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JUL 9 1986 


THE invitation to write the Life of a man whom one pro 
foundly honours, and to whom one is bound by ties of the 
deepest gratitude, is hardly to be refused. I undertook 
the work as an obligation and a privilege, but without any 
expectation that I could do justice to the theme. Percival 
was not a prolific letter-writer, nor was he one who kept 
a record of events or impressions in a diary. The material 
has been very scanty. I have tried to avoid mere comment, 
as far as possible to let Percival speak in his own words 
where they are available, and to call reliable witnesses for 
those periods of which I could know nothing at first hand. 
There was little of subjectivism in Percival, and his bio 
graphy should be as objective as it can be made. 

Naturally I have been at all points dependent on others. 
I hope the obligations are duly noted in the text, but some 
are so conspicuous as to call for a special reference. First, 
I must name the members of the Bishop s family Mrs. 
Percival, The Rev. Preb. L. J. Percival, and Mrs. Johnson 
who have given me every kind of help and support. For 
the earlier chapters I have received invaluable assistance 
from Canon J. M. Wilson, Sir Herbert Warren, Bishop 
Robertson, and Mr. G. F. Bradby. The chapters dealing 
with the Hereford episcopate I could not have handled at 
all without the aid of Canon Bannister, who supplied me 
with a great quantity of documents admirably sorted ; 


Prebendary Wynne Willson and the Archdeacon of Hereford 
also gave me help of the utmost value. 

I have further to thank the Rev. F. A. Iremonger for 
reading the whole work in proof, and Mr. E. M. Oakeley, an 
old friend of the Bishop, for the laborious work of preparing 
the index. 

Besides all of these I have to thank my wife for great help 
in the sorting and copying of documents, and for continuous 
criticism and suggestion. To her the book owes most of 
any merit it may possess in arrangement of subject-matter 
and continuity of narrative. 


September 1921. 





CLIFTON . . . . . .n 




RUGBY . -93 






EDUCATION BILLS . . . . . 17? 










POLITICS . ... 224 







APPOINTMENTS . . . . . -335 

LAST YEARS . . . . . . -354 




INDEX . . 377 


John Percival, Bishop of Hereford. From a photograph taken 

in 1916 by H. Walter Barnett . . Frontispiece 


John Percival, 1858. From a Daguerreotype 

Headmaster of Clifton, 1878. From a photograph 
by M. Guttenberg & Co. 

The Bishop, and his youngest grandchild Douglas Percival, 
taken on his Eightieth Birthday. From a photograph 
by Elliott & Fry, Ltd. . . . . -354 




THE increasing pace of modern life has done much to rob 
the world of great personalities. The ease of movement and 
of communication has made almost impossible the relative 
isolation in which marked individuality is shaped. We run 
to and fro, and knowledge is increased. But the men of our 
generation have little time to strike deep roots ; they are 
not thrown upon their own resources ; they do not fully 
find themselves. The average of moral and intellectual 
attainment is probably higher than in former times. But 
the overcoming of obstacles, which were too great for the 
many to surmount, was strengthening and stimulating to 
the few who were successful. The nineteenth century was 
marked by many great and outstanding figures, who made 
their own careers, to a great extent developed their own 
minds, formed and expressed their own judgments, firmly 
went their own way, lived in a certain detachment from the 
world about them, and therefore influenced that world as 
none who more fully shared its life and outlook could ever 
do. Such a figure was John Percival. One who knew him 
intimately in old age said of him that in memory he stood 
out like a sunlit promontory. It is an apt figure* The 
recollection of him is of one who stood rooted in his own 
conviction ; storms and conflicts of opinion and passion 
might surge round him ; but he still stood firm, and not 
only firm, but calm, peaceful and bright, because he knew 
his own mind, and the grounds on which he had made it up, 
and the God to whom it was utterly devoted. 

i B 


His circumstances in boyhood were such as to encourage 
to the full the development of individuality. His father was 
a Westmoreland " statesman/ that is to say, a farmer owning 
his own land, and apparently a typical dalesman. This 
William Percival lived at Brough Sowerby with his father 
until his marriage. In 1834 he was married by licence in 
St. Michael s Church, Brough under Stainmore, to Jane 
Langmire, daughter of William and Ann Langmire, who was 
born in 1809 in the farm-house known as Laitha and was 
baptized on August 24 of that year. It was at the house 
of his mother s parents that John Percival was born on 
September 27, 1834. 

William Percival lived for some years at Winton, and 
then at Brough Sowerby. He was a man of strong, fearless 
character, not given to speech, but straight and courageous 
in all his dealings. He had a vigorous brain as well as a 
powerfully built body, and read widely. Later on, his son 
used to send him supplies of books. He was a great wrestler, 
winning many prizes. Concerning two of these prizes John 
Percival wrote many years afterwards to his son the Rev. 
L. J. Percival. 

May 13, 1914. 

DEAR LANCE I had a letter from Janie 1 this morning, in 
which she asked if I thought you would like to take charge, on 
Jack s behalf, of a silver snuff-box which was won long, long 
ago by my father in some wrestling match. . . . My father 
was a famous wrestler in his youth, and when in London won 
the prize at the Cumberland and Westmoreland wrestling. This 
was a silver cup. You and I would both feel that it is a draw 
back to the cup that, as the inscription on it records, it was won 
on a Good Friday. Yours affectionately, 


When John was only three years old his mother died, 
on July 28, 1838, at the age of twenty-nine. Writing many 
years later, in 1882, to Mr. Furneaux, afterwards Dean of 
Winchester, he said : The only thing I remember at all 
distinctly of my mother is the look on her face as she lay 
dead ; and the longer I live, the more I feel how the early 

1 His half-sister. 


loss impoverished and saddened my life." His father 
engaged a housekeeper to look after the house, and in 1848 
married her. On his mother s death, John Percival and his 
baby sister, Ann, then one year old, 1 were sent to live with 
their uncle and aunt, Richard and Elizabeth Langmire. The 
little boy first went to school at Winton. Later the uncle 
and aunt went to live at Helson, near Lowther, and he was 
sent to the school at Hackthorpe. He used to look enviously 
at the boys who went to Appleby Grammar School, and 
when he was twelve years old his ambition was satisfied, 
for he was transferred to that school on the advice of friends 
who had marked his promise. 

He was an ardent scholar, not at all ready to substitute 
work in the fields for his school work. One day his uncle 
said : You can t go to school to-morrow, John ; there s 
too much to do afield/ He asked what it was that required 
doing, and, having been told, took care to be up next morn 
ing at the first peep of light ; by breakfast time he had 
done his share of the job, and afterwards went off to school 
as usual. 

Mr. W. Robinson, who knew Percival in his school days, 
writes : 

Being also a native of dear old Brough I still retain a vivid 
recollection of the late Bishop Percival s school-boy days, though 
he was my senior by a few years. One incident connected with 
those far-off times, before the opening of the Eden Valley Rail 
way, still lives in my memory seeing him trudging to and 
from Appleby Grammar School with a blue linen bag of books 
over his shoulder, in his clogs, in the winter time. 

Sir James Whitehead once remarked in a letter about old 
times that he, too, remembered John Percival s clogs : " He 
wore clogs with brass sides when he first came to Appleby 
School, and he made all the rest of us very jealous of his 
superior turn-out." Sir James Whitehead became a life 
long friend. In 1876 his son, George, went to Clifton to 
be under Percival, who insisted on receiving him as a guest 
for his first term, and returned the amount of the boarding 

1 She died on June 17, 1851, aged fourteen. 


fees, paid in advance, with the request that it should be 
invested for the boy s benefit when he should require it. 

Miss Thomson, the granddaughter of a Mrs. Breeks at 
whose home the boy was always made welcome, writes : 

My grandmother and her daughters were living at Warcop, 
which is almost half-way between Brough and Appleby, and 
when John Percival began going to Appleby Grammar School, 
old Dr. Jefferson, the vicar of Brough, wrote to my grandmother 
and asked her to be kind to the boy. I believe he stayed the 
week with friends in Appleby and went home for the week-end 
in winter, and in summer rode in daily from Brough. 1 It became 
quite a custom for him to drop in on my grandmother for tea 
on the way back, and the result was a lifelong friendship with 
her and my aunts. 

The story of him riding to school at a headlong pace and 
with infinite clatter up the Appleby streets still lives in those 
parts. Many years afterwards Dr. Percival was waiting for 
a train at Rugby, when the old night-stationmaster came 
up and said that he used every morning, as he swept out 
his father s shop in Appleby, to see young John Percival 
ride by at top speed on his way to school ; he was always 
on a chestnut pony and his own red hair was always flying 
in the wind. 

In after life Percival always maintained that he owed 
everything to his Aunt Elizabeth and, later on, to the 
splendid teaching of Mr. Richardson, the Headmaster of 
Appleby. His aunt made him learn some portion of the 
Bible every day ; that is why he knew most of the Psalms 
by heart, for he never forgot the passages and psalms which 
he learnt in those early days. 

At Appleby he came under the influence of the Rev. John 
Richardson, who was then Headmaster and was giving his 
boys an excellent education on the lines then usual in 
grammar schools, that is to say, an excellent grounding in 
mathematics, and in Latin and Greek grammar and com 
position, with few efforts to stimulate flights of speculation 
or refinement of appreciation. He was also fortunate in 

1 He was not then living at Brough, but at Helson. A daughter of this 
Mrs. Breeks mentioned above married George Moore, the philanthropist, 
with whom Percival became intimate. See pp. 40-43. 


the friendship of the Rev. Henry King, at whose house he 
was always welcome and through whom he made many 

It was a strenuous childhood, in which the boy was 
thrown very much on his own resources. The death of his 
younger sister at the age of fourteen left him without com 
panions of his own age at home. The long walk or ride to 
school gave much time for the growing mind to form habits 
of independent thought, and created in the young Percival 
a readiness to think for himself and to be much alone in his 
opinions. The whole scenery of the region must have had 
a great influence on him. It is beautiful, but with a curious 
reserve in its beauty. It is wild without tragedy. The long 
valleys with bleak sides and notched sky-lines are in strong 
contrast with the mingled luxuriance and barrenness of the 
Lake District with its brilliantly green valleys and sharply 
individual mountain peaks, or with the long rolling York 
shire moors. There is a kind of quiet suavity, which is 
only broken by hints of sternness in the protruding rock. 
Percival as Headmaster and Bishop bore some real re 
semblance to his native dales. 

In 1879, the year in which he left Clifton for Trinity, 
T. E. Brown saw him among his own hills and dales, and 
thus describes the scene in a letter to Mr. J. E. Pearson : 

We were climbing up from the town (at Appleby) to the 
station, when suddenly far above us, on a high bank against 
the sky-line, was P., a solemn and almost awful figure and face, 
not melancholy, but stern and hard, far-reach of eye, the pose 
of memories and back-seeking. His old school lay beneath 
his feet, his old church, his old river, his old self. 1 

In 1855 he was elected a Taberdar, or open scholar, at 
Queen s College, Oxford, and immediately went into resi 
dence. Few memories of his undergraduate career survive. 
It was a time of almost uninterrupted labour ; but Lord 
Bryce and others testify to his reputation as a man of 
peculiar strength alike of character and of intellect. A 
year after going into residence he obtained a Double First 
in Classical and in Mathematical Moderations. He had 

1 Letters of T. E. Brown, vol. i. p. 84. 


already won the Junior Mathematical Scholarship, and some 
consternation was caused when the first question put to 
him in a viva voce examination on the rudiments of Latin, 
Greek, and Mathematics, which all undergraduates had to 
pass, was, " How do you spell parallelogram ? " He 
answered correctly, and was asked why he had spelt it 
wrong all through his Euclid paper. He replied that he 
had not offered Euclid at all, but Algebra. The examiners 
had confused his papers with those of another candidate. 
Two years after his success in Moderations came another 
Double First in Greats and in Mathematical Finals. 
Soon after taking his degree he was elected a Fellow of 
Queen s College. 

Such is the bare record of the facts ; and it explains why 
there is little else to record. A career marked by those 
successes had little room for sport or for the amenities which 
provide material for anecdote. 1 

He was keenly alive to the spiritual and intellectual 
influences at work in the world at this time, and to the end 
of his life he appreciated the privilege of passing his youth 
in a period so full of promise for the world. Preaching to 
the undergraduates of Cambridge at Great St. Mary s on 
February 28, 1909, he said : 

Contrast for a moment the conditions of your own youth 
here to-day, and mine fifty years ago. When I was a young 
man, as you are, breathing the atmosphere of undergraduate 
life as you breathe it to-day, forming habits of thought 
and purpose under its influence, and looking forward, as you 
are looking, the time was pregnant with far-reaching changes. 
Its thought was inspired and dominated by unusually great 
personalities. Carlyle, Ruskin, Wordsworth, Shelley, Tenny 
son, Bentham, Mill ; these were names to conjure with. 
Browning, Spencer, Darwin, were just rising above the horizon 
in front of us. It was the birth period of Darwinian evolutionary 
thought, and of all the new speculation of which that thought 
is the parent. On the other hand, it was the beginning, or 

1 He had been very fond of cricket, but while playing on one occasion 
had hurt his knee so badly that it was thought he would always have a 
stiff leg. After some years it was cured by Hutton, but he could never 
play cricket again. 


near it, of the great industrial, commercial, scientific develop 
ment, and the vast and greedy geographical expansion which 
have brought a multitude of changes into our life and habits. 

The young Percival noted the movements of the age at 
once with appreciation and with criticism. He was quite 
capable of selecting the influences to which he would open 
his soul. He was zealous to receive all that was best in his 
environment, but quick also to mark the tendencies which 
in his judgment should be resisted. 

At this time, however, it seemed as if all hopes were to 
be disappointed. He had always been delicate ; he was 
threatened with serious chest trouble. No insurance office 
would insure his life either at this time or four years later 
at the time of his marriage. He had attempted the Honours 
History School, but could only take two of the papers. In 
them he reached the standard of a First Class, and was 
awarded an Aegrotat. But his strength was exhausted. 
The strain indicated by his academic record had been too 
much for him. One doctor said that he would never do 
another day s work. It was Mr. Symonds, whose daughter 
was to be his second wife, who sent him abroad. He went 
to his old friends, Mr. and Mrs. King, who were then at Pau ; 
and Mrs. King arranged for him to stay in rooms immediately 
below those occupied at the time by an English family. This 
event had an important sequel, for one of the ladies of that 
English family became his wife a few years later. 

It was in the winter of 1858-59 that he went to Pau. 
In 1860 he was back in England. In that year he was 
ordained deacon, and accepted Dr. Temple s invitation to 
join the staff at Rugby. 

The first suggestion that he should go to Rugby was 
made in the following letter from Mr. Jex Blake, afterwards 
his predecessor in the Rugby Headmastership, and later 
Dean of Wells : 


August 23, 1860. 

MY DEAR PERCIVAL Temple has offered a Classical Master 
ship to a man now abroad, and does not hear from him. If he 
does not hear from him in three or four days at most, he must 


find a substitute till October term begins at Oxford. If it is 
offered you (90 or 100 with it) will you take it and come at 
once ? How soon ? 

I am not told to offer it ; but to ask, willjyow take it if offered ? 
Pray say, Yes. If you come here for seven weeks or so, Temple 
will like you ; and when a Mathematical vacancy occurs, he 
would (in my opinion) offer it you. You would like this place 
much ; and by coming temporarily would see how you would 
like it permanently. 

The temporary work now is Classical, in the Lower School ; 
not hard, and not long hours. Pray consent (if the offer comes) 
to extricate yourself from work for the time ; or to sacrifice 
a little tour, or money. I think it improbable that the man 
now abroad can answer in time. 

Write at once. Yours affectionately, 


Percival consulted the Provost of Queen s before replying. 
The Provost at this date was the redoubtable Thomson, 
afterwards Archbishop of York ; his advice was : "I quite 
agree with Blake that you should take what would be a very 
nice thing and cannot fail to do you good." So he went to 
Rugby, and became a member of the permanent staff. 

Of his short first period at Rugby few tales survive. But 
it is recorded that he brought upon himself a rebuke from 
Patey, the School Marshal, with whom he lodged, by giving 
boys beer for breakfast when he invited them to take that 
meal with him. 

It was not his first experience of teaching, for Mr. 
Richardson had made him an " usher " at Appleby before he 
went up to Oxford. But the contrast between that teaching 
work and this must have been immense. He found himself 
the member of a brilliant society ; the Rugby staff then was 
a wonderful one. It had indeed lost two of its brightest 
luminaries. Benson had lately left to launch Wellington on 
its career ; and Bradley to become the second founder of 
Marlborough. But those who remained were a most re 
markable group of men. Notably, Tom Evans was delight 
ing " the Twenty "its scholars by his exquisite learning, 
its idlers by his indifference to indolence. J. M. Wilson was 
introducing Natural Science for the first time into a Public 


School curriculum, and even experimenting with Mill s Logic 
as a school subject. From that splendid veteran comes the 
following impression of Percival at this stage : 

Percival joined the staff at Rugby in September 1860. I 
had been appointed early in 1859. The school and staff were 
growing rapidly. Of the staff of that date I am the sole survivor. 
One clear impression, and one only, stands out after nearly 
sixty years that he already was then what I felt him still 
more clearly to be in every subsequent decade of his life. In 
speaking of him at Clifton, at the College Jubilee in 1912, I 
said that " he never was young, and never was old." At Rugby 
we all knew, even then, that he was unlike us, maturer, at a 
different stage, and that he had some future. He played no 
games ; he had no hobbies ; he made no intimate friends among 
masters or boys. He was always agreeable to meet ; not at 
all unsociable. But he stood alone. 

The Rugby staff was then a very strong staff ; and no 
advanced work of any sort was found for him. He had in 
Classics a form of some thirty-five boys of the standard of an 
Upper Third ; and probably in Mathematics he taught nothing 
beyond arithmetic and simple equations and the first book of 
Euclid. There is no doubt that he did not enjoy his work, 
and that he was not very successful in it. He was not at ease 
nor sympathetic with boys averaging perhaps about fourteen 
years old, made hard both to teach and to control by the free 
intermixture of backward and lazy fellows of sixteen and seven 
teen ; for there were then no rules for superannuation. We had 
the impression that he would not long be content with school 
work, and that he would return to the University, or take up 
public life in some form. 

Memory of incidents is, of course, very scanty after so long a 
time. But one scene stands out. Some half-dozen of us young 
masters had started a " symposium," dining together in the 
middle of the day at a confectioner s in High Street. A new 
master, James Robertson, afterwards the distinguished Head 
master of Haileybury, joined the staff, and was invited to join 
the " symposium." He came in on the first day of term when 
we had all sat down. Some of us saw him then for the first 
time. He was a formidable - looking person, with brawny 
shoulders and an expression at first sight alarming. He took 
his seat after our greeting, and there was silence. Suddenly 
came his grim question " Do any of you fellows box ? " 
Percival was equal to the occasion. " I think," he said, with 


his gentle voice and smile, " I think we should like a few lessons 

I have said that some of us expected him to give up school 
work. But we all felt that Temple alone had read him right 
when he suggested the daring appointment of Percival at the age 
of twenty-seven, to take Clifton College instead of the great 
and well-known Fifth Form master at Rugby, Charles Evans, 
who had at the last moment thrown over Clifton in order to 
become Headmaster of his old school at Birmingham. The 
selection showed a deeper insight than any of us possessed. 

JOHN PERCIVAL. Oxford, June 15, 1858. 




IN September 1862 Clifton College opened with sixty boys. 
The Council had consulted Dr. Temple, then Headmaster of 
Rugby, who recommended an undeniably suitable candidate, 
Charles Evans, to take charge of the new society. The 
Council appointed him, and announced the appointment. 
But before much had been done to complete the arrange 
ments, the Headmastership of Evans s own old school fell 
vacant, and he desired to be a candidate. Delay on the 
Clifton side was impossible ; the Council naturally desired 
to be in a position to announce another name as soon as the 
appointment of Evans to Birmingham was announced, if it 
was to take place at all. Accordingly, Canon Guthrie, on 
behalf of the Clifton Council, again approached Dr. Temple. 
This was a surprise to many, who thought that as his first 
candidate had deserted Clifton, he would not be consulted 
again. His judgment of the men under consideration 
included a very strong recommendation of Percival, who 
was not yet twenty-eight years old. Undoubtedly it was a 
bold action to recommend so young a man for " the building 
up of Clifton College on the green fields of the Bristol downs." 
But Temple promised that if he were appointed he would do 
for Clifton what Arnold had done for Rugby. 

Canon Guthrie arranged that Percival should receive a 
telegram from Evans to tell him the result of the Birmingham 
election ; he wished that, if Evans were elected, Percival 
should at once travel to Bristol so as to be in readiness for 
an interview if the Council, which was to meet that day, 



could be persuaded to see him then. In this way Guthrie 
hoped to secure that the election of Percival at Clifton might 
be announced on the same day as the election of Evans to 
Birmingham, and thus public confidence with regard to the 
nascent College might not be undermined. But it was plainly 
very difficult for Percival to go to Bristol on such terms. 
He might have found himself in an utterly false position. 
So he consulted his chief, and received the following reply : 

ALVECHURCH, Aug. 25, 1862. 
Rugby to-morrow. 

DEAR PERCIVAL If Charles Evans will allow you to use his 
name, so far as to say that you go to Canon Guthrie by his 
recommendation, it will be well to go. But otherwise I think 
it would be out of place. I had a note from Guthrie the day 
after I saw you asking my opinion about yourself and Bradley. 
I gave him full answers. He did not directly ask for a judg 
ment between you, and I did not give one. 

I think you will have this to bear in mind in the present 
queer conjuncture. If Evans resigns Clifton and then fails at 
Birmingham, you will hardly have any choice but to give him 
back Clifton if it has meanwhile been given to you. 

I quite understand your growing desire to succeed. You 
men who want to get married can never be held when once the 
chance of an opening has shown itself. Yours ever, 


It was not found possible to proceed with quite so much 
expedition as Canon Guthrie had hoped. The Council met 
on August 29, but it was decided to postpone a decision until 
September 4. Writing on August 29 to Percival, Canon 
Guthrie says : "I may say for myself that the impression 
was evidently most favourable to yourself. The delay does 
not rest with me and is mischievous to all parties. But it 
will pass." 

When the interview took place, one member of the 
Council observed, " You are very young, Mr. Percival." 
" And unmarried," added another. " A few years will 
correct the former," replied the candidate, " and a few 
weeks the latter." The Council appointed him, and the 
place of Clifton among the great Public Schools was from 
that moment secure. 



A few days later he received a letter from his former 
Provost, who had become Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol, 
and was soon to be translated to the Archbishopric of York : 

Sept. 6, 1862. 

MY DEAR PERCIVAL Most heartily do I wish you well in 
your new office. To be appointed to such a charge so young 
puts a great responsibility upon you. But with a generous 
mind this will only produce a greater wish to do good service. 

I trust you will be blessed with the power, not only to teach 
the minds of your pupils, but to imbue their souls with a sense 
of the importance of their life here and with love to God. Ever 
most truly yours, 


There was an abundance of business to be done, and he 
had to pay a visit to his old home in Westmoreland. Of 
this visit a record remains in two letters from Mrs. and Miss 
Breeks, two members of the family with which he used to 
have tea on his way from the school at Appleby to his home 
at Brough : 


Sept. 11, 1862. 

MY DEAR MR. PERCIVAL Seeing in the Times that you were 
appointed Headmaster to the Clifton College, I beg to offer 
you my sincere congratulations, together with my daughters, 
on the event. It is highly complimentary, for so young a man, 
to be presented to so responsible a position, and I sincerely 
trust you may be blessed with health to fulfil the duties and 
enjoy the privileges of the situation. All we Westmoreland 
folks are proud to call you a neighbour, seeing you have so 
highly distinguished yourself, only in future we shall feel afraid 
of you and have to hide our diminished heads. . . . With our 
united kind regards and every good wish for your future. Believe 
me, yours very sincerely, 


MY DEAR MR. PERCIVAL I cannot resist the pleasure of 
enclosing a wee note to you in mother s letter, to express more 
individually Ellen s and my warmest congratulations on your 
new appointment, and our hopes that your brightest anticipa 
tions of honour and success will be realised, and that you will 


reap the full reward of your labours. Clifton is a nice place, 
and the country must be well known to you after your frequent 
visits to the neighbourhood, and I hope the climate will suit 
you as well as the more bracing breezes of your native hills do. 

I almost wrote to you on our return home, after seeing you 
start on your southward journey waving so frantically Close s 
book ! How could you waste your money on such folly ! how 
could you patronise such a man ! We stood transfixed on the 
bridge and could hardly believe our senses, and were so petrified 
we could not pull our handkerchiefs out in time to return your 
passing signal, though we wished you heartily a pleasant journey 
and much intellectual enjoyment with your yellow companion ! 

Again begging you to accept our heartiest congratulations 
and kind regards. Believe me, yours very truly, 


Sept. n, 1862. 

On October n, 1862, the new Headmaster was married 
to Miss Louisa Holland, whose acquaintance he had made 
four years before at Pau. She was a daughter of James 
Holland and her mother was a Hardwicke both Lincoln 
shire names. Percival had found it impossible to manage 
the School House alone, so Canon and Mrs. Guthrie tele 
graphed to Miss Holland to come to them. From their 
house she was married, and from the same house drove 
with her husband to Clevedon for a two days honeymoon. 
On their return the school met them, took the horses out 
of the carriage and dragged them home. It was to his 
wife that Percival owed the happy home life which formed 
the background of his work at Clifton, Oxford, and Rugby, 
and for a brief spell also at Hereford. Some glimpse of this 
life and of the social circles at Clifton is given in a statement 
by Mrs. Lewis Campbell, widow of Dr. Lewis Campbell, the 
famous Professor of Greek at St. Andrews and biographer 
of Jowett : * 

My first acquaintance with Dr. Percival dates from the 
summer of 1858, when he was the first visitor received by me 
and my husband, in our home at Milford Vicarage, Hants. 
Mr. Percival was then very tired, after obtaining his First Class 
at Queen s College, Oxford, where my husband had been his 

1 Mrs. Lewis Campbell died in February 1921, 

ii CLIFTON 15 

tutor since 1856. He went afterwards to the Pyrenees for 
rest and change, and it was there that he met Louisa Holland, 
who soon after became his wife. In 1862, at the age of twenty- 
seven, he was appointed Headmaster of Clifton College, which 
was then just starting. I wish I could give any idea of what 
he and his wife were at this time, and of the way in which they 
both carried all before them for the good of the school. He, 
with his tall figure and powerfully firm grave countenance, 
which on occasion broke with the sweetest smile ; she, with 
her small figure and face with brilliant brown eyes, lit up with 
tireless energy and keen power of enjoyment, made a most 
vivid and valuable contrast. 

The masters formed quite a society within the bounds of 
the School. T. E. Brown, H. J. Wiseman, G. H. Wollaston, 
S. T. Irwin, C. H. Cay, Graham Dakyns, E. M. Oakeley, 
T. W. Dunn, etc., etc. Of these, T. E. Brown, C. H. Cay, and 
T. W. Dunn were my husband s most intimate friends. 

Mr. and Mrs. Percival gathered about them every one of 
interest in the neighbourhood who might also contribute to the 
success of the School. The family of Dr. Symonds, the Misses 
Susannah, Catherine, and Alice Winkworth, Miss Frances 
Power Cobbe, the Alleynes, the Foxes, the Waits, the Battersby 
Harfords of Blaize Castle, Lewis Fry and his family, and many 
others. We paid them a visit each summer, so that we got to 
know the School well, and marked its growth. We watched 
the cricket matches, and joined in picnics organised by Mrs. 
Percival, in which she and Mrs. George Wollaston were the life 
of the party. 

Children came to them quickly 1 but nothing abated the 
energy of the brilliant and original little mother, who now had 
to spend herself on the needs of her young family, as well as the 
School and her friends. 

Miss Alice Winkworth, who knew the Clifton and Bristol 
of those days, writes : 

The establishment of Clifton College, and the coming of the 
Percivals to the School-house, brought a new element into 
Clifton society, which had been up till then much divided into 
exclusive cliques. Clifton was almost entirely conservative 
in its politics, while Bristol was equally radical in opinion. 
But at the School-house dinner-table people belonging to different 

1 The names of the eight children were Robert Hardwicke, Elizabeth 
Ann, John Guthrie, Charles, Launcelot Jepherson, Arthur Jex Blake, 
Frederick and William. Charles and William died in early childhood. 


cliques met each other and found they had something in common, 
and the young people of various " sets " were brought together 
to practise part-music for Mrs. Percival s musical parties. 

Certainly Mrs. Percival s energy was magnificent. Owing 
to a carriage accident before her marriage one lung was 
useless and she had a long spell of coughing every morning. 
Besides attending to her family she managed the School 
House with its seventy boys and nineteen servants, the 
two School Sanatoriums and a dairy farm and laundry four 
miles away. She was hostess and almost mother to the 
younger masters. Every week she had a musical party for 
young people and there were many evening parties. Almost 
always there were visitors staying in the house. But Mrs. 
Percival was equal to it all and put life into everything. 

Mrs. Watson, the wife of an old Clifton master, writes of her : 

I wish I could write down all that I feel with regard to Mrs. 
Percival, or give any idea of what she was to me how warmly 
she welcomed me as a new-comer to Clifton, how she made me 
feel that I could go to her at any time for help and counsel, 
though if any illness or anxiety occurred she never delayed to 
come and cheer and help in every possible way, but flew to one s 
bedside or fireside, breaking down all reserve and going straight 
to one s heart, so that it was impossible not to love her ; and she 
was so bright and cheery herself, that she bi ought brightness 
wherever she went. And the warm-hearted kindness that she 
showed to me was, I know, given to all around her without stint 
and without fail, Irom the most important of those about her, 
to the lowliest of her dependants and their belongings. I need 
hardly say, what is so well known, that she and Dr. Percival 
made Clifton College quite a social power in the place, and that 
their influence was widely felt in the neighbourhood, as well as 
in the College. After they had left Clifton it was always a joy to 
meet Dr. and Mrs. Percival again, whether there or in their later 
homes, where we always had the warmest of welcomes from both. 

An incident illustrating the gentleness which was always a 
deeper element in Percival than the severity often more con 
spicuous is told of the early Clifton days by Mr. J. R. Mozley 1 : 

1 Mr. J. R. Mozley and the Rev. E. A. Abbott (late Headmaster of the 
City of London School), two distinguished Cambridge Senior Chancellor s 
Medallists, joined the Clifton staff in 1864. 

ii CLIFTON 17 

In the year 1866 I was staying with the Percivals, and another 
ex-master (since then distinguished in literature) was staying 
there with me ; we two, to while away a summer s day, planned 
an expedition to Cheddar, and took with us a lady who was 
also a guest in the house. It was a delightful day as far as 
Cheddar was concerned ; but our study of Bradshaw had been 
imperfect, and we missed our trains marvellously. Long after 
midnight, a good deal abashed (especially on the lady s account) 
we rang the bell at the School-house door. Percival himself 
met us ; I confess I feared he might show some annoyance ; 
but his hospitality was far too genuine for that. " We have 
been battling with the railways," one of us said. He smiled, 
and simply answered, " Yes, and you won " ; and the words, 
combined with the manner, soothed our self-reproach. His 
courtesy had root in Christian humility, which was a true part 
of his nature. 

Percival s task was to build up an adequate staff. No 
part of a headmaster s duty is more important than the 
selection of his assistants ; here Percival was supreme. He 
cared comparatively little for technical qualifications, but had 
an unerring eye for individuality and character. His Clifton 
staff was one of the most brilliant ever gathered together at 
a single school. 

The method by which he secured assistant masters may 
be illustrated by the experience of the late Dean of Win 
chester. Mr. Furneaux, as he was then, was taking an 
Oxford pupil in his rooms in Grove Street. Shortly before 
12 o clock there was a knock at the door and the visitor 
announced himself in the words : " I am Percival of Clifton. 
Can I speak to you ? " Mr. Furneaux asked him to take a 
chair, saying that he would have done with his pupil shortly 
and would then be glad to hear what Percival had to say. 
Percival, however, went out and sat on the stairs. A few 
minutes later the pupil left and Percival came in. He said : 
" I want you to come and be my Sixth Form master at 
Clifton. I have been speaking to your old Headmaster, 
Bradley, about you, and he told me to come and sit here till 
you agreed. That s what I mean to do." Furneaux 
explained that he meant to take parish work. But Percival 
stayed on, until at about 1.30 he suggested that Furneaux 



should come to Clifton as an experiment. Furneaux 
suggested coming for a term. Percival insisted on a year, 
and ultimately this was agreed on. A little later on, Fur 
neaux was offered a mastership at Marlborough, a school 
then more fully established than Clifton had as yet become, 
and when Furneaux consulted Percival about it he found that 
Percival had originated the idea. He said : " You would 
make a very bad parish priest and had better stick to school- 
mastering." Furneaux accepted, and was a master at 
Marlborough until he became Headmaster of Rep ton. 

Such irresistible tactics appear to have been adopted from 
the very first. As soon as he knew that he was to go to 
Clifton, Percival decided that one of his colleagues must be 
H. G. Dakyns, whose home was at Rugby. While Percival 
was still there, but was already arranging about the opening 
of the school at Clifton, he confirmed the appointment of 
Dakyns as one of his staff. According to the victim s account 
in later days this tornado of a Headmaster said, " When can 
you begin, Dakyns ? " " Oh, quite soon," Dakyns replied ; "in 
two or three days at most." " There s a train in an hour s 
time," said Percival ; " they are rather hard pressed down 
there. I think you had better take that." And Dakyns did. 

Some impression of the staff which resulted from 
Percival s insight and determination is given in Canon 
Wilson s description of Clifton as he came to know it when 
he succeeded Percival in the Headmastership : 

I wish that I could give some adequate description or im 
pression of that vague reality the tone of Clifton College when 
I became its Headmaster. But it is forty years ago ; and at 
that distance of time recollections are untrustworthy. I will, 
however, offer one or two such recollections. 

The men on the staff were beyond all question men of unusual 
ability and personality. I am quite sure that in saying this I 
am no mere laudator temporis acti. And they were extra 
ordinarily well fitted for their several posts. I cannot fancy 
a Sixth Form master better in any way than the much loved 
and deeply regretted Norman Moor ; an old Cliftonian, wisest 
of advisers in all school matters, and a fine and true scholar ; 
and he was well supported by E. H. C. Smith, still on the staff. 
Then the form below the Sixth was in the hands of C. Vaughan, 

ii CLIFTON 19 

scholar, historian, and lover of literature ; a great and enthusi 
astic, not to say fiery teacher, who left his mark on every one, 
later a well-known Professor of English Literature. Who could 
have more sympathetically drawn out the love of literature and 
scholarship than W. W. Asquith and Irwin, Fifth Form masters ? 
These three men have all become recognised far outside the 
school world. 

And then there was T. E. Brown. What he was I will not 
attempt to say. But any one who knows his poems and his 
letters, edited the one by Dakyns and the other by Irwin, his 
colleagues, can imagine what an inspiration and delight Brown 
was on the staff. Our Science again was in the hands of two 
men who both rose to eminence in the world of science Professor 
Macgregor in Physics, and one who is now the well-known Sir 
William Tilden in Chemistry. Every man seemed made exactly 
for the place he rilled. That was one impression left on me. I 
ought of course to mention others. Dakyns, for example, and 
Oakeley ; Grenfell and Tait ; and Hall and Stevens, so widely 
known in the mathematical world all men of rare personality 
and utter devotion to the School. And so I might go on. 
Percival had the rare gift of choosing men of character, of putting 
them where their genius would find a suitable field of work, of 
giving them large freedom, and thus getting the very best out 
of them. It is a rare gift ; but one most precious in a man placed 
at the head of a large staff. 

Then as regards the boys, two things struck me specially. 
One was their modesty and good manners, and the other was 
-their high standard of industry and intelligence. I cannot be 
wrong in thinking that the Sixth Form, which in fear and 
trembling I took in May 1879, was a remarkable one. The 
long list of those who obtained scholarships that year bear 
witness. The great University honours to be won by those who 
were then schoolboys were scholaiships at Trinity College, Cam 
bridge, one of which fell that year to H. H. Turner, now Professor 
of Astronomy at Oxford ; and the six scholarships or exhibi 
tions at Balliol. For those six in the following November we sent 
up three boys. The result shall be told in the words of Mrs. 
Percival. " I went," she wrote, " at the hour fixed for putting 
up the list at Balliol. I could not get near enough to see, but I 
heard some one exclaim, Clifton has got three the beggars/ 

There is every proof that when Percival left the School it 
was at a very high standard of character and industry and 
scholarship and literary taste. 

And there is what every one knows as the " moral tone " 
of the school : a public opinion and conscience as to honesty 


in work, bullying, smoking in private, swagger, betting, and 
indecencies in language and act. Schools, and sometimes houses 
in the same school, differ amazingly in these most important 

Forty years ago there was a society of assistant masters 
known to its members, and to a few others, as the U.U. s. Not 
more than two assistant masters selected from each of the great 
Public Schools might be members. " United Ushers " we called 
ourselves. (Temple once heard our short title and declared it 
stood for " Uneasy Underlings.") We met at one another s 
schools frequently, and discussed everything ; and nothing was 
more evident than the great moral difference between schools, 
or more perplexing on the surface than the causes of these 
differences. We used to speak with entire frankness : many 
reasons affecting the schools were considered ; material arrange 
ments, home influences, tutor systems, punishments, vigilance, 
sermons, preparation for confirmation, private talks confession, 
etc. everything we could think of. But there was one thing 
on which we were agreed : that far the most important element 
was the personality of the Headmaster, felt in ways not easily 
traced ; through his influence on his staff, on the Sixth Form, 
and in Chapel. I think all, or nearly all, of the U.U. s in early 
days were laymen ; not disposed to overestimate religious 
influences ; and yet we felt that religion, the real thing, the 
sense of responsibility to God for the use of life, was at the bottom 
of the influence of a Headmaster. It was his reality ; but it 
was something more than that. We knew of Headmasters as 
real and whole-hearted in their faith as men could be, highly 
gifted and eloquent, who, however, only influenced a very few 
boys of their own type, while the school was untouched by 
them and went their own way. And there were others, and 
Percival was one, whose words somehow rang true in the ears 
of the not naturally religious boy, and enlisted him on the side 
of right, of public spirit, of purity, of large-heartedness and 
courage, of virtues which appeal to a boy. 

It is the personality behind the words. The school sermons 
of men like Temple and Percival and Arthur Sidgwick, 1 to name 
those I knew best, may be read without evoking in the reader 
the response that was felt by the hearer. That cannot be 
reproduced. Where there is that personality, that reality, and 
that simplicity in the preacher, school sermons are a real power, 
though the majority of the school listen very little to them, 
and absorb but an infinitesimal fraction of the emotion and 
the insight they contain. 

1 See his School Homilies (Sidgwick & Jackson). 

ii CLIFTON 21 

So I am sure it was with Percival. One great centre from 
which his influence radiated was the School pulpit. Those who 
wish to understand it may well read Sir Henry Newbolt s school 
novel, The Twymans, which plainly has embodied some of his 
old school recollections of Clifton College. 

The passage in which Sir Henry Newbolt gives his 
recollection of the impression made on him and on the 
School by Percival as a preacher is as follows : 

His eloquence in Percy s opinion stirring beyond all com 
parisonwas eloquence only to those who heard it. His 
thought was clear rather than rich, forcible rather than subtle ; 
it was expressed in language which had no special beauty of 
its own. The printed record of his sermons or his speeches 
could scarcely tell more to a reader who had never known the 
living voice than the score of a sonata could convey its moving 
power to one unskilled in music. But the instrument once heard, 
the bare notation will suffice to bring back the full sound to 
memory. Percy could never afterwards read a line of these 
brief and unadorned utterances without seeing instantly and 
with the clearness of life the tall spare figure, the chiselled face, 
with its lofty and remote air, saved from too dominant an 
austerity by the grace of the slightly stooping head, or without 
hearing again in every sentence the lingering North-country 
accent that gave so curious a distinction to the voice, and the 
unconsciously melancholy cadence that softened its strenuous- 
ness with a grave beauty of resignation. . . . 

The very phrases, insisted upon again and again, were old 
and well known ; yet such was the strange pathos of the voice, 
the dread seraphic intensity of the presence from which they 
issued, that they seemed, like music itself, to gain rather than 
lose in meaning by constant repetition. 

Speaking of Percival s Clifton sermons Canon Wilson 
said, when preaching in the College Chapel on the Sunday 
after his death : 

It was his constant effort to lift up the soul of this School 
above the heavy mists of indifference, sloth, and self-complacency, 
that always gather over us, so that we might see things in their 
true light, as we may imagine God Himself to see them. And 
in his early years, at least, when I knew him best, he was 
incorrigibly hopeful. He felt human nature to be far more 
plastic, he believed it to be far more capable of ideals, and of 
greatness, than most of us did. He looked at such a sight as 


is now before me in this Chapel with the thought of the immense 
store of spiritual and intellectual force here available for the 
service of God, if only it can be set free from what may smother 
it. To awaken every one of the young souls before him to their 
possibilities as children of God, born with the very life of God 
in them, born to be God s fellow- workers in the creation of a 
society of high ideals, was not only from the first his aim, but 
it was his conviction that it was attainable. And his conviction 
was so strong and so contagious, that he attained it to a degree 
to which in schools I know no parallel. He made immense 
demands on human nature, on both masters and boys : nothing 
seemed too much to ask or give. 

He rarely dealt with intellectual difficulties either of the Bible 
or of Christian doctrine. At that time they were less widely felt, 
and less defined, than they came to be somewhat later. But 
along with the foundations of the Christian Faith, he so plainly 
taught the then less familiar truths of progressive revelation, 
both of God and of Nature, and of progressive morality and 
knowledge, that the doubts and difficulties which then, at the 
Universities and elsewhere, were sweeping young men off their 
feet, were to his old pupils as to himself no difficulties at all. 
Clifton boys, I was then told, had little to unlearn. They had a 
firm grasp of familiar principles, in presence of which many 
difficulties could not even be stated. When I was appointed in 
1879 to succeed him here, a well-known Head of a College in 
Oxford told me how Cliftonians there seemed to retain and 
widen their faith, while many others who came up were, as he 
expressed it, " scattered like a covey of last year s partridges." 

Dr. Percival rarely spoke at School dogmatically of the great 
doctrines of our faith as formulated in past ages by the Church ; 
and his reticence was sometimes commented on unfavourably. 
But he was wiser than his critics. " Men reason on the Cross 
of Christ," he said, " as they stand afar off, and feel none of its 
power : but not so when they come close and stand before it ; 
not so when they listen to the witness of the heart, and kneel at 
the foot of the Cross, and feel its very presence." And somehow 
his deep sincerity brought his young hearers, even the seemingly 
careless, into that presence. Some of them long remembered an 
occasion when his usual reserve gave way, and he spoke freely 
of " Christ sacrificing Himself for us," and of God s love thus 
shown. That God Himself, from everlasting to everlasting, was 
grieved by men s sins and suffered with them, was part of his 
faith in God ; and it was this faith that moved him so deeply 
when he taught how " we crucify the Son of God afresh if we 
are living a bad and sinful life." 

ii CLIFTON 23 

He spoke little, it was sometimes remarked, about the Church. 
And it is true that there is a type of religious teaching in which 
the Church is dominant, and for this type he had little sympathy. 
But no one taught more earnestly or more frequently than he did 
the truth which gives value to timely teaching about the Church. 
That truth has been expressed by a philosophic writer Dr. 
Royce by saying that " the membership of a divine spiritual 
community is necessary to the salvation of men." 

That membership, in the case of those whom he taught here, 
had been first realised in the home ; and loyalty and love to 
parents and home marked his teaching. And next came loyalty 
to the School ; and loyalty to the School meant on his lips the 
mutual moral responsibility of each for all. The School, he felt, 
is our spiritual community. This is our Church : and through 
loyalty to the School he illustrated what the Church was in the 
mind of Christ. He taught how " Christ s first act was to gather 
a society round Him in the midst of the common working-day 
world, and to build up His Kingdom on the foundations of social 
life." That building up of the kingdom must be begun in schools. 
None who knew him could doubt his fervent belief in such a 
Church, loyal to its Head, as the only means for calling out men s 
highest powers in the great world. 

His teaching on the Holy Communion was similarly an appeal 
to motives and faith which the young can truly make their own. 
It was a Sacramentum a soldier s act of open, renewed, and 
joint allegiance to Christ as the Lord of our lives here and now, 
and the Captain in our ceaseless war with evil. 

Some felt his preaching to be cold. There was no action ; 
little modulation of voice ; no flowers of speech ; careful 
avoidance of exaggeration. His sermons made demand for 
close attention : they were not colloquial. But it was shallow 
criticism that described them as cold. Those who were in tune 
with him felt the glow of white heat below the quiet delivery. 

Percival s style in preaching to boys varied little from 
his first sermon on Tuesday, September 30, 1862, when 
Clifton College was opened, until the end of his life. One 
sermon, delivered many years afterwards at Rugby, will be 
given in full at the end of the account of his Headmastership 
there. His first Clifton sermon was based on the text, 
" Neither is he that plant eth anything, nor he that watereth, 
but God that giveth the increase." It bears the marks that 
were always characteristic of his religious discourses great 


simplicity of diction, an exacting moral demand, intense 
earnestness, and an intimate association of the thought of 
Duty with the thought of God. It was a somewhat stoical 
type of faith that he exhibited and encouraged. But it was 
well fitted to call forth the strongest and manliest elements 
in those boys who could answer his appeal. A fine illus 
tration of his manner is afforded by the close of the first 
sermon which he preached after the opening of the School 
Chapel ; and it is interesting to compare this utterance to a 
School still young with the appeal to a great tradition which 
characterises the sermon at Rugby, printed later in this 
volume. It was delivered on June 23, 1867 : 

" What house will ye build me ? saith the Lord : or what 
is the place of my rest ? " This is the kind of question which 
the echoes of this Chapel call upon us to answer. It is no small 
privilege to be the first generation of those who worship in a 
place like this. It is no mean work which you have an oppor 
tunity of doing, you members of this young society. We are 
only laying our foundations as yet, and just beginning to feel 
that we have a life of our own. Consider the time when those 
who fill your places will have a history and a tradition on which 
to look back ; and consider what you would wish that tradition 
to be. To-day it is in your hands to make it what you resolve 
to make it by your own life ; a few years hence and you will 
have done your work upon it. At the very best I know that 
the building up of a great school on any sure foundation must 
be a slow and precarious business ; but I should leave the work 
in despair if I did not feel that you too are anxious, even as 
I am, to build us up into an honourable house. Three hundred 
workers of this generation, if we put our hands to the task with 
a genuine will, we cannot fail, I think, to grow up into something 
that deserves to live. But are we thinking of doing this ? It 
is not enough to wish it and leave it to others. It is your work 
to do, or it will not be done. 

In the quiet and daily round, in the habitual course of our 
common life, these foundations of the future are being silently 
laid. The walls of our temple are slowly rising, and what shape 
are they beginning to assume ? You who know our inner life 
better than I do, how would you describe it ? What is the 
name which you see written on this temple of our society which 
is thus rising and growing ? Is it the temple of the God of 
heaven or of some other god ? These outward gifts are of no 

ii CLIFTON 25 

use if they should be ulcered under with a life that is not worthy 
of them. To what purpose is this Chapel and its beauty, if 
we who come to it should prove ourselves unworthy of it ? 

What if the spirit of idleness should take possession of us ? 
What if you, who are here to-day, should leave, as your inheritance 
to those who follow you, low or mean notions about truth, or 
honesty, or manly openness ? That the great mass of you 
should do this I have no sort of fear. It cannot and will not 
be. But yet this is a time for all of us to consider whether 
we are giving ourselves, with a true and genuine loyalty, to the 
building up of a living temple in which the God of truth may 
be seen to dwell. Is there no petty selfishness, is there no mean- 
spiritedness, is there no frivolous folly leaving its unseemly mark 
amongst us, and spoiling the work which we are endeavouring 
to do ? We have it in our hands to-day to take a high place 
among the schools of England ; or I should rather say that 
it is in the hands of you boys who are sitting before me ; and 
may God inspire you to show yourselves worthy of this high 

" Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and the servants 
whom I have chosen." 

Percival s creative power lay mainly in the department 
of social organisation. Clifton, as he guided its formative 
period, was partly an imitation of Rugby, but was also an 
expression of his own personality. His presence was felt in 
every department of school life, though, with so brilliant a 
staff as he had collected, it was possible to leave much of the 
detail entirely in the hands of his assistants. The following 
record, given by the Rev. H. C. Watson, affords an im 
pression of his relations with masters : 

In the early days of teaching I went to Percival rather than 
to Clifton. A Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, giving 
advice to me about a scholastic career, said to me : " You 
should try and be under Percival or Benson " ; and after the 
lamented death of C. H. Cay, who was Senior of the Mathe 
matical Staff at Clifton, I was appointed at Easter 1870 to his 
post, which I retained for thirty years. It is impossible for 
me to express all that I feel I owe to the influence of my old 
chief during the eight years that I worked with him. It was a 
great gain to be always in contact with one of his strenuous 
activity, to be often listening to the suggestions of a leader who 
was always aiming high. I was never associated with a man 


who worked harder, and who talked less about himself. Fre 
quently at the end of term his face and general appearance 
showed that he had been putting a heavy strain upon himself ; 
and only the change of good rest, or travel, or Swiss air, sent 
him back to us fit again for another term s work. The teaching 
staff at Clifton was young and capable, and he expected them 
to follow his lead in personal effort. On one occasion I felt 
obliged, for health s sake, to decline taking a class regularly 
immediately after a meal, and losing a short walk. I remember 
his answer, illustrative of his own habits : " You could easily 
take your exercise another day." Judging from his own vital 
power, which his long life has shown him to have possessed, he 
expected to see his own strenuousness reflected in the work of 
his colleagues ; and he may perhaps have sometimes unduly 
pressed a willing horse ; but his system was successful, if tested 
by the atmosphere of vigour and enthusiasm which prevailed. 
He would often throw out suggestions for the rearrangement 
of working-schemes, for the improvement of methods, for the 
raising of tone, and leave it to heads of departments and others 
to carry them out. To the Sixth Form, acting under his guid 
ance, he gave very ample powers ; but to be efficient leaders, 
they were led to understand that they were to be prominent 
in the class and also in the School-close ; and the successful 
representatives of Clifton in the public services, in the army, 
and in India, have borne witness to the wisdom of this principle. 
Percival always assumed that in every competition, by the 
individual or by the School, there was to be no question of not 
winning ; that excuses for failure were inadmissible ; and it was 
this spirit, steadily handed down, which produced such con 
tinued success in teaching, in scholarship, in games, and sub 
sequently in service to the Empire. He looked upon 
disciplinary power as essential for the schoolmaster : no man, 
however accomplished in science or in classics, could survive 
on the staff unless he possessed this primary requisite. Woolner s 
bust, which is in the College Library, shows on one side the 
genial look which in later years became very attractive ; but 
on the other side of the face you see an expression of firmness 
verging on severity ; and he could indeed be severe in look 
and tone when the occasion called for it. I do not remember 
ever seeing any outbreak of temper ; but of strong indignation, 
yes ! As when he would speak to the assembled School, after 
morning prayers, in words of indignation and contempt, of 
some base or mean act of an undiscovered culprit, laying bare 
the enormity of the offence in scathing words which could never 
be forgotten. 

ii CLIFTON 27 

I remember Percival as a man of strong personal convictions. 
When he made up his mind that a thing should be done, his 
courage never wavered in carrying it out, and he overcame in 
the end all that he considered to be unreasonable opposition : 
hence there were naturally some who strongly objected to what 
they considered to be autocratic or harsh decisions ; but they 
were really only the conscientious acts of a just and determined 
ruler. While never forgetting the stimulating influence of his 
impressive personality I shall remember thankfully the con 
sideration which he always showed me. I kept for many years 
a letter of kind appreciation and encouragement which he wrote 
to me at the end of my second term ; and he was always ready 
to listen to some suggestion about the mathematical side, or 
to help in some difficulty connected with cue s Boarding House. 

Much of Clifton tradition was formed and preserved by 
means of notices sent round by Dr. Percival through the School 
Marshal, John Skelton, to be read aloud by each master to his 
class or set. They were notices affecting the tone, habits, 
behaviour, health of members of the School, generally suggested 
by some defect which called for attention. These notices were 
preserved in a book ; they were subsequently passed in review 
by a committee ; and those which were selected and arranged 
were put into the form of a printed memorandum book for 
distribution to masters and house-masters, for their guidance 
in Clifton tradition. 

None of his Clifton pupils kept up a more intimate 
relationship with Percival than Sir Herbert Warren, the 
President of Magdalen. He joined the School in 1868, when 
just over fifteen years of age. But it was in January 1869, 
when he got into the Sixth Form, that the daily contact 
began, from which the lifelong friendship grew. The 
President writes the following account of his experiences at 
Clifton under Percival : 

I still remember his opening speech to us on the duties and 
opportunities of the Sixth Form. I was to some extent pre 
pared for it by my early reading of Tom Brown, a book of which 
I had long been fond. But I was still young, and at first I 
regarded these lofty admonitions and appeals as meant rather 
for the responsible grandees, for as such I then regarded them, 
of eighteen and nineteen on the upper bench. At first too I 
was rather absorbed in my own intellectual development. 
Gradually, however, repeated as they were from term to term, 
they gained upon me with an accumulative force. 


Let me try to sum up the whole effect of his regime. Dr. 
Percival was in certain ways, though not in all, a pre-eminently 
good teacher intellectually as well as morally, and we were 
fortunate in coming at a time when the Headmaster taught a 
good deal himself. 

Certain authors he obviously enjoyed, and these he taught 
exceedingly well the Speeches of Thucydides, and Plato s 
Republic, and the Odes and Satires of Horace. There were 
tags in these last of which he was specially fond. One in 
particular I was amused to notice him quoting again in after 
years more than once from the Episcopal Bench : 

Si quid novisti rectius istis 
Candidus imperti, si non his utere mecum. 

He had the paramount gift of making us enjoy our lessons. 
Divinity, the Old Testament on Sunday and the New on Monday 
morning, was specially interesting. He had a great idea of 
introducing us to new and suggestive books and to the 
best commentators. Stanley s Jewish Church and Sinai and 
Palestine, Alford on the Gospels, Lightfoot and Vaughan on 
the Epistles, were perhaps obvious. But he also initiated us 
into Westcott s Bible in the Church and Introduction to the Study 
of the Gospels, and into the Psalms by Four Friends, of which 
the two last I remember made a distinct mark on my mind. 
In the same way he took us through Merivale s Fall of the 
Roman Republic, and part of the History of the Empire, as well 
as Sismondi s Italian Republic. What was more bold was his 
using French books to teach us at once French and ideas, Guizot s 
Histoire de la civilisation and Bastiat s Harmonies economiques. 
Looking back, I think perhaps he encouraged us to " spread 
ourselves " almost too much. In some ways I remember I 
found the Shilletonian scholarship and precise " pure reason " 
of Mr. T. W. Dunn, a young philosophic Cambridge classic, a 
welcome corrective to all this " Oxford Greats " ideology. Yet 
it was a great thing to be introduced to these various and living 
interests, and he did his best to make them live for us. 

It must be remembered that his own studies had been 
unusually wide. Beside his double Double Firsts in Classics 
and Mathematics, he took Honours in History in a few weeks, 
reading with the great " coach " of those days Professor 
Montagu Burrows. 

His standard of industry was extremely high. He had a 
great belief in perpetually adding here a little and there a little, 
and making one acquainted with the whole range of possible 
knowledge. Week by week he used to recommend books and 

ii CLIFTON 29 

pages of books to be " looked at," and used to leave these volumes 
in the Sixth Form room for us "to turn over at odd moments." 
Gradually the pile accumulated till their very mass daunted 
and defied any attempt to overtake them. He had certain 
phrases with which, delivered in his North-country accent, we 
became very familiar and turned into a friendly jest among 
ourselves. " Dawn t live the life of a cabbage, maan ! " 

He showed a strong love of poetry. He quoted Wordsworth. 
I remember his quoting with melancholy empressement : 

Twill murmur on a thousand years, 
And flaw as now it flaws. 

Tennyson, the great living singer of our era, he rather left 
to our own enthusiasm and that of one or two of the assistant 
masters who shared it. But I remember his quoting " The 
Idylls " and " In Memoriam " with evident enjoyment and 
effect. A phrase of George Eliot, given to the world a little 
later, about not " debasing the moral currency " exactly suited 
him, and he often used it at Oxford. His special abhorrence, 
against which he was always warning us, was what he called 
" law tawn." There was great excitement among some of us 
over Swinburne s new metre and other audacities in the seventies, 
and I well remember our surprise at his bringing in the first 
edition of Atalanta in its white cover, and recommending it 
as the beautiful work of a " somewhat dangerous " writer. I 
think, though he did not say so, that he may have known him 
through the Old Mortality Club at Oxford. 

His main secret was that he swept us all along, boys and 
masters together, with a great moral impulse. He caused us 
to feel that the School had a great future, but that it was young 
and in the making, and that we were making it along with him. 
Along with him we were striving to reach some far-off goal. 
Certain things the growth of the School in numbers, the addition 
of new houses, the winning of the first Balliol Scholarship, and 
the first Cheltenham match, E. F. S. Tylecote s 404 not out, 
E. J. Davies " record " in the Broad Jump were felt to make 
epochs, to be milestones, or rather " stepping-stones," on which 
we were " to rise to higher things." " Animer, entrainer, veiller, 
surveiller reste la premiere tache des chefs," were the words of 
Marshal Foch to General Petain in a letter written at the crisis 
of the final 1918 struggle. They exactly express what Percival 
did as chief at Clifton. His sermons in the College Chapel 
enforced the same lessons. Week by week they came as a sort 
of trumpet call. The effect and manner of them have been well 
described by a Cliftonian of a generation a little junior to my 


own Sir Henry Newbolt. What I chiefly recall are the 
melancholy timbre of his voice, and the vibrant, penetrating, 
sad earnestness of his utterances. Their appeal seemed 
irresistibly urgent, like a voice coming from and summoning to 
another world, yet summoning also to more serious and strenuous 
effort in this life. There was one sermon in particular on the 
Agony in the Garden and the slumber of the Disciples, which 
I shall never forget. " Could ye not watch with me one hour ? " 
" Sleep on now, and take your rest " ; " Rise, let us be going " ; 
with a sad tragic insistence, as if charged with a special solemn 
message, he brought out the awfulness of sloth and failure in 
a supreme crisis, and of an unique opportunity for ever lost. 

It was preached at the end of a Summer Term, and is called 
in the well-known little volume, " Parting Reminders." Often 
he seemed to us a strange mixture of strength and weakness. 
" Who would have thought that this sandy-haired, consumptive- 
looking young clergyman had so much energy ? " an old Bristol 
magnate is said to have remarked. I think it was the same 
person who, when he first came to Clifton, thought it his duty 
to warn him that his experiment had often been tried in Bristol, 
and that no Bristol school had ever achieved lasting success. 
We too had an idea that he was delicate, and it was heightened 
by the spectacle of his cup of beef-tea which used to be taken 
into his study at eleven o clock in the morning, and by his 
frequently weary and drooping looks. 

But we knew too that he had plenty of vigour. We saw him 
galloping on the Downs he loved a spirited horse his long 
figure swaying easily in the saddle. Once I remember a Sixth 
Form boy, careering downhill on a " bone-shaker " bicycle, 
nearly ran into him, and made his horse shy right across the 
road. His revenge the next day, when the rider, who was a 
science scholar, stuck in his Horace, was to say with a humorous 
irony, " Now then, B., get mounted and be off." For he had 
a humour, if it seemed at times rather grim. We were greatly 
excited when in 1869 Dr, Temple, newly appointed to the 
Bishopric of Exeter, made him his Examining Chaplain. He 
was away for a night or two ; a rare thing. When he came 
back he seemed rather tired and more awful than usual. He 
said, " I thought there couldn t be any worse Latin prawse 
than yours here ; I ve learned that there can." On another 
occasion he took one of our copies and twisted it into a torch 
with which to light the gas. " I think it ll just do for that," 
he said. To the last almost we had this awe of him. It was a 
revelation and a relief to me to find it shared by others in un 
expected quarters. All old Cliftonians of the earlier generations 

ii CLIFTON 31 

will remember the School Marshal, John Skelton, a tall raw-boned 
ex-soldier, with a large aquiline nose and luxurious early- Victorian 
whiskers. He had a North-country " burr " or brogue which 
was a rougher or more rustic echo of the Headmaster s, and 
some even went so far as to say that he was a foster-brother 
or distant cousin whom the chief had imported from their common 
Cumbrian fells. He was very formidable. When I became 
Head of the School I found that one of my duties was, along 
with this great functionary, to present the School Accounts, 
the statement of the expenditure on games and athletics, for 
inspection by Dr. Percival, at the end of the Summer Term. 
We met by appointment in the little passage just outside the 
study door. The formidable marshal seemed strangely nervous, 
his face was pale and his gaunt figure seemed almost to tremble. 
" Aw dawn t loike gawn in with these accoonts," he said to me. 
"He is always sa dawn upon you." And sure enough, when 
we got in, the H.M. or J.P., as we called him, at once fastened 
on a piece of new expenditure leather shoes I think it was for 
the horse which drew the roller in the close and said in an awful 
voice, " What s this item ? It s a new charge, eh ? " And then, 
" It s very easy to spend other people s money." 

" I sometimes think you d condawn any crime," he once 
said in a somewhat similar mood to the upper bench when some 
thing had gone wrong, which we did not realise it was our 
province to prevent. 

Yet gradually, I can honestly say for myself, and I think 
for our generation, we came by and by not only to respect and 
admire but more and more to love him. " Praise seldom " 
was his practice, but when it came the praise was additionally 
sweet. When he warmed into affection it was like the sudden 
glow of sunshine on one of the rocky peaks of his native country 
side. And we recognised tones of real affection when he spoke, 
for instance, of the first Head of the School, H. W. Wellesley, 
grand-nephew of the Duke of Wellington, who went into the 
I.C.S. and died young in 1878 ; or of Charles Cay, a delightful 
young Mathematical Master who fell an early victim to con 
sumption, and whom he buried at Mentone in 1869. 

The success of the School, too, seemed to mellow him. His 
speeches at the Commemoration gatherings became more genial 
and humorous. The new generation, while admiring him even 
more, seemed to fear him less. What were the secrets of his 
success ? The greatest, I think, was his power of using all 
kinds of human tools, and compelling them all to his will. He 
certainly gathered round him an extraordinary collection of 
colleagues. His appointments were singularly bold H. G. 


