Evangelical Theology 1833–1856

A Response to Tractarianism

Peter Toon

Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1979








Part One:  Historical

1.         From Suspicion to Hostility, 1833–1841

2.         Continuing Opposition, 1841–1845

3.         Further Controversies, 1845–1856


Part Two:  Theological

4.         The Rule of Faith

5.         Justification

6.         Church, Ministry and Sacraments



Notes   (moved to ends of chapters/sections)

Select Bibliography

Index (omitted for web)




      First of all I would like to express my thanks to the Council of Latimer House, Oxford, for employing me for three years in Oxford in order that I could write on the history of Evangelical theology.  In those three years (1973–6) I produced with Michael Smout a biography of Bishop J. C. Ryle (published by James Clarke in the UK and Reiner Publications in the USA) and this book.  It is a great privilege to live and work in Oxford.

      It appears to me that a lot of Anglican Evangelical theology in the nineteenth century was produced in controversial situations.  This book attempts to describe how the Evangelicals reacted to the appearance of Tractarian theology.  A further book needs to be written showing how they reacted to the ‘Liberal’ theology – that is to new views about the Bible, revelation, creation, miracles and related subjects which gained popularity in England from about 1850.

      I am very grateful to the Rev Dr Geoffrey Rowell, chaplain of Keble College, who read and criticised the manuscript when it was being written.  Also to the Rev Dr E. Yarnold, S.J., the Rev R. T. Beckwith, and Canon Michael Hennell  I am grateful for their comments on specific parts of the work.  The late Fr Stephen Dessain, together with Dr John Walsh, Clyde Ervine, George Herring and Brian Stanley gave me help on specific points.

      To the librarians of Pusey House, Oxford, and Lambeth Palace, London, together with the Keeper of Western Manuscripts at the Bodleian Library, Oxford, I am grateful for permission to use manuscripts.

      My wife has made sacrifices so that I could complete this work and she deserves many thanks.

Peter Toon

Oak Hill Theological College

London N14

4 May 1977


ABBREVIATIONS [used in Notes]

Chadwick       Owen Chadwick, The Victorian Church (2 vols., 1971–2)

CEQR             Church of England Quarterly Review

CG                  Christian Guardian

CLM               Christian Lady’s Magazine

CMR               Churchman’s Monthly Review

CO                  Christian Observer

DNB               Dictionary of National Biography

JEH                Journal of Ecclesiastical History

Liddon           H. P. Liddon, Life of Edward Bouverie Pusey (4 vols, 1894)

Mozley           Anne Mozley, Letters and Correspondence of John Henry Newman during his Life in the English Church (2 vols., 1891)

R                     Record



      There has been no shortage of studies of John Henry Newman and the Tractarian Movement.  Readers of this literature could perhaps be forgiven if they gained the impression that the only significant group in the Church of England between 1833 and 1845 was that surrounding Newman, Edward B. Pusey and John Keble.

      In fact, of course, the Tractarians were only a minority in Oxford and though their developing teaching was widely read and appreciated it soon met the opposition of able men of different churchmanship.  Academic, liberal thinkers quickly recognised the tendencies of the new theology.  Dr T. Arnold of Rugby School published his famous article on ‘The Oxford Malignants’ in the Whig Edinburgh Review as early as 1836, while from Professors R. D. Hampden and Baden Powell came criticism of what appeared to them to be the elevation of Church Tradition above Holy Scripture.1  Many of the older type of orthodox clergy, the ‘high and dry’ as they have been called, also soon became embarrassed by the novel doctrines of those whom they had at first regarded as friends.  One of their number, Professor Godfrey Faussett, believed he was witnessing the ‘Revival of Popery’ and said so publicly in a sermon in 1838.2  Another, Ashurst T. Gilbert, Principal of Brasenose and Vice-Chancellor, was made Bishop of Chichester by Sir Robert Peel because of his opposition to Tractarianism in the University.  This opposition from High Churchmen, however, was never large and not always significant for the basic reason that Tractarianism often appeared only to be a variation or modification of traditional High Churchmanship.

      Within Oxford there were only a few Evangelicals in prominent positions – John MacBride was Principal of Magdalen Hall (later Hertford College), Benjamin Symons was Warden of Wadham and Richard L. Cotton was Provost of Worcester.  The Vice-Principal of St Edmund Hall was John Hill, while in several of the Colleges known Evangelicals held Fellowships.  For example, for part of the period W. W. Champneys, afterwards Rector of Whitechapel, was Fellow of Brasenose, Charles A. Heurtley, afterwards Lady Margaret Professor, was Fellow of Corpus Christi, and E. A. Litton, author of several important theological text-books, was Fellow of Oriel.  And James Garbett, Fellow of Brasenose from 1825 until 1836, became the Professor of Poetry in 1842.  All these men played a part in opposing Tractarianism.3

      Outside the University, as the Evangelical opposition to the new movement produced hundreds of tracts, pamphlets, printed sermons and books, the dangers of the new ‘heresies’ were constantly brought before the eyes of the Evangelical constituency through its weekly and monthly newsjournals and magazines.  There was certainly quantity, if not quality, in the mass of material.  Neither the growing liberal wing of the Church, the Broad Churchmen as they came to be called, nor the orthodox churchmen were able to match this tremendous output of literature by Evangelicals, supported as they were by publications from non-Anglican Evangelicals from England, Scotland and Switzerland.

      In view of the size and theological commitment of Evangelicalism such a prolific response was predictable.  The number of Evangelical clergy had grown consistently since the beginning of the nineteenth century.  In the first decade they numbered about one-twentieth, by 1820 they had grown to one-tenth, in 1829 they were an eighth, in 1839 a fifth and in 1853, by one calculation, over a quarter of all clergy in England and Wales.4  Lay strength was possibly even greater.  So when the Tractarian Movement began the majority of English clergy were still of the orthodox type and were in a position to retain and renew their High Churchmanship (as many did), to move towards the Tractarians (as many did), to move towards the Evangelicals (as a few did) or to move in the direction of a Broad Churchmanship (as some did).  But, though the Evangelical clergy increased in numbers and as a proportion of the whole, there was a general admission that their ministries did not in general have that spiritual quality and commitment which had characterised the men of the period of Scott, Milner, Venn and Simeon.  To assert this is not, however, to agree with one writer for whom the Evangelical Movement was ‘already effete’ by 1833, or with another who spoke of ‘an exhausted teaching and a spent enthusiasm’.5  It is possible to be a large, growing and powerful party in the Church without making significant achievements in the realms of personal or corporate holiness or theological enterprise.  Further, it is well known that Evangelicals were very prominent in foreign missions before and after 1833.

      In most of the books on the Oxford Movement there are references to, or hints concerning, the opposition of Evangelicals to the new doctrines.  These are probably made in the most explicit way by Bishop E. A. Knox in his book, The Tractarian Movement, 1833–1845 (1933).  Newman, having had an Evangelical background as a schoolboy, was conscious of the reaction of ‘the Peculiars’ (as he called Evangelicals) and so he often referred to it in his letters and mentioned it in his Apologia.6  But, as yet, no one appears to have made a serious attempt to write an account of the Evangelical response to Tractarianism.  Thus the purpose of this work is twofold.  First of all, it is to establish that there was a large and powerful Evangelical response to Tractarianism; and, secondly, it is to describe and evaluate this response.  So the work is divided into two parts.  In the first the origin and progress of the controversy between the Tractarians and Evangelicals is described and in the second three major areas of doctrine, which were at the heart of the battle of words, are studied.  These are the Rule of Faith, Justification, and the Church, Ministry and Sacraments.

      As to the limits of this study the year 1833 chooses itself as the terminus a quo since it was in the autumn of this year that the Tracts for the Times began to appear.  The year 1856 is chosen as the terminus ad quem in order to include the Evangelical response to the final stage of the developing eucharistic doctrine as found in the writings of Archdeacons Denison and Wilberforce and Professor Pusey.  However, this point in time is a useful termination for other reasons.  By this time the face of at least part of the Tractarian Movement was changing and assuming the character of what became known as the Ritualist Movement.7  And, on the other side of the fence, the Evangelicals were beginning to enjoy favours, in terms of preferment, from the patronage of the Prime Minister, Lord Palmerston, and these were, in the main, new experiences.8

      In attempting to provide an historical account of the Evangelical response to Tractarianism a writer is faced with several difficulties.  First of all, while there is an abundance of books, articles and monographs on the Tractarians, there is no comprehensive, scholarly study of the Evangelicals in the Church of England in this period when the Tracts for the Times were being written and circulated.9  Of older works G. R. Balleine’s History of the Evangelical Party is regrettably too sketchy to be of significant help.  Of more recent studies Ford K. Brown’s Fathers of the Victorians, even if some of its assumptions are questionable, certainly helps to set the scene in the period leading up to the birth of Tractarianism.  John Reynold’s The Evangelicals at Oxford provides a valuable list and analysis of Evangelicals educated at, and prominent in, Oxford, before, during and after the period of this study.  Further, Ian Bradley’s briskly written The Call to Seriousness: the Evangelical Impact on the Victorians provides a very useful, if popular, account of the Evangelical ethos and David Newsome’s eminently readable The Parting of Friends highlights the loss to Evangelicalism of the children of the Wilberforce and Manning households.  Useful and important as these books are, they do not provide, either singly or together, a unified, coherent account of the size, nature, impact and theology of the Evangelical party as it lived through the social, political and religious crises associated with the Emancipation Act, the Reform Act, the suppression of the Irish Bishoprics, Tract 90, the Maynooth Grant, the Papal Aggression and the impact of German biblical criticism on the Church.

      Secondly, there is some difficulty in defining who were Evangelicals in this period.  No one doubts that Lord Shaftesbury, Edward Bickersteth and Archbishop Sumner were Evangelicals but other churchmen are less easy instantly to categorise.  Such were the intense religious feelings generated in this period that at times clergy and laity of the old orthodox school were drawn towards the Evangelicals (as the Evangelicals were drawn to them) as they jointly protested about some Tractarian innovation or on behalf of some truth of the Reformation.  The term ‘Evangelical High Churchmen’ was coined both to distinguish traditional High Churchmen from Tractarians and to emphasise their commitment to the Reformation principles of the sole authority of Holy Scripture and justification by grace through faith.  To distinguish an Evangelical High Churchman from an Evangelical with a high doctrine of the visible, episcopally governed, national Church is not easy and between about 1838 and 1848 perhaps impossible in some cases.  At the other end of the Evangelical spectrum were those who shared with Non-conformists and Scottish Presbyterians an admiration for the Puritans of the seventeenth century as well as fairly low views of the value of the historical episcopate.  It was to this grouping that the term ‘Low Churchmen’ was attached in the 1830s and the term ‘Recondite’ later.10  So to include at one end the Evangelical with a high view of episcopacy at the other the Evangelical with a low view, the following definition of an Evangelical is proposed as a basis for including or excluding men and women from this study:

An Evangelical Anglican has a strong attachment to the Protestantism of the national Church with its Articles of Religion and Prayer Book.  He believes that the Bible is authoritative in matters of faith and conduct and is to be read individually and in the home as well as in church.  He emphasises the doctrine of justification by faith but with good works and a specific (holy) life-style as the proof of true faith.  He claims to enjoy a personal relationship with God through Christ, the origins of which are usually traced not to sacramental grace but to a conversion experience.  And he sees the primary task of the Church in terms of evangelism or missions and so emphasises preaching at home and abroad.


Under this umbrella many people, clerical and lay, male and female, Arminian and Calvinist, millenarian and non-millenarian, sheltered from, and more often than not, challenged the storms of life.

      Thirdly, since the Evangelical criticism of Tractarian doctrines and practice was not planned by a committee in London, Oxford or Cambridge, but was dependent in the main upon individual initiative by editors of periodical publications, academic and parochial clergy, and informed laity, it is not easy either to classify or to describe it for it is varied both in content and quality.  Any organisational unity which Evangelicalism possessed was related to the machinery of support for the Church Missionary Society, the Church Pastoral-Aid Society and similar organisations.  Only in 1865 did some Evangelicals form the Church Association with the specific aim of combating the Tractarian (Ritualist) Movement and preserving Protestant principles.11  Between 1833 and 1856 a coherent, systematic criticism of Tractarianism can be looked for only in either a journal which was published throughout the period or the writings of a theologian who lived through these years and responded to the theological questions.  In fact only one Evangelical responded to most of the major aspects of Tractarian doctrine and he was William Goode the younger, a Cambridge graduate and son of the well-known Evangelical who was a contemporary of John Newton and who succeeded William Romaine in Blackfriars, London, in 1795.  Regrettably there is no modern study of either father or son.  To look through the list of Goode’s publications from 1838 to 1856 is to gain a good idea of what were the areas of conflict.  As he was probably the most learned of the Evangelicals in terms of knowledge of historical theology and ecclesiastical history and law, his books will figure prominently as sources in the pages which follow.  Significantly, he had also been one of the more learned opponents of the doctrines and practices of Edward Irving, Henry Drummond and their charismatic circle, with its interest in apocalyptic and eschatological speculation.

      Of regular Evangelical publications only three were published right throughout the period and they were the Christian Observer, the Christian Guardian and the Record.  Founded by the Clapham Sect the Christian Observer appeared monthly and represented those principles and commitments associated with Wilberforce and his colleagues.  It was fully committed to the Liturgy of the Church and to the Threefold Ministry; it steered a middle way between Calvinism and Arminianism; it opposed ‘enthusiasm’ and commended ‘vital Christianity’; it was a firm supporter of the British and Foreign Bible Society and the Church Missionary Society; and in a polite way it was opposed to Roman Catholicism and committed to a sincere, paternalistic, social involvement by Christians.  The editor from 1816 to the middle of 1847 was Samuel Charles Wilks, who had attended St Edmund Hall when Daniel Wilson was the Vice-Principal.  He was succeeded by William Goode who held the post only until the end of 1849 when John W. Cunningham of Harrow, author of the best-selling The Velvet Cushion, took over until 1859.  In the pages of the Christian Observer it is perhaps possible to find materials for constructing a systematic response to Tractarianism but since the review articles are from different hands one does not always find coherence on all matters.

      The Christian Guardian, originally known as Zion’s Trumpet when it was published in 1798 by Thomas T. Biddulph and his colleagues of the Bristol Education Society, was printed and published in London from 1809 with George B. Mitchell as general editor.12  Always dwarfed by the Christian Observer it merged for a time with the District Visitors’ and Sunday School Teachers’ Magazine but returned to being The Christian Guardian and Churchman’s Magazine in 1850.  Because of its changing fortunes and editorial policies, it is impossible to find in its pages a systematic criticism of Tractarianism.

      The Record, which began its life in January 1828 as a weekly paper viewing the news about Church and State through moderate Evangelical eyes, ran into financial difficulties within a few months and was taken over by a group of laymen which included Alexander Haldane, son of James, and nephew of Robert Haldane, the Scottish, Calvinistic, aristocratic evangelists.13  Haldane, a lawyer by profession, later wrote most of the editorials in the paper until his death in 1882.14  These set forth an aggressive Calvinistic Evangelicalism, Tory in outlook, and strongly opposed to Roman Catholicism, Tractarianism, Latitudinarianism, Socialism and Chartism.  Their tone often grieved some readers, but the success of the paper reveals that it was appreciated by both clergy and laity.  On 30 March, 1843 it claimed that its circulation was greater than that of the Globe and only sixty less than the Standard.  While there was a consistency of tone and content in the unveiling of Tractarian errors, it was the consistency of journalism and this does not easily lend itself to systematic presentation and is better conveyed and understood through appropriate quotations and summaries.

      Several other magazines need to be mentioned, for they were not without influence in specific circles.  Widely read in the Church of Ireland and by scattered individuals in England was the Christian Examiner.  It was founded in 1824 to support the Protestant cause in the lively controversy with Roman Catholicism and became a mouthpiece for the Evangelicals.  From 1838 it contained frequent critical reviews of Tractarian literature and commendations of books against Tractarianism.  If it is true that ‘contemporaneously with the appearance of the Tracts the Evangelical revival [in Ireland] was approaching its zenith in numbers, influence and scholarship’, then the contents and circulation of the Christian Examiner were part of this revival.15  One of its most learned contributors was James T. O'Brien of Trinity College, Dublin, who became Bishop of Ossory, and as such issued some powerful charges against Tractarianism.

      Then there was the Christian Lady’s Magazine which first appeared in 1834.  Its editor was known to thousands as Charlotte Elizabeth, the writer of tracts and fiction.  Daughter of a clergyman, Charlotte Elizabeth Browne had an unhappy marriage to a Captain George Phelan.  After his death she married a Mr L. H. J. Tonna.16  Converted to Evangelical Christianity through reading the Bible alone, she first wrote tracts for the Dublin Tract Society and progressed gradually to longer works.  She had the honour, as she saw it, of having her writings anathematised in the Italian States by the Pope.  In her writings on religion she took a firm, Protestant (‘Recordite’) position and even suspected a Jesuit plot behind the Tractarian Movement.  Indeed, so pleased were the leaders of the Protestant Association with her attitude to Roman Catholicism and the Protestant cause that they invited her to edit the Protestant Magazine from 1840.17

      Also worthy of mention is the Churchman’s Monthly Review of which the first issue appeared in January 1841 and the last in December 1847.  It was brought into being by the Evangelical House of Seeley and Burnside in order to review the large amount of material produced by the Tractarian controversy.  Consisting wholly of anonymous review-articles of such length as the individual case merited, it provides an excellent source of information as to Evangelical views.

      The fourth difficulty which the writer faces is that this unorganised but powerful Evangelical response to Tractarianism was not a response to everything which the Tractarians wrote and did.  It was a selective response which appears to have had as its selecting key whether any given teaching or action resembled medieval or Roman theology and ritual, or whether it departed from what was believed to be the teaching of the Reformers.  So Evangelicals did not criticise Newman for his opposition to latitudinarianism even as they did not later criticise H. P. Liddon for his Bampton Lectures, The Divinity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (1866).  But they did criticise Newman for his doctrine of justification even as they later criticised Liddon for his doctrine of the Eucharist.

      One final comment.  In this study little can be done to remedy the absence of a reliable history of the Evangelical party between 1830 and 1860; it is to be hoped that such a history will soon be written.  But, in order to help set the scene and make the Evangelical response to Tractarianism the more meaningful, a brief survey of the development of the Tractarian Movement will be given at the beginning of the three historical chapters.


Notes: Introduction

1.  Hampden, A Lecture on Tradition (1839); and Powell, Tradition Unveiled (1839)

2.  Faussett, The Revival of Popery (1838).

3.  For these and other Oxford Evangelicals see J. S. Reynolds, The Evangelicals at Oxford, 1735–1871 (1953).

4.  These figures are based on the following sources: Christian Observer (1809), pp. 173–4; W. E. Gladstone, Gleanings of Past Years, 1843–1879 (1879), vii, pp. 209 ff.; James Grant, Travels in Town 1839); ii) p. 105; Robert Vaughan, Religious Parties in England (1839), p. 109; the Eclectic Review, v (1839), p. 139; and W. J. Conybeare, Essays Ecclesiastic and Social (1855), Essay 2.

5.  Mark Pattison, Essays (1889), ii, p. 269; and R. W. Church, The Oxford Movement (1892), pp. 12–16.

6.  Mozley, ii, pp. 62, 97 and 210; Newman, Apologia Pro Vita Sua (ed. M. J. Svaglic, Oxford, 1967), p. 66.

7.  C. P. S. Clarke, The Oxford Movement and After (1932), chap. 7.

8.  B. E. Hardman, ‘The Evangelical Party in the Church of England, 1855–1865’ (Cambridge University PhD thesis, 1964), chap. 2.

