Thomas Sedgwick Whalley

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Thomas Sedgwick Whalley (1746–1828) was an English cleric, poet and traveller.


Thomas Sedgwick Whalley Thomas Sedgwick Whalley Brown.jpg
Thomas Sedgwick Whalley


Born at Cambridge, he was the third son of John Whalley, DD, master of Peterhouse, who married the only child of Francis Squire, canon and chancellor of Wells Cathedral; his mother died at Winscombe Court, Somerset, on 14 September 1803, aged 96. He was educated at St. John's College, Cambridge, graduating with a BA in 1767, and an MA in 1774, and about 1770 was ordained in the Church of England. [1]

Cambridge City and non-metropolitan district in England

Cambridge is a university city and the county town of Cambridgeshire, England, on the River Cam approximately 50 miles (80 km) north of London. At the United Kingdom Census 2011, its population was 123,867 including 24,506 students. Cambridge became an important trading centre during the Roman and Viking ages, and there is archaeological evidence of settlement in the area as early as the Bronze Age. The first town charters were granted in the 12th century, although modern city status was not officially conferred until 1951.

Wells Cathedral Anglican cathedral in Wells, Somerset, England

Wells Cathedral is an Anglican cathedral in Wells, Somerset, England, dedicated to St Andrew the Apostle and seat of the Bishop of Bath and Wells, whose throne or cathedra it holds as mother church of the diocese. Built between 1175 and 1490 to replace an earlier church on the site since 705, it is moderately sized for an English cathedral. Its broad west front and large central tower are dominant features in the city and countryside. It has been called "unquestionably one of the most beautiful" and "most poetic" of English cathedrals. Its Gothic architecture is mostly in the Early English style of the late 12th–early 13th centuries, lacking the Romanesque work that survives in many other cathedrals. Building began about 1175 at the east end with the choir. Historian John Harvey sees it as Europe's first truly Gothic structure, breaking with the last constraints of Romanesque. The stonework of its pointed arcades and fluted piers bears pronounced mouldings and carved capitals in a foliate, "stiff leaf" style. Its Early English front with 300 sculpted figures, is described as a "supreme triumph of the combined plastic arts in England". The east end retains a rare amount of ancient stained glass. Unlike many cathedrals of monastic foundation, Wells has many surviving secular buildings linked to its chapter of secular canons, including the Bishop's Palace and the 15th-century residential Vicars' Close. The cathedral is a Grade I listed building.

Church of England Anglican church in England, by law established

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.

In March 1772 Edmund Keene, bishop of Ely, presented Whalley to the rectory of Hagworthingham in the Lincolnshire fens, considered an unhealthy location; and made it a condition that he should never reside there. For over 50 years the duties were discharged by a curate. About 1825 Whalley built a parsonage-house for the benefice. He was appointed on 22 August 1777 to the prebendal stall of Combe (13) in Wells Cathedral, and retained it until 1826. [1]

Edmund Keene English churchman and academic

Edmund Keene was an English churchman and academic, Master of Peterhouse, Cambridge, Bishop of Chester and Bishop of Ely.

Bishop of Ely Diocesan bishop in the Church of England

The Bishop of Ely is the ordinary of the Church of England Diocese of Ely in the Province of Canterbury. The diocese roughly covers the county of Cambridgeshire, together with a section of north-west Norfolk and has its episcopal see in the City of Ely, Cambridgeshire, where the seat is located at the Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity. The current bishop is Stephen Conway, who signs +Stephen Elien:. The diocesan bishops resided at the Bishop's Palace, Ely until 1941; they now reside in Bishop's House, the former cathedral deanery. Conway became Bishop of Ely in 2010, translated from the Diocese of Salisbury where he was Bishop suffragan of Ramsbury.

Hagworthingham village in the United Kingdom

Hagworthingham is a village and civil parish in the East Lindsey district of Lincolnshire, England. It is situated on the A158, 5 miles (8 km) east of Horncastle and 4 miles (6 km) north-west of Spilsby.

About 1776 Whalley purchased the centre house in the Crescent at Bath and entertained there and at Langford Court. He associated with the set around Anna, Lady Miller at Bath Easton, and wrote verses for her. Frances Burney described him in her diary as "immensely tall, thin and handsome, but affected, delicate, and sentimentally pathetic". In the summer of 1783, for financial reasons, he and his wife broke up their establishments in England and went abroad. Langford Court, after being let for many years, was sold in 1804. Whalley spent the spring and winter for a long period in southern France, Italy, Switzerland, and Belgium. At Paris in 1783 his appearance drew from Marie-Antoinette the compliment of "Le bel Anglais". He often spent the summer at Mendip Lodge (Langford Cottage), on the Mendip hills, where the grounds had grottos and terrace walks. Sarah Siddons visited him there. [1]

Royal Crescent Georgian crescent in Bath, Somerset

The Royal Crescent is a row of 30 terraced houses laid out in a sweeping crescent in the city of Bath, England. Designed by the architect John Wood, the Younger and built between 1767 and 1774, it is among the greatest examples of Georgian architecture to be found in the United Kingdom and is a Grade I listed building. Although some changes have been made to the various interiors over the years, the Georgian stone façade remains much as it was when first built.

