Robert Payne Smith

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Robert Payne Smith
Dean of Canterbury
Church Church of England
Diocese Diocese of Canterbury
In office1871 to 1895
Predecessor Henry Alford
Successor Frederic Farrar
Other posts Regius Professor of Divinity, Oxford University (1865–1871)
Orders
Ordination1843 (deacon)
1844 (priest)
Personal details
Born(1818-11-07)7 November 1818
Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, England
Died31 March 1895(1895-03-31) (aged 76)
Canterbury, Kent, England
NationalityBritish
Denomination Anglicanism
ParentsRobert Smith and Esther Argles Payne
SpouseCatherine Freeman
ChildrenSix
Profession Clergyman and theologian

Robert Payne Smith (7 November 1818 – 31 March 1895) was Regius Professor of Divinity at the University of Oxford and Canon of Christ Church from 1865 until 1870, when he was appointed Dean of Canterbury by Queen Victoria on the advice of William Ewart Gladstone.

The Regius Professorships of Divinity are amongst the oldest professorships at the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge. A third chair existed for a period at Trinity College, Dublin.

University of Oxford Collegiate research university in Oxford, England

The University of Oxford is a collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's second-oldest university in continuous operation. It grew rapidly from 1167 when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris. After disputes between students and Oxford townsfolk in 1209, some academics fled north-east to Cambridge where they established what became the University of Cambridge. The two 'ancient universities' are frequently jointly referred to as 'Oxbridge'. The history and influence of the University of Oxford has made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

Christ Church, Oxford constituent college of the University of Oxford in England

Christ Church is a constituent college of the University of Oxford in England. Christ Church is a joint foundation of the college and the cathedral of the Oxford diocese, which serves as the college chapel and whose dean is ex officio the college head.

Contents

Early life and education

Payne Smith was born in Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, on 7 November 1818, the only son and second of four children of Robert Smith, a land agent, and his wife, Esther Argles Payne, of Leggsheath, Surrey. He attended Chipping Campden Grammar School and was taught Hebrew by his eldest sister, Esther. In 1837 he obtained an exhibition at Pembroke College, Oxford to study classics. In 1841 he graduated with second-class honours. Payne Smith won the Boden Sanskrit scholarship in 1840 and the Pusey and Ellerton Hebrew scholarship in 1843.

Chipping Campden town in Gloucestershire, England

Chipping Campden is a small market town in the Cotswold district of Gloucestershire, England. It is notable for its elegant terraced High Street, dating from the 14th century to the 17th century.

Gloucestershire County of England

Gloucestershire is a county in South West England. The county comprises part of the Cotswold Hills, part of the flat fertile valley of the River Severn, and the entire Forest of Dean.

Surrey County of England

Surrey is a subdivision of the English region of South East England in the United Kingdom. A historic and ceremonial county, Surrey is also one of the home counties. The county borders Kent to the east, East and West Sussex to the south, Hampshire to the west, Berkshire to the northwest, and Greater London to the northeast.

Career

In 1843, he became a fellow of Pembroke College and was ordained a deacon, and became a priest a year later.

Deacon ministry in the Christian Church

A deacon is a member of the diaconate, an office in Christian churches that is generally associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions. Some Christian churches, such as the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Anglican church, view the diaconate as part of the clerical state; in others, the deacon remains a layperson.

Priest person authorized to lead the sacred rituals of a religion (for a minister use Q1423891)

A priest is a religious leader authorized to perform the sacred rituals of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and one or more deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious rites; in particular, rites of sacrifice to, and propitiation of, a deity or deities. Their office or position is the priesthood, a term which also may apply to such persons collectively.

He gave to 1869 Bampton Lectures at Oxford and from 1870 until 1885 he was a member of the Old Testament Revision Committee (the whole duration of the Committee's existence).

Bampton Lectures

The Bampton Lectures at the University of Oxford, England, were founded by a bequest of John Bampton. They have taken place since 1780.

He provided the chapter on Genesis in Charles Ellicott's Commentary for Modern Readers [1] and published the Thesaurus Syriacus (1868–1901, supplement added 1927), later abridged and translated into English by his daughter Jessie Margoliouth as A Compendious Syriac Dictionary (1903).

Book of Genesis the first book of the Holy Bible

The Book of Genesis is the first book of the Hebrew Bible and the Old Testament. It is divisible into two parts, the Primeval history and the Ancestral history. The primeval history sets out the author's concepts of the nature of the deity and of humankind's relationship with its maker: God creates a world which is good and fit for mankind, but when man corrupts it with sin God decides to destroy his creation, saving only the righteous Noah to reestablish the relationship between man and God. The Ancestral History tells of the prehistory of Israel, God's chosen people. At God's command Noah's descendant Abraham journeys from his home into the God-given land of Canaan, where he dwells as a sojourner, as does his son Isaac and his grandson Jacob. Jacob's name is changed to Israel, and through the agency of his son Joseph, the children of Israel descend into Egypt, 70 people in all with their households, and God promises them a future of greatness. Genesis ends with Israel in Egypt, ready for the coming of Moses and the Exodus. The narrative is punctuated by a series of covenants with God, successively narrowing in scope from all mankind to a special relationship with one people alone.

Charles Ellicott British bishop

Charles John Ellicott (1819–1905) was a distinguished English Christian theologian, academic and churchman. He briefly served as Dean of Exeter, then Bishop of the united see of Gloucester and Bristol.

English language West Germanic language

English is a West Germanic language that was first spoken in early medieval England and eventually became a global lingua franca. Named after the Angles, one of the Germanic tribes that migrated to the area of Great Britain that would later take their name, England, both names ultimately deriving from the Anglia peninsula in the Baltic Sea. It is closely related to Frisian and Low Saxon, and its vocabulary has been significantly influenced by other Germanic languages, particularly Norse, and to a greater extent Latin and French.

He died at his deanery on 31 March 1895 and was buried on 3 April in St Martin's churchyard, Canterbury.

Canterbury Cathedral city in Kent, England

Canterbury is a historic English cathedral city and UNESCO World Heritage Site, situated in the heart of the City of Canterbury, a local government district of Kent, England. It lies on the River Stour.

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References

Further reading

Church of England titles
Preceded by
Henry Alford
Dean of Canterbury
1871–1895
Succeeded by
Frederic Farrar
Academic offices
Preceded by
William Jacobson
Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford
1865—1871
Succeeded by
James Bowling Mozley