The Anti-High Church Mission initiative, like many similar movements, is difficult to trace in terms of its origins without some element of anachronistic retrospect. There were multiple parties involved, unconnected from each other and yet united in a common goal, which was to stop the spread of the belief and practice of the Oxford Movement and its progeny.

Using this anachronistic retrospect as a means of awareness of the issues, it is helpful to layout broad lines of analysis and then seek to investigate those lines in a more in depth manner.

At one level the aims and objectives of all the opposed parties could be summarised in the sense of victory that was achieved by seeing the passage of the Private Members Bill of Archbishop Tait that resulted in what was referred to as the 1874 Public Worship Act.

This achievement had several levels of application. In short, the State in the form of the Church represented in Archbishop Tait, Parliament represented by Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli and the Crown represented by Queen Victoria created an official position concerning what was lawful and unlawful in the elements of worship allowed in the Established Church of England.

When the compass of a state becomes fixated on an issue such as ritualism in the Church and yet is silent concerning the moral degradation of the Monarchy in the form of the future King, The Prince of Wales and his excessive unashamed debauched lifestyle soon to be head of the Church; the statement to history is that morality is irrelevant and unimportant as long as externals are kept in a manner that creates comfort for the status quo.

The Legislation was introduced by Archbishop Archibald Tait as a Private Members Bill, on April 20 1874. It was given Royal assent on August 7, 1874. It entered Commencement, in short de facto and ipso fact authority, the next year July 1 1875. The Bill was not finally repealed until 1965.

The preceding persecution of the High Church Missions, based upon a less potent Ruling of 1840, were the antecedent activities leading up to this moment in 1874 and that all that came after in terms of persecution was the aftermath activity based on the 1874 Act of Parliament.

As the consequences of the Bill came into focus it brought forward the question of authority on who and how matters of faith and practice be administered in the Church of England.

Edward Pusey made things very clear when he wrote,
“A judicial decision, even of the highest court, cannot affect the doctrine of the Church of England. The plain meaning of her formularies must be the same. The judgment, if unfavourable, could affect discipline only. A wrong decision even in a supreme court, cannot alter the faith of the Church.”32
“No authority less than that of the Church can decide in her name, that she does not receive the Creeds which she uses, in the sense in which the Church has ever received them. If any authority not co-extensive with herself, decides wrongly, he condemns himself, not her. He may embarrass her, may cripple her functions; he cannot alter her Faith.”43

The final weeks leading up to the fateful date of August 7 when the Bill passed into law was study in the diversity of opinions within all the various camps and factions.

The conflict was at multiple levels and there are no clear lines of distinction between the complexity of personalities, in relationship to each other, the fundamental areas of doctrine at stake and the highly complex web of Nationalism wrapped up within Post Reformation cultural identity.

There were primarily four tracks or streams of belief and practice that flowed in and out of each other as to what form Ritual should take and how that form would function at the Parish level.

The greatest earlier influence was the Oxford Movement. This was in the form of the written 90 Tracts and their accompanying letters and oral interactions.

The central personalities in this case were John Keble, John Newman and Edward Bouverie Pusey. There was a second tier of pundits and impresarios that presented Keble and Pusey to the world. Of this group Isaac Williams and Dean Church were the most luminary.

The distance between Pusey in Tract 63 and Mackonochie’s Liturgical expression can be compared to the distance between Kant and Voltaire. The first line breaks the mould but does not prescribe Revolution, the latter starts with Revolution and works out from that point. In short, Pusey and the others began with a vision for Reform the High Church Missions Movement turned it into a Revolution.

The second track or stream is that of John Mason Neale and the Camden Movement. Neale was very much responsible for bringing focus upon the historic Eastern Churches in both liturgical and aesthetic matters. Neale’s basic contribution in his own eyes was one of seeing and responding to the lack of the aesthetic within the Tractarian worldview. Neale was able to frame, for the High Church Mission a level of Mystery that was evident but could not be fully understood within the Scholastic framework of the Western Church.

