the Cambridge examination in theology and was ordained deacon, becoming priest in 1862 and curate of St. Peter, Bethnal Green. In East London he threw himself enthusiastically into parish work. He was much in the company of J. R. Green [q. v.], who was in sole charge of Holy Trinity, Hoxton, and Green greatly influenced his views on social questions. After two years in Bethnal Green he went as curate to St. James-the-Less, Westminster, and then to St. Peter, Stepney. In 1866 he was appointed incumbent of St. James, Westmoreland Street, Marylebone, being, according to his own account, the youngest incumbent in London. He found the church nearly empty and in need of immediate repair. By his energy, ability, and somewhat sensational methods he quickly filled his church, and kept it full and fashionable for the thirty-five years of his ministry. He remained at St. James's till death.
Haweis exercised great power in the pulpit. He always preached in a black gown. His theatrical manner and vanity frequently exposed him to charges of charlatanry and obscured his genuine spiritual gifts. But he was earnest and sagacious in his efforts. He organised in his church 'Sunday evenings for the people,' at which orchestral music, oratorio performances, and even exhibitions of sacred pictures were made 'to form portions of the ordinary church services.' His success encouraged him to use St. James's Hall, Regent Street, for Sunday morning services of a similarly unconventional character, and Dean Stanley invited him to preach at a course of 'services for the people ' in Westminster Abbey. He was one of the first promoters of the Sunday opening of museums and picture galleries. He interested himself in the provision of open air spaces in London and in the laying out as gardens of disused church-yards. Haweis's literary activity was at the same time large. He wrote much for the magazines, for 'The Times' and the 'Pall Mall Gazette,' and was on the early staff of the 'Echo.' His first book, 'Music and Morals,' published in 1871 (16th edit. 1891), was a revision of magazine articles; it mingled pleasantly theories about music with biographical notices of musicians and criticisms of their music. There followed in 1884 'My Musical Life' (4th edit. 1891) and 'Old Violins' (1898, with a bibliography). As musical critic to 'Truth' Haweis helped to introduce Wagner's works to English notice. His soundest and most original literary work was on music, although his theological writings were bulkier. In 'Thoughts for the Times' (1872; 14th edit. 1891) he attempted to 'strike the keynotes of modern theology, religion, and life '; in 'Speech in Season' (1874) he 'applied these principles to present social needs and ecclesiastical institutions.' He continued his propaganda in 'Arrows in the Air' (1878); 'Winged Words' (1885); and 'The Broad Church; or. What is coming' (with a preface on Mrs. Humphry Ward's novel, Robert Elsmere,' 1891). He attempted a study of the origins of Christianity, which he published in 1886–7 in five volumes as 'Christ and Christianity.' The separate volumes were 'The Light of the Ages,' 'The Story of the Four,' 'The Picture of Jesus,' 'The Picture of Paul,' and 'The Conquering Cross.' Throughout this work there was much that was acute and vivacious, but little that was original or new.
Haweis's chief success was achieved as a popular lecturer in England and the colonies, and in America, principally on musical themes. In 1885 he gave the Lowell lectures in Boston, U.S.A. During the Chicago Exposition in 1893 he lectured before the Parliament of Religions, and in the following year he visited the Pacific coast, preaching to crowded congregations in Trinity Church, San Francisco. Thence he toured through Canada, the South Sea Islands, Australia, and New Zealand, lecturing and preaching. He preached in nine colonial cathedrals. In 1897 he visited Rome for the third time, to lecture on Mazzini and Garibaldi. He described his American and colonial experiences in 'Travel and Talk' (2 vols. 1896).
For some years after D. G. Rossetti's death in 1882 Haweis occupied the poet's house in Cheyne Walk, Chelsea. He died suddenly of heart seizure at his residence in later years, 31 Devonshire Street, on 29 Jan. 1901, after preaching memorial sermons on Queen Victoria on the previous Sunday. His body was cremated at Woking, and the remains interred beside his wife. There is a tablet to his memory in Marylebone parish church. Two sons and a daughter survive him. His portrait in oils, painted by Felix Moscheles, belongs to his daughter. A cartoon portrait by 'Ape' appeared in 'Vanity Fair' in 1888.
Besides the works above mentioned and many sermons, Haweis, who was general editor (1886) of Routledge's 'World Library,' and for a year of 'Cassell's Magazine,' wrote:
- 'Pet; or Pastimes and Penalties,' 1874.
- 'Ashes to Ashes, a Cremation Prelude,' 1875.
- 'Poets in the Pulpit,' 1880.