Bromby, Charles Henry (DNB12)

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BROMBY, CHARLES HENRY (1814–1907), second bishop of Tasmania, born at Hull on 11 July 1814, was son of John Healey Bromby, vicar of Holy Trinity, Hull. He entered Uppingham school in August 1829, became captain of the school, and left it with an exhibition in October 1833. Elected to a scholarship at St. John's College, Cambridge, he graduated B.A. as junior optime and with a third class in the classical tripos in 1837, proceeding M.A. in 1840 and D.D. in 1864. Ordained deacon in 1838 and priest in 1839, he was licensed in 1838 to the curacy of Chesterfield. In 1843 he became vicar of St. Paul's, Cheltenham, and first principal of the Cheltenham training college for school masters and mistresses, which he organised with marked success. He was also one of the founders of the Ladies' College, Cheltenham, and helped to form a large Working Men's Club, one of the first institutions of its kind.

On the resignation of Francis Russell Nixon [q. v.] in 1864, Bromby was appointed by the Crown to the bishopric of Tasmania, being the last colonial prelate appointed by letters patent. He was consecrated in Canterbury Cathedral on 29 June 1864. Bromby worked for eighteen years in the colony. He managed with tact and skill the financial reorganisation of the church on its disestablishment in Tasmania, and it was largely owing to his influence that a Commutation Act was passed, which supplied the church with the nucleus of the diocesan church fund. He took an active part in the movement which led to the formation in 1872 of a general synod of the dioceses of Australia and Tasmania, and in 1874 saw a cathedral for the diocese consecrated at Hobart. A high churchman, and opposed to erastianism, Bromby enjoyed the general confidence of the colonists. Advancing years led him to resign in 1882.

Returning to England, Bromby was, from 1882 to 1887, assistant bishop in the diocese of Lichfield and rector of Shrawardine with Montford, Shropshire. He resigned the living in 1887 on appointment as warden of St. John's Hospital, Lichfield, but remained assistant bishop until 1891. He then filled the like office in the diocese of Bath and Wells until 1897. Bromby died at All Saints' Vicarage, Clifton, on 14 April 1907. He married Mary Ann (d. 1885), daughter of Dr. Bodley of Brighton and sister of George Frederick Bodley [q. v. Suppl. II], A son and daughter survived him. A Bishop Bromby memorial studentship was founded by the Synod of Tasmania in 1910. Bromby published three pamphlets on education, in 1861, 1862 and 1895.

Bromby's second son, Charles Hamilton Bromby (1843-1904), born on 17 June 1843 and educated at Cheltenham College, matriculated at St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, on 3 May 1862, and graduated B.A. (New Inn Hall) in 1867. He was called to the bar at the Inner Temple on 18 Nov. 1867, Joining the New South Wales bar and practising in Tasmania, he became a member of the executive council and attorney-general of Tasmania (1876-8). Returning to England, he practised at the English bar. Of artistic temperament and a keen student of Italian literature, he published a translation, with introduction and notes, of Dante's 'Qusestio de Aqua et Terra' (1897). After his death (on 24 July 1904) there appeared 'Alkibiades, a Tale of the great Athenian War' (1905), edited by Mary Hamilton Bromby.

[Lowndes, Bishops of the Day; Uppingham School Roll (1894-1899); E. Stock, History of the C.M.S. 1899, ii. 455, 456; Brit. Mus. Cat.; private information.]

A. R. B.