Arthur Philip Perceval

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Arthur Philip Perceval (1799–1853) was an English High Church clergyman, royal chaplain and theological writer.


Born on 22 November 1799, he was the fifth and youngest son of Charles George Perceval, 2nd Baron Arden, by his wife Margaret Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Sir Thomas Spencer Wilson, bart. He matriculated at Oriel College, Oxford, on 19 March 1817, graduating B.A. in 1820, and B.C.L. in 1824; from 1821 to 1825 he was fellow of All Souls College.

On 18 June 1824 he was appointed rector of East Horsley, Surrey. In 1826 he became chaplain to George IV, and continued royal chaplain to William IV and Queen Victoria until his death. He supported the Tractarian movement at Oxford, and in 1841 published a Vindication of the Authors of the Tracts for the Times, principally defending John Henry Newman against attacks made on his Tract 90. On 24 July 1838, when preaching as royal chaplain at the Chapel Royal, St. James's, he advocated High Church principles before the queen; Charles Blomfield, bishop of London, who was aware of Perceval's intention, is said to have preached for several Sundays in order to keep Perceval out of the pulpit, but the bishop broke his collarbone, and Perceval found his opportunity.

Perceval died on 11 June 1853, having married, on 15 December 1825, Charlotte Anne, eldest daughter of the Rev. and Hon. Augustus George Legge, fifth son of William Legge, 2nd Earl of Dartmouth; she died on 21 June 1856, having had, with other issue, three sons and four daughters.


Perceval was a voluminous author, mostly of letters, sermons, and pamphlets. His works include:

  • ‘The Roman Schism illustrated from the Records of the Catholic Church,’ 1836.
  • ‘Origin of Church Rates,’ 1837.
  • ‘Sermons preached chiefly at the Chapel Royal, St. James's,’ 1839.
  • ‘An Apology for the Doctrine of Apostolical Succession,’ 1839; 2nd edit. 1841.
  • ‘A Collection of Papers connected with the Theological Movement of 1833,’ 1842; 2nd edit. 1843.
  • ‘Results of an Ecclesiastical Tour in Holland and Northern Germany,’ 1846.
  • ‘Plain Lectures on St. Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians,’ 1846.
  • ‘Origines Hibernicæ,’ Dublin, 1849; in this he endeavours to prove that Ireland is the Patmos of Revelation, and that the Virgin Mary was buried on Tara Hill.
  • The Use of Lights on the Communion Table in the Day Time (1851)

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 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain"Perceval, Arthur Philip". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.