Harington, Edward Charles (DNB00)

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HARINGTON, EDWARD CHARLES (1804–1881), chancellor and subdean of Exeter Cathedral, born, probably at Clifton, in 1804, was only son of the Rev. Edward Harington (who is described in Foster's 'Alumni Oxonienses' as of Isle of Mona, and having died at Clifton in 1811), by his wife, Frances, daughter of John Boote of Fifield House, Oxfordshire. Sir Edward Harington [q. v.] was his grandfather. He traced an unbroken descent from John Harington of Kelston, near Bath, father of Sir John Harington [q. v.] He appears to have been educated privately, and entered Worcester College, Oxford, on 6 July 1824, aged 19, where he graduated B.A. in 1828, and M.A. in 1833. Entering orders, he became incumbent of St. David's, Exeter, and having attracted the notice of Bishop Phillpotts of Exeter, was made a prebendary of Exeter in 1845, and in 1847 chancellor of the church. He resigned his incumbency, and gave all his attention to diocesan work, especially that of education. He induced contending parties to cooperate in establishing the Diocesan Training College, for many years taught within its walls, and contributed largely to its endowments. In 1856 he became a canon residentiary of Exeter, and devoted himself henceforth to the cathedral. He spent no less than 15,000l. upon the repairs of the fabric, and 1,000l. in providing seats in the nave, and turning it by his own efforts into a 'house of prayer.' Possessed of ample means he was munificent in private charity, sending poor clergymen with their wives and families to the seaside for weeks, and paying all expenses. He was shy, retiring, and somewhat eccentric in manner, residing at first with his sisters and afterwards alone. He always attended the turning of the first sod of every new railway in England. Though not a great scholar he was a man of considerable learning, and collected a fine library. On 4 July 1881 he was attacked by apoplexy while attending a meeting at the Guildhall of Exeter of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and died on the 14th of the same month. He was buried with his ancestors at Kelston, near Bath, to the poor of which parish he left 300l. By his will he bequeathed his library to the dean and chapter of Exeter, with 2,000l. for a librarian. He left many legacies to church institutions and to poor dependents. His portrait was presented to the dean and chapter of Exeter by his executor, Captain Harington, R.N., of Bath.

The following is a list of his works: 1. 'Brief Notes on the Church of Scotland from 1555 to 1842,' Exeter, 1843. 2. 'The Importance and Antiquity of the Rite of Consecration of Churches, with copious Notes and Forms,' London, 1844. 3. 'Two Sermons on Apostolical Succession, and Necessity of Episcopal Ordination,' Exeter, 1845. 4. 'The Succession of Bishops unbroken, and the Nag's Head Fable refuted. In reply to Rev. J. Spencer Northcote,' London, 1846. 5. 'The Reformers of the Anglican Church and Mr. Macaulay,' London, 1849. 6. 'The Reconsecration and Reconciliation of Churches,' &c., London, 1850. 7. 'The Bull of Pius IX and the Ancient British Church,' London, 1850. 8. 'A Letter, &c., on the LV Canon and the Kirk of Scotland,' London, 1851. 9. 'A Reply to W. Goode's Reply to Archdeacon Churton and Chancellor Harington on LV Canon,' London, 1852. 10. 'A Sermon on the Purity of the Church of England and the Corruptions of the Church of Rome (Acts xxiv. 14), with copious Notes,' London, 1852. 11. 'Rome's Pretensions tested. A Sermon on Jerem. vi. 16, with copious Notes,' Exeter, 1855. 12. 'Pope Pius IV and the Book of Common Prayer,' Exeter, 1856. 13. 'Bradford the Martyr and Sir John Harington, reprinted from "Notes and Queries," ' Exeter, 1856.

[Personal knowledge and family communications, especially from Captain Richard Harington, R.N., heir and executor; and notes from a Sermon preached on his death in Exeter Cathedral by Canon Sackville Lee.]

R. H-r.