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Fherneranhly Pouncy. BordiEsre 








REGINALD BOSWORTH SMITH . . . . Frontispiece 

After a portrait by H. Riviere 

MRS. BOSWORTH SMITH . . . . To face page i 

After a portrait by George Richmond 


From a photograph by IV, Pouncy, Dorchester 


From a photograph by Hills & Saunders 

THE KNOLL ...... ,, 105 

From a photograph by Hills & Saunders 


From a photograph by Elliott & Fry 


From a photograph by W. Pouncy, Dorchester 


From a photograph by Captain J. Acland 

The illustrations are reproduced by the kind permission of the artists 
and photographers named above. 


THE task of attempting to present a picture of 
my father's life has from the first filled me with 
great misgiving. His life was one of ceaseless 
activity, but there was no striking or varied action, 
no definite climax to mark it or to appeal to the 
world at large. Thirty-seven years of his life he 
spent as a schoolmaster at Harrow, and school- 
mastering, arduous, important, far-reaching in its 
effects though it is, may seem, perhaps, to the out- 
side world rather a monotonous and wearisome 

On the other hand, my father's interests were 
so varied, his gifts were so great, his influence so 
wide, and the affection he called forth so warm 
and enduring, that it seemed to some that an 
attempt should be made to put together an account 
of his life as a whole, and above all, to draw, if 
it might be, a picture of his much-loved and de- 
lightful personality. 

One who has no qualifications to deal adequately 
with any part of his work can hardly hope to make 
the bare chronicle of the facts of his life interesting, 


how much less can she hope for success in the 
presentment of the man himself? How can the 
sympathy, the transparency, the enthusiasm, the 
force, the humour, the gentleness, which went to 
make up the charm of his character, be conveyed 
" through the cold medium of written description " ? 

In the introduction to his " Life of Lord Bowen," 
Sir Henry Cunningham, whose phrase I have just 
quoted, has said, perhaps, all that can be said to 
justify such an attempt as the present, and he 
has said it with such simplicity and delicacy, that 
I venture to repeat his words as they stand : 

" When a friend, loved and admired, passes away 
from us, there is a natural desire for something 
which may serve to give distinctness and perma- 
nence to the impression which he made upon us 
in his lifetime. Such a desire is reasonable. When 
nothing of the sort is done, we become more than 
ever conscious of a loss which, in one sense, grows 
with the lapse of time. The definite outline be- 
comes blurred ; year by year the figure stands 
out in less bold and clear relief ; the colours fade ; 
recollections, however affectionately cherished, be- 
come vague, faint, and inaccurate. So the dull 
processes of oblivion begin." 

There is, perhaps in this case, another con- 
sideration. Those who knew my father in one 
capacity only as a delightful and inspiring teacher, 
or as an eloquent speaker, or as a historian and 
biographer, or as a defender of the National Church, 


or as an ardent lover of birds and flowers, or as a 
keen sportsman and the pleasantest of companions, 
or, again, in later life, as a kindly host at Bingham's 
Melcombe, happy among his treasures in his beau- 
tiful surroundings hardly realised his many-sided- 
ness and his varied powers. 

Perhaps some, who thus knew my father but 
partially, may be glad to have a record more 
complete than his modesty would ever have allowed 
them to gather from himself of the part he took 
in public life ; a record which should show, at all 
events, that in a profession, the exacting toils of 
which tend sometimes to stereotype the character 
and to narrow the outlook, freshness and originality 
may yet be preserved, and room be found for the 
widest interests. 

A few words must be said about the scope 
and arrangement of this book. Such a biography 
must needs be a study of mind and character, 
rather than a chronicle of events. The actual 
facts of my father's life are to be found in the 
first three and last chapters ; the other chapters 
deal with what is quite as essential, if anything 
is really to be learnt about him with the nature 
of his influence at Harrow, his books and articles 
and letters into which he put very much of his 
own personality the way in which he came to 
write them, their effect on himself and others. 
Wherever quotation marks occur without other 
acknowledgment, and when the passage is not 


obviously from another source, the words are his 

A good many letters written to him have been 
quoted. He was a great keeper of old letters, 
and could hardly bring himself to destroy any 
that had been hallowed by a few years' preser- 
vation. He loved his friends with whole-hearted 
affection, he treasured what they wrote to him, 
he valued every word that came from any one 
of note in politics and literature, and, apart from 
their own interest, a biography would not be charac- 
teristic of him, nor a true record of what he cared 
for, unless some of these letters were included in 
it. Our best thanks are due to those who have 
kindly allowed their letters, or the letters of those 
whom they represent for many of my father's 
correspondents have passed away to appear here, 
as well as to the editors of the Dorset County 
Chronicle and the Harrovian, in whose columns 
many of the character sketches in this book first 
were printed ; and warm thanks are due to those 
who have kindly written down what they re- 
member of him at different times of his life. My 
mother, at whose desire my own share of the book 
was undertaken, has arranged and supplied all 
the material for it, and her notes and recollections 
form its backbone. 

If parts of the book deal with " old, unhappy, 
far-off things and battles long ago," they yet illus- 
trate the development of his thought and feeling, 


and those who knew my father will not think 
that they can hear too much about him. But, as 
a rule, all the subjects on which he wrote or spoke 
were of great and permanent interest. 

In this generation, at least, he will be remem- 
bered in warm and faithful affection, here and 
there, throughout the world, where his friends of 
many creeds and races are scattered. Books are 
quickly crowded into oblivion, eloquence is soon 
forgotten, but the influence of a beautiful life and 
character, intangible, beyond analysis as it is, 
"vibrates in the memory" and lives on in the 
hearts and lives of others. 


After a portrait by George Richmond 

Photo : 

W. Pouncj; 



REGINALD BOSWORTH SMITH was born on June 28, 
1839, at West Stafford, in Dorsetshire. His father, 
Reginald Southwell Smith, was the fourth son of 
Sir John Wyldbore Smith, Baronet, of Sydling, 

The branch of the Smith family to which he 
belonged had held land in Dorsetshire since the 
time of Queen Elizabeth, and had come originally 
from Devonshire. The first of the family to acquire 
wealth and position was a certain Sir George Smith 
of Matford or Madford at Heavitree near Exeter. 
By his first marriage, Sir George Smith, who died 
in the time of James I., was the father of three 
children : Sir Nicholas Smyth of Larkbeare, who 
married a daughter of Sir Ralph Horsey of Mel- 
combe Horsey in Dorset of the sister manor- 
house, that is, to Bingham's Melcombe (not one 
mile from it), which three hundred years later was 

I A 


to become the home of Reginald Bosworth Smith ; 
Elizabeth, who married Sir Thomas Monk, and 
became the mother of George Monk, Duke of 
Albemarle, the restorer of the Stuarts to the 
throne ; and thirdly, Jane, who married Richard 
Henning of Poxwell Manor in Dorset. By his 
second marriage with Grace Viell, the relict of 
Peter Bevil, Sir George Smith became the father 
of Grace, who married the ''most high-minded and 
devoted of cavaliers," Sir Bevil Grenville. 

It is from a younger brother of this Sir 
George, the marriage of whose daughters had thus 
brought the family into intimate connection with 
the leading men and events of their time, that the 
Smiths of Sydling are descended. From Devon- 
shire this branch of the Smiths had migrated 
through Somerset into Dorset, where, as has 
been seen, they already had property and con- 
nections. A monument in Lyme Regis Church, 
dated 1677, which the restorer has deposed from its 
former conspicuous place, commemorates William 
Smith, Mayor of the Borough, and states that 
though his ashes rest below, his chin has found 
a loftier abode! (mentum for mentem, "chin" for 
" mind"). 

The grandson of this William Smith acquired 
a large fortune in commerce, became an Alderman 
of London, and M.P. for Lyme Regis. The wish 
of his heart was to restore his family to the con- 
dition in which it had flourished in the time of 


Queen Elizabeth. He bought the property of 
Sydling in Dorset about 1712, which passed from 
him to his distant cousin, Sir John Smith, first 

Sydling Court House, which the Smiths held 
under the College of Winchester, is a solid country 
house of no special attraction, lying in a remote 
part of Dorset. Three miles away is the ancient 
town of Cerne, which is known to antiquarians 
chiefly from its proximity to the uncouth figure 
of the " Cerne giant " which some think is of 
Phoenician origin on the down above it. 

The first Sir John, who was a rather pompous 
old gentleman, received once an intimation that the 
Government of the day was about to offer him a 
peerage. Much gratified, he started off for town 
in his coach and four, and as he passed the gates, 
the lodge-keeper cried to him, " Good morning to 
you, Sir John." "Sir John no more," shouted 
back the future peer, and went rejoicing on his way, 
to find when he reached London that the Govern- 
ment had suddenly gone out, and that " Sir John" 
he would remain to the end of the chapter. Sir 
John married first, Elizabeth, daughter and heiress 
of Robert Curtis of Wilsthorpe in Lincolnshire, 
and secondly, Anna Eleonora, daughter of Robert 
Morland of the Court House, Lamberhurst, Kent. 

The family possess some charming portraits of 
the second baronet, Sir John Wyldbore Smith, 
Reginald Bosworth Smith's grandfather ; among 


others one painted by Opie, which shows him as 
a boy of fifteen with long, curling hair and dark, 
arched brows ; and a miniature by Engelhardt, 
which represents him as equally handsome in silver- 
haired old age. Doctors and doctors' stuff were 
the ruling passion of Sir John Wyldbore's life. 
Never did he arrive in any place, if even for a 
night's visit, without at once sending for the 
nearest apothecary. " Collins," he once said rue- 
fully to his old butler, " I must have taken enough 
pills in my time to sink a ship." " Yes, Sir John," 
was the prompt reply, "and you've swallowed 
enough black draughts to float one." Sir John 
Wyldbore was a stern magistrate, and he had the 
great satisfaction of breaking up and bringing to 
justice a band of highwaymen, who had been the 
terror of the lonely Blandford Downs, by means of 
a detective whom he hired from London, and who 
lived unknown in the housekeeper's room at the 
Down House. The gang were duly hanged with 
great pomp and circumstance before the Dorchester 

About 1817, Sir John Wyldbore Smith bought 
the Down House near Blandford, a sporting lodge 
that had belonged to Lord Camelford, the notorious 
duellist. Sir John Wyldbore rebuilt the house on 
a much larger scale. His wife was Anne Elizabeth, 
daughter and heiress of the Rev. James Marriott 
of Horsmonden, Kent ; her portrait by F. L. 
Abbott (the painter of what is considered the best 


portrait of Lord Nelson) shows her as a charming 
young girl, with powdered hair and dark, clearly 
pencilled brows. Though she had a soft heart, and 
was full of generosity to the poor, such was the 
feeling of the times just following the French 
Revolution, that she never set foot inside a cot- 
tage on her husband's property. In old age, Lady 
Smith used to take her exercise in an upper cor- 
ridor at an uneasy jog-trot on the stiff springs of 
a hobby horse, which is still preserved at the Down 
House ; there was a handle at either end of this 
machine, by which two stout varlets propelled and 
pumped the rider up and down. 

Sir John Wyldbore was succeeded by his son 
John James, who married Frances, daughter of 
John F. Pinney of Somerton Erleigh, Somerset. 
Lady Smith, who was left a widow in 1862, made 
her house at 30 Berkeley Square a delightful centre 
for at least three generations of her husband's 
family. At the age of ninety-six, she was still able 
to charm a whole assembly by her warm sympathy, 
her genial manner, her delicate irony, and her 
pungent but pleasant little speeches, in which 
homely and most uncommon common-sense was 
delightfully blended with the rare quality of unex- 
pectedness. Much had she seen of men and man- 
ners of the great world, both in London and on 
the Continent, especially in Rome, and the quaint 
graphicness of her reminiscences was a delight to 
all who listened to them. Lady Smith belonged to 


the old Evangelical party ; her piety was intense, 
her charity and generosity boundless, and while she 
was too clever and brilliant herself not to realise the 
fact that excellence may often coexist with dulness 
and narrowness, her patience and her kindness 
seemed inexhaustible. Lady Smith was Reginald 
Bosworth Smith's godmother, and they appreciated 
to the full each other's gifts and qualities. 

Sir John James Smith a man of singular up- 
rightness and charm of character was followed by 
his brother, who assumed his mother's name and 
the arms of Marriott ; he held the combined estates 
in Dorset and Kent, which, after his time, were 
divided between his sons. He was a fervent 
admirer of Sir Walter Scott, to whose memory he 
raised a tower on his Horsmonden property. His 
son, Sir William Smith-Marriott, the present owner 
of the Down House, was Bosworth's first cousin 
and lifelong friend, as dear to him as a brother. 

Reginald Southwell, the younger brother of Sir 
John James and Sir William Smith-Marriott, was 
sent with his younger brother Frank to Winchester, 
then a place of torment as much as of education. 
The bullying itself was hardly worse than the 
flogging and the privations. Reginald Smith, then 
a fair, frail child of ten, was, on the day of his 
arrival, told by another boy to help him open his 
box. Grasping the key, he attempted to turn it 
in the lock, and uttered a cry of torture ; for the 
key had been heated red hot, and then allowed to 


blacken over just sufficiently to deceive the victim. 
Among his school-fellows were Christopher Words- 
worth, Roundell Palmer (afterwards Lord Selborne), 
Anthony Trollope and a brother of his who went 
by the name of Badger, Ralph Disraeli, Charles 
Bingham (the clever and witty Sydney Smith of 
Dorset), John Floyer, William Eastwick, and 
Edmund and Frank Wickham. Frank Wickham, 
while at Winchester, was buried in the ground up 
to his neck by his school-fellows, who then flung 
stones at his head ; he and many others who suffered 
tortures of the kind never recovered from the 
effects of their Winchester experiences. It was 
indeed a question of the survival of the fittest. 
Reginald Smith once compared his school experi- 
ences with those of a parishioner who had been 
brought up in the workhouse, and at the end the 
man said, " Well, sir, I do believe I had the best of 
it after all." 

Reginald Southwell Smith, after some years at 
Balliol College, took Holy Orders and became 
curate to Dr. Frederick Parry Hodges, the stately 
and autocratic Vicar of Lyme Regis, a wit, a collec- 
tor, and a formidably fine gentleman, who used to 
celebrate the Holy Eucharist in white kid gloves, 
and who as a young man and a curate had replied 
with dignity to his Bishop, who had admonished 
him on some point, " My lord, one thing is evi- 
dent, either you or I must leave the diocese ! " 
To Lyme Regis, in 1835, there came to recruit 


from the shock of recent widowhood Mrs. Henry 
Hanson Simpson, with her daughter Emily Gene- 
vieve, who was always known as Mimi. Mr. 
Simpson, who came of a Cumberland family, had 
been a considerable traveller, and as a wit and 
clever festive host had been one of the chief stars 
of the brilliant old Bath society. Mrs. Simpson, 
who was a Miss Duberley, was a good musician ; 
her exquisite white hands had received the admira- 
tion of no less a person than the Prince Regent, 
who, after she had been playing for him, once said 
to her, " A beautiful piece," and, raising it to his 
lips, " a still more beautiful hand that played it." 
The Simpsons had four children William, who was 
afterwards A.D.C. to Lord Gough in the Chinese 
War, and who became Major Simpson, C.B., and 
three daughters. Mimi had from the first travelled 
with her parents wherever they went on the Conti- 
nent ; she spoke French like a native ; she sketched 
and sang beautifully. At the age of four she had 
been overheard saying her prayers aloud : " O 
God, make it fine on Thursday for Miss Mimi to 
go to the Races." A few years later " Miss Mimi " 
would have regarded the Races as almost a vesti- 
bule of hell, for, as a girl of seventeen, she had come 
under the influence of the Evangelical Revival, and 
she gave up everything that savoured of a worldly 
character; but there remained plenty of tastes in 
which she could still conscientiously indulge her 
exquisite singing, her vigorous and original sketch- 


ing, her passion for travel and for collections of 
every sort and kind. Her voice was so full and 
beautiful, so free and liquid were her shakes and 
runs, that the master engaged for her instruction 
confessed that he could teach her little. She 
would sing at any time, for any one who asked 
her, without making a favour of it, and for as long 
as they cared to listen to her. In the last few 
years of her life, at the age of fifty-eight and fifty- 
nine, she actually gained three notes. Jenny Lind 
and she once sang together, and Jenny Lind always 
remembered her wonderful shakes. 

The rector and the curate of Lyme Regis both 
fell in love with Mimi Simpson ; the curate was 
preferred, and in 1836 she was married to Reginald 
Southwell Smith and went to live at West Stafford, 
a small country parish of some two hundred inhabi- 
tants, three miles from Dorchester, the county town 
of Dorset. 

The living was presented to Reginald Southwell 
Smith by his early friend, John Floyer, the squire 
of Stafford, and from this time forward the two 
friends were destined to live within a stone's throw 
of each other, for over fifty years, in " close com- 
panionship, unbroken by one single misunderstand- 
ing or one single hasty word. Seldom, surely, 
have squire and clergyman Church and State 
personified, as it might well seem to the simple 
villagers so walked together, for such a length 
of time, in such unbroken union, based on such 


common fear of God and such common love for 

" The village of Stafford," Bosworth Smith says 
in one of the fragments of autobiography that 
he put together, "lies in the rich valley of the 
river Frome, a beautiful trout stream, with water 
meadows on either side, which, in old times, before 
they were as well drained as they are now, were 
the haunt of snipe and bittern and plover and 
curlew and every variety of wild and water fowl. 
In a frost-bound winter large ' drifts ' of wild fowl 
flock thither from the sea. On one side of the 
valley rise high chalk downs w r ith countless tumuli, 
separating it from the sea, whose roar upon the 
innumerable pebbles of the Chesil beach, ten miles 
off, may, at times, be distinctly heard. On the 
other side is a vast extent of heath land hill and 
dale interspersed with large fir plantations, the 
haunt and home of heron and raven, crow and 
magpie, hawk and owl, stretching away in unbroken 
sweep to the New Forest, and beyond to Wey- 
bridge and to Bagshot, and admirably described in 
all its monotonous variety by the pen of Thomas 
Hardy. The whole neighbourhood of Stafford is 
indeed, in a sense, classic ground, for in a little 
cottage in Upper Bockhampton, two miles away, 
between the fir wood and the heath, Thomas Hardy 
was born and bred, while the Rectory of Came, a 
village one mile in the other direction, was for 
many years the home of William Barnes, the sweet 
Dorset poet." 

In his last book, " Bird Life and Bird Lore," 
Reginald Bosworth Smith has described the old 


thatched Rectory, where the family of twelve 
brothers and sisters were born, and which was to 
each of them throughout life the ideal of a home. 

" It is difficult," writes his youngest sister, Mrs. 
Caledon Egerton and the sketch that follows, as 
well as much that precedes it, is from her pen, 
or from the pens of her two sisters, Alice and 
Eva, each acting, as has been the case through 
life, as the complement of the two others "to 
paint in words a picture of that wonderful old 
Stafford Rectory home the atmosphere of love and 
reverence, of wonder and enjoyment, that pervaded 
it, the extraordinary influence which our parents 
exercised over all who came in contact with them. 
In our family life, the sons, if possible, took the 
foremost place in their mother's heart, and we, the 
sisters, were brought up, from our earliest years, to 
devote ourselves, soul and body, to their pleasure 
in the holidays. Great walking parties ranging 
from the youngest to the eldest would sally forth 
for long afternoon progresses to heath and wood, 
the younger and weaker members encouraged on 
their toilsome way by the cheerful voice of their 
mother, bidding them step out and make things 
pleasant for dear Henry and Bosworth. Not un- 
frequently we would meet another advancing army 
the Moules Mr. Henry Moule of Fordington, 
and our dear friends, his sons, most of them now 
Bishops, Archdeacons, or University dignitaries 
one of whom, the present Bishop of Durham, I can 
remember scurrying behind a hedge, in his shyness, 
to avoid the impending encounter. 

"My mother always carried a large wool-work 
' carriage ' bag, containing a heavy miscellany of 


sketch-book, guide-books, tracts for the poor, and 
biscuits and chocolate for us, and, occasionally, a 
heavy stone, surreptitiously added by a mischievous 
son. Our walks always had an object some cairn 
on the heath built by our own hands, or distant 
hawk's or heron's nest, discovered by Bos, which 
we would approach on tiptoe in solemn silence, 
while he stalked on ahead to tap the tree and watch 
the mother bird fly off. 

"In these lax days of keeping Sunday, when so 
much scorn is poured on the good old days of 
Sabbath observance, we often look back with regret 
to the old Sundays of Stafford Rectory. Not that 
there were, I fear, any great signs of early piety 
among us ; but our mother had a knack of turning 
everything into a treat, and if at times we found 
the services and sermons too long, the discipline 
and patience were good for us, and the sense of 
contrast enhanced the pleasure of every-day life. 
All our arrangements were altered on Sundays. 
By eight o'clock we would all be assembled round 
our mother's dressing-table to repeat our Sabbath 
hymns and portions ; we liked saying them to her, 
because she would unconsciously repeat the whole 
of each verse before us, while she twisted up her 
ringlets, and so correct knowledge was unnecessary 
on our parts. Occasionally our father would call 
us into his dressing-room for the repetition, and 
then the full depth of our ignorance would be dis- 
closed. One hymn, lisped out by our infant voices, 
ended up with 

' Life's morn is past, 

Old age comes on, 
And sin distracts 

This heart alone.' 


"Then came Sunday school, in which we all took 
classes as a matter of course. Bos used to endure 
agonies when sent to instruct the boys in the first 
class, and would sit with his eyes fixed on his book, 
for fear he would see them misbehaving and have 
to reprove them. 

"Meanwhile, in the Rectory, the house had already 
been transformed, all the things that savoured of 
the week having been put away on the Saturday 
night. All works of fiction and secular periodicals 
were hidden. In our nursery, the oak box con- 
taining our dolls' clothes was turned upside down, 
and all toys were banished. 

" The services seemed very long in those days, for 
after the barrel organ had wheezed itself into its 
last, long sleep, there was no instrument at all. The 
clerk in the gallery would tune up his pitch pipe, 
and he from above and our mother from below would 
outsing each other, he in his broad nasal Dorset, 
she in her exquisite soprano, which trilled like a 
bird, as she relieved with runs and shakes the 
otherwise dull monotony of the metrical verses of 
the psalms. The children sat in the square Rectory 
pew, and during our father's sermon, which seldom 
lasted less than three-quarters of an hour, our 
mother would by loud hems and clearings of the 
throat direct our flagging attention to the pulpit. 
From his square pew opposite ours, the tall and 
stately squire, John Floyer, would turn round 
before the beginning of the service, to get a bird's- 
eye view of the gallery, and if any of his tenants 
were missing, he would be ' told of it ' in the 
coming week. In his mother's time, the whole 
congregation would rise as she entered the church, 
and I am told this was a common custom in the 


villages in the early years of the nineteenth century. 
The men sat in the gallery, and the children were 
crowded on the low kneeling-benches round the 
altar rails, the boys' hats reposing inside them, and 
if any child behaved badly, he or she was made to 
stand out alone, in the aisle facing the congregation. 
On leaving the church they would all curtsey and 
bow, as they passed our pew and the squire's. 

" On one occasion, a stray visitor not a parish- 
ioner rose up in the gallery and blasphemed God, 
the squire, and the parson. Old Mrs. Floyer stood 
up in her pew, and promptly ordered him to the 
stocks, where he was at once lodged, and visited 
later by the horrified congregation. 

"On another occasion, seeing that the Rector 
looked ill, Mrs. Floyer stood up and said in a 
loud voice, ' Reginald, I will not have any sermon 
to-day ; ' whereon he at once descended from the 

" When afternoon church was over, children and 
nurses sat down to a substantial tea. Our mother 
would meantime read out to us the fascinating 
' Fairchild Family,' in each chapter of which Mrs. 
Sherwood contrives that her characters should break 
one of the commandments in turn. Then we would 
be shown folios of pictures or cabinets of curiosities, 
one of those cabinets being chosen which contained 
the water of Jordan, leaves from the Garden of 
Gethsemane, or some other Biblical relic. Every 
available shelf or drawer in the old Rectory was 
crammed with treasures. After the exhibition we 
would stand round the ancient square piano and 
sing hymns together ' Here we suffer grief and 
pain,' ' There is a happy land, far, far away ' 
that Happy Land in which our blessed parents and 


our eight brothers and sisters now await the little 
remnant of the family still left on earth. 

" After supper, we would adjourn to the study, 
where our father would read aloud to us some 
ponderous memoir, the dulness of which we would 
while away by looking at pictures in old missionary 
records. We sometimes indulged in the game of 
'Abraham's beard,' until our father directed us to 
change the name of the father of the faithful to 
' Csesar,' when the frankly secular nature of the 
amusement stood revealed. 

" We children all slept in the whitewashed attics, 
where no fires were possible, the rooms being too 
close to the thatch. Henry and Bosworth slept 
in two tiny rooms, with dormer windows peeping 
out of the deep thatch : you could see nothing from 
them but the sky, unless you mounted up on a 
chair. The rooms were full of the boys' small 
treasures, which they preserved religiously to the 
end of their lives. One, a collecting box, was in 
the shape of a thatched Hindu hut. It was full of 
coppers, but as they are in it to this day, it is, alas, 
too evident that they never reached the object for 
which they were intended. Henry used to be so 
long at his prayers, that Bosworth would endure 
agonies, thinking he must be dead. Afraid to 
reveal his fears, he bored a small hole in the par- 
tition, by looking through which he could reassure 
his anxious mind. A travelling pedlar had deluged 
the Rectory with a number of round China plates, 
one of which hung in Bosworth's room, inscribed 
with the words, 'Prepare to meet thy God.' In- 
deed the * Last Things ' Death, Judgment, Hell 
formed always a dark and sinister background to 
the cheerful pleasures of our younger days. The 


elder children were brought up in the full rigour 
of the Evangelical system, which, as years went on, 
was somewhat tempered for the younger ones. 

" We always accompanied our parents to the 
various meetings of the Evangelical Societies at 
Dorchester. The chief of all these functions was 
the annual Church Missionary meeting, which took 
place in the early summer in our church. It was 
a gala day for us. The church was filled with 
huge hoops of laburnum and lilac, and jugs of boys 1 - 
love, peonies, and gillyflowers. There was a pic- 
ture of the missionary ship, Williamson, cut out in 
black on a white calico ground, hung in the porch. 
All obstacles likely to impede the congregation's 
view of the speakers were removed. The tall oak 
cover was taken off the font, and placed upon 
the Holy Table, and the font was for the occasion 
converted into a receptacle for hymn-books. 

" There was an innocent familiarity with sacred 
things at Stafford in those days, which was very 
far removed from the least touch of intentional 
irreverence. The speakers sat in the capacious 
reading-desk, the overflow, in their black coats, 
inside the altar rails on kitchen chairs lent by the 
villagers ; the tradespeople and farmers flocked out 
from Dorchester, and our mother, stationed on a 
low chair by the font, would welcome in late- 
comers, and point them to their seats, which would 
often involve clambering over benches placed across 
the aisle. The meeting lasted some three and a 
half hours, and after the collection, usually forty or 
fifty pounds, had been taken in a kitchen soup-plate 
by our mother, all classes adjourned to a sumptuous 
feast in the Rectory dining-room, the chief feature 
of the repast being a church with Gothic windows, 


formed of jam tartlets and barley-sugar. Our dear 
friends George, Arthur, and Handley Moule would 
often speak at these meetings ; Mr. Barnes, the 
Dorset poet, came in his picturesque knee-breeches 
and buckled shoes, with his grey plaid thrown over 
his shoulder, and Charles Bingham, the well-known 
rector of Bingham's Melcombe. 

" There was also a festal meeting for the Bible 
Society at Martinstown, but this was on a less 
ambitious scale than ours ; no flag was hoisted, 
and there was only one bell to toll instead of three 
to chime. The vicar and his wife, who belonged to 
an even older world than our parents, were saintly 
in their lives and patriarchal in their simplicity. 
Mrs. Ludlow always dressed consistently as 'a 
woman professing godliness,' in a straight, plain 
gown, a voluminous cape, and a large black bonnet. 
They dined with their servants on the Lord's Day, 
to save the trouble of a separate dinner, and, if they 
indulged in any earthly pride, it was in the possession 
of the largest collection of missionary reports in the 
whole county. 

" But there was another side to the religion we 
learned from our parents. They loved God and 
man, and in the atmosphere of that love of theirs 
we could grow and expand like flowers in summer 
sunshine. Our treats and pleasures had a glamour 
about them which has never faded. There was a 
small shady territory in the garden, ' The Bushes,' 
where the children reigned supreme. Here our 
precious broken mugs and departed cats and 
rabbits were interred with solemn funeral rites. 
Once a year, we would make our way underground 
along an earthy tunnel, thirty-five feet long, into a 
vault that had been made by Henry and Bosworth, 
17 B 


as a possible refuge, if Napoleon III. should invade 
England. And what joy it was to play in that 
world of mysterious shadows, the great tithe barn 
the place of all others that filled our imaginations 
with the tempered awe that is so dear to the heart 
of a child ; what joy to climb the church tower 
and view the crawling villagers and thatched home- 
steads as the birds view them, from above! And 
once a year there was a great picnic family, ser- 
vants, and a few close friends at Ringstead a 
glen by the sea, a hidden woodland garden of ivied 
trees, clear streams, and great ferns, guarded at the 
entrance by a great mound of almost human shape. 
Perhaps of all the delicious Stafford days, the 
Rectory hay-carrying bore off the palm, when the 
whole family would travel in the laden wagon 
across the deep ruts, down the lane through the 
grassy stable yard into the tithe barn. 

"Our parents and the Floyers were absolute 
rulers in the village, and they largely controlled its 
dress, manners, and morals. Our father would often 
be called in to make the people's wills. On one 
occasion he mislaid a will he had drawn up, and 
at the death of the testator he divided the property 
according to his own ideas, the legatees being quite 
satisfied with his judgment. Many years after- 
wards one of us chanced to find the will, but our 
father decided that it would only unsettle the minds 
of the people to say anything about it, and that it 
was best to let well alone. Our father was truly a 
law unto himself! 

" He had found the village in a very godless state 
when he first became rector in 1836. His prede- 
cessor, Archdeacon England, had been a great 
breeder of horses, and he had always turned a blind 


eye to one source of his parishioners' income. The 
great tithe barn at the Rectory was placed at their 
disposal, and often scores of kegs of brandy, which 
had been smuggled from France to Lulworth Cove, 
lay there, or in the church belfry, in perfect secu- 
rity. His son used to say to his parishioners at 
Came, ' Don't ee do as I do do, but do as I do 
tell eel' 

"The village schoolmistress could read but not 
write. Two at a time, as they repeated their 
lessons, she would pin the children by their aprons 
to her gown to prevent their running away. 

" Labourers 'wages in those days varied from five 
shillings to seven shillings a week, and if there was 
a large family, only one or two of the brood would 
be sent to school, because the parents could not 
spare the necessary penny a week. The labourers 
seldom tasted meat ; their tea was usually made of 
the scrapings of the black crusts of their loaves. 
The women wore short lilac prints and sunbonnets, 
the men smock-frocks. We were trained to live 
much in the lives of the villagers, and the whole 
place was like one large family : the babes were all 
welcomed with presents, we called even the aged 
men and women by their Christian names, entered 
their doors without knocking, attended their wed- 
dings and their funerals. * To stand at tea ' and 
' go to Isaac Reed's funeral ' were among the treats 
once provided for us by our mother, to console us 
during her short absence from home. 

" From his earliest years Bos worth made friends 
with the cottagers, and his reminiscences of them 
were countless. It was from men who, in the old 
smuggling days, had had constant practice in cliff- 
climbing, that he learned to approach the nests of 


the cormorants, and gulls, and ravens that build on 
the almost perpendicular cliffs near White Nose. 
One of his chief friends was George Gill, the fore- 
man on the estate, whose will neither squire nor 
labourer dared to dispute. Gill's daughter recalls 
how she often heard her father say, ' There goes 
Master Bos, a-rummaging wi' the blessed birds 

" Bosworth himself drew, in later years, a vivid 
picture of this remarkable man, who, unable to read 
or write, ' was able to arrange and carry in his 
head complicated accounts, and to manage with 
admirable skill his master's estate and all that 
appertained to it.' ' In appearance he was most 
striking ; his huge person, his sallow complexion, 
his scanty hair, his prominent cheek bones, his 
deeply sunken and obliquely slanting eyes, which 
were often lit up with a twinkle of grim but kindly 
humour, would bring to one's mind the description 
one had read of the old-world followers of Attila 
and of Timour the Tartar. " The last of the 
Huns" one who knew him well not inaptly called 
him. His conversation was always entertaining, 
and sometimes even brilliant. The staple of it 
was, of course, the politics of the village, the short 
and simple annals of the poor, so uniform in their 
variety, so varied in their uniformity, yet affording, 
as the poems of William Barnes and the novels of 
Thomas Hardy have so abundantly shown, a rich 
field for the study of human nature, a school where 
much can be learned that can hardly be learned 
elsewhere. It was not Gill's master alone who 
would consult him on matters of practical import- 
ance. The village Nestor, who never called a 
spade anything but a spade, would give his opinion 


frankly perhaps sometimes too frankly ; and was 
quite as ready perhaps more ready to tell those 
who consulted him when he thought them wrong, 
as when he thought them right. He would use 
many animated gestures, but he would generally 
stand with his eyes fixed on the ground, or with his 
back turned full on the person he was addressing, 
and he would often also walk ten or a dozen steps 
in the middle of his discourse, as if to emphasise 
his advice, his surprise, or his contempt, and then 
again return to the charge. . . . As one reflects on 
the sterling integrity, the stalwart worth, the open- 
handed generosity from amidst very scanty means, 
the grim but kindly humour, the life dignified by 
hard labour and, perhaps I may add, by humble 
trust in God, of such a man as George Gill, one 
feels indeed the full truth of the poet's utterance, 
11 An honest man's the noblest work of God." ' 

"Another of Bosworth's great friends was Susan 
Treviss, who assisted at all the bringings in and 
layings out of the parish. Susan's cottage was a 
picture, with its chimney-corner and dresser covered 
with bright china, and on the wall hung a sampler 
worked by her own hand 

' To think of summers yet to come that I shall never see, 
To think that once a weed must grow of dust that I shall be.' 

Susan used to have wonderful dreams, which Bos- 
worth loved to hear her tell. ' The End ' was 
usually the subject, and once she dreamt ' that all 
in church, the gentry and such as we together, had 
to pass up before the Almighty, who was seated in 
the gallery.' ' First did come the squire, then 
your Pa, then one and another, and when my turn 



did come to go up before 'en, my legs did sheak 
so, I did wake up.' 

"If people were ignorant in the old days, there 
was often a touching simplicity and originality in 
what they said and thought. An old labouring 
man at the beginning of his illness said he did not 
so much fear his 'judgment,' for he had never 
learnt to read or write, so he felt sure he would 
not be ' tried in the scholar's class.' An old shep- 
herd, when he was dying, said he had no fear that 
the Good Shepherd would turn round on another 
shepherd. One man, very old, very ignorant, and 
reputed to be ungodly, used to go out at night, so 
our father discovered, and kneel in the cold river 
in penance for his sins. 

" How faithful servants were then! Our beloved 
nurse, Mary Marshfield, is with us still at the age 
of eighty-six. Our old gardener, Bevis, used to 
rise and begin work at 3 A.M. I can see him now, 
a gruff, grim old man, with his ill-shorn chin, his 
smileless eyes, his grey hair, and skin like a winter 
apple. He grudged our being allowed to pick his 
fruit, and he refused to waste his time over * such 
nonsenses ' as flowers. If he respected any one, 
it was Bosworth. When Bosworth got his First 
Class at Oxford, he came up, and knowing no other 
academical distinction, congratulated our mother on 
' Bosworth's having got the spellen prize.' His 
daughter, who was our cook all her days at twelve 
pounds a year, was a grim person too, but she had 
a soft place in her heart for the Rectory children. 
'Buoys and gurls,' she said, 'they be all alike, 
there b'aint no fault in 'em.' 

"In later days, the villagers felt the elections 
were the one precious opportunity for asserting 



themselves against the power of the gentry. But, 
on one occasion, a lady in the village made the 
following satisfactory declaration of her husband's 
principles : ' Tom have no political convictions of 
his own, Miss, none whatever ! and what's more, 
he don't desire none. He say, " We're born under 
very good gentry" your Pa, Miss, and Mr. 
Floyer and Dr. Hawkins " and what they think, 
/ am content to think ! " And when them nasty 
Radicals comes a botheren 'em, as in a place like 
this they will, Miss, Tom turn round to them, and 
he just say, " You be born to labour and labour 
you must ! " ' 

The picture of " the beautiful and beloved village," 
to use the words of the Bishop of Durham, "bor- 
dered with meads, and washed with silver brooks, 
over which the grey church tower and the great 
thatched Rectory (wonderful house and home, im- 
possible to describe with all its charms) watch for 
blessing," was ever in the background of Bos- 
worth's thoughts and imagination, and the memory 
of his parents was treasured with an only increasing 
love and reverence. His own words can best 
describe them and his devotion to them. Of his 
mother, he wrote : 

" Her heart seemed wide enough for everybody, 
and for everything ; no one ever went to her for 
sympathy and came empty away. 

" Energy of every kind was pleasurable to her. 
To climb, at the age of fifty, mountains fit only for 
a strong and active man in the prime of his life ; 


to weary out, in her unflagging interest, the most 
indefatigable of sight-seers in London, or archaeo- 
logists in Rome ; to seek in ' foreign scenes ' the 
relaxation which would better enable her to dis- 
charge her duties in England, doing thoroughly 
in a week what others would do superficially in a 
month ; to sit up night after night till the small 
hours of the morning, and that after the labours 
of a long day in a house of which she had been 
the life and the light and the soul, in order that 
in undisturbed quiet she might read, or write, 
or commune with the Unseen ; to take, when on 
a journey, while others were resting from their 
fatigues, a sketch of a building or a mountain which 
will be treasured to all time for its beauty as well 
as for its dear associations by those who have lost 
her ; to pour forth rivers of melodious song which 
enthralled the hearers, and which seemed to those 
who loved her to have, even then, less of earth in 
them than heaven, and which, like echoes from a 
far-off country, still seem to be ringing in their ears ; 
these were a few, a very few, of the multifarious 
directions in which her natural tastes led her to 
take the most keen delight, and in which she would 
have shone, as few others have, had she given her- 
self entirely to them. 

" But these and other pleasures she was always 
ready to give up, and was never so happy as when 
she gave them up, at the call of duty ; in fact she 
used them only as helps to fulfil that duty. 

"Her most vivid happiness she found in self-sacri- 
fice nay, in self-annihilation. A darling scheme, 
which she had planned for months, she would 
give up when she found that it crossed the wishes 
of others, and would settle down with zest and 


energy to occupations for which she had a natural 

" She possessed the faculty of attracting new 
friends even to the end of her life ; no one ever 
kept her mind more open to new subjects and new 
interests ; her sympathies and her capacities, great 
as they always were, seemed to expand as she grew 
older. One wonders whether they can be greater 
even now ! " 

Of his father, who lived on into a beautiful and 
peaceful old age, he has drawn a picture which seems 
to sum up all that was best and most charming in 
a generation that has gone : 

" He spent his days in the little village of West 
Stafford, the centre of a home which his children 
may well regard as the perfection of a home, dear 
to them always, and dearer to them now than ever ; 
not receiving and not coveting any higher eccle- 
siastical dignity than that of a canonry of Salisbury, 
devoting himself primarily to the good of his parish 
and to the advocacy of those great societies and 
agencies for good which were, in his earlier career, 
just starting into life, yet regarded by all who knew 
him as a sort of unmitred bishop, a final Court of 
Appeal, a perennial Christmastide of peace and 
goodwill and reconciliation, to be consulted by 
clergymen and laymen alike, on every disputed 
question, moral, social, and religious ; better than 
all, as the friend of God and of man, one who 
seemed to reflect the very spirit of his Divine 
Master, and whose sweet and genial influence 
seemed to breathe around it an atmosphere of 


peace, and hope, and forbearance, and humility, 
and love, and holy calm. 

"He belonged to the Evangelical portion of the 
English Church, and he was always proud of the 
name. But he was conspicuously devoid of all 
narrowness and exclusiveness. The moment that 
he recognised that the same religious depth and 
fervour were to be found in the High Church party 
which had given birth to the Evangelical, and had, 
at one time, been practically confined to it, his 
heart broadened out towards it. His tendency 
was always in the direction of comprehensiveness 
and of unity. His sympathies were never narrow ; 
but they seemed to become wider and wider as he 
neared the heaven which was already, in so large 
a part, his home. Many men indeed, most men 
are stereotyped in thought and character by the 
time they arrive at middle life. Such was not 
the case with him. As life mellowed, he took a 
mellower view of everything and of everybody. 
He possessed in large measure that Divine credu- 
lity which sees the soul of goodness perhaps tries 
to see it, even where it does not exist in things 
evil. He was always ready to make allowance, to 
give full credit to the motive, even when he deplored 
the opinion or the act. 

" When he preached, as he often did, on a verse 
from the Sermon on the Mount, one felt that no 
words, or few words, were needed to enforce the 
lesson which was conveyed by the features, by the 
expression, by the tone of the voice, by the manner, 
by the man. His face was a beatitude in itself. 
There was in it a delicate and subtle blending, as 
of colours deftly shot into a fine and precious fabric, 
of gravity and of mirthfulness, of religious fervour 


and of religious reserve, of self-respect and of self- 
forgetfulness, that was a message in itself, and went 
straight to the hearts of all who heard him. 

"He enjoyed life, so far as his feeble health 
would permit him, in all its fulness, its richness, its 
variety. A quiet mirthfulness indeed formed the 
genuine under-current of his soul. He had his joke 
for every one whom he loved, and there were few 
except the supercilious, or the hypocritical, or the 
worldly-minded whom he did not love. And it was 
a joke that often twinkled in [his clear blue eye for 
some moments before it rippled from his lips. A 
joke against him, if indeed it can be called against 
him, gave him at least as much pleasure as did a 
joke made by him, and his childlike unconscious- 
ness of self, his unbusinesslike habits, his delicious 
obliviousness of time and place, gave abundant field 
for them. 

"His kindliness of heart and his generosity in 
money matters often cost him dear. In defiance 
of the political economist, his hand would go into 
his pocket before he so much as heard the tale of 
woe which a passing tramp would extemporise not 
for the first time. . . . His tact and judgment 
rarely failed him, and well was it that it was so, for 
when he perhaps did happen to take what might 
be a mistaken view on any public or semi-public 
question, such was the influence of his name and 
fame that, where it was a matter of voting, he 
generally carried the day. ' If Canon Reginald 
Smith said it was right, right it must be !'" 

By the side of the Country Rector's picture must 
stand that of the Country Squire, his lifelong 
friend, John Floyer, for it well may seem, that 


these pictures are not unworthy to hang in the 
long gallery that contains, among many others, the 
portraits of Goldsmith's Village Parson, Addison's 
Sir Roger de Coverley, and Thackeray's Colonel 

"Mr. Floyer, for many years M.P. for Dorset, 
and for half a century the chief support of every 
organisation which aimed at the good of his native 
country, was a perfect specimen of an English 
gentleman of the old school, absolutely straight- 
forward in thought, word, and deed. He was 
frank, genial, unaffected, simple. There was an 
old-world courtesy, a quiet dignity, a sweet gravity 
about him which drew respect and disarmed oppo- 
sition. His mind was essentially open and evenly 
balanced. His reading was wide and varied. He 
kept up his knowledge of the classics, and read 
them with pleasure even to the last. Wordsworth 
was his favourite poet a fact which helps to show 
something of his love of nature, of his sympathy 
with the poor, of his reverence for the sanctities 
of domestic life. He was essentially a Dorset man ; 
he loved Dorset ways, and was full of Dorset folk- 
lore and reminiscences. He was not a born orator, 
but his manly and noble presence, the radiant smile 
which often played about his face as he spoke, his 
incontestable sincerity, his innate refinement, some- 
times made his speeches to be scarcely less effective 
than if he were. His language was English pure 
and undenled, but there was here and there about 
it, so I fondly believe, a faint aroma of that nobly 
expressive dialect which is so dear to all Dorset 
men, and which has been embalmed in the im- 


perishable verse of Mr. Floyer's old friend and 
neighbour, William Barnes. His industry on be- 
half of others was unflagging, and his only ambition 
was the honourable one of doing all the good he 
could in the world. He was a devout and humble 
Christian. No man whom I have ever known lived 
more truly, more wholly as in the sight of God. 
To see his features and his bearing, Sunday 
after Sunday, to hear the tones of his voice in the 
little church, from which never but from necessity 
during the last seventy years has he been absent, 
was, in itself, a religious influence of no mean kind ; 
it was, in itself, a religious education." 

Of the twelve brothers and sisters who were 
born at Stafford Rectory, Henry, the eldest, with 
the heart of a poet and a passion for mountain 
climbing, was fated to spend his days at a desk in 
the War Office and to die of consumption at the 
age of forty. Emily, the eldest sister, gifted and 
charming as all the sisters were, married the 
Rev. John S. Thomas, for many years Bursar of 
Marlborough College, and died in 1879 of con- 
sumption in Madeira. Ellinor, of whom Bosworth 
could never, till the end of his life, speak without 
his eyes filling with tears, died of consumption 
when she was eighteen years old. She was tall 
and fair, with masses of long, gold-coloured hair 
and grey eyes full of light ; and her devotion to 
Bosworth and her triumph at his success were only 
equalled by his devotion to her. Two little sisters, 
Harriet and Constance, and a little brother died 


in early years ; Edward Floyer Noel Smith, the 
creator and for twenty-six years the devoted priest 
of the Marlborough College Mission at Tottenham, 
died in March 1908, a few months only before the 
brother, who had felt his loss so profoundly, was 
to follow him. 

One brother, Colonel Walter W. Marriott Smith, 
late R.A., survives, and three sisters, Alice, Eva, 
and Blanche (Mrs. Caledon Egerton), still live near 
the enchanted ground of their old home. 

"What a home it has been," writes one who 
knew it as well as the Rectory children themselves ; 
"the sick and sorrowful from far and near found 
brightness, love, and comfort there. Orphans were 
received into arms so kind and motherly, that they 
almost forgot they were motherless." 

If I have dwelt at some length on the early days 
of Bosworth's life and the surroundings in which he 
grew up, it is because the influences of his home, 
with its atmosphere of austere and fervent piety, 
mingled with intense enjoyment of earthly things, 
and all irradiated by the joy of vivid imagination, 
permeated his whole life, and the " memories of the 
past fell always on his soul like dew to refresh it in 
the toils of later years." From his warm-hearted, 
gifted mother he inherited many of the tastes and 
qualities that characterised him, and there are 
several passages in his own sketch of his father 
which one would hardly alter, had one wished to 
describe himself. Ties of the strongest affection 


united the whole family, each to each, and no pic- 
ture of Bosworth's life would be a true one that 
did not dwell on the unending happiness which 
the love and sympathy of his parents, brothers, 
and sisters brought to him. Again, he loved the 
Dorset villagers, he understood them, he appre- 
ciated their homely wit, he delighted in their talk, 
he respected their patience, their generosity to each 
other, their simple piety. The soil of Dorset, its 
water meadows, its heaths, its lonely clumps of firs, 
its ancient manor-houses, drew him back to itself as 
with a charm. 

And apart from all other considerations, the 
picture of the old-world village and Rectory, with 
their patriarchal customs and simple inhabitants, 
has surely an interest of its own. It belongs to 
a past which we are leaving behind us at an ever- 
accelerating pace, and in its quaintness, its unlike- 
ness to our own days of restless movement, there 
is a charm which may appeal, if only by force of 
contrast, to those whose lives have been swept into 
other currents. 

3 1 



BOSWORTH'S earliest memories were, strangely 
enough, not of his Stafford home, but of Madeira, 
whither in 1841 his father was sent, as it was 
thought, in an almost hopeless state of consump- 
tion. The captain of the sailing vessel on which 
the family were passengers was naturally treated 
by all on board with great deference, as a person 
of importance ; and his parents used to recall with 
amusement how Bosworth, then a child of two 
years old, looked up in the captain's face and 
reminded him of the fate common alike to sea 
captains and to ordinary mortals, by saying, " Cap- 
tain Aerth will die some day ! " Bosworth always 
asserted that he could remember the Portuguese 
servants, and the hammock in which he was carried 
up the hot hillside, as well as the little plaid dress 
which he wore. The family came back in 1842 to 
Stafford, and Canon Reginald Smith, though always 
delicate, lived on till 1896. 

