[Oxford Movement; E.B. Pusey, churchman, and others.] Six Autograph Letters Signed ('E B Pusey' and 'E B P') to Francis Richard Wegg-Prosser ('W. P.'), discussing his conversion to Roman Catholicism. With substantial related correspondence.
The Oxford Movement; E.B. Pusey and othersEdward Bouverie Pusey (1800-1882), Church of England clergyman, Regius Professor of Hebrew at Christ Church, Oxford [Francis Richard Wegg-Prosser [ne Haggitt] (1824-1911), founder of Belmont Abbey] With: a collection of letters on the same or similar subjects from various clergymen to Wegg-Prosser, converted to the Catholic Church.[Pusey] Six Autograph Letters Signed ('E B Pusey' and 'E B P') to Francis Richard Wegg-Prosser ('W. P.'), discussing his conversion to Roman Catholicism [conversion 1852]. With copy of letter from Wegg-Prosser to Pusey, and his draft notes. One letter dated from Christ Church, Oxford; 5 November 1852, another from 'Pusey nr. Faringdon [Oxfordshire]' and third from 'Asherne | Dartmouth [Kent]'. Wegg-Prosser's copy letter from 45 Grosvenor Place [London]; 7 May 1862. The seven items in very good condition, lightly aged and worn. A fascinating and at times heated correspondence, consisting of fifty-one (51)pp., of theological arguments in Pusey's close hand (see each letter for topics, but mainly centring on the question of the supremacy of the pope), arguing against Wegg-Prosser's intention to convert to Roman Catholicism, with draft notes of replies and a copy of a long letter from Wegg-Prosser to Pusey. Wegg-Prosser served as Member of Parliament for Herefordshire, 1847-1852, and inherited a quarter of a million pounds from his great-uncle Richard Prosser, Archdeacon of Durham in 1849. He began to correspond with John Henry Newman in 1851, and he converted the following year, at which point his political career ended. He subsequently devoted his energies towards his faith, founding a Benedictine abbey on his land at Belmont. Of the descriptions that follow, the first six are Pusey's letters, and the seventh is the copy of Wegg-Prosser's letter. Letter Three has an 'Abstract of reply', and Item Six a draft reply. ONE: 5 November 1852. 3pp., 12mo. The letter begins: 'I did not mean to "decline" seeing you. I simply did not wish that you shd. come as a matter of etiquette, with your mind made up. You wrote to Richards of your submitting to the R. C. Church, as something apparently near, since you might not see him again. I have not answered some of your letters. I mean that I have not given any answer whatever to some of them or part of them. But altho' I see no answer, to me satisfactory, I have not the slightest idea, that it wd have any weight with you. Nothing that I have ever said, has had the slightest weight with you, except, for a
which, on the one subject that grace is given through the Sacrament only in the Church. [...] I do not decline anything. I am always ready to see anyone to whom I can hope to be But life is too precious to waste on etiquette. If your mind is made up, there is no good in my seeing you. It wd. only be wasting more time, as all the rest was wasted, except as far as it was right in God's sight; for what is done for him.' He turns to Wegg-Prosser's 'rationalistic' statement, the sacraments, and absolution. TWO: Christ Church [Oxford]. 19 August [no year]. 8pp., 12mo. The Papal Supremacy, St Irenaeus, St Cyprian; the Councils of Rome ('by which Novatus, Sabellius, & Valentinus were condemned'), Sardica, and Nicaea, Julius, the Eusebians, the Patriarch of Alexandria. THREE: 5pp., 12mo. 'The Real Presence' and 'the doctrine of satisfaction'; Hell and Purgatory; the Church of Rome; the body of Christ; St Peter. Included on the letter is Wegg-Prosser's two-page 'Abstract of reply', discussing the 'difference between teaching a doctrine as matter of opinion and enforcing it as a term of Communion' and the supremacy of the pope. FOUR: 4 May [no year]. 12pp., 12mo. Schismatical acts, papal authority, the Roman Communion, the immaculate conception, St Cyril, the Council of Trent. FIVE: 'Asherne | Dartmouth'. 6pp., 12mo. The letter begins: 'I have brought yr. letter here, as indeed I have always carried them about me, hoping for leisure to answer them. I doo not know whether you had a fragment of a letter on yr. passages wh. seemed to you the strongest upon the Roman Supremacy. I inclose a sequel, wh. I , but was obliged to interrupt.' Further on he writes: 'If the Australian colonists were to quarrel with each other, they would still be members of the same Empire so long as they acknowledged the British Sovereign. The only head, the only king, spoken of in H. Scr. is our One Lord.' He continues with reference to the Church of England and St Cyprian, St Cyril, St Hilary, prophecy, and 'the "holiness" of the Church'; making an 'analogy of a family' which he considers 'perfect'. SIX: 'Pusey nr. Faringdon'. 