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Special issue

Frederic Rogers, Oxford Movement Ecclesiology, and British Imperial Thought

Frederic Rogers, l'ecclésiologie du Mouvement d'Oxford et la pensée impériale britannique
L. M. Ratnapalan

Résumés

Cet article vise à montrer l'intérêt de prendre en compte l'ecclésiologie - la théologie de l'Église - dans l'étude de l'idéologie impériale britannique en décrivant comment les débats intra-ecclésiologiques anglicans ont façonné le discours du milieu du dix-neuvième siècle sur l'Empire britannique. Il met en lumière l'impact du Mouvement d'Oxford sur l'esprit de l'administrateur colonial britannique Sir Frederic Rogers, Lord Blachford (1811-1889), en révélant les liens entre sa pensée impériale et les concepts issus de l'ecclésiologie tractarienne. En particulier, l'article démontre que la compréhension du développement colonial britannique par Rogers s'appuie sur les idées tractariennes d'équilibre et de cohérence. En conservant le sens de l'importance du lien historique avec les colonies de peuplement tout en respectant leur droit à la liberté, Rogers a constitué la relation impériale comme une via media.

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Texte intégral

I would like to thank Matthew Butler, Frances Knight, and the two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments.

Introduction

  • 1 For an example that has provoked much debate, see Caroline Elkins, Legacy of Violence: A History of (...)
  • 2 Jennifer Pitts, ‘Ideas of Empire: Civilization, Race, and Global Hierarchy’, in Cambridge History o (...)
  • 3 I refer to ‘catholic’ in the broad sense used by Tractarian and other mid-century writers, of a sin (...)

1Renewed interest in the legacy of the British Empire has stimulated the study of the history of imperial ideology.1 With its political ascendency in the nineteenth century, liberalism has been the primary ideological focus in studies of the Victorian phase of the empire. In her excellent overview, Jennifer Pitts summarizes British imperial thought during this period as ‘a story of the development and quick dominance of imperial liberalism, with its commitment to the use of imperial power for the purpose of civilizing and improving colonized societies’.2 Pitts continues that ‘imperial liberalism’ then faced a ‘mid-century crisis’, ‘brought on in part by its own internal tensions’, which ‘resulted in challenges from those who believed liberalism’s civilizing aims were unattainable’. Her comment prompts this fresh analysis of one of the fractures in Victorian intellectual history. While acknowledging the liberal predominance in British imperial thought, the present article develops Pitts’ insight about its mid-century crisis to highlight the significance of catholic ecclesiology as a challenge and counter to it.3

  • 4 Duncan Bell, The Idea of Greater Britain: Empire and the Future of World Order, 1860-1900 (Princeto (...)
  • 5 Matthew Butler, ‘“An Empire on which the sorrow never sets”: Kenelm Vaughan’s “Confraternity of Exp (...)
  • 6 Rowan Strong, Anglicanism and the British Empire c. 1700-1850 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 200 (...)
  • 7 Strong, Anglicanism and the British Empire, p. 218.

2Historians have begun to assess the role of religion in the thought of British writers that were concerned with empire. Duncan Bell highlights a common Protestantism in his influential account of the ‘British Anglo-Saxon community’ that was elaborated by a range of nineteenth-century thinkers.4 ‘Greater Britain could be seen as the striving for a global church, with [Sir John] Seeley […] the apostle of this vision’, Bell claims, although he concludes that, in the end, ‘religion played an indeterminate role in the debates’. Matthew Butler has demonstrated how British Roman Catholics were beginning to establish a distinctive view of the Empire at the close of the century that involved inverting the prevailing Protestant view. According to Butler, the Roman Catholic cleric Kenelm Vaughan’s Confraternity of Divine Expiation was an ‘unusual amalgam of British imperialism and ultramontane piety’.5 Rowan Strong has convincingly portrayed an Anglican providentialist concern for the Empire that lasted through the eighteenth century, which then underwent a ‘paradigm shift’ in the 1840s with a ‘new assertive emphasis on episcopacy, self-determination, and self-governance’.6 He asserts that the catholicizing Oxford Movement of the 1830s and 1840s was relatively unimportant in this shift because, for a variety of reasons, it was ‘a more marginalized movement within Anglican circles of power, looked at by Evangelicals and High Churchmen alike with suspicion and hostility’.7 In spite of their different emphases, these interpretations highlight the need to attend to denominational religion in order to better understand the contours of nineteenth-century British imperial thought.

  • 8 Followers of the Oxford Movement were called ‘Tractarians’ after the Tracts for the Times that were (...)
  • 9 Letters of Frederic Lord Blachford, Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies 1860-71, ed. George E (...)
  • 10 W. P. Morrell, British Colonial Policy in the Age of Peel and Russell (Oxford, Clarendon Press, 193 (...)
  • 11 Edward Beasley, Mid-Victorian Imperialists: British Gentlemen and the Empire of the Mind (Abingdon: (...)
  • 12 Rogers quoted in Beasley, Mid-Victorian Imperialists, 46.
  • 13 Although there are some interesting, if broad, similarities with the views of Positivists on the ti (...)

3Building on the work of Strong and others, this article therefore seeks to explain how Anglican intra-ecclesiological debates shaped mid-century discourse about the British Empire. In so doing, it aims to show the value of taking ecclesiology – the theology of the church – into account in the study of British imperial ideology. The article emphasizes the impact of the Oxford Movement on the mind of the British colonial administrator Sir Frederic Rogers, Lord Blachford (1811-1889), by proposing connections between his imperial thought and concepts arising from Tractarian ecclesiology.8 As a young man, Rogers entered Oxford University and became John Henry Newman’s (1801-1890) favourite pupil. During this period, Rogers played an active role in the Oxford Movement to reform the Church of England, a movement that was led by Newman and other Anglican figures at the University. Near the end of his life, Newman is said to have observed that ‘of all his friends Lord Blachford was the most gifted, the most talented and of the most wonderful grasp of mind’, and that none else at Oxford ‘had approached his intimacy with Lord Blachford’.9 Rogers’ involvement in British colonial affairs began with his appointment in 1846 as a junior member of the Colonial Land and Emigration Board.10 In his later role as Permanent Under-Secretary of State for the Colonial Office, which he took up from 1860 to 1871, Rogers played an important part in the direction and management of British colonial policy. The article contests the view that the religious ideas which engaged Rogers during his Oxford days constituted ‘another world’ bearing little influence on his professional career as lawyer and colonial bureaucrat.11 Rather, Rogers continued to be steeped in Tractarian theology and ecclesiastical politics throughout his life. As with other Tractarians, he opposed prevailing liberal political ideologies and pointedly distanced himself from the ‘transcendental expectation’ of a global Anglo-Saxon political community, which he found morally suspect and likely to lead to a ‘contrivance for bullying the rest of the world’.12 He also had no obvious affiliation with the major strains of reactionary anti-imperialism.13

