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William Charles Edmund Newbolt (14 August 1844 – 12 September 1930) was a British Anglican priest and theologian. He was a prominent Tractarian and headed a theological college in Ely, Cambridgeshire between 1887 and 1890, when he became a canon of St Paul's Cathedral.


Newbolt was born in Somerton, a small town in Somerset, southern England. His father, also called William, was the rector of the Church of St Michael and All Angels. Newbolt was educated locally and at Uppingham School in Rutland. He then studied at Pembroke College, Oxford, obtaining a third-class degree in Literae Humaniores (classics) in 1867. He did not formally study for ordination, but spent a further year in Oxford reading before being ordained deacon in 1868 and priest in 1869.[1]

While at Oxford, Newbolt was influenced by the Tractarians, also known as the "Oxford Movement", a group aiming to reform the Church of England by asserting its Catholic heritage and its links with the early church. He followed the teaching of clerics such as Edward Pusey, Henry Liddon and Edward King. After his ordination, he was a curate in Wantage, Berkshire, in one of the prominent Tractarian parishes of the day. After marrying in 1870, he became vicar of Dymock, Gloucestershire, on the nomination of Frederick Lygon, 6th Earl Beauchamp, a leading High Church Anglican; in 1877, Beauchamp's further nomination saw him move to Malvern Link, Worcestershire.[1] Like Pusey, Liddon, King and Beauchamp, Newbolt was to become a member of the Council of Keble College, Oxford, founded in memory of John Keble, a prominent Tractarian; Newbolt served from 1901 until his death.[2]

The Dean of Worcester, Lord Alwyne Compton, became Bishop of Ely in 1886, and in the following year asked Newbolt to became principal of Ely Theological College, which trained clergy in accordance with Tractarian principles. His time at Ely has been described as "the most important work of his life".[1] In 1890, he succeeded Liddon as a canon of St Paul's Cathedral; he remained there until his death in 1930. He was a noted preacher and took great care of the spiritual welfare of fellow clergy, publishing a number of books of advice, as well as his memoirs (Years that are Past, 1921).[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Briscoe, J. F.; Herring, George (2004). "Newbolt, William Charles Edmund (1844–1930)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 25 November 2009.  
  2. ^ Drennan, Basil St G., ed (1970). The Keble College Centenary Register 1870 – 1970. Keble College, Oxford. pp. 17–18. ISBN 9780850330489.  


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