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2. JUBILEE ODE, 1887 



The prehistoric foreworld -- Caesar in Britain -- The Roman conquest of Britain -- The Anglo-Saxon conquest -- The coming of Augustine -- Edwin of Deira -- Oswald of Bernicia -- Oswy and Penda -- The conference at Whitby -- The great plague -- King Egfrid and three great churchmen: Wilfrid, Theodore, Cuthbert -- The legislation of King Ine -- The eighth century -- Early Danish invasions -- Egbert and Ethelwulf -- Ethelwulf's sons -- Danish invasions to the baptism of Guthrum -- Alfred at peace -- Alfred's last days -- Edward and his sons -- Edgar and Dunstan -- Edward the martyr -- Old age of Dunstan -- Normans and Northmen -- Ethelred the redeless -- Canute and his sons -- Legislation of the later kings -- Edward the confessor -- Stamford Bridge and Hastings

THE DYNASTY OF THEODOSIUS; or, Eighty years' struggle with the barbarians

The letters of CASSIODORUS, being a condensed translation of the Variae epistolae of Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator




The trial of our faith : and other papers











Thomas Hodgkin was born on July 29,1831, in Tottenham. His home was in Bruce Grove, a lane turning off from the wide high-road that led to London past the tall elm trees named after the seven sisters by whom they were said to have been planted. Thomas’s ancestors had belonged to the Society of Friends since its foundation. They were farmers or wool-staplers, leading quiet, industrious lives either at Shutford or Shipston on Stour. Thomas’s grandfather, John Hodgkin, preferred learning to business, and with the help of an uncle, aided by his own zeal for study, fitted himself to earn his living as a private tutor, a lucrative occupation in those days. To learn French he travelled in France, then in the throes of revolution, and his vivid account of the scenes he had witnessed used to delight his grandson. He married and settled at Pentonville, moving in 1815 to the pretty little village of Tottenham. His pupils were chiefly ladies, daughters of wealthy merchants and bankers living in the neighbourhood of London. He rode on horseback to give his lessons, his saddle-bags weighted with books for the use of his pupils. His favorite art was calligraphy, though he taught a great variety of subjects, and he attached much value to beautiful penmanship. He published two books on calligraphy which are still sought after by collectors. The high standard of the family in this matter is shown by the frequent laments of his grandson over his own bad handwriting.

Only two of John Hodgkin’s sons lived to grow up. They were educated at home by their father. The elder, Thomas, became a doctor and was a great feature in the lives of his nephews and nieces, known as “Uncle Doctor”; the younger, John, became a successful conveyancer with a large practice. He was eminent as a teacher of law, and his chambers were always full of pupils. But religion was the first interest of his life. After a severe illness he retired at the age of forty-three from professional life, and devoted himself entirely to religious and philanthropic work. He travelled far and wide to minister to different Quaker congregations, and his preaching was greatly valued.

John Hodgkin the younger married Elizabeth Howard, daughter of Luke Howard, an eminent member of the Society of Friends. The Howards lived partly at Tottenham and partly at Ackworth Villa, in Yorkshire. Thomas, the subject of this memoir, was the second child of his parents. He had one brother, John Eliot, older, and two sisters, Mariabella and Elizabeth, younger, than himself. When he was only four and a half years old his mother died at the birth of her fifth child, who survived her only a few days. Thomas was passionately attached to her, and she was a living memory to him all through his life. Till his own death he never failed to keep the anniversary of her death. He remembered his mother as wearing the Friends’ high muslin cap, but she did not dress in the extreme of the old Quaker fashion.

Thomas Hodgkin’s religious feelings were early developed. The religious discussions of the time were full of interest to Thomas, who even as a child had a taste for theological questions.

John Hodgkin was determined that his sons should be good classical scholars, and Thomas began Latin at five. When Thomas was nine it was arranged that he and his brother with four other boys belonging to the Society should form a class and be educated together.

In 1842, at his evening visit to his sons, John Hodgkin, sitting between the two boys’ beds, told them that he was going to marry again. It was only for a little over two years that the gentle presence of this much loved stepmother brightened the children’s lives. When she died in 1845, leaving one son, Jonathan Backhouse, Thomas mourned her almost as much as his own mother.

In the spring of 1844 Thomas and his brother Eliot were sent to the school at Grove House, Tottenham, which had been founded in 1828 for the sons of “Friends in comfortable circumstances”. Thomas says that his “uncle doctor” watched the progress of his two nephews at school as the trainer in a racing stable watches his colts. They were sent for by their uncle to have their proficiency in the classics tested by Professor Maiden, and he decided that they were quite fit to enter University College, London. So Eliot went there in 1845, and Thomas followed the next year when he was only a little over fifteen.

Before going to College, Thomas had his first experience in foreign travel. The father and uncle took the two boys for a six weeks’ trip on the Continent. They went up the Rhine to Mayence, and thence to Switzerland and on to the Tyrol, going down the Danube to Vienna. They came back to Trieste and thence to Venice, Verona, and Milan, and home by Como over the Alps. Some of the incidents of this journey which stayed in his memory show how his historic sense was already developing, for he remembered that they attended a session of the Swiss Federal Diet at Lucerne and heard a discussion on the admission of the Jesuits into Switzerland. He saw the Austrians “lording it in Venice”, and felt there was thunder in the air. Europe was preparing for 1848. No later journeys, however extensive or interesting, blotted out for him the recollection of this first one, which in old age he wrote of as remaining in his memory “the greatest land­mark of foreign travel”.




From an oil painting by Julius Sperling





Soon after his return from his first continental journey, Thomas began his life at University College, London. There were distinguished teachers at University College in those days. Towering up intellectually above all his fellows was the mathematician Augustus De Morgan. Then there was “the refined, soft-voiced” Professor of Greek, Henry Maiden. The Latin professor was Francis Henry Newman, “a brilliant, rapid and audacious teacher, who did not easily get into touch with the minds of the students”.

During the first part of his college life, Hodgkin lodged in Hampstead Road with two medical students, one of whom was Joseph Lister, afterwards Lord Lister, the famous surgeon, who was then a member of the Society of Friends. Both were several years older than Hodgkin, who sometimes longed for companions nearer his own age.

A considerable part of the long vacation of 1847 was spent by Thomas in Dublin with his father. Irish Quakerism was at that time in a very dead-alive condition. The distress caused by the famine had helped to rouse men to their religious needs, and John Hodgkin, commissioned by the English Friends to carry relief to their starving brethren in Ireland, brought welcome help both to their physical and spiritual distress.

After about a year and a half in London lodgings, it was arranged that Thomas should live at home and go in to College every day either riding or by train. He made the journeys to and fro with other Tottenham students, of whom William Fowler and Samuel L. Fox were then and afterwards his chief friends. But of all college friends the closest was Edward Fry, some years older than himself, who came up to College in 1848.

Hodgkin started his college career with a great ambition to win prizes. In his first year he won the junior Latin prize, and in the second year the senior Latin and the history prizes. He speaks of himself as having got thoroughly into the prize-hunting spirit, in consequence of which he entered his name for more classes than he could properly undertake. The inevitable result was a severe breakdown in health; he was “like one who had drowned himself in lectures and classes”. After this there was a second visit (1849) to Ireland with his sisters and their governess, whilst his father was again engaged in his travelling ministrations and also in courting the Irish lady who was to become his third wife. Thomas was not really in a fit state of health for study; it was an unhealthy year and cholera had reached Dublin. The sudden death from it of a Dublin Friend weighed on the boy’s mind; religious faith did not help him, and he was depressed with fears of death.

The winter that followed was dull and depressing for Thomas; he was not allowed to study regularly, and did not know what to do instead. A long visit to Falmouth helped to restore him to some measure of health.

He had paid his first visit there in the spring of 1848, staying with Barclay Fox and his wife, the sister of John Hodgkin’s second wife. This first short visit to Falmouth was followed by a much longer one when he was asked by Barclay Fox to go down to recruit his health.

It was about this time that the “uncle doctor”, a bachelor of some fifty years standing, to the great surprise and amusement of the little Quaker world, married a lady whom her nephew described as a buxom widow. It proved a very happy marriage and an unmixed advantage to Thomas, who often stayed at their house in London during his college days. There was another wedding in the family a few months afterwards, when Thomas’s father married the beautiful young Irish Friend whom he had been courting for several months.

Ill health had largely destroyed Thomas’s hopes of a brilliant University career. When after the first break in his studies he returned to College in 1849 he found that he had lost ground irrecoverably, and he did not do well in the examinations. In his concluding session he did better. He attended fewer classes, and gained a prize in the History of Philosophy class and a prize for an English Essay on the Study of History with special reference to Herodotus and Tacitus. He took much trouble with this essay, some of which “was written in an absurdly Aristotelian style”.

In the last autumn of his college life Hodgkin went for a rambling trip through Germany, going up the Rhine and visiting interesting cities in Franconia. He came home to prepare for his dreaded B.A., at which he was “really beginning to anticipate a pluck or at least a second division in reward for a most ill-timed and ill-advised season of pleasuring”.

In November 1851 he went up for his degree. He had taken five years over his undergraduate course, the result partly of his extreme youth at the beginning and partly of his frequent breaksdown in health. The difficulty of this examination at the London University lay in the many subjects that had to be offered. To prepare a large number of dissimilar subjects for one examination seemed to him like driving eight horses abreast and keeping them all at the same level. He did well in the Examination for Honors in Classics, just failing to win the scholarship, for which he was bracketed second. The last year of college life was made memorable by the Great Exhibition of 1851, the particular charm of which Hodgkin recalls as consisting in “the sort of open air character which clung to it. There were several tall elms saved from the hand of the destroyer under its high-arched roof of glass. In them the fowls of the air had their habitation. There has never been another exhibition like it since nor will there be again”.



From an oil painting by Julius Sperling





From very early boyhood Thomas’s tastes had marked him out as his father’s destined successor in his profession of the law. Before actually beginning his legal career his father sent him into the city for six months to see something of business life and get an idea of book-keeping, which was of great use to him in after life. In the evenings at home he studied law treatises with diligence.

After a happy vacation spent at Falmouth, Paradise as it seemed to him, he came to London and entered the chambers of Joseph Bevan Braithwaite, a Quaker conveyancer in Lincoln’s Inn. An event of those days was the funeral of the Duke of Wellington. He watched the impressive sight from a window, “all the great warriors not of England only but of Europe, riding by in solemn pomp, and most striking of all the plain black liveried groom leading the masterless steed”.

Three months after this Hodgkin’s legal studies were brought to an unexpected end. He had an epileptic seizure in Bevan Braithwaite’s chambers.

Before he could again be without cruel anxiety for the future, fifteen years had to pass, during which it was impossible to be free from dread of this great affliction. The first thing needed was to restore his broken health, and in the spring of 1853 he spent some months at Ben Rhydding, where the glorious air and pleasant rides over the moors did much for him.

After his return from Ben Rhydding it was decided that his best chance of restoration to health would be a journey on the Continent with as little train and as much walking as possible. He secured as companion his old schoolfellow Alfred Waterhouse, who was just about to start on his own independent career as architect, and wished first to study some of the architectural glories of the Continent.

The day and a half they spent in Paris gave him time to be bewildered by that great city but not to see it. At Nimes the travellers were glad to attend a little French Friends’ meeting. This little company of Friends at Nimes were the direct representatives of the persecuted Camisards, the Huguenots who sought a refuge in the solitudes of the Cevennes.

The unhurried nature of this journey, days in diligences or on the slow boats of the Rhone, gave to one of Hodgkin’s friendly and enquiring disposition opportunity for making many passing acquaintances with whom he discussed theology and politics and practised his French. They stayed at the Grande Chartreuse, crossed the Alps to Turin, and came back by the St. Bernard, climbing up through the snow to the Hospice, where they stayed and discussed the prospects of Italian unity with the Superior. The tour ended with some weeks’ rambling in Switzerland.

At the end of June, Hodgkin met his family at Berne, and ultimately travelled back to England with his step­mother. During the journey he had naturally thought often of his future.

All this time he was trying to discover what could now be the work of his life. He believed it to be necessary to get away from London and its suburbs and to live in the country. Finally it was decided that the life of a country banker might suit him, and with this in view it was arranged that in order to gain some banking experience he should enter the bank of his cousins, the Leathams, at Pontefract for a few months. During that time he could live at Ackworth Villa, which was only three miles from Pontefract, and enjoy the “cousinly circle” which clustered round his dear old grandfather. Amongst these cousins was Howard Lloyd.

In 1854 Eliot Hodgkin, then in business at Birmingham, married, and whilst he was away on his honeymoon he left Thomas in nominal charge of his business.





