Edward Maltby

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The Right Reverend
Edward Maltby
Bishop of Durham
File:Edward Maltby.jpg
Diocese Diocese of Durham
In office March 1836 (translated)–1856 (retired)
Predecessor William Van Mildert
Successor Charles Longley
Other posts a senator, London University (1826–?)
Bishop of Chichester (28 September 1831 {conf.}[1]–1836)
Personal details
Born (1770-04-06)6 April 1770
Norwich, Norfolk, Great Britain
Died 3 July 1859(1859-07-03) (aged 89)
Marylebone, Middlesex, United Kingdom
Buried 11 July 1859, Kensal Green Cemetery
Nationality British
Denomination Anglican
Residence 1 Upper Portland Place (at death)
Parents George & Mary née Fearman
Spouse 1. Mary Harvey, 1794 (m.)–1825 (her d.)
2. Margaret Green, 1826 (m.)–1859 (his d.)
Children 4 sons (with Harvey), incl. Fred. W. & Hen. J.[2]
Education Norwich Grammar School; Winchester College
Alma mater Pembroke College, Cambridge
File:Stained Glass Windows, St Mary the Virgin, Holy Island - geograph.org.uk - 1234934.jpg
Centre: arms of Edward Maltby as Bishop of Durham: See of Durham impaling Maltby (Argent, on a bend gules between a lion rampant (azure) and a cross pattée of the second three garbs or);[6] Church of St Mary the Virgin, Holy Island, (Lindisfarne), Northumberland

Edward Maltby (6 April 1770 – 3 July 1859) was an English clergyman of the Church of England. He became Bishop of Durham, controversial for his liberal politics, for his slightly naive ecumenism, and for the great personal wealth that he amassed.

Early life

Maltby was born in Norwich. He was the fourth son of George (died 1794), a weaver and deacon at the Presbyterian Octagon Chapel, and Mary (died 1804), his wife. William Maltby was a cousin. Though presbyterian by persuasion, the family were not hostile to the Anglican Church. Maltby attended Norwich Grammar School, where he became close to headteacher Samuel Parr but when Parr retired in 1785, he transferred to Winchester College under Joseph Warton. William Enfield also reputedly played a part in his education.[7]

In 1784, Maltby's cousin Elizabeth had married George Pretyman and Pretyman sponsored Maltby's entry into Pembroke College, Cambridge in 1789.[7][8] Maltby was a distinguished scholar and, finding his nonconformist inclinations no barrier, he graduated as eighth wrangler in 1792, receiving his DD in 1806. In 1794, Maltby had become domestic chaplain to Pretyman. Maltby consequently received a Lincoln prebend and two vicarages: Buckden, Huntingdonshire and Holbeach, Lincolnshire. On 10 July he married Mary Harvey. The couple were to go on to have four sons. With Pretyman's patronage and a well-received book of apologetics,[9] Maltby was strongly favoured for eventual elevation to a bishop.[7]

Wilderness years

However, Maltby meddled in politics prematurely. His involvement in the 1807 general election in Huntingdonshire and an 1809 pamphlet criticising what he saw as the nepotism of prime minister William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland saw to it that he found no favour with the Tory establishment who were to hold power until 1830. However, Parr interceded with George Canning and Maltby became preacher at Gray's Inn in 1817 and Lincoln's Inn between 1824 and 1835. Maltby took the opportunity of light clerical duties to tutor private pupils, including:

He also found time to write[12] including publication of a collection of hymns (1815) and a projected, but uncompleted, edition of the New Testament.[7]

Mary died in 1825 and he married Margaret Green in 1826. Maltby was active in the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge and he was a senator of the newly formed London University (now University College London), blessing the foundation stone of the Main Building in 1827.[7]


When the Whigs returned to power in 1830, prime minister Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey lacked a comfortable majority in the House of Lords and saw Maltby as a probable supporter if he could be appointed to the Lords Spiritual. Conveniently for Grey, Folliott Cornewall, Bishop of Worcester, died in September 1831. Grey transferred Robert Carr, then Bishop of Chichester, to Worcester and then appointed Maltby to Chichester. Grey made the appointment with such undue haste that Maltby's congé d'élire arrived in Chichester before Cornewall's funeral and the public was scandalised. However, Grey was satisfied when Maltby was able to vote in favour of the Reform Bill.[7]

In 1837, Maltby became Bishop of Durham, the first after the abolition of the office of Prince-Bishop.[7] In 1847, John Russell, 1st Earl Russell, a close personal friend, canvassed him as Archbishop of York but Maltby felt the role too much for his years.[7]

