In 1869, Parliament disestablished the Church of Ireland, dissolving what Benjamin Disraeli called the ‘sacred union’ of church and state in Ireland. Disestablishment involved fundamental issues – the identity and purpose of the established church, the religious nature of the state, the morality of state appropriation of church property for secular uses, and the union of Ireland and Britain – and debate was carried on at a high intellectual level. With disestablishment, the Church of Ireland lost much of its property, but it recovered, now as an independent Episcopal church with a renewed mission. The idea of the United Kingdom as a semi-confessional Protestant state, however, was dealt a serious blow.
This article considers the sermons preached by royal chaplains at the court of James II and the organisation of the chapel royal by James as a Catholic organisation. In doing so, it addresses the question of where James’s assurance and certainty came from that he was ruling as God wished him to do. The evidence presented here is that James organised his Catholic chapel royal to be a conscious source of guidance and support. His chaplains reciprocated by addressing him as a Catholic king whose duty was to bring to heel a recalcitrant and stubborn people. His chaplains used historical precedent and theological argument to press on James his determination to bring his Protestant subjects to obedience. This is a study of the Catholic milieu of James’s court and of the theological impetus behind his rule.
Architecture and visual arts in general have been subjects of a growing body of recent scholarship connected with the ecclesiastical history of the ‘Long Eighteenth Century’, but little attention has been given to portraiture. Although honourable mention should be made of pioneering work by John Ingamells on painted episcopal portraits, and by Peter Forsaith, very recently, on Methodist portrait prints, other aspects of this extensive subject still await investigation. The article outlines the development of engraved portrayal of clergy, mainly of the Church of England, during the two centuries before production of multiple images was taken over by photography, and indicates how the quantity, variety, and dissemination of such material can provide some index of the priorities of a pre-photographic age. It does not aim to be a comprehensive or a complete survey of the corpus of engraved portraiture; nevertheless, this article provides an initial guide to the abundance of previously unexplored illustrative material, and may suggest a framework for further exploration. It is hoped that future scholars will build on this initial work to enable a complete catalogue of such images to be developed and further explored.
Hutchinsonianism, a set of ideas developed by John Hutchinson, did not necessarily command considerable respect among intellectuals in the eighteenth century. Hutchinson held that science was divine in origin and was rooted in the Old Testament. He denied the Newtonian principle of gravity and argued that God was necessary for the application of physical laws. He also developed a highly symbolic interpretation of religious ideas. George Horne (1730–92) was an exception in taking Hutchinsonianism seriously. Horne’s ideas aimed at uniting Christian orthodoxy against a common enemy, particularly those who undermined Trinitarian Christianity. This article examines Horne’s ideas as a Hutchinsonianism and explores his debt to Hutchinson. Horne also can be regarded as the most important representative of the Oxford Hutchinsonians of his generation, in the sense that his orthodoxy and adherence to Hutchinson’s ideas were aimed at finding a common ground between the two.
Henry Manning’s (1808–92) transition from Anglican to Roman Catholic convert has not received the extensive attention that John Henry Newman’s journey to Roman Catholicism has received. Though more than a half dozen treatments have appeared in recent decades, newly acquired archival resources received by the Westminster Diocesan Archives in 2014 warrant a new appraisal of the events leading to his conversion. How could a committed adherent of the Oxford Movement, who did not initially follow Newman’s example in 1845, make the decision to leave the Church of his birth in 1851? What interior process enabled Archdeacon Henry Manning to preside over the assembly of Chichester clergy that condemned ‘papal aggression’ in 1850, and announce at the conclusion of the vote that he would be received into the Roman communion? This article outlines undercurrents in Manning’s thought, traces of which can be found in his undergraduate years, and considers concepts that culminated in the decision that changed his life, and guided his Roman Catholic ecclesial outlook. His role in shaping the agenda of Vatican I and the post-conciliar era heightens the significance of this background.
Although Catherine Livingston Garrettson (1752–1849) initially encountered feelings of isolation upon converting to Methodism, she discovered that the written word allowed her to engage in relational rather than solitary religious experiences. Over time, the written word helped her create a web of meaningful ties with imagined and actual kin and motivated her to form, develop and foster additional relationships in multiple contexts. Garrettson’s story thus demonstrates the need to consider how the real and imagined communities encountered through reading and constructed through writing have played a role in the spiritual development of early American women. Indeed, women’s experiences serve not simply to explain aspects of American social development, but to illuminate their broader world of connections – familial, religious, social and literary.
Catholicism and Nonconformity in Nineteenth-Century ‘Jewish Conversion’ Novels
This article examines English Evangelical novels focused on the conversion of Jewish characters, published from the 1820s to the 1850s. It concentrates particularly on the way these novels emphasised the importance of the Church of England in constructing national and religious identity, and used Jewish conversion as a way to critique Catholicism and Nonconformity. Jewish worship, rabbinic authority and Talmudic devotion were linked to Roman Catholic attitudes towards priesthood and tradition, while Jews were also portrayed as victims of a persecuting Roman Church. Nonconformity was criticised for disordered worship and confusing Jews with its attacks on respectable Anglicanism. As a national religion, novelists therefore imagined that Jews would be saved by a national church, and often linked this to concepts of a national restoration to Palestine. This article develops and complicates understandings of Evangelical views of Jews in the nineteenth century, and their links to ‘writing the nation’ in popular literature.
The spirituality of Brunswick Chapel, Leeds, in the Victorian era illustrates the legacy of John Wesley when Wesleyan Methodism was a power in the land. The priorities were conversion, turning to Christ in repentance and faith, the Bible as the source of divine instruction, the cross as the way in which salvation was achieved and activism as the proper human response. These features were prominent in the whole of the broader Evangelical movement which Wesley inaugurated. There was concern with death, and especially last words, in providing evidence of the assurance on which Wesley insisted and which was cultivated in the class meetings he began. Prayer, Charles Wesley’s hymns and sermons loomed large. Men and women had their own channels for the expression of piety, but some avenues, especially in Sunday school teaching, were open to either sex. Some still professed Wesley’s sublime doctrine of entire sanctification. Towards the end of the period there were signs that the tradition was decaying, with the spirituality becoming shallower, but for the bulk of the period the tradition was flourishing.
This article focuses on the career and writings of a neglected eighteenth-century High Church cleric, Thomas Townson (1715–92). It aims to restate his contemporary prominence as a writer and pastor and present fresh research into the intergenerational transmission and reception of High Church ideas and practices within a distinctive religio-political milieu in Staffordshire and Cheshire. In this recovery of contexts, it notes Townson’s relatively slight inspirational importance within both the Hackney Phalanx and the earlier Oxford Movement, and argues that, while there were undoubted continuities and connections between the Georgian Church of England and the Tractarians, Townson’s marginality for most of the latter serves to confirm Peter Nockles’s emphasis on the Oxford Movement as, in many senses, a ‘new start’.