Dakyns, T. E. Brown, E. M. Oakeley, F. Armitage, T. W. 
Dunn, G. H. Wollaston some of rare genius since recognised, 
all men of original force and individual character so strong 
that it would have seemed impossible to harness them to the 
dull, limited routine of school life, yet out of each and all of them 
Percival seemed to compel or conjure original and effective 
results. Very bold was his appointment of Evelyn Abbott, 
crippled by paralysis of the lower limbs, " dead from the waist 
down," who to many would have seemed an impossible assistant 
master, but proved a most valuable asset, alike to Clifton 
and, later, to Balliol. Not less enterprising was his enlisting of 
the services of John Addington Symonds, a brilliant, young, 
artistic, aesthetic scholar and critic, a votary of Hellenism and 
the Renaissance, with the result that the Clifton Sixth Form 
heard the Studies of the Greek Poets before they were given 
to the world. One Summer Term he got Professor Nichol 
of Glasgow to lecture to the Sixth on English and Scotch Poetry. 
From each of them he drew something which only they could 
give. " Unco venan ted service " was a phrase of which he 
was fond. He expected an assistant master to work for love 
as well as for hire. A later, more prosaic generation said that 
he sweated his assistant masters. They did not think so. Like 
patriots, they found their reward in the success of the School. 

In the matter of studies and curriculum he was, especially 
at first, far in advance of his time. He made provision from 
the very start of the School for the teaching of Natural Science. 
Among his very earliest appointments made in September 1862, 
three years before the date at which Canon Wilson tells us 
Science was introduced into the school course at Rugby, was 
that of his first Science Master, Mr. (afterwards Professor) Leipner. 
Five years later, in 1867, he was able to open the first School 
Laboratories, then and for long, far in advance of what all 
but a few schools possessed, and introduced in the next few years 
a series of distinguished scientific teachers Dr. Heinrich Debus, 
an eminent German chemist, afterwards Professor at the Royal 
Naval College, Greenwich, and no less than four men who in 
succession became Fellows of the Royal Society, Professor 
A. W. Reinold, Professor John Perry, Professor (now Sir William) 
Tilden, and Mr. A. M. Worthington. No Public School in the 
country at that time, if indeed later, could show anything 
approaching this series. And yet to these must be added 
also Mr. M. J. Barrington Ward and Mr. G. H. Wollaston, who, 
if not so scientifically eminent, were singularly successful in 
encouraging the studies of Natural History, both Zoology and 
Botany, and developing the Scientific Society of the School, 

ii CLIFTON 33 

which was launched as early as 1869 with an inaugural lecture 
from Canon Kingsley ; and the School Museum, started in 1871. 
When Dr. Tilden came on the scene Dr. Percival showed at 
once his good generalship by making him Head of the Science 
Department, and giving him the freest possible hand. 

The introduction of Natural Science showed singular 
foresight and courage. Clifton was founded to be one of the 
" Public Schools," and none of them included it in their 
curriculum. But Percival determined to give it an im 
portant place, and to secure the best possible teachers. Of 
his success in this department Sir William Tilden, F.R.S., 
writes : " The world is much indebted to Dr. Percival s 
insight, for without any knowledge of Natural Science he 
saw how important some knowledge of that kind was going 
to be in the days to come/ Certainly the names of the 
Clifton Science Masters in the early period make an impressive 
list, quite equal in distinction to the galaxy of talent in 
Classics and in English Literature which Percival brought to 
the school. 

Music was another subject, then usually neglected at 
Public Schools, which received great attention from Percival. 
The Clifton music was much helped by Mr. E. M. Oakeley. 
The Headmaster of a new school, growing as Clifton grew, 
must have had plenty to think about. But he was always 
ready to attend to the suggestions of musical reformers. 
Indeed, it seems that the suggestions were often his own, 
and he worked them out with the deliberation habitual to 
him. So it came about that he once wrote to Mr. Oakeley : 
" I have been thinking about the Sunday evening music ; 
but thoughts don t always come to anything. So don t 
indulge hopes." As a matter of fact, the thoughts came to 
something very practical, and for many years a lecture with 
music on Sunday evenings was a great institution. On 
another occasion he sent the suggestion : " Would it not be 
desirable that all boys in a school who are learning the piano 
should be classified not taught together in any way, but 
counted as belonging to a particular class ? And for each 
class there should be certain stipulated work term by term ? " 

He was greatly interested in the compiling of the School 



Hymnal, demanding the exclusion of " sentimental religion " 
and " sugary tunes," and the choice of such hymns as were 
likely to be sung by the whole School. In the technical sense 
he was " unmusical," but his taste was usually that of the 
most advanced reformers of Church music. 

The strain of the first years at Clifton was very great, 
and Percival did not spare himself. On this subject he 
received in 1869 a word of warning from Jowett, to whom 
he had written inquiring about the performance of two 
Cliftonians in the Balliol Scholarship Examination : 


DEAR MR. PERCIVAL I have been careless in not sooner 
answering your letter about the two Clifton boys. [A report 
on their work follows.] 

Let me speak to you of another matter, respecting which 
I have long had a mind to write to you. I hear from several 
persons that you are seriously injuring your health. They tell 
me that nothing can be better than the success of the College, 
but they also think that it is quite impossible that you should 
go on much longer in your present way of working. I have 
been in this state myself, though not, I think, so badly as you 
seem to be, and I know quite well that one s first instinct is 
to rebel against the person who tells you this. The greatest 
symptom of weakness is the resolute determination to go on. 
I hope that you will look this in the face and first see how much 
you can superintend and how little you can do ; drudgery is 
not the right sort of thing as you get older ; and secondly, 
that if desirable you will take a six months , or a twelve months , 
entire holiday. If you put in a good substitute you will find 
that the impetus will last until you return. With kind regards, 
believe me, ever yours truly, B. JOWETT. 

The general scheme of the School organisation was largely 
adopted from Rugby. In particular, the " Sixth Form 
system " was introduced ; that is to say, the system by which 
all members of the Sixth Form are " School Prefects," and 
no others. But Percival added a demand of his own by 
enacting that the Head of the School, that is, the senior 
member of the Sixth, should not only be " Head Prefect " 
but also of necessity Captain of Football. This led to some 
curious results. Sometimes the captain was not himself a 
member of the team, and had to depute nearly all his duties 

ii CLIFTON 35 

to a substitute. On one occasion a Head of the School, after 
the season had run some part of its course, put himself down 
to play in a School match to the great indignation of the 
School ; for he had achieved no eminence in the game 
hitherto. But he justified his action by subsequently gain 
ing his Blue and becoming an " International." No doubt 
Percival s object, when he made this curious arrangement, 
was to secure that the boys who occupied the chief posts of 
influence should, in that formative period of the School s life, 
be boys with whom he came into frequent contact. The 
requirement concerning the Captain of Football did not long 
survive his departure, but the Sixth Form system remains. 
A Headmaster who presides over the infancy of a school 
must needs concern himself with every department of its life, 
and Percival gave much thought to the organisation of the 
games, into which, at first, it was difficult to infuse the right 
spirit. Health and circumstance had prevented him from 
taking any active part in games himself, but he set a high 
value on them as a factor in education. He encouraged his 
staff to take part in them, and Clifton learnt Rugby football 
from H. G. Dakyns, the brilliant scholar and lover of litera 
ture, to whom J. A. Symonds dedicated his Studies of the 
Greek Poets. " Clifton/ writes Sir Herbert Warren, " early 
became distinctly an athletic school. The neighbourhood 
was favourable to this development. Gloucester and 
Somerset were sporting counties. It was the era of the 
denouement pf the Grace family. Athletic sports at the 
Zoological Gardens were fashionable. Percival was an 
advocate of compulsory games and encouraged athletics in 
reason. He was very careful about keeping them within 
bounds, about not letting foreign matches encroach on School 
hours, and so on. But those who remember the Rugby 
tradition of Tom Brown, and later of Arthur Butler and 
C. C. Bowen, a hero of Percival s, will not be surprised that 
he recognised at once what a healthy element they are in 
school life. What he had a horror of then as later was 
loafing. He did not play our games himself, though he was 
very fond of skating and golf, but he encouraged the staff 
to do so, and he certainly came and looked on in his half- 


interested, half -melancholy, abstracted way, brightening up 
and unbending on the occasion of any special achievement. 
He very artfully established a School standard that no 
captain of the Eleven was to go to Oxford or Cambridge 
without a Scholarship or Exhibition, and he was very proud 
of the three Tylecote brothers, C. B. L., E. F. S./ and 
H. G./ and on one occasion at the Guthrie secured great 
applause by saying of the then captain of the Oxford Eleven, 
in the course of his speech, I need hardly tell you that 
Evans is a much greater power at Oxford than any Head of 
a House/ He went up with Oakeley to stay in London 
and witness the first match played by Clifton at Lord s 
against M.C.C. in August 1871, and no one was better pleased 
than he by the wonderful performance and victory of the 
School, winning as it did by an innings and 61 runs." 

While Percival was securing his hold upon the boys he 
also drew the parents within his grip. One of his successors 
learnt rather dramatically the way in which they had been 
led to submit to the yoke. This later Headmaster was sitting 
in his study one morning, soon after the beginning of his first 
term, when a card was brought in bearing the name of one 
of the leading citizens of Bristol. On entering the room the 
visitor said, " I have come to ask a favour of you." " Oh," 
said the Headmaster, " of course I shall be glad to do any 
thing in my power." " Well," replied the visitor, " I have 
some property in the Isle of Wight and I have to go and look 
at it. My wife has not been very well lately, and a couple 
of days in the country would be very good for her. Would 
you give me leave to take her with me ? " "Of course," 
gasped the Headmaster, " I should be delighted." Inquiry 
revealed the fact that the visitor was father of one of the 
day boys, and Percival had made a law that the parents of 
a day boy were never to be both away from home at once 
during term-time, except with the knowledge and approval 
of the Headmaster. 

Perhaps such wise and strict regulations had something 
to do with the preference that Percival always felt, as a result 
of his experience, for Day Schools over Boarding Schools. 
He had also secured that the day boys at Clifton should 

ii CLIFTON 37 

have a fuller share of corporate life than they usually obtain. 
Indeed this was one of his chief aims and a main part of his 
achievement. And his means to this end consisted largely 
in the enlistment of the parents as school officers charged 
with enforcing the school rules. His verdict on the day boy 
system is beyond dispute. In October 1911, when speaking 
at the prize-giving at the Whitgift School in Croydon, he 
declared that " his experience at Clifton led him to the 
conclusion that the best education in English life was not to 
be had in a boarding school, but was obtained by the boy 
who lived in a good home and attended a good school near 
his home a school well organised, well instructed and of 
high tone. Many of the most distinguished boys at Clifton 
were day boys, and their living at home involved no dis 
advantage. At Clifton they devised a plan whereby all the 
day boys were allotted to various " houses " with a master 
in charge. 1 This involved a certain amount of duty on the 
parents to see that at home the boys observed all the rules 
of the school just as if they had been boarders there, and that 
in every respect they were under the same discipline. Under 
that system, boys who lived in really good homes obtained, 
perhaps, the best form of education which was to be obtained 
anywhere in England." 

It would appear that Percival had to meet some opposi 
tion from the School in his efforts to gain for the day boys 
what seemed to him their proper place. One old Clifton 
boy, at any rate, who had passed into the Indian Civil 
Service, and who was evidently on terms of warm friendship 
with the Headmaster, wrote from Mysore a letter containing 
this passage, after much jubilation at recent successes of 
the Cricket XI. : 

I hope what my brother tells me is only juvenile bumptious 
ness, viz. that " a fearful lot of snobs " are coming into the 
school. I don t think a school can be too exclusive. As the 
Indian phrase is " pucka " gentlemen only ought to be admitted, 
and the parents ought to be " quite the topping people of the 

1 This does not mean that day boys were attached to Boarding Houses ; 
they were themselves divided into two groups, called Houses North 
Town and South Town which took rank for school purposes with the 
Boarding Houses and had each a master in charge. 


place/ I fancy the drawback to Clifton will always be the 
large numbers of town boys, who inflate the school to an enormous 
size, while they don t add to its prestige in games and studies 
the rubbish which daily pours out of semi-detached villas with 
comforters round its neck, three-cornered notes in its pocket, 
and querulous mamas and papas who each want a master to 
themselves in the background. But I am very likely wrong, 
and if so, please pardon my free-spokenness. 

Certainly the education provided at Clifton under Percival 
was in no way inferior to the best obtainable. For seventeen 
years he worked at his task as architect of a school s greatness. 
The record of that period is astonishing : fifty scholarships 
at Oxford and Cambridge ; forty admissions to Woolwich 
and Sandhurst ; twelve to the Indian Civil Service. It is 
questionable whether any other school has such a record to 
show of the first seventeen years of its existence. One con 
spicuously successful achievement was the passing of boys 
direct from school into the Army without cramming. 
Among Percival s pupils who were afterwards distinguished 
soldiers must be mentioned Lord Haig and Sir William 
Bird wood. 

But Percival was not content with success in the School 
as an isolated institution. He was active in many ways in 
promoting the general welfare of the city in whose neighbour 
hood the School was planted. Into these wider interests 
Percival sought to carry the boys as a part of their own 
training in citizenship as well as for the sake of the town. 
He started the first school mission, as that term is generally 
understood. On this subject Canon Wilson writes : 

I have always understood that among Public Schools Upping- 
ham, under Thring, was the first to attempt to interest itself 
in the work of poor parishes in great cities. I seem to recall 
that Thring used to send annually some 50 from school collec 
tions to the vicar of a poor East End London parish. 

Percival, however, had a great city close at hand ; and 
besides his wish to interest the school in the religious, social, 
and material welfare of Bristol, he aimed at establishing some 
link by which personal acquaintance and mutual respect might 
grow up between givers and receivers to the advantage of both. 
As early as 1869 the College started and supported a " ragged 

ii CLIFTON 39 

school/ as it was then called, in the Dings of Bristol. This was 
closed about five years later, as the opening of a Board School 
rendered it unnecessary. Then, in 1875, the new idea was 
suggested by Percival that the College should assist the Vicar 
of some large city parish in advancing the welfare of some special 
district within it. A committee of masters and boys approved ; 
the parish selected was St. Barnabas ; and early in 1876 Mr. 
Rawnsley entered on his work as Clifton College missioner in 
the Newfoundland Road district. 

Percival talked the whole matter over with me before he 
left. He was, however, disappointed with the results. It was, 
as he said, one of the problems he left unsolved. But I think 
there is no doubt that the original conception of a school acting 
as " Big Brother " to a poor city district is due to Percival. 

His aims for the Mission at the outset are outlined in two 
letters to Mr. Furneaux, to whom he turned in the first 
instance in the hope that he might consent to be the first 
missioner : 



Feb. 12, 1875. 

MY DEAR FURNEAUX I am going to trouble you with a 
few lines which I hope you will not consider it loss of time to 
think over. We have had in Bristol for some little time a 
Mission clergyman working under the Bishop, and supported 
by the Church Aid Fund. Experience seems to show that a 
good man has a field of usefulness open to him in such a work ; 
and we have been considering lately whether we could support 
such a missionary as the College contribution to this work. If 
we had a prospect of getting the right man, I have no doubt 
we could support him quite easily, but everything in such a 
case, where the work requires an unusual combination of gifts 
and graces, and is as yet experimental, must depend on the fitness 
of the agent. My own thought at once was that if you should 
be thinking of ministerial work, and felt a call to such a work 
as this, all my desires in that respect would be fulfilled. 

I hope you won t dismiss the matter without some thought. 

The field of work is one which requires a man of thorough 
devotion, fearless, strong, conciliatory, independent. 

If you were to undertake it I should ask you to come and 
preach to the school about once a month, and perhaps give 
your experiences in other ways, so as to keep the work con 
stantly before the minds of all of us ; and God knows we all 


require to be reminded of many things which the other end of 
Bristol has for our learning. If you should wish, or be willing, 
to add to this a little work with my Sixth, say four or five hours 
a week, taken on two days out of the six so as to have the others 
free, I should of course be delighted : but you will understand 
that it is the spiritual mission of which I am specially thinking. 
Possibly you may say that if you take to ministerial work, 
you feel it must be under the immediate direction of some older 
man ; but I should not feel that as one of the things you need ; 
and to a man who has a call upon him, the sense of a special 
mission is worth a great deal of human guidance. 

Yours sincerely, J. PERCIVAL. 

Feb. 20, 1875. 

MY DEAR FURNEAUX I was not surprised at your decision, 
though your conception of the work to be done, and your feeling 
of your own unfitness to my mind prove your qualifications 
and after all, our fitness is relative to that of other instruments. 

I can t recall any part of the work which the circumstances of 
my life have led me to attempt for which I did not feel my want of 
fitness. In fact, I could prove it now on very reasonable grounds. 

I am here for the Ordination. 1 Yours affectionately, 


There can be no doubt about the earnestness of Percival s 
feeling with regard to the Mission and the problem with 
which it brought the School into contact. Many years later, 
at the inaugural meeting of the Rugby School Mission, he told 
the school there how at Clifton he " would stand out on the 
Downs in the stillness of the night and hear the subdued 
murmur of the city down below the still sad music of 

His efforts for social reform were not confined to Bristol. 
In 1865 he had been much distressed by the Registrar- 
General s return of illegitimate births in Westmoreland and 
Cumberland. He wrote to George Moore, at whose house 
near Carlisle, called Whitehall, he and Mrs. Percival were 
frequent guests, and Moore sent the letter to The Times. 

Samuel Smiles tells the story in his Life of George Moore : 2 

1 He was Examining Chaplain to Bishop Temple at Exeter and after 
wards in London. z P. 142. 

ii CLIFTON 41 

A great stir was roused in 1865, by a letter addressed by 
Dr. Percival of Clifton College to George Moore, on the morality, 
or rather the immorality, of Cumberland and Westmoreland. 
Dr. Percival was himself a Westmoreland man, and, like George 
Moore, was an ardent admirer of his native county. Yet here 
was a blot upon the morality of both counties, revealed by the 
Registrar-General s returns, which he thought ought to be 
obliterated. Eleven out of every hundred children born in 
Cumberland and Westmoreland were illegitimate. The Times 
published the letter, and followed it up with a leading article on 
the Modern Arcadians of Cumberland. " How is the matter 
to be remedied ? " said the writer. " We know of no agency 
capable of reaching it except publicity. Let it be clearly under 
stood and widely made known that the labours of clergymen, 
schoolmasters, and scripture readers are thwarted and defeated 
by conditions of life in these counties which ought to be curable." 

The following is from George Moore s diary : " Had three 

hours talk with Mr. H as to illegitimacy. I find that he 

does not like my doings. Still he was kind and sensible. He 
said I had raised the anger of some of the upper ten thousand. 
He believed that if I persevered, I should lose my political 
influence. This I am prepared to lose. Excelsior ! must be 
my motto." In the midst of these inquiries Mr. Moore went 
to Carlisle to see the hiring fair. " I was shocked," he says, 
" to see men and women bought like sheep in a market, and 
engaged without knowledge, or references, or character." 

Numerous letters appeared in the local newspapers. The 
subject was taken up at the conference of the Evangelical Union 
at Keswick. George Moore was blamed for publishing Dr. 
Percival s letter, and for throwing dirt upon Cumberland and 

In November 1876, George Moore was most anxious to 
make it possible for clever poor boys to get higher education. 
He consulted many people of high educational authority. 
Samuel Smiles says on p. 224 : 

It was, however, to Dr. Percival, headmaster of Clifton 
College, that Mr. Moore owed the working out of a practicable 
plan. Dr. Percival s early life, his distinguished honours, and 
the high position he occupied in the educational world, enabled 
him to ascertain the weak places and the difficulties of the 
proposed scheme, and how the money endowed might prove 
of the best possible use. At length, after much time and pains 


had been given, and many consultations and meetings had 
been held after Dr. Temple, Bishop of Exeter, had been con 
sulted and given his advice freely and fully the plan was at 
length determined on. It was drawn up in a rough draft by 
the Education Department and printed. All that was wanted 
was the final settlement and George Moore s signature. Twelve 
thousand pounds was the amount of money which he had set 
apart for the purpose. And thus the matter rested. 

On November 20th, George Moore asked his wife to write 
to Percival. He said : " Ask him to arrange for a meeting 
next week. I must have one more reading of that scheme, 
then we can get it fairly launched." A few hours later he 
was killed in the streets of Carlisle by a runaway horse. 
The scheme was launched, but as a memorial to him by a 
great multitude of friends. 

Before his death Moore s friendship for Percival had 
expressed itself in an enduring form. 

" Early that year (1876)," writes Mrs. Johnson, the Bishop s 
daughter, " George Moore told my mother that he wanted to 
give her a portrait of my father, by G. F. Watts. He was then 
sitting to Watts for his own portrait, and he asked him to under 
take the commission. Watts refused, saying that he liked to 
choose his own subjects and did not wish to paint a school 
master. George Moore, determined to get his own way, sent 
my father a telegram" Come to us to-night : most important." 
Father, thinking that something was seriously wrong, went up 
from Clifton to George Moore s house in Palace Gardens, to find 
a large evening party in full swing. Watts was there, and as 
father came into the room, Watts rushed up to George Moore, 
" Who is that man ? I must paint his portrait." " That is 
my schoolmaster," said George Moore, " and you shall have the 
cheque for the portrait to-night." 

" The cheque, for 500, was sent to Watts, and the day 
my father went up for the first sitting was the day he heard 
that George Moore had been killed. It was a terrible blow to 
him and to Watts, and the portrait has the sad expression that 
Watts saw that first day. It was a beautiful painting. (To 
my great joy I was allowed to go and watch it being painted.) 

" It was hung in the Royal Academy next to a man in a 
scarlet gown which made father s portrait yellow, so Watts 
repainted it as it hung, and when my father and mother came 
up for the Private View, Watts met them and forbade them to 

ii CLIFTON 43 

look at it, saying he had quite spoilt it. He had it back and 
painted it again. It was four years before we got it, and it 
was never as good a portrait as when first finished." 

Percival never rested on his oars ; he was always looking 
out for opportunities of improvement. Towards the end of 
his time at Clifton he inaugurated the Jewish House. He 
was gravely dissatisfied with the method that scattered 
Jewish boys through the other houses, cut off from any 
facilities for their own observances. So in 1878, after 
consultation with Mr. Montefiore and Mr. Mundella, he 
opened a special House for them with ten boys. It has 
several times been enlarged and is now the same size as the 
other Houses. This was the first experiment of its kind, 
but several schools have since then folio wed Clifton s example. 

The seventeen years reign at Clifton was twice in danger 
of interruption. At the end of 1869, Dr. Temple left Rugby 
for the See of Exeter, and Percival was a candidate for the 
vacant Headmastership. Temple greatly desired his appoint 
ment. But the fact that he was " one of Temple s men " 
was enough to secure his rejection at the hands of the still 
unreformed body of Trustees, who chose Dr. Hayman 
because he was the only indisputable Conservative who came 
forward. How this event was regarded in Bristol and 
Clifton is seen in the following letter from Canon 
Girdlestone : 


Nov. 25, 1869. 

DEAR MRS. PERCIVAL . . . Bristol and Clifton in general, 
and we in particular, are rejoiced to think that you are not 
going to run away from us, and we hope that your remaining 
here may in the end prove as advantageous to you as it must 
be to us. As for Rugby, one almost sees its now long-continued, 
bright-shining sun setting in clouds of conservative haze and 
High Church incense. With much kind regards, I am, very 
faithfully yours, E. GIRDLESTONE. 

Hayman s rule at Rugby was disastrous. Rightly or 
wrongly a group of masters came to the conclusion that it 
was desirable to precipitate a crisis ; they formed an organised 


resistance ; the school went literally to pieces ; numbers 
rapidly fell ; and after four years the reformed Governing 
Body dismissed Hayman. There was an immense contro 
versy, with bitterly contested law-suits. But the right of 
the Governors to dismiss the Headmaster was upheld, and 
Disraeli presented Hayman to the Crown living of Aldingham 
in the diocese of Carlisle " in recognition of his services to 
Homeric learning." 1 

Percival was this time strongly pressed to stand. The 
senior Rugby master, Mr. C. T. Arnold, urged it almost with 
passion. But Percival hesitated. One of the candidates 
was Dr. Jex Blake, on whose invitation Percival had first 
gone to Rugby, and against whom he was unwilling to 
compete. The Bishop of Exeter expressed himself vigorously 
on this point : 

January 4, 1874. 

MY DEAR PERCIVAL It never seems to me to be right to 
let considerations of personal friendship interfere with public 
conduct. A man may be justified in saying that he will not 
be a competitor against his own brother or against his own 
father. But it is not just to public interests to allow considera 
tions of this nature to go beyond the very narrowest limits. 
A man s competition can do no harm whatever to his friend 
unless, in the opinion of those who are appointed to judge, and 
who may be presumed to be in the right and nine times out of 
ten will be in the right, he is a better man than his friend. And 
if he is a better man he has no right to rob the public of his 

And to this is to be added that even if he stand aside, there 
may be nevertheless a better man than his friend, though inferior 
to himself, in the competition. And in this case (not at all an 
unlikely case) he has robbed the public and positively hurt his 
friend by exhibiting the fact that he is not only not first, but 
not even second. 

And all this is tenfold more true in the case of Rugby, which 
is really damaged by narrowing the field of choice of Headmasters 
just now. There are plenty to say : " Men will not come forward 
because the governing body behaved so ill, because the assistant 
masters are ungovernable, because the school is hopeless, because 

1 He had published an edition of part of the Odyssey, which receives 
honourable mention in J. B. Mayor s Guide to the Choice of Classical Books. 

ii CLIFTON 45 

it is a duty to protest against Hayman s dismissal." If any 
think like this let them stand aloof. But at this crisis every 
true friend of education and of high principle in school govern 
ment ought to offer to take charge of Rugby, if he be able to 

Jex Blake mentioned you to me ; but so did several others ; 
and most certainly if he had never been at Rugby that would 
have made no difference in your coming. I have not the slightest 
notion how the election will go. There is a talk of Bradley. 
There is a talk of a School Inspector called Sharpe. And a 
few others will turn up. 

But if I were in your place at such a crisis I should stand, 
even if I were certain to be beaten, and if my dearest friend 
were standing too. Yours affectionately, 


With what eagerness the matter was watched from the 
Palace at Exeter is made clear by the following letters 
written to Mrs. Percival by Miss Temple, the Bishop s 
sister : 

December 21. 

MY DEAR MRS. PERCIVAL So it has come at last, 1 and I 
must be thankful for the School and Masters and for the 
Bishop that the weary battle is over, and yet to make us quite 
happy we must want to hear that the wretched man has some 
thing given him to do. And now will my best dream come true, 
and shall I live to see Mr. Percival in my brother s place, doing 
more than he had to do, helping all with calm, quiet wisdom 
to forget the past and lead a new life ? And how I shall like 
to think of (nay, I hope to see you) cheering them all with all 
your warm, affectionate, loving way. I feel as if I wanted to 
see you to express half of what I feel about it. I do long to 
have you both there so intensely. My love to the children and 
a happy Christmas to you all. Ever, dear Mrs. Percival, yours 
most affectionately, J. O. TEMPLE. 

December 24. 

MY DEAR MRS. PERCIVAL No. I feel even if such a mis 
fortune again befell us, as that Mr. Percival was not elected, 
still I do most earnestly desire that he should lead the forlorn 
hope to the rescue ; that he should show that he at least did 

1 Dr. Hayman s dismissal. 


not think it impossible that the old noble traditions should be 
revived and was willing to try. I do so want Rugby men to 
feel proud of their school, and the very fact of his standing will 
help them. The circumstances are so exceptional that I believe 
even his own school would consent that he should offer to do 
a work so very few could do at all, much less as he can. Dear 
Mrs. Percival, do not keep him back ; just because he is your 
very best give him to this work and do not let the idea of rejec 
tion weigh with you, but rather say go ; if you are not taken 
you will have done your part. 

I say all this, and yet I cannot in my own heart believe but 
that if he stands he will be elected. Many happy Christmasses 
to you both. Ever yours most affectionately, 


January 8. 

MY DEAR MRS. PERCIVAL I am so thankful Mr. Percival 
is going to stand, and yet I feel as if we had sacrificed our best 
friend for Rugby, and can only repeat to myself that whether 
he is elected or not, it was the noblest part to stand. 

Dr. Hayman and his friends will be sure to attack him as 
the friend of the Bishop and call it a plot. 

I have not a shadow of doubt as to the absolute recovery of 
Rugby if he is elected, but it is impossible to foresee what a 
Board will do, and the newspapers have been so taking for 
granted that he was going to Rugby that some of the governing 
body may be put into antagonistic feeling towards him. Still 
I shall try and hope. . . . Ever yours most affectionately, 


During this anxious period the Council of Clifton College 
wrote to express their sense of the value of the Headmaster s 
services and of what they hoped from them if they were not 
too soon interrupted. 



Jan. 5, 1874. 
Private and Confidential. 

DEAR SIR Although we are sure that you cannot fail to 
be aware of the great value in which your services as Head 
master of the College are held by this Council, we think it right 
at this time to endeavour again to express to you how warmly 
we feel on this subject. 

ii CLIFTON 47 

For some time past every succeeding year has been marked 
with a success for the College which has excited the admiration 
not only of all interested in the institution, but of the scholastic 
world, and elicited from those best qualified to judge, expressions 
of astonishment at the brilliant achievements which your ability 
and indefatigable exertions have found means so quickly to 
attain. In fine, under your rule the College is fast taking root 
as a great Public School, and we state with confidence our belief 
that in a very few years, under your guidance, it will take rank 
as a permanent institution. 

Under these circumstances we cannot as a Council thank 
you too much for your exertions in the past, or express too 
earnestly our hopes that they will still be given to us in the 

We venture to suggest to you that the building up of an 
English Public School is no unworthy object of a high ambition, 
and that, fair as the prospects of the College now are, a change 
of the Headmaster must be a source of grave anxiety and peril 
to so young an institution ; pardon us if we add our belief that 
your stay with us a few short years will suffice for you to gratify 
that ambition and to avoid that peril. 

In endeavouring to set before you in the strongest manner 
our estimation of your services to the College, and the importance 
we attach to them, we are acting in the simple discharge of our 
duty, but we should fail to do justice to ourselves if we did not 
say that it affords us the greatest pleasure, individually and 
collectively, thus to express ourselves to one whom we all regard 
personally with such warm sentiments of esteem. I remain, 
dear Sir, yours faithfully, 

On behalf of the Council, 


The election took place on February 19. Percival had 
gone to London to be interviewed by the Governors. Soon 
after mid-day he telegraphed to Mrs. Percival : 

Jex Blake is elected. Don t be disappointed, as you know 
I am not. Expect me by train due eight fifteen. 

At Exeter the disappointment was bitter. 

February 19. 

MY DEAR MRS. PERCIVAL I wrote to you this afternoon, 
went out to make a call, and came home to find the telegram. 


Alas, it does seem too hard that he should try twice and be 
passed over. I can only comfort myself by thinking that he 
would have been pained, when it lay absolutely between himself 
and Dr. Jex Blake, to have got what the other so intensely 
longed for. 

Dear Mrs. Percival, I cannot retract what I said ; better go 
and fail than not at such a time go in at all ; and yet now I 
feel as if we had indeed sacrificed our best friend. 

Please write to me. My best love to you both. Ever yours 
affectionately, J. O. TEMPLE. 

Feb. 20, 1874. 

MY DEAR PERCIVAL I am mortified and sorry, and also 
feel as if you had a right to complain of me. Yet I confess I 
did very much wish you to stand for the sake of Rugby, and 
not only for the chance of success. The voting was 7 to 5. 
How each voted I have no right, and indeed in some degree no 
power, to say. 

You suffered in some measure by the accident of not having 
been known to great folk, such as the Archbishop of Canterbury, 
but still more because you were a candidate last time. It was 
felt that to elect a man now instead of Hayman, to whom Hayman 
had been preferred some years ago, was a kind of slap to the 
Trustees. This I had not at all foreseen. 

You are quite at liberty to say that the voting was nearly 
even and that I told you so, or Mrs. Percival may say so to any 
one. This perhaps may sooth your Council or your colleagues 
if they are disposed to be angry with us and to think that we 
have snubbed them. . . . Yours affectionately, 


At Rugby also there were some at least who were sorely 

Feb. 19, 74. 

MY DEAR PERCIVAL A deep feeling of disappointment has 
fallen, I fear, on all here and this, I think, that you should know, 
that every one I believe of our community felt that you could 
best do what was needed in this time of trial ; and I am sure 
that every one is grateful to you for coming forward. 

It s the more necessary to say this now, because Jex Blake 
having been elected it becomes the duty of every one who cares 
for Rugby at all to be unanimous in forgetting this last four 

ii CLIFTON 49 

years of dark trial, and especially for all working here to allow 
no feeling of any kind to interfere for one moment with his 
spirit of self forgetfulness and devotion to work, with eyes fixed 
on the future as the only hope of forgetting a miserable past. 
Neither you nor Jex Blake, nor any one else can know the black 
ness of that time as I know it ; and it will be long, if ever, before 
I can get rid of the seared feeling of this frightful time >and 
yet personally it has not pressed on me. All that can be done 
is to bury it and to let no thought rest on it. 

Selfishly, it is a matter of rejoicing to me that Ernest does 
not lose your friendly guidance. . . . Ever most sincerely 


The Master of Balliol was an interested spectator of these 

Dec. 21. 

DEAR MR. PERCIVAL . . . Are you going to become a candi 
date for Rugby ? You would be almost certain of succeeding. 
But is it worth while to leave an institution which you have 
created, and a place in which you have so great an influence, 
to undertake the revival of Rugby ? Young trees only should 
be transplanted. Yours most truly, 


Feb. 22. 

DEAR MR. PERCIVAL Many thanks for your telegram. I 
am both sorry and glad that you are not Headmaster of Rugby : 
sorry, because this result may be a disappointment to you. 
But glad for selfish reasons, and also because I believe that your 
present position is better for you, and really one of greater 
distinction. As to being beaten by another man I do not think 
that of any consequence. From what I hear you must have 
lost the election almost by accident and not on any question of 
comparative merit. With kind regards to Mrs. Percival, believe 
me, my dear Percival, yours most truly, 


March 15, 1874. 

DEAR MR. PERCIVAL I meant to have written long ago to 
thank you for your kina note. I am sure that it is better for 



you to remain at Clifton, and that you have been saved from a 
great deal of pain in leaving it. Though I think that you would 
have succeeded at Rugby, I do not think that you could really 
have succeeded so well or have done so much as you will at 
Clifton in a few years time. And when you are tired of Clifton 
or find the work too much for your strength, if you are not 
translated to a higher world, you must come back to Oxford 
as Provost of Queen s. These headships of colleges, although 
not very distinguished positions, are good places in which to 
grow old. . . . 

With best regards to Mrs. Percival, I remain, my dear Percival, 
yours most truly, 


Whatever the feelings may have been elsewhere, Clifton 
was jubilant. T. E. Brown had signed on behalf of the 
Assistant Masters a glowing testimonial to his chief. Now 
he wrote : 

MY DEAR MRS. PERCIVAL We ve had enough and more than 
enough of this Rugby. Let us turn our backs upon it. But 
let me at the same time take the opportunity of saying how 
intensely I feel bound to devote all that is within me to making 
Clifton worthy of your husband. 

Now to Prep ! Ever yours, T. E. BROWN. 

Other letters expressed the same feelings : 


DEAR MRS. PERCIVAL The present rejoicings which are 
by this time both deep and general, now that one s first indigna 
tion at our defeat is past extend to every corner of every 
department of our life, and amongst other things which have 
been put into tune may be counted the piano in Big School, 
whose first desire is now to accompany you in the Bugle song, 
by way of allegory, as feeling in every nerve, from shivering A 
in alt to grumpiest bottom D ; what a loss we have been on the 
brink of. The Piano (if I may be permitted to speak as its 
representative), "feeling so deeply as it does the musical possi 
bilities of the place now that you and Mr. Percival are to stay 
with us " but here the emotion of the instrument interrupts 
me [but as far as I can gather it intends to challenge the thing 
that calls itself an organ, now resident in the Big school at 
Rugby, to an open competition on the earliest opportunity] . . . 
but not if I had an hundred Big School pianos could I express 

ii CLIFTON 51 

in measured language at present all that I feel : the season is 
one of throwing up of caps and other outward and visible signs 
of jubilation. Mr. Brown, alone of men, was enabled by his 
genius to light up language of the requisite strength yesterday. 
It certainly did one good to hear him. 

I began this note merely intending to ask you to try the 
Bugle song after Choral on Saturday ? Then the pen took the 
bit in its mouth. Yours ever, 


The boys were not behindhand in their expression of 
satisfaction ; the Sixth Form passed the following resolution : 

Feb. 20, 1874. 

With reference to the result of the election for the Head- 
mastership of Rugby, it was resolved : 

That the Vlth wish to express to Mr. Percival that, while 
they are far too proud of him not to regret deeply that he has 
suffered a disappointment, they have not words to tell their 
thankfulness that he is saved to Clifton and themselves in 
dividually, bound to him as they are by ties of respect and 
affection, the strength of which perhaps they never fully realised 
till they seemed about to lose him. 

The feelings of friends in Clifton may be represented by 
a note from Mrs. Fox to Mrs. Percival : 

I neither know this name nor do I care to know it. Thank 
ful as far as this place is concerned disgusted at all else except 
that we keep you both here. 

I have been hanging about the close to-day hoping to catch 
news of this and the Balliol. 

JANE Fox. 

The relief and joy at Clifton soon found expression in a 
more permanent form. The following letter was circulated 
to all old members and friends of the School : 

March 6, 1874. 

At two meetings held immediately after the Rugby election, 
it was agreed by boys and masters, severally and independently, 
that an attempt should be made to commemorate a happy crisis 
in the history of the School. 


Had Dr. Percival gone, doubtless the moment would have 
been seized as a fitting one at which to record in some symbol 
our deep and grateful affection towards him, whose spirit alone 
would have been left. To-day regret may well be merged 
in gladness, and gratitude in self-congratulation ; but the 
occasion, it is felt, is no less suitable to give some practical and 
appropriate expression to the common feeling. 

Among the various forms in which such a sentiment might 
aptly manifest itself, none has seemed more happy than that 
for which we now beg to ask your aid and sympathy. 

The idea proposed is to complete the north wing of the 
quadrangle by adding a Museum to the half already built, at a 
cost of about 1500. 

This sum we feel sure can, by united effort, be easily raised ; 
and the whole edifice will rightly be named the " Percival Library 
and Museum," the earlier half of that building forming his own 
gift four years ago, the latter given in his honour at the present 

Enough perhaps has been said to make clear the history and 
intent of the proposed scheme ; but in a circular like this we 
feel we may be allowed to add a warmer word. Clifton to-day 
has not only experienced a crisis, but attained to a point of 
consciously-realised growth. She begins with modest pride 
indeed as befits her youth, yet confidently to rank herself 
among the great schools. If she is young, she is also strong 
and full of strenuous ambition : and what the patriotism of 
Eton and Rugby, Harrow and Marlborough, have repeatedly 
achieved, Clifton may surely emulate. 

Signed on behalf of the Committee, 

T. E. BROWN, Chairman. 

For five more years Percival ruled at Clifton to the great 
benefit of the School. But the strain was too great. He 
was scarcely ever alone ; the masters turned to him for every 
thing. Curing his last three years at Clifton he had terrible 
nightmares and his wife was very anxious about him. In 
1879 he was asked to accept the Presidency of Trinity College, 
Oxford ; and he decided to go. The news came to the 
School with a great shock. At Clifton, as afterwards at 
Rugby, the confidence in him was of that absolute kind 
which made the mere conception of his absence unthinkable. 
By a kind of instinct those who were under him at either 
School, whether as boys or masters, agree in expressing their 



feelings in the words : " We regarded him as one of the laws 
of nature." It was only when the fact of his imminent 
departure had to be faced that the latent love for him 
rose above the threshold of consciousness. Canon Wilson 
describes his own impressions of Percival s grounds for the 
change in the following memories of conversations with 
Percival at the time : 

It was a great surprise and shock to nearly the whole of the 
staff of Clifton College when Percival announced his intention 
of resigning the Headmastership and becoming President of 
Trinity College, Oxford. I do not know with any fulness or 
certainty what were his reasons for this great change. They 
were plainly not financial. My recollection of conversations 
with him at Clifton at that time may throw some light on his 

First I should place his sense that Oxford needed a new 
impulse at that time. He felt it to be out of touch with the 
newer desires for education as manifested by the local University 
Colleges springing up everywhere. Bristol University College, 
which owed much to his initiative, was indeed warmly supported 
by Jowett, H. J. S. Smith, and George of New College. But 
he thought that he could do something more for this movement 
if he were at Oxford. 

In other matters too he was anxious to see new influences 
at Oxford. He wished, for example, to see boys of seventeen 
going up to the University, instead of waiting at school till 
they were nineteen. And I think he felt that fresh impulses 
towards intellectual life and research, and towards a greater 
sense of religious and moral and political leadership of the 
nation, were needed at Oxford. He hoped, in a word, that the 
same sort of unity of ideal could be impressed upon the University 
that he had seen springing up at Clifton. 

Such is the general impression left by our conversations at 
that time ; and my recollection is borne out by a very distinct 
memory of later conversations with him after experience at 
Oxford of its immobility and lack of unity. I remember his 
saying that " Oxford had as much feeling of unity as a rabbit 
warren ; each Head of a College was seen at the mouth of his 
burrow ; but if anything was suggested, in he dived." He was 
disappointed with Oxford, though not with his College. Such 
were, however, I think, the high hopes which moved him to 
accept the Presidentship of Trinity College, Oxford. 

But I gathered also that he felt the strain and anxiety of his 


post at Clifton ; he wanted a change. And he told me quite 
frankly that there were some matters through which he had 
not seen his way, and that he hoped I might contribute some 
new light on them. It may be of some interest if I put down 
here explicitly what those matters were. They had all arisen 
from the unprecedented rapidity with which the School had 
grown to numbers far beyond those which were originally con 

New class-rooms were urgently wanted. Let any one who 
knows the College try to picture how 600 boys were taught, and 
taught well, when there was no eastern side to the quadrangle 
and no Tower ; when their site was a botanic garden, and there 
were no buildings east of the Percival library, except some 
wooden sheds, the racquet and fives courts, the baths, and the 
Junior School. How did we manage ? I cannot say. But 
we did. 

And where was the money to come from ? This was the 
immediate need. The College was heavily burdened with 
borrowed money. Then there was the pressing need of more 
land. We at that time did not own a yard of land outside 
the close. Our cricket was absolutely first-rate ; but the close- 
was dangerously, even impossibly crowded. 

And there was the problem of promotion for masters. There 
was a staff of forty ; but the few seniors had the boarding 
houses, and all alike were young. What chance was there for 
a young man of rising to a well-paid post ? 

The modern side offered another unsolved problem. He 
had staffed it with first-rate men, such as Brown and Grenfell 
and Tait. But it had disappointed him. It had become a 
refuge for the less cultivated and the less capable. There was 
no goal such as the University put before it. It had become 
the home of the unambitious, the unliterary, the stagnant. 
All their lessons, except the Sunday Old Testament lesson of 
the Sixth, were taken apart from the classical side ; it had 
become a school side by side with another and a better school. 
It was developing a different tone. It was a disappointment. 
That was one of the problems which in our talks he bequeathed 
to me. 

And there was the School Mission. Percival had set it on 
foot, and he had been much disappointed in it. The first 
two curates whom he had placed successively in charge of the 
selected district, as curates under the Vicar of a large Bristol 
parish, had resigned in despair ; and no one could be found to 
take up the post. Our Mission had dwindled to the support 
of a coffee-house that did not pay. 

ii CLIFTON 55 

More and more I felt as we talked over such questions as 
these, and the financial problems connected with the School 
and its obligations, that Percival felt too tired to face them with 
the freshness which he felt they needed. His instinct demanded 
a change of scene and a new sort of work. In fact he not only 
wished to go to Oxford, but deeply as he loved Clifton he felt 
it to be a relief to leave it. 

To his old friend, Sir James Whitehead, Percival wrote : 


October 28. 

MY DEAR WHITEHEAD Please accept my very best thanks 
for your kind note. I am sorry to think that I shall not see 
your two boys through their school time, but I may hope to 
renew my acquaintance with one or other of them perhaps at 
Oxford, and I can say that they are pretty certain to get some 
one in my place at Clifton who will do well by them. 

It has been rather a difficult question for me to decide, and 
the offer was so unexpected that I had to decide it all at once. 
I hope I have done right, though it involves amongst other things 
becoming a comparatively poor man ; and I have not paid 
sufficient attention to saving for my children hitherto. Yours 


One of the attractions which Oxford offered was the 
opportunity of affording a centre for the Old Cliftonians at 
the University. Among those who wrote to express their 
mingled feelings sorrow for Clifton s loss and joy for Oxford s 
gain was Sir Herbert Warren, who had been elected Fellow 
of Magdalen in 1877 and Tutor in 1878. To him Percival 
replied : 

Nov. 9, 1878. 

MY DEAR WARREN I hardly know how to thank you for 
your most welcome letter, and that is mainly why I have let 
two or three days pass. In fact, it s useless for me to attempt 
to talk about it. I have not received, nor do I expect to receive, 
any letter to touch me in the same way as yours. 

As regards Clifton, I hope that the change may really bring 
good to the School. In some ways I have been long enough here, 
and if the right man comes he may bring fresh life, though I 


need not say that I feel some anxiety ; for I am conscious that 
we have acquired a certain character among schools, difficult 
to define, and yet distinctly appreciable, which I desire to see 
growing and deepening ; and I should feel it bitterly if by any 
mischance this should get lost, and it is one of those subtle 
things that may go, one scarcely knows how. But I am sanguine 
enough to hope that all that is best in the place is well rooted, 
and that new roots will be struck. 

And it will be pleasant to be able to do something towards 
making a centre for Old Cliftonians at Oxford, and to see you 
and others more frequently and freely ; whilst at Trinity I 
hope I may be of some service, when I get settled there. 

I am particularly thankful on account of the quiet for Mrs. 
Percival, as she is not strong enough for the life here. 

The Council will not let me go entirely till after Easter, 
though I shall reside in Oxford a good deal meanwhile. I am 
hoping to go up next Tuesday and to stay till Friday, so that 
I shall very likely see you. Yours very sincerely, 


" If the right man comes." That was the one great 
anxiety. Percival had no doubt about his own desires. He 
wished to be succeeded by a man whom he had known at 
Rugby many years before, and in company with whom and 
with Arthur Butler he had walked from Lucerne to Engelberg 
and Meiringen in the July of 1862, when Butler was about to 
launch Haileybury and he himself was about to launch 
Clifton on their great careers. The story shall be told in 
Canon Wilson s words : 

I stayed at the School House with Mr. and Mrs. Percival 
for a few days, and helped to get their home in order. My 
chief share was hanging their pictures. After this we seldom 
met, and rarely corresponded during the seventeen years of 
his Headmastership, so that I was entirely taken by surprise in 
the autumn of 1878, when he asked me to let him put my name 
before the Governors of the College as his possible successor. 
In that summer I had had a great sorrow and shock ; and felt 
unable to continue school work. I had arranged to resign my 
Mastership at Rugby, and Temple, then Bishop of Exeter, was 
to ordain me at Christmas for work in his diocese. I refused to 
entertain the thought of Clifton. Percival, however, pressed me 
hard to come and see him and the masters and Governors, 
and reconsider my decision. So also did Temple. And 

ii CLIFTON 57 

T. E. Brown, my still older friend and school-fellow, wrote me 
a long letter of masterly analysis of the whole situation, and 
very warm appreciation, not without criticism, of Percival. 
To my great regret that letter has been lost in some of my moves. 
I can only recall one passage and that but imperfectly. I 
cannot do justice to Brown s vivid picture. " Percival," he 
wrote, " was like an inspired demonic conductor of an orchestra. 
He has lashed us into Bacchic fury, wind and strings and 
voices forte, forte, fortissimo. At the end of term we sink 
back on our seats and mop our foreheads and pant. He is 
divine ; but we want rest. 1 Come and trust us ; we are all 
inspired, and we will work for you without the lash. Come." 
So I came, in fear and with great reluctance. 

The departure from Clifton involved the breaking of very 
many ties. Apart from the School, which was so largely his 
own creation, he had many intimate associations with Bristol, 
as a result of his activities for educational and general progress 
in the city and neighbourhood. 2 His feelings in the period 
when the wrench had just taken place, as well as some of his 
deepest interests in Clifton and Bristol, find expression in a 
letter which he wrote to Mr. Killigrew Wait perhaps the 
most intimate of his Bristol friends in answer to a proposal 
that he should accept some form of testimonial. 

April 17, 1879. 

MY DEAR WAIT As my wife finds it difficult to answer 
your last kind note, and is besides rather tired, I think I had 
best endeavour to express my own feelings ; though I may as 
well say at once that it is not possible for me to convey to you 
in particular or to all our other friends my sense of the over 
flowing kindness which has made our connection with Bristol 
so pleasant, and the memory of our leave-taking so precious 
for the rest of our lives. As regards the memento that you have 
in hand, my only regret is that it could not have been something 
quite inexpensive, so that you need not all have spent so much 
upon us. However, looking this matter in the face as it now 
presents itself, I feel no objection to some plate which may 
remind my children hereafter of the kindness of Bristol friends 
to their father, and may be an encouragement and a stimulus 

1 Cf. Mr. Bradby s account of Percival at Rugby, p. 123. 
2 See pp. 258-264. 


to them to do their duty ; but / must ask you to let the bulk of 
the subscriptions go to some public object. It need not be specially 
associated with the College. If it could be used so as to help 
forward any poor boys of ability, who might be rising through 
the various grades of Bristol schools, I should like that. I 
suppose that the city has more than enough of endowments in 
the way of exhibitions, free tuition, etc. ; but possibly some 
need may occur to some of you. I have sometimes thought 
that a small trust for supplying poor boys of talent with good 
books, if well administered, might be of great service. It must 
often happen that such boys are very much handicapped and 
hampered, in cases where the parents cannot understand the 
need of certain books, and could not afford to supply them if 
they did. 

If this sort of thing were thought worth considering it would 
be easy to form a small Board of Trustees, whose duty it would 
be to administer the fund, in accordance with some simple rules 
securing that the help should go to the most deserving. I make 
this suggestion with some little diffidence, not because I have 
any doubt of the value of such a scheme if carried out, but 
because of my want of familiarity with the resources of Bristol 
as they are to be administered under the new order of things. 

I hope this may be of some service to you on Saturday and 
may help to save you trouble. In spite of all these testimonials 
which keep telling me that a chapter, the main chapter, of my 
life is closed, the whole thing seems still a dream and I can 
hardly realise that I am not coming back, or that my home 
is no longer at Clifton. With best regards to Mrs. Wait, ever 
yours sincerely, 


It was only in a geographical sense that his home was 
no longer at Clifton. His association with the School was 
intimate until his death. As Chairman of the Council he 
was closely linked with its development, and no School 
function was complete without his presence. It is impossible 
to enumerate his visits ; they were times of delight to himself, 
to his old friends, and to new members of the School, both 
boys and masters, who rejoiced in the opportunity to make 
the acquaintance of the founder of their tradition. No one 
who was present will forget the emotion which he displayed 
at the Clifton College Jubilee on July 13, 1912. He had 
preached in the College Chapel from the text that he chose 

ii CLIFTON 59 

for his first sermon : " Neither is he that planteth anything, 
nor he that watereth ; but God that giveth the increase." 
He had dwelt on the wonderful growth of the School. " Fifty 
years ago the ground on which we now stand was a green 
field without a history or human associations or a human 
interest. As we gather on it to-day it is a shrine, sanctified 
by many a sacred memory, enriched with the affection and 
devotion of those who grew up here and went out from us to 
bear the name of their School and exhibit its spirit in the 
various fields of life and duty in almost every quarter of the 
globe." Speeches had been made by the Headmaster and 
the Lord Chancellor Lord Haldane and Canon Glazebrook. 
The advertised ceremony was at an end. But the President 
of Magdalen rose to present to the Bishop of Hereford an 
address signed by those Old Cliftonians present at the cele 
brations who had been his pupils at the School : 

We, the undersigned, who were boys at Clifton during your 
Headmastership, and now have met to celebrate the Jubilee of the 
School, wish to say how glad we are that you have been spared 
to see, after fifty years, the great results of your work for the 
School ; and to express to you our deep personal gratitude for 
all that it has meant to us to have been at Clifton under you. 

The Bishop had not known that any such presentation 
was intended. He was unprepared and overwhelmed. The 
phrases in which he replied convey nothing but conventional 
thanks when read in cold print. But his emotion was deep, 
and showed to the assembly how profound was his love for 
the School and for his old pupils. 

Later on the Bishop wrote to the President to express 
his thanks more formally, and received in reply a letter 
which tells the origin of the presentation : 



Sept. 6, 1912. 

MY DEAR LORD BISHOP It was a very great and real pleasure 
to me to receive your letter here yesterday and it will be not 
less so I know to Cookson and Cannan when I pass it on to them. 
The original idea of the Address was Cookson s, but we were 


all instantaneously of one heart and memory and mind and 
voice directly it was thought of. And that was what we were 
and shall be always now in thinking of the great mercy and 
blessing, for such it truly was, of the Clifton Jubilee. I really 
cannot tell you what it was to me to sit again in the old way in 
Chapel and hear your sermon linking the years together, with 
their hopes and memories and resolves resolve.s especially. 
For these indeed I feel we need to renew and reinforce to take 
up with the light of long experience yet with the refreshed 
aspiration of revived youth our old ideals the ideals which 
you set before us forty and fifty years ago, and have set before 
us once again the other day. ... I am, my dear Dr. Percival, 
always your attached friend and pupil, 


It is fitting that the School which he led to greatness 
should be his last resting-place. But while he lived it could 
be no place of rest for him. He never felt that the ideal 
which he had in view had been attained. That ideal could 
not be better described than in the following paragraphs 
from his sermon at the Jubilee : 

As I look round on our English world the sense of need is 
with me still. I have to confess to you that I feel, as I felt 
thirty-five years ago, that there is still a new name to be won 
by that school which shall first find out the secret of how to 
train up and send forth, not a select few only, but the great 
mass of its sons, the rank and file of its members, distinguished 
by a new combination of qualities and gifts. 

I still dream of the time when from some school, under some 
influence which as yet we know not, there shall go forth year 
by year a new generation of men, who shall be characterised 
not merely by some social, athletic, or literary accomplishment, 
some conventional varnish or culture, but by a combination of 
gifts and strength and moral purpose, which shall stamp them 
as prominent workers, if not as leaders and prophets in the 
next stage of our country s evolutionary progress. There is still 
abundant room, to say nothing of the crying need, for these 
social missionaries of a new type, who shall be men of simple 
and pure tastes, the declared enemies of luxury and self-indulgence 
and greed, whether vulgar or refined ; men in whom public 
spirit, public duty and social purpose shall be practicable and 
guiding motives, not vague and intermittent sentiments ; men 
who shall feel the call to alter the conditions of life, and remove 

ii CLIFTON 61 

the manifold temptations which are working so destructively 
among the multitudes of our poorer classes ; men who, with all 
this, are not bigoted, but who realise that earnestness of purpose 
and a tolerant spirit are not incompatible, and, above all, men 
whose life shall be guided by a serious and humble and reverent 
spirit, who may fairly be described as true Christian citizens 
strong, faithful and not afraid. During the years that have 
intervened since I thus felt, it can hardly be said that the vision 
has been realised or the need more fully supplied. In our 
unprecedented industrial and commercial prosperity, the higher 
moral ideals have, on the whole, lost rather than gained in power 
and influence. During the last thirty years we have seen a 
marvellous increase in wealth and its attendant luxury, and, 
as a consequence, a corresponding increase in habits of pride 
and self-indulgence. The atmosphere of our life has thus been 
less favourable to moral ideals and purposes ; ordinary men 
are more under the influence of pleasure, of sport and amuse 
ment ; things that are more excellent seem farther away from 
the daily aims which make up the distinguishing character and 
purposes of our common English life. Under such circum 
stances of the time we live in, you may feel that the thought of 
such a race of Public School men as I have been dreaming of, 
who shall give a new tone to the national life, pouring a new 
spirit into it and lifting it to higher levels, is nothing better than 
the idle vision of an old man s dream 

A vision unfulfilled, which we 

Who watch and wait shall never see. 

But, even so, I have still, in my old age, to hold on to the hope 
of it as the vision of the only city which hath foundations, 
whose maker and builder is God. So then, looking through 
and beyond our present imperfect life, with all its negligences 
and its ignorances, its failures and its waste, I venture to repeat 
to you my hopes of long ago that from schools such as this, 
and from this school in particular, there may go forth, year by 
year, an ever-increasing number of such men as I have described, 
to be the purifying and preserving salt of the life of their time. 

In service of that same ideal he was now to toil under 
different conditions, in an atmosphere largely alien and in 
circumstances which he had less authority to shape. But 
his achievement at Clifton must have been an encourage 
ment to himself as it remained an inspiration to others. 


After his death the Council of Clifton College showed its 
sense of his services to Clifton by passing the following 
resolution : 


At the first Meeting held since the death of Dr. Percival, the 
Council of Clifton College RESOLVE, before performing any other 
act, to record their deep sense of the rare fortune which gave him 
to the College as its first Headmaster, and later enabled them to 
enjoy his services for so many years as a Member, and as Chair 
man, of their body. Created, established and maintained in large 
measure by his force, his guidance and his generosity, and im 
pressed with his genius, the School, they feel, owes him an unique 
debt, in gratefully acknowledging which to his relatives they desire 
also to add their sincere while respectful condolence with them 
in their personal loss through the termination of so noble and 
valuable a life. 


The following benefactions to Clifton College were made by 
Dr. Percival at various dates : 


1870. A gift of 800 towards the cost of the Library. 

1899. 100 for the foundation of the " Louisa Percival Prizes " 

for knowledge in the New Testament, in memory of his 

wife, the late Louisa Percival. 
1910. 2223 for the foundation of three Scholarships, to be of 

the value of 33 a year for day boys. The Scholarships 

to be called 

(1) " The Louisa Percival Scholarship," in memory of 

his wife, the late Mrs. Louisa Percival. 

(2) " The Frederick Percival Scholarship," in memory 

of his youngest son, killed by an accident, June 

(3) " The Robert Hardwicke Percival Scholarship," in 

memory of his eldest son, died August 1908. 
1915. 1000 foundation of the " Arthur Percival Scholarship," 
in memory of his son, Lieut.-Col. Arthur Jex Blake 
Percival, D.S.O., killed in action, October 1914, 


Dr. Percival is also commemorated at Clifton by the following 
memorials : 

In 1874 the Library and Museum buildings were completed, 
partly by the subscriptions of masters and Old Cliftonians, on 
condition that the building should be called the " Percival 

In 1880 the " Percival Scholarship " of 20 a year was 
founded by Old Cliftonians in memory of the Headmastership 
of Dr. Percival. 



IT was in the spirit of adventure that the Fellows of Trinity 
College, Oxford, invited Percival to accept the Presidency ; 
and it was equally an adventure when he decided to accept it. 
Seventeen years is a long spell for work so concentrated 
as that of a Headmaster. Some Headmasters, indeed, have 
thought it possible, after gearing up the school-machine 
according to their standards, to let it run almost of its own 
accord. Percival could never do that. He must needs 
watch every detail ; and the strain was too great to be 
indefinitely continued. He had already informed one of his 
colleagues as Mr. E. M. Oakeley narrates in his sketch of 
Percival s career that he was only deferring his resignation 
till he could be sure that a suitable successor was in sight. 
While he was thus conscious of the need of change the 
invitation of the Fellows of Trinity reached him, and he 
decided to accept it. Indeed it would appear from the 
following letter that he had been desirous of some such 
appointment before the invitation came : 

Oct. 4, 1878. 

DEAR MRS. PERCIVAL From what I can learn I imagine that 
the Election at Queen s is a foregone conclusion though I have 
not heard this directly from any of the Fellows : meanwhile there 
is another Headship vacant in Oxford Trinity and a rumour 
has reached me that there may be a chance of Dr. Percival being 

I have written to those of the Fellows whom I know, to urge 
upon them that they could not do a better thing for the College 

6 4 


and for the University. Do not be sanguine, but there is a 
chance. Ever yours truly, 


The appointment was naturally of extreme interest to 
Old Cliftonians at Oxford. One of them, now President of 
Magdalen and then a Fellow of two years standing, writes : 

It came as an intense surprise not only to Clifton but to 
Oxford. Trinity had always been a distinguished and spirited 
College justly proud of its own alumni, and much beloved by 
them. What, Oxford asked, had happened ? That any College 
and specially Trinity should go outside its own sacred circle 
did indeed surprise not only Percival but Oxford generally and 
Trinity men in particular. With them it is no exaggeration to 
say it was extremely unpopular. How it came about was never 
exactly revealed. Why " Sammy " Wayte, the previous President, 
a kindly, old-fashioned gentleman, somewhat of an Academic 
Whig, who had been at school with my father, resigned, remained 
somewhat of a mystery. Some said he did not want to be Vice- 
Chancellor, but he could easily have passed this office. By an 
odd coincidence he retired to live very quietly in Clifton, where 
from time to time I used to call on him and tell him the Oxford 
gossip. I was a young fellow at Magdalen, and one of our Senior 
Fellows, the Rev. Thomas Henry Toovey Hopkins, was an old 
and attached Trinity man, a boating man, and blunt of speech. 
One of his sisters was married to the Rev. North Pinder, an old 
Fellow and Tutor of Trinity, an excellent classical scholar. He 
had edited a book in which I greatly delighted and to which I 
owed much, Selections from the less known Latin Poets, the title 
of which, we were told, as it contained excerpts from Catullus, 
gave much umbrage to Robinson Ellis. Canon Pinder was a 
very kindly sensible man, and would have made an admirable 
Head of the old type. Hopkins naturally thought he ought to 
have been elected President rather than any outsider, and said 
so. The choice of Percival was generally put down to the 
influence of Raper, then and later the Trinity " Kingmaker/ 
Dr. Percival had told us at Clifton " that he was going to a very 
critical place." He had before him the example of Bradley at 
University and what he himself called Bradley s " very explosive 
Common Room," but he could hardly have known to what 
special criticism and thwartings he would be exposed. Con 
servative and clerical Oxford, and Oxford was then far more 
Conservative and clerical than it became later, looked at him 



askance as an extreme Liberal, and a Latitudinarian and an 
ally of Jowett, though doctrinally I think he never was quite 
that. If he was, we boys did not discover it. His sermons do 
not at all show it, nor I think would Lord Selborne have made 
him as he did a Canon of Bristol had he been so. 

