1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Howson, John Saul

HOWSON, JOHN SAUL (1816–1885), English divine, was born at Giggleswick-in-Craven, Yorkshire, on the 5th of May 1816. After receiving his early education at Giggleswick school, of which his father was head-master, he went to Trinity College, Cambridge, and there became tutor successively to the marquis of Sligo and the marquis of Lorne. In 1845 Howson, having taken orders, accepted the post of senior classical master at the Liverpool College under his friend W. J. Conybeare, whom he succeeded as principal in 1849. This post he held until 1865, and it was largely due to his influence that a similar college for girls was established at Liverpool. In 1866 he left Liverpool for the vicarage of Wisbech, and in 1867 he was appointed dean of Chester Cathedral, where he gave himself vigorously to the work of restoring the crumbling fabric, collecting nearly £100,000 in five years for this purpose. His sympathies were with the evangelical party, and he stoutly opposed the “Eastward position,” but he was by no means narrow. He did much to reintroduce the ministry of women as deaconesses. The building of the King’s School for boys, and the Queen’s School for girls (both in Chester), was due in a great measure to the active interest which he took in educational matters. He died at Bournemouth on the 15th of December 1885, and was buried in the cloister garth of Chester. Howson’s chief literary production was The Life and Epistles of St Paul (1852) in which he collaborated with Conybeare.

The book is still of interest, especially for its descriptive passages, which were mostly done by Howson; but later researches (such as those of Sir W. M. Ramsay) have made the geographical and historical sections obsolete, and the same may be said of the treatment of the Pauline theology.