Musgrave, Thomas (1788-1860) (DNB00)

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MUSGRAVE, THOMAS (1788–1860), successively bishop of Hereford and archbishop of York, the son of W. Peet Musgrave, a wealthy tailor and woollen-draper of Cambridge, by Sarah his wife, was born in Slaughter House Lane on 30 March 1788, and baptised at the parish church of Great St. Mary's on 25 April. He and his two brothers the elder of whom, Charles Musgrave, became eventually archdeacon of Craven were educated at the grammar school, Richmond, Yorkshire, then in the zenith of its reputation under Dr. Tate. He was admitted pensioner of Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1804, was elected scholar in 1807, graduated B.A. as fourteenth wrangler in 1810, when William (afterwards Sir William) Henry Maule [q. v.] was senior wrangler, and Thomas Shaw Brandreth [q. v.] second. Musgrave proceeded M.A. in 1813. In 1811 he was members' prizeman. He was elected junior fellow in 1812, and senior fellow in 1832. In 1821, though his knowledge of oriental tongues was by no means profound, he was appointed lord almoner's professor of Arabic. In 1831 he served the office of senior proctor. He took holy orders, and filled in succession the college livings of Over (1823), St. Mary's, Cambridge (1825-1833), and Bottisham (1837). He became senior bursar of his college in 1825, and during a long tenure of the office only resigning it on his finally quitting Cambridge in 1837 his sound judgment and practical knowledge of business proved of great service. He was also an active and judicious county magistrate. In politics he was a decided liberal, but without any admixture of party spirit. He was a warm advocate for the relaxation of all religious tests on admission to university degrees. The petition which, in March 1834, was presented to both houses of parliament with that object lay at his rooms for signature (Clark, Life of Sedgwick, p. 419; Lamb, Collection of Documents, pp. lvi-lxv). In May of the same year the pressure put upon Connop Thirlwall [q. v.], afterwards bishop of St. David's, by the master, Dr. Christopher Wordsworth [q. v.], which led Thirlwall to resign his tutorship, excited the indignation of Musgrave. He and Sedgwick drew up a paper addressed to the master, which was signed by George Peacock [q. v.], afterwards dean of Ely, Romilly, and others, calling upon him to summon a meeting of the seniority to take the matter into consideration (Clark, u.s. p. 427 n.)

Musgrave's university distinction and liberal politics marked him out for preferment from the whig government. In 1837 he was appointed dean of Bristol, when he finally left Cambridge. His friend Sedgwick wrote on his departure : 'A friend of thirty years' standing, with whom an unkind word or an unkind thought never passed, is not to be replaced' (ib. p. 431). He held the deanery of Bristol only a few months, being nominated to the see of Hereford, vacated by the death of Bishop Edward Grey, brother to Earl Grey, the premier. He was consecrated by Archbishop Howley at Lambeth 1 Oct. 1837. At Hereford he revived the office of rural dean, and was instrumental in setting on foot the Diocesan Church Building Society (Phillott, Diocesan Histories, 'Hereford'). On the death of Archbishop Edward Harcourt [q. v.] in 1847, he was translated to the primatial see of York. His enthronisation in York Minster took place 15 Jan. 1848. His episcopate, although characterised by much practical ability, was marked by no considerable reforms. His motto was 'Quieta non inovere,' and he had a great dread of changes and changers. The revival of the deliberative action of the church seemed to him fraught with danger, and during his archiepiscopate the northern house of convocation was allowed to meet pro forma only. A large portion of the estates of Trinity College lay in Yorkshire ; his position as bursar had given him an intimate acquaintance with many parts of his diocese, and he acquired an accurate knowledge of the requirements of the many large towns of the diocese. Naturally fond of retirement, he did not appear much in public, especially after a severe illness he had in 1854 ; but he was always ready of access to his clergy. Although abrupt in manner, he is described as 'the kindest of men, generous and unostentatious, his gifts free and liberal.' He was warmly attached to evangelical principles. He died 4 May 1860 at 41 Belgrave Square, and was buried at Kensal Green cemetery.

He married in 1839 Catherine, daughter of Richard Cavendish, second lord Waterpark. His widow died 16 May 1863. There is a portrait of him in the dining-room at Bishopthorpe. He printed nothing besides charges and occasional sermons. A contemporary, Thomas Moore Musgrave, who published in 1826 (London, 8vo) a blank verse translation of the 'Lusiad' of Camoens, with elaborate notes, does not appear to have been related either to the bishop's family or to that of General Sir Thomas Musgrave [q. v.]

[Gent. Mag. 1860, i. 625-6; private information.]

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