Hackney Phalanx

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Hackney Phalanx is a term now applied to a group of High Church defenders of Anglican orthodoxy prominent for around 25 years from 1805. They consisted of both clergy and laymen, and filled many of the higher posts of the Church of England of the time. The Phalanx, also called the Clapton sect by analogy with the evangelicals of the Clapham sect, were active reformers within their common theological beliefs, and controlled the British Critic. One of the Phalanx leaders, Henry Handley Norris, was particularly influential in the church appointments made by Lord Liverpool.[1]

The Hackney core[edit]

The core group of the Phalanx, which suggested the geographical association with Hackney borough then east of the London conurbation, consisted of Norris, the layman Joshua Watson, and his clerical brother John James Watson. They were active in the field of education, aiming to counter the schools set up on the scheme of Joseph Lancaster. Joshua Watson and Norris purchased the British Critic in 1811. They also influenced the founding in 1818 of the Christian Remembrancer, another High Church journal.[2] Norris took on Robert Aspland and William Dealtry in the early controversy over the British and Foreign Bible Society, and projected a separate bible society for Hackney.[3]

The context of Hackney in the first two decades of the 19th century was of an area that as a suburb of London had wealthy families, but also an active non-conformist intellectual and religious life, particularly Unitarians. The Hackney New College and Homerton College contested the ground with the orthodox Anglicans. The Phalanx, among their other activities, built new Anglican churches. Theologically they looked backwards to William Jones of Nayland.[4]

Associations[edit]

The associates of the Phalanx were a much broader group. They included a generation of chaplains to Charles Manners-Sutton, who was a significant patron: Christopher Wordsworth, George D'Oyly, and John Lonsdale, with the High Church men George Owen Cambridge, Charles Lloyd and Richard Mant.[5][6] Francis Warre Warre-Cornish names as sympathisers John Bowles (misdated there), churchmen in addition to Cambridge and Wordsworth, and the judges John Taylor Coleridge, John Patteson, John Richardson and Nicholas Conyngham Tindal. [7]

There was a significant overlap with the early membership of the Club of Nobody's Friends, a dining club founded in 1801 by William Stevens.[8]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Peter B. Nockles (12 December 1996). The Oxford Movement in Context: Anglican High Churchmanship, 1760-1857. Cambridge University Press. pp. 271–2. ISBN 978-0-521-58719-8. Retrieved 17 December 2012. 
  2. ^ Nockles, Peter B. "Watson, Joshua". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/28851.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. ^ Nockles, Peter B. "Norris, Henry Handley". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/20274.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  4. ^ Pietro Corsi (26 May 1988). Science and Religion: Baden Powell and the Anglican Debate, 1800-1860. Cambridge University Press. pp. 11–13. ISBN 978-0-521-24245-5. Retrieved 18 December 2012. 
  5. ^ Jeremy Gregory (2000). Restoration, Reformation and Reform: 1660-1828. Oxford University Press. p. 33. ISBN 978-0-19-820830-3. Retrieved 19 December 2012. 
  6. ^ Peter B. Nockles (12 December 1996). The Oxford Movement in Context: Anglican High Churchmanship, 1760-1857. Cambridge University Press. p. 16 note 58. ISBN 978-0-521-58719-8. Retrieved 20 December 2012. 
  7. ^ Francis Warre Cornish, The English Church in the Nineteenth Century (1910) p. 72; archive.org.
  8. ^ Nockles, Peter B. "Bowdler, John". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/3031.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)