The emissary of the College was the well-known Latin 
scholar, Professor Robinson Ellis. Legends have grown up 
about his visit to Clifton. It is rumoured that he was 
nervous, and seeking for alleviating circumstances. His host 
began by expressing surprise that he should have been 
selected. " Ah, my dear Percival," said the Professor, " I 
do not wonder at your surprise, but you see we had such a 
very small field/ He had found Percival alone, and clutched 
at a straw. " You are unmarried, Mr. Percival ? " "No/ 
was the reply. " I am married, but Mrs. Percival is upstairs 
to-day as she is not well/ " Ah," said the Professor hope 
fully, " then she is in poor health/ 

Not many would have sought comfort in precisely this 
direction. But nervousness was widely felt. The invitation 
to a stranger, not even a member of the College, to accept 
the Presidency, was not sent without keen searchings of 
heart among the members of the Senior Common Room. 
The story is here told in the words of Bishop Robertson, 
then one of the Fellows, and afterwards Bishop of Exeter : 

When, to our surprise and regret, in the Long Vacation of 1878 
President Wayte resigned his Headship and left Oxford for 
Clifton, we most of us had our first experience, and I my only 
one, of a Presidential election. I should like to say at the outset 
that although more than one of the then existing Fellows was 
named as a possible candidate, there was a total absence of 
rivalry, self-seeking or bitterness in the election, before it or 
after it. We were all of us desirous to do simply what was best 
for the College. I may also say that I was quite a Junior Fellow 
at the time and my vote represented the sum total of my influence 
on the election. PersonaUy, the candidate of my choice would 
have been North Pinder, a distinguished scholar, late Fellow of 
the College and then Rector of Grays near Henley. A few years 
later he would have commanded several votes, but at that time 
he was but little known among the actual Fellows. So my 
problem as a voter was simply to choose among the other candi- 



dates likely to find support. Among the other Fellows named 
as possible President, Raper would probably have had a few 
votes, but decidedly the most likely candidate was H. G. Woods, 
Bursar and Tutor, afterwards President, and later on Master of 
the Temple. There was, however, a feeling, shared by many 
of the Fellows, that the College wanted new blood, and that 
Woods time had not quite come. As Raper constantly reminded 
us, we had " the whole clerical world " to choose from. It was, 
I think, Raper himself who first suggested Percival, then Head 
master of Clifton. Of that School he was, by common acknow 
ledgement, the creator, while seventeen years of conspicuously 
successful work amply justified him in looking for another sphere 
for his energy. The proposal to elect Percival was warmly taken 
up by Robinson Ellis, and Charles Gore afterwards Bishop of 

Raper, having thrown out this important suggestion, seemed 
disinclined to act upon it and was regarded as a supporter of 
Woods. On that side also stood Franklin Richards, tutor, 
and M. H. Green, lecturer and librarian. Gent (now the County 
Court Judge), who would have supported Raper, ultimately 
voted, I think, for Woods. Whitehead (now Bishop of Madras) 
and I hardened in favour of Percival ; last, but not least, 
the venerable Vice-President, Thomas Short, who had been 
Newman s tutor in the teens of the century, voted for Woods, 
hardly realising that there was another serious candidate. 
The eve of the election came, we had a prolonged discussion in 
Raper s rooms, and it was reckoned that Woods would have a 
majority of one. Next morning (Tuesday, October 22), we were 
to meet in the Chapel and complete in due form the solemnities 
of the election. In the morning, before the time for chapel had 
come, Raper announced himself a convert to the side of Percival. 
This decided the election. It fell to my painful lot a day or two 
later to explain to Short that the election had not been merely 
pro forma, but that Percival was the elected candidate. I should 
explain that the College statutes required that two names should 
be submitted to the Visitor, of which he had the right to choose 
one. The names of the two candidates who received most votes 
were accordingly taken by a deputation of the Fellows to Bishop 
Browne at Farnham Castle, and the election of Dr. Percival was 
duly ratified in view of his majority at the College scrutinium. 
A few past members of the Foundation appealed to the Visitor to 
appoint Woods, but the Visitor very properly deferred to the 
wishes of the College, as embodied in the majority of votes cast 
at the election. Accordingly, on Thursday, October 31, at 
5 o clock in the afternoon, the new President was formally 


admitted by Vice-President Short. The new President dined 
in Hall for the first time on Wednesday, November 13. 

Looking back on the election over one-and-forty years, it is 
easy to realise that what was done was the cause of misgiving 
among old members of the College. At that time the election 
to a Headship of a member of another College, totally uncon 
nected with the College of his electors, was, I believe, without 
precedent in Oxford. But it is right to say that this precedent 
has been freely followed since then in other Colleges of Oxford, 
to say nothing of Cambridge. 

On the whole the election justified itself, not only by the 
subsequent expansion of the College and addition to its buildings, 
but by the stimulus to the life and work of the College which can 
unmistakably be traced to the advent of the new President. 
This is no derogation whatever to those who had hitherto had the 
guidance of the College in their hands. However well guided, an 
institution is liable to become too much the bond-servant of its 
own excellent traditions. The College traditions of Trinity were 
excellent, but perhaps the College was ripe for innovations which, 
planted in a good soil, were destined to bear fruit for the good 
of the society. 

It is necessary, but not quite easy, to say a word as to the 
personal factor in the new conditions. Of the main thing there 
can be no doubt. Percival was a man of high-minded austerity 
in all that concerned duty, and the whole College was the better 
for the Headship of a man of his lofty character and ideals. 
Accustomed to the Headship of a Public School, where his 
colleagues were absolutely at his beck and call, virtually appointed 
and dismissable by his unfettered choice, he did not easily 
accommodate himself to the University conditions where the 
Fellows were his colleagues, but with quite independent rights, 
doing their duty, but in their own way, not necessarily in the 
President s. Accustomed to summary methods, he may have 
been at times impatient of the give-and-take method, which alone 
succeeds with undergraduates, resentful if treated as schoolboys. 
Possibly also the new President may have felt the change from 
a governing body like that of Clifton, virtually a company of 
directors, leaving all expert matters to the judgment of the 
Headmaster as managing director, to a College meeting, the 
individual members of which were his juniors, but which in its 
collective action was supreme. Percival was not an accommodat 
ing character, nor quick to yield a point to an adverse majority. 
All this may be truthfully said without going into unnecessary 
detail. But with all deductions, we felt that he was a great and 
good man and a bracing influence, not only among the under- 


graduates but among the Fellows. I will venture to illustrate 
my feeling by recalling a conversation with my dear old friend 
A. M. Worthington (afterwards F.R.S.), who was a master at 
Clifton under Percival and after. Worthington was, I should 
mention, a Unitarian. Walking together on Clifton Down he 
turned to me : 

" Robertson, do you like Percival s sermons ? I can t bear 

" Why not ? " 

" I dislike being kicked." 

" No doubt you do," said I, " but he s always trying to kick 
you upstairs and that is something." 

There are many courses open to the holder of an academic 
office. He may merely carry through an existing routine 
with cultured urbanity ; he may devote himself to research 
in his own department of learning ; he may occupy himself 
with the training and teaching of the undergraduates ; he 
may set himself to make more thorough and efficient the 
educational institution to which he is attached. Percival s 
two dominant interests stood out strongly during his time at 
Trinity : he was before all else a reformer and an educator. 
His new post gave him abundant scope for activity along 
both these lines. At Clifton his reforming energy had taken 
the shape of creative work with an ideal steadily before him 
the ideal described in the School Jubilee sermon from which 
quotations have been given. He was, as Bishop Robertson 
has said, little interested in problems of research, but " pro 
foundly insistent on the question, What are our under 
graduates going to be in later life ? " Oxford as a whole he 
regarded as primarily concerned with turning out men who 
would truly serve the nation. No doubt he would have 
admitted in argument the place of learning for its own sake ; 
but in practice he made little allowance for it. Professor 
Bywater is credited with a comment on some utterance of 
Percival : " There are no such enemies of learning as the 
educationalists." But perhaps the converse is equally true, 
for there is a tale of a junior don who asked the Professor to 
recommend him an edition of Aristotle s De caelo ; he at 
once named several, giving their characteristics, and then 
asked why the information was wanted. The young don 


replied that a pupil of his was interested in it. "Oh," said 
the Professor ; " now you take my advice. Don t you start 
working for your pupils. If you once start working for your 
pupils, there s no end to it." 

Oxford is a learned society ; and though most of Uni 
versity and College officers are engaged in teaching, it is 
mainly with the intellectual development of their pupils that 
they are concerned. Direct moral influence is for the most 
part confined to occasional disciplinary actions. Probably 
this is wholesome ; a stage of life has been reached when 
men must begin to choose their own ideals. Percival, how 
ever, felt that most of them were drifting without any 
deliberate choice at all, and that those who had a definite 
aim in life had often accepted rather a low one. He missed 
in the general social life any sense of a moral purpose per 
vading and guiding it all. Long afterwards, when preaching 
one of those Sunday evening sermons which he himself 
instituted in the University Church, he said : 

I have again and again been moved to lament the extreme 
individualism of college life here in Oxford, an individualism 
which lingers as a sort of survival of the days when men thought 
less of moral solidarity and social duty and calling than most 
men do to-day, an individualism which very possibly still affects 
some of you in your relations with the life immediately around you. 

Those of you who have come as many of you have from 
one or other of the best of our public schools, accustomed there 
to the moral responsibilities of the prefect s acknowledged and 
accepted position, and having been very jealous of the purity 
and honour of your corporate life and of every individual s 
contribution to it, knowing as you do what a purifying, strengthen 
ing, and uplifting influence that system of sixth-form responsi 
bility and authority has had upon the common life of your house 
or school such members of one college or another in this Uni 
versity must have felt when they first found themselves in the 
extremely individualistic society of their college, no man seeming 
to recognise any responsibility for the character, conduct, or 
tone of his neighbour, as if they had suddenly dropped into some 
lower stratum of social intercourse. So long as these contrasts 
remain in our educational system, our training for life remains 
a thing of shreds and patches, and the higher gifts and possibilities 
consequently run to waste in many a soul. 


Is it not then a pertinent question to ask whether these con 
trasts between school and college ought to continue ; and 
whether it is altogether right and well that so many young lives 
should be flung at the opening of manhood into such an artificial 
and unchartered freedom as sometimes prevails here, with so 
little of moral instruction or social guidance ? 

It is at any rate permissible to dream of undergraduate life 
so ordered that every young student during his earliest residence, 
and when gathering his first impressions, should be first of all 
instructed by some gifted and inspiring teacher in what we might 
call the ideal history and ideal purpose of his college and the 
university around it, and made familiar with its great names and 
its inspiring examples, and thus stirred to feel at the outset the 
greater possibilities of his own manhood and what should be his 
preparation for it. 

We may dream also of an undergraduate college life more self- 
governed than hitherto, in which, through the influence of the 
most thoughtful, the most instructed, the most high-minded 
among you, there shall be no tolerance for the man of bad 
language, or low tone, or wasteful extravagance, or sensual vice, 
or any form of bad example or influence, bringing discredit on 
the society and moral risk to those who enter it. 

And no man can deny that we greatly need the realisation of 
such dreams, so as to raise to its maximum the moral and spiritual 
influence of university training. 

We need it because, on the one hand, your life is beset by the 
dangers of wealth and materialism, by the prevalence of luxury, 
self-indulgence, and sport ; and because, on the other hand, the 
call is so urgent for such as you to be morally and spiritually 
fitted to take your due share in all the new developments of our 
English life, which are coming upon us like a tidal force through 
the uprising of a new democracy, with all its new claims and 
new aspirations. 

This sermon, delivered more than twenty years after he left 
Oxford to return to Rugby and to school life, points to the 
source of his dissatisfaction with Oxford. It was not that, 
having tasted the autocratic powers of a Headmaster, he 
chafed at the constitutional restrictions which limit the 
authority of the Head of a College, though no doubt his eager 
temperament was very sensitive to all the checks which 
hindered him in the realisation of what seemed to him a 
manifestly fine ideal. The source of dissatisfaction and of 


friction when it arose, was the conflict of ideals. Not for his 
own sake, but for the sake of the undergraduates and their 
future service of the nation, he desired to make life in a 
College a great deal more like life in a school than it now is. 
There were times when the College, or at least some 
members of it, felt that he was acting too autocratically, and 
a proposal was made to pass a new statute putting all College 
officers, including the President, under the complete control 
of the College meeting. This called forth from Percival a 
memorandum which is of interest for the general principles 
stated in it as well as for the comments on the particular 


Being unable to concur in the opinion of the College as set 
forth in the following words of Clause 17 " The President shall 
in the performance of his duties be subject to the direction of 
the College ; and anything done by him may (without prejudice 
to any rights of third parties lawfully subsisting thereunder) be 
modified, countermanded, or reversed by the College." I desire, 
in the interest of the harmonious and efficient working of the 
College in the future, to express my dissent from this portion of 
the said clause, and respectfully to ask your consideration of my 
reasons for so doing. 

The Fellows have, as I understand, been led to adopt their 
view of the expediency of such a clause by their recollection of 
difficulties experienced some years ago, and I heartily sympathise 
with their desire to obviate any possible recurrence of such 
difficulties hereafter. 

At the same time I am unable to see how such difficulties could 
be avoided by the provision which is now proposed. If the 
words mean that the President is to be subject to the constant 
interference and direction of a College meeting as to the mode 
in which he sets about and performs his recognised duties, or any 
detail relating to them, the clause must in practice prove to be 
either inoperative or intolerable. In any ordinary state of 
feeling it would of course be inoperative, whereas, if feeling were 
very much strained, either the President for the time being or 
some section of the Fellows exhibiting an interfering or im 
practicable temper, its operation could only aggravate any 
mischief that might exist, and would produce a state of things 


scarcely endurable in a small community, and very detrimental 
to its interests. 

I agree entirely in the view that the duties of individuals in a 
corporate body cannot be too clearly defined. Every possible 
cause of misunderstanding should be removed, and every pre 
caution should be taken to secure the best interests of the Society ; 
but this done, I would submit that every officer should be con 
sidered to be free from interference as to the mere modus operandi 
in the discharge of his duties. Otherwise, if interfering clauses 
have any effect at all, they only tend to produce irritation and 
estrangement on the one hand, and on the other timidity and 
general ineffectiveness. 

What I have said with regard to this part of Clause 17 applies 
with even greater force in some respects to the corresponding 
words of Clause 35, as the officers referred to in that Clause are, 
with the exception of the Tutors, elected from year to year. 

My experience hitherto has been that the only certain way of 
combining the conditions of a harmonious life with real vigour 
and efficiency in administration is to define duties with the 
utmost clearness, and then to repose entire confidence in indi 
viduals as to their mode of performing their duties, judging them 
by the results of their work. 

In dealing with clauses of this kind it has also to be borne 
in mind that the natural and inevitable tendency of small 
collegiate bodies in a University is always towards excess of 
criticism, with a corresponding weakness or timidity as regards 
administration or practical vigour ; and yet every College is 
mainly dependent for its success on the vigour and enthusiasm 
of its officers. 

I may, I trust, be permitted to add as another argument against 
the adoption of the provision to which I object that I have not 
seen any such provision in the statutes of any other College. 

President, Trinity College. 

May 7, 1880. 

There can be no doubt that in manner and method 
Percival sometimes played the Headmaster, and whether or 
not undergraduates ought to be treated in some degree like 
schoolboys, it is certain that they greatly resent it when 
they are. He had, moreover, certain prejudices which were 
becoming old-fashioned, of which one was a horror of tobacco 
except in rigid privacy. There is a story of his once fining 
an undergraduate a sovereign for wearing a straw hat on a 


Sunday afternoon in the College garden. But irksome as 
his rule was to some, the result was indisputable. One well- 
known Fellow of the College complained that he felt obliged 
to go round to the Oxford wine-merchants and apologise for 
the small consumption of wine accomplished by Trinity 
undergraduates under Percival s rule. 

Perhaps the most celebrated story that is told to illustrate 
his magisterial methods is that which concerns the first day 
of his first term. It was the custom for undergraduates to 
absent themselves from Chapel on the first morning after 
their return from the vacation. Percival was not prepared 
for this. He sent for the entire College, bidding them all 
come to him at an appointed hour. Only a few could get 
into the study, and the rest were kept waiting in the entrance 
hall. It was still unfurnished and uncarpeted ; also it was 
distinctly cold. Some ingenious youth suggested a dance, 
and in a few moments the President s hall was a chaos of 
whirling couples. Percival appeared at the study door, 
either to stop the noise or else perhaps to summon the next 
batch to his presence. He gazed for a moment on the 
unexpected scene, and then sent the whole assembly about 
its business. The episode was regarded as closed. 

An illustration of his method is afforded by the incident 
of the circular, of which Canon A. J. Galpin, a scholar of the 
College from 1879 to I ^83, and afterwards classical lecturer, 
gives the following account : 

I remember during my first term finding one day on my table 
a printed paper signed by the President and containing a string 
of questions rather after this style : " Are you reading for an 
Honour School or for a Pass Degree ? " " How many lectures 
do you attend each week ? " " How many hours do you give 
to private study during the week ? " and so forth. I thought it 
a little inquisitorial, but, not being versed in the methods pursued 
by Heads of Houses in general, I felt no particular vexation. 
Far otherwise was it with the second and third year men. The 
place was soon buzzing with a strange blend of ridicule and 
indignation. Other Colleges were highly amused. The cari 
caturist of the day at once had Percival up in Shrimpton s 
window as a sandwich man, displaying on his board the derided 
questions and wearing the plaintive look of one who has missed fire. 


The President was even more permanently involved in 
contention with the Common Room than with the under 
graduates. He vexed the Fellows by his refusal to accept 
or admit defeat. If his proposals were not accepted by the 
College, he reiterated them at a later meeting with a com 
bination of unruffled patience and unswerving persistence 
which was peculiarly irritating to those who thought that a 
proposal was killed by defeat on a division. Perhaps in his 
own College, certainly in the University, he was an object 
of suspicion and anxiety because of his well-known desire 
to make the University accessible to poor students, and 
especially to working men. He was known to be utterly 
indifferent to the superficial marks of " good form," and to 
face the prospect of a thoroughly democratised Oxford with 
no shuddering horror but rather with an eager hope. He 
thought such an Oxford would work harder and bring more 
benefit to the nation. 

Of his general position in the College and the University 
Sir Herbert Warren writes : 

There was, as perhaps there always has been, a prejudice at 
Oxford against Schoolmaster Heads of Houses. He was thought 
to be out of sympathy with " research." He was thought by 
some to be too eager to reform not only Trinity but Oxford. 
" That s a very ambitious young man, Warren," I remember my 
own " Head," dear, dignified, old Dr. Bulley, beautiful in his 
placid benignity, saying to me as we walked together down the 
High Street from St. Mary s after hearing one of Percival s 
sermons when he was select Preacher. All this was natural, and 
might have been foreseen. What I think was hard was that the 
prejudice against Schoolmasters, and the after effects of the 
Trinity discontents, hampered and prejudiced him with those 
who should have been his friends. I well remember how when 
he was proposed at one of the first Caucuses I ever attended of 
the " holders of Liberal opinions " gathered at Oriel College, as 
a candidate for the Hebdomadal Council, he received the support 
of Jowett and Henry Smith, Barth Price, and Alfred Robinson, 
but was cold-shouldered not only by Sir William Anson and the 
Moderates, but by Pelham and his friends. In his own College, 
too, he met with cold support, if not open opposition from some 
of the very persons who had been most active in bringing him in 
as Head. One man I always thought behaved with the most 


generous loyalty. This was his chief rival, the Bursar Henry 
George Woods, afterwards himself a most successful President, 
and later Master of the Temple. A caricature displayed in 
Shrimpton s window, just opposite Trinity gates, showed Dr. 
Percival as a successful cock standing on the top of the College 
wall and overcrowing his defeated rival. About this caricature 
Mrs. Percival told me an amusing story. Coming up from 
Clifton to look at the new house and bringing her second small 
boy " Guthrie " with her, she saw this representation in the shop 
window and went into the shop and bought it. " If you re 
interested in these caricatures," said the man, " we have another," 
and proceeded to take it out of a drawer. " Oh, mother, that s 
not nearly so like father," cried the child, to Mrs. Percival s 
amusement, but to the consternation of the shopman, who could 
only stammer, " I assure you, madam, I had no idea you were 
connected with the new President." 

For these reasons among others I think, and it certainly was 
the prevailing opinion, that Dr. Percival was never quite happy 
during his sojourn at Oxford, nor indeed did he seem so. He 
gradually, indeed pretty rapidly, won his way, and made friends 
amongst young and old, and struck many good strokes for the 
causes which were dear to him. It must, I think, be admitted 
that in nine short years he did a very great deal for his College. 
Always distinguished, it had rather gone to sleep and fallen 
behind. He certainly roused and raised it. He carried through 
the erection of the new buildings, he introduced new Tutors, 
notably his old Clifton pupil, Mr. Charles Cannan, of Corpus, an 
intellectual force, as the world has been recently reminded by his 
loss, of a very high order. As at Clifton he attracted energetic 
and ambitious students to his College, the barometric curve of 
its Honours List began to mount. As so often happens, much 
of the College success was won after he left. He laboured, and 
others entered into his labours. Outside the College he devoted 
himself to the cause of women s education. He was one of the 
prime movers in the establishment of Somerville College, and 
rendered it an incalculable service by securing Miss Shaw Lefevre 
as the first Principal, a characteristically bold and unconven 
tional appointment. He gave much time to the establishment 
of the University College at Bristol, since developed into Bristol 
University. To me he remained the kindest and most paternal 
of friends, continually asking me to his house or to dine with 
him in Hall. In the Christmas vacation of 1880-1881 I took 
what soon after became common enough, but then was hardly 
known, a winter trip to the Engadine. It was a delightful 
experience. There were one or two amusing episodes. The 


first was when, at a Station Hotel just before starting from Paris 
for Bale, we were grossly overcharged for a poor dinner and still 
poorer washing accommodation. I can see my old Headmaster 
now, annoyance and wrath at being imposed upon and a north- 
countryman s canny desire for economy commingled in his looks, 
towering over the little French waiter who presented the " addi 
tion," and saying in north-country accents, " Taake it away 
maan, there s some mistaake in the figures. Taake them away 
and get them chaanged," and my surprise when the bill was 
brought back reduced. The next adventure was with a different 
nationality. We were driving from Chur in the brief winter 
day over the Julier to St. Moritz, tired and sleepy with our 
previous night s journey and some good " Veltlin " wine. 
Suddenly the sledge ran off the tracl$ and slid down the steep 
bank ; we were tumbled into the powdery snow, losing the 
warmth we were carefully preserving with our rugs, and abruptly 
shaken up. Dr. Percival once again attempted to remonstrate 
in his best magisterial manner, but the Swiss driver paid not the 
smallest attention, only shouting directly he had got the horses 
and the sleigh straight, " Shteeg een, shteeg een, esh kommt 

One social and ceremonial event during this period is of 
peculiar interest because of the personalities that it brought 
together. Very soon after Percival became President of 
Trinity, John Henry Newman, already an Honorary Fellow 
of his old College, became a Cardinal. Immediately after 
his return to England from the Consistory at which he 
was invested, Percival wrote asking him to dine with the 
College at the Gaudy, on Trinity Monday, 1880, and the 
Cardinal accepted the invitation. It is interesting to reflect 
upon the divergence of view between the President and his 
guest ; it could hardly be wider. The representative 
character of the meeting from an intellectual point of view 
was, however, not so complete as Percival tried to make it. 
One of the distinguished Oxonians invited to meet the 
Cardinal on this occasion was Mark Pattison. 

May 15, 1880. 

DEAR MRS. PERCIVAL Let me write, what I have already 
expressed to you, my thanks for your kindly including me in the 
party you invite to meet the Cardinal, and to add that my regret 


at not being able to avail myself of your invitation is much 
softened by what you have told me, viz. that Newman had 
expressed a wish to see me. . . . Believe me, dear Mrs. Percival, 


The Cardinal stayed with Percival for a few days. From 
this time onwards Percival often wrote to him, and being 
in Rome in 1887 sent him a painting of his Church San 
Pietro in Vellabro, which Newman always kept in his room 
and caused to be hung at the foot of his bed when he was 

In the following year a terrible blow fell upon the 
President and Mrs. Percival. Their youngest son, Freddie, 
a specially clever boy, full of spirit and with a gift for 
music, was killed through an accident when out riding on 
Portmeadow. It was a lifelong sorrow, and in the first 
months it was very hard to bear. Jowett wrote to Percival 
in the following winter : 

I sometimes fear that you are disappointed with Oxford. No 
wonaer that the sky should seem dark and heavy to you after 
the calamity of last year. I miss the little fellow though I hardly 
knew his name. He used to touch his cap and come and walk 
with me as though he thought that I was a friend of his because 
I was a friend of yours. I do not suppose that I can quite realise 
the agony which the recollection of him causes to you and his 
mother. But you must endeavour to get over it, or it will do 
you great harm, worse than the long overwork of Clifton. You 
must leave him where he is with God. If you are depressed it 
makes you less fit for work in College and in the University. 
And you are no longer able to take that hopeful view of things 
which is the soul of success. 

Three years after his election at Trinity, Percival s 
connection with Bristol and Clifton was renewed by his 
appointment to a Canonry of Bristol Cathedral. It was 
Lord Selborne who, as Lord Chancellor, brought this about. 



Oct. 3/82. 

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT You are, no doubt, aware that there 
is a vacant Canonry at Bristol : and probably you may also 
know that it would give pleasure to many of your friends, there 


and elsewhere, to see it conferred upon yourself. I have such 
entire confidence in you, that I should not hesitate to be governed 
by your own judgement as to its compatibility, in point of 
residence and otherwise, with your present duties in Oxford. 
You would, I feel sure, agree with me, that in these days a 
Canonry in a Cathedral Church ought not to be conferred, or 
accepted, as a sinecure or mere preferment ; and that it is an 
office, the duties of which ought to be regarded, not as limited 
to the necessary performance of services in the Cathedral during 
certain months of residence, but as extending to every kind of 
salutary influence which may be made to radiate from the 
Cathedral as from a centre. That you have the gifts and personal 
qualities, and also the due sense of the high calling of a Christian 
minister, which are necessary for the exercise of such an influence, 
I feel sure : and, if you have no doubt as to its compatibility 
with the duties of President of Trinity, I shall have none. 
Believe me, dear Mr. President, very sincerely yours, 


Oct. 9, 1882. 

MY DEAR LORD I have now given my best consideration to 
the question which you have so generously left to my decision, 
and I have also consulted two or three friends whose judgment 
I believe to be sound and dispassionate. They advise my 
acceptance of the Canonry, and are so good as to say that it 
affords an opportunity for Christian work in Bristol that I 
should under the circumstances do wrong to decline. I say little 
of my own judgment because it is so difficult to eliminate feeling 
in a personal matter, but I see no obstacle to a proper discharge 
of my combined duties as Canon and Head of a College ; and I 
therefore accept the Canonry with much gratitude for the 
confidence you have reposed in me. I will only add that I shall 
take up the office as a sacred trust and hope by God s help to be 
enabled so to discharge its duties as to fulfil in some degree what 
I know to be your wishes for the good of the Church and the City 
of Bristol. I am, etc., 




Oct. 1 182. 

DEAR MR. PRESIDENT I am very glad that you have seen 
your way to accept the Canonry, and I have not the least doubt 


that the appointment will turn out to be much for the public 

With hearty good wishes to Mrs. Percival and yourself, 
believe me, ever yours truly, 


This involved the establishment of a second home in the 
neighbourhood of the Cathedral, and such a home was found 
after a period of " residences " in " furnished rooms " 
in Callender House. As Canon of Bristol he was able 
to do one great piece of work, for it was he who started 
the Sunday evening services in the Nave of the Cathedral. 
Those services have been from that time onwards a great 
feature in the religious life of Bristol and a strong spiritual 
influence on the community. But they were not started 
without difficulty. Dean Elliot at first refused permission 
to use the Nave : You cannot preach there ; there is no 
pulpit and the chapter will not provide one as no one would 
come." Percival replied by asking, " If I can get a pulpit, 
will you give permission for the services ? " Permission 
was given. Percival at once went to a cabinetmaker ; the 
pulpit was made, at Percival s expense, within a week, and 
the Nave was crowded every Sunday evening. It was a 
great disappointment that the pulpit was removed and the 
services discontinued at the end of his " residences/ 

Mr. Vaughan Nash gives the following account of 
Percival s activities in Bristol at this time : 

I used to see Dr. Percival now and again during the period 
when he was dividing his time between Oxford and Bristol. As 
a junior recruit to the movement for starting evening schools, 
which he was looking after, as well as an onlooker on the out 
skirts of some rather forlorn industrial movements, one had 
opportunities from time to time of watching him in action, of 
observing that great and moving personality as it revealed itself 
in committee- work, on the platform, and even sometimes in 
tete-a-tete talk duly manoeuvred for. Three of my brothers had 
been at school under him at Clifton, which perhaps detracted a 
little from the presumption. 

I recall him in the chair at the evening school s committee 
at Goldney House and other places, listening with grave patience 
to our fumbling reports, beaming encouragement on hopeful 



suggestions and on work accomplished, chilling us to the marrow 
when it came to inviting explanations as to why the bright ideas 
of the previous meetings had got no further. I remember also 
his visit one evening to a school with a big complement of unruly 
boys, and how he admonished them, with extreme sternness, on 
the virtue of reverence, the lack of which had led to disturbance. 
How were the little band of worried teachers to elicit reverence 
from these urchins when that august presence, cold, shrouded, 
awful as an Alpine peak, bespoke it, alas ! in vain ? Again 
I recall him at a nightmare of a meeting convened by the Trades 
Council to consider the project of a Hall a Percival project ; 
there was an audience of less than a dozen, and he had come down 
on purpose from Oxford, armed with plans and an address. But 
the plans were unfolded, the details tranquilly set forth, the votes 
of thanks fearfully proposed, and we went home from the tragedy 
with a heavy sense of sin, but unreproached. Dr. Percival put 
much labour into what are in contemporary language known as 
" wash-outs," and there was in those days, I really think, some 
thing about the atmosphere of Bristol-cum-Clifton that conduced 
to wash-outs. 

However that may have been, to the workmen of the city his 
sympathy and support were given without stint, and he was 
a noble advocate. Percival saw what movements like Trade 
Unionism and Co-operation meant, and the fervent and whole 
hearted backing he gave them counted for something in those 
prehistoric days, though they were a cause of perplexity to some 
of his friends. His sermon at the Plymouth Co-operative 
Congress would, I think, if the fittest sermons survive, remain 
on record. 

Others, who knew him well, can speak of the impression he 
made on them in personal intercourse. To me, as little more 
than a boy, the charm was deep. By some magic as it then 
seemed, the austere man melted into the gentle, friendly, com 
panionable being a contemporary who ranged himself alongside 
as if to invite and bestow confidences. Since those days fortune 
has permitted me, at a respectful distance, to come within ken 
of many distinguished men in various walks of life, but his 
personality, with its wonderful blend of beauty, dignity, and 
nobility, remains to me the most illustrious of them all. If Mr. 
Hardy had known him, one fancies that he would have been 
tempted to place him with the Presences and Beings. 

The sermon to which Mr. Vaughan Nash refers was 
delivered on Whit-Sunday afternoon, June 13, 1886, in 



St. Andrew s Church at Plymouth. Its message is familiar 
now, though still but little heeded. In 1886 it was some 
thing of a portent when uttered from a pulpit of the 
Established Church. 

Competition is neither more nor less than the expression in 
your social activity of individual selfishness. However we wrap 
it up and disguise its character, when we come to examine it we 
find that it is at bottom nothing else but the endeavour to make 
gain for ourselves out of the struggle for individual success. It 
is, in fact, a sort of strife or warfare. 

Competition, then, is antagonistic in its very essence to the 
principles of Christianity, for Christianity is rooted in love and 
sacrifice, in the sense of membership in Christ, and in the care 
for the weak and suffering, whilst St. Paul and his contemporaries 
would have said quite plainly, " competition is rooted in anti 

We may take it as an axiom that every attempt to remedy 
the evils of life will end in failure, if it relies upon law to effect 
the cure, while it leaves the nature and the tempers, the aims and 
affections, and the spirit of men very much as it finds them. 

Thus it is that Socialism without Christianity has no chance 
of enduring success. You cannot create a new world except by 
creating a new heart and a new purpose in common men. " He 
that would reform the world," said some writer," " must begin 
by reforming himself." And it is true. If you really desire to 
make the world better, your first act will be the constant prayer 
" Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit 
within me." 

The Report of the Archbishop s Fifth Committee of 
Inquiry on Christianity and Industrial Problems was 
rightly hailed in 1918 as marking an epoch. The ethical 
criticism of economic systems and doctrines received from 
its publication a quasi-official church sanction. But in 
principle it only expands what Percival preached to the 
Co-operative Movement in 1886. 

At Trinity as elsewhere Percival was active in schemes 
for reform. He aimed at increasing the usefulness of Oxford 
as a whole and of his own College in particular. He had 


already urged upon the various colleges a scheme whereby 
they should plant some of their Fellows in the great pro 
vincial centres as Professors in a kind of University College. 1 
He now followed the same ideal by enthusiastic woik as a 
pioneer of the University Extension Movement. 2 But he 
also meditated a startling step with a view to the develop 
ment of the non-collegiate system as a means whereby poor 
men might genuinely obtain, in almost unlimited numbers, 
the benefits of a University education, 



Dec. 29, 1882. 

MY DEAR VICE-CHANCELLOR ... I see by the Times that 
Kitchin has resigned. This gives an opportunity which might 
be made of great service to the unattached. I wonder where you 
will look for his successor ? 

Supposing you to be at a loss for a suitable man, should you 
think it a mad thing for me to offer to undertake it, resigning 
Trinity for the purpose, if I found on reckoning up that I could 
afford to do it financially ? At present I don t know the value 
of the Censorship, 

I don t suppose I shall ever be able to do much good for 
Trinity ; and if I were to go they might probably elect Raper, 
who would make a very suitable Head in many ways. 

As Censor of the Unattached, I suppose I should be pretty 
free to work out a good system, and the work would interest me 
more than anything else in Oxford. 

The two drawbacks that occur to me are (i) that it might 
involve my family in sacrifices which perhaps I ought hardly to 
lay upon them, and (2) that average people, who are the majority, 
might think it either an eccentric or flighty thing to do, or else 
suspect some ulterior object and oppose or thwart ; and either 
of these might suffice to bring about a failure. 

But if you thought it really worth doing in order to make the 
system effective (i) for poor men, and (2) for elder men wishing 
to pursue some particular branch of study, I should be tempted 
to try it if the delegates would give me the chance. Only in that 
case I should have first to look carefully into the money question. 
Yours ever, 


1 See pp. 261 et seq. * See pp. 265 et seq. 


Dec. 31. 

MY DEAR PRESIDENT I am very glad that you take an 
interest in the Non-Collegiate students. There are two things 
most pressing in English education : (i) The improvement and 
extension of intermediate schools ; (2) the extension of the 
Universities to a larger class of students. 

What will be the future of the Non-Collegiate students at 
Oxford is rendered uncertain by the resignation of Kitchin, who 
has accepted a Tutorship at Christ Church. The great error 
hitherto has been the indiscriminate admission of them. Either 
they should come by special permission for the study of a special 
subject, or they should be up to a little-go standard of proficiency. 

I would strongly advise you not to hint to any one an intention 
or desire to give up the Presidentship. It would be a great error ; 
you would be embarked on a very difficult enterprise without 
the advantage of a considerable Oxford position. The Vice- 
Chancellor and Proctors would be too glad to appoint you, but 
is it quite certain that you could do as much for the students in 
the position of Censor as you might as President of Trinity ? 
Unpaid service, if a man is willing to give it unsparingly, goes 
further than paid service, and by having a lecture for the Non- 
Collegiate students you might get to know as many of them as 
you could really help without interfering with your own College 

I think also that you are mistaken about your success at 
Trinity. You have surely got on very well. Does not the 
College increase in numbers ? You have helped female educa 
tion ; you have gathered a pleasant society about you and your 
hospitality is greatly valued. No one who has a great deal of 
energy will long be popular in Oxford, especially if he does not 
express the feelings of any party. He is suspected of doing 
things and meaning to do tilings which the majority do not like. 
There is intense childish sensitiveness and jealousy, and so a 
good deal of personality arises. No good man works for popu 
larity, but most of us like sympathy : of this at Oxford we must 
not expect much from our equals and contemporaries, who would 
for the most part like our enterprises to fail : there is a great deal 
often exaggerated from undergraduates. Good preaching is 
one of the few things that command respect. For some reason 
or other, perhaps egotism, or the love of independence, there is 
very little fidelity to one another less than in the old days of 
College life. Men betray one another in the most curious 
manner, often unintentionally and from mere thoughtlessness. 


But I am drawing rather too unfavourable a picture of them : 
what I was myself slow to learn in Oxford is that if you want to 
do any good there you must be indifferent to public opinion, and 
must not expect to be placed where you could be most useful. 

If you leave Trinity at all you should either go to a Bishopric 
or to the Deanery of Bristol. Ever yours sincerely, 


Jan. 8, 1883. 

MY DEAR MASTER I should have thanked you for your kind 
letter earlier, but I thought I would let the matter rest in my 
mind for a few days. What set me thinking of the unattached 
Censorship was my long-cherished belief that the system might 
develop into something really creditable to the University, and 
of service to the country. 

It is not that I feel uneasy where I am. The College is in a 
much better condition in various ways than when I came ; but 
I expect it would go on well in its quiet little way under any 
fairly good Head ; and if there was an opportunity of doing a 
really good piece of work, life is short and it might be worth 
while to try it. 

The Censor s work seems to me to need, if it is to be well 
done, appreciation of new conditions, some power of initiative, 
and adaptation, sympathy with poor men, organising faculty 
and the gift of inspiriting and stimulating. The Censor should 
also be known to some extent outside Oxford, and should have 
the confidence of those interested in education in populous 
places. I hope I am not ridiculously egotistic in thinking that 
in some of these respects I should probably suit the place as well 
as any one who is likely to be available ! 

Still, I feel the force of what you say, and I shall probably 
have an opportunity for a little conversation with you next week. 
Meanwhile I may say this : that if in the present state of affairs 
it were thought undesirable to appoint a permanent Censor, and 
the following suggestion was not altogether unpractical, it would 
be at your service : 

Mr. Kitchin having been unexpectedly appointed to a post 
which necessitates his resignation of the Censorship, it is thought 
desirable that no permanent appointment should be made at 
present ; 

As an ad interim arrangement the President of Trinity has 
agreed to perform the Censor s duties without salary till June 
1884, if required ; 


The Censor s salary would be in the meantime at the disposal 
of the Delegates for the payment of Tutors, or for such other 
provision for the students as the University has undertaken to 
make as soon as possible. 

The purpose of this ad interim arrangement is to give time 
to the University to arrange finances and see what kind of 
permanent provision for the Non-Collegiate students would be 
most beneficial to their interests and those of the University 
generally. Yours sincerely, 


The proposal was not adopted. But it shows beyond 
question its author s zeal to make Oxford accessible to poor 
men. It is also congruous with Percival s preference for a 
Day School over a Boarding School that he should have 
considered the Non-Collegiate system capable of such develop 
ment that through it a large number of men could gain the 
chief advantages of membership of the University. To have 
resigned a Headship in order to become Censor of the Un 
attached Students would have been an almost revolutionary 
action in the Oxford of that, or indeed of any other, date ; 
and most people will agree with Jowett that it could hardly 
have resulted in increased usefulness. 

Trinity College therefore remained his immediate sphere. 
The chief development made in that sphere during his reign 
and its abiding monument was the building of the new 
quadrangle. For this he himself surrendered a year s salary 
and persuaded the Fellows to do the same. He also had 
to give up his stables and large kitchen-garden. The 
acquisition of Kettel Hall, which stood between Trinity 
College and Broad Street, was a necessity if the plans 
were not to be sadly cramped and spoilt. Percival showed 
admirable persistence and tact in regard to its purchase. 
It was the property of Oriel College ; the Provost and 
Fellows were at first unwilling to sell. Percival obtained 
plans from Mr. (now Sir) T. G. Jackson, showing the 
difference which the possession of Kettel Hall would 
make. As soon as the Provost and Fellows of Oriel were 
convinced of the great difference involved for Trinity 
College, they agreed to the sale, Percival having given the 


assurance " that we have no thought of the sale interfering 
with the present occupancy of the Hall." Many colleges 
were enlarging their borders at that time. For Trinity there 
were special difficulties. It needed a man of great determina 
tion to overcome them. Percival s methods sometimes 
created friction ; but by the same qualities he saved his 
College from losing its position by a failure to grow in 
numbers when such growth was the order of the day. 

Those were days of expansion. But it was never of 
expansion alone that Percival was thinking. Constantly his 
mind was at work upon the moral and spiritual influences in 
Oxford which would help to determine the future lives of its 
students. As he left a visible memorial of his reign at 
Trinity in the new quadrangle, as well as an invisible memorial 
in the traditions of the College, so he left an abiding institu 
tion in the life of the University. Few influences in Oxford 
are so important as the Sunday evening sermons for under 
graduates in St. Mary s. There undergraduates have the 
opportunity, Sunday by Sunday, of hearing the Christian 
doctrine and way of life set forth by its most competent 
exponents, and many have been set to think afresh or led to 
dedicate their lives in service by the appeals made on those 
occasions. The undergraduates who attend the official 
University sermons are few ; the evening sermons are the 
one spiritual influence steadily directed to the under 
graduates of the University as a whole. Those sermons 
were instituted by Percival when he was President of Trinity. 
The following is the letter in which he made the proposal to 
the Vicar of St. Mary s : 

April 7, 1880. 

MY DEAR SIR I hope you will pardon the liberty I take in 
venturing to intrude upon you with this note. 

Being anxious to do some little work for the undergraduates, 
and having long felt that the Sunday evenings afford an oppor 
tunity which might perhaps be turned to good account, I have 
thought of trying to organise a series of Sunday evening lectures, 
addresses, or sermons for the next Michaelmas and Hilary terms 
if I can get promises of help from suitable persons. It is very 
possible that with your long and large experience of University 


life you may think such an experiment likely to fail, but if the 
proposal commends itself to your judgment, may I ask whether 
you would be willing to mark your approval by allowing the use 
of St. Mary s ? 

I had thought of 8 o clock as probably a suitable time, and I 
should of course be ready to take all the trouble of the business 
on my own shoulders, giving one or two of the lectures each term 
myself, and finding lecturers for the other evenings. Such a 
course would necessarily involve some little expense on account 
of lighting, warming, cleaning, and attendance, and for all this 
I should hold myself responsible. 

If you approve of the idea you will probably wish to ask 
various questions before giving an answer to the request I have 
been so bold as to make. If so, I should be very pleased to call 
on you at any time convenient to yourself, and meanwhile I 
must beg you to pardon my intrusion. I am, my dear sir, yours 


This was the inauguration of one of the most important 
religious institutions in the life of the University. At first 
Percival invited the preachers, but the evening sermon 
survived his departure from Oxford. On February 21, 1909, 
in a sermon from which quotation has already been made, 1 
he said : 

I have a singular interest in these, your Sunday evening 
gatherings in this place oft manifold associations. Twenty-eight 
years ago or thereabouts, by the kindness of the Vicar of this 
University Church, I was permitted to start and personally to 
manage these courses of Sunday evening sermons, inviting the 
preachers, and responsible for all arrangements, and sometimes 
I may myself have preached to the fathers of some among you. 
Thus you will readily understand how I see other faces than 
yours as I look around me, and my thoughts are occupied with 
crowding memories. 

It is probably a small proportion of the Heads of Houses 
of whom it could be said that their preaching was a vital 
part of their work. But Percival was not content with 
organising sermons in the University Church. At Trinity, 
as at Clifton and Rugby, his influence was concentrated 

1 P. 70. 


in his sermons in the Chapel, where he preached once or 
twice a term. In those sermons, Bishop Robertson writes : 

Little was said of anything touching the ecclesiastical side of 
Christianity, dogmatic or organic, but immense stress was laid 
on all that went to the building up of life and character, setting 
us high and exacting aims and spartan severity in following them 
up. There was little to win or conciliate, but much to search, 
probe, pull up and stimulate character and will. 

It is clear that these sermons greatly impressed both 
dons and undergraduates. Canon Galpin helps us to picture 
the scene : 

I shall never forget those evenings. The Chapel lighted up 
in its primitive way by rows of candles fixed on to the pews 
the splendid carvings of Grinling Gibbons just catching the gleam 
here and there and Percival standing in the President s stall at 
the west end, his head slightly on one side, his fine, clean-cut 
features showing up against the candle-light with a strange 
chiaroscuro effect, his voice retaining still the accent of his 
northern home as he upheld the sanctities of life and poured out 
vials of scorn on all that was " low and degraded." 

Exactly the same impression is given by the graphic 
words of Bishop Gore : 

His sermons were fine exhibitions. We felt that a great, 
strong, righteous will was expressing itself amongst us with pro 
found astonishment at our being content to be such fools as we 
were ; and this was to me very bracing. 

Perhaps that is the best summary that could be given of 
the impression which Percival made at Trinity : " We felt 
that a great, strong, righteous Will was expressing itself 
amongst us." 

Such a will could hardly be satisfied with such an arena. 
When the Headship of Eton became vacant by the appoint 
ment of Dr. Hornby to be Provost, he refused to stand, as he 
was asked by many friends to do, but let it be known, as 
Sir William Anson informed Sir Herbert Warren, that he 
would be willing to undertake the duty ; but the Governors 


of Eton were not then inclined to break the old rule of pre 
ferring an Etonian or to pass over the obvious Etonian 
candidate, Dr. Warre. Shortly after this, Harrow became 
vacant ; he was asked to stand, and again refused. The 
choice fell on another Etonian, Dr. Welldon. In 1886, 
Rugby was again needing a Headmaster, and the Governors 
of their own motion invited the man they had twice passed 
over. On November 17, 1886, the Bishop of Worcester wrote 
on behalf of the Rugby Governing Body to offer Percival the 
Headmastership. He immediately decided to accept. The 
following is the letter in which he gave the news to Professor 
Robinson Ellis for communication to the Common Room : 


Nov. 18, 1886. 

DEAR ELLIS I believe Mrs. Percival told you yesterday 
evening of the offer that had just been made to me and of my 
acceptance of it. I only returned from Bristol this morning, so 
I could not write to you earlier myself. 

But I feel that I ought to lose no time in letting you know, 
and through you the other Fellows, that my duties will com 
mence at Rugby after the Easter Vacation that being so, I 
should gladly go on with my work here till Easter if that is 
thought best, but I should like to add that I should be ready to 
resign the Presidency at such time as the Fellows may think most 
convenient and most advantageous to the College. There may 
possibly be disadvantages in deferring the change till the Easter 
Vacation, and if after deliberation it should seem desirable that 
a new election should be made earlier, I hope that you will let 
me know, so that I may fix the date of my formal resignation in 
accordance with your wishes. 

If some one is elected in January, the College will probably 
allow me to remain in our house till the end of term, or to leave 
our furniture in it, should we desire to do this, using February 
and March for the purpose of a holiday. 

I cannot conclude this letter without confessing to you that 
I have accepted the Headmastership with very mixed feelings. 
We shall all be very sorry to leave Trinity and Oxford. 

I am truly grateful to the Fellows for all their kindness, and 
feel that I owe an especial debt of gratitude to yourself and 
Woods. Yours sincerely, 



Mrs. Percival had, on receipt of a telegram, sent a note 
the previous day, which called forth the following letter 
from the Professor : 

Nov. 1 8, 1886. 

DEAR PERCIVAL I received a note from Mrs. Percival last 
evening, at 5, conveying the very unpalatable news that you were 
going to leave us. To me personally it is quite a heavy blow, 
but the position of Head of Rugby is probably one of the most 
important in England, and it would have been folly, I think, if 
you had rejected it. So I must submit to what I deprecate, but 
cannot avoid. As a Rugby man I feel very glad that you will 
carry on the best traditions of Arnoldian teaching ; and perhaps 
with more effect that you were not a Rugby boy. I can only 
regret the inevitable feeling of dreariness which the country 
about Rugby can hardly fail to produce ; in that respect Oxford 
and Clifton are very greatly to be preferred to your future, 
perhaps your permanent, residence. 

Your acceptance of Rugby seems to show that the com 
parative rest of Oxford has restored you to your healthy tone of 
body and mind ; which at the time of your election in 1878 had 
visibly suffered. I earnestly hope that the renewal of school 
work will not be dangerous to you. 

Speaking of Trinity College, I feel myself how often this must 
have displeased and even deeply offended you. Some scenes at 
College meetings have left a painful impression on my memory ; 
and I have from time to time tried to express to Mrs. Percival 
my sympathy. But, after all, it is most satisfactory to reflect 
that your Presidency must for ever be remembered as epoch- 
making in the history of the College ; our new buildings, I firmly 
believe, would never have risen without your active and steady 
support ; and the numbers of the College have increased so con 
spicuously during your Headship as to have made it in every way 
more notable and prosperous than it can ever remember to have 

As regards the time of your resignation, I should not fancy 
that any of the Fellows would be anxious to hasten it. I have 
not indeed spoken to any of them yet about it ; but as you could 
not well leave before Easter, it seems highly improbable that 
any one will wish to hurry it on. 

It is somewhat tantalising that the new President s house will 
never be occupied by you and Mrs. Percival. For her, indeed, 
Rugby will be a not altogether acceptable change. 


Again expressing to you my profound satisfaction that you 
have been our Pope longer than most who have held the papal 
chair, and that like all the successful pontiffs you have stamped 
your activity on the external form and look of the College. I 
remain, dear Percival, yours very truly, 




IT was quite natural that the Governing Body of Rugby 
School should in 1874 have chosen Dr. Jex Blake for the 
Headmaster ship. He was an old Rugbeian, a former Rugby 
master, and at that time the conspicuously successful 
Principal of Cheltenham. The grounds for the choice were 
obvious. The situation at Rugby required the most delicate 
handling. Percival had only been on the staff there for 
two years, and that short period had been twelve years 
before. A man with intimate knowledge of the School and 
its traditions would have a great advantage. Moreover, 
conciliatory methods were called for. The Governors choice 
was justified by the history of the next few years. Peace 
and harmony returned ; numbers rose again ; funds were 
collected in abundance for the greatly needed extension of 
buildings. The four years of chaos and disaster became 
only an interlude and a memory. 

In 1886 Dr. Jex Blake announced his resignation on his 
acceptance of the Rectory of Almchurch. The Rugby 
Governors, without inviting other candidatures, approached 
the President of Trinity College, Oxford. 

The Bishop of Worcester to Dr. Percival 

Nov. 17, 1886. 

MY DEAR DR. PERCIVAL I have been requested by the 
Governing Body of Rugby School to invite you to undertake 
the office of Headmaster of the School on the retirement of 



Dr. Jex Blake at Easter 1887. They are not unmindful of the 
position which you now hold after many years service in the work 
of education ; but they are willing to hope that you may not 
refuse to resume such work at Rugby ; and they feel all con 
fidence that the best interests of the School will be safe in your 

May I add my own personal wish, as Chairman of the Govern 
ing Body, that I may have the pleasure of announcing to them 
your acceptance of our invitation. Yours very truly, 


Dr. Percival to the Bishop of Worcester 


Nov. 18, 1886. 

MY DEAR LORD I will not attempt to express my sense of 
the honour the Governing Body has done me, but will only say 
in reply to your letter that I gladly and gratefully accept the 
trust which you have put into my hands. I am aware that in 
writing this I undertake a great responsibility, and that I may 
need the indulgence of the Governing Body and of my Colleagues, 
but such powers and energies as I possess will be devoted without 
reservation to the service of the School. 

I cannot conclude without thanking you for the very kind 
words you have added to your official communication, and no 
one could come to the work more conscious of the deep debt he 
owes to the School and of what is required of its Headmaster. 
Yours very truly, 


The appointment evoked universal applause. The Times 
celebrated the event with a Leading Article. Letters of hope 
and of congratulation and delight arrived by shoals. Some 
are here quoted as an indication of the estimate which men 
well qualified to judge had formed of Percival. 

From Mr. H. Lee Warner 



Nov. 17. 

MY DEAR PERCIVAL I earnestly hope that to-day will see 
you invited to come over to Macedonia and help us. We are not 
heathen, but we are rather slowbellies, and we want the calm 



firmness and quiet resolution which made Clifton a rival to 
Rugby, now to reverse the operation. You are indeed blest if 
you have the strength to undertake that task : for Rugby is a 
place one never tires of loving, and to which one can only give 
one s best work. And I believe that you are the only man that 
Rugby will welcome unitedly, though (forgive an aside) I hope 
that some of the staff will only stay long enough to welcome you. 

Jex Blake will leave you good material, and a school more 
simple and moral (I believe) than most schools. But " Town " 
wants organising and enlivening ; the forms want to be 
diminished in numbers ; the Chapel wants a voice that can force 
itself on boys attentions ; the spirit of work which Jex first 
infused into the Vlth wants a fresh pair of bellows. 

Forgive my writing thus at length. It is very impudent, but 
I do love the place very much and I long to hear you have 
undertaken it. Ever yours, 


From the Headmaster of Clifton 


Nov. 17/86. 

DEAR PERCIVAL I thought as much. I saw Temple the 
other day and pressed this on him. I am truly glad. No one 
else could so instantly restore public confidence in Rugby. You 
will have ten years more of good work in you, and put Rugby 
on a sound footing and in excellent spirits. My best wishes to 
you. Very truly yours, 


From Mr. H. G. Dakyns 



Nov. 18, 1886. 

MY DEAR DR. AND MRS. PERCIVAL I write a line to offer to you 
both and all our best wishes and congratulations. Unless there 
is anything in the step which causes pain or hesitation to your 
selves (and I feel sure it must to some degree be painful to uproot 
yourselves from Oxford), I for my part am wholly satisfied and 
rejoice greatly. As a friend I am well pleased that you should 
have a new sphere of action open to you, and that an ancient and 
laudable ambition to sit in the seat of Arnold should be satisfied. 
As a schoolmaster and Englishman I applaud the wisdom of the 
selection. As a Rugby man I dance about and am mad, and 


can only sing out (to the scandal of my more impassive and more 
ultra-Cliftonian friends) magnus ab integro saeclorum nascitur 
ordo. It does really, I think, begin again the great order of 
the years since you began your great work here twenty-five years 
ago the great order of the still longer aeon since Temple left 
Rugby or shall I not rather say since Arnold was removed ? And 
I do devoutly hope and expect and believe that another Rugby 
will ere long arise, and that you will not only have created one 
school at a time of life when some thought you too young, but 
at an age when some, judging by their own inertness and senilities, 
may look upon you as too old, you will recreate another. So 
may the blessings of Heaven keep you safely. God speed your 
work and guard your goings. Your affectionate friend, 


From the Archdeacon of Bristol 

Nov. 19.86. 

MY DEAR PERCIVAL The Leader in yesterday s Times took 
me by surprise, and it was only on second thoughts that I began 
to see how this offer had come to be accepted. 

But the more I considered it, the more I seemed to understand 
that it would be in many ways a relief to you. Arnold used 
to quote Herodotus, e^Oicrrrj 6$vvrj TroXXa (frpovlovra /x-^Sevo? 


Here we are construing those words every day : seeing 
clearly how this Cathedral Chapter might be to this City of 
250,000 souls a great centre of spiritual energy, and how its 
crazy constitution hinders it. And at Oxford I can well believe 
though in less degree your daily experience is of like kind. 
" Saxum grave Sisyphus urget." 

At Rugby there will be the delight of seeing progress uphill 
progress no doubt, but still progress. 

Then again your life won t be any longer a divided life, 
divided between duties that are hard to reconcile. For Mrs. 
Fox tells me to-day, what selfishly I am sorry to hear, that you 
mean to give up your home here. 

You have helped us so much here by strengthening our protest 
against the curse of Cathedrals selfishness in high places and 
by helping to knit together in some faint degree the interests of 
our Church and the interests of the City that we miss you much 
in our counsels. 

What is to become of us I know not ! 

Anyhow, the manner of the offer must have given you un 
alloyed pleasure. And to me as an old Rugbeian it is delightful 

iv RUGBY 97 

to think that the School will be under a master who will view 
his work as a cure of souls. Ever yours faithfully. 


From the Principal of Somerville 


DEAR MR. PRESIDENT 1 ought to congratulate you on your 
appointment, but I can only bring myself to think how fortunate 
Rugby is that you have consented to take it. But it is very hard 
to see how you are to be spared from Oxford, where you have 
done and are doing so very much. No one does so much for 
Oxford as you do, and every wise and important measure has 
been promoted and pushed forward by your strength and 
influence. I feel as if everything would come to a standstill now. 

Somerville is but one of the many works you have begun and 
carried through, and no one knows better than I do what it owes 
to you and the time and trouble you have so freely given to help 
us on. My only hope is that you will not desert us now, for it 
would be the greatest misfortune to us if you did not continue 
to take the lead as you have done. 

I must entreat you not to let your leaving Oxford make any 
difference to us. 

I have not had courage to tell any one here of your appoint 
ment, but I think all will share in my dismay. Fortunately 
Rugby is not very far off, and you will be much in Oxford, I hope, 
but I cannot really face the idea of your leaving Oxford yet. 
Yours very sincerely, 


From Mr. Arthur Sidgwick 


MY DEAR PRESIDENT (Not long to be so addressed) I was 
truly sorry to find you out when I called the first free moment 
to shake your hand to-day. 

I can t help thinking of that day when I was in bed with 
malaria at Perugia (19 Feb. 1874), being an exile from Hayman, 
and had the telegram that Jex was appointed at Rugby and 
how I turned my face to the wall that it was not you. 

Since then I have learned to do more justice to Jex Blake, as 
a generous man, a sincere man, a brave man, and a good man. 

Your task will be harder now than in 1874, inasmuch that 
almost any man who came after Hayman must have succeeded, 



at least at first, if he was honest and a gentleman ; what had to 
be set right there was a chaos of which boys, men, and the world 
were equally tired. But now Rugby is a good school, but what 
is wanted is spirit and a leader. It is hard ; but it is because 
we all felt and feel that if you would you could give us what we 
wanted more than any man, that we have all been hoping to see 
this day, and now we see it we know I say we, for I truly 
believe that those who make up the real Rugby all over England 
are united on this matter that it must cost you something to 
take up the heavy work and responsibility again, after you have 
already done a work enough for an ordinary man ; and we give 
you from our hearts the gratitude which such an effort deserves, 
in full measure beforehand. 

I shall hope to see you presently ; but, after all, I can say 
better on paper perhaps the thanks and the joy and the hope of 
which I am full. Yours ever verily, 


With such greetings to cheer him, the brilliant founder of 
a new school set himself to the task of ruling and rejuvenat 
ing an ancient school, proud beyond almost all others of its 
own traditions He was fully conscious of both the ad 
vantages and the difficulties which such a pride of tradition 
brings with it. Near the beginning of his reign he wrote to 
his Clifton friend, Mr. E. M. Oakeley : 

May 4, 1887. 

MY DEAR OAKELEY At present I find this place very absorb 
ing. I cannot attempt to describe to you how kindly I have 
been received by the masters. They seem determined to do 
everything they can to make it easy and pleasant for me : all 
which fills me with some tremors lest they should be grievously 
disappointed bye and bye ; but I must do my best. You would 
say that it is natural for a man who feels himself in the presence 
of Arnold and Temple, both ready to call him to account for his 
stewardship, to feel somewhat nervous. 1 

1 The following letter from a pillar of the Rugby world brings together 
the three names in a way that will be of interest to Rugbeians. Percival 
had written from Hereford to ask Mr. and Mrs. Whitelaw to stay at the 
Palace during the Archbishop s stay, when he was to be there for the 
opening of the Cathedral Library ; he had also asked for help in the 
composition of an address on Dr. Arnold. Whitelaw replied as follows : 

iv RUGBY 99 

The life has begun to run its usual course, but we have decided 
to go back to one or two ancient ways ; so that I hope people 
will look on me as a returned colonist of Conservative proclivities. 
Ever yours affectionately, 


Accounts given by Rugbeians who were ir the School at 
the time of the transition show plainly that, when the 
prosperity, lost between 1870 and 1874, had been restored, 
a period of comparative quiescence had set in. After the 
exuberant vitality of the sixties, and the alarums and 
excursions of the early seventies, this was natural enough. 
Indeed, a period of consolidation was needed before new 
progress could be undertaken. Such times, however, are 
the most dangerous. 

Outwardly all went well ; but, as always happens at a 
school where energy so much as flags for an instant, the 
general tone was sinking. One reliable witness, who was 
in the School-house from 1882 till 1887, and soon after 
returned to Rugby as a tutor, declares : 

April 20, 1897. 

DEAR BISHOP PERCIVAL My wife and I had arranged before your 
letter came this morning (as I was tired with bicycling to Tewkesbury 
yesterday) to go over by train to Hereford, see in any case the Cathedral, 
and take our chance of seeing you. I wish we had been fortunate enough 
to find you. It is exceedingly good of you to ask us to stay at the time 
of the Archbishop s visit. There is nothing we should like better. But 
after we leave here we have two visits to make before term begins, and 
we must be away from here next Wednesday at latest. However, I 
certainly mean to contrive, if possible, just to see you somehow before 
I go. 

I am afraid my ideas about Arnold would be of little use. I have 
often and often reproached myself for not feeling more distinctly and 
directly stimulated and inspired by the thought of teaching in the place 
where he taught. I say to myself, " there thou dost lie in the gloom of 
the autumn evening/ and am not specially stirred by it, except as I am 
stirred by the earnestness and sincerity of the poem. And I suppose 
the School the boys as a rule are not conscious of Arnold as an influence 
in their lives at all. But then I console myself with thinking that, con 
sciously or unconsciously, we are all of us influenced by him, and power 
fully influenced, every day. Whether we at Rugby are more influenced 
by him than other schools, I do not know. It is a much grander and 
more inspiring thought that all English schools are influenced by him 
(in proportion as they are good) equally with us : and that all, in proper- 


When I first went to Rugby there was a good deal of bullying 
and a tradition of much worse things in the recent past. The 
bullying was easing off while I was there ; I don t think it was 
merely that I grew bigger. And there was a great deal of foul 
talk and immorality a great deal. 

When I came back in 1890 the tone had quite changed, and 
I believe immorality was practically dead. 

I was only one term under Percival, and that term he was 
looking round and seeing how things were though one could 
feel there was a strong hand over us ; but next term he began 
to clean out and did it thoroughly. 

There can be no doubt that Percival was surprised and 
disappointed to find how low the tone of Rugby had 
become. 1 Indeed he was broken-hearted, for Rugby 

tion as they are doing good work, are working with his ideas, on his lines 
consciously or not. And even consciously, I suppose there are boys 
(and masters) of imagination who feel his presence, both directly some 
times and as reaching them through others. It must be, even if we do 
not always or often think of it, that in many ways he caters as a factor 
into the atmosphere of the place, and so still " performs the word of the 
Spirit in whom he lives." I am thinking as I write of the work which 
you did there : how you purified and refined the moral atmosphere. I 
never cease to be thankful for it : I feel continually that it is good for 
us to be there. The air is wholesome. It is permeated by good influences 
aSpai dirb xP r J ffT ^ >v Tbiruv <j)tpovcrai vytetav. There are I don t know 
how many boys there are to whom in my thoughts I stand con 
tinually in Arnold s phrase " cap in hand." And I know that it is no 
disparagement, quite the reverse, to the new and original and moral 
impulse which you brought to the life of the School, to think of your work 
in it as most truly a continuation of Arnold s work. 

I do not like the bust of Arnold which has been set up in our midst. 
But the Archbishop s visit (for the unveiling of it) was most inspiring. 
He spoke with astonishing eloquence and fire, and with great simplicity, 
dwelling on just the essential thing the paramount importance of moral 
and spiritual aims. He spoke as one who had been himself inspired by 
Arnold. I am sure his words must have gone home to many boys, and 
done something for the time done a great deal to bring the School 
into a new and living relation with Arnold himself. I know that they 
were really stirred by him his sermon, his speech, his presence. 

