Page:Distinguished Churchmen.djvu/24

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DISTINGUISHED CHURCHMEN

Rev. Richard Lewis, D.D., the Bishop of Llandaff. The date recalls troublous times, both in the Church and in the country. The Phœnix Park murders and Fenian plots in England, as well as in Ireland, had created one of those astounding sensations such as have all too often burst ruthlessly upon the peace of Europe. Mr Gladstone, in indifferent health as he was, had to submit to what he always regarded as the objectionable precaution of having his every movement closely watched, lest he, like his representatives in Dublin, should fall into the clutches of the assassin. At the same time, as the ordinary duties of the Premiership pressed heavily upon him, he was burdened with the additional responsibility of finding suitable men to fill important vacancies which the indiscriminating hand of death had wrought in the Church. Indeed, the Church was without its titular head. No less high a dignitary than Archibald Campbell Tait, Archbishop of Canterbury, had been gathered unto his fathers, and Mr Gladstone, after protracted consideration, had gained the assent of the Crown to the nomination of Edward White Benson as successor to the throne of St Augustine. His translation from Truro, whence Dr Benson had successfully applied his energy and undoubted ability to the work of resuscitating the ancient Cornish Diocese, caused another vacancy, the call to which fell upon the Rev. G. H. Wilkinson.