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Francis Close

1797-1882. Dean of Carlisle. Son of an Anglican rector, he was born at Frome, graduated from Cambridge, and became curate (1824), then incumbent (1826) at Cheltenham. For the next thirty years, while the population of this fashionable watering-place doubled, he exercised a powerful Evangelical ministry, basing his sermons on those of Charles Simeon,* denouncing sundry vices, promoting five new parish churches with schools attached, and assisting in the founding of Cheltenham College. Now one of the best-known Evangelical ministers, he was in 1856 appointed dean of Carlisle. There his ministry was especially directed to the poor, whose moral and physical condition he strove to improve. He was a stern critic of Roman Catholicism, Tractarianism,* and the English Church Union, and saw the revival of Gothic architecture as a tool of papal aggression. He resigned in 1881. Among voluminous works, his sermons were popular in the Evangelical world of his day.