Appeared in Vol. 3 No. 2 Download PDF here

In F&R II: Newman expert John Griffin established Newman’s honesty and accuracy in recounting a key aspect of the mid-nineteenth century Anglican Oxford Movement, which led many into the Catholic Church. In the article presented here, Griffin argues convincingly that those who remained in the Anglican Church after the conversions began were, by contrast, unable to be objective about Newman and Catholicism. Presenting evidence from the writings of leading Oxford Anglicans such as Edward Pusey and John Keble, as well as from less well-known sources, Griffin proves that distortion and ill wishes were very much apart of the Anglican response to Newman’s conversion. In presenting his case, the author also questions the thoroughness and reliability of Anglican historical writing, which has unfortunately perpetuated the old and anti-Catholic myths up to our own day.

I have only one regret about not speaking the other day. I wish I had said something about people not going to the Oratory, &c., with itching ears; for I observed that when Mr. Darling spoke of it there was rather a titter about the room, and I think it is the worst sign of the day. John Keble to Edward Pusey, October 18, 1850)

Historians of the Oxford Movement in its post 1845 period have failed to notice any changes in the Movement in the years after Newman’s conversion.1 One slight modification to the idea that the Movement was unchanged has been added recently by certain scholars who suggest that there was something ecumenical about the revival in its second generation. In the words of a recent ecumenist:

Henceforth the Anglo-Catholic movement was to be marked by a quality of openness towards Rome …. Newman received much abuse and misrepresentation at this time; but not from Keble or Pusey.2

The argument of the above is founded on an excellent Ph.D. thesis by Greenfield and I must first express my own gratitude to the author for allowing me to read it. At the same time, I cannot agree with Dr. Greenfield when he writes:

This refusal to take a positive stand against the Roman Church was the counterpart of Keble’s position of neutrality towards Rome.3

In what follows, I will argue that those who remained in the Church of England during the second half of the nineteenth century were intensely critical of Rome and of Newman (and all converts), and used every device to prevent others from following the example of Newman. My essay is mainly concerned with the response of Keble, Pusey, Marriott, and James Mozley (Newman’s brother-in-law) to Newman, who bore the major thrust of the slander concerning moral character and sanity, but the “response” that I will be describing was applied to all converts, and is still used by Anglo-Catholic historians of the Movement and biographers of Pusey and Keble. It was imperative that Keble, Pusey and the others discredit Newman’s move or at least minimize its significance for themselves; and the same principle is at work in the Anglican scholarship of this century. It consists of praising those who were loyal to the Church of England and who argued its cause and attacking those who left. It is the various attacks on those who left that is the concern of this paper.


The Anglican response was readied for the “thunderbolt”4 of Newman’s conversion several months before he left, at a time when Newman was in friendly correspondence with and giving in exact detail the reason for his move to Dr. Pusey. Pusey did not tell the truth when he gave as the basic reason for Newman’s conversion Newman’s “sensitivity”, and no man knew better than Pusey that it was not the truth. Still, it was essential that an anti-Newman platform be constructed.

At least two historians, Allchin and Greenfield, have quoted extensively Pusey’s “Letter” to John Keble in the English Churchman of October 20, 1845. The evidence of Pusey’s correspondence suggests that the Letter was prepared several months in advance of the event. If it was prepared in advance, some of its “unselfish”5 element is lost or at least suspect, but what might be documented here is Pusey’s attempt to minimize the significance of Newman’s conversion.

Pusey was the first to suggest that something be done to diminish the impact of Newman’s conversion. Pusey and Keble expressed the hope that Newman would go to the continent to make his profession of faith.6 Manning, Isaac Williams, Marriott, Pusey and several other high­churchmen conferred on the subject. The Manning correspondence of these years is marked “confidential”, and it appears that Manning asked Williams for a meeting in London to discuss what should be done about the pending event. Manning asked Williams to tell him all that he knew about the Newman affair and anything that Newman might have told him (Williams).7 The image of the future Cardinal that comes through these letters is not a pleasant one; and when scholars, like D. Newsome, profess their inability to understand why people prefer Newman to Manning,8 they might look at this correspondence for their answer. Manning’s Charge of 1845, in addition, does nothing to enhance his reputation for fairness or accuracy on the Newman question.9

