Headmaster, born in Rochester, the nephew of Dr. George Osborn. He was educated at Wesley College, Sheffield and Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where he was tenth Wrangler in 1866, but was debarred as a Nonconformist from becoming a Fellow. He was one of the first lay representatives to the WM Conference. After teaching for a few months at Kingswood School, he became headmaster in 1866. Described as 'Kingswood's Dr Arnold', he raised the school's academic level and introduced the prefectorial system. He resigned unexpectedly in 1885, perhaps because of the failure to abandon the practice of dual control under both a (ministerial) Governor and a lay Headmaster. He went on to found Rydal Mount School (where he was succeeded by his son G.F.A. Osborn). He was the father-in-law of F.F. Bretherton.
'Osborn was not tall: he was rather short and stocky. He wore two moustaches, which curled in Victorian fashion round the corners of his mouth. He had a beautiful speaking voice, a voice of dignity, and full of authority. I never heard it raised in anger, for he always spoke with the assurance of being instantly obeyed; but I did imagine that if he were moved to wrath by disobedience it might have been terrible in its devastating power.'
E.W. Thompson, quoted in A.G. Ives, Kingswood School in Wesley's Day and Since (1970) p.175