Henry Joy Fynes-Clinton

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Church of St Magnus the Martyr

Henry Joy Fynes-Clinton (6 May 1875 - 4 December 1959) was an Anglican priest and a leading Anglican Papalist.[1]


Fynes Clinton was born on 6 May 1875[2] and baptised by his father on 11 June 1875.[3] He was educated at The King's School, Canterbury, winning a Ford Studentship in 1894[4] to Trinity College, Oxford, where he read Literae Humaniores (B.A. 1898,[5] M.A. 1901). In 1899 he was a tutor to the Morozov family in Smolensky Boulevard, Moscow.[6] After training at Ely Theological College he was ordained deacon in 1901 and priest in 1902,[7] serving as a curate at St John the Evangelist, Upper Norwood (1901–04), St Martin's Brighton (1904-06), St Stephen's Lewisham (1906–14)[8] and St Michael's Shoreditch (1914–21)[9] before becoming Rector of St Magnus the Martyr in the City of London on 31 May 1921.[10] He substantially beautified the interior of St Magnus the Martyr and remained rector of that parish until his death on 4 December 1959.[11]


Fynes-Clinton was General Secretary of the Anglican and Eastern Orthodox Churches Union[12] from its foundation in July 1906 until 1914 and thereafter of its successor, the Anglican and Eastern Churches Association.[13] From 1920 to 1924 he served as Secretary to the Archbishop of Canterbury's Eastern Churches Committee.[14] In the preface to his book The Relations of the Anglican Churches with the Eastern-Orthodox,[15] Canon John Douglas[16] commented that he had "had the great advantage of the help of my friend the Rev. H. J. Fynes-Clinton, to whom the development of the rapprochement between the Anglican and Eastern-Orthodox Churches is due more than to any living man". Fynes-Clinton was joint secretary, with R.W. Seton-Watson, of the committee established in 1916 to disseminate knowledge of Serbia throughout Great Britain and draw a tighter bond between the two countries. This organized a service at St Paul's Cathedral on 7 July 1916 to commemorate the British and Serbian soldiers, doctors and nurses who had died in the defence of Serbia.[17] Fynes-Clinton supported the Serbian Orthodox Church, for example by raising funds for the education of theological students at Oxford,[18] and was awarded the Serbian Order of St Sava (2nd class 1918, 1st class 1921).[19] He was also one of the Secretaries of the St Sophia Redemption Committee, founded in 1918, which promoted the restoration of the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople to Christian worship.[20]

The Holy House at Walsingham

On 6 January 1920, Fynes-Clinton issued a leaflet to all churches and chapels in England in support of Armenians, Syrians and other Christians of the Ottoman Empire.[21] He was responsible for escorting the Orthodox delegation to the 1920 Lambeth Conference, which passed a number of resolutions relating to the "Reunion of Christendom"[22] Fynes-Clinton had himself argued in Lectures on the Russian Church: Its Ceremonial[23] that "it is in the Universal Church alone that the fullness of the harmony of Truth and of spiritual Life can be found". During the visit of Mar Timotheus, (1878 – 1945), Patriarch Locum Tenens, to England in 1923-24 Fynes-Clinton invited those concerned "to assist and to pray with [ the Church of the East ] for the restoration of their Homeland and freedom of the distressed remnants of the Assyrian people".[24]

Fynes-Clinton was delighted by the rejection of the 1928 Prayer Book by the House of Commons. The defeat of the Deposited Book provided freedom for Anglican Papalists to continue with services in the way they preferred. Fynes-Clinton is reported to have said that the term 'Deposited Book' was a mot juste for the 1928 version, as it should properly be deposited in the rubbish bin.[25]

Fynes-Clinton was one of the founding guardians and a significant benefactor of the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham,[26] served for many years as Priest Director of The Catholic League,[27] fostered the Octave of Church Unity[28] and played a leading role in promoting the cause of reunion of the Church of England with Rome. For example, Fynes-Clinton and other clergy issued a manifesto in advance of the centenary of the Oxford Movement deprecating modernism and calling for reunion with the Apostolic See of Rome.[29] Fynes-Clinton developed his arguments in The Church of England and the Holy See: What are we to say?[30] His position was that "Our schism from Rome was corporate: the remedy must be corporate. Individual secession serves but to postpone reunion and leaves the problem where it was before.... The supreme need of the Church of England to-day is Corporate Return to the Holy See". In 1937 and 1938 he organized visits to allow Fr Paul Couturier to meet active parishes in the Anglican Catholic tradition and visit a number of the then vigorous Anglican religious communities.[31]

In assessing his influence, Yelton concludes that "Fynes-Clinton was a more important figure than his detractors would have. His opponents looked only at his propensity for founding more and more organisations ... without appreciating his enormously wide international contacts with both Eastern and Western churches, as well as his generally sensible counsel given to all who asked for it and some who did not."[32]