Meetings between Williams and Manning were arranged in London, but we have no knowledge of what was decided. All that we know is that Williams was apparently frightened by some of the measures proposed by Manning and determined, following Keble’s advice, to do nothing.10 The Manning plan or declaration was given up, and he, along with Williams, T. Keble, and Marriott, adopted a partial silence in response to the early converts. Marriott seems to have been the most disturbed among this group, and he coped with the event by adopting a useful piece of slander put forward by James Mozley-Newman had never been a true Anglican.11

It remained for Pusey to take the active role in accounting for Newman’s conversion and the Letter to John Keble was his first public contribution to the cause. Allchin’s description of the Letter as reflecting “an extraordinary generosity of spirit”12 seems to me exactly wrong. Pusey wrote of what he was intending in the work:

I am hoping that people may come to think that he has a special mission and call and so that it may not be looked upon as an example to all who have learnt of him, but it will be, I fear, a most fearful rent, draining our Church of so much of her strength.13

This is a fair measure of his achievement, even in the excerpts given by Allchin. Pusey attempted to minimize the event and its implications by a seemingly complimentary set of remarks about Newman’s solitary genius. Newman was a “great instrument of God” and “our Church has not known how to employ him.” The conclusion of the Letter partly contradicts some of the earlier comments:

He seems then to me not so much gone from us, as transplanted into another part of the Vineyard, where the full energies of his powerful mind can be employed, which here they were not.14

The English Churchman rightly understood the meaning of the Pusey comments, and used this later against Newman.15

With one of the other converts, Pusey was much more open in his criticism. When F. Oakeley’s conversion was an accomplished fact, Pusey published another long letter in the EC. Again the textual evidence suggests that it was written before the conversion took place. The “Letter” was reprinted with Pusey’s permission and it is hard to find any other reason for the letter or its reprinting except that of keeping people from Rome and discrediting converts.

The Letter is in Pusey’s worst style and, inadvertently, destructive of the Anglo-Catholic version of church history. Twice, Pusey dated the history of the Church of England from the last “three hundred years”, that is, Henry VIII whom the Anglo-Catholics denounced as warmly as their Catholic brethren, if they ventured to discuss him at all. The Letter is not widely known, and therefore a long excerpt is given:

As far as I can see, you seem to me more drawn by sympathy towards the Roman Church than by any feeling of duty. But love for the Roman church should not make us forget all the blessings which God has given us in our own, and our duties to her. But love for the Roman Church. .. is no reason why we should leave that Church in which God has placed us. The question is not, whether she has high gifts, but whether we have the Presence of Christ. Since we have, (which cannot be doubted) then we are safe where we are, and we should labour … in that part of the vineyard where we have been called … no truths abroad, no contradictions at home, are any grounds whatever for abandoning the Church in which God has placed us …. There is, I suppose, hardly any Protestant leaders in Germany altogether sound in essential articles of Faith. In England our course has been upward. The life of our Church has been tried in every way that it can be tried; and now, after three centuries, it has a more vigorous life than ever …. Of us, it seems to be said, `They bring forth more fruit in their age, that they may show how true the Lord our strength is’. … It is certain that we have life. [I recommend] … general confession. If you k low of no other to receive it, I am sure that the Rev.               would. You could say that I commended you to him … divide your life into stated periods … carrying on warfare against your sins.16

We should remind ourselves that these comments on Oakeley’s going to confession and how he should examine his conscience (the longest part of the Letter) were published. It might be doubted whether anyone should write such a letter for publication, and Pusey really did not know Oakeley that well. At the same time, there was a certain brilliance of strategy in the approach used by Pusey: Oakeley and anyone else who might be thinking of Rome were guilty of some moral turpitude that only a confessor could root out. We should also remember that the Letters from Dr. Pusey on the Case of Mr. Oakeley was published after Oakeley had gone over. It is not drawing too much from Pusey’s Letter to suggest that he must have regarded the Catholic Church and its attractions as a special matter for confession.

This idea that the thought of leaving the religion of one’s birth for Rome reflected some kind of moral weakness became a dominant theme in the Anglican response to Newman. God placed men in the Church of England because that was where they were to find their salvation. To change religion was to reject one’s duty. There was an excellent reason for one of Pusey’s closest friends (Dodsworth) to note the strong anti-Romanism of Dr. Pusey in several of his letters.17 What is relevant is that Pusey’s vigorous anti-Romanism developed only after Newman’s departure.