9.  Two unpublished theses do in fact offer some help.  I. S. Rennie, ‘Evangelicalism and English Public Life, 1823–1850’ (Toronto University PhD thesis, 1962) is brief but solid.  A. R. Acheson, ‘The Evangelicals in the Church of Ireland 1784–1859’ (The Queen’s University, Belfast, PhD thesis, 1967) is useful since in this period the Church of Ireland was joined to that of England.

10.  See further Conybeare, op. cit., pp, 74 ff: ‘Recordite’ came from the Record newspaper.

11.  For more details of this later period see Anne Bentley, ‘The Transformation of the Evangelical Party in the Church of England in the Later Nineteenth Century’ (Durham University PhD thesis, 1971).

12.  See further L. P. Fox, ‘The work of T. T. Biddulph, with special reference to his influence on the Evangelical Movement in the West of England’ (Cambridge University PhD thesis, 1953)

13.  Mrs Oliphant, The Life of Edward Irving (1862), ii, p. 45.

14.  Mrs A. H. Corsbie, A Biographical Sketch of Alexander Haldane (1882).  This is an expansion of the obituary which appeared in the Record on 28 July, 1882.

15.  Acheson, op. cit., p. 175.

16.  Charlotte Elizabeth was her pen name.  She appears in the DNB as C. E. Tonna.

17.  For a helpful description of the literary and social work of C. Elizabeth see A. G. Newell, ‘Studies in Evangelical Popular Prose Literature: its rise and decline’ (Liverpool University PhD thesis, 1976), chap. 9.




Chapter One

From Suspicion to Hostility 1833–1841

      The Tractarian Movement was born in a period of crisis for the United Church of England and Ireland.  While churchmen were troubled about the nature and authority of the Church and her ministry, there came from a small group of Oxford men, who claimed to understand both the problem and its remedy, a call to the clergy to recover and restore to the Church her divine heritage.1  At first this did not involve the printing and distribution of tracts.

      Following a conference in July 1833 at Hadleigh, Suffolk, in the rectory of the High Churchman, Hugh James Rose, and attended by other High Churchmen including William Palmer, author of Origines Liturgicae and a Fellow of Worcester, it was decided that immediate action was needed to save the Church from spiritual disaster.  One part of the remedy would be the formation of local associations of friends of the Church.  Palmer was enthusiastic for these and set out their purpose as follows:

(i) To maintain pure and inviolate the doctrines, the services, and the discipline of the Church – that is, to withstand all change which involves the denial or suppression of doctrine, a departure from primitive practice in religious offices, or innovation upon the apostolical prerogative, orders and commission of bishops, priests and deacons.

(ii) To afford churchmen an opportunity of exchanging their sentiments and co-operating together on a large scale.2

Faithful churchmen were to combine for God against latitudinarianism, liberalism, scepticism and neology.  However, this project did not succeed and in its place an address, composed by Palmer on similar principles, was circulated among the clergy before being sent at the close of 1833, with seven thousand signatures, to the Archbishop of Canterbury.

      While Palmer toured the country during the autumn of 1833 in order to commend the idea of associations of friends, Newman began to write anonymous tracts.  Though he had not been at the Hadleigh Conference he had corresponded with the participants, and the writing of tracts was his way of meeting the crisis.  The first three appeared on 9 September, 1833 and by the end of 1834 forty-six were available.  They covered such topics as the apostolic succession of Anglican bishops, the efficacy and centrality of the sacraments, and the Visible Church as the sphere of God’s grace.  Close friends helped Newman with the writing of the tracts and these men, with others, formed a close-knit group.  They included John Keble, the Professor of Poetry; Richard Hurrell Froude and Charles Marriott, Fellows of Oriel; Isaac Williams, Fellow of Trinity; and Robert I. Wilberforce, son of William Wilberforce.  To their number by 1835 was added Edward B. Pusey.  As Palmer put it: ‘His high religious character, his learning, and the station which he occupied in the University as Professor of Hebrew, together with his aristocratic connexion with the Earls of Radnor, rendered him an acquisition of the highest value.’3

      The Tracts for the Times appeared regularly between 1833 and 1841, becoming longer after July 1835.  The ones which seem to have caused the most comment and reaction were those on ‘Baptism’ (67–9) by Pusey, on ‘Reserve in communicating Religious Knowledge’ (80 and 87) by Williams, and on the ‘Breviary’ (75) and the ‘Thirty-Nine Articles’ (90) by Newman.  Because Pusey had put his initials at the end of one of his tracts the anonymous writers were all called ‘Puseyites’ and their teaching ‘Puseyism’.  The early word ‘Tractator’ was soon replaced by ‘Tractarian’.

      Apart from writing tracts, Newman, the obvious leader of the new movement, was very active propagating his view of Catholic Christianity both in his preaching in St Mary’s and in the writing of books.  If the former activity primarily influenced young men in the University, then the latter made an impact throughout the nation.  In The Prophetical Office of the Church (1837) he plotted a via media between popular Protestantism and Roman Catholicism as he criticised both systems.  He looked to the ancient, primitive Church of the Fathers for true religion.  In the Doctrine of Justification (1838) he set forth, on what he believed were biblical grounds, an approach to this controversial doctrine which fused the best insights of the Protestant and Roman teaching.  The quality of these and other books commanded widespread attention.  So also did the Remains of R. H. Froude (1838–9), edited by Newman and Keble; but Froude’s declared hatred for the principles of the Protestant Reformation and his admiration of medieval Catholicism shocked many Victorian readers, lost the movement many possible friends, and turned mild critics into formidable opponents.

      In 1836 ‘A Library of Fathers of the Holy Catholic Church’ was announced under the editorship of Newman, Pusey and Keble, and to this was added later ‘A Library of Anglo-Catholic Theology’.  These two sets of volumes reflected the twin thrust of the movement as it searched for truth: it looked to the Bible as understood by the Fathers and the Caroline divines.

      So by the year 1838 the Tractarians had gained the ear of many High Churchmen.  Their stand in Oxford against latitudinarianism and for God’s Church and truth had won for them much respect.  Newman believed that the first seven years were years of prosperity.  The emphases of the ‘Oxford divines’ were generally understood by supporters to be such principles as the importance of the apostolic succession for the Church of England and Ireland, the antiquity and value of the threefold ministry, the necessity of sacraments as definite vehicles of divine grace, the interpretation of the Scriptures by the teaching of the Fathers according to the rule, quod semper, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus, and opposition to liberalism in all its forms.  Sections of the periodical press, the British Magazine and British Critic, as well as the Times newspaper gave support to the propagation of these ‘Church Principles’ (as they came to be called).



      The Evangelicals, being concerned about the welfare of the Church of Christ, showed interest in the associations of friends of the Church.  In the Diary of John Hill of St Edmund Hall this entry occurs under the date, 19 October, 1833: ‘Wrote a long letter to Dr Wilson in answer to his enquiry about a projected association of friends of the Church.’4  Dr William Wilson was Vicar of Holy Rood, Southampton, and brother-in-law of the Bishops, J. B. and C. R. Sumner.  Two weeks later Charles Girdlestone, Vicar of Sedgley in Staffordshire and a former Fellow of Balliol, received a letter from Newman, whom he had helped to find his first curacy at St Clement’s Oxford, concerning the associations.5  Referring to the civil government Newman claimed that churchmen ‘groan under that heterogeneous un-ecclesiastical Parliament and will not submit to its dictation’.  ‘I do not know how far these sentiments will approve themselves to you,’ he went on, adding, ‘We shall be truly glad of your co-operation, as of one who really fears God and wishes to serve Him, but, if you will not, we will march past you.’  Looking for other recruits he ended the letter with a question: ‘Do you think there is any chance of Mr [William] Marsh of Birmingham joining us?’6

      Girdlestone’s reply was negative.  He felt unable to participate in the venture since the objects of the proposed associations were indistinctly defined, the way to achieve them was not clear and the view of the times was exaggerated.  ‘Now this whole paper’, he concluded, ‘breathes a censorious querulous, discontented spirit, a spirit of defiance, unless I am much mistaken, to the party predominant at present in the State, a spirit which is the most likely of all others to bring the Church into contempt with that party and what is worse a spirit which is thoroughly opposite to the Christian rule of overcoming evil with good.’  It seems that not only did he reject Newman’s overtures but that he also wrote a letter of protest to the Christian Observer.7  Through his friend Benjamin Harrison, chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Newman also had similar contacts with Dr William Dealtry, Canon of Winchester and former incumbent of Clapham.8  But this time the topics were the Tracts and the Address to the Archbishop.

      Newman also wrote to the Record choosing a subject which he knew would not be without some attraction to the Evangelicals.  It was the lack of sound discipline within the Church, a reality which had been an underlying cause of several recent secessions from the Evangelical ministerial ranks.9  Five letters were published between 28 October and 14 November and were signed ‘A Churchman’.10  The first letter set the context of discipline within the contemporary cries for Church reform and interpreted the troubles of Church and Nation in terms of God’s judgments upon the national Church.  It also argued in favour of retaining the Commination Service of the Book of Common Prayer as well as the excommunication in the Service of Holy Baptism.  Conscious that the friends of the Record had campaigned against co-operation with Socinians in the British and Foreign Bible Society, he ended his letter by acknowledging that ‘these honest men have begun a system of excommunication’.  Scripture proofs for the exercise of discipline provided the content of the second, while the third emphasised the guilt of all churchmen in the lack and rejection of discipline within the Church, a rejection based on expediency.  In the fifth letter Newman set the problem in the context of the alarming increase of Roman Catholics in England.  He wrote:

I do not think I am speaking too strongly when I say that there are a multitude of men who will follow the teacher that speaks loudest ... Now Rome will be sure ultimately to suck these in by the pointed and determinate character of its pretensions unless another powerful body is given the opportunity of witnessing its creed as powerfully; and it is plain that nobody can do this with the influence which would attend the movements of a reformed English Church.


To achieve the latter would mean the appointment, to say the least, of a ‘more spiritual class of bishops’.  Interestingly, in none of the letters is there a reference either to the Tracts or to the associations of friends.

      One correspondent, whose letter was published in the same issue as Newman’s fifth, revealed how many clergy felt about the question of reform:

If we bestir ourselves and petition for efficient reform we are charged with seeking or aiding the destruction of the Church, in whose defence we should hardly count our lives dear.  If we sit still we are subjected to the unfounded charge of desiring to prevent or retard that for which we most earnestly pray, and would labour, if we knew how.


The brief editorial answer on 14 November gave little help to this clergyman.

      The first reference in the Record to the setting up of local associations, as well as to the Tracts and the Address to the Archbishop, occurred on 2 December.  It was stated that the Tracts were not published by an association of friends in Oxford but ‘by some of the leading members of it, issuing from one press at Oxford, and which are freely circulated by those who are giving invitations to the clergy to enlist themselves under its banner’.  Though there was no editorial comment, this did come three days later in the following way:

We must confess the surprise was extreme and the sorrow poignant with which we read the tracts of the Apostolical Society at Oxford, extracts from which appeared in our last number.  Had we not read them with our own eyes it would have been difficult to persuade us that such effusions could have escaped, at any time, from the pens of Protestant clergymen, more especially at such a time as the present, and with the professed object, and that most sincerely entertained, of defending the Church in her great peril.  In time of need to go for spiritual weapons to the armoury of the ‘Man of Sin’ – to lay a foundation which, in fact, will not give solid support to that lapsed body, the heretical Church of England, but on which the only true apostolical Church of Rome has ever rested in imaginary security and triumph, alike in prosperity and adversity – deliberately, learnedly, zealously to pursue such a course as this would, if persevered in, be ominous of nothing less than destruction.


These were strong words, appearing to teach that the Church of England lost the high doctrine of apostolic succession of the Tracts at the Reformation.  It is not surprising to find that more editorial comments appear in later issues in December 1833.  First of all, it was explained on 9 December that if the apostolic succession is a solid ground of support for the Church of England it is an even greater support for the Church of Rome.  Further, it was argued that the apostolic succession had not prevented the Church of Rome from falling into error and that this emphasis on the succession of bishops had the effect of excluding orthodox Dissenters.  So the hope was expressed that the men of Oxford would realise that ‘this bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it’.  On 12 December two letters were printed, one stating that the succession of bishops was a matter of history, and the other claiming that its author had been strengthened spiritually by the views expressed in the Tracts.  Thus of apostolic succession the editor now felt obliged to state:

We do not deny the possession of the apostolic succession by the Church of England; we only attach an inferior degree of importance to it to that expressed by our correspondents.  It was only when taking into our mouths the argument by the Papal Church that we denied it; but immediately thereafter we asserted the denial only to be ‘figment’ of the Papacy.


He was also at pains to emphasise the validity of the ordinations in Lutheran, Reformed and other Protestant denominations.  Newman saw some of these comments as reflecting a measure of repentance but he was sorry, as he told Hurrell Froude, that his sixth letter was rejected by the editor.11  By 23 December the editor had again been assured that the association in Oxford was distinct from the Tracts and that it should be supported as should also other associations in other places.  And there the matter rested for two years.  Against the Tracts the proprietors of the Record were now opposed, but during 1834 and 1835 the paper remained silent concerning them as other pressing matters were reported.  Virtual silence until 1838 was also the position adopted by the editor of the Christian Guardian.12

      In the Christian Observer neither the Tracts nor the associations were mentioned during the autumn of 1833, but when the preface for the bound volume for 1833 came to be written in December, the editor, C. S. Wilks, made the following comment (which followed reflections upon the lives of William Wilberforce and Hannah More, both of whom had recently died)

We lament to hear the ominous notes of preparation for a party-spirited collision, the effects of which, unless wiser counsels prevail to check the evil, may be most injurious to our national Church and with it to the best interests of Christianity in the land.  On the one side we see ranged a new and active sect, composed chiefly of Dissenters who agree with the Church of England in her leading doctrinal tenets, but avowing themselves her enemies as an established Church and combining with infidels, radicals and Socinians to raze her foundations.  On the other side we see a Society formed at Oxford, the members of which, professing themselves to be the most orthodox upholders of the Church, have begun to scatter throughout the land publications which, for bigotry, Popery and intolerance surpass the writings even of Laud and Sacheverell.


Wilks here made the mistake which must have been a common one in late 1833 of seeing the Tracts as publications of the Oxford association.  Nevertheless, Newman was obviously unhappy about the way the Tracts were regarded in the magazine here and that which was to follow in 1834; two years later he told the editor that ‘the general conduct of your Magazine towards the Tracts ... has been an exception to its usual mildness and urbanity’.13

      During 1834 the Christian Observer contained a variety of critical references to the Tracts.  One letter to the editor, probably by Girdlestone, complained about the divisive tendency of emphasising the doctrine of apostolic succession; and a review of publications on Church reform declared that the Oxford writers contended ‘for the power of the keys to the fullest range of the Roman Catholic priesthood’.14  In ‘Answers to Correspondents’ in the May issue the following was printed:

Two Oxford friends complain of our having used the expression ‘the Oxford Tracts’ in relation to certain papers which, though written by five or six Oxford men, are stated to be almost universally disapproved of by members of that University.  Our reply is, that we only took the title for intelligibility as we found it in current use; it is the title by which the tracts are asked for and sold and, if we recollect rightly, advertised.  We did not give the title, and grieved should we be to suppose that such bigotry and Popery were espoused by more than a very small fraction of the members, resident or non-resident, of either of our Universities, notwithstanding we have received letters, from some who take a warm interest in these tracts, assuring us that they have ‘wonderfully conciliated the clergy throughout the kingdom, have furnished a basis for church union, as opposed to the Erastian notions of the age; and that we are quite mistaken in considering the sentiments contained in them as confined to a comparatively few individuals’.15


This reference to a warm reception among some of the readership of the magazine confirms the impression gained from other sources, which will now be noticed, that even if the majority of the leaders of Evangelical opinion were opposed by May 1834 to the teaching of the Tracts, there were those Evangelicals who were, to say the least, sympathetic to its seemingly spiritual character.16

      It is worthy of note that according to Henry Wilberforce, Bishop Sumner of Winchester, who never disguised his Evangelicanism, heartily approved of the first numbers and as late as October 1835 had a happy encounter with Newman at Wilberforce’s home.17  However, he changed his mind later.

      A second illustration of a sympathetic reception is contained in the correspondence which took place between Pusey and his friend, Mrs Anne Tyndale, wife of the incumbent of Holton, a parish in which Pusey often stayed since his mother had leased the manor house in Holton Park, five miles from Oxford.  Mr and Mrs Thomas Tyndale were Evangelicals and regularly called on John Hill at St Edmund Hall, where his rooms were a meeting place for Evangelicals, especially for the famous afternoon tea.18  Only a few letters of Anne Tyndale are preserved, and none of Pusey’s, for the years 1833 to 1835 but they are sufficient to illustrate how one intelligent lady, who was no stranger to Evangelical theology, responded to the teaching of the Tracts, which were sent to her by Pusey himself.19  She read them sympathetically but not uncritically and then took up with him such topics as apostolic succession, the nature of the Church and regeneration.

      On 11 November, 1833 she referred to Newman’s The Gospel a Law of Liberty (Tract 8) and then wrote: ‘If I could quite enter into the opinion with regard to the apostolical succession, I should like to have hundreds of that paper on “Gospel Liberty” to circulate; as it is, if you wish them to be circulated and would entrust me with a few I think I know some people who would value them much.  The puzzle to my mind with regard to the Apostolical succession is this.  If it is the only accredited means of conveying spiritual instruction to the Church, in what a dreadful state of famine the Church must be wherever a graceless man is appointed to a bishoprick or a ministry.’  Returning to this subject on 20 November she declared that there were expressions in Tracts 4 and 5 which ‘upon a first reading would perhaps be better understood by a Catholic than a Protestant’ and then proceeded to supply eight quotations to substantiate her point.  Later in the same letter she wrote: ‘Shall I own to you also that I find it very difficult indeed to believe that those ministers who care nothing for God or Christ or Salvation are really ordained by the Holy Ghost?  The writing of it almost makes me shudder but I believe them to be ordained by the imposition of hands to the sacred office of ministering in the Church and therefore look upon them as lawfully appointed and I cannot help also thinking that it is the Holy Spirit in the hearts of true believers that makes them turn away from their ministrations in disgust and disapprobation.’  Replying not to Anne’s letter but to one from her husband Pusey stressed the serious nature of the call to the ministry and its commission from Christ.  ‘You will not, I hope, think me a bigot,’ he wrote, ‘but I do not think the nature of our commission and its origin is a subject about which in these days, especially, clergy ought to agree to differ, at least, not without having taken pains to ascertain the truth for themselves.’20  He also offered to loan either A Discourse of Church Government (1707) by Archbishop J. Potter or some writings on the subject by William Jones of Nayland.

      In a letter two months later Anne discussed the doctrine of the kingdom of God stating that it was usually described under four heads, celestial, ecclesiastical, political and spiritual.  And then she went on, ‘Is not the ecclesiastical kingdom that which the High Churchmen as a party are the most anxious to support, if we except a few individuals?  Is not the spiritual kingdom that to which the attention of the Evangelical is chiefly directed?  The only cause for division is perhaps that each takes a part instead of the whole.  The Oxford writers are anxious to take both and in proportion as they do this, I expect to see the Evangelical party flock in to them.’  To help Pusey the more she also supplied a careful definition of an Evangelical stressing the centrality of conversion.  The only other letter which referred to the Tracts was one of September 1835 which contained an appreciative, but very preliminary, comment on the first tract by Pusey on baptism, Tract 67.

