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At the time of his appearance in Vanity Fair, the Reverend Edgar Sheppard (1845-1921) was Honorary Chaplain to King Edward VII and Deputy Clerk of the Closet. From 1907 until his death in 1921, he was Canon of Windsor.
“The Sub-Dean of the Chapels Royal and Confessor of the Household at St James’s Palace became the son of a Professor of Psychology at King's College nine-and-fifty years ago. Educated at home and at St. John's, Oxford (where he was a noted singer) he began clerical life as Curate of Marlow, and later, at Hornsey under Canon Harvey; but being full of music as well as of other graces, he presently improved himself into a Minor Canon of St. George's, Windsor; and naturally became Priest-in-Ordinary to Queen Victoria. He makes no mistakes, so that he is now a very important person, by whom it is a fashionable privilege to be married. He is Clerk of the Closet, Sub-Almoner and Chaplain-in-Ordinary to his King; and he was also Chaplain to the Duke of Cambridge. Further, he is Chaplain of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, and, of course, also to the Royal Society of Musicians. For he owes a good deal to his musical attainments, and to him is greatly due the excellence of the Choir of the Chapel Royal. He has a strong yet melodious voice, and though he is not a great preacher, his sermons are sensible and moderate, and he has the rare faculty of knowing when to leave off. His kindness to those in need, sorrow, sickness, or any other adversity, from the highest to the lowest, is unbounded; so that he is a general favourite, as well as the author of two popular books, ‘Memorials of St. James's Palace’, and ‘The Old Royal Palace of Whitehall’.
Altogether, he is become so indispensable that it is next to impossible for anyone to be born, married, or buried without his assistance.”