As there was no likelihood of a partnership in the Leatham Bank, Hodgkin and his father had to look about for some other country bank which might offer a better prospect. Already in 1854 John Hodgkin had approached George Head, senior partner in the Carlisle Old Bank, with a view of discovering whether he would receive Thomas into his firm. In the summer of 1855 it was arranged that Thomas should visit Mr. Head at his stately home at Rickerby, near Carlisle. Here he met Miles MacInnes, a young man then residing with Mr. Head, with whom he had many delightful walks and talks. Hodgkin felt that his friendship with MacInnes was likely to be the most valuable result of this visit. Their friendship lasted till MacInnes died fifty-four years later. It was not till some months after this visit that Mr. Head consented to give Thomas an opening in his branch bank at Whitehaven.

The manager of the Bank was William Miller, an elderly Friend, whom Hodgkin soon learned to love and with whom his relations were of the pleasantest kind. After a short apprenticeship, Hodgkin “took the counter”, and he did not remember having any serious difficulty with the balance. He had two young clerks under him. The business of the Bank was not large; there were a good many tradesmen’s accounts, and the payments to Lord Lonsdale’s Collieries were made through it.

His books were as always the dearest companions of his leisure. In his letters to Edward Fry during these early months at Whitehaven he speaks of reading Montalembert, Niebuhr, Macaulay, Tertullian, Neander, Dr. Pusey’s sermons, besides working at Hebrew. He threw himself as far as he could into the life of the little town, at least on its intellectual and religious side.

Early in 1857 he started a Bible-class. There was at this time a good deal of discontent amongst the younger Friends. The evangelical revival, which a few years before had led many members of the Society to join the Plymouth Brethren, had perhaps made those who remained cling more rigidly to the external forms which distinguished the Society.








The following autumn he paid a short visit to Falmouth, where he found “little Lucy”, one of the youngest of the Fox sisterhood, just growing into womanhood. The impression that she made upon him, the hope that he slowly began to allow himself to cherish, were strengthened by the strong friendship existing between Lucy Fox and his sister Bessie. This hope made him anxious to improve his position. Soon afterwards he heard of a possible opportunity in the North of England.

There seemed to be at this time an opening for the establishment of a new bank in Newcastle-on-Tyne. Jonathan Priestman, one of the partners in a private bank which had been lately started, was looking out for some younger men with capital to take over the concern. Amongst others he communicated with Thomas Hodgkin. He went over to Newcastle to see Priestman,but before coming to any decision it seemed necessary to make sure that suitable partners in the new venture could be found, who would provide not only their share of the necessary capital, but also local experience and business knowledge.

His partners in the new venture in Newcastle were William Edward Barnett, John William Pease of Darlington, who was afterwards to become his brother-in-law, and Robert Spence of North Shields, late manager of the Union Bank in Newcastle. The Bank thus begun by these young men was destined to be a great success. The capital which enabled Hodgkin to contribute his share to the enterprise was lent him by his father, and he lived simply for many years so as to be able to repay the loan. There can be no doubt that one of the causes, if not the chief cause, of the success of the Bank was the Christian spirit in which it was managed.

Hodgkin was from the first deeply anxious for a secure position, because in the same year that the Bank was opened he bad become engaged to Lucy Anna Fox.

It was not long before he began to discover the charms of the neighbourhood of Newcastle and to enjoy occasional excursions with his sister, going, for instance, to Bywell with her on the day when the Bank was closed in honor of Robert Stevenson’s funeral. But when Bessie left him to be married to Alfred Waterhouse the architect early in 1860, he often felt as one banished from his kindred and the places that he loved. His affectionate and companionable nature made it difficult for him to be content alone.

His partner J. W. Pease was just then getting ready the home to which he was going to bring his bride Helen, the elder and special companion sister of Lucy Fox.

In 1861 he had the pleasure of having his half-brother Jonathan, then a lad of eighteen, with him for a time, and helping him with his studies, especially in Algebra and Latin.

At this time Hodgkin was not altogether certain as to his position as a member of the Society of Friends. There were even moments when he felt drawn towards the Church of England. But after a chat with a High Churchman he would be a “firmer Quaker than ever”.

In 1861 Thomas Hodgkin felt his business position sufficiently secure to justify his marriage. But an unexpected obstacle arose. His father received a call to undertake a ministerial journey to America. John Hodgkin was growing old and dreaded the journey and the separation from his family. To make things easier for him, Thomas expressed his willingness to put off his wedding long enough to allow him at least to accompany his father to America. But John Hodgkin, though much helped by his son’s love, refused to see this as a duty, and went with some friends as his companions instead, grieved to think that he would be away for the marriage of his much loved son. Thomas took a house in Tynemouth and began his preparations, though it was not easy “to screw out the needful time at the beginnings and ends of his working days”. Later his stepmother came to stay with him and helped him to buy the necessary furniture.

The outbreak of civil war in America filled him with anxiety for his father.

On August 7, 1861, Thomas Hodgkin and Lucy Anna Fox were married in the Meeting-house at Falmouth. His loneliness was over, and the long years of married companionship and love began, which encircled his life with a perfect happiness.







Thomas and Lucy Hodgkin began their married life at Tynemouth, moving after two years to Newcastle to a house on the Elswick Road. Marriage interfered in no way with Thomas's desire to study and to write, but it was not easy to find time for all that he wanted to do. He was as zealous as ever about his Bible classes.

It was before his marriage, in January 1861, that he for the first time made his voice heard at the Newcastle meeting.

In 1865 he published privately an essay entitled Thoughts on the Inspiration of the Scriptures. The pamphlet was warmly welcomed by many of his friends, though others, including his father, were a little doubtful as to the effect that it might produce on some of the elders among the Friends.

Thomas Hodgkin was not formally recorded as a minister by the Society of Friends for some years. On February 10, 1869, he was recorded as a minister at the Newcastle monthly meeting.

Intellectual interests did not flag. He writes of being busy with studies concerning Bacon and his times. “I like getting a good bathe in the history of a particular time for a few weeks together”, he said. He wrote reviews and other papers as well as poems, for The Friend, and the Friends’ Quarterly Examiner, and for the Journal of Sacred Literature, and he sometimes lectured. The Bank prospered.

There were little outings to the Lakes, visits to friends and relations, week-ends spent at some interesting spot in the neighbourhood, and he soon began to discover the immense attraction of the Roman wall and wonderfully perfect remains of the camp at Chesters. He wrote (1864) of the exceeding interest of tracing the line of Wall and Vallum and fosse over crag and moor, and added that it made him feel more than ever what a marvelous nation it [the Roman] was, how vigorously the heart must have beaten to enable us to find such evidences of a strong and healthy life so far away.

In 1862 he was much occupied with measures for the relief of the distress in Lancashire caused by the cotton famine. His letters are much occupied with the civil war in America, about which he felt special anxiety at first because of his father's absence in America. Little by little he began to take part in public affairs. The British Association met in Newcastle in 1863, and he did much work in organizing the meetings and took an infinitesimally small part in the discussion of Fawcett’s paper on the “Decline of the Price of Gold”.

In 1867 he was asked to serve on the Town Council, but refused because of his duty to his partners and to his health.

Before long he began to make plans for acquiring a house which he might regard as a permanent home. What he desired was a situation near enough to enable him to take a part in the work in which he was interested in Newcastle, not so near as to allow him to be inundated with committees, with a possibility of walking to and fro to his business, which would be good for his health. All this was secured in Benwelldene, two and a half miles out of Newcastle, which was destined to be his happy home for twenty-eight years, and which lay below Pendower, the home of J. W. Pease. The house designed by his brother-in-law, Alfred Waterhouse, was built in 1866.

During these early years of married life one cloud, delicacy of health, hung over his life. There were times when he felt deeply discouraged on account of this. New remedies were used, and at last it was decided that a thorough change and lengthened holiday should be tried for both himself and his wife, who was not strong.

They began by spending some months on the Riviera, where he wrote of the bright warm sunshine and the cold air as symbolizing to him “a Christianity of the intellect without heart warmth”. Here he wrote his poem Emori Nolo, probably the most liked of all his poems.

From the Riviera they went in April to Florence. Religious interests were not neglected on this journey. Wherever possible he sought intercourse with Huguenot and Waldensian pastors and attended their worship. He was always keen to get to know all he could about the country in which he travelled, and to make friends of fellow travellers and residents alike.

This journey seems in a sense to mark the beginning of a new epoch for him. The charm of Italy no doubt helped to determine what was to be the great historical work of his life.

In the spring of 1870 there was another journey to Italy, this time to Rome, for so many years the city of his dreams.

The ecumenical Council was sitting at St. Peter’s, and with curious eyes he watched the members of the great Council as they came out from their session. The faces looked like those of good commonplace men, kindly but accustomed to routine and not likely to go beyond it or to produce any great influence for good or evil on the thought of the age.

He was not then so much engrossed in literary and historical work as he became later. He writes in October 1870 : “I am going to lecture on Savonarola at Liverpool next December, and shall, I think, review Matthew Arnold’s St. Paul and Protestantism in the Friends' Examiner for January. Beyond this I have little prospect of work this winter.

A great sorrow came to the Hodgkins in 1872 in the death of their second child, John Alfred, of whom he had written when he was a few months old that he would have to be a banker.

Four more children, two sons, Robert and George, and two daughters, Lily and Nelly, came to add to the joy of his home life.





FROM his early youth Thomas Hodgkin had found much pleasure in writing. He wrote with great ease and fluency both in prose and verse, and sent many of his productions to the journals issued by the Society of Friends. He was interested in so many questions, that at first no doubt it was not easy to concentrate on one, but in a letter written in September 1868 we find him saying that Italian matters were the most absorbing to him at the time. In the following year he gave a lecture which by its title, Italy, her invaders and usurpers, foreshadowed the title of his great work though it dealt with a later period. He had at that time many different literary projects of work.

His method of work was to read first the original sources, acquiring for this purpose all the books he could get hold of, and spending, whenever possible, hours at the British Museum or the Bodleian Library. He liked to get thoroughly filled with his subject before attempting to write, and would say sometimes, “I am now so full I must disgorge”.

Sometime before the first volumes were ready for publication he had the pleasure of finding a brother historian in a new neighbor, Mandell Creighton, who came to Northumberland as vicar of Embleton in 1875. Hodgkin introduced Creighton to the Roman Wall, and many were the rambles they had together, both equally enthusiastic over the exceptional interest and charm of the Northumbrian country.

When the question of publication drew near much consideration was given to the choice of a publisher, and his friends Bryce and Creighton were both consulted. Creighton wrote to him much about his own experience in the matter of publishing, saying, “Though you may have many older friends than me, I do not think you can have any with a keener interest in your book and a greater desire for its success”. Bryce introduced him to the Delegates of the Clarendon Press and Hodgkin finally arranged with them to bring out his book, thinking that for an unknown author the Hallmark of the Clarendon Press was worth something. There was much discussion over the title. He felt that “The Invaders of Italy” would sound the best, but he could not take it because his subject was Italy in the first place and then the Invaders. Illustrations and maps had to be arranged for and proofs were carefully read and submitted to those whose opinion he specially valued, amongst others to his sister Elizabeth.

The care given to the get-up of the book as a whole met with its reward. Professor Bryce wrote to him : “Your book interested me extremely. It seemed to me to have rare and uncommon merits in its vividness, its insight, its fire, its pictorialness, its moral force. And the views struck me as very just, though here and there, of course, I should have differed”.

In his review of the book in the Times, Creighton pointed out the essential difference between Hodgkin’s and Gibbon’s way of dealing with the same period of history. Gibbon’s sympathies were throughout with the falling mistress of the world and not with the sturdier races who pressed in to take her place. Hodgkin’s interest was “with the hundred years of Italian history which prepared the way for the formation of mediaeval history”. Creighton spoke of the book as one of a class “which only an Englishman can write. Like Grote's History of Greece, it bears on every page the mark of being written by a man who is not only a scholar but is conversant with affairs”. Dean Church wrote of how the author had discerned, through coarse or poor materials, the real interest of the story of the fourth and fifth centuries, and told it with a vigor which carried even the lazy reader along with it. All critics alike dwelt on the real learning displayed in the book, combined with a lively and graphic style. Bryce wrote : “The author has lived so long among the men of whom he writes that they have become quite real and living to him, and his interest communicates itself to his readers”; and, again,  “The poetical and dramatic aspect of history is always present to his mind”. It was this desire to make his story living that led to what some critics considered decided defects in his style. Creighton wrote : “He might be chargeh with sometimes becoming flippant through his determination to be always lively”, and Dean Church spoke of his “off-hand smartness and provoking and perfectly gratuitous faults of taste”. His habit of bringing in constant analogies and illustrations from modern times and even from the passing events of the day, was irritating to some who did not always find these analogies either just or illuminating. Church and Creighton both found fault with him for his comparative neglect of the ecclesiastical history of his period. Creighton wrote : “Towards this side of history Mr. Hodgkin’s attitude is cold and almost contemptuous “; and Church felt that “a religious man himself he would yet probably separate Christianity from the Christian Church” ; he has let himself be too much influenced by popular cant in the language which he frequently applies to theological or ecclesiastical matters; he shows himself desirous to be fair and candid when he is professedly discussing them; but in his incidental references he is too ready to point a sentence with a trite sneer or a conventional flippancy, or a one-sided judgment. Yet in spite of some faults, there was no doubt in the mind of the critics that the book was not only a valuable addition to historical literature, but that, in the words of Dr. Bryce, it was a book likely to make history popular by true and honest methods. Many who would have otherwise been most unlikely to read a book on such a subject were attracted to it by his fresh and genial treatment of these far-off events, enriched by the local color of his descriptions of places which he had visited and studied himself. His characters were so alive to him that he could make them alive to others. He used to live in his period, and his daughter says “the people he was writing about came to all the family meals and walks”.

