Mandell Creighton

Mandell Creighton

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Mandell Creighton (ˈmændəl ˈkraɪtən; 5 July 1843 – 14 January 1901), was a British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 historian
Historian
A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is...

 and a bishop
Bishop
A bishop is an ordained or consecrated member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox Churches, in the Assyrian Church of the East, in the Independent Catholic Churches, and in the...

 of the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

. A scholar of the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 papacy, Creighton was the first occupant of the Dixie Chair of Ecclesiastical History
Dixie Professor of Ecclesiastical History
The Dixie Professorship of Ecclesiastical History is one of the senior professorships in history at the University of Cambridge.Lord Mayor of London in the 16th century, Sir Wolstan Dixie, left funds to found both scholarships and fellowships at Emmanuel College, Cambridge...

 at the University of Cambridge
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...

, a professorship that was established around the time that the study of history was emerging as an independent academic discipline. He was also the first editor of the English Historical Review, the oldest English language academic journal
Academic journal
An academic journal is a peer-reviewed periodical in which scholarship relating to a particular academic discipline is published. Academic journals serve as forums for the introduction and presentation for scrutiny of new research, and the critique of existing research...

 in the field of history. Creighton had a second career as a cleric in the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

. He served as a parish priest in Embleton, Northumberland
Embleton, Northumberland
Embleton village in the English county of Northumberland is about half-a-mile from the bay that carries its name. The sandy beach is backed by dunes where a variety of flowers bloom: bluebells, cowslips, burnet roses and, to give it its common name, bloody cranesbill, amongst others. Dunstanburgh...

 and later, successively, as the Bishop of Peterborough
Bishop of Peterborough
The Bishop of Peterborough is the ordinary of the Church of England Diocese of Peterborough in the Province of Canterbury.The diocese covers the counties of Northamptonshire, Rutland and the Soke of Peterborough in Cambridgeshire...

 and the Bishop of London
Bishop of London
The Bishop of London is the ordinary of the Church of England Diocese of London in the Province of Canterbury.The diocese covers 458 km² of 17 boroughs of Greater London north of the River Thames and a small part of the County of Surrey...

. His moderation, worldliness and vigour drew praise from Queen Victoria and notice from politicians. It was widely thought at the time that Creighton would have become the Archbishop of Canterbury
Archbishop of Canterbury
The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury. In his role as head of the Anglican Communion, the archbishop leads the third largest group...

 had he not died at the age of 57.

Creighton's historical work received mixed reviews. He was praised for scrupulous even-handedness, but criticised for not taking a stand against historical excesses. For his part, he was firm in asserting that public figures be judged for their public acts, not private ones. His preference for the concrete to the abstract diffused through his writings on the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

 as well. He believed that the church was uniquely shaped by its particular English circumstances, and advocated that it reflect the views and wishes of the English people
English people
The English are a nation and ethnic group native to England, who speak English. The English identity is of early mediaeval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Anglecynn. England is now a country of the United Kingdom, and the majority of English people in England are British Citizens...

.

Creighton was married to author and future women's suffrage
Women's suffrage
Women's suffrage or woman suffrage is the right of women to vote and to run for office. The expression is also used for the economic and political reform movement aimed at extending these rights to women and without any restrictions or qualifications such as property ownership, payment of tax, or...

 activist Louise Creighton
Louise Creighton
Louise Hume Creighton, née von Glehn was a British author of books on historical and socio-political topics and an activist for greater role of women both within society and within the Church of England. In 1872, she married Mandell Creighton, later a historian and bishop in the Church of...

, and the couple had seven children. The Creightons were greatly interested in the education of children and, between the two of them, wrote nearly two dozen school history primers. A man of complex intelligence and exceptional vigour, Mandell Creighton was emblematic of the Victorian era
Victorian era
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

, both in his strengths and in his failings.

Early childhood, 1843-1857


Mandell Creighton was born on 5 July 1843 in the border country
Border Country
Border Country is a novel by Raymond Williams. The book was re-published in December 2005 as one of the first group of titles in the Library of Wales series, having been out of print for several years. Written in English, the novel was first published in 1960.It is set in rural South Wales, close...

 city of Carlisle, Cumbria, to Sarah (née
NEE
NEE is a political protest group whose goal was to provide an alternative for voters who are unhappy with all political parties at hand in Belgium, where voting is compulsory.The NEE party was founded in 2005 in Antwerp...

 Mandell) and Robert Creighton. His father, a carpenter, had built a successful cabinet-making and decorating business on Castle Street, the main thoroughfare in Carlisle. A year later another son, James, was born to the couple and in 1846, a daughter, Mary, who died before the year was out. In 1849, another daughter, Mary Ellen (Polly) was born and the following year Sarah Creighton died unexpectedly. Robert, who never remarried, and never spoke of his wife again, raised the children with help from his unmarried sister who came to live with the family for many years.
A self-made man, Robert Creighton constantly, and somewhat oppressively, exhorted his sons to work; however, he also imbued them with a sense of independence. This later allowed Mandell to make career choices that were unorthodox for his background. For his part, his brother James would join his father's carpentry business, enter local politics, be twice elected mayor of Carlisle, and later become a director of North British Railway
North British Railway
The North British Railway was a Scottish railway company that was absorbed into the London and North Eastern Railway at the Grouping in 1923.-History:...

. Polly, by contrast, considered her childhood to be "horridly unhappy." Not being able to complete her school education, she never acquired the sophistication that she so greatly valued. The family living quarters, above the shop, were spacious but spartan—there was little decoration and almost no books. As Robert, moreover, was given to losing his temper easily, the children grew up in a household that was dreary, fearful, and culturally barren. Years later Mandell Creighton's wife was to speculate that the absence, in her husband's childhood, of a sense of belong to a family was very likely the result of not having a mother.

Creighton's education began in a nearby dame school
Dame school
A Dame School was an early form of a private elementary school in English-speaking countries. They were usually taught by women and were often located in the home of the teacher.- Britain :...

, run by a stern headmistress, where his restlessness and mischief often brought him punishment. In 1852, he moved to the local cathedral school
Cathedral school
Cathedral schools began in the Early Middle Ages as centers of advanced education, some of them ultimately evolving into medieval universities. Throughout the Middle Ages and beyond, they were complemented by the monastic schools...

. There, under the influence of a charismatic headmaster, the Revd William Bell, he began to read voraciously and to succeed academically. Other students came seeking his help in translating passages from their classical studies; they soon gave him the nickname "Homer
Homer
In the Western classical tradition Homer , is the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, and is revered as the greatest ancient Greek epic poet. These epics lie at the beginning of the Western canon of literature, and have had an enormous influence on the history of literature.When he lived is...

" on account of his quickness at construing. In November 1857, he took the King's Scholar
King's Scholar
A King's Scholar is a foundation scholar of one of certain public schools...

ship examination for admission to the Durham Grammar School, located some two hundred miles away. As his Carlisle teachers had not prepared him for translation of Latin verse
Latin poetry
The history of Latin poetry can be understood as the adaptation of Greek models. The verse comedies of Plautus are the earliest Latin literature that has survived, composed around 205-184 BC, yet the start of Latin literature is conventionally dated to the first performance of a play in verse by a...

, he left that portion of the exam blank and was certain he had failed. The examiners, however, assessed his overall performance to be good and decided to accept him. In February 1858, the 15-year-old Creighton left Carlisle for Durham
Durham
Durham is a city in north east England. It is within the County Durham local government district, and is the county town of the larger ceremonial county...

.

Durham Grammar School, 1858–1862


The Durham Grammar School required its students to attend services in the eleventh century Durham Cathedral
Durham Cathedral
The Cathedral Church of Christ, Blessed Mary the Virgin and St Cuthbert of Durham is a cathedral in the city of Durham, England, the seat of the Anglican Bishop of Durham. The Bishopric dates from 995, with the present cathedral being founded in AD 1093...

 on Sundays and holy days, and the high church
High church
The term "High Church" refers to beliefs and practices of ecclesiology, liturgy and theology, generally with an emphasis on formality, and resistance to "modernization." Although used in connection with various Christian traditions, the term has traditionally been principally associated with the...

 ceremony there made a lasting impression on Creighton. It became a focus of his religious life and would later influence his choice of career. Durham's headmaster, Dr Henry Holden, a classical
Classics
Classics is the branch of the Humanities comprising the languages, literature, philosophy, history, art, archaeology and other culture of the ancient Mediterranean world ; especially Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome during Classical Antiquity Classics (sometimes encompassing Classical Studies or...

 scholar, and an educational reformer, soon began to take an interest in the new student. With Holden's encouragement, Creighton became a prize winner in classical subjects and in English and French. In his last year at Durham, he was promoted to head boy
Head boy
Head Boy and Head Girl are terms commonly used in the British education system, and in private schools throughout the Commonwealth.-United Kingdom:...

 of the school, a position that appealed to his great desire to influence people, especially younger boys. Although he aimed to do this by setting an example with his high moral life, he did not, in an era of universal corporal punishment
Corporal punishment
Corporal punishment is a form of physical punishment that involves the deliberate infliction of pain as retribution for an offence, or for the purpose of disciplining or reforming a wrongdoer, or to deter attitudes or behaviour deemed unacceptable...

, hesitate to use the rod. In a letter he wrote to a Durham school monitor after he had left the school, he advised, "Remember, never thrash a fellow a little, always hard: and it is always well that he be thrashed by more than one of the monitors ..."

Creighton was severely shortsighted
Myopia
Myopia , "shortsightedness" ) is a refractive defect of the eye in which collimated light produces image focus in front of the retina under conditions of accommodation. In simpler terms, myopia is a condition of the eye where the light that comes in does not directly focus on the retina but in...

