Henry Cotterill

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The Right Reverend
Henry Cotterill
Bishop of Grahamstown and Bishop of Edinburgh
Church Anglican and Scottish Episcopal Church
Diocese Grahamstown and Edinburgh
In office 1856 – 1886
Predecessor John Armstrong
Successor Nathaniel Merriman
Ordination 1836
Consecration 1856
Personal details
Born 1812
Died 16 April 1886(1886-04-16)
File:Henry Cotterill's grave in St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh.jpg
Henry Cotterill's grave in St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh
File:56 Manor Place, Edinburgh.jpg
Cotterill's house at 56 Manor Place, Edinburgh

Henry Cotterill (1812 – 1886) was an Anglican bishop serving in South Africa in the second half of the 19th century. From 1872 until death he was a bishop of the Scottish Episcopal Church in Edinburgh.

Early life

Cotterill was born in Ampton in 1812 into an ecclesiastical family[1] of committed Church Evangelicals. His father, Rev Joseph Cotterill (1780 – 1858), was Rector of Blakeney, Norfolk, and a prebendary of Norwich Cathedral. His mother, Anne Boak,[2] was a close friend of Hannah More.[3] Educated at his father's old college, St John's College, Cambridge, he was both Senior Wrangler and headed the list of Classicists in 1835,[4] on the strength of which he was elected as a Fellow of his college.[5][6] Influenced by Charles Simeon, he was ordained in 1836 and went to India as Chaplain to the Madras Presidency the following year.[7][8] Forced by malaria to return to England in 1846, he became inaugural Vice Principal and then the second Principal of Brighton College.[8] In post less than six years, he reinvigorated the languishing infant school. In a whirlwind of energetic reform, he overhauled the curriculum by introducing the teaching of the sciences and oriental languages, restored discipline, launched a fund to build a chapel, built the first on-site boarding house and connected the school to the town's gas supply.[9]

Bishop of Grahamstown

At the suggestion of the great Earl of Shaftesbury and Archbishop Sumner of Canterbury,[10] he was nominated and consecrated[11] in 1856 as the second Bishop of Grahamstown[12] in South Africa. As was then customary, he was simultaneously created a doctor of divinity.[13]

Cotterill was consecrated on 23 November 1856, and arrived in Grahamstown in May 1857. Bishop Cotterill's episcopate was occupied with the development and consolidation of his diocese, and with the institution of diocesan and provincial synods. The opening service of the first synod of the diocese was held in the Grahamstown Cathedral on 20 June 1860. It may be of interest to record that H. Blaine and F. Carlisle were the representatives of the Cathedral congregation at the synod.

As one of the bishops of South Africa, he sat in judgement in December 1863 on the Bishop of Natal, John Colenso, his college friend from Cambridge days.

Translation to Edinburgh

He was translated to Edinburgh in 1871 as coadjutor bishop of the Scottish Episcopal Church, and was created a full diocesan bishop in 1872.[14]

During his time in Edinburgh he resided at 10 North Manor Place (later renumbered as 56 Manor Place), just north of his place of worship St Mary's Cathedral.[15]

He died in post in Edinburgh in 1886 and was buried between the choir stalls in the cathedral.[16] His grave is covered by a large memorial brass made by Francis Skidmore[citation needed] of Coventry.

Family life

In 1836 he married Anna Isabella Parnther (1812-1899)[2] who had been born in Jamaica.

They had at least two daughters and four sons.[17] The four boys all attended Brighton College. George Edward (1839 – 1913), a Cambridge cricket blue and Sussex cricketer, was briefly Headmaster of St Andrew's College, Grahamstown (1863 – 65) before returning to teach at Brighton College (1865 – 81). Henry Bernard (1846 – 1924) was an African missionary explorer and writer. Joseph Montagu (1851 – 1933) played cricket for Sussex and became President of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and was knighted. Arthur John (1849 – 1915) was Engineer-in-Chief, Egyptian Railways.

His brother George was on the teaching staff of Brighton College 1849 – 51 before emigrating to New Zealand while, intriguingly, his youngest brother, James Henry, was a pupil at the school while he was the Principal. James Henry became Professor of Applied Mathematics at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich (1873 – 97) and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1878.

Published works

His published works include

Notes and references

  1. Nutter 1911.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Waterston & Macmillan Shearer 2006, p. 206.
  3. Jones 1995.
  4. Craik 2008, pp. 254–.
  5. "Cotterill, Henry (CTRL829H)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Neale 1907, p. 34.
  7. Johnson, Jon. "Details of HENRY COTTERILL". Details of Priests, Chaplains, Missionaries in Madras. Retrieved 2014-09-08.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. 8.0 8.1 Jones 1995, pp. 26, 41.
  9. Jones 1995, pp. 41 – 46, 50, 53 – 54, 116 – 117.
  10. Jones 1995, p. 46.
  11. Cotton 1856.
  12. "Consecration Of Bishops". The Ipswich Journal. 29 November 1856. p. 1 col F. Retrieved 2014-09-08 – via British Newspaper Archive.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Hefling & Shattuck 2008.
  14. The New Bishop Of Edinburgh.-The Right Rev H. Cotterill The Times Friday, Apr 28, 1871; p. 11; Issue 27049; col D
  15. Edinburgh and Leith Post Office Directory 1880
  16. Obituary For 1886 The Times Saturday, Jan 01, 1887; p. 3; Issue 31958; col E
  17. 1851 Census for 133 Marine Parade, Brighton plus biographical information in Brighton College Archives


  • Nutter, Charles S. (1911). The Hymns and Hymn Writers of the Church. Nashville, New York and Cincinnati: Eaton & Mains, Jennings &. Graham, Smith & Lamar.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Anglican Church of Southern Africa titles
Preceded by
John Armstrong
Bishop of Grahamstown
1856 – 1871
Succeeded by
Nathaniel James Merriman
Scottish Episcopal Church titles
Preceded by
Charles Terrot
Bishop of Edinburgh
1871 – 1886
Succeeded by
John Dowden