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Encyclopedia > Samuel Wilberforce
A photo of Samuel Wilberforce by Lewis Carroll
A photo of Samuel Wilberforce by Lewis Carroll

Samuel Wilberforce (September 7, 1805 - July 19, 1873), English bishop, third son of William Wilberforce, was born at Clapham Common, London. Photo of Samuel Wilberforce by Lewis Carroll, taken from [1], [2], mildly touched up by Derrick Coetzee. ... Lewis Carroll. ... September 7 is the 250th day of the year (251st in leap years). ... 1805 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... July 19 is the 200th day (201st in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 165 days remaining. ... 1873 (MDCCCLXXIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... Motto: (French for God and my right) Anthem: Multiple unofficial anthems Capital London Largest city London Official language(s) English (de facto) Government Constitutional monarchy  - Queen Queen Elizabeth II  - Prime Minister Tony Blair MP Unification    - by Athelstan AD 927  Area    - Total 130,395 km² (1st in UK)   50,346 sq... It has been suggested that Valid Bishops be merged into this article or section. ... William Wilberforce William Wilberforce (24 August 1759 - 29 July 1833) was an English parliamentarian and leader of the campaign against the slave trade. ... Clapham Common Clapham Common is a triangular area of grassland of about 200 acres (0. ... London (pronounced ) is the capital city of England and the United Kingdom. ...

In 1823 he entered Oriel College, Oxford. In the "United Debating Society," which afterwards developed into the "Union," he distinguished himself as a zealous advocate of liberalism. The set of friends with whom he chiefly associated at Oxford were sometimes named, on account of their exceptionally decorous conduct, the "Bethel Union"; but he was by no means averse to amusements, and specially delighted in hurdle jumping and hunting. He graduated in 1826, taking a first class in mathematics and a second in classics. After his marriage on June 11, 1828 to Emily Sargent, he was in December ordained and appointed curate-in-charge at Checkenden near Henley-on-Thames. 1823 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... College name Oriel College Named after Blessed Virgin Mary Established 1324 Sister College Clare College, Cambridge Trinity College, Dublin Provost Sir Derek Morris JCR President Frank Hardee Undergraduates 304 Graduates 158 Homepage Boatclub Oriel College (in full: The House of Blessed Mary the Virgin in Oxford commonly called Oriel College... Oxford Union The Oxford Union Society, commonly referred to simply as the Oxford Union, is a private debating society in the city of Oxford, whose membership is drawn primarily but not exclusively from the University of Oxford. ... Liberalism is an ideology, philosophical view, and political tradition which holds that liberty is the primary political value. ... June 11 is the 162nd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (163rd in leap years), with 203 days remaining. ... 1828 was a leap year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... Map sources for Henley-on-Thames at grid reference SU7682 Henley-on-Thames from by the playground near the Rail Station A Hill near Henley-on-Thames Henley-on-Thames is a town on the north side of the River Thames in South Oxfordshire, England, about 10 miles downstream and...

In 1830 he was presented by Bishop Sumner of Winchester to the rectory of Brighstone in the Isle of Wight. In this comparatively retired sphere he soon found scope for that manifold activity which so prominently characterized his subsequent career. In 1831 he published a tract on tithes, "to correct the prejudices of the lower order of farmers," and in the following year a collection of hymns for use in his parish, which had a large general circulation; a small volume of stories entitled the Note Book of a Country Clergyman; and a sermon, The Apostolical Ministry. At the close of 1837 he published the Letters and Journals of Henry Martyn. Liberty Leading the People by Eugène Delacroix commemorates the July Revolution 1830 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Winchester Cathedral as seen from the Cathedral Close Arms of Winchester City Council Winchester is a city in southern England, and the administrative capital of the county of Hampshire, with a population of around 35,000. ... The Isle of Wight is an English island and county, off the southern English coast, to the south of the county of Hampshire. ... Leopold I 1831 (MDCCCXXXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... Henry Martyn (February 18, 1781 - October 6, 1812), English missionary to India, was born at Truro, Cornwall. ...

