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Charles Simeon (1759-1836)

Charles Simeon was the son of Richard Simeon of Reading, Berkshire. His elder brother was Sir John Simeon, Master in Chancery and First Baronet (1756-1824). Simeon was educated at Eton and King's College Cambridge where he was converted. He was ordained deacon in 1782 and shortly afterwards made the acquaintance of John Venn the evangelical clergyman and associate of the Wesleys.

Simeon at first worked as a curate at St Edward's, Cambridge and was then appointed Vicar of Holy Trinity, Cambridge. After much initial opposition because of his reputation for piety, Simeon won over the parishioners through his unflagging energy and benevolence. He was three times Dean of King's College and vice-provost from 1790 to 1792.

Simeon is best known for his promotion of Anglican missionary work in India. A close friend of Charles Grant, a director of the East India Company, Simeon was his confidential advisor with regard to the appointment of chaplains. He persuaded some of his own curates, such as Henry Martyn, to offer for work overseas. He was one of the founders of the Church Missionary Society in 1797 and a supporter of the British and Foreign Bible Society.

Source: Dictionary of National Biography

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