, and in addition, suffered from double vision
Diplopia
Diplopia, commonly known as double vision, is the simultaneous perception of two images of a single object that may be displaced horizontally, vertically, or diagonally in relation to each other...

, which forced him to read with one eye closed. Since his visual handicap also limited his participation in vigorous sport, he enthusiastically took to walking. His tours of the countryside, often with companions, a pastime he was to indulge in for the rest of his life, covered over twenty miles a day, lasted several days, and gave him many opportunities to also exercise his abiding curiosity in the local botany and architecture.

In the spring of 1862, Creighton applied unsuccessfully for a scholarship to Balliol College, Oxford
Balliol College, Oxford
Balliol College , founded in 1263, is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England but founded by a family with strong Scottish connections....

. He next applied to Merton College, Oxford
Merton College, Oxford
Merton College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England. Its foundation can be traced back to the 1260s when Walter de Merton, chancellor to Henry III and later to Edward I, first drew up statutes for an independent academic community and established endowments to...

, for a classical postmastership
Postmaster (disambiguation)
A postmaster is the head of an individual post office.Postmaster may also refer to:*Postmaster , the administrator of an email server...

 (as the scholarships there are called). This he was able to secure and in October 1862, he arrived in Oxford. He continued to take great interest in the Durham Grammar School after leaving it. In a hand-me-down family story, he is said, in 1866, to have walked from Oxford to Durham in three days to hear speeches at a school function.

Oxford undergraduate, 1862–1866


Creighton's postmastership
Postmaster (disambiguation)
A postmaster is the head of an individual post office.Postmaster may also refer to:*Postmaster , the administrator of an email server...

 of £70 a year was able to cover his tuition at Merton, but not much more. For his other expenses, he had to rely on support from his father whose "manner made it difficult to ask for anything." For most of his time at Merton, he lived economically in attic rooms in the college; in his last year he moved out of college to share rooms with George Saintsbury
George Saintsbury
George Edward Bateman Saintsbury , was an English writer, literary historian, scholar and critic.-Biography:...

, the future author and wine critic. Although Creighton's shortsightedness prevented his participation in cricket
Cricket
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players on an oval-shaped field, at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. One team bats, trying to score as many runs as possible while the other team bowls and fields, trying to dismiss the batsmen and thus limit the...

 and football, he joined the college rowing team. He also continued to go on his walks. Walking around Oxford for a few hours in the late afternoon was popular among many students; Creighton, however, organised longer walks, some lasting all day.

Creighton's reading continued to flourish as well, and not just for his studies. Among writers and poets, he was particularly fond of Carlyle
Thomas Carlyle
Thomas Carlyle was a Scottish satirical writer, essayist, historian and teacher during the Victorian era.He called economics "the dismal science", wrote articles for the Edinburgh Encyclopedia, and became a controversial social commentator.Coming from a strict Calvinist family, Carlyle was...

, Browning
Robert Browning
Robert Browning was an English poet and playwright whose mastery of dramatic verse, especially dramatic monologues, made him one of the foremost Victorian poets.-Early years:...

, Tennyson and Swinburne
Algernon Charles Swinburne
Algernon Charles Swinburne was an English poet, playwright, novelist, and critic. He invented the roundel form, wrote several novels, and contributed to the famous Eleventh Edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica...

. He read so voraciously that he sometimes stayed at Oxford during his vacations in order to read without disturbance. He was also becoming politically aware; if pressed, he professed a liberalism based on the autonomy of the individual. He joined the Oxford Union
Oxford Union
The Oxford Union Society, commonly referred to simply as the Oxford Union, is a debating society in the city of Oxford, Britain, whose membership is drawn primarily but not exclusively from the University of Oxford...

, and although he seldom gave public speeches there, he was elected Union president. He especially honed his skills in informal conversations, conducted anywhere and everywhere, about topics great and small, bearing easily the yoke of what Gladstone
William Ewart Gladstone
William Ewart Gladstone FRS FSS was a British Liberal statesman. In a career lasting over sixty years, he served as Prime Minister four separate times , more than any other person. Gladstone was also Britain's oldest Prime Minister, 84 years old when he resigned for the last time...

 later was to dub "Oxford's agony," the habit of seeing, self-importantly, larger than life significance in Oxford's everyday disputes.
Creighton came seriously to believe that it was the business of all individuals to influence others to the full extent of their abilities. He sought out others to influence and instruct. Consequently, among his Merton friends, he received the nickname "The Professor", or "P". In his second year, he and three other students became inseparable both during term time and during vacations, forming a group called "The Quadrilateral". The group friendship was intense, like many such in that time, but whether it found physical expression is not known. Although Creighton had a large circle of friends, he did not form any close friendships with women during this time. In his final term, he wrote to a friend, that "ladies in general are very unsatisfactory mental food: they seem to have no particular thoughts or ideas ..."

Academically, Creighton's goal became the pursuit of an honours degree in literae humaniores
Literae Humaniores
Literae Humaniores is the name given to an undergraduate course focused on Classics at Oxford and some other universities.The Latin name means literally "more humane letters", but is perhaps better rendered as "Advanced Studies", since humaniores has the sense of "more refined" or "more learned",...

, a classical studies curriculum that attracted the best students at Oxford. In the final examinations, in the spring of his fourth year, he received a first-class. He then immediately began studying in the School of Law and Modern History during the summer of 1866. Taking the examinations in that School in the Autumn term of 1866, he received a second class, his examiners being of the view that he had not mastered the details enough. However, since the literae humaniores degree was considered the more established one, he was asked by the classics professor, Benjamin Jowett
Benjamin Jowett
Benjamin Jowett was renowned as an influential tutor and administrative reformer in the University of Oxford, a theologian and translator of Plato. He was Master of Balliol College, Oxford.-Early career:...

, to apply for a college teaching fellowship. As it turned out, he did not have to; he had decided to accept holy orders
Holy Orders
The term Holy Orders is used by many Christian churches to refer to ordination or to those individuals ordained for a special role or ministry....

, and his own college, Merton, offered him a clerical fellowship with tutorial duties
Tutor
A tutor is a person employed in the education of others, either individually or in groups. To tutor is to perform the functions of a tutor.-Teaching assistance:...

 on 22 December 1866.

Teaching and marriage, 1867–1874


During the second half of the 19th century, a number of academic reforms were instituted at the University of Oxford. Chief among these were the new responsibilities given to college tutors. These instructors, whose primary job was to give personalised instruction to undergraduates in order to prepare them for the university's examinations, were now also given lecturing duties within their respective colleges. As the tutors were chosen from distinguished recent graduates, the new teaching staff were more youthful. Religious beliefs were also undergoing an upheaval. Many Victorian
Victorian era
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

 intellectuals, who had been raised in Christian households, had, in their adult life, begun to experience religious doubt and were moving in secular directions. Creighton, in contrast, was slowly solidifying his religious beliefs. While his high church views had moderated somewhat, he never had any crisis of confidence. He had no interest in the new natural sciences, and was unmoved to read Darwin
Charles Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin FRS was an English naturalist. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestry, and proposed the scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection.He published his theory...

, regarding his writings as too much speculation. Creighton's friend Henry Scott Holland
Henry Scott Holland
Henry Scott Holland was Regius Professor of Divinity at the University of Oxford. He was also a canon of Christ Church, Oxford.-Family and education:...

 wrote of him, "At the close of the [1860s], it seemed to us at Oxford almost incredible that a young don
University don
A don is a fellow or tutor of a college or university, especially traditional collegiate universities such as Oxford and Cambridge in England.The term — similar to the title still used for Catholic priests — is a historical remnant of Oxford and Cambridge having started as ecclesiastical...

 of any intellectual reputation for modernity should be on the Christian side."

Merton College at that time was suffering from student unrest stemming from what was seen as a lack of leadership in the teaching faculty. Many fellows, both resident and non-resident, had become distant presences. As Creighton was popular with students, he was looked upon as someone who would exercise that leadership. He succeeded to a degree. He did this by appealing both to the students' reasoning and to their good sense, and by simultaneously immersing himself among them. He was given more responsibilities. These, in their wake, brought promotions and salary increases. In four years of teaching, his salary had more than doubled. He joined forces with a Merton tutor to open collegiate lectures to students of other colleges and received the College's authorisation. Soon, the Association of Tutors was born, as well as an Oxford-wide series of lectures that any student could attend. The lectures were to influence his choice of future research. He wrote later,
We worked out among us a scheme of lectures covering the whole field (of history), and were the pioneers of the "Intercollegiate Lectures" which now prevail at both universities. The needs of this scheme threw upon me the ecclesiastical, and especially papal history, which no one else took.
Creighton also continued his one-on-one instruction in his rooms. Among his two famous pupils from this period were future statesman Lord Randolph Churchill
Lord Randolph Churchill
Lord Randolph Henry Spencer-Churchill MP was a British statesman. He was the third son of the 7th Duke of Marlborough and his wife Lady Frances Anne Emily Vane , daughter of the 3rd Marquess of Londonderry...

 and Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany
Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany
The Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany was the eighth child and fourth son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Leopold was later created Duke of Albany, Earl of Clarence, and Baron Arklow...

, Queen Victoria's son.
Creighton spent many vacations in Europe. He fell in love with Italy, its scenery, its culture, and its people. This led naturally to a fascination with Renaissance Italy, which became his scholarly interest. He had also become an admirer of Walter Pater
Walter Pater
Walter Horatio Pater was an English essayist, critic of art and literature, and writer of fiction.-Early life:...

 and the aesthetic movement
Aestheticism
Aestheticism was a 19th century European art movement that emphasized aesthetic values more than socio-political themes for literature, fine art, the decorative arts, and interior design...

