Gladstone and Manning: a Question of Authority

  • V. Alan McClelland


Fifty years ago, in commemoration of the centenary of the Oxford Movement, the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Cosmo Lang, delivered the Founder’s Day Address at St Deiniol’s Library and took as his subject ‘Mr Gladstone and the Oxford Movement’.1 It is perhaps not inappropriate, therefore, as in 1983 we remember the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of John Keble’s sermon on ‘National Apostacy’,2 that we should return to a consideration of what Gladstone was to call that ‘great renovating movement’3 and, in particular, examine some of the ‘vicissitudes’,4 as he termed them, in his relationship with Manning arising out of the questions it posed. To encompass such a vast endeavour in its varied nuances would, of course, be an unrealistic venture for an occasion such as this is. Lord Rosebery once remarked that a limited liability company would be necessary to write a biography of Gladstone, and to write a history of his religious opinions alone would need a more detailed sympathy than any one man could supply. In a similar vein, Wilfrid Meynell records that Manning estimated it would necessitate three men to write his own life satisfactorily in its three great phases — Anglican, Roman Catholic and Civic.5


Limited Liability Company Liberal Party Civil Allegiance Religious Opinion Fiftieth Anniversary 
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© Peter J. Jagger 1985

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  • V. Alan McClelland

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