4While Rogers occupied significant positions in the metropolitan colonial apparatus during the turbulent 1850s and 1860s, he remained outside the mainstream of British opinion concerning the Empire. The article unravels this puzzle by demonstrating the interfusion of his ecclesiological and political thought. The first section highlights the importance of ecclesiology in the shaping of British political opinion by showing how Tractarian views about the restoration of the Roman Catholic episcopal hierarchy in 1850 cut across traditional Protestant interpretations of national sovereignty. Rogers, in particular, emerges through the debates as someone who had a more measured understanding of the meaning and significance of that moment, and sought to interpret it primarily as an issue for the Church of England rather than for the British nation at large. The following section describes the impact of the Oxford Movement’s creative tensions on Rogers’ ecclesiology, particularly the thought of Newman, who would eventually leave the Church for Rome. Despite Newman’s move, Rogers’ understanding of British colonial development builds on Tractarian ideas of balance and consistency that may be best represented by his old teacher. The conclusion assesses Rogers’ place in British imperial thought by arguing that he belongs neither to traditionally conservative or liberal camps. Rather, his view may be characterized by a moderation whose roots lie in the Oxford Movement’s sense of autonomous development.

Between Catholic and Protestant interpretations of the British Empire

  • 14 John Henry Cardinal Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine (London, Longmans, Gr (...)

5Reflecting on modern imperial history in his Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, John Henry Newman explained how ‘states have their respective policies, on which they move forward, and which are the conditions of their well-being’, with ‘Protestantism’ ‘the form or life’ of ‘the British Empire’, so that ‘the admission’ of ‘Catholic ideas’ into it would ‘be the destruction’ of its ‘conditions of power’.14 Although he did not go on to specify what those ‘Catholic ideas’ were, like many British people Newman believed that Roman Catholicism had significantly shaped the nation’s imperial imagination. He voiced the fundamental and unremarkable principle that the foundations of empire, in both popular and ideological senses, rested on opposition to Catholicism.

  • 15 John Darwin, Unfinished Empire: The Global Expansion of Britain (London, Bloomsbury, 2012), p. 25.
  • 16 David Armitage, The Ideological Origins of the British Empire (Cambridge, Cambridge University Pres (...)
  • 17 Linda Colley, Britons: Forging the Nation 1707-1837 (New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 1 (...)

6Historians have adopted a broad canvas to explore how this widespread notion had hinged on the Protestant Reformation and the far-reaching changes to which it led. John Darwin has suggested that British conceptions of security from the time of Elizabeth I were formulated in response to a continental Europe that was under the shadow of Rome.15 David Armitage offers the compelling expression ‘Protestant, commercial, maritime and free’ to describe the ideological formation of the eighteenth-century Empire.16 Linda Colley argues that Protestantism was the foundation for a common sense of ‘Britishness’ that bound a warring people together through the long eighteenth century to the accession of Queen Victoria. During this period, in legal terms, Catholics ‘were treated as potential traitors, as un-British’.17 Above all, the break with the Catholic Church was interpreted historically and politically through the guise of Providence, as a divine gift to the English (or British) people and the cause of their ascent to global greatness.

  • 18 For a useful overview, see Mary Heimann, ‘Catholic revivalism in worship and devotion’, in The Camb (...)
  • 19 See Edward Norman, Roman Catholicism in England: from the Elizabethan Settlement to the Second Vati (...)
  • 20 For a classic study of the Scottish context, see A. C. Cheyne, The Transforming of the Kirk: Victor (...)

7Newman’s allusion to Protestantism, Catholicism, and empire touches on the renewed interest in questions of political sovereignty and national identity which accompanied the revival of British Catholicism.18 The revival may be illustrated in a number of ways. Institutionally, there was the wide-ranging impact of the return of a territorial Roman Catholic episcopal hierarchy in 1850, which (mostly) helped to support a revival of religious and missionary orders, the building of churches, schools, and other religious institutions.19 It made the Roman Catholic Church much more visible than it had been for several centuries. The Catholic revival also refers to the greater cultural presence of Roman Catholics in nineteenth-century British life resulting from liberal legislation and, predominantly, Irish immigration. The institutional and numerical revival of the Roman Catholic Church in Britain was linked to the wider enthusiasm for “catholic” thought and practice – ritualism, church adornment, and episcopal authority, for example – among adherents of the established British churches.20

8Pope Pius IX’s bull Universalis Ecclesiae paved the way for the reestablishment of the English Roman Catholic episcopacy. Received with horror by many Protestant British writers, the term “papal aggression” was used to express the sense that national sovereignty was somehow threatened because of such instances of the return of the old enemy to British shores. After all, many British people had considered the Catholic religion to be a relic of the past: foreign, strange, and, its adherents potentially subversive of national interests. The Queen expressed the general mood of disquiet, as well as her defiant response, at her opening address to Parliament in 1851:

  • 21 ‘Imperial Parliament – Opening of the Session, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 1851’, in The Roman Catholic Questi (...)

The recent assumption of certain ecclesiastical titles conferred by a foreign Power has excited strong feelings in this country, and large bodies of my subjects have presented addresses to me, expressing attachment to the Throne, and praying that such assumptions should be resisted. I have assured them of my resolution to maintain the rights of my Crown, and the independence of the nation, against all encroachment, from whatever quarter it may proceed.21

  • 22 Ibid.

9She went on to state her ‘earnest desire and firm determination, under God's blessing, to maintain unimpaired the Religious Liberty which is so justly prized by the people of this country’.22 Although toleration had to be affirmed in a liberal age, it was feared that Roman Catholicism threatened Britain’s Protestant identity and the national wealth, prestige, and freedoms that it was widely believed had accrued from it.

  • 23 Brian Fothergill, Nicholas Wiseman (New York, Doubleday and Company, 1963), pp. 294-5.

10During the crisis, Nicholas Wiseman, Cardinal Archbishop of the newly-created Catholic Diocese of Westminster, quickened English pulses with his ‘Pastoral’ letter in which he assured the faithful that ‘Catholic England has been restored to its orbit in the ecclesiastical firmament, from which its light had long vanished’.23 Although Wiseman toned down the triumphalism in letters addressed to the wider (non-Catholic) British population, an audience had been eagerly waiting for him to speak since news of the restoration of the hierarchy had filtered through from Rome. The Editor of the Times was among those who pounced on the words of the Roman Church’s new prince:

  • 24 Fothergill, Wiseman, pp. 162-3.

