Thomas Legh Claughton

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The Right Reverend
Thomas Legh Claughton
Bishop of St Albans
Bp Thomas Legh Claughton.jpg
Church Church of England
Diocese Diocese of St Albans
Installed 1877
Term ended 1890
Predecessor Himself
(as Bishop of Rochester)
Successor John Festing
Other posts Bishop of Rochester
Oxford Professor of Poetry
Ordination 1834
Consecration c. 1867
Personal details
Born (1808-11-06)6 November 1808
Haydock Lodge, Winwick
Died 25 July 1892(1892-07-25) (aged 83)
Danbury Palace, Essex
Buried St Albans Cathedral
Nationality British
Denomination Anglican
Residence Danbury Palace, Essex
Parents Thomas Claughton MP & Maria
Spouse Hon Julia Ward
Children Sir Gilbert Claughton, Bt
Amelia, Duchess of Argyll
Revd Thomas Claughton
Hon Mrs Ronald Campbell
Profession Academic; poet
Alma mater Trinity College, Oxford

Thomas Legh Claughton (6 November 1808 – 25 July 1892) was a British academic, poet and clergyman. He was professor of poetry at Oxford University from 1852 to 1857; Bishop of Rochester; and the first Bishop of St Albans.[1]


Claughton was born at Haydock Lodge in Haydock, then in Lancashire. He was the son of Lancashire MP Thomas Claughton and his wife, Maria.[2] Educated at The King's School, Chester[3] and Rugby School, he was admitted in 1826 to Trinity College, Oxford, where he took a first in Literae Humaniores in 1831.

Remaining at Oxford, he held the post of select preacher to the University four times between 1841 and 1868 and from 1852 to 1857 he held the office of Professor of Poetry.

Ordained in 1834, Claughton was assigned no cure until 1841, when he was appointed vicar of Kidderminster. This post he held for 26 years and was widely acclaimed for his work.[1] In April 1867, Claughton was nominated Bishop of Rochester on the recommendation of Lord Derby, for whose installation as Chancellor of Oxford Claughton had written an ode.

In 1877, the Diocese of St Albans was created. Essentially land north of the Thames in the counties of Essex and Hertfordshire, previously ministered under Claughton's see, the Diocese of Rochester, formed the new diocese. Possibly as he already resided in the newly created Diocese, Claughton chose to become the first Bishop of St Albans, a post which he held until 1890.


Claughton married the Honourable Julia Susannah Ward, eldest daughter of the 10th Lord Ward and had five sons and four daughters:

From his enthronement as 98th Bishop of Rochester to his resignation from the bishopric of St Albans in 1890, Claughton resided at Danbury Palace (near Chelmsford), where he died. It was a distinguished occupancy as his elder daughter, Amelia, married (for her second time) the Duke of Argyll at a ceremony at the Palace. He is buried in St Albans Cathedral.

His widow died at the Priory, Dudley, on 28 May 1902, aged 84.[4]

Selected works

  • "Voyages of Discovery to the Polar Regions" (1829), poem – winner of the Newdigate prize for 1829
  • Questions on the Collects, Epistles, and Gospels (1853–57), 2 vols.


  1. ^ a b Sutton, C. W. "Claughton, Thomas Legh (1808–1892)." Rev. H. C. G. Matthew. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Ed. H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. Oxford: OUP, 2004. Accessed 10 Feb 2007.
  2. ^ "Thomas Legh Claughton". 19th-Century Bishops of the Church of England. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-02-10. 
  3. ^ "Inspirational Alumni Members". The King's School Chester. Archived from the original on 15 December 2011. Retrieved 2 December 2011. 
  4. ^ "Obituary". The Times (36781). London. 30 May 1902. p. 10. 

External links

Church of England titles
Preceded by
Joseph Wigram
Bishop of Rochester
Succeeded by
Anthony Thorold
New diocese Bishop of St Albans
Succeeded by
John Festing
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