Fynes-Clinton was Master of the Worshipful Company of Plumbers from 1941 to 1943.[33] From 1945 until his death he was an active Governor of Quainton Hall School in Harrow,[34] which was owned by the Walsingham College (Affiliated Schools) Ltd,[35] and represented the Guardians of Walsingham when the school's chapel was dedicated in 1955.[36] Fynes-Clinton remained active until his death at the age of 84.[37]

Family history and influences[edit]

Fynes Street, Westminster

Fynes-Clinton and his siblings were the children of Chares Henry Fynes-Clinton (1835–1915), Rector of Blandford Forum in Dorset (following an initial career as a civil engineer in London),[38] and of Thomasina Gordon Shaw of Ballyoran, County Down (died 1929). He was the grandson of Charles John Fynes-Clinton (1799–1872), Rector of Cromwell in Nottinghamshire.[39] His great grandfather was Charles Fynes-Clinton (1748–1827),[40] "a 'high and dry' divine of the old school" - after whom Fynes Street in Westminster was named - [41] who was Canon and Sub Dean of Westminster and Rector of St Margaret's Westminster and of Cromwell, and a descendent of Sir Henry Clinton (1587–1641), the son of the 2nd Earl of Lincoln by his second wife.[42] H.J. Fynes-Clinton was therefore a cousin of Henry Pelham-Clinton, 7th Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyne (1864–1928), another staunch Anglo-Catholic, and of the Duke's sister, Lady Emily Augusta Mary Pelham-Clinton (1863–1919; wife of the Prince Alfonso Doria Pamphilj of the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj, which now houses the Anglican Centre in Rome). His grandfather's two brothers served as Members of Parliament for Aldborough, a seat under the control of the Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyne.[43] One was the classical scholar and chronologist Henry Fynes-Clinton (1781–1852).[44] The other was Clinton James Fynes-Clinton (later Fiennes-Clinton; 1792–1833), a barrister and prominent Ultra-Tory,[45] whose son, Henry Fiennes-Clinton (1826–1911), was also Rector of Cromwell and from whom the present Earl of Lincoln[46] is descended.

