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JOHN SAUL HOWSON (1816-1885)

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Originally appearing in Volume V13, Page 840 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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JOHN SAUL HOWSON (1816-1885), English divine, was born at Giggleswick-in-Craven, Yorkshire, on the 5th of May 1816. After receiving his early education at Giggleswick school, of which. his father was head-master, he went to Trinity College, Cambridge, and there became tutor successively to the marquis of Sligo and the marquis of Lorne. In 1845 Howson, having taken orders, accepted the post of senior classical master at the Liver-pool College under his friend W. J. Conybeare, whom he succeeded as principal in 1849. This post he held until 1865, and it was largely due to his influence that a similar college for girls was established at Liverpool. In 1866 he left Liverpool for the vicarage of Wisbech, and in 1867 he was appointed dean of Chester Cathedral, where he gave himself vigorously to the work of restoring the crumbling fabric, collecting nearly £1oo,000 in five years for this purpose. His sympathies were with the evangelical party, and he stoutly opposed the " Eastward position," but he was by no means narrow. He did much to reintroduce the ministry of women as deaconesses. The building of the King's School for boys, and the Queen's School for girls (both in Chester), was due in a great measure to the active interest which he took in educational matters. He died at Bournemouth on the 15th of December 1885, and was buried in the cloister garth of Chester. Howson's chief literary production was The Life and Epistles of St Paul (1852) in which he collaborated with Conybeare. Adventures in the IVildr of Australia (18J4), Land, Labour and Gold; or, Two Years in Victoria (1855) and Tallangetta, the Squatter's Home (18J7). On his return to England Howitt had settled at Highgate and resumed his indefatigable book-making. From 1856 to 1862 he was engaged on Cassell's Illustrated History of England, and from 1861 to 1864 he and his wife worked at the Ruined Abbeys and Castles of Great Britain. The Howitts had left the Society of Friends in 1847, and became interested in spiritualism. In 1863 appeared The History of the Super-natural in all Ages and Nations, and in all Churches, Christian and Pagan, demonstrating a Universal Faith, by William Howitt. He added " his own conclusions from a practical examination of the higher phenomena through a course of seven years." From 1870 onwards Howitt `spent the summers in Tirol and the winters in Rome, where he died on the 3rd of March 1879. Mary Howitt was much affected by his death, and in 1882 she joined the Roman Catholic Church, towards which she had been gradually moving during her connexion with spiritualism. She died at Rome on the 3oth of January 1888. The Howitts are remembered for their untiring efforts to provide wholesome and instructive literature. Their son, Alfred William Howitt, made himself a name by his explorations in Australia. Anna Mary Howitt married Alaric Alfred Watts, and was the author of Pioneers of the Spiritual Reformation (1883). Mary Howitt's autobiography was edited by her daughter,Margaret Howitt, in 1889. William Howitt wrote some fifty books, and his wife's publications, inclusive of translations, number over a hundred.
End of Article: JOHN SAUL HOWSON (1816-1885)

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