The publication of these two first volumes led to no pause in his historical work, and he went on steadily with the preparation of future volumes. Growing friendship with other historians, especially with Creighton, Bryce, Freeman and Ugo Balzani, added to the interest of his studies and was of real assistance to his work. He was, as one reviewer described him, “so frank, so modest, so painstaking, so open to new light”, that he was abundantly able to profit by the advice of friends and critics. The industry which enabled him to get through so much historical work in a life otherwise very full was truly amazing. Yet there was no sense of strain and effort in his work, indeed, one characteristic of his book which impressed everyone, was that it was written as though he loved it. In July, 1881, he wrote to his sister Elizabeth : “There are none of those large, long, quiet spaces in it in which one’s mind and character can really grow”.

His frequent foreign journeys were devoted to visiting the scenes of the events about which he was writing, and this added life and color to his descriptions. Especially was he interested in the sites of great battles, and much time was given to the endeavor to discover the actual spot in which the motley hosts of Totila were overthrown by Narses in 552. Both Bryce and he examined at different times the supposed site but to the last held different opinions on the subject.

He got on slowly with that part of his book which dealt with Theodoric, writing his life more thoroughly than it had ever been written in English. “But”, he wrote, “the English public will no doubt answer (as they have already done practically to my first two volumes):

-Very good of you, but we really do not want to hear about Theodoric.

-Never mind : I write to please myself not the public”.

The two new volumes were ready in 1885. They were adorned with beautiful maps and illustrations, the expense of which was borne by Hodgkin himself. Freeman, on receiving them, wrote : “I don't know whether you take in the depths of worship which is implied in saying that I really believe I shall read them through at once though they don’t directly bear on anything I am working at”.

For a brief period his steady work at the history was interrupted in order that he might bring out a translation of the Letters of Cassiodorus. About this he wrote to his brother-in-law, “My digest of Cassiodorus seemed necessary in order to explain the Ostrogothic Kingdom; I am afraid thou wilt think of the old gibes about my pro paedeutik when the book appears”.

His object was to give, by a condensed translation, the chief matters of historical importance in the letters of Cassiodorus as they throw such a valuable light on the constitution of Roman and Teutonic society in the sixth century. An unabridged translation of these very long-winded and bombastic official letters would have been, in the words of a reviewer, hard reading indeed. By his condensed translation, Hodgkin provided those who wished to know something more of Cassiodorus with a book which it was possible to read, and which at the same time was valuable as an aid to those who wanted to study the letters in the original. Dean, Church wrote to him about it : “Cassiodorus in English is like unearthing a blue book of the Gothic Kingdom. There is a wonderful air of life, in spite of all his absurdities. I am so glad this bit of history has fallen into your hands”.

Hodgkin wrote an introduction, to his translation which gives a full account of the author and a study of the administrative system of the Gothic Empire. The book was really a sort of appendix to his history, for he had found that Cassiodorus supplied him with more abundant material than could be used in the history itself. The introduction gave him the opportunity, in the words of E. A. Freeman, to go more minutely into many points than he was likely to do in his general history, and is a thorough and scholar-like monograph.

It was after the appearance of the Letters of Cassiodorus that on June 3o, 1886, the University of Oxford conferred the Degree of D.C.L. on Thomas Hodgkin. That year he was busy preparing a new edition of his first two volumes. Some critics had found fault with his neglect of certain authorities which he now consulted, determined to leave nothing undone which could make the book as complete as possible. It ended in his rewriting great part of the book and the length of the first volume was so much increased that it had to be divided into two parts. “This was a long bit of work”.

Besides his great work he found time to write for the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and to bring out in book form some lectures which he had given at the request of the Durham Ladies' Educational Association. He had chosen as his subject the period with which he was most familiar, the time of the fall of the Western Empire, and lest he should become too diffuse in lecturing on a subject he knew so well, he had written out his lectures. They covered in brief outline many of the leading events recorded in the first two volumes of his History, and he called the little book the Dynasty of Theodosius.

His increasing reputation as a historian made publishers turn to him for various small and popular books for different historical series. He wrote Theodoric the Goth for The Heroes of the Nations in 1891, and Charles the Great for Macmillan's series of Foreign Statesmen in 1897. So it happened that it was ten years before the fifth and sixth volumes of his History appeared, and another four years before the two final volumes were published and the great work brought to its successful completion.





When the historical work accomplished by Thomas Hodgkin is considered, it seems as if in itself it must have been enough to absorb his energies, but his industry becomes amazing when it is realized how many and varied were the claims made upon his time. He continued, of course, to take an active share in the business of the Bank.

Sir Benjamin Browne, the Chairman of Hawthorn’s, in his account of the early history of that firm, shows what a Bank conducted in the spirit of Hodgkin, Barnett and Co.’s Bank could do to help young men in their business career.

Assistance of this kind given to the useful enterprises of young and able men, was one of the ways in which a Bank such as Hodgkin, Barnett and Co.'s could be of benefit to the progress of their town, whilst their absolute integrity raised the whole standard of its business life.

Many journeys, long and short, had to be undertaken in search of health for wife or child. There were also lengthened stays at such health-giving spots as Rothbury and Newbiggin, from which he could get to the Bank every day.

In 1875 he bought a house, Tredourva, at Falmouth, that they might have a home of their own there in which to spend some months of each year. That same year a great sorrow had come to him in the death of his father after a long illness. Thomas Hodgkin’s regret in growing older, a regret which interest in life led him to feel deeply, was intensified by the thought that age might separate him from his children.

The preparation for his book necessitated many continental journeys, which were an intense delight to him. In the spring of 1878 he was in Italy with his wife and was especially interested in studying the Roman roads.

In 1880 he went to the Oberammergau Passion Play with his stepbrother Howard, going first to Troyes to see the golden ornaments of Theodoric in the museum there, and in the vain hope of discovering some proof of his belief that the battle between Attila and Aetius, called the battle of Chilons, was fought in that neighbourhood.

In 1881, he was in all away from Newcastle and business for six months, spending a long time at Falmouth and then taking his wife to Schwalbach for the benefit of the waters. This time was made interesting to him by his visit to the famous Roman earth wall, the Pfahlgraben. The study of its peculiarities and the comparison of it with his own beloved Roman wall at home, proved most absorbing.

During a second visit to Schwalbach in the following year, he explored various Roman camps in the neighborhood of the Rhine and the Maine.

In 1882 he was again abroad with his stepbrother Howard. They went to Siena, Rome, Naples, Salerno and Paestum, and then on to Sicily.

The next year he was again in Rome, this time with his wife and a niece and a cousin. His chief interest on this journey was the study of the aqueducts and of the walls of Aurelian and Honorius at Rome, for his History. They drove from Rome to Assisi and on to Perugia, and then he drove alone across the mountains between Perugia and Fano that he might visit the site of the ancient Sentinum, and travel along the Flaminian Way, and go through the Furlo pass, tracing out the scenes of the battles and marches of the emperors whose history he was writing.

In 1884, for the book’s sake, nearly half of the year was spent at Falmouth in order that he might have a good long spell of work.

He went back to Newcastle for the meeting of the Archaeological Institute, and had his house full of guests, amongst them Dr. Jex Blake and Arthur Evans. The beautiful weather and the interest of the places visited made it a time of great enjoyment.

He had seen a good deal of E. A. Freeman at various archaeological meetings and had visited him at his home in Somerset, and in 1885 they went for a trip together to the South of France. Hodgkin could not be so near the Pyrenees without trying to see something of them. Freeman wanted all his time for cities, and considered that the Pyrenees were not a thing to be nibbled at. So they parted for a few days and Hodgkin went off to go at least near enough to the Pyrenees “to, touch the hem of their garments”.

During all these years the charm of the border country, as he got to know it better, was always growing on him. To introduce a friend to the Roman Wall was ever one of his chief delights.

Politics during this and the following years were a great source of pain and sorrow to Hodgkin. His indignation over Gladstone’s conversion to Home Rule was deep and lasting.

A pleasant break in what was to him the uncongenial work of the election was made by a summons to Oxford to receive the Hon. Degree of D.C.L. That year, 1886, Thomas and Lucy Hodgkin celebrated their silver wedding at Falmouth. In 1887 Hodgkin was appointed examiner for the Lightfoot Scholarship at Cambridge. He stayed for each examination with his friend Creighton, then Dixie Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Cambridge, and enjoyed meeting other scholars and feeling himself for a few days at least a part of the University.





For some time Thomas Hodgkin had been planning a journey to the East. He did not go unprepared. With his rich store of Biblical knowledge, with his keen historical sense and his quick eye eager to discern everywhere traces of the work of the Roman rule, the chosen subject of his life’s studies, he travelled with a mind open to every interest the East could offer. All through the winter guide-books were studied, and he began to learn a little Arabic to help him on his way. The great pilgrimage, as he called it, started from London on February 13, 1889. The party at first consisted of Hodgkin, his wife, his eldest daughter, and son, and Helen Browne, the daughter of Sir Benjamin Browne.

On the way to the East the party spent some happy days on the Riviera with the Hanburys at beautiful Mortola. Then they paused at Rome for a visit which Hodgkin describes as the shortest he ever paid “to the Eternal City, but one of the most enjoyable, so great was the pleasure of showing to our young fellow travellers the well-known sights, and of watching their sensations in presence of them”. On their way to Egypt they were joined by their cousins, Rachel Albright (now Mrs. Wilson King) and F. F. Tuckett, and later the party for the Palestine journey was completed by Dora Albright (now Lady Scott Moncrieff) and Mr. Hanbury. It was with ever-growing interest that they drew near to the wondrous East.

He was much impressed by the “great and civilizing work which England is doing in Egypt”, and it was of special interest to him to see the great Barrage under the guidance of Sir Colin Scott Moncrieff. He describes Sir Colin as “one of the best specimens of one of our best types of men, the industrious and enlightened Anglo-Indian official”; and likened him “to Julius Frontinus, who was taken from warring against the Silures to reform the administration of the Aqueducts of Rome, as Sir Colin has been taken from military operations in India to complete the Barrage and regulate the inundations of the Nile”.

The visit was spoiled at the end by the illness of his son, which caused great, if short lived, anxiety. It was not till March 22 that the party was able to set out from Alexandria for Jaffa. There they met the dragoman Ibrahim Lyons, who was to take them through Palestine : he had travelled with Lord Dufferin and General Gordon, spoke some seven or eight languages, was a Christian and a most trustworthy and excellent man. His conscientious and considerate care of the party did much for their comfort and enjoyment. When asked once what would happen in case of some possible difficulties on the journey, he answered, “You must, first of all, put your trust in the Lord, and then we will do all we can for you”.

Travelling in Palestine was not an altogether simple matter in those days. The party intended to go from Jerusalem to Damascus, and thence to Beyrout, riding most of the way; but two palanquins were provided for those who might fire of too much riding. Quite a little army of servants was needed for the expedition, and the full cavalcade consisted of the nine pilgrims, as they called themselves, twenty-four men and boy attendants, and forty-two beasts.

Before leaving Jaffa, Hodgkin visited the grave of his much loved uncle, Dr. Thomas Hodgkin, who had died there twenty-three years before, when on a tour with Sir Moses Montefiore. He was pleased to find the monument in good repair, and arranged with the Scottish teacher of a little Syrian school near the cemetery, that she should always on the anniversary of his uncle’s death place a wreath of fresh flowers on the grave.

The party started some to ride and some to drive from Jaffa to Jerusalem. A halt at Yasur, looking over the plain of Sharon, gave him his first experience of the wonderful and indescribable charm of a Palestine landscape. The plain with the beautiful line of Mountains behind reminded him a little of the view of the Keswick mountains froth near Cockermouth.

As they neared Jerusalem the prospect of camping out at the end of a long day’s journey seemed a little forlorn. But when they had alighted rather disconsolately on a bare piece of stony ground, they discovered behind some buildings “the daintiest encampment imaginable”. There were eight cozy little sleeping tents and a large saloon tent for meals. Instead of having to rough it they found themselves in the lap of luxury. The encampment was near the Jaffa gate, outside the walls of Jerusalem. Jerusalem showed herself to them in reality and looked like no other city we had ever seen. The very existence of an unbroken circuit of walls singles her out from most other cities ... some is undoubtedly of the time of Solomon or of Herod, and the general appearance of the walls is probably not very different from what it was when our Saviour wept over it.

