Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Terrot, Charles Hughes

TERROT, CHARLES HUGHES (1790–1872), bishop of Edinburgh, born at Cuddalore on 19 Sept. 1790, was a descendant of a family which the revocation of the edict of Nantes drove from France. His father, Elias Terrot, a captain in the Indian army, was killed at the siege of Bangalore a few weeks after the child's birth. His mother, whose maiden name was Mary Fonteneau, returned to England and settled with her son at Berwick-on-Tweed. When nine years old he was placed for his education under the charge of the Rev. John Fawcett of Carlisle. In 1808 he entered Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was an associate of Whewell, Peacock, Rolfe, Amos, Mill, and Robinson. He graduated B.A. in 1812 with mathematical honours, and was elected a fellow of his college. In 1813 he was ordained deacon, and in 1814 was instituted to Haddington, where the leisure of a country incumbency gave him opportunity of competing for university literary honours, and in 1816 he obtained the Seatonian prize for a poem entitled ‘Hezekiah and Sennacherib, or the Destruction of Sennacherib's Host.’ In 1819 he followed this up with another poem, ‘Common Sense,’ in which the poets and politicians of the day were criticised in the style of the ‘Dunciad’ and the ‘Rolliad.’ He then abandoned poetry for theology and mathematics. In 1817 he was promoted to the charge of St. Peter's, Edinburgh, as colleague to James Walker (afterwards bishop of Edinburgh). In 1829 he succeeded Walker as sole pastor. In 1833 he became junior minister of St. Paul's, Edinburgh. In 1836 he was appointed synod clerk of the diocese, in 1837 dean of Edinburgh and Fife, in 1839 rector of St. Paul's, and in 1841 bishop of Edinburgh and Pantonian professor. In 1856 a church was built for him on the scene of his labours in the old town. On the death of William Skinner (1778–1857) [q. v.], bishop of Aberdeen, in 1857, Terrot was chosen primus of Scotland, an office which he held till a stroke of paralysis compelled his resignation in 1862. He died on 2 April 1872, and was interred in the Calton burying-ground.

Terrot was twice married: first, in 1818, to Sarah Ingram, daughter of Captain Samuel Wood of Minlands, near Berwick-on-Tweed. She died on 9 Sept. 1855. He married, secondly, in 1859, a widow, Charlotte Madden, who died in February 1862. By his first wife he had fourteen children, six of whom predeceased him. His eldest daughter accompanied Miss Florence Nightingale to the Crimea, and was afterwards decorated with the royal red cross in recognition of her services.

Terrot was an excellent mathematician, and was for fourteen years a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, to whose ‘Transactions’ he contributed numerous papers on mathematical subjects. He was also a member of the Architectural Society of Scotland, and delivered the annual introductory address on 29 Nov. 1855.

Besides separate charges and sermons, Terrot wrote: 1. ‘Pastoral Letters,’ Edinburgh, 1834, 8vo. 2. ‘Two Series of Discourses, on i. Christian Humiliation; ii. The City of God,’ London, 1845, 8vo. 3. ‘Sermons preached at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Edinburgh,’ Edinburgh, 1865, 8vo. He edited the Greek text of ‘The Epistle to the Romans, with an Introduction, Paraphrase, and Notes’ (London, 1828, 8vo), and translated Ernesti's ‘Institutio Interpretis,’ in two volumes, entitled ‘Principles of Biblical Interpretation’ (Edinburgh, 1832–3, 8vo).

[Three Churchmen, by W. Walker, 1893 (with portrait); Crombie's Mod. Athenians; Proc. of Royal Soc. of Edinb. viii. 9–14 (obit. notice by Professor Kelland); Scotsman, 3 and 4 April 1872; Memoir by Dean Ramsay in Scot. Guardian, 15 May 1872; Cat. of Advoc. Libr.; information supplied by Miss Terrot, the bishop's daughter.]

G. S-h.