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Wordsworth, Charles

WORDSWORTH, CHARLES (1806-1892), Scottish bishop, son of Christopher Wordsworth, Master of Trinity, was born in London on the 22nd of August 1806, and educated at Harrow and Christ Church, Oxford. He was a brilliant classical scholar, and a famous cricketer and athlete; he was in the Harrow cricket eleven in the first regular matches with Eton (1822) and Winchester (1825), and is credited with bringing about the first Oxford and Cambridge match in 1827, and the first university boat-race in 1828, in both of which he took part. He won the Chancellor's Latin verse at Oxford in 1827, and the Latin essay in 1831, and took a first-class in classics. From 1830 to 1833 he had as pupils a number of men (including W. E. Gladstone and H. E. Manning) who afterwards became famous. He then travelled abroad during 1833-1834, and after a year's work as tutor at Christ Church (1834-1835) was appointed second master at Winchester. He had previously taken holy orders, though he only became priest in 1840, and he had a strong religious influence with the boys. In 1839 he brought out his Greek Grammar, which had a great success. In 1846, however, he resigned; and then accepted the wardenship of Trinity College, Glenalmond, the new Scottish Episcopal public school and divinity college, where he remained from 1847 to 1854, having great educational success in all respects; though his views on Scottish Church questions brought him into opposition at some important points to W. E. Gladstone. In 1852 he was elected bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane, and was consecrated in Aberdeen early next year. He was a strong supporter of the establishment, but conciliatory towards the Free churches, and this brought him into a good deal of controversy. He was a voluminous writer, and one of the company of revisers of the New Testament (1870-1881), among whom he displayed a conservative tendency. He died at St Andrews on the 5th of December 1892. He was twice married, first in 1835 to Charlotte Day (d. 1839), and secondly in 1846 to Katherine Mary Barter (d. 1897). He had thirteen children altogether.

See his Annals of my Early Life (1891), and Annals of My Life, edited by W. Earl Hodgson (1893); also The Episcopate of Charles Wordsworth, by his nephew John, bishop of Salisbury (1899).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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