Hodgkin felt that he had seen (from the outside) the Jerusalem of history. It was the city within the walls that was so sadly disappointing. The holy places and the traditional sites were visited more from a sense of duty than from any religious feeling; his historical sense would not allow him to believe that any genuine tradition determined the various sites of the great events of the Gospel story. But he was inclined to accept General Gordon’s view that the little hill outside the Damascus gate, which bears a most striking likeness to a human skull, is the real site of the Crucifixion. The travellers went to Bethlehem, Jericho, the Dead Sea, and then to Samaria and Nazareth.

They visited Mount Carmel, rode along the shores of Lake Tiberias, and then round the northern slopes of Mount Hermon.

A couple of days were spent in Damascus, the chief glory of which he felt lay in its gardens and bazaars, and its exulting and abounding waters. It was a delight to follow the joyous Abana to its source, on the first day of their ride to Baalbek.

From Baalbek they rode to Beyrout. From Beyrout the Hodgkins went to Smyrna and thence to Athens. They next went to Constantinople. From Constantinople they travelled home by the Orient Express.

There can be no question as to the good that Hodgkin himself got from such a journey. They reached London on May 27 and he was able to attend part of the Yearly Meeting. On the last day of the month they were all back at Newcastle. Work of all kinds awaited him. He wrote an article called “A Palestinian Utopia”, in which he suggested that Palestine should be put under an international commission, and he continued the re-writing of the first volume of “Italy and her Invaders”. He could not “get away from the reign of Theodosius”, and writes, “How one's standard of accuracy alters! I was satisfied to knock off the reign of Theodosius in one rather superficial chapter in 1877, and now I have to give him six chapters, which have cost me much labor”. The journal of his Eastern tour was completed and adorned with the photographs taken by him and his son.

The three next years were to be the last at Benwelldene. Hodgkin thought that a country home would be better for his children; and for himself, he desired more freedom from business and public claims, and more time for his historical and religious work. The constantly growing engagements of these years show how necessary it was for him to secure more time for himself, if he was to complete his great work. Requests of all kinds for books, articles, and lectures came to him; lectures on Palestine were given in many different places. His chief literary work in 1890 was the life of Theodoric for the Heroes of the Nations series.

In July 1891 he went to the tercentenary of Trinity College, Dublin, and there in company with many distinguished men of all countries received an honorary D.Litt. degree. At the presentation of the degrees he notes that he sat between Creighton and Masson.

The Home Rule question continued to occupy his mind very much. In 1890 he assisted in forming a Liberal Unionist Association for Newcastle. Mr. Arthur Balfour visited the city, and Hodgkin describes his visit as follows

It was an intensely interesting event to see, to hear, to converse with “the base, bloody, and brutal Balfour”, and to find him scholar, gentleman, Christian, a delightful companion, a true lover of Ireland, earnest in his desire to promote her prosperity—all this, though it was hardly any surprise to me, was certainly a lesson to me as a historian, never to accept the character of a statesman painted by his party opponents as having the slightest resemblance to his real self.

In 1891 his nephew J. A. Pease stood for Tyneside in the Liberal interest. This might have been a difficult situation had it not been for the spirit in which he faced it. It was a distress to him that one of his oldest and dearest friends, Miles MacInnes, then in Parliament, differed from him on the Home Rule question. Many long friendships were cruelly shaken at that time by this bitter controversy. But though for a time there was a slight cloud over the relations between Hodgkin and MacInnes, it soon passed, and the deep affection of many years’ standing remained true to the end of their lives.

Sympathy with the Irish Friends, combined with general anxiety as to the Home Rule question, led him and others to arrange a Friends’ Unionist Conference on the subject in London, which was held on the very day that the second reading of the Home Rule Bill was carried, April 21, 1893. He considered Gladstone’s Home Rule Bill to be a hopelessly unworkable measure

That year 1892 was saddened by the loss of several close friends. In April John Collingwood Bruce, who had done so much for the study of the Roman wall, died in a ripe old age, and many felt that his mantle should fall on Hodgkin, who had so long devoted himself to the same study. In May the news of the death of Professor Freeman whilst travelling in Spain was received.

In the summer his beloved old Aunt Rachel Howard, who had been more like a mother to him than anyone else after the loss of his own mother, passed away. It was actually at the funeral of this beloved aunt, that the sad news came that his wife’s dearly loved sister Minnie (Lady Pease) had died after a painful illness. She was to her relations and friends one whose very existence helped to make life beautiful, and many must have shared Hodgkin’s feeling that her passing away made life less bright for them.

Hodgkin began 1893 with a great deal of lecturing at various Friends’ Meetings. He had carefully prepared a lecture which he delivered on several different occasions on The Trial of our Faith, in which he tried to get down to the solid facts on which one’s faith in the Unseen Ruler of the Universe depends.







THE desire to possess a permanent home in the country had been strengthened in Hodgkin's mind by the summers spent at Chollerton. The house there was really too small for his family, though the beauty of its surroundings, the fine air, and the nearness to Newcastle made it in many ways a most desirable residence. Before looking out for a place which might be a permanent home, it was necessary to get rid of Benwelldene, and in 1893 Benwelldene was sold before he had found another house to which to transport his family, his furniture, and his library of 5000 books. On October 23, two days after the sale had been completed, he by chance found himself travelling in the train with one of the Crewe Trustees, the body who managed the Bamborough property. This castle and its lands had passed, in 1704, into the possession of Lord Crewe, Bishop of Durham; he, at his death in 172o, had left the Castle with most of his property to Trustees for charitable purposes. It had been the custom of the Trustees to let the Keep, and in 1893 they had not been successful in securing a tenant. Dr. Hodgkin, after listening to some laments on this subject, exclaimed quite on the spur of the moment, “I have a good mind to make you an offer for it”. On getting home he talked over the idea with his wife and daughters. A few days later they visited Bamborough and inspected the Keep, and on November 3 Hodgkin made his offer to the Crewe Trustees to rent it for five years. On the 6th his offer was accepted. He felt at the time of this rapid decision that he and his were being guided by a better wisdom than their own. Two days after the idea had occurred to him, at the mid-week Friends’ Meeting the subject had been “God’s guidance” and he had felt it a very helpful time.

Many were the regrets of friends and neighbors of every class at the Hodgkins’ departure. The secretary of the Benwell and District Institute wrote to him after he had read Dr. Hodgkin’s farewell letter to the members “I am utterly unable to pen to you the regrets that were spoken in their rough and honest way”. Hodgkin and his family had identified themselves with the life of Benwell. Amongst other things they had started a school for the children of the old village of Benwell. Hodgkin loved to show the children a magic lantern, and sought every opportunity to know them and their parents, inviting them at haymaking time into his field for tea and games. When new streets were built in the village for the Elswick workmen he and his wife started a village nurse and were largely responsible for her support. Hodgkin did not confine his interests to Benwell. He often went to Slatey Ford, two miles off, to help at a service for pitmen held in a mission room; and with the help of other Friends, he kept a Sunday evening mission service going in a very poor part of Newcastle. It is no wonder that his neighbors deeply felt the loss of the loving services rendered by him and his family.

The first months of 1894 were spent at Falmouth. He was busy with the fifth and sixth volumes of Italy and her Invaders, and was studying Hegel’s Stadtverfassung, and in spare moments he read the Promessi Sposi with his family. There was always much enjoyment from the society of friends and acquaintances at Falmouth. Hodgkin found in Judge Granger a pleasant companion for his walks and enjoyed meeting Sir Edmund Henderson and the Hon. Auberon Herbert, who were both wintering in Falmouth. There were many visits to the Miss Sterlings, the daughters of John Sterling, Carlyle’s friend, whose charming home, the Crag, was dear to a wide circle of literary people.

In April he started for a trip to Italy with his second son Robin, his two younger daughters Lily and Nelly, and Miss Carrie Vyvyan. The object of this journey was to show his children the four chief Italian cities, Rome, Florence, Naples, and Venice. It was an immense delight to him to see these cities again as if “with the fresh unjaded eyes of his children”. He was just the right kind of cicerone for them. Full of keenness and endless powers of observation himself, he imparted his own joy and interest to others, but never overdid it. He was always careful not to overtire his companions and to leave them free to enjoy things in their own way. Often he seemed to be the youngest of the party. The journey was made useful for his own work by a visit to Benevento and Spoleto, the seats of the two great Lombard Duchies, with whose history he was then busy. Readers of his History know how it is enriched by his personal acquaintance with the places about which he writes, and as he travelled he forged links between the past and the present.

In Rome he enjoyed seeing a great deal of Count and Countess Balzani and other Italian friends, and in Florence made friends with Professor Villari and his wife. He was never a traveller who kept to himself but made friends wherever he went, talking readily to people in trains and hotels.

He returned to England. As soon as he was settled at Bamborough he set to work on the seventh volume of his History. But his main literary work this year was finishing and revising the fifth and sixth volumes. The interest of the new home in itself tended to diminish the amount of work that could be done, for there were many visits from friends and relations eager to see Bamborough.

There was no isolation or loneliness in the life at Bamborough; it was a stopping place for friends on their way to and from the north.

Journeys to different parts of England as well as to Ireland, in order to lecture or speak at Friends’ Meetings, gave Hodgkin the opportunity of keeping in touch with his widely-scattered circle of friends, and also of doing much to stimulate the religious life of the Quaker body. On these occasions he always tried to visit any object of local interest, best pleased, perhaps, if there was a camp or an inscription to investigate. After a visit to Leicester (1895) he went to see Bradgate Park, which had been the home of Lady Jane Grey.

Much anxiety at this time was caused by the increasing deafness of his eldest daughter, a trial which his sympathetic and affectionate nature made him feel as deeply as she could feel it herself.





The early part of 1895 was spent at Falmouth, and here he was busy revising and making the index for his new volumes. This was rather tedious work, and he wrote in his diary : “I am sorry to feel that this drudgery is making me dislike the book which in the hours of composition was so dear to me. I am afraid my fatherly feeling towards it is dying”. His next undertaking was to write a life of George Fox for the series of English Leaders of Religious Thought. For this purpose he studied the history of the seventeenth century, and he writes that this made him “much more anti-Stuart” and more distinctly Cromwellian than before. But he adds, “All this does not make me a bit more in love with modern Radicalism. Rather, I dislike it more than I did, and feel that it would have had in Cromwell an uncompromising foe”. He paid special visits to the places made famous by events in Fox’s life.

The book was written in a thoroughly impartial spirit. Some Friends complained that he had taken up a spirit of too great detachment towards his hero, and wished that he had spoken of him with more enthusiasm. But though he felt this was certainly a fault, he believed it to be a fault on the right side. The book was well received, and for those who are unable to master the voluminous journals of George Fox, it gives a most interesting account of that remarkable man.

During the general election which followed the resignation of Lord Rosebery in July, the Hodgkins chanced to be at Jesmond Dene. Hodgkin was thus all through the fight close to headquarters at Newcastle instead of being away in remote Bamborough dreaming over the seventeenth century. He was instrumental in persuading W. D. Cruddas to stand in the Liberal Unionist interest. Cruddas had hesitated, saying that he was not afraid of being beaten, what he was afraid of was success. A telegram from Hodgkin, urging him to consider his duty to his country at a critical moment, made him decide to accept nomination.

Hodgkin was at Quarterly Meeting when a roar of cheers was heard outside. He listened, wondering whose victory they meant. Presently he saw a paper passed from hand to hand at the end of the room and received with smiles and frowns, but those at the top of the meeting knew nothing till they parted for lunch and heard that Morley was out and the two Unionists in. Hodgkin was sorry for Morley, but he rejoiced at the victory, believing that such a victory in the home and cradle of “the Newcastle programme” would do more than anything else to knock the various constituencies where he possessed a vote. He felt it hard that his political views should oblige him to vote against J. A. Pease, the son of his wife’s dear sister Minnie, particularly as he did not much admire the opposing candidate. Probably he did not altogether regret that Pease held his own, seeing that the elections ended with a majority of 152 for the Unionists.

In 1896 there was a great family migration to Italy, where four happy months were spent. The party consisted of father and mother, the three daughters, and George, the youngest son, who for the sake of this journey missed one term at school, not, in his father’s opinion, to the detriment of his education in the true sense of the word.

They went, first, to Sicily and spent nearly a fortnight in “dear, bright, beautiful Palermo”, and then moved on to Girgenti and the other wonders of the enchanting island. After Sicily they stayed in Naples, a place which Hodgkin always found unsatisfactory except for its museum and its nearness to Pompeii. From here he made some interesting excursions. Next they settled in Rome, where their longest stay was to be made. Here the days were spent in a delightful mixture of work, sightseeing, and intercourse with friends old and new. Through Count Balzani he was introduced to many interesting people, and his repute as a historian made everyone eager to do him honor. He was especially delighted by meeting the “pleasant, broadminded, learned” Abbé Duchèsne, who allowed him to read in the rooms of the French School at the top of the famous Farnesina Palace.

