The Rambler (Catholic periodical)

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The Rambler was a Catholic periodical founded by liberal converts to Catholicism and closely associated with the names of Lord Acton, Richard Simpson and, for a brief period, John Henry Newman. It represented a phase of convert thought which was in opposition to the extreme ultramontanism of William George Ward and Henry Edward Manning and eventually led to increasing friction with the leading members of the newly established English hierarchy. It was started on 1 January 1848, and its last number was published in May 1862.

The Rambler was originally a weekly magazine. Its aim, according to its final number, was

to unite an intelligent and hearty acceptance of Catholic dogma with free enquiry and discussion on questions which the Church left open to debate and while avoiding, as far as possible, the domain of technical theology, to provide a medium for the expression of independent opinion on subjects of the day, whether interesting to the general public or especially affecting Catholics.

Before the end of the year, the magazine was so successful that it was decided to increase the size and to issue it in a monthly form. It continued to be published as a monthly serial from 1 September 1848, to 1 February 1859. From May 1859, a slightly larger version was published every two months. The last number was published in May 1862, and a quarterly journal, The Home and Foreign Review, under the same editorial management, appeared in its place in July of that year. This became one of the most distinguished periodicals of its day, and was praised by Matthew Arnold.[1]

Sir John (later Lord) Acton was the principal proprietor of The Rambler. The convert Richard Simpson began to write for it in 1850, and in 1856, he became assistant editor. In 1858, he became editor and a proprietor. He ran into conflict with those who disapproved of a layman writing about theology and of his liberal views, and was forced to resign in 1859, being briefly replaced with Newman, and then with Acton.[1]