Edward Stanley (bishop)

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An 1803 portrait of Bishop Stanley by James Green.

Edward Stanley FRS (1 January 1779 – 6 September 1849) was a British clergyman and Bishop of Norwich between 1837 and 1849.

Born in London into a notable Cheshire family, Stanley was the second son of Sir John Stanley, 6th Baronet, and the younger brother of John Stanley, 1st Baron Stanley of Alderley.

Educated at St John's College, Cambridge (16th wrangler, 1802), he was ordained in 1802 and three years later became rector of Alderley, Cheshire, a position he held for the next 32 years.[1] Here he took a great interest in education, and encouraged especially the teaching of secular subjects at his school.

In 1837 he was consecrated Bishop of Norwich. The diocese at this time was conspicuous for laxity and want of discipline and this he proceeded to remedy, although at first he met with much opposition. Ordinations and confirmations were held more regularly and frequently, the schools were properly inspected, the Plurality Act (which prohibited the holding of more than one benefice by a clergyman except in certain cases) was enforced and undesirable clergy were removed. He was tolerant towards Dissenters and supported all missionary undertakings without regarding their sectarian associations. In politics he was a Liberal and devoted himself especially to educational questions.

Stanley's letters, Before and after Waterloo (edited by JH Adeane and M Grenfell, 1907), are full of interest to students of Napoleonic history.

Bishop Stanley was the original Patron of the Ipswich Museum, and presided at its opening in 1847. An oil portrait is displayed in the Museum.[2]

From 1837 to 1849 he was President of the Linnean Society.

He is buried in the nave of Norwich cathedral. He had married Catherine, eldest daughter of Oswald Leycester (another notable Cheshire family) in 1810: they had five children, including Owen Stanley, Arthur Penrhyn Stanley and Mary Stanley.

He appears as a character in Alan Garner's novel Strandloper.


  1. ^ "Stanley, Edward (STNY798E)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  2. ^ R. A. D. Markham, A Rhino in High Street (Ipswich Borough Council 1991).

External links[edit]

Church of England titles
Preceded by
Henry Bathurst
Bishop of Norwich
Succeeded by
Samuel Hinds