Anglo-Catholicism - Art, Literature, Politics and Theology

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
based on a design by Martin Travers

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© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
Anglo-Catholicism is a uniquely 'English' phenomena.
Its very name betrays that it is a movement within the Church of England.

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
The establishment of 'national Churches' in Europe during the 15th century was primarily the result of the rise of political nationalism, and such a development was inevitably in opposition to the trans-national ambitions of the Holy See.

The Tudor Reformation

Royal Arms of King Henry VIII
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
King Henry VIII of England
In the kingdom of England, the Church of England (not to be confused with the Church in England) became independent, and was established by law in November 1534 by King Henry VIII.
For Henry, the establishment of the independence of the 'Ecclesia Anglicana' was not a matter of theology, but rather of authority, and it was not his intention to create a theologically Protestant Church - and this is significant when considering the subsequent development of Anglo-Catholicism.
The Act granted King Henry VIII of England 'Royal Supremacy', which means that he was declared the Supreme Head of the Church of England, and It is still the legal authority of the Sovereign of the United Kingdom.
Royal Supremacy is specifically used to describe the legal sovereignty of the civil laws over the laws of the Church in England.

Ecclesia Anglia
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
The Act declared the monarch to be "the only supreme head on earth of the Church of England" and that the English crown shall enjoy "all honours, dignities, preeminences, jurisdictions, privileges, authorities, immunities, profits, and commodities to the said dignity."
The wording of the Act made clear that Parliament was not granting the King the title (thereby suggesting that they had the right to withdraw it later); rather, it was acknowledging an established fact.
In the 'Act of Supremacy', Henry abandoned Rome completely.
He thereby asserted the independence of the 'Ecclesia Anglicana' (English Church), and  appointed himself, and his successors as the supreme rulers of the English church.
As part of the Church Settlement of Henry VIII the 'Act of the Six Articles' was passed which reaffirmed traditional Catholic doctrine regarding:

1 transubstantiation, 2 the reasonableness of withholding of the cup from the laity during communion, 3 clerical celibacy, 4 observance of vows of chastity, 5 permission for private masses, and 6 the importance of auricular confession.

In Christian theology, transubstantiation (in Latin, "transsubstantiatio", in Greek "μετουσίωσις metousiosis") is the doctrine that the substance of the bread and the wine used in the sacrament of the Eucharist is changed, not merely as by a sign or a figure, but also in reality, into the substance of the Body and the Blood of Jesus, while all that is accessible to the senses (the outward appearances - "species" in Latin) remains unchanged. What remains unaltered is also referred to as the "accidents" of the bread and wine.

Royal Arms of King Edward VI
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
A major shift in Anglican doctrine came in the reign of Henry's son, Edward VI, who repealed the Six Articles and under whose rule the Church of England became more identifiably Protestant.
The 'Forty-Two Articles' were intended to summarise Anglican doctrine, as it now existed under the reign of King Edward VI, who favoured a more Protestant faith.

Largely the work of Thomas Cranmer, they were to be short formularies that would demonstrate the faith revealed in Scripture and the existing Catholic creeds.
Completed in 1552, they were issued by Royal Mandate on 19 June 1553.

Thomas Cranmer 

Thomas Cranmer
Archbishop of Canterbury
Thomas Cranmer (2 July 1489 – 21 March 1556) was a leader of the English Reformation and Archbishop of Canterbury during the reigns of Henry VIII and Edward VI.
He helped build the case for the annulment of Henry's marriage to Catherine of Aragon, which was one of the causes of the separation of the English Church from union with the Holy See.
Along with Thomas Cromwell, he supported the principle of 'Royal Supremacy'.
Thomas Cromwell was an English lawyer and statesman who served as chief minister to King Henry VIII of England from 1532 to 1540, and was one of the strongest advocates of the English Reformation.
In January 1538, Cromwell pursued an extensive campaign against what was termed "idolatry" by extreme protestants.
Early in September, Cromwell also completed a new set of 'vicegerential' injunctions declaring open war on "pilgrimages, feigned relics, or images, or any such superstitions", and commanding that "one book of the whole Bible of the largest volume in English" be set up in every church.

Thomas Cromwell
Moreover, following the "voluntary" surrender of the remaining smaller monasteries during the previous year, the larger monasteries were now also "invited" to surrender throughout 1538, a process legitimized in the 1539 session of Parliament and completed in the following year
Statues, roods, and images were attacked, culminating in September with the dismantling of the shrine of St Thomas Becket at Canterbury. 
Cromwell was eventually arraigned under a bill of attainder, and executed for treason and heresy on Tower Hill on 28 July 1540.
At the same time Cranmer was responsible for much of the 1549 'Book of Common Prayer'.
The 1549 book was soon succeeded by a more reformed revision in 1552 under the same editorial hand, that of Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury.
During Cranmer's tenure as Archbishop of Canterbury, he was responsible for establishing the first doctrinal and liturgical structures of the reformed Church of England.
Under Henry's rule, Cranmer did not make many radical changes in the Church, due to power struggles between religious conservatives and reformers, however, he succeeded in publishing the first officially authorised vernacular service, the Exhortation and Litany.

King Edward 
When King Edward VI came to the throne, Cranmer was able to promote major reforms.
He wrote and compiled the first two editions of the Book of Common Prayer - a complete liturgy for the English Church.
Cranmer, however, was not really concerned with the principle of 'authority', which was the major concern of Henry VIII, but was rather concerned with the overthrow of Catholic doctrine and usage, and was determined to return the church in England to what he imagined were the principles of the 'primitive' and 'authentic' early church.
With the assistance of several Continental reformers, to whom he gave refuge, he developed new doctrinal standards in areas such as the Eucharist, clerical celibacy, the role of images in places of worship, and the veneration of saints.
Cranmer promulgated the new doctrines through the Prayer Book, the Homilies and other publications.
After the accession of the Roman Catholic Mary I, Cranmer was put on trial for treason and heresy, and was imprisoned, and later executed.

Edwardian Reformation
King Edward VI 
Edward VI (12 October 1537 – 6 July 1553) was King of England and Ireland from 28 January 1547 until his death.
He was crowned on 20 February at the age of nine.
The son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, Edward was the third monarch of the Tudor dynasty and England's first monarch raised as a Protestant. During Edward's reign, the realm was governed by a Regency Council because he never reached his majority.
The Council was first led by his uncle Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, (1547–1549), and then by John Dudley, 1st Earl of Warwick, from 1551 Duke of Northumberland.
The Anglican Church was transformed into a recognisably Protestant body under Edward, who took great interest in religious matters.
Although Henry VIII had severed the link between the Church of England and Rome, he never permitted the renunciation of Catholic doctrine or ceremony (see above).
It was during Edward's reign that Protestantism was established for the first time in England with reforms that included the abolition of clerical celibacy and the Mass, and the imposition of compulsory services in English, justification by faith alone and communion for laity as well as clergy in both kinds, of bread and wine.
After 1551, the Reformation advanced further, with the approval and encouragement of Edward, who began to exert more personal influence in his role as 'Supreme Head of the Church of England'.
Edward's reformed religion, finally divested the communion service of any notion of the 'real presence' of God in the bread and the wine, effectively abolished the mass.
Though the Church's practices and approach to the sacraments became strongly influenced by those of continental reformers, it nevertheless retained episcopal church structure.

Catholic Interegnum

Queen Mary I - Tudor
The Book of Common Prayer was initially used only for a few months, as Edward VI died in 1553.
As the fourth crowned monarch of the Tudor dynasty, Mary is remembered for her restoration of Roman Catholicism after the short-lived Protestant reign of her half-brother.
When Mary ascended the throne, she was proclaimed under the same official style as Henry VIII and Edward VI: "Mary, by the Grace of God, Queen of England, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, and of the Church of England and of Ireland on Earth Supreme Head".

Royal Arms of Queen Mary I
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The title 'Supreme Head of the Church' was repugnant to Mary's Catholicism, and she omitted it from Christmas 1553.
Mary's first Parliament, which assembled in early October 1553, declared the marriage of her parents valid, and abolished Edward's religious laws.
Church doctrine was restored to the form it had taken in the 1539 'Six Articles', which, for example, re-affirmed clerical celibacy.
Married priests were deprived of their benefices
During her five-year reign, she had over 280 religious dissenters burned at the stake in the Marian persecutions.
Her re-establishment of Roman Catholicism was reversed after her death in 1558 by her younger half-sister and successor, Elizabeth I.
With the coronation of Queen Mary I and the reunion of the Church of England with the Roman Catholic Church, the Articles were never enforced, however, after Mary's death, they became the basis of the 'Thirty-Nine Articles'.

Elizabeth I

Royal Arms of Queen Elizabeth I
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Queen Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I (7 September 1533 – 24 March 1603) was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death.
Sometimes called "The Virgin Queen" or "Gloriana" Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty.
After being repealed by the Roman Catholic Queen Mary I, the 'Act of Supremacy' was was reinstated in 1559 by Mary's Protestant half-sister, Queen Elizabeth I, when she ascended the throne. 
Elizabeth declared herself 'Supreme Governor of the Church of England', and instituted an 'Oath of Supremacy', requiring anyone taking public or church office to swear allegiance to the monarch as 'Supreme Governor of the Church of England'.
To placate critics, the 'Oath of Supremacy' which nobles were required to swear, gave the monarch's title as 'Supreme Governor' rather than 'Supreme Head' of the church.
This wording avoided the charge that the monarchy was claiming divinity or usurping Christ, whom the Bible explicitly identifies as 'Head of the Church'.
From then on the Church of England was referred to as the 'Established Church'.

Thirty Nine Articles of 1562

In the 'Thirty Nine Articles' of 1562 (see below) the claim to royal supremacy is clearly stated: 

"The King's majesty hath the chief power in this Realm of England, and other of his Dominions, unto whom the chief Government of all Estates of this Realm, whether they be Ecclesiastical or Civil, in all causes doth appertain, and is not, nor ought to be, subject to any foreign jurisdiction. We give not to our Princes the ministering either of God's Word, or of the Sacraments, but that only prerogative, which we see to have been given always to all Godly Princes in holy Scriptures by God himself; that is, that they should rule all estates and degrees committed to their charge by God, whether they be Ecclesiastical or Temporal, and restrain with the civil sword the stubborn and evildoer. The Bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this Realm of England."