. His rooms in Oxford were tastefully decorated with William Morris
William Morris
William Morris 24 March 18343 October 1896 was an English textile designer, artist, writer, and socialist associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the English Arts and Crafts Movement...

 wallpaper and blue china. The furnishings brought admiration from friends as well as requests to view them from acquaintances. Creighton was now leading a life that was a far cry from that of his frugal student days.

Upon his return from a vacation in Europe, in early 1871, Creighton attended a lecture by art critic John Ruskin
John Ruskin
John Ruskin was the leading English art critic of the Victorian era, also an art patron, draughtsman, watercolourist, a prominent social thinker and philanthropist. He wrote on subjects ranging from geology to architecture, myth to ornithology, literature to education, and botany to political...

 at the Sheldonian Theatre
Sheldonian Theatre
The Sheldonian Theatre, located in Oxford, England, was built from 1664 to 1668 after a design by Christopher Wren for the University of Oxford. The building is named after Gilbert Sheldon, chancellor of the university at the time and the project's main financial backer...

. After the lecture, he noticed his friend, and future author, Humphry Ward
Thomas Humphry Ward
Humphry Ward was an English author and journalist, most notable as the husband of Mrs Humphry Ward....

 talking to an unfamiliar young woman who was wearing a yellow scarf. Yellow was Creighton's favourite colour; the scarf aroused his interest enough to ask Ward about the woman, whose name, it turned out, was Louise von Glehn
Louise Creighton
Louise Hume Creighton, née von Glehn was a British author of books on historical and socio-political topics and an activist for greater role of women both within society and within the Church of England. In 1872, she married Mandell Creighton, later a historian and bishop in the Church of...

. Soon Ward was inviting Creighton and von Glehn to a Valentines Day lunch hosted in his rooms in Brasenose College
Brasenose College, Oxford
Brasenose College, originally Brazen Nose College , is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. As of 2006, it has an estimated financial endowment of £98m...

. Ward himself had some romantic interest in von Glehn though he had also been favouring Mary Arnold
Mary Augusta Ward
Mary Augusta Ward née Arnold; , was a British novelist who wrote under her married name as Mrs Humphry Ward.- Early life:...

, the granddaughter of educator Thomas Arnold
Thomas Arnold
Dr Thomas Arnold was a British educator and historian. Arnold was an early supporter of the Broad Church Anglican movement...

 of Rugby School
Rugby School
Rugby School is a co-educational day and boarding school located in the town of Rugby, Warwickshire, England. It is one of the oldest independent schools in Britain.-History:...

 and niece of critic Matthew Arnold
Matthew Arnold
Matthew Arnold was a British poet and cultural critic who worked as an inspector of schools. He was the son of Thomas Arnold, the famed headmaster of Rugby School, and brother to both Tom Arnold, literary professor, and William Delafield Arnold, novelist and colonial administrator...

. In a few weeks, von Glenn found herself won over by Creighton's charm, and before she left Oxford at the end of the month, the two were engaged. They had agreed to be married the following winter; however, as Christmas approached, it was still not certain whether Merton College would waive its requirement of celibacy for its teaching fellows. On Christmas Eve, the college finally relented and elected four married fellows, one of whom was Creighton. Von Glehn and Creighton were married on 8 January 1872 in her home town of Sydenham
Sydenham
Sydenham is an area and electoral ward in the London Borough of Lewisham; although some streets towards Crystal Palace Park, Forest Hill and Penge are outside the ward and in the London Borough of Bromley, and some streets off Sydenham Hill are in the London Borough of Southwark. Sydenham was in...

, Kent
Kent
Kent is a county in southeast England, and is one of the home counties. It borders East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London and has a defined boundary with Essex in the middle of the Thames Estuary. The ceremonial county boundaries of Kent include the shire county of Kent and the unitary borough of...

. They spent a week honeymooning in Paris before returning to Oxford for Creighton's new teaching term.

Like many Victorian scholars, Mandell Creighton assumed that his wife would be an accessory in his academic pursuits, and that he would have the upper hand in their intellectual relationship. During their courtship, he had written to her:
The nuisance of married life (is that) strive as I may, or as you may, still the practical side of life must be much more prominent to me than to you. I shall have a number of things to do; whereas you sphere will be all within my reach and knowledge, mine on the other hand will not in your reach entirely.


Creighton was leading a busy life both academically and socially. It was not unusual, for example, for the Creightons to be invited out to dinner on four separate nights in the week, invitations that they reciprocated by having at their home what Louise called, "little dinners of six or eight without extra help." In the summer of 1873, the couple took their first trip together to Italy. It was during this trip that Creighton finalised the topic of his life's research: a study of the Renaissance popes. During these years, there were additions to the family as well: a daughter was born to the couple in the autumn of 1872, and another in the summer of 1874. With a growing family and a clear research plan, Creighton now began to doubt the long-term viability of his Merton tutorial fellowship. He felt increasingly that his teaching duties were sapping his stamina for focused intellectual labour. Around this time an opportunity arose for a rural living in a remote parish
Parish
A parish is a territorial unit historically under the pastoral care and clerical jurisdiction of one parish priest, who might be assisted in his pastoral duties by a curate or curates - also priests but not the parish priest - from a more or less central parish church with its associated organization...

 in coastal Northumberland
Northumberland
Northumberland is the northernmost ceremonial county and a unitary district in North East England. For Eurostat purposes Northumberland is a NUTS 3 region and is one of three boroughs or unitary districts that comprise the "Northumberland and Tyne and Wear" NUTS 2 region...

 to which Merton held the right of appointment
Advowson
Advowson is the right in English law of a patron to present or appoint a nominee to a vacant ecclesiastical benefice or church living, a process known as presentation. In effect this means the right to nominate a person to hold a church office in a parish...

. Although varying counsel was offered by Louise, by Creighton's married colleagues, by his unmarried colleagues, and even by his students, his mind was made up. When, in November 1874, the college finally offered the position of vicar
Vicar (Anglicanism)
Vicar is the title given to certain parish priests in the Church of England. It has played a significant role in Anglican Church organisation in ways that are different from other Christian denominations. The title is very old and arises from the medieval situation where priests were appointed...

 of the parish of Embleton
Embleton, Northumberland
Embleton village in the English county of Northumberland is about half-a-mile from the bay that carries its name. The sandy beach is backed by dunes where a variety of flowers bloom: bluebells, cowslips, burnet roses and, to give it its common name, bloody cranesbill, amongst others. Dunstanburgh...

, Creighton eagerly accepted.

Vicar of Embleton, 1875–1884



The village of Embleton lies on the North Sea
North Sea
In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

 coast in Northumberland approximately mid-way between Edinburgh
Edinburgh
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...

 and Newcastle-upon-Tyne. The vicarage—then owned by Merton College and consisting of a fortified pele tower
Peel tower
Peel towers are small fortified keeps or tower houses, built along the English and Scottish borders in the Scottish Marches and North of England, intended as watch towers where signal fires could be lit by the garrison to warn of approaching danger...

 built in the 14th century along with adjoining later additions—was a large establishment with many rooms for Creighton's growing family, their guests, and servants. The parish consisted of a handful of villages and approximately 1700 inhabitants, among whom were farmers, whinstone
Whinstone
Whinstone is a term used in the quarrying industry to describe any hard dark-coloured rock. Examples include the igneous rocks basalt and dolerite as well as the sedimentary rock chert....

 quarry
Quarry
A quarry is a type of open-pit mine from which rock or minerals are extracted. Quarries are generally used for extracting building materials, such as dimension stone, construction aggregate, riprap, sand, and gravel. They are often collocated with concrete and asphalt plants due to the requirement...

men, herring
Herring
Herring is an oily fish of the genus Clupea, found in the shallow, temperate waters of the North Pacific and the North Atlantic oceans, including the Baltic Sea. Three species of Clupea are recognized. The main taxa, the Atlantic herring and the Pacific herring may each be divided into subspecies...

 and haddock
Haddock
The haddock , also known as the offshore hake, is a marine fish distributed on both sides of the North Atlantic. Haddock is a popular food fish and is widely fished commercially....

 fishermen, women workers in fish curing yards, and railwaymen
Rail transport
Rail transport is a means of conveyance of passengers and goods by way of wheeled vehicles running on rail tracks. In contrast to road transport, where vehicles merely run on a prepared surface, rail vehicles are also directionally guided by the tracks they run on...

. There were also two noblemen
British nobility
-General History of British Nobility:The nobility of the four constituent home nations of the United Kingdom has played a major role in shaping the history of the country, although in the present day even hereditary peers have no special rights, privileges or responsibilities, except for residual...

 at Fallodon Hall
Fallodon
 Fallodon is a hamlet situated in Northumberland, England. It is the territorial designation of Viscount Grey of Fallodon. It is pronounced with the emphasis on the second syllable.- Governance :...

 and Howick Hall
Howick Hall
Howick Hall, a Grade II* listed building in the village of Howick, Northumberland, England, is the ancestral seat of the Earls Grey. It was the home of the Prime Minister Charles, 2nd Earl Grey, after whom the famous tea is named....

 nearby. With the help of a curate
Curate
A curate is a person who is invested with the care or cure of souls of a parish. In this sense "curate" correctly means a parish priest but in English-speaking countries a curate is an assistant to the parish priest...

 paid from his own funds, Creighton established a routine that enabled him to attend both to pastoral duty and to the writing of history. Although the Creightons missed Oxford society and its stimulation, they gradually adapted to their new surroundings. Mandell, and whenever possible, Louise, spent the afternoons visiting the homes of their parishioners, listening to them, giving advice, offering prayers, conducting services for the house bound, and, on occasion, handing out home-made medical remedies. They found their parishioners to be reserved, proud, and independent, but could not help seeing them as lacking in morals. According to author James Covert, "Drunkenness barely surpassed graver vices of fornication and adultery." Their assessment led the Creightons, who were no teetotallers themselves, to found the local chapter of the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

 temperance society
Temperance movement
A temperance movement is a social movement urging reduced use of alcoholic beverages. Temperance movements may criticize excessive alcohol use, promote complete abstinence , or pressure the government to enact anti-alcohol legislation or complete prohibition of alcohol.-Temperance movement by...

 and, in the process, to displease some locals. Louise organised meetings of the Mothers' Union
Mothers' Union
Mothers’ Union is an international Christian charity that seeks to support families worldwide. Its members are not all mothers or even all women, as there are many parents, men, widows, singles and grandparents involved in its work...

 as well as the Girls' Friendly Society, which aimed to empower girls, encouraging them, for example, to stay in school until age fourteen.