The third influence can not easily be traced to one or two key sources but is best represented by the idea locus sending out streams of opinions that can best be described as bringing Ritual into a framework not unlike Tridenteen Catholicism. In short, there were great tendencies with the High Church Mission to not distance themselves from the Symbolism of a Roman Catholic image.

The fourth Track or Stream is that embodied in the thinking dominated by Percy Dearmer whose primary emphasis was to see a truly English pre reformation liturgical life rooted in the Book of Common Prayer. This of course was in step with the first level of Tractarian thinking.

A fifth track could be identified as being in the form of the co-belligerency movements within the Non Conformist Party. It is important to mention them but the main thrust of this essay is to identify the primary attack as coming from within the Church of England through the Church Association.

The leading non conformist Church leader of the day was Charles Haddon Spurgeon who in many senses has become a sacred possession within Evangelicalism. To critique Spurgeon is to enter a lion’s den. Spurgeon was without doubt the most effective religious orator of his day. The thousands that found “new born” faith through his preaching was substantial and in many ways Spurgeon’s Tabernacle was the first Mega Church.

Spurgeon was excessively negative towards the Oxford Movement and in Particular Edward Bouverie Pusey. He referred to the teachings of Pusey as “Justification by Haberdashery”. Perhaps, it is because Spurgeon was popular and thus influential and yet was not professionally educated as a Theologian whereas Pusey was the premier Old Testament and Hebrew scholar on earth that there was inevitably going to be a clash of cultures.

Something similar can be said of JC Ryle. As the summum mortem occupavi, Ryle saw himself as an Aristocrat and belonging to that rank but he was not financially secure. It is hard to explain the frustration of those who were rich in blood lineage but was of a pecuniary stunted growth.

He would have preferred to have gone into Law but was unable to pursue that vocation due to a lack of resources. It is interesting that he was virulent and cruel towards Stanton, Pusey and Tooth who were in a strong position financially. To some extent we will never know if these were some of the dark subterranean streams running beneath surface of the elevated piety of the rhetorical devices.
The conflict was undoubtedly far beyond the personalities although within Church history personality has often played a significant role.

I would suggest that the prima proventus of the conflict was between those who on one hand had an inability to understand how Modernity in the form of Urbanisation, Pluralisation and emergent Globalisation created new secular tribal entities that would not fit the historic Reformation narrative for either soteriology and ecclesiology. On the other hand by Issachar Instinct, Providence or Luck saw the emergent “Subaltern Partition” that had formed and took responsibility to bring a contextualised spiritual formation message to people therein.

The Reformed Evangelical Anglicanism of the day functioned on a more 16th Century Puritan modus operandi which was to force any perceived errant group into submission by the appeal to law and if necessary violence.

At the core of the conflict, was in the area of the historic identity of the Church. Was Great Britain a Protestant Nation? Or had it slipped from its moorings and was in danger of becoming Roman Catholic satellite?

I would suggest that with the formation of the “Subaltern Partition” in large part, the conflict was in the realm of epistemology and hermeneutics, especially as it related to soteriology.

There was in the 19th Century a view of knowledge as truth that was rigid in that it was based upon the concept of antithesis and the law of no contradiction.

In a somewhat strange way the ideas of the Protestant Reformation which demanded all voalition to pass through a first cause prime mover initiator, vis a vis God, proffering truth claims that were analysed and responded to in a three step process, (i) Notitia as information in the form of propositions, (ii) Assensus as the hearer accepts the intellectual viability of the propositions and then (iii) Fiducia where trust is placed in the truth that has been presented, albeit the ability to enter into Fiducia was dependent not on mans capacity to exercise faith but the God prime mover as choosing to give faith to some and not to others.

The somewhat irony of the situation is that the Protestant Reformation worldview fit perfectly into the developing cultural milieu of the 19th Century that had oratory as entertainment, the emergence of a Platform culture with a rising emphasis upon celebrity.