Archbishop Parker
In 1563, Convocation met under Archbishop Parker to revise the 'Forty-Two Articles'.
Convocation passed only 39 of the 42, and Elizabeth I reduced the number to 38 by throwing out Article XXIX to avoid offending her subjects with Catholic leanings.
In 1571, the XXIXth Article, despite the opposition of Bishop Edmund Guest, was inserted, to the effect that 'the wicked do not eat the Body of Christ'.
Arms of the Holy See
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
This was done following the queen's excommunication by the Pope in 1570.
That act destroyed any hope of reconciliation with Rome and it was no longer necessary to fear that Article XXIX would offend Catholic sensibilities.
The Articles, increased to Thirty-nine, were ratified by the Queen, and the bishops and clergy were required to assent.
In 1559 Elizabeth I reintroduced the 1552 'Book of Common Prayer' with a few modifications to make it acceptable to more traditionally minded worshippers, notably the inclusion of the words of administration from the 1549 Communion Service alongside those of 1552.
In 1604 James I ordered some further changes, the most significant of these being the addition to the Catechism of a section on the Sacraments.

Coat of Arms of the Commonwealth
of England Scotland and Ireland
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
Following the tumultuous events leading to and including the English Civil War, another major revision of the 'Book of Common Prayer' was published in 1662.
That edition has remained the official prayer book of the Church of England.
It was The Book of Common Prayer that caused major disputes between the Anglo-Catholics and their opponents in the 1920s. - (See 'The Triumph of Anglo-Catholicism')
The Elizabethan Religious Settlement was an attempt to end the religious divisions among Christians in England, and is often seen as an important event in Anglican history, ultimately laying the foundations for the "via media" concept of Anglicanism.
Elizabeth established an 'English Church' that helped shape a national identity.
Those who praised her later as a Protestant heroine overlooked her refusal to drop all practices of Catholic origin from the Church of England.
Historians note that in her day, strict Protestants regarded the Acts of Settlement and Uniformity of 1559 as a compromise.
In fact, Elizabeth believed that faith was personal and did not wish, as Francis Bacon put it, to "make windows into men's hearts and secret thoughts"
The nature of early Anglicanism was to be of great importance to the Anglo-Catholics of the 19th century, who would argue that their beliefs and practices were common during this period and were inoffensive to the earliest members of the Church of England.

The Origins of Anglo-Catholicism

The origins of Anglo-Catholicism as a distinct movement, dating from 1833 to 1841, go back to the Victorian Anglican Church, and specifically to a group of scholars and priests at Oxford University.
The movement that they started is often called the 'Oxford Movement', although at the time, their opponents called them 'Tractarians'.

John Keble
Edward Bouverie Pusey
The movement, which included among others John Henry Newman, Edward Bouverie Pusey and John Keble, wrote tracts and pamphlets, in an attempt to recall the Church of England to its apostolic origins; to remind the Bishops that they were successors of the Apostles who had a duty to guard the Faith and the Church from attacks by the State and liberalism.
These Tracts were a series of 90 theological publications, varying in length from a few pages to book-length, produced by members of the Oxford Movement.
There were about a dozen authors, including Oxford Movement leaders John Keble, John Henry Newman and Edward Pusey, with Newman taking the initiative in the series, and making the largest contribution.
With the wide distribution associated with the tract form, and a price in pennies, the Tracts succeeded in drawing attention to the views of the Oxford Movement on points of doctrine, but also to its overall approach, to the extent that Tractarian became a synonym for supporter of the movement.
Many of the tracts were labelled, indicating their intended audience: 'Ad Clerum' (to the clergy), 'Ad Populum' (to the people), or 'Ad Scholas' (to scholars).
The first 20 tracts appeared in 1833, with 30 more in 1834.
After that the pace slowed, but the later contributions were more substantive on doctrinal matters.
Initially these publications were anonymous, pseudonymous, or reprints from theologians of previous centuries. 
The movement postulated the 'Branch Theory', which states that Anglicanism along with Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism form three "branches" of the one "Catholic - that is Universal Church.
They argued for the inclusion of traditional aspects of liturgy from medieval religious practice.
In the final Tract XC, Newman argued that the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church, as defined by the Council of Trent, were compatible with the 'Thirty-Nine Articles' of 1563.

Concilium Tridentinum
Concilium Tridentinum (Council of Trent) was an Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church. It is considered to be one of the Church's most important councils. It convened in Trento, Italy, between 13 December 1545, and 4 December 1563 in twenty-five sessions for three periods. During the pontificate of Pope Paul III, the Council fathers met for the first eight sessions in Trento (1545–47), and for the ninth to eleventh sessions in Bologna (1547). Under Pope Julius III, the Council met in Trento (1551–52) for the twelfth to sixteenth sessions, and under Pope Pius IV, the seventeenth to twenty-fifth sessions took place in Trento (1559–63).

The 'Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion' are the historically defining statements of doctrines of the Church of England with respect to the controversies of the English Reformation.
The articles served to define the doctrine of the Church of England as it related to Calvinist doctrine and Roman Catholic practice
A summary of the 39 Articles is as follows:

Articles I–VIII: The Catholic faith: The first five articles articulate the Catholic credal statements concerning the nature of God, manifest in the Holy Trinity.
Articles VI and VII deal with scripture, while Article VIII discusses the essential creeds.
Articles IX—XVIII: Personal religion: These articles dwell on the topics of sin, justification, and the eternal disposition of the soul. Of particular focus is the major Reformation topic of justification by faith. The Articles in this section and in the section on the Church plant Anglicanism in the via media of the debate, portraying an Economy of Salvation where good works are an outgrowth of faith and there is a role for the Church and for the sacraments.

John Henry Newman
Articles XIX–XXXI: Corporate religion: This section focuses on the expression of faith in the public venue – the institutional church, the councils of the church, worship, ministry, and sacramental theology.
Articles XXXII—XXXIX: Miscellaneous: These articles concern clerical celibacy, excommunication, traditions of the Church, and other issues not covered elsewhere. Article XXXVII additionally states among other things that the Bishop of Rome had no jurisdiction in the realm of England.

Newman's abandonment of Anglicanism, by conversion to Roman Catholicism, followed by the conversion of Henry Edward Manning in 1851, had a profound effect upon the movement, and traditionally the end of Tractarianism is seen as Newman’s conversion to Roman Catholicism on the 8 th October 1845.


Anglo-Catholics, being closer to Roman Catholics than to Evangelicals or Liberal Anglicans in doctrinal matters, believe in the efficiency of the sacraments for salvation.
This means that it is of the utmost importance that the sacraments are not tampered with in any way.
Sacramental assurance, the way in which it is known the sacraments are valid, comes from apostolic succession: the laying-on of hands from bishop to bishop  and from bishop to priest that can be traced back to the apostles, and through them to Christ himself.
It is apostolic succession that makes Anglo-Catholics part of the Catholic Church.
Away from the sacraments most Anglo-Catholics tend to agree with Roman Catholics on issues such as the place of Mary in the Church, Purgatory and prayers to the saints in heaven and most ethical teachings.


Ritualistic, Colourful and Symbolic

There is no “typical” Anglo-Catholic liturgy.
One Anglo-Catholic priest in might celebrate the Mass facing east according to the Alternative Service Book, another in might celebrate Mass with incense, whilst facing west according to Common Worship, and yet another might celebrate Mass facing east with incense whilst using the Roman Rite (the Roman Catholic liturgy).
Nevertheless a common theme among Anglo-Catholic Masses is that they are “High-Church”; ritualistic, colourful and full of symbolism.

The Roots of Anglo-Catholicism

Anglo-Catholicism, although its adherents would deny it, is fundamentally 'backward looking'.
Ford Madox Brown Pre-Raphaelite 1852-63 - 'Work' 
It arose in the nineteenth century, partially as a response to the anxieties created by the unprecedented social and economic changes generated by the industrial revolution, and partially under the influence of the Romantic movement of the same period.
While some sought to embrace such fundamental changes - a decision which gave rise to modernism (not only in its clerical and theological forms - but also in terms of culture, and social and political philosophy), many others attempted to stem the headlong rush into modernity by valorising a return to past traditions and beliefs, and among such groups were the Anglo-Catholics.
The Anglo Catholics achieved this by looking back to a period before the Reformation, when the Church of England was part of the Universal (Catholic) Church of Rome.
Initially, their's was a dream of medieval 'dreaming spires', and a stable society based on a supposedly permanent society, rooted in tradition.

Anglo-Catholicism and the Arts

John Everett Millais
William Holman Hunt
Another such group who were intent on valorising the distant past were the Pre-Raphaelites.
The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (also known as the Pre-Raphaelites) was a group of English painters, poets, and critics, founded in 1848 by William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais and Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
The three founders were joined by William Michael Rossetti, James Collinson, Frederic George Stephens and Thomas Woolner to form the seven-member "brotherhood".
Later artists influenced by the brotherhood include William Morris, John Brett, Philip Calderon, Arthur Hughes, Evelyn De Morgan, Frederic Sandys and John William Waterhouse.

Ford Madox Brown
John William Waterhouse
Ford Madox Brown, who was associated with them from the beginning, is often seen as most closely adopting the Pre-Raphaelite principles.
One follower who developed his own distinct style was Aubrey Beardsley, who was pre-eminently influenced by Burne-Jones.
The group's original intention was to reform art by rejecting the approaches to art adopted by the Mannerist artists who succeeded Raphael and Michelangelo.
The brotherhood's early doctrines were expressed in four declarations:

to have genuine ideas to express
to study nature attentively, so as to know how to express them
to sympathise with what is direct and serious and heartfelt in previous art, to the exclusion of what is conventional and self-parodying and learned by rote
most indispensable of all, to produce thoroughly good pictures and statues

Despite these aims, much of the work of the Pre-Raphaelites, and those influenced by them, focused on the 'Middle Ages', and was much influenced by the Gothic Revival and the lingering effects of Romanticism.
An interesting case in point is that of William Morris.

