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 Issues | Church History | John Taylor Smith

John Taylor Smith (1860-1938)

Bishop of Sierra Leone and Chaplain-General


  • 1860 - born Kendal, Cumbria
  • Converted at age 11. Attended Kendal Grammar School
  • Trained for ministry at St John's, Highbury
  • 1886 - Ordained. Curate of St Paul, Upper Norwood.
  • 1889 - Called by Church Missionary Society as Canon-Missioner to Sierra Leone
  • 1896 - Appointed Anglican Bishop of Sierra Leone(1897-1901)
  • 1896 - Honorary Chaplain to Queen Victoria
  • 1901 - Appointed Chaplain-General to H. M. Forces, a position he held until 1925 (Known as "Everybody's Bishop")
  • 1906 appointed Companion of the Royal Victorian Order (C.V.O.)
  • 1921 appointed Companion of the Order of the Bath (C.B.)
  • 1925 - Appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (K.C.B) by King George V
  • 1938 - Died on board the S. S Orion and buried at sea



Biography of John Taylor Smith by E. L. Langston

(Great Churchman No. 15 - Church Book Room Press)


Extract from Church Association Annual Report (1915):

P.9 – “The Campaign against the Chaplain-General”. ‘The Chaplain-General, Bishop J Taylor-Smith, being a loyal minister of our Reformed Church and dutifully observing the King’s Regulations for the conduct of public worship in the Army, has set his face steadfastly against the attempts of the Ritualists to force the Mass and the Confessional upon Church of England soldiers. As his reward he has been made the subject of a series of intrigues. The first move was the suggestion that the enormous increase of work required that Dr. Taylor-Smith should have an assistant. Such a reasonable request was granted, but not to the liking of the Ritualists, for the new Bishop for the Front was an old CMS man, Dr Gwynne, late Bishop of Khartoum.’

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Related Links
J. Taylor Smith
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