As the vicarage was large—there were 19 rooms—every summer the Creightons had visitors, among them old Oxford friends as well as relatives. Most visitors stayed at least overnight. In one year, 69 visitors were recorded in the family visitors' book. Creighton's own family was growing: four more children were born during the Embleton years, and all were home schooled, mostly by Louise. Creighton, who took great interest in the parish schools, served as examiner for other schools in the region, and began to crystallise his ideas on the education of children. He was also elected to local government
Local government
Local government refers collectively to administrative authorities over areas that are smaller than a state.The term is used to contrast with offices at nation-state level, which are referred to as the central government, national government, or federal government...

 bodies such as the Board of Guardians
Board of Guardians
Boards of guardians were ad hoc authorities that administered Poor Law in the United Kingdom from 1835 to 1930.-England and Wales:The boards were created by the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834, replacing the parish Overseers of the Poor established under the old poor law, following the recommendations...

, which enacted poor laws in the region, as well as the local sanitary
Sanitation
Sanitation is the hygienic means of promoting health through prevention of human contact with the hazards of wastes. Hazards can be either physical, microbiological, biological or chemical agents of disease. Wastes that can cause health problems are human and animal feces, solid wastes, domestic...

 authority. In 1879, he accepted his first leadership position in the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

: he was appointed rural dean
Rural Dean
In the Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church, a Rural Dean presides over a Rural Deanery .-Origins and usage:...

 of the Deanery of Alnwick
Alnwick
Alnwick is a small market town in north Northumberland, England. The town's population was just over 8000 at the time of the 2001 census and Alnwick's district population was 31,029....

, responsible for supervision of the clergy in neighbouring parishes. Later, he was appointed examining chaplain for the Bishop of Newcastle
Bishop of Newcastle
The Bishop of Newcastle is the ordinary of the Church of England's Diocese of Newcastle in the Province of York.The diocese at present covers the County of Northumberland and the Alston Moor area of Cumbria...

, Ernest Roland Wilberforce
Ernest Roland Wilberforce
Ernest Roland Wilberforce was an Anglican clergyman and bishop. From 1882 to 1896 he was the first Anglican Bishop of Newcastle upon the diocese's creation, and from 1896 to 1907 he was Bishop of Chichester....

, and tasked with examining candidates for holy orders.

During their ten years in Embleton, the Creightons—he in his 30s and she, for the most part, in her 20s—between the two of them, wrote fifteen books. They both wrote history books for young people; in addition, Louise wrote an unsuccessful novel, and Mandell wrote the first two volumes of his magnum opus
Masterpiece
Masterpiece in modern usage refers to a creation that has been given much critical praise, especially one that is considered the greatest work of a person's career or to a work of outstanding creativity, skill or workmanship....

, The History of the Papacy in the Period of Reformation. In the Papacy volumes, Creighton advocated the view that the turbulence of the reformation was made inevitable by the Popes by their obstruction of the milder parliamentary reforms that had been proposed earlier. The books were well received and were commended for their even-handed approach. Lord Acton, who reviewed the books in the Academy and who was aware that the books were written over a few years in a northern vicarage far from the centres of scholarship, wrote:
The history of increasing depravity and declining faith, of reforms earnestly demanded, feebly attempted, and deferred too long, is told by Mr. Creighton with a fullness of accuracy unusual in works which are the occupation of a lifetime.


Creighton also wrote dozens of book-reviews and scholarly articles. Among them were his first forays into the role of the Church of England in the life of the nation. Throughout the 19th century, the Church of England had suffered erosion of membership. In the mid-century, many scholars such as educator Thomas Arnold
Thomas Arnold
Dr Thomas Arnold was a British educator and historian. Arnold was an early supporter of the Broad Church Anglican movement...

 had asserted the identity of the church and the nation; however, as the century entered its last two decades, Creighton was among a small minority who were still asserting the same.

In 1884, Creighton was asked to apply for the newly created professorship of ecclesiastical history
Ecclesiastical History
Ecclesiastical History or ecclesiastical history may refer to:*Ecclesiastical history *Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum by Bede*Church History , pioneer work on the Christian Church by Eusebius of Caesarea...

, the Dixie chair
Dixie Professor of Ecclesiastical History
The Dixie Professorship of Ecclesiastical History is one of the senior professorships in history at the University of Cambridge.Lord Mayor of London in the 16th century, Sir Wolstan Dixie, left funds to found both scholarships and fellowships at Emmanuel College, Cambridge...

, at the University of Cambridge
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...

 and a concurrent fellowship at Emmanuel College
Emmanuel College, Cambridge
Emmanuel College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge.The college was founded in 1584 by Sir Walter Mildmay on the site of a Dominican friary...

. His application proved successful, and on 9 November 1884, Creighton preached his last sermon at Embleton church. Later, he was to write, "At Embleton I spent ten years, and I have no hesitation in saying that they were the ten happiest years of my life." His parishioners, for their part, found it difficult to express their feelings openly; said one woman, "Well, if you ain't done no good, you've done no harm."

Cambridge professor, 1885–1891



On their arrival in Cambridge in late November 1884, the Creightons were swamped with invitations to social engagements, allowing Mandell, in due course, to make the rounds of the senior common room
Common Room (university)
In some universities in the United Kingdom — particularly collegiate universities such as Oxford, Cambridge and Durham — students and the academic body are organised into common rooms...

s in the various colleges, an activity he thoroughly enjoyed. Interaction with academic society after an interregnum of ten years led to new friendships, especially for Louise; one such new acquaintance, Beatrice Webb
Beatrice Webb
Martha Beatrice Webb, Lady Passfield was an English sociologist, economist, socialist and social reformer. Although her husband became Baron Passfield in 1929, she refused to be known as Lady Passfield...

, was to become Louise's firm lifelong friend. Although Creighton had already corresponded with fellow historian Lord Acton, he soon met him in person, as he did other Cambridge notables, such as Robertson Smith
William Robertson Smith
William Robertson Smith was a Scottish orientalist, Old Testament scholar, professor of divinity, and minister of the Free Church of Scotland. He was an editor of the Encyclopædia Britannica and contributor to the Encyclopaedia Biblica...

, the Hebrew
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

 and Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 scholar, and Alfred Marshall
Alfred Marshall
Alfred Marshall was an Englishman and one of the most influential economists of his time. His book, Principles of Economics , was the dominant economic textbook in England for many years...

, the economist. Old friends and relatives visited as well, even though the Cambridge house was nowhere near as spacious as the Embleton vicarage.

At the time of Creighton's arrival in Cambridge a dispute had come to a head over the scope of the bachelor's honours examination, or the tripos
Tripos
The University of Cambridge, England, divides the different kinds of honours bachelor's degree by Tripos , plural Triposes. The word has an obscure etymology, but may be traced to the three-legged stool candidates once used to sit on when taking oral examinations...

, in History and Theology. The History tripos had been created by historian John Seeley
John Robert Seeley
Sir John Robert Seeley, KCMG was an English essayist and historian.-Life:He was born in London, the son of R.B. Seeley, a publisher. Seeley developed a taste for religious and historical subjects...

 who held that history was really political history
Political history
Political history is the narrative and analysis of political events, ideas, movements, and leaders. It is distinct from, but related to, other fields of history such as Diplomatic history, social history, economic history, and military history, as well as constitutional history and public...

, an essential part of the training of public servants, and had stated tersely, "history is the school of statesmanship." Opposing him, reformers such as historian George Walter Prothero
George Walter Prothero
Sir George Walter Prothero, KBE was an English writer and historian, and President of the Royal Historical Society....

, and Henry Melvill Gwatkin
Henry Melvill Gwatkin
Reverend Henry Melvill Gwatkin was an English theologian and church historian.He was born at Barrow-on-Soar, Leicestershire. He was educated at St. John's College, Cambridge...

, Creighton's successor to the Dixie chair, advocated a broader and more scientific approach to history. In spring 1885, the board of historical studies in Cambridge met to consider reforms. Although Creighton did not take active part in the discussions, he sided with the reformers, and a compromise was reached which emphasized the reading of primary sources in the students' historical subjects of interest.

Creighton lectured twice a week at the university, preparing extensively, but lecturing extemporaneously. He also preached in the Emmanuel College
Emmanuel College, Cambridge
Emmanuel College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge.The college was founded in 1584 by Sir Walter Mildmay on the site of a Dominican friary...

 Chapel. A colleague said of his preaching style, "He did not care for eloquence, indeed he despised it; what he aimed at was instruction, and for this he always looked more to principles than facts." He lectured more informally to undergraduates at Emmanuel College once a week. He supported Cambridge's two new women's colleges, Newnham
Newnham College, Cambridge
Newnham College is a women-only constituent college of the University of Cambridge, England.The college was founded in 1871 by Henry Sidgwick, and was the second Cambridge college to admit women after Girton College...

 and Girton
Girton College, Cambridge
Girton College is one of the 31 constituent colleges of the University of Cambridge. It was England's first residential women's college, established in 1869 by Emily Davies and Barbara Bodichon. The full college status was only received in 1948 and marked the official admittance of women to the...

