Hervey, Arthur Charles (DNB01)

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HERVEY, Lord ARTHUR CHARLES (1808–1894), bishop of Bath and Wells, fourth son of Frederick William, first marquis and fifth earl of Bristol, by Elizabeth Albana Upton, daughter of Clotworthy, lord Templetown, was born at his father's London house, 6 St. James's Square, on 20 Aug. 1808. From 1817 to 1822 he lived abroad with his parents, chiefly in Paris, and was taught by a private tutor; he entered Eton in 1822, and remained there until 1826, entered Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1827, and after a residence of two years and a half obtained a first class in the classical tripos, and graduated B.A. in 1830. Having been ordained both deacon and priest in October 1832, he was instituted in November to the small family living of Ickworth-cum-Chedburgh, Suffolk, and Chedburgh being in 1844 separated from Ickworth and joined to Horningsheath or Horringer, he also became curate of Horringer until in 1856 he was instituted to the rectory which he held with Ickworth. He was active in clerical work, took a leading part in the organisation of educational institutions in the neighbouring town of Bury St. Edmunds, and seems to have been the first to propose a system of university extension in a pamphlet entitled 'A Suggestion for supplying the Literary … Institutes … with Lecturers from the Universities' (1855). In 1862 he was appointed archdeacon of Sudbury. On the resignation of Robert John Eden, lord Auckland [q. v.], bishop of Bath and Wells, in 1869, he was offered the bishopric on the recommendation of W. E. Gladstone, and was consecrated on 21 Dec. In consequence of his refusal to institute a clerk of intemperate habits, who had presented himself to a benefice, he was in 1877-9 involved in a lawsuit, which was carried before the privy council. Judgment was given in his favour with costs, but being unable to recover them he had to pay 1,558l., of which 978l. was raised by subscription in the diocese. He died at Hackwood, near Basingstoke, the house of his son-in-law, Mr. C. Hoare, on 9 June 1894, in his eighty-sixth year, and was buried at Wells. By his wife Patience, daughter of John Singleton (born Fowke) of Hazely, Hampshire, and Mell, co. Louth, whom he married on 30 July 1839, and who (1901) survives him, he had twelve children, of whom five sons and three daughters survived him.

Hervey was a handsome and well-made man, had been a champion tennis-player in his younger days, and retained a remarkable amount of physical activity at an advanced age. He remained a good classical scholar, studied Hebrew for many years, knew something of Arabic and Sanscrit, and spoke French with unusual facility and correctness. Though not intellectually brilliant he was accurate and painstaking. Archæology and family history attracted him, and he wrote several papers and addresses on these subjects. He was gracious in manner and sympathetic in temperament. As a bishop he was diligent and judicious. Sincerely devout and of moderate views on church matters, though inclined to evangelicalism, he was trusted by men of all parties, ruled his diocese with tact and firmness, and was universally popular in it. For the last three years of his life he was lamed by some gouty affection, but his mental vigour continued unimpaired to the last. He was one of the committee of revisers of the authorised version of the Old Testament, which sat 1870-84, and in 1885 received the honorary degree of D.D. from the university of Oxford in recognition of his services. He contributed largely to (Sir) William Smith's 'Dictionary of the Bible' and to the 'Speaker's Commentary,' and besides sermons and lectures, some collected in volumes and others published singly, charges and pamphlets, he was author of 'The Genealogies of our Lord,' 1853, a work of importance as regards the chronology of Jewish history.

Bishop Hervey's portrait, painted in 1889 by Sir W. B. Richmond, R.A., is in the town hall at Wells, and a miniature painted by Sir William Charles Ross, R.A. [q. v.] in 1851, is in the possession of his family; there are engraved portraits in the 'Memoir' and the volume of the 'Wedmore Chronicle' as below.

[Memoir of Lord A. C. Hervey by his son, Rev. J. F. A. Hervey, privately printed; Wedmore Chron. (1898), ii. 6; private information; personal knowledge.]

W. H.