I have rambled on : I hope I have not written too much. Ever 
sincerely yours, R. WHITELAW. 

1 For the story of the moral reformation of Rugby, I am mainly in 
debted to Mr. G. F. Bradby, from whose account of Percival s reign there, 
contained in an impression which was sent to me in the form, not of a 
history, but of a private letter, I shall quote freely in the course of my 


RUGBY ioi 

had always been his ideal school. He realised that 
he would have to do a great deal in a short time. He 
could not wait to develop his policy. Had he been a 
younger man he would probably have settled the moral 
question before he went on to the intellectual one. As 
it was, reforms in all directions had to be pushed forward 
simultaneously ; the inevitable result was the maximum of 
friction. He had to remake Rugby with a narrow time- 
limit. How far such thoughts had been from his mind when 
he accepted the Headmastership is shown by the fact that 
when asked what he intended to do there he replied, " I 
don t know yet. The one thing I do know is that I am 
going to introduce a pension-scheme for masters." That 
pension-scheme was never even outlined so great was the 
rush of unexpected problems. It is astonishing that in the 
midst of that pressure he was able to build so surely and 
strongly ; there was no opportunism in his work ; he was 
always following a consistent policy. 

The first real insight into his character which the School 
as a whole was able to get was in the Lent Term of 1888, 
when he expelled five boys on the spot, striking their names 
publicly off the School list, and sent away many others at the 
end of the term. His power lay in the fact that he really 
did hate evil and never believed that it was inevitable. 
He lashed vice itself with white-hot scorn and disgust ; and 
then with slow, deliberate strokes he beat the " moral 
cowardice " of the majority who disliked the thing but were 
responsible for it by their cowardice. " Nobody who was 
present at that gathering in New Big School will ever forget 
it. One could feel the School wincing and writhing the tall 
stern figure on the platform (he seemed about forty feet high), 
the white face lit up with intense but controlled moral 
indignation the pause, and then the word or phrase that 
fell like a lash. And behind it all the feeling of power and 
righteousness and judgment to come. The School went out 
smarting, some of them angry, all of them frightened. Like 
Lady Macbeth, they had suddenly realised in the face of 
another the horror of their own deeds." l 

1 G. F. Bradby. 


Percival fully accepted Arnold s principle : " The first, 
second, and third duty of a Headmaster is to get rid of 
unpromising material/ 

During the former reign, minor athletic distinctions had 
greatly multiplied. Percival regarded these as unwhole 
some, tending to give a privileged status to boys who had 
done nothing to deserve it and were likely to abuse it. He 
swept them away wholesale. The first football distinction 
is a " flannels " dating from the time when to obtain this 
distinction was to be allowed to change into flannels for the 
game ! It is now represented by the substitution of black 
stockings for grey on the football field. In 1887 it also 
carried with it the right to wear a thin gold braid on the 
house-cap. No act of Percival s was so unpopular as the 
abolition of that braid. But the suppression of minor 
" swells " was an important factor in the restoration of 
strong moral discipline. 

Fundamental to his whole scheme was the revival of a 
sense of corporate responsibility in the Sixth Form, which 
he restored to its historic room from the place in the new 
building to which Jex Blake had moved it. Very early he 
had opportunity and occasion to insist on the responsibility 
of the Sixth for moral discipline. One morning, after a short 
pause, he began to speak in his most northern accent, which 
was always intensified when he was roused. The other 
day/ he said, " an auld Rugbeian came down to this school ; 
he proposed to send his boy to his auld house. He went into 
his auld house ; and he was met with such a flood of filthy 
language that he said, I shall not send my boy to that 
house. " Then he glared round, and the Sixth Form had 
the experience, to them a novel one, of feeling that somehow 
they were regarded as collectively responsible. 

Along with the direct reformation of morals went the 
intellectual development. In part the two were, as always 
at a school, inseparable. Idleness is neglect of duty, and is 
therefore immoral in itself ; it also leads to immorality of 
other kinds. When Percival first came to Rugby the School 
as a whole was very idle. He gradually introduced " that 
bugbear alike of the educational idealist and of the idle boy 

iv RUGBY 103 

test questions on paper at the beginning of a lesson." l 
He created quite a sensation by treating persistent idleness 
as a moral fault and flogging a boy who had got a very bad 
half-term report. But he was determined not only to insist 
on more industry but to raise the level of intellectual quality. 
To this end he increased the value of and number of scholar 
ships, squeezing the necessary money out of the masters, 
chiefly the house masters, after collecting what he could 
from Old Rugbeians in memory of Lord Derby, Theodore 
Walrond, and others. 

From the first he took a keen interest in games, as he 
had done at Clifton. Mr. H. C. Bradby, now a Rugby House 
master, was astonished at being sent for to explain the 
mysteries of "Belows, II Belows, and III Belows " the 
names given to the ordinary inter-House games at Rugby. 
He insisted on knowing on what grounds they played, who 
captained them, what clothes they wore, who paid for the 
footballs, the cricket material, and so forth. In order to 
improve the quality and raise the status of cricket, he 
brought Tom Emmett to Rugby as cricket professional. 
Visitors to the Headmaster s study were often surprised to 
hear the old Yorkshireman discoursing within on the whole 
theory of batting. 

But games, though he cared for them, were only a part 
of his system. He was constantly walking about the Close 
in his top hat, with uplifted chin, watching football or 
cricket. A glance would be enough for him to mark down 
any manifestation of " bad form/ and he would mentally 
note the individual or the House. He had an unerring eye 
for the unwholesome boy. In the Close, or from his place in 
Chapel as he watched the boys filing out, he formed his 
impressions, and they were wonderfully accurate. To some 
extent they guided his disciplinary action. On one occasion 
he sentenced two boys to a birching for being absent from 
luncheon one Sunday in order to go birds -nesting. At the 
request of the Head of the House, a House Tutor intervened, 
telling him that there was a general feeling that the punish 
ment was excessive and unjust. Percival thanked the tutor 

1 G. F. Bradby. 


and commuted the sentence. But the subsequent history 
of the culprits led the tutor to think that Percival s first 
severity was justified. He had a keen eye for symptoms, 
and could diagnose the disease behind the apparently trivial 
or isolated symptom ; he knew that acts of a certain kind 
at school are seldom isolated acts. Some breaches of dis 
cipline are harmless ; some are usually indicative of general 
laxity. Such incidents Percival described in a favourite 
word as " symptomatic." 

He had no qualms about the appeal to fear as an element 
in the moral training of boys ; he employed it on principle. 
And he certainly employed it with effect. The rod in his 
left hand was no toy weapon," * and its terrors were greatly 
multiplied by the scathing remarks which he was commonly 
supposed to address to the victim between the strokes. 
" It ll hurt ye, but it s for your good ; " "I mean ye to 
remember it every day of your life." The methods were not 
those of an age when men are to be found who solemnly 
discuss whether any child should be taught anything until 
he has expressed a desire to learn it. But he did what he 
set out to do, and Rugby will for ever honour him. 

In everything he relied greatly on Mrs. Percival, regarding 
her as fully a part of himself and in some sense as his inter 
preter. She was by nature expansive as he was reticent, 
and he often left her to say what he found it difficult to say. 
Thus he sought to unbend by proxy. She was the only 
person on whom he was really dependent, and without her 
he would have been very different. She was the channel 
through which he was in touch with the human, as distinct 
from the official, side of his surroundings. Moreover she 
did much to make him intelligible to others. She created 
an atmosphere of intimacy and cordiality in which his 
shyness relaxed, and in the School House drawing-room 
there was no sense of austerity. 

At Rugby, as at Clifton, Percival showed astonishing 
capacity in the choice of assistant masters. He did indeed 
inherit some men of special distinction, chief among them 
being the renowned scholar and truly great teacher, Robert 

1 G. F. Bradby. 

iv RUGBY 105 

Whitelaw. But his own selection raised the level even of 
the Rugby tradition. Several of the men whom he chose 
became distinguished Headmasters of other schools. The 
two " Benches " of the Sixth were taken conjointly by 
himself and George Smith (now Headmaster of Dulwich) in 
the case of the Upper Bench, and J. L. Paton (now High 
Master of Manchester Grammar School) in the case of the 
Lower. When, in Dr. James s time, George Smith left to 
become Headmaster of Merchiston, he was succeeded by 
another of Percival s men, Frank Fletcher, afterwards 
Master of Marlborough and now Headmaster of Charter 
house. The present Dean of Hereford, lately Principal of 
Cheltenham, and Dr. David, who was one of Percival s 
successors both at Clifton and at Rugby, were also among 
those added to the staff by Percival. The list might be 
greatly lengthened, but only one more name shall be 
given G. F. Bradby poet, historian, idealist, satirist, 
the unfailing source of mental stimulus to many genera 
tions of boys and masters to whom he is linked in ties of 
the most delightful friendship. 

It took the ex-President of Trinity a little time to recover 
the sense of a school atmosphere in matters intellectual. At 
first he expected the Sixth to be up to the Oxford " Greats " 
standard, and to find " learning " in the assistant masters. 
But this did not last long. He brought a steady flow of new 
masters young, active men with brains straight from the 
University. He had no belief in " previous experience " ; he 
liked to get men fresh and train them. " He kept his eye 
on them ; came in occasionally to examine their Forms and 
ask impossible questions, e.g. from forms near the bottom of 
the school whose history period was the reign of George III. 
In what order did the American colonies revolt ? 
expressing grave dissatisfaction when nobody could give 
the answer. Pinpricks were a part of his policy for keeping 
young men up to the mark. Any one who sent him a letter 
or a batch of papers to which the scent of tobacco clung, 
would receive a * little note by return, containing such 
phrases as low undergraduate tone/ He knew all about 
his younger masters, their discipline, and their activities, 


and always backed them, right or wrong, if they were 
genuine triers. When one went to him after a grievous 
collapse of discipline and offered to resign, he only smiled 
and told him not to be discouraged. His weakness on this 
side was that he was always afraid of praising and could 
never unbend ; it was a kind of shyness that made it im 
possible for him to be intimate, coupled with a fear of show 
ing partiality and being unfaithful to his duties/ Even 
where relations were closest, they seldom got beyond official 
intimacy free exchange of ideas about school problems. He 
was not a man who could sit in an arm-chair in front of the fire 
and let himself go. And he had no small talk. But he liked 
people who talked to him naturally and were not afraid of him. 

" Once when I went into the study he looked up with a 
smile and, handing me a letter, said, Read that. It was 
from X. Y., and began Dear Dr. Percival, the time has now 
come when either Z. or I must leave this School. [Both 
X. Y. and Z. were pillars of the Rugby world.] It s the 
third time, said Percival, with another smile. 

" A considerable increase in the numbers on the staff, 
due to the expansion of the Modern Side and Army Class 
and the claims of Natural Science, added a financial problem 
to the many others he was called upon to face. The question 
of salaries is always a thorny one, especially where vested 
interests make any drastic solution impossible. Percival 
was laudably anxious to reduce expenses and keep the 
school fees within the means of the professional classes. 
But, though personally generous with what was his own, 
it was generally felt that as a steward of public funds he 
was inclined in the matter of salaries to push the claims of 
economy to a point at which they became irritating and 
even unjust. Perhaps some instinct for a bargain, inherited 
with his northern blood, influenced him unconsciously in 
matters of this kind, where he was thinking in terms of the 
institution rather than of the individual. Certainly the 
revised scheme which he rushed through at the close of his 
reign failed to remove a sense of grievance and proved 
unsatisfactory in the working." l 

1 G. F. Bradby. 

iv RUGBY 107 

An impression of the result of his work at Rugby is 
given in the following words of his successor in the Head- 
mastership, Dr. H. A. James, now President of St. John s 
College, Oxford : 

It is no small addition to the problems and difficulties of a 
Headmaster to find, on his accession to office, that he has to 
arrest a fall in numbers, to restore public confidence, to re 
organise discipline, to create new ideals of work. It is true that 
Dr. Percival, on becoming Headmaster of Rugby, was not con 
fronted by such a task in anything like the same degree as his 
predecessor, Dr. Jex Blake, had been ; but none the less, there was 
much left to be done in the way of reform, and Percival brought 
to the emergency the same power of organisation and of stimulus, 
the same high standard of duty and of far-reaching activity, 
which had stood him in such good stead as Headmaster of Clifton. 
The consequence was that when, on his appointment to the 
Bishopric of Hereford, I was privileged to succeed him at Rugby, 
I found little or nothing to be attempted beyond the continued 
maintenance of the high traditions which he had so sedulously 
developed. He left me a loyal and capable staff of assistant- 
masters, and an equally loyal and capable Sixth Form, both alike 
largely imbued with his own sense of responsibility and of the 
possibilities, as well as the dangers, of public school life. The 
Arnold tradition of governing through the Sixth had, in his eight 
years of rule, received a new stimulus and a new life. 

It is by no means easy, in recalling the good tone which 
prevailed at Rugby in 1895, to estimate accurately to what extent 
it was due respectively to the old traditions of the school, the 
influence of assistant-masters like Robert Whitelaw, and the 
personality of Dr. Percival. But there were two or three special 
characteristics of the school in which I seemed more particularly 
to trace his handiwork. 

(i) In no other public school with which I have been con 
nected (and I have served at four), was there so much private 
reading, outside their prescribed work, done by the higher boys. 
In the School House alone, I remember well one boy who read 
through Gibbon, another who grappled with philosophical works 
of by no means an elementary character, a third who was an 
Egyptologist, and who taught himself Sanskrit, a fourth who, 
though an excellent classical scholar, spent much of his leisure on 
micro-photographs on scientific lines. These are only examples. 
Nowhere else have I found so high a standard of knowledge and 
power of thought, alike general and specialised, as in the Sixth 


Form at Rugby ; and I cannot but think that this tradition, 
which, I am clear, was one of the secrets of the success of the 
school in the Scholarship examinations at such colleges as Balliol, 
Trinity (Cambridge), and elsewhere, was due largely to PercivaTs 
insistence, in school sermons and addresses, in his teaching and 
private conversations, upon the duty of individual reading, left 
to a boy s own choice. 

(2) Much has been said about the undue worship of athletics 
at public schools. Dr. Percival did not undervalue them ; after 
all, they have killed bullying, and taught the spirit of fair play 
and of putting the side before the individual. But he did much 
to keep them in their proper place : for one instance, he abolished 
many of the marks of distinction which the minor athletes were 
allowed to wear. That was, naturally, an unpopular thing to 
do ; but he was, as a rule, not only absolutely fearless, but entirely 
regardless of outside opinion, so long as he was doing his duty 
and consulting the interests of the school. 

(3) He knew his boys ; and his knowledge helped to mould 
their character and to raise the tone of the school. I remember 
asking him, just before I went to Rugby, to tell me something of 
the boys in the School-house at the time. He sent me a printed 
House-list with quite short notes of each boy s character as he 
conceived it. It showed, even in that brief form, how well he 
had measured their individual capacities and influences. 

I am sure that he was a great Headmaster, and that Rugby 
owes him a deep debt of gratitude. One master, who had been 
a Rugby boy under Temple, and a master under Percival both at 
Clifton and at Rugby, told me that he thought him in no way 
unworthy to take rank with that great predecessor in his capacity 
as ruler of a public school. No greater praise could have been 
given him ; and I for one think it was deserved. 


A record from the boys side, of the time when Percival 
had moulded the school to his liking, is supplied by Professor 
H. E. Butler, who became Head of the School-house in the 
year after Percival s departure : 

When I entered the School-house in 1891, Dr. Percival had 
been Headmaster for more than four years, and had already 
restored Rugby to a position she had not held since the sixties. 
I therefore saw him not as the reformer or reorganiser, but as 
the just and wise ruler of a community to which he had restored 
order and prosperity. It is naturally impossible for me to 

iv RUGBY 109 

distinguish between him as Headmaster and Housemaster, since 
I knew him in both capacities. But such a distinction is un 
necessary. A member of the School-house was privileged to feel 
his influence more directly and to regard him as more approach- 
ably human, but he was the same in both capacities, and what is 
true of him as a Housemaster is true of him as Headmaster. 

I do not think that any boy ever approached him without a 
certain feeling of awe, due to his magnificent presence and the 
sense of power that both look and voice inspired. He was born 
to command, and perhaps, born radical though he was, he would 
have shown autocratic tendencies in whatever sphere of life he 
had been placed : for compromise was wholly alien to his nature. 
But under the austere surface there was, in spite, at times, of 
appearances, a real sympathy, abundance of kindness, and a 
genuine sense of humour. Above all, his simplicity of character 
was no less remarkable than its strength. If his rule revealed 
an almost despotic firmness and austerity, it was based on trust, 
on a frank delegation of responsibility and a comprehension of 
human weakness. He was trusted absolutely. To play him 
false would have been next to impossible for any of those to whom 
he looked for the maintenance of discipline, and no Headmaster 
ever had more loyal support from his Sixth Form. Even outside 
the inner circle of boys who came into immediate contact with 
him, though there could not exist the same feeling of confidence 
or affection, there was no mistaking his influence. His person 
ality was so strong, his idealism and manliness so manifest, that 
there were few who did not undergo his influence in varying 

His sermons were probably over the heads of many, for he 
never talked down to his audience, and there was perhaps a 
certain monotony of insistence on certain duties and aspects of 
school life, which was not lessened by the somewhat monotonous 
intonation of his fine north-country voice. But he could rise to 
heights of real eloquence, and few that heard him will easily 
forget his sermon on the loss of the Victoria, or the last which he 
delivered as Headmaster, while to the older and cleverer boys his 
preaching was a real source of interest and inspiration. But if 
his pulpit utterances failed, to some extent, to make a general 
appeal, he was at his best when speaking informally to his House 
or to the School on moral questions or matters of discipline. His 
language was frank, well-chosen and direct, utterly devoid of all 
trace of sentimentality, and inspired by an exalted common sense ; 
and behind it all was felt a moral fervour and idealism of a rare 
and peculiar intensity, as a result of which the influence of his 
words on such occasions was unmistakable. 


For real evil-doing he had no mercy, and he was a terror to 
the evil-doer ; but if he was stern, he was also inexorably just. 
His anger was terrible, not because it was violent or explosive, 
but in virtue of a certain quality of white heat and of the power 
which he possessed to inspire the conviction that his anger was 
just. Like all men he made mistakes. But they were in minor 
matters. His denunciation to the School-house of Hot Cross 
Buns on the ground that they were " a relic of paganism and an 
excuse for guzzling," or his regulations as to the exact length of 
" footer shorts," may have caused irreverent amusement or ill- 
disguised irritation. But in his general control, and as regards 
all the bigger things that really mattered, as a disciplinarian he 
was unsurpassable. 

The same thoroughness characterised his teaching. A sound 
rather than an elegant scholar, he insisted on an exactitude of 
preparation which was probably unique even in an exceptionally 
well-taught school : he was clear, lucid and unfaltering in his 
translation and exegesis ; there was nothing mechanical about 
his teaching, still less any trace of cramming. He was, however, 
sound rather than inspiring, though in dealing with an author 
after his own heart, e.g. St. Paul, he could be intensely interesting. 
And he certainly instilled into his Sixth a standard of industry 
that indirectly influenced the whole attitude of the School 
towards intellectual work. 

In his personal relations with boys he was uniformly kind and 
sympathetic without being expansive. He had no trivial small 
talk, and kept games in their proper place, though he realised 
their value and had a genuine interest in cricket. To many it is 
probable he gave the impression of a certain coldness. But he 
was always natural and simple ; there was nothing formal or 
pedagogic about him, and though he was undeniably felt to be 
alarming, his real and unfailing sympathy were such that few 
would have shrunk from going to him when in difficulty or 

He was perhaps the last of the older and best type of Head 
master. The average of headmasters is probably as high to-day 
as ever it was, rjpo)a>v Se yevos Kara yala KO\VTTTI. 

His departure from Rugby came with a sense of shock to all 
those who had come under his immediate influence : they felt 
that a power was passing from their midst, and to-day many of 
them still feel that the debt which they owe their old Head 
master is one which is beyond price or estimate. 

This impression may be supplemented by the account 



which Mr. Arthur Davies gives of his Divinity teaching ; 
He writes : 

What I chiefly remember of Percival is his teaching of the 
Bible, especially of the Old Testament, to the Sixth, and the 
fearless and inspiring way in which he gave us the results of the 
Higher Criticism. I remember essays we had to write on The 
Discrepancies between the Gospels in the story of the Resurrec 
tion ; and on the remark of some bishop (was it not ?) that the 
Sermon on the Mount could not be applied to international 
relations. But perhaps the lesson that I most clearly recollect 
was when we read the story of Jael and Deborah s praise of Jael s 
conduct. " She spoke," said Percival, " as if Jael deserved the 
blessing of God. To-day, if we heard of such conduct, we should 
say that it was inspired, not by God, but rather by the devil." 
And so we were introduced to the idea of a progressive revelation 
of God, an idea which Percival developed when we read with him 
the psalms and the prophets, and learnt by heart many of their 
most beautiful passages. 

I heard in after years that he was supposed to have " shaken " 
our " simple " faith. I imagine he really helped to make it 
wholesome and reasonable and strong. 

With his Clifton experience fresh in his mind, he set 
himself early in his reign to accomplish one great reform. 
The " Town " at Rugby is now a " House " ranking as the 
full equal of the Boarding Houses. The number of day 
boys in the School is only about equal to that of one House, 
and it is not possible to avoid some sense that a boy in the 
" Town " gets less of the full life of the School than a member 
of one of the other Houses. But all that was possible 
Percival did. Before he came the Town boys were not 
allowed to play games in the Close. Mr. Paton tells how, 
when he first became Town " Tutor " the Town boys had 
formerly been attached to School-house Tutors the Town 
boys had no resting-place of their own ; if they went for a 
run, they had no place to put their coats and sweaters, 
using, in fact, the side door-step of a shop (Pepperday s) 
and the cleaners room in New Big School, which was no 
more than a magnified cupboard. Percival, believing in the 
combination of home life and the Public School tradition, 
set himself steadily to improve the status of the " Town." 


When he left, it never occurred to any one to regard it as 
other than one among the Houses, joining as a House in all 
games and competitions ; hardly any one even remembered 
that it had ever been anything else. 

Percival relied greatly on the impression which he could 
create by addresses to the School or to any section of it ; 
and well he might. The Rugby term usually began on a 
Thursday or Friday, the boys returning in time for evening 
prayers at 9.30 on one of those days. At morning Chapel 
on the Friday or Saturday, as the case might be, he spoke 
for a few minutes from the pulpit, in addition to the sermon 
or the afternoon of the first Sunday of term. So he recalled 
the School to a sense of its corporate life and the individual 
responsibilities involved in it. It is probably true that the 
senior boys at a good school have a considerably higher 
standard during term than in the holidays. At home they 
are not in the same way responsible for boys junior to them 
selves or for the general life of a society, and are justified in 
spending their time chiefly in amusement ; at school they 
are responsible for a quite perceptible influence, and many 
of them have also definite spheres of responsibility allotted 
to them. Upon these senior boys the well-being of the school 
chiefly depends ; to recall them to the sense of the school 
life and its claims at the outset of every term was a settled 
point in Percival s policy. 

But it was not only the senior boys who were in his mind. 
After breakfast, on the first day of term, all but new boys 
were sent to their form-rooms of the previous term ; the 
names of those who were promoted were read out, and these 
adjourned to their new forms. When the new forms were 
thus assembled, the term s time-table was dictated, and also 
the list of books required. While this was going on, all new 
boys went to New Big School. There the names were 
" called over " by the Headmaster, and as each boy answered, 
the keen, searching eyes were fixed on him for some seconds. 
After this came an allocution. On the occasion when I was 
one of the new boys, I remember that he spoke for some time 
in a genial and kindly manner about the opportunities and 
even the delights of life at a Public School. Then the tone 

iv RUGBY 113 

abruptly changed, and the north-country accent became 
more pronounced. " There are many bad boys here ; there 
is a lot of evil in the place." The words of the warning that 
followed I cannot recall, but they were of prophetic earnest 
ness. At the end came a ray of comfort in the assurance 
that it was good for us to have temptations to face, and that 
if we did our part we should have strengthened our char 
acters in addition to serving the School. Then came a pause ; 
a concentrated glare ; a rapid turn, and he was at the door. 
But he was not gone ; he had passed the door, and it was 
nearly closed ; then it swung open again, the magnificent 
white head reappeared, and the voice, a good deal raised, 
cut the silence like a knife : " Eh, I shall be watching you 
every day of your lives/ The door banged, and this time 
he was gone. The School Marshal told us our forms and 
how to find the form-rooms ; we moved thither a somewhat 
cowed set of little boys, feeling quite as small as we were. 

His discipline was absolutely firm, and to evil-doers he 
was a terror. He had, moreover, a deceptive trick of smiling 
when he was angry a cold, steely smile. This warning 
signal appeared unfailingly if a boy produced a plainly 
invented excuse ; but it was often taken for a sign of 
encouragement, leading the culprit to extend the tangled 
web which could only increase his undoing. Perhaps this 
had been the beginning of a scene once witnessed by an 
assistant master who came in by the turret-door, that leads 
from the study to the Close, and was asked to wait a moment. 
He found a boy pouring out a strange tale, obviously con 
cocted, by which he hoped to secure his escape ; Percival 
was sitting quite still and interjecting at intervals, like a 
minute gun : " I am going to whip you." The clear pro 
nunciation of the letter " h " in " whip " but added terror 
to the words. It may be added that the boy in question 
was certainly guilty of the offence for which he had been 
" sent up " " cabbing " in examination, " cab " being 
Rugbeian for " crib " and had boasted to his friends that 
he meant " to have the old man on." 

Yet he was perfectly free in disciplinary matters from 
anything mechanical, and was prepared to act in ways which 



some would regard as over lax. Every half -holiday there 
was, as there is at most schools, a Call Over of the whole 
School ; it took place at three o clock. To miss it was one 
of the greater disciplinary offences. Near the beginning of 
my second term I was reading in my study one half -holiday 
afternoon and suddenly realised with horror that it was 3.15 
and that " Co," as it was called, must be over. I promptly 
wrote a note consisting of the words, " W. Temple, Leave 
off C.O., " and took it up to Percival. I found him in his 
entrance hall, just returned from a ride. He took the note, 
glanced at the clock, and said, " Where were you ? " "In 
my study/ What were you doing ? " "I was reading, 
and forgot the time." What were you reading ? " " The 
Strand Magazine." Here the cold smile came, but he signed 
the note as he said, " Eh, you ought not to get so absorbed 
in that kind of stuff." 

I found afterwards that I was regarded as having per 
petrated a colossal piece of impertinence, and was told to 
thank my stars that I had not been flayed alive. But that 
was a misjudgment. I had got out of a form the previous 
term ; Percival had no reason to suppose I should be in 
serious mischief ; moreover, I had presented myself before a 
competent authority at about the proper time which was 
the purpose for which C.O. existed and it was quite accord 
ing to his principles to save a boy from wasting time over 
the writing of lines for a technical offence. No man ever 
drew a sharper distinction between moral and disciplinary 
regulations ; indeed this was the secret of his greatness as 
a disciplinarian. 

His control of the School was complete ; and it rested on 
respect fully as much as on fear. A test was offered by his 
unusual method of arrival for House Prayers one evening. 
The staircase, much worn in the treads, curls round a pillar 
and finds its lower end at the door into Hall. On one 
occasion Percival slipped near the top and arrived at the 
entrance to Hall feet foremost, having toboganned down 
most of the flight in a sitting posture. Many boys must 
have witnessed the descent ; still more, saw the entry ; but 
there was no faintest titter. With a perfectly unmoved face, 

iv RUGBY 115 

he rose to his feet and walked as usual to his place on the 
dais. Probably he was quite unconscious certainly he 
seemed unconscious of the immense compliment which had 
been paid him in the gravity and silence with which the 
House had received him. The same gravity and silence 
were only just perceptibly interrupted when, having given 
the Sixth leave to attend some function, he took Call Over 
at evening prayers himself, and hearing no answer to the 
first name he called, looked up with a gently inquiring smile 
and said, " Eh, did he say he wasn t there ? " 

He was universally and profoundly respected ; and he 
was feared, not with terror (except by the genuine evil-doer) 
but with awe. And in a sense the deepest sense he was 
loved. But he was not " popular/ He was too remote 
and distant for that. He knew his boys inside out ; but 
only a few of them felt that they knew him. Probably the 
general feeling among both boys and masters was first and 
foremost that he was a task-master. He exacted the last 
ounce of work. Also he was temperamentally a Puritan, 
and insisted on regulating every detail according to his 
notions of propriety. One of his deepest aversions was the 
habit, at one time fashionable, of wearing a cap so far back 
on the head as to show some hair on the forehead. There 
was an occasion when he met two boys out walking, one of 
whom was conforming to this fashion. " Eh," said the 
Headmaster ; " you look like a coal-heaver " ; and then to 
his companion, " Take him back to the House and comb 
his hair and put his cap on properly for him." 

Near the end of his reign he became annoyed at the 
curtailment of football shorts. He enacted that they were 
to be cut so as to reach the stocking ; no bare knees were to 
show. Of course the presence of loose flannel flapping about 
the knees is a horrible inconvenience in running, and the 
boys turned up the ends of the elongated shorts. Then 
suddenly all shorts vanished, and reappeared not only 
lengthened by the required amount, but equipped with an 
elastic band which gripped the leg just below the knee and 
could by no means be worn above it. But this was in his 
last winter, and the portentous garments were restored to 


normal length and form before the next football season 
came round. 

But there was a more serious side to his Puritanism. He 
was ready to trust absolutely an individual boy who had not 
forfeited his confidence ; but in the boys as a whole he put 
little or no trust. He feared liberty ; with all his liberalism, 
he feared liberty. He wanted to see the whole day mapped 
out and to know what every boy was doing at any moment. 
This led, undoubtedly, to some stereotyping of character. 
Dr. James refers to the tradition of wide reading in the 
School ; but this, though very marked, was confined to the 
cleverer boys who could do their out-of -school work in half, 
or less than half, the time allotted to it. The filling of the 
whole day with allotted occupations intensified one unfor 
tunate consequence which the organisation of school life is 
bound in some measure to produce. Most schoolboys do in 
fact feel lost when they reach a University. Having had the 
task of every hour scheduled, they are only bewildered at 
being told to master certain books by the end of the term, 
or perhaps in the course of eighteen months. There is no 
way of teaching boys to work for themselves except by 
giving them the chance to idle ; there is no way of teaching 
boys to use time except by giving them the chance to waste 
it. Percival was so sure that Satan would find some mis 
chief to fill any empty corner of the time-table, that he sought 
to leave no empty corners. He allowed ample time for 
games, but wished to see them organised with the same 
thoroughness as work. He left little scope for the boy of 
unusual tastes or interests. He represented in this respect 
the extreme development of one tendency in education. At 
all schools the hours and the minutes were getting organised 
by authority. In all schools the pendulum has now swung 
back considerably. The extreme point was probably reached 
at Rugby under Percival. 

But if he had some of the weaknesses of the Stoic and 
the Puritan, he had all their strength. That he should 
make an unnecessary to-do about bare knees or over-fill the 
time-table are small matters to set against his intense moral 
earnestness and passion for righteousness. That fiery zeal 


RUGBY 117 

was the dominating fact of Rugby life while he presided 
over it. And the fact that it expressed itself in fearless 
action outside the sphere of school life only added to its 
influence. Boys, who tend to conservatism, would object 
to the particular line which he took ; but they knew in their 
souls what was the motive that prompted him, and his 
courage increased rather than diminished his influence on 
their characters. 

Moreover, he endeavoured at Rugby, as at Clifton, to 
draw the boys into his own enthusiasm for the welfare of 
the people by making the School responsible for a definite 
bit of social work. A Boys Club had been founded in 
Notting Dale by Arthur Walrond ; under Percival s influence 
and guidance the School adopted this as the Rugby School 
Mission, at the same time founding a similar club in Bir 
mingham. This is not the place to describe the effect of 
the Mission on the neighbourhoods in which it was placed ; 
but its influence on many of the best Rugbeians has been 
immense. At the clubs, or in the Camp at New Romney, 
they have come into close touch with boys of antecedents 
and experience totally different from their own, and this has 
often been the awakening of new and wider sympathies. 
The School Mission is a great educational asset, for which 
the School has largely to thank John Percival. The story 
of its inception is told as follows by Mr. W. G. Michell, the 
member of the staff who served for many years as Secretary 
to the School Mission Committee : 

It was in 1888 that the feeling that there was room for a Home 
Mission as well as for the Fox Mission in the life of Rugby first 
found definite expression. Payne Smith and Westcott were the 
most active supporters of the idea. It was very fully discussed 
at several masters meetings, and finally a meeting of old and 
present Rugbeians was held in New Big School on March 16, 1889, 
at which it was resolved that " immediate steps be taken to 
establish a Rugby Home Mission." The project had throughout 
the warm support of Dr. Percival, and his opening speech at this 
meeting was one of the most impressive and persuasive speeches 
that I recollect. His guidance of the Committee, which was 
then elected, and his careful steering through some rather serious 
difficulties, were of the utmost value, as was his bold suggestion, 


when the claims of London and Birmingham seemed likely to 
divide the Committee, that Rugby should undertake a Mission 
in both. He cordially endorsed, too, the wise policy of declaring 
that the work undertaken should be " Club work for the benefit 
of young men and boys." He was emphatic that a non-parochial 
mission was most likely to attract the sympathy of the School. 

Accordingly, in the course of the year 1889, the two Clubs were 
opened. In London, advantage was taken of the work already 
done by A. F. Walrond (O.R.), for some five or six years in 
Walmer Road, Netting Hill. His Club was taken over by Rugby 
and moved into enlarged premises. In Birmingham a Club was 
opened in the parish of St. Paul, Balsall Heath, and at the first 
annual meeting held at Rugby, March 1890, Dr. Percival was 
able to announce so hopeful a start at both Clubs, that the 
permanence of the work, now happily proved by over thirty 
years experience, was practically assured. 

Throughout his reign Percival held the School in his hands 
and never in any degree neglected its claims. He was very 
rarely absent during term and was always accessible. But 
he refused to withdraw from his other main interests. When 
the Disestablishment of the Welsh Church first became a 
burning question and the leaders of the Church of England 
were organising opposition to any measure for this end, 
Percival, knowing well how unpopular his action would be, 
sent a long letter to The Times, which was published on 
May 4, 1894, 


SIR It is felt by a large number of churchmen that our 
Bishops are incurring a grave responsibility, and doing serious 
injury to the prospects of the Church by their tone and attitude 
in regard to the legislative measures of the present Liberal 
Government, and yet hardly any one inside the Church ventures 
publicly to express in plain language the deep disappointment 
so widely felt at their lack of wise statesmanship and foresight. 

It is true that an Address was presented to the Primate the 
other day which no doubt originated in the widespread discontent 
caused by the action of the Bishops in the House of Lords in 
regard to the Local Government Bill ; but this Address was 
couched in such vague terms and so wanting in plain directness 

iv RUGBY 119 

of speech, that it seems to have missed its mark. It was, I 
imagine, really intended to say to the Archbishop : 

" Your Grace and your colleagues have caused much pain 
and disappointment to all liberal churchmen by your failure to 
show any earnest sympathy with the undoubtedly beneficial 
purpose of the Bill, and by acquiescing in the cynical and selfish 
tone of the House of Lords in dealing with it. It is probable that 
your example may have a mischievous effect on the minds and 
attitude of many clergymen, while it may be taken as certain 
that it has tended to rouse suspicion and bitterness in the minds 
of many of the poorer class, and we therefore venture most 
respectfully to urge your Grace to do what you can to make 
amends for your mistake." 

Had the memorialists adopted plainer and more emphatic 
language of this kind, they would have given truer expression to 
a very widespread feeling. 

But what urges me to write this letter is not a desire to criticise 
past action, but concern and anxiety for the future. From the 
utterances of the Bishops in convocation and elsewhere, it seems, 
alas ! only too probable that by taking up an attitude of un- 
jCompromising hostility to the Welsh Disestablishment Bill, they 
are about to make another mistake which can hardly fail to be 
disastrous in its consequences. 

Is it, then, too much to hope that some may be found who 
will have the wisdom to say to their episcopal brethren : 

" None of us believe that establishment and endowment are 
necessary to the life of the Church when the Apostles went forth 
with nothing but their staff and scrip they lacked no spiritual 
power which we possess ; we believe, on the contrary, that there 
may be circumstances in which establishment and endowment 
are a positive hindrance to our Master s work, and it is becoming 
more and more evident that this is so in the Principality of Wales. 
The Welsh Church is admitted to be the Church of a minority, 
the voice of Wales in the House of Commons is almost unani 
mously against it, and the prevailing sentiment of the Welsh 
people is irreconcilably opposed to it as an establishment. In 
the face of such facts as these, it is hardly possible to doubt that 
the cause of true religion is damaged by its maintenance in a 
privileged position, and it may safely be predicted that, if the 
Church is disestablished and started afresh in the free and open 
field, much of the hostile political sentiment which now prevails 
will disappear, and the spiritual influence and power of our 
Anglican communion will increase as never before. 

" We therefore accept the principle of this Bill, believing that 
it will prove a blessing to our Church in Wales, and because it is 




based on the just principle that in matters of religion, above all 
things, a people should be free to choose for itself, and no external 
power should presume to interfere or dictate. 

" And let us not be misled by the pedantic, and we might even 
say sophistic, argument that the Welsh Church is only so many 
dioceses of the English Church. The distinct nationality of the 
Welsh is practically recognised as an accepted fact for all sorts 
of other purposes ; a fortiori it should be accepted for the settle 
ment of their religious relationships. 

" As Englishmen and outsiders we hold that, whatever our 
personal sympathies may be, we have no right in such a matter 
to withstand the clearly-declared will of the Welsh people, just 
as, on the other hand, if at any time the disestablishment of 
the English Church is proposed, we shall claim that neither Irish 
man nor Scotchman nor Welshman shall have any determin 
ing voice in the matter, but, seeing that it is a purely English 
question, it should in common fairness be left to Englishmen 
to decide/ 

If our Bishops or any of them can be persuaded at the eleventh 
hour to advocate this wiser policy they will deserve our gratitude 
as having done what is at once just and fair to the people of 
Wales, and likely to give a large access of spiritual influence 
to the Welsh Church, and, moreover, as having established a 
precedent which may be of the greatest service to the English 
Church in the not very remote future. 

But the great obstacle seems to lie in the thought of dis- 
endowment, and here also we appeal to our wiser leaders to 
consider the matter as statesmen, and to discard and discounten 
ance the heated and misleading rhetoric which is so much in 

It is beyond question that the funds of the Church with which 
the Bill proposes to deal are public property ; and no one 
ventures to deny that Parliament is simply exercising its legiti 
mate powers in deciding how these funds are in future to be 
administered ; surely, therefore, it is the part of wise statesmen 
to accept these principles, and, having accepted them, to use all 
their forces to secure that the funds shall not be wasted or 

The principle to be safeguarded is clear enough. These funds 
have been dedicated to spiritual and philanthropic uses ; and 
for such uses they ought as a matter of common justice to be 

However great the temptation may be to party politicians, 
they should not be squandered or misapplied with the view of 
relieving either individuals or the State, either taxpayers or rate- 

iv RUGBY 121 

payers, from duties and obligations which ought to be discharged 
from other resources, and would be so discharged if these funds 
did not exist. 

By taking their stand on this principle, opposed alike to the 
policy of cupidity and to the policy of selfish privilege, and 
amending the Bill as it is in their power to amend it if they will 
approach the question in a liberal and conciliatory spirit, the 
Bishops might do a great and lasting service, whereas through 
their angry protests and their encouragement of unreasoning 
hostility they are unhappily alienating what it is the fashion to 
call the New Democracy, and helping to drive it towards an 
irreligious or anti-religious socialism. 

Since writing the above I have read in your columns Mr. 
Balfour s paradoxical appeal to this New Democracy, and also 
the words of the Archbishop of Canterbury declaring that the 
issue now before the Church of England is the gravest that has 
been before it since its planting. Whether the issue is indeed so 
grave as the Archbishop declares it to be or not, it is at all events 
grave enough, for it can hardly be doubted that, rather than 
maintain in Wales the establishment of a privileged minority 
Church in the face of a deep-rooted popular sentiment, the New 
Democracy will sweep the whole English establishment over the 
precipice towards which Tory statesmen and ecclesiastics are so 
recklessly leading it. Your obedient servant, 


RUGBY, May i. 

This letter produced a great outcry. Many boys whose 
names had been entered for Rugby were promptly with 
drawn. Some eager souls, including some old Rugbeians, 
were active in the West End Clubs " to make the place too 
hot to hold him/ But by such considerations he was 
wholly unmoved. One letter that he received at this time 
from a church dignitary was of a kind especially ill-calculated 
to move him. 

June 10, 1894. 

DEAR PERCIVAL I think it only right to say that I was 
extremely glad to see your view about the Welsh Church, but 
was extremely surprised to see that you were incautious enough 
to express it, with possible injury to Rugby and certain injury 
to yourself in reference to the clerical promotion which you deserve 
and were certain to get. 


In days like these, I cannot wish for you the terrific fag of a 
Bishopric, but I had always thought of you as a most proper 
candidate for the Deanery of Durham, which (in value, 3000) 
carries with it the Wardenship (i.e. the perpetual Fice-Chancellor- 
ship) of the University. 

When our Dean talked of resigning two years ago, when 
Gladstone was in [who would have listened to me, as he did when 
it was vacant in 1869], I thought Kitchin the most suitable 
candidate, and you, second, because I think that he is not fit for 
a see (and you are, or were), and that he has not had the pro 
motion from our political friends which he merits. But the 
more the delay in the Dean s resignation occurs (he won t now 
resign, I believe), the older Kitchin gets (he must now be sixty- 
six) ; and we really need a man of fifty, who will work actively 
the Newcastle branch of the University. 

Rosebery, of course, knows nothing of churchmen. If our 
Deanery comes vacant at any time, I don t know how he can be 
got at. I fear that Temple, after your Welsh Church letter, 
would not help you. He has become a fanatical, bigoted Apostate, 
full of crotchets about religious education. 7 cannot approach 
Rosebery, as I could Gladstone. If the contingency should arise 
soon (but our old boy is awfully vigorous), I should certainly try 
(i) to get Rosebery (or Salisbury, or any other Premier) in 
structed that our Deanery is not mainly a Cathedral and theo 
logical post, but an educational and University one. (This I 
think I could do) ; but (2) which is more difficult I should like 
to suggest, if the Liberals are in, Kitchin s name and yours. If 
the Tories are in, I rather think that Canon Browne 1 of St. Paul s 
would be about as likely a person as we could select from a party 
of fools. 

It will put both you and me at your ease if you refrain from 
answering this letter. But I wished you to know my thoughts. 
I am getting old, and can honestly say that for thirty years I 
have worked and do work for this little University and town and 
Cathedral as not one of my younger colleagues does or ever did, 
and therefore I feel intensely wishful to see an energetic and 
honest Head put in for the future, who will work industriously 
and unselfishly for the place when I am in the grave forgotten. 
What I dread is one of the self-advertising, promotion-hunting, 
fussy churchmen or educationalists, who make a gain of godliness. 
Yours affectionately. 

P.S. On reading over my letter I see that I have omitted to 
impress upon you the hint Don t, in leading a forlorn hope 

1 Afterwards Bishop of Bristol. 


RUGBY 123 

about the Welsh Church, go and damage your own chances of 

future usefulness and promotion. Imagine incautious old 

inculcating such an idea ! 

There can be no doubt that Percival would have delighted 
in the Deanery of Durham. But no arguments less likely 
to sway him can be conceived. Indeed one wonders whether 
such a letter may not have strengthened the determination 
which led him shortly afterwards to preach a sermon in 
Westminster Abbey denouncing Gambling and lamenting 
a racing Prime Minister, when Lord Rosebery had lately 
won the Derby. He never feared the unpopular line, or 
thought that a schoolmaster should hide his convictions for 
fear of alienating parents. The schoolmaster, he held, can 
only do his best work for his pupils if he is perfectly honest 
and open, so that parents should respect his courage, if he 
acts or speaks in a way likely to attract obloquy. Those 
who could not appreciate courage must send their boys 
elsewhere. And the liberty that he claimed for himself 
he allowed to his staff. At a time when Irish Home 
Rule could scarcely be advocated in polite society an 
eminent Irish Nationalist Member of Parliament was pass 
ing through Rugby. The Liberals of the town organised a 
small deputation, inviting one of the masters at the 
School to join it. The leave of the Headmaster was 
asked, and was readily given, with the addition : "I 
don t see that one need always be on the respectable 
side in politics." 

The strain that he was putting on himself was seriously 
telling on his health by the end of his reign. " He had 
done his work at a furious pace. To be honest, in spite of 
the immense respect felt for him by everybody who was not 
hopelessly small, the sense of loss at his departure was 
tinged with a feeling akin to relief. He had strung us up to 
such a pitch that the tension was sometimes unbearable, and 
we needed to be let down half a tone to give our best. That 
was because he had been working against the clock. Under 
him one was moving towards noble ends along a sure road ; 
but he did force the pace till one almost dropped from 
fatigue. After the first weeks of term one was always 


submerged under papers Intermediates, Long List Latin 
Proses, Grammar Papers, General Intelligence Papers apart 
from the ordinary paper work of a large form. And he 
would listen to no plea for mercy. He was working just as 
feverishly himself. He was like a bit of rough-hewn granite 
with a core of intense spiritual heat. Some stupid people 
bumped against the granite, found it hard, and could not 
see the glow, or only counted the cold patches on the 
surface. But, though sternness was the outward and visible 
sign of his rule, he achieved what sternness alone can never 
achieve. He was a great spiritual and creative force. The 
spirit blows where it lists and no man can tell whence it 
comes or whither it goes. Men and boys are generally more 
conscious of its departure from their lives than of its presence. 
In fact, it is the very unconsciousness of spiritual force 
that makes it creative. Percival possessed that force in a 
remarkable way. What he said always counted ; but what 
he was counted still more. He inspired Rugby with an ideal 
of life in which service ranked higher than popularity and 
duty came before enjoyment. Sternness (and, after all, love 
must be stern, if it is to be bracing) was for him an inseparable 
part of his duty as a headmaster. But it would be a mistake 
to imagine that it was a congenial part. The very fact that 
it was uncongenial, sometimes led him to exaggerate it, lest 
he too should be yielding to weakness ; and it was noticeable 
that in his last Term his eyes and his smile expressed a 
benignity which some had never suspected. He seemed to 
realise that the need for severe self-repression had passed, 
and that he could, without being unfaithful/ indulge his 
natural kindliness." x 

Among the boys, as has been said, he was respected and 
feared, and in the true sense loved. But the love was mostly 
unconscious. The stoic aloofness and the exacting idealism 
prevented what is ordinarily called popularity. Only when 
it was known that he was leaving did the deeper feeling 
reveal itself. At once the School became conscious that it 
not only revered and trusted but genuinely loved him. It 
was the severing of close personal ties, despite the fact that 

1 G. F. Bradby. 

iv RUGBY 125 

he had so little encouraged intimacy There were no 
circumstances to call out the more emotional expressions of 
feeling, such as have sometimes marked the departure of 
Headmasters ; but no one in the School at that time can 
question its reality or its depth. 


The following sermon is printed here in full, both as an 
excellent example of Percival s manner in addressing boys and 
as an expression of his sense of the value of such a tradition and 
history as Rugby School possesses. It was delivered from 
Arnold s pulpit on Sunday, June 25, 1905 ; he had unveiled the 
medallion of Archbishop Temple the previous day, and many 
old Rugbeians of many generations were present. 


Seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, 
let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, 
and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto 
Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. Heb. xii. i, 2. 

There is a peculiar interest attaching to any such gathering 
as this in a school chapel at a commemorative season, when 
former members of the society, returning from various walks of 
life, far or near, sit or kneel once again in the old familiar place, 
and renew the memories of bygone days. 

In such an assembly those who are of the older generation 
hear once more the tones of voices which for other ears are hushed 
in silence the choir invisible. 

We can still see or feel the presence of friends who are gone 
beyond recall. We stand or sit in the midst of a congregation 
invisible yet very real to us. 

They look out upon us from one and another familiar seat as 
you may have sometimes seen the angel faces looking, faces 
woven into the clouds of a great master s picture, and forming 
or suggesting its spiritual background. 

It is no doubt with some such feelings, memories, visions of 
days which do not come again that a good many members of this 
congregation are here this afternoon. 

And amidst the thoughts that rise under such circumstances 
I know not any more appropriate to be impressed on the mind 


and memory of you who are to-day the boys of this historic 
school, living its life, and maintaining its traditions, than the 
thought that Rugby has been pre-eminent through several 
generations for the great and strong and striking personalities 
that have belonged to it. 

This being so, we do well to commemorate them ; for there is 
no greater inheritance into which any boy or man can enter than 
the inspiring influence of some noble personality. This, indeed, 
is the one peculiarly enviable privilege of the sons of noble 
ancestors ; and this is a privilege which every member of a great 
school can fully and freely share, if he is in any sense truly 
conscious of the high fellowship into which he has been admitted, 
and if in the purpose and character of his life he is worthy to be 
a member of it. 

With and through a succession of such members, growing up, 
one generation after another, sitting, kneeling, praying, listening 
in this sacred spot from childhood to manhood, with the speaking 
monuments all around you, seeing the effigies, or tablets, reading 
the words inscribed of one and another, hearing their voices, you 
inherit the spirit of their life, and you feel yourself stirred and 
called upon to do your part here and hereafter to perpetuate this 
spirit. And to every boy among you, from the eldest to the 
latest comer, let me say this much as you hope to live the life 
of a true Rugbeian you will often think of these greater ones, who 
have been here before you and have left you their examples, and 
you will take care to live your daily life remembering " Of this 
great fellowship I am free." 

When so remembered, these typical spirits live on in the place 
of their former activities : 

Their seed shall remain for ever, 

And their glory shall not be blotted out. 

Vitai lampada tradunt. 

We who live and labour outside in the common life of the 
world, mixing with the multitudes day by day, seeing something 
of the lot of the dim populations in town and country, as we 
think of you boys growing up in our great schools, your privileged 
life and happy homes, as we think of the inheritance into which 
you have entered in places like this, and the poor uses you some 
times make of it, I confess to you that we lament the large amount 
of waste we see in the many lives that come and go, having missed 
the inspiration and the strength, the character and the moral 
purpose, which they should have gained in these homes of their 
boyhood. fortunati nimium, sua si bona norint ! 

Yes, indeed, your privileges are great in great schools if only 

iv RUGBY 127 

your souls are awake to see and embrace them. But what we 
have so often to lament, as we follow the lives of public school 
men of whom we might have hoped higher things than selfish 
indulgence or cynical indifference, or low tone in public or private 
affairs, is that in their impressible school-days, the seedtime of 
life for good or ill, their souls can never have been truly wakened 
in them to feel the greatness of their inheritance ; their aspira 
tions have never really lifted them into the nobler forms of life. 
Such men have lived and grown up in these temples of the great 
ones, never truly or deeply feeling the greatness of the presence 
in which they have been living all the time. 

Such men go out into the world uninspired and unblessed to 
a life of moral impoverishment and spiritual blindness. 

In this Chapel, and in this school of all others, it should 
not be so with any of you, if you are to quit you like men, 
who are to be not unworthy of your inheritance and your 

Of the great fellowship you are free, every one ; and what a 
fellowship it is, if you know it ! 

Around you on these walls every day are all these witnesses 
to the strong, the strenuous, the simple, the pure, the unselfish, 
the noble life, the life of moral thoughtfulness, and intellectual 
striving, the life of search for truth, and of high endeavour, the 
life fearlessly dedicated to the best causes, seeking always the 
things that are more excellent. 

Seeing then that your schooltime here is set in the midst of 
such a cloud of witnesses, you feel how God is calling you to live 
here and grow up each one of you with this thought in his heart : 
" I must lay aside every weight and any sin which may be in 
danger of besetting me ; I must run the straight race which is set 
before me afresh by all these examples." 

And how various are the types recorded on the walls of this 
Chapel, types of high purpose and life and character, with which 
you have the happiness to grow up familiar. 

There is no poem, said Dr. Martineau, and no biography 
actual or possible, which I had rather read than the secret spirit 
history of Rugby Chapel. May you boys and your successors 
grow up here with souls receptive of all that is best in this spirit 
history, so that through all your years you may keep open the 
door of communication between the world of daily life and that 
higher life of the spirit, which lives in the memories enshrined 
within these walls. 

As you stand by the grave of Dr. Arnold himself, you come to 
feel the glow of his intense moral and religious purposes, the 
magnetic power of a prophet among men, and henceforth you 


know how to estimate the greatness of great personalities, and 
how truly it was written that : 

The greatest gift the hero leaves his race 
Is to have been a hero. 

Here again Matthew Arnold should draw you upwards by his 
culture, and his pathos, and his fine aesthetic sense, and his 
immortal poems. 

Or in Arthur Stanley you will learn to know not only the 
supremely gifted biographer, but a fervent and beautiful soul, 
that lived and laboured for the enlargement of the Christian 
Church, and taught us to feel afresh, how the essence of Christi 
anity is to be sought and exhibited in Christian character. 

Or you will learn some of the deepest lessons of the personal 
life from Arthur Clough, the boy of whole-hearted devotion to 
the good of this school, the man of whom his friend could say that 
there was in him no taint of littleness, who was pre-eminent 
among his contemporaries for high principle and unworldliness, 
the unresting searcher after Truth, her never-failing worshipper 
who sang : 

It fortifies my soul to know 

That, though I perish, Truth is so 

With her is no variableness, neither shadow of turning 

That, howso er I stray and range, 
Whate er I do, Thou dost not change. 
I steadier step when I recall 
That, if I slip, Thou dost not fall. 

Truly such an one is not far from Him who is the Way, the 
Truth, and the Life ; and it is a great thing for you who are boys 
to have had such men before you in the fellowship of your school. 

And as you look round the tablets on the walls or the storied 
windows and learn their history, those who know will tell you 
how they have variously enriched the inheritances of our life 
the mathematician, the scholar, the philosopher, the soldier, the 
traveller, the man of affairs, the minister of Christ at home and 
in the mission field faithful unto death. 

And among them will stand out through all time the great 
name of him whom we commemorated yesterday, Frederick 
Temple, the strong and just Headmaster, strenuous and steadfast 
in every duty, independent, tolerant, hopeful, tender of heart, 
a great example to carry with you. 

As we, who are nearing the end, look on your young life with 
all its possibilities, we cannot but wonder what this life of yours, 

iv RUGBY 129 

yet in the germ, is to be hereafter, and what you will make of it ; 
and we pray that you may hold fast to these examples which 
have made the great name of your school, and that you may 
live, as they did, the life of Christian manliness and Christian 

And for such a life and such a character, as Dr. Temple said 
many times over in varying phrase from this pulpit, that which is 
required above everything else is a strong sense of personal duty 
duty should be your morning star. Such a character, he 
added, if it be dedicated to the service of Christ, and so learns 
to add love to duty, becomes the highest that we know on earth. 

With this ideal in your heart, duty inspired by love, may 
every one of you quit you like men, looking unto Jesus the Author 
and the Finisher of your faith. 



SOON after the beginning of the Lent term of 1895 Dr. Percival 
received the following letter : 

Jan. 31, 1895. 

REVEREND AND DEAR SIR I am extremely anxious that you 
should fill the vacant see of Hereford. It is not merely that your 
standing, experience, and ability give you a claim to a bishopric ; 
but the circumstances of Hereford make it of the highest import 
ance that it should be presided over at this juncture by one who 
entertains large and liberal views as to the true nature and 
function of church establishments. I have some reason to hope 
that your views (as expressed last year) and my own as recently 
stated at Cardiff are, at any rate to a considerable extent, in 
agreement. Now the diocese of Hereford includes at present 
some (12 or 13 I think) parishes which belong to the Church in 
Wales, and I believe that if you saw your way to accept my 
proposal the possibility of friction would be diminished or 
obviated. At any rate it is extremely desirable that a Bishop 
of your opinions should be placed on the marches of Wales. 

One word more. I was concerned some time since to learn 
that your health required change and some degree of repose. 
I am very far from insensible to the heavy work that devolves 
on Anglican Bishops in these days. But Hereford is not one of 
the heavier sees, and I trust that you will not be deterred from 
undertaking it by fear of undue pressure. Believe me, reverend 
and dear Sir, your faithful servant, 


To this letter Percival replied as follows : 

MY DEAR LORD I am very grateful for your kind proposals 
with reference to the See of Hereford, and more especially for the 



terms of your letter. In considering the matter my first feeling 
has been one of grave doubt whether with my democratic 
sympathies and general views I should be justified in taking 
charge of such a Diocese as Hereford. On the other hand I am 
bound to admit that what your Lordship says with reference to 
the Welsh Disestablishment question has so far influenced me 
that I venture to ask to be permitted to weigh the matter for two 
or three days before deciding, and to consult in confidence a 
friend whose judgment I should greatly value. I also feel that 
my wife, who is at present in Algiers, has a claim to hear from 
me before I take a decision which might mean so much to her as 
well as to myself. I hope, therefore, that by thus taking counsel 
I shall not be trespassing too much on your Lordship s indulgence. 
I am your Lordship s faithful servant, 


A few days later doubts had been removed, and he gave 
his acceptance as follows : 

February 5, 1895. 

MY DEAR LORD Since I ventured to ask for a little delay 
before replying to your letter about the See of Hereford, I have 
given the matter my best consideration. I have also taken 
private counsel, and the result is that I have decided to put aside 
my personal misgivings. If, therefore, your Lordship should 
recommend me for the office, and her Majesty is graciously pleased 
to approve of the recommendation, I shall accept it gratefully, 
and I will by God s help do my best to justify the confidence thus 
reposed in me. With my best thanks, I am your Lordship s 
faithful servant, 


The offer had not been expected, nor was the post one 
which he would have chosen. His desire was to work in the 
industrial North, and there can be no doubt that his gifts 
would have found more scope in that field. 

To Mr. E. M. Oakeley 

Jan. 22, 1895. 

DEAR OAKELEY Your letter has found me just launched 
and beginning all school arrangements again. I am not in very 


good condition, but hope by obeying doctor s orders till May to 
be set on my legs for another bout. ... I don t think Hereford 
will come my way. Indeed, I hope it won t, as I should not care 
for it in the least and should have to say No thank you ! 

If they would only send up Kitchin and give me Durham, 
I should be glad ; but he is placed for life. Ever yours 


When the appointment was announced, congratulations 
of course poured in. To some of these Percival sent answers 
revealing his own mind. 


To Canon Alexander 

Feb. 8, 1895. 

DEAR MR. ALEXANDER I am very grateful to you for your 
kind words and good wishes, which I value more than I can say. 
Also I am thankful that you have felt able to say anything of 
what I endeavoured to do in Oxford. My critics, who as a rule 
don t know Oxford from the inside, are fond of speaking of my 
Presidency at Trinity as a comparative failure, but for my own 
part, though I am sufficiently conscious how much better others 
might have done, I sometimes think when I remember what the 
life and conditions of the College were in 1878, and what they 
were in 1887, that I helped in some really good and successful 
work. The fact is that one gets a good deal of both praise and 
blame that are not deserved. . . . Yours very sincerely, 


To Mr. K ilUgrew Wait 

February 18, 1895. 

MY DEAR WAIT No good wishes were more welcome than 
yours or will be more highly prized ; for I have few % such friends 
left as you and Mrs. Wait. As for the office to which I am 
designated, I can only pray for God s .grace to enable me to serve 
Him in it faithfully, as I shall enter on it in all humility. 

The offer was altogether unexpected, and came just after I 
had got leave of absence for two months on doctor s recommenda 
tion, and had ordered tickets for myself and Mrs. Percival to the 
Second Cataract of the Nile. We had expected to enjoy the next 


full moon at Luxor or Assouan or Abou Simbel. So man proposes 
and has to counter-order his tickets. 

Amongst all the mixed feelings involved in the change, this 
one is very pleasant that we shall be so near to you again as to 
feel like neighbours. With my best regards to Mrs. Wait and 
Mrs. Perrin, whose good wishes are I know with us on this 
occasion, and to all your circle. Always yours sincerely, 


To Mr. E. M. Oakeley 

Feb. 26, 1895. 

DEAR OAKELEY Pray forgive my delay in answering your 
kind note. I need not attempt to say how I value all the kind 
things you say, but this I may say, that anything that came to 
me would lose not a little of its sweet savour if I felt that you 
and a few other friends would not approve. 
-It all came as a great surprise, just when I had ordered our 
tickets for the Second Cataract, the doctor having insisted on 
my getting a two rnonths leave of absence. 

Now we have to do our best to wind up everything here by 
Easter, and I am beginning to feel anxious about a successor. If 
a good man ^omes, he will have a good time, as the School is in 
a good condition, with a rare set of young boys. As I look at 
them I wish I had been young enough to stay another five years 
and se e them all landed at Oxford and Cambridge. Yours 


A letter from Dr. Martineau, to whom he had sent con 
gratulations on his ninetieth birthday, must have been 
especially welcome : 


April 20, 1895. 

MY DEAR LORD BISHOP I am deeply touched by your 
remembrance of so purely private a date as the close of my ninth 
decade. True it is that the life which it brings so near its end 
has been, I believe, mainly devoted to moral and spiritual interests 
akin to those which have long been under your watchful care, 
and now look up to you with more security and brighter hopes 
than ever. But instead of being the very ground and material 
of action and administration, they have had with me no instru- 


ment but " winged words/ whose only trace, at best, is a moment 
ary ripple as they fly. If in simply seeking and telling what I 
could not but accept as sacred experiences I have ever reached 
a responsive chord in other hearts, I welcome the fellowship with 
grateful joy as the promise of a unity which cannot stop till all 
are of one fold and one shepherd. 

With warmest thanks for your words of benediction and 
kindest remembrances, in which my daughters unite, to Mrs. 
Percival. I remain yours very faithfully, 


The preliminary formalities took their usual course, and 
on March 25, Lady Day, the Consecration took place in 
Westminster Abbey. It was a Monday ; my elder brother 
and I had gone home from Rugby, where we were both at 
school, to Fulham Palace on the Saturday in order to attend 
it. Dr. and Mrs. Percival joined us there on the Sunday 
evening. On that Sunday a terrific gale had swept over the 
Midlands ; no less than seventeen great elms were blown 
down in the School Close at Rugby including the last of the 
Three Trees familiar to readers of Tom Brown. Percival 
stood at the window watching the desolation until it was 
time to start for his train. When he reached Fulham some 
three hours later he was still almost in tears. 

He was consecrated by Archbishop Benson, being pre 
sented by the Bishops of London (Temple) and Peterborough 
(Creighton). The preacher was Canon (now Bishop) Gore. 

Percival returned to Rugby for the conclusion of the 
term, and himself took the School confirmation, which at 
Rugby is always held towards the end of the Lent term. 
This was his first episcopal act. His first diocesan act was 
also a confirmation. The circumstances shall be narrated 
in the words of the Rev. C. H. Brooke, who was then vicar 
of Criggon, in Montgomeryshire, which was the parish 

On the death of Dr. Atlay there was an interregnum, during 
which the affairs of the Diocese were administered by a Clerical 
Prelate. A confirmation had been announced, and I was invited 
to take my six peasant candidates to the Mother Church of 
Alberbury, our population numbering but one hundred and 


fifty-seven. I had spent all the energy and pains I was possessed 
of in impressing on my young people the extreme importance 
of this step, and had with great difficulty obtained the release 
of one from his work in a nonconformist place of business for 
the occasion, when to my surprise and indignation I found 
that the date had been changed and the confirmation over 
without my being informed of it. 