The children's education was carried on by their 
parents, assisted by various tutors, as well as by a 
" writing master," to whose instructions it must be 
3 2 


owned that Bosworth did no credit, for his hand- 
writing was, from the first, barely legible even by 
his own family. On September 17, 1849, Bos- 
worth's mother's diary records : " To-day my dear 
husband told our dear boys, Henry and Bosworth, 
aged eleven and ten, of his intention of placing 
them at Mr. Penny's school at Blandford, which 
they seemed to feel very much, specially dear Bos- 
worth, who was quite depressed for some time ; " 
and on their last Sunday at home, she writes that 
their father preached on " conscience," and that 
"dear Bosworth seemed to feel it. Most affec- 
tionate and clinging they were, and listened to my 

Milton Abbas School, where many Dorset boys 
of that time and of earlier generations were edu- 
cated, was one of " King Edward VI. 's Grammar 
Schools." It was founded and endowed by the 
Lord Abbot of Milton in 1521, and had been built 
under the shadow of the stately Abbey of Milton 
in the heart of Dorset, but about 1786 the Lord of 
the Manor (Lord Milton), after long litigation, had 
the school removed to the market town of Bland- 
ford. Admiral Sir Thomas Hardy, Nelson's friend, 
a Dorset man, is said to have been a Milton 
Abbas schoolboy before the remove ; and Bishop 
Smythies was a distinguished pupil of more recent 

" The Rev. J. Penny," says Mr. L. B. Clarence, 
a school-fellow and lifelong friend of Bosworth 
33 c 


Smith's, " who was Headmaster of the school in Bos- 
worth's time, was of St. John's College, Cambridge, 
and thirtieth wrangler in the Mathematical Tripos 
of 1842. Under his charge the school increased and 
prospered greatly. No railway reached Blandford 
in those days, but mail-coaches ran daily through 
the town between Bath and Poole, Salisbury and 
Exeter. It was customary for the boys on their 
homeward journeys, at the end of the half for 
holidays came but twice a year in those days to 
arm themselves with pea-shooters, which were con- 
cealed or imagined to be concealed in trouser legs, 
as the wearers walked a trifle stiffly to the coach- 
office ; these pea-shooters were sometimes let off 
just as the coach carried the boys beyond the reach 
of their master. The country round Blandford is 
lovely, with its fertile fields and pastures, its clear 
streams, its woodlands and high swelling downs. 
Two of these high downs are especially striking, 
namely, Hod and Hambleton, a few miles north of 
Blandford. Hod is well-nigh precipitous at a point 
where it overhangs a bend of the river with glis- 
tening water-lilies. At Hambleton it was that, in 
August 1645, Cromwell found the Dorset clubmen 
gathered together ' to the number of two thousand,' 
who, poor fellows, were quickly dispersed by Crom- 
well's Major, who ' got in the rear of them, beat 
them from the work, and did some small execution 
among them,' whereon, as Cromwell noted in his 
letter to Fairfax, 1 they promised 'to be very dutiful 
for time to come,' and ' will be hanged before they 
come out again.' We schoolboys used to imagine 
that Cromwell had performed the impossible feat of 

1 Cromwell to Fairfax, August 4, 1645. Printed by Carlyle in 
" Cromwell's Letters and Speeches." 


arging w 

charging with his Ironsides up the precipitous face 

Bosworth Smith's own words, taken from an 
address he gave to the boys of Milton Abbas School 
at the prize-giving in November 1903, give a simple, 
homely picture of his old school : 

" I have never enjoyed games more than those 
played within the narrow compass of the school- 
yard, some of them probably quite unknown to fame 
now, such as 'Egg-hat/ 'Warning,' 'Crosstouch,' 
all helped by the four old pollard elms and the single 
yew tree of the playground. Better still were the 

fames of cricket and hockey on the downs outside 
haw's Folly, or of ' I-spy' on Mill Down, or on 
the remote Stourpaine Bushes. I well remember 
the horror with which, hiding in one of the thickest 
bushes, we found the body of a man hanging there 
by his neckcloth a man who had disappeared 
from Stourpaine some weeks before ; and I remem- 
ber the weird fascination which we felt for the place 
ever afterwards. We played hard, and we worked 
hard. Mr. Penny, by precept and example, encour- 
aged in us all a love for natural history, which has 
been, to me at least, a joy through life. It was my 
greatest pleasure here. There was not a wood 
within six miles of Blandford which, in spite of the 
terrors of the gamekeeper, I did not know well, 
and which did not yield me some rare treasures or 
something interesting to observe. Mr. Penny, know- 
ing my taste, used to give me leave to go away by 
myself at twelve o'clock on half-holidays, and I had 
not to be back until eight in the evening. Some of 
you may have read my account of the raven's nest 


in Badbury Rings. I encountered almost equal 
difficulty in getting to a heron's nest, a bird which 
I knew was building in Lord Portman's cliff. It 
was a pouring wet afternoon, and that favoured 
my design. I had first to climb over the shed at 
the bottom of the yard, made difficult by overhang- 
ing wires, then to drop into the garden, climb the 
garden wall, drop into the lane, and then run the 
gauntlet of the windows, where, if Mr. Penny hap- 
pened to be looking out, all my pains would have 
been thrown away. Next I had to climb the park 
wall, which at that time was guarded inside by spring 
guns fastened by wires which, if you trod upon them, 
brought down the keeper upon you at once ; then 
to climb the lofty fir-tree under which Lord Portman 
himself passed, observed but not observing, while I 
was near the top of it. I got a sample of the eggs, 
and ended by a tumble of some fifteen feet to the 
ground, which, as the ground shelved rapidly away, 
made me turn several times head over heels like a 
shot rabbit. Mr. Penny had an excellent assistant, 
Mr. J. J. Raven (now Dr. Raven, F.S.A.), an ac- 
complished story-teller, who used to pour his stories 
out into our delighted ears on our walks to all the 
church towers and belfries within eight miles of 
Blandford, that he might take the bell inscriptions, 
a subject on which he is now one of the greatest 
living authorities. We had among us, small though 
our total numbers were, several pupils who have 
made a mark in after life. Among them was Lang, 
who never went to any other school, but who, 
thanks to Mr. Penny's tuition, came out a high 
wrangler at Cambridge ; James Handley, who be- 
came a judge in India ; Charles Roe, now Sir 
Charles Roe, K. C.S.I. ; Clarence, a devoted friend 


of the school, who became member of the Supreme 
Court in Ceylon ; Grenfell, who became Sirdar of 
the Egyptian army, and is now Lord Grenfell ; the 
three Stuart brothers, two of whom have become 
successively Earls of Moray, the second of whom 
married a much-loved cousin of my own ; Eugene 
Noel ; Douglas, now Sir Robert Douglas, and one 
of the highest authorities on China at the British 
Museum ; and one whom you at Blandford all know, ' 
Williamson Daniell, of whom all his life I have known 
nothing but good." 

Mr. Clarence records that young Grenfell was a 
most amusing boy, with a great turn for acting, and 
that Bos worth was a hard worker, never idle, and 
that he would often in springtime rise early to work 
in order to be free for bird's-nesting later in the day. 
Bosworth's own account of his adventurous expedi- 
tion after a raven's nest in his " Bird Life " has often 
been quoted, but, as it was a real feat of daring and 
endurance which he recalled with special pleasure, 
it must find a place in the record of his life : 

" I had for some years been fond of birds, in a 
rather truer sense than that in which Tom Tulliver 
was ' fond of them fond, that is, of throwing stones 
at them.' Some six miles from Blandford, between 
it and Wimborne, at the end of a stretch of open 
down, and near the park of Kingston Lacy, there 
stands, on high ground, a noble clump of Scotch 
firs, younger and smaller trees outside, older and 
bigger within. Round the clump run several con- 
centric circles of fosse and rampart, the work of 
bygone races, British, Roman, or Saxon, which 


give to the whole the name of ' Badbury Rings.' 
There, from time immemorial, so tradition said, a 
pair of ravens had reared their young, and many 
attempts had been made without success to reach 
their eyrie. The trees selected were too big in 
girth to swarm, and the lower branches, for forty 
feet upward, had disappeared. The raven, I knew, 
was the earliest of all birds to breed earlier by 
some weeks than the rook and the heron, which 
are the next to follow it. 

" It was the 26th of February 1855, and the snow 
lay thick on the ground. When school was over at 
noon I applied for leave to go to Badbury Rings. 
My good master, the Rev. J. Penny, after a decent 
show of objection ' the snow was so deep that we 
could never get there,' ' the tree so hard that we 
should never be able to climb it,' ' the season so 
backward that no sensible raven would be thinking 
of laying her eggs yet ' gave me the necessary 
permission. I was accompanied by T. H. Taylor, 
now of Trinity College, Cambridge. We bought a 
hammer and a packet of the largest nails we could 
get, some sixty in number, and some ten inches long, 
and we set out on our expedition ; but, what with 
the weight of the nails and hammer, and the depth 
of the snow, and our losing our way for a time near 
the half-way village of Spetisbury, we did not arrive 
till half-past three o'clock. As we approached we 
heard, to our delight, the croak of the ravens, and 
saw them soaring above the clump, or wheeling 
round it, in the pursuit of one another. We entered 
the clump. There were two or three raven-like- 
looking nests, apparently of bygone years, and 
we did not want to assail the wrong one ; so we 
crouched down and watched till we saw, or thought 


we saw, the raven go into one of them. Creeping 
up, we gave the tree a smart tap and out the bird 
flew ; but as birds often go into their nests and ' think 
about it' some days before they lay in them, we 
did not feel over sanguine as to its contents. The 
tree was just what we had expected, and there was 
nothing to be done but to go at it, hammer and 
nails. It was a task of delicacy and difficulty, not 
to say of danger, to lean with one foot the whole of 
one's weight upon a nail, which might have a flaw 
in it, or might not have been driven far enough into 
the tree ; to cling with one arm, as far as it would 
reach, round the bole, and with the other, to hold 
both nail and hammer, and to coax the former into 
the tree with very gentle blows for a heavy blow 
would at once have overbalanced me and then to 
climb one step upwards and repeat the process over 
and over again. The old birds, meanwhile, kept 
flying closely round, croaking and barking fiercely, 
with every feather on neck and head erect in anger, 
and often pitching in a tree close by. It is well 
that they did not make-believe actually to attack 
me ; for the slightest movement on my part to ward 
them off must have thrown me to the ground. In 
spite of the exertion, my hands and body were 
numbed with the cold. I had taken up as many nails 
as I could carry, some six or seven in a tin box tied 
round my waist, and let it down with a string from 
time to time, to get it refilled by my companion. 
As I climbed higher, the work grew more danger- 
ous, for the wind told more, and a slip would now 
not only have thrown me to the ground, but have 
torn me to pieces with the nails which thickly 
studded the trunk below. At last the first branch, 
some fifty feet from the ground, as measured by the 


string, was reached, and the rest was easy. There 
are few moments more exciting to an enthusiastic 
bird's-nester than is the moment before he looks 
into a nest, which he has had much difficulty in 
reaching, and which may or may not contain a rare 
treasure. One can almost hear one's heart beat, 
and ' to my inexpressible delight,' if I may quote 
the phrase I find that I used in my diary for that 
night, my first glance revealed that the nest con- 
tained four eggs. It had taken me two and a half 
hours to attain to them. Two of the eggs are still 
in my possession. They are speckled all over with 
grey and green, twice the size of a rook's egg, and 
perhaps a third larger than a crow's ; and if the 
value which one puts upon a thing depends very 
much, as I suppose it does, on what it has cost one 
to get it, I have the right to regard them as among 
my most treasured possessions. The nest was a 
huge structure, nearly as big as a heron's, but built 
of larger sticks and better put together. The eggs 
lay in a deep and comfortable hollow, lined with 
fibres, grass, dry bracken, a few feathers, some 
rabbits' fur, and, strangest of all, a large portion of 
a woman's dress, probably a gipsy's for in those 
days gipsy encampments were common thereabouts. 
The descent would have been comparatively easy, 
except for the darkness, which had come on apace, 
and made it difficult to find the nails. We did not 
reach Blandford till 9 P.M., worn out with cold, 
hunger, and fatigue, but proud in the possession of 
the first raven's eggs I had ever seen. 1 It is a 
curious coincidence that, in the very same year 
(1903) in which I wrote the first draft of this 

1 Mr. Clarence remembers that a search party had been sent out 
to look for the boys. 



account, Mr. W. H. Hudson, the noted naturalist 
of the Pampas, when wandering, as is his wont, 
through out-of-the-way parts of the country ob- 
serving birds, should have happened to be at Six- 
penny Handley, on the edge of the county of 
Dorset, where he had never been before, and should 
have asked, as is also his wont, a countryman in the 
fields about the birds of the neighbourhood, and in 
particular, whether a raven was ever heard or seen 
there. ' Not often now/ replied the labourer, ' but 
look over yonder' and he pointed to Badbury 
Rings, many miles away ' a pair of ravens did 
always used to bide and build there ; ' and he went 
on to tell him how, many years ago, when quite a 
young man, he had determined one day to go over 
and try to get the young ravens. He had only a 
bit of bread and cheese in his pocket, and when he 
got there, very tired, he found that the tree contain- 
ing the nest was 'stuck all over with big spikes, 
which made it impossible for him to climb it,' and 
he had returned disappointed and exhausted. The 
' big spikes ' which perhaps conjoined with his own 
exhaustion and the terrors of the ravens' croaking 
had made it impossible for him to climb the tree, 
were, doubtless, the very nails which alone had 
enabled me or could have enabled any one a few 
weeks, or a few years before, to climb it." 

Bosworth became in time head of the school and 
the winner of many prizes. His mother's diary 
says, in the quaint phraseology of those days, in 
which even the most natural and warm-hearted of 
human beings felt bound to express herself, " Dear 
Bosworth won the second prize for general history. 


God be praised for this new proof of his diligence. 
May he not be lifted up, but kept lowly ! " " In 
those days," Bosworth Smith used to say in later 
life, " we read our prizes as well as won them. My 
sons, who have won their share of them, think that 
prizes are meant to be looked at on a shelf, and 
would never dream of reading them." His six 
years at Milton Abbas School were very happy, and 
he always felt he owed much to Mr. Penny's teach- 
ing, as well as to his wise encouragement of his 
special tastes. " I knew White's ' Selborne' pretty 
nearly by heart before I was twelve," he said in 
after years. 

Mr. Penny is happily still living, and his words 
about his "much-loved friend and pupil" have a 
touching interest of their own : 

"I have shrunk," he writes, "from writing of 
him lest I should not do justice to him. Again and 
again I have thought of Daedalus, as Virgil repre- 
sents him. He longed to set up a memorial in 
gold of his son's misfortune, but Virgil says, ' Twice 
fell the father's hands ; ' and so I would fain tell my 
story in golden words, but words fail me. . . . Sixty 
years ago your father was placed under my care, 
and for close upon six years he was with me. In 
most respects he was like other boys but in two 
things he distinguished himself : he loved the pur- 
suit of natural history, loved it enthusiastically ; but 
he never allowed his fondness for it to interfere 
with his school work. This under no pretence 
whatever was neglected by him. At the right 


moment he was ready with all he had to prepare ; 
and the secret of all was, that whatever he had 
before him, whether in the way of study or of recrea- 
tion, he did thoroughly. I have always regarded 
his memorable achievement at Badbury Rings as 
containing the great element of his character in- 
domitable perseverance a determination to com- 
plete whatever he undertook. As a boy, if he had 
anything to do he did it ; and as time went on 
there was the same all-conquering, unyielding 
'labor improbus? Whether it was his 'Carthage* 
or his ' Life of Lord Lawrence ' (at which, I know, 
he worked until his eyes almost refused to serve 
him for pain), or his charming ' Bird Life ' (the last, 
to our sorrow, of his beautiful books), or the re- 
miniscence of a friend, or a speech on any subject 
nothing that came from him was incomplete. It 
was not necessary to say to him, ' Whatsoever thy 
hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.' " 

From Milton Abbas Bosworth went in 1855 to 
Marl borough. 

" He came there," writes Canon T. L. Papillon, 
" at an unusually late age, and was at once placed 
in the form next below the Sixth. We who had 
worked our way up from the lower forms, and were 
perhaps inclined to think our own experience the 
only one worth having, soon found that this new- 
comer was intellectually our equal, if not our 
superior, and that his reading was wider, and his 
tastes more varied, than were usually developed by 
the then narrow curriculum of a public school. In 
those days scant encouragement was given to nature 
study in any form, and Bosworth, his pet raven, and 


his knowledge, already wide, of birds and their 
ways, was a new phenomenon in the upper part of 
the school. He was also more of a politician than 
most of us, and a readier speaker in our debating 
society, and we could not help noting that the 
master thought him worth talking to, and put trust 
in his opinion on school and other matters. He 
was withal a genial companion and a firm friend ; 
somewhat ' peppery,' if suddenly crossed, but never 
bearing malice ; and all who were thrown much into 
his company both liked and respected him. As a 
boy he had the courage of his opinions, and was 
outspoken against anything wrong, or in support of 
what he believed to be right ; and his influence 
among his companions, and on the school generally, 
was all for good." 

" The Headmaster," Bosworth Smith writes, 
" was Dr. Cotton, afterwards Bishop of Calcutta. 
In my last year, when I was head of the school, 
I was brought into much contact with him, and 
owe more than I can express to his influence and 
example. As head of the school, I had to present 
the testimonial subscribed for by the boys on his 
leaving for Calcutta, and he continued most kindly 
to correspond with me until his untimely death in 
the River Ganges." 

A letter to Bosworth Smith from Dr. Cotton was 
found on board the steamer which he was attempt- 
ing to reach when he made the fatal slip from the 
plank. Bishop Cotton's death in 1866 the news 
of which was broken to Bosworth with the greatest 


kindness by the Rev. F. W. Farrar (afterwards 
Dean Farrar) was a deep grief to him. 

An In Memoriam sketch of the man he loved and 
honoured so profoundly was the first of many such 
sketches which he was to write in after years. 
These writings were due, partly to a natural 
impulse of his warmly affectionate disposition, 
partly to a sense that it was his duty to put in 
words what others felt, but would be less willing to 
express. Many of these brief memoirs, which de- 
scribe character and influence rather than chronicle 
events, were written under the influence of strong 
emotion, and all of them with almost fastidious care. 
They contain passages of singular delicacy and 
beauty, and to many who have the best right to 
judge, they seem to present a true and touching 
picture of those whom they have loved and lost. 
They possess, indeed, something of the qualities of 
refinement of touch, of insight into the essential as 
apart from the superficial and accidental, which give 
a good portrait a charm to which no photograph 
can lay claim. 

Writing of Bishop Cotton the first man of such 
calibre with whom he had been brought into contact 
Bosworth says : 

"He was a man of few words, but we felt that 
where a word was necessary it would be forthcom- 
ing, and that beneath that calm exterior there was 
a rare humour, dry or even grim, but a genuine 
under-current of the soul, a subdued mirthfulness 


of disposition. . . . When he condemned, it was 
not the condemnation of one who had never failed 
himself; it was a condemnation tempered by love. 
. . . His self-command, combined as it was with 
almost uniform gravity of presence and of counte- 
nance, was appreciated most by those of us whose 
duty it was to assist him in governing the school. 
He was not what is called a man of tact he 
was far too great for that ; he never wantonly 
offended prejudices, but neither did he tamper 
with them or with his own sincerity. Always 
open to argument, and ready even to undo a thing 
when it was proved that it had been unwisely done, 
he would never make a show of hesitation when he 
did not really hesitate. But little would his rare 
gifts of intellect have availed had we not felt that 
there was more still behind. The greatest lesson 
we learned from him was the lesson of his life. 
With him we always felt that morality and religion 
went hand in hand ; it was the life of Christ that he 
set forth to us in his sermons, and that he evidenced 
in his own life. His sermons, his confirmation 
classes, his solemn addresses to the Sixth Form at 
the close of each half-year all were laden with the 
same burden, the task of working our religion into 
every action, however small, and blending duty with 
religion until the two were inseparable." 

When Dr. Cotton left Marlborough, he commended 
his successor, Dr. G. G. Bradley, afterwards Dean 
of Westminster, to Bosworth Smith's "care," and 
Dean Bradley always remembered how much he 
owed to the zeal and loyal help of his first Senior 
Prefect, and a warm affection and sympathy existed 


between them through life. " I well remember," 
writes Canon Robinson Duckworth, who from 1858 
to 1860 was Assistant Master at Marlborough, " how 
strong and valuable his influence was as head of the 

At Marlborough began his friendship with John 
Shearme Thomas, who afterwards became his 
brother-in-law, and who, as Bursar of the College, 
for forty-seven years rendered such splendid service 
to the school. 1 " The Bursar," Bosworth Smith 
said on the Jubilee Day of the College, "is the per- 
manent element in the place, the depositary of the 
whole of its history and of its traditions." Later on 
he wrote : " He was at the service of every one who 
loved the place, down to the youngest boy whose 
life he could sweeten or whom, by a word in time, 
he could save from what was wrong. He sought 
not his own but the good of the community ; and 
his loyalty begat loyalty in all around him ; his 
energy begat energy; his sincerity, sincerity." John 
Thomas, with his energy and thoroughness, his warm 
heart and his unwavering faith, always seemed to his 
brother-in-law and to his countless friends "a tower 
that stood four-square to all the winds that blow." 

" The beautiful downs and large fir-woods and 
the unique Savernake Forest gave me plenty of 
scope for my favourite pursuit of bird's-nesting. 
Among my intimate friends and contemporaries at 
Marlborough were several who have since become 

1 He married, secondly, Evelyn, eldest daughter of Dean Farrar. 


well known ; such are Courtenay Peregrine Ilbert 
and T. L. Papillon, Alfred Robinson, and R. H. 
Collins, perhaps my greatest friend now Sir 
Robert Collins, K.C.B., the tutor and intimate 
friend of the late Duke of Albany, afterwards Con- 
troller of the Duchess's household." l Sir Robert 
Collins, whose charm of character won him devoted 
friends in all ranks of society, always delighted to 
recall the happy days bird's-nesting in Savernake 
Forest, especially the crowning triumph of the dis- 
covery of a raven's nest in a clump of silver firs in 
1859. He and Bosworth never lost touch with each 
other, and they were hardly separated at the end, 
for Sir Robert passed away only a fortnight after 
his friend. 

Sir Courtenay Ilbert, K.C.B., Chief Clerk of the 
House of Commons, whose warm and faithful 
friendship followed Bosworth Smith through life, 
has kindly written down something of his early 
recollections : 

" Bosworth Smith, when I knew him first, was a 
full-faced, fair-haired, grey-eyed boy of fifteen. I 
was two years his junior in age, but I went 
to Marlborough as a very small boy, and when he 
arrived there and took his place in the Upper Fifth, 

1 It was at one time the/idea of H.R.H. the Duchess of Albany, 
who always showed the greatest kindness to Bosworth Smith 
and his wife, to place her son, the present Duke of Saxe-Coburg 
Gotha, in his house at Harrow ; but later on it became neces- 
sary to give the young Duke a German and not an English 



I was already in the Lower Sixth. However, he 
soon joined me, and during each of his half years 
after his first we sat side by side in the Sixth Form. 
He preceded me as Senior Prefect, and his initials 
are still to be seen carved just above mine on the 
Senior Prefect's desk in the Upper Sixth class- 
room. I remember him as a quiet, silent, reserved 
boy, very tenacious of his opinions and of his pur- 
poses, and singularly independent in his ways. 
Devoted though he was to all that concerned the 
honour and welfare of his school, his personal 
interest in the ordinary school games was small, 
and he did not distinguish himself either at cricket 
or football. His outdoor interests, then as always, 
lay, not in the orthodox playing fields, but in the 
observation and study of wild life, especially of bird 
life. For such studies Marlborough, with its mag- 
nificent forest on one side, and its wide-spreading 
downs, besprinked with coppices, on the other, pre- 
sented an unrivalled field. It was in the glades 
and recesses of this forest, or high up among the 
branches of some gaunt and ancient fir tree in these 
coppices, that he spent every hour that he could 
spare. And before his three Marlborough years 
were over, there was not a bird that was to be 
found within walking distance of the school with 
whose ways and habits and haunts he was not 
on terms of intimate familiarity. This, it must 
be remembered, was before the time of compul- 
sory cricket and football, when schoolboy life at 
Marlborough, if less disciplined, was more varied ; 
and when there was nothing incongruous in the 
sight of a grave Senior Prefect ' shinning ' up a 
lofty tree towards the nest of a hawk, raven, or 
crow. My own tastes had much in common with 
49 D 


his, for though I had not his knowledge of bird 
lore, I also was country bred, and had, in those 
delightfully lawless days of the 'fifties' at Marl- 
borough, often tasted the fierce delight of outwit- 
ting or outstripping a surly farmer or keeper in the 
pursuit of (shall we say?) natural science. Our 
book studies too, as was natural to boys who sat 
side by side during school hours, had a great deal 
in common. He was a hard and conscientious 
worker, a sound, but not, I should say, a first- 
rate scholar in the narrow sense, and cared 
more for history than for the niceties of language. 
Even at school he was a ready and forcible speaker 
when on his legs, and though his handwriting 
always suggested the ramblings of a drunken 
spider, his pen moved swiftly and easily. He had 
views of his own, views which he maintained with 
great fervour and conviction, about the things which 
were not worth learning. Among them he num- 
bered (he may have changed his opinion in later 
life) the French language, and he was content to 
scramble through his Guizot or what not, with the 
aid of a rapid construe from me, just as he relied 
on our dear old friend, Alfred Robinson, for assist- 
ance in the detested problems of mathematics. 
He was Senior Prefect during Cotton's last year 
and at the beginning of Bradley's rule, and his 
strong, independent character made him a great 
force in the school during a critical period of its 

"We visited each other in our holidays, and I 
think it must have been before he left Marlborough, 
at all events before I did, that I went to stay with 
his people in the thatched Dorset Rectory, and that 
he came down to scramble with me over the South 


Devon cliffs, which the red-legged chough had not 
yet forsaken, and where the raven still builds. 

"When I went up to Oxford in the autumn of 
1860, Bosworth Smith was half-way through his 
undergraduate course. He and Papillon were my 
companions on my first Long Vacation reading-party 
in the summer of 1861. We took lodgings in a 
solitary farmhouse called Letter, on the north side 
of Loch Katrine, far away from the stream of 
tourists, who passed us daily in their crowded 
steamer, but avoided the shore. The young 
farmer studied at the University of Edinburgh in 
the winter, and worked on his farm in the summer. 
He recited Ossian to us, and borrowed our books, 
which he read aloud to his mother in the evening. 
One evening he read, or thought he read, how at 
the battle of Marathon, Cynegeirus had his head 
cut off by an axe, and died of the wound. The 
mother thought the last statement unnecessary, so 
the book was put down, and the pair sat up till late 
in the night discussing, in earnest Scottish fashion, 
why such an otiose remark should have been made. 
The difficulty was submitted to us next morning, 
and was solved by the suggestion that the dim light 
had misled the reader, and that it was not the head 
but the hand that had been severed. 

" Our ages and temperaments were not such as 
to be affected seriously by adverse weather, and it 
did rain almost continuously. I don't remember a 
single quarrel. We discussed politics, and espe- 
cially the American Civil War, which was then 
raging. Both Bosworth and I were strong Nor- 
therners in our sympathies, and we took in John 
B right's organ, the Morning Star. 

" In the following summer, that of 1862, I met 


Bosworth Smith accidentally in Switzerland, and we 
travelled home together in happy and leisurely 
fashion. I found that he had not got over his con- 
tempt for the French language, and that he had 
very definite and deeply based views about the 
costume appropriate to 'the Continent,' an expres- 
sion which, according to him, embraced, without 
discrimination, a Swiss mountain side and a 
Parisian street. This was an article of faith. 

" Soon afterwards came the brief college fellow- 
ship, cut short by a happy marriage, and the thirty- 
seven busy, useful years at Harrow, of which others 
will write with fuller and better knowledge. But 
Harrow is within easy reach of London, and my 
London memories, both in earlier and in later 
years, are charged with pleasant Harrow pictures ; 
the drawing-room, bright with lovely golden-haired 
children, the new house a-building, whose rafters 
tempted to perilous climbs, the garden ambitiously 
advancing its boundaries down the hill, the odorous 
corner where the raven called ' Holloway ' and the 
great solemn owls blinked and snapped. And, 
linking together the scattered, fragmentary memo- 
ries of fifty-three years and more, runs the golden 
thread of a friendship always warm, staunch, and un- 
failing, both in hours of sorrow and in hours of joy." 

" I was elected in 1858 to an Open Scholarship at 
Corpus College, Oxford. I obtained a First Class 
in Classical Moderations and a First Class in the 
Final Classical School (1862), and very shortly 
afterwards was elected to a Fellowship at Trinity 
College, Oxford, and became also lecturer at Corpus. 
Life at Oxford was never much to my liking 
although I made many friends there." 


Such is Bosworth Smith's own brief account of 
his University career. Leaving Marlborough was 
the final breach with his early associations, for 
Marlborough with its downs and water meadows 
and woods had still recalled his native Dorset, and 
its isolated position made it, like his own home or 
Milton Abbas School, something of a world to 
itself. Up to the time of his going to Oxford he 
had seen little enough of the outside world, nor had 
he met many people beyond his own relations. His 
attachment to his home and his own family was so 
great that customs and ways of thought, other than 
those which he knew there, seemed to him, at first, 
altogether wrong, and it was not till later life had 
familiarised him with men and manners of widely 
different types that he lost a certain spirit of in- 
tolerance, and something of the quality best ex- 
pressed by the French word farouche, which were 
due to his early upbringing. " I wonder how many 
of what we consider to be our maturest convictions," 
he said himself in later life, " rest on, or are coloured 
by, our earliest prejudices ? " Like all ardent and 
impulsive characters, he was never free from strong 
prejudices in certain directions, but nothing was 
more marked, as years went by, than the steady 
expansion of his sympathies and the ever-growing 
warmth of his geniality and benevolence. 

He felt leaving Marlborough very keenly, and 
in the solitude of his first evening at Oxford 
the contrast between his present state unknown 


and friendless with the proud position he had 
held at Marlborough, prompted some regretful 
verses, written in the metre of " Locksley Hall" 
the only English verses, it seems, that he ever 

While he was at Oxford, Bosworth Smith spent 
some of his vacations at the Holmwood Vicarage 
in Surrey, the home of his father's Winchester and 
Balliol friend, Edmund Dawe Wickham. The 
Holmwood is a romantic village scattered over a 
wide common, near to the fir woods of the Red- 
lands and to the Leith Hill range; the Vicarage is 
a charming large house with a beautiful garden. 
Edmund Dawe Wickham came of an old Somerset- 
shire family, who claimed kinship with the great 
William of Wykeham, whose arms and motto they 
bore, and with whose marked aquiline features 
more than one member of the Holmwood family 
showed a strong resemblance. Edmund Wickham 
was Vicar of the Holmwood from 1851 till 1893. 
He was a man of singularly handsome presence, a 
good talker with a great love of a joke or a good 
story, a clergyman and gentleman of the old school, 
of real kindness of heart, deeply interested in 
missions and in all that concerned his parishioners. 
He married Emma, only daughter and heiress of 
Archdale Palmer of Cheam Park, Surrey. Mrs. 
Wickham was a woman of marked personality ; to 
her children and her husband's parishioners the 
best of advisers and the truest of friends. 


" Her interests," Bosworth Smith wrote of her, 
"were not in any way confined to her children and 
the parishioners. She had an unusually wide circle 
of friends with whom she corresponded, and to 
whom, as to her children, her gifts, intellectual and 
social, were the source of the keenest enjoyment. 
Highly accomplished, quick-witted, ready at re- 
partee, clever and amusing in conversation, she was 
often able to pierce in a moment to the true kernel of 
a difficulty, to point out the flaw in an argument, and 
to pass a judgment which, if it was not elaborately 
reasoned out, was always incisive, luminous, sugges- 
tive. In thought, word, and deed she was sincerity 
itself; and if the keenness of her insight, and the 
frank directness of her speech, often probed a weak 
place, it seldom left a sting behind. Exceedingly 
rapid in thought and execution, it was not every 
one that could understand her, but it may be truly 
said that those who understood her best loved her 

The Wickhams almost the only family, not of 
his own relations, with whom Bosworth had ever 
stayed before had been brought up under a more 
rigid and more conventional Evangelicalism than 
the Stafford Rectory children, but there was no 
lack of originality and force of character among 

The six daughters had been exceptionally well 
educated, and they had been brought up to enjoy 
the simple pleasures of country life. Emmeline, 
the eldest daughter, afterwards married the Rev. 
J. Franck Bright, for many years Master of Uni- 


versity College, Oxford ; and Bertha, the fifth 
daughter, married later Bosworth's elder brother 
Henry, and secondly, the Rev. T. Holt Wilson of 
Redgrave, Norfolk. The fourth sister, Flora, was 
then a lovely girl of seventeen ; Bosworth fell in 
love with her soon after they met at Stafford, and 
they became engaged in August 1862, just after he 
had won his First Class. She shared his love of 
natural history ; her knowledge of the notes of 
birds was greater than even his own, and the most 
radiant days of a romantically happy engagement 
were spent together in the open air. They met 
thus at what was for both of them the outset of life, 
and the nature of their attachment changed so little, 
that in the letters which he wrote to his wife during 
their last separation, he unconsciously repeated many 
of the same expressions of affection which he had 
used in his letters to her during their engagement 
more than forty years before. A story was told 
that once, when the sisters were running down a 
hillside, one of them fell, and when some one asked 
Bosworth, " Did you see Bertha ?" his answer was, 
"No, I only saw Flora." 

In May 1863, when his full energies were needed 
in his Fellowship examination, his sister Ellinor, who 
had been his special friend and companion, was 
drawing near her end ; his thoughts and his heart 
were all with her, and it seemed almost impossible 
to remain at Oxford and to face the examination. 
Her sister Eva writes of her : " She had a great 


power of enjoyment, a strong imagination, a still 
stronger sense of humour ; she was quick and pas- 
sionate, but the spiritual side of her was vividly 
developed, and her power of living in the interests 
and feelings of others was extraordinary." She died 
on May 23, and with a breaking heart Bosworth 
went through his examination all that week, and 
when the Fellowship was won it seemed scarcely to 
touch him, since she was not there to rejoice in his 

Canon Duckworth writes : 

"It was a great happiness to me when he was 
elected to a Fellowship at Trinity and appointed to 
a lectureship. During the Fellowship examination 
I acted as his amanuensis, and I wrote his English 
essay from his dictation. His writing was difficult 
to decipher, and it was felt that he would be unfairly 
handicapped if he was not allowed the assistance 
of a more legible scribe. He used often to refer 
gratefully to this little service, which it was such a 
pleasure to me to render. His lectures at Trinity 
were thought very able and useful. He found time 
to keep up his intimacy with the feathered creation, 
and his pet raven had its home in the Fellows' 
garden. We missed him sadly when he left for 

Among the friends whose names appear most 
constantly in his correspondence, besides those 
already mentioned, are E. C. Boyle, C. H. Wright, 
A. S. Aglen, Professor John Connington, and 
Edward (now Sir Edward) Donner, with the last 


of whom his friendship was specially close. "We 
did nothing remarkable or interesting together," 
writes Sir Edward Donner, "we just lived and 
thought together." Bosworth's own words, " A 
great spurt and a little pause," characterise his 
method of work, not only at Oxford, but through 
life. His time at Oxford coincided with the great 
Jowett controversy, and his letters to his future 
wife show what he felt on the subject : 

" My sympathies are with him, as they always 
will be with one who is persecuted for his religious 
opinions, provided they are honestly arrived at, 
however unorthodox they may be. I am not one 
of those who believe that absolute truth has been 
attained by the English Church or any other Church, 
and the only way to get nearer it is to have free 
inquiry. The Bible has everything to gain by 
criticism, and hence I should be most sorry to see 
a man who knows more of the Bible than any of 
his persecutors, and certainly carries its spirit into 
practice more than most people I have seen, driven 
from a position where, cheated though he is of his 
pay, he makes himself intellectually and morally the 
guide and teacher of the whole University. ... A 
' court of heresy ' I look on as a revival of mediaeval 

Sir Kenelm Digby's most vivid recollection of 
his friend at Oxford relates to the stormy scene 
when the Jowett question came before Convocation. 
" I can see his face glowing with righteous indigna- 
tion," he writes ; " he had climbed up to a corner, 


which placed him close to Archdeacon Denison, 
who was opposing the vote on the ground of 
Jowett's supposed heterodoxy. There was a good 
deal of noise and confusion, but his voice was heard 
shouting above all the tumult." 

His letters mention " Mark Pattison's essay-like 
sermon, which must have shocked the anxious 
parents who swarmed in Oxford yesterday," and 
"Stanley's parties, which are the pleasantest in 
Oxford in every way he did much to hold together 
and strengthen the Liberal party. I was just in 
front of him during his last sermon at Oxford, 
and could see his soul moving in his face, as one 
earnest appeal after another came out. The sub- 
ject was our Saviour weeping over Jerusalem, 
and he preached for an hour and a quarter the 
idea was, Oxford as it is compared with Oxford as 
it might be." 

In 1862 Bosworth was elected President of the 
Union without a contest; his chief effort there was 
a vehement three-quarters of an hour speech on the 
subject of Kagosima. " My blood boils," he wrote, 
" with indignation at the ruthless massacre we have 
been perpetuating on the innocent Japanese. It is 
one of the most fiendish things ever done in war." 
He found warm sympathy with his attitude in Pro- 
fessor Goldwin Smith, Francis Otter, and others of 
the Liberal party at Oxford, and in January 1864 
he made his first appearance in print by a letter on 
the subject in the Daily News, and thus, on the first 


occasion of public writing, he struck the note which 
was characteristic of many of his writings in later 
life a passionate indignation against what seemed 
to him a misuse of power by a civilised over a less 
civilised race. 

The following notes were kindly written by the 
Right Hon. James Bryce, at present British Ambas- 
sador at Washington, for whom my father always 
felt the warmest admiration and affection. They 
complete the picture of his Oxford days and of his 
circle of friends. 

" Corpus Christi College was," Mr. Bryce writes, 
" when your father came up to Oxford as one of its 
scholars, nearly the smallest college in the Univer- 
sity, and certainly one of the most agreeable. There 
was a particularly pleasant set of men in residence. 
A spirit of good-fellowship prevailed. Undergra- 
duates from other colleges were always glad to go 
to dine in hall at Corpus, because everybody was 
genial and kindly, and the college seemed like a 
group of family friends. There seemed to be no 
' sets ' and no jealousies. Among the scholars 
who were intellectually its Zlite, as they had been 
in the days when Arnold and J. T. Coleridge were 
scholars of the College, there were some men of 
striking ability, whose performances at the Univer- 
sity had already marked them out for distinction in 
the world. Among these were Sir H. A. Giffard, 
afterwards a leading Queen's Counsel, and now 
High Bailiff of Guernsey ; Henry Nettleship, after- 
wards Professor of Latin, and one of the bright 
ornaments of British scholarship ; Charles Bigge, 


afterwards a Canon of Christ Church and Regius 
Professor of Ecclesiastical History; Edward Donner, 
now Sir E. Donner, Bart, of Manchester, one of 
the first citizens of that great community ; George 
Augustus Simcox, a scholar of extraordinary pro- 
mise, and with literary gifts which were equalled 
among his Oxford contemporaries only by A. C. 
Swinburne. These were among your father's 
friends at Oxford, and their society was very stimu- 
lating as well as enjoyable. Edward Donner, who 
was nearly his contemporary, and Henry Nettle- 
ship, who was a little his senior, were, I think, the 
two with whom he was most intimate. He came up 
from Marlborough College with a great reputation, 
of which I had already heard from our common 
friend Edward Colquhoun Boyle, then Scholar and 
afterwards Fellow of Trinity. Boyle was himself 
a Marlborough man, devoted to his school, and he 
had already formed a strong attachment to your 
father, and expected great things from him. It 
was my good fortune to know some other distin- 
guished old Marlburians then at the University, 
such as Anthony Aglen (afterwards Archdeacon 
Aglen), and C. P. Ilbert (now Sir Courtenay Ilbert), 
and T. L. Papillon and C. K. Chatfield, and in their 
company, as well as in Boyle's, I met your father 
pretty frequently. The Marlborough men kept 
much together in those days. From the first I was 
greatly impressed by the vigour of his mind, and 
the quiet, self-contained strength of his character. 
In a large party he generally listened more than he 
spoke, but he was a delightful companion in small 
gatherings and in the long country walks which we 
undergraduates were then fond of taking, especially 
on Sundays I am sorry to hear that this habit has 


begun to be less in favour at Oxford. He had already 
acquired a great knowledge of birds and bird life, 
and he loved all sides and aspects of the English 
country, his own Dorsetshire most of all. We were 
all very fond of him ; and one of the things that 
attracted us was the sense of the deep fund of affec- 
tion he possessed, and a peculiarly winning smile 
that now and then broke over his face. 

"With this somewhat reserved manner, he was by 
no means a recluse ; and used to speak from time to 
time at the Union, the famous debating society of 
the University, which had then lasted more than 
thirty years. He had an easy command of clear 
and forcible language, and was among the best 
speakers of his time. I recollect a motion he 
brought forward in 1859 (I think) on the subject 
of the existence of ghosts, which was debated 
through two of the weekly meetings, and drew 
many speeches from members who, like myself, 
had never before 'taken the floor.' He was in 
those days a strong Liberal, and sided with the 
Northern States in the most exciting public ques- 
tion of those days, the American Civil War. Like 
most youthful speakers, he did not often indulge 
that strong vein of humour which he already pos- 
sessed, and which his friends already, and his 
Harrow pupils long after, used to enjoy ; but was 
generally earnest and serious in debate. 

" In the autumn of 1861, E. C. Boyle and I, who 
were also reading in Scotland, visited your father, 
Ilbert, and Papillon at Letter, a lonely spot on Loch 
Katrine, and this gave me an opportunity of getting 
to know him still better. He loved the wild moun- 
tain region round Loch Katrine, and already knew 
all the birds." 



There was no money, and it was necessary to 
settle on a profession as soon as possible. Mr. 
Matthew Arnold has frankly admitted that he 
adopted the profession of school-teaching in order 
to marry, and in point of fact the same motive 
determined Bosworth Smith's career ; schoolmaster- 
ing seemed the only chance of obtaining a settled 
income immediately. At that time Rugby naturally 
stood high among public schools, and he was anxious 
to go there or to Marlborough, whither Mr. Bradley 
pressed him to return. But when an offer of a 
mastership at Harrow came from Dr. Butler, his 
friends strongly advised him to accept it, and he 
took up work there in September 1864. He had 
already been to Harrow in December 1862 as an 
examiner, and had stayed with Dr. Butler. He 
wrote to his future wife on that occasion : 

" I was at once set at my ease by Dr. Butler, 
whom I like extremely, and have very long talks 
with every night, when the rest are gone to 
bed. He gives me the impression of being very 
able as well as a most perfect scholar, and he 
alarms me not a little, when he takes up one of my 
papers and opens a discussion upon some point of 
scholarship connected with it. The first night 
there was a formidable party of masters to whom 
I had to be formally introduced. . . . The school 
gives me the impression, after Marlborough, of 
being too much split up into small divisions by 
the number of houses. I had to read out the 
results of the examination by torchlight on the 


school steps, and you can imagine I was in rather 
a fright." 

His letters show that he left Oxford with the 
feeling that he might have made better use of his 
time, and when he revisited it a little later, he 
apparently realised more fully how much he had 
missed, elsewhere, the atmosphere of the place and 
the companionship of his friends. 




ON September 16, 1864, Bosworth Smith writes: 
" I found myself face to face with my form of 
twenty-seven boys, half of them new. I trust 
we shall rub along somehow. I occupy half the 
Fourth Form Room, the other half being occupied 
by another Mr. Smith, the greatest celebrity here 
for his earnestness and the power he acquires over 
all the boys in the school. He is a genuine apostle 
in his earnestness and love." In 1878 the Rev. 
John Smith, one of the most saintly men who 
ever gave their lives to Harrow, wrote to Bosworth 
Smith : " May I say how thankful I am that you 
have taken up your abode here ; not only because 
all your work is so first-rate, but because your 
general influence is so good and healthy. I only 
hope some day to see you one of a valuable com- 
pany of lay preachers, addressing us in the chapel, 
on equal terms with the clerical members of our 

After a year in Edward Bowen's house, came 
Bosworth Smith's marriage, a marriage that brought 
him complete happiness. From the first there was 

6 5 E 


absolute community of interest. His wife's energy 
and practical ability relieved him from the necessity 
of dealing with business details, which were uncon- 
genial to him, and it was her sympathy, her devoted 
care of him, and the self-sacrificing earnestness with 
which she threw herself into all his pursuits, that 
enabled him to widen his sphere of usefulness 
beyond his actual daily work, and to lead, as indeed 
he did, many lives in one. Not only did she com- 
bine, in later years, the care of her large family 
with the unassisted management of her great 
household, but she often translated, abridged, or 
criticised for him some work in a modern European 
language of which he was ignorant, and she was 
ready at all times, even at the close of a long day, 
to copy his manuscript or letters, or to write at 
his dictation far into the night. "If he had not 
written so badly," she used to say, " I should never 
have got to know his thoughts so well." He could 
never be happy long without her, and there was no 
subject that they did not discuss together. His 
dependence on her and devotion to her seemed 
only to grow with the years. 

In the sixties there was little or nothing of the 
suburbs about Harrow. The hill, crowned with 
its stately church spire and red school buildings, 
was set in a wide expanse of well-timbered grass 
country. Between the hill and the circle of the 
horizon, on which the landmarks of Hampstead 
Heath, St. Paul's, the Crystal Palace, and the dim 


outline of Windsor Castle can be traced, there was 
then hardly a house to be seen or a puff of smoke 
to mark a railway. " Why, Bosworth," his old 
relative, Colonel Pinney, looking out of the Knoll 
drawing-room window, used to say, " what a magni- 
ficent park you have, and nothing to pay for keeping 
it up." 

The town itself scarcely extended beyond the top 
and northern slope of the hill ; nearly all the resi- 
dents were more or less directly connected with 
the school. Of late years the place has, with the 
increase of building and multiplication of railways, 
lost something of its distinctive character. 

The public schools of England have the faculty 
of calling forth the lifelong devotion and whole- 
hearted service of men of the most different types ; 
the very stones of the buildings, the trees, the sound 
of the bell seem to those, for whom their school 
means anything at all, not as other stones and trees 
and bells. The traditions of the place, even the 
routine itself, which pursues its way regardless of 
who may come or who may go, are an inspiration 
and an absorbing interest to those who feel their 

It was not long before Harrow became as dear to 
Bosworth Smith, or almost as dear, as Marlborough 
had been ; and when in 1869 he was invited by Dr. 
Butler to build a house as an addition to the school, 
his attachment to Harrow was cemented by the 
acquisition of a home of his own. 


" The Harrow recollections are of course count- 
less," writes Dr. Butler to Mrs. Bosworth Smith, 
"and I think I may say all delightful. One of 
those which I cherish most is the brave ' venture 
of faith ' which he made when first offered the 
opportunity of converting the small house into a 
large one. There had been some croaking owing 
to a decline of numbers in the school. Fully believ- 
ing that the falling off was not significant, I put 
before him the prospect at once, and the risk of 
building virtually a new house. He did not hesi- 
tate, and long before the house was finished his list 
was, as I knew it would be, full. How its pros- 
perity was maintained no one now knows so well 
as yourself, and with what special love your house 
boys always regarded their dear master. He will 
be long remembered at Harrow and by hundreds of 
families in all parts of the world." 

The garden became from the first his chief plea- 
sure and recreation. " To acquire love of flowers 
is like acquiring a sixth sense," he said himself in 
later years. " Gardening is one of the few occupa- 
tions and amusements which have no objectionable 
element at all in them. It has no element of cruelty, 
like all field sports, however pleasant they may be. 
It gives no encouragement to drinking, gambling, 
or betting. It is very difficult to believe that any 
one who is really fond of flowers can have anything 
seriously wrong with his character." 

By a series of ingenious little lawns and paths, 
the steep hillside with its fine elm trees was con- 
verted into a charming garden, and here he kept 


his owls and his tame raven Jacob, whose cough and 
imitation of his master's voice amused generations 
of visitors. 

The early years at Harrow were perhaps espe- 
cially happy for him. He was devoted to little 
children, and his own were an unending delight 
and amusement and interest to him. He always 
loved to recall their early sayings, which, like those 
of most children, seem generally to have referred to 
some religious problem. His eldest boy at the age 
of five announced that when he heard a text he did 
not like, he did not believe it a not uncommon 
method of dealing with such matters ; the same 
child protested that he could not both try and 
succeed ; and another of the same age was found 
to repeat the Doxology thus: "Glory be to the 
Father, and to the Sun and to the Moon " a curious 
and unconscious return to fire-worship! He was 
especially proud of two little golden-haired sons 
who ran a mile race with the boys of his house, 
often sitting down to rest for a while, and then 
starting on again to accomplish the distance in 
their own time. The long summer hours with him 
in the garden, or the winter evenings in his study, 
when he would read aloud to them a Scott novel or 
poem, are among the precious recollections of each 
of his children. 

The pleasant atmosphere of friendliness and 
sympathy which seems to have pervaded the place 
in those days was due not a little to the influence of 


Dr. and Mrs. Montagu Butler. For Dr. Butler, 
Bosworth Smith felt all through life the warmest 
admiration and affection, and he was never happier 
than when talking with Mrs. Butler and her sister, 
Mrs. Cruikshank. A sketch which he wrote of 
Mrs. Butler in 1883 seems to preserve something 
of the fragrance of her beautiful character : 

14 There was a transparent simplicity, an artless- 
ness, a grace about her, which took one captive at 
first sight. No lapse of time can efface the pure 
bright image which, in all the charm and freshness 
of her early life, stamped itself in imperishable 
colours on the writer's mind when he paid his first 
visit to Harrow, now some nineteen years ago. 
The thousand acts of kindness to him and his, and 
the unbroken friendship of subsequent years ; the 
singular beauty and poetry of her letters, one of 
which seldom failed to come at the time when it 
would be most valued ; the contagious influence of 
an exhaustless fund of sympathy ; a divine incredu- 
lity as to evil ; a not less divine credulity as to what 
was good ; a blithesomeness of disposition which 
communicated itself to all around her, and forced 
them often, in spite of themselves, to forget their 
troubles and grievances. ... It was not that she 
was what would be called a great or brilliant talker, 
or that she could have been ordinarily said 'to 
shine ' in general society. Her nature was too re- 
tiring, too refined, too simple, too deep for that. It 
was hers to glow, rather than to shine ; to attract 
attention rather than to challenge it ; to influence 
and charm men and women alike, rather than to 
dazzle. She would often sit for many minutes 


together, silently listening to a conversation which 
she enjoyed, without taking any part in it. But her 
silence, her looks, her presence, the occasional ripple 
of laughter which burst from her when anything 
touched her singularly delicate sense of humour, were 
more eloquent than other people's speech. They 
diffused warmth and brightness all around her." 

There were not a few men of note among the 
Harrow masters forty years ago. In a sketch of 
his friend, the Rev. E. H. Bradby, afterwards Head- 
master of Haileybury, he wrote : 

" Harrow in those days was favoured with the 
presence of many remarkable preachers Dr. Butler, 
Bishop Westcott, Archdeacon Farrar, and Mr. John 
Smith among them. One of these, perhaps, ex- 
celled all others in spiritual fervour, in insight, and 
in contagious enthusiasm ; another in learning and 
in historical and moral sweep ; another in glowing 
eloquence and in that indignation against all that is 
base, which lifts the hearers more than one step 
towards all that is noble ; another in the perfectly 
unconscious revelation of a saintly life. Each of 
these sermons was, from some points of view, 
greater than those of Mr. Bradby, but there were 
others in which they were less. Quietly and simply, 
as though he were thinking aloud, he would go 
straight to his mark with an unmistakable earnest- 
ness, but with a sobriety of judgment and expres- 
sion and a pregnancy of thought, not without an 
element of poetry which indicated a great reserve 
of strength." 

