Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol II (1901).djvu/95

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Creighton
Creighton
83

and became (in 1882) examining chaplain to Bishop Wilberforce. In 1883 he was made an honorary canon of Newcastle. Meanwhile he kept up his connection with Oxford by examining for the historical school (1875-6 and 1883-4); and he was select preacher at St. Mary's for several years. During the summer months he was also in the habit of receiving two or three young men into his house as private pupils, to read for university degrees.

So many and such varied occupations would have absorbed the energies of most men ; but such was Creighton's capacity for economising time and disregarding interruptions that he was able, during his residence at Embleton, to accomplish in addition a great deal of literary work. In the same year (1875) he published, in a series edited by J. R. Green, a successful primer of Roman history. In 1876 there appeared several short works: 'The Age of Elizabeth,' 'The Life of Simon de Montfort,' and an elementary 'History of England.' He also edited, while at Embleton, two series of historical handbooks, the 'Epochs of English History ' and 'Historical Biographies,' and contributed frequently to the 'Academy' and other journals. But a larger task had long occupied his main attention, the result of which was the appearance (in 1882) of the first two volumes of his 'History of the Papacy.'

It was the publication of this important work, establishing his position as an ecclesiastical historian, which led to his next move. The foundation of the Dixie professorship of ecclesiastical history at Cambridge was an outcome of the act of 1877 ; and Creighton, on whom the university of Glasgow had recently conferred the honorary degree of LL.D., became (in 1884) the first occupant of the chair. The professorship being partly endowed by a fellowship at Emmanuel, he became at the same time a fellow of that college. At Cambridge the neighbourhood of the university library was an advantage the want of which had been a serious drawback in the north. Continuing his researches into the papacy he brought out, in 1887, the third and fourth volumes of his 'History,' and nearly finished the fifth volume. He wrote (in the series of 'English Statesmen') the 'Life of Cardinal Wolsey,' and (in the series of 'Historic Towns') the 'History of Carlisle.' He also edited a series entitled 'Epochs of Church History,' which comprises fifteen volumes. In 1886 the 'English Historical Review ' was founded. Creighton became its first editor, and at once established its high position as a scientific journal. He retained the editorship till 1891. His lectures, which were delivered in almost every term during his tenure of the Dixie professorship, were largely attended. They dealt usually with ecclesiastical history, or else with some subject or period rich in ecclesiastical interest. In his ordinary lectures he kept his deeper learning in the background, but in addressing advanced students he gave it full play. Some of his most stimulating work was done in ' conversation classes 'more or less an imitation of the German professorial seminar.' With his better pupils he was on friendly and even intimate terms, often inviting them to his house and taking long walks with them in the country. He took a keen interest in the movement for the higher education of women, showed much kindness to his female pupils, and was for some time a member of the council of Newnham College. He did not, however, support the proposal to grant the B.A. degree to women; still less was he in favour of conferring upon them the political franchise. While a fellow of Emmanuel he took a full share in the general life of the college, dining frequently in hall, preaching in chapel, and attending college meetings. He did not take a very active part either in college or in university business, but he became a prominent figure in Cambridge society, and brought a wholesome intellectual stir into every company in which he found himself. So fully did he identify himself with his adopted college that he was chosen in 1886 to represent it in America, when Harvard originally founded by an Emmanuel man celebrated its 250th anniversary. On this occasion he was the guest of Professor Norton, and won golden opinions by his ready wit, affability, and many-sided sympathy.

The canonry in Worcester cathedral, which had been conferred upon Creighton in 1885, added considerably to his labours, but gave him an opportunity to develop his powers as a preacher. During the weeks of his residence he preached every Sunday evening to large congregations in the cathedral. He took an active interest in all that concerned the welfare of the city, especially in the King's school and educational matters generally ; and he acted for several years as examining chaplain to Bishop Philpot. In 1890 he was promoted to a canonry at Windsor, where he hoped it might be possible to find more leisure for his literary work. But, before his installation could take place, he was called to a far more important position in the bishopric of Peterborough (vacant