Finally I decided to write and lay the matter before the 
Bishop-Designate still at Rugby, not uncooling my vexation, 
and adding that no Disestablisher could have dealt us such a 
blow, this being a spiritual wound. 

A prompt reply told me that the first act of our new Bishop 
would be to come and confirm those six peasants. " Tell your 
people this," were the opening words of the letter, which un 
fortunately I cannot lay hands upon just now, but which I read 
out from our little altar. 

Now, my farmers were staunch Conservatives, and had a 
holy horror of Liberals and Radicals, so that they did not look 
with favour on the appointment of Dr. Percival, nor were they 
prepared to give his Lordship a very hearty reception ; and it 
was with difficulty that I persuaded my churchwarden to agree 
to read an address of welcome. 

It was my great privilege and pleasure to receive Dr. and 
Mrs. Percival as my guests for the week-end, Easter 1895. Mrs. 
Percival, who was then suffering from insomnia, remarked with 
a smile that Criggon was the only place she had been able 
to sleep in for some time 1 The humility and tolerance of 
the " Schoolmaster Bishop " were especially remarkable. He 
seemed to esteem other people s sentiments, opinions, and con 
victions as sacred as his own. 

It was one and twenty years since the last episcopal visit, 
for Criggon is the most distant and isolated parish in the Diocese, 
thirteen miles from the nearest available railway station, and, 
moreover, one which would have suffered by the Disestablish 
ment Bill I So, in spite of political prejudice, and owing to the 
Bishop s genial, quiet, earnest manner, he was worthily received. 
Willing hands had erected a triumphal arch over the Church 
gate, and the labourers who were at work from 6 A.M. till late 
in the day, and who refused to take any pay for their work, 
were men who did come to Church ; and the Bishop, on hearing 
of their self-denying act, sent the chief labourer a signed portrait 
of himself, which to my subsequent delight I found sharing the 
previous monopoly of the cottage wall with the Rev. Charles 

The Bishop celebrated at the 8 A.M. Eucharist, conforming 


to our local use, preached at n, and again at 3.30, after which 
the aforesaid address was duly read in the School-room. 

I cannot say how grateful I felt to Dr. Percival for this great 
act of sympathy with out-of-the-way, forgotten folk, who rejoice 
and take fresh courage on finding that some one does care. 

It was not till after Easter that the enthronement took 
place. In the following day Mrs. Percival wrote to Mrs. 
Wait a description of the scene : 

April ig, 1895. 

MY DEAR MRS. WAIT Yesterday was such a busy day I 
had not one moment to write and thank you for all your loving 
kindness to us. You can never know what a real blessing those 
two days with you were to us. We were very worn and tired 
out when we came to you, and we left you quite other beings 
refreshed and strengthened. 

Yesterday was a very trying day. I felt foolishly nervous 
as the immense congregation all turned towards the western 
door and breathlessly waited for the first sounds of the knocking 
for admittance. At last he came, the doors were thrown open 
and the oaths administered, then the procession began their 
long walk to the East end, the choir preceding them singing 
" O praise the Lord." The organ pealed forth, and I felt every 
nerve in my body quivering as I saw my dear one led up the 
nave, the Dean holding one hand and the Canon in residence 
the other. Amongst all the crowd of white-robed clergy he 
looked calm and dignified, though his face was very white. I 
am most thankful that these tremendous functions are over. 

The service was sung most beautifully. It was followed 
by a tremendous public luncheon at 2 o clock, where we had to 
listen to a very long list of toasts. The Mayor and Corporation 
presented an address in the hall of the Palace ; and at last we 
were free to hide our heads in the quiet shelter our good Dean 
had given us here. Presently we are off to Gloucester, to-morrow 
to Fulham, and back to our home on Monday. Mrs. Temple 
tells me that we were too late for the 8th May drawing-room and 
are now down for the next date not known, but I mean to be 
ready. With our dear love and best thanks to you all. Ever 
your affectionate and grateful friend, 


Life at the Palace was full of happiness. The Bishop 


and Mrs. Percival rejoiced to entertain, whether his own 
friends or people collected for diocesan purposes, or children. 
Every one praised their hospitality. Prebendary Wynne 
Willson, the Rector of St. Nicholas , Hereford, who was his 
domestic chaplain in the early days of the episcopate, writes : 
" He has been called a puritan, but those who knew him at 
home surrounded by young people saw his power of enjoy 
ment, his delight in merriment. He was no foe of sport or 
games ; it was the debasement of them by gambling that 
he fought against. In those days he rode regularly, played 
golf in his holidays, and played drawing-room games with 
the greatest zest." 

There was opposition to him from the outset, not at first 
for his ecclesiastical views or theological sympathies (for 
these were comparatively unknown), but for his notorious 
radicalism, and especially for his support of Welsh Dis 
establishment and for his policy with regard to voluntary 
schools. This, as his first letter to Lord Rosebery makes 
clear, was what he had anticipated. But those who came 
into contact with him individually were usually won from 
alienation to affection, even while their opposition to his 
political attitude was as pronounced as ever. Dr. Chapman, 
who was his medical adviser throughout his twenty-two years 
at Hereford, tells how his own respect and affection were 
won immediately by the Bishop s simplicity and courtesy. 

He did nothing in modification of opinions or utterance 
of them with a view to conciliating opposition. At his first 
Convocation he made a long speech in opposition to the 
official policy of the Church with regard to Welsh Dis 
establishment. He urged that Disestablishment should be 
accepted and a policy of concurrent endowment put forward. 
The subject came up on May 14, 1895, and Percival felt 
bound to intervene : 

Holding, as I do, that the various religious denominations 
have an equitable claim upon these ancient gifts (i.e. the ancient 
endowments of the Church), the method of appropriation 
which I should wish to see adopted would be a very simple one 
that if the Church is disestablished and disendowed the funds 
should be simply distributed to the authorities of the various 


religious denominations, and that under those circumstances 
the denominations should be required to render year by year 
an account of their use of the funds, and that due provision 
should be made that the capital sum should not be dissipated. 

The Bishop of St. Asaph. May I ask whether the Church 
would be included among those to whom funds are to go ? 

Certainly. My view would be that the funds should be 
distributed afresh from time to time, and over intervals of years 
in what we may call a fair proportion to each of the different 
denominations. I cannot but feel that in this way the Church 
would still retain a fair share of these ancient emoluments, and 
that we should create a new state of things in which the various 
religious bodies would start afresh, free from the political rivalry 
and the social discontent which now prevails. 

The Conservatism of Herefordshire was not likely to be 
propitiated by such a proposal. Yet the kindliness, the 
obvious sincerity, and the abundant hospitality of the 
Bishop won him personal friendships on every side. What 
ever men thought of his opinions, they admired the courage 
with which he expressed them, and rejoiced in the happy 
life at the Palace which made it a veritable home for the 
whole diocese. 

But this happiness was soon overshadowed by a great 
grief. Mrs. Percival fell ill, and, after a long period of 
painful anxiety, died. On Whit Sunday, 1896, the Bishop 
wrote to Canon Alexander, who was coming to Hereford as 
examining chaplain for the ordination retreat : 

I am sorry to say that Mrs. Percival is in the doctor s hands, 
and he won t allow her to do any work, or have any guests at 
present, so we must make our ordination time a bachelor s affair, 
and I must apologise to Mrs. Alexander for taking you away 
from her for two or three days. 

Mrs. Percival was taken to live quietly at a farm-house 
outside Hereford, in the hope that with perfect quiet she 
might be restored. But it was of no avail. She died on 
June 13, 1896. The blow, when it fell, was almost over 
whelming. Always reserved and very shy of his own or 
other people s emotions, Percival relied exceedingly on those 
who were really close to him. His wife s death left him 


very lonely, " living," as Mr. Wynne Willson says, " only 
for his work and those times when his family and their 
friends came to see him." He showed little of his grief in 
public, but his household knew that late in the evening he 
often went to the terrace walk beside the river a very 
secluded place and there sobbed alone till he could bear 
to go to bed. 

On the very next day after that on which Mrs. Percival 
died the Bishop wrote to the doctor who had attended her : 

Sunday evening. 

June 14, 1896. 

DEAR DR. CHAPMAN Before the day closes I desire to say 
how very grateful I and my children are for all your kindness, 
skill, and care on behalf of my dear wife. 

I shall always feel that the best possible was done, and that 
nothing could have saved her life, so that I am very thankful 
we adopted the plan of trying Ashgrove Farm and not any other. 
If she had remained at home we might have reproached our 
selves thinking we had not given her every chance of rest. 

For myself, I feared from the beginning of her illness that 
at her age, and after all the wear and tear of life, she had not 
the strength to bring her safely through. 

Forgive my taking up so much of your time. I do so only 
because I wish to assure you of my gratitude. Yours very 


It was on the same Saturday of the Christian Year, fifteen 
years ago, that our youngest boy, beside whom she will be 
buried, was killed riding. He had brought home the Collect 
for the second Sunday after Trinity to learn. 1 It was a fearful 
blow to her, and I shall never forget the beautiful way she 
dropped on her knees when the coachman stepped into the 
drawing-room and said what had happened. 

Of many letters received at this time two shall be quoted 
here : 

" O Lord, who never failest to help and govern them whom Thou 
dost bring up in Thy steadfast fear and love ; keep us, we beseech Thee, 
under the protection of Thy good providence, and make us to have a 
perpetual fear and love of Thy holy Name ; through Jesus Christ our 
Lord." In later years he would mention this as his favourite collect. 


From Bishop Talbot 



June 1 8, 1896. 

MY DEAR BISHOP I write a line with true brotherly sympathy, 
and with the sympathy of old acquaintance, to tell you of the 
sorrow which the news of your sorrow put into my heart. You 
will know how it comes home to me. We started so near together 

" two together," and now " one taken and the other left." 

May God strengthen you with His only comfort in such loneli 
ness coming at such a time. 

She was always so warm and friendly to us : and I well 
remember the affectionateness of her words when we left Oxford. 

We both feel it as the loss of a friend. I venture to hope 
that the recollection of how she bore up under the great stroke 
of sorrow which fell upon you both at Oxford may be one help 
for you in this terrible day. . . . Yours very sincerely, 


From Canon Scott Holland 


MY DEAR BISHOP OF HEREFORD I have feared to write, for 
I know so little of the inner heart of your deep trouble ; and 
yet vague and ignorant sympathy, however real, can only wait 
outside in silence. Its words can but seem hollow and im 
pertinent. Yet you may be willing to let me assure you that, 
in the silence, there were those waiting, and remembering, and 
feeling, and sorrowing, who could not venture to intrude within 
the secret of your personal grief. 

In the meantime, our best work was to try and secure that 
your own effort on behalf of the suffering Armenians 1 should 
not fail through the stroke that had fallen on you, and we have 
struggled along with the Appeal. . . . Yours very sincerely, 


In reply to letters of condolence from Mr. and Mrs. Wait, 
the Bishop wrote : 

June 19, 1896. 

DEAR MRS. WAIT You will forgive my inability to write 
much or to express my gratitude to you all for your sympathy. 

1 See p. 254. 


I ought to feel nothing but thankfulness that we have had her 
so long, and perhaps that feeling will prevail over the sense of 
desolation by and by. One of her friends tells me that when we 
lost our Freddie she wrote " I hope he will be waiting for me 
when my turn comes, and perhaps our Heavenly Father may 
permit him to be my sweet guide to show me the wonders and 
the glories of the Eternal home." God grant her hope may have 
been realised in this or some better way. Ever yours affec 


Your husband will take this as my reply to his letter, so 
good and kind. 

The Bishop was specially touched by a message of 
sympathy from the people of the parish where he held his 
first confirmation. In reply he wrote : 

July 6, 1896. 

DEAR MR. BROOKE Nothing has touched me more at this 
sad time than the kind words and prayers of your parishioners ; 
your and their kind thoughts of us and your welcome when we 
came was a constant source of grateful recollection to my dear 
wife and to myself ; and I know your sympathy is genuine and 
from the heart, and most heartily do I thank you every one for 
this loving kindness. 

May the blessing of God rest upon the parish and every home 
in it. Yours sincerely, 


During the summer he went abroad, and on his return 
to England received a letter from his Bristol friends, to 
which he replied as follows : 


September 9, 1896. 

DEAR MRS. WAIT I have just received Trix s note telling 
me that your dear mother has been taken to her rest, and your 
long and loving attendance on her is over. Just now no doubt 
you are feeling the sadness of the breaking of this last tie with 
your earliest years, but you have happy memories at the back 
of your sorrow, and the thought that her weariness is relieved, 
and the hopes of the life beyond the veil. 


I landed at Dover yesterday with Bessie and her husband. 
She is fairly well again, but not as strong as usual, and they 
will stay here for a week. I go to London to-morrow, and to 
my solitary home on Friday. With every good wish, yours 
very sincerely, 


Even in the twelve months that she had been at Hereford, 
Mrs. Percival had made a multitude of real friends ; her 
marvellous gift of sympathy and her infectious vitality had 
endeared her to all who met her. By her death the Bishop 
was deprived of a wonderful helper in his work, for she 
had been able to interpret him to others when his own 
reserve had made it hard for them to understand him. 



BISHOP PERCIVAL had not been long in his Diocese when he 
was first called upon to deal with the troubles that arose 
from partisanship within it. He had very definite con 
victions, and those who dissented from his convictions often 
represented him as himself a partisan pure and simple. He 
was thought to approve of everything Protestant and of 
nothing Catholic. This was, of course, totally untrue. In 
1896 a Church Association van visited the parish of Lingen, 
a small parish on the Welsh border, of which the vicar was 
the Rev. C. L. Edwards. The agent, after making fun of 
a sermon which the vicar had preached, gave it out that 
he was doing a work of which the Bishop approved. Mr. 
Edwards wrote to the Bishop to inquire, and at once received 
the following reply : 

Dec. 9, 1896. 

DEAR MR. EDWARDS I am sorry to hear what you tell me 
of the visit of a Church Association van to your Parish. 

Till I received your letter I did not know that there was such 
a van anywhere in the Diocese, and I regret to hear of its going 
about, as I believe that controversial agency of this kind, to 
whatever party in the Church it may belong, does a great deal 
more harm than good, inasmuch as it sows seeds of bitterness 
and misunderstanding, and creates mischievous divisions instead 
of promoting sound morality and Christian peace and goodwill 
among our country people. 

A controversial lecturer is hardly ever a safe guide. That 
is the warning I should like to give to our people in this connec 
tion. Yours sincerely, 



In a subsequent letter he gave Mr. Edwards permission 
to make any use of what he had written and show it to any 
clergy who might be confronted with the same circumstances. 
The van soon disappeared. 

Mr. Edwards gives the following record of his dealings 
with the Bishop as evidence that " he was very fair if trusted 
and consulted " : 

In 1898 I told him that many of my parishioners knew nothing 
about Holy Communion, and that to teach them I proposed 
having occasionally a simple choral eucharist and inviting non- 
communicants to attend, worship, and learn. He approved, 
provided, of course, that I told them non-communicating attend 
ance was not sufficient. 

In 1900 I had grave trouble with a schoolmaster. We 
discovered that he was a man of bad life. The Bishop gave 
most valuable and shrewd advice, and when the reaction came 
and the parishioners felt that the Managers had acted somewhat 
unmercifully he came to the Parish on Saturday evening and 
stayed till Monday morning, his object being to uphold the 
Managers and new teachers. His programme was : 

Saturday Evening. Address to church workers, on Loyalty 
to Christian principles, and to the vicar when he stood up for 
purity and truth. 

Sunday, 8 A.M. Holy Communion. (The Bishop, contrary 
to his favourite ritual, did exactly as I was wont to do, i.e. East 
ward Position, Light, Mixed Chalice.) 

10.30 A.M. Visit of encouragement to Sunday School. 

ii A.M. Mattins and sermon very plain and earnest. 

3 P.M. Service for men one of the grandest addresses I 
ever heard. 

6.30 P.M. Evensong and a very vigorous sermon. 

Monday, 9.30 A.M. Visit of encouragement to new teachers 
in the day school. 

It is perhaps worthy of notice that he did not allow his 
personal attitude to make him contemptuous of the prin 
ciples and scruples of others, however little he might feel 
these himself. A Catholic layman in the diocese writes, 
enclosing a letter and saying, " It goes to show, I think, that 
he was quite sympathetic with those whose views of Church 
Discipline were supposed to be far removed from his own. 


His was a delightful personality, and it was to me quite 
wonderful that so many of us were so attached to him when 
our views in matters of Church and State were so far removed 
from his/ 

The letter is as follows : 


February 22, 1896. 

DEAR SIR In so far as I have authority, I gladly give the 
dispensation from fasting which you ask so as to relieve your 
mind of any scruples ; and I trust you may thus be strengthened 
to do the good work on which you are daily engaged in Christ 
our Lord. Yours sincerely, 


P.S. I must ask you to forgive my delay in writing I 
have been from home, moving about my Diocese, and in London ; 
and when in London I waited a day before answering, hoping 
to find a resolution of Convocation which I thought had been 
passed on the subject, with the view of sending it to you ; but 
I think I was mistaken, as I could not find one. 

During the winter of 1895-96 a Canonry fell vacant 
which the Bishop had to fill. He wished to appoint his 
friend, the Rev. S. A. Alexander, now Canon of St. Paul s, 
then Reader at the Temple ; but this was found to be 
impossible on legal grounds, for Mr. Alexander had not been 
in Priest s Orders for the whole of the required six years. 
He then appointed Canon Williams, a definite Catholic, 
much respected in the diocese. Concerning this choice he 
wrote to Mr. Alexander : 

I think the Canonry appointment will prove to be all right. 
It is of no moment what people say. Of the clergy in the Diocese 
who might have been considered to have claims, it was clear 
to my mind that Williams is the most distinct spiritually minded 
and endowed with some real spiritual power. His present 
tendency is not so extreme as I thought it was, and I believe 
he will be useful, as he is a truly devout and good and sym 
pathetic man. 



Percival s appointments to the Canonries in his Cathedral 
became the subject of heated controversy, of which an 
account must be given in due course. Meanwhile his action 
on this occasion should be borne in mind if justice is to be 

An interesting ceremony took place at Hereford in 1897 
when the Cathedral Library was opened by the Archbishop 
of Canterbury. The Primate s Cross-bearer on that occasion 
was the Rev. E. H. Winnington Ingram, Vicar of Ross, and 
afterwards Archdeacon of Hereford, one of Dr. Temple s 
Rugby pupils. Percival had invited the great Rugby 
scholar and teacher, Robert Whitelaw, to stay at the Palace 
to meet the Archbishop, on whose staff at Rugby both of 
them had been masters. But Whitelaw was unable to come. 1 

While he was ready and eager to help good men in their 
work, and to avoid embarrassing them by failure to conform 
to their practice, he made no concealment of his own point 
of view. An opportunity for expressing it was afforded by 
his First Visitation Charge in 1898. 

The six charges delivered by the Bishop at his triennial 
Visitations form an interesting series. They are not devoted 
to the discussion of some one main topic of the day, but deal 
in every case with fundamental principles. Each of the 
Charges except the last is divided into two sections : in the 
first the Bishop reviews the returns made by the clergy and 
churchwardens, laying stress on what seem to him the chief 
needs of the diocese and of the various parishes within it ; 
in the second he turns to some large matter of Church doctrine 
or practice. And in each section there is continuity of 
interest and treatment throughout the series, so that in 
reading the Charges we receive a vivid impression of the 
spiritual development of the diocese during his episcopate. 
It will be most convenient, however, to summarise the first 
section of the whole series of Charges at this point. It is easy 
to estimate the relative importance or urgency of different 
questions in the judgment of the Bishop by noticing those 
to which he returns in every Charge. The Conduct of Public 
Worship was handled with especial care in the First Charge, 

1 See p. 98, note. 


delivered in 1898, special attention being given to the 
provision of frequent opportunities for parishioners of all 
ages and of every class to receive the Holy Communion. 
This topic was not dealt with in the Second Charge, but in 
each of the remaining four it finds a prominent place. The 
subjects which recur in every one of the six Charges are 
Intemperance, Impurity, and the importance of the clergy 
teaching personally in the Church Schools. The Housing 
Problem finds a place in four of the Charges. 

These facts give a true indication of the Bishop s sense 
of the Church s duty. He deals with the various problems 
and methods of Church work in its narrower sense ; he offers 
advice both as regards general principles and practical detail ; 
but his constant pre-occupation, as shown in his most 
deliberate utterances, was with the moral and spiritual life 
of the whole people of the Diocese. His interest was not 
the intensive cultivation of a select few, but the permeation 
of the national life with the Spirit of Christ. 

It appears that in the earlier years of his episcopate there 
was a slight tendency to resent the nature of the inquiries 
which he issued, and to refuse information. The Bishop 
contented himself with an allusion to the " very small 
number of what I may call autocephalous parishes, which 
seem to have no information to offer to the Bishop ; and I 
hope that they are in the proverbially happy and peaceful 
condition of those countries or communities which have no 

The Visitation of 1898 gave him his first opportunity 
for a formal expression of his convictions on fundamental 
issues. He was a whole-hearted Protestant, and devoted the 
second part of his First Charge to a statement and defence 
of the principles of the Reformation. He greatly deprecated 
the development of ritual in public worship, and had a 
somewhat unexpected account to give of it. After referring 
to the great progress of physical science and the consequent 
expansion of wealth, he said : 

How, then, is all this affecting or likely to affect men s religious 
faith and practice, as members of our English Church ? In 
the first place, it undoubtedly weakens faith, though it may at 


the same time add comparative strength to the Established 

Those who are not deeply moved by religious principle, or 
are comparatively indifferent to the spiritual life, naturally if 
they profess any religion at all, drift towards the religion of 
the privileged classes. 

Only the more earnest souls are unaffected by the influence 
of social attraction and this drift of the social current, so that 
Nonconformist bodies may be expected in such a period to 
show some diminution in numerical strength, especially among 
their wealthier and upper class members, on whom the force of 
the social current acts most strongly ; but we should not too 
hastily infer from this that a diminution in numbers necessarily 
means a corresponding or proportionate lessening of influence 
on the life and thought of the nation. 

What really seems to happen is that the Church strengthens 
its position as the Church of the upper and wealthier or 
materialised classes the classes on which this present world, 
with all its possessions, powers, ambitions, enjoyments, and 
attractions, exercises the strongest and most engrossing influence 
the classes in which faith in Christ and membership of a Church 
is almost universal as a profession, but very often extremely 
weak as a dominating and determining force in life and conduct. 

Under the influence of these predominant classes, or in the 
endeavour to obtain their allegiance, or to rouse and satisfy 
their higher aspirations, the Church is insensibly drawn towards 
a more elaborate and spectacular worship, and the tendency is 
to appeal more and more to the senses. 

Worship becomes more aesthetic and symbolic, more calcu 
lated to please and to captivate the eye and the ear, the aim 
being to reach the inner life through these channels of outer 

Such worship is natural, men say, to a materialistic and 
luxurious age ; and it has the great advantage or recommenda 
tion of being undoubtedly the kind of worship that appeals 
most directly to the sensational or emotional cravings of such 
an age, and it is undoubtedly popular. 

But its spiritual value needs to be constantly and vigorously 
tested, not by its general acceptance or popularity, but by its 
moral and spiritual fruits, its eff ect on individual and national 
character, and on purpose in life and conduct. A great and 
ever-present danger connected with it is that, being sensuous, 
it is very liable to deteriorate into an emotional worship, which 
satisfies a mood, but does not regenerate and sanctify the life ; 
and the greatest difficulty that confronts thoughtful readers 


of the New Testament in regard to their acceptance of it as the 
true representative of the Christianity of Christ, is that it is so 
very hard to make it fit with the spirituality of the Gospel. 
If these observations are correct it would seem to be our special 
duty in such an age as ours to hold fast in our religious life and 
worship to the two curative and regenerating elements of sim 
plicity and spirituality ; and to beware how we yield to the 
sensational tendency, which, by its very nature, always draws 
men from one gratification of sense to another, instead of vivify 
ing and strengthening their spiritual character. 

Later on in the same Charge the Bishop said : 

The lessons of history on these subjects are indeed very 
significant, for history is very apt to repeat herself by producing 
the same fruits from the same stock in successive harvest fields. 
Sacerdotal claims, and sacerdotal mediation and authority, 
seem always to have ended in intellectual obscurantism and 
in artificial distortion or debasement of moral standards; and 
they are thus condemned by the fruits they have borne. 

With equal distinctness history warns us that the sacra 
mental theories towards which so many men and women seem 
to be drifting back theories which have their most complete 
example in the Roman Church invariably carry their votaries 
towards a sort of sensuous mysticism, or mystic materialism, 
which cannot be made to fit with the doctrine and spirit of our 
Lord and His apostles, and would have been condemned by Him 
as being not of the spirit but of the flesh. 

Behind the objection based on principle lay a definite 
practical fear : 

In the spirit of gratitude and reverence we should desire to 
beautify our churches and our worship, giving them of our best, 
as our acknowledgment that " the earth is the Lord s and the 
fulness thereof." 

But we should at the same time weed out of our ritual all 
that undoubtedly symbolises or fosters erroneous doctrine, or 
tends to adulterate our worship with sensationalism, or draws 
worshippers into dangerous proximity to Romish superstitions. 

Thus it becomes our duty to check the craving which seems 
to admit no finality in the accompaniments of Divine service, 
and is constantly driving men and women, especially in the 
luxurious classes, to introduce now one ceremony and now 


These novelties are the more to be deprecated, because they 
are almost always imitations of some Roman practice, and also 
tend to weaken the moral fibre, which needs every possible 
tonic and support in a luxurious and sensational age. 

With the Roman Church always watchful, and unforgetting, 
and unchanging in character semper eadem ; with all her 
aggressive claims, all her deep-seated antagonism to educational 
and intellectual enlightenment, and to individual freedom of 
conscience ; with all her mediaeval superstitions, and her modern 
decrees, her Mariolatry, her image-worship, her Jesuitry ; with 
all these at our gates to tempt and to mislead the weak or the 
unwary, it is, to say the least, extremely unwise to dally, as 
many do, with her doctrinal ritual and observances. 

In other parts of this First Charge the Bishop deals with 
Biblical study, selecting especially two subjects for comment. 
Referring to the Higher Criticism of the Bible he says : 

Within the last two years these methods have received, so 
to speak, the stamp of orthodoxy through their adoption by 
such prominent members of the High Orthodox party in the 
Church as the writers of Lux Mundi. 

Following their lead, the mass of younger clergy and other 
Biblical students no longer hesitate to accept the principles of 
Biblical interpretation to which these writers have given their 

This, when rightly understood, amounts to a momentous 
change ; how momentous it may eventually prove to be it 
would be premature on my part to speculate. 

Hitherto the use of this new instrument has been mainly 
confined in our Church to the books of the Old Testament, but 
it is sure to go forward, unhasting, unresting. Thoughtful 
students in this and the next generation will be moved to extend 
the application of these scientific methods, and the result may 
possibly be a considerable modification of the Orthodox Church 
man s views on some articles of his traditional Creed. 

The other main subject considered under this head is the 
nature and origin of the Christian Ministry, and here the 
Bishop confines himself to quoting with full approval long 
sections from Lightfoot s Essay on the Christian Ministry 
and Hort s Christian Ecclesia, though he pauses to deprecate 
the attacks on these works by Dr. Moberly and Dr. Gore. 
The whole Charge ends with a tribute to the blessings 


brought to the English Church and Nation by the Reforma 
tion of the sixteenth century. 

The Charge was, of course, published and was the 
occasion of many comments. Some of these had been 
forwarded to the Bishop by Canon Alexander. In reply the 
following letter was written : 

June 23, 1898. 

DEAR ALEXANDER Best thanks for your kind note. It is 
pleasant to know that such men as you mention approve of my 
poor charge. One letter I have received says, somewhat ex- 
aggeratingly, nine-tenths of the clergy will hate it, and nine- 
tenths of the laity will thank you for it. 

I m here for a Bishops meeting which we held yesterday, 
and go again to-morrow morning. We seem to do little but 
mark time, but I hope to press it home to some of my brother 
Bishops that it is not quite creditable to be such friends with 
E.C.U. and Church Times, t and to submit so tamely to their 
mode of governing the Church by arrogant bluff and bullying. 
It will be interesting to know how the Bishops take it. Yours 


A little later this Charge and a speech on similar lines 
delivered by Percival to his brother Bishops led to the 
following correspondence between him and Bishop Talbot : 

July 8, 1898. 

MY DEAR BISHOP I wish I had written to thank you for 
sending me your charge. I enjoyed all the earlier parts of it 
very much as others have done. May I try to tell you why the 
later part and what you said in Convocation were so little 
agreeable to me as to very many others. I have been so much 
in accord with you on many matters, such as social questions 
and that of Armenia, that it is a great shock to me to find you 
taking a line which separates us so entirely. I know you have 
been much drawn over the same things to men like Gore and 
Holland and others. One way of putting my difficulty would 
be to ask whether you would really wish to see the Church of 
England clear of men like them, with whom I must in this 
respect join myself ? I am sure you would not. Yet it is difficult 
to see to what other end your language tells. Certainly they 
would repudiate it as energetically as the " advanced " men. 


And this suggests one chief point. Is it not the need and 
policy of the moment so to speak and act as to sift the loyal 
from the disloyal or the moderate from the advanced, and the 
really English from the Roman-minded ? 

But your common invective would rally all to one flag. 
Forgive me for even referring to The Church Times, because I 
know that in one article they contrasted you and me. . But, 
indeed, The Church Times in its editorials has really been very 
reasonable and reconcilable (wonderfully different from what 
it was), and its strong language towards and about yourself is 
really one mark of what I mean. 

When I think how possible it is that you may rise to higher 
position yet, I confess that it appals me to think that you 
might then handle such a matter in the same way. 

But you will perhaps say that policy is good but principle 
is better. That is true, and if there is nothing in the Christian 
Priesthood and in its powers but superstition and abuse, then 
no doubt it is right to give it no quarter, even though the result 
must be with unerring certainty to split the Church of England, 
and to part alike from a great part of its best worth to-day and 
of its authorities and theologians in the past. But is this so ? 
To me it seems quite certain that our task is to keep the doctrines 
of Priesthood and Sacrament right by keeping them in pro 
portion : right in proportion to the whole work of God, whose 
special appointment they are ; right in relation to Christ, whom 
they must > serve without obscuring Him ; right in regard to the 
whole body of Christian People with its covenant position and 
priestly character ; right, therefore, as executant (on earth) and 
representative of the Priesthood of Christ, and organ and mouth 
piece (inseparable in many respects from that for which it speaks) 
of the Priesthood of the Holy People. 

Moberly s book may have many faults ; surely it is worth 
very great consideration. " Chester " is certainly a very 
moderate sacerdotalist ! You heard what he said of it. 
" Oxford " added to me privately that he thought Moberly had 
completely answered Lightfoot. I should feel very much dis 
posed to think that Lightfoot himself would have gone very 
far to meet Moberly. Pardon me, dear friend, if I say that I 
am perfectly certain Lightfoot would never have written those 
sections of your charge or made your Convocation speech. If 
he had, how could he have gained the wide, almost universal 
trust which he did from men of different kinds who knew him 
well and were close at his side ? 

It is because I feel so strongly with you the dangers of over- 
technicalising and materialising the economy of Grace : the 


real tendencies in certain quarters to the treatment of priest 
hood and priestly power which as Anglicans we believe to weaken 
and not strengthen religion and morals that I do desperately 
wish to see you touch those subjects with another hand and in 
another tone. 

Puritanism will never remedy Romanism. For one thing 
it commits the very same error of knowing too much, only in 
the negative direction. And the only difficulty for Sacerdotalism 
is to interpret the moral and spiritual elements which it repre 
sents and embodies, to see that it does not go ahead without them, 
or in advance of them, and that the other parts of truth which 
hold it in place and proportion are not forgotten. 

But now I am beginning to repeat myself, so I had better 
stop. I am afraid of my own boldness ; or that you may think 
me rude or arrogant in tone. But I hope you will see that 
whatever I have done I have meant to write in real friendship, 
though as a friend greatly pained and aggrieved (in a public 
sense) and also not a little puzzled. Your sincere friend and 


MY DEAR BISHOP You will, I fear, have wondered that 1 
did not write in reply to your letter from Switzerland, But 
the fact is that I sent for your address at once, and then decided 
that I would not trouble you during your holiday and after 
this I became so busily occupied with some pressing duties that 
I fear I have allowed you to be at home again some little time 
without an acknowledgment ; and now I hardly know what 
I had best say beyond the one word which is uppermost, a word 
of grateful thanks to you for writing to me in that spirit of true 
Christian friendliness which, if I may venture to say so, always 
so happily characterises you. 

I am the more grateful because what I may say or do might 
very well have been treated by you and by others as a negligible 
quantity. I sent my Charge to my old friend the Primate, and 
afterwards stayed with him the best part of two weeks, but he 
never made the slightest allusion to it ; and so I concluded 
that it was outside my own diocese a document of little moment 
or interest. 

As regards my speech at the Bishop s meeting, so far as I 
can recall it, I don t think I said anything which I could not 
justify ; but it is quite possible that I may have expressed 
myself awkwardly, as I often do, having no command of language 
on the spur of the moment ; and the day had been a very trying 
one. The Archbishop had allowed the morning to be entirely 


spent on small points with reference to prayers for the Dead, 
without touching the real point, which is the Roman dogmatism 
and that of Roman imitators who speak in their ignorant rash 
ness as if they had penetrated all the mysteries behind the veil 
and knew all about the purgatorial condition of souls of every 
degree. . . Thus our sitting was ending and I was disappointed 
and irritated. . . . Such is my poor apology for anything in 
the tone of my remarks which may have hurt you. As to the 
substance, I hold to it, being convinced that it represents what 
needs to be very seriously considered by some of our brethren, 
though I fear they won t consider it to any good purpose. As 
regards Moberly s book, Moberly himself deserves all praise as 
an earnest ana devout student, and I would sooner accept his 
authority than that of men of decidedly partisan mind like 
, although I hold his acknowledged principle of " presup 
positions " to be utterly unworthy of this. 

As regards what I said about the seminarist type of young 
clergy manufactured in some theological colleges and the 
grave responsibility of the Bishops who foster them, I have a 
very strong conviction again, and I shall probably repeat my 
remarks. I have a very strong conviction again as to prints 
like The Church Times. I should not think them deserving of 
notice but for the lamentable fact that they pervert the judg 
ment and degrade the temper of such a large part of our clergy 
and their wives and families and other well-meaning women. 
For a Bishop to say, as " Chester " did, " I never read The 
Church Times " is simply to show how little he notes or under 
stands the perverting influences at work, unless he sympathises, 
and in that case his reply is evasive and no more need be said. 
Seeing the thoroughly unchristian influence of The Church Times, 
as I do, on the mind, spirit, and temper of many well-meaning 
but ignorant people, I feel that if the proprietors, whoever they 
may be, are devout and intelligent churchmen, they ought to 
be ashamed of their share in it ; and if the Editor claims to 
be a devout churchman he ought to be ashamed of himself 
for deliberately spreading and feeding the spirit of insolence 
and detraction which has been so strong in the paper. 

Referring to my Charge. I feel from your letter that you 
have been unduly alarmed by its plain language, and I doubt 
if you have given its substance dispassionate consideration. 
I am not surprised, as your party has been so long unaccustomed 
to plain, dispassionate criticism, the Evangelicals having, as a 
rule, proved themselves either a fanatical or a feeble folk in 
their utterances. But I did not expect you to confound 
my position with what I understand you to mean by Puritanism, 


and this brings me to the only other point with which I will 
trouble you, for I have taxed your kindness and patience far 
too long already. The Bishop of Durham, as you will, I think, 
find, is at one with me in what I have said on the burning ques 
tion of the moment, which means that he holds to Hooker s 
views on the Sacrament and to Lightfoot s demonstration of 
the true position of the priesthood, and to ThirlwalTs unrefuted 
language on ritual. 

The vital mistake of your friends (in my poor Judgment a 
disastrous mistake) was made when under whatever influences 
they persuaded Keble in his old age to make or agree to that 
unfortunate alteration of his hymn, " As in the hands." Since 
then you have been on the treacherous slope that leads, and 
will continue to lead, ordinary minds downwards to the sacra 
mental superstition of the darker ages. 

And herein lies the urgency of my appeal the other day, that 
it is our duty to look behind the apparently extravagant doings 
of the modern ritualists and go to the root of the matter, instead 
of treating them as the Archbishop and the Bishop of London 
seem anxious to do. These ritualists, unless I misread them, 
have given far more thought to the matter than Bishops who 
treat them thus. 

If only the High Church party in this their day could go back, 
say under your leadership, resolutely and openly and without 
regard to consequences, to that parting of the ways, and say our 
position is that of the earlier Keble and of Hooker his master, 
and of Lightfoot, the greatest interpreter of the New Testament 
revelation in our day, what a blessed thing it would be for the 
Anglican Communion. Yours sincerely, 


It was in the same year as this First Visitation, 1898, that 
Percival started the Diocesan Messenger, a monthly magazine 
such as is officially issued in most dioceses. It was a means 
of keeping the diocese informed about the various activities 
which were going on within its borders ; it helped to break 
down the isolation of the remote country parishes, always 
one of Percival s chief objects ; and it afforded the Bishop a 
means of communication with his clergy and laity. In every 
issue he wrote a letter dealing with some large question of 
national or diocesan concern. Certainly it could never be 
said that he failed to " give a lead/ though he often led in 
a direction where only a few were ready to follow him. At 


first the Diocesan Messenger was run at a serious financial 
loss, which the Bishop paid himself. Later on, advertise 
ments were secured and an annual balance was available, 
which year by year the Bishop assigned to diocesan needs. 
At this time the Bishop had much anxiety on behalf of 
his son Arthur, who was an officer in the army which marched 
up the Nile under Kitchener. Just after the battle of 
Omdurman he wrote to Mr. Killigrew Wait : 

September 5, 1898. 

DEAR WAIT My youngest boy Arthur being in Kitchener s 
Army, I have had a week of intense anxiety, and you will sym 
pathise with me in my relief this morning when I learnt that 
the battle is over and he is apparently untouched. 1 I thank 
God for His goodness to me. The engagement seems to have 
been a terrible butchery rather than a fight. Anyhow, the 
victory is a great blow for civilisation over barbarism and for 
the happiness of multitudes in the Valley of the Nile. Yours 


The love of Rugby never faded in his heart, and when 
Thomas Hughes (" Tom Brown ") died in 1897 Percival was 
glad, amid all his diocesan and other activities, to associate 
himself with Rugby and the author of its famous story by 
offering a memorial of Thomas Hughes in the shape of a 
gift of his books to certain boys each year. The offer was 
acknowledged in the following letter from his old Rugby 
chief, Dr. Temple, who had become chairman of the Rugby 
Governing Body during Percival s Headmaster ship. 

December u, 1897. 

MY DEAR BISHOP OF HEREFORD The enclosed Resolution 
was passed at the last meeting of the Rugby Governors, and 
you will see that it lays on me the duty of conveying to you 
their thanks for your gift to the School. I write accordingly, 
and am very glad to be the medium of the interchange of courtesy. 
Yours affectionately, 


1 Arthur Percival was, however, severely wounded by the explosion of 
a Dervish mine soon after the hostilities were over. 



RUGBY SCHOOL : Extract from Minutes, ist December 1897. 

It is unanimously resolved : 

That the offer of the Bishop of Hereford to give a sum of 
money to provide an annual gift of books, by the late Mr. 
Thomas Hughes, to a certain number of boys in the School as 
a memorial of Mr. Hughes, be accepted ; that all details as to 
the selection of the boys for this purpose, the inscriptions in the 
books, and other matters connected with the gift, be left to be 
settled from time to time by the Headmaster, after consulta 
tion with the Bishop of Hereford, and that the Chairman be 
requested to convey to the Bishop of Hereford the thanks of 
the Governing Body for his gift to the School. 

By the close of 1898 the period of solitude at the Palace 
was nearing its end. The Bishop married an old family 
friend, the daughter of the famous physician who had 
virtually saved his life when his health broke down as the 
result of his heavy work as schoolboy and undergraduate. 
It was characteristic of him that he should announce the 
event in a letter circulated to the clergy of the diocese. 

November 29, 1898. 

MY DEAR BROTHER I am writing this letter to say that, 
having been continuously at work since February, I find I must 
shortly take a brief period of comparative rest or quiet ; and 
consequently I propose to be absent from the Diocese from 
January 17 to the end of February. 

If, therefore, you have any matter in which I can be of service, 
and which you feel to be urgent, I hope you will give me the 
opportunity of attending to it before January 14. Should any 
thing arise during my absence, which may seem to you to require 
immediate attention or consideration, I would ask you to con 
sult the Archdeacon or Mr. Beddoe. 

In addition to these matters, I desire to inform you by direct 
personal communication that I hope to be married in the early 
part of next year to one who has long been a family friend, 
Miss Symonds, daughter of the late Mr. Frederic Symonds, the 
well-known doctor at Oxford. 

Two and a half years ago when my dear wife was taken from 
me, I owed so much to the tender sympathy of the clergy, sym- 


pathy never to be forgotten by me, that I should not like any 
one of these my friends and fellow-labourers to hear first from 
some outside source of the step I contemplate. 

During the interval I have had constantly to trespass on the 
kind indulgence of the Diocese in regard to many duties with 
which I had not the strength or the gifts to cope alone. And 
knowing, as no one but myself knows, how much of all that was 
best in my life and work I owed to a devout and loving com 
panion, and having experienced my inability to do alone many 
things which as a Bishop I ought to endeavour to do, I trust 
that the change in my home life may enable me to serve you 
and the Church in our Diocese better than I have hitherto been 
able to do. 

Asking your prayers on my behalf, I am, yours sincerely, 


P.S. I hope you will kindly understand that this letter 
calls for no reply or acknowledgment. 

The wedding took place in Westminster Abbey on Janu 
ary 18, 1899. Prebendary Wynne Willson, who was " best 
man," narrates his nervousness that the bridegroom would 
not be in time, owing to his insisting on attending a meeting 
in the Church House immediately before the ceremony. 

To a letter of congratulation from Mrs. Wait which 
reached him as he was starting with Mrs. Percival for their 
honeymoon, he replied : 


January 19, 1899. 

DEAR MRS. WAIT It was most kind of you to write to me 
on the i6th. The letter reached me yesterday morning, and 
I have not till now had time to thank you for it. Nothing will 
ever make any difference to my friendship to you and Mr. Wait, 
and so long as you will have me I shall always wish to come and 
see you when I can, and I shall always wish you to come and 
stay quietly with us when you feel inclined to say you are coming. 
As life grows shorter, memories and the things which bind one 
to dear friends become all the dearer ; and the wife who is now 
to be my dear companion will do her part very lovingly in giving 
you both an affectionate welcome. Yours affectionately, 


At about this time the custom had grown up in the 


Cathedral of singing the Benedictus qui venit immediately 
before the Prayer of Consecration. Percival believed this 
to be illegal, and informed the Dean of the fact, with the 
result that the custom was abandoned, the Dean writing to 
the Bishop that he would " be sorry that we should permit 
any innovation at the Cathedral which should be the means 
of leading astray any incumbents in the diocese." Percival 
was here acting conscientiously according to his interpreta 
tion of the law ; he was not following any mere preference 
of his own. Prebendary Wynne Willson tells how on one 
occasion " coming out of the Cathedral after a choral Com 
munion at which the Benedictus had been sung, he said, 
How beautiful the Benedictus sounded, breaking in suddenly 
upon the solemn silence of the Cathedral. The fact is, 
as the same witness testifies, that though he could appreciate 
beautiful effects, " to him worship was of the heart, not the 
eye. No one could live with him and not see and feel the 
reality of his piety. By any one entering his study late at 
night unexpectedly he would be found reading the Bible. 
He never failed to exhort people to read the Psalms and the 
Gospels. His dislike of high ritual was based on its com 
plexity, rather than occasioned by the doctrines it repre 
sented, much as he opposed these in his pulpit utterances. 
He frequently gave offence by speaking of spectacular 
communions/ On the other hand, any slovenliness in the 
service, any evidence of lack of care for the Church, earned 
his whole-hearted condemnation." 

In his official action he was always guided by his inter 
pretation of the law. For example, he held that " Vest 
ments " were illegal, and accordingly he refused to institute 
to parishes priests who refused to give an assurance that 
they would not wear them. This happened on two occa 
sions. The matter was not taken to the Courts. In both 
cases the patron ultimately decided to present another 

He was eager to do what lay in his power to deepen the 
spiritual life in the diocese. With this object he acceded 
to a request in the year 1900 that he should conduct a 
Bible Class at the Palace during Lent. Accordingly, he held 


such a course on Wednesday evenings at 8.30, dealing with 
" the Sermon on the Mount in its bearing on common life/ 
But it was, of course, only a few in Hereford and the im 
mediate neighbourhood that he could help by such means. 
For any wider influence he relied on his own visits for 
Confirmations and otherwise, on the Diocesan Mission, and 
on the Scheme for Bible and Prayer Book Examination, 
which had been instituted by Bishop Atlay. 

With regard to the visits for Confirmations, Prebendary 
Wynne Willson writes : 

Arduous as was the work of Confirmations in this rural 
diocese, owing to remoteness and lack of train service, yet he 
always enjoyed it. Wherever he could, he drove. He revelled 
in the country and the beautiful scenery of his diocese. If he 
had to drive from a station to a parish he would say, " Tell 
them to send a dog-cart ; I don t like the cab, smelling of stale 
tobacco." The scent from a bean-field or a clover-field delighted 
him. No place was too remote for him to visit. His capacity 
for addressing country children at Confirmation Services was 
amazing. It was not a matter of adapting himself to his audience 
he seemed naturally at home with a rustic congregation, the 
result, no doubt, of his ancestry. 

The Rev. R. Burges Bayly writes that " most of those 
who knew the Bishop would agree in saying that in none of 
his important diocesan work was he so thoroughly happy 
as when holding Confirmations." 

The Bishop seemed especially to enjoy his visits to the different 
parishes on these occasions. His whole strength and love seemed 
to be manifested in this work. I have known him get up from 
a sick bed and face a long cold drive of more than fifteen miles 
rather than allow a Confirmation arranged for to fall through. 

During the last seven years of his Episcopate it was my 
privilege to serve as his Hon. Chaplain, and I was frequently 
in attendance on him at these times. He thoroughly under 
stood young people. He not only arrested and held their atten 
tion during his addresses, but he fairly won their hearts. Few 
will forget the impressiveness of those Confirmation scenes 
no description can convey a sufficiently clear idea of their 
solemnity. When he stood up to deliver the first address, his 
beautiful face seemed to light up, and as he proceeded with his 
strong, loving counsels to the candidates, reminding them of 



the difficulties and dangers before them, and telling them of 
the strength and power by which they might be met, and of 
the source from which this power came, there must have been 
few hearts that were not deeply touched. The reverence and 
solemnity with which he conferred the actual laying on of hands 
deeply affected all around him. 

His joy in Confirmations was no doubt largely due to 
the fact that there alone did his work bring him into touch 
with young people. But while this was so, Confirmations 
were also a chief means by which he was able to foster the 
spiritual life of the people. The addresses at Confirmations 
are primarily directed to the candidates. But they are 
heard by the parents and friends, and the parishioners 
generally, who attend. Percival preferred to hold Con 
firmations on Sundays, on the ground that on that day more 
people could and would attend than on any other. Perhaps 
this is not unconnected with the fact that during his 
episcopate the diocese of Hereford rose to the head of 
the list of dioceses for its proportion of communicants to 
the population. Certainly the solemnity of his addresses at 
these times must have impressed the people with the serious 
ness of moral questions. " No man can live long enough to 
see the end of any sin that he commits." " The flames of 
hell have never been put out ; I see them burning up the 
lives of men/ " The greatest gift a hero leaves his country 
is to have been a hero." Such were some of his most 
frequently reiterated sayings. His main stress was always 
upon the moral influence which every one is bound to exert 
for good or ill upon his neighbours, and the need of all the 
aids which the Church supplies if this responsibility is to be 
met worthily. 

However hard a Bishop works he cannot be his own 
missioner, and for the further deepening of the spiritual life 
of the diocese as a whole he instituted the Diocesan Mission. 
The general plan of this effort may best be shown by quota 
tion of a letter to the Rev. F. B. Philps, to whom the Bishop 
had already written to inquire whether he would consider 
taking up the work for a time in succession to a clergyman 
who had been obliged to resign on grounds of health. 



August 27, 1906. 

DEAR SIR I am glad to have your letter and send the follow 
ing particulars : 

My last missioner, who has had to give up missioner s work 
owing to delicacy of health, lived here when not out on mission 
work. He received 150 a year and his travelling expenses, 
and his board here free of cost, of course. His work consisted 
of (i) week-end visits to parishes by arrangement with the 
Incumbent ; Friday evening to Tuesday morning. (2) Two or 
three Ruridecanal visits in the course of a year. A Ruridecanal 
visit extends as a rule over four Sundays, and the missioner to 
begin with attends a Ruridecanal Chapter and arranges with 
the clergy to visit some five or six neighbouring parishes, taking 
such services, and giving such addresses, etc., as may be agreed 
upon. He spends the whole month in the Rural Deanery, and 
hospitality is provided by the clergy. We find this useful type 
of mission in Rural Parishes. (3) Possibly one or two ten-day 
or fortnight missions in a larger parish in the course of the year. 
(4) Some courses of sermons in Advent and Lent. 

I would suggest that you should, if convenient, come and 
see me, as this would enable both of us to see whether the opening 
is suitable. I expect to be at home and free to receive you 
for any night before September 7. Believe me, yours very truly, 


The Diocesan Mission was, in the Bishop s mind, an 
effort to help the spiritual life from the centre, and to break 
down the isolation of the remote parishes. It was not merely 
the provision of a preacher to the various parishes at different 
times. He thought of it rather a pastoral activity on the part 
of the Chief Pastor of the diocese through his chosen agent. 
Mr. Philps, who accepted the Bishop s offer, and was for a 
time one of the series of Diocesan Missioners, says : "I 
used, in each parish I visited, to commence my work by 
reference to the connection of the Bishop with parish and 
people expressed in my visit, its marking of his pastoral love 
and care for them and of his desire to know how they were 
getting on. This gave them a new view of the Bishop in 
many places." 

Side by side with this directly spiritual work was the 
endeavour to develop an intelligent study of the Christian 


religion. Bishop Atlay had inaugurated an Examination 
on the Bible and Prayer Book to encourage study by giving 
it an objective. The Rev. J. Davies, of Stoke Prior Rectory, 
Leominster, sends the following account of Per aval s 
activities in relation to this scheme : 

When Bishop Percival entered upon his Episcopate at Here 
ford, he, as might have been expected, took great interest in 
all matters connected with the schools and Religious Education. 
Most of the elementary schools were Church Schools. There 
were several organisations for their maintenance and progress, 
and especially for the keeping up of a high standard of religious 
knowledge and training an excellent syllabus, a system of 
inspections, training of pupil teachers, with examination and 
prizes, etc. 

One scheme, known as the Bible and Prayer Book Prize 
Examination Scheme, had been in existence for just quarter 
of a century in 1895. It was managed in connection with the 
Diocesan Schools Associations by the Bishop, the Archdeacons, 
a Secretary, and a Board of Examiners. Its object was to 
encourage interest and enthusiasm in the religious work of the 
schools by giving prizes to children on the results of an annual 
written examination, the questions being set by the Examiners 
and sent to each school. 

The subjects were a book of the Bible, generally a Gospel, 
and some portions of the Prayer Book, and the whole of the 
Catechism. The elder and more intelligent children in a school 
were sent in. 

Previous to the time of Dr. Percival, some hundreds of children 
had sat for the Examination in several different years. But 
just at the time that he came, for some reason or other, the 
numbers were very low. 

He at once showed his interest in the scheme, and did all he 
could to induce more schools to send in candidates. His letters 
in the Annual Reports show how keen he was about the religious 
training of the children, and how anxious he was that this scheme 
should prosper. 

He took very practical steps to help it. He increased the 
number of " the Bishop s Special Prizes." He also provided 
a prize book for each of the candidates in the second class. After 
the death of Mrs. Percival he gave an endowment of 100 to 
provide twelve prizes in her memory, now known as " The 
Louisa Percival Memorial Prizes," given to the six boys and 
six girls who do best in the examination. 


On seventeen occasions during his episcopate he annually 
invited all the children who had gained prizes, their parents, 
the head teachers, and the clergy from the successful parishes, 
to the prize distribution and tea at the Palace. The guests, 
as a rule, amounted to several hundreds. 

A word should be said about these days, for no pleasanter 
picture of the Bishop will live in the memory of those who were 
present on the prize-giving days. After a short special service 
in the Cathedral, at which all the guests were present, an adjourn 
ment was made to the Palace grounds, where in the brightness 
of a summer afternoon the venerable Bishop, with all his simple 
and courtly dignity, his face lit up with that charming smile 
of his, first said a few earnest and encouraging words to the 
children and to those assembled, and then distributed the prizes 
with a word of congratulation to the winners of them. The 
prize-giving was followed by tea for all on the lawns, the 
Bishop himself seeming to enjoy the whole day as much as the 
children. Teachers still, and children now grown up, speak 
with pleasure of those days. 

When the war came and prevented the issue of reduced railway 
fares, the Bishop offered to pay the difference between the 
former specially reduced fare and the then existing fare, so that 
even children from the poorest parishes might not be prevented 
from attending on the day. 

As a result of the Bishop s efforts the numbers of candidates, 
and of schools entering, reached, during his Episcopacy, the 
highest point in the history of the scheme. 

At the Annual Meetings of the Examiners, when the Class 
lists were drawn up, the Bishop presided and helped the 
Examiners and Secretary by his advice and judgment. He 
always wished a high standard to be maintained, and at the 
same time to encourage schools and children where there were 

Of his relations with his clergy, on which the effectiveness 
of a Bishop in his diocese must chiefly depend, it is not 
possible to speak in a few phrases. The opposition aroused 
by his attitude on many public questions especially Welsh 
Disestablishment and Church Schools in the early days, in 
the later time modernism and reunion created a hindrance 
to the establishment of intimate intercourse. Apart from 
this, Percival was not an easy man to know. He was deeply 
sympathetic, except on the intellectual side, but he did not 


easily show his sympathy. Those who took the first step 
found that he welcomed approaches, but it is not easy for 
the ordinary country clergyman to take the first step 
towards intimacy with his Bishop. Consequently there 
were to the end many who knew him only as an official and 
as a controversialist on what was in their judgment the 
wrong side. And it cannot be denied that, when known 
only in this way, he seemed both formidable and chilling. 

There are some men who are attractive to all save those 
who know them well ; they are universally applauded ; 
their praises are in the mouths of all men ; but intimate 
friends tend to qualify the general approval. There are 
others whom the world is slow to praise, yet who are revealed 
to intimate friendship as tender, noble, and self-sacrificing 
souls. Percival belonged to the latter class. Only those 
who could penetrate his reserve ever knew his greatness of 
spirit or his tenderness of heart. To others he seemed 
austere, remote, and even rather contemptuous. Just as at 
Rugby he would trust individual boys, while putting little 
trust in the School as a whole, so at Hereford he honoured 
his clergy taken singly for their devotion and ungrudging 
labours, but he had no high opinion of the clergy as a whole, 
whether in his diocese or out of it. Unfortunately, most of 
the clergy come into contact with their Bishop most fre 
quently at gatherings where the general rather than the 
individual aspect is most prominent, and where those public 
matters are brought into discussion, on which Percival 
generally found himself in opposition to the view held by 
nearly all the clergy. 

He was an ogre for work. One of his chaplains had been 
a journalist, often working fourteen hours a day ; but he 
found that Percival " worked him off his feet." Prebendary 
Wynne Willson writes : 

People often used to say to me what a difficult task it must 
be to work with so exacting a master. He expected work, and 
at times very hard work. I quote a letter written when I left 
him : " Take pauses for refreshment, recreation, thought, and 
enjoyment ; and don t let parochial claims interfere with 
these." That was his attitude. Naturally he was quick- 


tempered, and capable of anger, but he had the most absolute 
control. He was most patient, and if and when hitches occurred, 
he was very merciful. Cruelty, injustice, slovenliness, and neglect 
of duty angered him, and he expressed himself at times very 
strongly. He was quite easy to work with, for he was never 
capricious or arbitrary. 

The frequency with which he stood alone, or with only a 
small following, is quoted as a mark of his unpopularity. Never 
theless, his courage and sincerity won universal respect. On 
the occasion when the late Dr. Sinclair was presented with his 
robes as a Doctor of Music, a large concourse of people were 
present, most of whom disagreed with his ecclesiastical and 
political outlook. In the course of his speech, he said, " I shall 
not be alone, though you know I am often alone in my opinions." 
This was followed by a burst of applause, which showed the 
popular estimate of his character great respect in spite of 
difference of opinion. 

This episode is evidence that as he came to be understood, 
though the opposition to his views remained, he also came 
to be respected and, by those who understood most fully, 
to be loved. And his own energy in work bore its fruit. 

His hindrances were heavy. He was a radical amongst 
bigoted conservatives, a liberal churchman and reformer amid 
a population whose soft relaxing climate caused them to dislike 
effort, and whose remoteness made them suspicious of new 
thought. He was a keen temperance reformer amongst a cider- 
making, hop-growing community. He was not always loyally 
served by men whom he himself appointed to positions of im 
portance. But there is no doubt that his power of organisation, 
and to still greater extent his power of awakening a sense of 
duty, achieved the main purpose of a bishop s life, that of 
getting his diocese to work. 1 

It has been said that his sympathy was deep except on 
the intellectual side. At this point there was a real failure. 
He had not the capacity of understanding why men cared 
for the views which seemed to him mistaken. To this must 
be attributed his strange inability to convert men to his 
point of view. It is remarkable how little he accomplished 
in this direction when the extent to which he won respect 

1 Preb. Wynne Willson. 


and affection are remembered. He would make a speech 
which thrilled with delight those who had agreed with him 
from the outset ; they would expect the immediate capitula 
tion of the hostile forces ; and then to their dismay they 
had to realise that the enemy was totally unaffected. No 
man, broadly speaking, can convert another intellectually 
unless he can first do full justice to that other s position. 
This Percival could rarely do. He simply did not under 
stand, for example, the Catholic party. He admired their 
devotion and their conscientiousness. But he thought 
their intellectual position stupid, which manifestly it is not. 
They knew he had not appreciated the grounds of their 
position ; consequently they were merely unmoved by his 
attack, though somewhat irritated that he should have 
made it. 

The fact is that he was little interested in intellectual 
problems for their own sake, and had not that power to 
approach questions from a variety of angles which such an 
interest inevitably confers. Mr. J. R. Mozley, who was 
one of his Clifton" staff for a time and always a strong 
admirer, writes : 

That Percival was a philosopher could hardly be said : " I 
have got my principles," he said to me once ; this was in reply 
to a mention I had made of Hegelianism as a possible guide to 
thought ; and he added, " I have seen the results on men of 
reading Hegel." The results, of course, might be different in 
different cases, and I am sure that he would not have refused 
his sympathy to that distinguished Oxford Hegelian, T. H. 
Green. His sympathies were wide, though he shunned argu 
ment, in the early days at any rate ; and when, in later life, he 
did more or less take to it, politics was more congenial to him 
than any other subject. 

Such irritation as was felt, however, existed mainly, 
though not solely, outside the diocese. Inside the diocese 
it came to be realised that though he could not understand 
the position of High Churchmen (except of the very moderate 
variety represented by his intellectual leaders, Lightfoot and 
Westcott) he appreciated them personally and had no desire 
to drive them from his diocese. He was much misrepre- 


sen ted in regard to this. A leading Catholic clergyman in 
the diocese is reported to have complained that Percival 
wished to drive the Catholics out, though he had himself 
been appointed by Percival to a much sought after living, 
to a rural deanery and to a prebendal stall. He certainly 
tried to be just to those with whom he disagreed. More 
over, the knowledge of his sympathy with anything in the 
nature of trouble or distress began to spread. An instance 
of this sympathy in one direction is given by the Rev. 
Maxwell F. Webb, who writes : 

First, I held the living of Donnington, near Ledbury, it 
was one of the poor livings in the Hereford Diocese. It was a 
little country parish with a small Church. The Friday before 
a Sunday in Lent, I was taken suddenly ill. I telegraphed at 
once to the Bishop s Secretary, whom I knew, and asked him if 
he could find me a helper for the Sunday. On Saturday morning 
I received a letter from Dr. Percival, saying that he would be 
very pleased to take the services in my Church himself. 

The Bishop arrived at 10 o clock on the Sunday morning, 
having driven all the way from Hereford. He took my services 
himself, at n o clock and at 3.30 P.M. He would not partake 
of any food in the Rectory, because he knew that the living 
was a poor one, but he brought his own sandwiches with him. 
When the afternoon service concluded, he drove back to Hereford. 

He fully appreciated the difficulties of the country 
parson s work. Mr. Philps, writing of his work as Diocesan 
Missioner, says : 

The men and the parishes were reviewed by the Bishop 
before my visits. It was our custom to speak together of my 
work before I went out to do it. In this way he helped me 
beyond words. And though speaking intimately of short 
comings here and there, he never said an unkind word to me of 
one of his clergy, but always and without exception sought for 
some excuse in the isolation of the parish, or circumstances of 
the house, or in some other way. 

The channel through which his sympathy chiefly showed 
itself was a constant generosity in relief of the poorer clergy. 
As a rule even his chaplains only knew of the gifts which he 
sent through seeing the letters of thanks which they brought. 


Especially at Christmas time would gifts of money be sent 
to needy priests, and quite as readily to those who opposed 
him, or even who organised opposition to him, as to others. 
The Rev. C. L. Edwards writes in this connection : 

He used frequently to send presents, usually anonymously, 
to the poorest of his clergy at Christmas ; generally 10. In 
one case he asked a clergyman who had opposed him repeatedly 
and vigorously in the Diocesan Conference and the Press to act 
as his almoner to give his presents " from a friend who wishes 
to remain anonymous." By his choice of this particular almoner 
he threw the recipient off the scent. 

It was his rule to spend the whole of his official income 
on the diocese. None of it was spent on holidays or on 
personal needs, beyond the expenses of the house, which 
was largely used for entertaining. 