, and taught informal weekly classes at Newnham. Two students from those classes, Mary Bateson
Mary Bateson (historian)
Mary Bateson was a British historian and suffrage activist.Bateson was the daughter of William Henry Bateson, Master of St John's College, Cambridge, and Anna Aikin. The geneticist William Bateson was her older brother. She was educated at the Perse School for Girls and Newnham College, Cambridge...

 and Alice Gardner, later became professional historians, both were mentored by Creighton during their early careers.

In spring 1885, Creighton accepted an offer from the Prime Minister, William Gladstone
William Ewart Gladstone
William Ewart Gladstone FRS FSS was a British Liberal statesman. In a career lasting over sixty years, he served as Prime Minister four separate times , more than any other person. Gladstone was also Britain's oldest Prime Minister, 84 years old when he resigned for the last time...

, of a residentiary canonry at Worcester Cathedral
Worcester Cathedral
Worcester Cathedral is an Anglican cathedral in Worcester, England; situated on a bank overlooking the River Severn. It is the seat of the Anglican Bishop of Worcester. Its official name is The Cathedral Church of Christ and the Blessed Mary the Virgin of Worcester...

. As the residency requirement of three months could be met during Cambridge vacations, the Creighton family settled into an annual routine of six moves between Cambridge and Worcester
Worcester
The City of Worcester, commonly known as Worcester, , is a city and county town of Worcestershire in the West Midlands of England. Worcester is situated some southwest of Birmingham and north of Gloucester, and has an approximate population of 94,000 people. The River Severn runs through the...

, a distance of over 100 miles. The Worcester experience led Creighton to consider how the relationship of competition between a cathedral and its diocesan parish churches could be turned into one of cooperation, a subject on which he would write scholarly articles. By providing an introduction to the grim realities of city life, Worcester, moreover, awakened Creighton's social consciousness. He joined the Worcester Diocesan Penitentiary Association and was moved by the plight of prison inmates. In a sermon at the Sanitary Congress of Worcester in 1889, he spoke eloquently about the effect of a harsh physical life on the moral life,
... the unwholesome air of the factory, the crowded workshop, the ill-ventilated room, all those things rob the body of its vigour, how they must also act upon the soul! ... uncleanliness, hatred, variance, drunkenness, revelling. Do not these things, think you, come largely from, and are they not greatly affected by, the physical conditions under which life is lived?


At the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

 in November 1886, Creighton, accompanied by Louise, represented Emmanuel College—founder John Harvard
John Harvard (clergyman)
John Harvard was an English minister in America whose deathbed bequest to the Massachusetts Bay Colony's fledgling New College was so gratefully received that the school was renamed Harvard College in his honor.-Biography:Harvard was born and raised in Southwark, England, the fourth of nine...

's alma mater
Alma mater
Alma mater , pronounced ), was used in ancient Rome as a title for various mother goddesses, especially Ceres or Cybele, and in Christianity for the Virgin Mary.-General term:...

. During the extended visit, they met prominent American men of letters, including the historian of the American West, Francis Parkman
Francis Parkman
Francis Parkman was an American historian, best known as author of The Oregon Trail: Sketches of Prairie and Rocky-Mountain Life and his monumental seven-volume France and England in North America. These works are still valued as history and especially as literature, although the biases of his...

; historian of art, Charles Eliot Norton
Charles Eliot Norton
Charles Eliot Norton, was a leading American author, social critic, and professor of art. He was a militant idealist, a progressive social reformer, and a liberal activist whom many of his contemporaries considered the most cultivated man in the United States.-Biography:Norton was born at...

; president of Harvard, Charles W. Eliot; first president of Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University
The Johns Hopkins University, commonly referred to as Johns Hopkins, JHU, or simply Hopkins, is a private research university based in Baltimore, Maryland, United States...

, Daniel C. Gilman
Daniel Coit Gilman
Daniel Coit Gilman was an American educator and academician, who was instrumental in founding the Sheffield Scientific School at Yale College, and who subsequently served as one of the earliest presidents of the University of California, the first president of Johns Hopkins University, and as...

; supreme court justice, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. was an American jurist who served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1902 to 1932...

; and poet and critic James Russell Lowell
James Russell Lowell
James Russell Lowell was an American Romantic poet, critic, editor, and diplomat. He is associated with the Fireside Poets, a group of New England writers who were among the first American poets who rivaled the popularity of British poets...

. On November 8, 1886, Creighton received an honorary degree from Harvard.

In February 1887, volumes 3 and 4 of Creighton's History of the Papacy were published by Longmans. These volumes narrowed the focus to specific popes, chiefly, Sixtus IV, Alexander VI, and Julius II. In his trademark approach of maintaining historiographical
Historiography
Historiography refers either to the study of the history and methodology of history as a discipline, or to a body of historical work on a specialized topic...

 balance and considering individuals to be very much mired in their historical eras, Creighton did not single out anyone for especial condemnation, even Alexander VI, whose great disrepute, Creighton felt, was "largely due to the fact that he did not add hypocrisy to his other vices." Earlier, in 1885, Creighton had agreed to become the first editor of a new journal, the English Historical Review. Now, he requested Acton to review his two volumes for the journal. The review Actorn wrote was not only hostile, but, in Creighton's view, also obscure. In the following weeks, there were contentious exchanges between the two men, polarising eventually into their two views of history, Acton's normative
Normative
Normative has specialized contextual meanings in several academic disciplines. Generically, it means relating to an ideal standard or model. In practice, it has strong connotations of relating to a typical standard or model ....

 approach versus Creighton's more relativist one. It was in one of these exchanges that Acton penned three memorable sentences, one of which was to become an oft-quoted modern dictum. "Historical responsibility," wrote Acton, "has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority." Acton's attack, however, did lead Creighton to rethink his own position somewhat. In an 1895 paper, he would write that the papacy, "which had been established for the promotion of morality" had in fact "provided the means for the utmost immorality."

Bishop of Peterborough, 1891–1896


In December 1890, Creighton received a letter from Lord Salisbury, the Prime Minister, offering an appointment to a residentiary canonry of St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle in exchange for his appointment at Worcester. Since a Windsor appointment indicated the personal preference of the British sovereign, and since the Creightons were wary of court culture, the letter gave them pause. However, after some hesitation, Creighton accepted. No sooner had he and his family reconciled to moving back and forth between their Cambridge home and Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle is a medieval castle and royal residence in Windsor in the English county of Berkshire, notable for its long association with the British royal family and its architecture. The original castle was built after the Norman invasion by William the Conqueror. Since the time of Henry I it...

 six times a year, Creighton received another letter from Salisbury offering appointment as Bishop of Peterborough
Bishop of Peterborough
The Bishop of Peterborough is the ordinary of the Church of England Diocese of Peterborough in the Province of Canterbury.The diocese covers the counties of Northamptonshire, Rutland and the Soke of Peterborough in Cambridgeshire...

, an office which had become available upon the translation
Translation (ecclesiastical)
Translation is the technical term when a Bishop is transferred from one diocese to another.This can be* From Suffragan Bishop status to Diocesan Bishop*From Coadjutor bishop to Diocesan Bishop*From one country's Episcopate to another...

 of its incumbent William Connor Magee
William Connor Magee
William Connor Magee was an Irish clergyman of the Anglican church, Archbishop of York for a short period in 1891.-Life:...

 to York
Diocese of York
The Diocese of York is an administrative division of the Church of England, part of the Province of York. It covers the city of York, the eastern part of North Yorkshire, and most of the East Riding of Yorkshire....

. Creighton was chosen because his love for ritual had created an impression among others that he had a high church outlook; the Peterborough diocese
Diocese
A diocese is the district or see under the supervision of a bishop. It is divided into parishes.An archdiocese is more significant than a diocese. An archdiocese is presided over by an archbishop whose see may have or had importance due to size or historical significance...

 had many high churchmen, and it was felt that Creighton would be a good fit. In fact, Creighton was doctrinally quite broad church
Broad church
Broad church is a term referring to latitudinarian churchmanship in the Church of England, in particular, and Anglicanism, in general. From this, the term is often used to refer to secular political organisations, meaning that they encompass a broad range of opinion.-Usage:After the terms high...

; his moderate views would later make him popular with Queen Victoria.

For Creighton, the Peterborough appointment, which he felt duty-bound to accept, meant the effective end of his academic life. There is indication that the Creightons were depressed
Depression (mood)
Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person's thoughts, behaviour, feelings and physical well-being. Depressed people may feel sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable, or restless...

 at the prospect of leaving Cambridge; in the case of Louise, the depression was to last long. Creighton felt that his life from then on would become one of offering easy comfort to others. In a letter to an old college friend, he wrote, "No man could have less desire than I for the office of bishop. Nothing save the cowardliness of shirking from responsibility and the dread of selfishness led me to submit ..."
A few weeks before Creighton's consecration
Consecration
Consecration is the solemn dedication to a special purpose or service, usually religious. The word "consecration" literally means "to associate with the sacred". Persons, places, or things can be consecrated, and the term is used in various ways by different groups...

 as bishop, at Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

, in late April 1891, he fell ill with muscular rheumatism
Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a medical disorder characterized by chronic widespread pain and allodynia, a heightened and painful response to pressure. It is an example of a diagnosis of exclusion...

. Soon after his enthronement at Peterborough Cathedral
Peterborough Cathedral
Peterborough Cathedral, properly the Cathedral Church of St Peter, St Paul and St Andrew – also known as Saint Peter's Cathedral in the United Kingdom – is the seat of the Bishop of Peterborough, dedicated to Saint Peter, Saint Paul and Saint Andrew, whose statues look down from the...

 in mid-May 1891, he fell ill again, this time with influenza
Influenza
Influenza, commonly referred to as the flu, is an infectious disease caused by RNA viruses of the family Orthomyxoviridae , that affects birds and mammals...