Besides revising George Fox and preparing for his little book on Charles the Great, he was beginning to read for the next volume of his History.

Another occupation in Rome was sitting for his bust to the sculptor Ferrari, a very pleasant man and a good talker, who never made his sittings too long. Hodgkin’s eldest son Edward joined them in Rome, and he went off with him to visit Charles Lacaita on his estate near Taranto, a most enjoyable trip.

May saw him back in London for Yearly Meeting. There were visits to his sisters before he settled down again in Bamborough. At each return to that wonderful spot he expresses again his delight in its rare beauty and interest. But there was no slackness as regards his many duties in Newcastle. He continued to give much thought and time to the County History, attending committees to discuss plans for it, criticizing each separate chapter, and revising the proofs. His Sunday visits to attend the Friends’ Meeting kept him in close touch with his Newcastle friends. He stayed very often with the Merzs and was much interested in reading Dr. Merz’s History of European Thought as it came out, and in talking it over with him. He felt it to be a truly great book. At other times he stayed with the Benjamin Brownes, the Wigham Richardsons, and with his relations the Peases at Pendower. He remarks repeatedly on the warm hospitality with which he was welcomed, and much enjoyed these opportunities for talk with his various friends.

Since the death of Mrs. Fox, Mrs. Hodgkin’s mother, in 189o, less time had been spent at Falmouth, and the Hodgkins’ own house there, after being let from time to time, was sold in 1898. Falmouth was still frequently visited, and in 1897 some happy weeks were spent there in beautiful Glendurgan, lent to them by G. H. Fox. Here Hodgkin finished his life of Charles the Great.

After this he went to Italy with his eldest son, chiefly in order to visit the Lacaitas, and saw a good deal of Apulia, a province little visited by ordinary travellers. The journey was all the more delightful because they were completely off the track of the British tourist. The traces of Robert Guiscard and other Norman invaders of Italy he found specially interesting, and was convinced that for students of ecclesiastical architecture there was a rich and comparatively unreaped field in the churches of Apulia. He much regretted his own ignorance of the details of architectural history.

When he went to Newcastle for Meeting he usually attended the Adult School Classes, which had now begun to be held all over England. Sometimes he still found time to go to the Hebrew class of clergy and others held in Newcastle and the neighbourhood. Nearly every week he would manage to drive some miles to the house of an invalid neighbor, Mr. Morton, of Twizel Hall, to whom he used to read aloud. This year he read to him Lord Roberts’ account of his forty-three years in India, a book which interested him intensely and of which he said that he doubted whether so good a general had written so good a book since Caesar wrote his Commentaries.

During the last year of the tenancy of Bamborough no long journey was undertaken. In the late autumn they were at Falmouth for the “somewhat dreary task of clearing out of Tredourva”. Meanwhile the new home had at last been decided upon. There was much family counsel on this important matter, for Hodgkin was far from being a family autocrat. It was with universal agreement that Barmoor Castle was at last fixed upon, a commodious house with fine trees sheltering a charming garden and a beautiful lawn. It lay high on the rising ground towards the moors, not far from the Kyloe Crags, and only about sixteen miles from Bamborough.

The end of the last year at the Keep was brightened by the happy engagement of his eldest son to Catharine Wilson, an event which so filled Hodgkin with joy that he was heard to go singing about the Castle like a boy, a quite unprecedented performance in his case.

Leaving Bamborough was sad work. The great migration was made on January 26, 1899, some of the family and household driving in three vehicles from Bamborough to Barmoor.





The years spent in Bamborough Castle were like a romance in the life of the Hodgkin family. Their new home at Barmoor was to be equally dear to them if in another way.

His first task on settling into the house was to arrange his books. Thomas Hodgkin, though he delighted in living among his books and counted a day lost which did not give him opportunity for study or writing, was both too human and too Christian to live the life of a literary recluse at Barmoor. He threw himself at once into all the concerns of the neighborhood.

Animated by his constant desire to promote friendly relations with men of all kinds and to make his intercourse with them profitable, he arranged very soon after he came to Barmoor to have poetry readings, which he described as occasional readings on some non-controversial subject, weekly when possible, with the vicar and Presbyterian ministers, thus providing a neutral ground on which they could all happily meet together.

During the first years at Barmoor a good deal of time was still given to Newcastle. As years went on his visits to Newcastle naturally became less frequent. At the Bank there were great changes. In 1899, whilst away in the south, he heard by telegram of the sudden death of his partner, Mr. Hoare, whilst riding on the Moor. Not quite two years later Hodgkin heard in Florence of the death of the one remaining survivor of the partners who had worked with him in the founding of the Bank, his brother-in-law, John William Pease. In the following year negotiations were entered into for the sale of the banking business to Lloyds. This was from most points of view a satisfactory arrangement, but the selling to comparative strangers of the tree that he had helped to plant forty years ago brought its own peculiar sorrow to the one survivor of the original partners. He now ceased to have any official connection with the Bank, but he always kept the private ledger of the old firm, which was continued in order to wind up some old outstanding matters.

Travel remained one of Hodgkin’s chief delights. Every two years there was a long journey on the Continent, and sometimes there were shorter ones in between.

In 1899 the marriage of Hodgkin’s eldest son with Catharine Wilson was celebrated. Two years later he was called upon to part with this daughter also, when she married R. C. Bosanquet of Rock Hall. The Bosanquets lived first at Athens, where Mr. Bosanquet was director of the British School, and this led the Hodgkins to pay two visits to Greece. Hodgkin was always ready to tackle a new language, and he set himself to learn modern Greek, taking lessons whilst in Athens.

He started for his first visit to Greece in February 1903 with his wife and Violet. They paused for a week on the way to visit the Lacaitas at Leucaspide near Taranto. At Athens he had the joy of being joined by his youngest son, George, just back from a journey to New Zealand. About two months were spent in Greece, mostly in Athens. The visit was interrupted by a journey to Rome for the Historical Congress. He did not consider this a very profitable excursion.

Several interesting excursions were made after his return to Greece. As he travelled through the country he thought much of the close connection between Greek landscape and geography, and things were made clear to him which he could never have learned from books or even from maps. He visited the “high uplifted mountain sanctuary of Delphi” and the broad and fertile plain of Olympia, which struck him as friendly, not majestic, speaking of peace and hospitality. He delighted in a visit to the ancient seat of healing, the Hieron of Epidaurus.

He admired the work done by the French and German Schools in Athens, and much appreciated the willingness of their respective governments to spend considerable sums on excavations without carrying off any of their finds from Athens. He regretted that the chief work of an archaeological kind in Greece with which the English name is now associated is the removal of the Elgin Marbles from the Parthenon to the British Museum.

A second visit to Athens was paid two years later at the time of the Archaeological Congress. The steamer which took the Hodgkins to Athens was crowded with University men going to the great Congress, and there were many walks and talks on deck with friends old and new. At the Congress itself he was a little oppressed with a sense of hurry, and with the inevitable language difficulties of an international gathering. All the same the time at Athens was full of delight. To wake up in the morning gazing on Hymettos and Pentelicos, to visit the Acropolis in the evening when the fierce heat of the sun was abating, these were among its happy moments. The event to which he thought all would look back “with the most vivid remembrance” was the performance of The Antigone in the vast Hippodrome erected on the site of the old Stadium. There, seated on terraces of dazzling marble, under the blue sky of Attica, he forgot any possible discomfort caused by the fierce rays of the sun, in the absorbing interest of the drama.

After the Congress he made an excursion to Crete with a party of fellow students, and visited the museum at Candia and the excavations made by Mr. (now Sir Arthur) Evans at Knossos. A sudden storm made some of their plans for landing impossible, a storm to him deeply suggestive.

The sudden springing up of this wind, the fierceness of its howling, the difficulty of finding shelter even on the northern side of that harbourless island, the evident nervousness of the captain, who threw a second anchor out in the harbour of Mirabella and wished for the day, all formed a most vivid commentary on the 27th chapter of Acts.

This compelled change of plans made them run for the Cyclades, and he delighted in a visit to the old world sanctuary of Delos “and in sailing in sweet spring weather on from island unto island at the gateways of the day”.

On their way back to England they halted in Paris to visit the Salon. When he reached Barmoor he wrote that his dear home was as delightful as ever. Constant remarks in diary and letters show how full of quiet joys his old age was, and also how he was able to realize its happiness and to be thankful for it.

The visits of many friends and relations added much to his happiness. His children’s friends were always welcome at Barmoor. He loved the society of young people and they keenly enjoyed their opportunities for easy and sympathetic talk with him. Like all parents who have known how to make friends out of their children as they grew into men and women, he understood how to get on with the young. He did not force intimacy upon them nor thrust himself into the inner life even of his own children. He did not try to penetrate their reserve, but he gave them the feeling that he was always ready if they wanted him. When troubles or doubts were taken to him he was extraordinarily understanding and able to meet the need shown.

His own work was not interrupted by the presence of guests in the house, except when he left it to act as guide to Flodden or Holy Island or some other interesting spot in the neighbourhood.

In 1902 he wrote that he had decided to begin a conscientious perusal of the works of Dickens, and began with Martin Chuzzlewit, but found it such poor stuff that he doubted whether they would go on, and the next day he started on Old Mortality instead. Sometimes games were played, and he notes one evening in 1903 when all the family were at home but Edward, and they fancied themselves children again and played Schimmel together.

His love for his home did not interfere with his keen enjoyment in travel. In 1906 there was a little trip to Holland. In 1907 he made a trip to Madeira with his wife and Violet and George. Hodgkin described the Madeira night as “sometimes more glorious than the day. The stars did indeed there rule the night. Many a night I rose at three or four o'clock to behold that magnificent Scorpio dropping his diamond-studded tail towards the ship lights in the harbour”. He studied a little Portuguese—he could never be in a country without trying to make some acquaintance with its language— explored the island, and made friends with his fellow guests at the hotel, for he was always most friendly and sociable with all he came across. On the way home, after a stay that was all too short, the Hodgkins stopped at Lisbon, fired by a desire to visit Busaco. He discovered in the monastery to his great delight a diary written by a member of the Order of Barefooted Carmelites who was living at Busaco when Wellington stayed there before the battle. It was pleasant to read in the friar’s story of the kindness shown by English soldiers to their wounded enemies. Finding thirty wounded French lying deserted on the mountain for whom the Portuguese peasants would do nothing, they first cared for them themselves and then persuaded the friar to take charge of them. Hodgkin wrote an account of Busaco and its varied interests with extracts from the friar’s diary, which was read to many friends but not published.

After this journey his son George accepted a post in the Isle of Man, and Hodgkin grieved over this temporary separation from a son who had been much with him. But he paid some happy visits to the little Celto-Scandinavian Island, which he felt had a real charm when it was not overrun by trippers. Hodgkin investigated the history of the Quakers in the island and wrote a paper about their early burial ground and the persecutions they had suffered under Bishop Barrow, “who succeeded in stamping Quakerism out of the island to its grievous loss and to his eternal disgrace”.






THE South African War, which began in 1899, naturally caused Hodgkin much distress. The war was a constant misery to him. He said he would like to go to sleep for three months and wake up when the worst was over, and to see no newspapers till then. His views on the war naturally brought him into disagreement with the majority of Friends, including some who were very dear to him. Like many others, in later years he changed his views as to the inevitableness of the Boer War.

In 1905, when the relations between England and Germany were very strained, he helped to draw up a message sent by the Society of Friends to the Lovers of peace in Germany, in which regret was expressed at the attempts made by some to sow suspicion and jealousy between two peoples, both belonging to the Teutonic stock and “allied to one another by a common faith and a long friendship”.

When compulsory service was introduced into Australia, he was much disturbed at the way in which some of those who objected to serve on conscientious grounds were treated.

With the nineteenth century Hodgkin's twenty-five years’ labor on Italy and her Invaders came to an end. He could not be long without writing, and was soon busy with various papers and reviews. His mind and his reading began to turn most of all to the study of Border History, a subject brought prominently before him by residence at Barmoor. The Border papers which he now studied he found more interesting than any novel.

