Arthur Headlam

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Arthur Headlam

The Right Reverend Arthur Cayley Headlam CH (2 August 1862 – 17 January 1947) was an English theologian who served as Bishop of Gloucester from 1923 to 1945.


Born in Whorlton, County Durham, the son of its vicar (the historian James Wycliffe Headlam was his brother), he was educated at Winchester College and New College, Oxford, where he read Greats. He was a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford in 1885. He was ordained in 1888, and became Rector of Welwyn in 1896.

He was Professor of Dogmatic Theology at King's College London from 1903–1916, where he served as Principal from 1903 to 1912 and as the first Dean from 1908 until 1913.[1] He was Regius Professor of Divinity, Oxford from 1918 to 1923. His 1920 Bampton Lectures showed the theme of ecumenism that would preoccupy him.[2] At the time of the 1926 General Strike, he opposed the intervention of some of the other bishops.[3]

He was influential in the Church of England's council on foreign relations in the 1930s, chairing the Committee on Relations with Episcopal Churches.[4] He supported the Protestant Reich Church in Germany, and was a critic of the Confessing Church. He is thus generally considered an 'Appeaser'.[5]

He was appointed to the Order of the Companions of Honour (CH) in the 1921 Birthday Honours for his services at Oxford.[6]


  • Authority and Archaeology, Sacred and Profane: Essays on the Relation of Monuments to Biblical and Classical Literature (1899) with S. R. Driver, Ernest A. Gardner, F. Ll. Griffith, F. Haverfield, and D. G. Hogarth
  • Criticism of the New Testament, St. Margaret's Lectures, 1902, with William Sanday, Frederick Kenyon, F. Crawford Burkitt, and J. H. Bernhard
  • The Miracles of the New Testament (1914) Moorhouse Lectures for 1914
  • The Life and Teaching of Jesus the Christ (1923)
  • Christian Unity (1930)
  • Christian Theology: The Doctrine of God (1934)
  • The Doctrine of the Church and Christian Reunion


  1. ^ King's College London Dean's Office Records (Accessed 15 January 2013)
  2. ^ The Catholic Faith and the Religious Situation
  3. ^ Matthew Grimley (2004), Citizenship, Community, and the Church of England: Liberal Anglican Theories of the State Between the Wars, p. 121.
  4. ^ Edward Carpenter, Cantuar: The Archbishops in Their Office, p. 450.
  5. ^ Keith Clements, Faith on the Frontier: A Life of J. H. Oldham, p. 343.
  6. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 32346. p. 4535. 4 June 1921.


  • Biography, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  • Agnes Headlam-Morley, memoir in A. C. Headlam, The Fourth Gospel as History (1948)
  • Ronald C. D. Jasper, Arthur Cayley Headlam: life and letters of a bishop (1960)
  • E. C. Prichard, Arthur Cayley Headlam: Bishop of Gloucester, 1923-45 - A Life

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Archibald Robertson
Principal of King's College London
Succeeded by
Ronald Montagu Burrows
New office Dean of King's College London
Succeeded by
Alfred Caldecott
Preceded by
Henry Scott Holland
Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford
Succeeded by
Henry Leighton Goudge
Church of England titles
Preceded by
Edgar Charles Sumner Gibson
Bishop of Gloucester
Succeeded by
Wilfred Marcus Askwith