There is a final element in both letters that might be noted. Pusey wrote glowingly of the renaissance of religious ideals during this period. This optimistic note is perhaps the one reason why persons have always described Pusey as “sanguine”. My reservations on the matter derive from Pusey’s private letters where one finds no such optimism about the Church of England and a great deal of just the opposite.

In addition to the above ideas that Pusey put forward to keep his friends in the Church of England there is one other device that, so far as I have been able to discover, none of the others used, the vow of obedience to himself. Dodsworth, a close friend of Pusey and a convert of 1850, may have had some intimation of the device, for he complained several times of Pusey’s fastening some of the women to himself.18 Whether the idea came first from Pusey or the women who took the vows of obedience, Pusey did accept such vows and on occasion at least insisted upon them.19


Keble was less prominent in this struggle than Pusey, but he did make several contributions to the Anglican response that go beyond even those of Pusey. Keble pledged his lasting friendship to Newman when the latter was about to take the final step to Rome, but when the move was known he broke off all communication with him (and everyone else who went over). S. Bellasis noted one example of this method at work when Keble remarked on a gesture of hostility by one of his friends: “That is exactly the way to treat those fellows.”20

Keble made a habit of staying away from people whom he disliked or with whom he disagreed, but I suggest that the above is part of the new anti-Romanism developed as a response to those who went over. Accordingly, I find no evidence for the “neutrality towards Rome”, of which Dr. Greenfield writes, but a great deal of evidence for increased contempt, fear, and even hatred of Rome in the years from 1845 until the end of his life.

Going over to Rome meant the abandonment of one’s moral duty to remain in the religion of one’s birth; and it emphatically meant the giving up of any kind of friendship with John Keble. R. Wilberforce noted that the only thing that kept him so long in the Church of England was Keble. The Keble-Wilberforce correspondence suggests that Keble used every kind of device to keep him, including a great deal of brow-beating and reasoning that defies logical analysis. Wilberforce was wrong to look upon any of the evils in the Church of England,21 including that great problem of erastianism. Keble failed with Wilberforce, but it was not for a lack of effort. With some of the other potential converts he was more successful. In 1864 he wrote to Pusey of his experiences with the Bishop of Brechlin:

… our friend had been with me since Friday evening … we had somemore talk; all confirming me in the impression that it is a longing for rest rather than intellectual conviction that Rome is right which is working on him. I hope he was a little more comfortable when he left us … promising to do as I desired him; which was to treat the haunting thought as simply a distress … casting it as he would any other on Him …. I also begged him to think of the terrible consequence of such moves.22

Such was his general practice with those who might be looking towards Rome as a solution to their problems. On the strength of the Pusey-Keble and Keble-Wilberforce correspondence alone, it can be argued that the anti-Roman element of the Oxford Movement was much stronger in the years after 1845 than before. Indeed, the most consistent theme among the high-church group was that it was wrong to forsake one’s duty in the national church. What is especially relevant is not the anti-romanism of this period, but the use of malicious devices to keep persons from going over. For Keble and Pusey especially these dvices might have been left to the more violent Protestants and high-churchmen because neither Pusey nor Keble had enough confidence in his own position to advise others.

The campaign against the Catholic Church and individual converts went beyond even the level described above. Keble referred to the converts as a “beacon”23, that is, a moral warning to others not to follow in their steps. He hinted with some regularity that Newman’s sanity was questionable,24 and on one occasion added a direct piece of slander about Newman’s early loyalty to the Church of England:

The next is confidential. I think I once told you that N’s expression to me was that he has for some years, 5, I think now, had a strong intellectual conviction “that the R.C. System + Xtianity are convertible terms.” This seems to settle the point as to the extent of his adherence.25

The remark cannot be true if any of the Newman-Keble correspondence or the Newman letters to other friends have any truth at all.26

Keble’s one public contribution to the controversy was his “Preface” to a second edition of his Sermons (1848). The Preface is a useful guide to Keble’s approach to Rome and the question of converts, but its mode of argument is so weak that it defies analysis. The basic theme of his argument was that any thought of leaving “Mother Church”27 should be dismissed as one would rid himself of temptations of impurity or murder. A good churchman was obliged not to believe any evil in his church, including erastianism, in the same way that a dutiful child ought not to believe anything evil of his parents without overwhelming evidence. Keble made certain moral charges against those who had left the Church of England (restlessness) and compared the Roman attitudes towards the Church of England unfavorably with Anglican attitudes towards Rome. There is, finally, an appeal to the sentiments of the reader not to abandon the religion of his birth. The most probable explanation of a man’s birth in England and baptism in the Church of
England was that was where God intended him to find his salvation.