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ See "The Anglican Papalist: a personal portrait of Henry Joy Fynes-Clinton", A.T. John Slater: Anglo Catholic History Society Occasional Paper, 2012 ISBN 978-0-9560565-2-8; Fynes-Clinton, Rev. Henry Joy in Who Was Who, A & C Black, 1920–2008, online edition, Oxford University Press, December 2007; Henry Joy Fynes-Clinton, Lunn, B. & Haselock, J.: London, 1983 ISBN 0-85191-174-9; Sorrow and obedience beyond the bounds of Rome, Brindley B.: Catholic Herald, 4 June 1999, Page 12.
  2. ^ See The Peerage, although this contains minor errors. Birth registered in the first quarter of 1876
  3. ^ Blandford Forum Register of Baptisms
  4. ^ The Times, 4 August 1894, p. 8, col. D
  5. ^ The Times, 29 July 1898, p. 10, col. C
  6. ^ An Outline History of the Anglican & Eastern Churches Association by the Revd A. T. J. Salter at AECA Archived 3 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine.. See Mikhail Morozov's (1870-1903) house on Smolensky Boulevard. The rise of the Morozov family was the inspiration for Geoffrey Lambert's recent novel The Morozov Inheritance: 2010, ISBN 978-1-60911-758-0.
  7. ^ The Times, 28 May 1902, p. 4, col. A
  8. ^ At the time of the 1911 census Fynes-Clinton was living with the family of Capt. Charles Cockburn Talbot RD RNR (son of Major General Robert Talbot RA and brother of Major General Harry Lynch Talbot RMA) and his wife, Beatrice Caroline Talbot (née Eden), at 10 Marlborough Road, Lee, Lewisham. Fynes-Clinton subsequently moved with the Talbots to 27, later 8, Finsbury Square and officiated at the marriage of their son, John Angelo Talbot, in 1921. Beatrice Talbot was a descendant of Sir Frederick Eden Bt and a cousin of Anthony Eden, see Eden family. From the 1930s (as shown in successive Electoral Registers) Fynes-Clinton lived in Westminster.
  9. ^ Crockford's 1908 and 1932
  10. ^ The Times, 28 May 1921, p. 13. Pathé News filmed Fr Fynes-Clinton at St Magnus on Palm Sunday 1935, see British Pathé
  11. ^ For obituary by Ivan Young see Walsingham, Cobb, P. (ed), pp 97-98: 1990. See also The Times, 7 December 1959, p. 19 and 12 February 1960, p. 14. A Requiem Mass was held at St Magnus on 8 December 1959.
  12. ^ Founded by Fynes-Clinton in concert with Canon J.A. Douglas and the Rev R.F. Borough - see A history of the ecumenical movement, Volume 1; Rouse R., Neill S. and Fey, H.E.: SPCK, 1970. The Church Intelligencer (Volume 23, Issue 11, November 1906) expressed its concern in an article entitled A New Disorder in the Church – The Anglican and Eastern Orthodox Churches Union: "Simultaneously with the appearance of the Report of the Royal Commission on Ecclesiastical Discipline, there came into existence a new Ritualistic society, the composition of which is as full of significance as the present crisis in our National Church".
  13. ^ The Union published annual reports between 1906 and 1914 and a magazine, Eirene, which Fynes-Clinton edited for some years from 1908 to 1914. By 1914 it had approximately 2,000 members in Britain and a branch in the United States. See The Times, 24 October 1908, p. 19, column F for a report of the Union's early activities. It merged in 1914 with the Eastern Church Association, which had been founded at the residence of William Denton at 48 Finsbury Circus on 13 April 1863. Fynes-Clinton remained active in the Anglican and Eastern Churches Association until 1933, when he was ousted from its leadership following his call for reunion with Rome. Godfrey Benson, 1st Baron Charnwood settled the issue in a private conversation with Fynes-Clinton. "He agreed to resign the Hon. Secretaryship, but to continue on the Committee if desired. In a long and, to me, extremely difficult conversation, no man, from whom I profoundly and amiably differed, could have inspired more personal respect in me than he did." (Sobornost incorporating Eastern churches review, Fellowship of St. Alban and St. Sergius, Volume 1 No. 1, 1979). For further information on the Union and Association see Lambeth Palace Library, Annual Review and Timeline of Orthodoxy in the British Isles
  14. ^ The Anglican and Eastern Churches: A Historical Record 1914-1921, SPCK, London, 1921. See Anglican and Eastern Churches 1914-21
  15. ^ Faith Press, 1921
  16. ^ Founder of the Society of the Faith and the Nikaean Club. See obituary in The Times, 5 July 1956, p. 14, column B and The Times, 13 July 1956, p. 14, column B
  17. ^ See The making of a new Europe: R.W. Seton-Watson and the last years of Austria-Hungary, Seton-Watson H. and C., pp. 174-5: Univ of Washington Press, 1981, ISBN 978-0-295-95792-0 and The Times, 12 June 1916, p. 3, col. C. A further service was held at St Mary-le-Bow in 1918 (see The Times, 29 June 1918, p. 3, col. C).
  18. ^ The Times, 6 September 1920, p. 6, col. C
  19. ^ The Anglican and Eastern Churches: A Historical Record 1914-1921, SPCK, London, 1921. See Anglican and Eastern Churches 1914-21
  20. ^ Holy Wisdom and British foreign policy, 1918-1922: the St. Sophia redemption agitation by Erik Goldstein in 'Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies', Volume 15, 1991, pp. 36-65. See also Give Back Saint Sophia: A Report of the Speeches Delivered at the Opening Meeting of the Crusade for the Redemption of Saint Sophia, held at the Cannon Street Hotel, on January 23rd, 1919 by Athelstan Riley, London: Faith Press, 1919
  21. ^ Britain and the Armenian question, 1915-1923, Nassibian, A., p. 239: Palgrave Macmillan, 1984, ISBN 978-0-312-09809-4
