Monday, December 14, 2009

Anglican Liturgical History: Selected Works

For those interested in Anglican liturgical history, particularly the Scottish Episcopalian tradition, stemming from the Nonjurors, and issuing in the American Episcopalian, and to compare and contrast their eucharistic theology with that of the Catholic Church - noting especially the different views of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, founded upon the disagreement over transsubstantiation - I would much recommend the following books available to read online:

These (and others) I have been consulting lately, reading in whole or in part; but several I have known and read some years past.

It goes without saying that reference ought be made to: Procter & Frere, A New History of the Book of Common Prayer with a Rationale of its Offices (1951, orig. publ.1855); a very useful website detailing almost all versions of the Book of Common Prayer, which also includes many useful readings given as Resources on the Nonjurors; and to Grisbrooke, Anglican Liturgies of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (1958), unfortunately not available online, but which I have reread several times over the last decade and more, and from which I possess useful notes and photocopied extracts...

More than these, my son, require not.
Of making many books there is no end:
and much study is an affliction of the flesh.
(Eccles xii, 12)


Anonymous said...


Great bibliography.

The non-jurors are very much overdue for a new scholarly study - esp. of their liturgical stuff.

Most scholars (myself included) still use Overton's very excellent work, such is the dearth of recent publications.

There was a book published on their ecclesiology some time in the 80s I think. But that is the most recent thing I've seen.

Thoughts for a future research Masters or PhD???

Rob A

Joshua said...

The Nonjurors fascinate me; I find them, and their offshoots, and their cousins in Scotland from whom descend the "Piskies", very interesting.

William Tighe said...

You have omitted Broxap's *The Later Nonjurors* from your bibliography.

Joshua said...

My apologies - I will add some further links in my post.

Anonymous said...

I've just been reading correspondence between the non-juring bishop, William Cartwright, and the exiled loyalist cleric, Jonathan Boucher. It's amazing to see, despite the household-size congregations that existed for the non-jurors in the late 18C, just how fervent and certain they were of their own peculiar ecclesiology and doctrine. Cartwright genuinely thought he and his very small groups of people had found the truth and that they, and they alone, were the only ones in England upholding the pure doctrine of the early Church. Sounds familiar when I read Fr Robert Hart over at the Continuum ... reject the Pope in Rome and you inevitably become one yourself.

Robert A

Joshua said...


Knowing your ongoing interest in Wm Stevens, the following extract from the conclusion Broxap's The Later Nonjurors may be of interest:

"With [George] Horne [(1730-1792), Bishop of Norwich,] and [William] Jones [(1726-1800), Vicar of Nayland,] goes William Stevens (1732-1807), cousin of bishop Horne and author of a life of Jones of Nayland. Stevens was a layman of a type which was not more common in the eighteenth century than in the present day. In his youth he devoted much of his leisure to the study of Hebrew and Greek in order that he might read the Holy Scriptures in the original tongues. He was a diligent student of Andrewes, Jeremy Taylor and Hickes [Nonjuring Bishop], all of whom he described as "fathers of our Church and masters in the great art of holy living." A brief note by Archdeacon Edward Churton, in his Life of Joshua Watson, records:

"'There was in Stevens a spirit of primitive piety, such as was cherished in the hearts and homes of many sincere and zealous members of the Church of England in the last century and may still be studied in the well worn manuals of private devotion complied chiefly by the Non-Juring divines of that period.'

"Stevens became auditor of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel and treasurer of Queen Anne’s Bounty. In his later years he was closely connected with John Bowdler in assisting the bishops in Scotland, especially at the time of their application for the removal of the disabilities imposed upon them by the civil power. When the necessary Bill was introduced into Parliament the statement was made that certain men in high places did not know who the Scottish bishops and clergy were, and the Committee of which Stevens was a member, which took charge of the Bill, found it a matter of great difficulty to impart the information to those in whose hands the ultimate decision lay. From the intimate friendship which existed between Stevens and Bowdler and the great and practical interest which the two friends took in the fortunes of the Episcopal Church of Scotland, it has been thought that Stevens was formerly a member of Bishop Gordon’s congregation [Gordon was the last Non-Juring Bishop of the regular line, dying in 1779], but no positive proof of this statement can be obtained. Stevens died suddenly in the house of John Bowdler in 1807."

Joshua said...

An amusing if cruel quotation from that Whig historian, Macaulay, in his History of England (chapter 14):

"the non-jurors sacrificed both liberty and order to a superstition as stupid and degrading as the Egyptian worship of cats and onions."

Joshua said...

(I should add, I am fond of cats and onions in their respective stations, but refrain from paying them the supreme cultus of latria.)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reference Josh. Churton was mostly using Park's life of Stevens there.

Stevens was what I'd term a sentimental non-juror and Jacobite - i.e., in a perfect world he probably would have been a member. But I think he had the sense, like Samuel Johnson, to realise that the non-jurors were a small non-effectual lot, at least in influencing society - which is what Stevens sought to do.