Much more could be used to illustrate the deepening hostility of Pusey and Keble to the Catholic Church and those who went over, but it might be useful to pass on to some of the less well-known Anglo- Catholics of that time. We might remember that all of the men that I will discuss in the following were close friends of Keble and Pusey. The first is A.P. Perceval (one of the founders of the Oxford Movement) who attacked Newman in a pamphlet of 1846, Results of an Ecclesiastical Tour:

none of Mr. Newman’s worshippers, whose blind adulation helped to turn a brain, voluntarily and deliberately weakened and exposed to the temptations of satan by excessive fasting … neither he nor his flatterers (for they do not deserve to be called friends) can blame me [for this attack]. (70)

Perceval continued his attack on Newman’s theory of development and the “modern Roman Mariolatrists”. Greenfield has made a distinction between the above attitude and that of Keble and Pusey, but much of the above can be found in the correspondence and published writings of both men; in particular the suggestions about Newman’s insanity and the standard Protestant fare about “mariolatry” might be traced to Keble.

Another high-churchman who joined in the attack on Newman was J. B. Mozley, co-editor of the high-church journal, the Christian Remembrancer, and Newman’s brother-in-law. When Newman’s conversion was known, W. Scott, the other co-editor of the CR, wrote to him: “It is expected of us to take a line about Newman, and We Cannot Avoid It.”28 Mozley commented on the line that he took on Newman’s conversion:

I am here at C.R. work-just seeing through the press the most disagreeable article I have ever had to write-one namely on Newman’s secession. It was absolutely necessary to notice the fact and it fell to me to d o it … the fact is not to be avoided that a new relation is begun between Newman and the English Church, and somebody must be the person to express that new relation.29

Mozley’s article was, from the Anglican point of view, a brilliant stroke. It was entitled The Recent Schism. Schism became the standard word for the act of conversion and its implications ought not be forgotten by the modern reader, nor should Mozley’s use of the word secession in the above letter. What Mozley attempted to do was to discredit anything that Newman might say about the Church of England, for Newman, according to the Mozley version, had never been a real Anglican. Newman had never married, never engaged in parish work; his attachment to the Church of England had been purely intellectual. He was like a pilgrim travelling through the Church of England but never at rest in it.30

The third personality in this brief survey is John Taylor Coleridge, intimate and life-long friend of Keble. Coleridge of course was the recipient of Keble’s slanderous letters about Newman and the other converts; in 1850, at the end of the Achilli trial, he demonstrated how well he had learned his lessons from Keble and the others. When Newman was judged to be technically guilty of libel against Achilli (see p. 28) and a fine of one hundred pounds levied, he read Newman a lengthy “sermon” on his moral deterioration as a convert, the basic theme of the Anglican response.31 Those who went over to Rome went to pieces, intellectually and morally. The Coleridge “jobation” was described by another convert, who had suffered from the same kind of attack, as a “Puseyite sermon”.32 The designation was just. Pusey, Keble and all the other prominent Anglo-Catholics contributed to the legend that men who went over deteriorated, and most of them suggested that the process had begun before the conversion-that was why they went in the first place. The hard-core Protestantism and Erastianism of the Church of England had nothing to do with the question.


The Anglo-Catholic press, in particular The English Churchman, The Christian Remembrancer, and the Guardian, took up the question of converts. It should be remembered that The English Churchman (EC) was the major vehicle for Pusey’s frequent letters. The English Churchman is the paper that will be studied the most closely in what follows, partly because it is the least known of the three journals and partly because it is the most honest of the three. Its articles were much briefer than those of the CR or Guardian and they lacked the contrived rhetoric of the others.

