Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Singer, Joseph Henderson

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SINGER, JOSEPH HENDERSON (1786–1866), bishop of Meath, born at Annadale in co. Dublin in October 1786, was the youngest son of James Singer, deputy commissary-general in Ireland, by his wife Elizabeth, daughter of James Henderson. Joseph was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, where he obtained the mathematical and Hebrew prizes. He graduated B.A. as gold medallist in 1806, became a fellow in 1810, and proceeded M.A. in 1811, and B.D. and D.D. in 1825. In 1850, after many years' work at Trinity College as fellow and tutor, he was appointed regius professor of divinity on the death of Charles Richard Elrington [q. v.] In the same year he became rector of Raymoghy in the diocese of Raphoe, and in 1851 he was promoted to the archdeaconry of Raphoe.

Singer distinguished himself as a leading member of the evangelical party in the Irish church. He was an able preacher, being for many years chaplain of the Magdalen Asylum, and his views exercised great influence over the students for the ministry who came under his charge. He was also a strong opponent of the national board of education, and his attitude hindered his preferment. On the death of Thomas Stewart Townsend, however, in September 1852, he was appointed by Lord Derby to the premier bishopric of Meath, and was sworn of the Irish privy council. Singer continued to occupy the see until his death on 16 July 1866. He was buried on 21 July at Mount Jerome cemetery near Dublin.

Singer married, in 1822, Mary, eldest daughter of the Rev. Henry Crofton, D.D., senior chaplain at Kilmainham, and niece of Sir Hugh Crofton of Mohill in Leitrim, by whom he had three sons and three daughters.

Singer was a constant contributor to the ‘Christian Examiner,’ and he published several sermons.

[Dublin University Magazine, November 1853, with portrait; Dublin Graduates, p. 517; Men of the Time, 6th edit. 1865; Gent. Mag. 1866, ii. 405; Times, 19, 23 July 1866.]

E. I. C.