Henry M. Gwatkin


Henry Melvill Gwatkin (1844 - 1916), theologian and church historian, spent the whole of his working life at Cambridge. Appointed lecturer at St. John's College in 1874, he succeeded Mandrel Creighton as Dixie Professor of Ecclesiastical History in 1891. He was Gifford lecturer in 1903.

Gwatkin was a man of wide and deep learning, with an exceptional knowledge of original sources and a singularly keen eye for vital facts and tendencies in difficult and perplexing periods.

As a teacher, despite bad sight and a poor delivery, he was outstanding. He was a clear, witty, and stimulating lecturer, but in the opinion of some of his pupils he was at his best in the Greek Testament readings he conducted in succession to F. J. A. Hort.

"Gwatkin easily stood at the head of the Cambridge lecturers whom I regularly heard" wrote T. R. Glover, one of his former pupils. "His subject was Church History and he knew it in and out, back and forth, root and branch - the original authorities and secondary."

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