Penrose, John (DNB00)

PENROSE, JOHN (1778–1859), divine, born at Cardinham, Cornwall, 15 Dec. 1778, was the eldest son of John Penrose (1754–1829), then vicar of that parish, and afterwards rector of Fledborough and vicar of Thorney, both near Newark, Nottinghamshire. His mother was Jane (d. 1818), second daughter of the Rev. John Trevenen. After having been trained at home, and for a short time—August 1794 to July 1795—at Tiverton school, he matriculated as commoner from Exeter College, Oxford, on 3 July 1795, in the expectation of obtaining a Cornish fellowship to be vacant in 1797. His stay in that college only lasted to 26 Nov. 1795, when he migrated to Corpus Christi College, where he failed for a scholarship, but won an exhibition. He graduated B.A. 28 June 1799, and M.A. 11 May 1802. After taking his degree Penrose served for a few months as usher and tutor, but in 1801 he was ordained at Exeter, and he officiated at the chapelry of Marazion in Cornwall until he left Penzance in 1802. He was also Bampton lecturer in 1808. He afterwards held the vicarage of Langton-by-Wragby, Lincolnshire, from December 1802 to 1859; that of Poundstock, Cornwall, from November 1803 to 1809; the vicarage of Bracebridge, Lincolnshire, from May 1809 to 1838; and the perpetual curacy of North Hykeham, Lincolnshire, from November 1837 to 1859. Penrose died at Langton on 9 Aug. 1859, and was buried in the churchyard. He was very tall, and, though studious, was fond of outdoor exercise, especially rowing. With a kindly temper he combined a fine judgment, and his sermons, like his books, were models of perspicuity. In the spring of 1804 he married Elizabeth Cartwright, known as ‘Mrs. Markham’ [see Penrose, Elizabeth]. Their issue was three sons: John (d. 1888), assistant master at Rugby school 1839–46, who published ‘Easy Exercises in Latin Elegiac Verse,’ which went through many editions (Academy, 30 June 1888, p. 446); Charles Thomas (d. 1868), headmaster of Sherborne school 1845–50, author of ‘Eight Village Sermons,’ and editor of ‘Select Private Orations of Demosthenes;’ and Mr. Francis Cranmer, architect to St. Paul's chapter.

Penrose was an accomplished and zealous clergyman, and published, with several tracts: 1. ‘Attempt to prove the Truth of Christianity from the Wisdom in its original Establishment’; Bampton lectures, 1808. 2. ‘Inquiry into the Nature and Discipline of Human Motives,’ 1820. 3. ‘The Use of Miracles in proving the Truth of a Revelation,’ 1824. 4. ‘Treatise on the Evidence of the Scripture Miracles,’ 1826; reviewed in the ‘British Critic’ for January 1827 by the Rev. C. W. Le Bas, whose article was published separately. 5. ‘Of Christian Sincerity,’ 1829. 6. ‘Familiar Introduction to the Christian Religion. By a Senior,’ 1831. 7. ‘Explanatory Lectures on the Gospel of St. Matthew,’ 1832. 8. ‘The Utilitarian Theory of Morals,’ 1836. 9. ‘The Moral Principle of the Atonement,’ 1843. 10. ‘Of God, or of the Divine Mind, and the Doctrine of the Trinity. By a Trinitarian,’ 1849. 11. ‘Lives of Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Vinicombe Penrose [q. v.] and Captain James Trevenen. By their nephew,’ 1850. 12. ‘Fifty-four Sermons for Sunday Reading in Families,’ 1851. 13. ‘Faith and Practice: an Exposition of Natural and Revealed Religion,’ 1855. 14. ‘Life of [his father] the Rev. J. Penrose, Rector of Fledborough,’ privately printed, and edited by Penrose's son John in 1880.

[Foster's Alumni Oxon.; Foster's Index Eccl.; Boase's Exeter College Commoners, p. 248; Bibl. Cornub. ii. 453–8; Boase's Collect. Cornub. pp. 712, 1084; Gent. Mag. 1859, pt. ii. p. 313; information kindly given by Mr. F. C. Penrose.]

W. P. C.