William Morris

William Morris

The solidly middle class Morris family was 'nouveau riche', but with strong religious values; the elder Morris was an Evangelical, and his household was strictly run, despite the indulgences he lavished on his eldest son.
Although William had his eight siblings, two older sisters, and the rest younger, he was a bookish and solitary child.
When William was 13, his childhood came to an end.
His father died suddenly, and the family moved to a more modest home.
Shortly thereafter, William was sent off to Marlborough College, a rough public school.
Morris later wrote that he had learnt nothing there.
What he did learn at Marlborough was how to communicate to members of other social classes, an ability that would serve him in good stead later.
He also turned from the Evangelicism of his family in favour of Anglo-Catholicism.
What attracted him to this wing of the Church of England was undoubtedly the fact that called for moral seriousness, and stressed ritual and ceremony, with a return to the social and artistic values of the middle ages.

Exeter College Oxford - Chapel
Later Morris attended Exeter College at Oxford, where he planned a career as a member of the Anglo-Catholic clergy.
By mid-century, the "Oxford Movement" had permeated undergraduate life with a distinctly spiritual flavor:
The Church is a divinely ordained and ordered society intended to transcend politics, geography, and time.
The experience of such a society changes how individuals think about spiritual matters.
It was, in essence, a theological romantic rebellion against the rationalism of the Enlightenment that had taken hold in the Church of England.
Within a few days of his arrival, Morris met and befriended Edward Burne-Jones, who was to remain his closest life-long friend.
For Morris, Anglo-Catholicism had a strong aesthetic appeal, both visually and musically.
As a child he had been enraptured by Canterbury Cathedral, and his letters to his sister Emma from Marlborough, where he first came into contact with the High Church, are full of discussion of church music, architecture and festivals.

Exeter College Oxford
But there was more to the Oxford Movement than ritual, music, and Gothic architecture; it 'was primarily a spiritual force, a quest for holiness through self-denial and mortification of bodily and worldly appetites.
Included in the "ascetic motive" were strict notions of prayer, alms-giving, fasting, the ideal of poverty, voluntary retirement, repentance and penance'.
Burne-Jones also introduced Morris to Charles Faulkner, who would be a founding member of Morris, Marshall, Faulkner and Co. ('The Firm').
Morris, Burne-Jones, and Faulkner and their associates intended lives as clergy, often debating theology and literature until dawn.
Burne-Jones and Morris studied the medieval illuminated manuscripts at the Bodleian Library, becoming increasingly of the opinion that the Middle Ages church-centred communities offered a model a better model of social organization than industrialized England.
At the time, Morris intended to use his inheritance to found a monastery on this model. In the summer of 1855, the two friends became interested in John Ruskin, whose works introduced him to the Pre-Raphaelites.
The Charge of David to Solomon - (detail)
Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris
They sought out works by Millais and Rossetti. In the aims of the Brotherhood they found the authenticity and direction in life that they had previously looked for in the pursuit of a religious vocation.
On a tour of Gothic architecture in northern France with Burne-Jones in 1855, the die was cast: 
The two abandoned their intentions to take Holy Orders, and resolved to dedicate themselves to a life of art, Burne-Jones to painting, and Morris to architecture.
It is difficult to overestimate the impact of the Gothic Revival, not only on Morris and Burne-Jones, but on the age.
The Gothic Revival movement began in the 1740s, but by the mid-nineteenth century it was so intertwined with the Oxford Movement's call to renewed spirituality that the forms of buildings presented a visual tableau of the reactionary response to industrialization.
In addition, the architect Augustus Welby Pugin widened the compass of medieval art and architecture to include the whole medieval ethos, asserting that Gothic architecture was born of a purer society.

Burne-Jones and William Morris
In 1856, Morris moved in with Burne-Jones in modest quarters in London. Burne-Jones had managed to meet Rossetti, arguably the driving force behind the first wave of Pre-Raphaelite art.
Rossetti's work had by now moved from painting from nature to medieval and chivalric themes, themes that resonated with Morris's own internal harmony.

Morris, Marshall, Faulkner, & Co.
In 1861 Morris founded Morris, Marshall, Faulkner, & Co.
Among 'The Firm's' first products were tiles, designed by Morris in botanical patterns or by Burne-Jones on medieval, mythic, and fairy tale themes.
This moved naturally into stained glass, and many of the designs for tile were implemented as stained glass as well as vice versa.
The growth of Anglo-Catholicism had encouraged a return to ritual, and evocative church adornment, and churches began to add stained glass windows, tiles, and furnishing in religious motifs. Soon, the majority of 'The Firm's' business was ecclesiastical.

Edward Burne-Jones
Edward Burne-Jones
Burne-Jones was closely involved in the rejuvenation of the tradition of stained glass art in Britain.
Burne-Jones's early paintings show the heavy inspiration of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, but by the 1860s Burne-Jones was discovering his own artistic "voice".
At Oxford Burne-Jones became a friend of William Morris as a consequence of a mutual interest in poetry.
The two Exeter undergraduates, together with a small group of Jones' friends from Birmingham known as the 'Birmingham Set', speedily formed a very close and intimate society, which they called "The Brotherhood".
The members of the 'Brotherhood' read John Ruskin and Tennyson, visited churches, and worshipped the Middle Ages.

The Days of Creation
At this time Burne-Jones discovered Thomas Malory's 'Le Morte d'Arthur', which was to be so influential in his life.
At that time neither Burne-Jones nor Morris knew Rossetti personally, but both were much influenced by his works, and met him by recruiting him as a contributor to their 'Oxford and Cambridge Magazine' which Morris founded in 1856 to promote their ideas.
Burne-Jones had intended to become a church minister, but under Rossetti's influence both he and Morris decided to become artists, and Burne-Jones left college before taking a degree to pursue a career in art.
In 1877, he was persuaded to show eight oil paintings at the Grosvenor Gallery (a new rival to the Royal Academy).

The Star of Bethlehem
The Annunciation
These included 'The Beguiling of Merlin'.
The timing was right, and he was taken up as a herald and star of the new 'Aesthetic Movement'.
In addition to painting and stained glass, Burne-Jones worked in a variety of crafts; including designing ceramic tiles, jewellery, tapestries, mosaics and book illustration, most famously designing woodcuts for the Morris Kelmscott Press's 'Chaucer' in 1896.

The Nativity
Burne-Jones's paintings were one strand in the evolving tapestry of 'Aestheticism' from the 1860s through the 1880s, which considered that art should be valued as an object of beauty engendering a sensual response, rather than for the story or moral implicit in the subject matter. In many ways this was antithetical to the ideals of Ruskin and the early Pre-Raphaelites.
Regardless, Burne-Jones devoted much of his time to advancing the cause of Anglo-Catholicism, in it's Medieval - Gothic form, through his production of fine art, stained glass windows, metalwork and various designs for liturgical objects, and although both Burne-Jones and Morris had considered converting to Rome, both finally decided to stay true to the Anglo-Catholic faith.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Dante Gabriel Rossetti
self portrait
Dante Gabriel Rossetti was the actual founder of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, along with William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais, and was later to be the main inspiration for a second generation of artists and writers influenced by the movement, most notably William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones.
His work also influenced the European Symbolists and was a major precursor of the Aesthetic movement.
Rossetti's art was characterised by its sensuality and its medieval revivalism.
His early poetry was influenced by John Keats.

Ecce Ancilla Domini
The Annunciation
His later poetry was characterised by the complex interlinking of thought and feeling, especially in his sonnet sequence 'The House of Life'.

St George and the Dragon
Poetry and image are closely entwined in Rossetti's work; he frequently wrote sonnets to accompany his pictures.
The son of émigré Italian scholar Gabriele Pasquale Giuseppe Rossetti and his wife Frances Polidori, Rossetti was born in London, and named Gabriel Charles Dante Rossetti.
After leaving the Royal Academy, Rossetti studied under Ford Madox Brown, with whom he retained a close relationship throughout his life.
Rossetti's first major paintings in oil display the realist qualities of the early Pre-Raphaelite movement.
His 'Girlhood of Mary Virgin' (1849) and 'Ecce Ancilla Domini' (1850) portray Mary as a teenage girl.
His later visions of Arthurian romance and medieval design helped to inspire William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones. 

The Damsel of the Sanct Grail 
Neither Burne-Jones nor Morris knew Rossetti, but were much influenced by his works, and met him by recruiting him as a contributor to their 'Oxford and Cambridge Magazine' which Morris founded in 1856 to promote his ideas about art and poetry (see above).
In 1861, Rossetti became a founding partner in the decorative arts firm, Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. with Morris, Burne-Jones, Ford Madox Brown, Philip Webb, Charles Faulkner and Peter Paul Marshall.
Rossetti contributed designs for stained glass and other decorative objects.
The Rossetti family, although originally Italian, were Anglicans, and attended Christ Church on Albany Street; a church known "at this time for its High Church ritual and Catholic appearance", and Rossetti was heavily involved, as were other members of the 'Brotherhood' in the Anglo-Catholic movement.
Rossetti, as a result of his religious tenancies, makes faith appear aesthetic and mystical in his numerous religious paintings.

William Holman Hunt

William Holman Hunt
Hunt was born in London, the son of a warehouse manager.
Holman Hunt left school early and went to work as a clerk at the age of 12.
But office work bored him, he dreamed instead of being an artist.
Eventually he persuaded his reluctant parents to allow him to attend the R.A. Schools in 1844, where he could pursue his ambition to be a painter.
He met J.E. Millais around this time.
Hunt exhibited at the Royal Manchester Institution from 1845, and at the Royal Academy and the British Institution from 1846.
In September 1848, with D.G. Rossetti and Millais, he formed the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood - (see above).
Hunt left England for Egypt in January 1854, spending two years in the Holy Land.

