William Lyall (priest)

Last updated

William Rowe Lyall (11 February 1788 – 17 February 1857) was an English churchman, [1] Dean of Canterbury from 1845 to 1857. [2]



He was born in Stepney, Middlesex, the fifth son of John Lyall and Jane Comyn. [3] He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge (M.A. 1816). [4] In 1817 he married Catherine Brandreth (1792–1863), daughter of Dr. Brandreth of Liverpool. [5]

Lyall was editor of the British Critic 1816–17 [6] and associated with the Hackney Phalanx, the high-church group. [7] He became editor of the Theological Library (1832–46). [8] He early recognized a Catholic tendency in John Henry Newman's writing. [9] His appointment as Warburton Lecturer led to a major work, Propædia Prophetica (1840). [10] Lyall's abilities and potential came to the attention of William Howley, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who shaped his career. [11]

Lyall became Archdeacon of Colchester (1824–1842), [12] Archdeacon of Maidstone (1842–1845), [13] simultaneously Canon of the Ninth Prebend, Canterbury Cathedral (1841–1845), [14] and finally Dean of Canterbury (1845 [15] –1857). [16] He died at Canterbury, Kent. There is a monumental tomb in the north aisle of the nave at Canterbury, said to be designed after a model by the sculptor John Birnie Philip (1824–1875), [17] but his remains are in fact buried at the parish church of St Michael in the nearby village of Harbledown, alongside his wife's. [18]

Literary works

He wrote a number of dissertations on religious topics, and was a regular contributor to the Quarterly Review , albeit anonymously. His major published work was Propædia Prophetica (Preparation of Prophesy), in 1840. [19] It was re-published in 1854 and again posthumously in 1885, this time with a preface by his nephew George C. Pearson. [20] He also contributed to the Encyclopædia Metropolitana , an ambitious enterprise to disseminate knowledge: he was invited to write sections of the History Division, in particular: History of Greece, Macedonia and Syria. [21] Co-authors of this work were Jacob Henry Brooke Mountain, George Cecil Renouard and Michael Russell. [22]


His eldest brother was George Lyall, Snr, sometime MP for the City of London (UK Parliament constituency), and Chairman of the East India Company. [23] One of his famous nephews was Alfred Comyn Lyall, the Indian civil servant (1835–1911). [24] Another was James Broadwood Lyall (1838–1916), also an Indian civil servant, who became Governor of the Punjab. [25]


  1. Clergy of the Church of England database
  2. 'The Dean of Canterbury' The Times Wednesday, Feb. 18, 1857 Issue 22607 p. 1
  3. JJHC
  4. "Lyall, William Rowe (LL804WR)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  5. Garfield, Simon (2002). The Last Journey of William Huskisson. London: Faber and Faber. ISBN   0-571-21048-1.
  6. Murphy, G. Martin. "Lyall, William Rowe". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/17237.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  7. Gibson, William (1994). Church, State and Society, 1760–1850. New York: St. Martin's Press. doi:10.1007/978-1-349-23204-8. ISBN   978-0-333-58757-7.
  8. Robert Wilson Evans (1839). Biography of the Early Church. M. Aurel, Fr. p. 6.
  9. Christopher John Murray (13 May 2013). Encyclopedia of the Romantic Era, 1760-1850. Routledge. p. 803. ISBN   978-1-135-45579-8.
  10. William Rowe Lyall (1840). Propædia Prophetica: A View of the Use and Design of the Old Testament. Followed by Two Dissertations : I. On the Causes of the Rapid Propagation of the Gospel Among the Heathen. II. On the Credibility of the Facts Related in the New Testament. J.G.F. & J. Rivington. p. vi.
  11. The Passing of Barchester, Dewey, C. Hambledon Press, London (1991). ISBN   9781847250490
  12. "Classical Victorians: Scholars, Scoundrels and Generals in Pursuit of Antiquity" Richardson,E p196: Cambridge, CUP, 2013 ISBN   978-1-107-02677-3
  13. Horn, Joyce M. (1974), Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1541–1857, vol. 3, p. 17
  14. British History On-line
  15. 'The New Dean of Canterbury' The Times Saturday, Nov. 29, 1845 Issue 19094p. 7 Article
  16. "Lyall, William Rowe (LL804WR)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge., consulted 14/7/2011
  17. Katharine Eustace, 'The Post-Reformation Monuments', in: A History of Canterbury Cathedral, ed. P. Collinson, N. Ramsay, M. Sparks, (OUP: 1995, revised edition 2002) p.53940; illustration, plate 154.
  18. "Life of the Right Hon. Sir Alfred Comyn Lyall, P. C., K. C. B., G. C. I. E., D. C. L., LL. D" Durand, M p20 William Edinburgh; Blackwood and Sons; 1913
  19. Google Books
  20. Foster, Joseph (1888–1892). "Pearson, George Charles"  . Alumni Oxonienses: the Members of the University of Oxford, 1715–1886 . Oxford: Parker and Co via Wikisource.
  21. Wikisource-logo.svg One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Encyclopaedia s.v. Encyclopaedia Metropolitana". Encyclopædia Britannica . Vol. 9 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 381.
  22. "Scottish Episcopal Clergy, 1689-2000" Bertie, D.M: Edinburgh T & T Clark ISBN   0-567-08746-8
  23. Creffield, C. A. "Lyall, Alfred". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/17234.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  24. Dewey, Clive (1993). Anglo-Indian Attitudes: Mind of the Indian Civil Service. A. & C. Black. ISBN   978-0-82643-254-4.
  25. "University of the Punjab - Former Vice Chancellors". University of the Punjab. Archived from the original on 6 July 2016. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
Church of England titles
Preceded by Archdeacon of Maidstone
Succeeded by
Preceded by Dean of Canterbury
Succeeded by