A charismatic personality preacher who could make people laugh and cry upon Church platforms was going to be successful. The centrality of the Bible as the underpinning compelling concept in the hands of the celebrity preacher meant that the centrality of the Eucharist could be replaced by preaching of the Word without any or little restraint. I understand this is a very forceful statement to make but if this is a process without ill motive but the effect is the same the process must be viewed as pernicious.

The new platform culture of the orator, supported by the idea that the Bible as primary, meant that what had existed within the life of the Church from its inception, worship surrounding the Eucharist, could be replaced and actually turned into a picture of idolatry and heresy.

I understand the strength of the polemical statement and it is presented to provoke thought not to denigrate those who perhaps unwittingly have become party to what must be thought of the as the deceptive idol that could not be seen but was present in Ezekial 8.

I would suggest the only reason that this conflict could exist was that England had passed into an advanced level of rationalism in the 18th Century with one segment of the culture being fully satisfied with its continuation.

At the same time the new urban working class tribes inside the “Subaltern Partition” that were being formed would fundamentally need and require a different understanding of knowledge and truth.

In many senses the High Church Mission movement was a development of and an extension beyond the boundaries that existed within the Tractarian and Camden Movements.

Is it reasonable to say that the Ritualists were dangerously close to being what their critics claimed, a fifth column for Roman Catholicism, within the English Church? If they were it would be as a result onlookers mistaking image for reality.
Certainly the fact that they saw themselves as being an extension of pre Protestant English Christianity but functioning within the confines of the Book of Common Prayer should suffice to say very clearly they were not in any way by intention seeking to be what their enemies claimed.

The implications of that position are still debated today in terms of its Romanist tendencies. In 1865, Crockfords Clerical Listings had 20,500 ordained ministers in the Church of England. Of that 20,500 there would have been only a small fraction who would consider themselves Ritualist. It is difficult to see, no matter how potent the movement was, that it was a genuine threat to the life and stability of the British Empire as was claimed.

The issues, put forward as potentially bringing down the Empire were, Eucharistic Vestments, Lighted Candles, Incense, Mixed Chalice, Eastward Position, Genuflexion, Elevation of the Host, the sign of the Cross at the Absolution and Blessing and the singing of the Agnus Dei. If the British Empire were indeed so fragile then it must be considered and approached by documentary evidence. To the contrary, the British Empire was not that fragile as this essay will illuminate as we proceed.


Benjamin Disraeli, died in 1881 which marked the end of one of the most public political feuds, lasting forty years between himself and William Gladstone. It is too simplistic to place either of these towering figures into type cast moulds as they were both ambiguous and complex. Whilst stating that they were representative of two very powerful forces within Victorian culture, Virtue Ethics and Pragmatism.

Disraeli was the quintessential pragmatist whose understanding of both virtue and ethics were dominated by what was deemed effective for the cause of Britannia. In contrast, Gladstone was driven by deep forces connected to the idea right being embedded in the will of God.

The war of ideas and ideals that was played out in the public discourse attached to Parliament and the Press established a cultural norm for dialogue and discourse. It was in the early days of this dialectic that Punch Magazine, the popular satirical newspaper was born which created a satirical means of attacking ones enemies that was acceptable across the class and cultural spectrum.

This cultural framework was the space that both the Oxford Movement and the High Church Missions movement were born into. It was at times savage and cruel and always cynical and demeaning when satire was utilised.

It is important to stress here that Punch was savage, cruel and demeaning towards all sectors of the society and thus needs to be viewed accordingly in the huge amount of space given to attack both the Oxford Movement and what was popularly referred to as the Ritualists.

What needs to be noted is that they had a definite agenda to profile the Ritualists as effeminate, puerile and potentially as Camp Homosexuals.

December 22, 1866 page 258 Punch Magazine

January 6, 1866 Punch Magazine

The High Church Missions were unafraid to take up residence in some of the most dangerous sections of the country. They were as men the most masculine of characters in comparison to the establishment elite groups that opposed them. The women who joined the High Church Missions as either volunteers or members of the growing number of monastic orders were the most courageous persons in English society.