He was, however, diverted from a subject full of fascination for him, by an urgent request that he should write the first volume of a series on the Political History of England, to be published by Messrs. Longman. He yielded to pressure, but wondered whether he had been wise in so doing. Once started, his subject of course got hold of him. He even began to study the Welsh language, believing that the history of Britain ought not to be written from the purely Teutonic point of view. Before long he began to see clearly the line of his book, and started on the actual writing, which went very easily. His interest was specially aroused when he came to treat of Alfred. The more he knew of Alfred the more he loved and admired him, and he enjoyed visiting the chief places connected with his career. It was a relief when, in November, 1904, he could send off the last sheets of the book, and he wrote to his son that he was heartily glad to be rid of the burden. In all his previous long years of literary work he had never been troubled by editorial criticism, and it was a great worry to him now to have to adapt his views to meet what the editors considered to be the conditions of the series. He had to condense and to meet many criticisms, both on his style and his methods. At one time he was so perturbed that he even proposed to withdraw the book and wrote to Miss Alice Gardner, who had dedicated her book on Theodore of Studium to him. Finally, he wrote on December 14, 1905, “I have done my best, the book will soon be out of the press, read, reviewed, vilified and forgotten”. His prediction was not realized. The book was very favorably received and proved to be one of the most successful of the series.

He continued to write often for the Friends’ Quarterly Examiner, but his favorite subject of study from the day when he had finished with “Italy and her Invaders” was always the history of the Border. This study fitted in well with his long devotion to the Roman Wall, the great monument which first brought the Border into history. His interest in that never weakened. Lecturing on Self-culture in 1901, he described himself as fanatical about Roman remains, and urged each young man and woman to have a hobby : he knew well what joy had come to him through his hobbies.

In 1902 he rather reluctantly consented to write a sketch of the history of Western Europe from 500 to 15oo, as an introduction to Harmsworth’s History of Europe. This, which came to be called his “Hustled History”, cost him much time and labor. He was asked to write the sketch in ten pages, but he wrote thirty, which the editor was glad to print, considering it a most able contribution to the book. He managed to make this rapid sketch both instructive and interesting, a stimulating introduction to the study of the period.

During these years he continued to take much interest in the development of the College at Newcastle, which, founded in 1871 as a College of Physical Science in connection with the University of Durham, gradually enlarged its  scope.

The dispute between the United Free Church of Scotland and what became known as the Wee Free, in 1904, absorbed a good deal of his time and attention.

He was aroused to take a more active share in politics than he had done for some years by what he described as “the deluge of speeches and articles on Fiscal Reform” which came in 1903 from Joseph Chamberlain and his followers. Hodgkin was convinced that on the whole “the economic creed adopted by our fathers sixty years ago was a sound one”. His Free Trade convictions were so strong as to lead him to withdraw from the Liberal Unionist Association, though he protested against not being considered to belong to the Liberal Unionist party because he was a Free Trader. Feelings of duty compelled him very reluctantly to take a foremost part in the struggle.

When, in June, 1904, he took the chair and spoke at the Cobden centenary dinner at the Newcastle Liberal Club, he received a rapturous welcome which, he thought, showed a little feeling of joy over, “the sinner that repenteth”.

Since, in his opinion, the election of 1906 was fought on the Free Trade issue, he was able heartily to support Sir Edward Grey’s candidature for the Berwick Division and spoke for him at several meetings.

He was much interested in the Education Bill brought in by the new Government. Great was his indignation when, as he expressed it, that effete-committee of the Tory party, the House of Lords, threw out the Bill.

In 1906 he found himself drawn by what he called “an ever strengthening current, into the work of the Congo Reform Association”. It was a cause certain to appeal to his own generous nature as well as to his hereditary instincts. He joined heart and soul with Mr. E. D. Morel in what he described as an effort “to pull down the gigantic edifice of cruelty, oppression, and fraud which that scoundrel, Leopold II, has reared in the vast region of the Congo Free State”.

It was indeed wrestling against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against Spiritual wickedness in high places. He could not doubt that the Association was on the Lord’s side, and it was a perpetual comfort and inspiration to him to think how his dear Uncle Doctor would have approved of his share in the work. Writing to the Duke of Nortumberland on the subject in October, 1907, he said :

“As a student of history, I must express my deliberate conviction that nothing so wicked has been done by Europeans towards the native races since the days of Cortez and Pizarro, if then, and I fear the righteous judgment of God not only on the doers of these crimes, but also on any country which, having the power to prevent them, suffers them to be done”.

All cases of injustice and persecution appealed to him, and work for the Congo did not prevent his taking a keen interest in the sufferings of the Macedonians. When his feelings were deeply stirred it was hard to be met by diplomatic obstacles to the action he thought desirable. He was one of a deputation in 1907 to the Foreign Secretary on the subject of Macedonia, and wrote sadly that “Sir Edward Grey’s speech was a stream of cold water on all our desires to help this unhappy people”.

In his political views there was often a great deal both of optimism and idealism; his ingenious mind liked to think out possible solutions of puzzling questions. In 1902, in the midst of the Education controversy, he wrote to the Spectator suggesting the formation of a Parliament of Education, composed of persons practically interested in education, and not in the question between the Outs and Ins of politics, which should formulate a scheme to meet the educational needs of the country”. Again, in 1907, he writes to the Spectator with reference to the vexed question of female suffrage, suggesting the establishment of a Parliament of Women, to be elected by women, which should deal with many social questions, such as the training of children, the housing of the working classes, the checking of intemperance, and many similar subjects which he believed could be better handled by women than by men.

Fancies such as these show not only his fertile and ingenious mind, but a spirit full of love and the desire for peace, which was ever seeking a way out of difficulties and controversies. It is easy to smile at his proposals as impracticable and fantastic, it is impossible not to love the spirit which originated them.






For several years Hodgkin’s thoughts had been turned with ever-growing interest and sympathy to the little scattered groups of Friends dwelling in Australia and New Zealand. His youngest son, George, had been on an expedition to New Zealand in 1902, and when this journey was first discussed Hodgkin wrote in his diary, “What if we go too?”.

The plan was much discussed. But whilst some approved, others threw cold water on it. He could not contemplate going without his wife, and she found it hard to face the thought of eight months’ separation from her children. Three years later a sea voyage was recommended for his daughter Violet's health, and, he unfolded what he called his “prospect of service” to the Newcastle Monthly Meeting in October 1908.

At the Meeting for Sufferings in London on November 6, Hodgkin, in speaking of his projected journey, said that his visit would have in it much of a social character, and intellectual, academic and educational interests would also enter into it. He hoped it might be open to him to give lectures on subjects other than religious. But at the bottom of all, there must be the great truth that Christianity is not merely a faith to die for, but to live by in the hard and difficult places of life.

The end of the year was filled with preparations for the great journey. Packing for such an absence was a great business. Many of the boxes they took were filled with books not only for their own use during the journey, but as presents either to the libraries at Meeting houses or to lonely Friends living in the bush.

On Sunday, January 1o, there was a little farewell service at the Club House at Barmoor. Then came the last Meeting in Newcastle on January 17, before he left the north, when he was much encouraged and felt that the whole was an atmosphere of love and farewell.

The party, husband and wife with son and daughter and two servants, left London on January 22. They went all the way by sea, and fortunately the dreaded Bay was kind and sunny. Little excursions on shore at the various places where the Orontes stopped were much enjoyed, and they looked eagerly as they passed through the Straits of Messina, for signs of the desolation wrought by the terrible earthquake a few months before. On the whole Hodgkin did not enjoy a long sea voyage.

His own time was largely spent in reading. When night came and the decks were quiet, he would sit out under the stars and meditate on the work that lay before him amongst the unknown Friends, in the far distant lands to which the vessel was bearing him.

A day at Colombo was made pleasant by meeting his nephew, Orme Fox.

Tasmania was their first destination, but the Orontes made a brief stay at Fremantle, where they were met with a welcome from Mr. and Mrs. B. Creeth, representatives of the little community of Friends in Western Australia. They had time to spend two hours in Perth. There was another brief stay at Adelaide, where a group of about fifteen Friends assembled to meet him.

At Melbourne, where they finally left the Orontes, a little band of Friends again welcomed them. Here two days were spent in making arrangements for their future journeyings, and in getting lists of Australian Friends. To a gathering of thirty Friends at the Meeting House in the evening, Hodgkin explained the object of his visit and his conviction of the important position held by Australian Friends at this moment. He and George alone went on first to Tasmania, going to Latrobe to visit some families of Friends. Then the whole party came together at Hobart, where over three weeks were spent.

They had a stormy voyage over the Tasman Sea to New Zealand. Dunedin, the first city at which they stopped, amused him by its constant, perhaps unconscious, comparison of itself with the mother city, Edinburgh. Its foundation was a result of the disruption of the Scottish Kirk in 1842.

From Dunedin an excursion was made to the beautiful Lake Wakatipu, where they spent some days.

Hodgkin had hurt his leg by stumbling as he got into a tram, and neglect at first made the subsequent healing a long and troublesome business. He rejoiced that the first days of his enforced rest were spent at such a beautiful spot as Queenstown, the “homeish, pleasant little place at the head of the Lucerne of New Zealand”.

At Christchurch, their next stopping-place, he had to submit, as almost invariably happened when arriving at a new place, to a newspaper interview, followed by a succession of other visits.

At Wellington twelve busy days were spent. The chief interest of this visit was the Conference of Friends from all parts of New Zealand, gathered together by the efforts of the two zealous ladies who managed the Friends’ Hostel. This Hostel had been started in order to provide a Friendly home for the children of Friends who might come to Wellington for their education. As there had not proved to be enough of these to enable the Hostel to pay its way, it had come to be used as a Friends’ boarding-house, and did most useful work as a sort of club or travelling center for Friends visiting the capital. Its existence much facilitated the holding of the Conference.

The Conference was followed by four visits to Friends living in the country. Several days were spent at Swarthmore, the beautiful home of Mr. J. Holdsworth.

After these visits they took ship again and went to Auckland, from which they visited the famous volcanic region of Rotorua. The interest of this journey in New Zealand was much increased by Hodgkin’s diligent study of Maori history and customs. He was not content till a country was made living to him by its history.

Hodgkin and his son made a long expedition into what is known as the roadless north, to visit one of the most earnest and devoted of the New Zealand Friends. This was the most adventurous expedition of the whole journey; indeed the home committee had recommended that it should not be undertaken, considering Dr. Hodgkin’s age.

Returning from these excursions they settled in Auckland for a pleasant and satisfactory business week. On one of the days there was a Peace Meeting, and on the next a meeting about the possibilities of a Quaker colony, and on the Sunday the Two Months’ Meeting was held a month earlier than the proper day so as to enable the visitors to attend it

Sydney was the travellers’ next destination. At Sydney they found a good meeting-house generally well attended by about forty members, an adult school, and an evening meeting kept up at no small sacrifice of time and comfort by Friends who lived many miles off. Hodgkin was warmly welcomed by the University people at Sydney and found the University a heart-cheering place, where he enjoyed lecturing on Ravenna and the Fall of the Roman Empire. During this tour he was said always to have a lecture up his sleeve.

From Sydney they went to Queensland, the object of the journey was to visit the two meetings of Brisbane and Rockhampton. At Brisbane there was a most attractive meeting house, “surrounded by a pleasant garden with visions of mimosa trees through the opened windows”, but the meeting itself was not in very good heart, as the younger Friends showed a decided tendency to drift away. Here and at Rockhampton, where there was also a small meeting, Thomas Hodgkin tried by his friendly words and wise counsel to hearten the members. He was interested in meeting one earnest Friend, a furnaceman, who seemed to him to possess a prophetic gift, and who was thinking of offering himself for a sort of missionary journey round the various meetings and settlements of Friends in Australia, a proposal which Hodgkin hoped would be accepted. In both these towns he found time to give historical lectures as well as religious addresses. He was a constant advocate of increased immigration to these wide, empty lands.

Hodgkin visited gold-mines and other places of interest and made an expedition to Toowoomba, a little town lying high in the mountains in a very fertile district. At Toowoomba there was the usual interviewer to be faced, who recorded how Dr. Hodgkin spoke of his intense pleasure in coming among a people where there is no crying destitution as in old lands. But he also emphasized the fact that with all their advantages, Australians should be a little more earnest in their own lives and the interests of the common weal. Beautiful, interesting Queensland was left with regret. He wrote that he was extremely glad that they had undertaken this visit. “There is no part of Australia which more needs the help of Friends from a distance than Queensland, and no part which will better repay it”.

Melbourne was reached on August 23. The three weeks spent at Melbourne were almost the busiest time of the whole journey. There were people of all sorts to be seen, both at Government House and the University, as well as the circle of Friends, and the days were crowded with varied engagements for all the party. Hodgkin was interested at being present at a meeting of the Federal Senate, and a little amused at the pomp and ceremony, the full-bottomed wig of the President, the liveries and deep bows of the attendants. It was a delight to find a real student in the Parliamentary librarian, and to spend some hours amongst the fine collection of books he had got together, of which the most interesting was his unique collection of publications bearing on the history of Australia.

Adelaide was the next stopping place. One of the pleasures of the stay in Adelaide was making acquaintance with Sir Samuel Way, who was generally considered “the most distinguished citizen of South Australia”. Amongst other kind attentions, Sir Samuel supplied his new friend with various books of interest for the history of Australia, and many and varied subjects were discussed between them.

