Henry Beeching

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Henry Charles Beeching (15 May 1859 – 25 February 1919)[1] was a British clergyman, author and poet, who was Dean of Norwich from 1911 to 1919.[2]


Beeching was born in 1859, he was the son of JPG Beeching of Bexhill in Sussex.[3] He was educated at the City of London School[4] and at Balliol College, Oxford.[5] He took holy orders in 1882, and began work in a Liverpool parish,[6] at Mossley Hill. He was Rector of Yattendon from 1885 to 1900; Clark Lecturer at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1900; professor of Pastoral Theology at King's College London from 1900 to 1903; Chaplain of Lincoln's Inn from 1900 to 1903;[7]Canon of Westminster Cathedral from October 1902 until 1911[8][9] and Dean of Norwich from 1911[10] until his death. He wrote a book on Francis Atterbury.[11]

To him is attributed the popular epigram on Benjamin Jowett:

First come I; my name is Jowett.
There's no knowledge but I know it.
I am master of this college:
What I don't know isn't knowledge.

This is the first verse of The Masque of B-ll—l[12] (1880), a scurrilous undergraduate production in 40 verses satirising Balliol figures. It was suppressed at the time; later research[citation needed] has given Beeching credit for 19 of those.


  • Love in Idleness: A Volume of Poems (1883) with J. W. Mackail and J. B. B. Nichols
  • Love's Looking Glass (1892) with J. W. Mackail and J. B. B. Nichols
  • A Paradise of English Poetry, an anthology of various authors compiled by Beeching
  • Pages from a Private Diary (1898) — published anonymously.


  1. F. P. Sprent, ‘Beeching, Henry Charles (1859–1919)’, rev. H. C. G. Matthew, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 18 Jan 2016
  2. The Spectator
  3. Beeching H, Hymnary.org. Retrieved 2 May 2017
  4. ‘BEECHING, Very Rev. Henry Charles’, Who Was Who, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 1920–2016; online edn, Oxford University Press, 2014 ; online edn, April 2014 accessed 18 Jan 2016
  5. 'UNIVERSITY INTELLIGENCE' Daily News (London, England), Tuesday, 29 June 1880; Issue 10670
  6. Chisholm 1911.
  7. Crockford's Clerical Directory, 1908: London Horace Cox, 1908
  8. The London Gazette: no. 27487. p. . 24 October 1902.
  9. Ecclesiastical Intelligence The Times (London, England), Saturday, 25 October 1902; pg. 9; Issue 36908
  10. New Dean Of Norwich The Times (London, England), Friday, 22 September 1911; pg. 4; Issue 39697
  11. Sprent 2004.
  12. The Masque of B-ll—l online Archived 10 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine


  •  Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). [https%3A%2F%2Fen.wikisource.org%2Fwiki%2F1911_Encyclop%C3%A6dia_Britannica%2FBeeching%2C_Henry_Charles "Beeching, Henry Charles" ] Check |ws link in chapter= value (help). Encyclopædia Britannica. 3 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Sprent, F. P.; Matthew, H. C. G. "Beeching, Henry Charles (1859–1919)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/30671.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)

External links