17pp., 16mo. 'I cannot, of course, tell whether contempt is a part of yr. character. Topics include: St Athanasius, St Chrysostom, Bellarmin, 'Ultra-Protestantism', St Cyprian, the Council of Nice, the 'B[lessed]. V[irgin]. M[ary].' The letter is followed by a pencil draft of Wegg-Prosser's reply, and there are further pencil notes by him on the first page. SEVEN: Autograph 'Copy' of a Letter from Wegg-Prosser to Pusey, signed 'F. R. Wegg Prosser'. Dated '45 Gros[veno]r. Place | May 7th. 1862'. 12pp., 12mo. The letter begins: 'My dear Dr. Pusey. Thank you for kindly sending me back the Papers I left with you, and for your enclosed Letter, wh. I have read with attention. Perhaps you will not be tired of me, if I offer a few words in reply.' His attempt to 'answer some of your objections' includes the following: 'I think we get a proof ex absurdo against this Branch Theory, by putting the I suggested to you at Oxford: A Protestant living in a Roman Cathc. country wishes to belong to the Visible Cathc. Church. He has a true Branch of the Catholic Church existing in the very place where he is living. But he enforces error on his belief. What is he then to do? You say, migrate: But can this be? migrate to escape from the arms of a true Catholic Church, his natural teacher & guide? We may depend upon it that if he migrated it would be with a profound conviction that it was not a Branch at all of the Cathc. Church from wh. he fled. [...] The Ultra-Montane view to which you allude is no part of the Roman Cathc. Faith; the English converts are generally (though not always) of that school; and I need not remind you that the Gallican party were so strong at Trent that no decree was passed about the Pope's authority at all.' Other topics include: 'how any Bishop could be in a state of schism at all, or at any rate how any national or provincial Church could be so', 'the question of Rome', Bossuet, 'false decretals', Newman's 'Essay on Development', the controversy between East and West, 'The Ultra-Montane view', the Greeks; the 'Roman Ritual or Calendar', the 'question about degrees of affinity & the marriage law'. WITH: 26 (twenty-six) ALsS from mainly clergymen to Wegg-Prosser, dating 1847-1886, but including 15 dated 1851 [his conversion if 1852 would explain this], some 6 undated (but most obviously 1851), ranging from one to 14 pages, most substantial,, 2 4to, the rest 12mo/8vo, usually closely-written. Note: his correspondence with Newman started in 1851 (see above).Correspondents: E.S. Appleyard (1851); W.S.R. Cockburn (1847); Reginald Cocks (1850); E.J. Hill (3, 2 dated 1851, 1 undated); J.G. Hubbard (2 dated 1851); R.P. Moorsom (3 dated 1851); Lord Nelson (2, 1 dated 1851 the other no date)); F.C. Paruzza [?](1876); T.W. Perry (1851); J.H. Pollen (3, 2 dated 1851, 1 dated 1871); Eugene Popoff (Russian Orthodox Church, 3, one undated, 2 dated 1851); W. Pulling (3, no year given). Also: two anonymous notes without addressee, but obviously written to Wegg-Prosser threatening fire and brimstone for "the change that has taken place" in him.And: Copy substantial ALS from Wegg-Prosser to unnamed correspondent ("Reverend & dear Sir", probably the Rev. E.J. Hill from his letters)), Belmont, 3 Oct. 1851, 8 pp., 8vo, referring to Newman's letter to Campbell ("Newman's argument is a very striking one & deserving of attentive consideration; nor can I hope to refute it in a few offhand remarks, but I can give my own reasons for not considering it conclusive.") The letter continues to do this at some length (Eastern Church in relation to Roman/Catholic, etc.).Subjects of Letters, or keywords: Ultramontane theory; "authority"; doctrine; Wegg-Prosser's "Memorial"; Anglican Church; Royal Supremacy; Providence and the Roman church; the Eastern Church; the creed; obedience; Wilberforce's views; trans substantiation; challenge to the Established Church; Tractarians; Penance; theology of Baron Alderson; Church of England; the word "Miracle"; Orphan Agricultural School; reasons for staying in the Church of England; request for donation; the Gorham case; "the Protestant storm"; Newman's letter to Campbell and the issues raised; joining the Catholic Church; signing a Memorial; blessing a new ship; baptism; the Eastern Church; the distress Wegg-Prosser's letter has caused; his "difficulties"; trying to turn him from Rome; etc, etc.A biographical note:J.H. Pollen: "Designer and architect. John Hungerford Pollen was ordained an Anglican priest, but converted to Roman Catholicism. He taught in Dublin, at the invitation of John Newman, but returned to London where he joined the Hogarth Club, where he met members of the pre-Raphaelite circle. Between 1863 and 1876 he was assistant keeper at the South Kensington Museum."