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High Church ProphetBishop Samuel Horsley (1733–1806) and the Caroline Tradition in the Later Georgian Church$
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F. C. Mather

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780198202271

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198202271.001.0001

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A Presence in Politics

A Presence in Politics

(p.220) 11 A Presence in Politics
High Church Prophet


Oxford University Press

There were large differences in the extent to which bishops took their parliamentary duties seriously. These were a function not only of their adhesion to the king's ministers, but also of their sense of constitutional obligation, their seniority rating, the accessibility of their dioceses to the House of Lords, and the offices they held in that chamber. Horsley's performance was quite outstanding. In the great majority of parliamentary sessions while he was eligible he was in his place in the Lords on about every alternate day of meeting from the beginning of the session until near its end. His persistence relative to that of his slacker brethren is shown by his appearances on days when reports from committees on private bills and other matters of minor importance held the floor, and when in consequence no more than four bishops were present. He contributed frequently and at length to some of the most important debates of the time. Though bishops did not usually speak in the House of Lords, he was in the habit of intervening numerous times in a session by the middle 1790s.

Keywords:   Samuel Horsley, House of Lords, parliament, parliamentary duties, bishops, political participation

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