We are at a loss […] for an appropriate term to characterize as it deserves such a mixture of blasphemy and absurdity, and we prefer to leave our readers to pass their own judgement on such a passage, and on the creed which dictated it.24

  • 25 ‘Lord John Russell and the Pope’, in The Roman Catholic Question in 1851, s.1, p. 8. Quotations in (...)

11Even high political figures were drawn into the debate. The British Prime Minister, Lord John Russell (1792-1878), wrote in approval to a statement from the Anglican Bishop of Durham that “the late aggression of the Pope upon our Protestantism” was indeed “insolent and insidious”.25 Russell explained that, in contrast to accepted traditions of British dissent, the papal documents portrayed an ‘assumption of power [...] a pretension to supremacy over the realm of England, and a claim to sole and undivided sway, which is inconsistent with the Queen’s supremacy, with the rights of our bishops and clergy, and with the spiritual independence of the nation, as asserted even in Roman Catholic times’. He believed that recent events marked a new level of boldness from Rome but was confident that ‘The liberty of Protestantism has been enjoyed too long in England to allow of any successful attempt to impose a foreign yoke upon our minds and consciences’. 

12Yet the greater ‘alarm’ for Russell – and here we should recall that the Prime Minister was publicly addressing the Anglican Bishop of Durham – was the ‘danger within the gates’ from catholicizing Church of England priests. He referred to ‘The honour paid to saints, the claim of infallibility for the Church, the superstitious use of the sign of the cross, the muttering of the Liturgy so as to disguise the language in which it is written, the recommendation of auricular confession, and the administration of penance and absolution’ as examples of this tendency among those ‘who have subscribed the Thirty-nine Articles, and acknowledged in explicit terms the Queen’s supremacy’. Russell closed his letter by expressing trust in the ‘reverence’ of ‘the great mass of a nation’ for ‘the glorious principles and the immortal martyrs of the Reformation’, who have ‘contempt’ for ‘the mummeries of superstition’ and ‘scorn’ for the ‘laborious endeavours’ to ‘confine the intellect and enslave the soul’. Russell’s linking of the language of English liberty with anti-Catholicism demonstrated his strong affirmation of a common British Protestant tradition. As a product of the University of Edinburgh rather than the conventional Oxbridge education, he perhaps affirmed this tradition more strongly than other British figures of authority.

  • 26 Letters of Frederic Lord Blachford, p. 141.
  • 27 Rogers’ dedication to the building of a new church close to his Devon home is still remembered: htt (...)
  • 28 Letters of Frederic Lord Blachford, p. 141.

13Although the Durham Letter was popular, Frederic Rogers privately criticized it as ‘one of the most arrant pieces of humbug that was ever got up by a Whig Minister for his own ends’.26 Unlike the latitudinarian Russell, Rogers was a High Churchman whose main concern was the impact that the Prime Minister’s letter would have on the Church of England – although he expected that ‘The mob outcry will wear itself out’.27 Unlike the various interlocutors who quarreled over the meaning and likely national impact of a restored Roman Catholic hierarchy, Rogers maintained a moderate position. Rather than strongly representing a mainstream Anglican opinion, he expressed concern for the health of his church and especially of its Tractarian wing. Despite the furor, he did not ‘see any shaking in our clique; [John] Keble is as firm as a rock and stouter in acquiescing in aggression against Rome than I ever thought to see him’.28 Rogers’ views show how ecclesiological differences could nuance the argument over national sovereignty.

  • 29 ‘Anglo-Romanism’, The Guardian, 20 November 1850, p. 828. Quotations in this paragraph are taken fr (...)

14Rogers’ broader thinking on the debate about the restoration of the English Roman Catholic hierarchy can be fairly estimated from a piece that was published anonymously in the Tractarian newspaper The Guardian, which he had helped to establish.29 In ‘The English Church and Rome’, the author expressed the opinion that there was nothing new to complaints about the Pope’s recent claims upon ‘English citizens’, which is ancient and has been long-tolerated in this country; yet ‘we may deplore and protest against it as Churchmen’. He was speaking of the loss of that portion of religious England – catholic Anglicans like himself – who ‘did not identify Christianity with hatred of the Pope’, but who now have had ‘a sentiment–an imagination’ ‘swept away’. Rogers’ ire was especially directed against Anglican converts to Roman Catholicism: ‘those who have left the English Church, and who are infusing fresh life into the war which is waged against her’. He makes a sharp comparison between ‘the inherent Anti-Popery of the English mind’ and ‘the ambitious aspirations of foreign Ultramontanism’, both of which have been amplified by ‘the angry zeal of converts’. The excitement of Anglican converts to Rome had closed off space for moderates like himself in both the English and the Roman Churches. Sadly, from now on, it must be war between the two. As with John Henry Newman, who in his Apologia Pro Vita Sua (1864) sought a middle way between English and Latin approaches to Roman Catholicism, Rogers articulated a principle of moderation that owed a significant amount to the Oxford Movement. In the mid-century British wrangle with a modernizing Roman Church, he took a distinctive, Tractarian position. Ecclesiology provides a key to understanding Rogers’ stance in the debate over the limits of British sovereignty. The same is true for his imagination of empire.

Newman, Rogers, and Oxford Movement Ecclesiology in British Imperial Thought

15The Oxford Movement refers to a group of Anglican reformers originating at the University of Oxford in the 1830s. Its leading members included Newman, John Keble (1792-1866), and Edward Bouverie Pusey (1800-1882). By attempting to reestablish ministerial authority on a more secure footing, the members of the Movement aimed to respond to the decline of the Church’s influence and the unwillingness of the state to defend it in what they thought was an increasingly liberal age. Ultimately, they discovered that authority in the supernaturally-ordered apostolic succession dating from the first followers of Christ. Tractarians therefore held a High Church position with an exalted view of bishops and their apostolic character. This view was in part inspired by the Caroline Divines, churchmen and theologians of the early decades of the seventeenth century such as Archbishop William Laud (1573-1645), who stressed the importance of the episcopate, the freedom of the national church, and the necessity for reform within it.

  • 30 See Andrew Starkie, ‘The Legacy of the "Caroline Divines", Restoration, and the Emergence of the Hi (...)

16The High Church views of the Oxford Movement therefore expressed a lofty estimation of the authority of the offices of ministers of the Church in response to a political crisis in the Anglican establishment.30

  • 31 Letters of Frederic Lord Blachford, p. 15. Newman may have been responsible for bringing Rogers to (...)
  • 32 Richard Church, quoted in Letters of Frederic Lord Blachford, p. 16.
  • 33 Strong, Anglicanism and the British Empire, pp. 198-221.

