John Lonsdale

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John Lonsdale
Bishop of Lichfield
Church Church of England
See Diocese of Lichfield
In office 3 December 184319 October 1867
Predecessor James Bowstead
Successor George Selwyn
Personal details
Born(1788-01-17)17 January 1788
Died 19 October 1867(1867-10-19) (aged 79)
Alma mater Eton College;
King's College, Cambridge

The Right Reverend John Lonsdale (17 January 1788 19 October 1867) was the third Principal of King's College, London, and later served as Bishop of Lichfield. [1]

The Bishop of Lichfield is the ordinary of the Church of England Diocese of Lichfield in the Province of Canterbury.


He was educated at Eton College and King's College, Cambridge, [2] and went on to become Principal of King's College, London in 1838 following the death of Hugh James Rose.

Eton College British independent boarding school located in Eton

Eton College is an English 13–18 independent boarding school and sixth form for boys in the parish of Eton, near Windsor in Berkshire. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as The King's College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor, as a sister institution to King's College, Cambridge, making it the 18th-oldest Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference school.

Kings College, Cambridge college of the University of Cambridge

King's College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England. Formally The King's College of Our Lady and Saint Nicholas in Cambridge, the college lies beside the River Cam and faces out onto King's Parade in the centre of the city.

Hugh James Rose English churchman, Principal of Kings College London

Hugh James Rose (1795–1838) was an English Anglican priest and theologian who served as the second Principal of King's College, London.


Born on 17 January 1788 at Newmillerdam, near Wakefield, he was the eldest son of John Lonsdale (1737–1800), vicar of Darfield and perpetual curate of Chapelthorpe. His mother's name was Elizabeth Steer. He was educated at Eton under Joseph Goodall, who thought him the best Latin scholar he had ever had. He went in 1806 to Cambridge, and became Fellow of King's in 1809. [3]

Newmillerdam village in United Kingdom

Newmillerdam is a village and suburb of Wakefield, in West Yorkshire, England. The name also refers to the lake and country park adjacent to the village. The park is a Local Nature Reserve.

Darfield, South Yorkshire village within the Metropolitan Borough of Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom

Darfield is a village within the Metropolitan Borough of Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire. The village is situated approximately 4 miles (6 km) east from Barnsley town centre. Darfield had a population of 8,066 at the 2001 UK Census, increasing to 10,685 at the 2011 Census.

Perpetual curate class of resident parish priest or incumbent curate within the United Church of England and Ireland.

Perpetual curate was a class of resident parish priest or incumbent curate within the United Church of England and Ireland. The term is found in common use mainly during the first half of the nineteenth century. The legal status of perpetual curate originated as an administrative anomaly in the 16th century. Unlike ancient rectories and vicarages, perpetual curacies were supported by a cash stipend, usually maintained by an endowment fund, and had no ancient right to income from tithe or glebe.

Lonsdale was admitted to Lincoln's Inn in 1811, but was ordained in the Church of England in October 1815. In the next month he married, and was shortly afterwards appointed chaplain to Archbishop Charles Manners-Sutton and assistant preacher at the Temple Church. In 1822, the archbishop gave him the rectory of Mersham in Kent, which he left in 1827 for a prebendal stall at Lincoln Cathedral. [3]

Lincolns Inn one of the four Inns of Court in London, England

The Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn is one of the four Inns of Court in London to which barristers of England and Wales belong and where they are called to the Bar. Lincoln's Inn is recognised to be one of the world's most prestigious professional bodies of judges and lawyers.

Church of England Anglican state church of England

The Church of England is the established church of England. The Archbishop of Canterbury is the most senior cleric, although the monarch is the supreme governor. The Church of England is also the mother church of the international Anglican Communion. It traces its history to the Christian church recorded as existing in the Roman province of Britain by the third century, and to the 6th-century Gregorian mission to Kent led by Augustine of Canterbury.

Charles Manners-Sutton Archbishop of Canterbury; Bishop of Norwich

Charles Manners-Sutton was a bishop in the Church of England who served as Archbishop of Canterbury from 1805 to 1828.