The Scapegoat'
The major painting to result from this stay was 'The Scapegoat' (1854-5, Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight).
He contributed to Moxon's edition of Tennyson's Poems in 1857.
In 1865 he married Fanny Waugh.
They left England for the East in August 1866; however while in quarantine detention in Florence Fanny gave birth to a son, contracted miliary fever and died.
Hunt returned to England in September 1867.
The following year he travelled back to Florence to work on a memorial to Fanny.
Deeply religious, he was another of the Pre-Raphaelite artist drawn toward the Anglo-Catholic position.

The Shadow of Death
The Light of the World
His paintings were notable for their great attention to detail, vivid colour and elaborate symbolism.
These features were influenced by the writings of John Ruskin and Thomas Carlyle, according to whom the world itself should be read as a system of visual signs.
For Hunt it was the duty of the artist to reveal the correspondence between sign and fact.
Out of all the members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood Hunt remained most true to their ideals throughout his career.
He was always keen to maximise the popular appeal and public visibility of his works.
He eventually had to give up painting because failing eyesight meant that he could not get the level of quality that he wanted.
His last major works, 'The Lady of Shalott' and 'The Light of the World' were completed with the help of his assistant Edward Robert Hughes.
'The Light of the World,' begun in 1851, symbolized Christian salvation coming to a sinful world through the over-abundant, and sadly neglected undergrowth.
To achieve realism he did much of this painting at night by the light of a lamp.
The two works are full of symbolic meaning, the light and dark, the luxuriant, uncontrolled plants, and so on.
He developed his own artistic language to describe the style that he termed "symbolic realism."
With this he wanted to bring religious painting, specifically Christian, up to date for a post-Industrial audience to understand and appreciate, and to give modern churchgoers their own contemporary iconography.

John Everett Millais

John Everett Millais
Millais was born in Southampton, England in 1829, of a prominent Jersey-based family.
His prodigious artistic talent won him a place at the Royal Academy schools at the unprecedented age of eleven.
While there, he met William Holman Hunt and Dante Gabriel Rossetti with whom he formed the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (known as the "PRB") in September 1848 in his family home on Gower Street, off Bedford Square.

Christ in the House of His Parents
Millais's 'Christ in the House of His Parents' (1850) was highly controversial because of its realistic portrayal of a working class Holy Family labouring in a messy carpentry workshop. 
Later works were also controversial, though less so.

The Knight Errant 
Millais achieved popular success with 'A Huguenot' (1852), which depicts a young couple about to be separated because of religious conflicts.
He repeated this theme in many later works.
All these early works were painted with great attention to detail, often concentrating on the beauty and complexity of the natural world.
In paintings such as 'Ophelia' (1852) Millais created dense and elaborate pictorial surfaces based on the integration of naturalistic elements.
This approach has been described as a kind of "pictorial eco-system".
This style was promoted by the critic John Ruskin, who had defended the Pre-Raphaelites against their critics.
Millais later began to paint in a broader style, which was condemned by Ruskin as "a catastrophe".
 Unsympathetic critics such as William Morris accused him of "selling out" to achieve popularity and wealth.

Arts and Crafts Movement

Arts and Crafts was an international design movement that flourished between 1860 and 1910, especially in the second half of that period, continuing its influence until the 1930s.
It was led by the artist and writer William Morris (1834–1896) during the 1860s, and was inspired by the writings of John Ruskin (1819–1900).
It was largely a reaction against the impoverished state of the decorative arts at the time, and the conditions in which they were produced.
It stood for traditional craftsmanship using simple forms and often applied medieval, romantic or folk styles of decoration.
It advocated economic and social reform and was essentially anti-industrial.
The Arts and Crafts style started as a search for aesthetic design and decoration and a reaction against the styles that were developed by machine-production.
They were influenced by the Gothic Revival (1830–1880), and were interested in medieval styles, using bold forms and strong colours based on medieval designs.
They claimed to believe in the moral purpose of art, and truth to material, structure and function.
In 1887 the 'Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society' was formed with Walter Crane as president, holding its first exhibition in the New Gallery, London, in November 1888.
It was the first show of contemporary decorative arts in London since the Grosvenor Gallery's Winter Exhibition of 1881.
Morris & Co. was well represented in the exhibition with furniture, fabrics, carpets and embroideries.
Edward Burne-Jones observed, "here for the first time one can measure a bit the change that has happened in the last twenty years".
The society still exists as the 'Society of Designer Craftsmen'.

Augustus Pugin

The major Pre-Raphaelites, while not being directly involved in the development of Anglo-Catholicism, had a significant influence on the cultural milieu of the time.
In particular they helped to create an acceptance of the Gothic, and fostered a sentimental longing for a lost age of mediaevalism.
In addition, their influence on other artists and designers was considerable.
Augustus Pugin, of course, in the last years of his life, was deeply affected by the Pre-Raphaelite aesthetic, while the Pre-Raphaelites 'picked up' on Pugin's infatuation with medieval Gothic.

Augustus Welby
Northmore Pugin

As a child he was taken each Sunday by his mother to the services of the fashionable Scottish presbyterian preacher Edward Irving (later founder of the Holy Catholic Apostolic Church), at his chapel in Cross Street, Hatton Garden.
Edward Irving (4 August 1792 – 7 December 1834) was a Scottish clergyman, generally regarded as the main figure behind the foundation of the Catholic Apostolic Church.
The Catholic Apostolic Church was a religious movement which originated in England around 1831.
Catholic Apostolic Churches were highly ritualised.
The altar was usually ornate, with a receptacle (referred to as the "tabernacle") for storage of the eucharist.
Either side of the altar would be a lamp, lit during high services.
Hanging centrally over the sanctuary would be another lamp, lit when the eucharist was stored in the "tabernacle".
Seven lamps, reminiscent of the seven-branched candlestick of the Jewish rituals, would hang over the chancel near the sanctuary.
These would be lit in the morning and put out after the evening service.
All lamps were oil lamps with wicks and only pure olive oil was used.
There would be a special chair or "throne" for the chief minister at the end of the chancel on the left; in the middle of the chancel at the same level would be a special kneeler used by the minister during the intercession part of the service; a censer stand stood next to it.

Holy Catholic Apostolic Church)
Over on the right side of the chancel stood a table of prothesis used for the to-be-consecrated bread and wine for the communion, as well as other offerings as the service demanded.
A lectern was provided in the chancel on the right side for the Scripture readings; while at the front of the chancel two further lecterns, on the left and on the right, were used for the Gospel and Epistle readings in the eucharist service.
A pulpit on the left side (as looking towards the altar) would be provided for preaching.
At the back of the nave near an entrance a font with a cover would be placed for baptisms.
A comprehensive book of liturgies and offices was provided and included elements from the Anglican, Roman, and Greek liturgies as well as original work. Lights, incense, vestments, holy water, chrism, and other adjuncts of worship were in constant use.
The community laid great stress on symbolism, and in the Eucharist, while rejecting both transubstantiation and consubstantiation, held strongly to a real (mystical) presence.
The Catholic Apostolic Church was undoubtedly fulfilling a need that was also catered to by the Anglo-Catholic movement, and a number of individuals from both groups eventually converted to Rome.
Catholic Apostolic Church eventually disbanded when the last 'Apostle' (Church leader) died in 1901.
Unlike the Anglo-Catholics, the church did not have a firm historical foundation.
Undoubtedly, however, Pugin was deeply affected by the pomp and ceremony of the Catholic Apostolic Church, which was similar, in many ways, to that of the Roman catholic Church.
Pugin learned drawing from his father, and for a while attended Christ's Hospital.
After leaving school he worked in his father's office, and in 1825 and 1827 accompanied him on visits to France.
In 1834, Pugin became a Roman Catholic convert, and was received into the faith in the following year.
His conversion resulted in the loss of some commissions, but also brought him into contact with new patrons and employers.
In 1836, Pugin published 'Contrasts', a polemical book which argued for the revival of the medieval Gothic style, and also "a return to the faith and the social structures of the Middle Ages".
In his social concerns he was similar, in many ways, to William Morris.
Each plate in the book selected a type of urban building and contrasted the 1830 example with its 15th-century equivalent. 

St Peter's College - Wexford
Each structure was the built expression of a particular view of humanity: Christianity versus Utilitarianism.
The drawings were all calculatedly unfair. 
King's College London was shown from an unflatteringly skewed angle, while Christ Church, Oxford, was edited to avoid showing its famous Tom Tower because that was by Christopher Wren and so not medieval.
But the cumulative rhetorical force was tremendous.
In February 1852, while travelling with his son Edward by train, Pugin suffered a total breakdown and arrived in London unable to recognise anyone or speak coherently.
For four months he was confined to a private asylum, Kensington House.
In June, he was transferred to the Royal Bethlem Hospital, popularly known as Bedlam.
He eventually died at his house in Ramsgate on 14 September 1852.
It is probable that he was suffering from hyperthyroidism, which would account for his symptoms of exaggerated appetite, perspiration, and restlessness.

St Giles - Cheadle
Pugin's medical history, including eye problems, and recurrent illness from his early twenties, suggests that he contracted syphilis in his late teens, and this may have been the cause of his death at the age of 40.
The quality of construction in Pugin's buildings was often poor, and he was lacking in technical knowledge, his strength lying more in his facility as a designer of architectural detail.
While his influence was great, and he inspired such inividuals as W. E. Nesfield, Norman Shaw, George Gilbert Scott, William Butterfield and George Edmund Street, his designs were mechanical and repetitive, and his use of colour lacking in refinement.
Most of his effects were obtained by an overwhelming abundance of ornament, much of it, on closer examination, being uninspired and hackneyed.
Regardless, his huge output, (which probably led to his eventual breakdown) and his prestige work, such as the Palace of Westminster, secured, in the public imagination, the legitimacy of the Gothic style.
If Pugin had been born a little later, he may well have become an Anglo-Catholic, however, as Anglo-Catholicism was in its infancy when he grew to maturity, he became a Roman Catholic.
He had no direct effect on the Anglo-Catholic movement with regard to church architecture and liturgical design, but his promotion of the Gothic style had an enormous effect on the first phase of the Anglo-Catholic liturgical aesthetic. 

