Charles Smyth


Charles Smyth (1903–87): ecclesiastical historian and preacher in the Anglican communion; Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. He was ordained deacon in 1929, priest in 1930; and in 1946 he was appointed rector of St Margaret’s, Westminster, and canon of Westminster Abbey. (On 28 Apr. 1952 TSE expressed the view, in a letter to Janet Adam Smith, that Smyth should be ‘moved up to where he so eminently belongs, an episcopal see’.) His works include Cranmer and the Reformation under Edward VI (1926) and The Art of Preaching (747–1939) (1940).

Smyth to Valerie Eliot, 21 May 1979: ‘Your husband was one of the best and kindest friends that I have ever had. – He was also a friend of our Siamese cat, Angus (long since departed this life), who was ordinarily terrified of men (particularly bishops in gaiters!), but took to your husband at sight. I have a treasured copy of the Book of Practical Cats, inscribed to “Charles and Violet Smyth, and Angus”, by “OP” … It was under his auspices that I broadcast from BBC Savoy Hill (!) in 1932, which is now an uncommon distinction of which to boast … He had a great sense of fun’ (EVE).