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deen, strongly recommending Hamilton as his successor. The see was, however, first offered to John James Blunt [q. v.], who refused it. Thereupon it was offered to Hamilton, who, after an interval of painful deliberation, accepted it, and was consecrated by Archbishop Sumner on 14 May 1854 at Lambeth. Hamilton continued all his predecessor's episcopal reforms, and improved upon them. He increased the number of confirmations, and raised the standard in his ordinations, both of theological attainments and also of spiritual preparation. The idea of establishing at Salisbury a theological college had been suggested to him by his predecessor in 1841 ; but it was not till twenty years afterwards that the plan was carried out. Till his death he always took the greatest interest in its welfare. He was never absent from Salisbury except upon diocesan business, or for a short holiday in the late autumn of the year, and very seldom appeared in the House of Lords. When at home he almost always attended the daily services in the cathedral, and his life was marked by great regularity and incessant occupation to a late hour of the night. In the administration of his diocese he secured the respect and affection both of the clergy and the laity, even of those who differed from his decided high church opinions. He delivered episcopal charges in 1855, 1858, 1861, 1864, and 1867, all of which have been published. The last of these excited much attention on account of the fearless clearness with which he asserted the doctrines of the real presence in the holy communion, of the eucharistic sacrifice, and of priestly absolution. He was the more outspoken on these subjects, because he had been accused of holding doctrines to which he dared not give public utterance. The charge was the subject of a discussion in the House of Lords, where Lord Portman presented a condemnatory petition. Hamilton never expressed or felt any bitterness towards his opponents. It is, however, probable that the anxiety caused by the opposition to this charge, added to his strenuous episcopal work, shortened his life. The first symptoms of heart disease showed themselves early in 1868. He continued his duties till October in that year. After spending seven months in London, he returned to Salisbury on 29 July, and died three days afterwards, 1 Aug. 1869. He was a tall, portly man, with a pleasant, open countenance and winning manners. On 9 Jan. 1845 he married Isabel Elizabeth, daughter of Francis Lear, dean of Salisbury, who survived him, with eight of their children.
Besides his charges and pamphlet on (Cathedral Reform' (1853), he published a book of 'Morning and Evening Services for every Day in the Week,' Oxford, 1842, intended specially for his former parishioners at Oxford, and compiled chiefly from early sources. It was afterwards printed in Dr. Hook's 'Devotional Library.' He also printed various single sermons.
[Canon Liddon's Life in Death, a Sermon preached in Salisbury Cathedral on 8 Aug. 1869, and three papers in the Guardian, 11, 18, and 25 Aug.,reprinted, with additions and corrections, under the title ' Walter Kerr Hamilton, Bishop of Salisbury;' personal recollections and inquiries.]