In 1884, the editors of Contemporary Pulpit asked readers to send in lists of the "greatest living English-speaking Protestant preachers." Three hundred fifty ballots were returned, and the results were printed in Contemporary Pulpit and the October 4 issue of The Spectator. The ten preachers who received the most votes were

Books and articles such as "Preachers of the Day," Edwin Dargan's A History of Preaching, and F.R. Webber's A History of Preaching in Britain and America identify many other prominent clergymen who did not appear in the Contemporary Pulpit's "Top Ten" list:

Preachers in the Established Church

Free Church or Dissenting Ministers

Preachers in the Established Church - Scotland

Top of list


Preachers in the Established Church - England

Top of list


Free Church or Dissenting Ministers - Scotland

Top of list


Free Church or Dissenting Ministers - England

Top of list

[Adapted from Chapter 1 of The Victorian Pulpit: Spoken and Written sermons in Nineteenth-Century Britain. Copyright 1998 by Susquehanna University Press.]

Additional adaptations available on The Victorian Web:


Victorian Overview Religion sermons: An
Overview Genre,
Mode, and Technique

Last modified December 2000