Deborah Alun-Jones explores the background to eight rectories with literary connections,
including Foston and Sydney Smith. She argues that some of the greatest writing
in English has emerged from rectories such as these – from Tennyson and Rupert Brooke
to Betjeman and de Waal. Sydney Smith is afforded generous coverage, with eight
illustrations, numerous quotations not all of them familiar, and many delightful
A lecture given on 23 September 2012 by Eleanor Harris with Extracts from the Sermons
of Sydney Smith and Daniel Sandford 1800-1802
Daniel Sandford and Sydney Smith: two ambitious young Oxford clergymen, sharing a
passion for Enlightenment and Evensong, and a pulpit in the newest and most fashionable
corner of Regency Edinburgh.
Sandford was deeply sincere, spiritual, shy, diplomatic; Smith sparkling, witty,
confident, quick-tempered. Sandford was accused of dullness and evangelicalism, Smith
of frivolity and scepticism. People assumed they hated each other. Yet in their five-year
collaboration from 1798 to 1803, both fell in love with Edinburgh and were deep influences
on the city in its golden age. This paper explores their story and their relationship.