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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]

The Very Reverend Henry Jacobs

The Very Reverend Henry Jacobs, D.D., sometime Dean of Christchurch, who was a well-known figure in Canterbury for about fifty years, was born in 1824 at Chale Abbey, near St. Catherine's, Isle of Wight. He was educated at Charterhouse School, London, where he became captain of the school, and obtained an open exhibition, leading in due course to a scholarship. He matriculated in 1841, subsequently took his B.A. and M.A. degrees and became a Michel Fellow of Queen's College, Oxford, in 1848. He was ordained deacon in 1847, priest in the following year, and became curate of All Saints, Poplar, London. Mr. Jacobs was appointed in 1850 classical professor in the college which the Canterbury Association proposed to found in Christchurch, and arrived at Lyttelton on the 17th of December of that year. The following Sunday he conducted the first service in Canterbury, and in July, 1851, preached the sermon and conducted the service at the opening of the first church in Christchurch, afterwards St. Michael's. Dean Jacobs opened Christ's College Grammar School on 21st of April, 1862, as its first headmaster, and became Sub-Warden in the Deed of Foundation of the College on the 21st of May, 1855, and shortly afterwards Watts-Russell Professor. Resigning the headmastership in 1863, he was nominated incumbent of the parish of Christchurch. In 1864, having declined the bishopric of Nelson, Mr. Jacobs was appointed archdeacon of Christchurch, which office he resigned on being made dean of Christchurch in June, 1866. From 1865 to 1895 Dean Jacobs was one of the clerical representatives of the General Synod by the vote of the clergy of the diocese. He received in 1873 the cure of St. Michael and All Angels, Christchurch, was appointed for the second time archdeacon of Christchurch in May, 1876, and held the office for seven years in conjunction with that of dean. During the absence of the late Bishop Harper in England page 190 to attend the Lambeth Conference, the dean acted as his Commissary at the annual meeting of the Diocesan Synod. Dean Jacobs died on the 6th of February, 1901.