Blunt, John Henry (DNB00)

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BLUNT, JOHN HENRY, D.D. (1823–1884), ecclesiastical historian and theological writer, was born at Chelsea on 25 Aug. 1823, where he was educated in a private school. For some years after leaving school he was engaged in the business of a manufacturing chemist; but in 1850 he abandoned that pursuit and entered University College, Durham, with the object of taking holy orders in the church of England. In 1852 he became licentiate in theology, was ordained deacon in 1852, and priest in 1855. In 1855 he became an M.A. of Durham. After filling a number of curacies he was appointed in 1868 vicar of Kennington, near Oxford, by the warden and fellows of All Souls' College. In 1873 he was presented by Mr. Gladstone with the crown living of Beverston in Gloucestershire, which he retained until his death. In June 1882 his university made him a doctor of divinity. He died rather suddenly in London on 11 April 1884 (Good Friday), and was buried in Battersea cemetery.

In his earlier years Blunt was a constant contributor to church reviews and magazines, and the author of many pamphlets and sermons. In 1855 his first volume on the 'Atonement' was published. He afterwards became a voluminous writer in the fields of theology and ecclesiastical history. His theological dictionaries collect much valuable matter in a convenient form. His 'Annotated Book of Common Prayer' is equally useful. His 'History of the English Reformation' is a solid and careful study of a critical period, and, though perhaps written from a high-church rather than a purely historical standpoint, is generally accurate and thorough. Blunt was a man of great mental and physical energy, and his close application to literary work in all probability hastened his death. The following list includes the more important works of which he was either sole author or editor:

  1. 'The Atonement,' 1855.
  2. 'Three Essays on the Reformation,' 1860.
  3. 'Miscellaneous Sermons,' 1860.
  4. 'Directorium Pastorale,' 1864.
  5. 'Key to the Bible,' 1865.
  6. 'Household Theology,' 1865.
  7. 'Annotated Book of Common Prayer,' 1866; revised and enlarged, 1884.
  8. 'Sacramental Ordinances,' 1867.
  9. 'History of the Reformation,' 1868.
  10. 'Key to Church History,' 1869.
  11. 'Union and Disunion,' 1870.
  12. 'Plain Account of the English Bible,' 1870.
  13. 'Dictionary of Theology,' 1870.
  14. 'Key to the Prayer Book,' 1871.
  15. 'Condition and Prospects of the Church of England,' 1871.
  16. 'The Book of Church Law,' 1872.
  17. 'Myroure of oure Ladye,' 1873.
  18. 'The Beginning of Miracles,' 1873.
  19. 'The Poverty that makes Rich,' 1873.
  20. 'Dictionary of Sects and Heresies,' 1874.
  21. 'Historical Memorials of Dursley,' 1877.
  22. 'Tewkesbury Cathedral,' 1877.
  23. 'Annotated Bible,' 1878.
  24. 'Companion to the New Testament,' 1881.
  25. 'A Companion to the Old Testament,' 1883.
  26. 'Key to Christian Doctrine and Practice,' 1882.
  27. 'Cyclopædia of Religion,' 1884; this work he was engaged upon at the time of his death.

[Communication from Mr. R. G. Blunt.]

T. F. T.