The "Liberality" of Richard Simpson

Josef L. Altholz

Chapter two, notes 3 and 5, of the author's The Liberal Catholic Movement in England: The "Rambler" and its Contributors, 1848-1864, which Burns and Oates (London) published in 1962. It has been included in the Victorian Web with the kind permission of the author, who of course retains copyright.

According to Wilfrid Ward, The Life and Times of Cardinal Wiseman, 2 vols. (London, 1897), 11, 228, "Mr. Simpson, as an Anglican, had been at constant war with his Bishop." In William George Ward and the Catholic Revival (2nd ed., London, 1912), p. 143, he elaborates: "it was said by some of his friends that his disputes with his bishop had become such a necessary part of his daily life, that he could no more do without them than some men can dispense with a daily constitutional."

Cf. Edwin Burton, "Richard Simpson," Catholic Encyclopedia (New York 1913), XIV, 4: "Though he remained a practical Catholic his opinions were very liberal." In more unskilful hands this can be expanded to read: "although he remained in the Roman Catholic Church until his death ... he was always liberal and even heretical in his views." British Authors of the Nineteenth Century, ed. S. J. Kunitz and H. Haycraft (New York, 1936), p. 561.

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Last modified 8 September 2001