      During 1834–5 Evangelicals, High Churchmen and Tractarians found a common cause and this was probably one factor among others which helped to delay any serious controversy between Evangelicals and Tractarians.  The uniting cause was opposition to the admission of Dissenters into the University and to the removal of subscriptions to the Thirty-Nine Articles at matriculation.  The Diary of John Hill has several references to meetings of the dons ‘in the lodging of both Dr Burton and Mr Pusey at Christ Church’ and also in Magdalen Common Room.21  In May 1835 Convocation voted by a large majority to reject the proposal to abolish subscription but this was only a temporary holding back of the tide since it was abolished later in the century.

      Pusey was a leader of those who opposed change and it was during 1835 that he committed himself to the Tractarian Movement.  To quote Newman, his influence was ‘felt at once.  He saw that there ought to be more sobriety, more gravity, more careful pains, more sense of responsibility in the Tracts and in the whole Movement.’22  From Tract 67 they became longer and more scholarly.  These more elaborate treatises were taken rather more seriously and so now the likelihood of elaborate replies became virtually inevitable.  Controversy was, however, perhaps delayed because Evangelicals and Tractarians found themselves united once more in the University of Oxford against the appointment by the Crown of Dr R. D. Hampden as the Regius Professor.  Hill noted in his Diary on 13 February, 1836 that ‘this week has been marked by the general consternation occasioned by the information which reached Oxford on Monday that Dr Hampden ... was appointed Regius Professor of Divinity.’  Then throughout February, March and April there are many references in the Diary to meetings Hill attended in efforts which proved ineffectual to prevent this appointment.  Looking back to these events two years later the editor of the Christian Observer wrote:

In point of fact it was not the Oxford Tract divines and their friends, active as they were, who formed the large majority against Dr Hampden: but clergymen and laymen of very different sentiments, great numbers of them went down to vote on the occasion from their extreme disapprobation of Dr Hampden’s writings.  Unhappily, however – and we greatly lamented it at the time – the local management of the opposition to Dr Hampden being very much under the influence of Dr Pusey and some of his friends, and the subtlety of the Tract poison not being then so generally discovered as now, the business was in public opinion too much identified with what had no real connexion with it.23


In other words, Wilks believed that the Tractarians received too much credit!

      The Record was convinced that the appointment of Hampden would produce ‘a more profound impression on the Church than any other individual act’ of the Cabinet and was happy to quote on 24 March, 1836 in some detail from Pusey’s Propositions maintained in Dr Hampden’s Works.  From 25 February to May there were frequent reports on the affair from an Oxford correspondent and on 2 May the Circular from the ‘Corpus Committee’, containing its reasons for continuing the proceedings against Hampden, was printed in full.  During this period the position of the paper remained as baldly stated on 25 February:

It is obvious that the Church is called upon seriously to consider what she is to do under the present extraordinary and alarming circumstances in which she is placed.  How can a situation more anomalous, absurd and ruinous be conceived?  The present O’Connell-ridden, Papist-ridden Cabinet, wielding in simple verity the powers of the temporal head of the Church!  What but ruin can follow from its prolonged exercise of these powers.


However, not every reference in the paper to Hampden was critical.  On 4 April in a review of his inaugural lecture it was admitted that much in it was ‘of a sound character and evangelical complexion’.  And later in his career, when Tractarians were bitterly opposed to his elevation to the episcopate, the Record often came to his defence.




      Having begun the year 1836 noting that High Church principles were on the increase, the Record gave prominence on 21 April to the Pastoral Letter from his holiness the Pope to some members of the University of Oxford, written anonymously by Dr Charles Dickinson, chaplain to Archbishop Whateley.

Supposing the Pope had sent out a body of Jesuits into the country and they had assumed the garb of clergymen of the Church of England, we cannot suppose them to work more skilfully and more effectually for the return of England into the bosom of the Papacy, than by the promulgation of such unsound and unscriptural principles as are developed in these Oxford publications, and in some others of a similar description published in London.


One of the London publications was the British Magazine, articles from which were constantly criticised.  Commenting on the poem, ‘Samaria’, in the August issue, which commended a high view of episcopacy, the Record declared on 8 August that ‘in avoiding Latitudinarianism, it is not necessary that we should sink into bigotry’.  Much attention was given from August to October to the exposure of High Church principles which were defined on 3 October as ‘those which would lodge power and attribute properties to the visible Church and especially to the sacraments as administered by her, beyond and above those with which it is invested by the great Head of the Church as unfolded in the Scriptures of Truth’.  Articles on baptism and baptismal regeneration were printed being provoked by Pusey’s Tracts on Baptism and they led at least one clergyman to write to Pusey and condemn his views.  This disturbed Pusey who discussed with Newman whether he should write to the Record.24

      Pusey’s writings on baptism represent a new development in the Tractarian Movement and a brief comment on them and their reception is necessary.  Perhaps it needs to be stated that they belong to a period in Pusey’s life when he was moving quickly towards asceticism.25  Thus not only is there in the Tracts a strong doctrine of baptismal regeneration but also the teaching that since baptism achieves the complete forgiveness of sins, further sins after baptism are never wholly forgiven in this life.  Christians must live penitential lives to show God their sorrow for sin.  This novel teaching shocked F. D. Maurice and he later spoke of the Tracts ‘with a kind of shudder as it were of an escape from a charmed dungeon’ for they represented the parting of the ways between him and the Tractarians.  Even the High Churchman, H. J. Rose, believed that too much was made by Pusey of the effects of post-baptismal sin.26  And the editor of the Christian Observer, as will be seen, believed that Pusey’s doctrines qualified him to teach at Maynooth Roman Catholic College in Ireland.

      As criticism of the Tracts flowed from the pages of Evangelical periodicals, leaders of the Evangelical party were beginning to refer to them in their writings.  For example, the highly respected Edward Bickersteth, known to thousands through his work for the Church Missionary Society, wrote as follows in his Remarks on the Progress of Popery (1836):

A highly respectable, learned and devout class of men has arisen up at one of our Universities, the tendency of whose writings is departure from Protestantism, and approach to papal doctrine.  They publish ‘tracts for the times’ and while they oppose the most glaring part of popery, – the infallibility of the Pope, the worship of images, transubstantiation and the like, – yet, though the spirit of the times is marked by the opposite fault, the very principles of popery are brought forward by them, under deference to human authority, especially that of the Fathers: overvaluing the Christian ministry and sacraments and undervaluing justification by faith.  With much learning and study of the Fathers, with great apparent and in some cases real devotion and a devotedness ascetic and peculiar, they seem ... to open another door to the land of darkness and shadow of death, where the Man of Sin reigns.


His biographer tells us that from the time this book was published, January 1836, he became a firm opponent of Tractarianism.27  Even so, he was so pleased with the ‘Library of the Fathers’ that he wrote to congratulate Pusey on it.

      Meanwhile, tension between Evangelical and Tractarian was restored by the preaching and then printing of a sermon by John Keble.  The subject of Tradition and its relation to Scripture was very much in the thought of Keble and Newman at this time, as is seen, for example, in Newman’s correspondence with the Abbé Jager.28  Being asked to preach the Visitation Sermon in Winchester Cathedral on 27 September, 1836, Keble agreed, seeing in this providence the opportunity to sound once more the same note of urgency which had rung so clearly through his Assize Sermon of 1833, the sermon which Newman saw as the beginning of the Oxford Movement.  This second sermon, Primitive Tradition recognised in Holy Scripture, began with a description of the perilous position in which the English Church was placed and then claimed that there was comfort to be found in the text, 2 Timothy 1.14, ‘That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.’  He asserted that before the New Testament was written and collected, and then existing alongside it, was a primitive, apostolic tradition which was in harmony with it, containing the doctrine of the Apostles’ Creed, the Threefold Ministry, the Eucharist as a commemorative sacrifice, infant baptism, and the doctrine of the Holy Trinity.  He gave the impression that if the ancient Fathers were carefully studied more traces of this apostolic tradition would be discovered.  Contrary to usual Anglican exegesis which understood the ‘good thing’ in terms of the whole Gospel, Keble thought it referred to this primitive, apostolic tradition.  His friends were quite excited by the sermon.  Newman thought it was ‘the boldest and most powerful composition’ which they had yet printed, and George Cornish exclaimed to Keble, ‘What a stir you are making in the world!  Who would suppose that so quiet and orderly a body was the author of such combustion.’29

      Dr William Wilson, correspondent of John Hill and holder since 1832 of the second stall in Winchester Cathedral, heard the sermon and carefully read it.  His A Brief Examination of Professor Yιeb1e's Visitation Sermon appeared early in 1837.  Its tone was set by two quotations on the title-page, one from Bishop Taylor and one from Bishop Tomline.  The former read: ‘To prove by Scripture that there are any traditions not written in Scripture is a trifling folly.’  Wilson criticised Keble for an imprecise use of the word ‘tradition’, since he did not distinguish between res tradita, modus tradendi, and actus tradendi.  He also criticised what he saw as a careless use of the Fathers, an incorrect exegesis Of 2 Timothy 1.14 and the seeming abandonment of the principle of sola scriptura.  In the copy of Wilson’s pamphlet which belonged to Newman there is a marginal note reading, ‘Fundamental mistake of Dr Wilson is thinking Keble would add essentials rather than insisting on a particular authority for them.’  Perhaps so, but he was not the only one to think in this way.30  Surprisingly the Christian Observer did not review Keble’s sermon although Wilks did tell his readers later that he had made full notes on it for future use.31

      The most important teaching on Tradition came from Newman.  Following the correspondence with the Abbé Jager he published Lectures on the Prophetical Office of the Church viewed relatively to Romanism and Popular Protestantism (1837).  Apart from material on Tradition, in which he distinguished between episcopal and prophetical tradition, he also had provocative comments on Private Judgment (the right of the individual to interpret Scripture for himself) and Romanism.  The reviewer in the Christian Observer wrote:

There is so much of zeal for the prosperity of that Church of which Mr Newman is himself a member and a minister that it is impossible not to lament the failure of his enterprise in its defence.  The chief error, ingrained, interwoven, incorporated with his whole treatise is the deference to be paid to the authority of human writings and the disparagement of the sacred records.  Far as this last may be from the intentions, and even from the contemplations of the author it meets us in every page of his volume, and unless we are greatly deceived, will prove noxious to his own spiritual health.32


A little later Evangelicals in the diocese of Chichester objected to the underlying assumptions of the printed Visitation Sermon, The Rule of Faith (1838), by the Tractarian Rector of Lavington, H. E. Manning.  Here again the problem was the place given to Tradition as the interpreter of Scripture.33

      In Chester John Bird Sumner warned his clergy of the ‘specious pretence or deference to Antiquity and respect for primitive models’, while in Calcutta Daniel Wilson charged his clergy to beware of the views of Keble and Newman and trust in the sure words of Scripture.34  Leading Evangelical preachers also published sermons against the supposed Tractarian teaching that Tradition is as authoritative as Scripture.  From Baptist W. Noel, minister of St John’s Chapel, Bedford Row, London, came the brief but potent The First Five Centuries, or the Early Fathers No Safe Guides (1839) and from Josiah Pratt, Vicar of St Stephen’s, Coleman Street, London, came Perverted Tradition the Bane of the Church (1839).  Christopher Benson, Master of the Temple in London, who apparently coined the word ‘Tractarian’, published sermons he had preached in the Temple Church as Discourses on Tradition and Episcopacy (1839).  Meanwhile, the Evangelical press welcomed Not Tradition but Revelation by Philip N. Shuttleworth (soon to become Bishop of Chichester), the Revival of Popery by Professor Faussett and A Lecture on Tradition by Professor Hampden.

      The year 1839 also saw the first instalments of Ancient Christianity, a book which challenged the high claims often made in the Church of England for the ante-Nicene Church.  W. A. Shirley, Archdeacon of Derby, told a friend that he ‘dreaded these Oxford Tract views’ to which this book was ‘the best answer’ he had seen.35  Charlotte Elizabeth was also very impressed with it.  ‘Everybody has heard of this book,’ she wrote, ‘as being a terrible thorn in the side of Puseyism: but everyone does not know the nature of the wound it inflicts in that quarter.’  The wound was to show ‘an awful scene of corruption’ very soon after the apostolic period.  She thought that the book was ‘written with consummate ability; deep, close, cool; cutting with a calm steady hand through the very bones and marrow of the evil’ with which it dealt.36  Another Evangelical believed it was ‘one of the most remarkable publications’ of the age.37  The Record reviewed each instalment as it appeared and its praise extended as the reviewer read more and learned that ‘the religious and moral state of the Nicene Church was considerably worse than we had ever conceived it to have been’.38  At this stage few knew that the author was Isaac Taylor, a layman who had been a Nonconformist before joining the Church of England and was best known for his Natural History of Enthusiasm (1829).

      Estimates of the value of the writings of the Fathers varied in Evangelicalism.  At one extreme the Record declared that ‘a careful perusal even of the four octavo volumes of Hartwell Horne [the Biblical Commentator] would make a much more intelligent and sounder divine than the reading of all the Fathers from the first to the fifteenth century.’39  At the other extreme was G. S. Faber of Durham in whose books on the doctrine of the Trinity, Regeneration and justification the writings of the Fathers of the first five centuries were fully used.  Edward Bickersteth took a mediating position in the preface to his edition of The Christian Fathers of the First and Second Centuries (1838).  He argued that ‘because they have been overvalued ... we must not undervalue them as if they were of no use in assisting us to a fuller understanding of the sacred volume.’

      Though Isaac Taylor chose to live an isolated life in Stanford Rivers, most Evangelical clergy tended to confirm each other’s suspicions about Tractarianism before they launched into print on the subject.  They met at their clerical meetings, the most important of which was probably that which was held in Islington Vicarage each January with Daniel Wilson the younger as host.  Newman was aware of these meetings, which attracted ministers from up to sixty miles around London, and wrote to Pusey on 10 January, 1837: ‘They have periodical meetings at Islington and we before now have been the subject of discussion.  Mr Hill goes up to report progress.  Mr Wilson is a regular don – a conceited self-sufficient man with eighteen clergymen dependent on him and looked up to as a Bishop.’40  Certainly John Hill went nearly every year to the Islington Conference and his Diary has brief descriptions of what happened.  For example on 4. January, 1837 he wrote in it:

Goode next spoke chiefly (as several before luncheon had done) about the Tracts for the Times.  I was then permitted to speak – wishing, while I acknowledged the evil of the doctrines alluded to, to impress the impropriety of identifying them with Oxford and endeavouring to describe the true character and state of Oxford.


William Dodsworth, a former Evangelical and now minister of Margaret Street Chapel, London, told Pusey on 6 January that ‘there was a most violent and abusive attack on us at a meeting of clergy at Islington.’41  And it is possible that it was at this same meeting that Walter Kerr Hamilton, an Oxford incumbent, began to move his theological position from Evangelicalism to Tractarianism.  His biographer wrote that Hamilton connected his conversion ‘with a meeting of Evangelical clergy that was held at Islington for the purpose of denouncing ... the Oxford Tractarians’.42

      The Christian Observer did not report the Islington Conference but on 7 January, 1837 Newman privately explained that he was ‘getting into controversy with the Christian Observer in its own pages’, and that he fervently hoped that he would be able ‘to teaze them usque ad necem, insaniam, or something equally bad’.43  This controversy arose from a challenge thrown out by Wilks.  In a long editorial comment in December 1836 he had remarked that some of Pusey’s views as expressed in his Tracts on Baptism were based ‘upon the darkest ages of Popery when men had debased Christianity from a spiritual system ... to a system of forms and ceremonial rites’.  Indeed, such were Pusey’s views that ‘the learned Professor ought to lecture at Maynooth or the Vatican and not in the chair of Oxford where he puts forth this Popish doctrine’.  And he concluded by inviting a supporter of the Tracts to show how Pusey could truly remain a Church of England minister in holding views which were contrary to the Articles and Homilies.  The supporter who accepted the challenge was Newman himself, which shows how much, even in January 1837, he still valued the Evangelical party and desired to persuade its members to join him.

      Two letters from Newman were published in four instalments in the February to May issues of 1837.  Soon afterwards they appeared as Tract 82.  In his second letter, referring to his first, Newman rightly remarked that his own seven pages of large type had ‘elicited’ from the editor ‘about sixty pages’ of small type.  ‘I am not complaining of your so distending yourself,’ he continued, ‘I had rather be David with a sling and a stone than Goliath whose height was six cubits and a span.’  Happily, editorial comment on the second letter amounted only to twenty-seven pages of small type while the letter took eighteen pages of larger type.  In the first letter Newman dealt with baptismal regeneration, supporting Pusey in the contention that the patriarchs of the Old Testament were sanctified but not regenerated.  In the second he defended the practice of giving the eucharistic elements to children, referred to Keble’s sermon for a definition of apostolic tradition and explained how Tractarians reconciled their consciences to the Homilies and Articles.

      The editorial comment in this exchange, the equivalent of about one hundred and forty pages of ordinary type, may be regarded as the first lengthy Evangelical attack upon the leading tenets of Tractarianism.  Yet, due to the nature of its composition which was hasty, it was not well planned but rather a collection of random comments.  Its character was set in the opening volley:

What we have intended, and still intend, in this discussion is to speak as God shall give us grace very plainly our view of the character and evils of the system inculcated in the Oxford Tracts; which even weeping, we believe to be anti-Evangelical, anti-Protestant, and a snare of our ghostly enemy to impede the progress of the pure Gospel of Christ and to endanger the souls of men.


At its best, claimed Wilks, Tractarianism reflected the worst features of the theology of Laud and the Non Jurors; at its worst it was Popery in disguise.  All the subjects which were later to become the topics of controversy were raised in the comments, of which the last was a challenge to Newman clearly to set forth his doctrine of justification.

      Newman did not send a third letter but rather began a series of lectures in the University Church on the subject which he later published as Lectures on the Doctrine of Justification (1838).  The veteran G. S. Faber of Durham, who had criticised as Romanist the views on justification of the Irish layman, Alexander Knox, now entered into a correspondence with Newman and even visited him in the hope of persuading him of the error of his position.44  It was in this friendly exchange that Faber came to realise that Newman had written a good number of the Tracts and this information came as a shock to him.

      At the centre of the Evangelical Protestant position was the doctrine of Justification by grace through faith and to remove it from its pedestal or worse still to deny it was tantamount to Popery and so on 15 April, 1839 the Record lamented:

Who has read Newman on justification, himself having been given of God to receive the doctrine in its Scriptural simplicity and fulness, without lamenting over the dark conceptions of the man, and being led afresh to confess that till God teaches, darkness broods over the human mind, whether Greek or barbarian, in relation to the essentials of Gospel truth.


The Evangelical press welcomed all attacks upon Newman’s novel doctrine, which was equated with Roman teaching.  Among the pieces commended were Dr Hampden’s The Lord our Righteousness (1839) and Dr Shuttleworth’s Justification through Faith (1840).

      The greatest praise, however, was reserved for the book by Charles P. M’Ilvaine, Bishop of Ohio, who had visited Oxford and lodged with John Hill in April 1835.  The book had the provocative title, Oxford Divinity.  Charlotte Elizabeth told her middle-class ladies that ‘as a spiritually-minded Christian, as a learned divine, as a truly Apostolic bishop’ M’Ilvaine was ‘known and read of all men during his sojourn in England’.  With this book he had ‘more than realized the highest opinion that we could form of him by a work, the value of which it is impossible to calculate, unless we can compute the worth of Christianity itself’.45  The reviewer in the Christian Observer welcomed the contents but not the title and the orthodox Churchman declared that ‘this is a book which must be answered or the credit of the whole school of Tractarianism is gone for ever’.46  M’Ilvaine’s purpose was to show that the Tractarian doctrine was the same either as medieval teaching or Tridentine teaching and was thus erroneous in nature.



