The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Moorhouse, Right Rev. James

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Moorhouse, Right Rev. James, D.D., Bishop of Manchester, son of James Moorhouse, merchant, of Sheffield, by Jane Frances, his wife, daughter of Capt. Bowman, of Whitehaven, Cumberland, was born at Sheffield on Nov. 19th, 1826. He was educated at St. John's College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. (Senior Optime) in 1853, M.A. in 1860, and D.D. jure dignitatis in 1876. Bishop Moorhouse married on Sept. 18th, 1861, Mary Lydia, eldest daughter of the late Rev. Dr. Sale, vicar of Sheffield. He was ordained deacon by the Bishop of Ely in 1853, priest in 1854; he was curate of St. Neots 1853-5, Sheffield 1855-9, Hornsey 1859-61, perpetual curate St. John's, Fitzroy Square, London,1861-7; Hulsean Lecturer at Cambridge 1865; vicar of Paddington and rural dean 1867-76; Warburtonian Lecturer and Chaplain-in-Ordinary to the Queen 1874; prebendary of St. Paul's 1874-6. In 1876 he resigned the vicarage of Paddington on being appointed Bishop of Melbourne in succession to Dr. Perry. From the first he established himself in Melbourne in the favourable opinion of his laity as well as of his clergy, and in an incredibly short time was recognised outside the pale of the Church as one of the very foremost public men in Australasia. A very characteristic story is told of the Bishop, which reveals the secret of his success in the colonies. Before starting for Melbourne, an ex-Governor told him that in Victoria he must expect every man to consider himself as his equal, if not his superior. "If that be so," said the Bishop, "I shall meet with a great many men of the same opinion as myself." Broad-minded in his theology, Dr. Moorhouse evinced a warm interest in all matters of public concern. The cause of Irrigation owes much to his initiatory advocacy, whilst his pronouncements on such subjects as "Imperial Federation" influenced public sentiment in Victoria in a remarkable degree. Even his unceasing opposition to the State School system of Victoria in no way lessened the respect in which he was held by all classes and creeds in the colony, or even diminished his mere popularity. To his efforts the erection of St. Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne, must be mainly ascribed. In 1877 Dr. Moorhouse had the degree of M.A. conferred on him by Melbourne University, and on the death of Sir Redmond Barry he was elected Chancellor, a post which he filled with much éclat until his departure from the colony. In 1886, after the death of Dr. Fraser, he was appointed by Lord Salisbury to the bishopric of Manchester, and shortly afterwards took his seat as a spiritual peer in the House of Lords. It is a further testimony to his high qualifications and recognised ability, that, when the archbishopric of York became vacant, first by the death of Dr. Thomson and then by that of Dr. Magee, many of the leading journals, secular and religious, singled out Dr. Moorhouse as one of the fittest men in the whole Anglican Church to succeed to the Northern Archiepiscopate. Dr. Moorhouse is the author of "Nature and Revelation," four sermons preached before the University of Cambridge, 1861; "Our Lord Jesus Christ the Subject of Growth in Wisdom," being the Hulsean Lectures for 1865; "Jacob," three sermons before the University of Cambridge, 1870; "The Expectation of Christ," "Dangers of the Apostolic Age," and "The Teaching of Christ" (1891).