Longley, Charles Thomas, Dd
Longley, Charles Thomas, D.D.
the last primate of all England, was born in Westmeathshire in 1794, and was educated at Westminster and Christ Church, Oxford, where he distinguished himself' as a first-class scholar in classics. After graduating, he remained for some time connected with the university as college tutor, censor, and public examiner. He became perpetual curate of Cowley in 1823, and rector of West Tytherley in 1827, and head master of Harrow School in 1829. In 1836 he was appointed bishop of Ripon, and in 1856 was translated to Durham, in 1860 to the archbishopric of York, and in 1862 to that of Canterbury. Over this see, by virtue of which he was primate of the Church of England, and first of all the Anglican bishops of the world, he presided until his death, October 27, 1868. "Archbishop Longley belonged ecclesiastically to the old school of 'moderate' Establishment divines, but in the last three years of his administration his amiable temper, cooperating with his instinctive hyper-conservatism, led him to temporize with the reckless and audacious policy of bishop Wilberforce and the High-Anglicans, and he became a most inadequate standard-bearer for the English Church in her supreme hour. Incapable of bold and persistent action, the latter portion of his primacy was marked by a series of disastrous vacillations and blunders. He first gave his countenance to the bishop of Capetown in his revolutionary action in South Africa, and then withdrew that countenance. In an interval of reason he encouraged lord Shaftesbury to introduce his anti-ritualistic resolutions, and then he shiveringly withdrew his approval when they came up for action." The most important event during his administration was the so- called "Pan-Anglican" Synod, a meeting of all the bishops of the Church of England and the churches in communion with her, convened in 1867, a measure instigated, it is said, by bishop Wilberforce (q.v.), to stop the tide of ritualism, and to bring about, if possible, a union with the Greek Church (see Appleton's Annuall Cyclop. 1867, page 42 sq.). In this synod the archbishop of Canterbury proved entirely untrustworthy. Himself inclining towards ritualism, he moderately rebuked the Ritualists in public, while privately he favored their promotion, and was instrumental in their appointment to colonial bishoprics. He was decidedly a High-Churchman, and, though in person amiable, devout, dignified, and courteous, he showed, in his disastrous primacy, how unfitted are mere moderation, and a desire simply for compromise and peace, to guide the Church in times when her foundations are assailed. We will only add that archbishop Longley died as he had lived, a man of profoundly pious feeling that fell a little too much into formula. He referred to words of Hooker's some three or four days before his death as containing the faith in which he "wished to die" — words expressive of his sense of guilt and his faith in Christ's blood to cleanse him from that guilt. See London Spectator, 1868, October 31, page 1272; NY. — Tribune, October 29, 1868. (J.H.W.)