With further preferment, Lonsdale passed in 1828 to the precentorship of the diocese of Lichfield, later exchanged for a prebend at St Paul's Cathedral. In the same year he became rector of St George's, Bloomsbury, where he remained until 1834. In 1836 he was chosen preacher of Lincoln's Inn, and obtained the rectory of Southfleet, near Gravesend. [3]

Diocese of Lichfield

The Diocese of Lichfield is a Church of England diocese in the Province of Canterbury, England. The bishop's seat is located in the Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Chad in the city of Lichfield. The diocese covers 4,516 km2 (1,744 sq mi) of several counties: all of Staffordshire, northern Shropshire, a significant portion of the West Midlands, and very small portions of Warwickshire and Powys (Wales).

St Pauls Cathedral Church in London

St Paul's Cathedral, London, is an Anglican cathedral, the seat of the Bishop of London and the mother church of the Diocese of London. It sits on Ludgate Hill at the highest point of the City of London and is a Grade I listed building. Its dedication to Paul the Apostle dates back to the original church on this site, founded in AD 604. The present cathedral, dating from the late 17th century, was designed in the English Baroque style by Sir Christopher Wren. Its construction, completed in Wren's lifetime, was part of a major rebuilding programme in the City after the Great Fire of London. The cathedral building largely destroyed in the Great Fire, now often referred to as Old St Paul's Cathedral, was a central focus for medieval and early modern London, including Paul's walk and St. Paul's Churchyard being the site of St. Paul's Cross.

St Georges, Bloomsbury Church in United Kingdom

St George's, Bloomsbury, is a parish church in Bloomsbury, London Borough of Camden, United Kingdom. It was designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor and consecrated in 1730. The church crypt houses the Museum of Comedy.

In 1839, Lonsdale was elected Principal of King's College, London: the post on its creation had been offered to him. The college prospered under his administration, and the hospital was chiefly founded by him. In 1840 he was elected Provost of Eton, but declined the appointment in favour of Francis Hodgson, who had been nominated by the Crown, but refused by the Fellows on the ground of insufficient academic qualification. In 1842 he was made archdeacon of Middlesex, and in October 1843 was raised to the see of Lichfield, and consecrated on 3 December. He was unwilling to accept the offer, but on consulting the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of London found it had been made on the recommendation of them both. His episcopate was mostly uneventful except as regards church extension, on a large scale. There was controversy attending the establishment of Lichfield Theological College, which was settled by him. His sympathies were High Church; but he protested against the removal of F. D. Maurice from his professorship, and condemned the existing law on marriage with a deceased wife's sister, though he did not vote for its repeal. [3]

Francis Hodgson British educator

Francis Hodgson was a reforming Provost of Eton, educator, cleric, writer of verse, and friend of Byron.

The Archdeacon of Middlesex is a senior ecclesiastical officer in the Church of England. S/he is responsible for the Archdeaconry of Middlesex, which makes up the Kensington episcopal area of the Diocese of London – that episcopal area is overseen by the Area Bishop of Kensington, Graham Tomlin.

Lichfield Theological College was founded in 1857 to train Anglican clergy to serve in the Church of England. It was located on the south side of the Cathedral Close in Lichfield, Staffordshire and closed in 1972.

Lonsdale died suddenly at his home in Eccleshall Castle on 19 October 1867 of the rupture of a blood-vessel in the brain. Various memorials included a monument in Lichfield Cathedral. [3]


Lonsdale prepared for the press The Four Gospels, with Annotations (1849), with William Hale. His last sermon, preached the day before his death, with a few others, and a selection from his Latin verses, were appended to the biography of him by his son-in-law, Lord Grimthorpe. [3]


Lonsdale married in 1815 Sophia, daughter of John Bolland, who died in 1852, and had issue:

  1. James Gylby Lonsdale the academic;
  2. John Gylby, canon of Lichfield, whose daughter Sophia was a noted anti-suffragist [4]
  3. Fanny Catherine, married Edmund Beckett, 1st Baron Grimthorpe;
  4. Sophia, married the Rev. William Bryans;
  5. Lucy Maria. [3]

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  1. "The first Principals of King's College London" . Retrieved 30 November 2008.
  2. "Lonsdale, John (LNSL806J)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Garnett 1893.
  4. Obituary, The Times (London, England), Tuesday, Oct 27, 1936; pg. 19; Issue 47516. — Miss Sophia Lonsdale.

Wikisource-logo.svg  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Garnett, Richard (1893). "Lonsdale, John". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography . 34. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 

Academic offices
Preceded by
Hugh James Rose
Principal of King's College, London
Succeeded by
Richard William Jelf
Church of England titles
Preceded by
James Bowstead
Bishop of Lichfield
Succeeded by
George Augustus Selwyn