Tractarians and Evangelicals, the extremists of the nineteenth-century church, have successfully imposed their propaganda on posterity. Every text assumes that these militants saved the Church of England from the slough of complacency and corruption that their most powerful enemies - 'high and dry' dignitaries - had created.
This book rehabilitates the bishops and deans who are commonly supposed to have lavished preferment on unworthy friends and relations. It shows how members of the Hackney Phalanx, the high-church equivalent of the Clapham Sect, used their patronage to co-opt the able and energetic sons of rising business and professional families: ordinands with the talent and ambition to make a substantial contribution to the church from families that might have otherwise been lost to dissent. A single clerical connection, of nine related clergymen revolving round a mid nineteenth-century Dean of Canterbury, William Rowe Lyall (1788-1857), illuminates a number of central features of church and society: patronage; the co-option of new men; and the attraction of the church as a professional career.
This exceptionally readable book contains vivid pen-portraits of Dean Lyall and his clients, rigorous economic analysis of the financial returns of a clerical career.
"It deals with every kind of question for which I personally require an answer!" --Asa Briggs It deals with every kind of question for which I personally require an answer! Asa Briggs" "It deals with every kind of question for which I personally require an answer!" --Asa Briggs