The English Churchman criticized every hint of Protestantism in the English Church as “ultra-Protestant”, but it joined hands with the Protestant press in its rigorous condemnation of Catholics, the Catholic Church, and those who left the Church of England. The later remarks of Kingsley on Newman and the Catholic Church were almost pallid compared to the weekly installments of the Churchman. Again, it might be noted that there is nothing new in the various charges against converts. The difference is one of tone, and in certain instances it appears that the charges were taken directly from Keble, Pusey and the prominent Anglo-Catholics. The following is but one example of the use that was made of Pusey’s Letter to John Keble:

With regard to Mr. Newman, all who know him seem to agree in describing him as a man of exquisitely sensitive feeling;-who can tell then, how much even his mighty intellect may have been swayed by feelings keenly wounded …. Dr. Pusey indeed, who tells us that for 22 years he has had the opportunities of watching the operations of his mind, put wounded feelings prominently forward as an explanation of the phenomenum of his act of schism …. If then it would be shown that feeling has had a share in enducing these . . . men to fall into schism, it would surely be a great source of comfort for us to reflect, that where a obvious known infirmity was a party to the decision, the result arrived at was … probably erroneous.33

Pusey was responsible for the legend that it was Newman’s sensitivity that led him to Rome and not intellectual conviction, and again no one could have known as well as Pusey the inaccuracy of the charge.

Other issues of the Churchman amplified the idea that there was something insane about those who went over. In 1850, for example, a dissenter named Gorham was declared to be less of a heretic than Newman and Catholics who honored the “Holy Virgin”.34 The Gorham decision, which seemed to illustrate the erastianism of the Church of England, actually contributed to an increase in converts to Rome during the succeeding year, but the Churchman would not allow that there was any reason for men to examine their position in the national church. All who went over went over because of some “crochet or fancy”.35 They became schismatics and had been morally deficient even befor- their conversions:

… their conduct, for some time previous to their secession, had been palpably and deliberately inconsistent with an honest and faithful discharge of their duties toward the Church.36

In addition, the “perverts” who seceded were routinely described as dishonest. In 1850 it was recommended by the Churchman that potential converts be retained in some “quiet asylum”,37 an idea that was written into The Ecclesiastical Titles Bill of 1850.

What might be observed from the above is that there is nothing new in any of the charges against converts that cannot be found in, or at least traced to, leading Anglo-Catholics. The one exception might be the idea of retaining men or women in some quiet place, although this writer believes that even that measure may have been prompted or at least supported by some of the leaders. Philpotts, one of the principal advocates of the Bill, was an intimate friend of Pusey.

An extensive review of The Christian Remembrancer and the Guardian would require a single volume on this topic alone, but there are certain aspects of the response that are fairly easy to discern. The first is kindred to the above, the personal attack on converts, especially Newman. These attacks were complemented by harsh reviews of books by any of the converts, especially those of Newman. It should be added that none of the journals would review Newman’s books unless it was inescapable, as with On the Development of Christian Doctrine or Apologia Pro Vita Sua. There was even a refusal to accept advertisements for Newman’s books, a decision that was only overcome when Newman’s publisher threatened to cancel all advertisements. The few reviews which were written about the Development were harsh and, though it is not to my purpose, ignorant. Newman expressed his disbelief once that men (and friends) like J. Mozley, F. Rogers, and others could have written so ignorantly. There was a curious growth of anti-Catholicism in many of the essays in the Christian Remembrancer. One striking example was the “Achilli Trial” of 185 L Achilli was one of several apostate priests who came to England as a result of his Protestant association. Newman attacked him in 1851 as a liar and a rapist, and was sued by Achilli. This essay, written before a biased and unsubstantiated judgment against Newman was given, attacked the Catholic Church, claiming that Rome knew of Achilli’s sexual conduct and yet promoted him. Celibacy, moreover, was blamed as the root cause of Achilli’s problems. No mention was made of Newman’s innocence in the charges against Achilli. In fact, this essay included only the barest mention of Newman, concentrating rather on portraying Achilli as a man victimized by the discipline of the Catholic Church and promoted by the Roman Curia presumably because it sanctioned Achilli’s activities.