Canon Bannister had an experience which illustrates at 
once the Bishop s sympathy and the reasons why it was so little 
understood. Shortly after coming to the diocese, Canon 
Bannister found that the vicar of a neighbouring parish had 
lately died, leaving a widow sadly burdened with a debt of 
which the existence had been forgotten. He wrote to the 
Bishop, who replied, without a word of sympathy, merely 
asking to whom the debts were due ? Were they people who 
would be greatly damaged if they could not recover their 
money ? What were the resources of the executors ? and 
so forth. Canon Bannister did not then know the Bishop, 
and, feeling rather sore, wrote to say that he would raise the 
money himself and not trouble his Lordship further. But 
when he set about the work of doing what was wanted he 
found that the Bishop had made his inquiries through other 
channels, had satisfied himself with regard to the facts and 
the need, and had paid the whole debt out of his own 

There was no doubt about the tenderness of his heart. 
But it is not easy for the prophet of righteousness to sym 
pathise with moral weaknesses. As Bishop Gore says of 
the impression he left on his colleagues and pupils at Trinity, 
" We felt that a great strong righteous will was expressing 


itself amongst us with profound astonishment at our being 
content to be such fools as we were " so in his diocese men 
who were guilty of any moral failing felt only his amazed 
indignation, and perhaps, when that was called for, his 
official censure. This temper enabled him to be peculiarly 
bracing to the strong, but more terrible than helpful to the 

For the spiritual life of the clergy of his diocese he tried 
to provide assistance through the organisation of an annual 
retreat ; he secured the help of leading men of every school 
of thought for the conduct of these retreats, and, though 
they were much valued by those who came, he was dis 
appointed that so small a proportion of the clergy availed 
themselves of this opportunity. 

It must, however, be admitted that he himself found 
the special organisations of a devotional period rather un 
congenial. This was apparent in the days before ordinations, 
when the time was insufficiently organised and less valuable 
than it might have been. But he tried to create a sense of 
the vastness of the Church s task by always requiring a 
missionary book to be read for the examination. He also 
set two books on which the candidates were examined by 
himself or some one chosen specially not by the examining 
chaplains. These were Hort s Christian Ecclesia and Light- 
foot on the Ministry. 

He tried to become acquainted with all the clergy and 
church- workers of the diocese, and as Hereford is only a few 
miles from the southern border of a diocese extending some 
seventy miles from north to south, he used to take a house 
in the Shropshire archdeaconry for six or eight weeks in the 
summer, inviting the clergy and church-workers of the 
neighbouring parishes to a series of small, informal garden 
parties. It should be added that he was a keen supporter 
of the scheme for a Shropshire diocese, and proposed that 
each Bishop concerned (Hereford, Lichfield, and St. Asaph) 
should surrender 600 a year towards the endowment of the 
new see. 

Amid all his cares and conflicts he kept up his contact 
with old friends : 


To Mrs. Killigrew Wait 

January i, 1900. 

DEAR MRS. WAIT This is my first writing of the new date 
and, as I need hardly tell you, the note comes laden with all my 
best wishes to the dearest of friends, and with the hope that you 
have been enjoying some real Christmastide happiness. It has 
been, I know very well, transfused with eventide thoughts, and 
something of eventide sadness. It could not be otherwise, 
but it is none the less God s good gift. I also desire to thank 
you for your kind share in the memorial in the College Chapel 
to my dear Loo. She was so faithful to her Bible and had such 
love for the College that it is just the memorial she would have 
liked to think of, and it is the gift of friends she loved most 
dearly. To-morrow January 2 will be the anniversary of 
her birth. Always yours affectionately, 


The year 1901 was that of his Second Visitation. On this 
occasion he selected as the chief topic of general interest the 
problem of Church Reform. He had little hope of the 
" Convocations Bill " promoted by the Church Reform 
League, which was gradually transformed into the Enabling 
Act of 1919 ; and he had no sympathy at all with attacks on 
the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council as the Final 
Court of Appeal in Causes Ecclesiastical. But he had 
practical suggestions to make which derive a peculiar interest 
from the subsequent course of events. He did earnestly 
desire to give the people a real share in the control and 
direction of church life at the point when it immediately 
affects them, that is in the parishes. 

Under these circumstances, as I have ventured publicly to 
urge on several occasions, we should do well and wisely, in the 
best interests of the Church, to begin our reforming legislation 
where the shoe pinches, that is, by the establishment of a Church 
Council in every parish ; and the constitutional basis on which 
to establish such Councils should be broad enough to safeguard 
the national character of the Church. 

This, I incline to think, would be reasonably secured, if it 
were enacted that every parishioner, who is a member of the 
Parish Vestry, and claims to be a member of the Church of 


England as by law established, shall be qualified to vote in the 
election of the Church Council. 

Every such parishioner should also be qualified to serve upon 
the Council on declaring that he attends or desires to attend 
the Church as his habitual place of religious worship. 

If it is asked what powers should be given to a Church Council 
so elected, my reply would be that these powers should be 
embodied in some such provisions as the following : 

(1) It shall not be lawful for the Incumbent or Curate-in 
ch arge of a parish to introduce any changes in the mode of 
conducting public worship without giving due notice and obtain 
ing the consent of his Church Council. If this consent is with 
held, the Incumbent or Curate-in-charge may appeal to the 
Bishop for his decision on the subject, and the Bishop, after 
conference with the Incumbent or Curate-in-charge and the 
Council, and after full and careful consideration of the matter, 
shall make an order embodying his decision. 

(2) If the Council desires any reasonable and lawful change 
to be made in regard to the conduct of public worship, and the 
Incumbent or Curate-in-charge declines to make it, the Council 
may appeal to the Bishop, who shall, after full and careful 
consideration of the matter, make an order embodying his 

(3) If in any case the Bishop s order is objected to by either 
party, an appeal shall be allowed to the Archbishop, whose 
decision shall be final. 

(4) If during a vacancy the parishioners through the Church 
Council petition the Bishop with reference to the mode of con 
ducting public worship which the parishioners desire, it shall 
be the duty of the Bishop to make an order on the subject, 
having due regard to the wishes of the parishioners, and this 
order shall be binding on the new Incumbent. 

(5) Any Incumbent or Curate-in-charge who shall disregard 
the order of the Bishop or Archbishop given under this Act, 
shall be forthwith admonished by the Bishop. 

If he fails to obey the admonition within three months, this 
failure shall ipso facto involve the immediate voidance of the 
benefice, or the lapse of his licence, as the case may be. 

The Charge closed with words that have a special appro 
priateness to a time when the effects of a war more desolat 
ing than that in South Africa are present on every side. 

As we enter on a new century, the thought inevitably haunts 


us, the inquiry arises persistently What are likely to be the 
fortunes and influence of our Church of England in the coming 
time ? But these thoughts and these inquiries are, I fear, 
hardly profitable. It may well be that our Lord would answer, 
" What is that to thee ? Follow thou me." 

The one thing which is only too clear at this moment is that, 
as a nation, we do not begin the new century very well. 

We begin it involved in a desolating war a war in which 
the Church has given little guidance ; " her prophets have 
found no vision from the Lord." 

We begin it with heavy burdens of taxation and debt newly 
laid upon us, and much needed social reforms indefinitely post 
poned in consequence. We begin it with the materialistic spirit 
and the greed of wealth very strong in the midst of us, and with 
many doubtful signs on the horizon in front of us. 

Under such circumstances we may do well to set our faces 
towards the uncertain future and its difficulties and dangers in 
a chastened spirit. 

England in the Victorian age has been very prosperous, 
replenished like ancient Tyre, and made very glorious in the 
midst of the seas ; and if, as we grow wealthy by reason of our 
commerce and the multitude of our wares, we were infected 
in some degree by that spirit which the ancient Greeks called 
vfipis, the insolence of pride, we have had our reminders, and 
these may be for our ultimate good, that v/3pis is followed 
very close by i^eo-i?, its inevitable attendant. 

One good result of all this for which I pray is, that it may 
help our Church to shake herself free from that spirit of political 
subserviency and timidity which paralyses her prophetic powers, 
so that she may do more than hitherto to impress on our English 
life the spirit of Jesus, her Lord ; but to do so we must hark 
back continually and unreservedly to the gospel sources ; we 
shall have to discard many ecclesiastical traditions, and lay 
fresh hold on the principles embodied in the Saviour s manifesta 
tion of the Divine life ; we shall have to emancipate our hearts 
from their slavery to selfish instincts and materialistic influences, 
and to persuade men to adopt the spirit of Christ in its reality, 
as the dominating and determining spirit in political, no less 
than in individual, conduct, in public as in private affairs. 

The proposal made in this Charge that the people of a 
parish should have control over any change in the services 
puts into a more definite and formulated shape a suggestion 
that he had already made in his address to the Diocesan 


Conference in 1898. The Act of Uniformity Amendment 
Act (1872) lays it down that a special service may not 
contain anything which does not form part of the Bible or 
the Prayer Book excepting anthems and hymns. This if 
literally interpreted would go far to make the composition 
of special services suitable to different occasions impossible. 
Archbishop Temple had ruled that the Act was to be 
interpreted as permitting anything that expressed the spirit 
of some part of the Bible or of the Prayer Book, giving as 
an instance the Collect for the Sixth Sunday after Epiphany, 
which he declared would be within the limits allowed by the 
Act even if it were not already in the Prayer Book. This 
had brought Sir William Harcourt into the lists with a series 
of letters to The Times on " The Crisis in the Church/ Of 
these, and a great deal more commotion, the Archbishop, 
according to his wont, took no notice whatever. He had, 
as a matter of fact, discussed the matter privately with 
several Judges and had virtually assured himself that if the 
matter came into the Courts the decision would be in his 
favour. Percival, however, was not prepared to trust the 
Bishops with so large a liberty. Too many of them regarded 
doctrines, which he held erroneous, as "in the spirit of the 
Bible and Prayer Book/ But by means of an elaborate 
system of checks and counter- checks he thought safety could 
be secured ; the real importance of his proposal was its 
introduction in a very prominent way of the rights of the 
laity. On September 21, 1898, he addressed his Diocesan 
Conference as follows : 

On one subject of present interest and permanent importance 
to the Church I feel that you may expect me to dwell for a 
moment on such an occasion as this. I. refer to what it seems 
to be the fashion to describe as the Bishop s jus liturgicum, or, 
in plain English, his power to draw up or sanction special forms 
of service for use in our churches. This power is limited by the 
words of the Act of Uniformity Amendment Act (1872), which 
declare that a special service must contain nothing which does 
not form part of Holy Scripture or the Book of Common Prayer, 
excepting anthems or hymns. On the real meaning of this 
clause in the Act authorities are not fully agreed. It is held 
by some that the reasonable understanding of this provision is 


that it gives power to a Bishop to sanction any prayers or services 
which, though not in the exact language of the Bible or Prayer 
Book, are in his judgment in accordance with the spirit and 
doctrine of the Bible and the Prayer Book. This at first sight 
would seem to be a not unreasonable contention, but when 
examined more closely it is found to open the door to an amount 
of liberty of interpretation which can hardly have been intended, 
and which, notwithstanding my personal devotion to liberty, 
I feel almost afraid to contemplate. In all such matters we 
have to look not simply at what might be done to-day or to 
morrow, or by any one of us, but in course of time. And what 
might be the result in course of time of the exercise of this vaguely- 
defined power by thirty-three Diocesan Bishops, all liable to 
be influenced in the process, I might even say " squeezed " by 
their various clergy, I do not venture to predict. One thing, 
however, is tolerably certain. The Prayer Book would be over 
laid by a mass of clerically-made services, made no doubt by 
pious men, and with the best intentions, but in part dug up 
from all sorts of ecclesiastical quarters, and full of idiosyncrasies, 
services which had not, like the Prayer Book itself, received 
the assent of the Crown, or been submitted in any way to the 
judgment of the laity. Thus it would in effect constitute a 
new departure ; it could hardly be described as constitutional 
in its spirit, and I fear it would be fraught with no little danger 
for the future. How, then, in practice are these dangers to 
be avoided while giving that amount of reasonable and whole 
some liberty which we cannot refuse if we have a genuine desire 
to foster and strengthen the spiritual life of the community by 
every available means ? The natural and safest way of doing 
this in accordance with the spirit of our Church and of our 
national life would seem to be by what might be called the process 
of a carefully -regulated local option ; in other words, by requir 
ing the sanction of the people of the parish for any extra uses 
subject to the veto of the Bishop if they contravene the law or 
doctrine of the Church. Such local option in concrete shape 
might run thus : " If it is desired on special occasions, as hither 
to, or for religious purposes not provided for in the Book of 
Common Prayer or under the Acts of Uniformity, to hold addi 
tional or extraordinary religious meetings or services in the 
Church, and to use some special form of prayer, or to offer un 
written prayers, the holding of such meetings and the forms of 
service to be used must be approved beforehand by the In 
cumbent, and also by the majority of the parishioners assembled 
in public vestry, or as otherwise ordered, and any form of service 
and any printed prayers thus used must be sent to the Bishop 


beforehand, that he, as guardian of the law and doctrine of the 
Church in his diocese, may have the opportunity of intervening 
to stop the proposed meetings or services, if they are contrary 
to the law or doctrine of the Church of England. If the Bishop 
gives his approval this shall in all cases be subject to the sanction 
of the Archbishop, so as to avoid the confusion of different inter 
pretations of law and doctrine in different dioceses." I would 
require such a reference to the Archbishop because I deprecate 
the growth of separate diocesan uses, and the tendency to split 
the Church into dioceses in such matters constitutes what might 
easily become a growing danger to Church unity. In this way 
it ought to be possible to so combine loyal obedience to the 
Bible and the Prayer Book, the spirit of unity in diversity, 
constitutional order, and the free enjoyment of a reasonable 
and wholesome liberty, as to satisfy every earnest and devout 
worker in any section of our comprehensive Church. 

In this, as in so many other matters, the ultimate issue 
seems likely to be in detail and method very different from 
Percival s proposal. Yet the principle which he laid down 
is now being increasingly applied, and no one doubts that the 
new Parochial Church Councils, established on a statutory 
basis under the Enabling Act of 1919, will afford a channel 
through which the laity will exercise a far greater influence 
than in the past over the form of services in the Parish 
Church. He was a true pioneer ; as we look back, we can 
disentangle the principles he advocated from the particular 
proposals in which he embodied them, and can see how truly, 
in many ways, he was sowing the seeds of future progress. 

But in this proposal we have also an illustration of what 
constantly occurred in Percival s life. Over and over again 
he made suggestions which were in principle adopted many 
years later. But he was liable to work them out in detail 
at the time when he first put them forward, and that in a 
shape calculated to alienate rather than to attract those 
whose support was indispensable for success. He was a man 
in advance of his time ; that was his greatness. But along 
with this went a real defect, for he was also a man intel 
lectually aloof. 



THE earlier years of Percival s episcopate were largely filled 
by controversy about Voluntary Schools and the various 
Education Bills introduced by successive Governments. The 
whole period of this controversy lasted from 1895 till 1906, 
but the one important measure to be passed into an Act was 
that of 1902-3. The history as a whole must be studied 
elsewhere ; but Percival took an important part in it, and 
there can be little doubt that the long struggle had a great 
influence on his own general position. Percival was almost 
alone among prominent Churchmen in the advocacy of the 
scheme which seemed to him the right one. He thought 
that the policy officially adopted by the Church was really 
due to a whole conception of the Church which he regarded 
as false. Hence the constant and solitary opposition to the 
Church policy somewhat hardened him in his resistance to 
the prevailing movements in Church life during the years 
when he was a Bishop. 

In the autumn of 1895 the Church leaders determined to 
approach the Government with an appeal for further State 
Aid to Denominational Schools. Until 1870 the greater part 
of the education given to the children of the poorer classes 
was given in denominational schools. In 1870 Mr. Glad 
stone s Administration made elementary education uni 
versally compulsory and set up the School Boards. In 
what were then called Board Schools, and now Provided 
Schools, undenominational religious instruction was given. 
Lord Salisbury s Administration had followed the line of 

177 N 


logical development by making the Board Schools free. 
This was a serious matter for the denominational schools, 
which began to be left behind in equipment. In November 
1895 a strong deputation, led by the two Archbishops and 
comprising most of the Bishops as well as a large group of 
distinguished clergy and laity, waited on Lord Salisbury, 
and presented a memorial appealing for further help for the 
voluntary schools. In The Times of November 21, 1895, is 
to be found both the report of the speeches made on this 
occasion, and also the following letter from the Bishop of 
Hereford : 

To the Editor of " The Times " 

SIR As one of those Churchmen who are not able to support 
the memorial to Lord Salisbury, I desire, with your indulgence, 
to state very briefly why we cannot do so. 

In some of the requests contained in this memorial we could 
very heartily concur if they were duly conditioned, but in two 
respects it is highly objectionable to those of us who, while 
desiring to secure to Churchmen their legitimate rights and 
freedom, cannot forget that as members of the national Church 
we ought not to encourage a separatist and internecine policy in 
this matter of national education. 

Thus we hold that in all schools that are largely supported by 
public money the local public, as being that portion of the con 
tributors primarily concerned, ought in common justice to have 
some share in the management ; and this memorial to be satis 
factory ought to have expressed the readiness of Churchmen to 
accept such representation, provided that the denominational 
principle for which the memorialists are contending is duly safe 

We may be told that they are indicating the right and claim 
of parents to determine the character of the religious instruction 
provided for their children ; but there is a good deal of in 
sincerity in the common use of this cry. The real object of the 
present struggle is to secure larger grants from the State, and 
yet to hold on to the exclusive denominational management of 
schools and the exclusive denominational appointment of teachers, 
so that not the parents but the managers may determine the 
character of the religious instruction to be provided. Hence the 



objection to giving to the people any representative share in the 

In connection with this part of the question there is another 
point to be urged. Subject to the same safeguards for the 
denominational principles, I submit that no Voluntary School 
ought to receive larger grants from the public purse so long as 
its managers are prohibited by its trust deeds from employing any 
teacher who is a Nonconformist. In thousands of parishes where 
there are no Board Schools this prohibition, if I am correctly 
informed, actually closes the door of the teaching profession to 
the children of conscientious Nonconformist parents, and con 
stitutes an injustice and a hardship against which Churchmen 
would rebel as intolerable if the case were reversed, so that over 
a large portion of England the children of Church people could 
not be trained and employed as teachers without abandoning 
their Churchmanship. This being the case, it is to be regretted 
that the memorialists should have omitted or declined to express 
their readiness to do away with such a disability. 

While thus omitting what it should have contained, the 
memorial, on the other hand, contains one request which, if 
granted, would take us back, so to speak, to the days of King 
Stephen, for it amounts to nothing less than demanding the right 
to levy private war on Board Schools. 

Lord Salisbury is asked to give " Liberty to provide in any 
district annual grant schools where the department is satisfied 
that no satisfactory provision exists for the children for whom 
this school is intended, regard being had to the religious beliefs 
of the parents." 

It is not easy to imagine that the Cabinet and the House of 
Commons could ever be persuaded to pass such an enactment ; 
but, supposing it to have become law, how will it be used ? The 
answer is almost too obvious to need categorical statement. It 
will be used by Romanists and extreme Churchmen as an irre 
sistible instrument for the crippling or capturing of Board Schools 
by means of funds largely supplied from the public purse. In 
one place and another enthusiastic denominationalists will be 
persuaded to build a school almost next door to existing Board 
Schools ; means will be found to fill it with children attracted 
from the neighbouring Board School ; and the application for 
an annual grant under this clause will then be made in terms 
which it will be impossible for the Department to resist. It may 
be left to the imagination of your readers to picture the local 
divisions, heartburnings, and bitterness which would ensue as 
the natural fruits of such a policy. The little child would be set 
in the midst of such a society as the symbol of theological strife 


and contention ; and yet we say that nothing is nearer to our 
hearts at the present time than Christian union or reunion. 

Some of the fair-minded men who have joined in framing this 
memorial would, no doubt, be among the first to deplore such a 
use of this annual grant clause as I have indicated ; but they 
would be absolutely powerless to prevent it, and their militant 
friends would snap their fingers at any remonstrance. It would 
be as reasonable to present a rifle or revolver to a Turk or Kurd 
in Armenia with a pious hope that he would kindly abstain from 
ever using it against a Christian as to give this liberty to those 
dogmatists who have expressed their hatred of the Board School 
system, and expect them not to employ it for the crippling or 
capture of Board Schools whenever opportunity might arise. 
It is painful to be obliged to point out these grave objections to 
a memorial which has received such distinguished support ; 
but in a matter of such moment it becomes a plain duty to put 
conviction before respect of persons ; and it is commonly believed 
that many of these eminent men in their hearts regret this ill- 
omened controversy, which the majority of sober-minded 
Englishmen, interested as they are both in the Christian educa 
tion of our children and in the promotion of peace and goodwill, 
sincerely deplore, though they have not always the strength to 
stand firm against the current of the moment. Most sincerely, 
therefore, do I hope that the Cabinet may be wiser than their 
petitioners, and may say to us, "a predominant portion of the 
electors throughout the country evidently desires freedom for, 
denominational teaching, and we are prepared to give this freedom 
under reasonable conditions ; but in all cases any additional 
grant of money from public sources must in common fairness be 
accompanied by some amount of local public control ; and we 
will allow no liberty to partisans of either denominational or un 
denominational schools to wage internecine warfare at the public 
cost, to the detriment of education, and to the destruction of 
local peace and goodwill." By such action a Conservative 
Cabinet would be adopting a truly Conservative policy, and would 
save Churchmen from their own lack of faith in the people, a lack 
of faith which is all the more curious because we Churchmen so 
consistently affirm and believe we have the people on our side. 
Your obedient servant, 


November 20, 1895. 

To this letter a vigorous reply was made by Archdeacon 
(now Canon) J. M. Wilson, as a liberal Churchman who had 


signed the memorial to Lord Salisbury. The controversy 
continued ; measures were introduced which did not pass. 
It was not until 1902 that matters came to a head. In that 
year Percival stated his position in a paper read to the 
Church Congress. After some preliminary observations he 
offered the following policy for consideration : 

As regards generalities, I will only ask you to accept two or 
three statements which I take to be the expression of funda 
mental principles not to be disregarded or forgotten. 

(1) Equity or fair dealing, as between citizens of different 
religious denominations, requires that there should be within 
reach of every poor man s child an efficient school, managed 
either by a committee, of which the majority is publicly appointed 
and locally representative, or by the religious denomination to 
which he himself belongs. 

(2) Public rates and taxes, whether used for education or any 
other purpose, should be administered by persons appointed by, 
and responsible to, the contributing public. 

(3) Efficiency and economy in our elementary education alike 
demand that small schools should not be needlessly multiplied. 

What, then, is the sort of scheme which under present circum 
stances it is the duty of Churchmen to aim at as being most likely 
to fulfil the various conditions I have here indicated ? 

I submit that it should be a scheme which is sufficiently varied 
to meet the very diverse conditions of rural and urban life, and 
that it should not involve the divorce of secular and religious 
instruction, that is to say, the establishment of two systems of 
management, one for religious and the other for secular education. 
Such a divorce might all too easily end in the loss of all systematic 
religious instruction to multitudes of children, and this is a risk 
we ought not to run. Therefore I rule out all suggestions of com 
promise based on this divorce. 

Turning now to my scheme we find that the country, educa 
tionally surveyed, consists of two kinds of area, first the single 
school area of our rural districts, where there is only one 
elementary school within reach, and parents have no alternative 
but to send their children to this school ; and secondly, the area, 
generally a city or town, in which parents have a choice, accord 
ing to their preference, and which we may for convenience 
designate the local option area. 

For clearness I present my scheme in separate parts, but I 
must beg you to bear in mind that it hangs together and is to be 
considered as a whole, pervaded by the spirit of mutual concession, 


and thus making for peace and goodwill and efficiency and 

We fix our attention first on the single school area. Here 
the school is either a Church School or a Board School. The 
Roman Catholic School, which might have caused us trouble, is 
practically confined to those areas in which there is a choice of 
school, and will consequently be dealt with when we come to the 
local option area. 

If the only available school is a Board School, its successor 
under the Bill will be a Local Authority School, managed either 
directly by the Local Authority itself or by a committee of its 
appointment. In every such school I propose that Biblical 
teaching (subject of course to the conscience clause, which I 
assume to operate in all schools) shall be given at stated times 
by fit and competent teachers as a regular part of its curriculum. 
Thus there will be no purely secular schools in these areas, and 
it will be noted that my proposal lays on the managers the duty 
of satisfying themselves by all necessary inquiries concerning 
the teachers whom they appoint to give Bible lessons, as to their 
fitness and competency for this responsible work. This provision 
amounts to a highly valuable and very reasonable amendment of 
the Cowper-Temple Clause, the objectionable thing in connection 
with this clause being, not that it prohibits the teaching of 
denominational formularies or catechisms, but that it prohibits, 
or has been interpreted as prohibiting, the managers of a school 
from inquiring into the fitness and competency of a candidate 
for office to give Biblical instruction. 

Further, I would admit to these schools denominational 
teachers provided by any denomination at its own cost, whether 
members of the school staff or otherwise, to give denominational 
religious teaching to children of that denomination, either at the 
beginning or end of a school meeting, but outside the regular 
hours of school attendance. 

If, on the other hand, the only school available is denomina 
tional in character, let us say, for example, a Church School, my 
proposal runs as follows : 

The committee of management shall be counted as a com 
mittee of the Local Educational Authority, and shall be appointed 
one-third by that Authority, one-third by the Parish in which 
the school stands, and one-third by the Church owners or trustees 
of the building. 

The teachers shall be appointed by the whole committee of 
management, all posts being equally open to candidates of 
different religious denominations, except that if a majority of 
the children belong to the Church, the managers representing 


the Church may, at the time of appointment, require the head 
teacher to be a member of the Church. 

The religious instruction shall consist partly of Bible lessons 
on stated days as arranged by the managers, and partly of 
instruction in the doctrine and formularies of the Church, for 
which the clergy of the parish are to have free access to the school 
at reasonable times. Ministers or other duly authorised teachers 
of other denominations are to have liberty to give special religious 
instruction to the children of their own denomination before or 
after a regular school meeting, but outside the ordinary hours of 
school attendance, and at the cost of their denomination. 

Such is the scheme I advocate for the single school area. I 
advocate it as giving what is just and fair to other denominations, 
whilst the Church has nothing to fear from it. To put the matter 
in its most concrete and practical form, my belief is that there is 
hardly an Incumbent in this room who under this scheme would 
not find himself with a working majority of Churchmen on the 
managing committee of his school ; and if there should be one 
here and there who could not secure so much support in his 
parish, his clerical neighbours would probably have to admit that 
he has deserved his fate ; and I am perfectly certain that there 
is not one Incumbent amongst us who would be in any way 
hindered under it from instructing his children fully and freely 
in the doctrine and practice of our Church. 

On the other hand, it would bring us the blessings of religious 
peace in place of religious dissension on this subject, because it 
would so far satisfy reasonable nonconformists as practically to 
put an end to nonconformist agitation, or to reduce it to com 
parative insignificance. 

We turn next to the local option area, which may be defined 
as an area in which there is both a Local Authority School and also 
a denominational school it may be a Church School or a Roman 
Catholic School, according to denominational requirements 
within reach of every child. 

The Local Authority School will be managed and conducted 
just as in the single school area, and open to all children whose 
parents do not prefer the denominational school, so that in this 
area, it will be observed, parents have no religious grievance. 

The denominational school, whether Anglican or Roman 
Catholic, or belonging to some other denomination, may under 
these circumstances be equitably managed and conducted as 
follows : 

The committee of management to be a committee of the Local 
Educational Authority, and to be appointed as in Clause 7 of the 


The teachers to be appointed by the managers. 

The religious instruction to >be given in accordance with the 
Trust Deed, where such Trust Deed exists, subject, of course, to 
a conscience clause, by the clergy of the denomination or other 
fit and competent teachers, the necessary arrangements being 
made by the managers. 

Under this arrangement, Roman Catholics should be satisfied, 
and also our Anglican clergy, whilst, as I have indicated above, 
the parents have no longer any grievance, as they have free choice 
of school. If there be a grievance left to deal with, it is solely 
of the political or constitutional character, and should not be 
insuperable. It may be argued that it is unconstitutional to 
hand over public monies to be -administered by these Roman or 
Anglican school committees, two-thirds of which are nominated 
or appointed by the denominational owners of the school buildings. 
Seeing, however, that under this scheme such committees occupy 
the subordinate position of committees of the publicly-appointed 
Local Authority, and bearing in mind that the rights of parents 
have been completely safeguarded, it will, I hope, be generally 
acknowledged by practical and fair-minded men that substantial 
justice is secured by it. 

Such is my suggested scheme. You may, if you will, call it 
a compromise, or by any other name that seems more suitable, 
but by whatever name it is called, I earnestly desire its acceptance, 
because I am convinced that the sectarian warfare which threatens 
us, unless it can be averted by the general acceptance of some 
such scheme as this, will prove disastrous alike to the progress of 
popular education, to the work and influence of our Church, and 
to the general spirit of true religion among both Churchmen and 

It offers a practical settlement of differences which, as I 
believe, is still possible, and I hold it to be at this moment our 
primary duty as Churchmen, laying aside all prejudices and 
partial affections, to consider such a proposal dispassionately on 
its merits, and to support it by our influence, unless we have 
something else to propose which we have reason to believe will 
be more likely to bring peace and goodwill. 

So I conclude with Horace s very reasonable request, which I 
take the liberty of addressing equally to Mr. Balfour and Cardinal 
Vaughan and Dr. Clifford, and to every Churchman here present 

Si quid novisti rectius istis 
Candidus imperti ; si non, his utere mecum. 

In October 1902 Percival published in the Nineteenth 


Century a " Plea for Mutual Concessions." He did not like 
the Bill as it was drafted by the Government ; but he could 
not join in mere condemnation of it. Neither party, how 
ever, was disposed to make concessions. The Bill went 
through, and though amendments were made in the course 
of its passage, these made it more rather than less distasteful 
to the Nonconformists, and to those who held that no public 
money should be available for denominational instruction. 
But, after all, only a fraction of the Bill dealt with denomina 
tional questions ; it was truly an Education Bill, and the 
greater part of it was concerned with the unification and 
development of the national system of education. 

It is particularly characteristic of Percival that when 
actually dealing as a member of a legislative body with the 
Bill proposed by the Government, he complained far more 
of its timidity in advancing education as a whole than of its 
treatment of the religious question. This was the keynote 
of his speech on this subject in Convocation, and also of his 
speeches in the House of Lords. The most important 
amendment which he moved during the Committee stage of 
the Bill, during which he was most assiduous in attendance 
and in comment, was as follows : 

Subject to the approval of the Board of Education the County 
or Borough Council may, if they think it desirable, make attend 
ance at a reasonable number of continuation classes compulsory 
either over the whole of their area or over any specified portion 
of it for young persons under seventeen years of age and no longer 
attending school or receiving other equivalent instruction. 

The substance of this proposal, in a strengthened form, was 
enacted in 1918 ; in 1902 it found little support. 

The passage of the Bill did not end the trouble. " Passive 
resistance " kept it alive, and discussion raged ceaselessly. 
In 1906 Mr. Birrell made an attempt to satisfy those who 
felt themselves injured by the measure of 1992. Percival 
did not accept his Bill as it was drafted, but felt bound to 
resist the root-and-branch opposition to it organised by the 
Church party. His own position, in this case a mediating 


one, is expressed in an appeal to Mr. Birrell which he pub 
lished in May 1906 : 

Those of us Churchmen who are of opinion that the Education 
Bill affords the basis of a reasonable settlement (and we are much 
more numerous than is just now apparent amidst the dust of 
controversy) thankfully recognise that the general tone of the 
opposition to it is becoming more sober and moderate as its aims 
and possibilities are better understood. 

And we have the hope that the storm of opposition may be 
allayed if the Government are able to offer reasonable concessions. 

To some of us the following amendments of the Bill seem to 
fall under this category : 

(1) That teachers who may be willing to give denominational 
instruction at the appointed hours should not be precluded from 
so doing if their services are not otherwise required in the school 
at the time. 

To lay upon the teachers this restriction or disability would, 
to my certain knowledge, be felt to be a very harsh measure in 
many rural schools ; and I venture to submit to our Noncon 
formist friends, who may be afraid of this concession, that it 
carries with it no risk of unfair dealing and might be safeguarded 
by a requirement that in appointing all teachers regard shall 
be had solely to their qualifications for their obligatory duties. 

(2) That facilities for denominational teaching should be 
granted in all schools without any distinction between transferred 
and provided schools. 

Wherever the parent has no choice of schools and in rural 
districts this is generally the case it would be quite unreason 
able to maintain this distinction. An illustration may serve to 
make the matter plain. I take two neighbouring parishes in my 
diocese exactly similar, Fownhope and Woolhope. The former 
has a Church School, the latter by some accident came to have a 
Board School. Owing to distance the parents have no choice 
of school in either case. Why, then, under the new circumstances 
of this Bill should the parents of Woolhope be denied facilities 
which are granted to their neighbours in Fownhope ? It must 
be admitted that the distinction would be altogether irrational ; 
but our further plea is that to grant facilities in all schools is the 
statesmanlike plan, and that to do so would greatly help towards 
a final settlement, whilst refusal would leave an open sore. 

(3) In regard to the proposed Commission, if appointed, we 
would urge that some right of appeal should be reserved. 

(4) A Local Authority should not be allowed arbitrarily to 


refuse special facilities where the children in a school are virtually 
all of one denomination, and there is for others a choice of schools 
within reach. In case of refusal under such circumstances it 
would surely be reasonable to give a right of appeal to the Board 
of Education or other authority. 

It should be added, in conclusion, that there is, as we are led 
to believe, a very general desire among Churchmen and Non 
conformists alike throughout the country, that the simple Bible 
teaching afforded by the Bill should be given within the obligatory 
school hours. 

We are aware that the option allowed to the parent to keep 
his child away from school during this hour of religious instruction 
was given by the late Government in their so-called model bye- 
law on the subject ; but many of us felt constrained to oppose 
that bye-law when Lord Londonderry introduced it, and we 
earnestly hope that the Government may now see their way to 
enact that during the first hour of obligatory attendance every 
day religious instruction shall be given, but that all children 
whose parents desire it shall receive secular instruction instead 
of the religious lesson. 

If Mr. Birrell should be able to give us hope of such modifica 
tions as these my belief is that they would be gratefully accepted 
by the majority of Church people, and many of those who have 
felt in conscience bound to protest would cease their opposition. 

My last word is this. To some Nonconformists it is possible 
that these concessions may seem excessive ; but the plea which 
I venture to address to them is that they contravene no principle 
of equal justice, and that we may fairly ask them to meet us thus 
far in the spirit of good citizenship and for the promotion of peace 
and goodwill. 

On August 3, 1906, Percival spoke strongly in support of 
the main principles of the Bill during the Second Reading 
debate in the House of Lords. His emphasis was chiefly on 
the value of the Open Bible. He based himself on the 
principle of Christian citizenship, and urged that only trust 
in the Local Education Authorities could lead to any whole 
some issue. The Lords amended the measure so completely 
as to transform it. The Commons rejected the Lords 
amendments en bloc. At this moment Percival made one 
more appeal in a letter to the Tribune : 




To the Editor of the " Tribune " 

SIR As one of those who have throughout the education 
controversy aimed at a compromise which would be reasonably 
fair to all parties in Church and State, and believing that the 
Government Bill as passed through the House of Commons will, 
with a very few concessions, prove a good and satisfactory Bill, 
I venture to hope that it may neither be dropped by the Govern 
ment nor wrecked by the extremists of the House of Lords. 

There are two or three things on which little has been said, 
which should be kept distinctly before the minds of those who 
have the final issue in their hands if they are to arrive at a right 
and just decision. 

There is first of all the unwarranted assumption, unblushingly 
reiterated in certain quarters, that the Church of England is 
united against the Bill. 

Many High Anglican denominationalists, both clerical and 
lay some of them more Roman than Anglican have acquired 
the habit of posing on platforms and in the Press as the Church 
par excellence. We speak, they say, on behalf of the Church ; 
we represent the Church ; even bishops sometimes try our 
patience by countenancing this assumption ; and what I feel it 
my duty to submit is that statesmen will make a mistake if they 
are influenced by this baseless assumption of a small but aggres 
sive minority, which happens to be prominent in Parliamentary 
circles out of all proportion to its numbers, because of its social 
connections and advantages, and because it is so largely clerical. 
Its voice is not really the voice of the people at large. A good 
many Evangelicals have, it is true, been persuaded to join this 
High Church section against the Bill, because Conservative 
politics have been very dexterously interwoven with the opposi 
tion to it, and some men don t like to part from their political 
friends ; but apart from political considerations, Evangelical 
Church people would, as a rule, be perfectly satisfied with that 
reverent teaching of the Bible which, under this Bill, would be 
the general rule in all our citizen schools. 

Another fact should be borne in mind. The opponents of 
the Bill point to the number of denunciatory petitions which have 
been presented against it, as if these proved that the country 
generally is opposed to it ; but these petitions in no sense repre- 


sent the real and deliberate opinion of the mass of Church people 
on this question of religious instruction. Many of them, indeed, 
are so wildly denunciatory that they have found an appropriate 
place in the cellars of the Houses of Parliament, from which they 
may cry quite harmlessly, Flectere si nequeo superos Acheronta 

For my own part, I have not had the courage, when asked, 
to present such imprecatory language in the House of Lords ; 
and any importance they may seem to have is discounted by the 
fact that they have been so largely engineered in our country 
districts by two partisan societies one the National Society, 
greatly fallen from its high estate of forty or fifty years ago, and 
doing much prospective harm to the Church of England by its 
present policy and methods ; and the other a Manchester society 
which seems to embody the spirit of ecclesiastical bitterness and 
violence. It is a grave misfortune to our Church that these 
societies have been allowed by those who might have led us in a 
spirit of conciliation so to dominate our educational policy and 
to embitter the controversy as to endanger the passing of this 
Bill, and thus to bring us very near to a secular system, which 
would make the Bible a closed book to multitudes of children in 
our great cities, and would rob thousands of teachers of the work 
and the opportunities which they prize above all else in their 

It is with great reluctance that I give these warnings, but the 
moment is critical, and the agents or instruments of these 
partisan societies represent and foster a spirit which must be 
exorcised, if we are to have hope of a continued system of religious 
education. Only a week ago I paid a pastoral visit to one of my 
country parishes, and I found that a representative of one of 
these societies had lately been there, and had, to the distress of 
good parishioners, fulminated from the pulpit of the Church 
against this diabolical Bill. 

Happily men who are capable of using such language in the 
House of God are exceptional and rare, but they represent a 
spirit which is entirely hostile to the growth of Christian unity 
in our national life, and should be exorcised. 

But I fear it will not be exorcised until this education con 
troversy is got out of the air, and, therefore, I hope that the two 
Houses of Parliament may be able by mutual concessions to 
come to a lasting agreement on the subject. 

I myself have pleaded for certain concessions in the Bill, and 
I still hope that some of these may be obtainable, although the 
uncompromising political spirit displayed in opposition to the 
Bill, both in the House of Lords and outside, has, as I greatly 


fear, rendered such concessions less probable than they were 
before. Men will naturally say that it is useless to concede, 
unless with some guarantee of religious peace and educational 

On one point of primary importance, the liberty of the teacher 
to give denominational instruction during school hours, if free 
from other duties, I had hoped that some agreement might be 
within the range of possibility, but the spirit shown by the 
extreme denominationalists, and left unrebuked, if not encouraged, 
by the Episcopal Bench, has led me sorrowfully to the conclusion 
that this concession is hardly to be any longer expected, though 
I still hope that existing head teachers or heads of departments 
who are now giving denominational instruction may be left free 
to do so for a limited period ; but our recent experience renders 
it very doubtful whether more than this is either possible or in 
the long run desirable in the interests of religious peace and 
educational efficiency. 

These discussions have convinced me that what we most 
sorely need at the present time is to sink the ecclesiastical spirit 
in the spirit of good citizenship. 

Still, I venture to hope that the House of Commons will agree 
to give us all possible concessions which make for peace, and are 
not hostile to educational efficiency, and do not unduly hamper 
the local educational authority. 

Should any existing teachers be disappointed, I would ask 
them to bear in mind that their best field of educational work and 
influence is kept open for them in this Bill. Their best work is 
done as they teach the children committed to them the simple 
and divine gospel story ; and all truly good teachers of the 
young in doing this will forget the particular denomination to 
which they may themselves belong, remembering only our 
common fundamental Christianity, and that they are exercising 
the great privilege (there is none greater) of thus training the 
children of our poorer fellow-citizens in the Christianity of Christ, 
as one flock under the One Shepherd. 

But this, we are told, is a New Religion. Well, then, if so, 
let us have it pervading our schools for the upbringing and the 
blessing of a united Christian people. Your obedient servant, 



The Lords insisted on their amendments and as a result 
of the clash between the two Houses the Bill was dropped. 
Percival was deeply depressed : 


To Canon Alexander 

December 20, 1906. 

DEAR ALEXANDER ... I am just starting for home after 
looking on at our wreckage proceedings in the H. of L. It is, 
I think, quite possible that our Bishops and Balfour may all 
alike live to regret them. They are not specially gifted with that 
insight which is the gift of true prophecy. Yours sincerely, 


To the Rev. R. Surges Bayly 

December 21, 1906. 

DEAR MR. BAYLY I am much obliged for your kind note. 
The last month s experiences certainly leave one in low spirits, 
though I hope we may still get a simpler and better Education 
Bill ; but what you say about the effect of establishment is I fear 
only too true. We are beginning to see to what an extent it 
throws Bishops and Clergy into the army of the privileged and 
worldly classes and despiritualises the Church. So when dis 
establishment comes it will be by no means an unmixed evil ; 
and in Wales things have come to such a pass that the sooner 
it comes the better it will be for the Welsh people, as it has proved 
to be a benefit to Ireland. In England, however, I don t expect 
to see it in my time. Yours sincerely, 


We must do our best to keep the Bible an open book in the 

The controversy still raged, and Percival still sought to 
promote agreement on what seemed to him the only healthy 
lines. Both in his Visitation Charge of 1907 and in his 
Presidential Address to his Diocesan Conference in that year 
he urged the following principles, which he also advocated 
in a letter to The Times : 


1. That it be the duty of the Local Education Authority to 
provide a public elementary school within a reasonable distance 
of every home. 

2. Every such school to be managed by a Representative 
Committee, responsible to the Local Education Authority, and 


consisting of six managers, of whom three shall be nominated 
by the Local Education Authority, two shall be elected by the 
parish or school district, and one by parents of children in the 

3. Bible lessons suited to the capacity of children to be given 
as part of the daily curriculum in all such schools ; but no 
formulary or catechism distinctive of any particular religious 
denomination to be taught in them. Alternative secular instruc 
tion to be provided for all children withdrawn by their parents 
from the Bible lesson. 

4. No teacher in such schools to be subject to any denomina 
tional test or required to give Bible lessons unless desirous of 
doing so. This would mean in practice that in the choice of 
teachers no preference should be shown to one religious denomina 
tion over another ; but all teachers offering to give Bible lessons 
would of course be required to produce evidence of fitness for this 
portion of their work, just as for any other portion. 

5. The Local Education Authority to make use, whenever 
possible, of existing non-provided schools, if the owners or 
trustees are willing to let them for the school hours at a fair rent 
on a repairing lease. Should the owners be unwilling to let, or 
should negotiations fail, the Local Education Authority must 
give public notice to the parish or school district of their intention 
to provide a new school, and of the probable amount to be raised 
by a rate levied on the parish or school district for its share of 
the cost of the building. If, after such notice, negotiations still 
fail, a new school must be built to take the place of the non- 
provided school. 

6. Facilities to be afforded in all schools for denominational 
instruction of those children whose parents wish them to receive 
it outside the hours of obligatory attendance, that is, either at the 
commencement or the close of the school day, according to 
arrangement. Such instruction to be given at the cost of the 
denomination ; and all teachers who may desire to take part 
in such instruction to be as free to take part in it as any other 


7. Due provision for a system of national schools having been 
made as prescribed above, the owners of any recognised de 
nominational school may continue their school under a body 
of six managers three nominated by the Local Education 
Authority, two by the owners of the school, and one by the 
parents of the children in the school. These managers shall 
receive the due proportion of grants for secular instruction only, 


and for reasonable wear and tear during the hours of secular 
instruction, but no other payment from public funds, whether 
for rent or repairs, or any other purpose. 

No school to be recognised as an aided school (a) unless it is 
kept up to the standard of a national school in respect of buildings, 
sanitation, equipment, qualifications, and remuneration of staff, 
and general educational efficiency, as certified by His Majesty s 
Inspector ; and (b) unless the number of children in the parish 
or school district is, in the judgment of the Board of Education, 
sufficiently large to justify their recognising two schools, due 
regard being had to economy of public money and educational 

Provided that all the above conditions are fulfilled the Local 
Education Authority shall similarly recognise any denomina 
tional school which may be hereafter established as an aided 

As a practical educationist, familiar with every type of school 
both in town and country, I claim for such a scheme as this the 
support of all moderate Churchmen who desire to serve the best 
interests of both Church and State. Under such a scheme the 
religious education of the children would be amply secured ; 
every legitimate interest of the Church would be abundantly 
safeguarded ; and the parochial clergy would be relieved of a 
heavy burden of anxiety in regard to their schools, and they 
would find themselves practically as free as before to exercise 
their pastoral influence among the children of their parish. 

At the end of this period the controversy with regard to 
elementary schools was further embittered by Mr. McKenna s 
celebrated regulations affecting secondary schools. Into this 
conflict also Percival entered vigorously. His views are 
sufficiently indicated by the two letters to The Times which 
follow : 


To the Editor of " The Times " 

SIR With your kind permission I desire to make one or two 
comments on the discussion at the recent Headmasters Confer 
ence on the Regulations of the Board of Education for Secondary 

As a former headmaster I have to confess that the general 
tone of the discussion surprised and disappointed me ; and I 



should be sorry if those of your readers who are interested in 
educational progress were influenced or misled by it. 

They ought, at any rate, to be told what these regulations 
are which the Headmaster of Charterhouse speaks of as unhappy 
and deplorable. 

The chief points in these regulations are the following : 

A. To every recognised school a grant of 2 per annum is 
offered for every scholar between 10 and 12 who has previously 
spent two years in an elementary school, and 5 per annum for 
every scholar between 12 and 18. 

B. A school, if generally efficient, is recognised, and these 
grants are given on the following conditions : 

1. It must have a conscience clause exempting scholars 

from religious instruction or observance if the parents 
so require. 

2. If the school is a boarding-school with houses of a particular 

denomination and no exemptions allowed in them, the 
governors must, on the application of a parent, make 
proper provision for his child outside in accordance with 
the Endowed Schools Act of 1869. 

3. No catechism or formulary distinctive of a particular 

denomination may be taught unless the parent or 
guardian requests the governors in writing to provide 
such denominational teaching for his child. 

4. Teachers must not be required to belong to any one 

particular denomination. 

5. The majority of the governors must not be required to 

belong to any one particular denomination. 

6. Free places must be reserved, if required, for scholars from 

elementary schools who on examination are found to 
be duly qualified for admission, such scholars not to 
exceed 25 per cent of the whole number in the school. 

7. If a school now on the grant list insists on retaining de 

nominational management, atmosphere, tests, and 
instruction, the grants of public money will be 2 and 
2 los. per scholar instead of 2 and 5 ; but the Local 
Education Authority may give the full grants of 2 and 
5 if in their view the school is necessary as part of the 
Secondary School provision for their area. 

8. The school must be efficient, must not compete unduly 

with a neighbouring school, must be open to inspection, 
and must not be conducted for private profit, and its 
curriculum must be submitted to the Board of Education 
for approval. 

9. In addition to the above-named grants special grants 


may be made towards the expense of experiments for the 
improvement of secondary education. 

To me as a former headmaster of 25 years experience these 
regulations and conditions, so far from being deplorable, seem 
to be entirely reasonable and to deserve our grateful recognition, 
acceptance, and support. Let us examine it, then, for a moment. 

They give liberal grants to encourage and aid secondary 
education on an unprecedented scale. No such liberal help has 
ever before been given, and the result is that those classes which 
bear some of the heaviest public burdens farmers, small trades 
people, the poorer members of the professions, and others are 
being provided with opportunities for the good education of their 
children which have hitherto been entirely beyond their reach in 
many districts. 

For instance, in my own county of Hereford two ancient 
and struggling schools have been already reinvigorated by this 
new policy of the Board of Education, and three or four new 
schools will shortly be established ; and it may safely be asserted 
that these schools would have had no chance of success without 
this new aid from the Board, and the case of every other rural 
county is, I presume, just the same. 

Such a policy, I repeat, bringing as it does the possibility 
of good education within reach of many thousands of homes, 
deserves the grateful recognition of all parents in our country 
districts and of all others everywhere who believe in the education 
of the people. 

Moreover, these regulations, by requiring that the doors of 
every aided school shall be open to duly-qualified children from 
elementary schools, give a new opportunity to the clever children 
of the poor, and it is high time that this opportunity should be 
given, and the talents of such children made fully available for 
the good of the national life. 

As regards religious instruction, it should be noted that the 
regulations are carefully drawn so that parents have no grievance. 
If they object to the Biblical teaching which the schools are left 
free to give as hitherto they can withdraw their children from 
it ; if, on the other hand, they desire the catechisms and formu 
laries of their own denomination to be taught to their children 
they have only to write to the school authorities, who are left as 
free as before to give this denominational instruction, only taking 
care, as is reasonable, that the expense of such teaching is defrayed 
out of the pupils fees or from other sources, and not out of the 
grants of public money. 

As to the supposed loss of freedom in school management of 
which the headmasters seem to be afraid, the Board certainly 


requires guarantees of efficiency and suitability of the education 
to be given. It could not without neglect of plain duty require 
less than this in return for such liberal grants of public money. 
There is no attempt to establish a uniform or cast-iron system 
of education. 

Thus it will be seen that in this new and generous policy the 
Board of Education has entered on one of the most productive 
of all the pieces of educational work that have been done in 
England for centuries ; and the attitude of the headmasters 
towards it is the more disappointing and surprising because many 
of them are, I presume, working their schools under the provisions 
of the Endowed Schools Act of 1869, on which the new regulations 
are largely based, with such modifications as these new grants 
of public money necessarily require. 

And what is even more surprising, most of these headmasters, 
including those of the great public schools, have been conducting 
their own schools very much on the lines to which they now 
object, at least so far as religious instruction is concerned. 

Unless things have greatly changed within the last decade 
the religious instruction given in schools is in most of the great 
schools exclusively Biblical, except to candidates for confirma 
tion, and this instruction is largely given by lay masters who have 
submitted to no statutable test. 

Even the headmasters themselves, like most of the public 
school members of the House of Commons and the House of 
Lords, including the Episcopal Bench, were, I take it, thus 
educated. Such are some of the ironies of political life ; and 
my hope is that the parents of the middle and working classes, 
who are the persons specially concerned in this matter, for the 
good of their children will give no heed to carping criticisms, 
whether political or ecclesiastical, but will gratefully accept and 
use the new educational advantages thus provided for the benefit 
of their children by this new and generous policy of the Board 
of Education. Your obedient servant, 




To the Editor of " The Times " 

SIR My attention has been called to a letter in your columns 
from Sir Frederick Milner, in which he makes a sort of appeal to 
me. Sir Frederick invites me to observe that a letter of mine 


on the new Regulations for Secondary Schools, which appeared 
in your issue of December 28, was refuted by Sir T. D. Acland 
in the same issue. Sir Frederick writes, I feel sure, with the best 
intentions, but apparently with inadequate knowledge, as, un 
fortunately for his contention, Sir T. D. Acland s letter and mine 
dealt with quite different subjects. 

My letter described the chief points in the new Regulations 
for Secondary Schools, and showed what a stimulus they are 
giving to good educational work all over England. Sir T. D. 
Acland s letter dealt entirely with the colleges for the training 
of elementary school teachers. It would almost seem as if Sir 
Frederick Milner is under the impression that these very different 
types of institution are one and the same. His remarkable 
letter deserves another word of comment. It concludes with a 
passage which is at once incoherent and grossly unfair to Mr. 
McKenna ; but such a letter serves one good purpose. It shows 
conclusively the need of some dispassionate examination of 
Mr. McKenna s new Regulations for Training Colleges. So much 
controversial dust has been stirred up around them that I doubt 
whether the public in general really understand what new con 
ditions they impose ; and many of my fellow Churchmen have 
been needlessly alarmed. The regulations deal, in fact, first of 
all with the existing training colleges already recognised, and 
then with any new colleges to be established or recognised after 
August i, 1907 ; and it is necessary for a true understanding of 
the matter to consider the two classes separately. 

First, then, let us look at the case of the existing colleges. 
There are, I believe nearly forty denominational training colleges 
in England ; and of these the greater part, about thirty in all, 
belong to the Church of England. Formerly we Church people 
bore a considerable proportion of the cost of maintenance for 
each student in them ; now, however, our contribution seems to 
have sunk to something under 5 per cent of the total cost, the 
remaining 95 per cent (except such payments as are made by 
the students themselves) being contributed by the grants from 
the Board of Education. These grants of public money having 
become so preponderating, the responsible Minister of Education 
feels that the doors of colleges thus supported ought to be open 
to students of all religious denominations, as they are practically 
maintained in operation by all denominations. Well, then, we 
ask, what new conditions does he impose ? 

The only new regulations made which are of any moment in 
this controversy are the following : (i) No duly qualified candi 
date may be refused admission on the ground of religious faith. 
(2) Every college must have a conscience clause. (3) Every 


college must keep a register of applications for admission in the 
order of their application. (4) Candidates must be admitted on 
the King s Scholarship examination, and must not be required 
to pass any additional or private entrance examination. 

It would be easy to show, if space permitted, that these 
requirements are necessary and inevitable under present circum 
stances, and that no one need fear lest they should upset either 
the teaching or discipline or tone of a well-managed college. 
And it should, moreover, be borne in mind that every one of these 
existing colleges is left with its denominational character un 
disturbed, its denominational management, its denominational 
principal and staff, its denominational teaching, its denomina-> 
tional worship, and its denominational atmosphere. When Sir 
T. D. Acland wrote that the new regulations undenominational- 
ised the training colleges, he must have overlooked all this ; and 
it is not quite fair to Mr. McKenna to forget or ignore it. Indeed, 
I anticipate that the general verdict as regards the existing 
colleges will probably be that denominationalists have no reason 
able ground for alarm or complaint. 

Let us now turn from these existing colleges, which include 
all the colleges which Church people have hitherto thought it 
necessary to establish, to the case of new colleges hereafter to 
be recognised. For these, on the constitutional ground that the 
State now pays 95 per cent of their maintenance (excepting such 
payments as are made by the students themselves), Mr. McKenna 
issues new regulations which are very similar to those for the 
grant-aided secondary schools. He lays it down that (i) no 
member of the teaching staff shall be required to belong to any 
particular religious denomination ; (2) a majority of the govern 
ing body must not be required to belong to any particular religious 
denomination ; (3) no catechism or formulary distinctive of any 
particular religious denomination may be taught in the college 
except in cases where the parent or guardian of a student requests 
the governors in writing to give such teaching ; (4) students 
must not be refused on the ground of their religious faith, and 
there must be a conscience clause. 

Even here in the new colleges, chiefly maintained by the 
State, it should be noted that if any parents desire denomina 
tional instruction they have only to apply in writing to the 
governing body and it may be given to the students concerned. 
Consequently the parents can hardly be said to have any legiti 
mate grievance ; and for my own part my school and University 
experience "has led me long ago to this conclusion, that it is far 
better for the training of the young throughout their educational 
period, and especially for those who are to be themselves teachers 



of others, that they should be trained as much as possible in the 
spirit of Christian unity. 

The fundamental teachings of Christian life, faith, and con 
duct, based on the Gospel revelation, are essentially the same 
for the different Christian denominations, and can without 
difficulty be given in common ; and children and young people 
should be brought up to feel that they are the same and that, in 
spite of all denominational differences, we are one body in Christ 
Jesus. The separatist, sectarian, denominationalist tendency to 
segregate our children into rival pens for all religious instruc 
tion may produce Pharisees, but hardly Christians. Indeed, 
this denominationalist spirit, which has taken such a strong hold 
on some sections of our clergy and a few laymen, is doing much 
harm to the national Church and the national life. It is quite 
foreign to the spirit of an enlightened evangelical Christianity ; 
and we should keep it as far as may be out of all our educational 

Our aim and desire should be towards unity of spirit and 
friendly co-operation between the Established Church and the 
great Nonconformist bodies ; and it is our plain duty to avoid 
everything that may deepen and/ widen the cleavage caused by 
the unhappy divisions of darker days. Your obedient servant, 


The controversy is over, at least in the form in which it 
raged from 1895 to 1907, though the question at issue is by 
no means settled. It has been necessary to tell the story of 
Percival s part in it at length, both because it reveals his zeal 
for education, and also because it largely explains how it 
came to pass that in his later years he had the air of one 
fighting alone against great odds. On the burning question 
of the day he had been opposed to his brother Bishops. He 
thought their action due to a fundamentally false conception 
of the Church. Consequently he had little hope that, by 
waiting till they were persuaded, he might be able in other 
departments of Church life to advance the cause that seemed 
to him right with their approval or support. Collective 
advance seemed to him unattainable. He set himself more 
and more resolutely to go forward alone. 



IN the autumn of 1904 Bishop Percival went to America to 
attend the Peace Congress at Boston. He sailed from 
Liverpool on September 22. Just before reaching the 
American continent he kept his seventieth birthday and 
wrote to his wife in commemoration of the event : 

s.s. " REPUBLIC," 
Sept. 27, 1904. 

MY DEAR MARY Three-score-years-and-ten to-day. That 
is the meaning of the date I ve just written, and I ought to be 
thankful that at such an age I am strong enough to be careering 
across the Atlantic as I am doing. 

The letter was finished after his arrival in America, where he 
was at first the guest of Dean Hodges, the Principal of the 
Episcopal Theological School at Cambridge : 



Sept. 30, 3 P.M. 

Here I am, installed in a beautiful house and with a particu 
larly nice host and hostess ; and it seems to be arranged that I 
stay here till next Thursday, when I am to be the guest of Pro 
fessor Goodwin, a famous Greek scholar. He and his wife are 
very nice people, and I met them in Egypt years ago hence, I 
suppose, the kind invitation. After that I am to go to Bishop 
Lawrence s sister for the rest of my stay. 

We ended our voyage by running into Boston Harbour in 
beautiful sunshine about 11.30 this morning, and I feel a new 
man for the rest and sea air. 


Bateman * also has enjoyed his voyage. He looks after me 
most carefully. Your affectionate husband, 


The Dean has two or three dinner invitations and as many 
luncheons, and one or two meetings accepted for me, so you see 
I shall be kept going till I am on board ship again. 

On Sunday, October 2, the Bishop preached at Emmanuel 
Church, Boston, on the words of Micah : " They shall beat 
their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning 
hooks ; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither 
shall they learn war any more." He said : 

This vision of the prophet is recognised as one of the great 
visions of history. But, my brethren, the strange and humiliat 
ing thing is that the vision of peace, so beautiful and so universally 
recognised as expressing some of the highest and best aspirations 
of the human heart, still remains unrealised even in the most 
advanced and most Christian communities. 

Some 2600 years have elapsed since this prophet of the people, 
this friend of the poor and suffering multitudes who invariably 
gain the least and suffer most by war, saw in his vision the 
happier and better day for which he was yearning in his heart. 
But it is still only the dreamer s vision of the future. We are 
still looking, as Micah looked, toward the " issue of the days," 
and most of us here to-day, if not all of us, will very likely go 
down to the grave, like the patriarchs of old, not having received 
the promises, but having seen them afar off. 

From this ideal picture of a peaceful world, permeated by 
the spirit of security and contentment and national goodwill, we 
turn to the actual reality that meets us all the world over, 
whether civilised or uncivilised, from North to South, from far 
East to far West. If I do you wrong by seeming to include you 
of this country, forgive me that wrong, and be thankful that the 
spirit of peace is predominating in all your individual and national 

Looking around we see Christian nations my own included 
squandering their wealth and their manhood on armies and 
navies and all the accompanying implements of destruction. In 
my own country last year we spent 71,750,000 on the army and 
the navy. During the last ten years we have, I think, doubled 

1 Mr. Bateman, his faithful servant and friend, accompanied the 
Bishop on the visit to America. 


our expenditures for these purposes of warfare. Such, brethren, 
is Christian progress in Christian Europe. 

If we are to maintain, to extend and strengthen the influence 
of Christ in our common life in all our affairs, we must learn that 
selfish or unscrupulous greed is as mean a thing in a nation as it 
is in an individual. It stamps both with the mark of degrada 
tion. We have to learn to feel that the jingo spirit which 
swaggers in its pride and delights in warfare and aggression is 
in the main a survival of those brutal instincts that should be 
eliminated from every civilised and Christian life. 

On the afternoon of the same Sunday he preached again, 
and in the evening delivered an address at the Consecration 
Service in Symphony Hall. This address was one of his 
greatest utterances. A vast audience of over four thousand 
people gave him an ovation when he rose, cheering again and 
again before he could begin. When he had finished he could 
hardly be got away for the crowds of people pressing to shake 
hands with him. His own account of the day in his letter 
to his wife was characteristically minimising both as regards 
the size of the audience and the reception of himself and his 

Oct. 4, 1904. 

Since I wrote to you my letter on arrival here I have been 
pretty much on the run all the time. On Saturday my host 
carried me off to a luncheon given by the Twentieth Century Club 
a crowded room and speeches to follow, about three hours 
altogether. That evening I got ready for my Sunday work two 
sermons and an address. For the sermons I had large congrega 
tions, and the address in the evening was in a great Hall with 
something like 3000 people in it. It was a sort of service and 
very impressive. The people were pleased with my little address. 

The following is the text of the " little address " : 

Standing here, on the invitation of the highly honoured 
President of your Peace Society, a stranger in your city, although 
a kinsman, I am reminded of the words of a distinguished foreigner 
to whom I listened in England the other day. 

" Whenever I come to a foreign land," he said, " I make it a 


rule, and every traveller," he added, " should do the same, to 
ask myself the question wherein does the greatness of this 
country consist ? " And I hope that I may on the present 
occasion appropriately adopt and expand this question, lingering 
over it for an introductory moment or two and asking wherein 
does not only the greatness but the singular attraction and the 
happiness of your country consist ? 

On the greatness of the United States I need not dilate. It 
is known and understood of all men. 

I turn rather to the secret of its attractive power. We 
travellers from the older world are attracted not so much by the 
fascination of your unbounded energy, the energy of a people 
who, like the ancient Greeks, are always young, as by the belief 
that here we may see, if not the realisation of our highest hopes 
for human society, at any rate the surest promise of it freedom, 
equality, brotherhood, peace, growing as in a native and virgin soil, 
unhampered by those opposing and overshadowing influences 
which are a part of our inheritance in European life. 

We come from amidst the survivals of darker ages, from the 
contradictions and discords, the jealousies and enmities, of our 
older countries, as to a land of industrious peace. Possibly some 
of you may be moved to say that the reality of your life is not 
altogether what we have imagined it to be that we have con 
templated it through the golden haze which tinges and glorifies 
the western sky as we follow the sun. 

It may be so ; and yet I hold on to my conception even 
though it may prove to be in some degree an illusion. 

