Humphry, William Gilson (DNB00)

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HUMPHRY, WILLIAM GILSON (1815–1886), divine, born at Sudbury, Suffolk, on 30 Jan. 1815, was son of William Wood Humphry, barrister-at-law, and was brother of George (now Sir George) Murray Humphry, professor of surgery in the university of Cambridge. Humphry was educated at Carmalt's school, Putney, and afterwards at Shrewsbury, under Dr. Samuel Butler [q. v.], becoming in course of time captain of the school. In 1833 he entered Trinity College, Cambridge, and in 1835 gained the Pitt scholarship. Two years later he graduated as senior classic, second chancellor's medallist, and twenty-seventh wrangler, and in 1839 he was elected a fellow of his college. Humphry was intended for the legal profession, but this proved distasteful to him after a brief trial, and in 1842 he took holy orders. For some years he was engaged in work at Cambridge, acting as steward and assistant tutor of Trinity, and he was proctor of the university in 1845-6. From 1847 to 1855 he was examining chaplain to Bishop Blomfield of London. In 1852 Humphry became rector of Northolt, Middlesex. From 1855 until his death in 1886 he was vicar of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London. He was appointed Hulsean lecturer for 1849 and 1850, and Boyle lecturer for 1857 and 1858, was a member of the royal commission on clerical subscription in 1865, and of the ritual commission in 1869, and was one of the company appointed by convocation in 1870 for the revision of the authorised version of the New Testament. As one of the treasurers of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge he steered the society through at least one period of difficulty and danger, and his business capacity and judgment during the thirty years he held the office were of great service to the society. He was a diligent parish priest, and gave special attention to the educational institutions of his parish. He died on 10 Jan. 1886, and was buried in Brompton cemetery. In 1852 he married Caroline Maria, only daughter of George D'Oyly, D.D. [q. v.], rector of Lambeth.

Humphry published: 1. 'A Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles' (well known as 'Humphry on the Acts'), London, 1847. 2. 'The Doctrine of a Future State,' the Hulsean lectures for 1849(1850). 3. 'The Early Progress of the Gospel,' the Hulsean lectures for 1850 (1850). 4. `The Miracles' (Boyle lectures), 1858. 5. 'The Character of St. Paul' (Boyle lectures), 1859. 6. 'An Historical and Explanatory Treatise on the Book of Common Prayer,' 1st edit. 1853, 5th edit. 1875, reprinted 1885. 7. 'The New Table of Lessons explained.' 8. 'A Word on the Revised Version of the New Testament.' 9. 'St. Martin-in-the-Fields in the Olden Time' (a short sketch of the history of his parish). 10. 'A Commentary on the Revised Version of the New Testament for English Readers,' 1st edit. 1882, 2nd edit. 1888. 11. 'Occasional Sermons,' posthumously, 1887. 12.'The Godly Life,' with a brief memoir, 1889. He was also one of the authors of 'A Revised Version of St. John's Gospel, and the Epistle to the Romans, by Five Clergymen,' and he edited for the Pitt press 'Theophilus of Antioch' and 'Theophylact on St. Matthew.'

[Personal knowledge.]

A. M. H.