[Full materials for Wordsworth's life are contained in Annals of my Early Life (1806−1846), published by himself in 1891; Annals of my Life (1847−56), ed. by W. Earl Hodgson, 1893 ; and The Episcopate of Charles Wordsworth (1853−92), London, 1899, a memoir, with some materials for forming a judgment on the great questions in the discussion of which he was concerned, by John Wordsworth, bishop of Salisbury, writer of this article. The last is preceded by a sketch of the earlier years, and has a bibliography (pp. 366−85.)]
master's house at Winchester. A threequarter-length portrait, painted in oils by G. Horsburgh of Edinburgh in 1893, belongs to Mr. W. B. Wordsworth. A portrait, painted in 1882 by H. T. Munns, and a photograph, dated 1889, were engraved by W. L. Colls for ‘The Episcopate of Charles Wordsworth,’ London, 1899.
WORDSWORTH, CHRISTOPHER (1774−1846), master of Trinity College, Cambridge, youngest son of John Wordsworth and youngest brother of William Wordsworth [q. v.], was born at Cockermouth in Cumberland on 9 June 1774. He received his first education at Hawkshead grammar school, and went to Trinity College as a pensioner in 1792. He graduated B.A. in 1796 as tenth wrangler, and in 1798 was elected fellow of his college. Extracts from a diary kept by him at Cambridge (1793−1801) have been printed by his grandson Christopher (Social Life at the English Universities, pp. 585−99). He proceeded M.A. in 1799 and D.D. (by royal mandate) in 1810. In 1802 Wordsworth published, anonymously, ‘Six Letters to Granville Sharp, Esq., respecting his "Remarks on the Uses of the Definitive Article in the Greek Text of the New Testament,"’ London, 1802 [see Sharp, Granville]. Wordsworth supported his views with great learning and accurate scholarship, gaining thereby the approval of Richard Porson [q. v.] (preface to Who wrote Eicon Basilike? p. iv).
Wordsworth had been private tutor to Charles Manners-Sutton, first viscount Canterbury [q. v.], probably while he was an undergraduate of Trinity College (1798−1802), and through him had become acquainted with his father, then bishop of Norwich, and afterwards archbishop of Canterbury. Both father and son became his patrons. The bishop in 1804 presented him to the rectory of Ashby with Obyand Thinne, Norfolk, a preferment which enabled him to marry. In 1805, when Manners-Sutton became archbishop of Canterbury, he made Wordsworth his domestic chaplain, and transferred him first to the rectory of Woodchurch, Kent (1806), and next (1808) to the deanery and rectory of Bocking, Essex, to which Monks-Eleigh, Suffolk, was afterwards added (1812). In 1816 these preferments were exchanged for St. Mary's, Lambeth, and Sundridge, Kent, in the former of which parishes Wordsworth actively promoted the erection and endowment of additional churches. In 1817, when his old pupil was elected speaker of the House of Commons, Wordsworth became chaplain.
Residence at Lambeth gave Wordsworth facilities of access to the library, of which he availed himself for his ‘Ecclesiastical Biography’ published in 1810, with a dedication to the archbishop. In 1811, with his friend Joshua Watson [q. v.], he took an active part in the foundation of the National Society (Churton, Life of Watson, i. 113).
On the death of William Lort Mansel [q. v.], on 27 June 1820, Wordsworth was made master of Trinity College, Cambridge, by Lord Liverpool, on the recommendation of the archbishop (Annals of my Early Life, p. 8). He thereupon gave up Lambeth and Sundridge, receiving in exchange the living of Buxted with Uckfield in Sussex. He removed at once to Cambridge, and was elected vice-chancellor for the ensuing academic year, 1820−1. He held the office for a second time, 1826−7. The new master began as a reformer. A few months after his election he laid before the seniors his views on providing increased accommodation in college for undergraduates. The first entry on this subject in the ‘Conclusion Book’ is dated 14 Dec. 1820, and, notwithstanding considerable opposition in the society, the quadrangle called ‘The New Court’ was occupied in the Michaelmas term of 1825. The architect was William Wilkins [q. v.] (Arch. Hist. ii. 651−60). Further, he instituted in his own college prizes for compositions in Latin hexameters, elegiacs, and alcaics, and during his first vice-chancellorship (10 April 1821) made proposals for a public examination in classics and divinity which met with considerable support (Whewell, Of a Liberal Education, § 218), and, though rejected at the time, may be regarded as the parent of the classical tripos, established in the following year. His mastership, however, can hardly be described as a success. He came back to Cambridge after an absence of sixteen years, with interests and friends outside the pale of the university. His wife had died in 1815, and he had no daughter or female relative to take her place at the head of his household. He therefore led a secluded life, and made few, if any, new friends.