Frederic Farrar

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Frederic William Farrar
Frederic William Farrar.jpg
Born (1831-08-07)7 August 1831
Bombay, India
Died 22 March 1903(1903-03-22) (aged 71)
Canterbury, Kent, England
Occupation Cleric, writer
Nationality English
Alma mater King's College London, Trinity College, Cambridge
Period 19th century
Genre Theology, children's literature

Frederic William Farrar (Mumbai, 7 August 1831 – Canterbury, 22 March 1903) was a cleric of the Church of England (Anglican), schoolteacher and author.

Biography[edit]

Farrar was born in Bombay, India, and educated at King William's College on the Isle of Man, King's College London and Trinity College, Cambridge.[1] At Cambridge he won the Chancellor's Gold Medal for poetry in 1852.[2] He was for some years a master at Harrow School and, from 1871 to 1876, the headmaster of Marlborough College.

Farrar became successively a canon of Westminster and rector of St Margaret's, Westminster (the church near Big Ben), archdeacon of Westminster Abbey and the Dean of Canterbury; he also served as chaplain in ordinary.[3] He was an eloquent preacher and a voluminous author, his writings including stories of school life, such as Eric, or, Little by Little and St. Winifred's about life in a boys' boarding school in late Victorian England, and two historical romances.

Farrar was a classics scholar and a comparative philologist, who applied Charles Darwin's ideas of branching descent to the relationships between languages, engaging in a protracted debate with the anti-Darwinian linguist Max Müller.[4] While Farrar was never convinced by the evidence for evolution in biology, he had no theological objections to the idea and urged that it be considered on purely scientific grounds.[5] On Darwin's nomination, Farrar was elected to the Royal Society in 1866 for his philological work. When Darwin died in 1882, Farrar helped get the church's permission for him to be buried in Westminster Abbey and preached the sermon at his funeral.[6]

Farrar's religious writings included Life of Christ (1874), which had great popularity, and Life of St. Paul (1879). His works were translated into many languages, especially Life of Christ.

Farrar was a believer in universal reconciliation and thought that all people would eventually be saved, a view he promoted in a series of 1877 sermons.[7] He originated the term "abominable fancy" for the longstanding Christian idea that the eternal punishment of the damned would entertain the saved.[8] Farrar published Eternal Hope in 1878 and Mercy and Judgment in 1881, both of which defend Christian universalism at length.[9][10]

He died on 22 March 1903, and was buried in the cloister of the Cantebury Cathedral.[11]

Family[edit]

In 1860, he married Lucy Mary Cardew; they five sons and five daughters.[11] Farrar's daughter, Maud, was the mother of World War II British field marshal Bernard Montgomery. His son Reginald published a biography of Farrar in 1902.[12]

Farrar has a street named after him – Dean Farrar Street in Westminster, London.

Works[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Farrar, Frederick William (FRR849FW)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  2. ^ University of Cambridge (1859). A Complete Collection of the English Poems which Have Obtained the Chancellor's Gold Medal in the University of Cambridge (PDF). Cambridge: W. Metcalfe. Retrieved 1 October 2008. 
  3. ^ A Famous Churchman, in the Red River Prospector, published 2 May 1901; retrieved 17 May 2014
  4. ^ Alter, Stephen G. (1991). Darwinism and the Linguistic Image: Language, Race, and Natural Theology in the Nineteenth Century. Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press. 
  5. ^ Farrar, Reginald (1902). The life of Frederic William Farrar, D.D., F.R.S., etc., sometime dean of Canterbury. New York: T.Y. Crowell. 
  6. ^ Farrar, Reginald (1902). The life of Frederic William Farrar, D.D., F.R.S., etc., sometime dean of Canterbury. New York: T.Y. Crowell. 
  7. ^ The Eternal Fate of Unbelievers, Part II, "The Witness of Church History (2): The Modern Period", excerpted and adapted from Hell on Trial: The Case for Eternal Punishment by Robert A. Peterson (Phillipsburg, N.J.: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing), 1995, Extract by Garry J. Moes.
  8. ^ The Decline of Hell: Seventeenth-Century Discussions of Eternal Torment. Walker DP. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1964
  9. ^ F. W. Farrar. Mercy and Judgment. 1881.
  10. ^ "Apocatastasis". New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Vol. I.
  11. ^ a b  Bayne, Ronald (1912). "Farrar, Frederic William". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography, 1912 supplement​. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 
  12. ^ Farrar, Reginald (1902). The life of Frederic William Farrar, D.D., F.R.S., etc., sometime dean of Canterbury. New York: T.Y. Crowell. 

References[edit]

Attribution

External links[edit]

Church of England titles
Preceded by
Robert Payne Smith
Dean of Canterbury
1895–1903
Succeeded by
Henry Wace