Bromby, Charles Henry
- A. R. Buckland
- , revised by H. C. G. Matthew
Bromby, Charles Henry (1814–1907), bishop of Tasmania, born at Hull on 11 July 1814, was the son of John Healey Bromby, vicar of Holy Trinity, Hull, and his wife, Jane, née Amis. He entered Uppingham School in August 1829, became captain of the school in 1833, and left it with an exhibition in October 1833. Elected to a scholarship at St John's College, Cambridge, he graduated BA as junior optime and with a third class in the classical tripos in 1837; he proceeded MA in 1840 and DD in 1864. Ordained deacon in 1838 and priest in 1839, he was licensed in 1838 to the curacy of Chesterfield. On 9 July 1839 he married Mary Ann (d. 1885), daughter of Dr William Bodley and sister of G. F. Bodley, the architect. In 1839 Bromby was appointed headmaster of Stepney grammar school and in 1843 he became vicar of St Paul's, Cheltenham, and first principal of the Cheltenham Training College for School Teachers, which he organized with marked success. He was also one of the founders of the Ladies' College, Cheltenham, and he helped to form a large working men's club, one of the first institutions of its kind. He edited the influential Papers for the Schoolmaster, strongly contesting Robert Lowe's ‘revised code’ of 1862.
On the resignation of Francis Russell Nixon in 1864, Bromby was appointed by the crown to the bishopric of Tasmania, being the last colonial prelate appointed by letters patent. He was consecrated in Canterbury Cathedral on 29 June 1864. Bromby worked for eighteen years in the colony. He managed with tact and skill the financial reorganization of the church on its disestablishment in Tasmania, and it was largely owing to his influence that a commutation act was passed, which supplied the church with the nucleus of the diocesan church fund. He took an active part in the movement which led to the formation in 1872 of a general synod of the dioceses of Australia and Tasmania, and in 1874 he saw a cathedral—planned by his brother-in-law G. F. Bodley—for the diocese consecrated at Hobart. A high-churchman, and opposed to Erastianism, Bromby enjoyed the general confidence of the colonists. Advancing years led him to resign in 1882.
After returning to England, Bromby was, from 1882 to 1887, assistant bishop in the diocese of Lichfield and rector of Shrawardine with Montford, Shropshire. He resigned the living in 1887 on appointment as warden of St John's Hospital, Lichfield, but remained assistant bishop until 1891. He then filled a similar office in the diocese of Bath and Wells until 1900. Bromby died at All Saints' vicarage, Clifton, Bristol, on 14 April 1907. A son and a daughter survived him. A Bishop Bromby memorial studentship was founded by the synod of Tasmania in 1910. Bromby published three pamphlets on education, in 1861, 1862, and 1895. His first son, Henry Bodley Bromby (1840–1911), received promotion in the Australian church from his father.
Bromby's second son, Charles Hamilton Bromby (1843–1904), born on 17 June 1843 and educated at Cheltenham College, matriculated at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, on 3 May 1862, and graduated BA (New Inn Hall) in 1867. He was called to the bar at the Inner Temple on 18 November 1867. After joining the New South Wales bar and practising in Tasmania, he became a member of the executive council and was attorney-general of Tasmania (1876–8). He then returned to England, and practised at the English bar. Of artistic temperament and a keen student of Italian literature, he published a translation, with introduction and notes, of Dante's Quaestio de aqua et terra (1897). Bromby died on 24 July 1904, at 50 Weymouth Street, London, and was survived by his wife, Mary Ellen. After his death there appeared Alkibiades, a Tale of the Great Athenian War (1905), edited by Mary Hamilton Bromby.
- F. S. A. Lowndes, Bishops of the day: a biographical dictionary of the archbishops and bishops of the Church of England (1897)
- J. P. Graham, ed., Uppingham School roll, 1824–1913 (1914)
- E. Stock, The history of the Church Missionary Society: its environment, its men and its work, 4 vols. (1899–1916)
- H. H. Condon, ‘Bromby, Charles Henry’, AusDB, vol. 3
- CGPLA Eng. & Wales (1904)
- LPL, corresp. with A. C. Tait
- W. Walker & Sons, carte-de-visite, NPG
- print, NPG
- wood-engraving, NPG; repro. in ILN (8 Oct 1864)
Wealth at Death
£5374 4s. 8d.: probate, 16 July 1907, CGPLA Eng. & Wales
£2856 7s. 1d.—Charles Hamilton Bromby: probate, 11 Nov 1904, CGPLA Eng. & Wales