17Rogers was a student of Newman’s and subsequently a Fellow of Newman’s college, Oriel. From being master and pupil the two became friends and maintained a close written correspondence. In Rogers’ memoir of the Oxford Movement, he recalled how he had ‘fully believed that Newman was to do something indefinitely great in the direction of Christian Church revival — revival in holiness, discipline, and authority’.31 Newman, who considered Rogers his brightest student at Oriel, noted in him ‘that earnest devotion to the cause of the Church which was supreme with him through life. He entered heartily into [his] purpose to lift the level of the English Church and its clergy’.32 Besides emphasizing the importance of each to the other, these shared sentiments also demonstrate their high concern for ecclesial matters. Moreover, for Rogers, as for other Tractarians, the reform of the Church of England would continue to be a priority long after Newman’s departure for the Roman Catholic Church in 1845.33 In Rogers’ own words:

  • 34 Letters of Frederic Lord Blachford, p. 118.

Newman had joined Rome, and left those who had adhered to him headless, unorganised, suspected by others and suspecting each other; for nobody yet knew who would follow where he led. For a time a kind of perplexed hopelessness prevailed; who would trust us? or rather who could be expected to trust us, with such a fact as that our acknowledged leader, who, in our view, had systematised the best practicable defence against Rome, had on full consideration pronounced his and our case a bad one? However, different people in different places picked themselves up and began to consider how they could take their share in the battle which they refused to consider as lost.34

  • 35 See, for example, James Pereiro, ‘Ethos and the Oxford Movement: At the heart of Tractarianism (Ox (...)
  • 36 Frederic Rogers, A Short Appeal to Members of Convocation upon the Proposed Censure of Tract 90 (Lo (...)
  • 37 Ian Ker, John Henry Newman: A Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988 [2019]), pp. 528-9.

18The Guardian, the newspaper that Rogers founded with other Tractarian supporters in 1846, was intended as a first step in the rebuilding process. But although historians have begun to reevaluate the nature and extent of Newman’s influence on the Oxford Movement, the impact of his thought on Rogers should not be underestimated.35 Rogers defended Newman at Oxford as late as 1845, recalling the man ‘whose labours, whose greatness, whose tenderness, whose singleness and holiness of purpose’ he was ‘permitted to know intimately’.36 Although the two men become estranged following Newman’s conversion, they resumed their friendship in 1863, Newman describing the “sad pleasure to me to find how very closely we agreed on a number of matters”.37

  • 38 Letters of Frederic Lord Blachford, p. 296.
  • 39 Letters of Frederic Lord Blachford, p. 303.
  • 40 On the relationship between high churchmanship and the independence of colonial churches, see Hilar (...)

19Rogers’ adherence to the central Tractarian idea of ecclesiastical autonomy is clearest in his support for the independence of churches in the British Empire. He claimed that ‘the emancipation of the colonial churches’ was one of the principles he had developed during his period as Permanent Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies.38 ‘I succeeded in persuading successive Secretaries of State that Churches might be allowed to organise themselves, a matter in which there was much traditional jealousy’.39 Rogers’ sustained support for colonial churches’ independence may be seen as an extension of the High Church views that he had developed in the Oxford Movement.40 Beyond decentralization, however, the ecclesiological influence on his imperial thought can be seen at a deeper intellectual level in his espousal of principles of balance, moderation, and consistency. These he arguably derived from the Oxford Movement’s most celebrated figure. In particular, Newman’s via media theory of the Church of England and his Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine articulated fundamental concepts that helped to shape Rogers’ perception of the problems and prospects of the British Empire. I will first present Newman’s ideas and then discuss their impact on Rogers’ thought.

  • 41 John Henry Newman, Apologia Pro Vita Sua ed. by Ian Ker (London: Penguin, 1994), p. 77.
  • 42 The via media theory drew from a deeper Anglican tradition of argument for moderation in reform, wh (...)
  • 43 Newman, Apologia, pp. 76-7.
  • 44 Newman claimed that it was the breakdown of the via media theory that signaled his departure from t (...)

20During the 1830s Newman became increasingly worried that, unlike its Protestant and Roman Catholic rivals, the Church of England was a ‘paper religion’ that lacked in substance.41 In his autobiographical Apologia Pro Vita Sua, he described how he had been dissatisfied with existing Anglican expressions of their church as a via media because of the ‘negative’ connotation attached to it, as ‘but a receding from extremes’. His own via media theory aimed to provide theological ballast to the Church of England’s position in relation to Protestantism and Roman Catholicism.42 He set out to offer a positive theory of the Church, which ‘could have claims on our respect’, by showing that it was ‘one, intelligible, and consistent’.43 Newman rearticulated an Anglican principle of moderation by showing how the Church of England had steered a free and unswerving course between the infidelity of Protestantism and the corruptions of Roman Catholicism.44

  • 45 Newman, Apologia, p. 134.
  • 46 Newman, Apologia, p. 116.
  • 47 James Pereiro, ‘Tradition and Development’, in Oxford Handbook of the Oxford Movement, pp. 200-215; (...)

21Newman described how the subsequent breakdown of his via media theory had signaled his departure from the Church of England. While reflecting on his favourite topic, the doctrinal controversies of the early Church, it had dawned on him that truth about the identity of Christ had rested, not with the moderates in the debate, but with “the extreme party”.45 As he grappled with arguments about the apostolicity (or authenticity) and catholicity (or universality) of the Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches, his via media theory ‘was absolutely pulverized’.46 During that period of crisis, he began to formulate a theory of doctrinal development that sought to explain the apparent divergence of the Roman Catholic Church from the forms and beliefs of early Christianity. Although different Tractarian writers attempted to convey an adequate account of the relationship between Tradition, which taught Christian doctrine and helped to interpret Scripture, and development, through which authentic doctrine revealed itself in time, Newman made what would become the best-known statement of the principle as he lay on his ‘death-bed’ in the Church of England.47

22As with the via media, the theory of developments in Christian doctrine also articulated a principle of balance between what might be termed for convenience conservative and liberal instincts. Newman argued in his Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine that the Roman Catholic Church, which, on account of the universality of its judgements he had come to think of as the only truly catholic church, was also genuinely apostolic insofar as its present form only magnified what was already visible in the church of the first centuries after Christ. That is, what Protestants described as the Roman Church’s doctrinal and other corruptions could in fact be traced to the earliest Christian communities or the so-called primitive church. As he later explained in the Apologia:

  • 48 Newman, Apologia, p. 180. See also John Henry Newman, ‘Sermon 15. The Theory of Developments in Rel (...)

The idea of the Blessed Virgin was as it were magnified in the Church of Rome, as time went on, – but so were all the Christian ideas; as that of the Blessed Eucharist. The whole scene of pale, faint, distant Apostolic Christianity is seen in Rome, as through a telescope or magnifier.48

23In the fifth chapter of his Essay, ‘Genuine Developments contrasted with Corruptions’, Newman went further and summarized seven ‘Notes’ with which ‘to discriminate healthy developments of an idea from its state of corruption and decay’:

  • 49 Newman, Development of Christian Doctrine. Subsequent quotations in this paragraph are from this te (...)