. Each time, the recovery was prolonged. The Peterborough diocese, then comprising 676 parishes and including the cities of Leicester
Leicester
Leicester is a city and unitary authority in the East Midlands of England, and the county town of Leicestershire. The city lies on the River Soar and at the edge of the National Forest...

 and Northampton
Northampton
Northampton is a large market town and local government district in the East Midlands region of England. Situated about north-west of London and around south-east of Birmingham, Northampton lies on the River Nene and is the county town of Northamptonshire. The demonym of Northampton is...

, offered a vast ecclesiastical challenge. Creighton met it in the manner he had employed in Embleton: he proceeded to visit every corner. Travelling by train to distant parishes, staying overnight with the parish priests, and conducting services in their churches, Creighton spent very little time at home with his family during the first year. However, his immersion among the clergy, his treatment of them as equals, and his efficiency in attending to their concerns, led to his increasing popularity. The experience also helped him to work out his doctrinal stance. Although he was personally liberal, he came firmly to believe that to be English was to be Anglican, and led him to regard dissenters as having lost their way, and Roman Catholics as disloyal.

Creighton also became determined to better understand the working-classes
Working class
Working class is a term used in the social sciences and in ordinary conversation to describe those employed in lower tier jobs , often extending to those in unemployment or otherwise possessing below-average incomes...

 of his diocese. The Leicester boot-and-shoe trade strike of 1895, which began in March as a lockout
Lockout (industry)
A lockout is a work stoppage in which an employer prevents employees from working. This is different from a strike, in which employees refuse to work.- Causes :...

 of 120,000 workers by employers, gave him just such an opportunity. Creighton wrote an open letter to his clergy, impressed them of the gravity of the situation, and urged them to work impartially to facilitate communication between the opposing sides. According to author James Covert, "Creighton's tactic was to serve as conduit for all bargaining parties, sharing information and feelings derived from his local clergy, who, being on the spot, possessed insights and sympathies that needed to be known and expressed." By late April, a compromise was reached for which Creighton reaped much praise as well as a growing reputation as a statesman.

A year earlier, in 1894, the fifth, and as it would turn out, the last, volume of Creighton's History of Papacy in the Period of Reformation, entitled The German Revolt, 1517–1527, which covered the history up to the Sack of Rome in 1527
Sack of Rome (1527)
The Sack of Rome on 6 May 1527 was a military event carried out by the mutinous troops of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor in Rome, then part of the Papal States...

, was published by Longman
Longman
Longman was a publishing company founded in London, England in 1724. It is now an imprint of Pearson Education.-Beginnings:The Longman company was founded by Thomas Longman , the son of Ezekiel Longman , a gentleman of Bristol. Thomas was apprenticed in 1716 to John Osborn, a London bookseller, and...

. Creighton had found little time to devote to its writing, and critics generally expressed disappointment in the product. Although he had originally planned to continue the history up to the final session of the Council of Trent
Council of Trent
The Council of Trent was the 16th-century Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church. It is considered to be one of the Church's most important councils. It convened in Trent between December 13, 1545, and December 4, 1563 in twenty-five sessions for three periods...

 in 1563, Creighton did not now feel up to the task. As the volumes did not cover the period claimed in their title, the publisher, in 1897, brought out a second edition titled, A History of the Papacy from the Great Schism to the Sack of Rome, 1378–1527 reflecting the reduced scope. Creighton, nonetheless, remained a popular lecturer. During his Peterborough years, he gave a number of lectures, most published later in book form, their titles reflecting his diverse intellectual interests. Among his addresses were the Hulsean Lectures
Hulsean Lectures
The Hulsean Lectures were established from an endowment made by John Hulse to Cambridge University in 1777.The subject of the lectures was originally to be 'The evidence of revealed religion; the truth and excellence of Christianity; the prophesies and miracles; direct or collateral arguments; the...

 at Cambridge in the winter of 1893–94 on "Persecution and Tolerance", the 1895 Rede Lecture
Rede Lecture
The Sir Robert Rede's Lecturer is an annual appointment to give a public lecture, the Sir Robert Rede's Lecture at the University of Cambridge. It is named for Sir Robert Rede, who was Chief Justice of the Common Pleas in the sixteenth century.-Initial series:The initial series of lectures ranges...

 at Cambridge on "The Early Renaissance in England", the 1896 Romanes Lecture
Romanes Lecture
The Romanes Lecture is a prestigious free public lecture given annually at the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford, England.The lecture series was founded by, and named after, the biologist George Romanes, and has been running since 1892. Over the years, many notable figures from the Arts and Sciences have...

 at Oxford on "The English National Character", and his 1896 address at Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

 on "Saint Edward the Confessor."

In 1896, Creighton represented the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

 at the coronation of Czar Nicholas II in Moscow. Creighton was chosen after the Archbishop of Canterbury
Archbishop of Canterbury
The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury. In his role as head of the Anglican Communion, the archbishop leads the third largest group...

, Edward White Benson
Edward White Benson
Edward White Benson was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1883 until his death.-Life:Edward White Benson was born in Highgate, Birmingham, the son of a Birmingham chemical manufacturer. He was educated at King Edward's School, Birmingham and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated BA in 1852...

 begged off citing ill-health, and offered the same excuse for Randall Davidson, the Bishop of Winchester
Bishop of Winchester
The Bishop of Winchester is the head of the Church of England diocese of Winchester, with his cathedra at Winchester Cathedral in Hampshire.The bishop is one of five Church of England bishops to be among the Lords Spiritual regardless of their length of service. His diocese is one of the oldest and...

, who as Prelate of the Order of the Garter was the usual official standby. His selection as ostensible third in line led to much speculation and controversy in church circles. A lover of pageantry, Creighton wore a bishop's coronation cope
Cope
The cope is a liturgical vestment, a very long mantle or cloak, open in front and fastened at the breast with a band or clasp. It may be of any liturgical colour....

, borrowed from Westminster Abbey, and carried his own mitre
Mitre
The mitre , also spelled miter, is a type of headwear now known as the traditional, ceremonial head-dress of bishops and certain abbots in the Roman Catholic Church, as well as in the Anglican Communion, some Lutheran churches, and also bishops and certain other clergy in the Eastern Orthodox...

 and pastoral staff
Crosier
A crosier is the stylized staff of office carried by high-ranking Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and some Lutheran and Pentecostal prelates...

 for the event. On his return, he wrote a glowing account of the coronation in Cornhill Magazine
Cornhill Magazine
The Cornhill Magazine was a Victorian magazine and literary journal named after Cornhill Street in London.Cornhill was founded by George Murray Smith in 1860 and was published until 1975. It was a literary journal with a selection of articles on diverse subjects and serialisations of new novels...

, which, after gaining the attention of Queen Victoria, brought a letter from her requesting several copies for the royal family.

Bishop of London, 1897–1901



On 28 October 1896, a few days after the death of the Archbishop of Canterbury
Archbishop of Canterbury
The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury. In his role as head of the Anglican Communion, the archbishop leads the third largest group...

, Edward White Benson
Edward White Benson
Edward White Benson was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1883 until his death.-Life:Edward White Benson was born in Highgate, Birmingham, the son of a Birmingham chemical manufacturer. He was educated at King Edward's School, Birmingham and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated BA in 1852...

, Creighton received a letter from the British prime minister, Lord Salisbury, asking if he would accept the office of the Bishop of London
Bishop of London
The Bishop of London is the ordinary of the Church of England Diocese of London in the Province of Canterbury.The diocese covers 458 km² of 17 boroughs of Greater London north of the River Thames and a small part of the County of Surrey...

, which had become vacant. There were rumours at the time that the offer had come with the promise of an eventual Archbishopric of Canterbury. In January 1897, Creighton was translated
Translation (ecclesiastical)
Translation is the technical term when a Bishop is transferred from one diocese to another.This can be* From Suffragan Bishop status to Diocesan Bishop*From Coadjutor bishop to Diocesan Bishop*From one country's Episcopate to another...

 to the See of London
Diocese of London
The Anglican Diocese of London forms part of the Province of Canterbury in England.Historically the diocese covered a large area north of the Thames and bordered the dioceses of Norwich and Lincoln to the north and west. The present diocese covers and 17 London boroughs, covering most of Greater...

 in an enthronement ceremony at St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral, London, is a Church of England cathedral and seat of the Bishop of London. Its dedication to Paul the Apostle dates back to the original church on this site, founded in AD 604. St Paul's sits at the top of Ludgate Hill, the highest point in the City of London, and is the mother...

.

Among prelates, Creighton was sometimes regarded with suspicion, even considered too scholarly or too frivolous; however, his star had risen rapidly in government and court circles, in part, due to his worldliness. Although ecclesiastical high office had been thrust upon him and disrupted his academic career, Creighton now felt comfortable about the prospects of rising to its pinnacle, holding out hope for a return to scholarly endeavours at the end. There were other perks too: at a stroke, his annual salary had doubled to £10,000, a comfortable sum in those days. The large rambling Fulham Palace
Fulham Palace
Fulham Palace in Fulham, London , England, at one time the main residence of the Bishop of London, is of medieval origin. It was the country home of the Bishops of London from at least 11th century until 1975, when it was vacated...

, the Creightons' new residence, proved popular with their immediate and extended family and their numerous visitors.

