The Rev Dr Anthony Harvey – obituary

The Rev Dr Anthony Harvey Credit: Daily Mail/REX/Shutterstock

The Rev Dr Anthony Harvey, who has died aged 87, was Sub-Dean of Westminster Abbey from 1987 to 1999, having become a Canon five years earlier. He was a New Testament scholar of considerable erudition and one of the last of a now defunct breed of scholars who combined their research and writing with substantial service to the Church.

In both spheres he was assisted by an acute mind and a capacity for sustained work, together with a degree of detachment from what he regarded as trivial matters.

He became Sub-Dean at a time of unprecedented change in the ranks of the Abbey’s senior personnel, and throughout the reign of Michael Mayne, Dean from 1986 to 1996, he was the power behind the throne.

In the damaging controversy which followed the dismissal of the Abbey’s organist by Mayne’s successor there was widespread regret that Harvey had been either unable or unwilling to exercise a restraining...

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