I go even further and venture to say to you that the American 
people will prove untrue to their beginnings and unworthy of 
their ancestry and of their great opportunity if they should ever 
in any degree, or under any influences from the old world, 
abandon their ideal that this Republic is to be in a special sense 
the home of equal liberty, justice, brotherhood, and Peace. Your free, 
unfettered, equal life on this great continent, under no ancient 
military despotism, with no hampering feudal traditions, and 
barring the one stain of slavery, which you have chivalrously 
swept away, no privileged or dominant classes all this marks 
out your country as the natural meeting-place of those who are 
seeking to establish and to realise peace on earth among men 
of goodwill. 

Your Christian ancestry, the spirit and aims of the founders 
of this City and State, and of your Republic, their high purposes, 
their profound faith, their illustrious names, their never-to-be- 
forgotten words all alike mark you out as a nation called in the 
providence of God to be in the vanguard of the great army of 


freedom and peace which is destined, as we believe, to transform 
the life of the world. 

It is no word of flattery which I am addressing to you. It is 
simply my profound belief in your true vocation, in the high 
destiny that lies open to you, if only you know it and hold on 
to it. 

This is surely the revelation of duty, private and public, which 
should rise before every American citizen, and determine all your 
policy as a nation. May your young men see and surrender 
their souls to this revelation of national duty, and in their old 
age be able to say with Paul : "I was not disobedient to the 
heavenly vision." 

Well then, we are met here to-night from East and West to 
help forward the cause of peace among the nations of the earth. 
In what capacit} do we come ? That is my first question to 
myself : and the answer is very plain we come simply as 
disciples of Jesus of Nazareth as Christian men and women. 

Looking over the past history of mankind I see no sure 
evidence, and looking forward I see no sure prospect of any real 
advancement, any certain victory in the warfare against war 
unless it be through the growing influence and power of the 
spirit of Christ. 

In Europe I see some men spending their lives in this great 
cause of Peace, who do not acknowledge the supremacy of Jesus. 
I honour such men for their noble self-sacrifice. They put many 
of us Christians to shame. They are fighting the battle of Christ, 
casting out devils, though not in His name ; but this I would say 
to them and to all others there is little hope of any large or 
enduring success in the cause of Peace, unless we can inspire both 
the peoples and the Government of the modern world with a 
sense of the pre-eminent and paramount claims of those virtues 
which Jesus preached in the Sermon on the Mount. 

There is no disparagement then of the pagan virtues wisdom, 
temperance, justice, courage. These hold their high place in 
Christian life, as in all life ; but Christ has exalted and enthroned 
a new type of virtues. He gives us a new ideal of life and a new 
conception of human perfection. He breathes a new spirit into 
human society the spirit of humility, patience, forgiveness, love 
of righteousness, love of souls, love of peace. Here we have the 
well-spring, the never-failing source of that peace movement 
which has brought us into this Hall of Symphony to-night ; a 
stream of Divine influence in our life, flowing from this source 
like the stream of Holy Waters in the Hebrew Prophet s Vision, 
and destined, as we believe, to become a river which no man 
can pass over. 


It is just in proportion as this Christian enthusiasm of humanity 
grows in the hearts of men that the cause of Peace among nations 
will grow and prosper. Therefore, we are here as followers of 
Jesus, the Prince of Peace ; and that is the first thing to bear 
in mind. 

But under what circumstances do we come ? 

The circumstances, it must be admitted, to those who come 
out of the atmosphere of European life, or survey the politics of 
the great powers of the old world, are by no means favourable. 

One of the most high-minded, most dispassionate, and greatest 
of our living English statesmen Mr. Leonard Courtney speak 
ing at Manchester not long ago in this cause of Peace, after 
pointing to the lurid and discouraging facts of the moment, 
as seen in the Far East and elsewhere, said : " We have to 
recognise the state of feeling amongst civilised countries, a feeling 
which is pregnant with danger of war, instead of the old desire 
for pacific relations. 

" Instead of a temper of trust and confidence in our neighbours 
there has come over Europe, and there is extending beyond 
Europe, a temper of aggression, a temper of annexation, a temper 
of extension of influence and authority, a temper of pride which 
is very threatening to the future peace of the world." Such are 
the words of one of Mr. Gladstone s Cabinet Ministers. 

This temper of national greed and pride is mainly responsible 
for that mischievous and debasing influence in English life, 
commonly described as jingoism, that bastard patriotism which 
it should be the aim of every good citizen to eradicate and 
destroy, planting in its stead the true Christian patriotism whose 
aim is righteous dealing, peace, and goodwill. 

It is the same spirit of self-interest, pride, and mutual distrust 
which has caused the great Powers of Europe to incur at Con 
stantinople what Mr. Gladstone truly called indelible disgrace. 

Had the spirit of Christ gained any real and paramount 
influence in the council chambers of monarchs, statesmen, and 
ambassadors, we should never have seen what must now remain 
as a dishonouring stain upon the civilisation of our time the 
humiliating picture of the armed powers of Europe, in their 
mutual jealousies and rivalries, and selfish antagonisms, looking 
on, or shall we say holding the lists, whilst the Sultan of Turkey 
whom they prop on his throne pursues his infamous policy of 
robbery, outrage, lust, and murder, among his unoffending 
Christian subjects. 

Here, then, in this great field of international politics we see 
a whole dark continent of human life to a great extent given over 
to what in the language of the New Testament is branded as 


pleonexia, or covetousness the spirit of greed embedded, as 
you know, in the letters of St. Paul in the very centre of all the 

This selfish greed is the malign power which makes war its 
instrument, and is everywhere opposed to peace and goodwill. 

Such is that spirit of commercial militarism which has spread 
through a great part of the political life of Europe like some 
dangerous epidemic. 

If it should threaten to invade your country, my prayer is 
that you may escape the danger and be true to your destiny as a 
great democracy inspired and ruled by the spirit of industrious 
and generous Peace. Only yesterday I read in a noble address 
on the Principles of your Founders, given by one of your own 
citizens, these words : " Our whole great group of Massachusetts 
poets Emerson, Bryant, Whittier, Holmes, Longfellow, and 
Lowell, have sung together the song of peace and order and 
humanity. All alike have ceased to be quoted for our national 
purposes in the last five years." 

Is it, I wonder, for a poet like Rudyard Kipling that your 
popular writers have deserted these great ones ? 

If so, it is an ominous desertion ; for Kipling, whatever his 
genius, is the exponent of strife and violence, we might even say 
of brutality. His ideals are those of the barrack-room. Com 
pared with your own poets he voices the baser elements in human 
life, and his influence is downwards. 

So, I repeat, my prayer is that you this American nation- 
may hold on ever faithful to your own founders and leaders, and 
to the policy of Freedom and of Peace the Abdiel of the nations, 
if all others fall away. 

And, finally, what is it we have to do in and through the 
teaching and the influence of Peace Societies all the world over, 
among men and women, young and old ? Once more I quote 
Mr. Leonard Courtney. We have to do in particular two things. 

We have to do our best to persuade every great nation, and 
so to compel every government to recognise the authority of 
Law instead of Force in all international disputes, just as we 
recognise it in private affairs, so that more and more under a 
High Court of the Nations men may live in peace and harmony. 

And, lastly, we have to endeavour to breathe into the life of 
the various countries to which we belong a passionate desire, a 
new enthusiasm, to put an end as between civilised nations to the 
barbarities of warfare with all its burden of hardship, privation, 
and sorrow to the unprivileged multitudes, that is to the great 
majority of men and women in every land involved in war. 

And we meet here in Boston, in this home of the early peace 


movement, with good hope that just as that small company which 
met in the study of William Ellery Channing years ago, has grown 
into a host in all lands the little one has become a thousand 
so this movement may go forward, unhasting, unresting, increas 
ing in power and volume until it establishes the reign of Peace 
and concord among all the truly civilised nations of the earth. 

This noble appeal to the American people produced a very 
wide and deep impression. The editor of The Springfield Re 
publican in returning the manuscript said, " Permit me, as 
one American citizen, to thank you warmly for your stirring 
call to my countrymen to perform their great and obvious 
duty to mankind." 

From Boston the Bishop went for a brief visit to New 
York. On October 12 a meeting in connection with the 
Peace Congress was held and he was the chief speaker. In 
the course of his address on this occasion he said : 

The progress of the future is to be marked by righteous dealings 
between nations, as between individual men. Old as I am, I 
hope to see the American nation combining with my own people 
to lead the van of the great peace movement of the world. Even 
in America, I take it, you have still some progress to make in 
this matter. Only this morning in the State House of Boston 
I read a motto, which I believe is the motto of the State of 
Massachusetts, Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem, " With 
the sword this State makes the calmness of peace under the flag 
of liberty." I know it is difficult to improve on anything found 
in Boston. But I hope you can improve on this motto in New 
York by leaving out the reference to the sword. Make all the 
beauties and harmonies of peace, not by the sword, but by the 
power of law. 

On the Sunday next after his great address at Boston he 
was present, with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the 
Bishop of Ripon (Boyd-Carpenter), at the opening of the 
American Church Convention. 

The whole visit lasted only a fortnight, but it was a time 
of great stimulus and refreshment. Old friendships were 
revived and new friendships formed. The rest during the two 
voyages, the change of scene and the cordiality of his recep 
tion, were all rejuvenating to an old man who had for many 


years been fighting solitary battles. And the beauty of the 
American " Fall " was by no means lost upon him. But he 
had to hurry home for his Diocesan Conference, for which 
he made the final arrangements in letters written from his 
ship on the outward voyage. 



IN 1905 the Bishop s youngest son, Arthur Percival, who 
was then Colonel of the Camel Corps in the Soudan, proposed 
to his father that he should come out to Egypt and, after 
making his way to Khartoum, ride to El Obeid. He said 
that this meant 

Ten days camel ride, doing about 20 miles a day, and you could 
ride horses and donkeys as well. Of course it would be an open- 
air life and no houses, but I could give you a tent and make you 
pretty comfortable. 

Arthur Percival himself had had some curious adventures 
in the previous few years, as appears from the two following 
letters : 

To Mrs. Killigrew Wait 

August 24, 1903. 

DEAR MRS. WAIT I had forgotten about Arthur s photos 
and can pick them up when we come. He writes cheerfully 
from his African desert. Lately he had a quite oriental ex 
perience. His cash box, containing his medals and his money, 
was stolen one night out of his room, in which he keeps two young 
cheetahs as pets. In the morning he sent at once for a native 
tracker who tracked the footsteps of the thief over sand covered 
with hundreds of the footprints to Arthur s own lines and thence 
out into the desert, where he found the cash box buried, and 
further on a packet of cigarettes buried. Then he traced him 
back to the lines, and did all this, covering about two miles in 
twenty-five minutes. So Arthur called out 400 men, drew them 

209 P 


up in a line and made them march barefooted fifty paces. The 
tracker then ran across the footprints and spotted the thief s 
foot without a moment s hesitation. Measurements verified 
this, and when they took him back to the place where he buried 
the box, he confessed. Arthur is to join the Camel Corps next 
month. Yours affectionately, 


To Miss Wait 

January 29, 1905. 

DEAR MARY Bessie may have told you that Arthur had 
been sent off in October on a long march through untried country 
with a little Battalion he had recruited and drilled for the pur 
pose. We have just had a letter from him, posted in the Bahr- 
el-Ghazal, December 23. He had just arrived after an interest 
ing but in parts very rough and trying experience ; and he was 
to start on another expedition about January i. Part of his 
march, lasting for some weeks, had been over a vast plain largely 
covered with grass 6 to 8 feet high, intersected by rivers, and 
mostly inhabited by elephants, rhinoceros, lions, and all sorts 
of game. His men were so fever-stricken that about sixty 
had to be lifted into their saddles for some time. He himself 
escaped fever. My love to Mabel. Yours affectionately, 


To propose to a man of seventy-two that he should set 
out for a ten days camel ride is somewhat audacious. But 
the Bishop determined to accept the invitation. The story 
of the trip may be told in selections from his letters to 
Mrs. Percival. 

Jan. 10. Cairo. We l landed at Port Said yesterday about 
3 P.M. . . . We have to start this evening at 6.30, and are due 
at Assouan to-morrow. As yet I have not seen an English 
paper or heard any news. I expect there is nothing going on 
but electioneering, and it is -rather nice to be out of the turmoil 
of it. In this calm Eastern air one feels humbled by the thought 
of the littleness of our personal concerns. 

Jan. n, 1906. Luxor. Here we are stopping at Luxor for 

1 His eldest son, Robert, was with him until they returned to Khartoum, 
when the Bishop proceeded alone to Cairo and thence to England, leaving 
his son in the Soudan. 


two days, as I got a telegram from Arthur after writing to you 
at Cairo to say that he cannot meet us at Duem till the 24th. 
This being so, I decided to see Luxor these two days and Assouan 
Saturday to Monday, when we shall start for Khartoum and 
arrive there on the i8th. At Khartoum we are to be the guests 
of Bonham-Carter, who is Legal Secretary of the Soudan. He 
is an old Cliftonian and a friend of Lance s, and he sent a message 
to Cairo that he is expecting us. Arthur also says that he has 
sent his servant to meet us at Khartoum and take charge of us. 
This little delay suits us very well, as we see Luxor and Assouan 
going up, and we get to the warmer climate gradually, and then 
we can return straight from Khartoum to Cairo without stopping. 

We arrived here Luxor Hotel at 9 A.M. on a lovely morning, 
quite cool, and we are fairly plunged into the gorgeous East. 
This hotel is near the river, and outside the garden is the great 
temple of Luxor with its splendid pillars, and a very fine obelisk 
standing at the entrance. . . . This afternoon we are to ride 
on donkeys a dusty ride to show Bob the temple of Karnak, 
about two miles away. They have, I believe, done some fresh 
excavations since I was there, and have also had an earthquake, 
so I may find it changed. 

Jan. 12. We did not get to Karnak yesterday afternoon 
as I expected, not having got our tickets of admission, so we 
went after dinner and saw the stupendous place by moonlight. 
Very impressive the avenue of Sphinxes outside looking so 
dignified and mysterious, and the huge pillars and the two 
obelisks inside so immense. To-day has been our one great 
day of sight-seeing, and in glorious sunshine. . . . We started 
with a dragoman at 8.30, crossed the river and rode on donkeys 
across the plains and up the Valley of the Tombs of the Kings 
bleak and bare, with high reddish rocks on both sides the 
tombs being in the sides of the mountains. You go down long 
galleries with some side chambers, all brilliantly coloured with 
hieroglyphics and figures of the various gods and the great 
persons buried there a sight which fills one with wonder at 
every visit. We saw three tombs to-day (i) Rameses VI. 
(about 1200 B.C., I suppose very beautiful and in excellent 
condition) ; (2) Seti I., the father of the great Rameses II., who 
was the Pharaoh that oppressed the Israelites (this also is very 
fine and interesting) ; and (3) Amenophis II., whose date I 
forget, probably about 1400 B.C. only discovered three years 
ago, and it has never been opened or rifled ; so you go down the 
beautiful galleries till you come to a decorated chamber with 
four columns in the middle, and the beautiful mummy case in 
the centre, and the body lying with folded hands and face bare, 


just as it was placed there some 3000 years ago. The mummies 
have been taken away from all the other tombs. As the tombs 
are now lighted by electric light they are much more interesting 
to see than when I was here before. Next we came over the 
hill that separates this valley from the plain of Luxor and saw 
the whole plain with its intense greens and other shades a 
lovely picture in the sunshine, and having had lunch at a " rest 
house," we saw an interesting temple of Queen Hatasan, a very 
strong-minded lady who ruled Egypt about 1500 B.C. and was 
succeeded by a brother, Thotmes III., who obliterated from the 
walls of her beautifully decorated temple every portrait of 
her except two, which he seems to have overlooked ; and, like 
all those monarchs, she left no end of portraits of herself. After 
this we rode on our homeward journey to the Ramesseum, the 
temple of Rameses II., the great oppressor of the Israelites. 
His idea was to make everything bigger than anything of the 
sort had ever been made before ; so this is a temple of huge 
pillars and rows of figures to match. His own granite statue was 
about 57 ft. high an absolutely enormous thing. How it 
was hewn and brought here from Assouan and carved so finely, 
and then set up, I don t know. No doubt he expected it to 
stand for ever, but such is the irony of things, that it lies all 
smashed and disfigured, as a sort of symbol of the life of the 
proudest autocrat. I think he reigned about sixty-seven years 
over both Lower and Upper Egypt. He had some scores of 
children, and was nearly 100 when he died. His mummy lies 
beside that of his father, Seti I., in the Museum at Cairo, and 
you will see his face when I take you there. At the time of the 
discovery of the mummy, when old Dr. Schliemann had been 
to see it, and came back to Athens, where we were at the time, 
he paid me what he no doubt considered the compliment of 
saying I was very like Rameses to look at. It will be interesting 
to see whether you recognise the likeness. 

Jan. 14, 1906. Assouan. My last letter was from Luxor 
Hotel. Yesterday we came on here. Six and a half hours 
journey, very dusty and pretty hot, but we were not uncomfort 
able, as a young man came up to me at Luxor and said he was 
one of my boys in School-house, Rugby, and he is now in charge 
of the railway from Luxor to Assouan, so he reserved a carriage 
for us, and we had it to ourselves all the way. The railway runs 
up the east bank of the Nile, and we had the most beautiful 
sunset I have seen for many a day the sky first of all golden, 
then shot all through with streamers of pink and yellow, like 
an Aurora Borealis, and palms standing high up between us 
and the sky. Here we are at a great hotel built at the lower 


end of the Cataract since I was here an enormous caravanserai 
with every modern luxury, and the finest dining-hall of a Moorish 
type I have ever seen. 

The Cataract is a series of rapids with rocks sticking up all 
over the river, making it of course dangerous for any boats, 
though the natives seem to know their way about in it. At the 
upper end of the Cataract is Philae, with its beautiful temple 
and the new Dam or Barrage. This we expect to see to-morrow 
when we go on board our steamer for Haifa. This morning I 
went at 8 A.M. to the service in the English Church, which has 
been built in a fine position near this hotel, and in a suitable 
oriental style. The chaplain is Bishop Morley, a nice retired 
C.M.S. Indian Bishop. Finding he had no assistance I offered 
to take the celebration for him at his mid-day service, which 
I did ; and now I am enjoying a day of rest. This is, I think, 
the best air in Egypt, so dry and bright, with a breeze always 
blowing up the Nile at this season. 

A great bed of granite runs across the valley here, making 
the Cataract, and it is from the quarries here that the great 
granite obelisks and statues were dug in ancient times. 

Jan. 15. We have just returned from our donkey ride in 
the desert to see the obelisk half cut out of the rock some 
thousands of years ago, and a statue of Rameses in the same 
condition the figure all carved but lying on its back never 
detached from the granite bed ; quite lately some vulgar tourists 
have chipped off part of the nose to exhibit no doubt as a trophy 
somewhere or other. We are going to our steamer at Philae 
after lunch, and expect to be in Khartoum on Thursday. . . . 
Before the steamer starts this evening we hope to get a look at 
the Great Dam or Barrage at Philae as we start from there. 

Jan. 16. We are just passing Korosko, one of the most 
beautiful spots on this part of the Nile, and nearly half way to 
Haifa from Assouan. 

We left our hotel yesterday after lunch and came down 
on board our steamer, and had two nice single cabins allotted 
before the mail train arrived. We then took a boat with a 
nice agent of the Bible Society who is going up the Nile on a 
tour of inspection, to see the temples of the island of Philae. 

This used to be a picturesque little island with a large temple 
of Isis, and the beautiful smaller temple known as Pharaoh s 
Bed. The Dam has now raised the water so that this island 
has disappeared and the palms and temples stand up out of 
the water. Instead of climbing up the bank of the island we 
were rowed in our boat between the tops of the columns of the 
great colonnade and through Pharaoh s Bed, and the beautifully 


painted pillars in the Hypostyle Hall of the Temple, which Bessie 
painted, are all beginning to lose their colours. The whole 
effect, however, in the sunset was wonderfully beautiful. We 
left about 7 P.M., with about twenty ist class passengers, all 
men and mostly officers, soldiers, and men of business ; and 
we are having a very beautiful and restful day, as both scenery 
and air are delightful. One element of special beauty is the 
contrast between the two banks of the river. The east bank 
is all green, while the western is beautiful golden sand. We 
shall soon pass the famous rock temple of Abou Simbel, with 
its four immense sitting figures of Rameses the Great guarding 
the entrance and facing the rising sun, about 10 or n o clock 
to-night, and so I expect we shall not see anything of it, as the 
moon does not rise before n. We are said to be due at Haifa 
at 7 A.M., and shall begin on twenty-eight hours of railway across 
the desert at 9, I believe. 

Jan. 18, 1906. 10.45. About 40 miles from Khartoum. 

Since I posted my letter at Haifa we have had a good journey, 
hot and dusty, but not overpoweringly so, and in a good sleeping 
compartment quite enjoyable ; and I have got through the 
twenty-six hours quite comfortably reading and sleeping and 
looking out on the ocean of sand and low rocky hills standing 
out of it at intervals. Most people see a great many mirages- 
water with trees reflected in it, being really the shimmer of sun 
light on the sands and the reflection of the hills in it. I have 
only seen it twice whether owing to my defective eyesight or 
my freedom from delusions, I hardly know. In some places the 
sand is covered with thorny mimosa -bushes, which our soldiers 
used to cut down for a protecting hedge at night or in battle, 
called a zareba ; very unpleasant to get through, I imagine. 
We have passed some battlefields, and from Berber or beyond 
it our soldiers had to march all this distance in the Omdurman 
Expedition. ... At Haifa, just after writing to you, I received 
a telegram inviting us to dine with the Governor-General that 
is the Sirdar to-night ; after that I may be able to tell you 
something about Khartoum society. 

Jan. 19, 1906. Khartoum. Here we are very comfortably 
settled till Tuesday, when our boat goes to Duem. 

We arrived at noon yesterday and found Mr. Bonham-Carter 
on the platform, and Arthur s servant, who has come from El Obeid 
to take us in charge, so now we have only to go as we are led. 

Mr. Bonham-Carter is a nice young man, exactly Lance s 
contemporary at Clifton and Oxford. He is a great man up 
here, and he has built himself a nice house, and he is running 
it bachelor fashion with another Cliftonian and Oxonian, 


who has charge of the Land Department, and Mr. Currey, 
also an Oxford man, who is Principal of the Gordon College 
and Head of the Educational Department of the Soudan, so 
they are very pleasant and easy hosts. Yesterday we went 
to call on Lady Wingate. They live in the new Palace built on 
the ruins of Gordon s Palace on the bank of the Nile, a very 
stately place with a large and most lovely garden. 

We found her very pleasant and friendly, and in the evening 
we enjoyed their dinner party, mostly officials, except ourselves 
and Dr. T. Kayper, late Prime Minister of Holland, a very 
distinguished and pleasant man, who helped to bring the Boer 
War to an end. 

The Sirdar was particularly nice to us, and is lending his 
launch for our little trip to see Omdurman to-morrow, and to 
see the battlefield this afternoon. He and Lady W. both speak 
very warmly of Arthur, and I find that his last winter s march, 
and the way he brought it off without any mishap or any blood 
shed, and the condition in which he brought his troops back, 
has given him quite a reputation. 

You would be amused if you saw Arthur s servant looking 
after me. He is very black, dressed in a sort of white cassock 
with a bright red sash, a beautiful dress, and he grooms and 
brushes me, as if I were an Arab pony, and his manners are 
nice and quiet, like those of all the natives outside the tourist 
resorts. It is warm here, but not overpoweringly hot, and there 
is a nice breeze blowing. The sky, though sunny, is a little 

Jan. 20. After writing yesterday, Mr. Bonham-Carter took 

me a pleasant afternoon excursion to see the battlefield of 
Omdurman, Arthur s first battle. It is six or seven miles down 
the river from here, and the Sirdar lent us his little launch, and 
on landing we found Mr. Carter s ponies waiting for us, and rode 
to the central part of the field and had a good view of everything. 
We passed the gully where the Lancers made their gallant but 
foolish charge and got cut up, and so were of no use for following 
up the Khalifa when he ran away. The whole field is an 
immense brown barren plain, with ups and downs and a 
high hill in the middle of it, the hill running along one side of a 
range of hills ; in the distance, on the other side, Omdurman, about 
six or seven miles to the west. We got back about 7.30, and 
two or three officials came to dinner, one being Statin Pasha, 
the former captive of the Mahdi and now Inspector-General. I 
forget whether you read his Fire and Sword in the Soudan. He 
is a wiry man, still under fifty, I should say, a great talker and 
very entertaining, so we had an interesting evening. This after- 


noon Mr. Bonham-Carter takes us over to visit Arthur s fellow 
officers at Omdurman, to see the town and dine with them, 
and come back late again in the Sirdar s launch. They are 
wonderfully hospitable and very pleasant. . . . 

Jan. 22. We went, according to arrangement, to Omdurman 
and were very hospitably entertained by the three officers now 
in charge of the I5th Soudanese ; Rawson, who succeeded 
Arthur, and Ryan, second in command, and Stewart, a nice 
young fellow lately joined, son of Sir Herbert Stewart who was 
killed on the Nile in Gordon s time. Ryan took us over the 
Khalifa s house, a very curious, rambling place, with an immense 
square alongside it, where he assembled the whole population 
daily for prayer ; and through the market, which is very large 
and one of the most interesting places I ever saw. After this 
the officers gave us dinner and their band played outside. 

On Sunday morning I had to preach ; the service is held in 
the ballroom of the Sirdar s Palace, and there was a very good 
congregation, and they got the largest collection they have had 
since Christmas Day. The palace is a fine new white building 
on the site of Gordon s Palace, a stately place with a large and 
most lovely garden, and the Sirdar and Lady Wingate are 
particularly nice. They insist on our staying with them the 
two nights we have to spend at Khartoum on our way back. . . . 
To-morrow morning at 9 o clock we are off on our voyage up 
the White Nile to Duem and then across the desert on ponies, 
a regular route, I find, and much frequented, to El Obeid. . . . 

Jan. 23. I am writing this on a very comfortable steamer 
on my way to Puem, where we are due to-morrow. We left 
Khartoum at 9.15 this morning. The White Nile, or western 
branch, which we are sailing up, is a very fine river between 
low banks, and I suppose about a mile and a half broad. The 
water is of a brownish-grey colour, whereas the Blue Nile at 
this season is clear, and in some lights looking a beautiful blue. 
When writing last night I forgot to mention that we went for 
a little evening ride with Mr. Bonham-Carter, and had a wonder 
fully beautiful sunset, with the palms which abound in Khartoum 
waving their branches in front of the gorgeous western sky. 
Khartoum is a city of palm trees, and the Sirdar told me it nearly 
lost them all, as the Khalifa, when he heard the English were 
near, gave an order to cut them all down ; but his son per 
suaded him to wait, as the infidels might not really come, or 
might be driven back : so they were saved. It must have been 
a dismal time in Khartoum and Omdurman in the Khalifa s 
time. Slatin, as his prisoner, lived in his house, and he told me 
that on one spot which he occupied daily he must have said 


16,000 to 18,000 prayers, as he had to conform and say his 
prayers five times a day. 

Jan. 24. After writing yesterday we had an uneventful 
voyage till sunset, when we anchored for the night, the one 
excitement being the sight of our first crocodile, a huge creature 
lying alongside a sandbank. Since then Bob has seen four or 
five, and has shown me one enormous fellow, at least 20 feet 
long, I should think. He went under water as we passed, except 
head and tail, and then climbed slowly on to the sand again. 
The river here is very wide, and the banks are low and sandy, 
with bushes scattered about, so that I feel as if I were on a vast 
lagoon (without Venice) or the lower part of Lake Garda. Here 
and there we pass a large flat sandy island, which perhaps a 
crowd of natives from some village are just beginning to irrigate 
and cultivate for a crop to be reaped before the Nile rises again. 
They will have a scorching time for three months. We have 
a nice breeze blowing up the river behind us, so that we are 
getting along very comfortably ; and a nice young English 
engineer, who is in charge of the boat, is very attentive to us. 
This afternoon about 4 we expect to reach Duem and to see 
Arthur s beaming face to welcome us. We understand he is 
expected to be there. He is known and spoken of in these 
parts as Percival Bey. I think I told you that the Sirdar and 
all the men in Khartoum who spoke of his last winter s expedi 
tion said it was one of the best things that had been done out 
here, perhaps the best, as he brought all his men and mules, etc., 
through in such good condition. It is evidently a good mark 
in his favour. To-night, I believe, we stay with the Civil 
Governor at Duem ; then we go on by easy stages to El Obeid, 
taking about a week. It is a regular high route with rest houses. 
... We shall get about a week at El Obeid and then a week 
back to Duem ; and we come on board this steamer on the I5th 
of February for return journey. 

Jan. 25, 1906. Duem. We arrived here yesterday and 
Arthur came on board to take us off. 

The Governor of this province, Butler Bey, came with him, 
a pleasant, cheery officer a few years older than Arthur. He 
lives in a low brick and plaster house with a colonnade towards 
the river, spreading about 40 or 50 yards in front, and there 
is a nice cool breeze all round me in the sunshine. 

It was a great delight to meet Arthur, sturdy and strong as 
when he left us, and the men he has with him are very fine- 
looking fellows, coal black, in white dress with sashes ; he has 
brought about twenty fine camels and three or four ponies, so 
we shall be a fine caravan when we set off this afternoon. He 


says he has brought the easiest camel in the Soudan for me 
to ride, much nicer than a horse ; we shall see, and I will tell you 
when I have tried him. The Governor took us a ride through 
the town just at sunset, quite an interesting sight, streets of 
mud huts, with shops of all sorts, and lots of dignified-looking 
natives, who all get up and salute us as we pass. One part a 
street of blacksmiths all Persians who settled here some time 
or other ; and the market near the river has heaps of grain lying 
about, scores of big sacks full of grain, which is the great product 
of Kordofan. Every sack is worth about thirty shillings. . . . 
This afternoon we are to begin our march and go about 12 
miles to our station for the night. Here the Governor is making 
a garden, laying out and planting and watering, and Bob has 
been enjoying himself in the garden all the early morning. . . . 

Jan. 30. Urn Duem. I am writing this on a fine breezy 
hot day while we rest, as the post from El Obeid passes here 
to-night, and will, I hope, land this at Hereford about February 
16. We left Duem towards evening of the 25th, and I have 
kept no diary since, as Bob has done the necessary records. . . . 
We set out for Duem with twenty-one camels and four or five 
ponies. . . , The first thing that happened was that my pony, 
a strong grey Arab stallion, having only a snaffle bridle on, 
took the bit in his teeth and practically ran away with me for 
two or three miles, when I brought him up, and at last changed 
to another nice and easy one, and we got along very pleasantly. 
The desert is, of course, in a sense monotonous, mostly covered 
with long dry grass growing out of the loose sand, the colour of 
ripe barley, and with them bushes about the size of a hawthorn, 
and in places broom scattered all over it. As it stretches away 
on every side of us there is something fascinating about it in 
the changing lights and through the long still hours. 

There are very few birds, chiefly hawks, and here and there 
a bustard, but the sharper eyes of the boys see many gazelles 
flash in and out among the bushes, and some other little shy 
animals. Arthur has shot one each day for food, a treat for 
the escort, and giving us some beautiful chops like delicate veal. 

Our daily routine is to be waked up at 4.30 to 5, drink a cup 
of tea and mount our camels and ride two to three hours 
at about four miles an hour, and then stop for breakfast and 
rest till lunch, and then rest again till 4, generally at some 
" rest house." After tea at 4 we start again and ride until 6.30, 
when camp is pitched, generally in the open under the stars, 
and we enjoy a good dinner, then to bed about 8.30, with all 
the beautiful stars looking down on us. I have now got well 
used to my camel riding, and jog along quite comfortably with 


an orderly leading the way in front. In the early morning, 
before sunrise, it s rather weird ; there come all the changes of 
light very quickly on the bright fresh air ; again, towards sunset 
and after it the riding is very pleasant. The sunrises and 
sunsets are not very brilliant, but the evening afterglow is 
lovely, and we have had the most beautiful silver crescent moon 
sailing high up over the sunset every evening lately. 

This place is about 100 miles from Duem, and is the capital 
of the district, with an Egyptian officer as Governor under the 
Egyptian Governor of the province. He rode out in state to 
meet us this morning, and the whole place is hung with scores 
of little red flags, with Crescent and Cross on them ; and he and 
his officers gave us an excellent breakfast ; and the [natives ?] 
with their band outside our enclosure nearly all day a sort of 
tin kettle din not unlike the beating of carpets. Altogether the 
mixture of the Bedouin life of the desert, unchanged since the 
days of Moses, and our western civilisation is rather odd. Break 
fast of porridge and milk, eggs, marmalade, etc., and all other 
needs in proportion, and Arthur allows me to drink nothing but 
Apollinaris with lime juice or whisky, and very refreshing it 
is. We are all in excellent condition, and expect to reach Bara 
in two days ; and after a short stay there to go on 38 miles to 
El Obeid for three or four days, and then back to Duem by 
February 15. . . . Arthur is Percival Bey all over this district 
and a great person. ... I am writing on my knee, which accounts 
for defects. . . . 

Feb. 2. Bara. You will have got a telegram yesterday 
telling you we had arrived here all right and well after a pleasant 
journey of about thirteen marches altogether since we left the 
Nile at Duem. The ride into Bara was delightful, the plain of 
rich reddish sand is dotted all over with thorns, looking like 
hawthorns, and many of them overgrown with a luxuriant 
emerald-green creeper, so that one thinks of a vast forest within 
the desert. 

And now we have had a rest of a day and a half and propose 
to start for El Obeid about 30 miles away at 5.30 to-morrow 
morning. This military station is the place that Arthur built 
two or three years ago. He cleared an immense square for 
parade, about 800 yards across, and made the compound for 
his officers quarters, conical huts, verandahs, kitchens, etc., 
and outside the square the soldiers and their families live in 
huts, making two villages ; and further away by the wells there 
is the large native village. He has 150 camels here at present. 

Bara has one advantage which is very rare in this part of 
the world. There is abundance of water about 20 feet below 


the surface, so they can irrigate and grow all sorts of green stuff, 
and his gardens are already very good, and some day, no doubt, 
they will be a sort of paradise in the desert. 

At Um Duem, where I wrote you my last letter, the wells, on 
the other hand, are 130 feet deep, and drawing water in buckets 
is a laborious process. 

While I have been doing nothing but rest here these two 
days, and Bob doing a little gardening, Arthur has been squaring 
up his work. We divide our journey to El Obeid into three 
marches of 12 or 13 miles each. Two to-morrow and one from 
5 to 8 on Sunday morning, in time for breakfast. I expect we 
shall leave El Obeid on the 8th, so as to reach Duem for the 
steamer on the I5th or i6th. 

Feb. 4. Here we are comfortably settled in for five or six 
days, and the post leaves to-night ; this should reach you in 
London about ten days in front of me. I expect to arrive on 
the 4th March. 

We had a nice ride from Bara. There are about five English 
men at the Mess here at present five young fellows of about 
Arthurs age [36], others are scattered over the country 
at this season. Two of these are officers, the others are 
Inspectors or Assistant Governors. It is curious to think of 
these young men commanding troops of soldiers and governing 
a vast territory with all sorts of tribes in it. There has, I suppose, 
been nothing quite like it since the days of the Roman Empire ; 
and it is interesting to hear them at their Mess cheerily discussing 
their work and criticising and chaffing one another. We have 
hardly seen El Obeid yet as the camp is outside ; but this being 
a Mohammedan festival, we saw one picturesque procession 
this morning a long train of natives mostly in white, with 
flags and music, and carrying in a sort of sedan a very old and 
holy man of 100 years or more. He has built his own tomb in 
the city, a high and conspicuous building, and lives in it greatly 
venerated. It is very hot during the day, and from breakfast 
to tea-time we simply keep quiet ; but for the rest of the twenty- 
four hours the air is delightful, and with a slight breeze as a 
general rule. . . . 

Feb. 18, 1906. s.s. Cairo. I am here safe on the Nile, 
sitting in the cool morning air very comfortably on the deck 
of the Cairo, an excellent screw-wheel steamer, as she floats 
leisurely down the Nile between the low, lovely banks just tinged 
with green. We are due at Khartoum about 2 P.M., and I pro 
pose to post this there so that it may reach you two or three 
days before I arrive myself, as I hope to do at the Lollards on 
Sunday, March 4. 


I began my last letter at El Obeid on February 5, and filled 
a couple of sheets while there ; but, alas, a camel ride gave my 
paper and books such a shaking that it is all illegible and too 
dirty to handle, so I must just pick out one or two notes. 

We reached El Obeid February 4, and I think I sent you a 
letter up to date that night. 

We were warmly welcomed there with many demonstrations 
of native officers, and lived very comfortably in the best house 
in the place, and as guests of the British officers. Arthur seems 
to be very popular, or else they think his father a big Sheykh, 
as they make so much of us. You would have been amused 
to see the picturesque figures that came to pay their respects 
and the bowing and salaams. 

Feb. ^ The native officers of the Camel Corps, Arthur s 
own staff, gave us a great reception at afternoon tea, which was 
spread in a large tent. We approached on arrival down a long 
avenue of flags all strewn with special sand for us to walk on, 
and a guard of honour of the men in their beautiful white dress 
with white turbans and black ostrich feathers and green silk 
sash. It was an uncommonly pretty sight, and they had a 
regimental band from one of the Soudanese Battalions playing 
to us all the time. 

Feb. 6. We were taken to pay a visit to a very old Sheykh 
over 100 years of age, a very holy man, whose tomb, by which 
he lives, is the highest building in El Obeid. We were received 
by his eldest son, a man of seventy or more, and a crowd of his 
tribesmen, and conducted to the old man with much ceremony. 
He is quite blind, but stood up to receive us, and made com 
plimentary speeches and asked after the King s health, and 
insisted on my sitting beside him. Had glasses of lemonade 
served and coffee to all of us, and when we left said he would 
remember me in his prayers. 

It was altogether an impressive sight : coming out we find 
ourselves in a circle of those who had received us, who, led 
by the eldest son, sang some religious strain with gesticula 
tions so violent that some lost their turbans, and one or two 
leapt and danced in a wonderful way. 

If we had been in the middle of such a crowd eight or ten 
years ago in El Obeid, I expect we should have been despatched 
pretty quickly. As it was, we were dismissed with many salaams. 

Feb. 7. The officers of the 8th Egypt Battalion gave us tea 
and had a football match between two battalions for our enter 
tainment, and I had to kick off ; also a remarkably good gym 
nastic display and a band of music. 

Feb. 8. About 4 P.M. we started on our ride back, being 


escorted for three or four miles by apparently all the native 
officers in the place on their ponies, and after much shaking of 
hands set our faces towards the desert again, and slept under 
the stars. 

Feb. 9-16. Steady trekking three or three and a half hours 
in the morning, beginning at 4.30, and about two hours in the 
evening, 4.30 to 6.30. Always sleeping under the open sky. 

The weather has been altogether exceptionally hot, the 
cold nights we should have had never came, and the days from 
10 to 4 very, very hot ; the nights, however, and some evenings, 
were very enjoyable. 

For two or three days I found the heat oppressive and exhaust 
ing and rather lost my appetite, but Arthur took wonderful 
care of me, having provided everything he could think of 
necessary in the way of food and drink, especially Rosbach 
water, of which I drank four or five bottles every day. 

Our last day (Feb. 15) was a day of violent sandstorm a 
strong north wind blowing such a cloud of fine sand that I never 
saw the sun that day. 

As I lay in the Rest House in the middle of the day and 
looked out, it was just as if I were looking out on a snowstorm, 
everything seemed so white. 

The one consolation of the storm was that it cooled the air 
to some extent, but as we naturally perspired when riding, the 
sand made us look like pitmen coming home from their work. 
That night the wind fell and we rode into Duem at 7 A.M. on 
the i6th February, all in the best of health and very glad to be 
there and enjoy a good wash and the hospitable entertainment 
of Mr. Butler, the Governor. So I parted from my good camel 
at the end of our 360 miles trek, and Bechall, my orderly, who 
rode in front, and Koko, the slave boy 1 who waited on us so 
nicely ; and the journey home is now plain sailing. 

Feb. 20. In the regions of ink again. Arthur and I arrived 
at the Palace, Sunday afternoon, and have been most kindly 
and hospitably entertained, both Lady Wingate and the Sirdar 
being kindness itself. The Sirdar wanted to talk to Arthur 
and discuss plans about Kordofan and the army, and I have 
just seen him steam away on his return journey for fresh work. 
I wonder when I shall see him again. I start this afternoon 
and shall only stop at Cairo for Saturday and Sunday night, 
sailing on Monday, due, I believe, at Marseilles on Saturday. . . . 
Feb. 25. Cairo. You will, I hope, get with this the letter 
I had posted at Khartoum, to prepare you for my arrival on 
Sunday. I don t know when the train will be due, probably 
1 Arthur Percival had rescued this boy from slave-dealers. 


about 5 or 6 P.M., and one can t telegraph, so you must take me 
when I turn up. We shall sail from Port Said to-morrow after 
noon in the China, and are due at Marseilles on Saturday, when 
the P. and O. train will be waiting for us. From Khartoum 
we began by being six hours late at Haifa rather tedious but 
going on to the boat there at midnight on Wednesday. I had 
a beautiful voyage down to Assouan, arriving at 7 on Friday 
in good time for the Cairo train, and so reached here yesterday 
morning about 9. ... 



IT has already become abundantly plain that Percival took 
an active and even a vehement part in general politics. But 
it was always with what seemed to him definitely moral 
issues that he concerned himself. He often regarded as a 
matter of moral principle what was to most men a matter 
of expediency ; and his general outlook led him as a rule to 
claim moral sanction for the liberal solution of the question 
in hand. Yet he did not allow his intense convictions to 
interfere with personal friendships. In his Clifton days he 
was no less eager a radical than in later years, but when his 
friend was a Conservative candidate and carried the poll he 
could be cordial in his congratulations, 

To Mr. Killigrew Wait 



Thursday evening, May 8, 1873. 

MY DEAR WAIT My radicalism gives way entirely, and I 
ignominiously confess that I m highly pleased in spite of my 
better political self and congratulate you very sincerely. I 
should also congratulate the electors of Gloucester if I knew 
them. I hope you may have many happy years of membership, 
though you do go to the House of Commons " clothed in the 
panoply of constitutional principles," if I may be allowed to 
borrow for a moment the pen of Joseph Leech. Don t show this 
to Mrs. Wait or she ll be asking awkward questions as to whether 
it s a suit that ll be easy to sit down in, and whether it ll wear well, 
and all sorts of housewife s questions. But, whatever she says, 
her principles are no better than mine, and she must confess that 
she also is delighted. Yours sincerely, J. PERCIVAL. 



In this chapter an attempt is made to gather up and 
draw together those political activities into which Percival 
threw himself at various times, and which had no specially 
appropriate place in the narrative as told hitherto. It is 
inevitable that such a record should be rather disconnected, 
for it is concerned with isolated activities and side-issues, 
not with the continuous main stream of his life. But the 
unity of his character and its strong individuality bind all 
the episodes together. His interventions in the definitely 
political sphere covered every main section of political 
activity Domestic, Imperial, and Foreign. 


Percival frequently spoke of two great blemishes in the 
national life of England the vice of drunkenness and the 
vice of gambling. His activities in the cause of temperance 
were constant, though here he was mainly concerned to 
support the proposals of others rather than to formulate pro 
posals of his own. While President of Trinity, he preached 
for the Church of England Temperance Society in Carfax 
Church before the Mayor and Corporation of Oxford in 1881, 
and was then a Temperance Reform advocate of long stand 
ing. But his eagerness in the matter was chiefly displayed 
in connection with the Licensing Bills of 1904 and 1908. The 
former of these was strongly opposed by Percival, unless a 
time limit to the claim for compensation for non-renewal of 
licence were inserted. The measure provided for a some 
what drastic reduction in the number of public-houses, and 
contained a scheme for compensation when the renewal of a 
licence was not granted. Most reformers agreed that com 
pensation was necessary for a period of years, because the 
renewal of licences had been almost a matter of course, 
except in a few areas, and therefore, though no legal claim 
to renewal existed, a " reasonable expectation " had arisen. 
But it was also held that to give compensation without 
fixing a period after which it should cease was to create a 
legal interest which would make further reform more difficult. 
Percival strongly supported this view. His attitude on this 



matter is best expressed in a letter to the Church of England 
Temperance Society which was published in The Times of 
April 26, 1904 : 

April 25. 

DEAR MR. EARDLEY-WILMOT I am particularly sorry that I 
am unable to attend your meetings this week, as the importance 
of the decisions to be arrived at can hardly be over-estimated, 
whether we consider the best interests of our Church or the well- 
being of the people. 

The new Licensing Bill, as it stands, is so recklessly lavish of 
public money and unjust to the taxpayer, and raises such barriers 
in the way of reasonable temperance reform, that I hope every 
supporter of the Church of England Temperance Society will feel 
it to be his bounden duty to oppose it to the utmost, unless the 
Government will accept some essential amendments. For my 
part I have to confess that I do not understand how any man who 
gives his vote for it in Parliament without such amendments can 
be any longer considered a true friend of the temperance cause. 
By turning a licence for one year only into a freehold it adds 
enormously to the value of all public-house and brewery property. 
Having thus created a new freehold interest of enormous value, 
as a gift to the trade, it proceeds to levy and earmark a new 
fangled sort of tax to compensate any holder of this newly created 
property wherever the justices decide that it is detrimental to the 
public interest and should be done away with. If ever there was 
a vicious circle, here is one. 

I would urge that some such amending provisions as the 
following should be firmly demanded as the minimum ; and I 
hope that all those supporters of the Government in the House of 
Commons who really care for temperance reform will show as 
much nerve as the protectionist members showed on a recent 
occasion, and will bring as effective pressure to bear on the 
Government. They will, I hope, insist on these amendments as a 
condition of their continued support, and will vote against the 
Bill at every stage if they are refused : 

(1) The Bill to enact that after the lapse of seven years no 
compensation shall be given for the refusal to renew any licence. 

(2) The discretion of the licensing justices to remain as hitherto, 
subject only to the restriction that during the next seven years 
not more than 10 per cent of the existing licences may be refused 
renewal in any one year, and not more than 35 per cent during 
the whole period of seven years. This would limit reductions to 


an average of 5 per cent per annum during this period, a limitation 
which is amply sufficient to reassure the trade. 

(3) For the purpose of securing equitable treatment as between 
one licence-holder and another in the same district 

(a) Compensation shall be given for the remainder of this 
seven years period to all licence-holders refused renewal solely 
on public grounds. 

(b) The amount of compensation to be agreed upon between 
a representative of the houses suppressed and a representative of 
the remaining houses, and approved, or in case of difference 
settled by, a representative of the Board of Inland Revenue or 
of the licensing justices of the district, as may seem best. 

(c) This amount to be raised by a special levy on the remain 
ing licensed houses in the district. The levy to be spread over 
the remainder of the seven years period on each occasion. 

(4) At the end of seven years a new licensing law to come 
into operation, free from all considerations of vested interests or 

These provisions would, as I venture to submit, be fair and 
even generous to licence-holders, who, it must be remembered, 
are now in most cases not separate individuals, but brewery 
companies, which have of late years bought up groups of houses 
as a speculative investment ; and I plead for this mode of estimat 
ing and levying the amount of compensation in each district as 
being the fairest and the most likely to arrive at the real value of 
each licence and to do equal justice all round. The time limit 
should be insisted upon as being the most vitally important 
provision of all, for without it the Bill is nothing less than a new 
establishment and endowment of the public-house at the public 
cost, and this cost, however we look at it, must prove to be 
enormous. It is, I observe, estimated by competent persons that 
this endowment would mean an increase in the capital value of 
public-house and brewery property of something like the amazing 
sum of 300,000,000. And to this stupendous gift must in reality 
be added the value of the new tax ; for the trade, growing in 
creasingly lucrative under a policy of reduction, is increasingly 
able to pay this tax in return for its highly lucrative monopoly, 
and the tax ought, therefore, to be levied as a general tax in relief 
of the general taxpayer s burdens. Thus it becomes a second gift 
for the benefit of this wealthy trade. 

Here, then, we have a strange paradox. All men profess a 
desire to limit this trade and lessen the evils that flow from it, 
and yet this is the trade of all others which is selected for favoured 
treatment and for special benefactions of this astonishing magni 
tude. Why should speculators in the drink traffic be enriched in 


this lavish and reckless manner at the expense of the long- 
suffering public ? What benefit have they conferred on the 
community entitling them to such an unprecedented gift by Act 
of Parliament ? What, I wonder, have those who have to pay 
the additional income-tax and the new tea duties to say to it ? 

In the face of legal decisions given by the highest authorities 
during a long course of years, and of the universal agreement that 
the number of licensed houses is greatly in excess of all reasonable 
requirements and should be largely reduced, no equitable claim 
can be suggested for this kind of political favouritism ; and the 
supporters of the Government will be without excuse if they 
allow it, and I hope their constituencies will make this plain to 
every one of them before it is too late. Believe me yours very 


When the Bill reached the House of Lords he continued 
his resistance. On August 2, 1904, he joined in the debate 
on the Second Reading and declared that the Bill was 
designed for the benefit of the Brewers : 

I inquire into the genesis of this Bill ? Who assisted at the 
birth of the Bill ? The Brewers ! Who have been the most 
earnest promoters of the Bill in the other House ? The Brewers ! 
By whose critical votes in one division after another have the 
provisions of this Bill been sent up to this House ? Again, by the 
Brewers 1 And who are the most whole-hearted supporters 
indeed I might almost say the only whole-hearted supporters 
of the Bill in the country ? Again I have to say, the Brewers ! 

The Bill was carried, with the result that when Mr. 
Balfour s Government went out and a Liberal Government 
succeeded, another Bill was introduced which provided 
among other things for a time limit to the claim to com 
pensation. This measure, carried through the House of 
Commons by Mr. Asquith, Percival, in common with most 
of the Bishops, strongly supported, speaking in defence of it 
both in the country and in the House of Lords. But the 
opposition was too powerful and the Bill was lost. 

He always advocated the closing of public-houses on 
Sundays, and often spoke in support of it. Towards the end 
of his life he inclined to the policy of State purchase : 


To the Rev. L. J. Percival 

Dec. 6, 1916. 

DEAR LANCE I suggest that you might find it interesting to 
come on the igth, as we are to have an important meeting on the 
2oth to discuss the desirability of the State Purchase of the 
Liquor Traffic. Our Dean is strongly opposed to it, and I am 
inclined to favour it, because if the State owned all the interest 
in Beer and Spirits we should get rid of personal interests in 
opposition to any Temperance Reform, and some Reforms would 
become possible. We expect Bishop Hamilton Baynes to support 
and Mr. Leif Jones to oppose the proposal to purchase, so it will 
be worth your while to come. 

I suppose it is interesting in London at present as Asquith 
has resigned. Yours affectionately, 


But though he favoured National Purchase he was much 
opposed to the Public- house Trust. He allowed a para 
graph to appear in the Diocesan Messenger giving a bare 
statement of the method by which it worked ; but he would 
allow no commendation of it. "It is no business of ours," 
he said, " to recommend any form of public- house." 

His activities on behalf of Temperance were mainly of 
the Puritan type. He said far more about the repression of 
drunkenness and the restriction of the sale of intoxicants 
than about the provision of wholesome recreation for the 
common people. This had his sympathy for its own sake ; 
but it did not seem to him the way to secure the triumph 
of Temperance. 

In the attack upon the other " blemish in our national 
life, the vice of gambling," Percival took a more individual 
line. He not only made many speeches on the subject, 
pressed it on the attention of the clergy of his diocese and 
supported the legislative proposals of others ; he initiated 
legislative action himself. 

On May 20, 1901, he moved in the House of Lords : 

That a Select Committee be appointed to inquire into the 
increase of public betting among all classes, and whether any 
legislative measures are possible and expedient for dealing with 
the abuses occasioned thereby. 


This was carried ; the report of the Committee supplied the 
basis of Lord Davey s Street Betting Act, and so a useful 
bit of work was accomplished. 

In his further endeavours Percival was less successful. 
His next effort was not directed immediately against betting, 
but against one of the great evils arising from the betting 
habit. On March 3, 1902, he moved the Second Reading of 
the " Prevention of Cruelty to Wild Animals " Bill. The 
text of this Bill, and of a Memorandum printed with it" are 
as follows : 


This Bill aims at the abolition of certain spurious kinds of 
sport, and thus at the protection of those animals which, though 
nominally wild, are in fact kept in confinement and released for 
the immediate purpose of being hunted, coursed, or shot. 

The Bill does not apply to any form of sport which is concerned 
with wild animals in their natural condition of freedom, and does 
not in any way interfere with the hunting, coursing, or shooting of 
such animals. 

The Cruelty to Animals Acts, 1849 and 1854, excepting one 
section which relates to fighting and baiting, apply exclusively to 
domestic animals ; and the Act for the Protection of Wild Animals 
in Captivity, 1900, does not apply to the hunting or coursing of 
any animal unless it has been liberated in a mutilated or injured 
state, in order to facilitate its capture or destruction, so that at 
present the animals which this Bill is intended to protect enjoy no 
legal protection whatever from any kind of cruelty in sport. 

The present Bill is in fact nothing more than a much needed 
extension of the Wild Animals in Captivity Protection Act, 1900, 
which passed through both Houses of Parliament unopposed. 


Be it enacted by the King s most Excellent Majesty, by and 
with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, 
and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the 
authority of the same, as follows : 

i. (i) The word " animal " in this Act means any beast or 
bird that is not included in the Cruelty to Animals Acts, 1849 and 


(2) Any person who either 

(a) takes part or assists in the hunting, coursing, or shooting 
of any animal, which has to his knowledge been kept in 
confinement, and is released for the purpose of such hunt 
ing, coursing, or shooting ; or 

(b) keeps or uses, or assists in the management of any place 
for the purpose of such hunting, coursing, or shooting, or 
permits any place to be so used, 

shall be liable, on conviction in manner provided by the Summary 
Jurisdiction Acts, to a penalty not exceeding twenty pounds for 
each day on which he commits such offence, and, in default of 
payment, to imprisonment, with or without hard labour, for a 
period not exceeding three months. 

(3) Any person who receives money for the admission of any 
other person to any place kept or used for the purpose aforesaid 
shall be deemed to be the keeper of that place. 

(4) This Act shall not apply to the hunting, coursing, or shoot 
ing of any animal which has been released two months before the 
day when such hunting, coursing, or shooting takes place. 

2. This Act may be cited as the Prevention of Cruelty to 
Wild Animals Act. 

The House of Lords was plainly unfriendly to the measure 
and the Bishop withdrew it, " to await a more suitable 
opportunity." In the following year a similar Bill was 
introduced into the House of Commons, and Percival wrote 
to The Times giving instances of the cruelty, such as he had 
mentioned when speaking in the House of Lords, which it 
was hoped to prevent : 


To the Editor of " The Times " 

SIR I venture to ask your sympathy and support in aid of 
a Bill which is down for Second Reading in the House of Commons 
on Tuesday next, introduced by Mr. Corrie Grant the Bill to 
prevent cruelty to wild animals let out of captivity for the 
purposes of sport. 

This Bill, it is widely felt, has a strong claim to pass both 
Houses of Parliament as an uncontroversial and unopposed 
measure, and I trust the Prime Minister may throw his influence 
in favour of it, as being a Bill of this character. It appeals to 
every man who is opposed to needless cruelty to animals, with its 


degrading and hardening effects upon those who inflict the cruelty 
or witness it. It appeals also to every genuine sportsman. 

My reason for thus trespassing on your kind indulgence to say 
a word in its favour is that when I introduced a similar Bill into 
the House of Lords last year it was brought home to me that 
many members of Parliament do not at all adequately realise the 
extent to which the low and vulgar and cruel forms of sport which 
it would stop are exercising a very debasing and bad influence 
among various classes of the community. 

As the law now stands it is penal to maltreat a wild animal in 
captivity. This Bill simply extends that law so as to make it 
equally penal to do the same wild animal to death when let out 
of its trap or box or bag or hamper for the purposes of sport. It 
is at his peril that the hurdy-gurdy man ill-treats his monkey, or 
the circus manager his performing wild animals ; but gently 
nurtured men and women may with impunity join in and rejoice 
over the shooting of the dazed pigeon, let out of a trap for the 
purpose, or they may still hunt the half-tame carted stag to its 
miserable death ; and working men and boys may still gather in 
scores or thousands to see the helpless rabbits dragged from their 
hamper, shaken in front of the dogs, and then torn in pieces, while 
they yell around them in wild excitement over their bets. 

You, Sir, I feel sure, will agree with me when I say that if 
any member of Parliament professes that he is opposed to cruelty 
to animals, and yet refuses on this occasion to support this Bill, 
he incurs some risk of being counted a political Pharisee. 

To show the need of this legislation, concrete instances being 
more convincing than any general appeal, I give the following 
things which this Bill, if enacted, will stop, and it will, I think, be 
generally felt that they should be stopped in a civilised community : 

(i) The Brighton Standard and Fashionable Visitors List on 
February 21 last described what the writer called the wretched 
fate of one of the deer kept for the edification of those who hunt 
with the Surrey Staghounds. 

The weather was gloriously fine ; a great crowd of people went 
out from Brighton to see the start ; the doors of the deer cart were 
flung open, and the deer, named Lady Gertrude, dashed out and 
sped away at a tremendous pace. Later on in the hunt, she was 
seen with hounds and horses still in hot pursuit, her tongue lolling 
out, her head hanging as if her neck were broken, faint but still 
fleeing, and finally she rushed into the sea, where a strong current 
carried her away, and her body was washed ashore at Worthing 
next morning. She had fulfilled her destiny, as with her bursting 
heart she gave a day s amusement to those ladies and gentlemen 
of the Surrey Staghounds. 


A still worse mockery of genuine sport is described in the same 
Brighton newspaper on March 5. 

Things of this type degrade both English sport and the men 
and women who get their pleasure out of them. Such persons 
might enjoy sport as good with an unseared conscience if they 
would content themselves with a drag-hunt. 

(2) About a year ago an eye-witness described to me what he 
had seen at Tottenham Marsh on a Sunday morning not, I fear, 
an altogether uncommon Sunday morning sight either there or in 
some other places. 

About 10 o clock several hundred people, chiefly young work 
men, assembled with a large number of dogs. The rabbits, about 
fifty in number, were brought on the ground in bags in a cart, 
taken in turn from the bags, held in front of the dogs, and let go 
at a given distance, and their squealing as they were caught and 
torn in pieces was pitiable to hear. This pastime lasts from 
10.30 to i, when the public-houses are opened and quickly filled 
by these Sunday sportsmen. 

(3) In the South Wales Daily News, March 3, 1902, the follow 
ing revolting incidents are recorded : 

A large crowd assembled at Caerphilly on Saturday and there 
were fifty-four dogs in the field. The rabbits were taken, as 
usual, from a hamper, in which they had been packed for hours, 
carried through the crowd, shaken roughly, then dropped about 
eighty yards away, and soon overtaken by the dogs and torn limb 
from limb in the presence of the yelling mob of spectators. Many 
dogs were matched against each other and half-a-dozen starting 
places were used simultaneously, so that the scenes of brutality 
on the ground may be more easily imagined than described. In 
the chief match one dog finally won by killing eleven rabbits 
against seven killed by its rival. In some cases rabbits which 
had honestly escaped in the race were stopped by the crowd of 
onlookers and brought back to be torn in pieces by the dogs. 

Another sickening scene was enacted at Morriston, where 3000 
people witnessed a rabbit-coursing match for a stake of 50, on a 
Saturday afternoon. The conditions were to kill the greater 
number of twenty-one rabbits, the result in this case being that 
one of the two dogs died on the field from exhaustion and the 
other collapsed and died in the evening. The report adds (and 
little wonder) that great indignation is expressed in the district 
at the holding of these barbarous contests. Is it too much to say 
that, if the members of the House of Commons refuse to stop 
them, they will deserve to come under the same condemnation ? 

Examples of this kind of spectacle could, if necessary, be 
multiplied from many parts of England, north and south alike. 


Will Parliament leave this brutalising influence to go on doing 
its demoralising work unchecked, while every one who really cares 
for English manliness and self-respect and our good name for 
humanity, is waiting, not without some shame, to see these low 
amusements blotted out of our English life ? 

This Bill, if passed, will blot them out, while it will in no way 
interfere with any genuine or manly sport ; and the responsibility 
of the matter at the present moment rests in fact with the Govern 
ment and their followers in the House of Commons. If they 
support Mr. Corrie Grant the thing will be done, and I have good 
hope that we shall not appeal to them in vain for the requisite 
assistance. Your obedient servant, 



On July n, 1912, Percival moved in the House of Lords 
the Second Reading of a Bill to restrict Gambling Adver 
tisements. The important provisions of this Bill were as 
follows : 

1. Whosoever shall print, publish, sell, circulate, or publicly 
exhibit any newspaper, circular, coupon, or document whatso 
ever, (i) which contains any advertisement or notification by 
or on behalf of any person, club or association as to betting on 
any event ; or (2) which contains any announcement of betting 
odds, or starting prices or other advice, or inducement to bet 
on such event ; or (3) which advertises or describes any com 
petition or lottery offering monies or valuable things or considera 
tions as prizes, rewards or benefits, unless the competition be for 
a reward presented gratuitously by some individual or educational, 
artistic, or literary, or scientific body for an essay or other useful 
work and the prize or reward does not exceed five pounds in 
value, or such larger amount as may have been authorised by 
the Home Secretary or the President of the Board of Trade, shall 
be guilty of misdemeanour. 

2. Whosoever shall cause or attempt to cause any advertise 
ment or notification mentioned in this Act to be inserted or 
published in a newspaper shall be guilty of misdemeanour. 

3. Whosoever shall be guilty of misdemeanour under this 
Act shall be liable at the discretion of the Court as follows, viz., 
in the case of a first offence to a fine not exceeding 100 or 
alternatively or in default of such fine or in addition thereto to 
imprisonment for any term not exceeding one year with or with 
out hard labour, and in the case of a second or subsequent offence 


to a fine not exceeding 250 or alternatively or in default of such 
fine or in addition thereto to imprisonment for any term not 
exceeding two years with or without hard labour. 

4. It shall be the duty of the Post Master General in cases 
where he is satisfied that there is reasonable ground to believe 
any person or persons to be engaged in receiving money or 
valuable thing in connection with any such coupon or other 
competitions as are prohibited in the first section of this Act or 
in connection with betting or unauthorised lottery transactions, 
or to be issuing advertisements in the form of circulars or other 
wise containing betting lists or any inducements to other persons 
to bet with them or gamble with them, or to deal in Foreign 
premium bonds, to direct that any delivery of such postal articles 
as are, or are reasonably suspected of being connected with betting 
or lottery transactions other than re-delivery to the senders, shall 
be denied, and to refuse any issue of orders for money to such 
person or persons, and any facilities of the telegraph and telephone 

This Bill also had to be withdrawn, for there was plainly 
no hope of adequate support. Later in the same year 
Percival spoke in favour of a less far-reaching measure 
introduced by Lord Newton. His efforts in the field of 
legislation had not been crowned with success ; he had hardly 
expected that they would be. What he chiefly desired he 
achieved ; he effectively brought the evils connected with 
the abuse of sport to the attention of the public. 

