Nathaniel Merriman

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Nathaniel James Merriman

Bishop of Grahamstown
In office1871 – 1882
PredecessorHenry Cotterill
SuccessorAlan Becher Webb
Personal details
Born(1809-04-04)4 April 1809
Died16 August 1882(1882-08-16) (aged 73)
Previous post(s)Dean of Cape Town

Nathaniel James Merriman (4 April 1809[1] – 15 August 1882[2]) was the third Bishop of Grahamstown[3] from 1871[4] until his death.

He was educated at Winchester College and Brasenose College, Oxford; and ordained in 1833. He was curate then Vicar of Street, Somerset until he emigrated to South Africa. He rose to become Archdeacon of Grahamstown[5] then Dean of Cape Town before being elevated the Episcopate.

Conflict arose between Merriman, who was at this time the Bishop of Grahamstown and Frederick Williams, Dean of Grahamstown regarding the status of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa versus the Church of England and the validity of the appointments of bishops. Dean Williams then excluded Bishop Merriman from his Cathedral. This action resulted in many court cases which Williams won.[6]


His son, John X. Merriman, was the last prime minister of the Cape Colony before the formation of the Union of South Africa in 1910. Frederick Merriman, the New Zealand politician was Nathaniel's brother.[7]

He died on 15 August 1882 by being thrown from his carriage "with great violence"[8]


  • The Kafirs, the Hottentot, and the Frontier Framers: Passages of Missionary Life from the Journals. George Bell. 1853.
  • Shakspeare, As Bearing on English History, Graham's Town: The Committee of the General Institute, 1858
  • The Cape Journals of Archdeacon N. J. Merriman, 1848-1855. The Van Riebeeck Society. 1957.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Cooper 2011.
  2. ^ The Times & 18 Aug 1882, p. 8.
  3. ^ Gould & Eve 2011, p. A:24.
  4. ^ Valley 2013.
  5. ^ Chidester 2014, p. 52.
  6. ^ Cooper 1885.
  7. ^ Daily Southern Cross 1865.
  8. ^ "The Late Bishop Of Grahamstown". Nottingham Evening Post. 4 September 1882. Retrieved 7 September 2014 – via British Newspaper Archive.

External links[edit]

Anglican Church of Southern Africa titles
Preceded by
Henry Cotterill
Bishop of Grahamstown
1871 – 1882
Succeeded by
Alan Becher Webb