His grandfather André de Majendie was a Huguenot in exile who settled at Exeter. His father John James Majendie was a canon of Windsor and was connected to the court, being English tutor to Queen Charlotte of England, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.
He was educated at Charterhouse and at Christ's College, Cambridge where he graduated B.A. in 1776; though he did not have an honours degree, he was made Fellow in the same year, in the vacancy caused by the departure of William Paley. One historian, noting his mediocre academic record, thought that his subsequent honours " came rather too easily to him".
In 1779 George III arranged for Majendie to teach and supervise Prince William aboard the HMS Prince George; for this position he formally had the rank of midshipman. In 1781 he was named preceptor of Prince William. William's biographer states that he liked and respected his tutor, but that Majendie's character was not strong enough to have much influence on his pupil.
He was ordained priest in 1783, and became vicar of Bromsgrove, Worcestershire. He was canon of Windsor from 1785 to 1798, becoming vicar of Nether Stowey, Somerset in 1790 and proceeding D.D. in 1791; while in Somerset he befriended Thomas Poole, the supporter of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. He was vicar of Hungerford, Wiltshire from 1793 to 1798, and a canon of St. Paul Cathedral from 1798. He was bishop of Chester from 1800, and then of Bangor, from 1809. He died 9 July 1830, at Longdon near Lichfield.
His son Edward died at Christ Church, Oxford in 1825 from the bursting of a blood vessel from over reading. A daughter Katherine married Henry Fynes Clinton, MP. His grandson was Colonel Sir Vivian Dering Majendie KCB, RA, Chief Inspector of Explosives from 1871 to 1898.
- "Henry Majendie (MJNY771HW)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- Dictionary of National Biography
- Fulford, Roger Royal Dukes Penguin Reissue 2000 p.103
- Jeremy Black, The Hanoverians: The History of a Dynasty (2007), p. 173.
- Ziegler, Philip William IV William Collins 1971 p.40
- Appendix to the Eton School Lists: Comprising the Years 1853-6-9. E.P. Williams. 1864. pp. 97–.
- "FYNES (afterwards FYNES CLINTON), Henry (1781-1852), of Welwyn House, Herts. and Dean's Yard, Westminster, Mdx". History of Parliament Online. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
|Church of England titles|
|Bishop of Chester
|Bishop of Bangor