The colleague with whom Bosworth Smith was 


perhaps most intimate all through his Harrow life, 
though weeks might at times pass without their 
meeting, was Edward Bowen, a man in some ways 
the direct antithesis of himself, but for whose true 
and tender nature, devotion to duty, and generous 
magnanimity Bosworth Smith had the warmest 

"Seldom, surely," he wrote in 1901, "has any 
one with such brilliant and varied gifts devoted him- 
self so unreservedly to the work he had marked out 
for himself at Harrow. He seemed to have an 
unlimited supply of life, and an unlimited capacity 
for enjoying. What, indeed, did he not enjoy, ex- 
cept, perhaps, repose ? The humdrum and routine, 
which must form so large a part of a teacher's life, 
were never humdrum to him ; for round the driest 
details of his work there played and flickered, as with 
lambent flame, his joyous spirit, finding expression, 
now in a striking paradox, now in a touch of humour, 
now in that pathos which forms the under song of all 
earnest life which, all taken together, made every 
lesson of his a revelation, every task a pastime." 

Among other colleagues of whom Bosworth Smith 
saw most in the first decades of his life at Harrow 
were Henry Nettleship, Arthur Watson, James 
Robertson, R. H. Quick, J. Stogdon, and his neigh- 
bour George Griffith, all men of strongly marked if 
widely differing individuality. James Bryce, Cour- 
tenay Ilbert, and Francis Otter, would sometimes 
walk down from London and spend Sunday in the 
Knoll garden. In Harrow itself, several people 


were living whose society added not a little to the 
interest of the place : Mr. Matthew Arnold and his 
wife of whom he said, " Fanny Lucy has all my 
graces and none of my airs ; " Lord Charles Russell, 
at that time Black Rod ; Sir Frederick Goldsmid, 
whose wide experience of Eastern countries and 
gentle, courteous ways made him a pleasant com- 
panion ; and Sir Thomas Gore-Browne, the most 
courtly and delightful of Colonial Governors, with 
whose family the Bosworth Smiths formed a life- 
long friendship. 

Life at Harrow was by no means devoid of 
varied interest. My mother's diary records German 
readings, Shakespeare readings ; lectures by Ruskin 
and Professor Connington ; Joachim and Schumann 
Concerts ; visits to the school paid by Mr. Glad- 
stone, the Queen of Holland, the Emperor of 
Brazil. She mentions a dinner party, one of many 
at the Knoll, with the names of Dr. Butler, Mr. 
and Mrs. Matthew Arnold, Mons. Masson, James 
Bryce, Mr. and Mrs. Steel, F. W. Farrar, the Hon. 
Mrs. Norton and her grand-daughter Carlotta. No 
one, however young, who once saw Mrs. Norton 
could forget her commanding stature, her dark hair, 
and her flashing eyes. With equal brevity and 
sangfroid she records on the same page : 

"November 29, 1868. Uncle Edward died. He 
passed behind me in the dining-room at Harrow." 

This was Bosworth's uncle, Major Heathcote 
Smith, a charming old gentleman, whom she had 


never known well ; my mother, who is in no degree 
visionary, learnt afterwards that he had always much 
liked her. He appeared to another relation also at 
the moment of his death. 

The new house was of course an absorbing in- 
terest and anxiety, but chance brought the Knoll a 
first head boy, who helped to assure its future at 
once. " Ecce" Dr. Butler wrote, "here is a remark- 
ably good-looking, active, manly fellow, just the 
one to be head of your new house." This was 
Robert Yerburgh, who, in after life, as M.P. for 
Chester and in many different ways, not least as 
President of the Navy League, has done excellent 
service to his country. Bosworth Smith always 
felt a warm affection for him an affection that was 
repaid by countless acts of kindness on Mr. Yer- 
burgh's part. " If Mr. Yerburgh has any reason 
to be proud of his house, I am sure his house has 
reason to be proud of Mr. Yerburgh," he once said 
of him. 

Outside his own house, the boys of whom Bos- 
worth Smith saw a good deal in early days, before 
the pressure of public work came on him, were 
Henry Montgomery, afterwards Bishop of Tas- 
mania, and then a member of both the elevens ; 
James Cotton Minchin, than whom for the forty- 
four years that followed he had no more faithful 
friend ; the four Carlisles ; the Bovill brothers ; 
Randall Davidson, now Archbishop of Canterbury, 
with whose family he and his wife stayed in Scot- 


land in 1867 ; and Bosworth's cousin, Kenelm Wing- 
field Digby, afterwards of Sherborne Castle and 
M.P. for North Dorset. Kenelm's father had placed 
his son in another house " because Bosworth was 
such a red-hot Radical," but Kenelm spent most of 
his spare time at the Knoll. 

The first impulse to write came to Bosworth 
Smith indirectly from Dr. Butler, who had 
initiated a kind of Essay Society among the 
masters. The essays were to be written on any 
subject that interested them outside their usual 
school work ; and it was an essay, written in this 
way, that first suggested to Bosworth the possi- 
bility of independent study and composition. The 
writings of Max Miiller, Dean Stanley, and F. D. 
Maurice had turned his thoughts towards the study 
of comparative religion, and the relations between 
civilised nations and those on a different plane of 
culture had already begun to interest him. 

His " Mohammed and Mohammedanism " took 
the form of four lectures, which were first delivered 
in 1872 at Harrow before a small number of 
friends, and in 1874 before the Royal Institution 
of Great Britain. Charles Darwin, Llewellyn 
Davies, Dr. Congreve, Dean Stanley, Lord Stan- 
ley of Alderley, Professor Tyndall, and Matthew 
Arnold, among other well-known people, attended 
some or all of the lectures ; and as soon as the 
course was over, they were published in book form 
by Messrs. Smith, Elder, & Co. 


No author could have wished for a kinder pub- 
lisher, a more courteous critic, or a truer friend 
than Mr. George Murray Smith. His little notes, 
exquisitely written and expressed, took the sting 
out of many a hostile review, and added pleasure 
to one that was appreciative. His daughter, after- 
wards Mrs. Yates Thompson, became one of the 
Bosworth Smiths' truest and dearest friends. 

From this time on, the outlook began to widen 
in every direction, and henceforward, almost month 
by month, new friends and new interests began to 
come into his life. The bare record of his literary 
work, of the causes for which he wrote and spoke, 
the people he met, presents a picture of a full life, 
apart from all consideration of his continuous, self- 
sacrificing, and devoted work at Harrow. 

His "Mohammed" brought him into touch with 
many interesting people, and this first sight of a 
wider world was full of pleasure and excitement for 
him. Dr. Badger, the great Arabic scholar, with 
his long white beard, his energetic expressions, his 
hearty laugh, and the hookah prepared for him by 
Mrs. Badger, was a special delight to the children, 
for he would amuse them with an endless variety of 
curious tricks, or sometimes send them strange and 
uneatable Arab sweetmeats ; they were scarcely 
less impressed by the massive gold bracelets which 
Mrs. Badger wore, and which had been given to 
her by the Sultan of Zanzibar. More awe-inspiring 
from the children's point of view but not less like- 


able was Dr. Blyden, the Negro savant, at that 
time Plenipotentiary for the Republic of Liberia. 
His intellectual countenance, his quiet and dignified 
manner, and his beautiful English made a great 
impression on all who met him. My father always 
considered Dr. Blyden as one of the most remark- 
able men he knew. Dr. Blyden would often bring 
Negro missionaries or merchants or native princes 
with him, and he fully convinced his host of the 
great possibilities of the Negro race. 

Then there were the Rev. T. P. Hughes, a mis- 
sionary from Peshawur, who wore Afghan dress ; 
Lady Strangford, petite, elegant, and clever, then 
fresh from her relief work in the Balkans, where 
her name is still gratefully remembered ; Mr. Syed 
Ameer Ali and other Mohammedan gentlemen of 
high culture ; and Captain Eastwick and Colonel 

A letter written about this time to Edmund Wick- 
ham, his old Winchester schoolfellow, from Captain 
William Eastwick, who afterwards became one of 
his closest friends, records his first impressions of a 
visit to Harrow. " I was much struck with Mr. 
Bosworth Smith's intellectual power and enthu- 
siasm. He certainly will not spare pains to make 
himself master of every subject he undertakes. He 
has brought out forcibly the lights and shades of 
Islam ; previous writers have generally been con- 
tent to dwell on the shades, but that to my mind 
is not impartial history." 


When the Russo-Turkish War broke out, Bos- 
worth Smith's sympathies, for reasons which will 
be found elsewhere, were on the side of the Turks. 
He wrote two letters on Turkey and Russia, the 
first of many to the Times on burning questions, 
and an article on the same subject in the Contem- 
porary Review, the forerunner of many articles on 
different matters, most of which appeared in Sir 
James Knowles's publications. 

" Mohammed " was scarcely launched when Bos- 
worth Smith began to work in earnest on a subject 
which had since his Oxford days attracted him the 
history of Carthage. The materials for such a study, 
as he pointed out, are extremely fragmentary ; the me- 
dium through which they are presented is distorted 
by the bias of the Roman historians. He could not 
hope to add much, if anything, to what was already 
known of Carthage and her two greatest citizens ; 
but he could at least attempt to draw an impartial 
picture of the great struggle between Rome and 
Carthage, and to throw "some new interest around 
a city and civilisation which have never been able 
to speak for themselves." "I have, in all cases, 
gone direct to the fountain-head," he writes ; " read- 
ing carefully every passage that has come down to 
us from the ancients, comparing conflicting state- 
ments with each other, and always endeavouring in 
the first instance to form an independent judgment 
upon them. On points which seemed in any degree 
doubtful, I have afterwards consulted the chief 


modern writers on the subject " no light task, 
where disputed points, such as Hannibal's route 
over the Alps, are concerned. In his comparison 
between the rival cities he was aware that he must 
sometimes appear to be the advocate of Carthage, 
although he was himself convinced that the victory 
of Rome meant on the whole the victory of civilisa- 
tion and progress. The comparison and contrast 
between the characteristics of the rival cities them- 
selves form one of the most interesting chapters. 

His enthusiasm for his subject was able to illu- 
minate what historians themselves have felt to be 
the dull period of the First Punic War. His power 
of seeing his subject as a whole gives a dramatic 
completeness to his treatment, and the reader is 
carried on, even through the mazes of Hannibal's 
last thirteen years in Italy, with an interest which 
culminates in the tragic fate of Carthage itself. 
Hamilcar Barca and Hannibal, the Hasdrubals, 
the Magos, the Hannos, the long succession of 
Roman Consuls and Generals, stand out as real 
human beings, with personal characteristics that 
modify or direct the course of history. 

In 1877, Bosworth Smith went to Tunis with 
his wife and his friend Mr. Stogdon, to see for 
himself the site of ancient Carthage. It was his 
first sight of Oriental life ; and his delight in the 
vivid picturesqueness of Tunis, as yet untouched 
by the French, was only less than his deep interest 
in the cisterns, the harbours, the outline, all that 


is left above ground of ancient Carthage. "It 
seemed to me, throughout, that I was taking a last 
rather than a first view of the sight of ancient 
Carthage, and was driving home impressions that 
had been made long before, rather than forming 
new ones." 

It was his personal interest in Tunis, added 
to his deep sense of what is due to a weaker 
race and his hatred of aggression, that in 1881 
prompted him to make a strong though unavailing 
protest in the Times against the French occupation 
of the Regency. 

The book was now complete ; but before it was 
published, his mother, to whom he had dedicated it, 
and to whom he was intensely devoted, died after 
a sudden illness, and for a time his grief seemed 
to blot out all the interests of his life. 

Early in 1878 he gave seven lectures on Carthage 
at the Royal Institution, the success of which pro- 
mised well for the success of the book itself. Mr. 
Gladstone, Dean Stanley, and other well-known 
men were at times among the audience. Dr. Butler, 
in talking to Sir Richard Temple, some years later, 
said he considered the "Taking of Carthage" as one 
of the best bits of historical writing that he knew ; 
and Mr. Bryce characterised the first lecture as the 
best historical lecture he had heard. It was at a 
dinner at Mr. Bryce's, about this time, that Bos- 
worth Smith first met Mr. Gladstone. 

The book was published in May 1878 by Messrs. 


Longmans, and in October a second edition wa 
ready. It met with a most cordial reception not 
only in all the chief reviews and newspapers at 
home, but also in Germany and France, including 
the Revue des Deux Mondes. The critics said that 
English readers had here for the first time a vivid 
presentment of the imperial city which had rivalled 
Rome, and that, as a general history of Carthage, 
no book equalled it in brilliancy and completeness. 
"His masterly descriptions read with that kind of 
fascination which the story of a modern campaign 
excites." A condensed edition was published later 
by Longmans in their series of " Epochs of Ancient 
History," under the name of " Rome and Car- 
thage " ; this was published also by Scribner in the 
United States, where it was well received. Al- 
though its chief sale of late years has been perhaps 
as a school book, it has been widely appreciated as 
a delightful and vivid monograph, by students as 
well as by the " general reader." The style, as 
Mons. ReVille was quick to note, recalls that of 
Gibbon and Macaulay ; and though, of late years, 
taste in historical writing may have undergone some 
change, surely no fitter models could have been 
found for the chronicle of events so heroic and so 
tragic as the life and death struggle of two imperial 

A far heavier task now lay before Bosworth 
Smith. During the summer of 1879 a year 
marked for him by the bitter grief of the loss 
81 F 


of his sister Emily, Mrs. Thomas, and his brother 
Henry he was asked by the family of Lord 
Lawrence to undertake his biography. For the 
next three years, every hour that was not given 
to his school work was devoted to the fulfilment 
of his trust. The task was of such absorbing 
interest to him, it brought him into touch with 
so many notable people, and it so fully called forth 
his highest powers, both mental and physical, that 
it has seemed best to treat this part of his life 
separately. The book was published in 1883, 
and passed through five editions within the year 
the record, it is said, for any work on an Indian 

So well did it establish his reputation as a biog- 
rapher that he was afterwards asked among other 
such propositions by the families of those con- 
cerned, to undertake the life of the first Earl 
Russell, of the seventh Earl of Shaftesbury, of 
Lord Stratford de Redclyffe, and, by a firm of 
publishers, of the Duke of Wellington. Three 
of these propositions once reached him in the 
course of a single week. The suggestion which, 
in the abstract, would have tempted him most 
was the biography of Lord Shaftesbury. But the 
materials were such, that he did not feel he could 
gain a lifelike portrait of the man himself from 
them ; and the idea of compiling a man's biography 
while he was still living with, at best, his partial 
assent to the project, was highly uncongenial. 


He felt much honoured by the trust shown in 
him by Countess Russell and her son, the Hon. 
Rollo Russell, by their proposition. It was thought 
at the time that there was little private corre- 
spondence available ; but Mr. Russell states that, 
later on, many letters were found, and this of 
course facilitated the biographer's work. Bosworth 
Smith's friends and relations did what they could to 
dissuade him from undertaking this second task. 
They doubted whether his health could stand the 
second strain after the first. They doubted whether 
he would be able to repeat the great success which 
he had achieved in his " Lord Lawrence," and it 
was thought his Harrow work might suffer. But 
it was with great reluctance that he brought himself 
to decline the invitation, and, in a sense, it was a 
turning away from literary ambition. The follow- 
ing letters from him show what passed in his mind 
about it : 


HARROW ON THE HILL, March 29, 1884. 

I do not like to let a post go by without writing 
to thank you for the high compliment which I con- 
sider that Lady Russell and you have paid me by 
asking me to undertake so honourable and so re- 
sponsible a work, and one of such great national 
interest, as would be the life of Lord Russell. 

Of course it is a matter requiring deep and earnest 
consideration before I can give even a provisional 


answer one way or another. The objections are 
naturally these which strike one most strongly at 
first sight. 

The labour would of course be very great, when 
added to all my other work. It may be answered 
that I have already done such a work with success 
and general approval, but I nearly killed myself 
with the labour which Lord Lawrence's Life involved, 
and I could hardly hope that my health would stand 
such another strain. 

Then, again, I had not the pleasure of a personal 
acquaintance with Earl Russell an acquaintance 
such as, in spite of all its other difficulties, gave me 
a little start in beginning Lord Lawrence's Life. 
Once more, I have no special knowledge at pre- 
sent of the period covered by Earl Russell's life, 
nor do I think I have quite the aptitude or tastes 
which you would look for in a man who is to write 
the life of an English statesman. My interest, for 
example, in Parliamentary life and strife of parties 
is not naturally keen. On the other hand, there is 
hardly a single object which Earl Russell proposed 
to himself in his long and eventful political life with 
which I should not have a lively sympathy. I am 
afraid, from your account, the materials for the 
biography as distinguished from the political and 
historical part of the work are rather meagre. One 
wants letters, anecdotes, conversations with intimate 
friends, if one is to put flesh and blood in the central 
figure and to make him live and breathe, as I hope 
I have in some measure been able to do with Lord 
Lawrence. Do you think there are sufficient mate- 
rials available for this ? Are many intimate friends 
of his living, and would they be able and willing to 
give considerable help? Many other questions 


occur to me, but I need not bother you with them 
now. In particular it would help to give me 
courage to undertake the work if I knew that a 
certain number of people, besides your own family, 
who knew Earl Russell well, were strongly in 
favour of my undertaking it. What, for instance, 
would Mr. Gladstone or Lord Halifax think of it ? 
It is a little curious that just a year ago Lord 
Portman, in writing to me about " Lord Lawrence," 
remarked, "How I wish that Lady Russell would 
ask you to undertake the life of her husband ! " 


May 2, 1884. 

It cost me a good deal, I can assure you, to say 
no, and I hope I have done rightly in the matter. 
There are parts of Earl Russell's life which I 
believe I could have made intensely interesting. 
... I should like to have had the writing of that 
part of the biography which turns on the rela- 
tions between the Queen, Lord Russell, and Lord 
Palmerston. I could certainly have made a good 
defence for Lord Russell in all respects. 

The years that followed the completion of " Lord 
Lawrence " were scarcely less fully occupied. Bos- 
worth Smith had already lectured on Mohammed 
both at the Midland Institute at Birmingham and at 
Newcastle-on-Tyne (where he had stayed with Dr. 
and Mrs. Spence Watson, for whom he always re- 
tained a warm admiration). Later on, at different 
times, he gave lectures either on Mohammed, Car- 
thage, or Lord Lawrence at Toynbee Hall, Sion 


College, Haileybury, and Marlborough, and to the 
clergy of Kensington. 

In 1885 the fear of an attack on the Church of 
England by the Liberal party moved him to write 
a series of letters to the Times> which attracted 
great attention, and served for the moment to stem 
the tide against Disestablishment. It has seemed 
best here, again, to deal with his views on Church 
matters and home politics separately, and only to 
mention that from this time forward he wrote and 
spoke constantly on both subjects. 

A reaction had been certain to come after the 
overstrain of the years of work at Lord Lawrence's 
Life. He was always subject to bad headaches and 
to sleeplessness, and in 1889, after some attacks of 
terrible pain, he broke down so completely that, on 
the advice of his friend, Dr. Symes Thompson, he 
gave up work for a time. Mr. Edward Graham, 
who had been his pupil and head of his house, and 
to whom he was greatly attached, took charge of 
his house for him, and he and his wife went to 
Egypt, where they went up the Nile and later stayed 
in Cairo with Sir Colin Scott-MoncriefT, with whom 
and with whose family a permanent friendship was 
formed. This tour and the return by Greece was a 
time of intense enjoyment to them both. 

But troubles about his health were by no means 
over. In 1891, he slipped on a plank and broke his 
leg. Very serious complications followed the acci- 
dent, and for twelve weeks he lay very ill at the 


Knoll. There were many days and nights when it 
seemed scarcely possible that he could survive the 
agonising attacks that came upon him. But the 
same will-power which had so often enabled him to 
do his work, whatever it might be, when physically 
unfit for it, came to his aid, and the devoted care of 
his wife, nurses, and doctors brought him back to a 
fair measure of health. In the following year he was 
well enough to take an active interest in political 
questions once more, and to share in the Uganda 
campaign with the greatest enthusiasm and effect. 

The three breaks of the school year are the sal- 
vation of men who do their school work with all 
their hearts ; toil of such a kind almost necessitates 
travel, and Bosworth Smith travelled at different 
times a good deal on the Continent. He went 
with his wife twice to Norway to shoot, in the days 
when there were very few restrictions on grouse- 
shooting ; and he travelled in Italy and in Spain 
which he enjoyed perhaps most of all in Germany 
and France, and in Sicily, where his travelling com- 
panion, Mr. Edward Graham, found him, with his 
accurate and vivid knowledge of its past history, 
the most delightful of companions. 

Bosworth Smith, unfortunately, could not speak 
or understand conversation in any modern language, 
nor could he master a foreign coinage, far less a 
Bradshaw, nor find his way in an unfamiliar place. 
The duties of courier, which fell on his companion 
his wife, Edward Graham, or his brother Edward 


were, naturally, apt to be heavy ; but his appre- 
ciation and enjoyment of all he saw, his well-stored 
memory, together with his gratitude for all that 
was done for him, atoned amply for the anxiety he 
sometimes caused his guide. 

When he did not go abroad, he nearly always 
went to his old home at Stafford, for no bird-nest- 
ing, no heather in bloom, and no wild-duck shooting 
seemed to him to have the same charm elsewhere, 
just as no society gave him more pleasure than that 
of his parents, brothers, and sisters. He very often 
stayed at the Down House for shooting with his 
cousin, Sir William Smith-Marriott, and at Somerton 
Erleigh, in Somersetshire, where his aunt and god- 
mother, Lady Smith, lived with her old brother, 
Colonel Pinney, one of the kindest as he was one 
of the most original of men. For many years in 
succession he spent a supremely happy fortnight of 
August grouse-shooting in Scotland, either with his 
friends the Sandersons at Inverpolly, or the Crosses 
at Inverlair, or, on one occasion in Ross-shire, with 
the Hon. Charles Lawrence a day here, when he 
shot thirty brace of grouse to his own gun over 
dogs, stood out as a red-letter day in his memory 
or, again, at Barwhillarty, with Mr. Yerburgh, where 
the conversation interested him no less than the 
grouse-shooting. Very often a house was taken at 
Lyme Regis, in Dorset, and his attachment to the 
place, with its early associations with his own 
family, its steep old-world streets, its Cobb, cele- 


brated by Jane Austen, and the romantic Pinhay 
Cliffs beyond it, was so great that he was at one 
time inclined to settle there permanently. 

Every spring he would snatch a happy day when 
he would go off to Oxhey Wood, *' a great pre- 
serve," says Mr. H. T. Hewett, " a few miles from 
Harrow, whither, upon a whole holiday in the bird's- 
nesting season, he would bring a happy party of 
lucky boys, to the indignation of the keepers, who 
had no notice of the projected visit. But even an 
indignant keeper could not be cross with Bos, once 
he had speech with him." Another red-letter day, 
which he commemorated in his " Bird Life," was an 
expedition with Mr. Henry Upcher, one spring, to 
Lord Walsingham's mere in Norfolk ; and a visit to 
White's Selborne, where his friend Canon Edward 
Bernard was then living, was another pilgrimage 
after his own heart. 

Bosworth Smith never believed that his school 
work suffered in any degree from the existence of 
interests which lay beyond it, or from his wide 
circle of friends. He had a horror of getting into 
a groove. " I do my form work better, not worse, 
if I have the stimulus of seeing interesting people," 
he used to say. If the great fatigue, the constant 
rush and strain of school life, combined with almost 
incessant literary work and many social engage- 
ments, did indeed use up his strength prematurely, 
still I think that he would never have chosen to 
have filled his years otherwise. As to Edward 


Bowen, so to him also, it seemed better to wear out 
than to rust out. 

It is impossible, in the space available to me, to 
chronicle in any detail the engagements outside his 
school work which gave zest and variety to his life. 
Lists of guests or visits, however interesting in 
themselves, make tedious reading, unless notes of 
the conversation which gave distinctive charm to 
the occasion have been preserved. But my father's 
affection for his friends was so warm, his admiration 
of their gifts, his enjoyment of their talk so great, 
that to omit all mention of the many visitors who 
came to the Knoll would be to blot out much of the 
light and colour of his life. In many cases, indeed, 
the names themselves are suggestive enough, for 
among those who sometimes dined or stayed at 
Harrow were Dr. Martineau, Miss Anna Swan- 
wick, Sir Mountstuart Grant-Duff, Sir Clements 
Markham, Mr. Thomas Hardy, Sir Richard Temple, 
Canon Ainger, Canon Duckworth, Admiral Colomb, 
Mr. Main Walrond, Sir William and Lady Flower, 
Canon Elwyn, Colonel Yule, Captain Eastwick, Sir 
Frederick Halliday, Mr. Meredith Townsend of 
the Spectator, Sir Henry Cunningham, Sir George 
Trevelyan, Canon Tristram, Prince Krapotkin, Sir 
Archibald Geikie, Sir Courtenay Ilbert, Captain 
Lugard, Mr. and Mrs. Bryce, Mr. and Mrs. Yates 
Thompson, Mr. and Mrs. Murray Smith, Dr. 
Blyden, Lord Acton, Sir Henry Howorth. 

It was probaCle, of course, that some of the 


guests in parties which were made up of varied 
elements should appreciate each other less warmly 
than their host appreciated each of them ; but it 
was still more probable that, when rival authori- 
ties on the same subject met, mutual appreciation 
should diminish almost to vanishing point. The 
parties to which old friends of Lord Lawrence's 
came were composed, naturally, of men of the 
same school of thought in Indian politics ; their 
store of reminiscences, their delightful personalities, 
and their pleasure in meeting each other, made 
these 'parties specially pleasant. It was otherwise 
when two notable but, unfortunately, rival authori- 
ties on natural history met at dinner ; and a no 
less distinguished naturalist of a younger gene- 
ration, Mr. G. E. H. Barrett- Hamilton, was an 
interested auditor of a heated discussion. The 
situation became threatening during the course 
of the evening, but it was temporarily saved by 
the well-timed ignorance of a lady present, whose 
bewilderment over the nesting habits and migra- 
tions of the "cream-coloured coursers," which she 
had not unnaturally assumed to be the late Queen's 
celebrated ponies or a special race of Arab barbs, 
providentially served to amuse the combatants and 
to avert a catastrophe. 

Another critical moment was the unexpected 
meeting unexpected to them of three well- 
known African travellers on the lawn before dinner. 
There were hurried questions which told their 


own tale. "That is never Sir !" "I hope 

that is not really ? " But when the first 

shock was over, savoir faire and good temper 
prevailed, and every one parted the best of friends. 
Bosworth Smith was always more anxious to 
hear what others had to say than to talk himself; 
although he was a little shy by nature, his intense 
interest in the small things of life as well as the 
great quickly made him forget himself. In later 
years, especially, in spite of the growing deafness, 
which was his great trouble, his deference to the 
opinion of others, his genuine sympathy, his eager- 
ness to know and to hear, his wonderful and ready 
memory, his sense of humour, made him the kindest 
and most delightful of hosts. 

" Among the residents of the town of Harrow," 
writes Mr. Edward Graham, "not connected with 
the school, he had many friends, and always the 
kindliest welcome from innumerable acquaintances. 
It was astonishing how many personal calls he 
managed to pay, and how many talks he had with 
those who had any interesting experience to talk 
about. For active social work among his fellow- 
citizens he had neither the gift nor the leisure. 
But those occasions on which he spoke in public 
were always marked successes, and showed the 
respect in which he was held by all alike, whether 
they approved or disapproved of the view he had 

It was not only in Harrow that the Bosworth 
Smiths saw their friends. They often dined in 


London at houses where they met interesting 
people, among others Tennyson, Robert Brown- 
ing, Professor Drummond. One luncheon party 
at Dr. Moncure Conway's included Mr. Lowell, 
Froude, and John Bright. At the house of Bishop 
Walsham How a man whom every one loved 
they once met three authoresses, Edna Lyall, Jean 
Ingelow, and Charlotte Yonge. They went regu- 
larly to the receptions of the Royal Society and 
Indian Association. In 1880, Bosworth Smith 
became a member of the Athenaeum, and though 
he did not go there very often, at one time his 
visits generally meant talks with men like Dean 
Bradley, Bishop Magee of Peterborough, Lord 
Aberdare, Sir Edwin Arnold, or his old relative, 
Colonel Pinney, from which he would come back 
to his work happier and fresher. 

He had, to no small extent, the faculty of venera- 
tion, a faculty which is now held in light esteem, 
and which seems, indeed, to have become almost 
obsolete. Many of the friends whom he rever- 
enced and loved belonged to the older generation, 
and of those whose friendship, perhaps, he prized 
most Captain Eastwick, Sir Henry Yule, Lord 
Ebury, Dr. Martineau, and Miss Anna Swanwick 
all have now passed away. 

Among those whom my father came to know 
in middle life, there was no one whom he rever- 
enced more than Dr. James Martineau, the great 
Unitarian divine, whose intellectual and moral in- 


fluence on his own time are unquestioned. Sir 
Edwin Arnold, in a letter to Bosworth Smith, 
says : " He is, in my judgment, one of the three 
chief masters of the high art of writing English 
prose." Dr. Martineau, with his fine head, his 
silver hair, his sad, clear blue eyes, which seemed to 
look beyond material things, always appeared the 
most impressive figure in any assembly where he 
might be ; the eye was arrested by him, and his calm 
and austere personality seemed to detach itself from 
his surroundings and to exist on a more spiritual 
plane. The impression of austerity lessened when 
he spoke ; his kindness, his simplicity of character, 
and his wealth of reminiscence made him a delight- 
ful visitor. Dr. Martineau's many letters to Bos- 
worth Smith show a remarkable openness and 
confidence in him, and there was no man, perhaps, 
with whom my father spoke more freely of the 
deepest things of life than with Dr. Martineau. 
Projects for ecclesiastical reform, which should 
pave the way for national Christian union in 
England, lay very near Dr. Martineau's heart, and 
many of his letters refer to this subject. He seems 
to have felt that he was before his time in these 
ideas, and that the Church of England must abate 
some of her claims before this union could become 
possible. "Who can suppose," he wrote, "that 
the expelled minorities will be charmed into her 
embrace by the sound of the word ' Catholic ' 
in its present excommunicating sense ? . . . Such 


as I am would easily be drawn into your Church 
by a widening that is by no means impossible. 
But the portion of the nation which represents 
the Puritan element is as hopelessly irreconcil- 
able with ' Prelacy ' as ever the Covenanters 

Once or twice my father kept notes of his many 
talks with Dr. Martineau. In March 1888, he 
writes : 

" Talk with Dr. Martineau on Liturgy. What 
object in repetition in daily service of a creed, 
by repeating which so many laymen forfeit their 
honesty ? Why not keep it for ordination, con- 
firmation, &c. ? Why also repeat all impreca- 
tions in Psalms? Danger of all religious news- 
papers becoming narrow, in that the reason of 
their existence is to uphold one or other definite 
line of thought. Had recommended new French 
version of Bible by Reuss (aided by John Muir) 
to Dean Bradley for use in his lectures on Job. 
Carlyle's bursts of fun after his explosions of wrath 
1 Those workmen are breaking every one of the ten 
commandments with every stroke of their hammers ; ' 
his deference to his wife, her wit, her comparison 
of a certain noble poet to 'a little cock robin 
hopping about.' ' I can bear the alterations in 
the Old Testament better than I can in the New.' 
No revision satisfactory by a committee. ' Deliver 
us from the evil,' perhaps best, meaning ' the evil 
of temptation.' Cruelty less in England, except 
among boys, than elsewhere; terrible in Africa 
and China and Portugal." 


Miss Anna Swanwick, the translator of /Eschylus, 
was another friend of middle life to whom my father 
was greatly attached. Miss Swanwick, in her puce- 
coloured satin gown and black mittens, seemed to be 
a kind of "fairy godmother," she was so diminutive, 
so fragile, so old-world in appearance, so gifted, 
and so wise. She ,was a wonderful talker able 
to hold her own, as the writer remembers, even 
with Mr. Gladstone himself. Her words came 
with a finish and grace and fluency which made 
most other speech seem rude and halting ; but 
when a reviewer characterised her conversation 
as didactic, my father hastened to challenge the 
criticism : 


" ' Didactic ' is the very last word which any one 
who was capable of appreciating her delightful 
conversation would think of applying to it. If it 
was ' conversation ' in any true sense of the word 
at all, it could not be ' didactic ' ; and if it was 
'didactic,' it could not be really delightful. It 
was sustained, suggestive, brilliant, original ; but 
it was also simple, sympathetic, reciprocal. She 
put every one at his ease in a moment, and she 
talked almost as much upon the subjects suggested 
by her friends as she did upon those started by 
herself. Its charm, indeed, defied analysis. She 
put the whole tenderness and variety and purity 
of her character into it. No one ever came away 
from a lengthened talk with her without feeling 
himself strengthened, elevated, refined, humbled by 
it. If he did not, it was his own, not her fault." 


Dr. Martineau once said of her to Bosworth Smith, 
" She was the noblest woman I have ever known." 

It is often the small thing, the unimportant, that 
one remembers when the memory has ceased to 
hold the greater ; and the present writer recalls 
a dinner-party at the Knoll, at which Sir Mount- 
stuart Grant-Duff and Miss Anna Swanwick were 
present. The conversation turned on ghost stories, 
and Sir M. Grant-Duff read aloud a letter he had 
just received, with a story of a lady who, when 
for the first time she went over a house in Scot- 
land which was said to be haunted, felt a strange 
familiarity with each room, even recognising a 
change made in the arrangement of certain vases. 
She asked the housekeeper if she had ever seen 
the ghost. With some hesitation, the housekeeper 
replied, " Why, yes, madam, for it is you, yourself, 
whom I have seen here." Miss Swanwick related 
how, on one occasion when table-turning was in 
vogue, she had taken part in a stance, at which 
a celebrated medium was present, and how a ring, 
that she herself was wearing at the time, had, as 
her hands rested on the table, burst in two and 
fallen on the table. 

Yet another friend, whose letters and talk my 
father appreciated very highly, was the vener- 
able Lord Ebury. An acquaintance which was 
begun by the return of a book which my mother 
had left in the train, became a steady friendship. 
Lord Ebury never failed to write sympathetic and 
97 G 


suggestive comments on any letter from Bosworth 
Smith that might appear in the Times. After 
his death at the age of ninety-two, in 1893, he 
wrote of him in the Times : 

" While he had much sympathy with what was 
new, his pronunciation of certain words and the 
general tone of his thought carried one back to 
the time of those who might have listened to Pitt 
and Burke and Wilberforce. . . . An Englishman 
to the backbone, enthusiastically fond of all English 
sports, conspicuously aloof from all mere party spirit, 
a supporter of every philanthropic scheme, clear- 
headed, single-hearted, combining much of the 
mellow wisdom of old age with much, feven to 
the end, of the freshness of youth, God-fearing 
and God-loving, he has carried many precious 
memories with him, and there are, it is to be 
feared, not too many public men of his kind left 
among us." 

Captain .Eastwick, who had been at Winchester 
and Oxford with both Bosworth Smith's father 
and father-in-law, was another friend of the older 
generation, whose vivacious conversation and de- 
lightful letters were from 1877 till his death in 
1883 a constant source of pleasure to my father. 
Captain Eastwick had been, among other things, 
assistant political secretary at the India Office ; he 
had translated a great deal from Persian and Hin- 
dustani, and he had prepared a valuable handbook 
on India for Mr. Murray. A man of generous 


enthusiasms, of deep religious convictions, and great 
warmth of heart, his strongly marked features and 
bright eyes, with his look of intense life and in- 
telligence and energy, recalled not a little the 
outward characteristics of Mr. Gladstone, for whom 
he was more than once mistaken. 

Colonel, afterwards Sir Henry, Yule, was in 
many ways a great contrast to his friend Captain 
Eastwick. Colonel Yule had served with dis- 
tinction in India under Lord Dalhousie and Lord 
Canning, and on the India Council. His " Marco 
Polo" and other works on Asiatic travel had 
placed him in the front rank of geographers. 
Colonel Yule, with his white hair, his refined and 
beautiful face, and his quietness of manner, was in 
outward appearance the ideal of a mediaeval stu- 
dent ; but nearly everything that he said or that 
he wrote learned foot-note to a book of travels 
or private letter to a friend was illuminated by 
a touch of humour, which made him the most 
charming of authors and of companions. An 
entry in my father's commonplace book (a store- 
house of stories or passages which struck him 
in the course of reading or conversation, from 
which, however, it is, unfortunately, impossible to 
quote here, because he nearly always forgot to 
add the sources from which the words came), 
says: "Colonel Yule told me of an Afghan trans- 
lation of the New Testament, which turned the 
command, ' Judge not, that ye be not judged,' 


into ' Do not do justice, lest thou shouldest be 
done justice to.'" 

In 1895, Bingham's Melcombe, "an old manor- 
house, which has every charm a house can have in 
my eyes," came unexpectedly into the market. The 
place had been familiar to Bos worth Smith, as an 
ideal, at all events, all his life, and when the tele- 
gram came which announced that he was the 
successful purchaser, and that, thanks to the kind 
exertions of Sir Robert Pearce-Edgcumbe, the 
place was his, he was overjoyed. He could now 
leave Harrow without the desolate feeling that he 
was "going into the world houseless and homeless, 
not knowing where I shall live." His father, of 
whom his own words have drawn a picture to which 
nothing need be added, died on Holy Innocents' 
Day that year, and the old home at Stafford the 
cor cordium of his life was broken up. But it was 
something to feel that he was still rooted to Dorset 
soil. His attachment to Bingham's Melcombe grew 
with every visit that he paid to it during the school 
holidays, and he looked forward to the time when 
he should watch the whole seasons, and not parts 
of each, pass over the woods and garden and downs 
of his own home. 

But the parting from Harrow was a wrench, all 
the more, perhaps, that it was rather long drawn. 
Dr. Wood, for whose continual kindness Bosworth 
Smith always felt warm gratitude, asked him to 
stay an additional two years after the age fixed for 


masters to retire. At the final house-supper on 
July 1 1, 1901, the largest gathering of its kind ever 
known in Harrow, their beloved master spoke to 
his old pupils for the last time ; he reviewed his 
thirty-seven years at Harrow, and recalled old 
stories and characteristics with the simple pleasure 
which they had always given him. 

" I never missed a house-supper," writes Mr. F. 
Gore-Browne, K.C., " while I was in the house or 
afterwards. It is difficult to say whether the 
master's individual recollection of and affection for 
each boy or the boys' enthusiasm for their old 
friend was most remarkable. At the final house- 
supper every heart was full, and the best crown we 
could offer for the past years of generous work was 
our gratitude and love, which every one present 
gave to the utmost extent." 

Mr. Yerburgh, on behalf of all the old pupils, 
presented Mrs. Bosworth Smith with a diamond 
bracelet, and to him they gave the fine portrait of 
himself by Mr. Hugh Riviere. It was not the 
first time his house had shown their affection to him 
by presents in which they had all shared ; on his 
silver wedding day they had given him a fine silver 
dessert service ; but the portrait seemed to him to 
represent the " concentrated affection of all the 
pupils who had ever been under him." To those 
who knew him best, the portrait, in refinement and 
delicacy of characterisation above all, in the ex- 
pression of his blue eyes, thoughtful, gentle, and 


profoundly touching seems to be almost strangely 
life-like, and to reveal something of the beauty of 
his soul and mind. 

Sir Archibald Geikie, K.C.B., then Director- 
General of the Geological Survey of the United 
Kingdom, wrote at this time : 

" In your case there will be an infinity of conso- 
lation. . . . You have a splendidly useful past to look 
back upon. You have gained the esteem and affec- 
tion of every boy who ever sat under your class- 
room roof, and of every governor who knew how to 
appreciate the loyalty, devotion, and genius which 
you have so long and so unsparingly given to the 

The thirty-seven years at Harrow were over, 
and he could look back on a very strenuous, but on 
the whole a very happy life. His children had, 
most of them, gone out into the world. His eldest 
son had married and settled in Florida ; his second 
was in the navy ; two others were in South Africa, 
and one in India, in the Indian Civil Service 
Nigel, who had rejoiced his father's heart by his 
success at Harrow, where he had been head of the 
school, winner of many prizes, in both the elevens, 
and school racquet player. His youngest son was 
already high up in the school at Harrow. 

He had served under three Headmasters Dr. 
Butler, Mr. Welldon, and Dr. Wood ; and with the 
death of Edward Bowen, he had lost the last col- 
league who had been at Harrow when he first came 


there. The sons of more than one of his old pupils 
had passed through his house or form. He had 
seen many changes, to which he could not always 
easily adapt himself. He had made countless 
friends, both connected with the school and beyond 
it. He had produced three notable books, and he 
had given of his best in letters, articles, and speeches 
on many subjects, in burning protests against in- 
justice, in appeals to patriotism in its best sense. 
The time had fully come when he might learn one 
of the few things he had never learnt the joy of 



IF Bosworth Smith had at any time been asked to 
write an article on his own theory and method of 
education, he would undoubtedly have declined, on 
the ground that he had nothing definite to say. 
Probably he never formulated his theories even to 
himself, and much of what he did for his pupils, and 
of what he was to them, came from the unconscious 
influence of his own personality, rather than from 
any set scheme which he had put before himself. 

For this reason, it is easier to show, by their own 
words, what was the nature of his influence on those 
around him, than to attempt to lay down the exact 
principles that guided him. This chapter is little 
more than a collection of impressions of his work 
at Harrow, written by men who, in spite of the 
natural divergence between their several points of 
view, yet seem on this subject to think and feel 
alike to a very remarkable extent. Influence, if it 
is of the highest value, must touch the many, not 
alone the few, and only by such a collection has it 
seemed possible to bring out at all forcibly the deep 
impression he made on men of many different 



The following sketch of his work at Harrow, both 
in relation to his pupils and to his colleagues, is by 
Mr. Edward Graham, who knew more of him in 
both capacities than any one else, for Mr. Graham 
was head of his house, and later on returned to 
Harrow as a master. They had much in common 
with each other, including a love of flowers and 
birds, and Mr. Graham proved himself, not least in 
times of trouble and ill-health, the firmest and most 
helpful of friends. 

In a letter to Mr. Graham in 1901, thanking him 
for an affectionate appreciation of his work at 
Harrow, which he had written in the Harrovian, 
Bosworth Smith said : " When I die, I shall 
neither need nor deserve any other obituary notice 
than yours, though I don't deserve half you have 
said. What you have said of my wife is specially 
precious to me." It seems peculiarly fitting, from 
every point of view, that it should be Mr. Graham 
who should sum up and describe, as far as possible, 
his friend's work at Harrow : 

" For more than thirty years Reginald Bosworth 
Smith presided over a house at Harrow, which was 
always in full demand, and which for a considerable 
period was the house in the school. Of all the 
many generations which passed through his hands 
the boys loved and respected him, and in after-life 
treasured his friendship. 

" What was the secret of this success ? 

" First I would put the fact that he built and 
opened his own house, and he was able to establish 


his own traditions, and stamp his character upon the 
life of his boys. Many a good schoolmaster has 
had to fret and chafe for years against the inherited 
traditions of his predecessor and the conservative 
aversion of boys for change. ' Bos,' as every one 
called him, was free from such trammels, and able 
to strike out new lines for himself. He was all his 
life a hater of ' red tape/ routine and those useless 
privileges which entail the sacrifice of the weak to 
the strong, or the young to the old ; and it suited 
him to have no such restrictions to the freedom of 
his own special developments in the government of 
his house. 

" But this consideration, though important, would 
not carry a house-master far on the road to success. 
He must be in himself a man of strong character, 
wise tolerance, and real sympathy. 

"In these three qualities Bosworth Smith was pre- 
eminent. The rules he made were neither vexa- 
tiously numerous nor draconic in their inelasticity. 
But, with all good temper, he saw that they were 
obeyed, and the punishment for the breach of them 
was sure. His pupils were taught to feel that a 
dishonourable action tarnished the house and deeply 
pained the master of it. One of them has said that 
he once went to the study in a totally unrepentant 
frame of mind for some piece of ungentlemanly con- 
duct : but when he realised how the knowledge of 
it had hurt Bos, he said he could have kicked himself 
all the way down the stairs. Indeed, his distress 
and sorrow and sympathy often did more to touch 
the heart of the offender than the punishment which 
he had to bear. ' The worst of it all was, that it 
hurt Bos so much,' one boy wrote to his father. 
Troubles with his boys seemed to shake him to the 
1 06 


foundations, but it was in hours of remorse, or, it 
might be, personal grief, that the boys learnt to know 
more of his God-fearing, devout, and simple nature, 
with its wide charity and firm beliefs. 

"Again, it was a token of his strength that he im- 
pressed so much of his own character on the house, 
and induced the boys to do so much for him cheer- 
fully. Did he wish a large field to enter for school 
prizes, and attend his preparatory lectures on divinity, 
history, or geography, at the sacrifice of their own 
spare time ? He would select his candidates, often 
from unpromising material, and his persuasion or 
pressure to compete never failed. The house in 
consequence reaped a rich harvest of prizes and 
honours ; but Bos was just as pleased when a dull 
boy got a good place and an honourable mention, 
as when a clever boy was first. Did he require 
maps and plans drawn for his lectures on Carthage 
before the Royal Institution ? A pupil felt honoured 
by the task of executing them on a sufficiently 
gigantic scale, just as another would be proud to 
write at his dictation some pages of the book he 
was writing. Every boy was proud of doing him a 
service; nobody thought of taking a liberty with him, 
or at all events nobody thought of doing so twice. 

" His tolerance was no less marked than his 
strength : indeed the one was the outcome of the 
other. One result of this tolerance was seen in the 
cosmopolitan tincture of his house, especially during 
his later years at Harrow. Bos worth Smith was a 
name to conjure with in Eastern lands ; and he was 
pressed to take under his roof princes from Persia, 
India, Egypt, and Zanzibar. 1 His colleagues often 

1 The present ultan of Zanzibar and Prince Mohammed Hassan, a 
cousin of the Kh dive's, were at one time in his house. 



shook their heads over this admittance of coloured 
races : but Bosworth Smith's own sympathies were 
wide, and he thought that the advantage of an 
English education should not be less widely opened. 
Certainly the foreigners could have come under no 
more tolerant guide of youth : he smoothed their 
paths among English companions, and himself 
showed them all that was best in English character. 
On the whole his policy was justified by results. 

" It is a common reproach against our public 
schools that their products are too stereotyped : and 
this is also true, to some extent, of the individual 
houses in a school. The boy who deviates from 
the house ' pattern ' is apt to suffer in the process of 
having ' his corners rubbed off,' and the master too 
may unconsciously contribute to this result, by a 
failure to show interest in what are to him the less 
congenial types. But Bos could be all things to all 
boys. His mind had as many sides as the facets of 
a diamond, and all were bright and attractive to the 
young. The scholar and the athlete, the bookworm 
and the sportsman, the naturalist and the traveller, 
all alike found in him interest, encouragement, and 
information. His first question to a new boy was, 
' What is your hobby ? ' and he never committed 
the faux pas of forgetting the individual's taste. 
' Always aim at having a hobby of some sort outside 
your usual work and play,' he said in 1903 to the 
boys of his own first school. ' Collect something, 
make yourselves strong in something ; even stamps 
are better than nothing. But take up some branch 
of natural history or poetry and it will be a joy to 
you through life.' 'I would rather draw out what 
is good in a boy than try to put anything into him,' 
he used to say. And so in his nightly wandering 


round his house, from room to room, he would sit 
and chat with each boy on his own subject. The 
studious lad was led on to discuss his books ; the 
naturalist told with glee of his last-found nest, or 
mouse, or flower ; the traveller described his holiday 
ramble, and received more illuminating information 
in return ; the athlete found a sympathetic listener 
to his scores or his failure to score. No boy or man 
was ever dull in his eyes, except indeed the conceited, 
and for them he had no soft corner of his heart. 
But the unconventional boy was treated with the 
same wise tolerance as the typical, and knew that 
to his house-master he could look for that friendly 
support which saved him from the sensations of a 

"And no less marked was his tolerance for the 
offenders. It was his nature to trust boys, and to 
let them know that they were trusted. I will not 
say that he was never deceived : but he never 
regretted confidence, and never failed to trust again 
the boy who was clearly making a fresh start. Of 
all the hundreds of boys who passed through his 
hands, I only remember one whom he could not 
forgive, and the mention of whose name he could 
not bear and he was right. He made allowance 
for the weakness and inexperience of youth, and 
maintained that offenders at school often made the 
soundest of men in after life. 

" Nor did he make the common mistake of exag- 
gerating peccadilloes into deadly sins. For instance, 
his house always had a notoriety for catapulting, 
and many were the complaints from suffering neigh- 
bours. The offenders, when caught, were duly 
punished : but Bos in his heart was amused by this 
outlet of the sporting instinct, and never pretended 


that it was wicked. He himself alluded, in one of 
his house-supper speeches, to the exploits of one 
' master caterpulter who, like the left-handed Ben- 
jamites of old, could catapult " to a hair's breadth and 
not miss." In vain did he promise that he would 
break himself of it, till he destroyed his store of 
catapults. He kept his promise for just a fortnight, 
and then, one Sunday morning, I found two wrens 
lying dead side by side. His friend Barlow had 
not yet been sent out, as he generally was, to bury 
the dead and put a mark upon their graves. 1 went 
up to Ramsay's room and simply said, " Where is 
it ? " and he produced the fatal catapult.' 

" He lived among his boys, and entertained them 
frequently at his table with a flow of unaffected 
chaff and amusement. One very special treat for 
the boys with country tastes was an annual expedi- 
tion to the neighbouring woods of Oxhey or Ruislip 
in the summer term. A whole holiday would be 
selected, and a long day's bird's-nesting enjoyed. 
The score of nests and eggs discovered by each 
member of the party was elaborately kept ; but no 
one was allowed to take more than one or two eggs 
from each clutch. Lunch and tea was provided by 
Mrs. Bosworth Smith, and the incidents of the day 
discussed over supper at the Knoll after the return. 
One year he had first decided against an expedition 
for a certain whole holiday : then about ten o'clock 
he changed his mind, and sent for two boys to invite 
them. To his surprise they raised difficulties and 
urged postponement. However, he insisted, and 
the expedition was made. Again he was surprised 
to find languid searchers after nests, and his astonish- 
ment culminated when several of the boys (includ- 
ing his own son) fell asleep over tea. Then the 
1 10 


secret came out : at daylight in the early summer 
morning the disappointed boys had escaped by a 
sheet from a window, and had only just returned in 
time to receive his invitation for an expedition to 
the woods which they had already ransacked for 

" Another institution at the Knoll, which no one 
will ever forget, was the triennial house-supper, to 
which every old boy received a cordial invitation. 
' To the boys at large he seemed happiest, perhaps, 
at some of the triennial house-suppers, which he 
spared no pains to make memorable and complete. 
His pride in his boys on those occasions was so 
plain, and, as we thought, so amply justified. His 
reminiscences, even of the ne'er-do-weels, were so 
shrewdly humorous, so genially acute. And his 
affection for us all, for good and bad, for prodigies 
or dunces, was so large, so undeniably sincere, that 
even the most grudging spirits must respond.' l 

" The numbers attending these suppers steadily 
grew, until the dining-hall at the Knoll became too 
small, and a tent on the lawn was necessary to hold 
the guests. * Old boys ' came from all corners of 
the three kingdoms to meet their house-friends, to 
discuss the old days and repeat the old stories, and 
above all to testify their devotion to the master. It 
was the custom, in the great speech after supper, to 
record the achievements of the house during the 
past three years, the distinctions of the former 
members in their several professions, and the move- 
ments of all those who had written to him from 
distant lands. For every 'old boy' was encour- 
aged to write to him from time to time ; and 
they knew how it would rejoice Bosworth's heart 

1 Mr. C. E. Mallet, M.P. 
I I I 


to hear of their doings, and their impressions of 
travel, especially in the more untrodden paths of 
the world. In this way, to a large extent, grew his 
wonderful collection of antiquarian and barbarian 
curios, sent to him by pupils and other friends, 
whose wanderings led them far afield. Their letters 
and their gifts show how often he was in their 
thoughts, and how sure they were of his abiding 
interest in all that they might see or do. 

