Joseph Hunkin

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Memorial in Truro Cathedral

The Rt Rev Joseph Wellington Hunkin,[1] OBE, MC,[2] DD was the eighth Bishop of Truro from 1935 to 1950.[3][4]

He was born on 25 September 1887 at Truro and educated at Truro College,[5] the Leys School and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. Ordained in 1914, he began his career with a curacy at St Andrew’s, Plymouth.[6] He was then a Chaplain in the British Armed Forces during World War I [7] and after that Dean of his old college. From 1927 until his ascension to the Episcopate he was Archdeacon of Coventry[8] and an Honorary Chaplain to the King. In 1938 he volunteered to be chaplain to the British Legion Volunteer Police Force.[9]

He died on 28 October 1950.[10] He was a strong Evangelical and noted for his pastoral work.[11] He was the chair of a commission to produce a new English translation of the Bible from 1948 to 1950. Hunkin used as his pastoral staff a shepherd's crook of iron with a wooden shaft bound with a silver band inscribed "Un para, un bugel" (Cornish for "One flock, one shepherd") and humbly enlisted in the Home Guard during World War II. A keen gardener, he was commemorated by a garden in the cathedral close and a shrub donated to every parish.[12]


Among his published works was Is it Reasonable to Believe?; London : Hodder & Stoughton, 1935. In 2001 a collection of newspaper articles by him was published, edited by the Revd. Douglas Pett: From a Cornish Bishop's Garden; edited with an introduction by Douglas Ellory Pett. 2001. Penzance: Alison Hodge[13]


  1. NPG details
  2. London Gazette
  3. Bishop of Truro: Archdeacon Hunkin Appointed The Times Monday, 1 April 1935; p. 14; Issue 47027; col F
  4. “Who was Who” 1897–2007 London, A & C Black, 2007 ISBN 978-0-19-954087-7
  5. Wood, Joanna (2005), High on the Hill, pp. 184–185. Blue Hill Publishing, ISBN 0-9549005-1-0.
  6. Church web-site
  7. Dunstan, A. & Peart-Binns, J. S. (1977) Cornish Bishop. London: Epworth ISBN 0716202824/ ISBN 978-0-7162-0282-0
  8. Crockford's Clerical Directory1940–41 Oxford, OUP,1941
  9. "British Legion volunteers". The Times. 7 October 1938. p. 8.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Bishop of Truro: a Great Pastoral Leader The Times Monday, 30 October 1950; p. 6; Issue 51835; col E
  11. "Joseph Hunkin in New York". Time Inc. 14 February 1938. Retrieved 20 March 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Brown, H. Miles (1976) A Century for Cornwall. Truro: Blackford; pp. 102–116
  13. Hunkin, J.W. "From a Cornish bishop's garden". Copac. Retrieved 23 April 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
Church of England titles
Preceded by
Walter Howard Frere
Bishop of Truro
Succeeded by
Edmund Robert Morgan