What's not often remembered is that many non-jurors actually were conformist, outwardly at least (certainly not, though, when giving thanks for 1688!) Johnson was one of these, as was Robert Nelson in the end. Stevens was more conformist then any of these men, though deep down he sided with them, at least historically.

Rob A

Joshua said...

There was another amusing quotation regarding Bp Cartwright, one of the very last Nonjurors to die: he let his family (his sole congregation) go to church (i.e. the local C. of E.) as well, since he didn't want them to have the reputation of being Dissenters!

There is here a very typical form of Anglican snobbery - ROTFL!

William Tighe said...

Sad to see (if a bit off-topic) that the Scottish Episcopalians have now come to this:

Also, if any man of means (and interest) reads here, he may wish to purchase this rare and scholarly book from 1922:

on the 1764 Scottish Communion Office.

Joshua said...

Yes, I'm told that the Scottish Episcopalians have been absolutely ruined, by one liberal bishop in particular, who I believe has been purporting to bless unnatural unions for years.

As a Scottish friend of mine told me, they are very very "high" - but believe absolutely nothing. As it says in the KJV, "They were so high they were dreadful."

A simple example: the Scottish Liturgy of 1970 was alright, and in some parts coming nearer to Rome, in others it was beginning to slide away (e.g. giving up the distinctive placement of the Prayer of Intercession); but the current Liturgy of 1982 is just terrible, a mess of pottage in place of their birthright.

You can tell a lot about a religion by the state of its worship - which is a rather damning thing for a Catholic to say these days, alas!

Joshua said...

It must be recalled, too, that the Nonjurors and their Scottish friends, alike persecuted, alike lovers of fine liturgical theories, were vanishingly small groups.

When the Scottish Episcopalians were finally emancipated and delivered from the penal laws enforced against them in the 1790's, they had only a handful of congregations, and precisely 39 clergymen!

Much of the strife in the Scottish Episcopalians ever since then was involved with their bishops gradually taking control of many congregations of Englishmen in Scotland, served by English C. of E. ministers, who tended to be the worst Low Church sort. This is why down to 1929, their Prayer Book included both the (good) Scottish Communion Office and the (bad) English 1662 B.C.P. version - most of their congregations actually used the latter, the Scottish liturgy being a minority rite.

I still wonder whether a lot of my wondering about their rites and usages is just silly, given how tiny and unusual a part of Anglicanism they are.

Even today, the Scottish Episcopalians ("Piskies") number just over one-third of a million members, perhaps 7% of all Scots - less than half the number of Catholics there.

Then again, perhaps it is only a tiny minority at one extreme of Anglicanism that will find its way back to the Rock whence they were hewn...

William Tighe said...

"Even today, the Scottish Episcopalians ("Piskies") number just over one-third of a million members, perhaps 7% of all Scots - less than half the number of Catholics there."

Really? I seem to recall that about 20 years ago they numbered only about 35,000 with about 14,000 of them as active members.

Joshua said...

Alas! I trustingly quoted from Wikipedia!

According to its entry on the Scottish Episcopal Church, in 1900, it had 356 congregations, with a total membership of 124,335, and 324 working clergy (incl. presumably the 7 bishops of its 7 dioceses).

Now, it quotes the 2001 census as finding 361,795 members (which seems a reasonable growth in line with the increase in population) - however, looking to another Wikipedia entry, I find it reports only about 15,000 Episcopalians.

It seems that the figure of 361,795 consists of "all Christians not Presbyterian nor Catholic" - which encompasses many other denomonations than Episcopalians.

Indeed, looking to the census figures, the total for "Other Christian" - i.e. not Presbyterian nor Catholic - is only 344,562; one wonders where the magic number 361,795 comes from!

I am sorry to have innocently provided such incorrect figures.

It is very frustrating that I cannot bring up any actual census information for Scottish Episcopalians only. The best I can do is ascertain that there are still 7 dioceses, with 312 congregations, charges and chaplaincies...

It appears that this denomination is much smaller than I had thought.

A look at its main and diocesan websites reveals all manner of distressing symptoms: lots of all too obvious liberal slogans for a start.

Joshua said...

On this topic, it reminds me of the way the shameless U.S. Episcopalians trumpet themselves, being overloaded with bishops so-called (110 dioceses for 2.2 million adherents), and yet have such a small number of members compared to the local Catholics (195 dioceses for 67.5 million people)!

Anonymous said...

I think I'm able to give a plug for my supervisor on this topic:

Rob A

Joshua said...

I've finally found some official statistics for the Episcopal Church of Scotland: 44,280 members.

(I assume that means all persons who were baptized by the Piskies or otherwise came to be members thereof, by transfer from other Anglican bodies, conversion from other denominations or religions, etc.)

That's about 0.9% of the Scottish population.

(There are 19 times more Catholics in Scotland alone.)

I have updated the above post accordingly.