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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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Church Administration and Reform

Church Administration and Reform

(p.139) 8 Church Administration and Reform
High Church Prophet


Oxford University Press

Exploration of Bishop Horsley's part in the renovation of the Church at the national level establishes his claim to be regarded as a reformer, but one of a moderate and uneven kind. Like earlier High Churchmen in the Laudian mould, he was chiefly interested in reforms that buttressed the temporal pillars of the Church and rescued the clergy from the condescension of laymen. He was less sensitive to the grievances of the laity against the clergy, and stood in with the archbishop of Canterbury and most other bishops against the Younger Pitt's schemes for commutation of tithes. Horsley was never complacent about the state of the Church of England. When the French Revolution and the English Republicans arose to challenge the values for which it stood, he developed a concern to refurbish its image in the sight of respectable Englishmen. The remedies that he favoured were piecemeal. He had no vision of an overall reform to be achieved by redistributing revenues, but thought that Parliament should strengthen every bishop to insist on the proper performance of duty in his diocese.

Keywords:   Samuel Horsley, church reform, High Churchmen, Church of England

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