" But perhaps the greatest and best lesson that 
he instilled, and that by his own example, was 
simplicity. No man was ever more transparent 
and free from mauvaise konte. His three great 
books the Lives of Mohammed, Hannibal, and 
Lord Lawrence show that he was an ardent hero- 
worshipper : and of all heroic qualities he was most 
attracted by simplicity. Again, he was a champion 
of the weaker races of the world against aggression 
or oppression : and it was the simplicity of these 
children among the nations that most appealed to 
him. And he was the same in all his dealings with 
boys. If their lives and conversation were natural 
and unassuming, he loved them one and all : but 
for affectation and conceit he had a righteous horror. 
The boys, too, saw his open life, for nothing was 
concealed : and everything that he said or did was 
straightforward, simple, and of good report. 

" At that period of his life when he undertook so 
much literary work, many of his friends, including 
Edward Bowen, feared that the extraneous tasks 
might absorb his energies to the detriment of 
his service to school and house. But his boys 
saw as much of their master in these as in other 
years, and the rapidity of his work enabled him to 
find time for literary tasks and social duties, added 


to his scholastic routine. That his subsequent health 
suffered from the strain of these years is probable : 
but at the time the difference was little noticed. 

"And what of his teaching in form or pupil- 
room ? Here, again, I think that the prevailing note 
was unconventionality and freedom from routine. 
He was a classical master, and during his thirty- 
seven years at Harrow he took almost every form 
in that department of the school, from the lowest 
up to the Second Fifth. The classics, therefore, 
were the staple of his teaching : but he treated 
them in his own way, making more of the subject- 
matter and the literary qualities of the author than 
of the grammatical and linguistic envelope. Forty 
years ago he was one of the first classical tutors at 
Harrow to break away from the tyranny of Latin 
verses, then enforced on all boys, for the majority 
of whom they were useless and repellent. In their 
place (though he continued to teach them admirably 
to the good scholars) he substituted much geography 
and history, of which subjects he was a born teacher. 1 
These lessons, with others on the Bible and Milton, 2 

1 Bosworth Smith says, in some notes on history teaching : w I 
have no belief in teaching general truths or laws, unless there is a 
good substratum in the learner's mind of facts behind them. The 
abuse which Locke called ' principling ' the young is to be avoided 
in history, even more than in other studies. General principles are 
taught by crammers with frightful ease, and are reproduced with 
frightful and often misleading fidelity by the examinees. If the boy 
has a sufficient basis of facts to go on, he will be able to justify, to 
illustrate, to criticise or to overthrow the general views brought before 
him in lectures or in books, and he will be working on the inductive 

* He was wont to say that a passage could be found in " Paradise 
Lost " to illustrate every event in human life and every condition of 
mind, and the passage would usually rise at once to his memory with 
the occasion that suggested it. 

113 H 


will always dwell in the memory of the boys who 
passed through his form. The subjects, as treated 
by him, lived and glowed with illustrations poured 
upon them from all sources interesting to boys. No 
one who had been to his history lectures could feel 
again that history was a dull subject, and no geo- 
graphy pupil could fancy again that geography was 
a question of statistics and lists of products ; his 
interest in travel, in native races, in ancient build- 
ings, in different conditions of life, made geography 
in his hands a most fascinating study. This power 
of illustrating one subject by another, one period by 
another, from his extraordinary memory and store- 
house of knowledge, was attractive to the form, 
but often sorely puzzling to his colleagues. Bos 
would tell his form to find out by the next day 
an incident parallel to some story in the life of 
Abraham or Epaminondas or Oliver Cromwell. 
' Ask your tutors,' was the only clue he gave : and 
his poor colleagues would be tasked to search the 
pages of Grote or Gibbon or Scott, rather than con- 
fess to ignorance. In teaching the Bible he dwelt 
chiefly on the historical groundwork of the Scrip- 
tures and the moral qualities of Bible characters. 
Illustrations from the Koran or other Eastern writ- 
ings, from the ancient monuments and inscriptions, 
and from secular history, made the Bible studies lucid 
and human. I remember that during my own term in 
his form, now more than thirty years ago, the period 
was that of the Captivity and the Return ; and how 
we all became absorbed in the identification of the 
various Ahasueruses and Artaxerxes. Every week 
this form had to write an exercise on the last Scripture 
lesson : and the boys cheerfully spent hours in search- 
ing the sources of information which he had indicated. 


" One of the duties of every tutor at Harrow 
is to prepare boys for the annual Confirmation in 
the school chapel. Bos's addresses were eminently 
practical, and typical of his own simple and stead- 
fast faith. I think now that his Christianity, at all 
events thirty years ago, was strongly leavened by 
the teachings of Dean Stanley and F. D. Maurice. 
He did not dwell much on the Sacramental aspects 
of the Faith. English boys are not often expan- 
sive when being prepared for Confirmation : but he 
invited us to bring him our difficulties, and I ven- 
tured on some boyish objection to certain phrases 
in the Church Service. His answer was charac- 
teristic. He told me that, though the Prayer-book 
was not altogether such as would nowadays be 
written, he had personally only one serious objec- 
tion, and that was to a phrase, or rather one word, 
in the Invitation to Holy Communion, 'to be by 
them received in remembrance of His meritorious 
Cross and Passion, whereby alone we obtain remis- 
sion of our sins and are made partakers of the 
Kingdom of Heaven.' He thought the word 
' alone ' was inconsistent with the boundless mercy 
of God, as excluding from salvation so many millions 
who could never have even heard of the Atonement 
of Christ. And this remark was made just at the 
time when he was publishing ' Mohammed.' 

" Another feature of his form-teaching was the 
introduction from time to time of ' Flower-schools.' 
This meant the conveyance into school of large 
baskets of flowers or leaves, which were held up 
one by one, or passed round the benches for iden- 
tification, and marks of course were given to the 
knowledgeable boys, or the successful guessers. Or 
again, he would spend ten minutes, before or after 


school, on the terrace garden, of which he was for 
years the loving custodian, and where a memorial 
will shortly be erected ' to him by his old pupils. 
Here he would go round the borders, followed by 
his boys, telling them the names of shrubs and 
flowers, and often awakening a lifelong love of 
gardens. Or yet again, he would carry into school 
a box containing a tit's nest with the mother closely 
incubating, and pass her round the form. Or he 
would stop the lesson in progress to ask a stumbling 
construer to identify the bird that happened to be 
singing in the garden below his windows. But 
enough has been said to show how every lesson 
was humanised, and why so many boys, whom other 
masters pronounced dullards or Philistines, found 
under him an outlet for general knowledge, and 
continued to look back on their months under 
Bosworth Smith as an efficient period of school- 

" So far I have written of Bos in his relation to 
boys what is my recollection of him as a colleague ? 
Certainly he was highly popular with the staff: the 
very fact that to every colleague he was 'Bos' 
speaks for itself, and shows that there was nothing 
distant or ' stand-offish ' about his personality. Not 
that his friendships ever degenerated into famili- 
arity, but that he kept no colleague, however junior, 
at arm's length. He was punctilious about making 
calls on the newcomers, and his hospitality at the 
Knoll was widespread. Indeed, he was almost the 
last of those who felt that regular and frequent 
entertainment of his colleagues was a duty and a 
pleasure. He had a quick eye for all men's good 
qualities, and a generous recognition for keen and 
devoted service to the school. No assistant master, 


I think, ever had a serious quarrel with him, though 
his assiduous vindication of the amiable culprits in 
his house sometimes taxed the patience of more 
draconic colleagues. Though friendly with all, and 
censorious of none, he had of course his closer inti- 
macies, with Dr. Montagu Butler, his Headmaster 
for twenty years, with E. H. Bradby, Arthur 
Watson, James Robertson, Charles Colbeck, H. G. 
Hart, Thomas Field, and above all, with Edward 
Bowen. To such friends the inmost treasures of 
his mind and heart were revealed, with them he 
took counsel on the more important issues of their 
lives and his own. But to all his colleagues he was 
accessible for advice in difficulties ; and the lessons 
of his ripe experience were freely communicated, 
and always given on the side of good temper, leni- 
ency, and conciliation. At the same time he was, 
in school matters as on public questions, fearless 
in denunciation of injustice and wrong, whether to 
masters or boys. Many a second chance was 
given, at his timely instigation, to a young colleague 
who seemed at first incapable of maintaining his 
influence. Report has it that Bosworth Smith, 
like Edward Bowen, was during his first term at 
Harrow himself the victim of persecution from the 
boys. Many a hasty or severe sentence on erring 
youths was mitigated at his request. Many a jar 
between discordant masters was smoothed or ex- 
plained away. 

"He was not, I think, strong in the talent for 
organisation, for he loved a free hand himself, and 
could not brook over-centralisation of authority or 
1 bossing ' of any kind. Thus, in his later years at 
Harrow, he was often found in opposition to reforms 
which had become necessary in the organisation of 


school studies, because he knew how to get good 
work out of the old conditions, and dreaded the 
inelasticity of new rules. When changes were 
made, he would calmly proceed on the old lines, 
and people only smiled and said, ' Bos is a char- 
tered libertine.' Nor was he always effective at 
the masters' deliberations. He lacked the rapid 
play of Bowen's subtle argument and the concise 
and business-like acumen of Colbeck's advice. He 
relied too little on the living voice of advocacy, and 
too much on written arguments, which he read from 
manuscript, and which were often more weighty 
than convincing." 

What has been said of Bosworth Smith as a 
colleague is borne out by the testimony of many 
others. Dr. Butler writes : "He was, far more 
than most men, ' born to be loved ' so true, so 
sympathetic, so loyal, so affectionate. What a 
brotherhood we were years ago ! They were very 
happy days, and I think we can see God's blessing 
rested on them." " I am only one of hundreds," 
writes Dr. T. Field, Principal of Radley College, 
" in whose lives his words and teaching and example 
are a living force people who are different and 
who are better than they would have been, if they 
had never known him and, as they think of this 
or find themselves doing that, say, not unfrequently, 
' This was his way and that is what he said.' " " One 
of the dearest men that ever lived has gone," writes 
another colleague, Mr. A. J. Richardson, who was 
most kindly " lent " to him by the Rev. J. Sanderson 


of Elstree, when he could ill be spared. " How I 
cherish his memory, and how vividly I remember 
the two happy terms I spent at the Knoll. I 
assuredly learnt far more than I taught." 

What was the feeling of his pupils towards him, 
and what was the impression that he made on them ? 
The answer can best be given in their own spon- 
taneous words, taken from a few of the many sources 

Sir George Douglas, Bart., writes, in some 
Harrow recollections published in " Scottish Art 
and Letters " : " With special gratitude and affec- 
tion, the writer remembers Mr. R. Bosworth Smith. 
What could be done to instil life into instruction, 
to rouse the powers of the budding mind this that 
gentleman assuredly accomplished. Whether others 
felt as I did I know not, but for myself his wide 
range of learning, to which * the charm of nature ' 
in him imparted unfailing interest, made the hours 
spent in his class-room by far the pleasantest of the 
day." " I never knew an old Harrovian whose face 
did not light up with a kindly smile when his name 
was mentioned," writes one who was not himself a 
Harrovian. " It was you," writes a former pupil who 
is making a career in literature, " who first impressed 
upon me the need for that width of mind and the 
broadest culture which your works so splendidly 
illustrate." Another, who found himself the master 
of a great factory soon after leaving school, writes 
that he owes his love of English literature, which 


is the joy of his short leisure, to Bosworth Smith's 
suggestive lessons. " He humanised everything, 
even Latin and Greek," is a phrase that recurs 
constantly when men wrote or spoke of his teaching, 
and the burden of many letters is, as one of his 
numerous Australian pupils put it, " Our affection 
for you grows greater as we become better able to 
appreciate how good you were to us." 

" There never was a kindlier teacher and friend, 
nor one who did more to develop whatever good 
or useful was to be found in his pupils," writes Mr. 
F. Gore-Browne, K.C. " No one could wish for a 
better training for a young mind than he gave ; it 
was well for me that that time of growth was 
directed by the kindliest and most intelligent care, 
which could overlook weaknesses and vanities, or, 
better still, could direct them so as to be sources of 
advantage. It has always been marvellous to me 
how any man could, in addition to his school work, 
undertake such exacting literary work as he did. 
I can only say that the stupendous labour never 
prevented us boys getting attention to all our needs 
and helps in our own affairs." 

" He made us all feel that the ordinary work was 
part of a large whole," writes a pupil who had good 
reason to know him well, " and that education was 
not simply learning things for examinations. He 
could make the different things interesting by allu- 
sions and quotations, and the secret of his success 
in actual teaching was that he was so intensely 


interested in the subject himself. Although I was 
very bad at history and geography, I remember I 
used to love these lessons with him. He made all 
the characters so human and the places to which he 
had been so real. He kept us all alert and atten- 
tive. It was his idea to stimulate us to effort and 
thinking for ourselves, more than merely to teach 
us facts. I remember how extraordinarily success- 
ful he was in making boys keep their eyes open to 
what was going on around them. When a boy was 
asked if he had noticed something or other unusual 
on his way to school, and said he had not, Bos used 
to make him come to him every single school and 
tell him of some new thing he had noticed. I re- 
member one boy who, after a few weeks of this, 
became splendidly observant. He made us all love 
Milton, even though we could not really understand 
it very well then. He read it out to us, asking 
questions and explaining it as he went. My general 
impression of the effect of his form on me and other 
boys was, that we began to be interested ' in things 
in general.' Of course I was very lazy then, mainly 
because I wanted to have two terms instead of one 
in his form." 

The mother of a boy in his form once gave him 
real pleasure by quoting what her boy had said : 
" Why, mother, it's delightful ; it's the nicest form 
in the school ! " 

" One day in school," writes one who remembered 
the incident, " a sound of laughter came up from 



Mr. Field's schoolroom not far off. Bos sent down 
a boy to ask Mr. Field, 4 Please, sir, Mr. Bosworth 
Smith wants to know what the joke is ? ' And when 
it was duly brought up to the form, it had the same 
happy effect there. Mr. Field had been asking who 
had been born in different places, such as 'Who 
was born at Stratford-on-Avon ? ' and ' Who was 

born at ? ' when a very small boy, quite low 

down and usually silent to every question, became 
wide awake, and volunteered quickly to give the 
answer. ' Well, who was it ? ' ' Please, sir, /was.' " 
" No one can tell what he did for me at Har- 
row," writes one who was in his house there, " and 
what a good friend he was to us all he was more 
like a kind father to his house, and we always felt 
our troubles and joys were his as much as ours." 
" I owe and never could have repaid a great debt 
of gratitude to him for kindness and sympathy and 
encouragement at a time when they were of very 
special value to me," writes another. " All that he 
was to us boys at Harrow we can never adequately 
measure or express. His power of never losing 
that most attractive care and sympathy for all who 
had been in his house has been most inspiring and 
touching to us all," writes a third. Such testimonies 
could be .multiplied almost indefinitely ; they show 
the close tie between the boys and the master, of 
whom again and again they wrote, " he was not like 
a master to us, he was like a friend ; we trusted 
him and we loved him." 



He won this trust and love without conscious 
effort, for no man ever courted popularity with boys 
less than he did. He was simply his natural self 
with them ; always young at heart, the boy in him 
responded quickly to what was amusing in their 
ways and ideas, and his sympathy was always open 
to the less easily understood or the less generally 
liked among them. His own words about one who 
was cast in no ordinary mould throw a sidelight on 
his relations with a difficult type of character, and 
illustrate the deep interest he felt in the careers of 
his pupils. Harold Brown, who was a fearless 
traveller in little-known countries, was one of 
Wilson's force, who in 1894 died fighting against 
heavy odds in Matabeleland. 

"I doubt," he wrote, "whether a spirit such as 
his could have remained subject to any strict or 
unsympathetic discipline without a violent and 
probably, at least, a partially successful effort to 
throw it off. He could not put two lines of Latin 
and Greek together without alarming mistakes. 
What he did not like, he could hardly be prevailed 
upon to do at all. But he was a fellow of great 
ability, of wide and varied reading, and with almost 
a touch of genius, which came out alike in his 
English verse and in his English essays. Above 
all, he was a true and stalwart and resourceful 
friend. I well remember how his face, which was 
usually firm set, would brighten up when anything 
came uppermost in form which appealed to the 
spirit of adventure, the spirit of discovery, which 
have done so much to build up and preserve the 


vast fabric of the British Empire. He never re- 
turned from one of his adventurous journeys with- 
out coming straight to me to report progress, as 
I had begged him to do, when I first saw in my 
form the stuff of which he was made. ... He 
was with the pioneers who first made their way 
to what is now called Fort Salisbury, and a letter 
which he wrote to me describing his adventures 
with the lions which then swarmed in the country, 
was so full of out-of-the-way information and so 
graphic, that I sent it on to the editor of the Pall 
Mall Gazette, who published it anonymously. It 
caught, however, the ever-wakeful eye of Mr. Cecil 
Rhodes in South Africa, who immediately wrote 
to the editor, asking him to divulge the name of 
his talented correspondent, doubtless that he might 
utilise his resourceful energy in extending and 
cementing that South African Empire, the furthest 
bound of which he has just stained with his blood. 
It is probably the death of all others which, if die 
he must, he and his companion in the death struggle, 
Harry Kinloch, would have chosen to die." 

It was a delight to Bosworth Smith to keep 
in touch with his pupils. Their long letters to 
him from all parts of the world, telling of their 
sport or work in life, whatever it might be, 
show how sure they were of his sympathy and 
interest, although some twenty or even thirty 
years might have passed since they had left 
Harrow. He was wont to dash off an answer by 
return of post a delightful letter, that could have 
been written by no one else often barely legible, 


in spite of his efforts, full of sympathy and 
news and interest. " I had so much to tell 
him," wrote a former pupil, whom he loved, 
from a distant city in Asia Minor, when the 
news of his death reached him, for no one could 
appreciate more keenly than Bosworth Smith 
accounts of native character and customs, or know 
better the topography and history of that remote 

No fact about his Harrow life made more im- 
pression on his own family and they alone could 
fully realise all it meant than his painstaking pre- 
paration of each lesson as it came. "Surely you 
know all about Hannibal or Ovid or the Battle of 
Salamis ? " they would say to him ; and so in all 
probability he did : but for all that, he would leave 
his gardening or his absorbing literary work, and 
concentrate his mind on the task in hand ; and it 
is not too much to say, that he never once went 
to his pupils without having gone carefully through 
the lesson beforehand and having verified the 
illustrations and quotations which suggested them- 
selves. Only by this conscientious refreshment of 
his memory could the teacher, he thought, keep 
his knowledge accessible, and bring freshness and 
accuracy to his lesson. 

Possunt quiet posse videntur "They can, be- |l 

cause they think they can " was the motto he 

gave his form, and there is something stimulating 

even in the possession of such a motto, however 



little individuals may live up to it ; more stimu- 
lating still was the force of the daily example of 
untiring service and unflagging enthusiasm before 

From one point of view, what a Sisyphean task, 
renewed three times a year, to bring a batch of 
boys up to a certain point of knowledge by the end 
of a term, only to know that they will be succeeded 
by another set for whom the same process must be 
repeated ! But Bosworth Smith's enthusiasm for 
his subjects, his human interest in his work, and his 
sense of humour, helped him through much which 
would otherwise have seemed monotonous drudgery. 

In his speech at his final house-supper, which 
abounds in humorous allusions and reminiscences 
of too personal a nature for quotation, he rejoiced 
in the keenness his house had shown in taking 
part in competitions for prizes, in the " intellectual 
energy, which is the greatest of all desiderata at 
Harrow, in extra work, and in voluntary work " 
which these competitions entailed. " This has 
produced an esprit de corps in the house, such 
as, I think, nothing else could have done. Once 
and again, when after we have, perhaps, carried 
off three prizes out of four, or perhaps all four, 
and some one in the house has come out 
fourth or fifth, I have sent for him to condole 
with him, the response has almost invariably been, 
' Never mind, sir, the house has got it.' That is 
house patriotism of the noblest kind." 


" Boys are undeniably anxious to excel at 
games," Mr. H. T. Hewett wrote, in an appre- 
ciation of his old master, which appeared in 
Bailys Magazine for December 1908, "and do 
not require any incentive to do or die for the 
glory of their house. Intellectual distinctions 
are generally a more selfish and personal matter 
at least, so we always regarded school prizes, 
until Bosworth Smith came along and taught 
us to win prizes for the honour of the house. 
The English subjects history, geography, and 
divinity as being open to all, whether or no 
they possessed a profound knowledge of Latin 
and Greek, were the subjects upon which he 
elected to coach his boys, and to teach them to 
improve their minds for the good of the house. 
The idea of impressing upon boys the existence of 
esprit de corps in extra work of a voluntary nature 
was a daring one, and other masters must have 
smiled inwardly at these boys of no marked ability, 
who were the first to yield with puzzled faces to 
his gentle pressure. 

" Here is an instance of his method : a member 
of his house, with a mere bowing acquaintance 
with the classics, was fortunate enough to get into 
the school football eleven. Bos was most sym- 
pathetic in his congratulations. ' But,' he added, 
with a twinkle in his eye, ' you must not let your- 
self be known merely as an athlete ; you must culti- 
vate your abilities more than ever in other respects. 
So come to my private reading-classes and help 
the house to win the geography prizes as well 
as the Cock House match.' And, of course, the 
footballer became thanks to skilful coaching a 


geographer, and did happen to pull off the double 

As to the " gentle pressure " alluded to by Mr. 
Hewett, Bosworth Smith was wont to say that 
in later years it was rather the boys who pressed 
him than he who pressed them. "Once or twice 
I have forgotten to ask one boy or another to 
come in, and he has generally come to me with 
a stern rebuke." 

But though the English subjects that he taught 
were specially dear to him, though he cared greatly 
for the prestige of his house, it was in no sense 
for the momentary success of prize-winning that 
he worked. It was of the life beyond and after 
Harrow that he thought. His flower - schools, 
his lectures on natural history, the hours devoted 
to history or geography which might have been 
play hours, did they not show the way to habits 
of observation, which must needs stand a man in 
good stead, be his career what it may? to new 
fields of pleasure and interest, which would only 
increase with the years ? When he taught his 
boys to respect the high traditions of the house, 
to care for its honour, and to spare neither time 
nor effort for its sake, was he not training them 
to reverence what is best in the past, to feel re- 
sponsible for "moral continuity" with it, and to 
an ideal of citizenship, of self-sacrifice for cause 
and country? 



This record of the impression made on many 
minds by Bosworth Smith's personality and teaching 
would not be complete without some allusion to 
his relations with the parents of his boys. Two, 
out of the many kind and cordial letters which 
came to him, must stand as a testimony to what 
many parents felt and said : 

" Under your admirable influence," wrote the 
late General C. E. Luard, " my boy's career at 
Harrow has been a constant source of satisfaction 
to me, and whilst feeling very proud of him, I 
very fully recognise the deep debt of gratitude 
which I owe to you for all your goodness to him. 
It is your own high character which moulds your 
boys, and I know that our connection is not severed 
simply because my boy will no longer be under 
your charge." 

"Although I am a stranger to you," wrote Mr. 
R. Reade of Wilmont, Co. Antrim, "you are not 
a stranger to me. My acquaintance with you 
began by my reading the ' Life of Lord Lawrence.' 
It has been ripened by my two boys, who were 
at Harrow not in your house to whom you ex- 
tended the great kindness of occasional invitations, 
and who used to speak of you with enthusiasm. 
It was, indeed, under a title, wanting apparently 
in dignity, but which, I believe, actually signified 
both affection and respect." 

One who knew Bosworth Smith well has re- 
corded his impressions of the many talks on school- 
129 i 


mastering they had together in later life, when 
Bosworth's own direct connection with the work 
was over : 

" I always thought he was a wonderful example 
of how impossible it was for boys to understand 
what is really being done for them by schoolmasters. 
I knew so many Harrovians who were under him : 
all of them loved him, but they naturally did not 
realise the immense cleverness that underlay his 
methods in dealing with boys. They looked on 
his keenness for his house and so on just merely 
as some personal characteristic of his own, never 
stopping to think that the man, who was writing 
books that will always live, could all the time carry 
out a deeply thought out scheme for the moulding 
of those who came under him, on lines broader 
than anything conceived by the ordinary type of 
successful schoolmaster. In fact, he was one of 
the very few in our profession to set before him- 
self something beyond the school and its life, and to 
work for a citizenship of manhood, hoping perhaps 
often against hope that such work might really 
endure. It was the wider outlook, the larger scope, 
the instinct that taught him that nothing based on 
compulsion can permanently endure, which led him 
to work on lines all could not understand. He 
spent his life in a profession where motives for a 
particular course of action are nearly always mis- 
understood, where patience is too often mistaken 
for leniency, and where success from the world's 
point of view is generally the result of the exercise 
of just those qualities which should never or very 
seldom be brought into play in dealing with the 
young. The ' successful ' schoolmaster is often the 


man who is too inclined to be intolerant of the 
tiresome, the backward, and lazy boy ; who is too 
apt to regard a flower-bed standard of excellence 
and a good all-round show in an examination as 
the criterion at which we ought to aim. Bosworth 
Smith was the exact opposite of this ; he was 
always ready to leave the ninety and nine and go 
after the one lost sheep ; and not only that, but 
the splendid spirit of contradiction within him led 
him to see all sorts of dormant qualities for good 
in the sinner, which these strenuous, self-centred 
persons had neither the time nor patience to 
discover. Here lay the secret of his power, 
and his personal * encouragement ' that was the 
watchword of his Gospel. He once said to me, 
' Till boys are twenty years old, we ought to try 
and educate ourselves to believe that, no matter 
how flagrant their actions may appear, they are 
too young and inexperienced to do anything which 
should really put them out of court.' That was the 
man's view of life. A high standard for himself, 
a broad outlook for those with whom he had to 
deal, an outlook terminated neither by the class- 
room or playing field, infinite patience, infinite 
enthusiasm, and above all a sense of humour which 
nothing could dim or destroy. He saw something 
good in every one, and he believed in dwelling 
on the good side." 

" School life may have its limitations," Mr. C. E. 
Mallet, M.P., writes, "but it never limited Bos's 
activity or dulled his mind. It gave him a daily 
opportunity of doing admirable work. It enabled 
him to take, outside of Harrow, a part in literature 
and politics which reflected honour on the school 


he served. It won him a wide company of warm 
and grateful friends. And it has left to those 
of us who knew him the memory of a nature 
singularly true, counting, with its simplicity and 
tenderness, among the best things that our lives 
have known." 

From the many letters which came from those 
who had been with him at Harrow, after he had 
passed away, it would be almost sacrilege to quote ; 
but two sentences, eloquent in their simplicity, may 
bear witness to the love his pupils bore him : " I 
am too miserable to write, but I must tell you 
how all my heart is with you, and how it aches. 
I loved him so much, and he was such a friend 
to me." "He was the best friend I ever 

To those who read that outburst of affection, 
it seemed that he would have wished no more 
precious memorial. But he would have prized, 
as those nearest to him prize, the great memorials 
at Harrow the marble tablet in the chapel, and 
the beautiful balustrade on the chapel terrace, 
which will remain as a lasting testimony to the 
warm and generous affection he called forth. 
The words inscribed in the chapel can hardly 
fail to bring up a picture of his many-sided 
and beloved personality, not only for those who 
know how true they are, but for generations 
yet to come : 





Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford, 
From 1864 to 1901 a Master at Harrow, 

Historian, Biographer, Naturalist. 

A Born Teacher of History and Literature, 

A Weighty Speaker on Truth and Justice, 

A Generous Champion of Weaker Races, 

A Loving Student of Birds and Flowers, 

He drew to Himself the Hearts 

Of Boys, Masters, and Friends, 

And left a Name Honoured and Beloved 

At Harrow, in His Country, 

And in Distant Lands. 

Born June 28, 1839. Died at 

Bingham's Melcombe, Oct. 17, 1908. 





As soon as the idea of writing on Mohammedanism 
had assumed definite shape, Bosworth Smith set 
himself to study all the material in European lan- 
guages which was accessible to him on the subject. 
The Koran itself he read several times continuously 
from beginning to end, both in the orthodox and 
chronological order a task which Bunsen and 
Sprenger and Renan all pronounce to be almost 

The fascination of the subject grew quickly upon 
him. The unchanging nature of Islam, the sim- 
plicity of its creed, its resistless spread, the wild 
races who profess it, the character of its founder, 
its likeness and unlikeness to Christianity all ap- 
pealed almost equally to the intellect and to the 

Further study made him realise that "most 
Christian writers had approached Islam only to 
vilify and misrepresent it " ; and his strong sense of 
justice impelled him to make an attempt "to treat 
it, not merely with a cold and distant impartiality, 
but even with something akin to sympathy and 



It is impossible here to give more than a bare 
outline of the scope of the book, but this much at 
least is necessary, to account for the storm of criti- 
cism which some of the opinions it contained created, 
and also because, though time of course modified 
many of those opinions, still his general attitude to 
religious questions remained unaltered to the end of 
his life. 

Moreover, a study of the relations between 
Christianity and Mohammedanism cannot but be 
of permanent interest and importance to English 
people, for "the King of England rules over sixty 
millions of the followers of the Prophet in India a 
greater number, that is, than those under the direct 
rule of the Sultan of Turkey himself" ; and with the 
extension of our Empire in Africa, we must in every 
direction come into contact with the forces of Islam. 

Briefly, then, the preface states that the lectures 
are " an attempt to render justice to what was great 
in Mohammed's character and to what has been 
good in Mohammed's influence on the world. To 
original research they lay no claim, nor indeed to 
much originality at all." 

Starting with the postulate that all religions are 
holy ground, and that they differ in degree rather 
than in kind, Bosworth Smith claimed that from 
the study of Mohammedanism, the latest and most 
purely historical religion, something of the develop- 
ment of other religions could be learnt. Christianity 
should not claim the monopoly of all that is good 


and true, nor is it the only revelation of Himself 
that God has given to the world. Then he traced 
the history and spread of Islam, and drew a com- 
parison, which was not in favour of the Christians, 
between the success of Christian and Mohammedan 
missions, notably in Africa. He examined the life 
and character of Mohammed himself, and the violent 
misrepresentations of the Prophet and his work 
which had obtained everywhere, down to the days 
of Gagnier, Gibbon, and Carlyle ; and while he was 
compelled to admit certain grave moral charges 
against Mohammed, he yet claimed that he was in- 
deed an inspired Prophet of God, and that Moham- 
med himself had never lost his own faith in his 
inspiration and in his mission. The essence of 
Mohammedanism was a belief, not only in the unity 
of God, but in Him as a righteous Ruler, to whose 
will it was man's duty to submit ; and this faith, 
which, if need be, might be enforced by means of 
the sword, meant the overthrow of idolatry wherever 
it spread in Arabia and Africa, and the substitution 
of a far higher form of worship and a far purer 
moral system. 

Finally, with the question before him, what should 
Christians think of Islam and how should Christian 
missionaries approach it, he dwelt on the points of 
resemblance rather than of difference between the 
two religions, and on Mohammed's reverence for 
the Founder of Christianity, although he knew only 
the Christ of tradition, and not the Christ of the 


Gospels. Christianity, he argued, was better suited 
to the higher and more progressive races and 
Mohammedanism to the lower and more stationary 
races of the world. It was impossible that Islam 
should give way before Christianity altogether, but 
Christian missionaries might do much to revive and 
purify Islam, not by discrediting Mohammed and 
the Koran, but by dwelling on the morality rather 
than on the dogmas of Christianity, and on the 
simpler truths which underlie and are common to 
both religions. 

The limit of time imposed for the lectures necessi- 
tated great condensation, but the style was forcible 
and eloquent, and there was throughout a sincerity 
and earnestness and a spirit of tolerance, combined 
with a strong religious feeling, which lifted the book 
to a high plane. If it contained passages which 
might have been written otherwise, had the author 
himself lived in Mohammedan countries ; if it con- 
tained passages which he modified or omitted in 
later editions, this scarcely detracted from the value 
of the book as a whole, and the general verdict, 
when the clouds of controversy had cleared away, 
seemed eventually to be that the lectures had marked 
a new era of criticism on the subject. 

At first, however, the book met with scant appre- 
ciation. The Church papers the Guardian alone 
excepted fell on it, almost with one accord, with a 
bitterness and violence which showed plainly enough 
the need of its teaching. The Church Missionary 


Intelligencer, in particular, though the reviewer 
asserted that there was nothing original in the book 
from cover to cover, 1 devoted some twenty pages 
to the demolition of both its theories and statistics. 
Another paper found that the author's ignorance of 
Oriental languages and his lack of acquaintance with 
Mohammedan countries put him out of court at 
once ; a third inquired what the parents of Harrow 
boys must feel, now that they realised into what 
hands they had committed their sons. 

Bosworth Smith had, of course, expected criticism 
from certain quarters. His first assumption, that 
religions differ in degree and not in kind, his views 
concerning miracles, shocked many of the older 
school ; his comparison, actual or implied, between 
the Koran and the Bible, and between Mohammed 
and the Founder of Christianity reverent and 
entirely Christian, as it must seem now to an unpre- 
judiced reader laid him open among one class of 
critics to the charge of Unitarianism ; while his bold 
assertion that Mohammedanism is better suited to 
certain races than Christianity itself, and his sugges- 
tions as to the methods of Christian missionaries, 
naturally aroused great indignation among the mis- 
sionary societies. Contempt and obloquy, though 

1 Much the same view was apparently taken by the author's eldest 
son, then aged five, who, seeing the book in a shop window, asked 
his father, " What is Mohammed and Mrs. Mohammed about ?" and 
when a short explanation was given him, said, " It has either all been 
told before, or else it is a make up " a veritable dilemma, as his 
father had to confess. 



they are scarcely criticism, are yet capable of inflict- 
ing real pain ; but what concerned him far more 
than newspaper attacks was the attitude of some 
of his personal friends and near relations. Here 
again, however, he had realised beforehand that 
many of his views must needs perplex and pain 
those who clung to a different idea of Christianity ; 
and it is a proof of his sincerity, if proof were 
needed, that when he published his book, he knew 
that he must face the risk of grieving his parents, 
whom he revered and loved so intensely. The 
long correspondence about the book, which followed 
its publication, with his parents and with others of 
the same way of thinking, brings out his gentleness 
and his respect for the opinions of others, even 
when they seemed to him bigoted and illogical. 
"I firmly believe," wrote an old friend, "that God 
speaks of the Mohammedan delusion as smoke from 
the bottomless pit. . . . God may use Mohammed, 
as He did Sennacherib or Satan himself, but that is 
a different matter." 

To a lifelong friend, Mrs. Knipe, Bosworth Smith 
wrote on June 4, 1874 : 

" It is a new and very strange sensation to me to 
feel that, though the book has as yet a small circu- 
lation, it is stirring so many widely different minds. 
I certainly feel the responsibility which you spoke 
of before. I am quite aware that if the book is 
misrepresented, as it is almost sure to be in all the 
so-called religious newspapers, it must be the in- 


direct cause of some mischief, but I cannot look 
upon myself as responsible for misrepresentation. 
The thrill of delight that Gladstone's letter gave 
me was, I believe and hope, quite as much because 
of the earnest it seemed to give me that the book 
was good and useful, as that it was that he was 
kind enough to consider it able and interesting. 
But a review such as that in the Christian Obsewer, 
which is sure to be followed by similar ones in the 
Record, will, I fear, do not so much harm to the 
book, as make the book the innocent cause of harm, 
and this really troubles me : moreover, it will perturb 
my dear father's mind again, after he has taken it 
all so sensibly and justly and equably. Altogether, 
just now I am more anxious than happy about it, 
though I am as convinced as ever that the book 
was called for, and that it is really an influence in 
the right direction, and essentially Christian. ... I 
am glad you like the style of the book, though it 
was the last thing I thought of in writing. My 
object was always to let the thought set the style 
and suggest it, and not vice versa" 

To a friend who took a very severe view of his 
opinions, he wrote later on : 

" I feel, as you remark, the great responsibility of 
publishing a second edition of my book. I know 
that I have made mistakes of details, that I may be 
wrong in some important matters, that I have pur- 
posely not dwelt upon the dark side of the picture 
in Mohammedan countries now ; but, on the other 
hand, subsequent study, and the opinion of compe- 
tent judges in all parts of the world, encourage me 
to cherish the hope, that the spirit with which I at 


least tried to approach the subject is the right spirit 
for my purpose. The creeds as creeds have very 
much in common, and the system of morality they 
inculcate has so many points in common, that I am 
very sanguine as to the influence Christianity may 
have on Islam, even if it does not make many 
Muslims Christians." 

" Never having been in the East," Bosworth 
Smith says in some notes on this subject which he 
made in 1886, "and not having the chance of study- 
ing Oriental languages, I had only ventured to hope 
that the book might interest some who were almost 
ignorant of the subject. But much to my surprise 
and pleasure, the book was taken up and carefully 
criticised by Orientalists everywhere. 1 It was re- 
published in America, and has been translated into 
Hindustani (by Mir Aulad AH of Trinity College, 
Dublin). It was reviewed appreciatively by Dr. 
George Percy Badger (the famous Arabic scholar) 
in the Contemporary Review ; by Professor Noldeke, 
the highest German authority on the subject ; by 
Professor E. H. Palmer in the Quarterly Review ; 
and by Dr. Blyden in a series of very remarkable 
articles in Frasers Magazine. Dr. Blyden is an 
African of the purest Negro blood, a man of great 
ability, and an accomplished linguist ; his articles 
form, I think, an epoch in the history of the Negro 
race. To this day, I am told that I am prayed for 
in the mosques along the West Coast of Africa, as 
having attempted to do justice to Islam, as a civi- 
lising and elevating agency among pagan Negroes. 

1 It is not too much to say that the book has been used and quoted 
as an authority by the writers of nearly every subsequent work on 
Mohammedanism or kindred subjects. 


This is worth mentioning, as showing that in the 
uncompromising support I have given to the best 
of my ability to the English National Church, I 
have done so from no mere narrow or partisan or 
sectarian point of view. The book has brought me 
close friends and interesting correspondents in all 
parts of the world, not least among the native 
races, to the better aspects of whose creed I have 
attempted to do full justice, such as the Persians, 
the Afghans, the Mohammedans of India, the 
Turks, the Moorish races, and the Negroes." 

Keenly sensitive as Bosworth Smith always was 
alike to praise and blame, appreciation from a quarter 
where appreciation meant valuable encouragement 
gave him intense pleasure. 

The first favourable review of the book appeared 
in the Academy, and was from the pen of Mr. 
Stanley Lane-Poole. Mr. Lane-Poole comes of a 
family of celebrated Orientalists, and the grand- 
uncle of whom he speaks was Edward William 
Lane, the acknowledged chief of Arabic scholars, 
author of " Modern Egyptians," translator of the 
" Thousand and One Nights," and compiler of 
the Arabic lexicon. 

"On this subject," Mr. Lane-Poole writes, "there 
is not now much need of original research. Spren- 
ger has collected almost everything that bears upon 
the question of Mohammed's character and teach- 
ing. What is wanted is exactly what Mr. Smith 
possesses a clear judgment, unfettered by a too 


dogmatic form of religious belief, and free from the 
cynical distrust of humanity which Sprenger occa- 
sionally manifests." 

And in a private letter to the author, Mr. Lane- 
Poole says : 

"You will be pleased to hear I talked the whole 
question over very carefully with my grand-uncle, 
Mr. Lane to whom I, like my father, am indebted 
for whatever knowledge of Arabic and of Arab ways 
and thoughts I have and I am led to believe that 
my grand-uncle takes almost exactly the same view 
I do myself with regard to your very interesting 
book. If he and I differ at all on the subject, it is 
only on account of the difference which must always 
exist between one man's view of a religious question 
and another's. You may therefore look upon my 
view as being substantially Mr. Lane's opinion, 
though he probably would take scarcely so enthusi- 
astic an estimate of the Prophet as I do." 

Two characteristic letters from Mr. Gladstone, 
for whom at this time Bosworth Smith felt the most 
enthusiastic veneration, must be quoted : 

May 14, '74- 

MY DEAR SIR, I am very much obliged to you 
for kindly sending me a copy of what I easily per- 
ceived to be a very able and interesting work on a 
most important subject. 

In your general principles of judgment upon 

religions other than our own, if I understand them 

aright, I should concur : but it seems to me that 

there may conceivably be a difference in kind of 



religions taken objectively, while there may be a 
difference in degree only as to religions taken sub- 
jectively. Nor have I as much faith as you in 
amalgamated religion. Thus far I have only read 
the two first lectures, but I shall proceed to those 
which follow with an enhanced desire. 

You would do me a favour if you could direct me 
to any sources where I might obtain information as 
to the preference of the Arabs or other Orientals for 
the mare. I believe the point to run back in a most 
curious manner as far as Homer. 

It gives me much pleasure to learn that my transla- 
tion of the reply of Achilles interested you. Believe 
me, faithfully yours, W. E. GLADSTONE. 

October 22, '74. 

MY DEAR SIR, I have only very lately received 
your interesting letter of the 4th. 

I am very glad that you take so indulgent a view 
of my paper on Ritualism, and that you so accu- 
rately estimate its purpose. 

I perceive its point of fact with your own most 
interesting disquisition. From that point of contact 
there opens a subject of exceeding width, as to the 
principle of accommodation in religion. I think you 
would find much interesting matter on this subject 
in two authors whom I will venture to mention. 
One of them is Gioberti in the Gesuita Modicino. 
He discusses at great length and censures severely 
the accommodations of the Jesuits in China. The 
other is a greater man by much, though Gioberti 
was not small ; namely, Leibnitz, who, living at the 
time, discusses the same questions, and I believe 
takes the side of the Jesuits strongly against the 


Pope. But I have not read what he has written. 
I speak from a very full and large account of his 
opinions by Dr. Pichler, Theologie des Leibnitz, 
Munchen, 1836. 

Thank you very much for all you have told me 
about the mares. The preference certainly sup- 
plies a new link between Homer, and thus between 
Europe and the East, and helps to make up an 
item in a body of evidence which I think will finally 
prove to be of the utmost interest and historical 
importance. I am, my dear Sir, very faithfully 
yours, W. E. GLADSTONE. 

Professor John Tyndall, the celebrated natural 
philosopher, "who did more than any other man 
of his generation to spread scientific knowledge 
among English people," wrote to him : 

" Your lectures made an impression upon me which 
suggested thoughts more or less like these : 

"Science has been long withstood it is nowa- 
days gaining ground, but it has still much to claim 
in the way of recognition. But after it has gained 
all that it ought to gain, after it has dissipated all 
that deserves to be dissipated, will it suffice to 
satisfy the demands of human nature ? I do not 
believe it. I believe that the ethical and aesthetical 
side of man will have its yearnings after the satis- 
faction of the understanding. The objects which 
satisfied these yearnings in time past cannot con- 
tinue to satisfy them they are losing their hold 
more and more but that they are destined to 
perish without a substitute, I do not believe. In 
another age I believe they will be remodelled so 
145 K 


as to do no violence to exact thought. In the 
passage from this age to that other age, men of 
earnest, pure, and elevated minds are specially 
needed men who have a life within them strong 
enough to maintain itself through a period of transi- 
tion, when doubt has for a time destroyed the old 
stimuli. I thought, as I heard you, that you were 
one of those men ; and hence your lectures had a 
profound interest for me." 

Bosworth Smith wrote in reply, on May i, 

" One line of thanks for your very kind and 
most interesting and suggestive letter. I wish that 
fortune would one day throw me into your company 
for a short time. I should much enjoy a talk to you 
on the subject of your letter. From my point of 
view, I should be inclined to say, not that the 
objects of man's infinite yearnings will perish, but 
that the way of looking at them will be different. 
Dogma as to the unseen will of course be swept 
away, but there will be boundless toleration for 
every sesthetic or spiritual belief which does not 
trench (a) on morality, (b) on science. My lectures 
may be, I hope, a help to some in that direction." 

Dean Stanley sent him three sheets of notes, 
jotted down as he read the book, partly verbal 
criticism, partly warm commendation ; Mr. Llewelyn 
Davies said that, though he dissented from many 
of his conclusions, he was "delighted with the 
modesty, straightforwardness, reverence, and en- 


thusiasm which characterise the book." George 
Eliot wrote of his "brave truthfulness, especially 
in relation to our actual dealings with nations whose 
culture and genius differ from our own. Permit me 
to say also that the dedicatory page is one of those 
which I read with much interest." l 
Matthew Arnold wrote : 

"It seems to me to be done in a way to be useful, 
which is what I most care for in English books. In 
Germany all books but novels and poems are written 
for a public of professors. In England we have no 
public of this kind worth speaking of; we have only 
the general public ; but, on the other hand, this 
public is far more interested in literature and science, 
and far more influenceable by them, than the general 
public on the Continent, and this is a great advan- 
tage to the nation. Any book on an important 
subject, which is at once readable by our general 
public, and at the same time carries fresh and sound 
doctrine to them, is a real and valuable help and 
yours, in my opinion, is such a book." 

Monsieur A. ReVille, Professor Noldeke, Ernest 
de Bunsen, Lord Stanley of Alderley, Professor F. 
W. Newman, Mr. Syed Ameer Ali, Mr. Syed 
Ahmed Khan Bahader, Mr. M. H. Hakim three 

1 The dedication runs : 

Uxori meae 

Nullius non laboris participi 
Hujusce praesertim opusculi instigatrici et administrae 

Studiorum communitatis 
Has, qualescunque sunt, primitias 


Mohammedan writers of distinction were amongst 
those whose letters or reviews gave him special 
pleasure and encouragement. 

Mr. Syed Ameer Ali, writing in March 1879, 
said : 

"Your book has not only confirmed me in my 
own faith, but it has given me a far higher idea of 
Christianity than I yet possessed. Like all those 
who grow up amidst the corrupted form of a once 
pure religion, and whose constant attempts at 
accommodating what they know to be true to what 
they have been taught to regard as true, seem to me, 
if not entire failures, at least in great confusion, I 
had naturally begun to be sceptical on many points, 
and it was a relief to find that some matters, at any 
rate, which were hitherto quite obscure to me, could 
be explained on a more rationalistic principle than I 
had yet seen applied to them." 

This passage from Mr. Syed Ameer Ali's letter 
suggests that, just because he had not been in 
Mohammedan countries, it had been possible for 
Bosworth Smith to write with greater detachment, 
and to depict Islam as it was in its earliest and 
more ideal form. 

The thanks of the Ottoman Government for his 
attempt to do justice to Islam were conveyed to 
him through the Turkish Ambassador, Musurus 
Pasha ; but it must be added that, when some 
copies of the book were sent to Constantinople, 
with a view to translation into Turkish, the autho- 
rities, with the amusing inconsistency which is 


characteristic of Turkish proceedings, refused to 
admit them into the country, and only after long 
correspondence were they allowed to pass the 

Perhaps one of the chief encouragements of all 
was the verdict of Dr. George Percy Badger, 
whose colloquial knowledge of Arabic was un- 
rivalled, and whose personal experience of Arabs, 
whether at Aden, in Syria, or Zanzibar, entitled 
him to speak with the highest authority. Dr. 
Badger's English-Arabic Lexicon is still the standard 
work on the subject. 

Lady Strangford, who knew Dr. Badger well, 
forwarded a note from him to herself, in which he 
said : 

" I have read his book with the deepest interest, 
and without committing myself to all his views, I 
do not hesitate to pronounce it the best work yet 
written on the difficult but deeply important subject 
of Islam." 

After Dr. Badger's review of his book in the 
Contemporary, in which he had expressed his dis- 
sent from many of Bosworth Smith's conclusions, 
the latter wrote to him : 

" Your review seems to me to come as near to 
the highest ideal I can form of the way in which 
criticism ought to be conducted. It is sympathetic, 
careful, and appreciative, and at the same time in- 
cisive, suggestive, and scrupulously just. ... I am 
particularly grateful to you for having allowed me 


to speak for myself so often by quoting the ipsis- 
sima verba. It is very interesting to me, from a 
purely intellectual point of view, to notice the in- 
sight with which you point out the weak places my 
vague use of the term ' inspiration,' for example in 
my armour." 

Dr. Badger replied : 

" That you should have taken my hard hits 
albeit kindly aimed is a proof to me that I rightly 
estimated your character. Your book convinced 
me that you were a true man, loving truth for 
truth's sake." 

Dr. Badger's letters to Bosworth Smith abound 
in wise sayings, which illustrate Eastern modes of 
thought. For example : 

" Islam," he says, "will admit of no doubt, no 
reasoning, no discussion. Believers among our- 
selves in the verbal inspiration of the Bible are 
Liberals as compared with Muslims. Those now- 
adays who doubt are incipient unbelievers, not 
because they have found reason to doubt the de- 
clarations of the Koran, but because they dislike 
their strictness." 

Perhaps none of his then unknown correspon- 
dents, many of whom afterwards became personal 
friends, interested him more than Dr. Blyden, the 
Negro savant, missionary, and diplomat. It was 
Dean Stanley who had first drawn Dr. Blyden's 
attention to " Mohammed," and he at once wrote 
to the author to confirm, after years of travel in 


Africa, the views which he had put forward as 
to the influence of Mohammedanism there. This 
was the beginning of a constant correspondence 
and lifelong friendship between them. 

Another interesting and original correspondent, 
whom Bosworth Smith never actually met, was Mr. 
Stewart E. Roland, then Chairman of the Maritime 
League. Part of Mr. Roland's adventurous life had 
been spent in North Africa, Turkey in Asia, and in 
North Persia, where he had lived for some years, 
usually in tents with the Bedouins. 