The image and reality of the public profile of the High Church Missions were a dichotomy and Punch Magazine along with Vanity Fare and even to some extent the London Illustrated News were complicit in communicating to the public a lie and only what can be thought of as a nefarious calumny.

This was on the surface a continuation between Pragmatism and Virtue Ethics. The Pragmatist Religious community saw that a city like London that had grown from one million to nearly seven million in just under one hundred years needed to be viewed through the eye glass of what is best for the Established Church and Britannia. The Virtue Ethics of the High Church mission understood that there was a moral imperative to move into the midst of the poor and oppressed with a Gospel of Hope and renewal.

JC Ryle was without doubt one of the most vocal establishment critics of the High Church Mission movement towards the latter part of the Nineteenth Century. His attack on the Ritualist Missions to the most deprived areas of England was by default an attack on the poor and the oppressed.
Whenever reading polemicist writers cast in the same mould as Ryle, it is helpful to read the subtext of their statements as well as the presentation at face value. In 1868, he published a short tract of thirty-three pages, in which he presented the compelling concept for the establishment of an organisation to represent the rights, opinions, principles and privileges of the Evangelical body within the Church of England under the tile, We Must Unite.

This was released one year after at his instigation of a law suit, through the offices of the Church Society, against Alexander Heriot Mackonochie of St. Alban the Martyr in Holborn, London in 1867.

Ryle recruited John Martin, to be the plaintiff, who did not live in the Parish of St. Alban the Martyr but had a small commercial property there which gave him a Parish address. From this position he was able to bring legal action against Alexander Mackonochie for improper stewardship of his role in the Church by utilising rituals that ere considered antithetical to Protestant Reformation teaching and a violation of the Church Discipline Act of 1840.

Mackonochie was charged with bringing popery into the Church of England by having candles on the Communion table, raising the bread too high when giving thanks and kneeling towards the table at different times during the Eucharist.

It is important to put this in context that the Parish of St. Alban the Martyr was considered one of the most deprived communities in London in the 1860’s when the Church was planted there. It was just 500 yards long and 200 yards wide but had a population of 8000 persons living in poverty and squalid degradation.

Mackonochie far from being a radial personality was a reserved and retiring person who evoked deep affection from those who knew him. In a letter written to Mr. Hubbard the benefactor of the building of the Church in Holborn shows that Mackonochie would be thought of, as was his partner in ministry Arthur Stanton, as being overtly evangelical in terms of their concern for the Salvation of souls,

“The only results which either you or I care to effect would be the salvation of souls, but how far this work is going on is not always known by crowded congregations, or by the praise of men, but in the quiet unseen life of those whom the world knows not.”

Mr. Hubbard who was impacted by the criticisms of Mackonochie such as those that came from Ryle and as was the right and proper thing to do, he visited St. Albans to see the rituals in practice. Afterwards he wrote,

“ I can say that never, till the complete development of the Eucharistic Services at St. Alban's Church, did my mind realise the great and distinctive obligations of Eucharistic worship and Eucharistic Communion, or the fearful, the urgent, necessity to seek out some discreet and learned Minister of God's Word, and open my grief/ to the end that I might with a quiet conscience communicate with the Faithful, as well as adore with the Believers."

Groups like the Salvation Army and other similar organisations would visit areas like the St. Alban Parish, known as the Devil’s Kitchen, but nobody had ever considered the possibility of actually living in these slums with the people, until Mackonochie and Arthur Stanton took up residence there.

Ryle believed that the style of ministry, which was designed by Mackonochie on purpose to bring order through ritual into the community, was representative of a betrayal of the Protestant Reformation.

