Charles Haddon

Charles Haddon

Spurgeon, Charles Haddon, 1834-92, English Baptist preacher. He joined the Baptist communion in 1850. In 1852, at age 18, he took charge of a small congregation at Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire, and, at 20, went to London as pastor of the New Park St. Chapel. His immediate popularity made necessary larger buildings for his audiences, until the huge Metropolitan Tabernacle, erected for his use, was opened in 1861. Around this developed a pastors' college, an orphanage, and missions. Spurgeon's sermons, published weekly from 1854, were collected in 50 volumes. A strict Calvinist, he opposed the doctrine of baptismal regeneration, which caused his withdrawal in 1864 from the Evangelical Alliance. He separated (1887) from the Baptist Union because he believed that modern biblical criticism was threatening orthodoxy. Among his numerous publications are John Ploughman's Talks (1869) and The Treasury of David (7 vol., 1870-85). His autobiography (4 vol., 1897-1900), compiled by his wife from his diary and letters, was edited and condensed (1946) by D. O. Fuller.

See biography by E. W. Bacon (1968).

Charles Haddon Spurgeon Chambers (22 April 186028 March 1921) was an Australian-born dramatist, active in England.

Early life

Chambers was born in Petersham, Sydney, the son of John Ritchie Chambers, who had a good position in the New South Wales civil service, came from Ulster, his mother, Frances, daughter of William Kellett, from Waterford. Charles was educated at the Petersham, Marrickville, and Fort Street High schools, but found routine study tedious and showed no special promise. He entered the lands department at 15 but did not stay long. After two years in the outback working as a boundary rider, in 1880 he was invited by cousins to return with them to Ulster, from there he visited England. On Chambers' return he was in the managerial department of the Montague-Turner opera company.


In 1882 Chambers moved to England, he had no friends there and had to try various occupations in order to make a living. Chambers wrote letters from London for The Bulletin. In 1884 his first story was accepted, and other work appeared in popular magazines of the time like Society and Truth. In 1886 a one-act play, One of Them, was acted in London and another curtain-raiser, The Open Gate, was played at the Comedy Theatre in 1887. His first real success was Captain Swift, which was produced by Beerbohm Tree at the Haymarket Theatre in the autumn of 1888. This had a good run and was played all over England, in America, and in Australia. He had another success with The Idler (1890). His next three plays The Honourable Herbert, The Old Lady, and The Pipes of Peace did not achieve success, but John-O-Dreams, first played in 1894, was successful. Also in 1894, he had some success with The Fatal Card. In 1899 possibly his best play, The Tyranny of Tears, was produced by Charles Wyndham and was frequently revived. Among his later plays Passers By (1911) and The Saving Grace (1917) are possibly the best.

Late life

Chambers retained his interest in Australia and spoke of returning there but never did so. He died at London of cerebro-vascular disease on 28 March 1921. He was twice married, and was survived by his second wife, originally Nelly Louise Burton but known professionally as 'Pepita Bobadilla', and a daughter of the first marriage to Mary, née Dewer.


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