Charles Merivale

Charles Merivale.

The Very Reverend Charles Merivale (8 March 1808 – 27 December 1893) was an English historian and churchman, for many years dean of Ely Cathedral. He was one of the main instigators of the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race which took place at Henley in 1829.


Early life

Merivale was the second son of John Herman Merivale (1770–1844) and Louisa Heath Drury, daughter of Joseph Drury, headmaster of Harrow. He was educated at Harrow School under George Butler from 1818 to 1824, where his chief schoolfriends were Charles Wordsworth and Richard Chenevix Trench. He took part in the Eton versus Harrow cricket match in 1824.[1] In 1824 he was offered a post in the Indian civil service, and went for a short time to Haileybury College, where he did well in Oriental languages. Deciding against an Indian career, he went up to St John's College, Cambridge in 1826.[2] Among other distinctions he came out as fourth classic in 1830, and in 1833 was elected fellow of St John's. He was a member of the Apostles' Club, his fellow-members including Tennyson, A. H. Hallam, Monckton Milnes, W. H. Thompson, Trench and James Spedding. Merivale was the main protagonist on the Cambridge side in instigating the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race held at Henley on Thames in 1829. He rowed at 4 in the Cambridge boat in the race which Oxford won.[3]

Clerical career

Merivale was ordained deacon in 1833 and priest in 1834 and undertook college and university work successfully. He was appointed select preacher at Whitehall in 1839. In 1848 he took the college living of Lawford, near Manningtree, in Essex. He was appointed chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons in 1863. In 1869, he declined the professorship of modern history at Cambridge, but in the same year accepted from Gladstone the deanery of Ely, and until his death devoted himself to the best interests of the cathedral, also receiving many honorary academical distinctions.

Historical work

His principal work was A History of the Romans under the Empire, in seven volumes, which came out between 1850 and 1862. He wrote several smaller historical works, and published sermons, lectures and Latin verses. Merivale as an historian cannot be compared with Edward Gibbon, but he takes an eminently common-sense and appreciative view. The chief defect of his work, inevitable at the time it was composed, is that he relies on literary gossip rather than on factual evidence. The dean was an elegant scholar, and his rendering of the Hyperion of John Keats into Latin verse (1862) has received high praise.[4]

Personal life

Merivale died at Ely at the age of 85.

Merivale married Judith Mary Sophia Frere, youngest daughter of George Frere in 1850. Their son John Herman Merivale was the first English professor of mining.[5]

See also


  1. ^ Charles Merivale at Cricket Archive
  2. ^ Charles Merivale in Venn, J. & J. A., Alumni Cantabrigienses, Cambridge University Press, 10 vols, 1922–1958.
  3. ^ Walter Bradford Woodgate Boating 1888
  4. ^  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 
  5. ^ Day, Lance; McNeil, Ian (eds.) (1996), "Merivale, John Herman", Biographical Dictionary of the History of Technology, London and New York: Routledge, ISBN 0-415-06042-7, 
  • Autobiography of Dean Merivale, with selections from his correspondence, edited by his daughter, Judith A. Merivale (1899); and Family Memorials, by Anna W. Merivale (1884).

External links

Church of England titles
Preceded by
Harvey Goodwin
Dean of Ely
Succeeded by
Charles William Stubbs

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  • Charles Merivale — (* 8. März 1808; † 27. Dezember 1893) war ein englischer Historiker und lange Jahre Dekan der Kathedrale von Ely. Er war der zweite Sohn von John Herman Merivale und Louisa Heath Drury, Tochter des Dr. Drury, Rektor von Harrow. Von 1818 bis 1824… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Charles Merivale — Charles Merivale. Charles Merivale (8 de marzo de 1808 27 de diciembre de 1893) fue un historiador y eclesiástico británico, deán de la localidad de Ely durante muchos años. Biografía Nació el 8 de marzo de 1808 como el segundo hijo del barrister …   Wikipedia Español

  • Herman Charles Merivale — MA (27 January, 1839 – 17 August, 1906) was an English dramatist and poet, son of Herman Merivale. He also used the punning pseudonym Felix Dale. A barrister, writer, and civil servant who was Permanent Under Secretary of the India Office, [… …   Wikipedia

  • Merivale — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Charles Merivale (1808–1893), englischer Historiker und Dekan der Kathedrale von Ely Herman Merivale (1806–1874), englischer Staatsbeamter und ebenfalls als Autor tätig John Herman Merivale (1779–1844),… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Charles Wordsworth — The Reverend Charles Wordsworth, M.A. (22 August 1806 – 5 December 1892)[1] was bishop of Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane in Scotland. He was a classical scholar, and taught at a public schools in England and Scotland. He was a rower,… …   Wikipedia

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  • Merivale High School — Moniti Meliora Address 1755 Merivale Road Ottawa …   Wikipedia

  • Merivale — (spr. mérrīwēl), 1) Hermann, geb. 8. Nov. 1806, gest. 8. Febr. 1874, war seit 1837 Professor der Nationalökonomie in Oxford, seit 1848 Unterstaatssekretär für die Kolonien und 1859 für Indien; schrieb: »Lectures on colonizations and the colonies« …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

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