He believed that the, “whole cause of Protestant religion in England is in danger. For thirty years and more , I am firmly persuaded , a deep - laid conspiracy has been at work among us, having for its final object the destruction of the work of the blessed Reformation, and the re establishment of Popery.”1

He saw this as being the fault of ministries like Mackonochie’s when he stated, “none have done the work of this conspiracy so thoroughly as the Ritualistic body.”2

He saw ultimately, that this movement would bring about having, “the Pope at Lambeth Palace, and the real Popish mass at St. Paul's Cathedral, within ten years . I repeat it deliberately. At this moment the whole cause of Protestantism in England is in imminent peril.”3

The temptation is to read this hyperbole as a rhetorical device and yet it needs to be clearly stated that these arguments which in today’s language feel exaggerated were the reason that Mackonochie was relentlessly prosecuted in court for sixteen years, ultimately causing him to be forced out of his ministry and through emotional fatigue to an early death.

In contrast to many theologians and sociologists believing that the move away from the Anglican Church had been caused by its deadness, elitism and disconnected to the realities of Nineteenth Century life. Ryle saw the culprits as those who took High Church Missions into England’s slums.

In contrast, James Whisenant states, “evangelicalism in the second half of the century has been considered most often as a movement in decline. At a time when the church faced a society in transition, numerous intellectual challenges, and the evident decline of its influence in an increasingly secular culture, evangelicals offered relatively few positive responses to the issues and concerns of the day.4 “

Ryle unapologetically, places the blame for the attrition at the feet of the Ritualists. He also adds a dimension concerning class. He writes, “The very existence of the Church of England itself is in danger. Ritualism is gradually robbing our Church of some of its best members among the laity. Not a few bankers, lawyers, doctors, and members of Parliament, are dropping off and leaving the ship5.”

The subtext here is clear “best members” are to be seen as Bankers, Lawyers, Doctors and Members of Parliament. To put this in today’s cultural vernacular, his index denotes best members as being wealthy white men.

He goes on to write that, “Some of these men go off to the Plymouth Brethren ; some join the Baptists, Methodists, or Independents; some stand aloof altogether, and will take no part in the Church's affairs.”6

Again by looking at the subtext he is saying that the “best members” are not giving up the Christian faith but are finding other spaces to place their Christian faith. Ryle would have to admit that his statement, “It evidently cannot go on long without leading to most disastrous results. Little by little the very life - blood of the Church is being drained away.”7 It can only be interpreted as being that he is opposed to Christianity flourishing anywhere outside of his particular faction within the Established Church.

He sets up his argument for a national body to safeguard the beliefs and practices of the Evangelicals in the Church of England. He believes that a centralised body is required to represent those issues affecting his Evangelical Church faction.

The irony of Ryles positions is that he seems to ignore the fundamental difference between Roman Catholicism functioning as a hierarchal monolith as opposed to Anglicanism that functions as conciliar leadership structure on the basis of Bishop, Priest and Deacon.

Ryle wanted to create non conciliar structure to protect Anglicanism from the potential of the adoption of Romanism. He demonstrates this when making the comparison between the Church of England and England the nation under military attack.

He writes that when, “the country was in danger of foreign invasion, we all know well that organisation of our national strength was one of the first things that sensible men thought of.”8

The idea that a local entity could suffice would only be considered when, “None but a madman would have been content to trust to the isolated, independent exertions of the Mayors of Rye and Winchelsea, and the other Cinque - ports, or to the untrained and undisciplined valour of Sussex and Kent yeomen suddenly rallying round their stackyards and pigsties.”9

Within Ryles consciousness was a clear concept of British Exceptionalism. The Reformation and Protestantism was syncretised to the civil religious sensibilities of the British Empire. He writes, “Once let Popery get her foot again on the neck of England, and there will be an end of all our national greatness.”

He adds to this sense of British Exceptionalism by explaining the implications of giving up the Protestant ethos.

“God will forsake us, and we shall sink to the level of Portugal and Spain. With Bible-reading discouraged, with private judgment forbidden, with the way to Christ's cross narrowed or blocked up, with priestcraft re-established, with auricular confession set up in every parish, with monasteries and nunneries dotted over the land”

He then creates an even more definitive position on the superiority of the British racial ethos.

