Cyril Mayne

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The Very Rev William Cyril Mayne , MA (14 April 1877 – 20 July 1962) was an English clergyman and classical scholar.[1] He was Dean of Carlisle from 1943 to 1959.[2]

William Cyril Mayne was born in Gloucester, the son of the Revd Jonathan Mayne and his wife, Lydia Dorothea Hawksley.[3] He was educated at Westminster and Trinity College, Cambridge, graduating B.A. in Classics in 1899.[4] He was an assistant master at Eastbourne College and Malvern College before being made Deacon in the Church of England on 23 December 1906.[5] An assistant master at Rugby School from 1907 until 1912, he was ordained Priest by Bishop Huyshe Yeatman-Biggs of Worcester on 22 December 1907.[6]

He became Assistant Curate at All Saints, Poplar in 1912. In July 1914 he was appointed Vice-Principal of Bishops’ College, Cheshunt.

Mayne was commissioned as a temporary Chaplain to the Forces, 4th class, Army Chaplains Department on 30 October 1914.[7] He was posted on attachment to the 29th Division, and left England for the Dardanelles, via Egypt, on 29 April 1915.[8] He served on operations at Gallipoli and in France and Flanders, winning golden opinions: “I knew him when he was a chaplain in the famous 29th Division, and I recall his holding a confirmation class in a regimental aid post which was little more than a hole in the ground and a few sandbags. He was much loved and known to all of us as a front line padre” (Dr. J.F. Mayne [no relation]).[9] He was promoted temporary Chaplain to the Forces, 3rd class, on 23 November 1916,[10] and was posted as Senior Chaplain to the Forces to the 33rd Division.

He was finally released from the Army on 21 January 1919, and returned to Bishops’ College, Cheshunt as acting Principal. His contract as Chaplain to the Forces expired, and he relinquished his commission on 28 April 1919, being appointed as an Honorary Chaplain to the Forces, 4th class.[11]

In 1920 he was appointed to succeed the Rev. Canon Frederick Cyril Nugent Hicks as Principal of Bishop's College, Cheshunt, where he remained until 1925, when he was appointed Rector of All Saints’, Poplar, with St. Nicholas’, Blackwall.[12]

He was Rural Dean of Poplar until 1930, in which year he became Vicar of Chiswick.[13] From 1934 to 1943 he was Professor of Greek and Classical Literature at Durham University and a Canon Residentiary at Durham Cathedral,[14] when he was elevated to the Deanery of Carlisle.[15]

He served as Warden of the Order of St Elizabeth of Hungary (formerly known as the Confraternity of the Divine Love) from 1934 until 1956.[16]

He retired in 1959 and died in Hayton outside Carlisle on Friday, 20 July 1962.[17]

He published The Olympian Odes of Pindar (a verse translation) in 1906,[18] The Heroes by Charles Kingsley in 1913,[19]Hawthorne’s Wonder Book and Tanglewood Tales in 1915,[20] and The Holy Birth. A nativity play in four scenes in 1947.[21]

Mayne “went to Carlisle with a reputation for scholarship and left after becoming the greatest builder for 100 years.”[22]

He was married by the Rev. J. Gordon Birch, assisted by Canon Down, in Diddlebury Church in Shropshire on 14 January 1930 to Miss Mary Onslow.[23] The marriage was childless. Mrs Mayne died, aged 87 years, in Carlisle in 1990.[24]


A portrait of Mayne has been published at the BBC's "Your Paintings" website, see William Cyril Mayne, Principal of Bishops' College, Cheshunt (1920–1925)


  1. ^ “Who was Who” 1897–1990 London, A & C Black, 1991 ISBN 0-7136-3457-X
  2. ^ Deans of Carlisle
  3. ^ Birth registered in the Gloucester Registration District in the second quarter of 1877
  4. ^ "Mayne, William Cyril (MN896WC)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  5. ^ The Times (Tuesday, 25 December 1906), p. 9
  6. ^ The Times (Tuesday, 24 December 1907), p. 7
  7. ^ Supplement to The London Gazette (18 November 1914), p. 9499
  8. ^ National Archives, piece reference WO 374/47085
  9. ^ The Times (Friday, 10 August 1962), p. 11
  10. ^ Supplement to The London Gazette of 17 January 1917, p. 677
  11. ^ National Archives, piece reference WO 374/47085. Supplement to The London Gazette of 17 October 1919, p. 12853
  12. ^ Crockford's Clerical Directory, 1961–62. London, OUP,1962
  13. ^ Crockford's Clerical Directory, 1961–62
  14. ^ Ecclesiastical News New Durham Professor And Canon The Times Monday, Aug 13, 1934; pg. 13; Issue 46831; col F
  15. ^ Ecclesiastical News New Dean Of Carlisle The Times Saturday, Nov 21, 1942; pg. 6; Issue 49399; col B. "Whitehall, December 4, 1942 The KING has been pleased by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the Realm, bearing date the 2nd instant, to present the Reverend William Cynl Mayne, M.A., Canon of Durham Cathedral and Professor of Greek and Classical Literature in the University of Durham, to the Deanery of the Cathedral Church of Carlisle void by the death of the Very Reverend Frederick William Matheson, D.D., late Dean thereof" (The London Gazette (4 December 1942), p. 5295)
  16. ^ Crockford's Clerical Directory, 1961–62
  17. ^ Very Rev. Cyril Mayne The Times Monday, Jul 23, 1962; pg. 18; Issue 55450 col D. Death registered in the Border Registration District in the third quarter of 1962
  18. ^ Reviewed in The Times Literary Supplement (12 April 1907), p. 114
  19. ^ Edited with introduction and notes by Cyril Mayne. London, Oxford University Press
  20. ^ Edited with an introduction and notes by Cyril Mayne. Crown 8vo, with eight illustrations
  21. ^ Words written and selected by the Very Rev. Cyril Mayne. Music composed and arranged by F.W. Wadely. Novello. 98 pages. Dr. F.W. Wadely was the organist of Carlisle Cathedral
  22. ^ The Times (Monday, 23 July 1962), p. 18
  23. ^ Marriage registered in the Ludlow Registration District in the first quarter of 1930
  24. ^ Death registered in the Carlisle Registration District in June 1990
Church of England titles
Preceded by
Frederick William Matheson
Dean of Carlisle
Succeeded by
Lionel Meiring Spafford du Toit