  22. ^ Lambeth Conference 1920. See also Constantinople and the Lambeth Conference: Report of the Delegation to the Lambeth Conference of the Oecumenical Patriarchate at Constantinople in 'New Blackfriars', Volume 3, Issue 29, pages 251–265, August 1922. For a recent essay on Anglican-Orthodox relations at this time, particularly in connection with Patriarch Meletios Metaxakis's recognition of Anglican orders in 1922, see Anglican Orders and Orthodox Politics by Bryn Geffert: 'The Journal of Ecclesiastical History'(2006), 57, pp 270-300 Cambridge University Press
  23. ^ SPCK 1916
  24. ^ Chapter 4 of The Assyrian Church of the East in the Twentieth Century by Mar Aprem Mooken, 2003, see Visit Of Mar Timotheus To England
  25. ^ Anglican Papalism, Yelton, M., pp. 79-81: Canterbury Press, Norwich, 2005 ISBN 1-85311-655-6
  26. ^ Alfred Hope Patten and the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, Yelton, M., p. 92: Canterbury Press, Norwich, 2006 ISBN 978-1-85311-753-4. Fynes-Clinton endowed the chapel in the Shrine Church dedicated to St John and paid for the Shrine's grant of armorial bearings, see Walsingham, Cobb, P. (ed), pp 46-47: 1990 and Grant of Arms.
  27. ^ The Catholic League 1913-1988, Farmer, R.: London (no date). The work of the Catholic League has been carried forward in more recent years by the Revd Preb Brooke Lunn, whose vocation to the priesthood was encouraged by Fr Fynes-Clinton; see Anglicanorum Coetibus.
  28. ^ See Church Unity Octave
  29. ^ The Times, 12 November 1932, p. 14
  30. ^ Oxford Movement Centenary Tractate No. 8 Part I, Reprinted and Revised 1943
  31. ^ See Catholic League and Anglican Papalism, Yelton, M., p.50: Canterbury Press, Norwich, 2005 ISBN 1-85311-655-6
  32. ^ Anglican Papalism, Yelton, M., p. 242: Canterbury Press, Norwich, 2005 ISBN 1-85311-655-6
  33. ^ History of the Worshipful Company of Plumbers, Young A.J., p. 225: privately printed by The Worshipful Company of Plumbers, London, 2000
  34. ^ Quainton Hall School, The First Hundred Years: 1897-1996, Milner P.: Harrow, Middlesex, 1997
  35. ^ Alfred Hope Patten and the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, Yelton, M., p. 153: Canterbury Press, Norwich, 2006 ISBN 978-1-85311-753-4
  36. ^ See Quainton Hall School Chapel
  37. ^ Fr Brooke Lunn recalls that "For the 8 a.m. Mass Fr Fynes would catch the underground from St James Park, near where he lived, to Monument, close by St Magnus. He was in his eighties. His GP had told him that this was too much for him, and when Fr Fynes carried on nonetheless, his GP said: 'Well, you're on your own.'"
  38. ^ See 1861 census return for 39 Bedford Square, London. C.H. Fynes-Clinton's engineering experience was deployed at Blandford Forum Parish Church, a Georgian building that was built with a small apse, but no proper chancel. In 1895, by the use of jacks and rollers, the apse was ingeniously moved from its original position to one some 30 feet further East on new foundations to provide space for the present chancel. See Blandford Forum Parish Church.
  39. ^ Uncharitably described as "a narrow Evangelical fanatic" by Charles Smyth (see reference below). See St Giles’ Church Cromwell, Fellows of the Royal Geographical Society and Subscribers to the Protestant Association
  40. ^ Church and Parish - Studies in Church Problems, illustrated from the Parochial History of St Margaret's Westminster, Smyth, C., p. 128: SPCK, 1955. This publication provides a full account of the riot that ensued at St Margaret's Westminster in December 1820, reported in The Times of 11 December 1820, when Fynes-Clinton banned an Evangelical lecturer from the pulpit. The subsequent legal case, Clinton v Hatchard (1822), which Fynes-Clinton won, became a leading case in English ecclesiastical law; as was the case taken by his great grandson: Rector and Churchwardens of St Magnus the Martyr v. All having interest (1925). Moreover, his obituary speaks of the affection in which he was generally held: "The charity and goodwill of that religion, of which he was a minister, were not to be mistaken. The poor of Westminster will remember the hand that liberally ministered to their wants; and the love of peace and harmony, which guided his actions and threw their grace upon his demeanour, will not soon be forgotten." (The Gentleman's magazine, Volume 142 Part II, 1827, p.570)
  41. ^ Old and new London : a narrative of its history, its people, and its places by Walter Thornbury, 1873
  42. ^ Blazon (description) of the family's arms, as used by Fynes-Clinton on his bookplate: argent, six crosses crosslet fitchée sable; on a chief azure, two mullets pierced or; a mullet pierced or for difference
  43. ^ See Politics of the 4th Duke of Newcastle
  44. ^ See History of Parliament, Literary Remains and Lives of the Founders of the British Museum by Edward Edwards, p.533-4, 1870 British Museum for different aspects of his career. He was son-in-law of Bishop Henry Majendie and father-in-law of Thomas Gambier Parry (a Tractarian and prominent member of the Cambridge Camden Society) and grandfather of Sir Hubert Parry
  45. ^ See History of Parliament and Second Reading of the Reform Bill - 4 July 1831. "Mr Fynes Clinton's speech in favour of the amendment was, take it as a whole, the best delivered on his side of the question." (The New Parliament - The Reform Bill in The New Monthly Magazine and Literary Journal, 1831, Part II, p.120, London). Commenting on the Oxford University by election of 1829 at which Inglis defeated Peel, Greville commented (22 February 1829) that "Inglis's committee ... is composed of men not much better than old women, except Fynes Clinton, the chairman".
  46. ^ See Australians with hereditary peerages and Earl of Lincoln Archived 30 July 2012 at Archive.is