Denton, William (1815-1888) (DNB01)

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DENTON, WILLIAM (1815–1888), divine and author, born in March 1815 at Newport in the Isle of Wight, was the eldest son of James Denton of that town. He matriculated from Worcester College, Oxford, on 28 May 1841, graduating B.A. in 1844 and M.A. in 1848. In 1844 he was ordained deacon as curate of St. Andrew's, Bradfield, in Berkshire, and priest in 1845 as curate of Barking. In 1847 he became curate of Shoreditch, and in 1850 he was presented to the vicarage of St. Bartholomew, Cripplegate, which he retained till his death. In 1861 he published a pamphlet entitled 'Observations on the Displacement of the Poor by Metropolitan Railways and by other Public Improvements' (London, 8vo), which attracted some attention. On 28 Feb. the Earl of Derby presented a petition from Denton to the House of Lords, and the question was the subject of debate for two nights. Another publication, 'The Christians in Turkey' (London, 1863, 8vo), in which he maintained that the English diplomatic agents in the Levant had long been engaged in a conspiracy of silence in regard to the wrongs of the rayah, attracted little attention at the time of issue; but in 1876, when the 'Bulgarian atrocities' stimulated popular interest, the original edition was speedily exhausted, and a new and enlarged edition appeared. A third edition was reached in 1877, and was translated into German and Servian. In acknowledgment of his services in regard to this question he was created a knight commander of the Servian order of St. Saviour of Takhova, and a grand cross of the order of St. Saba. He died at 22 Westbourne Square, Paddington, on 2 Jan. 1888.

Besides the works mentioned and several lectures Denton was the author of:

  1. 'A Commentary on the Gospels for the Sundays and other Holy Days of the Christian Year,' London, 1861-3, 3 vols. 8vo; 2nd edit. 1869-71, 2 vols.; vol. ii. 3rd edit. 1880.
  2. 'Servia and the Servians,' London, 1862, 8vo; German translation, Berlin, 1865, 8vo.
  3. 'A Commentary on the Lord's Prayer,' London, 1864, 8vo.
  4. 'A Commentary on the Epistles,' London, 1869-71, 2 vols. 8vo.
  5. 'A Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles,' London, 1874-6, 2 vols. 8vo.
  6. 'Montenegro: the People and their History,' London, 1877, 8vo.
  7. 'The Ancient Church in Egypt,' London, 1883, 8vo.
  8. 'Records of St. Giles's, Cripplegate,' London, 1883, 8vo.
  9. 'England in the Fifteenth Century,' London, 1888, 8vo.

He also edited 'The Warnings of Advent' (London, 1853, 8vo), a course of sermons; 'Sacra Privata' (London, 1853, 8vo) of Thomas Wilson (1663–1755) [q. v.], bishop of Sodor and Man (the first edition printed entire from the original manuscripts); and Chedomil Miyatović's 'Serbian Folklore,' London, 1874, 8vo.

[Men of the Time, 1887; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1715-1886; Allibone's Dict. of English Lit. Suppl.; Hansard's Debates; Hennessy's Novum Repert. Eccles. 1898, p. 172.]

E. I. C.