Although a High Churchman Wilberforce held aloof from the Oxford movement, and in 1838 his divergence from the "Tract" writers became so marked that JH Newman declined further contributions from him to the British Critic, not deeming it advisable that they should longer "co-operate very closely." In 1838 Wilberforce published, with his elder brother Robert, the Life of his father, and two years later his father's Correspondence. In 1839 he also published Eucharistica (from the old English divines), to which he wrote an introduction, Agathos and other Sunday Stories, and a volume of University Sermons, and in the following year Rocky Island and other Parables. In November 1839 he was installed archdeacon of Surrey, in August 1840 was collated canon of Winchester and in October he accepted the rectory of Alverstoke. J H Newman age 23 when he preached his first Sermon John Henry Newman (February 21, 1801 – August 11, 1890) was an English convert to Catholicism, later made a cardinal. ... 1839 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... Surrey is a county in southern England, part of the South East England region and one of the Home Counties. ...

In 1841 he was chosen Bampton lecturer, and shortly afterwards made chaplain to Prince Albert, an appointment he owed to the impression produced by a speech at an anti-slavery meeting some months previously. In October 1843 he was appointed by the archbishop of York to be sub-almoner to the Queen. In 1844 appeared his History of the American Church. In March of the following year he accepted the deanery of Westminster, and in October the bishopric of Oxford. York is a city in Northern England, at the confluence of the Rivers Ouse and Foss. ... A small office within the Royal Household of the Sovereign of the United Kingdom, headed by the Lord High Almoner, an office dating from 1103. ... Westminster is a district within the City of Westminster in London. ... The Bishop of Oxford is the Ordinary of the Church of England Diocese of Oxford in the Province of Canterbury. ...

The bishop in 1847 became involved in the Hampden controversy, and signed the remonstrance of the thirteen bishops to Lord John Russell against Hampden's appointment to the bishopric of Hereford. He also endeavoured to obtain satisfactory assurances from Hampden; but, though unsuccessful in this, he withdrew from the suit against him. The publication of a papal bull in 1850 establishing a Roman hierarchy in England brought the High Church party, of whom Wilberforce was the most prominent member, into temporary disrepute. The secession to the Church of Rome of his brother-in-law, Archdeacon (afterwards Cardinal) Manning, and then of his brothers, as well as his only daughter and his son-in-law, Mr and Mrs JH Pye, brought him under further suspicion, and his revival of the powers of convocation lessened his influence at court; but his unfailing tact and wide sympathies, his marvellous energy in church organization, the magnetism of his personality, and his eloquence both on the platform and in the pulpit, gradually won for him recognition as without a rival on the episcopal bench. Hereford Cathedral Hereford (pronounced hěr-ə-füd or hěr-i-füd) Welsh: (pronounced Henforth) is a city in the west of England, close to the border with Wales and on the River Wye. ...

His diary reveals a tender and devout private life which has been overlooked by those who have only considered the versatile facility and persuasive expediency that marked the successful public career of the bishop, and earned him the sobriquet of "Soapy Sam." In the House of Lords he took a prominent part in the discussion of social and ecclesiastical questions. He has been styled the "bishop of society"; but society occupied only a fraction of his time. The great bent of his energies was ceaselessly directed to the better organization of his diocese and to the furtherance of schemes for increasing the influence and efficiency of the church. This article is about the British House of Lords. ...

In 1854 he opened a theological college at Cuddesdon, now known as Ripon College (Cuddesdon), which was afterwards the subject of some controversy on account of its alleged Romanist tendencies. 1854 (MDCCCLIV) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... Cuddesdon is a pre-Domesday village located in the hundred of Bullingdon, within the county of Oxfordshire in England. ... Ripon College Cuddesdon, is an Anglican theological college (seminary) located in Cuddesdon, a small village a short distance from Oxford. ...

A cartoon image representing Wilberforce during the Huxley-Wilberforce debate that was published in Vanity Fair
A cartoon image representing Wilberforce during the Huxley-Wilberforce debate that was published in Vanity Fair

In 1860, he took part in the famous debate at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History with Thomas Huxley, criticising the theories in Darwin's book On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. It is commonly believed that Huxley got the better of the exchange [1], although this has been disputed. Image File history File links WilberforceVanityFair. ... 1860 is the leap year starting on Sunday. ... The Oxford University Museum of Natural History, sometimes known simply as the Oxford University Museum, is a museum displaying many of the University of Oxfords natural history specimens. ... Thomas Huxley Thomas Henry Huxley F.R.S. (May 4, 1825 – June 29, 1895) was a British biologist, known as Darwins Bulldog for his defence of Charles Darwins theory of evolution. ... Charles Robert Darwin FRS (12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist who achieved lasting fame by producing considerable evidence that species originated through evolutionary change, at the same time proposing the scientific theory that natural selection is the mechanism by which such change occurs. ... The title page of the 1859 edition of On the Origin of Species. ...