One of Creighton's first efforts after becoming Bishop of London was to support the passage of the Voluntary School Bill of 1897. Some thirty years earlier, the Elementary Education Act of 1870
Elementary Education Act 1870
The Elementary Education Act 1870, commonly known as Forster's Education Act, set the framework for schooling of all children between ages 5 and 12 in England and Wales...

 had established non-denominational elementary schools, also called board school
School board (England & Wales)
School boards were public bodies in England and Wales between 1870 and 1902, which established and administered elementary schools.School boards were created in boroughs and parishes under the Elementary Education Act 1870 following campaigning by George Dixon, Joseph Chamberlain and the National...

s, which were funded by local taxes
Rates (tax)
Rates are a type of property tax system in the United Kingdom, and in places with systems deriving from the British one, the proceeds of which are used to fund local government...

. Religious school
Parochial school
A parochial school is a school that provides religious education in addition to conventional education. In a narrower sense, a parochial school is a Christian grammar school or high school which is part of, and run by, a parish.-United Kingdom:...

s, also called "voluntary schools" had, however, not received this support. The bill asked for extension of taxpayer support to the voluntary schools. In March 1897, Creighton addressed the House of Lords
House of Lords
The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster....

 in support of the bill, which was eventually passed by both Houses of Parliament. Creighton felt strongly that all religious instruction be denominational. In a letter to the London district school boards, he wrote, "We only ask that the wishes of the parents be consulted about [religious] education of their children, and that every child in England should receive instruction in the religious beliefs of the denomination to which his parents belong." Around this time, Creighton also helped return the logbook
Logbook
A logbook was originally a book for recording readings from the chip log, and is used to determine the distance a ship traveled within a certain amount of time...

 of the ship Mayflower
Mayflower
The Mayflower was the ship that transported the English Separatists, better known as the Pilgrims, from a site near the Mayflower Steps in Plymouth, England, to Plymouth, Massachusetts, , in 1620...

to the United States. The logbook had remained in the library at Fulham Palace since the American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

, having been brought there by some loyalist
Loyalist (American Revolution)
Loyalists were American colonists who remained loyal to the Kingdom of Great Britain during the American Revolutionary War. At the time they were often called Tories, Royalists, or King's Men. They were opposed by the Patriots, those who supported the revolution...

s. For his effort, Creighton was made an honorary member of the American Antiquarian Society
American Antiquarian Society
The American Antiquarian Society , located in Worcester, Massachusetts, is both a learned society and national research library of pre-twentieth century American History and culture. Its main building, known also as Antiquarian Hall, is a U.S. National Historic Landmark...

.
By 1898, Creighton was increasingly occupied with a debate over ritual practice in the Diocese of London, and in the Church of England more generally. On his arrival in London, he had discovered that low church
Low church
Low church is a term of distinction in the Church of England or other Anglican churches initially designed to be pejorative. During the series of doctrinal and ecclesiastic challenges to the established church in the 16th and 17th centuries, commentators and others began to refer to those groups...

 clergy in his diocese were taking exception to the ritual practices of some high churchmen, practice which indicated Roman Catholic influence. The controversy had begun in the wake of the Oxford Movement
Oxford Movement
The Oxford Movement was a movement of High Church Anglicans, eventually developing into Anglo-Catholicism. The movement, whose members were often associated with the University of Oxford, argued for the reinstatement of lost Christian traditions of faith and their inclusion into Anglican liturgy...

, which had created a Catholic revival within the Anglican church, prominent among which were the Anglo-Catholics. One of the radical low churchmen, the evangelical
Evangelicalism
Evangelicalism is a Protestant Christian movement which began in Great Britain in the 1730s and gained popularity in the United States during the series of Great Awakenings of the 18th and 19th century.Its key commitments are:...

 cleric, John Kensit
John Kensit
John Kensit was an English religious leader and polemicist.In 1889 he founded the Protestant Truth Society to oppose what he saw as the excessive influence of the Oxford Movement on the Church of England, despite the Public Worship Regulation Act 1874.Kensit died in October 1902, of pneumonia and...

, had protested that Creighton himself had on occasion worn a cope
Cope
The cope is a liturgical vestment, a very long mantle or cloak, open in front and fastened at the breast with a band or clasp. It may be of any liturgical colour....

 and carried a mitre
Mitre
The mitre , also spelled miter, is a type of headwear now known as the traditional, ceremonial head-dress of bishops and certain abbots in the Roman Catholic Church, as well as in the Anglican Communion, some Lutheran churches, and also bishops and certain other clergy in the Eastern Orthodox...

, and requested that he take a more definite public stance against high church rituals, such as the use of candles and incense. Creighton, who preferred to work behind the scenes, did engage many high church clergy. Although he seemed to subscribe to a broad branch theory
Branch theory
The Branch Theory is a theological concept within Anglicanism, holding that the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Anglican Communion are the three principal branches of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.-Theory:...

, that the real Catholic Church was collection of national churches, which included the Church of England, the Church of Rome
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

, and the Eastern Orthodox Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

, he was firm about asserting Anglican doctrine—that liturgical practice, beyond that involving, what he termed, "permissible liberty," conform to that in the Book of Common Prayer
Book of Common Prayer
The Book of Common Prayer is the short title of a number of related prayer books used in the Anglican Communion, as well as by the Continuing Anglican, "Anglican realignment" and other Anglican churches. The original book, published in 1549 , in the reign of Edward VI, was a product of the English...

. In a circular letter
Flyer (pamphlet)
__notoc__A flyer or flier, also called a circular, handbill or leaflet, is a form of paper advertisement intended for wide distribution and typically posted or distributed in public place....

 to his clergy, he wrote:
It is absolutely necessary that nothing should be done which affects the due performance of the Church as laid down in the Book of Common Prayer, and that any additional service which are used should conform entirely to the spirit and intention of the Prayer Book.
However, this still did not seem to satisfy Kensit and his more vocal evangelical supporters, who threatened to create more public disruption. Eventually, the Church of England's two archbishops, of Canterbury
Province of Canterbury
The Province of Canterbury, also called the Southern Province, is one of two ecclesiastical provinces making up the Church of England...

 and York
Province of York
The Province of York is one of two ecclesiastical provinces making up the Church of England, and consists of 14 dioceses which cover the northern third of England and the Isle of Man. York was elevated to an Archbishopric in 735 AD: Ecgbert of York was the first archbishop...

, held a hearing in Lambeth Palace
Lambeth Palace
Lambeth Palace is the official London residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury in England. It is located in Lambeth, on the south bank of the River Thames a short distance upstream of the Palace of Westminster on the opposite shore. It was acquired by the archbishopric around 1200...

, and, in August 1899, ruled against the use of candles and incense, a seeming victory for the low church forces. The wider doctrinal conflict, though, was to continue beyond both the Victorian
Victorian era
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

 and Edwardian ages.

Throughout this time, Creighton conducted the endless business that came with his large diocese. In one year, he was recorded to have given 294 formal sermons and addresses. He made trips to Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle is a medieval castle and royal residence in Windsor in the English county of Berkshire, notable for its long association with the British royal family and its architecture. The original castle was built after the Norman invasion by William the Conqueror. Since the time of Henry I it...

 and Sandringham
Sandringham House
Sandringham House is a country house on of land near the village of Sandringham in Norfolk, England. The house is privately owned by the British Royal Family and is located on the royal Sandringham Estate, which lies within the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.-History and current...

 to conduct services for Queen Victoria. In 1897, he organised a special service of thanksgiving outside St Paul's in commemoration of her Diamond Jubilee. His prominent office, moreover, brought other responsibilities. He was appointed to the Privy Council; he became a trustee of the British Museum
British Museum
The British Museum is a museum of human history and culture in London. Its collections, which number more than seven million objects, are amongst the largest and most comprehensive in the world and originate from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its...

, the National Portrait Gallery, and a host of other organisations.

Creighton's health, which had lately not been strong, was now worrying his family and friends. Starting in 1898, he had begun to experience bouts of stomach pain. By 1899, these had increased in severity, and by the summer of 1900, his doctors suspected a stomach tumour. He was operated on twice in December of that year, however, the surgeries were not successful. In early January he experienced two severe stomach haemorrhages and his condition rapidly declined. Mandell Creighton died on Monday, 14 January 1901, aged 57.

Legacy



On Thursday, 17 January 1901, after an elaborate funeral in St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral, London, is a Church of England cathedral and seat of the Bishop of London. Its dedication to Paul the Apostle dates back to the original church on this site, founded in AD 604. St Paul's sits at the top of Ludgate Hill, the highest point in the City of London, and is the mother...

 attended by royalty, politicians, academics, and ordinary people, Creighton's body was interred in the crypt
Crypt
In architecture, a crypt is a stone chamber or vault beneath the floor of a burial vault possibly containing sarcophagi, coffins or relics....

 by the Archbishop of Canterbury. It was the first time in 280 years that a Bishop of London was buried in St Paul's. Obituaries in contemporary newspapers and scholarly journals hailed him as one of England's great historians as well as a prelate of remarkable integrity. The Quarterly Review
Quarterly Review
The Quarterly Review was a literary and political periodical founded in March 1809 by the well known London publishing house John Murray. It ceased publication in 1967.-Early years:...

, for example, remarked, "It is certainly rare to find so much intellectual force and so high a standard of conduct combined in one man."

A memorial to Creighton can also be found in Peterborough Cathedral
Peterborough Cathedral
Peterborough Cathedral, properly the Cathedral Church of St Peter, St Paul and St Andrew – also known as Saint Peter's Cathedral in the United Kingdom – is the seat of the Bishop of Peterborough, dedicated to Saint Peter, Saint Paul and Saint Andrew, whose statues look down from the...

 just north of the sanctuary in the form of a substantial mosiac depicting his effigy, details of his life and the mottos "I determined not to know anything among you save Jesus Christ" and "He tried to write true history."

Today, Creighton is better known as a historian than as a church official. Creighton's work is seen as part of an era in British historiography
Historiography
Historiography refers either to the study of the history and methodology of history as a discipline, or to a body of historical work on a specialized topic...

