|The Rt Revd
|Bishop of Oxford|
|Diocese||Diocese of Oxford|
|Ordination||18 May 1845|
|Consecration||25 January 1870|
3 December 1820|
|Died||16 September 1899
|Spouse||Alethea Buchanan Coleridge|
|Alma mater||Eton College;
Merton College, Oxford
He was educated at Eton College and Merton College, Oxford. After matriculation he was elected a Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford. Mackarness was ordained on Sunday 18 May 1845. He was Vicar of St BartholomewTardebigge (1845–1855); Rector of Honiton (1855–1870) and finally Bishop of Oxford (1870–1889). At Eton he was captain of the football club, he rowed in the Merton boat, and was president of the Oxford Union.
From 11 Aug. 1846 to 1855, he held the vicarage of Tardebigge in Worcestershire, and from 1854 to 1868, he was an honorary canon of Worcester Cathedral. On the nomination of William Courtenay, 11th Earl of Devon, he was appointed to the rectory of Honiton, Devonshire, in 1855, and as such was responsible for the management of Honiton grammar school. This preferment he retained until his appointment to the episcopal bench, holding with it from 1858 a prebendal stall in Exeter Cathedral, and from 1867 the adjoining vicarage of Monkton.
In 1866, he was elected as proctor in convocation for that diocese, but lost his seat in 1869 through declining to oppose the disestablishment of the Irish church. By the recommendation of Mr. Gladstone, he was appointed to the see of Oxford, being consecrated bishop on 25 January 1870, and invested as chancellor of the Garter on 5 February 1870, and he discharged the duties of the see until 1888, when failing health compelled him to retire, his resignation taking legal effect on 17 November 1888.
As a bishop Mackarness was fearless and independent, without any trace of affectation, and the sermon which Professor Ince preached at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, on 22 Sept. 1889, and afterwards published, bore public witness to the regard which the clergy of his diocese had for him. When an attempt was made to force him to take proceedings against the rector of Clewer, he argued the case in person before the judges of the queen's bench division. Judgment went against him, but on carrying the case to the court of appeal it was given in his favour, and this decision was confirmed by the House of Lords. A liberal in politics, he voted in the lords against the Afghan war and the Public Worship Regulation Act, while he supported the bill for allowing dissenters to be buried in churchyards with services from their, own ministers, and the measure for the removal of religious tests in the universities. On surrendering to the ecclesiastical commissioners the management of the Oxford bishopric estates, Mackarness, with singular honesty, paid to them the sum of £1,729, being the estimated amount which he had received therefrom in excess of his statutory income during the previous nine years.
He married Alethea Buchanan Coleridge on 7 August 1849 at Ottery Saint Mary, Devon. She was born in 1826 in London and died on 30 March 1909. Her parents were the Right Honourable Sir John Taylor Coleridge and Mary Buchanan. Together they had eight children; one of whom was Frederick Michael Coleridge Mackarness a prominent barrister then judge who also served as the Liberal MP for the Newbury constituency between 1906 and 1910.
Mackarness was the author of numerous sermons and charges, and until his elevation to the see of Oxford he regularly contributed to the 'Guardian.' His chief publications were :
- 'A few Words to the Country Parsons on the Election for Oxford University. By One of Themselves,' 1847.
- 'A Plea for 'toleration, in Answer to the No Popery Cry,' 1850.
- 'May or Must,' a letter to Archdeacon Pott, 1879. With the Rev. Richard Seymour he edited in 1862 a volume called 'Eighteen Years of a Clerical Meeting, being the Minutes of the Alcester Clerical Association, 1842–60,' and a sermon by him on the death of Lord Lyttelton, to whom he was for some time honorary chaplain, appeared in 'Brief Memorials of Lord Lyttelton,' 1876.
- University Intelligence.The Times (London, England), Wednesday, 15 Dec 1869; pg. 5; Issue 26621.
- FUNERAL OF BISHOP MACKARNESS The Hampshire Advertiser (Southampton, England), Wednesday, 25 September 1889; pg. ; Issue 4517
- Courtney 1893.
- "A History of Eton College" Cust,L.H: London, Duckworth & Co., 1899
- Alumni Oxonienses: the Members of the University of Oxford, 1715-1886: Their Parentage, Birthplace, and Year of Birth, with a Record of Their Degrees: Labouchere-Ryves Volume 3 p188
- ORDINATIONSThe Morning Post (London, England), Monday, 19 May 1845; pg. 3; Issue 23196
- W. P. Courtney, John Mackarness, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/17547
- "The Clergy List, Clerical Guide and Ecclesiastical Directory" London, Hamilton & Co 1889
- Mrs. Mackarness The Times (London, England), Wednesday, 31 Mar 1909; pg. 13; Issue 38921.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Courtney, William Prideaux (1893). "Mackarness, John Fielder". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography 35. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
|Church of England titles|
|Bishop of Oxford