Haddan, Arthur West (DNB00)
HADDAN, ARTHUR WEST (1816–1873), ecclesiastical historian, born at Woodford in Essex on 31 Aug. 1816, was son of Thomas Haddan, solicitor, and Mary Ann his wife and second cousin, whose maiden name was also Haddan. Thomas Henry Haddan [q. v.] was his brother. He received his early education at a private school kept by a Mr. Fanning at Finchley, and while there learnt Italian out of school hours; he acquired a knowledge of German in later life. In 1834 he entered Brasenose College, Oxford, as a commoner, and in the November of that year stood unsuccessfully for a scholarship at Balliol, but was elected scholar of Trinity 15 June 1835. He graduated B.A. in 1837, obtaining a first-class in classics and a second in the mathematics, proceeded M.A. in due course, and took the degree of B.D. After graduating he applied himself to theology, and in 1839 was elected to the (university) Johnson theological scholarship, and to a fellowship at his college. He was deeply affected by the high-church revival at Oxford, and was much influenced by the Rev. Isaac Williams, then a tutor of Trinity. At Trinity the special effect of the movement was to lead its more distinguished adherents to the study of history in order, in the first instance, to maintain the historical position and claims of the church. From the first Haddan never swerved from his loyalty to the church, or faltered in his defence of its apostolic character. Having been ordained deacon on his fellowship in 1840, he acted for about a year as curate of the church of St. Mary the Virgin, Oxford, to the Rev. J. H. Newman, afterwards cardinal. He was ordained priest in 1842, and on being appointed to succeed Williams as classical tutor of his college, resigned his curacy. He was dean of the college for several years and afterwards vice-president, and was pro-proctor to Henry Peter Guillemard when in 1845 the proctors put their veto on the proceedings against Newman. While his influence and work at Trinity were of the highest value, he was not very popular with the younger men, except among the scholars; he was reserved in manner; his devotion to study and his high moral standard caused him to view offences in a specially serious light; and, though kind-hearted and sympathetic, he was caustic in reproof and severe in counsel. For some time after his ordination he was engaged in work for the ‘Library of Anglo-Catholic Theology,’ and his two contributions to that series are admirable specimens of scholarly editing. From the date of its first publication in 1846 he wrote much for the ‘Guardian’ newspaper, and he also sent many reviews to the ‘Christian Remembrancer.’ The judgment on the Gorham case in 1850 troubled him, and for a while he doubted whether he could conscientiously accept a benefice. He found complete satisfaction through studying the foundation of the church's claims. Some of the results of his studies on this subject were afterwards embodied in his book on the apostolic succession in the church of England. In this work, which is the final authority on the subject, besides stating the nature of the doctrine, its importance, and its scriptural basis, he refutes the ‘Nag's Head’ fable, which he had already worked out exhaustively, although more briefly, in his edition of Archbishop Bramhall's works, and ends by proving the validity of anglican orders. In 1847 Haddan was one of the secretaries of Mr. W. E. Gladstone's election committee, and supported him on the three other occasions when he sought election as a member for the university. He acted not so much for political reasons as because he believed that Mr. Gladstone was a fitting representative of the university as a scholar and a churchman. On like grounds he supported Lord Derby's election as chancellor in 1852. In 1857 he accepted the small college living of Barton-on-the-Heath in Warwickshire, and left Oxford to reside there with two sisters. He took pleasure in his parochial duties, and fulfilled them, as he did all others, to the utmost. He was appointed Bampton lecturer in 1863, and contemplated taking as his subject the value and authority of the creeds. He was, however, forced to resign the appointment by ill-health. Early in 1869 he brought out, in conjunction with Professor Stubbs, now bishop of Oxford, the first volume of the great work, ‘Councils and Ecclesiastical Documents,’ founded on the collections of Spelman and Wilkins. For the contents of this volume he was mainly responsible, and during that and the following year he assisted in the preparation of the third volume; but his health was failing, and the publication of the second volume, which fell to him, was delayed. The part of this volume which is devoted to the early Irish church, and therefore required much research into language as well as history, occupied him during his last days. At the same time he was writing valuable articles on church organisation in the first volume of Smith's ‘Dictionary of Christian Antiquities.’ He died at Barton-on-the-Heath on 8 Feb. 1873, at the age of fifty-six.
While Haddan will be remembered chiefly for his works on ecclesiastical history, his attainments were also great in biblical criticism, theology, philosophy, and classical scholarship. All that he produced is marked by extreme accuracy and peculiar keenness of perception. What he knew was known thoroughly; his assertions are never uncertain or obscurely expressed. All inaccuracy was abhorrent to him (Church). He was a man of singular modesty and unselfishness. Although respected at Oxford, the university at large seems scarcely to have recognised his true position. He never received any preferment save the poorly endowed living which came to him from his college, and the barren title of honorary canon of Worcester.
His published works are: 1. An edition of the works of John Bramhall, archbishop of Armagh, with life, Anglo-Catholic Library, 5 vols., 1842–5. 2. An edition of Herbert Thorndike's ‘Theological Works,’ with life, Anglo-Catholic Library, 6 vols., 1844–56. 3. Two sermons preached before the university of Oxford, issued separately, 1850 and 1862. 4. Essay No. 6 in ‘Replies to Essays and Reviews,’ ‘Rationalism,’ a reply to M. Pattison's essay, 1862. Pattison, who was one of his intimate friends, read the proofs of this article for him. 5. ‘Apostolical Succession in the Church of England,’ 1869, 1879, 1883. 6. Essay No. 6 in the ‘Church and the Age,’ ‘English Divines of the 16th and 17th Centuries,’ 1870. 7. ‘Councils and Ecclesiastical Documents,’ i. ii. pts. 1 and 2, iii., in conjunction with Dr. Stubbs, now bishop of Oxford, 1869–73. 8. A translation of St. Augustine's ‘De Trinitate,’ Clark's ‘Edinburgh Series,’ vol. vii., 1871. 9. A short paper on ‘Registration and Baptism.’ He also wrote various articles and reviews. Many of his shorter writings are collected in ‘Remains of A. W. Haddan,’ edited by A. P. Forbes, bishop of Brechin, 1876, with a short ‘Life’ by Haddan's brother Thomas, an obituary article from the ‘Guardian’ newspaper of 12 Feb. 1873 by the Very Rev. R. W. Church, dean of St. Paul's, and a list of works.[Dean Church's article in Haddan's Remains, ed. Forbes; Guardian, 19 Feb. 1873; Saturday Review, 12 July 1873; private information from Dr. Stubbs, bishop of Oxford, the Rev. S. W. Wayte, late president of Trinity College, Oxford, and others.]