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William Boyd Carpenter

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

William Boyd Carpenter

William Boyd Carpenter Vanity Fair 8 March 1906.jpg
"A man Right Reverend and Well-Beloved"
Bishop Boyd Carpenter as caricatured by Spy (Leslie Ward) in Vanity Fair, March 1906
Born(1841-03-26)26 March 1841
Died26 October 1918(1918-10-26) (aged 77)
OccupationAnglican cleric
Years active1878–1918
  • Harriet Charlotte Peers
  • Annie Maude Gardner
  • Henry Carpenter
  • Hester Boyd

Dr William Boyd Carpenter KCVO (26 March 1841, Liverpool – 26 October 1918, Westminster) was a Church of England cleric who became Bishop of Ripon and Royal Chaplain to Queen Victoria.


William Boyd Carpenter was the second son of the Revd Henry Carpenter, perpetual curate of St Michael's Church, Aigburth, Liverpool, who married (marriage licence 1837 in Derry) Hester Boyd, of Derry, sister of Dr Archibald Boyd, Dean of Exeter.[1] Her father was Archibald Boyd (born about 1764 in Shoreditch, London), who married Sarah Bodden there on 13 July 1789.[2]

Carpenter was the uncle of Mrs Henry Williams of Moor Park House, Beckwithshaw, North Yorkshire. In 1897 he consecrated St Michaels and All Angels Church at Beckwithshaw, after she and her husband had funded its construction.[3][4][5]

Education and career

Educated at the Liverpool Institute, before going up to St Catharine's College, Cambridge, Boyd Carpenter was appointed Hulsean Lecturer at Cambridge in 1878.[6] He held several curacies, was Vicar of Christ Church, Lancaster Gate, from 1879 to 1884, Canon of Windsor in 1882–84, and after 1884 Bishop of Ripon. In 1887 he was appointed Bampton Lecturer at Oxford, and in 1895 Pastoral Lecturer on Theology at Cambridge. In June 1901, he received an honorary doctorate of Divinity from the University of Glasgow.[7]

In 1904 and 1913 he visited the United States and delivered the Noble lectures at Harvard. He was Chaplain-in-Ordinary to Queen Victoria, Edward VII, and George V. He resigned his see in 1911 on the grounds of ill-health and became a Canon and Sub-Dean of Westminster. He was interested in eugenic issues and served as President of the Society for Psychical Research in 1912.[8]

Boyd Carpenter served as Clerk of the Closet from 1903 to 1918.


William Boyd Carpenter, 1889
William Boyd Carpenter, 1889

His publications include:[8]

  • Commentary on Revelation (1879)
  • Permanent Elements of Religion (Bampton lectures, 1889)
  • Popular History of the Church of England (1900)
  • Witness to the Influence of Christ (1905)
  • Some Pages of my Life (1911)
  • Life's Tangled Thread (1912)
  • The Apology of Experience (1913)
  • The Burning Bush and Other Sermons. (1893)

Correspondence with Alexandra, Tsarina of the Russias (later Saint Alexandra, the Passion Bearer)

Bishop Boyd-Carpenter corresponded with the last empress of Russia, Alexandra Feodorovna (Alix of Hesse). "In early 1895 she wrote to William Boyd-Carpenter, who as Bishop of Ripon was also court chaplain to her grandmother Queen Victoria, that she was trying hard to come to terms with external trappings of her new faith. ‘Now that I am more used to hear the Russian language I can understand the service so much better, and many things have become clear to me and comprehensible which at first rather startled me. The singing is most beautiful and edifying, only I miss the sermons, which are never preached in the Imperial chapels..."[9][excessive quote]


In 1864 Carpenter married his first wife, Harriet Charlotte Peers (daughter of the Rev. J. W. Peers, of Chislehampton), who bore him eight children:

Harriet died in 1887 and in 1883 Carpenter married his second wife, Annie Maude Gardner (daughter of W. W. Gardner), who bore him a further four children:[10]

  • Victoria Alexandrina Boyd-Carpenter (1884–1885)
  • Beatrice Victoria Margaret Boyd-Carpenter (1885–1977), who married the Rev. Frederick Stanley Pears Lynn Girdlestone, who had been her father's chaplain at Ripon
  • Victor Charles Douglas Boyd-Carpenter (1887–1916), a Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers
  • Hester Macneil Boyd-Carpenter (1893–1960), who married Dr. Arthur Ferguson MacCallan, an ophthalmologist who worked in Egypt

Carpenter's other descendants include:

A medieval knight sporting an early example of the Carpenter arms.
A medieval knight sporting an early example of the Carpenter arms.


"Life of Lord George Carpenter", published in 1736 (five years before Carpenter's death) is stored in the British Museum. It states that he was a son of Warncomb Carpenter, who was the sixth son of Thomas Carpenter, Esq., from Holme in the parish of Dilwyn, Herefordshire. The family had owned land there for over 400 years, proof of their being there by 1300.[14]

The family bore arms with a blazon reading "Paly of six, argent and gules, on a chevron azure, 3 cross crosslets or." The 3 cross crosslets show that an ancestor had been in the Crusades or was a Crusader, possibly William de Melun.[14] Their motto was Per acuta belli ("Through the asperities of war").

There is no direct male-to-male Carpenter descent connecting Lord George Carpenter and Sir William Boyd Carpenter. The family connection is by marriage through women in the family.[15]


  1. ^ David Morris, 'Bishop Boyd Carpenter: Sheep or Shepherd in the Eugenics Movement?' Archived 6 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine, The Galton Institute Newsletter, 55, June 2005
  2. ^ "Sarah Boyd (Bodden)". Geni. Retrieved 22 May 2016.
  3. ^ Yorkshire Gazette, 2 October 1886: "Ecclesiastical news"
  4. ^ Cottingley Connect: St Michael and All Angels church Retrieved 17 January 2014
  5. ^ Leeds Times, Saturday 2 October 1886
  6. ^ "Carpenter, William Boyd (CRPR860WB)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  7. ^ "Glasgow University jubilee". The Times (36481). London. 14 June 1901. p. 10.
  8. ^ a b H. D. A. Major, ‘Carpenter, William Boyd (1841–1918)’, rev. H. C. G. Matthew, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004, accessed 14 April 2009
  9. ^ Janet Ashton, "God in all things": the religious beliefs of Russia's last empress and their personal and political context
  10. ^ Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 106th edition, 2 volumes (Crans, Switzerland: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 1999), volume 1, page 344. Hereinafter cited as Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 106th edition.
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ a b Carpenter, J. Hatton (April 1925). "The Carpenter Family of England and the United States". Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine. 16 (2): 60–70. Archived from the original on 17 September 2014.
  15. ^ Carpenter, John R. Carpenters' Encyclopedia of Carpenters 2009 (DVD format). Lord George is RIN 11685.

wikisource-logo.svg This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainGilman, D. C.; Peck, H. T.; Colby, F. M., eds. (1905). "Carpenter, William Boyd". New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead.

External links

Religious titles
Preceded by
Robert Bickersteth
Bishop of Ripon
Succeeded by
Thomas Wortley Drury
This page was last edited on 28 February 2021, at 20:57
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