John Harmer (bishop)

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John Harmer
Bishop of Rochester
John Harmer 2.jpeg
Church Church of England
Diocese Diocese of Rochester
In office 1905–1930
Predecessor Edward Talbot
Successor Linton Smith
Other posts Bishop of Adelaide (1895–1905)
Ordination 1884
Consecration 23 May 1895, Westminster Abbey
Personal details
Born (1856-08-11)11 August 1856
Died 9 March 1944(1944-03-09) (aged 87)
Instow, Devon
Buried Rochester Cathedral
Denomination Anglican
Residence Bishop's Court, Adelaide
Bishopscourt, Rochester
Parents George Harmer
& Kate Kitching
Spouse Mary Cocks[1]
Children at least one daughter[2]
Alma mater King's College, Cambridge

John Reginald Harmer (11 August 1857 – 9 March 1944)[1] was a long-serving[3] Anglican bishop who served in two dioceses.[4][5]

Harmer was born into a clerical family (his parents were George Harmer, Vicar of Maisemore,[1] and Kate, née Kitching)[2] and educated at Eton College and King's College, Cambridge.[6] Ordained priest in 1884, he was a curate at Monkwearmouth[7] before becoming Vice-Principal of the Clergy Training School in Cambridge.[8]

From 1892, he was Dean of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge before appointment to the colonial episcopate[9] with his election as Bishop of Adelaide in March 1895.[2][10] He was consecrated a bishop in Westminster Abbey and 23 May and was enthroned at St Peter's Cathedral, Adelaide on 4 July 1895.[2] In 1905, he was translated back to England when he was elected Bishop of Rochester.[11] He was enthroned at Rochester Cathedral in July 1905[2] and served for a quarter of a century before his retirement in 1930.[12]

He was an active English and Australian Freemason, initiated in St Alban's Lodge in Adelaide, and later transferring his membership to England.[13]

Harmer died at Marine Cottage, Instow, and was buried at Rochester Cathedral. His portraits remain at his former official residences of Bishop's Court, Adelaide and Bishopscourt, Rochester.[2]


  1. ^ a b c Mosley, Charles, editor. Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes. Wilmington, Delaware, USA: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003. volume 3, page 3676.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Australian Dictionary of Biography
  3. ^ Bromley Parish Archived 14 November 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Sydney Diocesan Directory 1915 Archived 30 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Harmer family website
  6. ^ The Times, 25 March 1881; p. 10, "The Cambridge Classical Tripos. Cambridge, 24 March"
  7. ^ The Clergy List, Clerical Guide and Ecclesiastical Directory, London, Hamilton & Co, 1889
  8. ^ Who was Who 1897-1990, London, A & C Black, 1991 ISBN 0-7136-3457-X
  9. ^ "The Story of the Church in Australia" Symonds,E London, SPCK, 1898
  10. ^ The Times, Friday, 22 Mar 1895; pg. 11; Issue 34531; col F Ecclesiastical Intelligence.New Bishop of Adelaide
  11. ^ National Archives
  12. ^ See Of Rochester Resignation Of The Bishop The Times Thursday, 29 May 1930; pg. 16; Issue 45525; col F
  13. ^ Horsley (The Rev'd Canon), JW (1906). "Notes on the Grand Chaplains of England". Ars Quatuor Coronatorum. 19. London: Quatuor Coronati Correspondence Circle Ltd. p. 195. 
Church of England titles
Preceded by
George Kennion
Bishop of Adelaide
Succeeded by
Nutter Thomas
Preceded by
Edward Talbot
Bishop of Rochester
Succeeded by
Linton Smith