John Armstrong (bishop of Grahamstown)

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John Armstrong
Bishop of Grahamstown
Portrait of John Armstrong, First Bishop of Grahamstown and Founder of St Andrew's College
Rt Revd John Armstrong
Church Anglican
Diocese Grahamstown
In office 1853 – 1856
Predecessor First incumbent
Successor Henry Cotterill
Ordination 1837
Consecration 1853
Personal details
Born (1813-08-22)22 August 1813
Died 16 May 1856(1856-05-16) (aged 42)
Previous post Vicar of Tidenham

John Armstrong (22 August 1813 – 16 May 1856) was a Church of England clergyman and Bishop of Grahamstown.

He was born at Bishop-Wearmouth, August 22, 1813. he was the second child and eldest son of Dr. Armstrong, a physician of eminence. Dr. Armstrong settled in London about the year 1818. His son John, at eight years old, was sent to a preparatory school at Hanwell, under the care of Dr. Bond. He suffered much during this time from rheumatism, and delicacy of health, and his studies were often interrupted. In the year 1827, when now fourteen years of age, he was sent to the Charterhouse School. He went in the year 1832, when nearly nineteen years of age, to a private tutor, the Rev. Jas. Tweed, of Harlow, Essex, with the view of fitting himself to become a candidate for Lord Crowe's Exhibition at Lincoln College, Oxford. About this time the resolution was formed to devote himself to the ministry. He took a third-class degree in classics in Michaelmas term, 1836. In 1837 he was ordained Deacon, and commenced his ministry as Curate of Alford, in Somersetshire.

Armstrong was consecrated Bishop of Grahamstown at Lambeth Parish Church on St. Andrew's Day in 1853,[1] but he did not reach his Diocese of Grahamstown until the following October.

Armstrong, who was a man of delicate health, devoted himself to two prime objects. The first was missions to the heathen, which had been completely neglected by the Church. The Bishop laid the foundations upon which the missionary work of this diocese and St John's has been built. His further object was the successful founding of St. Andrew's College, Grahamstown in 1855, whose dedication commemorates the date of his consecration.[2] But the rough travelling and many anxieties of his diocese were too severe for the Bishop's delicate frame, and he died on 16 May 1856, after less than two years in the country.[3]

He is the author of the Hymn text, O thou who makest souls to shine which appears in some of the editions of Hymns Ancient and Modern.[4]

His son, Edward, became a noted historian.

Notes and references

Anglican Church of Southern Africa titles
New diocese Bishop of Grahamstown
1853 – 1856
Succeeded by
Henry Cotterill