The rapid growth of the spirit of tolerance during 
the last forty years finds an illustration in the atti- 
tude of the Church of England towards my father 
and his opinions. Twice in after years he was 
invited to speak on Mohammedanism at the Church 
Congress ; and when the third edition of his book 
came out in 1889, it was warmly welcomed by some 
of the very newspapers which before had con- 
demned it. 

The first invitation to speak at the Church Con- V 
gress, in 1889, he reluctantly declined, because he 
felt he could not deal adequately with so vast a 
subject during the twenty minutes allotted for the 
purpose, and that, " by flinging his bare conclusions 
at the heads of his hearers, he would give needless 
offence." Canon Isaac Taylor, who took his place, 
rushed upon the dangers, which Bosworth Smith 
had foreseen, without adequate study of his subject, 
and his over-favourable picture of Islam, and de- 


preciation of Christian missionary work, raised a 
storm, which raged in the Church papers, the Times, 
and the Reviews for weeks, and even months after- 
wards. Canon Isaac Taylor, who had naturally 
resorted to easily accessible sources for the pre- 
paration of his paper, had, among other authorities, 
largely used " Mohammed." 

Bosworth Smith felt that Canon Taylor's state- 
ments needed many modifications, and that a com- 
parison between the precepts of one religion and 
the practice of another could never be a just or true 
one. In the fifteen years that had passed since his 
"Mohammed" was written, he had learnt much of 
Africa from Government officials, missionaries, and 
natives themselves ; his information was more 
accurate, his outlook wider, his views more mature. 

In a fine and temperate article in the Nineteenth 
Century, full of curious illustrations and anecdotes, 
he endeavoured to weigh the work done by Islam 
and Christianity, respectively, in Africa. Islam 
dominates half, if not three-quarters, of Africa; 
Christianity has touched but a few spots. Islam 
elevates the pagan who embraces it morally and 
socially ; it prohibits strong drink, combats fetishism 
and its horrors; but, on the other hand, it allows 
and encourages the evils of slave trade, religious 
wars, polygamy. Christianity has, so far, failed 
in Africa, because the Negro learnt it first as a 
slave from his owner in a strange land, and because 
no Christian nation has clean hands in Africa; 


because Christianity came to the Negro as some- 
thing foreign, alien, dogmatic. It is the educated 
Christian Negro of America, rather than the white 
man, who can best impart Christianity to his 
countrymen in the form in which they can best 
receive it, and through the Negro missionary 
Mohammedanism may, perhaps, be leavened by 
Christian morality. Above all, the success or 
failure of a religion should never be gauged by the 
number of converts it makes, for " the conversion 
of a whole Pagan community to Islam need not 
imply more effort, more sincerity, or more vital 
change, than the conversion of a single individual 
to Christianity." 

This article gained the warm approval of Sir 
Robert Montgomery, the Hon. George Brodrick, 
Colonel Yule, Mr. Eugene Stock, Secretary of the 
Church Missionary Society, and Mr. Bunting (now 
Sir Percy Bunting), editor of the Contemporary, 
who said : "When I finished your article I felt there 
was nothing more to be said, it was so complete, 
though perhaps you do not think so." 

In the paper which he read before the Wey mouth 
Church Congress in 1905, Bosworth Smith repeated, 
with no uncertain sound, his matured convictions 
as to the way in which Christian missionaries 
should approach Mohammedanism ; once more he 
urged that they should dwell on what is common 
to both faiths. " Let us endeavour," he went on, 
"to exhibit Christianity to the untutored mind in 



its very simplest form, as it was taught by Him 
who spake as never man spake, and was lived by 
Him who lived as never man lived." "A creed," 
he said, "unless it be of the simplest and shortest, 
like the creed of Islam, ' There is no God but God ; 
and Mohammed is His prophet,' tends, ex vi ter- 
mini, to be legal, logical, technical, metaphysical. 
It registers results, rather than stimulates growth. 
It is protective and polemical in its form. It aims 
at exclusion rather than at comprehension. We 
hear, as it were, the strife of tongues between each 
sonorous cadence of the Nicene ; we catch, as it 
were, the distant echoes of the clash of swords be- 
tween each balanced antithesis, each perilous defini- 
tion, each dread anathema of the Athanasian Creed." 
But the completest statement of his thoughts 
on the whole matter can perhaps be found in a 
simple and convincing speech which he made on 
. the British Empire and its Missionary Responsi- 
* bilities at the annual meeting of the S.P.G. in 
1903. What he said won the enthusiastic apprecia- 
tion, not only of the Archbishop of Canterbury and 
Bishop Montgomery, but of others who were not 
naturally in great sympathy with foreign missions. 
It was a subject on which he had spoken and 
written many times, but he came to it again with 
ever-fresh enthusiasm, and with ever-deepening 
convictions. British rule, wherever it penetrates, 
must of necessity disturb the beliefs of uncivilised 
nations, and only by the determination to " implant 


something better in the place of what we sweep 
away," and by giving of the best we have to give 
Christianity in its simplest form can we justify our 
conquests and our annexations. 

" If we believe Christianity to be truer and purer 
in itself than any other religion, we must needs 
wish others to be partakers of it, and the effort to 
propagate it is thrice blessed. It blesses him that 
gives, no less than him who takes nay, it often 
blesses him who takes it not. The last words of 
a dying friend are apt to linger in chambers of the 
heart of him who has heard them, till the heart 
itself has ceased to beat ; and the last recorded 
words of the Founder of Christianity are not likely 
to pass from the memory of His Church till that 
Church has done its work. They are the marching 
orders of the Christian army the consolation for 
every past and present failure, the earnest and 
the warrant, in some shape or other, of ultimate 

Was there an inconsistency between Bosworth 
Smith's earlier and his later views? Had he 
ceased to think that Mohammedanism was better 
adapted to certain races than Christianity itself? 
Did he, indeed, desire the extinction of Buddhism, 
Confucianism, and Islam itself in an all-absorbing 
Christianity? He never made a "fetish of con- 
sistency," and the fact that he thought in one way 
yesterday could never bind him to the same opinion 
if to-morrow he should learn that it was ill based 


or one-sided ; but here I scarcely think that any 
inconsistency will be found if, not the bare gist of 
his argument, but each of his sentences, with its 
qualifications and reserves, the one balancing the 
other, be studied. 

And further, it must be remembered that he 
had always held that Christianity, if offered in 
its simplest and purest form, had lost none of its 
attractive power, and that, in its widest aspect, it 
was wide enough to embrace all mankind. Forty 
years ago Christianity, as he knew it best, had 
scarcely freed itself from the trammels of a narrow 
formalism, and when he first spoke, devout and 
earnest men were not able to receive his words. 
But, if indeed he was among the first to catch 
sight of truths that were then hardly above the 
horizon, it was because the atmosphere was already 
clearing, and, before long, in the broadening light 
of day, men forget that there had ever been a time 
when things had been less distinct and evident. 
It was the wider spirit of tolerance, the more liberal 
tone of the great religious bodies, and the more 
common-sense methods they adopted, that led him 
in later life to hope confidently for a return of what 
seemed to him to be the Christianity of the Gospels. 

A letter which reached Bingham's Melcombe in 
November 1908 speaks for itself: 

" Representing the Muslim community of Sierra 
Leone, the undersigned beg most respectfully to 
convey to you on its behalf the deep feeling of 


sorrow with which it has learned of the death 
of your beloved husband, who has laboured so 
long and so successfully in the cause of the Holy 
Religion they profess. May God accept him and 
cool his resting-place. They had hoped that such 
a worker as your husband would have lived almost 
for ever in this world, but it has not so pleased 
God, and He has taken him just as he was entering 
old age." 



BOSWORTH SMITH owed his first introduction to 
Lord Lawrence to his friends, Mr. and Mrs. Henry 
Hart. Mr. Hart, at that time a master at Harrow 
and, later, Headmaster of Sedbergh, was married 
to the only daughter of the great Sir Henry Law- 
rence, and his mother was a sister of Sir Bartle 
Frere. Lord Lawrence's youngest son was then in 
Harrow School, and in this way it happened that 
the chief representatives of the " forward " and 
"backward" schools of Indian frontier policy Sir 
Bartle Frere and Lord Lawrence met sometimes 
at the same house at Harrow. The strong opinions 
which Bosworth Smith formed on the frontier ques- 
tion were the result in part, no doubt of the long 
conversations he had from time to time with Lord 
Lawrence, who, broken in health and almost blind 
as he then was, from the first made the deepest im- 
pression on him. Two letters which Bosworth 
Smith wrote to the Times during November 1878, 
in which he protested against the policy which led 
to the second Afghan war, woke a warm response 
in Lord Lawrence, who had then just made his last 


heroic effort on behalf of the policy which he had 
always advocated in Afghanistan. The last time 
that they met was in March 1879, at his house in 
London, for in June the end came. 

The first intimation that the Lawrence family 
wished Bosworth Smith to undertake the " Life " 
was brought to him one Sunday in the summer by 
Lady Lawrence's second son. Mr. Hal Lawrence 
had, much to his amusement, almost to force his 
way past a small boy of six, who had stationed 
himself at the gate of the Knoll as a voluntary 
guard, to keep his father's leisure hour among the 
strawberries undisturbed, and who inquired if the 
stranger wanted to see his father about anything 
" important, like a dinner-party " ? 

The first feeling was that the thing was im- 
possible. The magnitude of the subject, which 
must necessarily involve the history of India for 
the past fifty years, and the heavy responsibility 
of presenting a life-like picture of such a per- 
sonality as Lord Lawrence to the world, might 
well have appalled him. He had no special know- 
ledge of Indian affairs, he had never been in 
India, nor had he been thrown at all with Indian 
officials. His work at Harrow was already 
arduous enough, and the physical labour alone 
seemed to be an insuperable obstacle ; but it was 
evident that, in spite of his natural hesitation, he 
could hardly bear to turn his back on so magnificent 
a subject. 


On October 29, 1879, he wrote to Lady Law- 
rence : 

"... I have, of course, thought much on the 
subject ; indeed, I cannot get it out of my mind for 
an hour together, and I confess that the difficulties 
in the way do not seem to diminish. Every one 
tells me that the labour would be enormous, and I 
feel that the two books I have written, both being 
founded on printed matter and referring chiefly to 
times long gone by, are not much of a preparation 
for this, which turns chiefly on unpublished docu- 
ments, and deals to a considerable extent with burn- 
ing questions and with people still living. On the 
other hand, it is fair to say that nearly every one 
whom I have consulted in the matter is urgent, and 
in many cases is enthusiastic, for my making the 
attempt. Colonel Yule declared that he was de- 
lighted to hear it, that he thought nobody could do 
it better ; and Mr. Froude took the same view. 

" One point on which I should be very anxious 
to get a clear idea from you is as to the amount of 
help you, personally, and members of your family 
could give. The official and semi-official corre- 
spondence of which you speak will, no doubt, be 
most valuable, especially as I feel sure that Lord 
Lawrence, unlike most public men, always wrote, 
even in official documents, exactly what he thought ! 
But still these alone would, I think, hardly enable 
him to live before me, as he ought to do if the biog- 
raphy is to be a good one. What one wants most 
are characteristic anecdotes, which would show his 
splendid figure in its different aspects. The more 
of these you can entrust me with, the more likely 
am I not to make a failure. If the task seems more 


difficult as I think more of it, it also seems more 
fascinating, and I do not think I shall bring myself 
to give it up, unless I am convinced that, owing to 
lack of time or of knowledge, it would be a failure 
in my hands. ... I do not think the Afghan 
frontier question need be any difficulty. I agree 
strongly with the backward as opposed to the for- 
ward policy, and wrote to Lord Lawrence to express 
my general agreement after his first two letters." 

Three months passed from the time when the 
question was first mooted, before he wrote to Lady 
Lawrence, definitely accepting the task, and three 
months again elapsed before he felt able to write 
the first word of the biography. They were months 
spent in unremitting study of all that could throw 
light on the subject or on the character of the man 
himself, in interviews with people who had known 
Lord Lawrence well. Help was promised on all 
sides, and the existence of an index to the vast 
official correspondence, which had been prepared 
by Lord Lawrence's lady secretary, Miss Gaster, 
now Mrs. Garbett, was a definite encouragement. 

" When the great boxes of books and letters and 
other documents came down," Bosworth Smith 
writes, " my heart sank within me." How well his 
family remember the piles of bound MSS., with 
paper stained and ink faded by the Indian climate, 
much of them in the clear handwriting of Lady 
Lawrence herself, that covered every available 
corner of his little study floor, shelves, and tables 
for the next three years. How well they re- 
161 L 


member the illegible sheets of foolscap, written and 
re-written, which he himself could scarcely decipher, 
all of which had eventually to be copied by his 
indefatigable wife. How well, too, do they re- 
member the white, strained look on his face as he 
sat at his study table, or wandered in his garden for 
the few minutes' refreshment that he allowed himself. 
It was a task which, however great his enthusiasm 
for his hero might be, had to be faced doggedly day 
by day. "At times I almost despaired of success," 
he wrote. He could not wait till he was in the mood 
to write the work had to be done in stray half-hours ; 
but he used to say that, by reading back for a page 
or two of his MS., he could always recover the train 
of thought, and start with renewed interest. He 
worked usually far into the night; and when he 
stopped, his mind was often seething with the effort 
too much to allow him to sleep. The holidays he 
spent in constant toil, much of it of a kind not 
naturally congenial, dealing as it did with highly 
technical matters, all of which were new ground 
to him. But there was no part of his task the 
vexed question of tenant right or of land assess- 
ment included to which he did not conscientiously 
bring the full force of his mind. One great en- 
couragement came before a word of the biography 
had actually been written. Mr. George Murray 
Smith wrote on December 6, 1879 : 

" I do not remember having written to an author 
in the manner in which I am writing to you. My 


custom is to wait until it is his pleasure to write to 
me. But I cannot refrain from saying to you that 
the paragraph which I saw in the Times newspaper 
set me a-thinking how much I should like to publish 
your ' Life of Lord Lawrence.' " 

Bosworth Smith replied : 

" How very kind of you! I am delighted to find 
you are willing and anxious to publish the book 
when it is ready. Only I feel at present so weighed 
down by the responsibility and difficulty of the work 
I have undertaken, the materials are so enormous ; 
and I am so heavily handicapped at starting, not 
having been in India, and only having known Lord 
Lawrence during the last five years, that I shrink 
at present from contemplating anything like publica- 
tion. Indeed, I have told Lady Lawrence that I 
must be free to give up the work if I feel that I am 
unable, as I fear I may be, to do the subject anything 
like justice. In any case it will be the work of many 
years. Lord Lawrence's papers alone form a library 
in themselves, and the burning questions and repu- 
tations of living people who are involved add to the 
difficulty. . . . Longmans wrote to me in the same 
sense as you did, on the day the paragraph in the 
Times appeared." 

A letter to a friend, who had asked him for his 
opinion about a certain book, shows incidentally 
what Bosworth Smith considered a biography should 
or should not be : 

" The book is very painstaking," he wrote ; " it is 
scrupulously just and moderate, and several of the 


chapters, especially those in which the writer is able 
to speak from his own experience, are very interest- 
ing and life-like. It seems to me that the writer 
has made the best of his materials ; but then the 
materials must have been singularly scanty, and 
would probably, under no circumstances, have 
enabled him to do much more than he has done. 

There are very few letters of 's own, there are 

hardly any of interest written to him, there are no 
incisive expressions or remarks such as would make 
him live. There are very few parts that carry one 
away with them. . . . And then his whole domestic 
life is an absolute blank, with one sole exception. 
How much do you know of a man, if you do not 
know anything of him as he was in his family ? 
The impression one gets of the man, his gentleness, 
his goodness, his unselfishness, is pretty clear ; but 
still the whole man does not seem to live, to have 

sufficient flesh and blood upon him. That was 

a truly noble, chivalrous character no one can doubt 
who either reads the book or has heard, as I have 
heard, his chief contemporaries speak of him. But 
I am not sure that he will not stand higher, in the 
estimation of posterity, on the strength of a very 
few strong expressions of admiration, which are to 
be found in books dealing with the period, than if 
they are scattered over a memoir which must con- 
tain many chapters not of general interest." 

To Colonel Randall, Lord Lawrence's son-in-law, 
he wrote : 

"It is one of the thousand difficulties that meet 
me the great fault of books on the Mutiny, it seems 
to me that they do not tell the whole truth, do not 


bring out the characters in sufficient light and shade. 
Moreover, the prevailing tone in them is to applaud 
every act of ' vigour,' to show a recklessness of 
human life, provided it was Sepoy life. I had heard 
much in old times of Lord Lawrence's severity in 
the Mutiny. ... I do not think I could have under- 
taken the biography, certainly i I could not have done 
it con amore, had I not convinced myself, before I 
finally undertook it, that he was for saving human 
life, wherever it was possible to do so. ... Except 
my wife," he adds, with a touch that says a great 
deal, " there is absolutely nobody here who knows 
anything of the subject, or whom I can ask for an 
independent judgment on anything." 

The inclusion of a certain number of private 
letters evidently seemed to him essential in a biog- 
raphy, if much were to be learnt of the man himself, 
and Lord Lawrence's private correspondence was 
unfortunately small. 

But if private letters were few and far between, 
there was another way in which it was possible to 
learn much of his personality. In 1880, many of 
those who had served with him in the Punjaub or 
in later days, and who had themselves played great 
parts in India, were still living, and there was hardly 
one of all these men whom Bosworth Smith did not 
come to know personally some of them, indeed, 
intimately. It was his duty, as a biographer, to face 
many difficult problems, to sift evidence on contested 
points, and through all the mass of detail to see 
clearly for himself the figure and character of his 


hero, and then to make this figure equally clear and 
distinct for his readers ; and if he succeeded in his 
task, it was due, not a little, to the kindness of Lord 
Lawrence's friends, who ungrudgingly gave him all 
the help they could. The list of those whom he 
consulted personally or with whom he corresponded 
during the next years, comprises the names of the 
chief survivors of half a century of Indian history : 
Sir George Lawrence, General Richard Lawrence, 
Colonel Randall, and Sir Henry Cunningham, 
among Lord Lawrence's own relations ; Sir Robert 
Montgomery, Sir Alexander Taylor, Sir Henry 
Norman, General Reynell Taylor, Sir Frederick 
Halliday, Sir Alexander Arbuthnot, Sir Henry 
Maine, Sir William Muir, Sir George Birdwood, 
General John Becher, Mr Edward and Mr John 
Thornton, Dr. Farquhar, Dr. Hathaway, Mr. Raikes, 
Mr. R. B. Chapman, Sir George Campbell, Sir 
Charles Trevelyan, Sir Peter Lumsden, Sir Henry 
Daly, Sir Owen Burne, Sir Richard Temple, 
Colonel Malleson, Sir Erskine Perry, Sir Richard 
Pollock, Sir Seymour Elaine, Sir John Strachey, 
General Strachey, General Crawford Chamberlain 
and Sir Neville Chamberlain, Sir Bartle Frere, 
Lord Hobhouse, Lord Halifax, Lord Napier of 
Magdala, Lord Roberts, Lord Ripon, the Duke of 
Argyll, and, not least, Mr. Walter Seton Karr, who 
made most valuable suggestions and, with self-deny- 
ing kindness, accomplished a great labour of love 
for the sake of his friend, Lord Lawrence, by read- 


ing through the whole manuscript of his biography. 
The list, though by no means complete, is a long 
one ; but it proves that Bosworth Smith did not 
consult with men of one school and one way of 
thinking only, but that his impressions and his in- 
formation came first-hand from men to whom the 
events and characters he was to describe were real 
and living. To the reminiscences of men like these 
are due countless touches, that give a personal 
interest to the book, and help to make the central 
figure human and lifelike. 

" Old Indians ! " a lady once said to my mother ; 
"aren't they all very old and ugly and cross and 
worn out?" a general impression, perhaps, but 
strangely at variance with one's recollections of 
the many who came to the Knoll the handsome 
Pollocks and Chamberlains, for instance, or the 
genial Sir Frederick Halliday, whose gigantic 
stature had so greatly impressed the natives of 
Bengal, and many another, whose vivacity and sim- 
plicity, no less than their stores of experience, make 
them charming and interesting visitors. 

Among others whose help and encouragement 
were unceasing was General John Becher, C.B., 
and to him Bosworth Smith was always greatly 
drawn. He writes to him : 

" The notes of our three talks have been of the 

greatest help to me, and I often want you at my 

elbow when I am writing. A hundred things occur 

to me to ask you about. . . . What a beautiful 



tenderness there is in all John Lawrence writes to 
you. His letters to you and Donald MacLeod 
stand by themselves in that respect." 

A letter from General Becher to Dr. Farquhar, 
written after the book had appeared, says : 

"It (the book) has greatly absorbed and inter- 
ested me, and I admire much the great masterly 
labour and quick enthusiasm which it evidences. I 
do not think a better biographer could have been 
found, or a more painstaking besides this, he is a 
scholar, and with literary experience which I think 
no Indian official could equal. ... I was delighted 
with the frank, genuine kindness and simplicity of 
himself and his wife." 

To Colonel Yule, Bosworth Smith writes on 
July 21, 1884: 

" I am grieved beyond measure to gather from 
your note that dear John Becher is dead. He was 
a delightful man. Of all the Indian celebrities with 
whom I have conversed during the last few years, 
I do not think I got more pleasure from any one 
(except yourself) than from him. He had very 
delicate feelings and keen sympathy combined with 
a sense of humour. His conversation was sugges- 
tive, and many of his hints I have worked into the 
book with, I think, good results. He was one of the 
few men who were equally attached to Henry and 
to John Lawrence, and appreciated them equally, 
and John Lawrence was really attached to him." 

Bosworth Smith read aloud nearly the whole of 
his MS. to Lady Lawrence, whose help and sym- 


pathy were unfailing, as well as to other members 
of the Lawrence family. The chapter on the two 
brothers, Henry and John the part of the work 
which perhaps needed the most delicate handling 
of all he read to Sir Henry's only daughter, Mrs. 
Hart. When he ceased reading, she rose and 
silently kissed my mother a tribute, surely, to the 
sympathy and understanding with which that parting 
of the ways for the two great brothers had been 
treated. He read to Sir Robert Montgomery (who, 
from 1859 to J 865, had been Lieutenant-Governor 
of the Punjaub) the parts of the book which related 
to the time when Sir Robert occupied the third 
seat on the Punjaub Board "no bed of roses." 
Sir Robert's kind and genial personality stands out 
among the many " old Indians," from whose un- 
assuming modesty no one would have guessed the 
great parts they had played, and Bosworth Smith 
always spoke of him as " dear Sir Robert." Inter- 
course with men of this stamp was, of course, a 
delight to him, and if the actual labour which the 
book entailed has been much emphasised, it is only 
just to dwell on the other side of the work ; the new 
friends he made, many of whom he came to love, 
and who came to love him ; the great widening of 
interests ; the sense of living constantly in the pre- 
sence, as it were, of a man of such heroic mould as 
John Lawrence ; the sense, too, of discharging to 
the utmost of his power, what seemed to him 
nothing less than a national obligation, and the 


consciousness, as time went on, that his efforts were 
not to be unsuccessful. 

The feeling of relief was naturally intense, when 
the work drew near completion, and a lecture which 
he gave on the subject at Harrow, as well as a 
course of lectures early in 1883 at the Royal Insti- 
tution, met with a very cordial reception. His great 
friend, Colonel Yule, it is true, slept peacefully at 
intervals during the lectures, but Colonel Yule pro- 
tested he would sleep under the preaching of St. 
John Chrysostom, or while Shakespeare was read- 
ing " Hamlet." 

On February 12, 1883, the book was published 
by Messrs. Smith, Elder & Co., and it was reviewed 
in the chief newspapers on the day of publication. 
Within five days the first edition of one thousand 
copies was exhausted, and by the middle of April a 
fourth edition was called for ; a sixth edition was 
published in 1885. The reception of the book in 
America was equally remarkable, for the American 
Government paid it the high compliment of placing 
a copy in all the great public libraries and on every 
man-of-war in the United States Navy. The work 
was translated into Urdu, and was much read in 

The public success of the book was gratifying 
enough ; but what pleased the author yet more was 
the fact that those who had entrusted him with the 
great responsibility, Lord Lawrence's own family, 
felt that he had done justice to his subject. 


On February 25, 1883, Lady Lawrence wrote 
from Pau : 

Hal has sent me your letter to him, which has 
indeed rejoiced my heart. I am more glad and 
thankful than I can say for your sake, as well as 
my own. I believe this work will live, and your 
name be also immortalised with it. Believe me, 
how grateful I feel to you and your dear wife. The 
more I read it, the more I am astonished at your 
grasp of Indian subjects, as well as of the noble 
character you so grandly develop and show to 
the world. Surely such a work must do good and 
inspire other lives. I have had several letters from 
my own brothers most truly appreciative. . . . God 
bless you and yours. Believe me, always yours 
most affectionately, H. LAWRENCE. 

Lord Lawrence wrote that he could with difficulty 
express his thorough appreciation of the book, and 
that people in his own neighbourhood were " raving 
about it." A friend had told him that his father 
was never known in this country, and that now 
people, after reading this book, would be able to see 
what sort of man he was. Lord Lawrence's third 
son, the Hon. Charles N. Lawrence, wrote : 

MY DEAR Bos, I heartily congratulate you on 
the success of the book. I have so far heard 
nothing but praise from all whose opinion is worth 
having, and this cannot but be gratifying to you, 
after the enormous labour you have had to wade 
through. . . . The chapter on the two brothers is, 
in general opinion, quite first-rate. I am sure all 
our family owe you a lasting debt of gratitude. 


Mr. Francis Buxton, Lord Lawrence's son-in-law, 
named a number of well-known people who had 
expressed the great pleasure the " charm of the 
writing" had given them: "they say they cannot 
put it down." " I am proud of this record of my 
father-in-law, and must express to you my very 
great gratification and pleasure. How glad you 
must be to get it over, and how still more glad 
must be Mrs. Bos worth Smith." Lord Lawrence's 
brother-in-law, Dr. Kennedy, told him he did not 
wish one word changed. 

Next to the opinion of the immediate family, 
Bosworth Smith was naturally anxious to know the 
verdict of Lord Lawrence's friends and colleagues 
the men of all others who had the best right to 
speak and to criticise his work. Nothing strikes 
the reader more, even after the lapse of a quarter 
of a century, than the generous appreciation which 
these men accorded to him, and the warm, un- 
grudging way in which it was expressed. A few 
letters, taken from those written by Lord Lawrence's 
most intimate friends, bear witness to what they 
deemed the truthfulness and charm of the picture 
he had drawn : 


March 5, 1883. 

I have finished Lord Lawrence's " Life." It is a 
grand work, and is a fine monument to his memory 


and a lasting testimony to your own great merits as 
a biographist and public writer no one could have 
done it so well. You have brought out his whole 
life in a marvellous manner, from boyhood to 
mature age. It's a work that will be read by future 

fenerations. An example of devotion to public 
uties rarely, indeed never, met with, and carried 
out so consistently, with a determined mind and a 
clear head, under extreme difficulties. ... I much 
regret I have come to the end of the " Life" the 
more I read the more interested I became. . . . For 
the general reader it may be too long, though it 
would be hard to say where it could be curtailed. 

From, the same. 

May 5, 1883. 

I have watched carefully the progress of your 
book. There is a perfect consensus of applause, 
and in families the book is most frequently read out 
to the circle. This is, I find, common. The Duke 
of Argyll read it to the Duchess. He told me he 
did not know you seemed to wish he did. . . . 
You might write to him, as legibly as you can, and 
say you would call on him : you may retort legi- 
bility on me, and I won't be offended. Sir Henry 
Lawrence used to say that if I only made the first 
and last letters of a word clear, that was all he 
wanted ! . . . Many of Lord Lawrence's intimate 
friends had no idea of his greatness till they read 
your life of him. The publication has raised his 
character, and I congratulate you and your de- 
voted wife such a helpmeet! It would be against 
human nature if no fault could be found, but the 
success is immense well-merited; and so long as 


the name Lawrence lives so long will that of his 

Sir Robert, who knew the pleasure he would 
give, wrote again to say that a friend of his own 
had presented a copy of the book to each of his 
six sons ! 

It was of no small interest to the writer to learn 
that the "Life of Lord Lawrence" was the book 
given, as a fitting token of sympathy, by Miss 
Florence Nightingale, " with a touching inscription," 
to a sister philanthropist, Miss Irby, whose work in 
Servian lands will long be remembered there. 

Dr. Farquhar, whose devoted service at Agra 
and in the Punjaub had won him the esteem of all 
the officials with whom he had been thrown, and 
who, as his body surgeon, had been closely asso- 
ciated with Lord Lawrence, wrote that he and his 
wife had been "living upon the 'Life.' You have 
handled him bravely and well, and any reflecting 
Indian will wonder at the way you have treated 
Indian subjects, catching the Punjaub spirit and 
sketching many men to the life. Your book will 
be helpful to many a man struggling to live a busy 
life in India, but fainting or halting from heat and 
want of sympathy. The natives of India may read 
every word of it many writers forget there is a 
vast public there who scan the lives of public men." 

Dr. Hathaway, who had been closely connected 
with the Lawrences in the Punjaub, and had been 


Lord Lawrence's secretary during the Viceroyalty, 
wrote as follows : 

BATH, Feb. 14. 

I got the " Life " last evening, and sat up till half- 
past two this morning my sixty-sixth birthday 
in going through the twenty years that connected 
me so closely with the Lawrence brothers. You 
have done your work well, and its greatest value in 
my eyes is the truthfulness with which the character 
is drawn : a character not perfect not without more 
than one flaw in it not understood even yet by 
many who only saw the outside and at a distance, 
but which, like the " Koh-i-noor," came out after 
the long grinding and wearing, very beautiful at 
the finish. How much influence such men as 
Henry and John Lawrence had in moulding the 
characters of those who came in contact with them 
will never be known, but one of the most interest- 
ing points (in my estimation) that you have thrown 
light upon is how the two brothers acted and reacted 
on each other, until on several occasions the one 
seems to have changed places with the other, and 
the reader shuts his eyes and says, " Of whom is the 
author speaking ? " 

Captain Eastwick bought each edition of the book 
as it came out, and he never tired of discussing it 
with his friends. 


15. 2. '83. 

I cannot tell you how interested and delighted I 
have been with the perusal. . . . You seem to me 


to have brought out marvellously the human tender- 
ness and strength of Lord Lawrence's character. 
Your anecdotes are happily selected. You have 
treated the difference between the two noble brothers 
with tact, judgment, and fidelity. The book is never 
dull ; there is light and shade, and the tone is worthy 
of the subject. Every one connected with you will 
feel proud of it, and your children after you. Dis- 
raeli says in one of his novels that, after finishing a 
book, the intellectual effort always gave him a lift 
upwards, though the strain while working was often 

From the same, 

2 4 . 2. '8 3 . 

In my humble judgment the conception and execu- 
tion are alike admirable. I can truly say that I have 
never read any biography which has more deeply 
interested me or afforded me more real delight. 
The skill which you have displayed in educing 
order and perspicuity out of the chaos of documents 
is remarkable ; the thread of continuity is preserved. 
The separate periods stand out clearly, and the 
filling in of the details is marked by a freshness, a 
vigour, and ability which must add greatly to your 
literary reputation. What especially commands my 
admiration and respect is the high moral, and, I 
may add, religious tone, which pervades the book. 
. . . What can be finer than your sketch of Nichol- 
son, with his strong, ungovernable temper, and your 
description of the way John Lawrence recognised 
his military genius and handled him with a wise for- 
bearance. You have a keen eye for the picturesque. 
Think of Nicholson sitting bolt upright upon his 
horse in the full glare of the sun, perfectly motion- 


less, and his weary soldiers snatching a hasty sleep 
on the ground around him ! 

From the $>th DUKE OF ARGYLL. 

CANNES, May 9, '83. 

I have read your biography of Lord Lawrence 
under conditions which are in themselves a test of 
at least some of the best of its characteristics. 
During a long and tedious illness I have read it 
aloud to the Duchess, and I can sincerely say that 
we have both been delighted with it. If it is the 
great aim of biography to bring out vividly the 
personality of the man whose life is given, you 
have succeeded in this great aim completely. The 
grandeur and simplicity of his character leave an 
indelible impression on the reader, and the tender- 
ness of his domestic character and affections, which 
are much less generally known, you have touched 
delicately, yet with effect. The Duchess was 
enchanted by the book. Her first husband was 
Colonel Anson, who served with great distinction 
throughout the Mutiny, was at the Relief of Luck- 
now and Siege of Delhi, and was personally 
attached to Lord Clyde. She tells me that he had 
an intense admiration of Lawrence thus represent- 
ing the very best feeling and opinion of the army in 
all those operations. She was therefore delighted 
to come to know who and what the man was of 
whom she had heard so much. I have really no 
criticism to make except the usual one, that here 
and there there is some redundancy, and passages 
are repeated to the same effect in almost the same 
words. One feels such cases more in reading aloud, 

177 M 


especially when one is not strong. But they are no 
serious blemish in the book. 

Nothing, perhaps, gave Bosworth Smith greater 
pleasure than the two following letters from Lord 
Dufferin, who was then on his way out to India to 
take up the Viceroyalty : 


SUEZ, November 27 ', 1884. 

DEAR LADY LAWRENCE, I have just finished 
reading the biography of your husband ; and though 
this is not the purport of my letter, I cannot refrain 
from letting you know what a profound impression 
the story of his life has made upon me. Of course, 
like the rest of his countrymen, I admired him ex- 
tremely on those grounds which were known to all 
who were acquainted with the leading features of 
his career ; and I had always a grateful recollection 
of his personal kindness and goodness towards 
myself, on the few occasions I had the pleasure of 
coming into contact with him ; but it is not until 
now that I had been able to comprehend the 
majesty of his nature, in all the nobleness of its 
full outlines, and the strength, power, and bene- 
ficence of his mind and character. 

It is, indeed, a wonderful record of a career of 
unfailing duty, patriotism, and self-sacrifice ; and I 
am appalled to think I should have been called upon 
to fill a seat so strongly occupied. 

Indeed, after closing the book, I told my wife I 
thought the best thing we could do would be to take 


the return steamer back from Suez to England, as 
it would be hopeless to approach such a prede- 


SUEZ, S.S. Tasmania, November 27, 1884. 

I cannot refrain from writing you a line of thanks 
for the extraordinary pleasure and profit I have 
derived from your ' Life of Lord Lawrence.' It is one 
of the best biographies I have ever read in my life, 
giving such a clear picture of your hero in such 
strong and bold outlines, and accompanied by so 
many details, which enhance the charm and indi- 
viduality of the character without either confusing 
the narrative or the image you have presented 
to us. 

But what a subject it is with which you have to 
deal ! What simplicity, strength, and majesty were 
in the man ! And how unfailing, unswerving, and 
unresting was his sense of duty ! And, again, how 
dramatic his gradual ascension to the place ap- 
pointed for him, and the unfolding of the scenes in 
the Punjaub as they led to the crisis at Delhi ! It 
has quite appalled me to think that I should have 
been called upon to sit on that throne which was 
once filled by so imperial a figure. 

However, I will do my best to follow in his foot- 
steps, and to profit by the landmarks he has erected 
for all time to guide his less experienced successors. 
I hope you will forgive me for troubling you with 
these lines, but I could not help liberating my soul 
on shutting up your beautiful volumes. 



SIMLA, jth November 1884. 

I read the book as soon as it reached me with 
the greatest interest and pleasure ; and if I did not 
at once express my appreciation of it, it was because 
the public verdict in its favour was so marked and 
general as to make any expression of individual 
opinion unnecessary and almost unbecoming. I 
can only say now that I find in your book the man 
portrayed as I knew him, and that the story of his 
noble life appears to me to be told in a manner 
worthy of its theme. If I am to criticise at all, I 
should be inclined to say that the account of the 
Viceroyalty is less interesting than the earlier por- 
tions of the narrative. But the reasons for this are 
obvious. A due regard to personal considerations 
doubtless rendered it impossible to speak unre- 
servedly. . . . 

But if Lord Lawrence's immediate circle of 
friends were pleased with the delineation of his 
character, beyond that circle were the many who 
had spent their lives in India, or who were recog- 
nised authorities on Indian affairs. A writer who 
had never been in India had much to fear from such 
men ; but here again it appeared that he had been 
able to gain a correct appreciation of Indian life, and 
a sense of Indian atmosphere, which disarmed criti- 
cism. Sir Courtenay Ilbert, writing from Simla, 
told him that he had managed to steer clear of 
little technical slips with surprising success; Sir 


Alexander Taylor, President of Cooper's Hill Col- 
lege, of whom John Nicholson had said, " If I 
survive to-morrow, I shall let every one know 
that Alec Taylor took Delhi" one of the "old 
Indians" for whose simple-mindedness and charm 
Bos worth Smith felt a special appreciation wrote 
that it was marvellous how, without having been in 
India, he had been able to realise and describe so 
exactly the characters and scenes of the country. 
"I congratulate you," he adds, "on having pro- 
duced a book that will live for ever." Sir William 
Hunter, whose thirty years' experience of India 
entitled him to speak with authority, said his assimi- 
lation of Indian things was "almost incredible." 

From MR. F. A. H. ELLIOT, C.I.E., at that time 

Tutor and Governor to H.R.H. the Gaekwar 

of Baroda. 

BARODA, October 19, '83. 

How did you manage it? What is the secret? 
There is not the slightest error or shade of uncer- 
tainty in any of your descriptions of climate, daily 
life, official life, at least as far as I know. I am 
glad you have given so much space to the early 
part of the great man's career. Few of us out here 
will have the chance of knowing what we should do 
as a Chief Commissioner or Lieutenant-Governor, 
&c. The matter does not touch us. But many 
of us are district officers, and it's pleasant enough 
to read what the best men can do in that line, un- 
approachable though the example is. 


From his own friends, some of whom had no 
direct connection with India, there was much the 
same chorus of cordial appreciation. 

From DR. G. G. BRADLEY, Dean of Westminster. 

March 18, 1883. 

DEAR FLORA, Excuse both the familiarity and 
the delay. I am glad you like the lectures but 
oh, the " Lord Lawrence" ! I am quite mad about 
it, and having no time but the evening, am furious 
at every evening engagement that keeps me from 
it. No book has interested me so much for years. 
It is admirably done. A blessed day in bed gave 
me a start with it. 

Another friend wrote that he read it with greedy 
interest akin to that which used to be kindled in 
his young mind by " Ivanhoe " and " Guy Manner- 
ing." General Becher thanked him for the charmed 
hours it had given him, and told him that its con- 
tinued dramatic interest had led him captive from 
page to page ; and the venerable Lord Portman, 
writing to Lady Smith, said : 

" I have been re veiling in the ' Life of Lord Law- 
rence ' by your nephew, and I want you, if you see 
him, to tell him I think it is the best-written history 
of a real hero that I have read for many a day. 
His description of the great events are equal to the 
best parts of the Greek historian Thucydides. He 
has a good man to portray, and he has done it ad- 
mirably. Your nephew does credit to his mother 



Sir George Trevelyan quoted a friend who 
had called it the most readable book about 
India he had read, and said for himself, he would 
not, on historical grounds, have it at all shorter. 


February 4, 1883. 

One thing I can say conscientiously, that not 
one word in the book has been dictated by party 
motives. I hate party. The first Afghan War 
was made by a Liberal Government, and have I 
not used quite as strong language about a Governor- 
General and a Secretary of State as I have in the 
second war, which happened to be the work of a 
Conservative Government ? Party feelings do not 
come near the matter. 

Those who were closely connected with Bos- 
worth Smith may perhaps be pardoned ^ if they 
dwell a little on these kindly letters, which he 
treasured all his days, and on the recollection that 
the chief literary effort of his life was crowned with 
success. It is a recollection that is tempered with 
sadness, for one book crowds another out, and it 
is given to very few biographies to live on even 
into a second generation of readers. 

Bosworth Smith carefully preserved with, we 
may be sure, a humorous appreciation of its very 
real value, a sheet of suggestions made by his wife 
on his style and general treatment of his subject. 
They were noted down in his own handwriting, 


and they show that he had the help of an acute 
critic at his side, whose advice other biographers 
would do well to follow, if they could ! 

"Avoid superlatives; don't be too insistent on 
your admiration ; don't give introductions to letters ; 
lessen their number ; sometimes abstract them only ; 
don't be blind to his faults ; bring out his responsi- 
bility in the Orissa famine, for he was to blame ; 
don't think how any particular person will regard 
any particular bit, but write independently of them 
all ; don't be too sentimental ; I don't object to 
pathos when the thing is really pathetic, e.g. Henry 
Lawrence's death, but remember you have much 
more sentiment and imagination than Lord Law- 
rence had, so tone down what you have said ; as 
a whole, nothing could be better ; but as to parts ! 
it is my duty to pick holes ; you spoil your sen- 
tences by putting in a ' perhaps ' or 'in some 
measure ' ; if it is necessary to say a thing, say 
it ; never use the word ' touching.' " 

He had not expected, or indeed wished, to 
escape criticism from without, for the subject 
necessarily involved the treatment of many points 
of contention. As regards one controversy, which 
was carried on for a time with great bitterness, 
I prefer to quote only General Becher's com- 
ment, which I believe to represent truthfully my 
father's motive in the matter. " I know well," 
he writes, "that what you have said proceeded 
from a fine sense of honour, and a hatred of 


evil, which you deemed a part of the duty of a 

His treatment of the frontier question naturally 
excited much hostile criticism, and some of his 
friends tried to make him modify certain strong 
expressions which he had used in denouncing Lord 
Lytton's policy. In 1883 opinion still ran high 
on the Afghan question, and it was difficult for 
the biographer of Lord Lawrence remembering 
his lifelong policy, not less than the obloquy to 
which his views had exposed him in his last days 
to treat the matter dispassionately. Some critics 
objected that, in dealing with open questions, Bos- 
worth Smith assumed too controversial a tone, and 
that he obtruded his own views too largely ; while 
others, again, complained that there was too much 
"undigested matter" in the book. Here, then, 
were two pitfalls in opposite directions, into both 
of which, according to his critics, he had fallen. 
The views which he put forward, however, were 
in many cases not his, but rather what, after 
a careful study of material which few but himself 
had seen, he believed to be Lord Lawrence's own ; 
and if he had not attempted to put each situation 
in John Lawrence's life, as it occurred, concisely 
before his readers, they might well have blamed 
him for shirking one of the most difficult parts of 
his task. The " undigested matter," which dis- 
pleased the other class of critics, referred probably 
to the letters and reports which he believed would 


speak for themselves better than abstracts or com- 
ments could do, and from which he thought readers 
would be able to form for themselves the figure 
of the man. 

Then there were those who thought that they 
themselves, or those whom they specially admired, 
had not been given due prominence in the story : 
and others a rarer and smaller class who thought 
that they themselves or their friends had been too 
much mentioned. 

That there was a certain tendency to diffuseness 
may, perhaps, be admitted ; for the book did not 
lose by compression, when it was eventually re- 
published in a shorter form. It was the first 
time that Bosworth Smith had written without 
a strict limit of space, and he allowed some of his 
sentences and descriptions, perhaps, to overgrow 
themselves. He himself saw John Lawrence's life 
as a great dramatic whole, and his anxiety that 
his readers should see it all as he did, led him 
to repeat retrospects and forecasts of his career 
at too frequent intervals and possibly with over- 

From the charge of hero-worship he was not 
concerned to defend himself; for it seemed to 
him that any man, who had spent three years 
in close study of such a personality and such a 
record, must of necessity come to look on John 
Lawrence as a hero indeed, and that to rise from 
such a study cold and unmoved, would have been a 


source of shame, rather than of self -congratu- 

He claimed, with all justice, that no man living 
knew more of the mind of Lord Lawrence than 
he did ; and he felt it his duty, whenever questions 
of Afghan frontier policy recurred, to put forward 
what he believed would have been Lord Lawrence's 
views on the subject. In 1880, after the second 
Afghan War, he strongly advocated the abandon- 
ment of Candahar. A letter written to his cousin, 
Kenelm Wingfield Digby, who had recently been 
elected member of Parliament, gives a simple and 
forcible statement of his views rather later : 

May 8, 1885. 

MY DEAR KELLY, I don't know whether you 
saw the enclosed letter to the Times, written when 
the Government seemed to be quite determined 
to say to Russia, " Thus far, and no further." It 
will show you what I think, and what I believe 
Lord Lawrence would have thought, under these 
altered circumstances. The real difference between 
his and Lord Lytton's policy, where I thought 
and still think he was absolutely right, was that 
he was always against invading or annexing Af- 
ghanistan or any part of it as a necessary warding 
off of Russia. " Keep within your own frontier," 
he said, " till the Afghans apply to you for aid 
against Russia, and then help them by all means, 
when they will regard you with confidence as their 
natural allies." Lord Lytton tried to force an 
envoy upon them at Cabul, an act which re- 
peated Viceroys had promised to abstain from, 


and which was certain to involve the Afghans 
in both civil and foreign war. His policy and 
the retention of Candahar after the war would, I 
am sure, have made the Afghans regard us as 
their worst enemies, and have thrown them at once 
into the arms of Russia, and then we should have 
been in a far worse plight than we are, bad as 
that is. 

I regard the present policy of the Government 
as a decided retreat before Russia, likely to injure 
us in the opinion of Asiatics everywhere, and 
calculated to shake the confidence of the Afghans 
in our power to withstand Russia. In particular, 
the withdrawal of Sir Peter Lumsden is a great 
mistake, done to please the Czar and the military 
party in Russia ; the rupture is only postponed, 
and it would have been far better for us for the 
struggle to come now, before the Russian railway 
to Merv and Sarakhs is finished, and while our 
troops are half-way to India at Suakim, and the 
allegiance of the native princes of India is un- 
questioned, and the colonies are eager to help us. 
I agree with you that from the military point of 
view we ought not to go further than Candahar. 
To go such a terrible distance from our base as 
Herat would be too great a risk. We can go 
to Candahar now with the full assent of the Ameer, 
should there be war, whereas if we had retained 
it at the end of the last war, we should have 
been his deadly enemies. The railway to Canda- 
har then would have been an equal mistake ; but 
we certainly ought to have completed the railway 
to Quettah, as that was our own, and we intended 
to hold it permanently. It was most short-sighted 
to pull up the rails. 



If I were going to speak in the debate I should 
dwell on two or three points in particular : 

1. The utter untruthfulness of the Russians, as 
shown by their history and their broken promises. 

2. The desirability, if we are really going to 
leave them at Penjdeh, of binding them in the most 
formal manner by treaty not to go beyond that 

3. A solemn declaration by us that any advance 
would be regarded as a casus belli. 

... I met Vambery the other night at the Salis- 
bury Club : Colonel Malleson, Sir Owen Burne, 
Demetrius Boulger, Sir Edward Hamley, Edwin 
Arnold, all very anti-Russian and Tory, were there. 
I am rapidly becoming one of them, tell your 

In January 1895, m a letter to the Times, 
apropos of the Chitral campaign, he suggested that 
the time had now come when the supporters of 
the rival schools of frontier policy might at last 
join hands, and that the policy of the moment 
was the legitimate corollary and outcome of Lord 
Lawrence's policy, given the nearer approach of 
Russia and greater friendliness of the Afghans. 
The retrocession of Candahar had convinced Af- 
ghanistan of our good intentions, and had saved 
her from bankruptcy. And in February 1898, he 
contrasted the policy of " influence," which had 
been paramount from 1842 till 1846, with that 
of " advance," which had for a time succeeded 
it. He contended that when we had just been 


through a disastrous war, such as the Tirah cam- 
paign had been, it was no time to add to our 
responsibilities ; and he quoted a story which he had 
often told before, to illustrate his meaning. 

" An old widow woman once came to the great con- 
queror of Central Asia, Mahmud of Ghazni, to ask for 
imperial redress, because a caravan had been cut off 
and her son killed by robbers in one of the Persian 
deserts. Mahmud, in his reply, dwelt upon the 
impossibility of keeping control over so remote a 
portion of his dominions. ' Why, then, do you take 
countries,' she bitterly retorted, ' which you cannot 
govern, and for which you shall have to answer in 
the Day of Judgment ? ' ' 

In April 1903, the town of Clifton placed a com- 
memorative tablet on the house which from 1819 
had been for many years onwards the home of the 
Lawrence family, and in which some of the boyhood 
of Henry and John, as well as that of Sir George 
Lawrence and General Richard Lawrence, had been 
spent. Field-Marshal Sir Henry Norman, who had 
borne such noble testimony to John Lawrence's 
services in his official report after the taking of 
Delhi, unveiled the tablet, and his presence and 
that of Lieutenant-General Sir James Hills-Johnes, 
as well as that of Sir Henry Lawrence's two sur- 
viving children, and some eighty Crimean and Indian 
veterans, lent additional interest to the occasion. It 
was here that Bosworth Smith paid his last tribute 
to the two great brothers, whom he knew, perhaps, 


better, and certainly reverenced no less, than did 
their old comrades of the time of the Mutiny. 

" It was my lot," he said on this occasion, " to 
live, as it were, for three years after his death, day 
by day and hour by hour, in the company of Lord 
Lawrence that is to say, in the study of his life. 
I read every word of importance which had been 
written by him, every word of importance which 
had ever been written to him and had been pre- 
served ; I conversed with his nearest and dearest 
relations, with his friends and companions, with 
those who supported and with those who opposed 
his general policy. I did the same, though of course 
in a lesser degree, with Sir Henry Lawrence ; for 
I soon found that the lives of the two brothers were 
so intermixed and so inseparable, though so diffe- 
rent, that you could hardly understand the one with- 
out understanding the other. The brothers differed 
toto ccelo from one another in temperament, in apti- 
tudes, and in policy. But there was still a likeness 
in the difference they had the same high and noble 
objects, the same disinterestedness, the same passion 
for hard work, the same love for the people of India, 
the same aversion to all unnecessary or aggressive 
frontier wars, the same absolute devotion to duty. 
Which of the two rendered the noblest service to 
the State, it is difficult to say, the life of the one 
being cut short so soon ; but it is not difficult to 
say that the chivalry, the generosity, the sympathy 
of the one, the strength, the judgment, the magna- 
nimity of the other, present to the people of India 
the noblest impersonation of British rule." 

