Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 63.djvu/27

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Wordsworth
Wordsworth
3

for it in England as well as among the Scottish gentry, and in September 1844 the site, at Glenalmond in Perthshire, was chosen, the gift of Mr. G. Patton. The buildings, designed by Sir Gilbert Scott, were soon in progress, but it was not until 8 Sept. 1846 that the first stone of the chapel was laid by Sir John Gladstone. On 28 Oct. Wordsworth entered on a second marriage with Katharine Mary, eldest daughter of William Barter, rector of Burghclere, Hampshire, and niece of his friend the warden of Winchester. A few months were spent by the newly married pair in foreign travel, chiefly in Italy: and the new college was opened on 4 May 1847.

Wordsworth began with fourteen boys, the first being the eighth Marquis of Lothian; two others were sons of Bishop Ewing of Argyll. The divinity students came about a year later. Notwithstanding the difficulties attaching to such joint education, Wordsworth made it a success, and was sore when the elder students were settled in Edinburgh in 1876. They were the warden's special charge as Pantonian professor, and his ‘Cursus Theologicus, drawn from Sermons,’ for their benefit, may be studied with advantage (Annals, App. ii. 217−23). The school discipline was naturally much based on that of Winchester (see the rules and prayers, ib. pp. 205−16). The prefectorial system was instituted and school games encouraged. Even a school for servitors was established (1848), somewhat after the older model. The chapel, which was in great part his over-generous gift to the college (consecrated on 1 May 1851), was the centre of the daily life. All wore surplices, and all were taught to sing. The success was great and real. The Scottish office for holy communion was used (by the bishops' desire) alternately with the English. ‘Three Sermons on Holy Communion as a Sacrament, Sacrifice, and Eucharist’ (1855), worthily embody the warden's teaching to his boys on this subject. The staff was strong and congenial. The volume of ‘Sermons preached at Trinity College’ (1854) gives not only seven of his own but eight by the editor— (Bishop) Alfred Barry, who joined the staff in 1849, and was sub-warden from 1850—and seven by other colleagues.

During his residence at Glenalmond the warden became gradually interested in Scottish church questions. Unfortunately his interest took largely the form of criticism of the actions of Patrick Torry, bishop of St. Andrews, Dunkeld, and Dunblane, his diocesan, and of Gladstone, the leading member of the college council. Bishop Torry's ‘Prayer Book’ (1850) was the first book since 1637 purporting to be a complete and independent Scottish prayer-book, and it gave natural offence to many. Wordsworth censured it in seven letters to the ‘Guardian’ newspaper, and led the condemnation of it in the diocesan synod. His opposition to Gladstone was on the subject of the duty of church establishment, of which Wordsworth was always, as Gladstone had been, a staunch upholder. Wordsworth refused his vote to Gladstone, who became candidate for Oxford first in 1847, and in sermons and letters lost no opportunity of manifesting his opposition to Gladstone's views.

His leadership in regard to the Gorham case, however, united all parties in the diocese, and his frequent articles in the ‘Scottish Ecclesiastical Journal’ did credit to the church. Bishop Torry died on 3 Oct. 1852. Wordsworth was one of the seventeen presbyters with whom the election of a successor lay. He and Bishop Eden of Moray were nominated for the vacancy. The electors (excluding himself) were exactly divided, eight against eight. The decisive voice was in his hands, and he was persuaded, in accordance with precedent, to vote for himself, in order to counteract what he regarded as the dangerous policy of his opponents. Owing to some informality the process had to be repeated, his rival on the second occasion being Dr. T. G. Suther (afterwards bishop of Aberdeen). On appeal to the bishops of the Scottish church, Wordsworth's election was upheld. He retained his wardenship with the bishopric until 1854. He left seventy boys in the college, and reported that there had been on an average five divinity students.

Elected bishop of St. Andrews, Dunkeld, and Dunblane on 30 Nov. 1853, Wordsworth was consecrated at St. Andrew's Church, Aberdeen, on 25 Jan. 1853. The principles on which he acted in this office were mainly three: (1) to prevent the capture of the Scottish episcopal church by a narrow party, especially by a party manned by Englishmen and controlled from England; (2) to convince Scotsmen of the value of episcopacy and episcopal ordinances; (3) to make some concessions to presbyterians by which they might be conciliated, the main principle of episcopacy being saved (Episcopate, pp. 37−9). He was a strong believer in the duty of establishment of religion where it was possible and in the synodal system. He held different opinions on the place of the laity in church synods at different times, but ended by advocating their presence and right to vote (ib. p. 194).