There is no corruption if it retains one and the same type, the same principles, the same organization; if its beginnings anticipate its subsequent phases, and its later phenomena protect and subserve its earlier; if it has a power of assimilation and revival, and a vigorous action from first to last.49

24Newman’s ideas about the preservation of type as one of the seven Notes of authentic doctrinal development would be particularly resonant in the thought of Rogers. Newman drew on ‘the analogy of physical growth, which is such that the parts and proportions of the developed form, however altered, correspond to those which belong to its rudiments’ so that ‘young birds do not grow into fishes, not does the child degenerate into the brute, wild or domestic, of which he is by inheritance lord’. To illustrate the point that unity of type did not therefore mean the denial of ‘all variation’, he observed that ‘Great changes in outward appearance and internal harmony occur in the instance of the animal creation itself. The fledged bird differs much from its rudimental form in the egg’. ‘An idea’, he concluded, ‘does not always bear about it the same external image’. Newman showed how even apparently radical changes could be grasped in their proper context as developments rather than as corruptions.

25Newman’s principles of the via media and development were intended to buttress his adherence to the church. Although the former was framed for the Church of England and the latter more explicitly for the Roman Catholic Church, similar principles were at work in Rogers’ mind as he came to reflect on the structure and history of the British Empire. The key ideas were moderation, balance, and respect for the free development of the parties involved.

  • 50 All quotations from this and the next paragraph are from Blachford (Frederic Rogers), ‘The Integrit (...)
  • 51 Letters of Frederic Lord Blachford, p. 296.

26In ‘The Integrity of the British Empire’, an article published in 1877, Rogers discussed a piece published a few months earlier by Julius Vogel, former Prime Minister of New Zealand. Vogel had expressed a view that Rogers identified with the British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli’s principle of ‘the perpetual integrity of the British Empire’ (356).50 The debate hinged on the concept of responsible government. In the time of Rogers’ writing, the British Empire’s formal colonial possessions were mainly divided between so-called Crown colonies (such as India), which were subject to various forms of direct British rule, and settler colonies that normally enjoyed a measure of self-government. British policy relating to the settler colonies of the Cape (southern Africa), British North America (Canada), New Zealand, and Australia was subject to numerous variables, not least of which was the presence of non-white indigenous populations (in southern Africa, Australia, and New Zealand) as well as settlers of non-British origin (in Canada and southern Africa). The relationship between these groups, British settlers, and the government in London often formed the basis of colonial politics. In spite of their differences, from the middle decades of the century these parts of the Empire that were inhabited by large numbers of white settlers developed in the direction of what was known as responsible government. Rogers explained that this meant when a colony’s ‘executive government is composed of persons who command the confidence of the local legislature’.51 Responsible government essentially meant local political representation at the executive level, which the British state came to regard as prudent and less financially burdensome than the forms of direct rule that they had practiced from the beginning of their formal settlement in the colonies. Rogers disagreed with Vogel/Disraeli’s view of the emergence of the idea of responsible government as a Liberal invention to break up the Empire. Rather, colonial self-government ‘was one of those irresistible pressures which arise out of the order of nature, and to which a wise policy must conform itself’ (358). If Rogers were to be considered a conservative, then it must be in a different sense to Disraeli. Self-government was inevitable, a natural not political outcome of the relationship between Britain and her colonies.

27Rogers also reaffirmed his opposition to the popular idea of imperial federation, which in his pointed characterization was when colonists ‘consider that the power of governing themselves involves the right to govern us’ (360). He evaluated the principle of Confederation as ‘hollow and impracticable’ (361) and concluded this summary piece with a sequence of ideas that is reminiscent of Newman in its character and assumptions. He observed that in the ‘life’ of ‘distant’ colonies (he calls them ‘nations’) such as Canada, ‘Every increase of colonial wealth, or numbers, or intelligence, or organization, is in one sense a step towards disintegration’ (364). Their ‘growth’ in these ways was ‘wholesome’ and ‘facilitate separation by providing against its evils’ (364). Their ‘preparing’ for separation from Britain ‘may delay’ it: ‘An agreeable but transitory relation is often prolonged by the sense that when it becomes irksome it can be terminated without difficulty’ (364-5). Rogers was emphasizing a principle of partnership over centralization or mutual commitment. Colonial relations were best sustained by respecting the freedom of its constitutive actors to go their separate ways.

  • 52 Letters of Frederic Lord Blachford, p. 300. Beasley claims that Rogers’ view of colonial affairs wa (...)
  • 53 Ibid.
  • 54 Letters of Frederic Lord Blachford, pp. 299-300.
  • 55 Bell, ‘The Victorian Idea of a Global State’, in Bell ed. Victorian Visions of Global Order, pp. 17 (...)
  • 56 A position which he shared with both Grey and Russell. Morrell, British Colonial Policy, p. 495.

28The same principle underlay Rogers’ view of the sound progression of the British Empire. Rogers believed with the majority that the progress of settler colonies toward independence was inevitable. Nationhood was the natural outcome of colonial rule because of ‘the general principle that a spirited nation […] will not submit to be governed in its internal affairs by a distant Government’.52 He also thought that ‘nations geographically remote have no such common interests as will bind them permanently together in foreign policy’.53 Given these facts, therefore, the ‘function of the Colonial Office’ was essentially pragmatic: ‘to secure that our connexion, while it lasts, shall be as profitable to both parties, and our separation, when it comes, as amicable as possible’.54 Duncan Bell has suggested that the tremendous communications advances of the later decades of the century may have inspired British imperial theorists to reconsider the connection between Britain and its emigrant populations around the world.55 Although Rogers’ relatively early retirement may have been a factor, he seems never to have moved from his position against imperial federation.56

  • 57 Letters of Frederic Lord Blachford, p. 300.
  • 58 Letters of Frederic Lord Blachford, p. 296. For a discussion of the rhetorical uses of the term ‘co (...)
  • 59 Armitage, Ideological Origins, p. 16.