“…with women everywhere kneeling like serfs and slaves at the feet of clergymen, with men casting off all faith, and becoming sceptics, with schools and colleges made seminaries of Jesuitism, with free thought denounced and anathematised, with all these things the distinctive manliness and independence of the British character will gradually dwindle, wither, pine away, and be destroyed, and England will be ruined. And all these things, I firmly believe, will come, unless the old feeling about the value of Protestantism can be revived.”

Drawing out one sentence of this paragraph helps to clarify his position.
“with all these things the distinctive manliness and independence of the British character will gradually dwindle, wither, pine away, and be destroyed, and England will be ruined.”

Canon Moberley of Christ Church, Oxford, wrote, “Anglo-Catholics were loyal to the Prayer Book but were also "perfectly convinced that the Church is Catholic [and] not insular" and that clergymen ought to be free to adopt those usages which were Catholic, ancient and not contrary to the spirit of the Prayer Book.”4

In short, within the Thirty-Nine Articles gives the Church of England, a breadth of freedom of expression that could affirm, a Mackonochie and Stanton working in a High Church Mission modality among Irish and Italian Catholic background persons but also affirm Low Church Evangelical expressions in Richmond on Thames.

To force, what by essence was a carefully crafted manifesto of moderation, into the narrow confines of Evangelical doctrine was at best, imprudent and at worse a nefarious calumny.

There was strong conviction in the patriotic atmosphere of the 19th Century that Ritualist sensibilities were part of a much wider anti British agenda.

By 1897, with Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee and then in 1899 the Boer War the general atmosphere in England was ripe for a Protestant England type of  jingoistic excess of patriotism. 
The Boer War was a turning point for those who stood for the Church and Nation emphasis. The injustice of the Opium Wars in China and the heavy handed suppression of Indian Nationalism was seen in real terms as simply putting the natives in their place. In the Boer War the British atrocities were against fellow Europeans who were simply standing in the way of British gold and diamond rights.

“Anglicans and evangelical nonconformists generally supported war against the Boer republics. Some regarded it as an instrument of God’s judgement, in which Britain was the Almighty’s agent.” [1]

Emily Hobhouse, the daughter of an Anglican Rector in Cornwall, brought to the attention of the British public the British concentration camps in South Africa in which 22,000 Boer woman and children died of starvation or disease.

Her pictures and the depiction of little Lizzie Van Zyl an emaciated seven year child who died of typhus the camp caused enormous criticism towards the Establishment British government and caused outrage at the silence of the Bishops as being a contributing factor to the injustice. 
Britannia The Protestant Goddess

Of the great variety of deities based on syncretistic theologies, many were unfair in that they used a method of satire as a means of making some kind of point that in truth may have been a tendency but in actuality was not in any real sense syncretism.

An explicit form of a created deity is within the advanced or senior sectors of the Free Masons. The deity Jabulon was cited as one of the reasons why the Church of England was not compatible with Free Masonry.

Jabulon and its multiple derivatives all seemed to indicate an attempt to create a homogenous supreme being that could transcend the narrow confines of the theologies of the major religions of the world.

A less overt and yet equally concerning form of syncretism took place in the 19th Century with the adoption of the Goddess Britannia into a wider Christian worldview of the times.

The process itself is quite similar to Emile Durkheim totemism structure. In this case an animal is not chosen as the embodiment of values but a goddess.

In short, the virtues and strengths of the British Empire become reified or a “something”. The something at this point has no name which is the embodiment of all the virtues and strengths. Due to an abstract concept being unable to visualise itself as a something then a symbol is projected on to “Something”. In lesser developed cultures the symbol that is chosen is an animal which is perceived to be the embodiment of the collective value system of the adherents.

The innate need to adore, be preoccupied or worship as a transcendent practice by default causes the distance between symbol being abstract to symbol being worshipped is very close.

If we define worship as an outpouring of devotion and affection to an object then we can see how close symbols that are adopted as symbols and symbols that are the focus of worship are.

The Goddess Britannia was the 19th Century symbol that was chosen to visualise the virtues and strengths of the British Empire. The symbolising itself creates a myth not only on the symbol, in this case the goddess but also what is being symbolised, vis a vis the British Empire.

