Henry Beeching

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Bowyer Nichols, J. W. Mackail, and H. C. Beeching, by Frederick Hollyer, c. 1882.

Henry Charles Beeching (15 May 1859 – 25 February 1919)[1] was an English clergyman, author and poet.[2]


Beeching was born in 1859, he was the son of JPG Beeching of Bexhill in Sussex.[3] He was educated at the City of London School[4] and at Balliol College, Oxford.[5] He took holy orders in 1882, and began work in a Liverpool parish,[6] at Mossley Hill. He was Rector of Yattendon from 1885 to 1900; Clark Lecturer at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1900; Professor. of Pastoral Theology at King's College London from 1900 to 1903; Chaplain of Lincoln's Inn from 1900 to 1903;[7]Canon of Westminster from 1902 until 1911[8] and Dean of Norwich from 1911[9] until his death. He wrote a book on Francis Atterbury.[10]

To him is attributed the popular epigram on Benjamin Jowett:

First come I; my name is Jowett.
There's no knowledge but I know it.
I am master of this college:
What I don't know isn't knowledge.

This is the first verse of The Masque of B-ll—l[11] (1880), a scurrilous undergraduate production in 40 verses satirising Balliol figures. It was suppressed at the time; later research[citation needed] has given Beeching credit for 19 of those.



  1. ^ F. P. Sprent, ‘Beeching, Henry Charles (1859–1919)’, rev. H. C. G. Matthew, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 18 Jan 2016
  2. ^ The Spectator
  3. ^ Beeching H, Hymnary.org, Retrieved 2 May 2017
  4. ^ ‘BEECHING, Very Rev. Henry Charles’, Who Was Who, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 1920–2016; online edn, Oxford University Press, 2014 ; online edn, April 2014 accessed 18 Jan 2016
  5. ^ 'UNIVERSITY INTELLIGENCE' Daily News (London, England), Tuesday, June 29, 1880; Issue 10670
  6. ^ Chisholm 1911.
  7. ^ Crockford's Clerical Directory, 1908: London Horace Cox, 1908
  8. ^ Ecclesiastical Intelligence The Times (London, England), Saturday, Oct 25, 1902; pg. 9; Issue 36908
  9. ^ New Dean Of Norwich The Times (London, England), Friday, Sep 22, 1911; pg. 4; Issue 39697
  10. ^ Sprent 2004.
  11. ^ The Masque of B-ll--l online


External links[edit]