Nugent Wade was born in Dublin in 1809, the son of Arthur and Elizabeth Wade. He graduated BA from Trinity College, Dublin in 1829, DD from Oxford in 1843. He died 6th August, 1893 at Llandrindod Wells and was buried in the graveyard in the old Bishop’s Palace, Bristol.
He was appointed a deacon in 1832, and became the chaplain at Elsinore, in Denmark, the following year. He held this position until 1839, when he became the curate of St. Paul’s, Finsbury, and then in 1846 became the rector of St. Anne’s, Soho.
He was involved with Sewell and Singleton in the founding of St Columba’s, and continued the association with that school in the later 1840s, becoming one of five Senior Fellows who replaced the Trustees in 1848. Wade was frequently consulted over the foundation of Radley, on occasion acting as a moderator in arguments between Sewell and Singleton. He conducted Evensong at the Installation of the Warden on St Columba’s Day, June 9th 1847 – the formal inauguration ceremony for St Peter’s College, Radley.
He was a member of the Oxford Movement, involved in pioneering charitable and educational foundations and in the Canterbury Association in New Zealand, a group which included William Sewell’s brother Henry. Wade founded the St Barnabas’ House of Charity in Soho, which ministered to prostitutes, and St Mary’s Crown Street, an Anglo-Catholic centre in a slum district within the parish of Soho. He made St Anne’s Soho a gathering place for the new generation of Anglo-Catholics in central London.
Nugent Wade held no formal office at Radley College. Both his sons attended the school: Nugent Charles Wade, born 1842, began at Radley in 1850, left 1860, and Reginald Fairfax Wade, began at Radley in 1854, left 1864. Both had lengthy careers in New Zealand.