The Late Rev. H.M. Scarth

H. M. Scarth, Rector of Wrington

By the death of Mr. Scarth on the 5th of April, at Tangier, where he had gone for his health’s sake, the familiar form of an old and much valued Member of the Institute has passed away.  Harry Mengden Scarth was bron at Staindrop in Durham, on 11th May, 1814. In due time he entered at Christ’s College, Cambridge, and took his B.A. degree in 1837.  The same year he was ordained by the Bishop of Lachfield to the cursoy of Eaton Constantine, Salop, from which place he went to the small neighbouring living of Kenley.  In 1841, when he had been in orders only four years, he received the living of Bathwick, adjoining the city of Bath, and here he spent the next thirty years of his life.  Some stormy times and uphill work fell to his lot, which a quietude, natural and acquired, enabled him to meet.  Eaton, his first appointment, being near the Roman city of Uriconium, his archæological taste was soon aroused, and here commenced its development towards this study.  Especiallcy, however, was he favoured by his new position at Bath, where, as an archaeologist he had such good surroundings.  During his residence here he made Roman Britain and the city of Bath under the Romans, his special study.  In 1871 he gladly welcomed an offer of the Rectory of Wrington, Somerset, a place desirable in itself, but where, as a rural parish, after so long an experience of town life, he could hope to find tranquillity without anxiety, and more time for leisurely study and following the now strong ben on his mind.  It was a parish also pleasing to him as having a fine church and the finest of Somerset towers, a parish of some historic interest, and especially associated with the names of John Locke and Hannah More, and of more than on Rector his predecessors.  He became also a Prebendary of Walls and a Rural Dean.  Mr. Scarth, from his long attention given to Roman England and his constant attendance at Archæological Meetings had acquired a wide reputation extending beyond this country.  There seemed, however, always with him an apparent feeling of caution, so that he could not be moved to action where action was desirable; this prevented him perhaps from leaving any written work worthy of his repute.  Besides many interesting papers contributed from time to time to the Institute and other Archæological publication, his first book issues was “Aquæ Solis”, a collection in one volume of the finds and drawings already published relating to Bath; and later he wrote “Roman Britain” for the S.P.C.K., a work which received some pointed criticism.  Devoted thus to antiquarian pursuits, he was a Member and Vice-President of the Bath Antiquarian Field Club and of the Bath Literary Club, whose meetings, until recently, he constantly attended.  He was also active as a Member of the Literary and Scientific Institution, in whose corridors are deposited the Roman remains he loved to see.  Enthusiastic always, he quickly remarked any trace of Roman occupation and quickly brought it to public notice.  His interest seemed never to lessen, so that while the Institute has lost a most valuable worker, the individual members of it will for long miss his very genial presence, his ever courteous manner and marked refinement.  The body brought home and buried on Monday, the 21st April, at Wrinton.

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