Charles Maurice Davies

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Charles Maurice Davies
Born 1828
Died 1910
Nationality British
Occupation Clergyman, journalist
Known for Mystic London

Charles Maurice Davies (1828–1910) was an Anglican clergyman, a prolific author and spiritualist.


Charles Maurice Davies was born in 1828. He became a fellow of Durham University in 1849. In 1851 he was ordained a deacon, and in 1852 was ordained a priest. He served as a curate in various parishes.[1]

Davies was at first associated with the "high church" Anglicans, whose thinking was closer to Roman Catholic than Protestant traditions.[1] On 28 February 1855 Davies and five other Anglican clergy met at the House of Charity, Rose Street, Soho, London, and founded the Anglo-Catholic Society of the Holy Cross. Davies at that time was curate of St Matthew's, City Road, in London. The leader of the group was Charles Lowder. The other founders were David Nicols, Alfred Poole, Joseph Newton Smith and Henry Augustus Rawes.[2] For a short period Davies became a Roman Catholic, before rejoining the Church of England as a liberal.[3] In his later years Davies identified himself as a "broad churchman" and thought the church should tolerate a wide range of beliefs and practices.[1]

Davies married, and in 1856 the couple moved to Paris where he taught Classics and Modern English.[4] Spiritualism was in vogue in Paris at that time, and Davies' wife began experimenting with automatic writing.[5] His brother was also interested in spiritualism, and Davies himself was eventually convinced by the results of a seance.[6] After his son died in 1865 Davies became committed to spiritualism.[7] He did not play an active role in spiritualism until August 1874, when he attended a spiritualist conference in Gower Street, London.[6] He was a member of the British National Association of Spiritualists.[8]

From 1861 to 1868 Davies was headmaster of the West London Collegiate School. In his later career Davies was a journalist rather than a minister.[4] In 1875 Davies was briefly lecturer at the church of St George-in-the-East in Stepney.[3] In 1881 he called himself "a Sunday Evening Lecturer at Chelsea Parish Church", but he left holy orders after 1882. He continued to believe that Christianity and spiritualism were complementary beliefs.[4]

Charles Maurice Davies died in 1910.[1]


Charles Maurice Davies sometimes wrote under the pseudonyms "A Church of England Clergyman", "C M D" and "An Ex-Puseyite".[9] He is best known for his novels Philip Paternoster (1858), Shadow Land (1860), Broad Church (1875) and 'Verts (1876). He also wrote for The Daily Telegraph and the National Press Agency. His journalistic works were published in the collections Unorthodox London (1873), Heterodox London (1874), Orthodox London (1874–75) and Mystic London (1875). They may be seen as works of urban ethnography, examining the cultures of the various religious groups and exploring the extent to which unorthodox religious practices could be tolerated by the Church of England.[1]


Davies was a prolific author. Selected works:






  1. ^ a b c d e Watson & Dodsworth 2012, p. 487.
  2. ^ Hightower 1999.
  3. ^ a b St George-in-the-East Clergy 1860–1900.
  4. ^ a b c Byrne 2010, p. 165.
  5. ^ Byrne 2010, p. 165-166.
  6. ^ a b Byrne 2010, p. 166.
  7. ^ Davies 1875, p. i.
  8. ^ Lavoie, Jeffrey D. (2014). Search for Meaning in Victorian Religion: The Spiritual Journey and Esoteric Teachings of Charles Carleton Massey. Lehigh University Press. pp. 19-20. ISBN 978-1611461848
  9. ^ Rev Charles Maurice Davies: Abe Books.


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