The week that followed was filled with meetings, some concerned with the business of the Society, some occupied with its spiritual work. At one meeting the attitude to be taken on the Defence Bill was considered. A Friend from New Zealand said that he could not accept the proposition that defensive war in all circumstances is absolutely unlawful for a Christian. Hodgkin did not join in the discussion, thinking that it was a matter which concerned the Australians themselves.

Adelaide was finally left on October 21. There was a valedictory reception, at which Hodgkin contrived to say some words to the young people, bidding them work to keep up the meetings, and to the old people, exhorting them to leave the young alone. On his voyage from what he called “beautiful, flattering, besetting Adelaide”.

There still remained Western Australia to visit. On reaching Perth, he was saddened by hearing of the death of his old friend Miles MacInnes, and wrote : “Soon there will be none left with whom I can talk of the old times. These letters make me long to get home before there are any more gaps made in our circle”.

The four weeks in Western Australia were intended primarily to be a little rest after the exacting time through which they had passed, and to enable them to see something of the beauty of an Australian spring and the glory of its flowers; but they also desired to see whether they could induce the few Friends in and around Perth to form themselves into a meeting. In this attempt they failed. Part of this resting time was spent at Nedlands on the Swan River, where they delighted in the sunrises and sunsets over the water, in the wild flowers and the encompassing bush, in the pelicans and swans on the river.

The moment to say good-bye to Australia came at last. On their way home a fortnight was spent at Ceylon to visit the Friends’ Mission to the Tamils at Matale, and to see something of Mrs. Hodgkin’s nephew, Orme Fox, working there in the Civil Service.

The voyage from Ceylon was the least happy part of the whole journey. George had left them to spend some time in India, and they missed him dreadfully; but worse than this, Mrs. Hodgkin fell ill, and her recovery was slow and tedious. It was an intense joy to be met by their son Robin at Naples, on the last day of the year, and with him they went to Costebelle, meeting their eldest son, Edward, and his wife at Marseilles on their way. In the bright fresh air of Costebelle they were able to acclimatize themselves to Europe after the heat of the Tropics, and Mrs. Hodgkin completed her recovery. Hodgkin also had the opportunity of acclimatizing himself to the English political atmosphere.

The Hodgkins reached England at the end of January and, enterprising traveller though he was, Hodgkin wrote on his first night at the Great Western Hotel, “Oh, the delight of being in this comfortable English hotel”. Thence they went to Falmouth, where they were joined by the Bosanquets and their children.

Two months were spent in the South of England, chiefly at Falmouth, with visits to his sisters at Failand and Yattendon, and days in London to attend some meetings. He believed that the journey to Australia made 1909 perhaps the most memorable year in the lives of all the four travellers. It was a beautiful crown to all his loving work for the Society of Friends; a striking illustration of the perpetual youth of his mind and heart.







In considering the life of Thomas Hodgkin in relation to the Society of Friends, it must be borne in mind that he was a birthright member. In other words, his parents were Friends and, therefore, in accordance with Quaker tradition, he was born a Friend. This implies not merely membership of the Society from his earliest days, but a particular and peculiar upbringing which left an indelible and characteristic mark upon him. The old home at Bruce Grove, Tottenham, was a center of Quaker thought, habit, and practice, and near at hand was the Friends’ school at Grove House, the Friends’ Essay Society, and a Friends’ Meeting. Around this center gathered many who, in after years, retained their mutual friendship to one another's edification and enjoyment. Such an environment made up in some measure for his exclusion, as a Quaker, from the university, and furnished some of the necessary elements of a liberal education in a Quaker setting. Thus beginning as one of a prominent Friend’s family, he became as years went on something of what used to be called a public Friend, and his reputation as a historian and man of letters enhanced this position. The contribution of public Friends was usually two-fold. They labored for the maintenance and extension of the institutions of Quakerism, and they delivered what they believed to be the message of its Faith. Now the service of Thomas Hodgkin differed in certain ways from that usually rendered by prominent Friends. He did not devote himself wholly or mainly to this religious service; he did not travel in the ministry to any great extent; he was not sectarian in his purposes or ideals; and he took, relatively speaking, but little part in the business and administration of the Society. In some ways, indeed, he proclaimed his message to those outside the Society quite as much, if not more, than to those within its borders. His banking, his historical work, and his home life became a direct means and channel of the expression of his spiritual experience to be seen and read of all men. Looking back, however, over his long life it becomes evident that his contribution to the Society itself was remarkable, both in degree and quality. Speaking generally, though its oneness is not easily analyzed, his service was pastoral, literary, and personal.

From early manhood to the end of his life, Thomas Hodgkin was accustomed to express himself with facility and fluency both in writing and speaking. He was a good correspondent, and so kept in touch with his friends; he kept detailed records of his doings in connection with the Society and was an attractive speaker at its gatherings—simple, dignified, and catholic in temper. Like his father, he was highly esteemed as a minister, with clear and emphatic enunciation, sonorous and musical voice, reverent and comprehensive understanding, well-proportioned in arrangement of thought and literary expression. He had also the advantage of a pleasing presence and a genial countenance. All this made him a most welcome speaker, and when he rose in a meeting for divine worship, his hearers knew that heart and mind would accord. Thus he became a pastor and teacher in the Society, particularly in the last thirty years of his life, and his influence and position became very great among Friends. He was the gifted exponent of four somewhat separate Quaker issues. First, he had a profound sense of the truth of the Inward Light, which from his youth upwards was one of the corner-stones of his faith. Man is unique in the universe, he would say; so unique among the sons of men is Jesus Christ; and the spirit of the risen Christ dwells in the hearts of men and is the light to guide them into all truth. It is a living and abiding Spiritual Presence in the world to which we bear witness. This seems a simple creed, he would add, but it is comprehensive. It may not suffice for many men’s orthodoxy but it is sufficient for life. Secondly, he was a vigorous non-sacerdotalist. Perhaps, indeed, his upbringing and subsequent experience led him to overlook the advantages which many devout people attribute to the priesthood and an observance of rites and ceremonies which did not appeal to him, or which he deemed unessential or sometimes even misleading. He was fond of quoting George Fox’s admonition : Let nothing come between your souls and God but Christ, and he laid much stress upon the freedom from external authority and the independence of the individual soul. All men he believed were called to the priesthood, but the priestly office was to be the service of humanity in the common life and the daily duty. Thirdly, he was a lifelong advocate of a peaceable spirit among men and nations. In all his manners and methods he commended sweet reasonableness and peace and the peaceable spirit.

Lastly, his pastoral influence in the Society was unsectarian. He was ever the prophet of truth and sincerity, never the advocate of sect and faction. He cultivated the universal spirit. A religious reformer, he wrote, at any rate, one who desires to work in harmony with the spirit of Christianity, cannot have sectarian aims. He cannot be satisfied with conquering one little province of the Christian world and labeling it with his own name. He must believe that he is the bearer of a world-wide message, adapted to all sorts and conditions of men, and that for the whole Christian Church the only hope of health and cleansing lies in the acceptance of that message. Such was most emphatically the belief of George Fox. I always think those words were characteristic of Thomas Hodgkin. It is not surprising that this large apprehension of spiritual things gave him ample scope in the Society. As one dwells on this long life of devotion, helpfulness, and encouragement to all seeking the light, it does not seem irreverent or extravagant to apply to Thomas Hodgkin those ancient and comely words, a good steward of God’s manifold grace, the faithful shepherd of a scattered flock throughout the world.

Next to his pastoral contribution to the Society of Friends I should place his literary labors in its behalf. More than any other man of his generation he was the representative historian of Quakerism, for though he made no comprehensive record of its growth and institutions, he was the frequent exponent of its rise and progress, and still more the interpreter of its purposes. He contributed frequently to the Friend, and from the commencement of the Friends’ Quarterly Examiner in 1867 down to his death in 1913, Dr. Hodgkin published in its pages no less than seventy-two papers, dealing with religious subjects, biography, history, biblical criticism, science, literature, and travel. More than once he had a hand in the drafting of the Yearly Meeting Epistle, the authorized letter of the Society on Quaker doctrine, discipline, and duty. As President of the Friends’ Historical Society, he took keen interest in their publications and in all matters connected with the history of the Society, and as President of the Friends’ Guild of Teachers he exhorted and encouraged those engaged in the work of teaching, and worked for the enlargement and understanding of their sphere. He was for many years deeply concerned in the whole question of national education and wrote various articles on it from the Quaker standpoint. Lastly, it must not be forgotten that Dr. Hodgkin, as historian, was Quaker all the time, and some of his historical essays were rightly and properly colored by his deepest religious convictions. And this, too, went to swell the main account of his literary labors on behalf of his Faith.

But, after all, Dr. Hodgkin's chief contribution to the Society of Friends was himself. He was, wrote an Oxford friend of his own, a living proof of what one man can do to make life happier and better for others. He was one of those men who make one feel that personality is more real and more immortal than anything else in the world. His comfortable social position, his liberal sympathy and wide and deep humanity, his mellowness, geniality, and urbanity all combined to make him an exceptionally attractive and lovable English gentleman. And to moral strength and integrity he added intellectual gifts, scholarship, and capacity, even something more which may perhaps be described as intellectual character. Thus he seemed to us to move in a large orbit and rather above or beyond common and sordid things. He measured the world around him with a long-distance gauge, and gave an impression of catholicity, amplitude and liberalism which was wholly valuable to a small body of people inclined to view the world from their own somewhat restricted stand­point. His simplicity, integrity, independence, and man­liness of carriage and conduct, combined with his sound judgment and warm affectionate heart, gave him a unique and never to be forgotten place in the Society of Friends, a place of power rather than effort. As the long years passed, he became in this way one whose personal life, even more than the things which he did, was of direct importance to the Society of Friends and even to the Commonwealth.





The year after the Australian journey Hodgkin describes as “A year of recovery and rest after our journeyings, of snuggling back into the bosom of dear Mother England and telling her as much as we could of the wonders of England beyond the seas; a year of much letter-writing, of spiritual inactivity (as far as I was concerned), of growing old and, as must always be our experience now, of the loss of old friends”.

There were no more long journeys after this, and Hodgkin never revisited his beloved Italy.

Correspondence and public talks about Australia occupied so much of his time and thought during 1910 that he had hardly any leisure for literary work. But he put together that year some of the lectures and addresses on religious and ecclesiastical subjects, which he had delivered during the last twenty or thirty years, and brought them out in a volume called after the first paper, The Trial of our Faith. This volume gives a good idea of his thought on many important subjects.

In 1910 he was elected President of the Falmouth Polytechnic Society, and gave his inaugural address there on August 27, on The Weather, a subject in which he was always much interested. His diaries are full of remarks about it, and a sun-recorder at Barmoor was one of the amusements of his later years. In this lecture he spoke of the advances that had been made in the power to predict the weather, and went on to show how great would be the gain to humanity if it could become possible to predict it a year, or even a few months, ahead. He asked whether the way to do this might not be to study the causes which led to the variations in the climate. Why is not the law of this change itself unchangeable? He recognized that his meteorological friends would treat him like an intelligent child and bid him wait in patience till the day came when he could answer their questions. He ended his lecture by speaking of the millions of money which accurate, reasonably accurate, forecasts would save to the Commonwealth.

On August 7, one of the many fine days of the glorious summer of 1911, Thomas and Lucy Hodgkin celebrated their Golden Wedding. Of what these fifty years of perfect married happiness meant to a man of Hodgkin’s temperament it is hardly necessary to speak. His sensitive, affectionate nature needed the atmosphere of love and perfect understanding which alone made it possible for his mind and heart alike to grow and develop in happy harmony. It is impossible to think of Thomas Hodgkin without the background of his home and family, and the beauty of his home life was due to the perfect love and confidence between husband and wife upon which it was built.

The thought of becoming again as a little child seems to have been much with him at this time. He returned to it more than once in his addresses at Meeting, where he urged the cultivation of the spirit of the little child, unsuspicious, eager, questioning, but full of hope for the future. Even the child’s habit of asking endless questions should be imitated.

Much in public affairs weighed upon his mind in these years. Immediately after his visit to Australia the question of the Australian Defence Bill had arisen, and he felt great concern for the trouble it must bring to his friends.

He was much concerned at the growing antagonism between England and Germany. Already, in 1905, he had been on a special committee appointed to prepare a message from the Society of Friends to the peace-lovers in Germany. The Taft-Grey Arbitration proposals made in May, 1911, seemed to him to throw a gleam of light in the darkness, and he had great hopes that these would prove to be really a step towards the reign of peace.

He was not happy about the Persian policy of the Government and could not approve of the Anglo-Russian agreement, though he felt, as he wrote to Sir Edward Grey (January, 1912), that perhaps he had no right to criticize as he did not know what pieces are on the board, adding, “May you, and not the enemies of England and of freedom, win the game”. Some months later (October 20, 1912), he felt obliged to withdraw from the Northern Liberal Federation because of his strong disapproval of the foreign policy of the Government. Their Home Rule policy did not trouble him so much.