John Ruskin

John Ruskin
John Ruskin (8 February 1819 – 20 January 1900) was the leading English art critic of the Victorian era, also an art patron, draughtsman, watercolourist, a prominent social thinker and philanthropist.
He wrote on subjects ranging from geology to architecture, myth to ornithology, literature to education, and botany to political economy.
In all of his writing, he emphasised the connections between nature, art and society.
He also made detailed sketches and paintings of rocks, plants, birds, landscapes, and architectural structures and ornamentation.
Ruskin was brought up as an evangelical, but as an adult he rejected his early faith.
Later in life he became involved in spiritualism.

St Mark - Venice - John Ruskin
John Ruskin, rightly, was fiercely critical of Pugin's ideas, while on the other hand praising and supporting the Pre-Raphaelites.
Ruskin's views on architecture were presented in his two hugely influential theoretical works, 'The Seven Lamps of Architecture' (1849) and 'The Stones of Venice' (1853).
Finding his architectural ideal in Venice, Ruskin proposed that Gothic buildings excelled above all other architecture because of the "sacrifice" of the stone-carvers in intricately decorating every stone.
Rather oddly, Ruskin declared the Doge's Palace in Venice to be "the central building of the world".
Ruskin’s theories inspired some architects to adopt the 'Gothic' style.
Such buildings created what has been called a distinctive "Ruskinian Gothic" - inspired by Venetian Gothic.
Like Pugin, however, while not directly influencing Anglo-Catholicism, his support for the Pre-Raphaelites and the Gothic revival greatly assisted the development of the initial phase of the Anglo-Catholic Liturgical aesthetic.

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
As the Church of England underwent a revival of Anglo-Catholic and ritualist ideology it became desirable to build large numbers of new churches to cater for the growing population.
This found ready exponents in the universities, where the ecclesiological movement was forming.
Its proponents believed that Gothic was the only style appropriate for a parish church, and favoured a particular era of Gothic architecture - which they termed "English Decorated".
English Decorated - Sir Bannister Fletcher

The Decorated Period in architecture is a name given specifically to a division of English Gothic architecture. Traditionally, this period is broken into two periods: the "Geometric" style (1250–90) and the "Curvilinear" style (1290–1350). Decorated architecture is characterised by its window tracery. Elaborate windows are subdivided by closely spaced parallel mullions (vertical bars of stone), usually up to the level at which the arched top of the window begins. The mullions then branch out and cross, intersecting to fill the top part of the window with a mesh of elaborate patterns called tracery, typically including trefoils and quatrefoils. The style was geometrical at first and flowing in the later period, owing to the omission of the circles in the window tracery. This flowing or flamboyant tracery was introduced in the first quarter of the 14th century and lasted about fifty years. Interiors of this period often feature tall columns of more slender and elegant form than in previous periods. Vaulting became more elaborate, with the use of increasing number of ribs, initially for structural and then aesthetic reasons. Arches are generally equilateral, and the mouldings bolder than in the Early English Period, with less depth in the hollows and with the fillet (a narrow flat band) largely used. The ballflower and a four-leaved flower motif take the place of the earlier dog-tooth. The foliage in the capitals is less conventional than in Early English and more flowing, and the diaper patterns in walls are more varied.

The Cambridge Camden Society, through its journal 'The Ecclesiologist', was so savagely critical of new church buildings that were below its exacting standards, and its pronouncements were followed so avidly that it became the epicentre of the flood of Victorian restoration that affected most of the Anglican cathedrals and parish churches in England and Wales.
As a result, Gothic Revival succeeded in becoming an increasingly familiar style of architecture, and it became associated with the notion of 'high-church' (Anglo-Catholic) superiority, as advocated by Pugin and the 'ecclesiological movement'.

The Ecclesiological Society

John Mason Neale
Founder of the Ecclesiological Society
The 'Ecclesiological Society' from 1845, when it moved to London, was a learned architectural society founded in 1839 by undergraduates at Cambridge University to promote "the study of Gothic Architecture, and of Ecclesiastical Antiques."
Its activities would come to include publishing a monthly journal, 'The Ecclesiologist', advising church builders on their blueprints, and advocating a return to a medieval style of church architecture in England.
At its peak influence in the 1840s, the Society counted over 700 members in its ranks, including bishops of the Church of England, deans at Cambridge University, and Members of Parliament.
The Society and its publications enjoyed wide influence over the design of English churches throughout the 19th century.
During its twenty-year span, the Ecclesiological Society and its journal influenced virtually every aspect of the Anglican Church, and almost single-handedly reinvented the architectural design of the parish church.
The group was responsible for launching some of the first earnest investigations of medieval church design, and through its publications invented and shaped the "science" of 'ecclesiology'. Throughout its lifetime, all of the Society's actions had one goal: 'to return the Church and churches of England to the religious splendour it saw in the Middle Ages'.
The Ecclesiological Society held tremendous influence in the architectural and ecclesiastical worlds because of the success of this argument: 'that the corruption and ugliness of the 19th century could be escaped by the earnest attempt to recapture the piety and beauty of the Middle Ages'.
The society's "ecclesiology" was a concept about both architecture and worship, inspired by the association of the Gothic revival with reform movements (Anglo-Catholicism) within the Anglican Church. 

Strawberry Hill Gothic
Beginning as far back as Horace Walpole's Strawberry Hill, Gothic architecture was used to associate a building with certain attractive aspects of the Middle Ages.
For the early revivalists, this attractiveness was the picturesque quality of the architecture, however, the 'Middle Ages' had always had a strong association with religious piety.
The Anglican Church of the early 19th century was a languishing body, filled with corruption among the clergy and a lack of respect among the parishioners.
When, in 1833 Oxford Movement started a renewal of theology, ecclesiology, sacraments, and liturgical practices within the Anglican Church, all of the pieces were in place for the inception of the Ecclesiological Society.
Its founders, John Mason Neale, (see above) Alexander Hope, and Benjamin Webb, formed the society with the belief that by using 'Church reform', in conjunction with piety of Gothic architecture, England could recapture the religious perfection of the Middle Ages.
The Ecclesiologists earnestly believed (probably erroneously) that medieval men were "more spiritually-minded and less worldly-minded" than were those of the modern world, and that it was their duty to help return England to its former piety.

A. W. N. Pugin
Although A. W. N. Pugin was, by any standard, a pioneer of the Gothic revival, and had aesthetic tastes very close to those of the Ecclesiological Society, he was unequivocally condemned for his Roman Catholicism.
Although many architects drew the ire of 'The Ecclesiologist', the editors did not hesitate to lavish praise on those select few whom they deemed worthy.
Henry C. Carpenter's Church of St Paul, Bristol was widely praised for its correctness, as was S. W. Dawkes' Church of St Andrew, Wells Street, London.
The highest praise of all was given, in July 1842, to John Hayward for St Andrew's church, Exwick, Devon; this was proudly pronounced "the best specimen of modern church we have yet seen".
The Society's favourite, however, was undoubtedly William Butterfield.
The architect was a man of tremendous religious conviction who refused to build for Roman Catholics.

All Saints - Margaret Street - Butterfield
All Saints - Margaret Street - Butterfield
Despite his frequent infringements of the rules set out by 'The Ecclesiologist', Butterfield retained a special status with the Society which culminated in its high praise of All Saints, Margaret Street.
Despite numerous violations of its principles, such as his use of brick, expressly forbidden by 'The Ecclesiologist,' the Society went so far as to bankroll Butterfield's church.
Although the Ecclesiological Society claimed to be solely concerned with architecture, its criticism and praise of designers was often based as much on their personal convictions as it was on Gothic correctness.
The theological doctrines espoused by the Ecclesiological Society were somewhat extreme, and the society had many critics, both religious and architectural.
Members of the Low Anglican Church detested the "popish" and "romanising" tendencies they saw in the 'Ecclesiologist's' judgments.
Because the Society's doctrines were so closely related to the Anglo-Catholics, it also drew heavy criticism from the anti-Tractarianists.
Likewise, many architects despised the Society for its intolerance of creative freedom.
Self-righteous outbursts like the 'Ecclesiologist's' assertion that "it is no sign of weakness to be content to copy acknowledged perfection: it is rather a sign of presumption to expect to rival it in any other way" did little to win over its architectural enemies.
Eventualy, the society had so successfully won over the architectural community that when the society disbanded in 1868, most felt that it had done everything it had set out to accomplish.
Although a society of undergraduate students could hardly be expected to change the very nature of church building and worship across the world, the Ecclesiological Society came very near to doing so.
Incubated in Romantic notions of the Middle Ages, and the Anglo-Catholic reform movement, the Society sought to return England to its medieval past, and in its quest helped to rediscover the beauty of Gothic architecture, and to rejuvenate the Anglican Church.

“You must give people what is good and they will come to like it”
Closely associated with the Ecclesiological movement was Percy Dearmer, (27 February 1867 – 29 May 1936) was an English priest and liturgist, best known as the author of 'The Parson's Handbook', a liturgical manual for Anglican, and in particular, Anglo-Catholic clergy.
Dearmer also had a strong influence on the music of the church and, with Ralph Vaughan Williams and Martin Shaw, is credited with the revival and spread of traditional and medieval English musical forms.

Education and Ordination
Percy Daermer - English Altar
Percy Dearmer
Born in Kilburn, Middlesex, to an artistic family—his father, Thomas Dearmer, was an artist and drawing instructor.
Dearmer attended Streatham School and Westminster School (1880–1881), before moving on to a boarding school in Switzerland.
From 1886 to 1889 he read modern history at Christ Church, Oxford, receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1890.
Dearmer was ordained to the diaconate in 1891, and to the priesthood in 1892 at Rochester Cathedral.
On 26 May of that year, Dearmer married 19 year old Jessie Mabel Prichard White (1872–1915), the daughter of Surgeon-Major William White.
She was a writer (known as Mabel Dearmer) of novels and plays.
She died in 1915 while serving with an ambulance unit in Serbia.
They had two sons, both of whom served in World War I.
The elder, Geoffrey, lived to the age of 103, one of the oldest surviving war poets.
The younger, Christopher, died in 1915 of wounds received in battle.