29While Rogers recognized the value of confederation within the colonies, he articulated an internal principle in their development, which he had observed during the time that he worked for the Colonial Office. At first, in the earliest stages of Crown rule, there was ‘the personal government of the Governor, instructed by the Colonial Office’; but this gave way in time to ‘a purely legislative council, nominated by him’..57 Subsequently, ‘a part of this legislative council became the instrument of an informal kind of representation, a means of feeling and in some degree conforming to public opinion’. After this, ‘part of it became elective – a minority, but an influential minority’, and ‘then came the separation into a nominated and an elective chamber (called, as I have said, representative institutions)’. The next step was ‘responsible government, placing the executive in the hands of persons practically nominated, as in England, by the community’; and lastly, as had happened in Canada, there was ‘the addition of status and weight given by confederation’. Here, then, was an outline of the development of British colonial policy in the mid-nineteenth-century with the so-called reformers at the centre of power. Notable in Rogers’ sketch of colonial development is the same attempt to articulate a dynamic via media between authority (of the imperial state) and liberty (of public opinion in the colonies) as in Oxford Movement ecclesiology. Beneath the subtle shifts and reversals in British policy induced by practical circumstances and local considerations lay a consistent and unchanging principle that reproduced and transmitted what he termed ‘the English Constitution’.58 In a parallel but distinct project to the liberal John Seeley, Rogers reinterpreted ‘the expansion of the Empire’ as ‘the growth of the constitution’.59

  • 60 Letters of Frederic Lord Blachford, p. 300.
  • 61 Eugenio Biagini, ‘Exporting "Western and Beneficent Institutions": Gladstone and Empire, 1880-1885’ (...)

30Rogers’ view that this ‘interesting set of successive developments’ had a distinguishable form and a definite motivation toward English constitutionalism took on a principle of development that showed marked similarities to Newman’s. He similarly wrote of ‘successive developments’ in colonial policy, ‘by which the seed grew into a forest tree’.60 Here is a suggestive comparison between Rogers’ expression of ‘the development of principles’ in nineteenth-century British colonial policy and some of the examples of genuine development that Newman provided in his Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine. Expressions of advancement clothed in organic metaphors were not uncommon in the mid-Victorian years, and Gladstone, following Edmund Burke, also articulated a ‘historicist approach to “organic growth as permanent change”’.61 What distinguished Newman and Rogers was the attempt to articulate change in a way that avoided the tendency to make conceptual development the servant of progress. As Rogers explained to Gladstone in 1871:

  • 62 Letters of Frederic Lord Blachford, p. 313.

On some points I find myself radical, some would say revolutionary — a thing I detest. On the other hand I utterly dislike democracy, abhor demagogy, doubt whether any country can be for any long time safely and honourably governed in which an aristocracy more or less hereditary is not a leading element, and I apprehend evil for the country from the opposite tendencies of the day. This rather cross-cuts existing divisions of parties [...]62

  • 63 Letters of Frederic Lord Blachford, p. 313.
  • 64 Newman, Apologia, p. 182.

31A singular result of Rogers’ being ‘guided by personal or temporary considerations to an extent which most men would denounce as impracticable and inconsistent’ was a theory of development in which remarkably different outward forms could nevertheless be shown to preserve an original idea, whether it be religious doctrine or governing principle.63 For Newman, the whole had amounted to ‘a sort of test, which the Anglican could not exhibit, that modern Rome was in truth ancient Antioch, Alexandria, and Constantinople, just as a mathematical curve has its own law and expression’.64 Rogers discovered a different application for the theory of development in affirming the notion that the British imperial relationship with her colonies would have to be capable of change, including separation, in order for them to remain on good terms. The vigour of national sentiment could not be put off no matter how different the new state might look from the mother country. However, if colonial development proceeded in the sound manner Rogers had outlined, then the Empire would have fulfilled its purpose by transmitting ‘the English Constitution’.

Conclusion

  • 65 Warwick P. N. Tyler, ‘Sir Frederic Rogers, permanent under-secretary at the colonial office, 1860-1 (...)
  • 66 Morrell, British Colonial Policy, p. 519.
  • 67 Like Gladstone, Rogers held a more paternalistic view of the development of Crown colonies.
  • 68 Tyler, ‘Sir Frederic Rogers’, p. 97.

32It has been claimed that ‘Rogers’ attitude and outlook determined, in a large degree, the cast of British policy in the 1860s’.65 As Permanent Under-Secretary of the Colonies his views were certainly influential and deserve to be better known. They were also rather distinctive, however, and this might explain why he is less well remembered than some of his peers in the Colonial Office. His perspective on the wider imperial picture could be described as an attempt to strike a balance between Henry Grey’s tendency toward the unification of the Empire and the view of others, such as Gladstone, toward greater devolution of power to the colonies. In his survey of British colonial policy under Grey, W. P. Morrell concluded that ‘few men of any school of thought retained a lively faith in the permanence of the Empire’ but he noted of Rogers that he ‘perhaps ought’ not ‘to be called a separatist’.66 Rogers was not a paternalist like Grey, nor was he a proponent of the free trade theories of the Manchester School. Instead, during the course of his professional career, he came to view the progress of the British Empire in terms that drew almost inevitably from the ecclesiology of the Oxford Movement. With respect to the development of the settler colonies, Rogers’ interpretation laid stress on the freedom of parties in a relation.67 This, in turn, led to an insistence upon decentralization and moderation as essential principles of imperial government. Only in this way, essential constitutional values would be preserved and transmitted to the colonies. The decision to preserve the colonial relationship should not rest on purely economic or political factors.68 Rather, Rogers set great store in the balance between maintaining the historic connection with the colonies and respecting their right to be free. The imperial relationship was constituted as a via media between the radical instincts of those who sought to break the colonial relationship in exchange for the material idols of free trade, and the excessive conservativism of those prepared to bind it up in a concept of sovereign authority, regardless of the cost to relationships and natural growth.

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Bibliographie

Armitage, David. The Ideological Origins of the British Empire (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2000).

Beasley, Edward. Mid-Victorian Imperialists: British Gentlemen and the Empire of the Mind (Abingdon, Routledge, 2005).

Bell, Duncan, ed. Victorian Visions of Global Order (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2007).

Bell, Duncan. The Idea of Greater Britain: Empire and the Future of World Order, 1860-1900 (Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press, 2007).

Biagini, Eugenio. ‘Exporting "Western and Beneficent Institutions": Gladstone and Empire, 1880-1885’, in Gladstone Centenary Essays ed. by David Bebbington and Roger Swift (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2000).

Blachford [Frederic Rogers], ‘The Integrity of the British Empire’, The Nineteenth Century VIII (October 1877).

Breckman, Warren and Peter E. Gordon, eds. Cambridge History of Modern European Thought, Volume 1: The Nineteenth Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019).

Brown, Stewart J., Peter Nockles, and James Pereiro, eds. The Oxford Handbook of the Oxford Movement (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2017).

Butler, Matthew. ‘An Empire on which the Sorrow never sets: Kenelm Vaughan’s "Confraternity of Expiation" and British Catholic Modernity in Latin America, 1870-1910’, Catholic Historical Review 108, 4 (2022).

Carey, Hilary M. ‘Gladstone, the Colonial Church and Imperial State’, in Church and State in Old and New Worlds, ed. by Hilary M. Carey and John Gascoigne (Leiden, Brill, 2011).

