A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Stanley, Arthur Penrhyn

Stanley, Arthur Penrhyn (1815-1881). -- Historian, biographer, and theologian, s. of Edward S., Bishop of Norwich, b. at Alderley, Cheshire, of which his f. was then rector, ed. at Rugby and Oxf., became a Fellow of Univ. Coll. Taking orders in 1839 he became Canon of Canterbury 1851, and of Christ Church 1858, and Dean of Westminster 1864. He was also Prof. of Ecclesiastical History at Oxf. 1856. His ecclesiastical position was Erastian and latitudinarian, and his practical aim in Church politics comprehension. He gave great offence to the High Church party by his championing of Colenso, W.G. Ward, Jowett, and others, by his preaching in the pulpits of the Church of Scotland and in other ways, and his latitudinarianism made him equally obnoxious to many others. On the other hand, his singular personal charm and the fascination of his literary style secured for him a very wide popularity. He was a prolific author, his works including Life of Dr. Arnold (of Rugby) (1844), whose favourite pupil he was, and Memorials of Canterbury (1854), Sinai and Palestine (1855), Lectures on the Eastern Church (1861), History of the Jewish Church (1863, etc.), Historical Memorials of Westminster Abbey (1867), Lectures on the History of the Church of Scotland (1872), besides various commentaries. In his historical writings he aimed rather at conveying a vivid and picturesque general effect than at minute accuracy of detail or philosophical views. His masterpiece is his Life of Dr. Arnold, which is one of the great biographies in the language. His wife was Lady Augusta Bruce, to whom he was m. in 1868.