Dictionary of National Biography, 1912 supplement/Bernard, Thomas Dehany

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BERNARD, THOMAS DEHANY (1815–1904), divine, second son of Charles Bernard of Eden Estate, Jamaica, the descendant of a Huguenot family, by Margaret, daughter of John Baker of Waresley House, Worcestershire, was born at Clifton on 11 Nov. 1815. Mountague Bernard [q. v.] was his brother. After private education he matriculated in December 1833 from Exeter College, Oxford, and in 1837 was placed in the second class of the final classical school. He graduated B.A. in 1838, when he won the Ellerton theological prize with an essay 'On the Conduct and Character of St. Peter.' In 1839 he was awarded the chancellor's prize for an English essay on 'The Classical Taste and Character compared with the Romantic.' In 1840 he was ordained deacon and licensed to the curacy of Great Baddow, Essex. Ordained priest in 1841, he succeeded to the vicarage of Great Baddow, where he remained until 1846. After working for a short time as curate of Harrow-on-the-Hill, he became in 1848 vicar of Terling, Essex. He showed a keener interest in the cause of foreign missions than was usual at that time. He was thrice select preacher at Oxford in 1858, 1862, and 1882. In 1864 he delivered the Bampton lectures on 'The Progress of Doctrine in the New Testament' (5th edit. 1900).

Of strong evangelical sympathies, Bernard was appointed by Simeon's trustees to the rectory of Walcot, Bath, in 1864. There Bernard's gifts of organisation were called into play. He increased the church accommodation and built St. Andrew's church and schools. In 1867 the bishop of Bath and Wells collated him to a prebendal stall in Wells Cathedral; and next year the dean and chapter elected him to a residentiary canonry. He succeeded to the chancellorship of the cathedral in 1879, and from 1880 to 1895 represented the chapter in convocation.

Bernard was as zealous a cathedral dignitary as he was an energetic town rector. He revived the cathedral grammar school, at his own cost provided buildings for it, established a high school for girls, and interested himself in the general parochial life of Wells. An evangelical whom all trusted, though unfettered by party conventions, Bernard was a frequent speaker at the Islington clerical meeting, He resigned Walcot in 1886, and went to live at Wimborne. In 1901 he retired from his canonry, retaining only the unpaid office of chancellor. He died at High Hall, Wimborne, on 7 Dec. 1904. Bernard combined the qualities of the student and the man of affairs, of the wise counsellor in private and the clear, cogent teacher in public. He married in 1841 Caroline, daughter of Benjamin Linthorne, of High Hall, Wimborne; she died in 1881, leaving two sons and seven daughters.

Besides the works noticed, Bernard published: 1. 'Before His Presence with a Song,' 1885; 2nd edit. 1887. 2. 'The Central Teaching of Jesus Christ,' 1892. 3. 'Songs of the Holy Nativity,' 1895. 4. 'The Word and Sacraments,' 1904.

[Guardian, 14 Dec. 1904; Record, 9 Dec. 1904; The Times, 8 Dec. 1904; Foster's Alumni Oxon.; E. Stock, History of the C.M.S., 1899, ii. 359, 387 and iii. 10; private information.]

A. R. B.