The 'Parson's Handbook' and Vicarage at St Mary's

Percy Dearmer - English Altar
Dearmer's liturgical leanings were the product of a late Victorian debate among advocates of Ritualism in the Church of England.
Although theoretically in agreement about a return to more Catholic forms of worship, High Churchmen argued over whether these forms should be appropriated from post-Tridentine Roman Catholic practices, or revived from the traditions of a pre-Reformation "English Use" rite.
Dearmer's views fell very much on the side of the latter.
Active in the burgeoning Alcuin Club, Dearmer became the spokesman for a movement with the publication his most influential work, 'The Parson's Handbook'.
In this book his intention was to establish sound 'Anglo-Catholic' liturgical practices in the native English tradition, which were also in full accord with the rites and rubrics of the 'Book of Common Prayer', and the canons that govern its use, and therefore safe from attack by Evangelicals who opposed such practices.
Percy Daermer - English Altar
Such adherence to the letter was considered necessary in an environment where conservatives such as John Kensit had been leading demonstrations, interruptions of services and legal battles against practices of Ritualism and sacerdotalism, both of which they saw as "popery".
'The Parson's Handbook' is concerned with general principles of ritual and ceremonial, but the emphasis is squarely on the side of art and beauty in worship.
Dearmer states in the introduction that his goal is to help in "remedying the lamentable confusion, lawlessness, and vulgarity which are conspicuous in the Church at this time". What follows is an exhaustive delineation, sparing no detail, of the young priest's ideas on how liturgy can be conducted in a proper Catholic and English manner.
In 1901, after serving four curacies, Dearmer was appointed the third vicar of London church St Mary-the-Virgin, Primrose Hill, where he remained until 1915.
He used the church as a sort of practical laboratory for the principles he had outlined, revising the book several times during his tenure.
In 1912 Dearmer was instrumental in founding the 'Warham Guild', a sort of practical arm of the Alcuin Club / Parson's Handbook movement, to carry out "the making of all the 'Ornaments of the Church and of the Ministers thereof' according to the standard of the Ornaments Rubric, and under fair conditions of labour".
It is an indication of the founders' outlook, emphasis and commitment to the English Use that it was named for the last Archbishop of Canterbury before the break with Rome.
Dearmer served as lifelong head of the Warham Guild's advisory committee.


Working with renowned composer Ralph Vaughan Williams and as musical editor, Dearmer published 'The English Hymnal' in 1906.

Vaughan Williams
He again worked with Vaughan Williams and Martin Shaw to produce 'Songs of Praise' (1926) and 'The Oxford Book of Carols' (1928).
These hymnals have been credited with reintroducing many elements of traditional and medieval English music into the Church of England, as well as carrying that influence well beyond the walls of the church.
Eleanor Farjeon
In 1931 an enlarged edition of 'Songs of Praise' was published.
It is notable for the first appearance of the song 'Morning Has Broken', commissioned from noted children's author Eleanor Farjeon.
The song, later popularised by Cat Stevens, was written by Farjeon to be sung with the traditional Gaelic tune Bunessan.
'Songs of Praise' also contained Dearmer's version of 'A Great and Mighty Wonder', which mixed John Mason Neale's Greek translation and a translation of the German 'Es ist ein Ros entsprungen', from which the music to the hymn had come in 1906.

Later Years

For the fifteen years following his tenure as vicar at St Mary's, Dearmer served in no official ecclesiastical posts, preferring instead to focus on his writing.

King's College London
During World War I he served as chaplain to the British Red Cross ambulance unit in Serbia, where his wife died of enteric fever in 1915.
In 1916 he worked with the Young Men's Christian Association in France and, in 1916 and 1917, with the Mission of Help in India.
Dearmer married his second wife, Nancy Knowles, on August 19, 1916.

English Usage and the English Altar
They had two daughters and a son, Antony, who died in RAF service in 1943.
In addition to his writings, Dearmer served as professor of ecclesiastical art at King's College London from 1919 until his sudden death of coronary thrombosis on May 29, 1936.
His ashes are interred in the Great Cloister at Westminster Abbey.
Dearmer's great contribution to the liturgy of Anglo-Catholicism was his support for 'English Usage', and in particular the 'English Altar'.
Unfortunately, he also lived to see many of his ideas superseded by the turn of the century movement, often referred to as 'back to the Baroque'.
However, throughout England, there are still many churches that faithfully confirm to the principles of 'English Usage' and  'The Parson's Handbook'.

William Butterfield

William Butterfield - Chalice
William Butterfield
William Butterfield (7 September 1814 - 23 February 1900) was a Gothic Revival architect and associated with the Oxford Movement.
He is noted, unfortunately, for his excessive use of polychromy.
William Butterfield was born in London in 1814.
His parents were strict non-conformists who ran a chemist's shop in the Strand.
He was one of nine children and was educated at a local school.
At the age of 16, he was apprenticed to Thomas Arber, a builder in Pimlico, who later became bankrupt.
He studied architecture under E. L. Blackburne (1833–1836).
From 1838 to 1839, he was an assistant to Harvey Eginton, an architect in Worcester, where he became articled.

Keble College Chapel - Oxford -  Butterfield 
He established his own architectural practice at Lincoln's Inn Fields in 1840.
From 1842 Butterfield was involved with the Ecclesiological Society.
He contributed designs to the Society's journal, 'The Ecclesiologist'.
His involvement influenced his architectural style.
He also drew religious inspiration from the Oxford Movement, and as such, he was very high church despite his non-conformist upbringing.
He was a Gothic revival architect, and as such he reinterpreted the original Gothic style in Victorian terms.
Butterfield received the RIBA Gold Medal in 1884.
He died in London in 1900, and was buried in a simple Gothic tomb in Tottenham Cemetery, Haringey, North London.

George Edmund Street

St Peter's Church - Bournemouth - George Streeet
George Edmund Street
George Edmund Street (20 June 1824 – 18 December 1881) was an English architect, born at Woodford in Essex.
Stylistically, Street was a leading practitioner of the Victorian Gothic revival.
Street was the third son of Thomas Street, a solicitor, by his second wife, Mary Anne Millington. He went to school at Mitcham in about 1830, and later to the Camberwell Collegiate School, which he left in 1839.

Fenestration - Internal View
For a few months he worked in his father's business in Philpot Lane, but on his father's death he went to live with his mother and sister at Exeter.
There his thoughts first turned to architecture, and in 1841 his mother obtained a place for him as pupil in the office of Owen Browne Carter at Winchester.
Afterwards he worked for five years with George Gilbert Scott in London.
His first commission - undertaken while still working for Scott - was for the design of Biscovey Church, Cornwall.
In 1849 he set up in practice in an office of his own.

The Streaky Bacon Style - St Peter's Church  -  Bournemouth

Street was an active member of the 'Ecclesiological Society' (see above).
From an early age he had been interested in the principles of Gothic architecture, and made frequent tours to study and draw Gothic architecture across Europe.
He was an exceptional draughtsman, and in 1855 he published a very careful and well illustrated work on 'The Brick and Marble Architecture of Northern Italy', and in 1865 a book on 'The Gothic Architecture of Spain'.
These works inspired the wider use of constructional polychromy by British architects, often, (and quite reasonably) mocked as "the Streaky Bacon Style".

St James the Less -Westminster - George Street
Street was an adherent of the Anglo-Catholic tendency of the Church of England.
For many years he was a churchwarden of All Saints Margaret Street in London, built in the 1850s as a "model church" under the supervision of the 'Ecclesiological Society'.
In 1868 Street was made Diocesan Architect of Ripon, in addition to the similar posts which he already held in the dioceses of York and Oxford, and to which Winchester was subsequently added.
He was also appointed Architect to York Minster at around this time, and, later on, to Salisbury and Carlisle Cathedrals.
Street's death, on 18 December 1881, was hastened by overwork and professional worries.
He was buried on 29 December 1881 in the nave of Westminster Abbey.
Street was a vastly influential ecclesiastical architect, particularly in Anglo-Catholic circles.
Unfortunately his style was heavy and uninspired, and his tenancy to use polychromatic stonework and tiling in some of his churches was unfortunate to say the least - (see William Butterfield above).
In addition, Street's version of Gothic was not identifiable - it was eclectic - an amalgam of styles, most of which were not even English.

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William Burges

William Burges
William Burges was an English architect and designer.
Among the greatest of the Victorian art-architects, he sought in his work to escape from both nineteenth-century industrialisation and the Neoclassical architectural style, and re-establish the architectural and social values of a utopian medieval England.

Saint Mary's Church - Studley Royal - Yorkshire 
Burges stands within the tradition of the Gothic Revival, his works echoing those of the Pre-Raphaelites, and heralding those of the Arts and Crafts movement.
In addition to architecture, Burges designed metalwork, sculpture, jewellery, furniture and stained glass.

Altar - Church of Christ the Consoler
'Art Applied to Industry', a series of lectures he gave to the Society of Arts in 1864, illustrates the breadth of his interests; the topics covered including glass, pottery, brass and iron, gold and silver, furniture, the weaver's art and external architectural decoration.
Despite early competition setbacks, Burges was sustained by his belief that 'Early French Gothic' provided the answer to the crisis of architectural style that beset mid-Victorian England, writing "I was brought up in the thirteenth century belief and in that belief I intend to die"; and in 1863, at the age of 35, he finally secured his first major commission, for Saint Fin Barre's Cathedral, Cork.
Although the cathedral is modest in size, it is very richly ornamented.

Saint Fin Barre's Cathedral - Cork.
Saint Fin Barre's Cathedral - Cork
He drew designs for every one of the 1,260 sculptures that adorn the West Front and decorate the building inside and out.
He sketched cartoons for the majority of the 74 stained glass windows.
He also designed the mosaic pavement, the altar, the pulpit and the bishop's throne.
The result is undoubtedly Burges's greatest work in ecclesiastical architecture, with an interior that is overwhelming and highly original
Through his ability, by the careful leadership of his team, by total artistic control, and by vastly exceeding the intended budget of £15,000, Burges produced a building that in size is little more than a large parish church, but in impression is a cathedral becoming such a city.
What is particularly puzzling, however, considering Burges's obsession with the Gothic, is the fact that in 1870, Burges agreed to draw up an iconographic scheme of internal decoration for St Paul's Cathedral, unfinished since the death of Sir Christopher Wren, and produced a full-blown scheme of early Renaissance decoration for the interior, which he intended would eclipse that of St Peter's in Rome.

