Thomas Musgrave (bishop)

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The Revd
Thomas Musgrave
Archbishop of York
Thomas MusgraveKensalGreen01.jpg
Funerary monument, Kensal Green Cemetery, London
Church Church of England
Province Province of Canterbury
Diocese Diocese of Canterbury
Elected 1847
Term ended 1860
Predecessor Edward Harcourt
Other posts Bishop of Hereford
Personal details
Born (1788-03-30)30 March 1788
Postwick, Norfolk
Died 4 May 1860(1860-05-04) (aged 72)
Denomination Anglican
Alma mater Trinity College, Cambridge

Thomas Musgrave (1788–1860) was archbishop of York from 1847 to 1860.


Musgrave's father was W. Peet Musgrave, a wealthy tailor and woollen-draper of Cambridge, and Sarah his wife. He was born in Slaughter House Lane on 30 March 1788, and baptised at the parish church of Great St. Mary's on 25 April. He and his two brothers the elder of whom, Charles Musgrave, became eventually archdeacon of Craven were educated at the grammar school, Richmond, Yorkshire, then in the zenith of its reputation under Dr. Tate. [1]

In 1804 he was admitted pensioner of Trinity College, Cambridge, and in 1807 was elected scholar. In 1810 he graduated B.A. as fourteenth wrangler, when William Henry Maule was senior wrangler, and Thomas Shaw Brandreth second. In 1811, he was members' prizeman and in 1813 he took his M.A..

Musgarve was elected junior fellow in 1812, and senior fellow in 1832. In 1821, though his knowledge of oriental tongues was by no means profound, he was appointed Lord Almoner's professor of Arabic. He was Senior Proctor in 1831.[1]

He took holy orders, and filled in succession the college livings of Over (1823), St. Mary's, Cambridge (1825-1833), and Bottisham (1837). He became senior bursar of his college in 1825, and during a long tenure of the office only resigning it when he left Cambridge in 1837. His sound judgment and practical knowledge of business proved of great service. He was also an active and judicious county magistrate.

In politics, he was a decided liberal, but "without any admixture of party spirit". He was a warm advocate for the relaxation of all religious tests on admission to university degrees. The petition which, in March 1834, was presented to both houses of parliament with that object lay at his rooms for signature.[1]

In May 1834, the pressure put upon Connop Thirlwall, afterwards bishop of St. David's, by the master, Dr. Christopher Wordsworth, which led Thirlwall to resign his tutorship, excited Musgrave's indignation. He and Sedgwick drew up a paper addressed to the master, which was signed by George Peacock, afterwards dean of Ely, Romilly, and others, calling upon him to summon a meeting of the seniority to take the matter into consideration.[1]

Musgrave's university distinction and liberal politics marked him out for preferment from the whig government. His first senior Church of England appointment was when he was installed Dean of Bristol on 13 or 14 May 1837.[2] Three months later, he was nominated Bishop of Hereford by the crown on 5 August and consecrated on 1 October 1837,[3] by Archbishop Howley at Lambeth. At Hereford, he revived the office of rural dean, and was instrumental in setting on foot the Diocesan Church Building Society. On the death of Archbishop Edward Harcourt in 1847, he was translated to the primatial see of York. His enthronisation in York Minster took place 15 January 1848. [1]

Musgrave died on 4 May 1860, aged 72. He is buried at Kensal Green Cemetery, London.[4][5]


In 1839, he married the Honorable Catherine Cavendish, daughter of Richard Cavendish, 2nd Baron Waterpark.[4] He was translated to the archbishopric of York on 10 December 1847.[5][6]

He married Hon. Catherine Cavendish, daughter of Richard Cavendish, 2nd Baron Waterpark and Juliana Cooper, on 12 December 1839.


  1. ^ a b c d e Venables 1894.
  2. ^ Horn 1996, Bristol, Gloucester, Oxford and Peterborough Dioceses: Deans of Bristol, pp. 15–19.
  3. ^ Fryde et al. 1986, Handbook of British Chronology, p. 252.
  4. ^ a b Obituary in The Gentleman's Magazine, vol. 208, James Henry and James Parker, London 1860
  5. ^ a b Fryde et al. 1986, Handbook of British Chronology, p. 283.
  6. ^ Horn & Smith 1979, York Diocese: Archbishops of York, pp. 1–5.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainVenables, Edmund (1894). "Musgrave, Thomas (1788-1860)". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography 39. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 


  • Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I., eds. (1986). Handbook of British Chronology (3rd, reprinted 2003 ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-56350-X. 
  • Horn, J. M. (1996). Bristol, Gloucester, Oxford and Peterborough Dioceses. Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1541–1857. Volume 8. British History Online. 
  • Horn, J. M.; Smith, D. M. (1979). York Diocese. Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1541–1857. Volume 4. British History Online. 
Church of England titles
Preceded by
Henry Beeke
Dean of Bristol
Succeeded by
John Lamb
Preceded by
Edward Grey
Bishop of Hereford
Succeeded by
Renn Dickson Hampden
Preceded by
Edward Venables-Vernon-Harcourt
Archbishop of York
Succeeded by
Charles Longley