Bath, Somerset City in Somerset, England

Bath is the largest city in the county of Somerset, England, known for its Roman-built baths. In 2011, the population was 88,859. Bath is in the valley of the River Avon, 97 miles (156 km) west of London and 11 miles (18 km) south-east of Bristol. The city became a World Heritage site in 1987.

Anna, Lady Miller was an English poet, travel writer, heiress, and salon hostess.

Whalley was awarded a DD from the University of Edinburgh on 10 July 1808. Next winter he bought a house in Baker Street, London, and for some years lived there in great style. After the peace of 1814 he went abroad again. On his return in 1818 he purchased the centre house in Portland Place, Bath. [1]

University of Edinburgh public research university in Edinburgh, Scotland

The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1582, is the sixth oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of Scotland's ancient universities. The university has five main campuses in the city of Edinburgh, with many of the buildings in the historic Old Town belonging to the university. The university played an important role in leading Edinburgh to its reputation as a chief intellectual centre during the Age of Enlightenment, and helped give the city the nickname of the Athens of the North.

Baker Street street in the Marylebone district of the City of Westminster in London

Baker Street is a street in the Marylebone district of the City of Westminster in London. It is named after builder William Baker, who laid out the street in the 18th century. The street is most famous for its connection to the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes, who lived at a fictional 221B Baker Street address on the north of the street. The area was originally high class residential, but now is mainly occupied by commercial premises.

In 1825 Whalley bought the lease of a house at Clifton, and in 1828 he left England, for the last time. A few weeks after his arrival at La Flèche in France he died there of old age, on 3 September 1828, and was buried in the consecrated ground of the Roman Catholic church, a sarcophagus of dark slate with Latin inscription marking the spot. He was a patron of painting; a picture of The Woodman, by Barker of Bath, was painted for him, and, at his request, Sir Thomas Lawrence made a crayon drawing of Cecilia Siddons, his god-daughter. [1]

Clifton, Bristol suburb of Bristol, England

Clifton is both a suburb of Bristol, England, and the name of one of the city's thirty-five council wards. The Clifton ward also includes the areas of Cliftonwood and Hotwells. Other parts of the suburb lie within the ward of Clifton East.

La Flèche Subprefecture and commune in Pays de la Loire, France

La Flèche is a town and commune in the French department of Sarthe, in the Pays de la Loire region in the Loire Valley. It is the sub-prefecture of the South-Sarthe, the chief district and the chief city of a canton, and the second most populous city of the department. The city is part of the Community of communes of the Pays La Flèche. The inhabitants of the town are called the La Flèchois. It is classified as a country of art and history.

Thomas Barker (painter) Welsh painter

Thomas Barker, known as "Barker of Bath", was a British painter of landscape and rural life.


Whalley kept journals of his continental experiences. Two volumes were edited in 1863 by Hill Wickham, rector of Horsington. They contain letters from Hester Piozzi, Sarah Siddons, and Anna Seward (lengthy). His other writings included: [1]

Anna Seward English Romantic poet

Anna Seward was a long-eighteenth-century English Romantic poet, often called the Swan of Lichfield.

Hannah More was a neighbour in the Mendips. Whalley supported her action over the school at Blagdon in an anonymous pamphlet, Animadversions on the Curate of Blagdon's Three Publications, 1802. [1]


Whalley married, on 6 January 1774, Elizabeth, only child of Edward Jones of Langford Court in Burrington parish, Somerset, and widow of John Withers Sherwood, with whom he obtained a large fortune. She died on 8 December 1801. In May 1803 he married a Miss Heathcote, a lady of property in Wiltshire; she died at Southbroom House, near Devizes, on 10 or 11 October 1807. In 1813 he married the widow of General Horneck (thought to be Charles Horneck who died at Bath on 8 April 1804). He discovered that she was heavily in debt, and they agreed to separate. She received from Whalley a settlement and a house in Catherine Place, Bath. [1]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Lee, Sidney, ed. (1899). "Whalley, Thomas Sedgwick"  . Dictionary of National Biography . 60. London: Smith, Elder & Co.


Wikisource-logo.svg  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain :  Lee, Sidney, ed. (1899). "Whalley, Thomas Sedgwick". Dictionary of National Biography . 60. London: Smith, Elder & Co.

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