Seneca's language use . He emphasizes the use that Seneca makes of terms from everyday language use (colloquial elements). He also traces the history of what he calls the pointed style in Latin prose; this is the style technique of short, flashy sentences characteristic of the silver latin, with many unexpected turns, paradoxes, contradictions and the like . He also gives a résumé of the reception history of Seneca's work through the ages. The book was received positively 
The silver age or Latin literature from Tiberius to Trajan can be seen as the conclusion of his professional activity. In this he deals with every literary genre (roughly) in the first century after Christ, concluding each chapter with the later after-effects of the treated works / writers. Again, however, he considers it necessary to justify himself for the fact that he asks attention for this period in literary history; given some reactions  this was not entirely unnecessary.
1894: A study of the Argonautica or Valerius Flaccus
1900: C. Sallusti Crispi Catilina
1901: P. Ovidi Nasonis Metamorphoseon liber VIII. Edited with introduction, notes, vocabulary and index
1902: C. Sallusti Crispi Iugurtha. Edited with introduction, notes and index
1904: Cornelii Taciti Historiarvm liber III. Edited with Introduction, Notes and Index
1910: Select letters or Seneca. Edited with introductions and explanatory notes
1920: The Silver Age of Latin literature from Tiberius to Trajan.
Furthermore, in the second part of J.P. Postgate’s Corpus Poetarum Latinorum (1905) he provided the text of the satires of Persius and the Punica of Silius Italicus.
Sources, notes and / or references
 This is done in an extremely detailed way. As far as Seneca's use of words is concerned, for example, Summers has made lists with words that occur for the first time at Seneca, words that preceded Seneca only in poetry, and words that are only found in other writers whose language is also characterized by terms from everyday speech.
 A manner of writing that fitted well with the Latin language (the style which I was call pointed to, after all, one natural adapted to the Roman temperament, the Roman language (The Silver Age of Latin literature from Tiberius to Trajan, p. 15) ', and is already to be found in the work of Cato, and in the early speeches of Cicero, but it is a process that, even according to Summers, is not entirely without risks: the readiness to sacrifice the whole to the part that is so prominent a feature in Silver writing. (Ibidem, p. 5)
 Eg. H. E. Butler in The Classical Review, 24 (07), pp. 224-225 (1910): "With regard to the text and notes there is singularly little to criticize".
 See also eg these quotes from an otherwise benevolent review of this work (The Spectator, April 22, 1921): Tacitus, after all, is the only one of the post-Augustans who really matters very much. It is to be feared that the literary fashions of these post Augustan times were essentially decadent fashions, the child that made bath art in every century. But there is a good art and Professor Summers has undoubtedly written one.
'In 1903 W. C. F. Anderson, Professor of Classics since 1890, resigned to become Educational Secretary to the Berkshire County Council. He had taken an active part in College life and had done much work outside it, as a member of the School Board and later the Sheffield Education Committee, and as a Lieutenant in the Volunteer Royal engineers (G Company), and his many travels in east Europe and Asia Minor and his skill as a photographer had made him a most acceptable popular lecturer. He was succeeded by Walter Coventry Summers, a fine scholar, but not the easiest of colleagues who was appointed as Professor of Classics and held that Chair, and the Chair of Latin into which it was converted, from 1903 to 1930'. taken from Arthur W. Chapman (1955) The Story of a Modern University: A History of the University of Sheffield.