Cheyne, A. C. The Transforming of the Kirk: Victorian Scotland’s Religious Revolution (Edinburgh: The Saint Andrew Press, 1983).

Colley, Linda. Britons: Forging the Nation 1707-1837 (New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 1992)

Conlin, Jonathan. ‘Gladstone, Development, and the Discipline of History, 1840-1896’, The Historical Journal 63, 4 (2020).

Darwin, John. Unfinished Empire: The Global Expansion of Britain (London, Bloomsbury, 2012).

Elkins, Caroline. Legacy of Violence: A History of the British Empire (New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2022)

Fothergill, Brian. Nicholas Wiseman (New York, Doubleday and Company, 1963).

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Heimann, Mary. ‘Catholic revivalism in worship and devotion’, in The Cambridge History of Christianity : Volume 8 : World Christianities c.1815 – c.1914, ed. by Sheridan Gilley and Brian Stanley (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2006).

Holtzen, T. L. ‘The Anglican Via Media: The idea of Moderation in Reform’, Journal of Anglican Studies 17, 1 (2018).

Ker, Ian. John Henry Newman: A Biography (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2019).

Ledger-Lomas, Michael. Queen Victoria: This Thorny Crown (Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2021).

Marindin, George Eden, ed. Letters of Frederic Lord Blachford, Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies 1860-71 (London, John Murray, 1896).

Matthew, H. C. G. ‘Rogers, Frederic, Baron Blachford (1811-1889)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2004).

Morrell, W. P. British Colonial Policy in the Age of Peel and Russell (Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1930).

Newman, John Henry. An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine (London, Longmans, Green and Co., 1909).

Newman, John Henry. ‘Sermon 15. The Theory of Developments in Religious Doctrine’ in Fifteen Sermons preached before the University of Oxford between A. D. 1826 and 1843 (London, Longmans, Green, and Co., 1909).

Newman, John Henry. Apologia Pro Vita Sua, ed. Ian Ker (London, Penguin, 1994).

Norman, Edward. Roman Catholicism in England: from the Elizabethan Settlement to the Second Vatican Council (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1986).

Pereiro, James. ‘Ethos’ and the Oxford Movement: At the heart of Tractarianism (Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2007).

Pitts, Jennifer. ‘Ideas of Empire: Civilization, Race, and Global Hierarchy’, in Cambridge History of Modern European Thought, Volume 1 : The Nineteenth Century ed. by Warren Breckman and Peter E. Gordon (Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2019).

Rogers, Frederic. A Short Appeal to Members of Convocation upon the Proposed Censure of Tract 90 (London : James Burns, 1845).

The Roman Catholic Question in 1851: A Copious Series of Important Documents, of Permanent Historical Interest, on the Re-establishment of the Catholic Hierarchy in England, 1850-1 (London, James Gilbert, 1851).

Starkie, Andrew. ‘The Legacy of the "Caroline Divines", Restoration, and the Emergence of the High Church Tradition’, and Geoffrey Rowell, ‘The Ecclesiology of the Oxford Movement’, in The Oxford Handbook of the Oxford Movement, ed. by Stewart J. Brown, Peter Nockles, and James Pereiro (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2017).

Strong, Rowan. Anglicanism and the British Empire c. 1700-1850 (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2007).

Tyler, Warwick P. N. ‘Sir Frederic Rogers, permanent under-secretary at the colonial office, 1860-1871’ (PhD History, Duke University, 1963).

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Notes

1 For an example that has provoked much debate, see Caroline Elkins, Legacy of Violence: A History of the British Empire (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2022).

2 Jennifer Pitts, ‘Ideas of Empire: Civilization, Race, and Global Hierarchy’, in Cambridge History of Modern European Thought, Volume 1: The Nineteenth Century ed. by Warren Breckman and Peter E. Gordon (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019), pp. 447-69 (448).

3 I refer to ‘catholic’ in the broad sense used by Tractarian and other mid-century writers, of a single church divided into separate branches. This is to be distinguished from the Roman Catholic Church as a distinctive church in itself.

4 Duncan Bell, The Idea of Greater Britain: Empire and the Future of World Order, 1860-1900 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007), p. 30.

5 Matthew Butler, ‘“An Empire on which the sorrow never sets”: Kenelm Vaughan’s “Confraternity of Expiation” and British Catholic Modernity in Latin America, 1870-190’, The Catholic Historical Review 108, 4 (2022), pp. 714-741 (714).

6 Rowan Strong, Anglicanism and the British Empire c. 1700-1850 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), p. 292.

7 Strong, Anglicanism and the British Empire, p. 218.

8 Followers of the Oxford Movement were called ‘Tractarians’ after the Tracts for the Times that were written by members of the Movement from 1833 to 1841.

9 Letters of Frederic Lord Blachford, Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies 1860-71, ed. George Eden Marindin (London, John Murray, 1896), p. 441.

10 W. P. Morrell, British Colonial Policy in the Age of Peel and Russell (Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1930), p. 204. Incidentally, this experience would also have given him a finer sense of the needs of colonial churches.

11 Edward Beasley, Mid-Victorian Imperialists: British Gentlemen and the Empire of the Mind (Abingdon: Routledge, 2005), 39.

12 Rogers quoted in Beasley, Mid-Victorian Imperialists, 46.

13 Although there are some interesting, if broad, similarities with the views of Positivists on the timetable of colonial self-government. Cf. Pitts, ‘Ideas of Empire’, pp. 464-5.

14 John Henry Cardinal Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine (London, Longmans, Green and Co., 1909), 184. Accessed at: https://www.newmanreader.org/works/development/chapter5.html#section2 on 27 August 2022.

15 John Darwin, Unfinished Empire: The Global Expansion of Britain (London, Bloomsbury, 2012), p. 25.

16 David Armitage, The Ideological Origins of the British Empire (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2000), p. 8.

17 Linda Colley, Britons: Forging the Nation 1707-1837 (New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 1992), p. 19.

18 For a useful overview, see Mary Heimann, ‘Catholic revivalism in worship and devotion’, in The Cambridge History of Christianity: Volume 8: World Christianities c.1815 – c.1914, eds. Sheridan Gilley and Brian Stanley (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2006), pp. 70-83.

19 See Edward Norman, Roman Catholicism in England: from the Elizabethan Settlement to the Second Vatican Council (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1986), pp. 69-80.

20 For a classic study of the Scottish context, see A. C. Cheyne, The Transforming of the Kirk: Victorian Scotland’s Religious Revolution (Edinburgh: The Saint Andrew Press, 1983).

21 ‘Imperial Parliament – Opening of the Session, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 1851’, in The Roman Catholic Question in 1851: A Copious Series of Important Documents, of Permanent Historical Interest, on the Re-establishment of the Catholic Hierarchy in England, 1850-1 (London, James Gilbert, 1851), s.18, p. 1. On Queen Victoria’s strained relationship with high church Anglicans, see Michael Ledger-Lomas, Queen Victoria : This Thorny Crown (Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2021), pp. 139-68.