A few words written by Maharajah Singh, son of 


Sir Purtab Singh, and first cousin of the Maharajah 
of Kapurthala, connect in a vivid way Bosworth 
Smith's work at Harrow and in the great world 
beyond : 

" I was his pupil for two terms in 1893," he says, 
" and I had the greatest respect and affection for 
him. I cannot forget his kindness to me, and the 
freshness and charm of his teaching. But he 
was much more than a master of Harrow. The 
Indians owe much to him, and Indian Mussulmans 
should remember that he was one of the first Eng- 
lishmen to take a truer, juster, and more sympa- 
thetic view of the great Arabian. Only a few 
months ago I received a long letter from him, in 
reply to one from me expressing my humble appre- 
ciation of his great works on Mohammedanism and 
Lord Lawrence. It was a letter full of sympathy 
for this country and its people, and will be a 
treasured possession. May he rest in peace." 




THERE was no episode in Bosworth Smith's life, on 
which he looked back with more thankfulness, than 
the part which he was enabled to take, in 1885, in 
the movement against the Disestablishment of the 
Church of England. That this part was a very 
important one, there was at the time a general con- 
sensus of opinion ; and his eloquent letters in the 
Times, which roused public opinion, and finally 
induced Mr. Gladstone to break his long silence on 
the question, won the admiration and gratitude, not 
only of Churchmen, but of men of many different 
shades of thought. 

It may be as well to say something here as to his 
attitude to the Church of England and to religious 
matters generally. He strongly disliked what he 
used to call " religious labels," and he would never 
identify himself with any party in the Church. His 
Evangelical upbringing no doubt influenced his 
manner of thinking, and there were certain practices 
of the High Church party which he regarded as 
" un-English," and with which, therefore, he had 
no sympathy. From the days of the Jowett con- 
193 N 


troversy onwards, he was opposed to anything like 
persecution for conscientiously held opinions, al- 
though he maintained that in Church matters the 
law must be strictly observed, and the authority of 
the bishops upheld. But he rejoiced in the latitude 
and elasticity of the Church of England, and he 
never tired of pointing out that within her bounds 
there was room for men of widely differing opinions. 
He thought that the Church would only be strength- 
ened by the removal of all possible disabilities and 

His description of the late Lord Ebury's attitude 
to the Church of England defines his own with 
equal precision and brevity. "He was opposed 
to Disestablishment, not because he thought the 
Established Church was free from faults, but be- 
cause he thought the National Church to be the 
greatest organisation for doing good which the 
nation possesses, and because he was convinced 
that national greatness was in no slight measure 
bound up with national acknowledgment of God." 

This conviction, that the National Church was 
the most powerful agency for good in England, 
came to him, he says himself, " from the remem- 
brance of what I had seen done, from my earliest 
years onwards, by my father and mother in the little 
village of Stafford. I argued outwards from our 
own parish, which I knew intimately, to the scores 
of neighbouring parishes, which I knew less ; and 
thence to the thousands of other parishes which I 


knew resembled them, in all essential particulars ; 
and I tried to estimate what would be the effect on 
them, and so on the country at large, if all that was 
being done, and could be done, by a good country 
clergyman and his wife and family were to be swept 
away by a rude and ostentatiously unjust method of 
Disendowment and Disestablishment, such as had 
been outlined in the Radical programme and was 
then being distinctly threatened by Mr. Chamber- 
lain. My indignation was stirred within me by the 
insinuations, the covert sneers, and the scarcely 
veiled appeals to the greed of his hearers indulged 
in by Mr. Chamberlain, in the presence of vast 
numbers of newly enfranchised and ignorant rustics, 
and still more by the apparent apathy or indolent 
acquiescence of the accredited leaders of the Liberal 
party, not least of Mr. Gladstone. No one of them 
opened his lips to condemn what was being done. 
Many of the rank and file, thinking that the conclu- 
sion was foregone, were blindly following in Mr. 
Chamberlain's wake, and it seemed only too likely 
that, without a word of protest from any of the 
Liberal leaders, Disestablishment and Disendow- 
ment would be enrolled as an article in the Liberal 
programme, and that judgment would be registered 
against the National Church, as it were by default." 

It will be remembered that in August 1885, Parlia- 
ment had been dissolved ; that Mr. Chamberlain 
was an avowed supporter of the principle of Dis- 
establishment, and that Mr. Gladstone, in his address 
to the electors of Midlothian, had stated that two 
great home questions were impending the question 
of Disestablishment and that of the government of 


Ireland. He had gone on to say, however, that 
the vast question of Disestablishment could not 
" become practical until it shall have grown familiar 
to the public mind by thorough discussion, with the 
further condition that the proposal, when thoroughly 
discussed, shall be approved." 

The " thorough discussion " Mr. Gladstone fore- 
shadowed was not long in coming, for Churchmen 
felt that, while Mr. Chamberlain and the Liberal 
caucus were in earnest, Mr. Gladstone's own attitude 
was, to say the least, ambiguous. The newspapers 
were filled with letters and articles on the subject, 
and if the elections were not actually fought on the 
point, Disestablishment was, at all events, an impor- 
tant factor in the contest, which no candidate could 
afford to ignore. 

Bosworth Smith's first letter to the Times, on 
October i3th, struck a new note, which found a 
quick response all over the country. In forcible 
but temperate language he pointed out that Mr. 
Gladstone, although he declined to head the attack 
on an institution which he had so often defended, 
had merely noted with regret that the current of 
the age was setting towards Disestablishment, and 
had contented himself with the fond hope that the 
work of destruction, when it came, would be marked 
by a "large observance of the principles of equity 
and liberality." He contrasted the attitude of the 
leader of the Liberal party with the clear and definite 
utterances of Lord Salisbury, and in a different 


sense of Mr. Chamberlain. The Liberals had just 
largely added to their responsibilities by admitting 
two million rural voters to the franchise, and he 
urged that the birth-throes of the English democracy 
was not the time statesmen should choose for so 
sweeping a change as the abolition of the English 


"The Church of England is a great historicaLr\ 
nstitution. It has grown with the growth of Eng^ 
land and developed with her development, and no 
serious person can pretend to doubt what this really 
means. If it is not doing a good work now if it is, 
from its constitution, incapable of doing still greater 
good hereafter by all means take measures for its 
ultimate abolition ; only be quite sure that you have 
something better to put in its place. But will any- 
body maintain that the Church of England is an 
effete or useless institution ? It has thrown off the 
lethargy and the worldliness which, in the last cen- 
tury, seemed to spread like a very leprosy over 
everything that was good in England. The country 
clergyman is no longer content if he can hit it off 
well with the country squire, and can drone through 
two sleepy services on the Sunday. The bishop is 
no longer like that Bishop of Gloucester who, as 
one who heard him has assured me, in his episcopal 
charge begged his reverend brethren * not to waste 
their time in visiting the poor, but to stick to their 
studies ; if they did so, they would probably get 
preferment here, and, at least, they would be re- 
warded hereafter.' The Church of England has 
long been pre-eminently the Church of the poor. 
It opens its doors and its ministrations to all who 


care to avail themselves of them. During the last 
fifty years it has covered the land with hundreds 
of new churches, and has rebuilt or enlarged many 
hundreds more, and all from the voluntary contribu- 
tions of its devoted members. It is no longer a 
political institution in any low sense of the word ; 
still less is it, as popular orators have recently been 
describing it, 'a hotbed of Toryism.' It took up 
the cause of popular education when no political 
party would have cared to do anything to educate 
the poor, and it supplied the vast majority of country 
parishes with excellent schools, which it supported 
for years and is supporting still. It is the most 
liberal and tolerant and national of all existing 
National Churches. It gives the clergy indepen- 
dence and a large and ever-widening field for free 
religious thought, while it protects the laity from 
the vagaries of ritualism and the tyranny of sacer- 
dotalism. Its cathedrals are the delight and the 
despair of Churches that are less ancient and less 
historical. Its chief dignitaries have been, many of 
them, among the men of whom England is most 
proud and who have made England what it is. It 
has been the nursing mother and the mainstay of 
hundreds of charitable organisations and institutions. 
1 The parsonage of the country clergyman has, in 
the vast majority of cases, long been the centre of 
nearly all the good that has been done in the country 
parish the day school, the night school, the coal 
club, the clothing club, the lending library, the 
penny savings bank, the allotment ground, the 
coffee tavern, the temperance movement ; and the 
parson himself, in a like majority of cases, has been 
the friend, the helper, and the adviser, in things 
temporal as well as things spiritual, of every inhabi- 


tant of his parish most of all, of the poor, the widow, 
the orphan, the infirm, and the afflicted. Never, in 
a word, in the whole course of history, has the 
Church of England shown more exuberant evidence 
of energy and vitality than it is doing at this day. 

"This is the institution, with its roots deep down 
in the history of the past, its branches intertwining 
with every part and fibre of the higher national life, 
and able, as I believe, to receive within its ample and 
ever-widening embrace more and more of all that 
is religious in England, which is to be swept away 
by the fiat of Mr. Chamberlain and his followers, 
if not in the next, at least in the ensuing Parlia- 
ment. And yet the most venerable and venerated 
of our Liberal statesmen have not yet made up their 
minds whether the thing is to be or not to be. In 
the turmoil of party strife they have hardly a word 
or a thought to spare for the subject. Their fol- 
lowers look to them for guidance, and, hitherto, they 
have looked for it in vain. Quousque tandem ? " 

In a second letter, a fortnight later, Bosworth 
Smith dwelt on the historical aspect of the case, and 
developed his argument that 

s " The Church of England deserves to be the 
/ * National Church, because it is the outcome of 
circumstances and centuries, of national peculiari- 
ties and national needs. It was neither concocted 
by a constitution-monger, nor was it imposed upon 
England, ready-made, by any king or priest, or re- 
presentative assembly. It has not advanced by 
sudden leaps, but it has grown with our growth, 
and, like our liberties themselves, and like every- 
thing else in our national history which is of per- 


manent value, it has ' broadened slowly down from 
precedent to precedent.' We may, very possibly, 
succeed in destroying an institution whose germs 
may be traced back almost to apostolic times, and 
are certainly coeval with the earliest germs of our 
national life ; an institution which has enshrined 
itself in such inimitable buildings, has found expres- 
sion in such a noble literature, and has been conse- 
crated by so many philanthropic and so many saintly 
lives ; an institution which is regarded with such 
passionate devotion by so large a part of the nation ; 
which has, in the last half-century, done so much to 
keep pace with the extraordinary development and 
the multifarious needs of modern life, and has, as 
we believe, a still more rapid development and a 
still wider field of activity in the immediate future. 
But, if we do succeed in destroying all this, we shall 
destroy that for which we can find no substitute, and 
we shall wake up, when it is too late, to find that we 
have irrevocably broken with the past, and that we 
have bartered away a priceless inheritance on the 
strength of hopes and promises which, in the nature 
of things, never can be realised. 

" No truly religious man will fear that religion is 
about to perish because the framework of a parti- 
cular Church is threatened. Man's spiritual wants, 
whatever their origin, are his truest wants, and the 
something which satisfies those wants is the most 
real of all realities to him. Sweep, if you can, reli- 
gion clean away from the world to-day ; you will 
have to look for it again to-morrow. Still less will 
any one who believes that in Christianity, in its 
simplest form, there is a promise and a potency, a 
self-expansive and a self-adjusting force, which may 
enable it, under various shapes, and in unlooked-for 


developments, to embrace all that is best and noblest 
in modern life, feel any fear that the majestic fabric 
of Christianity will itself come toppling to the 
ground, because, here in England, we are rudely 
knocking away what hitherto we have been tempted 
to regard as its stateliest buttresses and supports." 

The victory, if victory there was to be, would be 
regarded by Christendom as a victory of irreligion 
over religion ; and would be won, not so much by 
those Nonconformists and Liberals whose convic- 
tions were sincere and honourable, as by men who 
were hostile to all forms of religion. The gain, 
even to the Nonconformists themselves, would not 
compare with the loss caused by the general dis- 
integration, the wounded feelings, the fight for the 
spoils which must ensue on Disestablishment. Mr. 
Chamberlain, seeing the way public opinion was 
tending, seemed inclined to postpone the crisis ; 
but Mr. Gladstone, to whom Bosworth Smith again 
appealed with the admiring reverence he then felt 
for him, still had not spoken. 

Mr. Gladstone did not leave this appeal un- 
answered ; and his reply to Bosworth Smith, 
which was, by his consent, published in the Times 
and other newspapers, broke the long silence which 
had perplexed and pained so many of his own 
supporters : 

HAWARDEN, October 31, 1885. 

MY DEAR SIR, I thank you for several more than 
courteous references to myself in your letters to the 


Times, which I have read with interest. You state, 
in the first of them, that this is the crisis of the 
question whether the Church of England shall be 
disestablished, and you call upon me to declare my 
views upon that crisis. I entirely differ from your 
opinion that the crisis has arrived, and I consider 
that in discussing this crisis, which has not arrived, 
and which is not likely to arrive, I should commit a 
gross error, by drawing off public attention from 
those matters, which are likely to employ the ensuing 
Parliament, to other matters, not less important in 
themselves, but for which the public mind is in no 
way prepared. We have before us a group of 
great political and social questions, on which the 
Liberal party are agreed and prepared to act ; there 
are other questions lying wholly beyond these 
lying in what you observe I have called the dim 
and distant future on which the members of the 
party are not only not prepared to act, but are not 
agreed as to the side which they should take respec- 
tively. It is at least an intelligible manoeuvre for 
the Tories, fearful of the approaching verdict of the 
country, to aim at thrusting aside the matured sub- 
jects on which they have now to confront a united 
party, and forcing forward other subjects on which 
differences prevail, so that judgment may be given, 
not on what is before the country, but on what is 
not, and so that the Liberal force may not be united 
but divided. Accordingly, it is not by the Liberals, 
or even by the Radical portion of the Liberals, that 
the great subject of English Disestablishment is at 
this moment forced forward. It is forced forward 
by the Tories, to whose obvious motive I have re- 
ferred, and I regret to find from your letters that 
you think their manoeuvre may, in certain cases, 


have some promise of success. I trust these cases 
will be few, because I am certain they will be un- 
fortunate. The more our opponents succeed in 
raising a premature alarm, in attracting the votes of 
the Churchmen, in withdrawing from the Liberal 
councils all moderating influences, and in forcing, so 
far as they can, the article of Disestablishment into 
the Liberal creed, the earlier in its time and the 
worse in its form will be the crisis you desire to 
avert. Whether the Tories will greatly lament the 
acceleration of that crisis, provided the fear of it 
shall have strengthened them as a party in the 
meantime, I do not feel sure. But I cannot consent 
to put a bandage on my eyes and to take part in 
playing their game. For my own part, I have 
embraced no new opinion, and I have neither 
shared in nor assented to any attack upon the 
Church ; but I have never been in the habit of 
blowing the trumpet for battles in which I could 
take no part ; and I cannot now agree to darken 
the controversy in which we are engaged, and 
hazard its issue, by perplexing the public mind with 
topics which are perfectly unreal with respect to the 
true political and social crisis of this election, and 
with which I have an entire assurance that, if here- 
after they become practical, it will be for others, 
and not for me, to deal. I remain, my dear Sir, 
faithfully yours, W. E. GLADSTONE. 


In his reply to Mr. Gladstone, Bosworth Smith 

submitted that a question that was agitating the 

country as it had not been agitated for a quarter of 

a century, and in which four hundred and eighty 



Liberal candidates had pledged themselves to act, 
could not be said to be beyond the range of prac- 
tical politics. 1 He noticed with satisfaction that 
Mr. Gladstone admitted that the question ought 
not to have been started by leading Liberals, that 
it would, when raised, seriously shatter the old 
Liberal party, and that he himself had " neither 
shared in nor assented to any attack upon the 
Church." Once more he appealed to Mr. Gladstone, 
not indeed to " blow the trumpet," as he had put it, 
" for a battle in which he could take no part," but at 
least to sound a retreat when a false and reckless 
move had been made. 

Mr. Gladstone's Midlothian speeches only empha- 
sised and expanded what he had said in his letter to 
Bosworth Smith, and, in a final letter to the Times, 
the latter referred with sorrowful disillusionment to 
Mr. Gladstone's maxim that " the most important 
duty " of a leader was not to lead, to guide, to inspire, 
but simply to " ascertain the average convictions 
of his party, and largely to give effect to them." 
" Why, sir," he wrote, " the average of people, 
whether they call themselves Liberal or Conserva- 
tive, have no enthusiasms or convictions of their own 
at all. . . . The man who is content to express the 
average convictions of his party is not their leader, 

1 Lord Milner, then Mr. Alfred Milner, was at the moment Liberal 
candidate for the Harrow division, and it is interesting to note that 
he was one of those who risked his election by his conscientious and 
open opposition to Disestablishment. 


he is their servant I would rather say, their slave." 
A reprieve, however, had been granted to the 
Church ; let her use it, by sweeping away abuses, 
as to which all were agreed, and let the introduction 
of timely reforms show that she did not identify 
herself with Conservatism alone. 

The three letters to the Times and the cor- 
respondence with Mr. Gladstone were at once 
printed by the Church Defence Institution as a 
pamphlet, with the title, " Reasons of a Layman 
and a Liberal for Opposing Disestablishment," and 
obtained a very wide circulation. In some con- 
stituencies a copy was sent to every householder, 
and the letters were reproduced in various forms 
throughout the country. 

Space forbids the quotation of more than a few of 
the hundreds of letters which reached Bosworth 
Smith. Nearly all the bishops and deans, and very 
many clergy and Churchmen of differing views, 
wrote to thank him for his unexpected and timely 
championship ; and many who were themselves out- 
side the Church expressed their sympathy with the 
tone of his letters. The whole correspondence is 
interesting, because the subject is approached from 
many different standpoints, and the discussion of 
a question, which is still awaiting final settlement, 
by some of the ablest statesmen of twenty-five 
years ago, has a definite value even at the pre- 
sent day. 


From DR. BENSON, Archbishop of Canterbury. 

November 4, 1885. 

I had read your letters with admiration for their 
solid reasoning, and for their knowledge of facts, 
historical and mental. And now we have to thank 
you again for your analysis of the oracles. One 
may deceive oneself, but I have all my life tried to 
look at the English Church from an unecclesiastical 
point of view, as well as to live to her ; and I feel 
as sure as I can be of anything that, if I were no 
cleric, my mind could equally go with what you have 
written and be ready to act on it. I trust your 
advice may be taken ; but in any case, you have 
done what will go far to counteract the mischief of 
its not being taken. 

From DR. G. G. BRADLEY, Dean of Westminster. 

Your letters have touched a higher plane of 
thought than anything else I had read. Nothing 
could possibly be better. 

From CANON B. F. WESTCOTT, afterwards 
Bishop of Durham. 

We seem to have been learning in late years the 
nobility of corporate life, and that statesmen should 
be eager and willing to sacrifice the organ, through 
which the highest aspirations and most unselfish 
energies of a nation find natural expression, is to me 
amazing. I would that Mr Gladstone even now 
would listen to your most touching appeal. He 


certainly cast away the greatest opportunity he 
ever had, even if, in doing it, he has roused men 
to see there is in life something stronger than a 
current of tendency. My anxiety comes from the 
fear that we may be unable to bear much longer * 
the denial of liberty for spiritual growth. I am * 
sure that I am not impatient, but unless reasonable 
powers of self-government are given to the Church, : 
I hardly see how we can support our burden. 


December 23, '85. 

Your letter of November i6th on Disestablish- 
ment I had read in the Times with delighted 
admiration and sympathy ; and I thank you most 
sincerely for completing my knowledge of the 
series. For nearly fifty years I have been a most 
unwilling Nonconformist ; compelled to be so by 
inability to accept the theology of the Anglican 
formularies ; but believing in a fundamental unity 
of religious sentiment in the English people, attach- 
ing great importance to its national expression and 
longing for the time when the ban of exile may be 
removed, which excludes so large a multitude at 
present shut out from Church communion. Mere 
personal banishment, however, has no effect in 
diminishing my historical reverence and social 
affection for the most venerable and beneficent of 
all English institutions, the gates of which I would 
still defend from assault, although her fellowship 
were to be denied for ever to such as I am. At 
the same time, the more profound my homage to 
the Church, the more eager is my desire to see her 


wake up to the full range and grandeur of her 
mission to this nation of ours. And I am painfully 
struck by what I cannot help calling the pettiness 
and poverty of such schemes of reform as are set 
forth from time to time by her own members. It is 
well and needful, no doubt, to amend her internal 
ecclesiastical constitution in many ways : and her 
own work, within its present bounds, will be more 
effective when this is done. But it is not from this 
side that her chief danger threatens. There is an 
irreconcilable variance between her assumed theory 
of Christianity and the living inward Christian 
pieties which stir the hearts of religious people in 
our time, and which alone will stir them in the 
future. Among Nonconformists, who have no 
stereotyped forms of worship, obsolete elements 
can drop silently away : and the whole tone and 
character of their services have accordingly changed 
and are in harmony with their preaching : while in 
the Church the contrast is often painful between 
the sincere and earnest breadth of the pulpit and 
the unreal phrases which can no longer be appro- 
priated in the creeds and prayers. One of the best 
of the London clergymen, lamenting to me the 
consequence of this, said : "The only man I have 
ever known who really prayed the Prayers was 
F. D. Maurice." So long as this is even tending 
to become true, surely a fatal canker is at the root 
of the Church, whose clergy it concerns. Mr. Glad- 
stone's attitude does not surprise me. 'I well 
remember a conversation with him in either 1863 
or 1867, which led me to say to a friend next day 
that, if in his time the Liberationist agitation came 
to a head, he would be the man to disestablish the 
Church. He laid down two positions: (i) The 


Anglican Church is divine and (except in ecclesias- 
tical machinery) unalterable ; and (2) the State must 
bear itself impartially towards all the religions of its 
subjects. The inference is inevitable : the Church 
is unsusceptible of enlargement ; the State must 
choose between the establishment of all religions and 
the establishment of none. The responsibility in 
this great matter rests primarily, it seems to me, 
with the serious-minded laity of the Church, espe- 
cially the members of Parliament. They have 
bound the clergy by subscription, and it is shameful 
to throw the burden upon men thus placed. Pardon 
an old man's garrulity, and believe me, yours most 

From A. J. WATERLOW, Esq. 

igth October. 

I am a Dissenter in religious matters, but I should 
regard it as a national calamity that the splendid 
inheritance we have belonging to our National 
Church should be dissipated and destroyed. 
Some day this large property and organisation 
may be even more usefully employed. 

From the %th DUKE OF ARGYLL. 

November 5, 1885. 

Mr. Gladstone's reply is, of course, quite valueless 
for the future. He speaks only for himself, and 
for the day after to-morrow. He is now a mere 
" opportunist," as every man must be who seeks no 
more than to lead for a short time so very motley 
a crew. The friends of the Established Church 
209 o 


should relax no exertion, although, of course, I fully 
admit that if her position is really so strong as to be 
unassailable, it would be best to sit absolutely still, 
saying, " Let them rave." But I do not think it 
quite her position an adverse vote in the dis- 
organised House of Commons might easily be got, 
or a " Resolution," and this would have a bad effect 
on the future of the question. The two Established 
Churches rest on different bases, and are open to 
different kinds of attack. But pure " Voluntaryism " 
as a principle, and almost as a dogma, is equally 
fatal to both ; and this is the strongest enemy in 
Scotland. In my Glasgow speech I have indicated 
my own objection to the principle of Voluntaryism, 
as such ; in England simple jealousy is the motive 
force, and this can't be met by an argument. 

From the same. 

November 30, 1885. 

The controversy in the two countries does not 
turn wholly on the same arguments. That is to 
say, we in Scotland have long discussed it upon 
grounds in regard to spiritual independence which 
few, as yet, stand upon in England. But the main 
attack now the demand for what is called "reli- 
gious equality " is equally applicable, and may be 
met by the same arguments. Gladstone's " peewit " 
illustration is hardly honest. If the Liberal party 
had got a triumphant majority, Chamberlain and 
Co. would have set aside Gladstone's mot dordre 
without scruple. 




2gth November. 

They [the letters] were a very valuable contribu- 
tion to the defence of the Church, and probably did 
more than any other statement of the case to rouse 
the attention and feelings of those whom it was of 
the greatest importance at that time to influence 
namely, the large body of Liberal Churchmen. 


November 18, 1885. 

I thought your reply to Mr. Gladstone conclusive, 
and I cannot help saying how much he has disap- 
pointed me throughout the whole controversy. One 
in his position is bound to try and lead his country- 
men in what he believes to be the right way ; and 
though I might have disagreed with him, I should 
not have complained if he had declared himself in 
favour of a separation of Church and State, and 
told us why he was so. I might even have been 
convinced by his reasons ; but what I cannot under- 
stand is his ignoring the whole merits of the ques- 
tion itself, and contenting himself with telling us it 
would be difficult to disestablish the Church. We 
require no leader to tell us that. It will be a great 
misfortune if Churchmen are led to identify them- 
selves exclusively with any one political party, but 
if it is so, it will be largely Mr. Gladstone's fault, 
not for what he has said, but for what he has 
studiously refrained from saying. 



loth November. 

It is easy to understand Mr. Gladstone's diffi- 
culty, but it is quite impossible to admit his excuses 
for not speaking out. The Church question is one 
which he has made so peculiarly his own that he 
cannot but have some opinion, and he is morally 
bound not to conceal it. It is unfair to the country 
at large, to the supporters of the Church Establish- 
ment, and to the moderate Liberals themselves, 
that he should withhold his counsel ; but, as he 
declines to speak out, it becomes doubly incumbent 
on the friends of the Church to make their own 
declaration of policy, and this is, I hope, one good 
result that may come out of the unsatisfactory 
language held by the spokesman of the Liberals. 


6th November. 

I cannot add anything to strengthen what Mr. 
Gladstone has said, but I confess that as a Church- 
man I view with great alarm the line that has been 
taken by Churchmen and politicians on this subject. 
If the Liberation Society has made this election 
the occasion of pressing forward their views, this is 
no new policy on their part. They have long and 
consistently pushed their attacks. I do not there- 
fore see why their action makes it incumbent on 
Liberals to answer categorically the question as to 
whether they will support Disestablishment or not. 
Many Liberals who are warmly attached to the 



Church, and wish to maintain it, will very properly, 
in my opinion, decline to pledge themselves. The 
result of this action will be that the Church will be 
using its strength in favour of the Conservatives, 
and will be running the serious danger of alienating 
Liberals from its support. This seems to me very 
serious, for the strength of the Church rests in 
having men of all sides and views in its ranks. 
Any movement which has the tendency of leaving 
the support of the Church exclusively to Conser- 
vatives is, to my mind, wrong. I myself adhere 
strongly to the principles which were adopted by 
Mr. Gladstone in regard to the Irish Church, but 
the position of the English Church is very different 
at the present time. 

From the HON. WALTER JAMES, M.P., now 
Lord Northbourne. 

When the Church is separated from the State 
I cannot say who might be the residuary legatees 
of the property ; but, in the main, I am confident 
it is never likely to pass to objects and purposes 
very different from those it is employed on now. 


I2//& December. 

The letters, as they have reached me separately, 
I have read with the greatest interest. With you 
I believe that the Disestablishment and Disendow- 
ment would prelude the downfall of much that is 
greatest in England. Abuses there are, no doubt, 
in Church as well as elsewhere, but these are not 


past remedy. As to any "vital changes in our 
constitution," I could wish that some of our promi- 
nent politicians, who look to America as their ideal, 
might borrow from her an equivalent to that con- 
servatively restrictive provision under the fifth 
article of her constitution. I believe it would be 
a great safeguard to our own in these days of 
ignorant and reckless theorists. 

Lord Morley, in his " Life of Gladstone," is, 
not unnaturally, not expansive on the subject of 
Disestablishment, as it presented itself in 1885 ; 
but it is interesting to note that, in an account of 
some conversations with Mr. Chamberlain, written 
to Lord Granville by Mr. Gladstone on October 8, 
he says : " The question of the House of Lords 
and Disestablishment, he (Mr. Chamberlain) re- 
gards as still lying in the remoter distance ; " that 
is, at an early date in the agitation Mr. Chamber- 
lain had already, unknown to the Liberal party at 
large, relegated the attack on the Church to an 
indefinitely later period. Speaking of Mr. Glad- 
stone's speeches in Midlothian just before the elec- 
tions, Lord Morley says : " Disestablishment was 
his thorniest topic, for the scare of ' the Church in 
danger' was working considerable havoc in Eng- 
land, and every word on Scottish Disestablishment 
was sure to be translated to Establishment else- 
where. On the day on which he was to handle 
it, his entry is : ' Much rumination . . . spoke 
seventy minutes in Free Kirk Hall : a difficult 


subject. The present agitation does not strengthen 
in my mind the principle of Establishment.' His 
leading text was a favourite and a salutary maxim 
of his, that ' it is a very serious responsibility to 
take political questions out of their proper time 
and their proper order,' and the summary of his 
speech was, that the party was agreed upon cer- 
tain large and complicated questions, such as were 
enough for one Parliament to settle, and that it 
would be an error to attempt to thrust those ques- 
tions aside, to cast them into shade and darkness, 
' for the sake of a subject of which I will not under- 
value the importance, but of which I utterly deny 
the maturity at the present moment.' " 

Lord Morley implies that "the scare of 'the 
Church in danger ' " was at this time little more 
than a party cry ; if, as is of course likely, there 
were some who made use of it in this way, Bos- 
worth Smith was not among them. It is not too 
much to say that he never advocated a cause in 
which he did not fervently believe. He had never 
been what is known as a party man, but the line 
which he had now taken had brought him into 
direct opposition with the leader, whom he had 
before regarded with almost idolising enthusiasm, 
and with the ideals of whose party he had hitherto 
sympathised. Two letters of his own show his 
attitude of mind : 




I have read your letter aloud to my wife, and 
I can truly say that the effect of either a letter or 
a talk with you is, upon both of us, exactly what you 
describe as having been the effect upon you of a 
visit to Lord Shaftesbury. These letters have 
indeed come straight from my heart and conscience, 
and it is to this fact mainly that I attribute their 
astonishing effect. I did not dream when I wrote 
that first letter what it would lead to, or what 
enthusiasm they would cause. The correspondence 
that they have led to has been of quite extraordi- 
nary and unique interest, and includes nearly every 
one of mark in the Church and State who is not 
officially or by nature a partisan. ... I believe 
and hope that I am in no way elated, but only 
deeply thankful for having thus been the instru- 
ment I hope it is not presumptuous to say, in 
God's hand of having helped forward a noble 
cause and roused people to a most real danger. 
Sometimes I feel humiliated at my having been 
in some sort pitched upon for this great work. 
I am not an ecclesiastic in any sense of the word. 
Church history and Church dogmas do not par- 
ticularly interest me, but I have a firm belief in 
the vitality of Christianity, and think it would be 
sheer wickedness and folly to overthrow such a 
wonderful instrument for good as the English 
Church has been, and still more, may be in time 
to come. I only hope that the reprieve that has 
been gained may be utilised to the utmost to make 
the Church more useful still, and therefore more 
impregnable. . . . You will see Lord Tennyson's 


letter to me on the Disestablishment letters, which 
his son and secretary, Hallam Tennyson, doubtless 
by his father's wish, asked me to publish. So I 
sent it to all the papers, and it will doubtless be 
quoted Jwith effect hereafter when the next serious 
and reckless attack is made upon the Church. 


Allow me to give you a revised and collected 
copy, in a rather less ephemeral shape, of the letters 
you were good enough to say you had enjoyed 
reading. I well remember the keen pleasure I felt 
when, on meeting you on the stairs at the Royal 
Institution some years ago, you told me you had 
enjoyed reading my first lecture on Mohamme- 
danism. That was my first effort of a public nature, 
and the kind sympathy expressed by a man of your 
eminence, who, I knew, did not like my standpoint, 
was a great encouragement to me, and I have never 
forgotten it. In the same way now, I know that 
you could not regard the Church as a civilising and 
humanising institution quite in the same light in 
which I do, but I could have felt certain before- 
hand that you could sympathise with the tone and 
spirit, and the appeal to a higher morality than is 
common among public men, which has animated 
them throughout. . . . They have had an extra- 
ordinary influence on the public mind. Nothing I 
have ever written has produced anything like the 

There is no need to conceal the fact, that Bos- 
worth Smith felt a vivid pleasure in the apprecia- 


tion of those whose opinion he valued ; a. pleasure 
which is probably common to all but the most 
cynical and the most self-sufficing. A certain 
reticence usually prevents the open expression of 
this pleasure, but his nature was too impulsive, 
and, perhaps, too childlike to hide it, even had he 
wished to do so, and the desire for sympathy, not 
less than an ingenuous surprise at himself, some- 
times impelled him to put in words what many 
keep to themselves. What gave pleasure to him, 
he was always anxious to extend to others. When 
any one spoke warmly of another to him, he made a 
point of transmitting the appreciation to him whom 
it concerned, for he believed that praise seldom 
harms, but rather that it warms the atmosphere 
of what sometimes seems a cold and self-centred 

Nearly a quarter of a century has passed, and 
the attack on the Established Church of England 
has not been seriously renewed. Men's minds have 
grown familiar with the idea of Disestablishment, 
but until the question comes definitely forward, it 
is impossible to say whether the people of England 
consider that the Church has, since 1885, justified 
the efforts which were then made on her behalf, 
and whether men will once more be found to defend 
her with equal enthusiasm. 1 The idea of Disestab- 
lishment does not now, as it did formerly, strike all 

1 At the Pan-Anglican Congress of 1908, mention was made of the 
great revival in the Church dating from the attack on her in 1885. 


earnest Churchmen alike with fear. In 1885, a . 
working man, who wrote to Bosworth Smith on 
the subject, pointed out the wide distinction, which 
was patent to him, between the Church and the 
Establishment ; and to many Churchmen it seems, 
as it seemed to him, that to do away with the 
Establishment, might yet leave the Church un- 
harmed. On the question of Disendowment, which, 
unfortunately, must be bound up with that of Dis- 
establishment, and which seemed to him to entail 
retrospective dishonesty, his views remained un- 
altered all his life. 

He was asked to take part in the work of the 
Society for National Church Reform by the Hon. 
Albert Grey and Dr. Abbott, but this he declined, 
as details were never congenial to him, nor had he 
any aptitude for work on a committee. In Decem- 
ber 1885, Mr. Longman asked him to edit a book 
in a popular form, which was to be entitled, " Why 
I should not Disestablish," and which was to con- 
tain the opinions of leading men on the subject. 
The idea was not specially attractive to him. On 
January 5, 1886, he wrote to Mr. Longman as 
follows : 

" I have not been idle since I saw you ; I saw 
Dean Church after I left you. I went to Addington 
on Monday, and met there both archbishops, and 
the Bishops of London, Peterborough, and Durham. 
I went on Tuesday to Lord Egerton of Tatton, 
where I met the Bishop of Chester, and on Satur- 


day to Davidson at Windsor, and with each of them 
I discussed the subject of the proposed book. The 
Archbishop of York thought there had been enough 
elaborate writing on the subject, and that the plan 
proposed would be the best, and to this the Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury quite came round. All were 
anxious on the whole that I should undertake it, 
though some took the view that I might be doing 
more original and therefore more worthy work. All 
agreed, however, that it would be a matter of great 
difficulty to induce the right and the most important 
people to write for it, and that a poor book, con- 
taining second-rate opinions of second-rate men, 
would be worse than useless. They urged upon 
me, however, that if any one could get the right 
people to write I could, for the general sympathy 
which my letters to the Times has called forth. I 
am prepared, therefore, to write as soon as possible 
some twenty letters to the very best and ablest men 
whose utterances could be of most weight, and if 
I get a fair proportion of favourable answers to 
undertake the book ; otherwise not, for I should 
not be helping the cause, but the reverse, and 
nothing would induce me, holding the views that I 
do hold, to help to steer the vessel on the rocks." 

Very few of the people to whom Bosworth Smith 
wrote saw their way to contributing to the proposed 
book, although Mr. J. H. Shorthouse, author of 
"John Inglesant," promised to attempt to write 
an essay on lines which seemed to him of peculiar 



From MR. J. H. SHORTHOUSE, Author of 

"John Inglesant" 

January 10, 1886. 

I regard the Church of England as a perfectly 
unique and priceless institution, at once the agent 
and the result of the highest pitch of cultured 
thought and existence, provided that culture speaks 
with authority, and is listened to with humility. 
This is the principle you may call it an aristo- 
cratic principle if you like which has ever been 
at the basis of the Church system, but in the 
case of our Church it has been so modified by State 
government, by lay patronage, by social ties, by 
sympathy with popular pleasures and pursuits, an 
inestimable legacy by the Catholic period, that the 
result has become the unique and priceless one 
which we see. But I do not look forward with 
hope to this state of things, and being able to 
resist the wild tempest of uneducated and ignorant 
democracy ; and any tampering with the Church 
system to propitiate the democracy, to reconcile 
it with the principle of government from below 
instead of from above, would seem to me worse 
than a fairly compromised scheme of Disestablish- 
ment, which would, one might hope, still preserve 
a Church in the van of cultured thought and cul- 
tured and reasonable religion, which unites in an 
astonishing perfection such opposing elements as 
reason and sacramentalism, feudalism and democ- 
racy, the noble and the peasant, the man of the 
world and the saint, the agnostic and the fanatic 
for verbal inspiration. Should you find that a short 
article on these lines would be of any value, or 



not clash with the general tone of your book, I 
shall be glad to see what I can do, but I never 
promise anything until I see whether I can in 
any degree satisfy myself. 


January 8, 1886. 

Greatly interested as I am in your projected 
volume, I yet am obliged to decline the privilege 
of being a contributor to it. I have reached the 
age when work is slow and the time for it is short ; 
yet when the incomplete designs of life press their 
claims with a rebuking importunity of appeal, the 
duty of concentration is plainly imperative on me, 
though rendered difficult by an unabated fresh- 
ness of interest in the new movements of thought 
and social action. But I have too many arrears 
to discharge to permit my entrance on further 
engagements. The very large and complicated 
nature of this Church question oppresses me with 
a serious fear of the effect of flinging it, in a per- 
fectly unshaped condition, into the chance medley 
of public discussion. If it were possible to refer 
the whole subject of Ecclesiastical Reform to a well- 
chosen council of the wise perhaps in the shape 
of a Royal Commission and reserve the first exhi- 
bition of it in all its relations till the presentation 
of their Report, subsequent discussion would fall 
within rational limits and proceed upon trustworthy 
data. But if the problem is pre-occupied by 
the competitions of incompetent disputants and 
dreamers, there is no knowing what nonsense 
may come uppermost, and what dissensions may 


repel from each other people who have become 
committed to the absurd or the impossible. The 
difficulty of religious union in England lies, I am 
persuaded, much less in the essence of men's con- 
victions and affections than in the mutual ignorance 
of Churchmen and Dissenters. They know little 
or nothing of each other's lives and literature ; 
and though alike animated by intense national 
feeling, direct it chiefly upon opposite parties in 
the historical struggles which have made us 
what we are. It is time that this narrowness of 
admiration and sympathy should cease, and one 
sanctuary of reverence and piety should embrace 
both. Believe me, yours very sincerely, 



January 13, 1886. 

I have kept your letter for some days, feeling 
very uncertain as to the answer I should give. 
Your volume would, no doubt, be interesting and 
suggestive ; and I would expect it to be valuable. 
But the scheme seems to me to be open to some 
objections. In the first place, I doubt whether 
it is for the friends of the Establishment principle 
to take the initiative in the struggle which their 
opponents may be presumed to be preparing for ; 
I think it should rather be our line to defend 
when we are attacked, and not till then. I should 
say, that I do not mean by this that we should 
delay to amend what should be amended for the 
sake of defence ; but that we should not begin 


to discuss the grounds on which the principle or 
principles of Establishment rest prematurely. I 
doubt whether writers are likely to do themselves 
justice in a compilation of opinions written ad hoc: 
and if they put forward anything short of their 
best, their challengers will take advantage of any 
weak points and fasten upon those. Shades 
of difference of opinion between one writer and 
another, such as may be due to the different 
methods of approaching the question, will also be 
made much of, and may lead to explanation, and 
explanations are very awkward in a controversy. 
I do not pretend to have fully thought out the 
question, but, not liking to keep your letter 
unanswered any longer, I have put down some 
thoughts which have occurred to me. I shall be 
glad to hear whether you decide to go on. I 
am sure that if such a book is to be produced, 
you will bring it out better than any one I could 

On the grounds which Lord Iddesleigh so clearly 
put forward, Bosworth Smith abandoned the task, 
and the project fell through. 

On August 3, 1886, he made, at the annual 
meeting of the Church Defence Institution, what 
Lord Beauchamp characterised as a "nervous and 
eloquent speech." It was a warning not to be 
caught napping, an exhortation to fresh efforts, and 
incidentally he dwelt on one of the features of the 
Established Church, which, next to its historical 
aspect, appealed to him most nearly, the parochial 
system " that system, which provides that in every 


of course well known, it was brought to a successful 

In 1893, during Mr. Gladstone's fourth adminis- 
tration, an attack was made on the Welsh Church, 
and the injustice of the proposed Suspensory Bills 
roused his utmost indignation. In a letter to the 
Times, dated February 2, he drew a vivid picture 
of the Church, "on a sudden maimed, but not 
killed ; manacled from without, but not enfeebled 
from within ; forbidden even to die with dignity ; " 
and, three weeks later, he called attention, in the 
same way, to three special points in the matter. 
First, " it is not the Welsh Church, or the ' English 
Church in Wales,' as it is sometimes absurdly 
called, it is the English and Welsh Churches to- 
gether, which are the object of the attack ; for it 
would be true to say that it is the old Welsh Church 
which has grown into and taken possession of her 
younger English sister." For seventy years past, 
the Welsh Church had shown all the signs of a 
reviving Church, and in Wales greed for land was 
at the root of the matter. The English Church 
should put forward her whole strength to defend 
her oldest and, for the moment only, her weakest 
member, and with her should be prepared to stand 
or fall. Secondly, it seemed to him both foolish 
and cruel that the Welsh Church should be con- 
demned unheard in a single-night debate, and that 
the English Church should be thus torn to pieces 
practically by the Irish vote. Thirdly, once more 


he recalled Mr. Gladstone's well-known love for the 
English Church, he quoted his past utterances, and 
contrasted them bitterly with his present actions. 

The Scotch Church, no less than the Welsh, was 
also to be " suspended," and, as it seemed to him, 
from the same motives jealousy and the necessity 
for votes in favour of the Home Rule Bill. In a 
letter to the Times on March 16, he attacked Mr. 
Gladstone with an impetuosity and growing bitter- 
ness, which were due in part, no doubt, to the views 
he entertained on the subject of Home Rule. 

Here, as was often the case with the most im- 
pressive of Bosworth Smith's writings and speeches, 
a strong sense of abstract justice, and the equally 
strong emotion roused by any outrage on this 
abstract justice, took the place of a close knowledge 
of detail. Members of the Established Church of 
Scotland or of the Free Kirk would, for instance, 
probably have been able to name many reasons why 
the two Churches should not and could not unite 
once more, but both might well have recognised the 
warm generosity of his tribute to both Churches and 
to the "greatest of Scotch Secessionists," and both 
might well have been moved by the vigour and 
earnestness of his appeal from lower motives to the 
highest. In the same way, people who had studied 
minutely the question of religious bodies in Wales 
could, no doubt, have quoted facts and statistics 
which might have put the case in a different light. 
But a sense of abstract justice is a rarer, and, per- 


haps, a not less valuable quality than the power of 
ascertaining and arranging facts and figures. 

On May 16, 1893, Bosworth Smith was one of 
the speakers at a great meeting of protest against 
the Welsh Suspensory Bill in the Albert Hall. The 
speakers included, it would seem, the most repre- 
sentative Churchmen then living ; amongst others, 
the two archbishops, the Bishops of London and 
Durham, the Duke of Argyll, Lord Selborne, Sir 
John Mowbray, and Professor Jebb. 

The fall of Lord Rosebery's administration in 
1895 carried with it Mr. Asquith's Welsh Disestab- 
lishment Bill, and the Welsh Church has had a 
further respite until the present year. 

In March 1899, Bosworth Smith took part in the 
controversy that was raging in the Church with 
regard to the attitude of the English Church Union 
and certain ritualistic clergy. He himself was the 
first to admit that rubrics, vestments, and details of 
Church history appealed to him but little, and that 
he had no special knowledge on such matters, on 
which, however, in a controversy of this nature, 
exact knowledge is of the first importance. He 
was equally opposed in principle to the " Holborn 
recusants " and the violent methods of Mr. Kensit, 
and his letters in the Times and his article in the 
Nineteenth Century were calculated to please the 
extremists of neither party. But here again, it was 
not the details of the controversy that moved him ; 
it was the wider point of view the fear that the 


Church should be weakened, possibly even disin- 
tegrated, not by attacks from without, but schism 
from within. That this should happen seemed to 
him the worst of all calamities, and on this ground 
he appealed earnestly to the advanced High Church 
party not to steer the vessel on the rocks. 

A more peaceful and congenial occasion was his 
chairmanship of the Bible Society at Harrow, in 
March 1900. Few people knew their Bible better 
than he did ; as a child he had read it through from 
beginning to end many times, rising in the early 
morning and sitting close to the dormer window of 
his little attic in the thatched Rectory. The illustra- 
tions which abound in his writings, when they do 
not come from Milton, are nearly always scriptural. 
He never willingly declined an invitation to help by 
his presence or his words any organisation which 
seerhed to him to be for the general good, but the 
preparation of even a brief speech cost him con- 
siderable pains, for every word was weighed and 
carefully written out, and practically committed to 
memory before he would venture to address an 
audience. This speech, which was reprinted as "a 
model speech from the chair," ran as follows : 

" The Bible Society, it seems to me, has two 
recommendations beyond almost every other chari- 
table or religious organisation in this country. 

" First, it represents the unity of Christendom 
rather than its unfortunate divisions. It unites all 
. Christians who are worthy of the name on a basis 


firmer, deeper, more comprehensive, more truly 
Catholic, than those which involve any questions of 
Church government, or any formularies of belief, 
drawn up by professed theologians. It is behind 
and above and beyond them all. It is able to assist 
all other Christian agencies, many of which indeed, 
| like the great Missionary Societies, could hardly 
exist without it, and that, too, without compro- 
t mising either its own universality or their special 
| aims. 

" Secondly, it is the only Society of which it can 

x be confidently affirmed that it does, and can do, 

I nothing but good. Nobody can have too much of 

} the Bible. In other societies, the agent, however 

little he himself may wish it, must be almost as 

: prominent as the work he does. In the Bible 

/ Society the work is everything, the agent nothing. 

> The agent is lost, as he would wish to be, in his 


" And what a work it is to have issued, in 350 
different languages, 160 millions of copies of the 
most venerable, the most universal, the most ele- 
vating, the most inspiring book in the world ; the 
book which is a whole literature in itself, the work 
; of statesman and legislator, historian and philo- 
sopher, poet and prophet, and apostle ; the book 
which starts, in its first chapter, with the dim and 
distant origin of the human race, and which throws, 
in its later portions, gleams of celestial light on its 
remotest future ; the book which has brought God 
down to man, and raised man towards God; the 
book which, above all the other religious books of 
j the world, proclaims the true Fatherhood of God 
and the true brotherhood of humanity ; finally, 
' the book which, in its highest revelations of all, 


exhibits the one divine example and the one 
perfect life." 

A speech which he made as chairman of a large 
meeting for Church Defence at Dorchester in 1902 
could not be called a " model speech from the 
chair," for it far exceeded the limits to which such 
a speech should be confined ; but the Bishop of 
Bristol, Dr. Browne, aptly described it as "a most 
noble apologia pro ecclesid sud" He resumed here, 
in weighty and eloquent words, the reasons that 
were in him for his support of the National Church ; 
reasons that had increased in cogency and number 
since the day when, twenty years earlier, he had 
first appeared as her champion. While he upheld 
the use of the word " Protestant," and pointed out 
that through the Evangelical movement of the early 
part of last century the Church had come into a 
more personal relation with God, he did full justice 
to the Anglican revival, which "put new meaning 
into formularies and ceremonies, which had seemed 
only half alive before, and has shown that art and 
order and beauty and music, as they come from 
God, so they may be made in their measure the 
handmaids of religion." Of the Liturgy he spoke 
with the reverent enthusiasm he always felt for it. 
"It possesses a Liturgy of incomparable beauty, 
which, without one jarring note, gives utterance at 
once to the deepest and simplest feelings of each 
human soul, and to the yearnings and aspirations of 


the universal Church, and, mellowed by the spirit 
of the ages which is embalmed within it, seems, in 
the majestic harmonies of its language, to have 
already caught on earth a far-off echo of the music 
I of the spheres, of the harmonies of heaven." 

When Bosworth Smith had finally settled in 
Dorset, he was elected a member of the Salisbury 
Diocesan Synod, and later on as a representative 
member of the House of Laymen, and thus of the 
newly formed " Church Representative Council." 

His increasing deafness precluded his usefulness 
in debate, but he spoke at times on matters about 
which he felt strongly, and always with effect. A 
speech on the restrictions imposed on the services 
of laymen in Church matters in 1906 is full of re- 
freshing life and humour and good sense. " What 
claim have I," he said, " to be heard on the question 
of lay readerships ? None whatever, on the ground 
of special experience in Church work. I have no 
natural turn for direct Church work, and if I were set 
down before you, my Lord Bishop, for examination 
in the functions of reading, speaking, catechising, 
and preaching, I am afraid I should cut a sorry 
figure. I should go away with a painful sense of 
my own emptiness, and without, I fear, your episcopal 
license." He complained that there was too much 
" cold water " about the scheme under which laymen 
were to be admitted to Church work. " We surely 
do not need to have it rubbed into us in every other 
line of the regulations that we are nothing but lay- 


men and not priests. We may be Levites, or 
hardly even Levites, Nethinims, Gibeonites, hewers 
of wood and drawers of water in the service of the 
sanctuary, but we are not like Korah, Dathan, and 
Abiram. We do not wish, like them, to claim the 
priesthood, any more than we wish to share their 
fate." He protested against the definite assent to 
the whole Book of Common Prayer and the whole 
Thirty-nine Articles, which was to be exacted from 
laymen before a license could be obtained the 
time of such severe tests had long gone by ; and 
he drew a humorous contrast between the zeal of 
a supposed layman, burning to utter his message, 
and the chill regulation which debarred him from 
the pulpit, and directed him to enter the reading- 
desk and there to read a "homily or somebody 
else's sermon." " Read a homily ! Why, the very 
sound of it makes me feel drowsy and lifeless. 
What are the homilies ? They were written by 
some of the Reformers, three or four hundred years 
ago, under royal command, and Queen Elizabeth 
herself directed, by one of her right royal orders, 
that they should be read Sunday after Sunday 
without a break, and as soon as the somewhat 
sombre series was finished, they were to begin over 
again. I myself have never heard one read, and 
the very phrase, ' I read him a homily/ or, worse 
still, ' He read me a homily,' has passed into a 
proverb for something which is severe and long 
and dull. As regards reading another person's 


sermon, it was commonly believed in Dorset, in 
former times, that the chief object of the Arch- 
deacon's triennial visitation was to give the clergy 
an opportunity for a friendly interchange of sermons. 
' I do not know how it be,' said the gardener- 
coachman of one of these old-fashioned rectors, 
' but our maister do seem to always get hold of a 
stock of uncommon dull ones.' " 

In 1907 he spoke far more seriously on the 
position of the laity at the Representative Church 
Council at Westminster. By the terms of the draft 
constitution the Lay House was either " to accept 
or reject a measure in the terms in which it is sub- 
mitted to them, and shall have no power to propose 
any amendment thereof." This clause seemed to 
Bosworth Smith to impose an indignity on the Lay 
House, who were thus to reject or accept what was 
submitted to them in silence. His protest was 
marked by all his old vigour and his unfailing 
indignation against what seemed to him injustice ; 
but it was hotly opposed by the High Church party 
in the Council. The Bishop of Salisbury, after 
consultation with the archbishops, saved the situa- 
tion, which seemed likely to end in a deadlock, by 
an ingenious amendment which met the views of 
the contending parties. 

