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The Life and Times of John Wilkins Warden of Wadham college, Oxford; master of Trinity college, Cambridge; and Bishop of Chester   By: (1841-1922)

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The Life and Times of John Wilkins

[Illustration: WARDEN WILKINS.]

Warden of Wadham College, Oxford; Master of Trinity College, Cambridge; and Bishop of Chester

BY

P. A. WRIGHT HENDERSON WARDEN OF WADHAM COLLEGE, OXFORD

William Blackwood and Sons Edinburgh and London 1910

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

DEDICATED TO THE MEMBERS OF WADHAM COLLEGE.

PREFACE.

This little book is written as an offering to the Members of Wadham College for the Tercentenary of its foundation. The writer makes no pretensions to learning or research: the title of the book would be misleading and ridiculous if taken to imply a profound study of the times of Bishop Wilkins, from his birth in 1614 to his death in 1672, the most important, perhaps, certainly the most interesting, in the history of Great Britain. It has been attempted only to touch on the great questions and events which shaped the life and character of a remarkable man. Use has been made freely and often, without due acknowledgment, of the 'History of Wadham College,' written by Mr T. G. Jackson, R.A., one of its Honorary Fellows and distinguished alumni; a history of the building and architecture of the College, which no one but he could have written, a history also of its social and academical life from its beginning to the present day.

Nor has less use been made of Mr J. Wells' History of the College, of which he is a Fellow. He will, I am sure, pardon my impertinence in saying that in his book are combined diligent research and a sense of humour and of the picturesque, excellences rarely found together in historians. Mr R. B. Gardiner, formerly Scholar of Wadham, has earned its gratitude by his invaluable 'Registers of Admissions,' which, it is to be hoped, he will bring down to 1910 or later: they will make easy the work of some member of the College, who will doubtless arise to write a magnum opus , the history of the College in every aspect architectural, social, and academical.

For it the writer will use, as I have done for this little book, the notes and comments of Mr Andrew Clark on Wood's 'Life and Times,' and other volumes published by the Oxford Historical Society.

My thanks are due also to Dr Butler, the Master of Trinity, Cambridge, for his kindness in telling me what little there is to tell of Wilkins' short tenure of the Mastership.

The Bishop of Chester, Dr Jayne, formerly a Scholar of Wadham, now Bishop of the Diocese which Wilkins held, has helped me with information about the short episcopate of his predecessor. For it I am grateful to him, as well for the suggestion or command which led to my first attempt, made four years ago, to write something about Wilkins.

The too short article in the 'Dictionary of National Biography' has been of much service: it gives the bibliography of the subject, or an equivalent, for no life of Wilkins has been written till now, and indicates the sources of information about him: it also puts in clear order the events of his varied life. Mr Sanders must know much which he should be gently forced to tell.

Fain would I acknowledge to Wood and Aubrey the debt I owe to them, especially to Wood, and ask his pardon for occasional ill natured remarks about him, as ill natured nearly as his own about most of his contemporaries.

The only merit claimed for this libellus is its brevity no small recommendation in this age of "exhaustive treatment" when, in bibliography especially, it is difficult to see the wood for the trees. It is an inadequate expression of the writer's affection for the College in which he has spent more than forty years of his life, and the unvarying kindness and indulgence which he has received from pupils and colleagues.

CONTENTS.

CHAP. PAGE

I. HISTORY OF THE COLLEGE FROM ITS FOUNDATION TO THE BEGINNING OF WILKINS' WARDENSHIP 1

II. WILKINS' LIFE TILL HIS APPOINTMENT TO THE WARDENSHIP 30

III. WILKINS' WARDENSHIP 54

IV... Continue reading book >>




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