Thorold, Anthony Wilson (DNB00)

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THOROLD, ANTHONY WILSON (1825–1895), successively bishop of Rochester and Winchester, was born on 13 June 1825. His father, Edward Thorold, was the fourth son of Sir John Thorold, ninth baronet, and held the family living of Hougham-cum-Marston, Lincolnshire. His mother was Mary, daughter of Thomas Wilson of Grantham, Lincolnshire. Thorold was educated privately, and matriculated from Queen's College, Oxford, on 7 Dec. 1843. He graduated B.A. in 1847, and M.A. in 1850, receiving the degree of D.D. by diploma on 29 May 1877. Thorold was ordained deacon in 1849 and priest in 1850. In opinion he belonged to the evangelical school. His first curacy was the parish of Whittington, Lancashire, where he worked until 1854. Three years at Holy Trinity, Marylebone, followed, and then, in 1857, the exertions of his friends procured for him the lord-chancellor's living of St. Giles-in-the-Fields, London, where he became well known as a preacher and organiser. He also began to write, and was one of the early contributors to ‘Good Words.’ Ill health led Thorold to resign St. Giles's in 1867. But after a little rest and a short incumbency at Curzon Chapel, Mayfair (1868–9), he resumed parish work in 1869 as vicar of St. Pancras, London. Here, as at St. Giles's, he showed organising power. He improved the schools of the parish, was one of the first to adopt parochial missions, and was returned as a member for Marylebone to the first school board for London. In 1874 Archbishop Thomson, for whom he had long worked as examining chaplain, gave Thorold a residentiary canonry in York Cathedral. Higher promotion soon came. In 1877 Lord Beaconsfield offered him the see of Rochester. He was consecrated in Westminster Abbey on 25 July. The great work of his episcopate was the virtual reorganisation of the diocese. The difficulties incidental to its history, its fragmentary nature, its conformation, and its vast population, were many; but, if he did not surmount them all, he left a thoroughly well-equipped diocese behind him. He consolidated the existing diocesan organisations; carried to a successful issue a Ten Churches Fund; encouraged the settlement of public school and college missions in South London; promoted diocesan organisations for deaconesses, lay workers, higher education, and temperance; began the restoration of St. Saviour's, Southwark, and projected its elevation to the rank of a quasi-cathedral. For recreation he travelled much, going as far afield as America and Australia. He spoke occasionally and with effect in the House of Lords; and he was one of the assessors in the trial of the bishop of Lincoln at Lambeth in 1889. In 1890 he succeeded Harold Browne in the see of Winchester. But his health was not equal to the business of the diocese. He died, worn out, on 25 July 1895, the eighteenth anniversary of his consecration.

Without striking characteristics or powerful mind, Thorold had a grasp of detail, and inspired others as much by his own industry as by his words. Strong mannerisms repelled many, but threw into relief his real sincerity and goodness. He read widely, and, although given to tricks of style, he both spoke and wrote well. He was twice married: first, in 1850, to Henrietta, daughter of Thomas Greene, M.P.; and, secondly, in 1865, to Emily, daughter of John Labouchere, by whom he left issue. His works were exclusively devotional or diocesan. They included ‘The Presence of Christ’ (1869), ‘The Gospel of Christ’ (1882), ‘The Yoke of Christ’ (1884), ‘Questions of Faith and Duty’ (1892), and ‘The Tenderness of Christ’ (1894), all in several editions.

[Simpkinson's Life and Work of Thorold; Record, 1895, pp. 721, 725.]

A. R. B.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.264
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

Page Col. Line  
312 ii 22f.e. Thorold, Anthony W.: for 1874 read 1877