Doctrinal controversy

On his appointment, Maltby was the sole Whig among the Lords Spiritual, save for 87-year-old Henry Bathurst, Bishop of Norwich, and he attracted much personal hostility and criticism. However, Maltby was driven by his conscience and an over-riding ecumenism and even-handedness in his associations and criticism. His public controversies and scandals included:

Durham University

Maltby had strong connections to the University of Durham, making generous financial provision. He also assisted in the negotiations of its royal charter, persuading the government to honour its undertaking to his predecessor, William Van Mildert, that all students must subscribe to the Thirty-Nine Articles before graduation.[7] Van Mildert had arranged for the bishop's residence to be moved to Auckland Castle in 1832 in order for the University to occupy Durham Castle as University College, Durham in 1837; by that time, Maltby had arranged to make the necessary renovations. [14][15]

Wealth and personal life

File:Memorial to Bishop Edward Maltby, Durham Cathedral.jpg
Memorial to Bishop Edward Maltby, Durham Cathedral

The Established Church Act 1836 set the maximum annual income for a bishop at £8,000 (£525,000 at 2003 prices[16]) but it was revealed in 1847 that Maltby was earning around £12,000 (£787,000[16]), having exceeded £21,000 (£1.4 million[16]) in 1841. In response to the widespread public criticism, he established the Maltby Fund for building work in the Durham diocese.[7]

He caused further scandal in 1855 when, elderly and almost blind, Maltby made an unprecedented request that he be allowed to retire and suggested an annual pension of £4,500 (£307,000[16]). Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone was appalled, denouncing the request as simony, but he eventually conceded, allowing Blomfield, now Bishop of London, to retire at the same time.[7][17]

Maltby died at his London residence and is buried in Kensal Green Cemetery in London, sharing a family vault with his eldest brother.[7] A tablet to his memory was erected in Durham Cathedral.



  1. Appointment Record: Maltby, Edward (at Chichester) in "CCEd, the Clergy of the Church of England database" (Accessed online, 31 October 2014)
  2. Persons: Maltby, Edward (1793–1831) in "CCEd, the Clergy of the Church of England database" (Accessed online, 31 October 2014)
  3. Ordination Record: Maltby, Edward in "CCEd, the Clergy of the Church of England database" (Accessed online, 31 October 2014)
  4. Ordination Record: Maltby, Edward in "CCEd, the Clergy of the Church of England database" (Accessed online, 31 October 2014)
  5. Appointment Record: Maltby, Edward (at Chichester) in "CCEd, the Clergy of the Church of England database" (Accessed online, 31 October 2014)
  6. Burke's General Armory, 1884
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 7.12 7.13 7.14 7.15 7.16 7.17 7.18 7.19 7.20 Varley (2004)
  8. "Maltby, Edward (MLTY787E)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> – gives 1787 as the year of Maltby's admission to Pembroke
  9. Maltby (1802)
  10. Hedley, S. (2004) "Alderson, Sir Edward Hall (bap. 1787, d. 1857)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press. Retrieved 22 July 2007 (subscription or UK public library membership required)
  11. Burns, S. (2004) "Blomfield, Charles James (1786–1857)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, online edn, Jan 2007. Retrieved 12 August 2007 (subscription or UK public library membership required)
  12. Maltby (1803)
  13. Benson, A. C. et al. (1907) Letters of Queen Victoria, 1st ser., 1.155
  14. "Durham Castle". Britain Express. Retrieved 29 October 2019.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Van Mildert and the Foundation of Durham University". Durham University. Retrieved 19 September 2019.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 O'Donoghue, J.; et al. (2004). "Consumer Price Inflation since 1750". Economic Trends. 604: 38–46, March.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. Welch (1964)
  18. "Edward Maltby". Cornucopia. Archived from the original on 24 July 2012. Retrieved 12 August 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


  • Obituaries:
    • The Times, 7 July 1859
    • Durham Chronicle, 8 July 1859

  • Fowler, H. C. (1990) "Edward Maltby: his episcopal superintendence and views as bishop of Durham’, MA diss., University of Durham
  • Maltby, E. (1802). Illustrations of the Truth of the Christian Religion.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • — (1815). Lexicon Graeco-prosodiacum.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Varley, E. A. (2004) "Maltby, Edward (1770–1859)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press. Retrieved 11 August 2007 (subscription or UK public library membership required)
  • Welch, P. J. (1964). "The two episcopal resignations of 1856". Church Quarterly Review. 165: 17–27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
Church of England titles
Preceded by
Robert Carr
Bishop of Chichester
Succeeded by
William Otter
Preceded by
William Van Mildert
Bishop of Durham
Succeeded by
Charles Longley
Professional and academic associations
Preceded by
Walter Montagu Douglas Scott, 5th Duke of Buccleuch
President of the Surtees Society
Succeeded by
Richard Griffin, 3rd Baron Braybrooke