Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Symons, Benjamin Parsons

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647347Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 55 — Symons, Benjamin Parsons1898Edward Irving Carlyle

SYMONS, BENJAMIN PARSONS (1785–1878), warden of Wadham College, son of John Symons of Cheddar in Somerset, was born at Cheddar on 28 Jan. 1785. He matriculated from Wadham College on 2 Feb. 1802, was admitted a scholar on 25 Oct. 1803, graduated B.A. on 14 Oct. 1805 and M.A. on 7 July 1810, and was elected a probationer fellow on 30 June 1811. He was admitted a fellow on 2 July 1812, and graduated B.D. on 22 April 1819. He filled the office of bursar from 1814 to 1823, in which year he became sub-warden. On 23 Jan. 1831 he obtained the degree of D.D., and on 16 June of the same year he was elected warden. From 1844 to 1848 he was vice-chancellor of the university.

Symons was unaffected by the high-church movement at Oxford, and was in later life regarded as the leader of the evangelical party. To Wadham he proved an able head of the old-fashioned autocratic type. He resigned the wardenship on 18 Oct. 1871, but continued to reside in Oxford till his death on 12 April 1878. He was buried in the ante-chapel, and bequeathed 1,000l. to the college to found an exhibition. His portrait is in the college hall.

[Gardiner's Registers of Wadham, ii. 224; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1715–1886; Ward's Men of the Reign, p. 867; Times, 13 April 1878.]

E. I. C.