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">William Sancroft</span> English religious leader

William Sancroft was the 79th Archbishop of Canterbury, and was one of the Seven Bishops imprisoned in 1688 for seditious libel against King James II, over his opposition to the king's Declaration of Indulgence. Deprived of his office in 1690 for refusing to swear allegiance to William and Mary, he later enabled and supported the consecration of new nonjuring bishops leading to the nonjuring schism.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hugh James Rose</span>

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

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Richard Chenevix Trench</span> Anglican archbishop and poet

Richard Chenevix Trench was an Anglican archbishop and poet.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Samuel Wilberforce</span> Anglican Bishop of Oxford

Samuel Wilberforce, FRS was an English bishop in the Church of England, and the third son of William Wilberforce. Known as "Soapy Sam", Wilberforce was one of the greatest public speakers of his day. He is now best remembered for his opposition to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution at a debate in 1860.

The Encyclopædia Metropolitana was an encyclopedic work published in London, from 1817 to 1845, by part publication. In all it came to quarto, 30 vols., having been issued in 59 parts.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Alfred Comyn Lyall</span> British civil servant, historian, and poet

Sir Alfred Comyn Lyall was a British civil servant, literary historian and poet.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Walter Hook</span>

Walter Farquhar Hook, known to his contemporaries as Dr Hook, was an eminent Victorian churchman.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Charles Sumner (bishop)</span>

Charles Richard Sumner was a Church of England bishop.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">James Broadwood Lyall</span>

Sir James Broadwood Lyall was a British administrator in the Imperial Civil Service who served as Lieutenant Governor of the Punjab between 1887 and 1892.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">George Cornelius Gorham</span> Anglican priest

George Cornelius Gorham (1787–1857) was a vicar in the Church of England. His legal recourse to being denied a certain post, subsequently taken to a secular court, caused great controversy.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Harold Browne</span> 19th-century Anglican Bishop of Winchester

Edward Harold Browne was a bishop of the Church of England.

Richard Courtenay was an English prelate and university chancellor, who served as Bishop of Norwich 1413-15.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Richard Bagot (bishop)</span> Bishop of Bath and Wells from 1845 to 1854

The Honourable Richard Bagot was an English bishop.

George Lyall was an English merchant and politician, Chairman of the Honourable East India Company for periods 1841–3 and 1844–6.

Francis James Holland,(20 January 1828 – 27 January 1907) was a canon in the Church of England.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">William Forsyth (barrister)</span>

William Forsyth QC was a Scottish lawyer and Conservative Member of Parliament (MP).

<i>British Critic</i> 18th/19th-century British journal

The British Critic: A New Review was a quarterly publication, established in 1793 as a conservative and high-church review journal riding the tide of British reaction against the French Revolution. The headquarters was in London. The journal ended publication in 1843.

Richard Clarke Sewell was an English lawyer who later moved to Australia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Warburton Lectures</span>

The Warburton Lectures are a series of theology lectures held in Lincoln's Inn, London. They were established in 1768 with money given by William Warburton, and were intended to bring young divines to the notice of London audiences. The set topic was the proof of Christianity through prophecies.

Alfred Lyall was an English philosopher, editor, clergyman and traveller.