      The matter to which attention must now be given, though only of minor importance in 1837–8, does provide a foretaste of how deeply and bitterly feelings were to burn concerning ritualism, fanned, as they were, by the appearance of such publications as Tract 78 on the Roman Breviary.  In the early summer of 1837, Peter Maurice, Chaplain of New College and All Souls’, published The Popery of Oxford Confronted, Disavowed and Repudiated.  Though brief, it touched on a variety of controversial issues and opened up a new one.  The seventh chapter on ‘ceremonies, services and vestments’ claimed that in the University Church Newman knelt on a low cushion placed on the step of the chancel in front of the communion table, in which position he continued during the prayers.  At the new chapel at Littlemore, of which Newman had the pastoral care, the same practice occurred, and, worse still, Maurice had seen there ‘a plain naked cross, either of stone or a good imitation of it, rising up and projecting out of the wall, from the centre of the communion table, and forming the fulness of one of those arches which are so ornamentally arranged in sevenfold perfection within the rails’.  Finally he claimed that a deacon’s stole, on which was embroidered St Andrew’s Cross, had been worn not only in one of the Oxford churches but also in a College chapel.  Disgusted by the booklet, Pusey wrote that ‘the walls of Oxford have been placarded ... with “Popery of Oxford” and its citizens have been edified with the exhibition of Newman’s and my name as Papists.’47

      The Christian Observer for August carried a heading – ‘Unauthorised Innovations ... at Oxford’.  This comprised a letter from ‘an afflicted spectator’ containing long extracts from Maurice’s booklet and editorial comment which pointed out that ‘the present contest is not a war with communion tables or crosses, or unusual emblematical medallions, but with anti-Protestant principles’.  The editor explained:

We are not over-scrupulous about ecclesiastical ceremonies, provided all things be done decently and in order; but ceremonies unusual or unauthorized ought to be discountenanced were it only upon the ground of irregularity; and the particular observances [described by Maurice] are peculiarly to be deprecated because they are part and parcel of a doctrinal and ecclesiastical system which tends to subvert the pure Gospel of Christ and the foundations of the Protestant Church.  We cannot hear without just alarm of Fellows of Colleges crossing themselves at particular parts of the service, as if they were in a mass-house, instead of a Protestant academical chapel; of the ostentatious display, inside and outside of churches, of crosses, triangles, doves and other decorations, in a manner unusual in Protestant places of worship; ... of side tables introduced into chancels for the attendants to place the bread and wine upon ... ; and even in the University Church itself ... of Mr Newman’s accompanying the administration of the Lord’s Supper with unprescribed bowings, approachings and retirings.


And not only the editor was worried about St Mary’s in Oxford.  Bishop John Sumner had advised his nephew in May 1837 not to go to the University Church.48

      A further dimension was added to this controversy when George Townsend, Master Keeper of the Peculiar of Allerton in Durham, told the clergy in his Charge of August 1837 that he had ‘heard with surprise and grief that several of our brethren in the South, believing themselves to be justified by the custom of primitive antiquity, have lately made several alterations, which must to the people of their congregations be regarded as innovations’.  Hearing of this, or perhaps reading a report of it, Pusey wrote to Townsend providing an explanation of the supposed innovations.  The latter seemed satisfied by the explanations and told Pusey of this.  Pusey then had printed in the British Magazine his letter to Townsend and a summary of the latter’s reply.49  Seeing this summary, which included the assertion that Townsend had been misled by the Christian Observer, Wilks wrote to Townsend and then printed part of the reply he received in the January 1838 issue.  Townsend stated that the only particular on which the magazine had misled him was on the extent of the proceedings in question.  In the February and March issues Pusey’s ,explanation of the innovations was subjected to examination and found to be unsatisfactory.  Had the innovations been those of an unknown country curate, argued Wilks, there would have been nothing to write about, but in that they were being advanced by men who professed ‘to be the only sound expositors of Anglican doctrine and discipline’ they had to be seen in relation to this supposition.  This meant that Maurice’s cry of ‘Popery at Oxford’ was not wrong.

      In the Record of this same period is to be found continuing criticism of what is now openly called ‘Puseyism’.  Such comments as the following on 7 August, 1837 reflect the general line which was taken:

The Church is set up as the object of worship; not the Church mystical composed of the living members of the body of Christ throughout the world: but the outward visible Church, the largest section of which is apostate Rome, the smaller the Church of England, to which are added any other Episcopal Bodies which glory in the true episcopal succession.

      The abettors of Puseyism, like the Jewish teachers in the days of our Lord, ... dare not stand on the Word of God, but after the manner of the corrupters of the ancient faith, rest the opinions they promulgate in a great degree on tradition.


The use of the term ‘Puseyites’ was justified on the basis of the use by St John in Revelation 2.6 of the term ‘Nicolaitans’.  In the autumn of 1837 readers were entertained by an exchange of views on the relationship of the Church of England and the Church of Rome.  Representing the Tractarian interest was Arthur P. Perceval, author of Tracts 35 and 36, and challenging him was ‘W.C.’, a Protestant of the Protestants.  The latter also wrote at some length in the paper on 20 November on the doctrine of baptism in the Tracts.

      Controversy over the sacraments also took place in specific local situations, in Leeds, for example.  In the minds of many Evangelicals, W. F. Hook, ‘one of the most dangerous individuals with whom the Church is afflicted’, was closely identified with the Tractarian interest.  He had been appointed Vicar of Leeds in 1837 while the Evangelical candidate, Hugh Stowell of Salford, had been rejected.  It is therefore not surprising that accusations concerning Hook’s supposed errors should enter the columns of a local newspaper, the Leeds Intelligencer in February 1838.50  Miles Jackson, incumbent of St Paul’s, Leeds, led the Evangelical attack criticising Tractarian views on tradition, baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and the nature of the priesthood.  When the paper refused to print his second letter he printed it with other material as The Oxford Tracts Unmasked, a pamphlet of forty pages which received favourable mention in the Christian Observer of 1838.  The controversy continued as George A. Poole and Richard Ward wrote pamphlets in defence of Hook, and Jackson defended the position he had adopted.  One complaint of the Evangelicals was that Hook had changed the way in which Holy Communion was administered, being influenced by Tractarian ritualism.

      Apart from the sacraments and their administration, Evangelicals were also worried by the Tractarian doctrine of Reserve in the communication of Christian truth.  The source of their consternation was Tracts 8o and 87 by Isaac Williams, although the doctrine had already been taught by Newman and Keble in less obvious ways.51  Tract 80 contained a veiled attack upon the way in which the Atonement of Christ was presented in Evangelicalism:

The prevailing notion of bringing forward the Atonement explicitly and prominently on all occasions is evidently quite opposed to what we consider the teaching of Scripture, nor do we find any sanction for it in the Gospels.  If the Epistles of St Paul appear to favour it it is only at first sight.


The point being made was that self-denial is also a part of the preaching of the Cross – ‘if any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross.’

      The comments on Evangelical preaching moved George Townsend once more into action and he devoted a major part of his Charge of 15 August, 1838 to a condemnation of the teaching of Tract 80.  He saw the doctrine of Reserve as ‘the perversion of the simplicity of Christian teaching’ and stated that ‘our brethren at Oxford are continuing to revive the obsolete, to recommend the foundations of the old and unendurable pretensions on which all the power of Rome was founded; and to render, therefore, the Reformation, which is nothing but the re-establishment amongst us of spiritual and scriptural Christianity, as a by-word and reproach’.52  Two months later, and two hundred miles away in Berkshire, C. S. Bird wrote a long letter on the subject of Reserve which his friend, Henry Budd of White Roding in Essex, urged him to publish believing it to be ‘the most powerful blow’ that Newman and his associates had yet received.  He did publish it and it was the first of several important books against Tractarianism from his pen.53  In a delayed comment, an editorial in the Record on Tracts 8o and 87 claimed on 27 August, 1840 that

the character of these tracts is mysticism rendered plausible by metaphysical and sophistical reasoning.  The temper and spirit is Gnostic and superstitious.  Everything is mysterious and almost too sacred to be handled.  The reverence expressed is morbid, quite alien from the healthful spirit of the Scriptures but in harmony with that of the ascetics and contemplative devotees.


Isaac Taylor likewise criticised the doctrine by utilising the teaching of certain patristic sources which did not advocate Reserve against others which did; from Hugh Stowell came a defence of Evangelical preaching and criticism of Reserve in holding back the whole counsel of God.  From G. S. Faber, who had previously studied the subject, came short but pungent criticism, and five years later Bishop O’Brien added his weighty attack.54



      The low estimate of the character and teaching of the English Reformers of the sixteenth century and their denigration in the Remains of Froude,55 the first part of which appeared in 1838, served to unite churchmen in loyalty to the founding fathers of the English (and Irish) Protestant Church and thereby to prepare the way for the erection of a Memorial to the Oxford Martyrs of 1555–6 as well as to assist the sale of the writings of the Reformers.  The initial impulse within Oxford itself towards the erection of a Memorial near the place where the martyred Bishops died seems to have come from Charles P. Golightly, who sought to follow the teaching of the judicious Richard Hooker and was friendly with both traditional High Churchmen and Evangelicals.  With Newman, however, he had crossed swords and had become a resolute and determined opponent of Tractarianism; so much so that he refused the offer of the Principalship of Chichester Theological College in order to remain in Oxford.56  Before Golightly moved into action a brief correspondence appeared in the Record on 24 and 27 April, 1837 in which a call was made for the erection of memorials to the Protestant martyrs in the various places in Britain in which they had suffered under Mary.  The Christian Observer had a piece entitled ‘Martyrological Antiquities of Oxford’ in 1837, the same year in which the new edition of Foxe’s Acts and Monuments in eight volumes began to appear.57  In this context of new interest in the Reformers the publication of Froude’s Remains, with its criticism of them, was regarded by Pusey as the primary stimulation which led to meetings in Golightly’s house, attended by R. L. Cotton of Worcester College and others, at which there was discussion as to what would be the most appropriate memorial to the martyred bishops.58

      Following several private meetings a public meeting was called in Oxford for 17 November, 1838 where it was decided to erect ‘an Oxford Memorial of Cranmer, Latymer and Ridley’.  Cotton and Golightly were appointed secretaries of the Management Committee of thirty-four which was set up at the meeting.  Evangelical interest was represented by the Principal of Magdalene Hall (John MacBride), John Hill, Sir R. H. Inglis, the MP for the University, and R. L. Cotton.  On the 19th a prospectus was issued to solicit support and declare the aims of the Committee.  Part of it read:

It was resolved at the meeting that the best mode of testifying a grateful admiration of these pious Martyrs would be the erection of a Monumental Structure in which Architecture and Sculpture should combine to record the fact of their preferring the endurance of a most cruel death to sacrifice of principle.


Also a letter was sent to the Bishop of Oxford, Richard Bagot, asking for his support.  Though he and other bishops did give their financial support, Bagot was unable to persuade Pusey, Newman and Keble to give theirs, a fact which appeared to most observers to confirm the worst fears of opponents of Tractarianism.59  Definite opposition to the Memorial came from A. Welby Pugin, Professor of Ecclesiastical Antiquities at St Mary’s College, Oscott, and a convert to Roman Catholicism from the Church of England.  He addressed a Letter to the Committee and subscribers in which he attempted to denigrate the characters of the three martyred bishops.  His Letter was answered by Thomas Lathbury, Curate of the Abbey Church, Bath, and best known as the historian of Convocation, in The Protestant Memorial: Strictures on a Letter (1839).

      As Hill’s Diary testifies the Committee met often and the subscriptions flowed in, reaching £7,302 by 1 June, 1842.60  The decision to erect both a Memorial and a new aisle in St Mary Magdalene’s Church was taken at a public meeting on 5 March, 1840, reversing a decision of 31 January, 1839 to build a church dedicated to the martyrs.  The foundation stone of the Memorial was laid on 19 May, 1841 and the aisle was dedicated on 19 May, 1842.  The Memorial was chiefly designed by Sir G. G. Scott, grandson of the famous Evangelical, Thomas Scott, and the stonemason was Mr Henry Weekes.61  At the request of the Committee the design was modelled on the crosses erected by Edward I to the memory of Queen Eleanor, and specifically the one at Waltham.  The stone came all the way from Mansfield Woodhouse.  It stands today reminding those who study it not only of the martyred bishops but also of the strong Protestant feeling in Oxford in the early years of the reign of Queen Victoria.

      Apart from uniting to defend the honour of Cranmer, Ridley and Latimer some moderate Evangelicals and High Churchmen were beginning to unite in defence of the central doctrinal emphases of the English Reformation.  The evidence for this assertion is found in the editorial policy of the Church of England Quarterly Review from 1840 to 1843, in the policy of the enlarged Churchman during the same period and in the management and editorship of the Parker Society.62

      The first number of the C. of E. Quarterly Review in January 1837 declared that it would fight the ‘triple alliance of infidelity, liberalism and papistry’ on old High Church principles.  These principles meant opposition to Tractarianism, for writing in January 1839 the editor declared that ‘it is to Tradition ... that a party in Oxford would in these days direct the Church as to a rival of the Word of God!  They would hew out for us a broken cistern which can hold no water and little by little lead us back to all the corruptions of Popery.’  In January 1840 a new editor took over and a new title appeared to join others of recent creation, ‘Puseyite’ and ‘Tractarian’ for example.  It was ‘Evangelical High Churchman’ and was invented by Henry Christmas, the new editor, who was soon to become Librarian of Sion College, London.  He claimed that only Evangelical High Churchmen, who looked to Scripture, the Fathers and the Reformers could give a satisfactory answer to Tractarians.  Then in January 1841, in a review of G. S. Faber’s The Primitive Doctrine of Regeneration (1840) published by the Evangelical House of Seeley and Burnside, Christmas wrote of following the example of Faber and of ‘the full possibility of preaching a doctrine gloriously Evangelical whilst holding a discipline nobly apostolic’.  Nine months later he claimed that ‘one by one the sounder-minded are drawing together: the Record on the one hand and the Tracts for the Times on the other are losing their adherents.’63  This was wishful thinking rather than objective reporting.  Commenting on the term ‘Evangelical High Churchmen’ the Record of 24 August, 1840 could not believe that there were such beings.  ‘Evangelical Churchmen we know there are, and many, too, we are glad to say.  But of such an heterogeneous race as Evangelical High-Churchmen we know nothing: nor can we believe that such do really exist.’

      Henry Christmas was also closely connected with the new and enlarged series of the Churchman from January 1841.  G. S. Faber was a regular contributor, sending a series of ‘Provincial Letters’ from Durham which were later published under the same title.  In a letter of 6 March, 1841 to C. P. Golightly, Faber explained why he was writing for the new magazine:64

Their views correspond with my own, or rather, which is much better, with the Church of England; that is to say, holding a just medium between Tractarianism and what for want of a better name I have been wont to call Ultra-Protestantism.  If I wished to designate our principle perhaps I could not do it better than by the name of Evangelical High Churchmanship; though I will fairly confess that my own High Churchmanship stops with a full historical conviction of the aboriginal appointment of Episcopal Ecclesiastical Polity, but yet without samarianising every Reformed Church which from its local infelicity was organised unepiscopally.


The Chairman of the Committee of Management of the Churchman was F. P. Walesby, the Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford, and on the committees associated with this were both High Churchmen (e.g. J. W. Whittaker, Vicar of Blackburn) and Evangelicals (e.g. W. Champneys, Vicar of Whitechapel).  The list of contributors as printed in 1841 included such Evangelicals as Edward Bickersteth, T. R. Birks and T. H. Horne.  In December 1841 Christmas took over as sole editor and declared that the views expounded in the magazine would be:

Those of the Church of England – not as expounded by the ‘Tracts for the Times’ – still less as understood by the Calvinistic divines who still remain in the communion of our Church; but as taught in her own Liturgy – as elucidated by Hooker and Bramhall and Hammond and Hall and Sanderson ... and Waterland ... ; in a word, our views are those of Evangelical High Churchmen.  We acknowledge the supremacy of Scripture, the great doctrines of the Atonement and of Justification by Faith only; while we hold the personal Episcopal Apostolic Succession, the truth of our Baptismal, Visitation and Burial Services and the right of the Church to decree rites and ceremonies and to decide in controversies of Faith.


It is perhaps worthy of note that William Goode republished in 1843 treatises on the doctrine of the Church by Bishop Sanderson and Dr Thomas Jackson, two High Church divines.

      The names of Christmas, Bickersteth and Horne appear again in the history of the Parker Society.  While the origin of this Society, named after Matthew Parker the first Elizabethan Archbishop of Canterbury, is to be traced to the zeal for the writings of the Reformers of Henry Budd, Edward Bickersteth and John Ayre (son-in-law of Legh Richmond), it only became a reality with the arrival of the Penny Post in 1840, with the support of both High Churchmen and Evangelicals throughout the country, and with the employment in the editorial team of men of differing churchmanship.  Like the Martyrs’ Memorial it was a protest in favour of the Reformation and against the teaching of the Tractarians.

      Following the great success of the subscribers’ edition of Foxe’s Acts and Monuments (1837–41) and by the untiring efforts of George Stokes, an active member of the Committee of the Religious Tract Society, Henry Budd’s suggestion first made in 1827 to form a society whose object would be the reprinting of the works of the English Reformers was realised by the formation of the Parker Society in 1840 under the presidency of Lord Ashley.65  The Council, though dominated by Evangelicals, also contained other churchmen – John Jackson, later Bishop of Lincoln, George E. Corrie, Master of Jesus College, Cambridge, Alfred Ollivant, Bishop of Llandaff and G. F. W. Mortimer, Headmaster of the City of London School.

      Utilising the penny post Stokes sent out thousands of circulars and by the summer of 1841 over 4,000 subscribers were enrolled.  Meanwhile, editors were being chosen and commissioned and they included not only Christmas but such High Churchmen as C. H. Hartshorne, Curate of Cogenhoe and J. J. S. Perowne, Fellow of Corpus Christi, Cambridge.  The Evangelical stalwarts, William Goode, Prebendary T. H. Horne, and Dr Hastings Robinson, Rector of Great Warley, were also editors.  By 1855 fifty-four volumes had been published and the Society, having completed its task, was disbanded.

      At least half of the Evangelical books to which reference has been made in this chapter came from the House of Seeley and Burnside, which with the House of Hatchard produced most of the books, tracts and pamphlets written by Evangelical Anglicans.  A senior partner in Seeley and Burnside was Robert Benton Seeley, an active Anglican layman who was a founding member of the Church Pastoral-Aid Society.  His reputation has been eclipsed by that of his third son, Sir Robert Seeley, the historian and essayist.  In 1834 R. B. Seeley published anonymously Essays on the Church as a defence of an Established Church against the criticisms of Nonconformists.  Each year until 1840 he brought out a new edition of the book, making major changes in 1838, 1839 and 1840 in order to meet the challenge from Tractarianism.  Of the volume for 1838 Charlotte Elizabeth was full of praise and told her ladies:

The Essays on the Church and that noble Christian journal, The Record, stand foremost in this extraordinary combat.  They are first-rate in the service and our poor, weak, little bark, however incompetent to wage war like them, follows their track, hoisting the same colours and not shrinking from consequences.  We love the Church of England as our own soul; we deprecate separation from her communion, because we believe her to be accordant with the Word of God in all vital, all essential points; but if such doctrines as those we have been exposing ever come to pervade her again, as they did previous to the Reformation, we would cast her off as an abominable branch.  If captious Dissent is an error, approximation to Popery is a sin: man may justly denounce the former as schism: God himself has branded the latter as apostasy.66


      Pusey was far from pleased with the accusations of the ‘Layman’, with whom Charlotte Elizabeth so heartily agreed, and so he penned A Letter ... to ... the Lord Bishop of Oxford (1839), defending his colleagues and calling the ‘Layman’ and his friends ‘Ultra-Protestants’.  Pusey’s Letter quickly brought replies from C. P. Golightly in a further Letter to the Bishop and from Dr George Miller of Armagh in a Letter to Pusey himself.67  From Seeley also came a long ‘Letter to the Bishop of Oxford’ printed at the front of his Essays for 1840.  Of this new edition the Record commented on 21 May: ‘We hesitate not to say that these Essays contain the best, the most judicious and the soundest apology for the Church of England both against Dissent and Puseyism, as well as against Popery, that has been published in this country recently.’

