H. Hensley Henson - Barking and District Historical Society

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H. Hensley Henson

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The Right Reverend Herbert Hensley Henson (1863-1947)
Vicar of Barking 1888-1895
Incumbent of St. Mary's Hospital Chapel, Ilford 1895-1900
Bishop of Hereford 1918-1920
Bishop of Durham 1920-1939

Henson graduated from Oxford University in 1884 where he had read modern history. He became Vicar of Barking in 1888 at the age of 25. Henson was then the youngest vicar in the Church of England. Within six months he had increased his congregation  from 250  to 1100 souls.  Hensley Henson then suffered from exhaustion and was moved to a less strenuous  living at Ilford Hospital Chapel in 1895. In 1900 he was appointed  Rector of St. Margaret’s & Canon of Westminster. Henson was promoted to Dean of Durham in 1912, a position he held until 1918 when he was translated to the Bishopric of Hereford. He then returned to Durham, as Bishop from 1920-1939. Henson was a controversial personality; he denied the Virgin Birth and Resurrection.

In his farewell sermon when he left Barking left he "painted a portrait of Barking as a corrupt city like Sodom and Gomorrah – prostitutes in the streets, local government corrupt, apostles of hatred  propagating hatred, everywhere a reign of suspicion".  Hensley Henson's hobbies included cycling & walking.

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