Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Groome, Robert Hindes

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GROOME, ROBERT HINDES (1810–1889), archdeacon of Suffolk, born at Framlingham on 18 Jan. 1810, was the second son of the Rev. John Hindes Groome, formerly fellow of Pembroke College, Cambridge, and rector for twenty-seven years of Earl Soham and Monk Soham in Suffolk. He was educated at Norwich under Valpy and Howes, and at Caius College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. in 1832, and M.A. in 1836. In 1833 he was ordained to the Suffolk curacy of Tannington-with-Brundish; during 1835 travelled in Germany as tutor to the son of Mendizabal, the Spanish financier; in 1839 became curate of Corfe Castle, Dorsetshire, of which little borough he was for a twelvemonth mayor; and in 1845 succeeded his father as rector of Monk Soham. Here, in the course of four-and-forty years, he built the rectory and the village school, restored the fine old church, erected an organ, and rehung the bells. In 1858 he was appointed an honorary canon of Norwich, and from 1869 to 1887 was archdeacon of Suffolk. Failing eyesight forced him to resign that office, when 186 clergy of the diocese presented him with his portrait by Mr. W. R. Symonds. He died at Monk Soham on 19 March 1889.

Groome was a man of wide culture and of many friends. Chief among these were Edward Fitzgerald, William Bodham Donne, Dr. Thompson, the master of Trinity, and Bradshaw, the Cambridge librarian, who said of him: 'I never see Groome but what I learn something from him.' He read much, but published little—a couple of charges, one or two sermons and lectures, some hymns and hymn-tunes, and articles in the 'Christian Advocate and Review,' of which he was editor from 1861 to 1866. He will be best remembered by his short Suffolk stories, 'The Only Darter,' 'Master Charlie,' &c., a collection of which appeared shortly after his death. For real humour and tenderness these come near to 'Rab and his Friends.' In 1843 he married Mary, third daughter of the Rev. J. L. Jackson, rector of Swanage, and Louisa Decima Wollaston. She bore him eight children, and, with four sons and two daughters, survived him.

[Obituary in Ipswich Journal, East Anglian Times, the Times and Guardian; Letters and Remains of Edward Fitzgerald.]

F. H. G.