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Charles Simeon

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Charles Simeon

by Augustin Edouart
silhouette, 1828
9 in. x 8 in. (230 mm x 205 mm) approximately
Purchased, 1986
Reference Collection
NPG D383

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  • Foister, Susan, Cardinal Newman 1801-90, 1990 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 2 March - 20 May 1990), p. 21 Read entry

    Charles Simeon was one of the most influential Evangelical churchmen of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. His life was spent at Cambridge where he was ordained in 1783, and where he was a Fellow of King's College. He was a founder of the Church Missionary Society in 1797, and responsible for persuading many of his curates to take up mission work in India. A contemporary observed that Simeon's following was 'larger and not less devoted than that which followed Newman'. Newman was strongly influenced by the Evangelicals as a young man but during the 1820s his sympathies began to move in the opposite direction.

    Simeon was an important exponent of the art of preaching: his outlines of sermons on the Bible were published from 1796 and collected between 1819 and 1820 in eleven volumes. He was represented by Edouart in a series of silhouettes showing various aspects of preaching: eight half-lengths, of which D383 is one, are in the National Portrait Gallery Archive; a ninth, full-length silhouette is known from copies belonging to the Church Pastoral-Aid Society. These copies were supplied with captions indicating the various stages of sermonizing, such as 'imparting', 'expounding' and 'entreating'. (Information kindly supplied by the Bishop of Thetford).

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