Longley, Charles Thomas (DNB00)

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LONGLEY, CHARLES THOMAS (1794–1868), archbishop of Canterbury, born at Boley Hill, Rochester, 28 July 1794, was fifth son of John Longley, a well-known political writer, who was recorder of Rochester, and one of the magistrates at the Thames police court, and died 5 April 1822. Charles, after attending a private school at Cheam, Surrey, was elected a king's scholar at Westminster in 1808; and his name carved by himself may still be seen in the dormitory. Elected student of Christ Church, Oxford, he graduated B.A. 1815, taking a first class in classics, M.A. 1818, B.D. and D.D. 1829. He was Greek reader in his college 1822, tutor and censor 1825–8, examiner in the classical schools in 1825 and 1826, and proctor in 1827. His handsome face and winning manner achieved for him much popularity in Oxford. In 1818 he took holy orders, and became curate at Cowley to the incumbent, Thomas Vowler Short (afterwards bishop of St. Asaph). On 1 Nov. 1823 Longley succeeded Short in the living, and on 30 Aug. 1827 he became rector of West Tytherley, Hampshire. Longley was elected head-master of Harrow School on 21 March 1829. He remained there for seven years, and although the number of boys grew under his rule from 115 to 165, much laxity of discipline prevailed. On 15 Oct. 1836 Lord Melbourne nominated Longley the first bishop of the newly founded see of Ripon. His episcopate was most successful (cf. speech of Sir Robert Peel in the House of Commons on 5 May 1843). He firmly suppressed ‘Roman catholic teaching and practices’ in the church of St. Saviour, Leeds, in 1848, and his action created adverse comment, but his critics altered their tone when several of the clergy of St. Saviour's went over to Rome. On the resignation of Dr. Edward Maltby [q. v.], Longley was, on Lord Palmerston's recommendation, translated to the see of Durham 13 Oct. 1856. On 1 June 1860 he succeeded Dr. Thomas Musgrave in the archbishopric of York; on 9 June 1860 he was gazetted a privy councillor; and on 20 Oct. 1862 he was promoted to the see of Canterbury. In 1864 arose the difficulty respecting Dr. J. W. Colenso and the Natal bishopric. Longley never hesitated to declare his conviction of the unsoundness of Dr. Colenso's teaching, and affirmed that he was rightly deposed from the episcopate. At the same time he cautiously abstained from committing himself to anything which might seem to bring the church at home into conflict with the law. His primacy was more particularly distinguished by the Lambeth or Pan-Anglican synod—a meeting in London on 24–7 Sept. 1867 of seventy-eight British, colonial, and foreign prelates, on the invitation of the archbishop, in order ‘to make a demonstration of union between the scattered branches of the anglican church.’ In parliament he was a supporter of the liberal party, but he voted and spoke against the Oxford University Reform Bill of 1854, the Divorce Bill in 1857, Lord Ebury's motion for a revision of the prayer-book, the motion for a modification of the Act of Uniformity, and for making an alteration in the burial service. As a man of learning, of cultivated intellect, of courteous manners, and an even temper, he won public confidence. The archbishop died of bronchitis at Addington Park, near Croydon, on 27 Oct. 1868, and was buried in Addington parish churchyard on 3 Nov. He married, on 15 Dec. 1831, Caroline Sophia, eldest child of Sir Henry Brooke Parnell, first baron Congleton; she died at Auckland Castle, Durham, 9 March 1858, having had issue: Henry, born 1834, called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn 30 April 1860, K.C.B., once first charity commissioner; George, born 9 March 1835, of the royal engineers, served in the Turkish contingent in the Crimea and also in the Chinese war, and was dangerously wounded, retired as lieutenant-colonel 5 Jan. 1872; Arthur, born 17 Feb. 1841, staff paymaster in the army with the honorary rank of major 24 Dec. 1884; Mary Henrietta, married 9 Dec. 1858 George Wingfield Bourke (fourth son of Robert, fifth earl of Mayo), rector of Coulsdon, near Croydon; Frances Elizabeth; Caroline Georgiana, d 30 Oct. 1867, who married, 6 Nov. 1862, Major Levett of the 10th hussars; and Rosamond Hester Harriet.

Longley was the author of: 1. ‘A Letter to the Parishioners of St. Saviour's, Leeds,’ 1851. 2. ‘Four Sermons on the Consecration of St. John the Evangelist's Church, Whitwell,’ York, 1861. 3. ‘Address delivered in Whippingham Church at the Confirmation of Prince Arthur,’ 1866. 4. ‘An Address delivered at the Opening of the Conference of Bishops,’ 1867. Besides an English version of Koch's ‘Tableau des Révolutions de l'Europe’ (1831, 4to), numerous addresses, charges, pastoral letters, and single sermons.

[Proby's Annals of the Low Church Party, i. 483, ii. 18, 154, 498; F. Arnold's Our Bishops and Deans, 1875, i. 161–8; Welch's Westminster Scholars; Church of England Photograph Portrait Gallery, 1859, portrait, 3; Illustr. London News, 1856 xxix. 539, 1862 xli. 381, portrait, 1868 liii. 458; Chris. Wordsworth, by Overton and Wordsworth; Register and Magazine of Biography, January 1869, pp. 40–2; Guardian, 28 Oct., 4 Nov. 1868; Times, 29, 30 Oct. 3, 4 Nov. 1868; Life of S. Wilberforce, Bishop of Oxford, 1880–2, i, 434, ii. 179, iii. 33, 464.]

G. C. B.