Angel - Cork Cathedral
Chalice Sisterhood of
St. Mary and St. John
However, his plans were rather too creative for most Classicists and these artistic, and linked religious, controversies led to Burges's dismissal in 1877, with none of his plans undertaken.
Regardless, his buildings have been described as 'more jewel than architecture', and his jewellery and metalwork outshone, in every respect, the work of his contemporaries.
He began with religious artefacts (candlesticks, chalices, pectoral crosses) as individual commissions, or as part of the decorative scheme for buildings over which he had complete artistic control.
Examples include the chalices for St Michael's Church, Brighton, the statue of the Angel which stands above St Fin Barre's, and which was his personal gift to the cathedral, and the Dunedin Crozier.
Burges was a devout and devoted Anglo-Catholic who later converted to Roman Catholicism in 1874.
Burgess was sympathetic to the pre-Raphaelites, and produced some of the most imaginative and successful neo-Gothic works of the Victorian period.

John Ninian Comper

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And so we come to Sir John Ninian Comper (1864–1960).
He was one of the last of the great Gothic Revival architects, noted for his churches and their furnishings.
He is well known for his stained glass, his use of colour and his subtle integration of Classical and Gothic elements, which he described as unity by inclusion.
Comper was the eldest of five children of Ellen Taylor of Hull and the Reverend John Comper, Rector of St John's, Aberdeen (and later St Margaret of Scotland).

St Sebastian

The lively and advanced Anglo-Catholicism amongst which the young Ninian was raised, naturally had a dominant influence on his life.
He was educated at Glenalmond School in Perthshire and attended a year at the Ruskin School of Art in Oxford.
Reredos - Wymondham Abbey

On moving to London, he was articled to Charles Eamer Kempe, and later to George Frederick Bodley and Thomas Garner.
In the course of seventy years Ninian Comper was the architect responsible for fifteen churches; he restored and decorated scores of others; and he designed vestments, banners and windows
One of his most significant design was the Reredos in Wymondham Abbey.

English Altar - St Wilfrid's Cantley

There can hardly be a rural deanery in 
England or a Diocese in Scotland without some example of his sensitive and unmistakable workmanship.

All Saints - Classical Ciborium
Comper's work can also to be found in churches of the Roman Communion, among them Downside Abbey.
Comper's liturgical understanding of the purpose of a church was far in advance of any other architect of his time.

High Altar - Merton College

However, if he was primarily a decorator rather than an architect, his decorative art was never simply for art's sake, but for the sake of the function for which he firmly believed a church exists, namely "as a roof over an altar".

All Saints - Carshalton 
Believing this, he built from the altar outwards, personally designing every detail of the furnishings, even down to the candle sticks, which had to fit in with his design.

Welsh National War Memorial
While bitterly opposed to 'modernism', and strongly influenced by the 'Arts and Crafts Movement', he nevertheless anticipated, through his sophisticated designs, by many years, the changes that were to come.

Pusey House Sacrament Altar 
While Comper had a profound influence on the Anglo-Catholic perception of 'Christian Gothic', by finally creating a refined, sophisticated version of the Gothic revival, he was also pivotal in encouraging the realisation in the Anglo-Catholic community that Classicism and the Baroque were equally acceptable as forms of Christian, and more particularly Anglican architecture.
His Welsh National War Memorial, situated in Alexandra Gardens, Cardiff, exemplifies his superb handling of classical forms, while the High Altar at Merton College, and the Classical Ciborium at All Saints demonstrated how such forms could be adapted for liturgical purposes.

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Society of SS Peter and Paul

High Altar - Bromptom Oratory
Ninian Comper made it abundantly evident that 'Classicism' and the Baroque were acceptable as forms of Christian, and more particularly Anglican architecture, and as the fin de siècle approached, Anglo-Catholics began to tire of Gothic revival.
The aesthetic and social concerns, typified by Ruskin and Pugin had ceased to be relevant to many in the Anglo-Catholic wing of the Anglican Church, as well as some in the Roman Catholic Church.
In 1884 Herbert Gribble designed Brompton Oratory (also known as the London Oratory) for Cardinal Newman (who had originally been a founding member of the Oxford Movement) which is now the second largest Catholic Church in London, with a capacity for more than 3,000 people.

'Back to the Baroque'
English Altar
This church had a profound influence of liturgical sensibilities during the turn of the century and the period after the Great War.
The Baroque of the Oratory was diametrically opposed to Percy Dearmer, and the 'Parson's Handbook', which held 'English Usage' and the 'English Altar' to be the only acceptable liturgical style for Anglo-Catholics, and for many who had become disillusioned with the so called 'British Museum Religion', the Baroque was seen as not only incredibly attractive, but also 'avant-garde'.


The most influencial architect and designer of the Anglo-Catholic 'back to the Baroque' movement was Martin Travers.

Lady Chapel Reredos - St Saviour's St Albans
St. Mary Bourne Street
The Baroque is a period of artistic style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, architecture, literature, dance, and music. The style began around 1600 in Rome, Italy and spread to most of Europe.
The popularity and success of the Baroque style was encouraged by the Roman Catholic Church, which had decided at the time of the Council of Trent, in response to the Protestant Reformation, that the arts should communicate religious themes in direct and emotional involvement.

St. Mary Bourne Street
In Baroque architecture, new emphasis was placed on bold massing, colonnades, domes, light-and-shade (chiaroscuro), 'painterly' colour effects, and the bold play of volume and void. In interiors, Baroque movement around and through a void informed monumental staircases that had no parallel in previous architecture. Baroque architecture and decoration is characterized by free and sculptural use of the classical orders and ornament, dynamic opposition and interpenetration of spaces, and the dramatic combined effects of architecture, sculpture, painting, and the decorative arts.

St Dunstan with Holy Angels - Tabernacle 
Travers, born Howard Mantin Otho Travers, in Margate, Kent on 19 February 1886.
He designed and constructed a number of spectacular Baroque reredoses for various Anglican churches, usually employing affordable materials such as plywood, white-wood  papier-mache and embossed wallpaper to achieve the desired effect, which, regrettably, has meant that some of his work has not weathered well.

Our Lady Watching Over London
St Mary Bourne Street - London
A reredos or raredos is an altarpiece, or a screen or decoration behind the altar in a church, usually depicting religious iconography or images. In French and sometimes in English, this is called a retable; in Spanish a retablo, etc. It can be made of stone, wood, metal, ivory, or a combination of materials. The images may be painted, carved, gilded, composed of mosaics, and/or embedded with niches for statues. Sometimes a tapestry is used, or other fabric such as silk or velvet, in which case it is referred to as a 'dosal'.
Reredos is derived through Middle English from the 14th century Anglo-Norman areredos, which in turn is from the Latin dorsum. The retable may have become part of the reredos when an altar was moved away from the wall. For altars that are still against the wall, the retable often sits on top of the altar, at the back, particularly when there is no reredos (a dossal curtain or something similar is used instead). A retable is a framed altarpiece, raised slightly above the back of the altar or communion table, on which are placed the cross, ceremonial candlesticks and other ornaments.

Famous examples of his work in London are the reredos in St Mary's church, Pimlico, and the remarkable Churrigueresque altarpiece in St Augustine's church, South Kensington.

Churrigueresque refers to a Spanish Baroque style of elaborate sculptural architectural ornament which emerged as a manner of stucco decoration in Spain in the late 17th century and was used up to about 1750, marked by extreme, expressive and florid decorative detailing.

St George - Pinner View - Harrow
Art Deco Reredos 
English Altar - Cricklade
English Altar
However, while Travers is mainly remembered for his designs in the Baroque style, he was equally at home when producing 'gothic' designs, such as the perfect 'English altar' at Cricklade and, in addition, in many of his works he introduced Art Deco themes, which at the time were fashionable.
As well as church furnishings he also designed much stained glass, and, as a draughtsman, is perhaps best known for his illustrations for the booklets and cards published by the Society of SS. Peter and Paul, a group supporting the Anglo-Papalist position.

Altar - Weston Chapel 

St Agatha Landport - Porstmouth
Deco Baroque

St Augustine, Queen's Gate
Deco Baroque

Romsey Abbey - Gothic English Altar - Lent

Tunbridge Wells - St Barnabas - Gothic

St Silas the Martyr - Kentish Town
Deco Baroque

St Mary Bourne Street - London


SS. Peter and Paul
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
Martin Travers
Neo-Baroque Altar
Anglo-Papalism is a subset of Anglo-Catholicism with adherents manifesting a particularly high degree of influence from, and even identification with, the Roman Catholic Church.

Anglo-Papalists regard the Pope as the earthly leader of the Christian Church.
They generally accept in full all the Ecumenical Councils recognised by the Roman Catholic Church, including the Councils of Trent and the First Vatican Council, along with nearly all subsequent definitions of doctrine, including the bodily Assumption of Mary.

Funeral Liturgy
Anglo-Papalists regard the Church of England as two provinces of the Western Catholic Church (the Province of Canterbury and the Province of York) forcibly severed from the rest by an act of the English Crown.

Like many other Anglo-Catholics, Anglo-Papalists make use of the rosary, benediction and other Catholic devotions.
Some have regarded Thomas Cranmer (probably rightly) as a heretic, and his first Prayer Book as an expression of Zwinglian doctrine.
They have actively worked for the reunion of the Church of England with the Holy See, as the logical objective of the Oxford Movement (see above).


The English Missal has been widely used by Anglican Papalists.
This volume, which is still in print, contains a form of the 'Tridentine Mass' (see above) in English (though with an alternative Latin translation of the Canon) interspersed with sections of the 'Book of Common Prayer'.

