Henry Whitehead 1825-1896: A Memorial Sketch (Glasgow, 1897)

In 1874, after working in a number of London parishes, Henry Whitehead (1825-1896) moved to the Lake District, initially as Vicar at Brampton before moving to Newlands and finally to Lanercost.  Rawnsley and Whitehead had many interests in common, especially church architecture and history, and bell-ringing.  Hardwicke wrote:

This memorial sketch, the preparation of which has been entrusted to me by Mrs. Whitehead, is an attempt to give some idea of the character and work of a man of rare qualities of mind and heart, who impressed all who knew him as a unique personality from whom they were ever learning new lessons of wisdom and charity.  I have endeavoured, by aid of the particulars placed at my disposal, to exhibit the outward influences that moulded his early years, and to give some picture of his life’s work in the different spheres of labour wherein his lot was cast.  I have felt, however, that my task might be best fulfilled by letting him, as far as possible, speak for himself, and reveal his own character in written and reported words.

Amplifying on some of the above, Hardwicke notes:

But it was not the personality of the man that alone was remarkable.  It was the dark sayings of the wise, the epigrammatic words of counsel, the proverbial expressions so constantly on his lips, that stuck.  They were sayings which were the result of keen observation.  As a young man at Lincoln he was noted for this, and hardly a conversation in after life but was salted with this pungent salt of pithy epigram.  “Never give reasons for what you do; if it is right to do, do it, never explain.”  “Always believe a man to be honest till you know him to be otherwise.”  “It is sometimes necessary to know a great deal in order to say very little.”  “Always understate your case; nothing is gained by over-emphasis.”  “No man looks a fool unless he thinks himself one.”  “Never be afraid to be in a minority of one; majorities are mostly wrong.”  “The chief good of having rights lies in being able to waive them.”  “A large part of Christianity consists in behaving like a gentleman.”  “Nothing is rude that is not meant to be rude.”  “The world comes to him that can wait.”  “When you write an important letter always sleep on it.”  “He that believeth shall not make haste.”  These and many other short sentences of the kind will recur to those who remember him, as samples of the sort of terse aphorism in which he delighted. (pp. 168-169)



Early Days (pp. 1-17)

College Days (pp. 18-28)

London Curacies (pp. 29-48)

Continuation of Work in London: The Published Sermons (pp. 49-88)

Brampton (pp. 89-129)

Newlands, Newton Reigny, and Lanercost (pp. 130-150)

The Testimony of Friends (pp. 151-165)

Personal Reminiscences: Whitehead as a Writer (166-196)