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Regius Professor of Divinity


   During the last few years of his ministry at Ashdon Dr. Swete began to long for a return to Cambridge life. His physical strenght was unequal to the double taks of the heavy literary labour which his edition of the Septuagint required and the charge of al large and scattered rural parish. As the years passed, the apparent failure of the East Anglican peasant to make appreciable response to his ministry depressed him, and he felt that for his parishioners as well for himself a change would be good, and that a more robust rector would be a gain.

The opportunity came in 1890, when the appointment of Dr. Westcott to the Bishopric of Durham left the chair of the Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge vacant. A less important chair had been Dr. Swete's desire; he had in the case of previous vacancies offered himself for such a post; and it was only under pressure brought to bear on him by Cambridge friends and residents /56/ that he now consented to stand as a candidate. The appointment lay with the Council of the Senate. He took as the subject of the required prelection the last twelve verses of St.Mark 16. To no one was his selection a greater surprise than to himself, ever most humble, even diffident, as to his own powers.

It would be vain to disguise the fact that many