. Many of the milestones of Creighton's academic life, such as founding of the English Historical Review in 1886, with himself as the first editor, are those of the era as well. According to historian Philippa Levine:
The Review was the culmination of a series of related developments central to the asserting of the primacy of the professional historian. In 1884 a highly distinguished trio of men had all been rewarded with academic preferment: Mandell Creighton became the first Dixie Professor of Ecclesiastical History
Dixie Professor of Ecclesiastical History
The Dixie Professorship of Ecclesiastical History is one of the senior professorships in history at the University of Cambridge.Lord Mayor of London in the 16th century, Sir Wolstan Dixie, left funds to found both scholarships and fellowships at Emmanuel College, Cambridge...

 at the University of Cambridge, E. A. Freeman
Edward Augustus Freeman
Edward Augustus Freeman was an English historian. His reputation as a historian rests largely on his History of the Norman Conquest , his longest completed book...

 succeeded his friend Stubbs
William Stubbs
William Stubbs was an English historian and Bishop of Oxford.The son of William Morley Stubbs, a solicitor, he was born at Knaresborough, Yorkshire, and was educated at Ripon Grammar School and Christ Church, Oxford, where he graduated in 1848, obtaining a first-class in classics and a third in...

 in the Regius Professorship of Modern History at Oxford
Regius Professor of Modern History (Oxford)
The Regius Professor of Modern History at the University of Oxford is an old-established professorial position. The first appointment was made in 1724...

 and the legal historian Frederick Maitland
Frederic William Maitland
Frederic William Maitland was an English jurist and historian, generally regarded as the modern father of English legal history.-Biography:...

 became reader
Reader (academic rank)
The title of Reader in the United Kingdom and some universities in the Commonwealth nations like Australia and New Zealand denotes an appointment for a senior academic with a distinguished international reputation in research or scholarship...

 in English Law at Cambridge. The following year the reform of the Historical Tripos in Cambridge and the division of Oxford's arts faculty into the three areas of literae humaniores
Literae Humaniores
Literae Humaniores is the name given to an undergraduate course focused on Classics at Oxford and some other universities.The Latin name means literally "more humane letters", but is perhaps better rendered as "Advanced Studies", since humaniores has the sense of "more refined" or "more learned",...

, oriental languages
Languages of Asia
There is a wide variety of languages spoken throughout Asia, comprising a number of families and some unrelated isolates. Many languages have a long tradition of writing.-Central and North Asian languages:*Turkic**Azeri**Kazak**Kyrgyz**Tatar**Turkish...

 and modern history declared that history had finally won academic respect as an autonomous area of study.

Creighton is considered to be one of the first British historians with a distinctly European outlook. Of his magnum opus
Magnum opus
Magnum opus , from the Latin meaning "great work", refers to the largest, and perhaps the best, greatest, most popular, or most renowned achievement of a writer, artist, or composer.-Related terms:Sometimes the term magnum opus is used to refer to simply "a great work" rather than "the...

, History of the Papacy in the Period of the Reformation, R. J. W. Evans
Robert John Weston Evans
Professor Robert John Weston Evans FLSW FBA is a historian, whose speciality is the post-medieval history of Central and Eastern Europe. He was educated at Dean Close School, Cheltenham and Jesus College, Cambridge. Evans is Regius Professor of Modern History in the University of Oxford, and a...

 writes, "(It) constitutes one of the first great attempts to introduce the British to explicitly modern and European history." However, overall, Creighton and his peers, left a heterogeneous legacy. On the one hand, Creighton was a painstakingly balanced scholar; even his critic Lord Acton would use "sovereign impartiality" to describe Creighton's strength. Creighton saw himself as interested in actions, in contrast to Acton, whom he saw as interested in ideas. Although Creighton did not personally consider the popes to be guiltless (for example, amidst writing the third papacy volume, he wrote, in a letter to a friend, that working on the Borgia
Borgia
The Borgias, also known as the Borjas, Borjia, were a European Papal family of Italian and Spanish origin with the name stemming from the familial fief seat of Borja belonging to their Aragonese Lords; they became prominent during the Renaissance. The Borgias were patrons of the arts, and their...

s was like "spending one's day in a low police court"), Creighton was emphatic that public men be judged for their public and not private acts. In an essay, "Historical ethics", published after his death, he wrote, "I like to stand upon clear grounds which can be proved and estimated. I do not like to wrap myself in the garb of outraged dignity because men in the past did things contrary to the principles which I think soundest in the present." On the other hand, Creighton's historical outlook, as well as that of his historian peers, bore the cultural and social stamp of their position." According to historians Robert Harrison, Aled Jones, and Peter Lambert, "Their emphasis on the Englishness of Britain's key institutions, for instance, effectively excluded non-English ethnic groups from the 'chief part,' as Creighton had put it, of history's subject."

The emphasis on concreteness and reality would remain a feature of his career as a prelate. Creighton saw the Church of England not as an abstract entity existing independently in space and time, but as rooted in England, its people, and their history. In the words of Kenneth Robbins, "It was an unashamed acknowledgment on (Creighton's) part that the form, structure, ethos and doctrine of that church had been fashioned in the circumstances of English history." Similarly, Creighton saw the living church as an embodiment of the current yearnings of the English people. "(The) general trend of the Church", he wrote, "must be regulated by (the English people's) wishes. The Church cannot go too far from them." Consequently, Creighton could imbue the church with Victorian self-assessments and aspirations. "The function of the Church of England", he was comfortable saying, "was to be a church of free men. The Church of Rome was the church of decadent peoples: it lives only in the past, and has no future ... The Church of England has before it the conquest of the world." As a natural corollary of this outlook, Creighton was explicitly against the separation of church and state. In his way of thinking, church and state were two aspects of the nation as seen from two vantage points. Any attempt at legislating a separation would, in addition, have caused social disruptions in late-Victorian Britain: many higher clergy had ties of education and friendship with prominent public men.

During his lifetime Creighton had received honorary doctorates from a number of institutions, among them Oxford
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...

, Cambridge
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...

, Harvard
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

, and Trinity College, Dublin
Trinity College, Dublin
Trinity College, Dublin , formally known as the College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth near Dublin, was founded in 1592 by letters patent from Queen Elizabeth I as the "mother of a university", Extracts from Letters Patent of Elizabeth I, 1592: "...we...found and...

. A few years after his death, the Creighton lecture
Creighton Lecture
The Creighton Lecture is an annual lecture delivered at King's College, London on a topic in history. The series, which memorializes historian and prelate Mandell Creighton, began in 1907 with a grant of £650, half of which was donated by his widow, Louise Creighton.-List of Creighton...

 was established at King's College, London. The lecture series celebrated its centenary in 2007.

Character


Creighton was a man of complex, and sometimes baffling, intelligence. Philosopher Edward Caird
Edward Caird
Edward Caird FRSE was a Scottish philosopher and younger brother of the theologian John Caird.He was the son of engineer John Caird, the proprietor of Caird & Company,...

, a fellow at Merton during Creighton's student days there, had said of him, "Creighton possesses common sense in a degree which amounts to genius." Later, at Cambridge, some colleagues were perplexed by his personality. When teaching or transacting academic business during the day he displayed a shrewd, canny intelligence; however, at social gatherings he was unceasingly outrageous and flippant, to the attendant delight of his students. His relationship with Louise too was not easily characterised. In the months after the Peterborough appointment, husband and wife would frequently quarrel, sometimes bitterly, as a niece would later recall. But the couple could also be surprisingly affectionate: during this same time, a nephew espied Louise locked in passionate embrace with the Bishop in the latter's study. Creighton could be stern with his seven children, on one occasion tying a daughter to a table's leg with a rope to aid her in recognising her folly. However, he could also romp around the house with them, engage in horseplay, and make up nonsensical stories—all of which, many years later, they would consider the highlights of their childhood.

Controversy seemed to trail him during his prelacies as well. He loved pageantry, creating speculation that he had high church views. However, when a high church priest protested that incense was needed for curing souls, Creighton burst out, "And you think that souls like herring cannot be cured without smoke?" His moderate views—equally opposed to radical evangelicals and conservative Anglo-Catholics—endeared him to Queen Victoria. Creighton's work ethic, though, was anything but moderate. He seldom refused offers of additional responsibility, confessing more than once to both an abiding fatalism about being saddled with more responsibility and guilt about shirking from it. Perhaps recognising this, a canon of St Paul's, while welcoming Creighton to the diocese of London in 1897, ominously remarked, "It is a frightful burden to lay on you: I hope you will use up everybody except yourself."

Throughout his life, Creighton went on long walks (his "rambles," as he liked to call them). When the children grew older, the family's outdoor pastime of choice became hockey
Field hockey
Field Hockey, or Hockey, is a team sport in which a team of players attempts to score goals by hitting, pushing or flicking a ball into an opposing team's goal using sticks...

. Many visiting clergy in Fulham Palace
Fulham Palace
Fulham Palace in Fulham, London , England, at one time the main residence of the Bishop of London, is of medieval origin. It was the country home of the Bishops of London from at least 11th century until 1975, when it was vacated...

 found themselves unable to refuse Creighton's enthusiastic invitations to join in. The Creightons were inveterate travellers, spending many vacations in Italy. During their six years in Peterborough, for instance, they made nine foreign trips. Creighton was also a life-long chain smoker. When author Samuel Butler
Samuel Butler (novelist)
Samuel Butler was an iconoclastic Victorian author who published a variety of works. Two of his most famous pieces are the Utopian satire Erewhon and a semi-autobiographical novel published posthumously, The Way of All Flesh...

, who had little sympathy for churchmen, received a letter in 1893 inviting him to visit the Creighton family in Peterborough, he was immediately put at ease upon discovering some tobacco that had been thoughtlessly left in the envelope by the Bishop of Peterborough.

External links