Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Wednesday, 17 November 2021

Bishop Edward King

                     Bishop Edward King
                     Spy cartoon of 1890

                        Image: Wikipedia 

This afternoon  I went to a stimulating talk at Pusey House by Bishop Michael Marshall - sometime of Woolwich - about his new biography of Bishop Edward King (1829-1910), a student at Oriel, Chaplain and the Principal of Cuddesdon, Regius Professor of Pastoral Theology at Christ Church and from 1885 until his death Bishop of Lincoln. I think it could be fair to describe him as the greatest post-reformation holder of the See. To many he is most famous for the Lincoln Judgment of 1890 about Ritualism in the Church of England and for being the first Anglican bishop since 1559 to wear a mitre. His white chasuble can be seen on the present holder of the See at Bishop Edward King’s chasubleWikipedia has an introduction to his life at Edward_King

In his book Edward King: Teacher, Pastor, Bishop, Saint ( Gracewing ) Bishop Marshall sets out his argument that it was Edward King,  through his training of clergy and influence on other theological college principals and his example as a pastoral Bishop of Lincoln, who was the single most influential implementor of the ideals of the Oxford Movement across the whole country rather than to just academic or similar groups.

It is a substantial book and promises much new material on the life of Bishop King, described in 1935 in a sermon in Lincoln Cathedral by Archbishop Lang - whom King had confirmed -  as “the most saintly of men and most human of saints.”

        Bishop King in his last years

          Image: Project Canterbury 

From what he said it is clear that Bishop Marshall is keen - very keen - to promote to the powers that be in the Church of England the vision of pastoral care of clergy and people that was exemplified by Bishop King. It is a vision all Christian denominations can, I think, take to heart and learn from.

I look forward to looking properly at his book snd reading it, touching as it does on not a few  interests and influences in my own life.

This was an excellent, and fortuitous ( possibly), way to mark the feast of St Hugh, Bishop of Lincoln 1186-1200.

1 comment:

Zephyrinus said...

A riveting Post, John.

Thank You.