      Another lay member of the Church who was competent to understand and write upon the theological issues of this controversy was Caroline Fry, better known to her contemporaries as ‘the Listener’, whose books, Christ our Example (1832) and Christ our Law (1838) were widely read.  She visited Oxford in 1840 in order ‘to listen’ to what was being said and then she wrote her book, The Listener in Oxford (1840).  She dealt with the use of Tradition, the doctrine of the Church, and the Sacraments.  It was her firm conviction that ‘the glory of God, the work of Christ, the ministration of the Spirit, the essential doctrines of revealed truth and every just ground of hope and promise of eternal life is assailed by these new teachers and betrayed by those who give them entertainment’.68

      Caroline Fry articulated what most Evangelicals were thinking about the Tractarian publications by 1840.  Suspicion, or in some cases half-hearted approval, had now turned to definite opposition.  Not only the Record and the strong Protestant interest it represented but also the Christian Observer and the cultured Evangelicalism it represented were joined together to fight the same battle, the battle for the preservation of Protestantism in the Church, the battle for the Gospel.  And it was to be a long battle.



1.  See further R. W. Church, The Oxford Movement, 1833–1845 (1892); and Y. Brilioth, The Anglican Revival: Studies in the Oxford Movement (1933).

2.  W. Palmer, A Narrative of Events connected with the Publication of the Tracts for the Times (1883 ed.), p. 49.

3.  Palmer, op. cit., p. 59.

4.  Bodleian MS St Edmund Hall, 67/9, Vol. 9.  Henceforth cited as ‘Diary’.

5.  The correspondence is printed in W. Tuckwell, Reminiscences of Oxford (1901), pp. 279–81.

6.  Marsh had been at St Edmund Hall.  In 1843 he wrote: ‘I am weeping over the Tractarians.  I corresponded with some of their leaders at one time.’  C. M. Marsh, The Life of William Marsh (1868), p. 155.

7.  In late January 1834 Pusey wrote: ‘I am very sorry to hear that Girdlestone has been writing to the Christian Observer or connecting himself with it.  I fear also that he has been writing without sufficient knowledge or thought of the source of our commission.’  Liddon, 1, p. 278.  (The original letter is in the Pusey correspondence in Pusey House, Oxford.)  It is probable that the letter of Girdlestone is that printed in the CO in February 1834 for which see below.

8.  Mozley, ii, pp. 11–12.

9.  See further H. H. Rowden, ‘Secession from the Established Church in the early Nineteenth Century’, Vox Evangelica, iii (1962), pp. 76 ff.  Cf. also the comments of E. A. Knox, The Tractaтian Movement (1933), p. 365.

10.  For proof that Newman was this Churchman see Mozley, i, pp. 435–6 and ii, p. 7.  For Newman’s earlier relations with Evangelicals in Oxford see T. C. F. Stunt, ‘. H. Newman and the Evangelicals’, JEH, xxi (1970), pp. 65 ff.

11.  Mozley, ii, p. 7.

12.  CG (1834), p. 25 refers briefly to two of the Tracts.  In 1838 there were short reviews of the first four volumes of Tracts:  CG (1838), pp. 185–92, 345–51 and 484–92.

13.  CO (1837), p. 115.

14.  CO (1834), pp. 83 and 186.

15.  CO (1834), p. 324.

16.  David Newsome, Parting of Friends (1966), pp. 14–15.  One group of men who were sure about the nature of the teaching of the Tracts was that which met at the home of Henry Blunt in Chelsea.  Wílks wrote: ‘Shortly after the commencement of the Tracts there was a meeting of Reverend brethren at the house of Mr Blunt, then Rector of Chelsea, and it was intended to make a vigorous and united Anti-Tract effort; but the proceeding was abandoned in deference to the opinions and wishes of some in authority, who thought that such an association would be objectionable and inflame the wounds of the Church.’  CO (1847), p. 142.

17.  G. H. Sumner, Life of C. R. Sumner (1876), pp. 243–4; Y. Brilioth, Three Lectures on Evangelicalism and the Oxford Movement (1934), p. 28, and D. Voll, Catholic Evangelicalism (1963), pp. 4 ff oversimplifies the relation between Evangelicals and Tractarians.

18.  Hill, ‘Diary’, Vol. 9, 6 April, 1835 etc.

19.  The extant correspondence is among the Pusey MS Letters in Pusey House; it is not mentioned by Liddon.

20.  Bodleian MS Eng. Lett. e. 144 f. 233.  Pusey to T. G. Tyndale.

21.  Hill, ‘Diary’, Vol. 9, 21 and 22 April, 1835.

22.  Newman, Apologia (ed. M. J. Svaglic), p. 66.

23.  CO (1838), pp. 821–2.  Liddon mentions the active role of R. L. Cotton of Worcester, J. Hill of St Edmund Hall and B. P. Symons of Wadham in opposition to Hampden’s appointment.  Liddon, i, pp. 374–5.

24.  Liddon, ii, pp. 9–10.  The late Fr Stephen Dessain assured me that the clergyman was John Steele of Christ Church, Macclesfield.

25.  This theme is developed by D. W. F. Forrester, ‘The Intellectual Development of E. B. Pusey’ (Oxford University DPhil thesis, 1967), Chap. 9.

26.  The comments of Maurice and Rose are taken from Liddon, i, p. 350.  For the reaction of Thomas Arnold see A. P. Stanley, The Life ... of Thomas Arnold (1844) ii, p. 43.

27.  T. R. Birks, A Memoir of Edward Bickersteth (1853), ii, p. 81.

28.  This has now been printed as J. H. Newman and the Abbé Jager: A Controversy on Scripture and Tradition, 1834–5 (ed. L. Allen, 1975).

29.  G. Battiseombe, John Keble (1963), P. 193.

30.  His cousin, Daniel Wilson, also thought so: see his episcopal Charge (1838).  Further response came from G. S. Faber in Justification (2nd ed., 1838), appendix.

31.  CO (1837), p. 121.

32.  CO (1838), p. 312.

33.  E. S. Purcell, Life of Cardinal Manning (1895), i, pp. 131 ff.; and R, 11 November, 1838, a letter from F. K. of Cheltenham to the editor.

34.  W. S. Bricknell, The Judgment of the Bishops on Tractarian Theology (1845), pp. 178 ff. and 627 ff.

35.  Letters and Memoir of W. A. Shirley (ed. T. Hill, 1849), p. 275.

36.  CLM, xiii (1840), pp. 565–6.

37.  CMR (1842), p. 506.

38.  R, 10 October, 1839.

39.  R, 16 May, 1839.  T. H. Horne, An Introduction to the Holy Scriptures (7th ed., 1834).

40.  ‘Newman to Pusey’ MS Letters, i (1823-40) in Pusey House, dated 10 January, 1837.

41.  Liddon, ii, p. 12.

42.  Liddon, Walter K. Hamilton, Bishop of Salisbury (1869), pp. 12–13.  On 7 December, 1838 Samuel Wilberforce told Dr Hook that Hamilton’s ‘Church views enlarge and clear themselves most hopefully’, A. R. Ashwell, Life of Samuel Wilberforce (1880), i, p. 131.

43.  Moz1ey, ii, p. 222.

44.  The book against Knox was The Primitive Doctrine of Justification (1837).  Appendix five of the second edition (1838) refers to his correspondence with Newman, some of which is still to be found in the Oratory, Birmingham.  The late Fr S. Dessain kindly showed me all the letters of Faber some of which related to his nephew, F. W. Faber, who with Newman joined the Church of Rome.

45.  CLM, xv (1841), pp. 460–2.

46.  CO (1841), pp. 160 ff:; and Churchman, iv (1841), p. 411.

47.  Liddon, ii, pp. 12–13.

48.  A correspondent of C. S. Bird gave this information.  Bird, Sketches from the Life of C. S. Bird (1864), p. 164.

49.  British Magazine, xii (1837), pp. 637 ff.; and Liddon, ii, pp. 14–16.

50.  See further W. R. W. Stephens, The Life and Letters of W. F. Hook (1878), i, chap. 5, and Liddon, ii, pp. 40–3.

51.  For Newman on Reserve see R. C. Selby, The Principle of Reserve in the writings of John Henry Cardinal Newman (Oxford, 1975), and David Newsome, ‘Newman and the Oxford Movement’ in The Victorian Crisis of Faith (ed. A. Symondson, 1970), pp. 79 ff.  For Keble’s views see B. W. Martin, John Keble. Priest, Professor and Poet (1976), pp. 135–54.

52.  Townsend, Sermons ... with Two Charges (1849), p. 455.

53.  Bird, Sketches from the Life of G. S. Bird, p. 170.  The title of the booklet was The Oxford Tract System considered with reference to the principle of Reserve in preaching (1838).

54.  Taylor, Ancient Christianity, i, pp. 464 ff.; Stowell, Tractarianism Tested by Holy Scripture (1845), i, sermons 6 and 7; Faber, Justification (1838), appendix 9, and J. T. O’Brien, Charge (1843).

55.  W. J. Baker, ‘Hurrell Froude and the Reformers’, JEH, xxi, 3 (1970), pp. 243 ff

56.  For the relationship of Golightly and Newman see R. W. Greaves, ‘Golightly and Newman, 1824–1845’,JEH, ix (1958) pp. 209–28.

57.  CO (1837), pp. 495–9.  S. R. Maitland subjected the volumes of Foxe to criticism in the British Magazine, xii (1837).

58.  Liddon, ii, pp. 64 ff.

59.  The prospectus, Memorial of Cranmer, Latymer and Ridley, is in the Bodleian Library.  Liddon, ii, pp. 64 ff. gives details of Tractarian attitudes.

60.  Hill, ‘Diary’, Vol. 12 has eleven references to meetings between 29 December, 1838 and 25 March, 1840.  The Note-Book of Golightly containing the list of subscriptions is in Wadham College Library.

61.  For Scott’s comments see his Personal and Professional Recollections (1879), pp. 89 ff.  He admitted that as yet he had not been awakened to true (Gothic) church architecture and so there were defects in the design of the aisle.

62.  Cf Robert Vaughan, Religious Parties in England (1839), pp. 108–9 who writes of a great improvement in spirituality of members of the old High and Dry Churchmen.

63.  CEQR, x (1841), p. 257.

64.  Lambeth MS 1805, f. 229, Faber to Golightly.

65.  Budd, Infant Baptism, the means of National Regeneration (1827), pp. 426 ff.  L. Elliott-Binns is wrong to assert (in The Evangelical Movement, 1928, p. 83) that Evangelicals first began appealing to the Reformers in order to refute the Tractarians.  Cf. John Walsh, ‘The Yorkshire Evangelicals in the Eighteenth Century’ (Cambridge University PhD thesis, 1956), p. 28.

66.  CLM, x (1838), p. 471.

67.  There were further publications from both Golightly and Miller.  This led to a correspondence between them.  See Lambeth MS 1808 ff. 86 ff.

68.  Fry, The Listener in Oxford (1840), p. 173.  Her married name was Wilson.


Chapter Two

Continuing Opposition 1841–1845

      The story of Tractarianism between 1841 and 1845 is one of humiliation in Oxford and increasing influence throughout the country.  Within the University there were a series of setbacks beginning with the condemnation of Newman’s Tract 90 by the Heads of Houses on 15 March, 1841.  Dean Church wrote:

The proceedings about No. 90 were a declaration of war on the part of Oxford authorities against the Tractarian party.  The suspicions, alarms, antipathies, jealousies, which had long been smouldering among those in power, had at last taken shape in a definite act.  And it was a turning point in the history of the movement.  After this it never was exactly what it had been hitherto.1


Newman himself was never the same again – at least as regards his Anglicanism.  Soon he was to retire to Littlemore in order to meditate, to pray and to translate the writings of Athanasius.  In 1845 he was to enter the Church of Rome.

      Meanwhile in January 1842, by appointing James Garbett as the new Professor of Poetry, Convocation administered a defeat to Isaac Williams, the Tractarian candidate.  The next setback was engineered by Dr Hampden, who, in his capacity as Regius Professor, made it impossible for the young disciple of Newman, R. G. Macmullen of Corpus Christi, to take his BD degree unless he sacrificed his ‘Tractarian’ conscience; but Macmullen did not give in easily and he took the matter to the University courts through which eventually he was given permission to proceed to his degree.  However, the controversy contributed to the growing rift between the authorities and the Tractarians.  The next person to run into trouble was Pusey.  Following his sermon before the University on 24 May, 1843 the Lady Margaret Professor ‘delated’ it to the Vice-Chancellor as containing heretical views of the Lord’s Supper.  According to statute six Doctors of Divinity were brought in as assessors and they condemned the sermon as containing doctrine contrary to that of the. Church of England.  Then, somewhat arbitrarily, the Vice-Chancellor suspended Pusey from preaching to the University for two years.  The final blow came in 1844 following an unsuccessful attempt by Tractarians to prevent the Evangelical Dr Symons, Warden of Wadham, from replacing Dr Wynter as Vice-Chancellor.  W. G. Ward, a Fellow of Balliol, had published The Ideal of the Christian Church, which contained material offensive to the Protestant character of the Church.  His teaching was condemned by Convocation and he was removed from his degrees.  Not long afterwards he became a Roman Catholic.

      By this time a complementary movement had been born in the University of Cambridge.  It was in 1839 that the Cambridge Camden Society was formed by John Mason Neale, Benjamin Webb and others.2  Like the Camden Society (founded in 1838 by antiquaries and later amalgamated with the Royal Historical Society) it was named after William Camden (1551–1623), the famous historian.  While the object of the Cambridge Society, and other local architectural societies modelled upon it, was ostensibly ‘to promote the study of Ecclesiastical Architecture and Antiquities and. the restoration of mutilated Architectural remains’, in practice it was often a commitment to the restoration for the contemporary Church of a particular type of Gothic architecture – the Decorated or Edwardian style of the period 1260 to 1360.  From 1841 the Ecclesiologist began to appear and in its pages such controversial topics as ‘the connection of Architecture with Ritual, the science of Symbolism and the principle of Church Arrangement’ were discussed.  In 1845, following some alarm caused by the expression of extreme views in this magazine, and by the resignation of various patrons, the Society was reorganised and named ‘the Ecclesiological Society’.  As such it made an important impact on the Church of England.  A. G. Lough suggests that the three primary ecclesiological principles of the Camdenians (as they were called) were the importance of the chancel as a necessary part of a parish church, the evil of pews, with the associated pew rents which often made it difficult for the poor to sit in church, and the placing of the baptismal font near the West door.3

      While the principles of the Camdenians were being adopted by architects throughout the British Empire, the theological emphases of the Tractarian Via Media were likewise making their way into the ethos and teaching of the worldwide Anglican Communion.  For example, the Scottish Episcopal Church, with its particular history of Non-Juror influence, readily received the teaching from Oxford.4  The Tracts were reprinted and supplemented by a varied literature.  Pusey published several important Letters addressed to Bishops, the weekly English Churchman began on 5 January, 1843, the British Critic appeared until 1844 when the less volatile, monthly Christian Remembrancer took its place; the Library of the Fathers and the Library of Anglo-Catholic Divinity continued to grow, and in published sermons, pamphlets, poetry and fiction the teaching reached a large and interested public.5  It also penetrated the two basically High Church societies – the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel and the National Society6 – and was one important factor in the renewal of the principles and spirituality of many High Churchmen who were not Tractarians.

      Very few revival or renewal movements are able to hold together within themselves, after their initial success, the constituent but divergent groups.  Some wish to proceed slowly, others more quickly and yet others very quickly.  The Oxford Movement was no exception to this phenomenon and several groupings appeared in its ranks.7  One, surrounding Pusey, Marriott and Keble, looked to the Fathers and the Caroline divines for inspiration to interpret and develop the Catholicity of the English Church; the Church of Rome had no particular attraction for them.  Another, composed of younger men, inspired by Hurrell Froude with his attachment to Medievalism and the Non-Jurors, certainly looked to the Fathers and selected Anglican divines; but also these men looked to the Medieval Church and, in the case of W. G. Ward, to the Tridentine Church of Rome for guidance.  Not surprisingly from this latter group which looked to Newman as its leader and was utilitarian in outlook came the majority of the secessions to Rome.

      One result of the great emphasis made by both the Oxford and Cambridge Movements on the Visible Church as the channel of God’s grace to men was a concern to understand, interpret and obey the Canons of the Church published in 1604, some of which had fallen in disuse, and also to obey the Rubrics of the Book of Common Prayer.  So bishops in this period felt the necessity to give their judgments as to the meaning of the Canons and Rubrics but, regrettably, the judgments given were seldom in agreement with each other.  So the lack of any definite common agreement allowed extremists of the right or the left to justify their practices and thus to contribute to the confusion of the times.  Inspired by medieval precedent the ritualism of the extreme Tractarians developed in this confusion.



      Before 1841 the University of Oxford had no occasion officially to condemn the teaching of the Tractarians, even though a majority of the senior members had been alarmed by it, especially since the appearance of Froude’s Remains.  But, as was noted above, between 1841 and 1845 the situation changed and official action was taken concerning the views of Newman, Pusey and W. G. Ward.  Evangelicals played their part in these condemnations, as they did also in the election of the new Professor of Poetry.

      Newman did not write Tract 90, the last and most famous of the Tracts, primarily to broaden or change the minds of Protestant churchmen.  Rather he aimed to show, especially to some of his enthusiastic followers, how it was possible to hold ‘Catholic’ views and still assent to the Confession of Faith of the Church of England.8  In his introduction he wrote:

While our Prayer-Book is acknowledged on all hands to be of Catholic origin, our Articles also, the offspring of an uncatholic age, are through God’s good providence, to say the least, not uncatholic, and may be subscribed by those who aim at being Catholic in heart and doctrine.


In Dean Church’s view, the effect of this publication ‘was like that produced on ordinary minds by the refinements of a subtle advocate, or by the judicial interpretation of an Act of Parliament which the judges do not like’, for he was aware that ‘some of the interpretations undoubtedly seemed far-fetched and artificial’.9  Inside and outside Oxford Tract 90 was condemned as containing false history and erroneous doctrine and the author was charged with dishonesty.10

      Following a meeting, probably called by C. P. Golightly who was now at the centre of all opposition to Tractarianism in Oxford, there appeared on 8 March, some ten days after the appearance of Tract 90, the Letter of the Four Tutors.  Two of the latter, H. B. Wilson of St John’s and A. C. Tait of Balliol, were to become known as Broad Churchmen, while the other two, T. T. Churton of Brasenose and John Griffiths of Wadham, were Evangelicals.  They called upon the anonymous author to declare himself (which he did) and they pointed out ‘a highly dangerous tendency’ in the Tract to suggest that certain important errors, such as the doctrine of purgatory and the adoration of images and relics were not condemned by the Articles of Religion.  Though criticised for his action, John Griffiths, for one, remained unrepentant for his part in producing the Letter and justified his position in a published letter dated 5 April, 1841.11  Pressed by Golightly, the Vice-Chancellor brought the matter to the Hebdomadal Council on 10 March; two days later the Heads of Houses censured the Tract by a majority of nineteen to two, the Evangelicals, Cotton, MacBride and Symons voting with the majority.12  In the published statement from the Council it was declared that the argument of the Tract was incompatible with commitment to the Articles required by the Statutes of the University.

