Louis Claude was born in Abbeyside on 28 September 1854. His parents were Benjamin and Anne Purser. The most notable of the family was Louis Claude's sister, the noted artist, Sarah Purser. He was educated in Dublin, Middleton College, Cork and in 1868 he entered Portora Royal School, Enniskillen. A fellow pupil of his at Portora was Oscar Wilde. Purser competed with Wilde in Classical studies. Louis Claude remembered Wilde as 'more careful in his dress than any other boy.' In 1897 Louis was appointed Professor of Latin at Trinity College, Dublin. He collaborated with Dr. Robert Yelverton Tyrell on The Correspondence of Cicero published 1901. He also contributed articles to various journals. In 1924 he was elected Vice- Provost of Trinity. Also in the 1920s he was elected President of the Royal Irish Academy. After his retirement from Trinity in 1927 he was conferred with an honorary degree of Doctor of Literature by Durham University. Purser was described as 'scholarly, gentle, loyal and conscientious and without an enemy in the college.' After his retirement he lived at Waterloo Road, Dublin. He never married but there was a close friendship with 'Lollie' Yeats. He died after a brief illness on 20 March 1932. He had an impressive funeral and was buried at Mount Jerome Cemetery next to his brother John Mallet. Their sister Sarah was later buried with them.
Author: Willie Fraher