Gladstone, the colonial Church, and imperial state

Hilary M. Carey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book

3 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter tracks the changes which precipitated a fundamental breach between the colonial Church of England and the imperial state through the lens of the career of William Ewart Gladstone (1809-1898). In the 1850s, Gladstones ponsored a series of colonial church bills which aimed to liberate the Church of England in the colonies from the threat of Erastian interference by the state, and facilitate the emergence of independent synods. In Britain, the passage of the legislation was thwarted because of evangelical fears that it would give too much power to colonial bishops. While unsuccessful, the controversy over Gladstone's colonial church bills anticipated some of the tensions which would erupt in the wake of the Colenso Affair (1863) over the disestablishment of the Church in Ireland. By the time of the fiftieth anniversary of the Colonial Bishoprics Fund in 1891, Gladstone had witnessed an ecclesiastical revolution on an imperial stage.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChurch and State in Old and New Worlds
PublisherBrill Academic Publishers
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9789004192003
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Publication series

NameBrill's Series in Church History
ISSN (Print)1572-4107


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