Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Polehampton, Henry Stedman

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1193320Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 46 — Polehampton, Henry Stedman1896Edward George Hawke ‎

POLEHAMPTON, HENRY STEDMAN (1824–1857), Indian chaplain, was the second son of Edward Polehampton, M.A., rector of Great Greenford, Middlesex, by his wife, younger daughter of Thomas Stedman, vicar of St. Chad's, Shrewsbury, and was born at his father's rectory on 1 Feb. 1824. Admitted on the foundation of Eton College in 1832, he proceeded thence to Oxford, where he matriculated from Pembroke College on 17 Nov. 1842 as a Wightwick scholar, a distinction which he obtained as being of the founder's kin. His university career was undistinguished; he became a fellow of his college in 1845, and in November 1846 was admitted B.A. without taking honours. He proceeded M.A. in 1849.

Following the family tradition, he was ordained deacon on 18 June 1848. At Easter 1849, after a few months of tutorial work, he was appointed assistant curate of St. Chad's, Shrewsbury, doing good work among the victims of the cholera when it visited that town. In 1849 he was presented by his college to the rectory of St. Aldate's, Oxford, a living which he soon resigned, because it was not tenable with his fellowship. Finding no further chance of preferment, he accepted an East Indian chaplaincy in September 1855. On 10 Oct. he married Emily, youngest daughter of C. B. Allnatt, esq., of Shrewsbury, barrister, and, with his wife, sailed for Calcutta on 4 Jan. 1856. At his own desire he was appointed chaplain to the Lucknow garrison, and arrived there on 26 March. During the summer of 1856 he was instrumental in relieving the sufferers from cholera, which had especially attacked the 52nd regiment. After recovering from a severe illness, he made several tours to Sultanpur, Sitapur, and the neighbourhood, and returned to Lucknow in time to witness the outbreak of the mutiny there (3–30 May 1857). He took refuge within the Residency, his wife volunteering as nurse, when the siege began, 30 June. Eight days later he was wounded by a stray shot, cholera supervened, and he died on 20 July, while the first great attack was being made on the Residency. He was buried in the Residency garden. A tablet to his memory was afterwards set up in St. Chad's Church, Shrewsbury.

The value of his services during his brief residence in Lucknow was attested in the official despatches of Havelock. He was a good athlete. His literary remains comprise merely a brief diary of his Indian career, with a few letters.

[Memoir, Letters, and Diary of H. S. P., edited by Revs. E. and T. S. Polehampton, 3rd edit. 1859, 8vo; Funeral Sermon on his Death, preached at St. Chad's by Rev. F. W. Kittermaster, 1858, 8vo; Foster's Alumni Oxon.]

E. G. H.