22 Ibid.

23 Brian Fothergill, Nicholas Wiseman (New York, Doubleday and Company, 1963), pp. 294-5.

24 Fothergill, Wiseman, pp. 162-3.

25 ‘Lord John Russell and the Pope’, in The Roman Catholic Question in 1851, s.1, p. 8. Quotations in this and the following paragraph are from this letter.

26 Letters of Frederic Lord Blachford, p. 141.

27 Rogers’ dedication to the building of a new church close to his Devon home is still remembered: https://ivybridge-heritage.org/st-johns-church-2/ [accessed 23 February 2023].

28 Letters of Frederic Lord Blachford, p. 141.

29 ‘Anglo-Romanism’, The Guardian, 20 November 1850, p. 828. Quotations in this paragraph are taken from this text. It seems likely that Rogers either authored the piece or at least strongly approved of it. See Letters of Frederic Lord Blachford, p. 140.

30 See Andrew Starkie, ‘The Legacy of the "Caroline Divines", Restoration, and the Emergence of the High Church Tradition’, and Geoffrey Rowell, ‘The Ecclesiology of the Oxford Movement’, in The Oxford Handbook of the Oxford Movement, eds. Stewart J. Brown, Peter Nockles, and James Pereiro (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2017), pp. 9-22 and pp. 216-230.

31 Letters of Frederic Lord Blachford, p. 15. Newman may have been responsible for bringing Rogers to Oxford.

32 Richard Church, quoted in Letters of Frederic Lord Blachford, p. 16.

33 Strong, Anglicanism and the British Empire, pp. 198-221.

34 Letters of Frederic Lord Blachford, p. 118.

35 See, for example, James Pereiro, ‘Ethos and the Oxford Movement: At the heart of Tractarianism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007).

36 Frederic Rogers, A Short Appeal to Members of Convocation upon the Proposed Censure of Tract 90 (London: James Burns, 1845), 7-8.

37 Ian Ker, John Henry Newman: A Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988 [2019]), pp. 528-9.

38 Letters of Frederic Lord Blachford, p. 296.

39 Letters of Frederic Lord Blachford, p. 303.

40 On the relationship between high churchmanship and the independence of colonial churches, see Hilary M. Carey, ‘Gladstone, the Colonial Church and Imperial State’, in Church and State in Old and New Worlds, eds. Hilary M. Carey and John Gascoigne (Leiden, Brill, 2011), pp. 155-82.

41 John Henry Newman, Apologia Pro Vita Sua ed. by Ian Ker (London: Penguin, 1994), p. 77.

42 The via media theory drew from a deeper Anglican tradition of argument for moderation in reform, which can be traced to earlier writers such as Richard Hooker (1554-1600). See T. L. Holtzen, ‘The Anglican Via Media : The Idea of Moderation in Reform’, Journal of Anglican Studies 17, 1 (2018), pp. 48-73.

43 Newman, Apologia, pp. 76-7.

44 Newman claimed that it was the breakdown of the via media theory that signaled his departure from the Church of England. See Newman, Apologia, pp. 114, 116, 133-4. For the argument, see John Henry Newman, Lectures on the Prophetical Office of the Church (1837), accessed at https://www.newmanreader.org/works/viamedia/volume1/index.html on 7 February 2023.

45 Newman, Apologia, p. 134.

46 Newman, Apologia, p. 116.

47 James Pereiro, ‘Tradition and Development’, in Oxford Handbook of the Oxford Movement, pp. 200-215; Conlin, ‘Gladstone, Development, and the Discipline of History’; Newman, Apologia, p. 141.

48 Newman, Apologia, p. 180. See also John Henry Newman, ‘Sermon 15. The Theory of Developments in Religious Doctrine’ in Fifteen Sermons preached before the University of Oxford between A. D. 1826 and 1843 (London, Longmans, Green, and Co., 1909). Accessed at https://www.newmanreader.org/works/oxford/sermon15.html on 27 September 2022.

49 Newman, Development of Christian Doctrine. Subsequent quotations in this paragraph are from this text.

50 All quotations from this and the next paragraph are from Blachford (Frederic Rogers), ‘The Integrity of the British Empire’, The Nineteenth Century VIII (October 1877), pp. 355-65.

51 Letters of Frederic Lord Blachford, p. 296.

52 Letters of Frederic Lord Blachford, p. 300. Beasley claims that Rogers’ view of colonial affairs was pushed toward greater toleration of democracy by events in Australia that ‘made him sceptical about whether any such limitation would be accepted by the colonists themselves’. Beasley, Mid-Victorian Imperialists, p. 44.

53 Ibid.

54 Letters of Frederic Lord Blachford, pp. 299-300.

55 Bell, ‘The Victorian Idea of a Global State’, in Bell ed. Victorian Visions of Global Order, pp. 170, 174, 176-7.

56 A position which he shared with both Grey and Russell. Morrell, British Colonial Policy, p. 495.

57 Letters of Frederic Lord Blachford, p. 300.

58 Letters of Frederic Lord Blachford, p. 296. For a discussion of the rhetorical uses of the term ‘constitution’ in British political debates about colonial union, see Bell, Idea of Greater Britain, pp. 128-37.

59 Armitage, Ideological Origins, p. 16.

60 Letters of Frederic Lord Blachford, p. 300.

61 Eugenio Biagini, ‘Exporting "Western and Beneficent Institutions": Gladstone and Empire, 1880-1885’, in David Bebbington and Roger Swift, eds. Gladstone Centenary Essays (Liverpool : Liverpool University Press, 2000), pp. 202-224 (207).

62 Letters of Frederic Lord Blachford, p. 313.

63 Letters of Frederic Lord Blachford, p. 313.

64 Newman, Apologia, p. 182.

65 Warwick P. N. Tyler, ‘Sir Frederic Rogers, permanent under-secretary at the colonial office, 1860-1871’ (PhD History, Duke University, 1963), pp. 93-4.

66 Morrell, British Colonial Policy, p. 519.

67 Like Gladstone, Rogers held a more paternalistic view of the development of Crown colonies.

68 Tyler, ‘Sir Frederic Rogers’, p. 97.

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L. M. Ratnapalan, « Frederic Rogers, Oxford Movement Ecclesiology, and British Imperial Thought »Revue d’études benthamiennes [En ligne], 24 | 2023, mis en ligne le 30 août 2023, consulté le 17 juin 2024. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/etudes-benthamiennes/10899 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/etudes-benthamiennes.10899

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L. M. Ratnapalan

Yonsei University, South Korea

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