One of the pleasures of this year was the acquisition of a motor. No one had been more prejudiced than he against motors at their first introduction. When a car passed him on the road he would invariably mutter, “selfish rich”. But the fact that the Bosanquets settled at Rock Moor Farm near Alnwick, which was too far from Barmoor for a carriage drive, led at last to the breakdown of his prejudice. He wrote to a friend explaining his former feelings : “I have for years objected to the introduction of automobiles into our modern life, as they seemed to me to encourage a selfish, ostentatious, unsocial behavior in the rich”. Having become the possessor of a car, he frankly owned “it has enormously added to our happiness this summer”. He wanted to know all about its mechanism, and bought a book in order to instruct himself in every detail. Like all his servants, his chauffeur adored him, saying, “Never was such a master”. After this there are constant allusions to his enjoyment of the rides in his new motor, and he would note with satisfaction the distances he accomplished with it. His daughter’s birthday was kept on March 19, 1912, by motoring to St. Abb’s Head.

In July he went to the Friends’ Summer School in the Highlands and gave an address on Membership and another on the Prophet Amos, and shared with much enjoyment in all the social intercourse of the days. On July 29 he reached the age of eighty-one, and was amused by receiving a congratulatory telegram from Sir William Bailey addressed to the grand old schoolmaster of humanity.

Occasionally he amused himself with jig-saw puzzles. In 1910 he had decided that as he could not do them with moderation, he must make a rule of total abstinence. Now the rule seems to have broken down, and he speaks of wasting time over a heart-breaking jig-saw

On October 5 his brother Eliot died. Circumstances had prevented his seeing much of this brother during late years, and, unfortunately, none of his letters to him have been preserved.

In that year his youngest son and the constant companion of later years, George, had become engaged to be married to Mary F. Wilson. He rejoiced in George’s happiness, but the thought of losing him as a home son was hard to bear.

It had been a family habit, a habit not always appreciated by Dr. Hodgkin, to have as many meals as possible out of doors. But in 1912 they noticed that he really dreaded chills and sitting out, and so out-door meals were given up except on very hot days. He continued to take his little walk round the garden, that much-loved earthly paradise, before breakfast every morning. His hair had turned silvery, but his thick curls still showed under his brown hat. That last winter, those watching him with anxious love noticed that his memory was not so clear as it had been. He was touchingly anxious not to make mistakes and liked wife or daughter to see every letter that he wrote before it went. To them it seemed as if his own personality were growing deeper and richer every day. In his face there was a look of illumination and radiance from within which made it more beautiful than ever before. Other eyes noticed this difference though they could not explain what it was. At the little Sunday meetings his daughter would think of the words spoken of Stephen, “looking upon him it was as it were the face of an angel”. And to one anxious loving heart came the thought as she watched him praying, that perhaps they would not be allowed to keep him with them very long. He hated being alone, even for a little while, during this last winter, and would fetch out his wife or daughter for the little stroll that broke his morning’s work, or the longer walk in the afternoon, from which not even driving snow and bitter wind could keep him.






Thomas Hodgkin spent his last Christmas at Barmoor, where there was a happy gathering of some of his family and relations. In the early days of 1913 he was in London for some Friends’ Meetings and stopped at Newcastle on the way back, speaking at meeting on Sunday, January 5. At the evening meeting his subject was Christ’s presence in Samaria as healing national and ecclesiastical divisions. He records that Edwards the miner prayed, and describes it as “a delightful meeting”.

The last days of January were spent in York with his daughter for a Peace Conference, when the question of the Australasian Defence Bill was discussed. He presided and gave the opening speech, but he was tired and flurried and felt that things went lamely.

In April, 1912, he had been to a meeting for silent worship in Mr. Cyril Hepher’s church in Newcastle, and wrote of it : “The Church meeting, which was the object of our journey, was a very happy time. We do seem to be getting down to deep underlying unity”. Early in February, 1913, he had the pleasure of a visit from Mr. Cyril Hepher at Barmoor. They talked much about Silent Worship and the book, The Fellowship of Silence, that was shortly to come out. Dr. Hodgkin took his guests to Flodden, and in the evening made the story of the battle living by reading Marmion to them.

His last excursion from Barmoor was on February 11, when, having some business to do in Berwick, he motored there with his daughter. The business done, they rambled about the old town together, pretending they were exploring a foreign town, and they each showed the other some special bit of old Berwick they had discovered.

It was as they drove to Berwick that morning that he spoke definitely for the first time about leaving the North, and said that he began to wish to get away from the long dark nights and dark mornings, and felt that he must get nearer the sun before another winter. George’s packing up his belongings and taking his final leave as a home child, no doubt helped to make Barmoor seem too vast and lonely for those who were left. Parting from George was a great wrench, but his father was very thankful at the prospect of his marriage and very insistent that nothing must be allowed to put it off.

After this there was more and more talk of the possibility of settling in a new home in Falmouth. They planned to go all the way to Falmouth in the new car, and left Barmoor in glorious weather on February 22. The first pause in the journey south was made at Darlington, at his brother Jonathan’s house, Elm Ridge, where he used always to stay for Quarterly Meetings. He went in to meeting on the following day, Sunday, and spoke on the message of Habakkuk, given in a time of stress when God seemed to hide Himself. He ended with a strong note of hope for the future. Those who heard him were deeply moved by the solemnity and beauty of his words.

Next day they motored on to Sheffield, where he stayed for two quiet days with his daughter Lily, Mrs. Gresford Jones. He was not very well and spent what he described as a “disgracefully lazy day”. It was decided that the remainder of the journey to Falmouth should be by train. His daughter Violet had an engagement to lecture on Australia at Sheffield, and though she felt it very difficult to part from him, she knew that he would not wish her to give up anything connected with Australia. Her last sight of him was as she saw him off in the train. His wife had been obliged to leave him at Sheffield, but she joined him at Birmingham and they went on together to Bristol far the night. He felt “a great sense of peace and rest at being at the journey’s end”.

Next day they had a sunny train journey to Falmouth. Many letters were written with the help of go to meeting that day. , as the motor was not in good condition, and he was tired and felt it would be an effort to go.

He had not been able to feel satisfied with not going to meeting and finally sent for a carriage to take them into Falmouth. At ten the carriage was there and his wife in it waiting for him. But even as he got ready to go, the swift summons came to another meeting, the meeting with the Master whom he had loved and followed all his long life. Without a word or a struggle, he who had feared death and disabling illness, passed from the fullness of life to meet Him of whom he had written :


Oh Son of Man ! if Thee and not another

I here have known,

If I may see Thee then, our First-born Brother,

Upon Thy throne,

How stern soe'er, how terrible in brightness

That dawn shall break,

I shall be satisfied with Thy dear likeness When I awake.



Thomas Hodgkin’s brother-in-law and lifelong friend, Edward Fry, one who felt that in losing him he had lost the ordinary background of his thoughts, so often did he refer to him in mind, wrote the following lines in memory of him :


“As towards some low horizon of the West

Begirt with clouds, and nebulous with mist

Sink the pale stars, and fade, and die away

So gently, that the eye can scarce discern

The moment of their setting. So, too, die

We old men often. Yet not such thy lot,

My brother and my comrade.

                                       But as when

Over an alpine valley cliff begirt

Shines near the zenith in the clear cold air

The star of midnight, which then, quick as thought,

Falls behind some high crag, or beetling rock,

And so, dies in its glory : such in sooth

Seemed thy fair setting to our sorrowing eyes.





One wrote of old, The struggle of this dying Is all I dread :

I shall not heed when men above me, sighing, Say, “He is dead”.

Not in such words, oh Father of our Spirits,

Speak we again :

A fear, a hope each child of us inherits,

Making them vain.



Awful the hour, and shall be through the ages,

That closeth Life;

With the worn Soul the weary Body wages

Self-torturing strife.


Till far, so far from loving eyes around them,

One journeyeth lone,

And that close wedlock that for years hath bound them

Ends with a groan.


The pale, still Form, so late so dear a treasure,

Its fate we know ;

The Dust, the Worm, its depth of ruin measure

Where it lies low.


But the vast doubt wherewith our souls are shaken

Outlasts the tomb !

Where, in what regions, shall the Wanderer waken,

Gazing on whom?



Father! I live or die, in this confiding,

That Thou art King

That each still Star above me owns Thy guiding,

Each wild Bird's wing.


That Nature feels Thee, great unseen Accorder

Of all her wheels,

That tokens manifest of Thy mightier order

Her strife reveals.


And that without Thee not a wave is heaving

Nor flake descends,

That all the giant Powers of her conceiving

Are Thy Son's friends.



Yet, I beseech Thee, send not these to light me

Through the dark vale ;

They are so strong, so passionlessly mighty,

And I so frail.


No! let me gaze, not on some sea far reaching

Nor star-sprent sky,

But on a Face in which mine own, beseeching,

May read reply.


For more than Poet's song or Painter's seeing

Of fiery Hell,

Thrills me this dread of waking into Being

Where no souls dwell.


Such was my cry : hath not the mighty Maker

Who gave me Christ,

Hath He not granted me a sweet Awaker

For the last tryst ?


Given a Son who left the peace unbroken

That reigns above,

That He might whisper God's great name unspoken

The name of Love I



Have I not known Him? Yes, and still am knowing,

And more shall know;

Have not His sweet eyes guided all my going,

Wept with my woe;


Gleamed a bright dawn-hope when the clouds of sadness

Made my soul dim,

And looked their warning when an alien gladness

Lured me from Him?



Lord, when I tread this valley of our dying,

Sharp cliffs between,

Where over all, one ghastly Shadow lying

Fills the ravine,


E'en then, Thy kingly sceptre being o'er me,

I will not fear;

Thy crook, my Shepherd, dimly seen before me,

My way shall clear.


And when the grave must yield her prey down-stricken,

When sleep is o'er,

When the strange stirs of life begin to quicken

This form once more,


Oh, Son of Man, if Thee and not another

I here have known,

If I may see Thee then, our First-born Brother,

Upon Thy throne;


How stern soe'er, how terrible in brightness

That dawn shall break,

I shall be satisfied with Thy dear likeness

When I awake.



San Remo, 1868,






UPON a bleak Northumbrian moor

Behold a palace raised : behold it filled

With all that fingers fashion, deftly skilled,

With all that strongest-fibred brains have willed,

When they, like Nature’s self, have vowed to build

Structures that shall for centuries endure.


How came these marvels hither? By what power

Have all been gathered in the self-same hour

Upon a bleak Northumbrian moor?

Why should both East and West for ever pour

The willing tribute of their golden store

In ceaseless tide upon thy storm-swept shore

O little island in the Northern main?

O little isle between two oceans’ spray ?

Deep lies the answer : endless is the chain

That binds the far-off ages with Today.



Here, when the North-wind raved,

The giant tree-trunks waved;

We see them o'er the unimagined tracts of time,

Yet never eye beheld

Those woodlands fair of eld;

No hand those tree-trunks felled

Scarred by the summer's flash, silvery with winter's rime.

For countless years the sun

Through steaming vapours dun

Beheld their growth renewed

In sylvan solitude,

While the green-mantled earth slept in her innocent prime.


Wave! fronded forests! wave!

Sink gradual to your grave

Beneath some nameless river's oozy bed.

Roll! myriad ages! roll!

So shall the treasure, Coal,

Be stored for some new race,

Creation’s crown and head,



But vain is Nature's store,

Vain as the golden ore

Upon some barren isle for famine-wearied men,

Unless her sons be true,

Mighty to dare and do,

And bind with each new need the social bond again.

Patience and mutual trust

And courage to be just,

And the frank, fearless gaze that seeks its fellow's eyes,

And loving loyalty Law-bound, yet ever free :

Upon these deep-laid stones enduring Empires rise.



Thus hath our England grown

E'er since, long years agone,

She first did turn her face towards Freedom's holy light,

When Alfred, best of kings,

Beat back the raven's wings,

And gave her law for war, sweet day for barbarous night.

Till now, when Alfred's child

Sees 'neath her sceptre mild

Wide ocean-sundered realms in loyal love unite.



Lady, who through thy tears

Surveyest the traversed years,

The glad, the sad, the strange half-century,

Thy people's shouts acclaim

Thy loved victorious name.

Oh  be that name the pledge of conquests yet to be

O'er want and grinding care,

Faction and fierce despair,

Dark ignorance in her lair

And all that mars this day our joyous Jubilee.



Lord of the Ages Thine

Is the far-traced design

That blends earth's mighty Past with her To-be.

Slowly the web unrolls,

And only wisest souls

Some curves of Thine enwoven cipher see

Power fades and glory wanes

But the Unseen remains.

Thither draw Thou our hearts and let them rest in Thee.