Poole, Arthur William (DNB00)

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POOLE, ARTHUR WILLIAM (1852–1885), missionary bishop, the son of Thomas Francis and Jane Poole, was born at Shrewsbury on 6 Aug. 1852, and educated at Shrewsbury school. At the age of seventeen he proceeded to Worcester College, Oxford, at Michaelmas 1869, and took a third class in classical moderations in 1871, and a third class in the final classical school in 1873. He graduated B.A. in 1873, M.A. in 1876, and D.D. in 1883. On leaving Oxford Poole became a tutor. Afterwards he thought of medicine as a profession; but in 1876, having abandoned a leaning towards the Plymouth brethren, he was ordained deacon, and licensed to the curacy of St. Aldate's, Oxford. Early in boyhood Poole had wished to be a missionary, and the old desire was renewed in March 1876 by an appeal for men to aid in educational work at Masulipatam. After some hesitation, Poole offered himself to the Church Missionary Society on 20 June 1876. He was accepted, and sailed for India in October 1877. At Masulipatam, Poole threw himself into the work of the Noble High School, fostered the growth of Christian literature in the vernacular, and made many friends among the educated natives. Early in 1879 signs of consumption showed themselves in Poole, and, after twice visiting the Neilgherry hills, he was invalided home in June 1880. There was little prospect of his being able to return to India, and he resigned in October 1882. At the anniversary meeting of the Church Missionary Society in May 1883 a speech by Poole attracted the attention of the archbishop of Canterbury, who offered him the missionary bishopric in Japan which it had just been resolved to establish. After much hesitation and reassuring reports from the medical board, Poole accepted the offer, and was consecrated at Lambeth on St. Luke's day 1883. He was warmly received in Japan, and at once began to visit the chief missionary stations in his diocese. But, his health failing, he spent the winter of 1884–1885 in California. He did not recover, but returned to England, and died at Shrewsbury on 14 July 1885. Poole married, in 1877, Sarah Ann Pearson, who survived him, and by her he had issue.

[Record, 17 July 1885; Church Missionary Intelligencer, November 1885; private information.]

A. R. B.