Harrow School, 5 High St, Harrow, Harrow on the Hill HA1 3HP
University of Cambridge, 4 Mill Ln, Cambridge CB2 1RZ
Ely Cathedral Ely, East Cambridgeshire District, Cambridgeshire, England
St Mary Church Lawford, Tendring District, Essex, England
The Very Reverend Charles Merivale (8 March 1808 – 27 December 1893) was an English historian and churchman, for many years dean of Ely Cathedral. He was one of the main instigators of the inaugural Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race which took place at Henley in 1829. He was part of the Cambridge Apostles.
Merivale was the second son of John Herman Merivale (1770–1844) and Louisa Heath Drury, daughter of Joseph Drury, headmaster of Harrow. He was educated at Harrow School under George Butler from 1818 to 1824, where his chief schoolfriends were Charles Wordsworth and Richard Chenevix Trench. He took part in the Eton versus Harrow cricket match in 1824. In 1824 he was offered a post in the Indian civil service, and went for a short time to Haileybury College, where he did well in Oriental languages. Deciding against an Indian career, he went up to St John's College, Cambridge in 1826. Among other distinctions he came out as fourth classic in 1830, and in 1833 was elected fellow of St John's. He was a member of the Cambridge Apostles' Club, his fellow-members including Alfred Tennyson, Arthur Hallam, Richard Monckton Milnes, 1st Baron Houghton, William Hepworth Thompson, Richard Chenevix Trench and James Spedding. Merivale was the main protagonist on the Cambridge side in instigating the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race held at Henley on Thames in 1829. He rowed at number four in the Cambridge boat in the race which Oxford won.
Merivale was ordained deacon in 1833 and priest in 1834 and undertook college and university work successfully. He was appointed select preacher at Whitehall in 1839. In 1848 he took the college living of St Mary's Church, Lawford, near Manningtree in Essex. He was appointed Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons in 1863. In 1869, he declined the professorship of modern history at Cambridge, but in the same year accepted from Gladstone the deanery of Ely, and until his death devoted himself to the best interests of the cathedral, also receiving many honorary academical distinctions.
Merivale married Judith Mary Sophia Frere, youngest daughter of George Frere in 1850. Their son John Herman Merivale was the first English professor of mining.
Merivale died at Ely at the age of 85. There is a memorial to him in Ely Cathedral and St Mary's Church, Lawford.
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