Raikes, Henry (1782-1854) (DNB00)

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Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 47
Raikes, Henry (1782-1854)

by George Clement Boase
1904 Errata appended.

RAIKES, HENRY (1782–1854), divine, born in London on 24 Sept. 1782, was second son of Thomas Raikes, a merchant, who was governor of the bank of England in 1797. His mother was Charlotte, daughter of the Hon. Henry Finch. Thomas Raikes [q. v.] was his brother, and Robert Raikes [q. v.] his uncle. Educated at Eton, he entered St. John's College, Cambridge, in 1799, and graduated B.A. in 1804 and M.A. in 1807. He spent the greater part of 1805 in foreign travel. After visiting Austria and Hungary he passed to Greece, where he met George Hamilton Gordon, fourth earl of Aberdeen [q. v.], his fellow-student at Cambridge, and spent the winter in exploring with him the sites of the temples and cities of Bœotia and the interior of the Peloponnesus. Next year he accompanied the Mediterranean squadron for some months, as the guest of Lord Collingwood, on its cruise off the coasts of Sicily and Africa. In 1808 he was ordained deacon to the curacy of Betchworth in Surrey. He was subsequently curate of Burnham, Buckinghamshire, and of Bognor, Sussex. In 1828 he became examining chaplain to his early friend, Dr. John Bird Sumner, bishop of Chester, and in 1830 chancellor of the diocese. His influence rapidly grew, and Charles Simeon of Cambridge is reported to have said, ‘The great diocese of Chester enjoys a sort of double episcopacy in the cordial coadjutorship of the chancellor with the bishop of the see.’ On 8 Aug. 1844 he was named an honorary canon of the cathedral. In Chester he awakened a lively interest in its historical remains and in the restoration of the cathedral. He was the president of the Architectural, Archæological, and Historic Society of Chester, and contributed many valuable papers to its journal. The earlier records of the diocese he placed at the disposal of the Chetham Society, and also furnished the council with the manuscript of Bishop Gastrell's ‘Notitia Cestriensis’ for publication. He was a member of the commission for the subdivision of parishes in 1849, a measure of church reform which he had long advocated. He died at his seat, Dee Side House, Chester, on 28 Nov. 1854, and was buried in Chester cemetery on 5 Dec. His theological library was sold in London in February 1855. He married, on 16 March 1809, Augusta, eldest daughter of Jacob J. Whittington of Theberton Hall and Yoxford, Suffolk. She died on 24 Oct. 1820. His eldest son, Henry Raikes, was father of Henry Cecil Raikes [q. v.]

While curate of Bognor, Raikes published in 1828 ‘A Series of Sermons’ of an original type, which had great popularity. A more important work was his ‘Remarks on Clerical Education’ (1831), which helped to lead the universities to improve the theological examinations and the bishops to require a theological degree as a prelude to holy orders. In 1846 he edited on a tedious scale the ‘Life’ of his old friend Sir Jahleel Brenton [q. v.], in which he censured the moral and religious state of the navy (Quarterly Review, 1847, lxxix. 273–310). His other works mainly consisted of collected sermons and a translation (1839) of Cardinal Pole's ‘The Reform of England,’ with an introductory essay.

[Gent. Mag. 1855, i. 198–202; Burke's Landed Gentry, 1886.]

G. C. B.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.230
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

Page Col. Line  
167 ii 13 Raikes, Henry: for Cestrensis' read Cestriensis'
40-42  omit and a translation 1839 .... essay