Edwin Palmer

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For the Archdeacon of Oxford, see Edwin Palmer (priest). For the baseball player, see Eddie Palmer (baseball).

Edwin James Palmer was the Bishop of Bombay from 1908 until 1929.[1] He was born in 1869 into a noted family[2] and educated at Winchester College and Balliol College, Oxford.[3] Ordained in 1896[4] he was elected a Fellow of his old college [5] and was Tutor [6] and Chaplain there until he ascended to the Episcopate [7] where (according to his Times obituary) he was

“moderate in opinion and accommodating in all things except where basic beliefs and principles were involved”.[8]

A prolific author,[9] in retirement he continued to serve the church [10] until his death on 28 March 1954 and his extensive papers are preserved for posterity within the Lambeth Palace Library.[11]

Palmer was the subject of a clerihew which acquired some currency at Oxford:[12]

"J. A. Smith

Said Christianity was a myth;
When he grew calmer

They sent for Mr Palmer."


  1. ^ "A history of the Church of England in India since the early days of the East India Company” Chatterton, E: London: SPCK, 1924
  2. ^ His father was Edwin Palmer, sometime Archdeacon of Oxford and a younger brother of Roundell Palmer, 1st Earl of Selborne.
  3. ^ Who was Who 1897-1990 London, A & C Black, 1991 ISBN 0-7136-3457-X
  4. ^ The Times, Tuesday, Sep 22, 1896; pg. 5; Issue 35002; col D Ordinations. Durham
  5. ^ Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Studdert-Kennedy,G: ‘Palmer, Edwin James (1869–1954)’, Oxford, OUP Sept 2004 ISBN 0-19-861411-X
  6. ^ National Archive details
  7. ^ The Times, Monday, Apr 20, 1908; pg. 7; Issue 38625; col A New Bishop of Bombay
  8. ^ The Times, Tuesday, Mar 30, 1954; pg. 8; Issue 52893; col D Bishop E. J. Palmer Missionary In India
  9. ^ His works included “The Great Church Awakes”, 1920; “The Destiny of the Anglican Churches”, 1931; “The Challenge of an Indian Experience”, 1933;and “Christ's Partners”, 1947”
  10. ^ Chairing an important commission: Dispensation in Practice and Theory. With special reference to the Anglican Churches being the Report of a Commission appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1935 under the chairmanship of Edwin James Palmer,D.D. London, SPCK, 1944
  11. ^ Collection details
  12. ^ Letter from Conrad Russell to Helen Asquith, 13 December 1927, in Letters of Conrad Russell 1897-1947 (John Murray, London, 1987), at page 94.
Church of England titles
Preceded by
Walter Ruthven Pym
Bishop of Bombay
1908 – 1929
Succeeded by
Richard Dyke Acland