James Atlay

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James Atlay
Bishop of Hereford
RtRev James Atlay.jpg
ChurchChurch of England
DioceseDiocese of Hereford
In office1868–1894
PredecessorRenn Hampden
SuccessorJohn Percival
Personal details
Born(1817-07-03)3 July 1817
Died24 December 1894(1894-12-24) (aged 77)
BuriedHereford Cathedral
SpouseFrances Turner (m.1859)
EducationOakham School
Alma materSt John's College, Cambridge

James Atlay (3 July 1817 – 24 December 1894) was the 98th Anglican Bishop of Hereford, from 1868 to 1894.


James Atlay was born in Wakerley, Northamptonshire, the son of Henry Atlay (Rector of Great Casterton) and Elizabeth Rayner Hovell. Educated at Oakham School, he entered St John's College, Cambridge, where he held a fellowship from 1846 to 1859.[1] He was vicar of Madingley, near Cambridge, from 1847 to 1852, and Queen's preacher at the Chapel Royal, Whitehall, 1857. He occupied the position of a senior tutor in his college at the time he was elected in 1859 to the vicarage of Leeds. Atlay was appointed a canon of Ripon Cathedral in 1861.[2]

In 1867, he refused the bishopric of Calcutta, but in the following year accepted the bishopric of Hereford, in succession to Renn Hampden.[2]

He possessed great organising ability and an attractive personality and was described by Edward White Benson, Archbishop of Canterbury, as "the most beautiful combination of enthusiasm, manliness and modesty."[2]


He married in 1859 Frances Turner, younger daughter of William Martin, a major of the Bengal Army. Atlay died on 24 December 1894 aged 77 and is buried in Hereford Cathedral where he has a magnificent memorial in the north transept.[2]

Among his children was George William Atlay, who was murdered by a party of Ngoni people while attached to the Universities' Mission to Central Africa at Likoma, Lake Nyasa.[2]

A younger brother Brownlow Atlay (1832 - 1912) was Archdeacon of Calcutta.


  1. ^ "Atlay, James (ATLY836J)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  2. ^ a b c d e Atlay 1901.


 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainAtlay, James Beresford (1901). "Atlay, James". Dictionary of National Biography (1st supplement). London: Smith, Elder & Co.

Church of England titles
Preceded by
Renn Hampden
Bishop of Hereford
Succeeded by
John Percival