Both the symbol and the symbolised are built on self perpetuating fictional myths that support each other.

The process becomes more complex when attributes in the symbol, Britannia take on pagan expressions that are rooted in Caesar Worship: such as Hail Britannia, and Britannia Rules the Waves, which are clearly pagan expressions of devotion based purely on the myth of some wonderful innate goodness and virtue built into the British Empire.

An example of where this becomes a paganisation of Christianity is when a clearly immoral act by the British Empire, Britannia is defended. The clear case in question would be the Opium Trade that was a British mercantile business, which when rejected as immoral by the Pagan Chinese, the Christian Goddess Britannia goes to punish and demand reparation from the immoral Pagan Chinese for damaging the profitability of the British trade in opium.


With the correlation and causality fallacy being so rooted in classical thinking it is interesting that in almost every case where a Protestant agitator or academic personage accuses the High Church Mission of popish or Romish activity they are given to use correlation and causality.

The arguments would not stand up in any debate society in today’s world.
The arguments, they being the High Church Missions, use facing the East within the Eucharist service, means they being the High Church Missions must be trying to take the English Church to Roman Catholic control.

The same argument in today’s London would be that in a pluralistic society we must be careful not adopt customs or practices that may give the impression that we are syncretising our religion with Islam. In Islam the devotees turn to the east when they pray.

The correlation causality argument would appear very different in this context.

NT Wright has written extensively concerning how Christ redefined Jewish Symbols, Torah, Temple, Nation and Messiah from their rigid placement by first century Religious leaders.


Walter Walsh was one of the enigma’s of history in that he was considered brilliant, lucid and competent in certain circles and a strange conspiracy theorist in others. Whichever way, he was significant as an opponent of the Oxford Movement and the High Church missions. He was a fellow of the Royal Historical Society and his most famous work, The Secret History of the Oxford Movement continues to be in print today nearly 140 years after it was first published.

This work, The Secret History, is considered to be a Protestant equivalent to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as it functions in the gray area of intimation rumour and ill will as its compelling concept for existing. On September 9, 1898 the Church times wrote a response to the work in less than flattering terms.

“We did not notice this absurd book at any length when it first appeared. To tell the plain truth, we did not think it worth powder and shot. But the book has been hawked about as an authority; it has been solemnly quoted in the House of Commons by the leader of the Opposition.”
The Editor went on to say, “It is never safe to underrate the force of stupidity and the silliest of arguments if ignored may loudly proclaim itself unanswered.”
The Church times went on to write several other responses to Walsh’s book that were then published as a thirty page pamphlet on how the book was an exercise in Protestant propaganda.
On September 5, 1898 Walsh, in a letter to the Editor of the Times of London, made reference to Lord Halifax calling his work, “Nonsense”.
In an Youtube Interview with Thomas O’Loughlan at Nottingham University, Dr. Frances Knight referred to Walter Walsh as “The Patron Saint of Mad Religion on the Internet”.



1 St Basil the Great, On the Holy Spirit, ed. John Behr, trans. Stephen Hildebrand, vol. 42, Popular Patristics Series (Yonkers, NY: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2011), 27.
2 3 Id. p. 5.
3 4 Id. p. 6. Arthur Brinckman and E. B. Pusey, Notes and Questions on the Catholic Faith and Religion, the Notes and Answers Compiled Chiefly from the Works and in the Words of Dr. Pusey. (London: A. D. Innes & Co., 1891), 236.
4 J. E. B. Munson The Oxford Movement by the End of the Nineteenth Century: The Anglo-Catholic Clergy Author(s): Church History , Sep., 1975, Vol. 44, No. 3 (Sep., 1975), pp. 382-395
5 1 Vol. i. p. 140. Arthur Brinckman and E. B. Pusey, Notes and Questions on the Catholic Faith and Religion, the Notes and Answers Compiled Chiefly from the Works and in the Words of Dr. Pusey. (London: A. D. Innes & Co., 1891), 236–237.