Charles Kingsley

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Alton Locke (1849)

Westward Ho! (1855)

Charles Kingsley (12 June 1819 – 23 January 1875) was an English clergyman, university professor, historian and novelist, particularly associated with the West Country and northeast Hampshire.


Life and character

Kingsley was born in Holne, Devon, the second son of the Rev. Charles Kingsley and his wife Mary. His brother, Henry Kingsley, also became a novelist. He spent his childhood in Clovelly, Devon and Barnack, Northamptonshire and was educated at Helston Grammar School[1] before studying at King's College London, and the University of Cambridge. Charles entered Magdalene College, Cambridge in 1838, and graduated in 1842.[2] He chose to pursue a ministry in the church. From 1844, he was rector of Eversley in Hampshire, and in 1860, he was appointed Regius Professor of Modern History at the University of Cambridge.

In 1869 Kingsley resigned his professorship, and from 1870 to 1873 he was a canon of Chester Cathedral. While in Chester he founded the Chester Society for Natural Science, Literature and Art which played an important part in the establishment of the Grosvenor Museum.[3] In 1872 he accepted the Presidency of the Birmingham and Midland Institute and became its 19th President.[4] Kingsley died in 1875 and was buried in St Mary's Churchyard in Eversley.

Kingsley sat on the 1866 Edward Eyre Defence Committee along with Thomas Carlyle, John Ruskin, Charles Dickens and Alfred Lord Tennyson, where he supported Jamaican Governor Edward Eyre's brutal suppression of the Morant Bay Rebellion against the Jamaica Committee.

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