Professor Anderson seems to have been interested in Education in the widest possible sense of the word, actual to spread knowledge of the Classical World at all levels and in all the forms then available to him:
Published this morning:
Sir, Latin may not be per se a sine qua non of a good education, but it certainly provides a firm basis — a terra firma — for a broad-based understanding of the modern world (“Latin is an essential language for our digital age”, Benjamin Auslin, January 2). It was Latin, the lingua franca of the European continent for two millennia, which provided the link between the fall of ancient Rome and the 16th century Renaissance. The great scientist Isaac Newton taught himself Latin so he could attend and understand mathematics lectures at Cambridge in 1660. Latin was the language of instruction in the great medical schools throughout Britain and Europe. It is the language not only of the cognoscenti but also of the common man. Walk the streets of the Italian capital, the città eterna, and look down at the drains. What do you see? The inscription SPQR. Senatus populusque Romanus. Cast in iron, unchanged for 2,000 years, it means “The Senate and people of Rome”. Res ipsa loquitur: the facts speak for themselves. Vivat Roma! Vivat lingua Latina! And vivat my alma mater High Storrs School, the last state school in Sheffield to offer Latin as part of its curriculum, which is making strenuous efforts to raise funds to keep alive the teaching of this great language. Latin, a language of rigour and accuracy, is ipso facto the key to present-day European civilisation. Long may it be taught and learnt. Sir Andrew Cook Chairman, William Cook Holdings, Sheffield, S Yorks, UK
#Save Latin and Classics at High Storrs School
Sir Arthur Wallace Pickard–Cambridge: Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield University and formidable scholar of Ancient Greek.
‘The new Vice-Chancellor swept in like a cold but bracing wind, and his coming marked the beginning of a new era in the life of the University.
ARTHUR WALLACE PICKARD-CAMBRIDGE (1873-1952), an outstanding classical scholar, was the son of a country rector who was also a noted naturalist and a Fellow of the Royal Society. He came to Sheffield from a brief tenure of the Chair of Greek at Ediburgh but nearly all his working life had been spent in Oxford. Entering Balliol College as an undergraduate towards the end of Benjamin Jowett’s Mastership, he took First Classes in both Classical Moderatiosn and in Literae Humaniores and immediately after graduation was elected to a fellowship at Oriel College. Two years later, in 1897, he was recalled to Balliol and, as fellow and tutor, served the College for more than thirty years, developing and exercising his remarkable talents both in scholarship and administration. ‘He was our housekeeper, our gardener, Dean of Examinations . . . and his sharply pointed pencil, whether it was correcting . . . or recording the College minutes, was symbolic of the penetration of his criticism and the accuracy of his mind.’ (a friend and colleague-the passage is taken from Arthur W. Chapman (1955) The Story of a Modern University: A History of the University of Sheffield).
The number of students entered for the various lectures and classes at Firth College on opening in 1880:
Latin (first year) . . . . . . . .5
Latin (second year) . . . . 2
Greek (first year) . . . . . . 6
Saturday Class. . . . . . . . . 4
First year . . . . 3
Second year . . 1
Saturday Class . . . 3
Ancient History . . . 23
Modern History . . . 33
Chemistry . . . 4
Physics . . . 5
At first the teaching staff changed a great deal. Professor Hutton stayed only for the two terms of the first session and was then followed by F. G. Brabant but he also resigned after a year, and it was then decided to convert the Chair of Classics into one of Literature and History, the Professor of which would undertake such Classical teaching as might be necessary. P. A. Barnett was appointed to the new post . . .
HUTTON, Maurice was born in 1856 in Manchester. Son of Joseph Henry Hutton, Unitarian minister, who afterwards joined the Church of England, and was for many years Rector of West Heslerton, Yorkshire, and Mary Mottram. Nephew of Richard Hutton of the Spectator.
Education: Magdalen College School and Worcester College, Oxford. Open scholarship, 1874. 1st class Classical Moderations, 1877. 1st class Literae Humaniores, 1879. Master of Arts; Doctor of Laws (Honorary).
Career: Fellow of Merton College, 1879. Lecturer in Classics and Ancient History at Firth College, Sheffield, 1880. Professor of Classics in the University College, Toronto, 1880.
Chairman Designate of the Latin Section at the Congress of Arts and Sciences, St. Louis Exposition, 1904. Professor of Greek since 1887, and Principal since 1901, of University College, Toronto. Acting President of the University, 1900-1907. Oxford; Toronto, and Queen’s University, Kingston.
Interests: Classical and rhyming translations into Latin and Greek verse, Greek prose, rowing, sailing, and golf.
Connections: Spouse 1885, Annie Margaret, 3rd daughter of John M‘Caul, LL.D., first President of University Coll., Toronto.
Sheffield branch of the Classical Association, founded in 1920