Tuesday 21 September 2010

George Waddington (1793-1869)- A 19th century Durham University worthy

From Durham University by Fowler: 

... according to the Order in Council of 1841, [Dean George Waddington] succeeded Archdeacon Thorp as Warden of [Durham] University in 1862, being then nearly seventy years old.

A man of that age could hardly be expected to show much activity on succeeding to a post which he had never desired, but he showed liberality and wisdom in promoting the interests of the University. (...)

He was a man of stately presence, and his magnificent appearance as he stood in the Dean's stall [at Durham Cathedral] was greatly enhanced by his singularly fine head of snow-white hair. He had a grand, sonorous voice, and his splendid delivery in reading and preaching still lives in vivid rememberance.

He never could be fairly charged with any tendency to asceticism, but rather the reverse.

He was fond of old English sports, and used to visit the boxing booths at Durham Races. It was sais that he objected to dinner 'without a bird', his cellar was superlative, and he considered any pictures or other works of art - unless it were the culinary art - were quite out of place in a dining room.

He could use forcible language on occasion, as once when the conversation turned on smoking, and he said, 'I abominate the stink of tobacco!'

A mischievous lady asked Archdeacon Bland, 'What did the Dean say, Mr Archdeacon?'

That gentle diginitary replied, 'The Dean says that he dislikes the scent of the cigar.'

The Dean, overhearing, said aloud, 'What I say is, that I abominate the stink of tobacco !'

He was never married.

From Durham University: Earlier Foundations and Present Colleges, by JT Fowler MA FSA. Published by FE Robinson and Co., London, 1904. Pages 115-6.

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