Samuel Charles Wilks

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Samuel Charles Wilks (1789–1872) was an evangelical clergyman of the Church of England, known as a journalist.


He was son of Samuel Wilks of Newington, Surrey, and was educated for the church. He matriculated at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, on 8 June 1810, aged 21, and graduated B.A. in 1814 and M.A. in 1816.[1][2]

Wilks took holy orders, being ordained deacon in 1813, and priest in 1814, by Richard Beadon. He was curate at Norton Malreward, Chew Stoke and Exeter St Martin.[3] He attached himself to the Clapham sect, and in 1816 succeeded Zachary Macaulay as editor of the Christian Observer, the organ of the sect. Charles Simeon was a friend.[1]

Wilks continued to edit the Christian Observer until 1850, when he was succeeded by John William Cunningham, and resided at the living of Nursling, near Southampton, to which he had been presented in 1847. He died there on 23 December 1872, in his eighty-fourth year, leaving several children.[1]


While an undergraduate Wilks won in 1813 the premium of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge for an Essay on the Signs of Conversion and Unconversion in Ministers of the Church, which was published in 1814, and reached a third edition in 1830. In 1817 he dedicated to Hannah More two volumes of Christian Essays (London).[1]

In 1835 Wilks published a new edition of Lord Teignmouth's Memoirs of Sir William Jones, with a life of Teignmouth. He was the author of tracts, essays, and letters on religious matters, mostly reprinted from the Christian Observer; he also supported, against prevalent religious opinion, many of the innovative views propounded by geologists.[1]


Wilks married in 1818 Rebecca Emma Langstone Earle, daughter of Joseph Earle.[4] Their children included the surgeon Alfred Garratt Platt Wilks.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e Lee, Sidney, ed. (1900). "Wilks, Samuel Charles" . Dictionary of National Biography. 61. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  2. ^ s:Alumni Oxonienses: the Members of the University of Oxford, 1715-1886/Wilks, Samuel Charles
  3. ^ Persons: Wilks, Samuel Charles (1813–1816) in "CCEd, the Clergy of the Church of England database" (Accessed online, 6 May 2017)
  4. ^ Gregory, Stephen. "Wilks, Samuel Charles". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/29436.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  5. ^ "Wilks, Alfred Garratt Platt (WLKS854AG)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.

External links[edit]


 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainLee, Sidney, ed. (1900). "Wilks, Samuel Charles". Dictionary of National Biography. 61. London: Smith, Elder & Co.