Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 supplement/Reynolds, Samuel Harvey

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REYNOLDS, SAMUEL HARVEY (1831–1897), divine and journalist, was the eldest son of Samuel Reynolds, F.R.C.S., a surgeon in practice in High Street, Stoke Newington, by Elizabeth, younger daughter of Harvey Walklett Mortimer, a gunsmith in the city of London and afterwards a member of the London Stock Exchange. His paternal grandfather was the Rev. John Reynolds, a Wesleyan minister and a personal friend of John Wesley. He was born in 1831, and was entered at Blundell's school, Tiverton, on 6 Feb. 1847, but left it in the following June. On the foundation of St. Peter's College, Radley, in 1847, he became (July) its first pupil, and afterwards (1897) wrote his reminiscences of the school. From Radley he was elected in 1850 to a scholarship at Exeter College, Oxford, placed in the first class in classics at moderations at Michaelmas 1852, and in the first class in literæ humaniores at Easter 1854. He obtained the Newdigate prize poem for English verse in 1853, the theme being 'The Ruins of Egyptian Thebes.' On 2 Feb. 1855 he was elected probationer fellow of Brasenose, and actual fellow on 2 Feb. 1856. He afterwards became tutor and bursar of the college. In 1856 he obtained the chancellor's prize for an English essay on 'The Reciprocal Action of the Physical and Moral Condition of Countries upon each other.' He proceeded M.A. in 1857. Intending to be called to the bar, he was admitted a student of Lincoln's Inn on 23 Oct. 1858 (Linc. Inn Admission Register, ii. 283), and for some time read in the chambers of equity counsel; but in consequence of an accident which injured his eyesight he abandoned the law and returned to residence in Brasenose. In 1860 he took deacon's orders. He devoted himself to college work, and filled in succession the offices of Latin lecturer, tutor, and bursar. In 1865 he was ordained priest. During 1866, 1867, and 1868 he was classical examiner in the university. He wrote in 1865 a small treatise on the 'Rise of the Modern European System.' This was intended to form part of a 'System of Modern History,' published by an Edinburgh firm. In 1870 he edited, for the series known as the 'Catena Classicorum,' the first twelve books of the 'Iliad' of Homer, with a preface and notes.

Reynolds was presented in March 1871 to the college living of East Ham, at that time a comparatively small district of about two thousand souls. Soon afterwards he joined the staff of the 'Times,' and to the columns of that newspaper he contributed some two thousand leading articles between August 1873 and December 1896 upon a great variety of topics, literary, political, and financial. Some of these were reprinted in 1898, after his death, in a volume entitled 'Studies on many Subjects,' which also includes a selection of articles written for the 'Westminster Review' between 1861 and 1866. To these literary labours he added an edition with notes of Bacon's 'Essays' (1890) and of the 'Table-talk of John Selden' (1892). He resigned his living in December 1893, and removed to The Gables, Abingdon, 'to be near enough to the Bodleian for study, and not near enough to Oxford for society.' Here he devoted himself to literary pursuits; but as his health failed he sought from time to time the milder climate of the south of France. He died at Biarritz on 7 Feb. 1897, and was buried at that place two days later. He was a man of engaging social qualities, a good raconteur with a caustic wit. His literary style was lucid and terse.

He married, on 12 April 1871, Edith Claudia, daughter of the Rev. Claudius Sandys, military chaplain at Bombay, and granddaughter of Colonel Sandys of Llanarth, Cornwall. He left no issue.

[Private information; Rev. T. D. Raikes's Sicut Columbæ; Fifty Years of St. Peter's College, Radley, 1897, pp. 35–46; Some Recollections of Radley in 1847; W. Crouch's Memoirs of the Rev. S. H. Reynolds, reprinted from the Essex Review, vol. vi. No. 22, April 1897; Prefaces, &c., to Studies on many Subjects, 1898.]

I. S. L.