Dean

In Simeon’s time the College Scholars were superintended by three Deans who were elected annually. The Divinity Dean was not required to preside over Chapel services or to preach, he was to superintend scholastic pursuits in Divinity, Law and Medicine. The two Deans for the Arts did the same for the Arts students. The Divinity Dean was thus more like a modern-day Director of Studies in Theology, Law and Medicine than a modern-day Dean of Chapel. Simeon was elected to one or another of the Deanships on 11 occasions.

The election of officers for 1829 was fraught. A campaign to dethrone Martin Thackeray from the Vice-Provostship caused the election to be postponed twice, and when he was elected anyway his opponents turned against Simeon, who had nominated and supported Thackeray, to keep Simeon from being elected Dean of Arts. After another two postponements Simeon was elected first Dean of Arts. Another two postponements were required before the second Dean of Arts could be elected on January 31, 1829.

Once he was made a Fellow, Simeon hardly ever attended Chapel but he was twice appointed by the Fellows to give the Sermon before the University which occurs in the King’s College Chapel annually, a tradition that continues to the present day. Simeon gave that sermon in 1828 and 1829 - apparently the grudge against Thackeray had to make way for Simeon’s superior preaching.

 

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