This chapter is an attempt to give an outline of 

what was one of the main works and interests of 

my father's life, to record the bare facts of his 

activity on behalf of the National Church, and the 



effect of his efforts, both on the minds of thinking 
men and on the actual events of the time. His 
views on more salient points, when they have 
seemed specially characteristic, have been given, 
as far as possible, in the eloquent, if sometimes 
highly elaborated, language with which his thought 
naturally clothed itself. His many-sided mind was 
rich in ideas and illustrations, and his difficulty, 
especially in later years, lay in compression, although 
5 he would often, at the suggestion of a humble critic, 
sacrifice an epithet, or curtail an over-long sentence 
with a half-amused sigh of resignation. Occa- 
sionally, perhaps, he unconsciously exercised the 
faculty common to all people of vivid imagination 
and quick emotions of persuading himself into 
convictions which grew in strength by the force of 
his own eloquence. But his convictions were none 
the less sincere if they were arrived at through the 
emotions rather than through the cold processes of 
reason, and there was nearly always a freshness, 
sincerity, and a loftiness about his point of view on 
no matter what subject, which compelled interest 
and commanded respect, even if they did not always 
carry conviction with them. 

His chief practical work for the Church was done 
in 1885, when the force and eloquence of his utter- 
ances as the letters of one great Churchman after 
another, now in my possession, not less than those 
of many a leading layman, abundantly testify 
were largely, perhaps mainly, instrumental in re- 


pelling the threatened attack on the Establishment. 
But his whole life with his personal kindness and 
sympathy and love, his untiring labour on behalf 
of all that he thought worthy, his ever-widening 
charity of outlook was a daily witness to the living 
power of his simple faith. 




ALTHOUGH Bosworth Smith's literary life falls natu- 
rally into certain divisions, such as, for instance, the 
times when his main energies were concentrated on 
his book on Mohammed, or on his " Life of Lord 
Lawrence," or, again, on his writings which relate to 
the National^ Church, the record of his interests and 
his activity would be by no means complete, unless 
mention were made of other subjects which, on 
various occasions, roused his enthusiasm or his 

This chapter, which endeavours to deal, super- 
ficially enough, with some of the main subjects on 
which he wrote and spoke, must necessarily be 
disjointed in form ; but without some such attempt 
to bring together his miscellaneous writings, no 
picture of his many-sidedness could be obtained. 

His earliest writings on foreign politics were 
naturally suggested by his study of Mohammed- 
anism, and the attitude he took up was determined 
by his sympathetic interest in all that touched 
Mohammedan nations. 



In 1876 Mr. Gladstone's burning words had 
raised everywhere a storm of resentment against 
the Turks ; Canon Liddon and Canon McColl had 
returned with their tales of Bulgarian atrocities, and 
the country had been flooded with literature and 
speeches, in which the Turk was branded as a 
scarcely human monster, who must be chased from 
Europe to vent his rage on Asiatics instead of 
Europeans. It needed some courage, on the part 
of a man so little known as Bosworth Smith then 
was, to point out, at this moment, that there was a 
good side to the Turkish character, however im- 
potent, corrupt, and cruel the Turkish Government 
might be ; to remind people that Christian nations 
themselves had learnt religious tolerance only in 
the nineteenth century, and that every act of cruelty | 
or injustice committed in the Turkish Empire "was 
as emphatically and repeatedly condemned by the 
Koran as by the Bible itself." His dread of Russia ^ 
always one of the keynotes of all that he wrote [ 
on Eastern questions of her bad faith and her- 
aggressive tendencies, no less than his horror at 
the cruelties of General Kaufmann's recent Turco- } 
man campaign, made the idea that she should i 
succeed to the inheritance of the Turks in Europe j 
intolerable to him. 

In a week's hard work he put together his views 
in an article which, with its just and vivid appre- 
ciations of the Turks and Bulgarians themselves, 
and its now partly realised suggestions, is as valuable 


a contribution to Balkan literature to-day as it was 
thirty-three years ago. 

He took the article to Mr. Knowles, afterwards 
Sir James Knowles, editor of the Contemporary 
Review. Mr. Knowles had published Mr. Glad- 
stone's and Canon McColl's articles on the other 
side ; he had other articles on hand in the opposite 
sense ; but he was persuaded by a note from Mr. 
Kegan Paul to read what Bosworth Smith had 
written. He was delighted with it, and gave it a 
^ ^., place of honour in the next number of his Review, 
***""* > where it appeared in December 1876, as a pendant 
to Mr. Gladstone's " Hellenic Factor in the Eastern 

That Bosworth Smith overrated the possibility of 
reforms in Turkey under the control of the Great 
Powers, subsequent events have proved ; but had 
England been able to take then what he called her 
grand chance, had she become the protector of the 
Christian populations of the Turkish Empire, much 
of their sufferings during the past decades might 
have been averted. He looked forward confidently 
to the time, which now at last seems a stage nearer, 
when the Turk should " be ready to take his place 
peaceably on terms of social and religious equality 
among the nations which make up his empire." 

Early in 1877 he wrote an energetic letter to the 
Times headed " Inaction or Coercion " the alter- 
native policies, that is, between which his friend 
Mr. Bryce had declared that England must now 


take her choice in the Near East. It was a further 
appeal " not to stir the fire with the sword," to give 
the Turks another chance to set their own house in 
order. With all his enthusiasm for the grand 
qualities of Islam, he hardly realised that, unlike 
other religions, its strength is to " sit still," changing 
nothing, conceding nothing to the unbeliever. The 
conservatism of Islam seems almost to preclude the 
possibility of fundamental reform. 

In two letters to the Times, in 1878, on the 
subject of the Russian advance on Khiva, he re- 
peated the lessons to be learnt from Russian tactics 
in Asia in the past, and urged that Christian 
civilisation can only be established in semi-barbarous 
countries by convincing the natives that "European 
supremacy means supremacy of justice, moderation, 
and of unswerving good faith." 

Two characteristics mark all his utterances on 
subjects where weaker races are concerned : an 
eager championship of their rights, and an appeal, 
from the mere exigencies of the moment, to what 
he confidently believed was the English national 
sense of justice and uprightness. His quickness to 
perceive where these things were involved is illus- 
trated by a brief and powerful letter to the Times 
in 1884, when he was among the first Englishmen 
to protest against a price being put on the head of 
Osman Digna. " No considerations of political 
expediency can justify us in seeking to get rid of 
a brave foe by treachery and assassination." 
241 Q 


In February 1885, he raised his voice against 
undue haste in deciding to advance on Khartoum. 
If we went there only to avenge General Gordon's 
death and then to return, we should leave confusion 
worse confounded ; but if we were prepared to remain 
and to bring order out of anarchy, no sacrifice would 
be too great. 

A subject on which his utmost indignation was 
aroused was the painful one of Stanley's rear column. 
There is no need now to dwell on the details of that 
bitter controversy ; but the gist of his argument, as 
it appeared in an article in the Contemporary Review 
for January 1891, was that to hush up discreditable 
truths, to assume that actions, which would be con- 
demned in Europe, were justifiable when they were 
done among savage tribes, would be to involve the 
deterioration of those qualities on which English- 
men had hitherto prided themselves in their dealings 
with weaker races. The "divine right" of Lord 
Salisbury, or of any one else, to partition out what 
did not belong to them was a perplexing matter, 
but more important still was the question, Is Africa 
to be exploited for selfish ends, or "to be helped 
forward Africa for Africans to a natural develop- 
ment of her own?" The question has an even 
wider application and importance at the present 
day than it had some twenty years ago. 

In the autumn of 1892, Bosworth Smith joined 
in the brief and successful campaign which had for 
its object the retention of Uganda. The Liberal 


Government had threatened to evacuate the country 
within three months, and had in advance " dis- 
claimed all responsibility for the consequences of 
evacuation." Here, again, he was one of the first 
(probably, outside the small circle of those who were 
immediately interested in Uganda, the first of all) to 
realise that the good faith and honour of England 
were involved in the question. On October 18, 
1892, he wrote a letter to the Times headed " The 
Cry of Uganda," and, as he rarely failed to do 
when he wrote or spoke on any subject on which 
he was deeply moved, his words at once raised the 
matter to a higher level and into purer air. It was 
no longer a question of commercial gain or loss, 
but of the good name of England in uncivilised 
Africa. To him it seemed that to abandon to their 
fate natives with whom we had entered into en- 
gagements was treachery of the worst kind; for 
evacuation would mean for them anarchy, massacre, 
and slavery. Uganda, which had been first ex- 
plored by British travellers, and which was conse- 
crated by the memories of heroic missionaries and 
native converts, seemed, of all places in Africa, the 
one spot marked out as belonging naturally to Eng- 
land. And, most important of all, it was in Uganda, 
from its geographical position, that a blow could best 
be struck at the internal slave trade of Africa. 

There was no time to be lost if public opinion 
were to be stirred up ; and two days later a depu- 
tation from the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery 


Society waited on Lord Rosebery at the Foreign 
Office. Bosworth Smith, in a short speech in which 
he urged the views contained in his Times letter, 
used the phrase " the continuity of the moral policy 
of England." Lord Rosebery " fastened on the 
phrase, and made it the text of some of the most 
soul-stirring of his brilliant sentences " in his reply 
to the deputation. A few days later Bosworth Smith, 
in a further letter to the Times, developed the idea 
of this " moral continuity," which, together with the 
instincts of freedom, of empire, and of philanthropy, 
he considered one of the chief characteristics of 
the history and the people of England. "It is 
upon our moral force, upon our determination to 
govern for the good of the governed, that our 
empire rests. If an act of cold-blooded cruelty is 
reported from India or from the depths of Africa 
as committed by an Englishman, a nerve is 
touched, and the sensation vibrates to the heart and 
the extremities of the empire. And it is to their 
conviction that such are our objects that we owe it 
that the natives, who rarely love us for we are 
too cold and unimaginative for that yet everywhere 
respect and trust us." There has never, he claimed, 
been a break in our moral policy, for here there 
can be no question of party, and nowhere has the 
continuity of our policy been more marked than in 
our attitude towards slavery and the slave trade. 
To abandon a territory where we should have the 
best possible chance of stopping the "open sore" 


of the internal slave traffic would be to lose our 
place in the forefront of the battle against evil. 

The two Times letters were reprinted by those 
who were interested in the question, and they had 
a large circulation. Meetings of protest were 
organised all over the country, and he was asked 
to speak in many directions. 

On November loth he spoke at a meeting or- 
ganised by the present Bishop of Peterborough, 
at Kensington Town Hall, at which the Marquis 
of Lome (now the Duke of Argyll) and Captain 
Lugard (now Sir Frederick Lugard) 1 were the 
other chief speakers. On November I4th he 
spoke at Leeds, on November 25th at Cam- 
bridge, on December 2nd at Birmingham, and, 
once again, on December 1 2th, at Rugby ; and 
on December i3th he followed up the matter by 
a third letter to the Times, headed "Is Uganda 
safe ? " The appointment of Sir Gerald Portal as 
Commissioner, " to report and not to rule," seemed 
to him no guarantee for the future, and he con- 
demned the attitude of the Government towards 
the East African Company, which had borne the 
burden of the day in Uganda. He reiterated his 
belief that the railway should be made at once, and 
that a firm policy should be announced. 

1 It gives a touch of human interest to record that, all through his 
splendid and almost single-handed work in Uganda, Captain Lugard 
had been suffering tortures from toothache, without the possibility of 
relief; and, when he came back to England, his time was so entirely 
taken up by his efforts on behalf of the country that weeks again 
elapsed before he could spare time to think of his own health. 


But the day had already been won, and won by 
the strenuous efforts of a few men, who, by their 
eloquence and conviction, had been able to rouse 
public opinion and to influence the decisions of 
the Government. 

From all sides Bosworth Smith received enthu- 
siastic appreciation of his share in the work. 

Lord Ebury, then in his ninety-second year, 
wrote on October 26 : 

" My dear old friend, that is, the friendship is 
old, but the man is not. I feel that he will be dis- 
appointed if amongst the many early congratulations 
he will be receiving to-day he does not see my 
handwriting. I never read a more able or eloquent 
letter than that which appeared under your signa- 
ture in yesterday's Times, or one which spoke more 
directly and judiciously to the people of England at 
such a moment as this." 

"We shall not go back now," wrote Sir Colin 
Scott- Moncricff, 1 " but we should have done so, had 
it not been for the vigorous protests." Canon 
Tristram, of Durham, told him that his much- 
quoted phrase, " the continuity of moral policy," 
had become a household word already, and Pro- 
fessor Buckle said that he was charmed with the 
expression. " Your sentences ring like a trumpet 
call, and make one's blood run quick and with 
some of the fire of youth," wrote the Rev. A. Aglen, 

1 No British official "employed in the Egyptian service during 
the early days of the occupation," says Lord Cromer, " did more to 
make the name of England respected than Sir Colin Scott-Moncrieff." 


his old Marlborough friend. The Rev. F. Hayward 
Joyce wrote : " You are one of the men who are 
teaching your fellow-countrymen to think noble 
thoughts of England and to take a pride in her 
name and fame." 

Dr. Martineau said he was one of those " whose 
gratitude and admiration were deeply stirred by the 
letters. They were too weighty and impressive to 
spend themselves on the flying sheet of a day." 

Lord Salisbury wrote on November 6, 1892 : "The 
proposal to evacuate Uganda is a very unwise one. 
We have never before had such a chance of crushing 
the slave trade in its home and we never shall have 
it again. If we keep the line of the hills and make 
the railway, the slave trade must die out." 

The episode was a brief one, but in its complete- 
ness and success it might well form a source of 
thankfulness to one whose disinterested efforts had 
done so much for the cause. It is strange to reflect, 
that not one of the inhabitants of Uganda, who are 
now living peacefully under settled British rule, has 
ever heard the name or known of the existence of 
the white man, to whose burning sense of what was 
due to a weaker race they owe in no small degree 
their present safety and prosperity. 

A few notes on his own career, which were found 
among Bosworth's Smith's papers, conclude with a 
brief statement of his views on Home Rule. The 
notes were written in 1886. 


"I am strongly against giving an independent 
or separate Parliament to Ireland, above all, under 
existing conditions, and in the way and at the time 
in which Mr. Gladstone has proposed it. Early in 
December 1885 (before, that is, the 'balloon' had 
been sent up from Hawarden) I wrote to the Times 
urging that the leaders of both sides should hold a 
conference and come to an agreement, before Parlia- 
ment met, as to what it was safe and what it was 
not safe to yield to the Irish demands ; and early in 
February this year (1886) (before, that is, Lord 
Hartington and other leading Liberals had an- 
nounced their determination to oppose Mr. Glad- 
stone's disintegrating proposals) I wrote an article, 
which was published in the March number of the 
National Review, headed ' The Liberal Party and 
Home Rule,' in which, in the strongest terms that 
I could command, I called upon the Liberals, who 
had again and again declared against Home Rule, 
to have the courage of their convictions, and to 
refuse to swallow their most sacred pledges at the 
bidding of a leader, however eminent." 

The National Review article was reprinted by 
the Irish Loyal and Patriotic Union. It was a 
forcible statement of the views which led to the 
severance of the Liberal party in 1886 ; it admitted 
to the full the misdeeds and mistakes that had been 
committed by the English in Ireland, but deprecated 
the idea that undue concessions should be made now, 
in order to secure the Parnellite vote. Bosworth 
Smith had little sympathy with the type of mind 
of either Sir William Vernon Harcourt or of 


Mr. Chamberlain, and the recent attack on the 
Church had greatly embittered him against the 
latter, and there is a good deal of strong language 
about both of these politicians in his writings. It 
was, of course, a parting of the ways for many, and 
Home Rule meant in some cases the breach, not 
only of political, but of personal friendships. Al- 
though Bos worth Smith claimed that he could 
honour those who were avowed and convinced 
believers in Mr. Gladstone's scheme, he found it 
difficult to realise that some of his own friends were 
among this number, and for him, as for many others, 
it was a time of some heart-burning and bitterness, 
although, in his case, there was, happily, no kind of 
permanent breach with any of his friends. 

A letter to him from the late Duke of Argyll 
shows the feeling among those who had been of 
Mr. Gladstone's own friends and party : 

March 4, 1886. 

The position of affairs is unprecedented and 
incredible. I hear that Cabinet Ministers have no 
conception what their leader is to propose. But 
they will swallow anything ! at least, I fear so ; and 
what is much worse, a large part of the new consti- 
tuencies will also swallow anything that Gladstone 

This is a most unsafe condition of things. We 
are tied to the tail of a sky-rocket as violent in 
its rush, as uncertain in its goal. 

It was the same silence of those who ought to 


have the courage to speak out, the same consequent 
uncertainty of the rank and file of Mr. Gladstone's 
party as to the nature of the measures they would 
be called on to support, which led, in August 1892, 
to one of the most notable of all Bosworth Smith's 
many letters to the Times. He called his letter " The 
Conspiracy of Silence " ; it was written in a remote 
village on Exmoor, and its composition shows the 
influence of leisure and meditation, more than is the 
case with some of the letters which he dashed off at 
white heat in the midst of his toils at Harrow. 

The passage descriptive of the first meeting of 
Parliament after the recent elections whether the 
interpretation put on the scene be accepted or 
not is simple and dramatic : 

"The great consult began. Mr. Asquith was 
put up to move the amendment to the address, 
and to apologise for his impertinent curiosity at 
an earlier stage of the proceedings. He said his 
1 peccavi' with a good grace and a good heart, 
and sat down gagged henceforward ; and, doubt- 
less, he will have his reward. Mr. Redmond, on 
behalf of the Parnellites, formulated his demands 
with a clearness which left nothing, Mr. M'Carthy, 
on behalf of the Anti-Parnellites, with a clearness 
that left little, to be desired ; both of them going 
in the direction of total separation, far beyond 
what any English Gladstonian had hitherto hinted 
was possible. Now was Mr. Gladstone's chance, 
if words of his and of others were to have any 
meaning, and if pledges were to have any binding 


force, to declare the Irish demands to be wholly 
inadmissible. He practically ignored Mr. Red- 
mond altogether, and met Mr. M'Carthy's de- 
mands with a cloud of words which might mean 
everything or nothing, according to the preposses- 
sions of the hearer and the shifting contingencies 
of the future. 

"There was one chance more. Mr. Chamber- 
lain, in a memorable speech, quoted trenchant 
sentences from the speeches or letters of two late 
Chief Secretaries for Ireland, and challenged them 
each and all to say then and there whether they 
stood by their words or recanted them. Like 
Milton's fallen archangels 

' They heard and were abashed,' 

and would that I could add, what Milton adds, 
even of his fallen archangels 

' And up they sprung.' 

Posterity will hardly believe that not one of them 
stirred or uttered a word. There is a silence of 
stolidity, there is a silence of perplexity, there is 
a silence of exasperation, there is a silence of ex- 
pectation, there is a silence of moral cowardice. 
On one side of the House there was the silence 
of expectation. Which was it on the other? . . . 
We have heard of ' One man, one vote.' Has it 
already come to this with the great Liberal party 
the party of free thought and free speech to ' One 
man, one voice ' ? . . . They knew that the inherent 
impossibilities of Mr. Gladstone's Irish policy are 
impossibilities still. There is still the nearness Ik 
to England, which makes political separation the ! 


only policy which thorough - going Irish Home 
Rulers think worth fighting for impracticable ; 
there are still in Ireland the irreconcilable dif- 
ferences of manner, race, and creed ; there are 
still in it, not one nation, but two nations." 

Although there was not now an article in 
Mr. Gladstone's programme with which Bosworth 
Smith was in sympathy, he still felt his personal 
fascination. "From our childhood upwards," Dr. 
Butler has said of Mr. Gladstone, "we have all 
talked of him, read of him, wondered at him, praised 
or blamed, loved or dreaded, supported or opposed ; 
but never has he been to us either nothing or but 
little." What Mr. Gladstone thought or said or 
did, still mattered intensely to those who, like 
Bosworth Smith, had given him their earliest 
and most fervent admiration. " The spectacle of 
a man of Mr. Gladstone's years and of his sur- 
passing ability struggling in an all but hopeless 
case, in the full belief that the policy, whatever 
means he may use towards it, is for the good of 
the State, is a spectacle in itself, which all can, in 
a measure, marvel at and admire." The reverse 
side of the picture "is a spectacle which makes 
his warmest admirers mourn, and over which 
angels themselves might weep." 

A year later, when the Home Rule Bill, by 

means, as he thought, of the gag and the guillotine, 

had passed the House of Commons, in a second 

letter, entitled " The Outcome of the Conspiracy 



of Silence," he compared Mr. Gladstone's attitude 
with that of the Arabian prophet who, "when the 
messages revealed to him from day to day by the 
Angel Gabriel were found to differ too glaringly 
from one another, was, it is said, compelled to 
invent the essentially opportunist doctrine that 
a subsequent revelation cancelled a previous one. (J 
Mr. Gladstone has improved upon his prototype. 
The prior revelation is not annulled ; it is only \ 
temporarily suspended, and may be called to life j- 
at any moment." 

He had not yet said his last word on Mr. 
Gladstone's fourth Administration, or rather what 
remained of it, after Mr. Gladstone's retirement 
and Lord Rosebery's accession to power. A 
Government whose raison d'etre had been Home 
Rule ought, so he wrote in the Times in May 
1894, to disappear with the retirement of the one 
man in it who was pledged to the measure. He 
feared that Lord Rosebery, for whose abilities and 
statesmanship he expressed warm admiration, might 
compromise his future career by the prolongation of 
the state of things which now seemed intolerable. 

With the exception of a single occasion, 
Bosworth Smith wrote nothing on educational 
subjects. This one exception (which, though 
it affected his own profession primarily, had 
an importance considerably beyond it) was the 
question of lay headmastership. Until recent 


years a lay schoolmaster was absolutely debarred 
from rising to the highest position in his pro- 
fession, with the result that, as clerical candidates 
alone were eligible for headmasterships, and as 
they numbered about one-eighth of the whole 
profession, the field of choice was greatly limited, 
and did not necessarily include the men best 
suited for the posts. Again, an unfair inducement 
to take Holy Orders was thus virtually held out 
to men who felt no special call to the service of 
the Church, and who yet wished to rise in their 

In a private letter, written in 1863, with refer- 
ence to the testimonials which candidature for 
such posts involved, Bosworth Smith says : 

" I think religious views ought not to be 
paraded in a testimonial. They ought rather to 
be inferred from what is said about one's general 
character and likelihood of doing as one ought, 
by persons who are known not to undervalue 
religious truth themselves. In common language, 
religious views mean religious war-cries and 
shibboleths, with none of which I am prepared 
to identify myself. A man's deepest feelings 
need not always be hung up to view in the most 
conspicuous place." 

The idea of obtaining a headmastership came 

to him more than once in the course of his 

career; and once, in 1876, in view of the definite 

possibility of the headmastership of Marlborough, 



when there would have been no chance for a 
layman, he had earnestly debated the question 
of ordination for himself. Such a step would 
have seemed natural enough to those who after- 
wards came to know him as a champion of the 
National Church, or to those who knew any- 
thing of the beauty of his character and the 
firmness of his belief. But he hesitated ; he dis- 
approved more, perhaps, at that time of the 
principle of subscription, even for the clergy, 
than he did in later life, and however well fitted 
he might be for the work of a clergyman, it 
would, nevertheless, have been impossible to deny 
that he had sought ordination not primarily for 
its own sake, but for other motives. His best 
advisers were all against the step. 

"I agree with every word says," wrote 

one whose affection for him and whose know- 
ledge of his character were unsurpassed, " as to 
your real fitness for the Church, and think he 
was very right in his judgment of your ' pastoral 
gifts,' and yet I have a dread that your diver- 
gency from the Church of England may be too 
great for you to bind yourself to all her doctrines 
and formularies, when you go thoroughly into 
the question. And, further, even if you found 
yourself honestly able to do so now, a mind 
constituted like yours so full of growth and 
development, and so open to new convictions 
may, by-and-by, find itself hampered by the 
ordination vows, and a painful conflict might 


arise between your conscience in the matter of 
personal belief and your conscience as a clergy- 
man of the Church of England, and master 
of Marl borough. Also, what you said in your 
former note about your dislike of the sacerdotal 
parts of your duty, was just what I had supposed 
in you, and seems a point to dwell upon seriously. 

It was such a pleasure to hear from that 

you were greatly beloved at Harrow." 

There can be no doubt that his decision not 
to be ordained and not to stand for this post 
was a wise one. His influence in later years, 
especially in his support of the National Church, 
was due largely to the fact that he was an in- 
dependent layman, and not a clergyman. Eccle- 
siastical control (though on principle he always 
upheld it) would, unless very judiciously exercised, 
have been liable to irritate him, while details of 
organisation and administration, such as must 
fall within a headmaster's duties, were not his 
strongest points, and were not especially congenial 
to him. 

In March 1895, there was a correspondence in 
the Times on this subject, in relation to the election 
of a headmaster for Rugby. It was pointed out 
that Dr. Arnold had insisted that "nearly every 
one of his assistants should be ordained, because 
he regarded a mastership as a cure of souls." 
" May we not now," Bosworth Smith wrote, "take 
rather the converse view, and say that nearly every 


assistant master regards his mastership as so funda- 
mentally a ' cure of souls ' he discharges, unchal- 
lenged and without rebuke, so many pastoral 
functions that he regards ordination as in no 
degree essential to his religious work. Parents, it 
is said, require ordination as the best guarantee 
for a religious education. But does ordination in 
itself give any guarantee which cannot be obtained 
in other ways by due inquiry ? If a man does not 
feel an inward impulse towards ordination, he will not 
be more, but less, fitted for religious work, should he 
have been induced to take Holy Orders, either by 
personal ambition or by the pressure of a head- 
master, even such a headmaster as Dr. Arnold." 

Bosworth Smith felt that the Bishop of London 
had moved the whole question forward greatly 
when he stated, though he would prefer a clergy- 
man, cceteris paribus, to a layman for Rugby, yet 
" if I found evidence to satisfy me that a layman 
was distinctly superior to all the other candidates, 
I should certainly vote for him." Mr. Charles 
Roundell, who had always advocated the principle 
that laymen should be eligible for headmasterships, 
quoted in the Times a letter from Mr. Henry Hart 
of Sedbergh. " Lay headmastership," wrote Mr. 
Hart, "seems to me urgently needed, now that so 
many good schoolmasters do not take orders. At 
Harrow we always felt that we should prefer a 
sermon from Bowen or Bosworth Smith himself to 
many that we heard." 

257 R 


He felt so strongly that to debar laymen, as 
such, from these posts was as unwise as it was 
unjust, that he rejoiced when his friend Henry 
Hart was among the first to break the spell, and 
to become Headmaster of Sedbergh School. In 
1903, he had the satisfaction, as Governor of 
Marlborough College, of being instrumental in the 
election of a layman to that headmastership, not 
by any means simply because Mr. F. Fletcher was 
a layman, but because he regarded him, on his 
own merits, as the best candidate, and because the 
election seemed to establish a principle for which 
he had always contended. 

From first to last, some thirty letters by Bosworth 
Smith on various subjects appeared in the Times, 
" that unique instrument for speaking et urbi et 
orbi" as he called it ; and it seems fitting here to 
acknowledge once more, as he so often did himself, 
the kindness of the editor of the Times, who thus 
enabled him to speak to thinking men and women 
all over the world. 

" What a power is gone from us," wrote the 
Bishop of Salisbury when he had passed away. 
It is impossible not to wonder whether, had his 
lines been cast in other places, that power could 
not have been more widely felt and still usefully 
employed. And yet, if he himself did not regret 
the way in which his life was spent, why should 
others regret it for him ? Neither the Church, the 
Bar, nor the University could have offered him an 


entirely congenial career, though he might well 
have gained distinction there. For actual adminis- 
trative work he had no special aptitude, although 
few could grasp a subject both in its broad lines 
and in its details better than he. Party politics 
were never to his liking, and his deliberate, highly 
finished manner of speech would have been out of 
place in the modern House of Commons. More 
leisure in which to enjoy life, more leisure for 
literary work, this one could have wished for him, 
but perhaps in no other profession could he have 
preserved more completely his freedom of thought 
and speech, and in no other could his personal 
influence have reached so directly so large a 
number of lives. 

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Randall 
Davidson, writing of " him who was to so many of 
us a stimulating and inspiring friend," says : 

" It must now be some forty-five years since I 
began to learn all sorts of helpful things from him 
at Harrow, and from those days onwards I have 
scarcely ever met him and happily the occasions 
were always presenting themselves without going 
away the better for something that he said. His 
life has been one of genuinely high service to a 
very wide circle. Some of us owe to him our first 
thoughts about the greatness of India and about 
the story of Islam, and about Uganda, and many 
other abiding things." 

From his daughter, no critical estimate of his 
place in literature or of his work in life will be ex- 


pected, but this at least she may say confidently, 
that in public life he never spoke or wrote except 
with earnest conviction of the truth of what he said, 
and of the need for saying it, and that he used his 
great gifts for no small or selfish or party ends. 
He could see the larger issues, the moral principles 
involved in each question that moved him to speech, 
and, over and over again, he was able to say the 
words which made others see things as he did. 
His books owe their interest and their charm to 
the same sincerity of purpose, clearness of vision, 
and human sympathy, which made his influence 
over all who came within its sphere so strong, so 
abiding, and so beautiful. Of him it could be said 
with truth that the more one knew him the more 
one loved him, the more one realised the deep 
tenderness, the simplicity, and the richness of his 


W. Pouncy, Dorchester 




IN August 1901, my father took up his abode 
permanently at Bingham's Melcombe in Dorset- 
shire, an old manor-house eleven miles from 
Dorchester on one side, and ten from Blandford 
on the other. The all too short seven years that 
followed were perhaps the happiest and not the 
least characteristic of his happy life. Now that 
the pressure of work, which had often almost over- 
whelmed him at Harrow, was removed, he could 
at last divide his time as he himself wished ; he 
could devote long hours to books, to talk, to weed- 
ing, to wandering about his well-loved garden, 
where each point of view brought him its own 
special pleasure. It is as he was at Melcombe, 
genial, kindly, never unoccupied, always contented, 
in surroundings that were in harmony with him as 
he with them, that those who loved him like best to 
recall him. 

His power of enjoyment and his freshness of 
mind were unimpaired, and his keen interest in life 
in all its aspects was in no way dulled. Time had 


only mellowed his whole character and his way of 
looking at things. The impetuosity of early days, 
which had sometimes led him into hasty contro- 
versy or extreme views, had disappeared. Life 
had taught him a wide tolerance, and his sympathy 
and charity overflowed alike on the just and the 
unjust. It seemed to pain him physically if a hasty 
or uncharitable judgment were uttered in his pre- 
sence. He himself looked for kindness and friendli- 
ness everywhere, and he found them, and his whole 
nature expanded in the atmosphere of peace and 
leisure which seemed to belong to his beautiful 

In his "Bird Life" Bosworth Smith has drawn 
a picture of Bingham's Melcombe to which no word 
need be added ; he has described its massive gate- 
house, its inner courtyard, where in summer-time 
the faint pink of massed hydrangeas blends deli- 
cately with the mellow Ham Hill stone of its carved 
and gabled oriel, its bowling-green, its walled ladies' 
garden, venerable yew hedge, long green walks, fish- 
ponds and shrubberies, its peaceful and lonely sur- 
roundings. " I love it all," he said to his eldest 
daughter, in the last week that he was to spend 
there, " more every time I come back to it, even 
after I have been away from it for an hour." 

The rock garden, which he made himself on a 

sunny slope with the aid of broken pieces of old 

carved stone, was perhaps his chief pleasure of all. 

Every year, or twice a year, he would surreptitiously 



deprive the kitchen garden on either side of yet 
another strip of ground, which would be joined on 
to the former rock garden so ingeniously, that his 
wife would fail to detect the change, until it was 
too late to correct the boundary. A new plant for 
his rock garden was almost as great a pleasure as a 
new curiosity for his collection. 

The house dates, in its earliest part, back to the 
time of King Stephen, in the latest addition to that 
of Queen Anne ; the beautiful oriel was built in the 
time of Queen Mary. Within, the great "Armada 
Table," some fine oak furniture, and several pictures 
preserve the continuity of the eight hundred years 
of the Binghams' occupation. Bosworth Smith's 
own possessions, inherited or collected by himself: 
old furniture, old china, pictures, and above all, his 
curiosities West African canoes and arrows, Der- 
vish spears, devil-dancers' masks, Albanian guns, 
Buddhas, knives from Central Asia, carvings from 
India and Armenia, Thibetan banners, Mexican 
and Cyprus pottery, Basutoland ornaments, his 
unique " moons " from Suffolk, strange gods and 
bones and figures and weapons found an admir- 
able setting in the hall and panelled rooms of 
Bingham's Melcombe. And what a variety of 
donors had contributed to this great collection : 
Colonial Bishops and Governors, former pupils, 
native Africans, men who had travelled for sport 
or for duty in some of the wildest places of the 
earth, his own children, who were scattered far 


over the world ! His enjoyment of his curiosities 
never waned : one of the pleasures of his last 
summer was the making out of a catalogue of his 
collection, aided by his son Reginald ; and in his 
last week at Melcombe, the expression of a face 
on a Dervish wand from Damascus, which had just 
been brought to him, caused him amusement, even 
in all his pain and anxiety. 

A few weeks only had passed since they had 
/ settled at Bingham's Melcombe, when a great sorrow 
w\ fell on Bosworth Smith and his family. The second 
son, Alan Wyldbore, a lieutenant in the Royal 
Navy, a typical sailor, a keen lover of sport, 1 
cheery, open-handed, warm-hearted, met a sailor's 
death as a sailor should meet it. He had been 
commissioned to bring a new turbine destroyer, 
the Cobra, round from Newcastle to Portsmouth. 
It was the first time such a task had been en- 
trusted to him, and he was proud of the honour. 
They put to sea on September 17, in a gale 
which became a storm, and in the early morn- 
ing of the 1 8th the ill-fated destroyer owing to 

1 His father greatly appreciated this story of Alan. Once, when 
he was out shooting in the desert near Suakim, he took off his boots 
in order to get near a dig-dig (a kind of antelope), and after securing 
the animal he found his boots had vanished, and had to limp back as 
best he might to the ship, where the ship's surgeon extracted no less 
than 343 thorns from his feet and legs. Three Arabs claimed rewards 
for three boots which they had found. As a little boy of seven, Alan 
greatly amused his father by announcing that he thought " scenery 
was made for girls " ; and when as a midshipman he visited the Pan- 
theon at Rome, his only comment in his letter was, " Dogs are not 



some structural defect, as the court-martial sub- 
sequently found broke her back in the waves, 
sixty-two of the seventy-seven men on board perish- 
ing with her. " Lieutenant Bos worth Smith died at 
his post, like the gallant officer and gentleman that 
he was. It is stated by one of the survivors that, 
having given the last few instructions that were 
necessary, the unfortunate lieutenant stood on the 
bridge with folded arms and watched with calmness 
and fortitude the departure of the only link between 
himself and the world from which he was being cut 
off for ever." 1 

Writing to his lifelong friend, Mr. Charles 
Moule, Fellow and Librarian of Corpus Christi 
College, Cambridge, Bosworth Smith says, on 
October 2 : 

"It is the first break in our family, and his poor 
mother is terribly crushed by it, but even now she 
is able to feel a glow of pride sometimes at the way 
the poor boy met his end. We cannot call him ill- 
fated, for how could he or any one have died better ? 
We had hoped at our time of life that we might pass 
away without the agony of losing a child but it 
was not to be. His example, however, will do 
good, and stimulate and elevate long after we have 

The brass tablets to Alan's memory in the little 
church at Melcombe and in Salisbury Cathedral, 
inscribed with his father's words, may well, for those 

1 The Sketch, October 2, 1901. 


whose eyes light on them, call up a picture of a 
brave death, where simple duty became unconscious 
heroism. The text, "I will fear no evil," which 
follows the brief inscription, was found underlined 
years before by his childish hand in his old Bible, 
and his parents added a promise of consolation : 
" Mine own will I bring again from the depths of 
the sea." 

Another loss came in April 1902, in the sud- 
den death of Sir Harry Langhorne Thompson, 
K.C.M.G., who had married Bosworth Smith's 
eldest daughter. Sir Harry was then Administrator 
of St. Lucia, in the West Indies. 

"He was a man of remarkable simplicity of 
mind and character," Bosworth Smith said of him ; 
"straightforward and unselfish, genial and conside- 
rate, even-tempered and sympathetic. In his reports 
and despatches, which were models of clearness and 
insight, he did full justice to every one but to him- 
self. His highest ambition was to do the work 
he had in hand, and right well he did it. While 
Administrator of St. Vincent, in a most depressing 
period of West Indian history, he had to deal with 
the widespread devastation and misery caused by 
the terrible hurricane of 1898. He won the hearts 
of all, and his energy, his endurance, his ability, his 
success, received the unstinting praise of his chief, 
Sir Alfred Moloney. He was loved by the people 
of the dependencies which he helped to govern, in 
Cyprus as in the West Indies, as very few English- 
men are loved" 



These great sorrows, which Bosworth Smith felt 
almost as much for what they meant to others as 
for what they meant to himself, darkened the 
beginning of the Melcombe life. Before this, when 
trouble had come and his grief at the death of his 
parents and those dear to him had been intense 
there had always been the solace of work that must 
be done a solace, it is true, which numbs rather 
than consoles. His was a disposition, however, 
which turned naturally to sources of consolation, 
and though he was at all times liable to moods of 
depression, it was generally possible for those who 
knew him to help him, and he would quickly re- 
spond to their efforts to cheer and interest him. To 
those who realised this side of his character, he 
seemed one of those "happy souls" spoken of in 
the old hymn, which, with its allusion to the "birds 
that sing and fly" in Paradise, always specially 
appealed to him. 

"I do not like the idea of all work being 
over," he wrote to Mr. Charles Moule, just 
before he actually left Harrow, " even though I 
feel I have done the work of an ordinary life- 

But work of different kinds came naturally to 
him at Bingham's Melcombe also. He took part, 
as far as his growing deafness would allow, in 
the public life of the county. He became a Vice- 
president of the Dorset Field Club, and often 
read papers before the Society, and greatly enjoyed 


their expeditions. He was elected a member of the 
Salisbury Diocesan Synod, and later, of the House 
of Laymen at Westminster. He was frequently 
asked to speak on various occasions, and no matter 
how small the gathering might be he would spare 
no oains, whether he were well or ill, in the pre- 
paration of a little address, which often had much 
of the charm and distinction of his more elaborate 
writings. " Any cause," said the editor of the Dorset 
County Chronicle, who always took a patriotic 
pride in his career as a distinguished son of 
Dorset, " which succeeded in obtaining his support 
by word or pen was fortunate. He touched nothing 
that he did not adorn." Whether it was a political 
speech and it was often the personal character 
of the candidate whom he was supporting that 
seemed to him as important as his opinions or 
a presentation to the Bishop, or an address to a 
Labourers' Improvement Society, or even an attack 
on the Education Bill, there was always the same 
happy humour, the same love of the country, and 
especially of the county of Dorset, which would 
appeal strongly to his hearers. He had the gift 
of putting things in what seemed to his audience 
exactly the right words, and they would recognise 
their own sentiments and opinions expressed with 
a literary finish, which gave them a pleasant feeling 
of surprise. 

Bosworth Smith understood and sympathised 
with every phase of country life ; he delighted in 


a talk with a labourer or farmer, whom he might 
meet in the fields and lanes about Melcombe ; 
people in Dorset are seldom in a hurry, and these 
talks would sometimes be of surprising length. 
One who had listened to some of these casual 
conversations, said that he marvelled at the way 
in which, in a few minutes' sympathetic questioning, 
he seemed to bring out of the man all the special 
knowledge and original characteristics that were 
in him. Another recalls his kindly interest in a 
strange old Dorset wanderer, who for years had 
had a grievance against his kind, and for years 
had never slept under a roof. Years before at 
Harrow, it had often been his custom on Bank 
Holidays to invite all passers-by into his garden, 
to rest or wander about as they liked a privilege 
which his unknown guests never abused while he 
would talk to them delightfully about his flowers 
and birds. Personal sympathy and human interest 
of this kind have a very real value of their own. 

He fully realised what the life of a country 
doctor must be, as he showed by a little picture 
which he drew of its hardships, difficulties, and 
possibilities, on the occasion of a presentation to the 
doctor of his own widespread and lonely district ; 
and to people who might say hard things of the 
country clergy, he would say : " Think what it must 
mean to be the only man of education, perhaps, 
in a parish, and to preach, Sunday after Sunday, 
to the same people without the help of any outside 


' stimulus, and always to be troubled by want of 

? means." 

When he first came to settle at Melcombe, my 
father had looked forward with great pleasure 
to the near neighbourhood of Mr. John Mansel- 
Pleydell, " the beau iddal of a country gentleman, 
a man of profound scientific attainments, but simple 
as a child, with a keen sense of humour, with 
benevolence written on every line of his coun- 
tenance, and with a charm of presence and manner 
which won all hearts." 

Mr. Mansel-Pleydell's long letters to him, be- 
ginning always, " My very dear Bos worth," 
deal chiefly, perhaps, with Church matters, in 
which he was a doughty champion of the Evan- 
gelical party. They were in completer sympathy 
still where natural history and Dorset lore were 
concerned. When Bosworth Smith first came back 
to Dorset he could easily ride, or even walk, 
accompanied by his younger daughters, the eight 
or nine miles of down and wood which separated 
Melcombe from Whatcombe and the Down House, 
the homes of his two great friends, Mr. Mansel- 
Pleydell and Sir William Smith-Marriott, and visits 
to and from them were among the chief joys of 
his Melcombe life. Mr. Mansel-Pleydell's death 
in 1902 left a blank for him which never could 
be filled. His picture, with those of a few men 
whom he especially loved and honoured Bishop 
Cotton, Dean Bradley, Dr. Martineau, Sir Henry 


Yule, and his own father hung always above his 
study table. 

Another country gentleman of the same high- 
minded, unself-seeking nature, was Mr. Kindersley- 
Porcher, no less than six of whose sons had been in 
Bosworth Smith's house at Harrow. Almost the 
last published words that he was to write sketched 
Mr. Kindersley-Porcher's life of tireless energy on 
behalf of his tenants and his county, and com- 
memorated in him the things which he himself 
prized most in life simplicity of character and 
whole-hearted service of God and man. 

But in spite of the pleasure of such friendships 
and of a return to his beloved Dorset, there was at 
first the inevitable feeling that life would be less 
interesting and less full than it had been in the past. 
" You will have plenty of time to write now," 
people used often to say to him, when he first came 
to Melcombe. " But I have nothing to say," he 
would answer; "I am quite played out." "Why 
don't you write something about birds," it was sug- 
gested to him ; " it would be no trouble to you it 
would only mean writing down what you know 
already, and what you are always thinking about, 
as you sit on the bowling-green or walk by the fish- 
ponds you would enjoy doing it." And it was in 
this way that he came to write a series of charming 
essays on the birds which he knew best his " Bird 
Life and Bird Lore" the book which, with its 
close and loving observation of nature, its wealth of 


stories and quotation, its passages of delightful 
word painting, its freshness, and, above all, its 
unconscious revelation of himself, won him more 
friends than anything else he had ever written. 

Much of the book is autobiographical. "The 
Thatched Rectory and its Birds" reveals, inci- 
dentally, what his old home was and always meant 
to him ; the chapters on bird life at Melcombe show 
glimpses of his own daily life there, not less than 
that of the owls, the wagtails, and the kingfishers. 
All that he recounts is real and interesting and 
vivid, just because it is the result of his own watch- 
ings and waitings, which gave him his insight into 
the lives of birds an insight which, surely, was 
scarcely less than an instinct. 

Something of the charm of the book is due to the 
fact that he often appeals directly to the reader in 
the second person, so that there is throughout the 
feeling of a conversation with a delightful com- 
panion. " You must be prepared," he says, for 
example, " when you put your arm into what you 
fancy to be an owl's hole, sometimes for a disap- 
pointment, sometimes for a smart rebuff." " Look 
out of the window upon the bowling-green, at the 
very first dawn of day, and listen to 'the earliest 
pipe of half-awaken'd birds ' in the shrubs close by. 
You may catch sight, if you are lucky, of the hedge- 
hog scuttling off when, like the ghost in ' Hamlet,' 
he scents the ' morning air,' from the soft, sweet 
grass, which he has been searching all night for 


insects, towards the friendly shelter of the old yew 

Here is a sample of the pictures, which the passer- 
by though he may perhaps lack the inclination to 
rise at dawn, or to venture his hand into the hole of 
an owl may yet see for himself in many a land- 
scape : 

" See how the swallow sips the nectar as he flies; .. 
and, taking his morning bath, will all but dip him- N 
self beneath it, ruffling the surface into little ever- 
expanding circles, till at last not, I think, because 
he is tired, he does not seem to know what fatigue 
is he will perch on the dead branch of some over- 
hanging tree, and there, for the space of several 
minutes together, he will first shake off the dew- 
drops, and then, puffing out his little frame, will 
delicately preen his bright plumage, lifting first one 
wing and then another high above his body, and 
burying, for a moment or two, his chestnut head in 
the cosiest corner beneath it ; and then, after pour- 
ing forth the ecstasy of his heart in twittering 
song one of the most jubilant sounds in nature 
will launch off again into his native air." 

An account of Bosworth Smith's life is not the 
place for anything like a review of his books, even 
though his "Bird Life" is, in the truest sense, a record 
of what may be called the golden thread that ran 
through all his days his love of nature ; but one or 
two other passages must be quoted to show some- 
thing of the quality both of his writing and of his 
observation. Here is a little vignette, which recalls 
273 S 


a Bewick tail-piece or a figure from a novel by his 
friend Thomas Hardy : 

"The fame of 'the thatcher,' generally an here- 
ditary occupation handed down, in long and jealous 
succession, from father to son, spreads, if only he 
be an adept in his art, far beyond his own to all the 
surrounding villages. A cluster of ricks, his handi- 
work, marvels of symmetry and neatness, and often 
set off with fantastically twisted ornaments of straw 
at the top, are the admiration of every passer-by. 
... He is often skilled in folk-lore. He knows 
the inner character of each house and household 
better, perhaps, than any one else ; for he has ad- 
vantages of his own ; he can look down upon the 
inhabitants, observing but unobserved, from his 
lofty perch, and can hardly help catching glimpses 
of them through the windows, as he ascends or 
descends his inseparable companion, the ladder." 

The delicate accuracy of perception and ex- 
pression in his account of flight shooting recalls 
TurgeniefFs wonderful " Sketches of a Sports- 
man " : 

" The moor-hen, the coot, and the water-rail 
creep forth from their lurking-places in the withy 
bed, and, with a cheery note of confidence, call 
to their fellows to follow their example. The 
dabchick dives and disports herself, in careless 
security, on the moonlit water at your very feet. 
The water-rat scuttles along in the stiff herbage, 
or, sitting up on his hind legs, cleans his face at 


his leisure. The wild cries of the snipe and the 
heron, the peewit and the curlew, the golden 
plover and the sandpiper birds heard but not 
seen startle and charm the silence. It is not 
for them that you are watching and waiting. A 
little later, and you catch in the distance the 
loud whirring of unnumbered wings ; you hear 
the shrill cry of the leading duck or widgeon, 
anxious, in the gloom, to keep his followers to- 
gether and I would remark that all the birds 
that fly by night have, with this end in view, a 
loud, shrill cry you just catch sight of them, and 
they are gone ; gone, as they fly, three gunshots 
aloft, towards some more favoured feeding-ground 
far up the river." 

Or take the description of one of the heredi- 
tary roosting - places of the starling " one of 
the most interesting sights that birds can give 
us within the limits of the British Isles " : 

" It is a hazel plantation in the middle of 
open upland fields. Go there an hour before 
sunset, and the place is as sombre and silent as 
the grave ; but first one and then another com- 
pany come dropping in from all points of the 
compass, increasing in size and frequency as the 
minutes pass on, some of them of ' numbers 
numberless,' and very high in air, as though 
coming from a great distance, and gathering 
others to them, like a rolling snowball, as they 
make their way onward. They first pitch in the 
grass fields around, ' making the green one ' 
black. When they rise in a body, it is 'as with 


the sound of thunder heard remote.' As they 
pass over your head they literally darken the air, 
and they go through a series of most intricate 
evolutions without so much as one sound from 
their throats. But, at a signal, given we know 
not how, they swoop down in a moment into 
their roosting-bushes ; and then, for a quarter of 
an hour or more, each of the myriad throats 
exerts itself to its utmost in one continuous 
' charm ' or twitter their vesper hymn, which 
can be heard at the distance of half a mile, and 
which I can only compare to the sound of multi- 
tudinous waterfalls. At another signal there is 
a sudden and absolute hush, and then perfect 
silence ensues till an hour before sunrise next 
morning, when matins are sung with the same 
overpowering force, and for the same duration. 
Then they rise in one vast body, circle round a 
little, and finally move off, each in his proper 
flock, to their happy and widely scattered 

Bosworth Smith has himself clearly defined the 
scope of his book : 

" I pretend to no scientific knowledge of the 
subject, but the observations and the studies 
even if they should be somewhat ' random and 
desultory' of any one who has loved birds with 
a passionate love all his life may have some 
little value of their own. They may rouse a 
general interest in the subject which purely 
scientific details may fail to do. They may add 
to the enjoyment of country life, and they may 


tend towards the preservation of birds which, 
even if they are guilty of an occasional depre- 
dation on game or on the flock, surely do much 
more than atone for it by the oddities of their 
habits, by the beauty of their movements, and 
by their sonorous cries." 

