John Harmer (bishop)

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John Harmer
Bishop of Rochester
Church Church of England
Diocese Diocese of Rochester
Elected 1905
Installed July 1905
Term ended 1930
Predecessor Edward Talbot
Successor Linton Smith
Other posts Bishop of Adelaide
Ordination 1884
Consecration 23 May 1895, Westminster
Personal details
Born (1856-08-11)11 August 1856
Died 9 March 1944(1944-03-09) (aged 87)
Instow, Devon
Buried Rochester Cathedral
Denomination Anglican
Residence Bishop's Court, Adelaide
Bishopscourt, Rochester
Parents George Harmer
& Kate Kitching
Spouse Mary Cocks[1]
Children at least one daughter[2]
Alma mater King's College, Cambridge

John Reginald Harmer (11 August 1857 – 9 March 1944[1]) was a long-serving[3] Anglican bishop who served in two dioceses.[4][5]

Harmer was born into a clerical family (his parents were the Revd George Harmer and Kate, née Kitching)[2] and educated at Eton College and King's College, Cambridge.[6] Ordained priest in 1884, he was a curate at Monkwearmouth[7] before becoming Vice-Principal of the Clergy Training School in Cambridge.[8]

From 1892, he was Dean of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge before elevation to the colonial episcopate[9] with his election as Bishop of Adelaide in March 1895.[2][10] He was consecrated a bishop in Westminster Abbey and 23 May and was enthroned at St Peter's Cathedral, Adelaide on 4 July 1895.[2] In 1905, he was translated back to England when he was elected Bishop of Rochester.[11] He was enthroned at Rochester Cathedral in July 1905[2] and served for a quarter of a century before his retirement in 1930.[12]

Harmer died at Marine Cottage, Instow, and was buried at Rochester Cathedral. His portraits remain at his former official residences of Bishop's Court, Adelaide and Bishopscourt, Rochester.[2]


  1. ^ a b The Peerage – Rt Revd John Harmer
  2. ^ a b c d e f Australian Dictionary of Biography
  3. ^ Bromley Parish
  4. ^ Sydney Diocesan Directory 1915
  5. ^ Harmer family website
  6. ^ The Times, 25 March 1881; p. 10, "The Cambridge Classical Tripos. Cambridge, 24 March"
  7. ^ The Clergy List, Clerical Guide and Ecclesiastical Directory, London, Hamilton & Co, 1889
  8. ^ Who was Who 1897-1990, London, A & C Black, 1991 ISBN 0-7136-3457-X
  9. ^ ”The Story of the Church in Australia” Symonds,E London, SPCK, 1898
  10. ^ The Times, Friday, 22 Mar 1895; pg. 11; Issue 34531; col F Ecclesiastical Intelligence.New Bishop of Adelaide
  11. ^ National Archives
  12. ^ See Of Rochester Resignation Of The Bishop The Times Thursday, 29 May 1930; pg. 16; Issue 45525; col F
Church of England titles
Preceded by
George Kennion
Bishop of Adelaide
Succeeded by
Nutter Thomas
Preceded by
Edward Talbot
Bishop of Rochester
Succeeded by
Linton Smith