Thomas Dale (priest)

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Thomas Dale

Thomas Dale (22 August 1797 – 14 May 1870) was a British priest in the Church of England who was the Dean of Rochester for a brief period in 1870.[1] He was also a poet and theologian.


Dale was born in Pentonville and educated at Christ's Hospital and Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.[2][3]

Until 1826 Dale was a curate at St Michael, Cornhill, and then began a long association with St Bride, Fleet Street. He was also evening lecturer at St Sepulchre-without-Newgate before being appointed the incumbent of St Matthew's Denmark Hill. [4] He served as Professor of English at London University from 1828 to 1830. This was the first professorial appointment in the subject of English in England. As an evangelical and "Christian ideologue" he found the university secular to the point of being "godless", clashed in particular with his colleague Thomas Hewitt Key, and resigned, to be succeeded by Alexander Blair. He then founded a school in Camberwell, where John Ruskin was among his pupils.[5][6]

Dake became a prebendary of St Paul’s Cathedral in 1843, holding the stall of Caddington Minor and an honorary canon. In 1846 he became vicar of St Pancras' Church and was also the Golden Lecturer at St Margaret Lothbury. While at St Pancras', William Brown Galloway was his curate. Dale is credited with founding St Mark's Church in St Mark's Square.[7] His last position before becoming the dean in Rochester was at St Therfield Therfield.[8] He died in 1870.[9]


  • The widow of the city of Naïn: and other poems, 1819
  • The Tragedies of Sophocles (translator), 1824
  • An introductory lecture upon the study of theology and of the Greek testament delivered at the opening of the Theological Institution, Saturday, Nov. 21st, 1829
  • The poetical works of the Rev. Thomas Dale, M.A., 1836


  1. ^ "The Late Dean Of Rochester", The Times 17 May 1870, p. 6.
  2. ^ "Dale, Thomas (DL817T)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  3. ^ "The Dean Of Rochester", obituary in The Times, 5 February 1870, p. 5.
  4. ^ Lost churches of Southwark Diocese
  5. ^ Burns, Arthur. "Dale, Thomas". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/7019. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  6. ^ Court, Franklin E. (1992). Institutionalizing English Literature: The Culture and Politics of Literary Study, 1750-1900. Stanford University Press. pp. 62–7. ISBN 9780804720434. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  7. ^ St Marks, Regent's Park Archived 2012-12-24 at,, accessed 19 April 2013
  8. ^ "The New Dean Of Rochester", The Times, 11 February 1870, p. 3.
  9. ^ Births, Deaths, Marriages and Obituaries, The Morning Post (London, England), 19 May 1870; p. 8.

External links[edit]

Church of England titles
Preceded by
Robert Stevens
Dean of Rochester
February–May 1870
Succeeded by
Robert Scott