Rev. George Anthony Denison
11 December 1805 - 21 March 1896
Vicar of St Marys. East Brent.
and Archdeacon of Taunton.
George was the fourth surviving son of
(c.1759-1820), who as John Wilkinson had inherited the Ossington estate
He was part of a close-knit and distinguished family of nine sons and
daughters, plus two daughters from his father's previous marriage. His
John Evelyn Denison
(1800-1873), later Viscount Ossington, Edward
Denison (1801-1854), Bishop of Salisbury, and
Sir William T.
Denison (1804-1871), colonial governor.
He married in 1838 Georgiana Henley (d 1908). They had no children.
thanks to Ron Lloyd. East Brent.
Biography of George Anthony Denison, Archdeacon of Taunton (1805-1896)
Nottingham University website.
The Rev. George Denison will be
forever remembered by the people of East Brent for what he called his
"Two hobbies" !
These were the "Construction of the
East Brent Waterworks" on the side of the Knoll. Which brought clean
drinking water to the village. Whereas before, water was taken from just
two shallow wells which were prone to contamination from the drainage of
the houses and land.
His other hobby was the institution
of The "Harvest Home" ! Which came from a suggestion from his then
churchwarden John Hicks in 1857. The first ever 'Harvest Home' was held
on Sep. 3rd that year, and every year since, except for during the two
world wars and in 2002 because of the Foot and Mouth outbreak!
He was educated at Eton College and Christ Church College, Oxford, and
by a private tutor, the Rev. Charles Drury. In 1829 he was elected a
fellow of Oriel College, and in 1830 gained his M.A.
He was editor of the Church and
State Review from 1862 to 1865, and a regular contributor to
religious, political and social controversies.
He was a college tutor at Oriel from 1830 to 1836, and in 1832 was
ordained and served as curate of Cuddesdon, Oxfordshire. In 1838 he
became vicar of Broadwindsor, Dorset, which was in the gift of his
brother Edward, Bishop of Salisbury. In 1845 he moved to East Brent where he remained vicar for the remainder of his life. He
became Archdeacon of Taunton in 1851.
It is thought he could
have risen to one of the very highest positions in the church. However
his fearless and outspoken views on the way the church was moving at the
time, is thought to have displeased many in the high church. And is
probably why he remained vicar of East Brent for the rest of his life.
Archdeacon Denison was a Tractarian, an Oxford
group which supported the inclusion of the Catholic church religion
within the Anglican church.
In 1856 he was prosecuted in the
ecclesiastical courts over his doctrinal position on the eucharist
(Ditcher* v. Denison), winning an appeal against his deprivation in 1858.
After winning his
appeal against the charges brought by the Rev. Ditcher of Brent Knoll,
on his return from London by train, he was greeted by every available
parishioner at Highbridge Station who escorted him and his wife in their
carriage to the boundary of the village. Where they took the horses from
the carriage and was drawn by the parishioners a mile and a half to the
church, where a thanksgiving service was held. And then drawn home to
* Rev. Joseph Ditcher. Vicar of Brent Knoll.