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Name: RICHARDSON, William Moore

image of individual

Birth Date: 1844 Plymouth

Death Date: 6 Mar 1915 Cambridge

Profession: Bishop of Zanzibar

Area: Zanzibar

Married: No

School: Rossall, Merton Coll., Oxford

General Information:

Ordained 1869

Nat Probate Calendar

Barbara Dennis in Flying Goose (Wolversote Parish Newsletter Sep 2020) Perhaps Wolvercote's most colourful vicar was William Richardson, later a colonial Bishop in East Africa but whose English base was mostly in Oxford. He was ordained in 1869 and his first benefice was in Wolvercote, then a High Church parish. He was very popular and his six years here were happy ones and marked by Queen Victoria's Jubilee in 1887. He was in charge of all local celebrations and arranged the parish events that marked it, including a band of musicians marching from Summertown and a splendid meal for the poor of the parish of beef, lamb, chicken and beer. He organised sports for all on Port Meadow, three-legged and obstacle races as well as serious competitions for the half mile and high-jump, all funded, under his direction, by grants from the colleges, the town council, even the Duke of Marlborough at Blenheim. But mission ary zeal was in the air and in his blood. He had already lectured at the Dorchester missionary college and his ambition was to seek service overseas; in 1895 he was appointed Bishop of Zanzibar, an Anglo-Catholic diocese only recently created, and before he left he made a return visit to Wolvercote and preached a memorable sermon in full episcopal vestments. Zanzibar had been at the centre of the slave trade, abolished a mere two decades earlier, and his newly completed cathedral in Stone Town was built on the site of the slave market. lt was a dark spot where, not long before, missionaries and converts had been martyred for their faith'. He returned to England and Oxford in 1901, to be warden of the Community of St Thomas the Martyr, a sisterhood founded in 1858 and attached to a church noted then and now for its Anglo-Catholicism (its vicar T.H. Birley was a later Bishop of Zanzibar). William Richardson retired in 1910 and spent the last years of his life in Oxford and St Anselm's House, Brookside, Cambridge. He died in 1915.


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