Elevation of the Host
Tridentine Mass
Tridentine Mass
The Tridentine Mass is the form of the Roman Rite Mass contained in the typical editions of the Roman Missal that were published from 1570 to 1962. It was the most widely celebrated Mass liturgy in the world until the introduction of the Mass of Paul VI in December 1969. In nearly every country it was celebrated exclusively in Latin. In Masses celebrated without the people, Latin Rite Catholic priests are free to use either the 1962 version of the 'Tridentine Liturgy'. These Masses "may be attended by faithful who, of their own free will, ask to be admitted." Permission to use the Tridentine form in parish Masses may be given by the parish priest.

The Roman Catholic writer Fr. Adrian Fortescue's 'Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described' served as a useful guide as to how to use the missal.
At early celebrations, some Anglo-Papalist priests would use only the 'Missale Romanum' (Roman Missal), in Latin or in English translation.

The Roman Missal (Latin: Missale Romanum) is the liturgical book that contains the texts and rubrics for the celebration of the Mass in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church.
Groups and Publications

Anglo-Papalists have established a variety of organisations, including the 'Catholic League and the Society for Promoting Catholic Unity' (SPCU), which published 'The Pilot'.
They have also provided the leadership in many more general Anglo-Catholic organisations such as the 'Annunciation Group'.
Other Anglo-Papalist groups include the 'Sodality of the Precious Blood'.
Priests of the Sodality commit themselves to recitation of the 'Roman Liturgy of the Hours' and to the Latin Rite discipline of celibate chastity.
The now-defunct Society of SS Peter and Paul published the 'Anglican Missal'.

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
based on a design by Martin Travers


Most Anglo-Catholic literature was theological or liturgical in nature, with little appeal to the general public.

Frederick William Rolfe

Frederick William Rolfe
Frederick William Rolfe, better known as Baron Corvo, and also calling himself 'Frederick William Serafino Austin Lewis Mary Rolfe', (July 22, 1860 – October 25, 1913), was an English writer, artist and photographer.
Rolfe was born in Cheapside, London, the son of a piano manufacturer; he left school at the age of fourteen and became a teacher.
He taught briefly at The King's School, Grantham, where the then headmaster, Ernest Hardy, later Principal of Jesus College, Oxford, became a lifelong friend.
Originally an Anglo-catholic, he converted to Roman Catholicism in 1886, and was confirmed by Cardinal Manning.
With his conversion came a strongly felt vocation to priesthood, which persisted throughout his life, despite being constantly frustrated and never realised.
In 1887 he was sponsored to train at St Mary's College, Oscott near Birmingham and in 1889 was a student at the Scots College in Rome, but was thrown out by both due to his inability to concentrate on priestly studies and his erratic behaviour.
At this stage he entered the circle of the Duchess Sforza Cesarini, who, he claimed, adopted him as a grandson and gave him the use of the title of "Baron Corvo".
He often abbreviated his own name to "Fr. Rolfe" (an ambiguous usage, suggesting he was the priest he had hoped to become).
Rolfe spent most of his life as a freelance writer, mainly in England but eventually in Venice.
He lived in the era before the welfare state, and relied on benefactors for support, but he had an argumentative nature and had a tendency to fall out spectacularly with most of the people who tried to help him and offer him room and board.
Eventually, out of money and out of luck, he died in Venice from a stroke on October 25, 1913. He was buried on the Isola di San Michele, Venice.
Frederick Rolfe was entirely comfortable with his homosexuality.
Early in his life he wrote a fair amount of idealistic but mawkish poetry about boy martyrs and the like, and these and his Toto stories contain pederastic elements.
As he matured, Rolfe’s settled sexual preference was for late adolescents.
Tito Biondi at Lake Nemi
Photo by Rolfe
Those of whom it is either speculated or surmised that they had sexual relations with Rolfe – Aubrey Thurstans, Sholto Johnstone Douglas, John 'Markoleone', Ermenegildo Vianello and the other Venetian gondoliers - were all young men between the ages of sixteen and twenty-one (with the exception of Douglas, who was considerably older).
The idealised young men in his fiction were of a similar age.
In 1904, soon after his ordination as a Roman Catholic priest, the convert Robert Hugh Benson formed a chaste but passionate friendship with Rolfe.
For two years this relationship involved letters "not only weekly, but at times daily, and of an intimate character, exhaustingly charged with emotion."
All letters were subsequently destroyed, probably by Benson’s brother.
Rolfe sought to characterise the relationships in his fiction as examples of 'Greek love' between an older man and an ephebe, and thus endow them with the sanction of the ancient Hellenic tradition familiar to all Edwardians with a classical education.

for more information and images see

'Hadrian the Seventh'

Rolfe wrote 'Hadrian the Seventh' 1904.
Hadrian the Seventh
Rolfe's best-known work, this novel of extreme wish-fulfillment developed out of an article he wrote on the Papal Conclave to elect the successor to Pope Leo XIII.
The prologue introduces us to George Arthur Rose (a transparent double for Rolfe himself): a failed candidate for the priesthood denied his vocation by the machinations and bungling of the Roman Catholic ecclesiastical machinery, now living alone with his yellow cat.
Rose is visited by two prominent churchmen, one a Cardinal Archbishop.
The two propose to right the wrongs done to him, ordain him a priest, and take him to Rome where the Conclave to elect the new Pope has reached deadlock.
When he arrives in Rome he finds that the Cardinals have been inspired, divinely or otherwise, to offer him the Papacy. He accepts, and since the only previous English Pope was Adrian (or Hadrian) IV, he takes the name Hadrian VII.
The novel develops with this unconventional, chain-smoking Englishman peremptorily reforming the Church, and the early 20th-century world, against inevitable opposition from the established Roman Catholic hierarchy, rewarding his friends and trouncing his enemies.
Generally he gets his way by charm or doggedness, and of course by being much cleverer than all those round him; but his short reign is brought to an end when he is assassinated by a Pope-hating Scotsman, or possibly Ulsterman, and the world breathes a sigh of relief.

Arthur Evelyn St. John Waugh

Arthur Evelyn St. John Waugh
Arthur Evelyn St. John Waugh (28 October 1903 – 10 April 1966), known as Evelyn Waugh, was an English writer of novels, biographies and travel books.
He was also a prolific journalist and reviewer.
His best-known works include his early satires 'Decline and Fall' (1928) and 'A Handful of Dust' (1934), his novel 'Brideshead Revisited' (1945) and his trilogy of Second World War novels collectively known as 'Sword of Honour' (1952–61).
Waugh is widely recognised as one of the great prose stylists of the 20th century.
The son of a publisher, Waugh was educated at Lancing and Hertford College, Oxford, and worked briefly as a schoolmaster before becoming a full-time writer.
As a young man, he acquired many fashionable and aristocratic friends, and developed a taste for country house society that never left him.
In the 1930s he travelled extensively, often as a special newspaper correspondent; he was reporting from Abyssinia at the time of the 1935 Italian invasion.
He served in the British armed forces throughout the Second World War, first in the Royal Marines and later in the Royal Horse Guards.
All these experiences, and the wide range of people he encountered, were used in Waugh's fiction, generally to humorous effect; even his own mental breakdown in the early 1950s, brought about by misuse of drugs, was fictionalised.
Waugh had converted to Roman Catholicism in 1930, after the failure of his first marriage.

'Brideshead Revisited' 
His traditionalist stance led him to oppose strongly all attempts to reform the Church; the changes brought about in the wake of the Second Vatican Council of 1962–65, particularly the introduction of the vernacular Mass, greatly disturbed him.
This blow, together with a growing dislike for the welfare state culture of the postwar world and a decline in his health, darkened his final years, although he continued to write.
To the public at large he generally displayed a mask of indifference, but he was capable of great kindness to those he considered his friends, many of whom remained devoted to him throughout his life.
After his death in 1966, he acquired a new following through film and television versions of his work, such as 'Brideshead Revisited' in 1981.

Thomas Stearns Eliot 

Thomas Stearns Eliot
Thomas Stearns Eliot OM (26 September 1888 – 4 January 1965) was an essayist, publisher, playwright, literary and social critic, ardent Anglo-Catholic, and "one of the twentieth century's major poets."
Born in St. Louis, Missouri in the United States, he moved to the United Kingdom in 1914 (at age 25) and was naturalised as a British subject in 1927 at age 39.
Eliot attracted widespread attention for his poem 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock' (1915), which is seen as a masterpiece of the Modernist movement.
It was followed by some of the best-known poems in the English language, including 'The Waste Land' (1922), 'The Hollow Men' (1925), 'Ash Wednesday' (1930) and 'Four Quartets' (1945).
He is also known for his seven plays, particularly 'Murder in the Cathedral' (1935).
He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948, "for his outstanding, pioneer contribution to present-day poetry".

Graham Greene

Henry Graham Greene
Henry Graham Greene, OM, CH, (2 October 1904 – 3 April 1991) was an English writer, playwright and literary critic.
His works explore the ambivalent moral and political issues of the modern world.
Greene was noted for his ability to combine serious literary acclaim with widespread popularity.
Although Greene objected strongly to being described as a Roman Catholic novelist rather than as a novelist who happened to be Catholic, Catholic religious themes are at the root of much of his writing, especially the four major Catholic novels: 'Brighton Rock', 'The Power and the Glory', 'The Heart of the Matter' and 'The End of the Affair'.
Several works such as 'The Confidential Agent', 'The Third Man', 'The Quiet American', 'Our Man in Havana' and 'The Human Factor' also show an avid interest in the workings of international politics and espionage.

Greene suffered from bipolar disorder, which had a profound effect on his writing and personal life.
In a letter to his wife Vivien, he told her that he had "a character profoundly antagonistic to ordinary domestic life", and that "unfortunately, the disease is also one's material".
William Golding described Greene as "the ultimate chronicler of twentieth-century man's consciousness and anxiety.
Greene never received the Nobel Prize in Literature, though he finished runner-up to Ivo Andrić in 1961.
The novels often powerfully portray the Christian drama of the struggles within the individual soul from the Catholic perspective. Greene was criticised for certain tendencies in an unorthodox direction – in the world, sin is omnipresent to the degree that the vigilant struggle to avoid sinful conduct is doomed to failure, hence not central to holiness

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