Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Maturin, William

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MATURIN, WILLIAM (1803–1887), divine, son of Charles Robert Maturin [q. v.], born at Dublin in 1803, was educated at Dublin University, where he graduated B. A. in the spring commencement 1831, and accumulated the degrees of M.A., B.D., and D.D. at the summer commencement 1866 (Cat. Dubl Grad. p. 378). After serving for some years a curacy in Dublin, Maturin was presented in 1844 by William Le Fanu to the perpetual curacy of Grangegorman. A high churchman formed by the movement of Pusey and Newman, his unreserved expression of his views led Archbishop Whately and others to neglect him, so that in spite of his great talents as a preacher and his exemplary and most successful devotion to parochial details, he remained all his life merely incumbent of All Saints, Grangegorman, with an income never exceeding 100l., a year, though about 1860 his friends obtained for him the additional post of librarian in Archbishop Marsh's library, Dublin. In England he would have been considered a thoroughly moderate man, but to the Irish evangelical masses he always appeared as little removed from a papist, and to a large section in Dublin his name was a term of theological reproach. In his personal character Maturin was most distinguished. After speaking of the great qualities of his sermons, Professor Mahaffy says of Maturin: 'He was a grim Dantesque sort of man, with deep affection for his family and friends hidden under a severe exterior. He was perfectly certain and clear in his views a quality rare in modern preachers and fatal to modern preaching; his simple and burning words reflected the zeal of his spirit. … I saw him crush by his fiery words a mob of young men, who came to disturb his service on Protestant principles, and drive them cowed and slinking from his church. They had victoriously broken up a service in another church the previous Sunday.'

Maturin died at Alma House, Monkstown, on 30 June 1887, and after lying in state for four days before the altar was buried in All Saints' Church on 4 July, when many distinguished churchmen stood by his grave.

Besides several pamphlets, single sermons, and addresses to the Irish Church Society, Maturin issued 'Six Lectures on the Events of Holy Week,' Oxford, 1860, 8vo; and in 1888 was published posthumously 'The Blessedness of the Dead in Christ,' a collection of twenty-four of his sermons, London, 8vo.

[Athenaeum, 1887,ii. 54 (9 July); Irish Times, 4 and 5 July 1887; Dublin Daily Express, 2 July 1887; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

T. S.