Hood, Edwin Paxton (DNB00)

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HOOD, EDWIN PAXTON (1820–1885), nonconformist divine, son of an able seaman who served under Nelson in the Téméraire, was born at the residence of Bishop Porteous, Half Moon Street, Piccadilly, where his mother was in service, on 24 Oct. 1820. Losing both parents before he was seven years old, he was brought up at Deptford by an heraldic painter named Simpson, began to lecture on temperance and peace about 1840, and in 1852 entered the congregational ministry. His first charge was at North Nibley in Gloucestershire, whence in 1857 he removed to Offord Road, Islington. From 1862 to 1873 he officiated at Queen Street, Brighton. He then returned to Offord Road, and afterwards removed to Cavendish Street, Manchester, but resigned his charge in 1880 in consequence of political differences with his congregation, he holding strong liberal opinions. After a brief visit to America, he became the pastor of Falcon Square Church, Aldersgate Street. He died suddenly at Paris on 12 June 1885. Hood took much interest in the Royal Hospital for Incurables, for which he raised 2,000l. by a pamphlet entitled ‘The Palace of Pain,’ London, 1885, 8vo. After his death a further sum of 525l. was raised by public subscription, and applied by his widow in aid of the funds of the hospital, one of the wards of which bears his name. He married thrice, his third wife being a daughter of the Rev. Samuel Oughton of Kingston, Jamaica.

Hood was for some years editor of the ‘Eclectic and Congregational Review,’ and afterwards of the ‘Argonaut.’ To the former he contributed some appreciative articles on Browning's poetry in May 1863 (pp. 436–54), July 1864 (pp. 61–72), and December 1868 (pp. 441–70) (cf. Dr. Furnivall's Bibliography of Robert Browning, 1882). He was throughout life a prolific writer of popular books. His principal works were: 1. ‘The Age and its Architects: ten chapters on the English People in relation to the Times,’ London, 1850, 16mo; 2nd edit. 1852, 8vo. 2. ‘Self-Education: twelve chapters for Young Thinkers,’ London, 1851, 16mo, reissued as ‘Self-Formation,’ 3rd edit. 1858, new ed. 1865. 3. ‘Old England: Historic Pictures of Life in Old Castles, Forests, Abbeys, and Cities,’ &c., London, 1851, 12mo. 4. ‘Dream Land and Ghost Land: Visits and Wanderings there in the Nineteenth Century,’ London, 1852, 12mo. 5. ‘John Milton: the Patriot and Poet,’ London, 1852, 18mo. 6. ‘The Uses of Biography,’ London, 1852, 8vo. 7. ‘Andrew Marvell: the Wit, Statesman, and Poet: his Life and Writings,’ London, 1853, 8vo. 8. ‘Swedenborg: a Biography and an Exposition,’ London, 1854, 8vo. 9. ‘The Last of the Saxons: Light and Fire from the Writings of William Cobbett,’ London, 1854, 12mo (a volume of selections). 10. ‘William Wordsworth: a Biography,’ London, 1856, 12mo (in its day the best book on Wordsworth). 11. ‘The Peerage of Poverty; or Learners and Workers in Fields, Farms, and Factories,’ 1st ser. 3rd edit. London, 1859, 8vo; 2nd ser. 1861, 5th edit. enlarged, 1870, 8vo. 12. ‘Thomas Binney: his Mind, Life, and Opinions,’ London, 1874, 8vo. 13. ‘Isaac Watts: his Life and Writings, his Homes and Friends,’ London, 1875, 8vo. 14. ‘Thomas Carlyle: Philosophic Thinker, Theologian, Historian, and Poet,’ London, 1875, 8vo. 15. ‘Vignettes of the Great Revival of the Eighteenth Century’ [reprinted from the ‘Sunday at Home’], London, 1880; 2nd edit. 1887, 8vo. 16. ‘Christmas Evans, the Preacher of Wild Wales: his Country, his Times, and his Contemporaries,’ London, 1881; 3rd edit. 1888, 8vo. 17. ‘Robert Hall,’ London, 1881, 8vo. 18. ‘Oliver Cromwell: his Life, Times, Battlefields, and Contemporaries,’ London, 1882; 2nd edit. 1884, 8vo. 19. ‘Scottish Characteristics,’ London, 1883, 8vo. 20. ‘The Throne of Eloquence: great Preachers, Ancient and Modern,’ London, 1885, 8vo. 21. ‘The Vocation of the Preacher,’ London, 1886, 8vo.

[Congregational Year-Book, 1886; Times, 16 June 1885, 5 Feb. 1886; Ann. Reg. new ser. pt. ii. p. 166; information from the secretary of the Royal Hospital for Incurables; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

J. M. R.