There were other essays in the Remembrancer that seem to have had no other purpose than to raise some kind of slanderous question about the Catholic Church; and again the approach to Catholicism used by the high-church journals, filled as they were with all the standard Protestant lore on the laxity of the Catholic Church, Mariolatry, and the deterioration of converts, resembles that of the militant Protestant press.

There are other parts of this response that I have not mentioned, but one final example of the recurrent charge against the morals of those who went over might be given. In 1878 Dr. Littledale, one of the prominent Ritualists, wrote:

Our general experience is that conversion to Rome involves, in a large majority of instances, sudden, serious, and permanent intellectual and moral deterioration, especially as to the quality of truthfulness.38

A friend of Newman, G. Ryder, answered Littledale and faulted him for giving no evidence for a serious charge. Littledale’s method, however, was the accepted way. J.M. Todd, another convert, had mentioned as a solemn fact “the deterioration of converts” to which Newman responded: “This deterioration lies in becoming a Catholic (which is of course a begging of the question).”39 Other elements in the response that I have not mentioned include the recurrent rumors that Newman was about to return to the Church of England because he was miserable in his new religion. This legend was repeated even after Newman’s Apologia was published.40

The above stories about Newman and his fellow converts are but a very brief survey of the Anglican response to Newman and could be amplified to fill out several volumes. I suggest again that there was nothing ecumenical about the revival in the period after 1845 and, as I have argued, there was little that reflects the basic rudiments of charity in the conduct, writings, and letters of Keble, Pusey, and those who remained. Of course the first Oxford Movement had been anti-Roman, but the traditional Protestant arguments about the morals of Catholics had never been used. It was the task of the Anglo-Catholics to refurbish those arguments.


In a very brief conclusion I would like to illustrate the same kind of response in twentieth century Anglican scholarship. I believe very strongly that the stated intentions of Keble, Pusey, and the others are at work in these numerous studies.

The idea of elaborate praise for those who remained in the Church of England as “loyal” is a major facet of the response. It was with good reason that a learned historian of the Church of England complained of the “mounds of Hagiography” that have been written about the personalities in the Oxford Movement. Biographers of Keble and Pusey and historians of the Oxford Movement do freely refer to both men and their disciples as “saints”.

Another aspect of this response that might be noted briefly is the unwillingness of historians of the Oxford Movement to discuss the questions of erastianism or even use the word itself. The question and the word are usually ignored. One might blame Dean Church’s seminal account of the Oxford Movement for this phenomenon. Church barely used the word erastian, and avoided all of Newman’s controversial writings in writing his Oxford Movement, especially Newman’s Difficulties, even though he did expand his “memoir” to include scholarly references from other high-church Tories who, like Church, feared disestablishment as the greatest evil that could befall the Church of England.

Other historians of the Movement have been expressly critical of Newman. Overton, citing the Mozley essay, wrote that Newman had never been a true Anglican.41 S.L. Ollard made much of the sensitive Newman, and criticized those who left in (ca.) 1850 for their panic.42 He concluded his book with the boast that only one of three had left the Church of England,43 a remark extremely misleading in itself and, from an historical point of view, false. That Anglican biographers and historians have been tough and even judgmental, without evidence, on Newman and his fellow converts, and laudatory of those who remained, again without checking their evidence, can be illustrated as long as one has patience to read.44 There is, however, one particularly fine example in F.L. Cross’ John Henry Newman, written for “The Tractarian Series”, and published alongside biographies of Keble, Pusey and others in 1933. Cross’ book is very different from the studies on Keble and Pusey, which were highly complimentary and even hagiographic. The biographers of Keble and Pusey had no difficulty in calling their subjects “saints”. In contrast, Cross’ portrait of Newman is that of a vengeful egotist, a man of “resentiment”.45 In Cross’ view, Newman’s conversion of 1845 was the result of his frustrated ego. There was no intellectual conviction behind it. As if more were needed, Cross attacked the work in which Newman discussed the reasons for his conversion. The Apologia was “fundamentally misleading”, and Cross’ argument was apparently made stronger by attacking one of the supposedly weak elements in it: its account of National Apostasy.46