      Meanwhile, as Newman wrote an explanatory Letter to Dr Jelf, the respected Canon of Christ Church, a host of pamphlets, defending or attacking the position of Newman, or defending or attacking the action of the Heads of Houses, also came from the Oxford and London presses.  Among the Evangelical reaction was a tract from Charlotte Elizabeth, the female champion of Protestantism, and a booklet from John Jordan, Vicar of Enstone, Oxfordshire.13  For Charlotte Elizabeth Tract 90 contained ‘the development of that foul conspiracy against our Church, our Bible and our souls’.  After taking her lady readers through the argument of this ‘notorious tract’ she concluded

Much has been said of the talent, the learning, the piety of those who have been engaged for some years in putting forth these tracts.  Talent and learning they undoubtedly possess; but while they put them to such a use as this we must needs question the reality of their piety in the sense that their eulogists attach to the word.  Surely Elymas possessed learning for he was a sorcerer; and talent, for he relied on his powers to turn aside the Deputy from the faith; but what said the Holy Ghost to him, speaking by the mouth of Paul.  ‘O full of all subtlety and all mischief, thou child of the Devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, will thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord’.14


These were strong words and were matched by the Record, a paper of which Charlotte Elizabeth felt the need to affirm ‘that the Church of England does not possess a firmer friend or Christianity a more powerful advocate’.15  However, the only serious historical and theological examination of the claims made in Tract 90 came four years later from William Goode in a work entitled Tract XC Historically Refuted, which was, in fact, not a direct reply to Tract 90 but to a work of Francis Oakeley written in defence of Tract 90.16  In opening his refutation Goode apologised for the delay in answering the historical claims of Newman and Oakeley and explained that no such ‘Catholic’ claims would ever have gained ground had the knowledge of Church history and historical theology not been so poor in England:

The fact is, that (speaking generally) for the last hundred years and more both in the Universities and the Church, ecclesiastical learning has been not only neglected, but practically discountenanced, and heathen and secular literature (important in its place) substituted for it; and the Church is now reaping the legitimate and necessary fruits of such a state of things.17


Goode marshalled evidence to show how false was the basic position of Oakeley – that the Articles were intentionally drawn up so that they who held all Roman doctrine (except perhaps that concerning the Papal jurisdiction) could subscribe them, and that Romanists did not quit the communion of the Church of England or its ministry until political regulations compelled them to do so.  Because of his extreme views, Oakley was prosecuted by the Bishop of London in the Court of Arches, where he was found guilty of maintaining doctrines contrary to those of the Church of England.

      On the basis of the agitation over Tract 90 came further bitter controversy over the choice of the new Professor of Poetry to replace John Keble, whose statutable period of office came to an end in 1841.  It appears that W. Simcox Bricknell, an Oxford City Lecturer at Carfax Church and Incumbent of Grove, Berkshire, was the first to alert members of Convocation to the forthcoming election.  In view of the intention of the Tractarians to appoint a man of their persuasion, he urged all Evangelical Protestants, in words taken from the inscription on the Martyrs’ Memorial, to rally around the Protestant Faith and to prevent this.18  The candidate whom Bricknell felt must be opposed was Isaac Williams, author of the famous Tract 80.  In a letter to Pusey he wrote: ‘I firmly believe that, with the exception perhaps of your own views upon the subject of “Sin after Baptism”, no publication which has emanated from the party to which Mr Williams belongs has tended more to disturb the minds of men that the Tract upon “Reserve”.’19  Of the poetry of Williams one writer claimed that it was ‘dreamy, mystical, far-fetched and often unintelligible’.  The same writer believed that there were two good reasons why Williams ought not to be elected.  First of all he could render powerful service to the Tractarian cause from his professorial chair, and secondly, and probably more importantly, his very election would show that the University itself did not approve the action taken by the Heads of Houses in condemning Tract 90.20

      James Garbett, formerly Fellow of Brasenose, whose claim was perhaps more as a critic of poetry than as a poet, was the candidate in opposition, with the Principal of Brasenose, Dr Gilbert, leading his election committee.  As a champion of the non-resident members of Convocation who favoured Garbett there emerged Lord Ashley, already unpopular with the Tractarians for his activity in the creation of the Jerusalem Bishopric.  Ashley asserted that ‘no power on earth’ would induce him to assist in elevating the author of Tract 80 ‘to the station of a public teacher’.21  One group of non-residents did their best to stop the election proceeding as a contest between two parties; W. E. Gladstone and about two hundred and fifty others tried without success to persuade both candidates to withdraw.  In the event Garbett’s committee agreed to the proposal from Williams’ committee that there be a comparison of promises made for both candidates.  Meanwhile Bricknell, who highly admired the character and work of C. P. Golightly, gave solid support to Garbett by attacking the views of both Williams and his major supporter, Pusey, in further pamphlets.22  At St Edmund Hall, John Hill, assisted by his daughters as well as his wife, wrote forty-five letters on 15 and 16 November to members of Convocation from the Hall and was able to record in his Diary that he had thirty-seven absolute promises for Garbett and four conditional ones.23  When all the promises were counted it became clear that Garbett had 921 supporters and Williams had 623 which meant that Williams withdrew and Garbett was duly elected.  On 24 January the Record interpreted this as a token of the mercy of God.

      Garbett celebrated his elevation to the professorial chair by giving the Bampton Lectures for 1842 on Christ as Prophet, Priest and King which he saw as a vindication of the Church of England from the novelties of the Tractarians.  The chairman of his election committee was made Bishop of Chichester, an event interpreted as a reward for his opposition to Puseyism.24  Though Garbett was sympathetic to the emphasis on the Visible Church as the sphere of God’s grace, he was convinced that their system of theology was basically Romanism.  He closed his lectures as follows:

The system is Romanism; not partially, but essentially; not yet Romanism, indeed, as historical recollections have expressed it, or as the conclusions of reason have demonstrated it to be; not Romanism in all its palpable and revolting incongruities to the heart and understanding.  But – Romanism, as it has, in all ages, represented itself to the young and to the devout – Romanism, as it is when purified by elevated feelings, and minds originally trained in Scripture truth – Romanism, as it combines with itself all that is grand and beautiful in art, specious in reason and seductive in sentiment – Romanism, which may be safe in those scripturally-trained minds who have presented it to themselves and to the world in this beautified shape – but Romanism, still perverting the truth of the Gospel while it decorates it – Romanism, which though it looks paternally and benignly in the amiable spirits of its present advocates, involves principles ever fatal to human liberty and progression – Romanism, with the establishment of whose theory the Articles of the Church of England cannot co-exist, and whose unseen and unavowed operations in practice will paralyse her spiritual power and destroy the Church of Christ, by substituting human forms for her Prophet, Priest and King.


He believed that the key to Tractarianism was to be sought in Tract 90 and the unfolding of the system in the British Critic.25

      One resident Master of Arts who had thoroughly supported Garbett was Golightly, who often entertained both Evangelicals and High Churchmen in his rooms in Holywell Street.  Though he did not specifically call himself an Evangelical Golightly was certainly regarded by Evangelicals as a defender of the true Protestant Faith.  Later in life he described himself as ‘neither a High Churchman nor a Low Churchman but simply a Protestant and true son of the Church of England’.26  In this period he toiled unceasingly in Oxford acquainting members of the University with the latest Tractarian error or innovation.  Also he engaged in a massive correspondence, telling friends, acquaintances and even strangers of the latest Tractarian exploits.  Among these correspondents were such leading Evangelicals as Edward Bickersteth, Bishop O’Brien, Charles S. Bird, Archdeacon J. H. Browne, George S. Faber, Charles A. Heurtley and William Goode and such prominent Churchmen as Bishop Blomfield and Archdeacon Samuel Wilberforce.27  Occasionally Golightly also sent letters to the national newspapers, usually signed by a ‘Master of Arts’ of Oxford and disclosing the more sinister aspects of Tractarianism.  The Record usually printed all his letters and regarded them as primary evidence.  Thus from Golightly readers of the Record on 17 February, 1842 learned that about one quarter of resident members of Convocation were favourable to Newman, the very man who was responsible for ‘the grand engine of mischief ... the parish pulpit of St Mary’s’.  They also learned of the disclosures made by Golightly in two letters to the Standard newspaper in November 1842.  His accusation that W. G. Ward of Balliol and J. Bloxam of Magdalen were fraternising with Roman Catholics as a direct result of their Tractarian beliefs led to a minor controversy in Oxford, involving William Palmer of Magdalen, who came forward in defence of Ward and Bloxam.28

      As his private correspondence with Golightly shows, Pusey was well aware that his words and actions were under constant scrutiny.29  But confident of what was his duty he went ahead and preached what Liddon called ‘the most important sermon of his life’.30  Delivered on 14 May, 1843 in Christ Church it was printed as The Holy Eucharist, a Comfort to the Penitent (1843).  Pusey offered to the baptised who were troubled by post-baptismal sin the Eucharist as an ordained means of grace to the penitent heart, but his doctrine of the Eucharist pleased only some of his hearers.  Dr Faussett laid a complaint before the Vice-Chancellor who, according to statute, had to set up a Board to study the sermon in order to enquire whether or not it was in harmony with the doctrinal teaching of the Church.  Of the six members of the Board one, Dr B. P. Symons, the Warden of Wadham, was described in a pamphlet as belonging to what ‘is commonly called the Evangelical or Low Church School’; but the Record thought that Symons, Jenkyns and Hawkins were ‘unquestionably High Churchmen’.31  Whatever their churchmanship the members of the Board judged that Pusey had seriously erred and so the Vice-Chancellor, without allowing Pusey much scope to defend himself and following proceedings which were unsatisfactory in method, ruled that he should not preach again in the University for two years.

      Meanwhile the Record had welcomed the condemnation and Golightly had been busy describing events to various clergy.  As a result Edward Bickersteth wrote to him on 5 June to state

I thank God that at length there has been an authoritative condemnation of Dr Pusey’s heresy.  It was due to the whole Church; it was due to Oxford; it was due to Pusey himself.  No act of love to an heretic is more deep and true than an open condemnation of his heresy.  God Almighty grant him repentance unto life that he may hereafter preach the faith he has sought to destroy.32


On 29 May William Goode expressed his gratitude that ‘the authorities in the University of Oxford have at least called one of the leaders of the Tractarian party to account’ and affirmed his earnest hope ‘that no fear of any threats will prevent their acting decisively in this matter’.33  Thirteen years later in his The Nature of Christ’s Presence in the Eucharist Goode was to deal exhaustively with the quotations from the Fathers and other sources which Pusey cited in defence of his position.

      In the Evangelical magazines welcome reviews were given to at least five booklets which attempted to expose the false doctrine of the presence of Christ in the sacrament as taught by Pusey.  Of these one came from an Oxford Baptist preacher and another from the Professor of Poetry.34  Garbett also published Dr Pusey and the University of Oxford: A Letter to the Vice-Chancellor, dated 24 August, 1843.  Its purpose was to defend the University authorities against allegations of unjust action in an Address to Dr Wynter from friends of Pusey who included W. E. Gladstone and Lord Dungannon.  Garbett rejoiced that the ‘University pulpit, that most powerful organ of public instruction’ had been preserved from error for two years by the suspension of Pusey.

      Protestant laity could not wholly join Garbett in his rejoicing for they feared that the spiritual welfare and eternal salvation of the young scholars of Oxford, who were open to the influence of Tractarian teachers, was in danger.  So, urged on by regular editorials in the Record, laymen signed an Address to the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor and Heads of Houses.  Bearing thousands of signatures, headed by those of five dukes, three marquises, thirteen earls, ten viscounts and five barons, the Address was presented in December 1843.  It called upon the authorities to ‘take such steps ... open to them for protecting youth committed to their care from the dangerous influence of Tractarianism ... and for securing to them, for the future, only such tuition as is in strict accordance with the principles of the Protestant Church and Constitution of these realms’.35  Though much activity had surrounded the collection of signatures the receipt of the tactful and neutral reply of the University was only briefly noticed in the Record of 1 February, 1844.

      If Protestants could accuse Tractarians of heresy then Tractarians could do the same concerning Evangelicals.  Their opportunity came in May 1844 when Garbett preached before the University.  His sermon on 12 May was printed as Is Unauthorized Teaching always Schismatical? and was a strong protest against ‘Church Princples’ which outlawed good, non-episcopalian Christians from the ‘covenant mercies of God’.  Charles Marriott attempted to delate the sermon to the Vice-Chancellor but he failed.  One report of the incident stated that ‘the Tractarians were much annoyed with this sermon and endeavoured to get it condemned by the Vice-Chancellor as heretical.  They not only failed in their attempts but they have excited an attention to the sermon which will increase its circulation and usefulness.’36  Other Tractarian attempts to obstruct or discredit Evangelicals achieved little.  For example, the Principal of St Edmund Hall had to defer taking his BD degree ‘in consequence of the prevailing cavillings and determination of the Tractarian party to put up every hindrance they can ... especially in reference to Divinity degrees, thereby, presumably, taking their revenge for the treatment of Macmullen, whom Hampden had prevented from proceeding to his degree.37

      The major Tractarian move to discredit opponents came at the beginning of the Michaelmas Term, 1844.  The period of office of Dr Wynter as Vice-Chancellor expired and it was expected that he would be succeeded by Dr Symons.  But a letter had appeared in the English Churchman on 29 August accusing Symons of being ‘one of that body who did their best to set the mark of the beast on the Church of England’.  Five weeks later the Christian Remembrancer followed this apocalyptic allusion with an article warning of the possible threats to Catholic truth with Symons at the helm of the University.  Also the Times newspaper, still friendly to the Tractarian interest, questioned by implication the integrity of Symons.  All this led John Griffiths, the deputy of Symons at Wadham, to publish certain letters written during September and October to him and by him which, he believed, vindicated the character of his senior colleague.38  Yet, despite these letters and despite the repeated warnings in the Record, the opponents of Symons took the matter to Convocation where they hoped by the popular vote to nullify the proposal that Symons be the next Vice-Chancellor.  Hill noted in his Diary that placets were 882 and non-placets 183 making a majority for Symons of 699, achieved once more by the arrival of non-resident members.39  The Record, which had repeatedly called upon Oxford men to go and vote, saw the large majority as a victory for Protestantism and commented on 19 October, 1844: ‘The Tractarians made a great blunder in the battlefield they chose.  They fought at a great disadvantage.  Many of those who are substantially with them refused to go to Oxford on an expedition of contumacy and rebellion.’  Newman told Pusey that ‘the country parsons are of unfathomable strength; they and the Conservative feeling which moved with them turned out Sir Robert Peel in 1829; brought in the Duke of Wellington in 1834; censured Hampden in 1836; and made Symons Vice-Chancellor in 1844’.40

      With Symons now the president of the Hebdomadal Board the University was immediately faced with the problem of what to do with W. G. Ward and his book The Ideal of a Christian Church (1844).  The ideal he appeared to have in mind was that of the Roman Catholic Church.  Even Dr Hook believed that Ward ‘maligned the English Church for the purpose of eulogizing that of Rome’.41  One Evangelical reviewer sarcastically commented:

The author does not know himself to be dishonest.  No, he thinks himself a noble witness for Catholic truth, an intellectual Hercules, who can look down, with the calmness of superior wisdom, not only on the despised Evangelicals, but on halting High-Churchmen and lukewarm and timorous Tractarians.  He is the Moses who stands in the gap against the Protestant apostasy, or the Elijah who is to restore our spiritual desolations.42


Ward appeared before the Vice-Chancellor on 30 November and 3 December following which it was announced that three propositions would be submitted to Convocation on 13 February.  These were that parts of the Ideal were contrary to the Thirty-Nine Articles, that Ward should be degraded from his degrees and that a ‘test be imposed on all persons, lay or clerical, who might hereafter be suspected of unsound opinions, in place of simple subscription’.  The last proposition proved to be extremely controversial and for a time diverted attention from Ward and his Ideal.  It was opposed by different types of churchmen for a variety of reasons.  Evangelicals were divided in their views.  The Archdeacon of Derby, W. A. Shirley, wrote to his friend Dr Symons on New Year’s Day giving six reasons why he could not vote for the proposal.43  The editor of the Christian Observer looked into the history of the University and argued that ‘A Judgment and Decree of the University ... passed in Convocation, July 21, 1683, against certain pernicious books’ made the need for a new statute and test unnecessary, for by this old statute it was already declared that those who take an oath of adherence to the Thirty-Nine Articles do so according to the intended sense of those who framed them.44  The Record supported Symons and so did Garbett who in The University, the Church and the New Test (1844) argued that the only way to prevent an uncontrollable comprehensiveness of interpretation, either in a Tractarian or Liberal direction, was to have such a test as Symons proposed.  In the event the proposal was withdrawn and another put in its place.

      Golightly, Bricknell and others in Oxford decided that to condemn the Ideal without condemning the interpretation of the Articles given in Tract 90 was unsatisfactory.  So Bricknell wrote a long tract, Oxford, Tract 90 and Ward’s ‘Ideal’ which went through five editions in two months and was highly praised in the Record.  Further a memorial was signed by 474 members of Convocation requesting that on 13 February the Convocation be asked to repudiate the pernicious system of interpretation of the Articles favoured by the Tractarians.45  The Heads of Houses allowed this new proposal to go before Convocation; but, while Ward was degraded from his degree and his book censured, no action could be taken about Tract 90 because the Proctors exercised their statutable right to forbid proceedings which, in their view, were inexpedient for the University.  ‘After the announcement of the third measure, the proposed decree of censure on Tract 90’, wrote Hill, ‘the Senior Proctor said “Nobis Procuratoribus non placet”.’46  In fact the proposal was never voted on in any later Convocation since the University dropped the matter at the request of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

      The excitement surrounding the condemnation of Pusey’s sermon and Ward’s book was not allowed by Charles P. Heurtley, Rector of Fenny Compton, Warwickshire, completely to turn Oxford minds from the doctrine of Justification.  He preached his Bampton Lecture: in 1845 on this doctrine setting forth a moderate and learned Evangelical Protestant position.  Soon afterwards, to show his concern at the progress of Tractarianism he withdrew from the panel of translators for the Library of the Fathers.47

      With Newman and Ward lost to the cause by 1845 the strength of Tractarianism was reduced in Oxford.  Henceforth its greatest support, like that of Evangelicalism, would be outside the ancient University.



