1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/How, William Walsham

HOW, WILLIAM WALSHAM (1823–1897), English divine, son of a Shrewsbury solicitor, was born on the 13th of December 1823, and was educated at Shrewsbury school and Wadham College, Oxford. He was ordained in 1846, and for upwards of thirty years was actively engaged in parish work at Whittington in Shropshire and Oswestry (rural dean, 1860). He refused preferment on several occasions, but his energy and success made him well known, and in 1879 he became a suffragan bishop in London, under the title of bishop of Bedford, his province being the East End. There he became the inspiring influence of a revival of church work. He founded the East London Church Fund, and enlisted a large band of enthusiastic helpers, his popularity among all classes being immense. He was particularly fond of children, and was commonly called “the children’s bishop.” In 1888 he was made bishop of Wakefield, and in the north of England he continued to do valuable work. His sermons were straightforward, earnest and attractive; and besides publishing several volumes of these, he wrote a good deal of verse, including such well-known hymns as “Who is this so weak and helpless,” “Lord, Thy children guide and keep.” In 1863–1868 he brought out a Commentary on the Four Gospels; and he also wrote a Manual for the Holy Communion. In the movement for infusing new spiritual life into the church services, especially among the poor, How was a great force. He died on the 10th of August 1897. He was much helped in his earlier work by his wife. Frances A. Douglas (d. 1887).

See his Life by his son, F. D. How (1898).