The book "aims at penetrating, as far as may 
be," he says again, " behind the graceful shapes, the 
lissom movements, the beautiful mask of feathers, 
to the eager little life, vivid, attractive, mys- 
terious, almost, but not, I think, quite impene- 
trable, which underlies them all. By so doing 
it aims at creating an interest in birds, which 
. . . will give a kind of sixth sense to its 
possessor, lending a fresh charm to every walk, 
to every copse, to every hedgerow, peopling 
them with ever appearing, ever disappearing, 
friends friends hitherto unnoticed and unknown 
and enabling the eye to see what it has never 
properly seen, the ear to hear what it has never 
fully heard, and the imagination to picture to 
itself what it has never consciously imagined 

Here and there he dwells on what he calls the 
" human background " to his birds, and his illustra- 
tions from literature and amusing stories from real 
life make the book a treasure-house of "things old 
and new." The choice of a title was a matter of 
difficulty ; there was so much about human beings, 
so much about the country in general, that his 
youngest daughter, Joan, suggested " Birds and 

Digressions from Them" as a more appropriate 
title than the one he finally chose. 

The papers appeared first in a series of articles 
in the Nineteenth Century, spread over the time 
between November 1902 and February 1904 ; each 
paper as it appeared brought him a number of 
cordially appreciative letters, not the least enthusi- 
astic of which were from the editor of the Nineteenth 
Century, Sir James Knowles, who wrote, in Decem- 
ber 1902 : 

" I shall be charmed to have some more articles 
of the same kind as the ' Owls,' whenever you will 
send them to me, and feel sure that you will make 
' Ravens ' equally fascinating. Everybody is de- 
lighted with the ' Owls,' including, I feel sure, 
themselves, although they may be too blind to 
recognise their benefactor. Pray keep the series 
for the Nineteenth alone, and do not be bribed 
away elsewhere ! " 

And again later, Sir James wrote : " I trust the 
series will go on, and shall be excited to know who 
will be the next candidate for your fascinating 
aviary, for it will be very fascinating and refreshing." 

Sir Archibald Geikie, with whom for many years 
past a warm friendship had existed, wrote : 

11 Will you let me say with what delight I have 
read your article on owls ? The closeness of obser- 
vation and wide range of knowledge of the subject 
would alone arrest attention ; but you have touched 


it all off with such literary deftness, that I am sure 
every reader must wish that you may be induced to 
continue such papers." 

Some of his correspondents no small proportion 
of whom were personally unknown to him such as 
Dr. Jacob Cooper, for instance, of New Brunswick, 
U.S.A., sent him stories and observations of their 
own, many of which enriched his essays, when, in 
1905, they were republished as a book by Mr. John 

To a great extent it would seem that his object 
was attained ; the first edition of his book sold 
out at once, the reviews were cordial, and if, as 
Sir Archibald Geikie says, "the best reward a 
writer can have is to find that he can give pleasure 
to other people," Bosworth Smith received that 
reward in full, for the many letters that came to 
him spoke of " the unfeigned pleasure," " the 
intense enjoyment," the book had given them, and 
the words "charming," "delightful," and "fasci- 
nating " seem to come naturally to the pens of all 
his correspondents when they write of it. Each 
chapter in turn was singled out by one or another 
as the best in the book. 

"That he who could write 'The Wild Duck' 
will write no more," wrote one of his nearest friends, 
4 'is doubtless like the farewell performances of 
Mario and Grisi, which, if I don't mis-remember, 
amounted to some five hundred ; and tho' I fear 
yours will hardly amount to as many as that, I 


hope their number will be figuratively legion. Re- 
member the fate of the poor gentleman who laid 
up his talents in a napkin and got drowned or 
burnt alive or died of thirst, which, according to 
Captain Marryat, is the worst death of all, and 
write off another as soon as mebbe." 

Sir Archibald Geikie told him his volume should 
"stand on the same shelf, shoulder to shoulder, 
with old Gilbert White. As works of art, apart 
altogether from their enthusiasm and knowledge of 
bird life, your pages stand on a far higher level than 
his. Could you not some day take up a definite bit 
of Dorset your own home, for instance and do for 
it, in your own way, what White did for Selborne ? 
If ever you do that, let me come and write a letter 
or two on the geology, which is scarcely less 
interesting than the birds." 

" I don't know much about birds," wrote his 
brother-in-law, R. W. Wickham, "but I do about 
Bos, and as the book is so very much the man as 
well as the bird, it is very fascinating. His soul is 
as simple as that of his feathered friends." " The 
birds have been heroes more completely after your 
own heart even than Mohammed or Hannibal or 
Lord Lawrence," wrote his sister Eva ; and he was 
especially touched by a few words from the great- 
great-niece of Gilbert White. 

He had by no means counted on winning 
the approval of scientific naturalists, but he 
had nevertheless the pleasure of appreciation, 


among others, from Professor Alfred Newton, 
Mr. W. H. Hudson (for whose works, especi- 
ally the "Naturalist in La Plata" and "British 
Birds," he had the warmest admiration), his own 
former pupil, Mr. G. E. H. Barrett- Hamilton, and 
the late Professor Leverkiihn, a well-known con- 
tinental authority on birds, who was at that time 
secretary and librarian to H.R.H. the Prince of 

Bosworth Smith repeated his paper on "Owls" 
as a lecture at many of the public schools, and 
wherever the lectures or the articles are known, 
there has been the same appreciation of them, 
though the hope expressed by more than one 
reviewer, that the book would "find a place in 
every bird-lover's library," has, so far, by no means 
been realised. 1 

" I am persuaded from long personal experience," 
he writes in " Bird Life," " that an enthusiastic love 
of nature and a genuine love of sport may often go 
hand in hand. A naturalist need not necessarily 
be a sportsman, but a man cannot be a true sports- 
man who is not also a true naturalist, for the simple 
reason that a true sportsman is never a butcher 
he hates killing merely as killing. He cares far 
more for the freshness of the air, for the fragrance 

1 Birds were for him, as he says himself, " the solace, the recrea- 
tion, the passion of a lifetime," and there is a special fitness in the 
fact that the last words of his that will see the light should be a 
series of articles on birds, which he had written for " The British 
Book of Birds" edited by F. B. Kirkman, which will be published 
(by Messrs. Jack) about the same time as these pages. 


of the heather, for the myriad beauties of the moor, 
the forest, or the stubble field ; for the ' working ' 
and evident enjoyment of his dogs ; for the engross- 
ing interest, and therefore the complete rest from 
work, which it gives to a busy man ; for the health, 
the strength, the skill, the energy, the endurance 
called for by his favourite pursuit, and increased by 
it in turn, than for the mere brute weight of his bag. 
In other words, with him the chase is worth more 
than the game, the process itself and its accompani- 
ments than the results." 

To this declaration of faith, his further views on 
sport are a natural corollary ; he detested the prin- 
ciple of big battues, as much as he disliked the idea 
of shooting syndicates, who value the land only 
according to the number of the head of game ; and 
he abhorred the wholesale destruction of birds of 
prey, simply with a view of increasing " the number 
of animals slaughtered at the annual battue." He 
maintained that the kestrel, the buzzard, and the 
whole tribe of owls rarely touched a bird, and 

. denounced, in the strongest terms he could com- 
mand, the pole-trap " with all its unspeakable 
tortures," and an equally infernal invention which 
at the time was much advertised, not only in his 
book but in private letters, at the Bird Protection 

" Society, and in the Times. 

That his book had a direct influence of a prac- 
tical kind was shown by letters which he received 
from land-owners in several parts of the country, 
telling him and how it rejoiced his heart ! that 


they had given orders to their keepers to spare owls 
and ravens and magpies, and other birds of prey, 
as far as possible or altogether, and from others, 
here and there, telling him of the " sanctuaries " 
for wild life on their estates. It was a personal and 
intense relief to him when, thanks to the exertions 
of the Buxton family and others of the same 
opinions, himself included, the "accursed" pole- 
trap was made illegal. 

Bosworth Smith's own love of sport remained 
keen as ever, as long as, and even longer than, his 
physical strength held out. He enjoyed a day's 
hunting although his family never felt sure that 
he would not be thinking more of the scenery at a 
critical moment than of his horse and he would face 
any fatigue for the pleasure of a day's duck-shooting 
on the ground of his friend, Mr. Robert Hayne, or 
elsewhere in Dorset. He always looked on duck- 
shooting as the finest form of English shooting 
partly, no doubt, because it took him into the places 
he loved best of all, the water meadows that fringe 
and intersect the heath country. His annual visit 
to the kindest of kind friends, Mr. Phelps and his 
son at Overton, for partridge-shooting, was a great 
enjoyment to him. His interest in his sons' sport, 
whether in the Punjaub or in Basutoland where 
his fifth son, Mervyn, is known as a fearless and 
untireable hunter was as unfailing as his interest 
in the details of their very different careers. But 
he would, in the same way, travel any distance to 


see a nest or a bird that might be unfamiliar to 
him, not only to spots in Dorset, like Melcombe 
Park the least disturbed haunt for wild life in the 
neighbourhood or to his favourite clumps, where 
the ravens used to build, but on one occasion he 
went to Darnaway in the North of Scotland, 
whither Lord Moray specially asked him to come 
in order to see a peregrine falcon's nest, and to 
Doune in Perthshire, where Lord Moray's keeper 
was able to show him four nests that were new to 
him the capercailzie, the yellow wagtail, the water 
ouzel or dipper, and the golden plover. In 1907, 
he went with his wife to stay at Chillingham Castle, 
in Northumberland, with Sir Andrew and Lady 
Noble, whose son George was one of the keenest 
naturalists Bosworth Smith had had in his house at 
Harrow, in order to see the sea birds nesting in 
the Fame Islands, an experience which fulfilled his 
highest expectations. 

"In the first ten minutes after we had landed 
on the principal island," writes his wife, " we had 
seen eighteen different birds on their nests. Every- 
where we trod into puffin holes which literally per- 
forated the ground. We gazed at an inaccessible 
crag, which makes a peninsula off the island, and 
which was so crammed with gulls on their eggs, 
that when a mother bird wished to return after 
going off to feed, it seemed impossible for her to 
make room for herself at all again, and how she 
knew which were her own eggs is a mystery. We 
saw the eider-duck, the oyster-catcher, and the lesser 


tern on their nests that day. Lindisfarne interested 
him just as much in another way." 

During the years at Melcombe, there is no doubt 
that my father enjoyed general society more than 
he had ever done before. He would drive any 
distance for the pleasure of seeing an old house, a 
beautiful garden, or a charming person, and it was 
a delight to him to make his house, which was 
equally near, or rather equally remote, from every 
one, the meeting-place for friends and relations, 
who inhabited the most distant corners of the 
country. He never wearied of showing his house 
and garden to visitors, many of whom were often 
complete strangers, who had been attracted to the 
place through the guide-books or through his own 
writings. People who like old houses generally 
know something about them, and if the visitors 
were appreciative, as indeed they always were, 
their host seemed to find fresh pleasure in 
his own possessions every time that he showed 

The list of chance visitors who came to this 
remote manor-house is a surprisingly long one, 
and it contains not a few notable names. Twenty 
or thirty at tea in the courtyard most of them 
unexpected or even unknown guests was no 
unusual thing for days together during the summer. 
If any one repined at the number of people who 
had "never seen Bingham's Melcombe," and who 


therefore would like to see it, it was never the 
master of the house. There were few, indeed, who 
did not go away charmed and refreshed by his 
courtesy and kindness. To the end he retained 
the gift of making new friends, and, as Mr. James 
Bryce has said, " no truer friend ever lived." The 
nature of his work, its disinterestedness, its freedom 
from all party considerations, not less than the 
nature of his profession, precluded all possibility 
of worldly distinction for himself; but he used his 
not inconsiderable influence over and over again 
on behalf of others. Where a few words from him 
or some personal trouble could avail for instance, 
a preface to a book of verses by a child-poetess, or 
an election at the Athenaeum he would be un- 
sparing of his efforts. 

Bingham's Melcombe was a home to which his 
children loved to return from the distant corners 
of the earth to which their fate had led them. 
Their mother's unfailing letters had kept them in 
constant touch with home ; his own, if they were 
not so frequent, were none the less delightful. 
His children could always treat him as a friend, 
and they could count on his entering into every 
detail of their lives with interest. To discuss a 
matter with him was to tell him everything, know- 
ing that no complication was too complicated for 
him, that he would understand and remember 
everything, that his sympathy would abound, to 
comfort, to counsel, or scarcely less precious to 


dispel a difficulty or disagreement, by a sudden 
appreciation of the humorous side of it. He was 
quite unmusical himself, but he liked to hear every- 
thing about his daughter Frida's musical career, 
and he was equally interested in his younger 
daughters' drawings, although his own taste in art 
was rather a matter of association than of critical 
knowledge. In later years, when he could not 
hear general conversation, he liked to be told, by 
the child who sat next him, any and everything that 
was said ; and if the remarks retailed were in any 
degree incisive or amusing, his face would light up 
with intense enjoyment, and he would take up the 
points with a quickness and intuition that made 
one realise yet more fully the trial deafness was 
to him. 

It was a delight to him to feel that some repre- 
sentatives, at least, of the friendships of each period 
of his life came to see him at Melcombe friends of 
the old Stafford, Milton Abbas, Marlborough, and 
Oxford days, no less than those of later years. 
Visits to and from Lord Peel were a special pleasure 
to him, and it would be difficult to name any one 
whose conversation he enjoyed more. He and his 
wife stayed with Lord and Lady Wimborne, where 
on one interesting occasion they met Lord Hugh 
Cecil and Dean Wace a party which represented 
opposite poles of Church opinion, no one of which 
was perhaps very near his own ; with Lord Eustace 
Cecil at Lytchett, whose varied interests and kind- 


ness made such visits a real refreshment ; with Mr. 
and Mrs. Wilton Allhusen in Skye, where he greatly 
enjoyed the grouse-shooting, the scenery, the sight 
of ravens, and the pleasure of being with congenial 
hosts ; and at Lexden, with Sir Mountstuart Grant- 
Duff, in whose company one was immediately 
brought into touch with books and men and women 
of the past, in a way which seems to have vanished 
with him. 

Bosworth Smith's interest in his Dorset neigh- 
bours, rich and poor, and his liking for them, were 
warm and genuine, and their appreciation of him 
was evident. " Nothing was too small for his great 
mind," was said of him by one who enjoyed his talk 
and interest about people and current events, as well 
as about more serious subjects. " Talking to him 
was like going into a better country he was like no 
one else," another friend wrote ; and a third, one of 
the younger generations, paid him a compliment 
after his own heart when he said, " You would never 
think that Mr. Bosworth Smith was a very clever 
man from the way he talks to all of us ; he never 
seems busy, and yet he is always working and 
writing, and one would never guess it." To young 
people he was specially kind and gentle ; only the 
cynical, the supercilious, the selfish, or the entirely 
frivolous found no place in his heart. 

The letters which came from far and near after 
he had passed away were a revelation, even to 
those nearest to him, of the affection he had called 


forth. Almost every letter added a personal touch, 
a special trait or memory, from which, perhaps, a 
better picture of what he was could be drawn than 
by any more studied or elaborate means. 

" I do not think," writes Mr. Alexander Foote, 
who was for a time a near neighbour, whose talk 
had been one of the pleasures of Bos worth Smith's 
Melcombe life, and whose graphic, Whistler-like 
sketch was written on the impulse of the moment, 
when the news of his death reached him, "that I 
ever met any one who attracted me so strongly after 
a short acquaintance as he did. Such an interest- 
ing personality! A Richard Jefferies with wider 
sympathies, a David Thoreau with a saner judg- 
ment. Happy, like the American philosopher in 
his Walden, with the birds and flowers, he could 
still at times scent the battle afar off in Church and 
State, and hear 'the thunder of the captains and 
the shouting.' Imperishable memories of the kindly 
face with its strong lines and its changing lights ; 
of the great unfailing urbanity and the old-world 
courtesy! In our little world he was a radiating 
focus of goodwill, and his entrance into a room 
was as though another candle had been lighted. 
We have lost him, but we have not lost all his 
influence for good. He has left us all a very great 
and excellent legacy of hallowed memories." 

" Bosworth Smith belonged to the great world of 
letters," wrote Canon Edward Bernard, Chancellor 
of the Diocese of Salisbury; "it was there that 
he made his mark, and there he will continue 
to be honoured, but his remembrance will also 
live among his own Dorset people in his own 
289 T 


diocese. . . . Born and bred in Dorset, of a 
family long known and honoured, he was all his 
life a true Dorset man, though for thirty-seven 
years his work lay elsewhere. It was indeed a 
gain to the county to have as a resident a man 
of so much ability, so patriotic, courageous, and 
independent, and not less was it a gain to the 
diocese. ' He was lovable.' That was what 
one said of him, who knew him well, and it was 
most true. He had a warm heart, and every one 
felt it. In his life there was no waste, or at least, 
none that man could perceive. He used all his 
gifts faithfully, for he was true to his favourite 
motto, Labor omnia vincit. He was one who knew 
the trials of the age, the doubts and difficulties that 
beset our faith. But he cherished that blessing of 
his early training, and it supported and held him 
fast. His faith was supported by love and worked 
by love. He loved his own, his friends and neigh- 
bours, his dear county of Dorset ; he loved his 
Church and his country. He loved nature in its 
varying moods ; he loved all God's creatures, the 
birds, the beasts, the flowers. So he has passed 
from us with a life, not wasted, having fully learnt 
the main lesson of life, the lesson of love." 

"It is difficult to say what epithet one would 
choose as most distinctive of him," wrote Mr. F. 
Gore-Browne, K.C. " I should, I think, select 
' great-hearted,' to include love of country, love of 
home, love of others, kindliness, sympathy, and 
generosity of heart." 

"The county has suffered a heavy bereave- 
ment," wrote the editor of the Dorset County 



Chronicle, " but no Dorset man has ever passed 
away who enjoyed a higher degree of admiration 
and esteem." 

The two letters which follow were written by 
Bosworth Smith to two friends of his boyhood ; 
they show something of the quick, warm apprecia- 
tion of the work of others, and that wonderful 
sympathy in their sorrows, which enriched the 
lives of those who came within the sphere of it. 

The following letter is to Mr. Charles Moule. 
It refers to a beautiful little poem which Mr. Moule 
had written, in 1904, on the death of his brother, 
Henry Moule, whose knowledge of Dorset was only 
surpassed by his love of it : 

" That elegy is most touching, and quite, I think, 
perfect. It is Barnes at his very best. How Henry 
would have loved to have such an elegy written on 
him, written by a brother, written in his own Dorset, 
and each stanza giving a complete little etching of 
himself, or of some scene in Dorset which he knew 
and had sketched. Handley's poem, too, is de- 
lightful. Needless to say, I have cut both out and 
kept them, though it will be hardly necessary for 
years, for I know the verses almost by heart." 

The second letter, written in 1906 to the Bishop 
of Durham, Dr. Handley Moule, relates to the 
memoir of his daughter a book which, in its sim- 
plicity and beauty, had affected him profoundly. 
Bishop Moule had told him that almost the last 
thing that he had read to his daughter, not of a 


directly spiritual nature, had been parts of " Bird 
Life " : 

" I would not write to you till I had read the 
little memoir which you have so kindly sent me ; 
and now that I have read it, I hardly know how to 
express in words the effect it has had upon me. I 
have hardly ever read anything more touching or 
more beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes often 
as I read it, nor do I think I have ever read a book 
which made me more realise the real power of 
religion to give courage, patience, unselfishness, 
beauty, happiness under the most distressing cir- 
cumstances. What a sweet character, what a sweet 
face and pose of the head, and what power and 
courage she had! What a comfort it must have 
been to you and to her mother to be able to record 
so much of what she said and did and thought, and 
what a delight, too, it must be to you to feel that, 
through the wide circulation of the memoir at 
which I do not wonder now that I have read it 
what a power for good she is still and is destined 
to be in this world as well as in that to which she 
has been translated ! There are many passages in 
the book which I should like read to me when my 
own end is drawing near." 

He never uttered the empty commonplaces of 
consolation, which he knew sounded like mockery 
to those whose light had gone out, but he seemed 
to find the thing to say that would bring comfort, 
and to say it in simple words which went straight 
to the heart. 

To one who was grieving to think that she might 


perhaps have done more for one who was gone, he 
wrote : 

"It is perhaps the beginning of the end of all 
your misunderstandings, and the coming to the 
surface of that under-current of love which, though 
it is sometimes hidden by the froth and foam on 
the surface, is still flowing on in full force all the 

One of Bosworth Smith's efforts during his Mel- 
combe years was in keeping with the place and his 
own life there, and it showed in a measure a return 
to the old ideas and influence of his upbringing at 
Stafford Rectory. 

"Early in 1907," writes his wife, "a request 
came from my brother Archie (Archdale Palmer 
Wickham, Vicar of Martock, Prebendary of Wells, 
and Rural Dean) to help him at a meeting at 
Martock to promote the better observance of 
' Sunday.' After the usual amount of persuasion 
and smoothing away of the difficulties, that at first 
would predominate in his mind, before he would 
undertake any fresh writing or face any fresh 
scheme I might suggest to him (he used to say 
the very word ' scheme ' on my lips would make 
him tremble), he yielded and set to work. He 
liked to get a thing written out in my writing 
after he had worked it well into shape himself, be- 
cause he declared that put it all clearly before him. 
After the speech at Martock, Bos became thoroughly 
interested in the subject, and early in April, at the 
Diocesan Synod at Salisbury, he proposed the 
motion, ' That the rapidly increasing appetite for 


amusement, and the corresponding neglect of reli- 
gious ordinances, threaten to prove a national 
calamity.' Colonel Robert Williams, Major Dug- 
dale, and others supported it, and it was carried 
unanimously. In July his views on Sunday observ- 
ance appeared as an article in the National Review, 
and the editor allowed it to be reprinted at the 
request of the Society for Promoting Christian 
Knowledge. The attractive little green book called 
' Sunday ' has had a very wide circulation, and what 
he said awoke a sympathetic response in very many 

He himself took no ultra-Puritanical view of 
Sunday. " The Puritans, if they laid to heart the 
first part of the verse, ' This is the day that the 
Lord hath made,' forgot or seemed to forget the 
second part, which is the corollary to it, ' We will 
rejoice and be glad in it.' Sunday was with them 
a day of religious gloom, when long and dreary 
services at church were followed up almost imme- 
diately by equally long and dreary services at home. 
It was a day of prohibitions and restrictions : even 
Sunday toys the irreproachable Noah's ark among 
them were discouraged ; and what was more ill- 
judging still, heaven itself was represented as little 
else than a prolongation, to all eternity, of such 
gloomy days on earth ; a place 

' Where congregations ne'er break up 
And Sabbaths never end ' ! 

What wonder that a young boy, when asked in- 


sinuatingly by a religious relative which day of 
the week he preferred, replied without hesitation, 
'Monday, much.' 'Why so?' asked the dis- 
appointed inquirer. ' Because it is furthest from 

The English people had hitherto steered happily 
between this extreme and the continental extreme ; 
but now it seemed to him that peace, " the central 
feeling of all happiness," had well-nigh disappeared. 
His picture of a country Sunday ("The very 
birds I have 'noticed it all my life seem tamer, 
blither, and are more easily approached, as though 
they were half conscious that, during the Truce of 
God, they were safe from the hand of man ") forms 
a pendant to a description of the hustle and rush 
to get out of London, the pleasure-seeking, the 
total lack of consideration for the work entailed 
on others, on what should be a day of rest 
for all. 

He realised how infinitely greater were the ex- 
cuses for those who work all the week, and who 
must crave for change and fresh air on Sundays ; 
and he rejoiced to think that "the study and enjoy- 
ment on Sunday afternoons of the beautiful and the 
spiritual in works of art " was now possible, at all 
events, for the inhabitants of large towns. He 
thought that to secularise Sunday would be to lose j 
an institution "intended to give man time to de- 
velop his higher nature, to take stock of his position, 
thinking of the past and future as well as of the j 


ever-importunate present, to enable him to join with 
others, during some set portion of the day, in prayer 
and praise, and so to gain the strength which comes 
from a common purpose and from the contagion of 
numbers "; and he thought that the question affected 
"the well-being in the highest sense of the word 
physical, moral, intellectual, spiritual of every man, 
woman, and child in the country." Rest, he held, 
was a condition of all fruitful labour, but rest means 
change of occupation and this leisure for calm 
thought and self-improvement was an essential for 
all life, if it was worth living. 

My father's own way of spending Sunday was 
consistent with what he wrote about it. He liked 
to spare the servants extra work ; he liked the day 
to be different from others, quieter, more peace- 
ful ; and he himself was faithful and regular in his 
church-going. He generally miscalculated the two 
minutes' walk to the little church ; and if he arrived 
late, it would be because he had been in the garden 
to find a flower to hold in his hand during the 
service. He always read the lessons ; and it is said 
that his enjoyment of the story of Jehu and Jezebel 
was so great, that he repeated it on three consecu- 
tive Sundays to a congregation which was only 
dimly aware of an increasing familiarity with the 
details of the history. " I thought I must get to 
Harvest Festival, to hear Mr. Bosworth read the 
lessons once more," a village woman said, when he 
had gone away on that last journey to London 


that time when Mr. Thomas Hardy, speaking, as it 
were, for all Dorset, said, " It is such a strain for us 
all ; " and to many in that simple congregation, all of 
whom he knew well, his clear voice, with its reve- 
rent appreciation of what he was reading, and his 
beautiful expression as he read, will remain as a 
precious memory. 

His last word on the politics of the day was 
altogether characteristic of his manner of thought ; 
for it was a protest, as eloquent and forcible as 
any that had come from his pen, against what 
seemed to him the injustice and hypocrisy of the \f 
Licensing Bill. He left the discussion of details 
to others, and dealt with the subject on broad 
lines of principle. He spoke as "an Englishman 
who is jealous sensitively jealous for the honour 
and good faith of his country, and who is un- 
willing, for the first time almost in English modern } 
history, to see its Government embarking on a \ 
predatory policy, with which no one can feel safe, j 
and of which no one can foresee the end. . . . There 
is a cause which is greater, more fundamental, more 
sacred even than that of temperance, and that is 
the cause of justice." The Bill, he contended, was 
unnecessary, for Mr. Balfour's Act was working 
admirably; it was hypocritical, for it left Scotland 
and Ireland, which needed it more, alone ; and it 
did not touch grocers' licenses or clubs ; and the 
evil it claimed to combat would, in practice, only 
tend through its provisions to increase. Again, 


"if temperance is really a national object, as it 
certainly is, let the nation as a whole pay for it ; " 
to speak of " compensation " at all, in the present 
case, is an abuse of terms. It seemed to him 
deplorable that the National Church should, in its 
zeal for temperance, identify itself with a policy 
of injustice, and help "to do a great wrong to do 
a very little right. ... I would rather see Eng- 
land just first, and sober and free afterwards." 

"When Bos had read through the draft of the 
Bill," writes his wife, "and had considered how it 
would act, not only on those who sold, but on those 
who bought intoxicating liquors, his heart burned 
within him, and he felt he must write or speak 
to protest against the injustice, in the first place, 
of depriving the proprietors of property which 
they might legitimately consider their own, and 
that without adequate notice ; and also he saw 
that the Bill would in reality facilitate the purchase 
of drink in other ways. And so in the cause of 
temperance and justice he spoke at a meeting at 
Weymouth, and his speech, thanks to the energy 
of the editor of the Dorset County Chronicle and 
Mr. Alfred Pope, was at once reprinted and sent 
to every member of both Houses of Parliament 
before the discussion came on. Bos hesitated 
very much as to his name being appended to each 
pamphlet, as he thought it might look as if he 
were taking too much upon himself to do so. The 
Secretary of the Property Defence League in Lon- 
don took the speech up warmly, and it was very 
widely distributed, and as usual a flood of letters 
came in from friends and from strangers, who were 


delighted to find that the Bill would not go forward 
without attack, at all events. One man wrote of 
his satisfaction in finding ' a clergyman (as he 
imagined Bos to be) had had the courage to point 
out the mistaken views of some of the bishops 
and clergy, whose zeal in the cause of temperance 
has outrun their sense of justice.' ' Such a Bill 
would never pass,' wrote another, ' had English 
minds their ancient fibre and English hearts their 
old stoutness and freedom from cant and senti- 
ment.' Bos spoke boldly in the same way at 
the Salisbury Synod, and again in London, in 
the Church Representative Council. Just before 
the proceedings, he told his friend, the Bishop of 
London, of the line he was about to take, and the 
bishop said, ' Go on, it will be well worth hearing.' 
* Feeling ran high towards the close of the debate,' 
says a Church newspaper ; ' the Bishop of London 
and Bishop Gore, who almost passionately sup- 
ported the Bill, betraying some anxiety as to the 
result.' The Bishop of London's motion, ' That 
the Licensing Bill, though requiring amendment 
in many important details, deserves in its main 
outline the support of the Church,' was lost by a 
large majority, an amendment moved by Bos in 
quite the opposite sense having previously been 
carried. He did not write in the Times about it, 
except a few words to say that his brother Edward, 
the Marlborough Missioner at Tottenham and 
few were more competent than he, after his long 
experience with the London poor, to judge had 
thought the Bill unjust. He said in his letter that 
it was ' a Bill to be rejected or withdrawn, while 
a better one, a scrupulously just one, is being 
prepared in its place.' " 



The later modifications made in the Bill would 
have probably commended themselves to him, but 
at the time when they were under discussion his 
interest in human affairs had passed away. 

Enough has perhaps been said already to show 
that life at Melcombe was from first to last full of 
happiness for Bosworth Smith. He had the rare 
faculty of finding enjoyment in common things ; and 
apart from the wider interests with which he was in 
touch, the simple pleasures of his life, whatever 
they might be, were still invested with something 
of the same charm and excitement for him as they 
might have been for a child. 

He would enjoy a morning's study of the classics 
with his youngest son, Nevil Digby, or his youngest 
daughter's description of her day's hunting, or 
reading aloud with his wife, or a long visit to his 
sisters, or a day's shooting with his kindly neigh- 
bour Mr. Woodhouse, or even a garden party, with 
a freshness and zest that seemed to speak of per- 
petual youth. 

His taste in English literature never greatly 
changed, and he remained faithful to the books he 
had known longest. Gibbon, Shakespeare, Milton, 
and Tennyson (in the music of whose verse he 
delighted, "The Princess" and "Enoch Arden " 
being, perhaps, his favourites) he read constantly ; 
he could quote largely from George Eliot, and her 
books, with those of Scott, Dickens, Jane Austen, 
the Brontes, and the early novels of Thomas Hardy, 


were the only works of fiction for which he really 
cared. Latterly, he was greatly impressed by the 
" Dynasts," and he read Tolstoi's " War and Peace " 
with immense interest but very slowly. Memoirs 
of all ages, if they were at all human and graphic, 
delighted him. Of classical writers, Homer, Hero- / 
dotus, Pliny, Tacitus, and Thucydides were most! 
often in his hands, and they seemed to afford him 
perpetual pleasure and refreshment. 

In 1906, his third daughter, Lorna, was married 
to Edwin Goldmann, Professor of Surgery at the 
University of Freiburg, in Breisgau, and in the 
following year he went with his wife to see her in 
her home in Germany. In September 1907, his 
eldest daughter was married to Sir Edward Ion 
Grogan, Bart., of the Rifle Brigade ; and a fortnight 
later his second daughter, Frida, was married to 
Herr August Heisler of Mannheim. 

In March 1908, Bosworth had to go through one 
more of those partings which he felt so poignantly. 
His brother Edward, a man of great force of char- 
acter and warmth of heart, and with an almost 
unique power of attracting and attaching his parish- 
ioners to their church, who had devoted his whole 
life and energy to the service of the Marlborough 
College Mission at Tottenham, died after a short 
illness. " I shall miss his sympathy and interest 
at every turn," my father wrote ; and indeed, all 
through his life, he had counted on the kindly, 
humorous criticism and the enthusiastic apprecia- 


tion of his younger brother, whom, though their 
views often differed considerably, he had in turn 
loved and admired with all his heart. " That long 
line of graves in Stafford churchyard," he wrote, 
some two months before his own place was to be 
filled by the side of those beloved relatives, " is so 
pathetic and so sacred." 

There is very little more to tell. For some 
years past there had been certain disquieting bodily 
symptoms, and in the summer of 1908, in view of 
his almost incessant discomfort, he decided to 
undergo an operation, which it was confidently 
hoped would restore him to a fair measure of health 
for some years to come. He himself believed that 
the operation was necessary, and he faced the 
ordeal with a quiet courage and a brave heart. But 
in the spring, as though some premonition had 
come to him, he had set his house in order, and 
had thought out many arrangements for the future. 

" I saw him at Bingham's Melcombe in the last 
month he spent there," writes Mr. F. Gore-Browne, 
K.C., "when he knew the operation was hanging 
over him and fully realised the danger. He showed 
the greatest courage, and spoke of it openly and 
simply, but dwelt very little upon himself. The 
old keenness showed itself, and he took from his 
bookshelves the classic authors to quote appropriate 
sayings from the ancient philosophers. Had it not 
been for his courage, it would have been impossible 
to keep back tears." 



The time of waiting was unexpectedly protracted, 
but it was cheered by the presence of his son 
Reginald, who was at home on leave from South 
Africa with his wife and a baby, whose charms 
were an unending joy and solace to her grandfather. 
The two of his married daughters who could come, 
came from abroad to be with him ; he was as full of 
interest and enjoyment of the amusing side of life as 
ever he had been, although there was a distressed 
look of suffering on his face. " I dread the discom- 
fort and pain of all this intensely," he said to his 
wife, " but I do not fear death ; it is only a transla- 
tion." The worst for him, perhaps, was over when 
he had driven away from his much-loved Melcombe ; 
he had seemed scarcely able that morning to tear 
himself away from his rockery and his flowers. He 
wrote to his sisters the night before the operation 
that he " was in good heart." 

The operation, which took place in a nursing 
home in London, was technically successful, and 
there seemed at first every reason to be hopeful ; 
but he did not regain his strength, and symptoms of 
a latent disease began to show themselves. After 
five weeks of intense anxiety, during which his 
wife's presence alone seemed to bring him a 
moment's comfort, it was admitted that there was 
no longer any hope of his recovery. On October 
17, when the risk of a journey meant but little, the 
doctors consented to his removal, and he was granted 
the wish of his heart, and was brought back to his 


home. All through his illness his broken words 
had been of Melcombe, and he had pined to be 
there once more. It was his faithful friend, 
Edward Graham, who arranged the details of the 
long journey in such a way that he was hardly con- 
scious of fatigue ; but it was only owing to the 
devoted care of his wife, his youngest son, and of 
the two nurses who accompanied him, that his 
strength held out. He was able to realise that he 
was once more in the country, and he fixed his 
eyes on the sunset toward which he was travelling. 
The carriage reached Melcombe about nine o'clock 
in the evening, and he was carried through the 
courtyard, which was still beautiful with hydrangeas, 
and through the old hall, which had been lit up and 
decorated with the tall autumn flowers which he 
loved, to his own room ; and two hours later, in the 
full consciousness of his surroundings, he passed 
from his earthly to his heavenly home. 

His body was laid to rest, as he himself had 
wished, surrounded by flowers, in the little church- 
yard at Stafford, by the side of his parents and his 
brothers and sisters, in the presence of many, rich 
and poor, who loved him, and who felt the world 
without him a poorer place that day. 



AFGHAN Question, 158, 185,187-190 
Africa, 141, 156 

" Christianity and Mohammed- 
anism in," 152 

" Stanley's Rear Column," 242 

Uganda, 242-247 
Aglen, Anthony, 61, 246 
Albany, Duchess of, 48 
Albemarle, George, Duke of, 2 
Ameer Ali, Syed, 77, 148 
Argyll, 8th Duke of, on Lord 

Lawrence, 177 ; on Mr. Gladstone 

and Disestablishment, 209, 210; 

on Mr. Gladstone and Home Rule, 

Arnold, Sir Edwin, 93, 94 

Matthew, 63, 73, 75; on the 

reading public, 147 

Dr. Thomas, 256, 257 

Athenamm, The, 93 

BADGER, Dr., 76 ; on " Mohammed," 
149; on Islam, 150 

Barnes, William, 10, 17, 29 

Becher, General John, 167, 168, 182, 

Benson, Dr., Archbishop of Canter- 
bury, 229 ; letters from, 206, 226 

Bernard, Canon Edward, 89, 289 

Bible, The, 230, 231 

reading, 230, 296 

Society, speech for, 230 
Bingham's Melcombe, I, 100, 261 

et seq. 

Biography, views on, 84, 160, 163 
Biographies, suggested, 82, 83, 84 
"Bird Life," 10, 37, 43, 271-282 
Birds and bird-nesting, 10, 12, 19, 

20, 35-43, 47-52, 62, 69, 88, 89, 

105, 1 10, 116, 271-285 
Blyden, Dr., 77, 150 
Bowen, Edward, 65, 72, 90, 117, 118 
Bradby, Rev. E. H.. 71, 117 

Bradley, Dr. G. G., Dean of West- 
minster, 46, 63 ; letters from, 182, 

Brown, Harold, sketch of character, 
123, 124 

Bryce, Right Hon. James, reminis- 
cences by, 60-62, 72, 73, 80, 90, 
240, 286 

Butler, Dr. Montagu, 63, 70, 75, 80 ; 
reminiscences by, 68 ; preaching, 7 1 

Mrs. Montagu, In Memoriam 

sketch, 70 

CARLYLE, Dr. Martineau on, 95 

"Carthage and the Carthaginians," 
78-81 ; visit to Carthage, 79 

Chamberlain, Mr., and Disestablish- 
ment, 195, 197, 199, 210, 214 

Character sketches by R. B. S. 
George Gill, 20 ; his mother, 
23-25 ; his father, 25-27 ; John 
Floyer, 28, 29; Bishop Cotton, 
45, 4 5 John Shearme Thomas, 
47; Mrs. Wickham, 55; Mrs. 
Montagu Butler, 70 ; Rev. E. H. 
Bradby, 71 ; Edward Bowen, 72 ; 
Miss Swanwick, 96 ; Lord Ebury, 
98, 194 ; Harold Brown, 123, 
124 ; Mr. Mansel-Pleydell, 270 

Children, R. B. S.'s, 52, 69, 102, 
263, 264-266, 283, 286, 301, 303 

Church Congress, speeches at, 151, 


defence, speeches for, 224, 232 

House, the, letters and speeches 

for, 225, 226 

the National, 86, Chap. VII. See 

Disestablishment, Scottish Church, 
Welsh Church 
Representative Council, 233, 

2 3S 

Clarence, L. B., reminiscences by, 33, 
34, 36, 40 




Clifton, Lawrence memorial tablet at, 


Collins, Sir Robert H., 48 
Confirmation addresses, 115 
Contemporary Review, articles in 

" Turkey and Russia," 78, 240 ; 

" Englishmen in Africa," 242 
Corpus Christi College, Oxford, 52, 

60, 6 1 
Cotton, Dr., Bishop of Calcutta, 44, 

45, 46, 270 
Creeds, 153, 154 
Cunningham, Sir Henry, x, 90 
Curiosities, collection of, 112, 263 

DAVIDSON, Dr. Randall, Archbishop 
of Canterbury, 74, 220 ; on R. B. S-, 


Disestablishment, 86, 193 ; letters to 
Times on, and correspondence re- 
lating to, 194-225 
Dorset, 31, 88, 269, 297, 304 
Douglas, Sir George, reminiscences 

by, 119 

Down House, the, 46, 88, 270 
Duck-shooting, 88, 279, 283 
Duckworth, Canon Robinson, reminis- 
cences by, 47, 57 

Dufferin, Marquess of, letters from, 
on Lord Lawrence, 178, 179 

EASTWICK, Captain William, 7, 98 ; 

letters from, 77, 175, 176 ; letter 

to, 216 
Ebury, Lord, 97, 98, 194; letter 

from, 246 
Egerton, Mrs. Caledon, reminiscences 

by, 11-23 

Elliott, F. A. H., letter from, 181 
England, 123, 128, 241, 242-247, 

297, 299 

English Church Union, 229 
Evangelicalism, 8, 12-17, 26, 156, 

193, 232, 293 

FARRAR, Dean, 45, 47, 73 ; preach- 
ing, 7i 

Flight-shooting, 274 
Flowers, 68, 105, 133, 261, 262, 303, 


Flower-schools, 115, 116, 128 

Floyer, John, 7, 9, 13, 27-29 

Foote, Alexander, reminiscences by, 


GARDENING, 68, 262 ; see Flowers 

Geikie, Sir Archibald, 102, 278, 279, 

Geography, teaching of, 113, 121, 
127, 128 

Gladstone, Mr., 80, 193 et sey. ; 
letters from, on Mohammed, &c., 
143, 144; letter from, on Dis- 
establishment, 201-203 5 Morley's 
Life of, 196, 214, 215 ; Dr. 
Martineau on, 208 ; Duke of 
Argyll on, 249 ; Dr. Butler on, 
252 ; and Home Rule, 248-253 

Goodwin, Dr. Harvey, Bishop of 
Carlisle, letter from, 226 

Gore-Browne, Sir Thomas, 73 

Frank, K.C., reminiscences by, 

101, 1 20, 290, 302 

Graham, Edward, 86, 87, 92, 105, 
304; reminiscences by, 105-118 

HALIFAX, Lord, letter from, 211 
Hardy, Thomas, 10, 90, 274, 297, 301 
Harrow, first visit to, 63 ; life at. 

Chap. II. ; work at, Chap. III. ; 

colleagues, 71, 72, 117, 118 
Harrow Chapel, 132, 133 
Hart, Henry, 158, 257, 258 
Hewett, H. T., reminiscences by, 89, 

History, teaching of, &c., 113, 114, 

121, 127, 128, 133 
Home Rule, writings on, 248-253 
House-suppers, 101, in, 122, 126 
Hudson, W. H., 41, 281 

IDDESLEIGH, Earl of, letters from, on 
Church questions, 212, 223 

Ilbert, Sir Courtenay, 48, 61, 72, 
80 ; reminiscences by, 48-52 

Indian Frontier. See Afghan Question 

Influence, personal at Marlbbrough, 
47, 52 ; at Harrow, 65, 102, 106, 
112, 118-122, 127-132; of his 
" Mohammed," 137, 156, 192 ; of 
his "Lord Lawrence," 171, 174, 
177, 178; on Church questions, 

193, 196, 201, 205, 206, 211, 216, 

217, 226; of his Uganda letters, 
243, 246, 247 ; of his " Bird Life," 
282 ; general, 259, 260, 286, 289, 

JOWETT controversy, 58, 59, 193 


KAGOSIMA, letter to Daily News on, 


Khartoum, 242 

Khiva, Russian advance on, 241 
Kindersley-Porcher, .,271 
Knowles, Sir James, 78, 240 ; letters 

from, 278 
Koran, The, 114, 134, 138, 150, 239 

LANE, Edward William, views on 

" Mohammed," 142, 143 
Lane-Poole, Stanley, 142, 143 
Lawrence, Lord, 82, 83, Chap. VII. 

Sir Henry, 191 ; Sir Henry's 

daughter, Mrs. Hart, 158, 169 

Lay headmastership, 253-258 
Laymen, speech on position of, 233- 


Lectures, various, 75, 80, 85, 170, 281 
Letter, reading-party, 51, 62 
Letters to Times. See Times 

personal, from R. B. S. to his 

wife, 58, 59, 63, 64, 65, 254 ; to 
the Hon. Rollo Russell, 83; to 
Countess Russell, 85 ; to Edward 
Graham, 105; to pupils, 124; to 
Mrs. Knipe, 139 ; to friends, 140, 
*63, 293; to Professor Tyndall, 
146, 217; to Dr. Badger, 149; to 
Lady Lawrence, 160; to Mr. 
George Murray Smith, 162; to 
Colonel Randall, 164 ; to General 
Becher, 167 ; to Colonel Yule, 168, 
183 ; to Kenelm Wingfield Digby, 
187; to Mr. Gladstone, 203; to 
Captain East wick, 216; to Sir H. 
Longman, 219; to Charles Moule, 
265, 267, 291 ; to Bishop Handley 
Moule, 292 ; to his children, 286, 
301 , 302 ; to his sisters, 303 

Licensing Bill, speech on, 297-300 
Literature, teaching of, 113, 119, 120, 

125, 133 ; favourite, 300, 302 
Liturgy, Dr. Martineau on, 95 ; R. 

B. S. on, 115, 232 

Longman, Sir H., 163 ; letter to, 219 
Luard, General, letter from, 129 
Lugard, Sir Frederick, 90, 245 

MADEIRA, voyage to, 32 
Maharajah Singh, letter from, 192 
Mallet, Charles, M.P., reminiscences 

by, in, 132 
Mansel-Pleydell, John, 270 

Marlborough, 43-54, 254, 258 
Martineau, Dr. James, 93, 94 ; talk 
with, 95 ; letters from, 207-209, 

222, 223, 247 

Maurice, F. D., 75, 115; Dr. Mar- 
tineau on, 208 

Milner, Lord, 204 

Milton, teaching of, 113, 121 ; quota- 
tions from, 230 

Abbas School, 33-43 

Missions, views on, 138, 151-157 

" Mohammed and Mohammedanism," 
75, 115, Chap. V. ; and Christianity 
in Africa, 152 ; later views on, 155, 

Montgomery, Bishop Henry, 74, 154 

Sir Robert, 153, 169; letters 

from, 172, 173 

Moray, Earl of, 37, 284 

Morley, Lord, " Life of Gladstone," 

196, 214, 215 
Moule, Charles, letters to, 265, 267, 


Dr. Handley, Bishop of Dur- 
ham, n, 17, 23 ; letter to, 291 

National Review, articles in 
" Liberal Party and Home Rule," 
248 ; " Sunday," 294 
Near East, letters and articles on, 78, 


Negro Race, 77, 141, 150, 152, 153 
Nightingale, Miss Florence, 173 
Nineteenth Century, articles in 
"Christianity and Mohammedan- 
ism in Africa," 152; "Crisis in 
the Church," 229 ; on " Bird Life," 

Norton, The Hon. Mrs., 73 
Northbourne, Lord, letter from, 213 

OSMAN Digna, letter on, 241 
Oxford, 54-64 
Oxhey Wood, 89, no 

PAPILLON, Canon T. L., 51, 61 ; 

reminiscences by, 43 
Parish clergy, 224, 269 
Penny, Rev. James, 33, 34, 38; 

reminiscences by, 42, 43 
Pole-trap, the, 282, 283 
Portman, Lord, 36 ; letters from, 85, 

Praise, thoughts on, 217, 218 



READE, R., letter from, 129 
Ripon, Marquess of, letter from, 180 
Riviere, Hugh, portrait of R. B. S., 

Rosebery, Earl of, on Uganda, 244 ; 

his administration, 253 
Russell, Earl, life of, suggested, 83-85 
Russia, views on policy of, 239. See 

Afghan Frontier, Khiva 

SALISBURY, Bishop of, Dr. Words- 
worth, 235, 258 

Diocesan Synod, 233, 268, 293, 


Marquess of, letters from, 211, 


Savernake Forest, 47, 48, 49 

Scottish Church, Disestablishment of, 

Scott-Moncrieff, Sir Colin, 86, 246 

Scripture, teaching of, 114 

"Selborne," White's, 42, 89, 280 

Shaftesbury, Earl of, suggested bio- 
graphy of, 82 

Shorthouse, J. H., letter from, 221 

Sierra Leone, letter from Moslem 
community of, 156 

Simpson family, 8 

Smith, Alan Wyldbore Bos worth, 
264, 265 

Alice and Eva, 30, 280 ; re- 
miniscences by, 3-23 

Mrs. Bosworth, 56. 65, 66, 73, 

87, 101, 147, 162, 169, 171, 172, 
184, 265, 304 

family, 1-6, 29, 30 

Edward Floyer Noel, 30, 87, 

299, 301 

Ellinor Theophila, 29. 56, 57 

Emily Genevieve, 8, 9, 23-25 

George Murray, 76 ; letter 

from, 162 ; letter to, 163 

Reginald Southwell, I, 6, 7, 

9, 25, 26, 27, 32, 100 

Spencer, Earl, letter from, 212 
Sport, 87, 88, 281-283 
Stanley, Dean, of Westminster, 59, 
75,80, 115, 146 

Stanley, H. M., 242 

Strangford, Lady, 77, 149 

Stratford de RedclyrTe, Lord, sug- 
gested biography, 82 

Sunday, observance of, 12-15; article 
on, 293-297 

Swanwick, Miss, 95-97 

TAYLOR, Sir Alexander, 181 

Canon Isaac, 151 

Teaching. See History, Geography, 

Literature, Scripture 
Tennyson, Lord, letter from, 213; 

favourite poems by, 300 
Thomas, John Shearme, 29, 47 
Thompson, Sir Harry Langhorne, 266 
Times, letters to, 78, 80, 86, 98, 1 58, 
187, 189, 193, 201, 203-205, 225, 
227, 228, 229, 240, 241, 242-247, 
248, 250-253, 256, 270, 282, 299 
Travels, 79, 87 ; interest in, 123-125 
Tunis, visit to, 79 ; letter on, 80 
Tyndall, Professor John, correspon- 
dence with, 145, 146 ; letter to, 217 

UGANDA, retention of, 87, 242-246 
Union, Oxford, President of, 59; 
speeches at, 62 

WATERLOW, A. J., letter from, 209 
Welsh Church, Disestablishment of, 

227 ; Albert Hall meetings on, 

Westcott, Bishop, preaching, 71 ; 

letter from, 206 
White, Gilbert, 42, 89, 280 
Wickham, Edmund Dawe, 54; Mrs., 

54, 55; daughters, 55, 56; R. 

W., 280; A. P., 293 
Winchester, a hundred years ago, 67 
Wingfield Digby, Kenelm, 75 ; letter 

to, 187-189 

YERBURGH, Robert, 74, 88, 101 
Yule, Sir Henry, 99, 170; letters to, 
168, 183, 271 

ZANZIBAR, 76, 149 ; Sultan of, 107 

Printed by BALLANTYNE, HANSON 6* Co. 
Edinburgh fr" London 



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Form L9-Series 444