A second work that has been even more pernicious than that of Cross was G. Faber’s The Oxford Apostles (1933). Under the cloak of “modern knowledge”, Faber presented a picture of Newman as a tortured and sensitive egotist whose move to Rome came partly because of his lack of manliness. Faber enhanced his portrait of Newman by making much of the pledge of virginity that Froude and Newman had discussed. The work has been shown up as ignorant and based on a (deliberate?) misconstruction; but the legend has held on. If modern knowledge tells us much, it warns us of persons who find homosexuality everywhere.47

There are other works of more recent vintage that manifest the same spirit as the above and the earlier response to Newman that formed the substance of this paper. It seems that Newman and all who went over, from the Anglican point of view, must be discredited. My complaint here has mainly been against the prejudicial history of the Oxford Movement, which may be understandable since it is based on tradition. Nevertheless, the first element in Newman’s life and work that a serious student will notice is consistency. Thus Newman’s work as an Anglican was based on a misconception that the state-church alliance was no more than a “happy anomaly”,48 and when he learned of his error, he took corrective steps.

With those who had known Newman during his Anglican years, it is less easy to be forgiving. I have argued that his friends, E.B. Pusey, John Keble, James Mozley, and the others, deliberately set out to discredit him in order to retain persons in the Church of England. Even this, though I believe it involved lying about Newman, is understandable but for one point. The faith of Keble and Pusey in the system they professed was far too shaky for them to attempt to advise others. Keble described himself once as in the role of “the blind leading the blind.”49 Pusey in many places admitted that the Oxford ideal was not working, in spite of the professed optimism in his published Letters.

It should also be remembered that those who went over to Rome suffered a complete alienation from their friends, the risk of slanderous attacks and estrangement even from relatives. There is one thing more. Those who went over, almost to a man, underwent severe financial reverses. Those who remained “loyal” to the Church of England, whatever may have been their relationship to bishops and laity,50 were at least spared that.


1 Cf. Clarke, The Oxford Movement and After (1933); Sparrow-Simpson, The History of the Anglo-Catholic Revival from 1845 (1932); Ollard, Short History of the Oxford Movement (1915); Thereau-Dangin, The English Catholic Revival in the Nineteenth Century (1932); Northern Catholicism (1933); and every other volume that has been written on the second generation of the Oxford Movement as well as the major  lives of Keble, Pusey and the prominent Anglo-Catholics.

2 Allchin, The Via-Media, An Anglican Revaluation in Newman: A Portrait Restored (pb. 1965), 68.

3 The Attitude of the Tractarians to the Roman Catholic Church (1833-1850 (D. Phil. thesis, Oxford, 1956, 2 vols.), I, 477-8.

4 Keble’s recurrent description of the event; cf. ms, letter to Pusey (Oct. 21, 1845), Pusey House, Oxford; hereafter referred to as PH.

5 Liddon, Life of E.B. Pusey (4 vols.; 1898), II, 463; Liddon did not cite the relevant letters to Pusey during this period.

6 Ms. letter Keble to Pusey (June 20,1845); the idea was originally Manning’s and Coleridge’s according to Pusey.

7 Ms. letter to Williams (Nov. 7, 1844) in Williams Deposit, No. 3, Lambeth Palace Library; hereafter referred to as LP.

8 Newmania in Journal of Theological Studies, XIV, Pt. II, 420ff.

9 Quoted in E.S. Purchell, Life of Cardinal Manning (2 vols.; 1898) I, 305ff.

10 Ms. letter to Pusey (May ? 1845), in Williams Deposit, No. 3, LP.

11 Ms. letter to Pusey (Jan. 4, 1846); before the article, Marriott admitted to “severe agitation” because of Newman’s Essay; cf. letter to Pusey (Nov. 30, 1845), PH.

12 Allchin, 78; in addition, there is no evidence for Allchin’s remark on Pusey’s “deep conviction of God’s continuing purpose for the Church of England,” 78, and very much evidence in the opposite direction; cf. ms. letters to Manning of 1845-6, esp. Jan. 1845; Jan. 22, 1845.

13 Ms. letter to Keble (April 27, 1845), PH.

14 Letter to the English Churchman (Oct. 21, 1845); see also Liddon,II,460-3.

15 See below, n. 32.

16 Letter from Dr. Pusey on the case of Mr. Oakeley, in English Churchman (Oct. 30, 1845); the advertisement to the pamphlet reprint reads, “written in August . . . reprinted with his permission . . . in the hope that a more extensive circulation of it may … be useful to the Church.”

