Henry Thomas Ellacombe
Henry Thomas Ellacombe or Ellicombe (1790-1885), was an English divine and antiquary.
Ellacombe was the son of the Rev. William Ellicombe, rector of Alphington, Devonshire, was born in 1790, and having graduated R.A. from Oriel College, Oxford, in 1812, applied himself until 1816 to the study of engineering in Chatham Dockyard, under the direction of Marc Brunel. In 1816 be proceeded to the degree of M.A., and was ordained for the curacy of Cricklade, a Wiltshire parish in the diocese of Gloucester. In the following year, having been ordained as a priest, he removed to Bitton, Gloucestershire, in the same diocese. He held the curacy till 1835, when he became the vicar. In 1850 he was presented to the rectory of Clyst St George, Devonshire, being succeeded in his former benefice by his son, the Rev. Canon Henry Nicholson Ellacombe (1822-1916), who was a distinguished gardening writer and mentor to the great plantsman E.A. Bowles.
Ellacombe died at Clyst St. George, 30 July 1885, and was buried in the churchyard of Bitton.
In spite of many difficulties, Ellacombe restored the church of Bitton in 1822, and built three other churches in the wide district under his care, including Christ Church, Hanham, which was constructed under his immediate supervision. In 1843 his parishioners presented him with a testimomal, and in doing so the churchwardens stated that he had been the means of providing church accommodation in the district for 2,285 worshippers, and schoolrooms for 820 children. After his removal to Clyst St. George he rebuilt the nave of the church, and in 1860 erected a school-house and master's residence.
Ellacombe was the great authority on bells, upon which he wrote some valuable treatises. He likewise invented an ingenious apparatus of chiming hammers, which enables one man to chime all the bells in a steeple. He was a learned antiquary, and a skilful florist and botanist.
His chief writings are:
- Practical Remarks on Belfries and Ringers Bristol, 1850, 4th edit. 1876.
- The Bells of the Church London, 1862
- History and Antiquities of the Parish of Clyst St. George, Exeter, 1865.
- Memoir of the Manor of Bitton, 1867.
- Church Bells of Devon, with a List of those in Cornwall and a Supplement, Exeter, 1872.
- Church Bells of Somerset, Exeter. 1875.
- The Voice of the Church Bells, Exeter, 1875
- Church Bells of Gloucestershire, Exeter, 1881.
- History and Antiquities of the Parish of Bitton, 2 parts, Exeter, 1881-3.
These works were privately printed.
- "New Churches". Gentleman's Magazine 173: 75. Retrieved 12 December 2011.