OXFORD, 1841–5

      To understand the national outcry against Tractarianism it is necessary to be aware that the determination to be faithful to the Protestant Reformation and thus to oppose Roman Catholicism (or anything which appeared to approximate to it) was a powerful factor in English religion in the 1840s as it had been in previous decades.  The Protestant Magazine, organ of the militant Protestant Association founded in 1836 to call for legislation based on the Word of God, began circulation in 1839; the Parker Society made available several works of the Reformers each year from 1841; the Calvin Translation Society began to publish the works of the Genevan Reformer from 1843; and from the stolid British Reformation Society came the magazine, British Protestant, in 1845 and the reprinting soon afterwards of Bishop Gibson’s classic Preservative Against Popery in eighteen red volumes.  The great anti-Maynooth Committee of 1845 joined together Anglicans and Dissenters in opposition to government aid for Maynooth College, and the interdenominational Evangelical Alliance, which in part grew out of this Committee, saw opposition both to Popery and, at first, Puseyism, as a major unifying factor.48

      In this context, not merely the teaching but news of the steady stream of Tractarian secessions to Rome (the names of seceders were regularly published in the Record) served to make Evangelical Protestants exceedingly suspicious of all that the Tractarians wrote or did.  This suspicion lay behind the Lay Address to Oxford University mentioned above.  It also lay behind the Addresses to Bishops in various parts of the country.  For example, Bishop Sumner of Chester received a petition from ‘the Protestants of Blackburn’ in which they declared:

We feel ourselves bound by the ties both of duty and of gratitude to acknowledge our lasting obligations to your Lordship for your firm, consistent and uncompromising resistance to the system of those Tractarian divines, who true to their self-assumed title of ‘Ecclesiastical agitators’ declare their determination ‘to intrude upon the peace of the contented and raise doubts in the minds of the uncomplaining; vex the Church with controversy; alarm serious men, and interrupt the established order of things; set the father against the son and the mother against the daughter’.


In reply, somewhat predictably, the Bishop told his flock that he rejoiced in the proof afforded by the Address ‘that the principles established by our Reformers are so dear to many hearts’.49

      This great fear of Romanism also helped to feed the conviction of many that these times were times of crisis, so serious perhaps, that the battles of the Reformation would need to be fought all over again.  The Evangelicals, who in general viewed the Book of Revelation as containing a chart of Western religious history, saw the battle being fought within and without the national Church as a contest for the Gospel, long predicted in the apocalyptic symbolism of that book.  This view was adopted by the longest, if not the greatest Evangelical commentary on the Apocalypse of St John, that of Edward B. Elliott, whose Horae Apocaypticae (1844) went through five editions in thirty years.50

      Elliott dedicated his book to Lord Ashley, whose commitment to predictive prophecy was such an important motivating force in his untiring efforts in 1841 to see the establishment of the Anglican Bishopric of Jerusalem in preparation for the ‘restoration of the Jews’ to their ancient homeland.51  The scheme for the Bishopric, primarily Evangelical in origin, was ‘contemplated with great satisfaction’ by the Record.52  When made public it was bitterly opposed by Tractarians.  However, this opposition only caused Ashley, Bickersteth and others to increase their determination to see the scheme through to a successful completion.  It was negotiated between Prussia and Britain in the summer of 1841 when academics were away from Oxford and politicians away from London.  When the Universities resumed and Parliament reassembled heated discussion began.  Critics claimed that it was Erastian in nature and a plain denial of the branch theory of the Church, Jerusalem being a part of the territory of the Eastern Church.  The ‘Puseyite world’, as Lord Ashley termed it, protested loudly, with the Times attacking the scheme on 19 October.  Both Newman and Pusey wrote to the Archbishop of Canterbury and talked of Lutheranism as a ‘heresy’.  This assertion stirred the Protestant soul of Ashley to tell his cousin, E. B. Pusey:

You talk ... of ‘the grave injury of countenancing heresy’; this is the necessary language, the inevitable issue of your principles; thus you class with the Gnostics, Cerinthians &c. of old, with the Munster Anabaptists and Socinians of modern days, the whole mass of the Protestant Churches of Europe, except England and Sweden.  Everyone, however deep his piety, however holy his belief, however prostrate his heart in faith and fear before God and his Saviour, however simple and perfect his reliance on the merits of his Redeemer is consigned by you, if he be not episcopally ruled, to the outward darkness of the children of the Devil; while in the same breath you designate the Church of Rome as the sweet spouse of Christ and hide all her abominable idolatries under the mantle of her Bishops.  This is to my mind absolutely dreadful.53


W. E. Gladstone ‘stripped himself of a part of his Puseyite garments’ and wished the Bishop-elect, Michael Solomon Alexander, well.  On 7 November he was duly consecrated in the Chapel of Lambeth Palace as the Evangelicals blessed God for his mercies and as Newman’s worries about the Church of England increased.

      Not only did Pusey write privately to the Archbishop, he also published A Letter to the Archbishop ... on some circumstances connected with the present crisis in the Church (1842).  Even as his Letter to the Bishop of Oxford had elicited replies from Golightly and Miller, so this Letter, which was a respectful but passionate plea against the language used by some Bishops, J. B. Sumner for example, against Tractarianism, likewise brought replies from aggrieved parties.54  In The Case as it is (1842) Goode claimed that Pusey had ‘endeavoured with considerable skill to envelope the field of battle in a mist, in order, apparently, that those whom he apprehends to be about to interfere may be so blinded as to the real positions of the combatants, so unable to discern the parties engaged, so perplexed, in a word, by the inability clearly to distinguish what is going on, as to fear to move, lest in the confusion they should wound alike friend and foe’.  Thus the need to state the true case, which was that on no less than twenty major points, from the Rule of Faith to clerical celibacy, the Tractarians had advocated erroneous teaching.  The policy of Pusey and his friends was to introduce ‘Catholic truths’ which had already been rejected by the Reformers; they wished to undo the Reformation.  Following this reply to Pusey, Goode also addressed a Letter to the Bishop of Oxford, whose recent Charge had caused a stir in Oxford, not least for its lack of a clear condemnation of Tractarianism.  Goode challenged Bagot’s claim that the views of the Tractarians were in accord with those Anglican divines ‘who resisted the puritanical temper of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries’.  He did this by comparing the views of Newman and Pusey with those of Hooker on four doctrines – the Rule of Faith, the Apostolic Succession, the Eucharistic Sacrifice and Justification.  His conclusion was that there were major differences between Tractarian and early seventeenth-century divinity.

      The year 1842 also witnessed the publication of Goode’s greatest book, The Divine Rule of Faith and Practice.  He aimed to show that even for the early Fathers the Bible alone was the source of Church doctrine.  The cynical dismissal of it by a writer in the British Critic probably shows that he had felt the force of the book’s argument.  Admitting that the volumes were a ‘lasting monument’ to the writer’s industry he affirmed nevertheless that it had ‘as little a place in modern controversy as the millstones and landmarks which the Homeric warriors used in an extremity to heave against one another would be in the warfare of these days’.55  The Record took a different line asserting on 14 May, 1842 that the book was ‘a work which leaves the most eminent leaders of the Puseyíte heresy with no other alternative but the confession of ignorance or dishonesty’.

      A valuable testimony to the impact of the writings of both Goode and Taylor on Tradition is found in the recollections of Roundell Palmer, the first Earl of Selbourne, who had been very friendly with the Tractarians in his Oxford days.  He wrote:

My father once said to my brother William – repeating, unless I am mistaken, some works of Bishop Horsley, who knew the Fathers well – that ‘the Fathers must be read with caution’.  When Isaac Taylor in his Ancient Christianity collected out of the Fathers many things tending to disturb the ideal conception of a golden, primitive age of pure faith and practice; and when William Goode ... in his Divine Rule ... called the Fathers themselves as witnesses in favour of the direct use of Scripture for the decision of controversy, some of those who placed confidence in the Oxford divines, but were ignorant of the Fathers, waited anxiously for answers which never came.  I remember a reply once made to myself when I asked whether anybody was going to answer Isaac Taylor, whose work I perceived to be producing in some quarters a considerable effect.  I was told that in a little time he would answer himself, which he never did.  It seemed plain that, although the advocates of Patristic authority might be powerful in attack they were weak in defence.56


William Palmer, Roundell’s elder brother, seceded to the Church of Rome but Roundell himself remained a High Churchman.

      Despite the hesitance of Bishop Bagot to condemn Tractarianism this was the period of strongly worded censures of Tractarian theology by archdeacons, chancellors and bishops.  Two Evangelicals made edited collections of some of these Charges.  Henry Hughes, Perpetual Curate of All Saints, Gordon Square, London, published The Voice of the Anglican Church (1843).  This was brief and made the point that the very bishops whom the Tractarians claimed to honour were against them on many points of doctrine.  A much longer compilation appeared two years later from the hand of W. S. Bricknell and was entitled, The Judgment of the Bishops upon Tractarian Theology (1845).  Among the Charges quoted were two of the more important statements of Evangelical bishops, those of James Thomas O’Brien, Bishop of Ossory, Ferns and Leighlin, and Daniel Wilson, Bishop of Calcutta and Metropolitan of India, both delivered in 1842.

      After referring to matters relative to India, Wilson urged his clergy to take a firm grasp of the Gospel, to honour and love the Church and willingly follow her godly order and discipline, to exercise proper pastoral care and always to be students of good theological literature.  An example of the latter was Merle D’Aubigné’s History of the Reformation.  He reminded them that ‘a momentous struggle’ had arisen ‘between the Bible on the one hand and tradition on the other; between primitive Christianity and the Christianity of the fourth and fifth centuries ... between the Gospel according to God and the Gospel according to man’.  Tractarianism was not merely a revival of High Churchmanship; rather it was a new system of theology which had dangerous similarities with Roman Catholicism.  So he concluded:

I entreat you as a Father, nay I enjoin you as a Bishop and Metropolitan to be on your guard.  Keep at the greatest distance, I pray you, in your several stations from the whole system as a system.


O'Brien did not do things by halves and his Charge took nearly three hours to deliver and over two hundred pages in print.  ‘Ours’, he told the clergy, ‘are no ordinary times.  We live in times when the design of unprotestantising the national Church has been openly avowed as the great aim of the most active party in the Church.’  He proceeded to attack two ‘deadly errors’ which if they prevailed would quench ‘the light which the Church was intended to hold up in the midst of a fallen world’.  The errors were the doctrine of Reserve and the doctrine of post-baptismal sin and its remedy.57  Then, after offering his views on the origin and development of the Tractarian party, he commented critically on their distinctive doctrines of the Rule of Faith, the Eucharist, Justification, and Roman Catholicism.  In the Christian Lady’s Magazine the Charge was greeted with much enthusiasm.58

      From the discussion of the old theological topics of a threatened Protestantism, we turn to the subject of ecclesiastical architecture which, with the growing influence of the Cambridge Camden Society, was becoming by 1842 a source of discussion and friction within the Evangelical press.  On 6 January, 1842 the Record commented that ‘the Society might have promoted an improved construction in churches and chapels, with regard to hearing, seeing, ventilation, light, warmth, economy, and general convenience and comfort, as taken in connexion with the character of our climate and our domestic habits’; but, instead, ‘hitherto the principal writer, under an apparent zeal for brasses, painted windows, crosses and other trumpery has made the building of chancels and the substitution of ALTARS for TABLES the apparent desideratum of the Society’.  On 20 June it was reported that the Cambridge Society appeared to have gained ‘a most unwholesome ascendency in the Incorporated Society for the building of Churches and Chapels’, for it was assumed by the Society that churches must have a chancel, that the ‘altar’ should be the focal point of the church and at the East end, while the entrance must be at the West end.  Later in 1842 on 15 September it was claimed that ‘the Cambridge Tracts for the Times (the Ecclesiologist) are growing even worse than their defunct Oxford predecessors’.  A year later a reviewer in the Churchman’s Monthly Review reported ‘a great and important change ... in the management of the Church Building Society within the last three years’.59  There was some truth in this claim and that of the Record for the Church Building Society, incorporated in 1828, had received a memorial on the design of churches from the Camdenians and as a result amended Suggestions and Instructions were issued on 2 May, 1842 to architects.60  The only way forward claimed the reviewer was for a Protestant Church Building Society to be formed.  Obviously this was a serious suggestion and on 21 November, 1844 a letter from Hugh Stowell of Manchester appeared in the Record calling for a National Church Building Society, free from the errors of Tractarianism.  On 2 January, 1845 a large advertisement and an editorial were printed in the Record calling for support for the ‘Church Extension Fund for New Churches’ whose chairman was Lord Ashley.61

      A prominent member of the committee of the Fund was Francis Close of Cheltenham.  He made use of Guy Fawkes Day, 1844, to sound an alarm about the dangers to the Church from the Camdenians.  Preaching from the story of Jezebel in 2 Kings 18 he declared:

It will be my object ... to show that as Romanism is taught Analytically at Oxford, it is taught Artistically at Cambridge – that it is inculcated theoretically in tracts at the one University and it is sculptured, painted and graven at the other.  The Cambridge Camdenians build churches and furnish symbolic vessels, by which the Oxford Tractarians may carry out their principles – in a word, that the Ecclesiologist of Cambridge is identical in doctrine with the Oxford Tracts for the Times.62


Whether he achieved his intention is doubtful but he and many of his hearers were convinced of the relationship.  Earlier in the year he had published Church Architecture scripturally considered from the Earliest Ages to the Present Times.  This was a popular statement but the research which went into the writing of it led the author to conclude that he had made a major mistake earlier in allowing the erection of stone altars in Christ Church, Cheltenham, and at Amberley Parish Church near by.63

      One writer who firmly believed that there was need both for a Protestant Architectural Society as well as a Building Society suggested a few principles which should govern Protestant Architecture

      1. It is expedient to exclude all imitations of Greek and Roman Temples; and to adhere, universally, to the ecclesiastical style of which the old parish churches of England afford so many beautiful examples.

      2. It is not true that Popery forms any essential feature in this style; or that a truly English church will be maimed or injured by the omission of rood-screens, piscinas or sedilias.

      3. A simple design of the old English style is as economical as any that can be framed.64


Here both the Grecian style, of which a famous example is St Pancras Church, London, and the Gothic style, favoured by A. W. N. Pugin and the Camdenians, are rejected.  That which is commended is the Early English style, with very small chancels; this was a style not widely used in the nineteenth century and was probably better adapted to small country parishes than to the demands of the new urban areas.65

      Whether the Lord’s Table is the Christian Altar was a question which was raised by the writings of both the Oxford and Cambridge innovators.  In Cambridge James Scholefield, Perpetual Curate of St Michael’s and Regius Professor of Greek, had previously attacked Tractarianism in a series of sermons, Scriptural Grounds of Union, and now in the University where the Camden Society was beginning to be well known he preached on 23 October, 1842 on The Christian Altar.  This altar was not the focal point in a church building but, following the argument of the Epistle to the Hebrews, the Cross of Christ at Calvary.  The sermon provoked several replies and also helped to cause a division in Scholefield’s parish congregation.

      The Incumbent of the Round Church, Cambridge, allowed the Camdenians to supervise the restoration of his church and was shocked to find that they included a stone altar and a credence table.  So, with the support of the Archdeacon of Ely and the Record, he took the matter to the courts.  Meanwhile Goode, who had been researching this subject, published Altars Prohibited by the Church of England (1844).  After a survey of the terminology used in the sixteenth century and afterwards he concluded:

It is quite clear ... that according to the rubric and eighty-second canon of our Church, expounded as they ought to be by royal injunctions, archiepiscopal visitations, inquiries, synodal canons and the declarations of our greatest divines, the only thing which properly answers the description of the article of church furniture which is to be used for the administration of the Holy Communion is a table of joiner's work standing on a frame, and unattached to any part of the church, the floor of the chancel being paved underneath where it stands, and the wall at the back of it furnished uniformly with the remainder, so as to present no unsightly appearance on its removal.  This alone answers the description of what is required by our Church.


Happily for Goode and those who gave money to pay the cost of litigation Sir H. Jenner Fust, Dean of the Arches, decided that stone altars were not permissible in English churches and so gave his judgment in favour of the incumbent.  On the same theme S. C. Wilks was able to tell readers of the Christian Observer that he had received assurances from various publishers that they would not use again the term ‘Altar Services’, as they had done in 1842 and 1843, but that they would refer instead to ‘Books for the Communion Table’.66

      Before the question of stone altars had become a major public issue the implementation of the Canons and Rubrics, with reference to the worship in parish churches, was well on the way to becoming a burning issue.  The dioceses where feeling appears to have run the highest were Exeter and London.  Bishop Blomfield delivered and published his Charge in the autumn of 1842.  In it he addressed himself to the vexed problem of ritual on which a growing number of clergy, affected negatively or positively by ‘Church Principles’, had asked his advice or complained about the practice of their neighbours.  Insisting that departure from the truth of the Scriptures was more injurious in its consequences than deviation from the prescribed ritual of the Church, he recommended what appeared to many as a moderate position – daily services where possible, preaching in the surplice at the morning service, a weekly or regular offertory of money – especially at Holy Communion to be presented before the Prayer for the Church Militant, and the observance of holy days.  But flowers on the Holy Table, the mixing of water with wine in the chalice, prayers to the saints or for the dead and auricular confession he opposed.67

      To this Charge the Record devoted much space.  It printed it in full, gave five editorials on it and then allowed many letters in its columns on it; later it often returned to it especially in reporting the confrontation between the clergy of Islington and the Bishop.  It was in the early summer of 1843 that Bishop Blomfield went to Islington for a confirmation.  Before his arrival, there had been much talk concerning what was understood to be his requirement that there be a weekly offering by the congregation, and the weekly use by the clergy of the words of the prayer for the Church Militant.  (His requirement would have meant that when it was not the monthly or quarterly Communion Service the morning service would be Matins, Litany, Ante-Communion, Sermon, Offertory Sentences, Prayer for Church Militant and Blessing – with hymns also.)  When he did arrive Daniel Wilson and sixteen other clergy explained that the laity did not want them to take up a weekly offering and that they themselves did not want to do it.  Blomfield lifted his ruling but this grant of immunity given in search of peace in Islington, a bastion of Protestantism, was widely reported and became the basis upon which a variety of customs and practices were justified, discontinued or begun in the diocese.  Praising the Quarterly Review for its condemnation of innovations in ritual the Record called upon the laity to preserve their Protestant heritage and to maintain the church services as they had been before 1842.  Poor Bishop Blomfield had raised a storm when he intended only to create a gentle breeze and now he could do little to please the Record.

      Not all Evangelicals were as militant as those of Islington and not all Evangelicals liked the tone of the Record.  J. W. Cunningham of Harrow felt the need to write to Bishop Blomfield in the following terms:

I trust your Lordship will allow me to express the deep regret which I feel at the unjust and ungenerous treatment which the Charge appears to me to have received in many of the comments of the Record newspaper.  You would do the greatest injustice to very large numbers who agree with the Record in certain leading sentiments, if you should suspect them of not cordially condemning both many of the sentiments of the editor and the spirit in which they are expressed.


Bishop Wilson, father of the militant incumbent of Islington, wrote to Blomfield in such a gracious manner that the latter told Edward Bickersteth:

I cannot refrain from saying that if the clergy of Islington had acted in the spirit which breathes in the letter of their former excellent Vicar there would have been little disturbance about conformity to the Rubric in any part of the diocese.68


But what was done was done and the feelings of the Protestant laity were further inflamed by reports of the arbitrary interpretation of the rubrics given in 1844 by Bishop Phillpotts.