17 Cf. ms. letters Dodsworth to Pusey, esp. Nov. 28, 1846, PH.

18 Ms. letter to Pusey (June 18, 1846), PH.

19 For citations of this material see Griffin, Dr. Pusey and the Oxford Movement in HMPEC(1973); and Satiric Elements in Newman’s Apologia in Revue de l’Universite D’Ottawa (1974).

20 Memorial of S. Bellasis (1923), 56 and in passim.

21 Some of the relevant correspondence between Keble and Wilberforce is printed in Newsome, The Parting of Friends (1966), 394ff.

22 Ms. letter to Pusey (June 14, 1864), PH.

23 Letters and Sermons of J.H. Newman, ed. Dessain (1961).

24 Cf. Letters of J. B. Mozley (1888), 170 and other letters of Keble to Pusey (1845), PH.

25 Ms. letter to J. Coleridge (June 14, 1845) in Coleridge Collection, Vol. II, Bodleian, Oxford.

26 E.g., Newman’s letter to R. Westmacott (April, 1841): “I have no thought whatever of going over to Rome, or letting others.”-in Manuscript collection, Yale U.; all of Newman’s letters of this year reflect a similar attitude.

27 Cf., Preface of Sermons (1848 ed.), IV.

28 Letters of J.B. Mozley, 172.

29 Ibid., 173.

30 The Recent Schism in CR (1846), XI.

31 The “sermon” was reprinted in The English Churchman (1850), 85, with a brief editorial: “Dr. Newman has assuredly violated every precept of good taste, of gentlemanly feeling, and of common decency, by his language with respect to the Church he abandoned.”; p.87: “Achilli had his ground of complaint and a real one against Rome.”

32 J.M. Capes (who had suffered under the same kind of attacks) to Newman in Letters and Diaries (1963) XIII, 285.

33 English Churchman (Feb. 26, 1846).

34 English Churchman (Feb. 28, 1850), 138-9; Gorham denied Baptismal Regeneration and won the case against his bishop in a civil court.

35 Ibid. (April 4, 1830), 218.

36 Ibid. (April 11, 1850), 394.

37 Ibid.(Sep. 18, 1845), 598.

38 Why Ritualists do not become Roman Catholics in Contemporary Review (Nov. 1878), 819.

39 Letters and Diaries of John H. Newman, ed. Dessain (1963), XIII, 39.

40 Cf. E. Husband, What then will Dr. Newman Do (1870); the Letters and Diaries contain more than twenty references to this recurrent legend and Newman’s persistent denial of it.

41 The Anglican Revival (1915), 47.

42 A Short History …(1915), 113ff.

43 Ollard, 273.

44 For a brief survey, see Abbott, The Anglican Career of Cardinal Newman (1892); Williams, Autobiographv (1892); Grafton, A Journey Godward (1910); Donaldson, Five Great Oxford Leaders (1905); Morse-Boycot, They Shine Like Stars (1947); Weatherby, Cardinal Newman and his Age (1973), 235ff; B.A. Smith, Dean Church: The Anglican Response to Newman (1958) contains little that might be construed as an attack on Newman’s moral character or reliability as an historian of the Oxford Movement and it has provided me with a title for this paper, but Smith suggests nothing in Church’s life or writings that might be regarded as a “response” to Newman.

45 Cross, 70 and in passim.

46 Ibid., 162; Cross’ reading of the “myth” of National Apostasy was the direct object of attack in my The Meaning of National Apostasy in Faith & Reason, II (1976).

47 It would appear that Keble had ideas about celibacy himself and believed for a brief period at least that the state should remove “all temptations to marry ….”; ms. letter to Coleridge (Dec. 3, 1834). Coleridge Collection, I, Bodleian, Oxford.

48 Cf. Griffin, The Radical Phase of the Oxford Movement in JEH (1976).

49 Ms. letter to Coleridge (June 1844), Taylor Collection, Bodleian.

50 The laity and bishops attacked the Puseyites at frequent intervals; this is one reason why I think the word “loyal” cannot be applied to Keble and Pusey; cf. Griffin, The Oxford Movement: A Revision (1977).