His attitude towards Essays and Reviews in 1861, against which he wrote an article in the Quarterly, won him the special gratitude of the Low Church party, and latterly he enjoyed the full confidence and esteem of all except the extreme men of either side and party. On the publication of JW Colenso's Commentary on the Romans in 1861, Wilberforce endeavoured to induce the author to hold a private conference with him; but after the publication of the first two parts of the Pentateuch Critically Examined he drew up the address of the bishops which called on Colenso to resign his bishopric. In 1867 he framed the first Report of the Ritualistic Commission, in which coercive measures against ritualism were discountenanced by the use of the word "restrain" instead of "abolish" or "prohibit." He also endeavoured to take the sting out of some resolutions of the second Ritualistic Commission in 1868, and was one of the four who signed the Report with qualifications. Though strongly opposed to the disestablishment of the Irish Church, yet, when the constituencies decided for it, he advised that no opposition should be made to it by the House of Lords. After twenty-four years' labour in the diocese of Oxford, he was translated by Gladstone to the bishopric of Winchester. He was killed on the 19th of July 1873, by the shock of a fall from his horse near Dorking, Surrey. Huxley reportedly commented that Wilberforce's brains had at last come into contact with reality, and the result had been fatal. John William Colenso (1814-1883), British bishop of Natal, was born at St Austell, Cornwall, on January 24 1814. ... In general, the term, Ritualism can be used to describe an outlook which places a great (or even exaggerated) emphasis on ritual. ... William Ewart Gladstone (29 December 1809 – 19 May 1898) was a British Liberal Party statesman and Prime Minister (1868–1874, 1880–1885, 1886 and 1892–1894). ... Dorking is also a type of chicken breed. ...

Wilberforce left three sons. The eldest, Reginald Carton Wilberforce, being the author of An Unrecorded Chapter of the Indian Mutiny (1894). His two younger sons both attained distinction in the English church. Ernest Roland Wilberforce (1840-1908) was bishop of Newcastle-upon-Tyne from 1882 to 1895, and bishop of Chichester from 1895 till his death. Albert Basil Orme Wilberforce (b. 1841) was appointed canon residentiary of Westminster in 1894, chaplain of the House of Commons in 1896 and Archdeacon of Westminster in 1900; he has published several volumes of sermons. For other places named Newcastle or New Castle, see Newcastle (disambiguation). ... Arms of the Bishop of Chichester The Bishop of Chichester is the Ordinary of the Church of England Diocese of Chichester in the Province of Canterbury. ... 1895 (MDCCCXCV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... 1894 (MDCCCXCIV) was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... 1896 (MDCCCXCVI) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... An archdeacon is a senior position in some Christian churches, above that of most clergy and below a bishop. ...

Besides the works already mentioned, Wilberforce wrote Heroes of Hebrew History (1870), originally contributed to Good Words, and several volumes of sermons. See Life of Samuel Wilberforce, with Selections from his Diary and Correspondence (1879-1882), vol. i., ed. by Canon AR Ashwell, and vols. ii. and iii., ed. by his son RG Wilberforce, who also wrote a one-volume Life (1888). One of the volumes of the "English Leaders of Religion" is devoted to him, and he is included in Dean Burgon's Lives of Twelve Good Men (1888). John William Burgon (August 21, 1813 - August 4, 1888), English divine, was born at Smyrna, the son of a Turkey merchant, who was a skilled numismatist and afterwards became an assistant in the antiquities department of the British Museum. ...


  • A list of the works of Samuel Wilberforce
  • An examination of the evidence for what was really said in the 1860 debate on Darwinism.
  • This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.
Religious Posts
Preceded by:
Thomas Turton
Dean of Westminster
Succeeded by:
William Buckland
Preceded by:
Richard Bagot
Bishop of Oxford
Succeeded by:
John Mackarness
Preceded by:
Charles Richard Sumner
Bishop of Winchester
Succeeded by:
Edward Browne



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