      On 1 August, 1842, in reviewing Phillpott’s Charge of that year, the Record had complained of ‘the deadness of his perceptions of the things of the kingdom of God’, and it continued a vigilant watch over the bishop’s actions and publications.  Comparing the two bishops on 28 November, 1844 the paper claimed that ‘the spirit of the Bishop of Exeter towards the truth of the Gospel we consider far more bitter and his theological code, in action, far more unsound than that of our own diocesan’.  Much of the trouble in the West Country centred around Phillpotts’ support for the innovations of the Curate of Helston, Walter Blunt.69  Among other things he refused to bury people in the churchyard if they had not been baptised in the Church of England and he introduced a choir of schoolboys in the chancel.  Following a complaint from the churchwardens the bishop ruled in favour of Blunt, following this up on 19 November, 1844 with a Pastoral Letter to the diocese in which he required clergy to take up a weekly collection and to wear a surplice in preaching.  The Protestant laity in the diocese strongly protested and were supported by the Plymouth Herald.  From London the Record thundered in its denunciations of Phillpotts and the ‘hurtful innovations’ which he was introducing on behalf of the Tractarians.  As a result of these pressures the bishop had to withdraw some of his requirements.  One reviewer summed up the situation:

Seldom a week occurs that we do not hear of some young deacon or priest, fresh from the cloister, in open conflict with the flock he was sent to feed; and that, not upon the interests of eternity, not upon any of those truths which shine conspicuous in the pages of revelation; but it is a surplice, a candlestick, a gesture, a rubrical nicety, which it requires a Prelate versed in acts of Parliament, canons ecclesiastical, and ceremonies of the Church to explain, and when it is explained ex cathedra is all wrong in the estimation of the antiquary, and all nonsense in the eyes of the people at large.70


In similar vein, Wilks told his readers that, recalling the events of the 1630s, ‘Lauds will generate Prynnes’ and ‘much that is good is in danger of being overwhelmed with what is evil in the tide of popular indignation’.71  However, the Evangelical press expressed the view that the Provincial Letter of Archbishop Howley, sent out in January 1845 and recommending that the content and ceremonial of services be left as they were until further consideration could be given to the problem of ritual, was a helpful statement, which would remove some of the tension.  Happily this particular storm appears to have subsided during 1845.  The more learned of the Evangelicals had come to the conclusion that a revision of the Canons and Rubrics was necessary and that the body which ought to do this revision was Parliament.72

      While the Evangelical press kept its readers informed about the question of ritual, it also took space to explain that there was a division within the Tractarian Movement.73  Perceval, Sewell, Hook and the elder Palmer were seen as the moderates while others, notably Newman, the editors of the Lives of the British Saints, and such writers as Ward and Oakeley were seen as committed to ‘the development principle’.  In Newman’s creative mind this principle was to be fashioned into his famous An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine (1845).  One Evangelical who carefully recorded the progress of this principle and who termed it ‘the development theory’ was C. S. Bird.

      Bird’s A Plea for the Reformed Church (1841) was a reply to remarks in an article by Oakeley in the British Critic for July 1841.  The subject was Bishop Jewel and his Apology; Oakeley, following the example of Froude, had spoken of the Reformation more as a curse than a blessing and in reference to ‘Church Principles’ he had remarked that ‘as we go on we must recede more and more from the principles, if any such there be, of the English Reformation’.  Replying Bird wrote:

It would seem ... that in being required to give up the principles of the Reformation we are asked to take a leap in the dark.  We are gravely called upon to surrender what we know and what we are perfectly satisfied with for what we know not and think may be worse than the worst we can imagine.


So, at this stage, the development theory only had reference to the actual expansion of ‘Church Principles’ themselves, now much more elaborate than in 1833.

      Bird returned to the exposure with his much longer book, A Second Plea (1843).  In this defence of the Reformation his use of the expression ‘development theory’ referred to the extreme Tractarian view that doctrine had rightly and faithfully developed in the Western, Roman Church from its roots in the New Testament.  He called the application of this theory, expounded by Ward and Oakeley in the British Critic, a ‘monstrous proposition’.  He wrote:

Now if this theory were not extended to essential truth – if it were confined to prophetic passages, or to those general rules respecting the order and discipline of the Church which did not receive their full application or their immediate successors whilst the Church was small and persecuted we should not object to speak of development in such cases ... But we must altogether refuse to extend this theory to the great practical truths of Holy Scripture.  To do this would be to suppose that the early Christians were destitute of some essential knowledge and were yet saved: which is a contradiction in terms.  Moreover we can see immediately how liable this theory is to be perverted by enthusiasts or deceivers.


And he saw in this theory a direct route to Rome:

In short, if it was deliberately intended to hand us over, tied and bound into the power of the Romanists this theory appears to me to be the very instrument to effect that purpose, because it lulls us asleep with the idea that in adopting this or that doctrine inconsistent with the first impression of Scripture, we are but following out some hint or notice therein contained to its full conclusion.74


At the end of the Second Plea Bird provided quotations from Newman’s article on Athanasius, also in the British Critic, to show the Romeward movement of this group of Tractarians as well as to illustrate further the use of the development theory to justify such doctrines as the Pope’s supremacy, the honouring of saints, purgatory and celibacy.  The Bishop of Lincoln was so pleased with the Second Plea that he offered Bird the important living of Gainsborough, with the attached Prebendal Stall at Lincoln Cathedra1.75

      In March 1843 the Churchman’s Monthly Review congratulated Bird on his apt designation of ‘the development theory’ as the ‘first attempt to restore among us the dogmas of the Pope’s supremacy, saint worship, purgatory and celibacy’.  A month later, in a review of Newman’s sermon on ‘the theory of developments in religious doctrines’, the writer commented:

In truth it is difficult to draw any one distinct proposition from it, save perhaps, that Divine truth is not revealed in Scripture; but only suggested and the idea given to the Church, to be ‘developed’ in the lapse of future ages ... We gather from this new device that the writings of Mr Goode and others have produced a visible and sensible effect, and that the tissue of fallacy requires to be rewoven.  A ‘theory’ accordingly has been constructed.  It may be, and probably will, pass for a wondrous work with the juvenile and predisposed.


Criticisms of the theory continued to appear in the Churchman’s Monthly Review until, with the demise of the British Critic, examples of it were not easy to find.  The Christian Observer came into this exposure later for the theory was first noticed in a review of Oakeley’s A Short and Easy Catechism (1844).76  Though detailed responses to the theory had to wait until the appearance of Newman’s Essay, Bird did point out two problems with it.  First, he held that it made ‘Faith variable from generation to generation instead of being like its Author and object, immutable’, and, secondly, it imparted to the Christian Faith ‘the changing character of this sinful, miserable world’.77

      Not only the Tractarian party was divided by 1845 into a moderate and an extreme wing.  In 1843 one observer noted that

The Evangelical party itself, from which better things were to be hoped seemed paralyzed by the boldness of the claims made [by Tractarians], and even to adopt many of them, so as to have split into two portions; some continuing to adhere to the original principles of such men as Cecil and Scott; while a large number were drawn away from these and assumed the very anomalous character of ‘High Church Evangelicals’.78


Whether this writer truly understood the history of the Evangelical school is open to question, but the context in which it was written suggests that he looked upon the Calvinist position of the Record, the Churchman’s Monthly Review and probably the Christian Guardian as being the continuation of genuine Evangelical principles.  Therefore the true successors of Cecil and Scott were Francis Close, Hugh Stowell, Hugh McNeile and Edward Bickersteth.  An obvious example of a High Church Evangelical would be G. S. Faber, to whom may be added James Garbett and possibly C. P. Golightly.79  The same observer believed that another effect of the Tractarian controversy had been to ‘induce the Evangelical clergy to renounce all intercourse with Dissenters’.  This assertion, though perhaps an exaggeration, did contain an element of truth for when the Evangelical Alliance was formed in 1846 there was a deep division among Evangelical Anglicans as to whether it was right for them to join it.  The Christian Observer answered in the negative while the Record answered in the affirmative.

      To attempt accurately to distinguish between all the different types of Evangelicals who were to be found in the United Church of England and Ireland in 1845 is perhaps impossible.  What is clear is that in the face of the threat of Tractarianism from within and of Roman Catholicism and Dissent from without there was some polarisation.  On the one hand there was a movement towards, and certainly co-operation with, the old school of High Churchmen.  As was noted in the last chapter this centre ground was represented in print for several years by two magazines, to which may be added the Christian’s Monthly Magazine from 1844.  On the other side there was a strong movement, with much middle-class lay support, towards an emphasis on ‘Protestantism’ as a contrary ideology to ‘Catholicism’.  If it had a centre it was in Exeter Hall, London.  The advent of the railway system certainly facilitated this development by making the attendance at London meetings (especially the famous May meetings) relatively easy.  The Record helped both to create and foster this movement and its adherents were soon termed ‘Low Churchmen’ because they gave the impression to others that they had a low view of the continuing, historical Church with its succession of bishops.  One way to describe the laity would be to call them Evangelical Protestant Constitutionalists because of their great desire to preserve the Protestant nature of British national life and culture.

      Between the two extremes were, of course, many clergy and laity.  This difficulty in describing the exact churchmanship is well illustrated in some research carried out for the editor of the Times in 1844 concerning the principal clergy of London.80  Out of the ninety-eight listed over half were seen as Evangelicals of one kind or another.  There were nine Evangelical Moderates (e.g. Archdeacon Sinclair), eight Evangelicals (e.g. Henry Hughes), three Strong Evangelicals (e.g. Dr A. McCau1), eight Very-Decided Evangelicals (e.g. Thomas Dale), eight Very Low Churchmen who ‘abhor the Tractarian heresy’ (e.g. Richard Burgess), six Decidedly Low Churchmen who resisted the Charge of the Bishop of London in 1842–3 (e.g. Daniel Wilson), six Extremely Low Churchmen, prepared to take any step against Tractarianism (e.g. W. W. Champneys) and three on the verge of secession into Nonconformity.  The last three were John Garwood, Secretary of the London City Mission, Baptist Noel, who seceded in 1848, and H. Montagu Villiers, ‘perhaps the most influential clergyman in London’ who, strange to relate, eventually became Bishop of Durham.

      So the years 1841 to 1845 witnessed changes not only in Tractarianism but also in Evangelicalism.  There was polarisation in both parties; in the one towards Rome and in the other towards a cold, tough Protestantism.  In both doctrine and ritual Evangelicals were driven on the defensive and thereby laid the foundations for a negative approach even to wholesome renewal, change or innovation.  However, for this negativism they cannot be wholly blamed for they were caught up in a situation in which it was difficult to react in any other way.  And, furthermore, their reiteration of old Protestant truths was necessary if the Protestant tradition was to be preserved in and for the Church of England.



1. . Church, Oxford Movement, p. 296.

2.  J. F. White, The Cambridge Movement: the Ecclesiologists and the Gothic Revival (Cambridge, 1962).

3.  Lough, The Influence of John Mason Neale (1962), chap. 4.

4.  W. Perry, The Oxford Movement in Scotland (Cambridge, 1933).  Apparently only one Scottish Episcopal priest wrote against Tractarianism in this period: C. P. Miles of St Jude’s, Glasgow, in The Voice of the Glorious Reformation (1844).

5.  For fiction see J. E. Baker, The Novel and the Oxford Movement (New York, 1965).

6.  H. P. Thompson, Into All Lands (195 0, PP- 113-14; and H. J. Burgess and P. A. Welsby, A Short History of the National Society, τ8т т-тg6т (τ g6 τ ), PP- 24 ff -

7.  See the interesting comments in R. Ornsby, Memoirs of James Robert Hope-Scott of Abbotsford (1884), i, pp. 267–8.

8.  Apologia (ed. M. J. Svoglic), pp. 78 ff.

9.  Church, Oxford Movement, pp. 286–7.

10.  F. Close is reported to have stated: ‘When I first read No. 90 I did not then know the author; but I said then, and I repeat here, not with any personal reference to the author, that I should be sorry to trust the author of that Tract with my purse.’  Cheltenham Examiner, 1 March, 1843, quoted by Church, op. cit., p. 299.

11.  Two Letters Concerning No. 90 (printed for private distribution only), 1841.  Griffiths’ letter is the second, dated 5 April, 1841.

12.  Liddon, ii, pp. 170 ff.

13.  C. Elizabeth, A Peep into Number Ninety (1841); J. Jordan, The Crisis Come, being Remarks on Mr. Newman’s Letter to Dг.,Jelf and on Tract 90 (1841).

14.  C. Elizabeth, OP. cit., P. 34­

15.  CLM, x (1838), p. 374; R, 22 March and 12 April, 1841.

16.  Oakeley’s work was The Subject of Tract XC historically examined (1845), and was specifically related to the case of W. G. Ward, for which see below.  When Pusey republished Tract 90 in 1865 Goode reissued his work against Oakeley.

17.  Goode, Tract XC, pp. 5–6.

18.  Bricknell, Resignation and Lay Communion (1841), pp. 26–9.  Bricknell’s strong Protestantism is seen also in his Preaching, its warrant, subject and effects considered with reference to the ‘Tracts for the Times’ (1841).

19.  Bricknell, ‘Is there not a Cause?’.  A Letter to the Rev. E. B. Pusey ... occasioned by his circular in support of the Rev. Isaac Williams (1841), p. 6.

20.  CO (1841), PP- 756–7; Liddon, ii, pp. 260-1.

21.  E. Hodder, The Life ... of the Seventh Earl of Shaftesbury (1886), i, PP- 386 ff

22.  Bricknell, ‘Is there not a Cause?’ (1841), and ‘Horae Canonicae’ ... A Second Letter to ... E. B. Pusey (1841), pp. 4–-5.

23.  ‘Diary’, Vol. 13, 20 January, 1842.

24.  CO (1842), p. 127.

25.  Garbett, Prophet, Priest and King (1842), ii, pp. 502–3.

26.  Golightly, Facts and Documents (1859), p. 11.

27.  ‘Golightly Correspondence’.  Lambeth MSS 1804–11.

28.  See further Correspondence illustrative of the Actual State of Oxford with reference to Tractarianism (1842), and W. Palmer, A Letter to ... C. P. Golightly (1842).

29.  Lambeth MS 1808, ff. 218–30.

30.  Liddon, ii, p. 306.

31.  The Plea of the Six Doctors Examined (1843), p. 8; R, 5 June, 1843.

32.  Lambeth MS 1804, f. 34.

33.  Lambeth MS 1806, f. 108.

34.  Dr B. Godwin of New Road Chapel published An Examination ... of Dr. Pusey’s Sermon (1843) while Garbett published A Review of Dr. Pusey’s Sermon (1843).

35.  The full text in CMR (1843), p. 680, and R, 30 November, 1843.

36.  CMR (1844), P. 539.

37.  Hill, ‘Diary’, Vol. 14, 25 June, 1844.

38.  Griffiths, Letters with a few remarks concerning rumours which have lately been in circulation (1844).

39.  Hill, ‘Diary’, Vol. 15, 7 and 8 October, 1844.

40.  Liddon, ii, p. 413.

41.  Liddon, ii, p. 415.

42.  CMR (1844), p. 630.

43.  T. Hill, Letters ... of W. A. Shirley (1849), pp. 392 ff.

44.  CO (1845), pp. 120–1.

45.  The memorial is printed in the last two editions of Bricknell’s Oxford, Tract 90 ... (1845).

46.  ‘Diary’, Vol. 15, 13 February, 1845.

47.  He told Golightly this on 13 January, 1846.  Lambeth MS 1807, f. 31.

48.  J. B. A. Kessler, A Study of the Evangelical Alliance in Great Britain (Goes, Netherlands, 1968), pp. 1 ff.

49.  English Churchman, 5 October, 1843.  For a similar address from Bolton-le-Moors to Bishop Sumner see R, 23 November, 1843.

50.  James Bateman, a layman from Cheshire, used Elliott’s work extensively in his Tractarianism as described in Prophecy (1845).

51.  There is a useful chapter on the prophetic background in S. C. Orchard, ‘English Evangelical Eschatology, 1790–1850’ (Cambridge University PhD thesis, 1968), chap. 6.

52.  R, 7 October, 1841.  See further R. W. Greaves, ‘The Jerusalem Bishopric’, English Historical Review, xliv (1949), and P. J. Welsh, ‘Anglican Churchmen and the Establishment of the Jerusalem Bishopric’, JEH, viii (1957).

53.  E. Hodder, Life of Shaftesbury, i, p. 396.

54.  To those listed by Liddon, ii, pp. 279 ff. may be added two Evangelical replies: W. Atwell (Curate of St Mark’s, Dublin), Dr Pusey Answered (1842); and J. Davies (Rector of Gateshead), The Present Crisis of the Church (1842).

55.  British Critic, xxxi (τ842), p. 246.

56.  Lord Selborne, Memorials, Family and Personal (1896), i, p. 210.

57.  The question of post-baptismal sin had been brought into public debate again by the publication of a sermon by Charles Wordsworth entitled Evangelical Repentance (1841).  See the critical review in CMR (1842), pp. 40–53.

58.  CLM, xx (1843), pp. 269–72.

59.  CMR (1843), p. 883.

60.  E. J. Boyce, A Memorial of the Cambridge Camden Society (1888), p. 21.

61.  On 23 January, 1845 the Fund had reached £11,ooo and the Council had declared that new churches would be vested in Evangelical trustees.  R, 23 January, 1845.

62.  Close, Restoration of Churches is the Restoration of Popery (1844), p. 4.

63.  R, 31 March, 1845; White, Cambridge Movement, pp. 139–44.

64.  CMR (1844), pp. 295–-6.

65.  See further B. F. L. Clarke, Church Builders in the Nineteenth Century (new ed. 1969) for a discussion of various attitudes to architecture in the nineteenth century.

66.  CO (1845), p. 54.

67.  See further P. J. Welch, ‘Bishop Blomfield and the Development of Tractarianism in London’, Church Quarterly Review, clv (1954).

68.  A. Blomfield, A Memoir of C. J. Boomfield (1863), ii, pp. 47, 55–6.

69.  See further Chadwick, i, pp. 218-20.  For the foundation of the Episcopal Free Church in Exeter which occurred in 1844 see R, 19 September, 1844, and the anonymous A History of the Free Church of England (1960).

70.  CMR (1844), p. 826.

71.  CO (1845), p. 54.

72.  C. Benson, Rubrics and Canons of the Church of England considered (1845); and Goode, A Letter to a Lay Friend on the State of the Church and the course which the present crisis demands (1845).

73.  R, 8 February, 1844; and CO (1844), pp. 559 ff

74.  Bird, A Second Plea, p. 101.  For Ward’s view of development see W. Ward, W. G. Ward and the Oxford Movement, pp. 226 fl.

75.  Bird told Golightly this in a letter of 25 May, 1843. Lambeth MS 1804 f. 41.

76.  CO (1844), p. 181.

77.  Bird, Second Plea, p. 99.

78.  CMR (1843), pp. 244–5.

79.  J. R. Hope Scott believed Golightly was an Evangelical: R. Ornsby, Memoirs of James Robert Hope-Scott, i, p. 267.  A lifelong friend of Golightly, E. M. Goulbourn, commented as follows on Thomas Mozley’s description of Golightly (in Reminiscences chiefly of Oriel College (1882), ii, pp. 109–11):

        ‘I hardly think he puts Golightly’s ecclesiastical temperature as “High” as it really was.  A distinction has been drawn between a High Church Evangelical and an Evangelical High Churchman to this effect – that in the first, Evangelicalism is the basis of the man’s religious mind, and the High Churchism is super-induced, and the growth of a later age; in the second, the views are fundamentally High Church and the Evangelicalism is the colour subsequently given to them.  To this latter class rather than the former I should say that Golightly belonged, though I doubt not that the controversy with the Tractarian school in which his better years were spent, drove him into a more pronounced Low Church attitude than was strictly congenial with his nature.’  Reminiscences of Charles P. Golightly (1886), p. 13.

80.  ‘The Principal Clergy of London classified according to their opinions on the great Church Questions of the day’ (1844).  Bodleian MS. Add. C. 290.


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