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George William Kitchin wrote "Lift High the Cross" in 1887. Kitchin was born to a minister in Naughton, Suffolk, England. He attended King's College School and King's College. Later, he attended Christ Church College in Oxford, England, where he took a Double First in Classics and Mathematics in 1850.
In 1854, Kitchin was an examiner in Mathematics. He married in 1863, and then served as Oxford's first Censor of non-collegiate students from 1868 to 1883. In 1883 he became Dean of Winchester, and he went on to become the Dean of Durham in 1894. Four years before his death, in 1908, he was appointed as Chancellor of Durham University.