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CHEETHAM, SAMUEL (1827–1908), archdeacon of Rochester, was the son, by Emma Mary Woolston his wife, of Samuel Cheetham, farmer, of Hambleton, Rutland, where he was born on 3 March 1827. Educated at the neighbouring grammar school of Oakham, he matriculated at Christ's College, Cambridge, in 1846. He graduated B.A. in 1850, being a senior optime and eighth in the first class of the classical tripos, and was elected to a fellowship at his college. He proceeded M. A. in 1853 and D.D. in 1880. Meanwhile in 1851 he became vice-principal of the Collegiate Institute, Liverpool, and, being ordained deacon in 1851 andlpriest in 1852, was licensed to the curacy of St. Mary, Edgehill. In 1853 he returned to Cambridge to serve as tutor of Christ's College till 1858. He was curate of Hitchin, Hertfordshire (1858-61), and was vice-principal of the Theological College at Chichester (1861-3), at the same time acting as curate of St. Bartholomew's. In 1863 he was appointed professor of pastoral theology at King's College, London, where for nineteen years he did excellent work.

Cheetham was associated with Sir William Smith [q. v.] as editor of the 'Dictionary of Christian Antiquities' (vol. i. 1875; vol. ii. 1880), doing practically all the editorial work after me letter C was passed, besides writing many of the articles, and betraying an exceptional combination of laborious erudition and sound judgment. In 1866, on his marriage, his fellowship lapsed, but he added to his professorship the post of chaplain to Dulwich College, which he held till 1884. His work at Dulwich brought him into touch with the south London diocese of Rochester, and led to his appointment by Bishop Thorold as examining chaplain and honorary canon of Rochester in 1878. In the next year he was made archdeacon of Southwark, and the rest of his life was largely filled with diocesan activities in south London. He was transferred in 1882 as archdeacon from Southwark to Rochester, and was made a canon residentiary of Rochester in 1883. He remained examining chaplain to the bishop of Rochester until 1897. He was Hulsean lecturer at Cambridge for 1896-7, and published his lectures, 'The Mysteries, Pagan and Christian' (1897). Cheetham, who was elected F.S.A. in 1890, devoted all his leisure to work on church history. He completed the sketch of Church history which Charles Hardwick [q. v.], archdeacon of Ely, in 1859 left unfinished at his death. In 1894 Cheetham published 'A History of the Christian Church during the First Six Centuries,' and in the year before his death 'A History of the Christian Church since the Reformation.' These volumes are introductory or supplemental to Hardwick's work, and with it 'form a complete history of the Christian church on a small scale . . . written with constant reference to original authorities.'

He died without issue at Rochester on 19 July 1908, and is buried in the cathedral. He was twice married: (1) in 1866 to Hannah, daughter of Frederick Hawkins, M.D., who died in 1876; and (2) in 1896 to Ada Mary, eldest daughter of S. Barker Booth of Bickley, who survives him. A portrait painted by H. W. Pickersgill was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1872. In addition to works already mentioned, he published occasional sermons; articles in the 'Quarterly' and 'Contemporary' reviews; 'An Essay on John Pearson' in 'Masters in English Theology,' edited by Alfred Barry (1877); and A Sketch of Mediaeval Church History' (1899).

[The Times, 20 July 1908; New Schaff Herzog Encyclopaedia of Religious Knowledge, vol. iii.; Athenaeum, 25 July and Nov. 1908; Spectator, 3 April 1909; Guardian, 10 Feb. 1909; Crockford's Clerical Directory.]

R. B.