On two occasions Percival intervened in fiscal contro 
versies. Free Trade was to him something more than a 
matter of political or economic expediency ; it was a moral 
principle. In January 1904 he created exceedingly bitter 
feeling against himself by the publication of a letter written 
in support of a Free Trade candidate during an election : 

DEAR SIR When you asked me for some expression of opinion 
in support of the Free Trade candidate at the time of the Ludlow 
election contest I felt obliged to reply that I could not intervene. 
It was not, however, from any lack of sympathy that I declined, 
or because I had any doubt in my mind as to the duty of every 
disinterested and patriotic citizen at the present crisis in our 
national affairs. 

On the contrary, my earnest desire and hope is that our 
country may be saved from all the mischief and misfortune that 


threaten it through this raging, tearing Protectionist propaganda, 
manufactured in Birmingham. 

What weighs on my mind as I follow the controversy is the 
thought of the serious moral issues involved in it, the harder 
conditions of life which it will lay as a fresh burden on our poorer 
classes, thus making their moral and spiritual progress more 
difficult, the corruption of politics, the baneful domination of 
capitalist trusts, vested interests, and monopolies, and so forth. 
It is not seriously disputed that, should this propaganda succeed, 
these things will be prominent among the consequences of that 
success ; and yet benevolent and well-meaning people on all sides 
seem to disregard them, as if they were of little or no account. 

Those who have been so suddenly converted or captured by 
Mr. Chamberlain are no doubt in many cases influenced by 
motives of self-interest. They expect their own trade or industry 
to profit by the new conditions ; they expect to make gain out 
of the system of tariffs, preferences, and retaliation ; they do 
not think of the consequences to all the poorer people around 
them ; their trade is their policy ; they are traders first and 
citizens or patriots afterwards. But putting aside this class, so 
largely represented on his amazing Commission, a great many 
disinterested and well-meaning persons seem to be following him 
blindly, without thought, and with a light heart, forgetting what 
a will-o -the-wisp he has proved himself to be in his erratic career. 
They do this, being too young to remember the miseries caused 
by Protection, and unversed in the principles of economics, and 
consequently liable to be easily misled by specious promises and 
by plausible sophistries and that they are being so misled I 
feel convinced. 

I shall, of course, be told that I am no expert, but I have been 
a careful student of such writers as Mill and Bastiat, and I see no 
reason to doubt that the economic doctrine, the doctrine on which 
the continued prosperity of the masses of our people depends, 
is being preached amongst us to-day, not by the Birmingham 
tract manufacturers, but by such men as Professor Marshall at 
Cambridge, and Mr. Edwin Cannan at Oxford (to name only those 
whom I know intimately), and among experienced statesmen by 
such a leader as Lord Goschen, whose high authority in all fiscal 
matters no man will venture to dispute, and whose description 
of the present agitation as " a gamble with the food of the 
people " will, I trust, be carefully remembered and taken to 
heart throughout the whole of this controversy by every one 
who cares for the well-being of our poorer classes. It is a descrip 
tion for which every poor man, woman, and child in the country 
has reason to be grateful. 


But though I feel so strongly the grave character of the danger 
into which the country is being enticed, I could not interfere at 
Ludlow for two reasons. 

In the first place, as I am a member of the House of Lords, 
I might have been blamed for something like a breach of privilege ; 
but, besides this, I feel it to be my duty to abstain, as far as 
possible, from taking any personal part in the local contests of 
my diocese. 

As Bishop, my relationships are with all my fellow Churchmen, 
and not with one political party among them, and I think I am 
right in believing that they are friendly and happy relationships, 
and I wish them to continue undisturbed. 

Consequently, at any time of local conflict, when feeling, or it 
may be passion, is liable to be in the ascendant, and anything I 
might say, however reasonable and right in itself, would probably 
be misunderstood or misrepresented, I feel it is better to stand 
aside for the moment. 

Now, however, that the Ludlow contest is over and done with, 
and in the calm atmosphere of a Bank Holiday (the fiscal Sabbath), 
there can be no sort of reason why I should not express to you 
my convictions and my fears on what is undoubtedly a matter 
of very grave national concern. Indeed, convinced as I am that 
our country is threatened with grave and serious moral danger, 
I should be blameworthy if I simply acquiesced and said nothing. 
Moreover, it has, as you know, been recognised from the days of 
Solon onwards that to shrink from taking a citizen s part in any 
moment of national crisis is to be unworthy of the status of a 
citizen. So that I need make no apology. 

Moreover, I have some special justification for giving expres 
sion to my thoughts and feelings on this occasion, seeing how the 
Ludlow portion of my diocese has been flooded by an invasion 
of political bagmen from Birmingham with their heterodox and 
misleading speeches and tracts, perverting our simple folk, both 
clerical and lay, with fictions and pledges that are hardly worth 
the paper on which they are printed, or the breath that uttered 

" In Tiberim defluxit Orontes " and, as I am bound by my 
calling to be in a special sense the shepherd and friend of the poor, 
that is to say, of the labouring man, the working woman, and the 
poor child, I feel that I should not be justified in ignoring the 
mischief done to all of these by such an invasion, or in taking it 
lying down, if I may be allowed to borrow the chaste language 
of the Birmingham school. 

Every Bishop has solemnly promised to be merciful for 
Christ s sake to poor and needy people ; but this Birmingham 


Gospel is all in the interest of the rich, and is without mercy for 
the poor and needy. Therefore, as I understand the matter, 
it is my bounden duty to oppose it. 

In whatever specious garb it may be dangled before men s 
eyes, it is in fact one of those erroneous and strange doctrines, 
based on selfish interest, appealing to low motives, and fostering 
feelings of antagonism, jealousy, hatred, and bitterness, which are 
directly contrary to the spirit of God s word. Consequently 
every minister of Christ is bound to do his part in banishing and 
driving it away. 

The doctrines of the retaliatory and Protectionist tariff- 
monger, making food dearer, clothing dearer, and almost every 
necessary of life dearer, will sink the poor into deeper poverty ; 
they will make it more difficult for every labourer to bring up his 
children in a decent home, or to keep them in good health with 
sufficient food and warm clothing ; and they will grind down 
every poor working woman to a still harder lot. And we have 
to remember that the poor, who will be thus affected and their 
name is legion cannot suffer in this way without losing mental 
and moral as well as physical vigour. In other words, this 
Protectionist policy will depress and degrade the poorest and the 
weakest of our people, and will make the work of the social 
reformer, the philanthropist, and the minister of Christ, harder 
than before. 

How, then, can any man who has been solemnly called upon 
to answer the question, " Will you be merciful for Christ s sake 
to poor and needy people ? " give any support to such doctrines ? 

Every labouring man who may be induced or persuaded to 
give his vote for any advocate of these Chamberlainite proposals 
can, it is to be feared, only be said to be a fool for his pains ; and, 
if it were respectful to those well-intentioned but misguided 
ladies of limited means who go about as Primrose Dames on 
behalf of Protectionist politicians, one would be tempted to say 
of them that they are no wiser than such a labourer, seeing that 
every vote given for a Protectionist or a retaliator is a vote to the 
detriment not only of the poor, and of the needy, and of the weak 
amongst us, but of every person who has to live on a fixed income. 

This Protectionist propaganda what does it represent when 
stripped of its misleading rhetoric and sophistry ? And, if 
successful, what will it foster and strengthen amongst us as 
distinct from our present system of Free Trade ? 

It represents and will foster those elements in our materialistic 
civilisation which are pre-eminently unchristian, or, it might 
even be said, anti-Christian. 

It appeals to the lower and baser motives, and will be the 


nurse of antagonisms, jealousies, rivalries, vested interests, 
industrial monopolies, selfish warfare in trade and industry, both 
as regards our relationships with one another here at home, and 
with our Colonies, and with foreign countries. 

It will corrupt and debase our public life by the cabals, 
intrigues, and lobbying which are found to be inseparable 
from such a system of preferences, retaliation, and protective 

It will go far to hand over our industries and our commerce 
to the baneful influence of trusts, combinations, monopolies, and 
corners, engineered by unscrupulous capitalists and speculators 
working in secret places. 

Hitherto the Free Trade system of England with its vast 
ramifications and far-reaching, expansive activities, and its open 
door for free and healthy competition from every quarter, has 
proved the great obstacle or bulwark in the way of these specu 
lators in corners and trusts, who, caring apparently for nothing 
but their own selfish gains, have no bowels of mercy for the 
suffering poor. And the blind and credulous followers of Mr. 
Chamberlain are actually proposing to sweep away this bulwark, 
so that the whole world, civilised and uncivilised alike, may 
become an easier prey to the tyranny of these unscrupulous 
capitalist speculators. 

It is sad to see so many well-meaning and benevolent persons 
allowing themselves to be made the tools of a policy so fraught 
with mischief ; for it is acknowledged that the effect of such 
combinations, which are sometimes quite inhuman in their 
cruelty, is to make rich men richer, and some few enormously 
rich, but to do this by making consumers pay unnaturally high 
prices, and making the poor man still poorer, and bringing untold 
privation and suffering on the poorest of all, especially on the 
women and children. 

As regards our Ludlow election the rumour reaches me that 
many of our clergy supported the Protectionist candidate. I am 
very sorry to hear this, but I indulge the hope that it may be 
incorrect ; for of this I feel assured, that every bishop or priest 
or other minister of the Gospel who may be led to give any 
countenance or support to any Protectionist candidate for 
Parliament will fall into the very serious error of aiding the rich 
at the expense of the poor, and the strong at the expense of the 

I have referred above to my own duty as a Bishop, but all 
ministers of Christ are by their office called to be the special 
guardians of the weak, the poor, and the needy ; and the ex 
perience of Protectionist countries has invariably shown that, 


whoever else may gain by protective tariffs and industrial or 
commercial warfare or retaliation, the poorer classes have invari 
ably suffered thereby. 

For my own part I look upon this retrograde agitation with 
the hard-hearted policy of preferences, combinations, trusts, and 
corners, which it specially subserves, as the newest form of that 
oppression of the poorer and weaker classes which every minister 
of the Gospel is bound to oppose, if he truly understands his 
vocation and responsibility. 

Should our good clergy to any great extent take the side of 
these agitators, then I can only say that once more " blindness 
in part is happened to Israel," and whenever this has so happened 
in the past it has been with lamentable results. Most earnestly, 
therefore, would I beg all our clergy to think many times before 
they allow themselves to be persuaded either by appeals to 
party allegiance or by any other influence to give support to 
this dangerous agitation. 

This letter has run to such a length that I must not weary you 
with many more words, though there is much that needs saying 
on the highly objectionable and even immoral methods adopted 
by the advocates of this mean propaganda. 

All this, however, I must be content to leave alone, hoping 
that more influential voices may make it plain to every one who 
is sensitive for the good name of his country that these methods 
are tending seriously to debase the moral currency of our public 

One word in conclusion. The first article in the November 
number of the Independent Review is a masterly exposition of the 
moral issues involved in this controversy. The writer of that 
article deserves our gratitude. His words are golden words. 
They should be studied by every minister of the Gospel before 
he gives any support to Mr, Chamberlain or any of his followers, 
and indeed by every one who cares for the morals of our national 
life. I should like to see them scattered broadcast in every 
constituency of the land, as the good seed of sound doctrine, to 
take root and grow and bear fruit after their kind, for both the 
material and the moral welfare of the nation. Believe me, yours 


It causes no astonishment to find that such a deliverance 
created a genuine furore in Herefordshire. The local news 
papers were filled with angry correspondence. There was 
much talk of organising formal protests. At no time, in all 


probability, was the Bishop so unpopular as he became in 
consequence of this letter, following as it did upon his 
attitude during the Boer War and his attacks upon the use 
of Chinese labour in South Africa. 1 

It was zeal for social reform that led him once again to 
take part in a fiscal controversy and to intervene in the 
debate on the Second Reading in the House of Lords of 
Mr. Lloyd George s Finance Bill of 1909. For the Lords to 
reject the Budget was, in his judgment, to invite revolution. 
His speech concluded with these words : 

In this House we are too apt to forget the people of England 
outside, but can any of us really imagine that the people of 
England will forget that they are so degenerate as to forget 
the great historical struggles for their fundamental liberties, and 
above all for the liberty and the power of the purse which cost 
so much and which we have long held so dear ? Can you imagine 
that these people at the present time are at all likely to forget, 
or are in any degree likely to surrender, these fundamental 
liberties under the thin disguise, the very thin disguise, of such 
a phrase as this Amendment ? 

No, my Lords, you may send this Budget to the country ; 
but, living among the people, having grown up among the people 
and come out from among them, I have some knowledge of their 
fundamental feelings and ideas ; and my belief is that the answer 
will come back to your Lordships in very plain English, and I fear 
it may come in some form which you may regret. The answer 
will come, I think, something like this 

" Never again, never again, in this country shall the funda 
mental liberties of the people be endangered by any privileged 

It is not the answer I fear, when I regard with something like 
dread your Lordships action, or proposed action ; it is not the 
answer that I fear so much as the storm and the tumult and the 
class antagonisms and the strife and the bitterness for which you 
are making yourselves responsible to-day. 

The Bishop felt that he had not been well treated by the 
Government in connection with his support of their most 
important measure : 

1 See pp. 251, 253. 


To the Rev. R. Surges Bayly 

November 28, 1909. 

DEAR MR. BAYLY My grateful thanks for your kind letter. 
I think you know that your kind approval of anything I try to 
say or do is one of the things I specially prize. My little speech 
was made under some difficulties. The Government Whip would 
not give me any time but the hour of empty benches immediately 
after adjournment for dinner, and was very particular that I 
should not occupy more than 10 to 15 minutes even of that 
dismal time. In their darker days they thought me of more 
value. With all best wishes, yours very sincerely, 


Percival s attitude towards the Labour Party was partly 
sympathetic and partly critical. He approved of their aims, 
but was often in opposition to their methods. " What," he 
once asked, " would your reply be if I put a pistol to your 
head and said, Be my brother or I shoot you ? " But he 
realised to the full how deeply opposed to Christian principles 
is the economic organisation of life which was growing up all 
through the eighteenth century and became finally estab 
lished by the industrial revolution. Perhaps he under 
estimated the potency of national institutions in forming 
character by their unceasing suggestion of the aims of life, 
and went too far in his disbelief in political action as a means 
to moral reform. But in the main, he was indisputably right 
in wishing the spirit of fellowship to come first and to create 
for itself the institutions which would be its instruments. 1 

With regard to industrial questions, he was a strong 
advocate of arbitration, as appears from the following para 
graphs in a letter to The Times written during a Welsh Coal 
Strike : 

Plain folk, invited to use their common sense, look at the 
matter somewhat in this way. 

The public welfare, they say, requires that in a civilised 
country two great federated bodies should not be at liberty to 
carry on their private warfare to the detriment of the nation. 

1 See his sermon to the Plymouth Co-operative Congress referred to 
on p. 82. 


When either employers or workmen claim this liberty they 
are claiming the right to destroy the results of progress slowly 
and painfully won, and to carry us back to the semi-barbaric 
condition of the Middle Ages, to a state of things hardly less 
mischievous and intolerable than was the private warfare of the 
feudal period. 

These recurring disputes, with all their disastrous and miser 
able consequences, bring it home to us that they ought to be 
made impossible. 

If the electors throughout the country do their duty as 
Christian citizens they will make it known to their representatives 
in Parliament that, in their judgment, the time has come when 
these great combinations of persons united for private gain must 
be told authoritatively that combination to strike or to lock-out 
is henceforth illegal, and that if the parties to a quarrel cannot 
agree they must have recourse to a regularly constituted arbitra 
tion court. 

This, I venture to think, is the conclusion to which the great 
majority of the British people have come with regard to these 
unhappy and ruinous contests, and it only remains for them to 
insist on their representatives in the House of Commons giving 
effect to their views, or else giving place at the next election to 
those who are prepared to do this good work. 

No reasonable man doubts that a Court consisting of three 
of our English Judges could have been trusted absolutely to give 
a righteous and equitable judgment on every one of the points at 
issue in this engineering dispute, and that this warfare, with all 
its waste, its misery, and its bitterness, might have been avoided. 

Surely, then, it is the duty of the Legislature to see that this 
process must be resorted to in all such controversies if the method 
of conciliation has failed, as the welfare of the whole community 
requires it. 

In conclusion, I would commend to your readers some words 
of an American writer which sum up the common-sense view of 
this matter : 

" The public have rights as well as the contestants, and when 
a labour war inflicts a great disaster on the community the 
community has a right to interfere, put a stop to the war, and 
compel the contestants to abide by its decision. 

" Conciliation, the recognition by employers and employed 
that they are partners in a common enterprise ; arbitration, the 
adjustment of all questions of self-interest that cannot be adjusted 
through conciliation, by reference to a mutually chosen tribunal ; 
and the intervention of law where public rights are infringed 
upon by controversy between labour and capitalist this seems 


to me to be the application of Christ s method for the solution 
of labour war until we come to the full recognition of the fact 
that the working man and capitalist are partners in a common 
enterprise, and the very motive of war ceases to exist." Your 
obedient servant, 


With these questions of social reform and economic policy 
must be classed, as a matter of domestic politics, both his 
life-long concern for education l and the long struggle over 
Welsh Disestablishment. In relation to the latter Percival 
had entered the lists while still at Rugby, and his views on 
this subject had been among the reasons leading Lord Rose- 
bery to think of him as a suitable candidate for the Bishopric 
of Hereford. 2 He had spoken on the question at the first 
meeting of Convocation that he attended, advocating the 
acceptance of Disestablishment and a scheme of concurrent 
endowment. 3 In November 1911, he recapitulated his argu 
ment in a letter to The Times : 

The clouds of dust raised by the combatants in the Welsh 
Church controversy seem to be obscuring the requirements of 
justice and common sense, and I would ask your readers to 
bear in mind certain fundamental considerations which are too 
frequently overlooked. 

As regards Disestablishment, hardly any one will now main 
tain that establishment can be justly upheld and continued 
against the general sentiment of the people immediately con 
cerned. And no responsible person will deny that the general 
sentiment of Wales is opposed to establishment. For many 
years, and through one Parliament after another, the repre 
sentatives of the Welsh people have persistently demanded the 
Disestablishment of the Church with an almost unanimous voice. 
So far as they are concerned it is a settled question. 

The subject of Disendowment is somewhat more complex. 
It should, however, be borne in mind that the Bill for which we 
are waiting will, like its predecessors, deal only with ancient 

These are held by the Church as a national trust given for the 
spiritual benefit of the whole community in each parish or district. 

But circumstances are so changed that they are now mono- 

1 See Chaps. VII. and XI. * See p. 130. 3 See pp. 137, 138. 


polised by a comparatively small minority, and it is consequently 
the duty of Parliament to see that they are equitably distributed, 
so as once more to serve the spiritual uses of the whole com 
munity. Equal justice would seem to require that this should 
be done. 

We may regret the cases of individual hardship involved in 
the redistribution. These should be met as far as possible by 
the State, and by individual Churchmen, in a generous and help 
ful spirit ; but the outcry raised as to spoliation and robbery 
and the iniquity of such proceedings is as unreasonable as it is 
mischievous. It may, however, fairly be claimed that, as the 
endowments were clearly given for spiritual purposes, they should 
not be secularised, but should be retained for spiritual uses ; and 
the difficulties in the way of such retention, though no doubt 
considerable, should not prove insuperable. 

For my own part, if no better scheme can be found I hope it 
might be considered both just and feasible to vest these endow 
ments in a Welsh Commission, with instructions to allocate the 
income year by year in due proportion to the recognised repre 
sentative authority of each religious denomination in each parish 
or district. The grant to be made only on application by this 
authority, and only for spiritual purposes ; and every authority 
receiving a grant to send to the Commission an annual report 
showing how the grant has been expended. 

Some such allocation would, I trust, commend itself to all 
reasonable people as a just and equitable settlement. 

His chief activities in connection with the matter were 
concerned with the border parishes which were in Wales 
politically and in the Province of Canterbury ecclesiastically. 
It was at his recommendation that Mr. W. G. C. Gladstone 
moved amendments dealing with these parishes. Mr. Glad 
stone also moved for the introduction of a commutation 
scheme. The Bishop supported both proposals. On Decem 
ber 31, 1912, he sent the following letter to The Times : 



To the Editor of " The Times " 

SIR With your permission I desire to express the hope, which 
I believe to be largely entertained, that the Government may 


give favourable consideration to two amendments of the Welsh 
Disestablishment Bill which, as I understand, Mr. William 
Gladstone intends to move in Committee. 

The first of these is the insertion in the Bill of what may be 
described as his grandfather s clause in the Irish Act for the 
commutation of existing interests. 

This clause secured great benefits to the Disestablished Church 
in Ireland, both by stimulating the public spirit and the generosity 
of Churchmen and by providing for the Church a large additional 
income from the interests commuted.. Similar benefits would 
accrue to the Welsh Church from the adoption of this amend 

The other is to the effect that border parishes wholly Welsh 
but now belonging to an English diocese should be excluded 
from the operation of the Bill, if the Welsh Commissioners after 
due inquiry are satisfied that it is the^ general wish of the 
parishioners to be so excluded ; and conversely that a border 
parish now situate in a Welsh diocese but not in Wales or Mon 
mouthshire should be included in the operation of the Bill if the 
parishioners so desire. 

I venture to submit that this is a reasonable plea on behalf 
of these border parishes, and that it is in complete accordance 
with the purpose of the Bill to bring ecclesiastical relationships 
into agreement with the general sentiment of the people immedi 
ately affected by it. 

My own experience of the circumstances of such parishes has 
led me to believe that in their case it would be reasonable to have 
regard to diocesan as well as county boundaries, and that the 
parishioners have an equitable claim to be allowed a voice in this 
decision. In my diocese I have about a dozen parishes which 
would be thus affected, and in most of them the parishioners 
would very strongly object to being transferred into a new diocese. 
They are not Welsh-speaking parishes, and so far as I know there 
are no Welsh services held in them ; they are in fact thoroughly 
Anglicised, and all their associations and traditions connect them 
immemorially with the diocese of Hereford. 

To avoid misunderstanding I desire to add in conclusion that 
in making this appeal I do so as a supporter of the Bill and not 
an opponent. My sole desire is to assist Mr. Gladstone in his 
endeavour to improve it by the addition of two valuable amend 

The main provisions of the Bill seem to me to be essentially 
fair and reasonable under all the circumstances ; and I do not 
see how Parliament can with justice any longer disregard the 
persistent demand of the Welsh people as a whole in a matter 


in which above all others they are the people primarily, if not 
exclusively, concerned. Your obedient servant, 


December 31, 1912. 

He was engaged at this time in frequent correspondence 
with Mr. McKenna, who told him that concurrent endow 
ment was impossible because the Nonconformists did not 
want and would not accept endowments from the State ; 
also that " commutation " had been omitted from the Bill 
on the ground that the resources of the Welsh Church were 
not sufficient to make it workable, and that additional 
facilities for the transfer of an incumbent from one benefice 
to another, and specially generous retirement terms, had 
been introduced in place of it. 

He was more in accord with his brother Bishops in his 
views on the question of Marriage with a Deceased Wife s 
Sister. On August 20, 1907, he opposed the Second Reading 
of the measure legalising such marriages in the House of 
Lords. He scouted the plea that this was a working man s 
question. So far as it was difficult for a working man to get 
his sister-in-law to live with him and bring up his children, 
it was because of housing conditions which ought on all 
grounds to be altered. But when the measure was passed 
he accepted it, and at his Diocesan Conference in the autumn 
of the same year he denounced the attempt to maintain an 
independent law for the Church as inconsistent with " the 
position and history of our Church as the Established Church 
of the Realm. . . . Under our constitution the Canons are 
binding upon us so long as they do not conflict .with any law 
of the Realm and no longer." He added a grave warning of 
the effects which were in his judgment bound to follow from 
an attempt to make the Canons of the Church paramount 
over the Law of the Realm. 


The chief question of Imperial politics with which 
Percival actively concerned himself was the Boer War and 
its consequences. He regarded the policy on the British 


side which led up to the war as mistaken and unjustifiable. 
In that sense he was a " pro-Boer. " But he neither expected 
nor desired that the Boers should be victorious. His desire 
was that they should quickly give way and save a great 
expenditure in lives and in money. His son, Arthur, was 
with the Army, and to him the Bishop wrote throughout the 
period with unfailing regularity : 

Jan. ig, 1900. 

Just now the interest at home has shifted to the Tugela, and 
people are very anxious for some good news. The daily telegrams 
of the last three months have made people almost hysterically 
nervous and gloomy. It surprises me to see people here in 
London so wanting in nerve. 

Jan. 26, 1900. 

The Bishop of Liverpool retires next month, so that I expect 
to take my seat in the House of Lords in March or April. This 
won t greatly affect the British Empire or your father either, but 
you may like to know about it. 

London, and indeed the country also, have been nervously 
anxious this week, but were relieved, I am glad to say, yesterday 
by the news that Spion Kop was taken by Warren. I must 
confess that I dislike this hysterical nervousness of the British 
public. It looks too much as if we were losing grit. Over every 
little victory we shout see what heroes we are, especially if we 
happen to be Life-guardsmen or Highlanders in kilts ; and at 
every check we are all in a tremor as if the Boers were going to 
eat us up. That is your jingo Briton at home. In camp, thank 
God, you are of different stuff. 

Feb. i, 1900. 

We got our first bit of real pleasure out of this war when we 
read Lord Methuen s despatch in The Times last Saturday, with 
its commendation of you for what you did at the Modder River. 1 
I am truly glad and thankful that you got your chance of winning 
some distinction and made such good use of it. It has made me 
feel some years younger. 

People here have been very gloomy at home again this week, 
and it is indeed sad that so many brave lives should have been 
sacrificed on Spion Kop ; but the tide must turn soon, and we 

1 Arthur Percival was awarded the D.S.O. for his services in the battle. 


are looking for Lord Roberts to develop some new plan of cam 
paign. Parliament has just opened, and there will now be no end 
of talk. The Government don t show much spirit or high- 
mindedness ; but the thing is practically out of their hands now, 
and the Generals, backed by the whole nation, must carry the 
business through. 

March 16, 1900. 

Assuming that you are in Colvile s Division, we have been 
thinking of you as in Bloemf ontein the last day or two ; and it is 
rather odd to think of the occupation of a " capital city " very 
little bigger than the town of Ludlow. The inhabitants of the 
City of Hereford, as a rule, don t realise this or they would feel 
very proud of themselves. I am hoping that your next letter to 
arrive may tell us what your movements were to be when the 
start was made from the Modder. The bombarding of Cronje 
must have been an awful sort of business, and I am afraid there 
will be more horrors before the war is over. 

Personally I wish very earnestly that the Government would 
pluck up spirit to make up their minds and say publicly what 
their terms of settlement are to be. My belief is that, if they 
would do this, and say they must be accepted in Pretoria, it 
would help matters to a successful issue. If they hold them back 
it is feared that the Boers will turn desperate and fight to the 
bitter end ; and history shows that a war in which men are 
fighting desperately and hopelessly for independence becomes 
fearfully savage. However, we can only sit helpless and hope 
for a speedy end to the fighting. 

March 23, 1900. 

It looks as if this war is going to saddle the country with a 
very big army. We are rejoicing tremendously over the wave of 
colonial loyalty, which is expected to do such great things for the 
Empire. My own private hope is that the colonies may be willing 
to bear their due share of the expenses of Empire ; but will they ? 
At present we English taxpayers seem to be paying every colonial 
trooper about three times the rate of pay received by one of your 
men, an arrangement which may do for the moment, but won t 
wear well. 

May 12, 1900. 

I took my seat in the House of Lords on Thursday, and the 
sight would have amused you. All the boys and Bessie, and Mary 
and her sister were there to see ; and for the rest the house was 


nearly empty. There was the Lord Chancellor sitting bewigged 
on the Woolsack like some wise and ancient bird ; and three 
Bishops in their robes come up the House and make profound 
bows three times ; and then they go up to the new Bishop s seat 
and sit down, put on their caps and get up, take them off and bow 
three times more. I take the oath of allegiance to the Queen, 
sign the Roll of Peers, and it is all over. 

You seem to be all on the move again, and people are beginning 
to talk about a Boer collapse. I only hope they may be true 
prophets ; but many people at home don t seem to understand 
that they are a fighting race like ourselves. 

June 8, 1900. 

One of the questions exercising people s minds is when the 
Government will dissolve Parliament, so as to secure their 
majority for another six years. They will no doubt do it before 
the khaki fever subsides and the reaction sets in. 

Sept. 27, 1900. 

Here I am, writing on my birthday sixty-six to-day and 
doing my best to get myself boiled young again. 

In England we are in the midst of an election, and I am glad 
to be able to read all about it at a distance. ... I suppose the 
Government will come in again with a big majority in spite of 
the mess they have made of so many things ; and I am sorry to 
think of the further mischief that Chamberlain may do in another 
five years if they are in. 

October 26, 1900. 

Why our statesmen were such fools as not to offer publicly 
some reasonable terms instead of their stupid talk about un 
conditional surrender, when they occupied Bloemfontein and 
Pretoria, I cannot understand. Anyhow the conviction is 
spreading that it is going to be a very long and very dismal 
business, and I shall be very thankful if this conviction is soon 
proved to be a mistaken one. 

December 14, 1900. 

Our newspapers, and even official telegrams, keep talking about 
" raiders " and " guerilla fighting," but it seems to me that the 
Boer generals have a regular concerted plan, and it looks as if 
they may give you a great deal of trouble yet ; while this Govern- 


ment of ours doesn t seem to formulate any clear and definite terms 
with a view to peace. The burning of farms and destruction of 
crops, and sending away of women and children into camps, are 
causing a good many searchings of heart at home. Many people 
don t believe in the method, and many think it barbarous, and 
all wonder what is to happen at the end of it ; but it s no use 
speculating ; and I keep hoping that they may give in soon. 

February i, 1901. 

The Queen s death and all the changes involved have occupied 
people s thoughts this week. I wish the new King would signalise 
the beginning of his reign by a public offer of some terms to the 
Boers ; but I fear conciliatory statesmanship is out of fashion at 
present. It is rumoured that the Government will have to ask 
for an additional 70,000,000 for this year. 

April 19, 1901. 

Last night Sir Michael Hicks-Beach produced his Budget a 
very gloomy document : deficit about 53,000,000. He puts 2d. 
more on Income Tax, a tax on sugar, and a duty on exported coal, 
thus adding about 11,000,000 to taxation, and he also asks for 
power to borrow 60,000,000. 

Whatever else this war may be it is at any rate a costly one ; 
and this Government will go down to posterity as having wasted 
more good English money than any Government of our time. 
There has also come a gloomy despatch from Milner, or rather it 
came two months ago but the Government kept it back for some 
reason. So the dreary business goes on, and the financial burden 
is likely to hamper the progress of the country for the next 
thirty years. 

Percival was called a pro-Boer, and, as has been said, in 
the sense in which the term was used (so far as it was justi 
fiably used) this was true ; that is to say, he distrusted the 
policy that had led to the war and believed that all claims 
could have been peaceably adjusted. He did not desire a 
Boer victory, but he was in opposition to the national policy 
which, in his judgment, was responsible for the war. Con 
sequently he was for a time a markedly unpopular figure. 
When peace was at length declared there was " mafficking " 
in Hereford as elsewhere. Some rowdies suggested the 
breaking of all pro-Boers windows, and a large amount of 
glass was smashed. Then some one suggested an attack on 


the Palace ; the proposal was eagerly taken up ; but the 
Bishop s coachman heard what was proposed and brought 
news in good time. The outer gates were closed and barred, 
and nothing more than a noisy hammering on stout wood 
could be achieved. The Bishop had already gone to bed, 
and only heard next morning of the attentions which some 
of his fellow- citizens had wished to pay him. But he was 
outspoken on this as on all subjects. It must have given 
him peculiar pleasure when, rather slyly, he selected as a 
topic for an address to the students of University College, 
Aberystwyth, on November i, 1900, the value and the 
achievements of small nationalities. It was not a frequent 
topic for eloquence in England while the British Empire was 
engaged in war against the Transvaal and the Orange Free 
State. But it could hardly be resented in Wales ! 

When peace was declared the Government had to face 
a very difficult situation. South Africa was largely im 
poverished ; the only way to restore prosperity was to 
develop industry ; but there was a shortage of labour. The 
Kaffirs had made large sums of money during the war and 
were in no mood to work until that money was used up. 
After much deliberation it was determined to introduce 
Chinese coolies into South Africa under a system of in 
dentured labour. To avoid further complicating the race 
problem of South Africa the Chinese were to be strictly 
confined to " compounds," and after a period they were to 
be repatriated. This raised many questions of fundamental 
principle. The Chinese were not to bring women with them, 
and there were grounds for anticipating moral evils of a 
serious kind. The whole system made the prosperity of 
South Africa depend on labour which was excluded from 
any participation in that prosperity. So far it was a revival 
of slavery, for it based civilisation on the labour of men to 
whom citizenship was denied. A vast controversy arose. 
Most people omitted to discuss whether the scheme was 
good or bad, and only argued about the appropriateness of 
using the term " slavery " as a description|of it. A poster 
which depicted Chinese coolies in chains caused a great out 
cry. The fact was that the men were not " slaves " as the 


word is usually understood, but neither were they free. The 
system had the chief political evil of " slavery," though it 
was without some of the ethical and economic evils of it. 
When Mr. Winston Churchill defended the use of the term 
" slavery," but admitted that it was a " terminological 
inexactitude," he was supposed to have given the case away ; 
but in fact he had described the situation with terminological 
exactness. The whole pother about " slavery " was a side- 
issue. The only question worth debating was : Is the 
system in the whole situation right or wrong, permissible 
or not permissible ? 

On that question Percival had no doubt. He was 
eloquent both in speech and with the pen in denunciation of 
the whole policy. The reports gave a gloomy picture of 
the moral condition of the compounds to which the Chinese 
were confined, and he laid great stress on this. But his main 
concern was for the political morality of this method of 
supplying labour. So, for instance, he declared in the House 
of Lords on March 21, 1904 : 

If you put it into plain English, I venture to think that this 
Ordinance means something like this that we say to the Chinese, 
" We will not have you in the Transvaal as men, but we will 
import you as animated implements, and, by and by, when we 
have done with you, we will export you again, dead or alive." 
And judging from what we have heard of the statistics, before 
the three years are over, a great many of the men who go to some 
of those mines will have to be exported in their coffins. I say 
that when you strip the Ordinance of all its outer declarations 
and take away the veil over it, it is nothing less than an iniquitous 
Ordinance. The spirit of it is altogether unchristian. 

Again on July 6, 1906, he supported the demand for the 
immediate repatriation of the Chinese 

... so that we may be able to say that whenever a man sets foot 
within the British Empire he is a free man. 

The advent of the Liberals to power under Sir Henry 
Campbell- Bannerman led to a complete change of policy, 
the abolition of Crown Colony Government, and the estab- 


lishment of the present constitution. In this epoch-making 
and, as history has proved, conspicuously successful policy, 
Percival gave the Prime Minister his constant support. He 
also became a trusted friend of General Botha. His influence 
was a real factor in promoting a settlement which at the 
time was variously regarded as reckless and as treasonable, 
but is now recognised as a crowning act of generous and far- 
sighted statesmanship, which by its liberality evoked a 
loyalty such as more cautious measures could never have 
called forth. 


In relation to Foreign Policy, Percival s activities were 
confined to the promotion of international peace and the 
advocacy of the cause of oppressed peoples. In the latter 
he was a constant champion. He sought to guide the minds 
of his Clifton pupils along what seemed to him the only 
Christian lines, and a sermon preached by him in the College 
Chapel on October 7, 1877, was published as a pamphlet under 
the title Political Sympathies Astray, and with the sub-title 
" Is Sympathy with Turkish Rule and Warfare natural to 
a Christian Englishman ? " How persistent in later years 
were his activities on behalf of oppressed peoples is clear 
from the following facts. In 1895 and 1896 he was active 
and clamorous on behalf of the Armenians. His efforts 
in the first of these two years drew a letter from Mr. Glad 
stone, dated Hawarden Castle, Chester, December 16, 1895, 
in which the two following sentences occur : " The case of 
Armenia is indeed terrible beyond words, and we are all 
sadly impotent. . . . Would God there were more utter 
ances like yours from the Episcopal Bench." In 1903 he 
was again stirred to the soul by the outrages in Macedonia. 
In 1904 he was eloquent on the mal-administration of the 
Congo Free State. The principles on which such efforts are 
based are inevitably unchanging, and one specimen of his 
utterances on these subjects will illustrate the tone of all. 
The following is a letter written with reference to the 
Macedonian atrocities in 1903 : 


In compliance with many appeals and on behalf of many 
persons, I venture to trouble you with these few words in the 
hope that we may receive your influential support of what we 

The published accounts of Macedonian horrors and miseries 
are so shocking that men are asking on every side, " How long 
will our Government remain silent and do nothing but look on in 
apparent acquiescence ? " So long ago as March 13 the Foreign 
Secretary was questioned in the House of Lords as to the atrocities 
which had then been committed, and an earnest appeal was 
addressed to him to bring to bear all the influence of our Govern 
ment to stop the continuance of such horrors ; but nevertheless 
throughout the intervening months matters have been allowed 
to go steadily from bad to worse, until we have before us the 
accounts of the last few days, so awful that we hesitate to believe 

On that occasion Lord Spencer said, very forcibly, " I think 
it right to impress upon the Government that the people of this 
country have a deep and strong feeling on this subject. They 
sympathise very deeply with the suffering populations under the 
rule of Turkey " ; and Lord Lansdowne in his reply professed a 
strong and obviously sincere desire to see effective reforms carried 
out. " We shall closely watch/ he said, " the operation of the 
Austro-Russian scheme of reforms. We have already given 
instructions that our consuls, who have throughout these events 
kept us fully supplied with information, are from time to time to 
report on the progress of these measures ; and I can assure the 
Right Rev. Prelate that, so far as our opportunities permit, 
we shall spare no pains to secure the execution of these re 
forms. ..." Thus he seemed to promise effective action. What 
has come of it ? After six months of weary waiting, and in the 
lurid light of the horrors recently reported, it is reasonable to ask 
what the noble Marquis has to say as to the effective fulfilment 
of this pledge. The people of England have, indeed, been far too 
patient in this matter. The younger generation of Englishmen 
have not realised how great is England s responsibility in regard to 
it. But for the action of our own representatives Macedonia would 
have been free from the miseries of Turkish misrule during the 
last quarter of a century, and there would have been none of these 
indescribable agonies to-day. What a responsibility was incurred 
with a light heart and in a cynical temper when this province was 
handed back to the tender mercies of the Turk ! 

Do the members of our Cabinet sufficiently recognise how this 
humiliating memory, as it becomes fully realised, is stirring men 
and women throughout the land to remorse and anger, and how in 


consequence they, as our representatives to-day, will never be for 
given if, after present events, they make no strong effort to secure 
such reparation as is still possible by insisting on autonomous 
government, adequately guaranteed, for this distressful people ? 

If, on the other hand, they brace themselves to the task and 
succeed in giving effect to the national feeling, their action, even 
at this late hour, will be very thankfully acknowledged. They 
have the universal sentiment of the people at their back. Let us 
hope they will act so as to satisfy it, and see that never again shall 
such things as are now doing be done in Christian Europe. " God 
looked for judgment, but behold oppression ; for righteousness, 
but behold a cry." 

Is this to be the last word ? We cannot believe it. But, if 
so, what a mockery it is for the Great Powers of Europe to call 
themselves Christian Powers ; and what a gilded hypocrisy is the 
coronation service of every Christian Emperor or King ! 

It is no exaggeration to say that the stain of an indelible 
personal discredit will rest upon every monarch and upon every 
statesman in Christian Europe who, from whatever motive, can 
be held to have been in any sense primarily responsible for the 
continuance of such atrocities as you have to report day by day. 

The cause of Peace was especially near to his heart, and 
became an ever- increasing concern to him, and here again 
his persistency is notable. In 1896 he read a paper to the 
Church Congress at Shrewsbury on International Relations 
in the Light of the Gospel. In 1899 he was the preacher at 
the English Church at the Hague on June n, while the Hague 
Conference was sitting, and delivered a sermon which was 
printed under the title The Peacemakers, or the Influence 
of Christian Principles on International Relationships. In 
1900 we find him presiding over the Annual Meeting of the 
International Arbitration and Peace Association. In 1904 
he travelled to America in the cause of Peace. 1 In 1905 he 
presided over the National Peace Congress at Bristol. In 
1908 he presided at the Annual Meeting of the Christian 
Conference on Peace in London. Very shortly before the 
war he went to Berlin with many Christian ministers of all 
denominations with a view to fostering better international 
relations. Soon afterwards, at the National Peace Congress 
in Cardiff, was read the following message from the Bishop. 

1 See Chap. VIII. 


It has a pathetic interest in the light of what was so shortly 
to happen. 

Fresh as I am from the visit of the ministers of religion to 
Germany, I feel more strongly than before that the cause of peace 
is making real progress in spite of all signs to the contrary. It is 
impossible to doubt the sincerity of the welcome with which we 
were everywhere received or of the desire for peaceful and friendly 
relations with England expressed by the Kaiser and his Chancellor, 
by the burgomasters and councillors of every city we visited, and 
by private citizens in every rank of life, and we were assured that 
the masses of the working men are solid for peace. Here, then, 
we have a great and growing people, the greatest on the Continent 
of Europe, like ourselves industrially and commercially, and of 
the same stock, equally with us, desirous of unbroken peace and 
friendship. Surely, under such circumstances, it is not too much 
to ask that the Governments of the two countries should make it 
their supreme duty by frank and direct personal indications to 
establish mutual confidence and goodwill. The statesman who 
may succeed in doing this and I hope it may be done will 
confer an inestimable boon on all the nations of Europe. 

Bishop Percival pursued his great ideals with perfect 
consistency. That the last years of one who laboured so 
long and so strenuously for peace should have been spent 
under the shadow of the great war was a sad destiny. But 
in that case he believed whole-heartedly in the justice of the 
cause his country had espoused, and none rejoiced more 
deeply than he in the victory of the allied arms over the 
aggression of despotic militarism. 

He was no " Pacifist," though he was a lover of Peace. 
He believed there was a place for the use of force in Christian 
statesmanship. On behalf of oppressed peoples he per 
petually urged the employment of force. But he would 
have it used, not for aggrandisement nor chiefly for self- 
defence, but for the protection of the oppressed. When he 
demanded armed intervention on behalf of Armenia or 
Macedonia and statesmen replied that it might cause a 
European conflagration, he was not impressed. His one 
concern was to be brave in succouring the weak ; the issue 
he was prepared to leave in the hands of God, whose bidding 
he sought to obey. 




No cause was dearer to Percival than the general develop 
ment of education and the offering of educational facilities 
to all who were shut out from the fullest opportunities of 
mental growth. In his early days, the education of women 
was a dangerous novelty ; the education of working men 
had not been dreamt of. When he went to Clifton in 1862 
even universal elementary education was still in the future 
by eight years. What now seem to be simple schemes were 
then audacious and revolutionary, and certainly those 
epithets would not be too strong for the view held by many 
sober citizens concerning the modest but excellent scheme 
described in the following words of Miss Alice Winkworth : 

In February 1868, Mr. and Mrs. Percival and ten other ladies 
and gentlemen formed a Committee to promote the Higher 
Education of Women. Mrs. Percival and Miss Brice were the 
Secretaries, but gave up the Secretaryship in 1870 to Miss 
Catherine Winkworth. The responsibility and labour of finding 
suitable lecturers and making all business arrangements fell to 
the Secretary, who was greatly helped in this by Mr. Percival, 
and they obtained the services of most distinguished men as 
lecturers, such as Mr. J. A. Symonds, Professors Nichol and Grant 
of Glasgow, Mr. F. W. H. Myers, Rev. M. Creighton (afterwards 
Bishop of London), Mr. Humphry Ward, Professor Bonamy 
Price, Rev. J. Franck Bright, Mr. T. Case, etc. 

In 1870, besides the Lectures, there were set on foot Classes on 
various subjects to aid women in preparing for the Higher 
Cambridge Examination. 

These Lectures and Classes were remarkably successful both 



in the numbers attending them and in the quality of the work 
done, and they may be said to have raised the whole intellectual 
tone of Clifton society. In 1876 Dr. Percival felt that the time 
had now come for Bristol to have a University College, where 
young men and women could carry on systematic study, and 
it was decided by the Higher Education Committee not to 
organise any independent classes, but to circulate the prospectus 
of the proposed College among their students. They also 
raised a Fund for Scholarships to be held by women at the 
College during the next two years, which were replaced by per 
manent scholarships raised as a memorial to Miss Winkworth on 
her death in 1878. Bristol was the first town in England to 
possess a University College open alike to men and women, and 
this it owes to Dr. Percival and the Committee for the Higher 
Education of Women. Miss Winkworth wrote, " Mr. Percival 
pushes us on and on with a steady pressure. Whenever I ve 
arranged one set of classes and feel I may rest on my oars, he 
smiles gently and says, Well, now then, Miss Winkworth, don t 
you think we may begin so and so ? This is somewhat 
descriptive of his methods with all with whom he came into 

In 1877 the Percivals and some of their friends felt the need 
of a High School for Girls in Clifton, and the idea was warmly 
taken up. The children of many of the best known families in 
Clifton were sent to it, and it was so successful that in a few years 
it was decided to start an offshoot in Redland, another suburb of 
Bristol. This soon grew into a most flourishing institution, of 
which Dr. Percival remained President. 

That misgivings were aroused by such proposals is 
evident from the following letter from the poet, Mr. Sydney 
Dobell : 

March 19. 

MY DEAR MR. PERCIVAL The passing handshake of last week 
allowed no time for what I have been wishing to say ever since 
our ride on the Down that any hesitation I had felt as to your 
project for " the Higher Education of Women " was removed 
by the talk we had up there. I confess that, at first sight, a 
clause in the programme you kindly sent me roused some anxiety 
in regard to your experiment ; because I believe heartily in the 
immortality of Manhood and Womanhood, and believe therefore 
that the effort of all human education should be to make us 
more profoundly and supremely Man and Woman ; but I think 


that your programme, supplemented by that running or, to 
speak quite exactly, that cantering commentary of yours, 
represents a cause for which the most sturdy Dissentient from 
Amazons, Blue-stockings, or however otherwise one may call 
hoc genus omne (it s a comfort to speak of them in the neuter), 
must go in with all his heart. My wife and Miss Jolly unite in 
cordial sympathy with Mrs. Percival and yourself, and pray let 
me say the same for yours right truly, 


As we are not residents here, and can hardly, therefore, hope 
to offer personal co-operation, perhaps you will allow me the 
pleasure of a small subscription towards the expenses of whatever 
mechanique may be necessary. 

Schemes of this type, however, admirable as they were, 
fell far short of what Percival saw to be required. There 
were in those days no provincial universities, except 
Durham; and Durham, being residential, shared in part 
both the advantages and the limitations of Oxford and 
Cambridge. Percival, considering the needs of Bristol, con 
ceived the idea of University Colleges. 

In September 1872 he wrote a pamphlet consisting of 
twenty printed pages, in the form of an open letter to the 
Governing Bodies of the various Colleges in the University 
of Oxford, and with the title The Connection of the Universities 
and the Great Towns. In this he dwells upon the loss involved 
for a great city by their lack of any centre of higher education 
within itself and upon the value of the influence which such 
a centre could exert upon its corporate life. 

The object that I have had in view in laying these remarks 
before you is to ask you to take into consideration the possibility 
of devising some remedy for this separation between the life of 
the provincial cities and our University culture. Any reform 
which might succeed in this would not only be the means of 
raising the general life of the commercial classes to a higher level 
of cultivation and taste, but would, at the same time, open a 
comparatively new sphere of usefulness to the Universities 
themselves, and give them a fresh hold upon the mind of the 

And the present time would seem to be peculiarly suited for 
the consideration of this question, as the inquiries of the com- 


mission now sitting may naturally be expected to lead eventually 
to some new form of University work ; and, if so, it cannot be 
too soon to discuss the form which that work might be made to 
take with most advantage to the Universities and the country. 
I am, of course, aware that this is in no sense a new question. 
For many years it is known to have been a subject of considera 
tion among the residents of both Universities, how to bring the 
great towns into closer connection with their work, and it will 
be remembered that, so long ago as the time of the Durham 
University Commission, the present Master of Balliol spoke on 
the subject in his evidence before the Commission. 

He was eager for the actual influence of Oxford and Cam 
bridge in the matter. He feared that if institutions under 
purely local initiative and control were established they 
would not have the breadth of outlook which he deemed 
essential : 

If founded under local influences they are certain to have 
almost exclusive reference to the practical wants of the neigh 
bourhood, and will consequently attract only special classes of 
students and produce little or no effect in the way of liberal 
culture. Thus they will be found to lack the one element which 
specially distinguishes a University, and which is above all 
things required in our wealthy trading communities. 

On this account I feel it would be nothing short of a mis 
fortune if the older Universities should, from any cause, miss 
the opportunity which seems now to be offered of establishing 
their influence in town life, as strongly as they have in times 
past established it in that of the country ; and I have long 
entertained the hope that the Universities of Oxford and Cam 
bridge, through their Colleges, may be led to take the matter in 
hand by offering under certain conditions to plant in the 
chief provincial towns branches or faculties, consisting of various 
Professorships, which shall be looked upon as integral parts of 
the parent University. . . . The outlines of the proposal may 
be stated as follows : 

1. That each of the wealthier Colleges should convert two or 
more of its non-resident Fellowships into Professorships, to be 
held in some great town such as Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, 
Liverpool, etc., provided that the town be willing to comply with 
the condition on which they are offered. 

2. That the appointment of each Professor be for a term of 
ten or twelve years. The Professor to be eligible for re-election 


at the end of the time, should it be determined to continue the 

3. That the town be required to supply suitable buildings for 
the work of the Professor established there, and also to provide 
for each Professor a fixed salary of not less than 200 a year, in 
addition to the sum received by him from the college, and in 
dependent of all fees derived from the students attending his 

4. That all fees be paid into a common fund, but that every 
Professor receive out of this fund a capitation grant on all students 
attending his lectures, in addition to the payments mentioned 
in the last section. 

5. That the provision required from the town be guaranteed 
in the first instance for each single appointment, but not neces 
sarily for a longer period ; so that, if, at the expiration of the 
ten or twelve years agreed upon, any town should be unable or 
unwilling to renew its contribution, the Professorship or batch 
of Professorships might be transferred elsewhere. 

6. That, as a rule, Professorships should not be offered to a 
town singly, but in such number and variety as to afford some 
thing like an adequate university curriculum. 

7. That every Professor should be required to reside, during 
his tenure of office, in the town to which it was attached, not less 
than six months every year, and to give during that time such 
lectures and other instruction as might be set forth in the terms 
of his appointment. 

8. That in the event of a superannuation fund or system of 
retiring pensions being established for the benefit of those 
engaged as residents in the work of the universities, these local 
Professors should also be included in its provisions. 

9. That all students possessing certificates of having attended 
the required course of instruction under such Professors, and 
able to pass the ordinary university examinations, should be 
entitled to a university degree. 

What I desire especially to urge, as a resident in one of the 
great towns, is that a scheme of this nature could be brought into 
operation without much difficulty by means of resources which 
are ready to hand, and that it would be more effective in extend 
ing the influence and work of the universities than any which I 
have seen proposed. 

The scheme was taken up in some quarters with eagerness. 
Its warmest supporter in Oxford was Jowett, the Master of 



Balliol, who secured the support of his own College and 
sought for that of others. At first this was difficult : 

I have not been able as yet to secure the co-operation of any 
other college. But I hope that New College is likely to join 
and I think of applying to Merton. 

Progress was by no means easy. On March 15, 1874, 
Jowett wrote again : 

The Bristol College scheme has been well received at New 
College, but not at Merton, and I must try and find some other 
college to join. Failing that we must go on alone. There is a 
great jealousy about taking the College Funds out of Oxford, 
and many persons are greatly provoked with us for offering. 
However, I hope that we shall proceed. I think that the Uni 
versity, moved by King s College, will probably grant to students 
at such colleges the privilege of counting two years residence 
for one at Oxford. The Bristol University College should be the 
beginning of a movement which we must not allow to let drop. 

The movement inaugurated by Percival, with the co 
operation of Jowett, led to the permanent establishment 
of the University College at Bristol, and later on of the 

The College was a true continuation and development 
of the effort for the Higher Education of Women. It was 
in 1876 that the preparations were far enough advanced for 
action, and Percival felt that the time was ripe for a Uni 
versity College where young men and women could carry 
on systematic study. The Committee concerned was not 
now occupied in organising independent lectures, but in cir 
culating the prospectus of the proposed College and in found 
ing scholarships for women. Four such scholarships were 
founded. Bristol thus became the first town in England to 
possess a University College open to men and women alike. 

Balliol and New College continued their generous support 
for many years, until they were advised that the funds at 
their disposal could not legally be used for this purpose. 
After this " one of the Fellows of Balliol " contributed very 
largely for some time out of his private purse. This was 


lately discovered to have been T. H. Green. He and Jowett 
were both members of the Council, and the two Colleges, 
Balliol and New College, have special representatives on the 
University Court to this day. 

In 1876 Miss Catherine Winkworth wrote to a friend : 
" Dr. Percival is happy because his dear new University 
College is coming to life at last." Many years later a new 
stage had been reached. The gift of 100,000 from Mr. 
H. O. Wills was announced, and it was known that Bristol 
would have its fully chartered University at last. Percival, 
who more than any other one person was the founder of the 
University College, who had never lost his interest in it, and 
who was active and influential in obtaining the Charter, 
was present at the University Colston dinner when the gift 
from Mr. Wills was made known, and the way to the 
long-desired goal was open. The story shall be told in 
the words of Professor G. H. Leonard, who was present 
and to whom I am indebted for the greater part of this 
narrative : 

The speeches had been a little disappointing ; they dwelt 
rather too much on the material side of things, and the spiritual 
note, as sometimes happens, was wanting. Then, almost at 
the close, Dr. Percival was called on and everything seemed 
to be put right in a moment. I remember just where he stood 
and how he looked, and the sound of his voice so unlike our 
West of England voices. His was a very noble and beautiful 
figure to look upon in his old age an old man "of a ruddy 
countenance," venerable, with the fine white hair which added so 
much to the natural dignity of his earlier days, drawing himself 
up to his full height and speaking to us, like a prophet, about our 
city, the " lantern of the West," and his dreams for it, and the 
sense that he had of a warfare accomplished, and a work that he 
left to us, who were present there that night, to carry on in the 
old spirit. 

The removal from Clifton to Oxford increased the oppor 
tunities of working for general educational development. 
His startling suggestion that he should resign his post as 
President of Trinity to become Censor of the Non-Collegiate 
Students, shows how intense and how utterly disinterested 
was his concern for the development of the highest educa- 


tional facilities for all classes of the community. He threw 
himself also into the cause of women s education, becoming 
the first President of the Council of Somerville College, and 
he was a prime mover in the inauguration of the Oxford 
University Extension Movement. 

In the Somerville College Minute Book it appears that at 
the first recorded meeting, on February 7, 1879, it was resolved 
" that a Hall should be established in which no distinction 
will be made between students on the ground of their belong 
ing to different religious denominations." A Provisional 
Committee was then elected consisting (amongst others) of 
the President of Trinity (Percival), Professor T. H. Green, 
Mr. Nettleship and Mrs. Humphry Ward. At the next 
meeting Professor Green was in the chair, and at the one 
following the Provost of Queen s (Magrath). On this 
occasion the question of appointing a permanent chairman 
was discussed, and it was resolved " that no election to the 
office of chairman take place without an absolute majority 
of persons present and voting." Later on at the same meet 
ing Percival was elected without opposition. He therefore 
became the first Chairman of the Council on February 28, 
1879. So he continued until the Memorandum of Associa 
tion was registered in 1881 ; from that date onwards the 
title has been President, and Percival continued to be 
President until 1893 ; he remained a member of the Council 
till 1899. The first Principal of Somerville, Miss Shaw 
Lefevre, used always to speak of him as a mainstay and 
guiding spirit in the early and difficult days. 

It was during Percival s Presidency at Trinity that the 
Oxford University Extension Movement was launched, and 
no one was more energetic or more influential on its behalf. 
Sir Michael Sadler, now Vice-Chancellor of Leeds, whose 
appointment as first Secretary of the Extension Delegacy 
was secured by Percival, thus describes those early days of 
the movement : 

As President of Trinity Dr. Percival was one of the pioneers 
of University Extension. Cambridge under the guidance of 
James Stuart had led the way. Oxford, Cambridge and London 
together, with Mr. Goschen as President of the Society, had 


organised University Extension classes in the metropolitan area. 
And Oxford on its own account had made a beginning, with Mr. 
Arthur Acland as the first Secretary of its scheme. But in its 
earlier stages the Oxford movement flagged and for a time was 
suspended. Dr. Percival s efforts revived it in 1885. With the 
support of the Master of Balliol (Dr. Jowett), the Provost of 
Queen s (Dr. Magrath) and the Master of University (Dr. Franck 
Bright), he persuaded the Delegates of Local Examinations to 
resuscitate their committee for local lectures. A secretary was 
appointed to relieve Mr. Lockhart from this branch of the Dele 
gacy s work. The Rev. W. Hudson Shaw, Mr. (now Sir) H. J. 
Mackinder, Mr. J. A. R. Marriott, Mr. E. L. S. Horsburgh, Mr. 
D. S. M Coll and Professor Oliver Elton were among the first of 
the lecturers who quickly won public support for the Oxford 

A few years later, after he had left Oxford for Rugby, Dr. 
Percival gave decisive encouragement to a further development 
of University Extension. At a meeting in the Headmaster s 
drawing-room in the School House at Rugby, Dr. Paton of 
Nottingham reported his impressions of Chatauqua. Mr. Charles 
Rowley of Manchester urged that something of the same kind 
should be attempted in England, and that Oxford and Cambridge 
would be the best places at which to hold such a gathering. Dr. 
Percival warmly approved the idea, which a young Oxford 
graduate who was present brought before the Delegacy at Oxford 
with the result that the Summer Meeting of University Extension 
and other students was established. 

Through his knowledge of the needs of Bristol, Dr. Percival 
was from the first a strong supporter of the establishment of 
University Colleges in the great cities. He wrote a pamphlet in 
advocacy of this development of higher education. He held that 
the older Universities should do all in their power to extend 
facilities for attendance at University classes both in small towns 
and in the great centres of population. England needed more 
Universities and more adult education under University influence. 
By their active participation in the movement, the ancient Uni 
versities might confer upon it prestige. They could supply to 
it young men of enthusiasm and energy. They could win for it 
the sympathy of many of the Oxford and Cambridge graduates 
living in the districts which were lacking in educational oppor 
tunities. And by the organisation of systematic courses of 
lectures and classes, as well as by the stimulus of shorter courses 
and of Summer Meetings, these older Universities could make a 
timely contribution to the higher education of women, to the 
training of the more thoughtful of the industrial classes, and to the 


foundation of new University Colleges, some of which (as had 
already been the case in Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds) would 
in due time develop into independent Universities. 

He had faith in adult education and a deep sense of its need. 
He saw that the ancient Universities had a great opportunity 
of leadership. He was free from timidity and from conventional 
ideas of academic tradition. He was both a prophet and a 
business man. At the critical moment his influence prevailed. 
What Archbishop Temple and Sir Thomas Dyke Acland had 
done for the University Local Examinations, which were the 
beginnings of University Extension, Percival with the help of 
Jowett, Magrath, Franck Bright, Arthur Acland and others did 
for the revival of the Oxford movement for the extension of 
University teaching. And, stage by stage, the significance of 
the new development has been more fully disclosed. 

Percival s continuous concern for educational develop 
ment led him to take a deep interest in the National Home 
Reading Union from the time of its inauguration. In 
September 1892 he went over from Rugby to Sheffield to 
speak at a meeting in Firth College in support of the Union, 
then in its infancy. When it is recalled how jealous he was 
of his time at Rugby and how few causes were allowed to 
draw him away, this must be taken as evidence of genuine 
zeal. Dr. Alex. Hill, then Master of Downing College, 
Cambridge, and now Secretary of the Universities Bureau 
of the British Empire, himself one of the pioneers of the 
Union, writes as follows : 

In common with Dr. J. B. Paton of Nottingham and many 
another enthusiast for popular education, Dr. Percival was 
inspired by articles contributed to the Fortnightly Review and the 
Nineteenth Century by Bishop Vincent and Sir Joshua Fitch 
respectively with a determination to secure the establishment in 
England of an imitation, with appropriate adaptations, of the 
Chatauqua Reading Circles of America. At a preliminary meet 
ing held at Lord Aberdeen s house in London in April 1889, 
Dr. Percival was elected Chairman of Council of the projected 
National Home Reading Union, an office which he held until his 
death. At the end of the first year of the Union s existence a 
Summer Assembly was held at Blackpool at which he preached 
the Union Sermon. No doubt he concurred in the selection of 
Blackpool as the summer resort of Home Readers, to which it 


was hoped that they would come in their thousands, as their 
American cousins flock to the shores of the beautiful Chatauqua 
lake ; but it may be remarked, parenthetically, that it was an 
infelicitous choice. An extraordinarily brilliant staff of lecturers 
and a crowd of sympathisers with the propaganda of the Union 
assembled in the Lancashire seaside town ; the mill-hands and 
miners whom it was hoped to attract were conspicuously absent. 
When, after giving Blackpool a trial for two more summers, the 
Assemblies were shifted from place to place of great historic 
interest or natural beauty they answered fully to the expectations 
of their organisers. 

As Chairman of the Council, which met but once a year, 
Dr. Percival took no active part in the management of the Union ; 
but sympathising as he did very deeply with its aims, he responded 
gladly to demands for his presence on special occasions, and was 
ever ready with his counsel. Thus we find him preaching at 
Leamington at the Summer Assembly in 1895 a very notable 
sermon on the Union, of which unfortunately no record was made 
at the time ; receiving the President of the Union, H.R.H. 
Princess Louise, at the Imperial Institute in 1891, when the 
Archbishop of Canterbury and, owing to the Lambeth Conference, 
a galaxy of bishops were also present ; presiding at public meet 
ings in the Salter s Hall in 1908, at Birmingham in 1910, and in 
the Caxton Hall, Westminster, in 1911. When the Summer 
Assembly was held at Ross in 1913 the Bishop and Mrs. Percival 
received the members at the Palace and gave them most generous 
entertainment. His services were justly summarised at the time 
of his death by the Rev. J. E. Flower, who, like him, had been an 
active worker for the Union from its inception : " The members 
of the Union of all classes, and in all lands, have reason 
to be grateful for the influence of this man of simplicity and 
saintliness, of wisdom and of tact, of courage and of strength. 
He has left upon the Union the stamp of a gracious person 

Alongside of the more general schemes promoted by 
University Extension and the Home Reading Union, Percival 
concerned himself also with the details of general educational 
policy, with which his experience had made him familiar. 
In October 1893, he worked out in a pamphlet the place of 
the First Grade School, Classical or Modern, in a complete 
system of Secondary Education. In 1895 he gave evidence 
before the Royal Commission on Secondary Education, full 
of detailed suggestion most minutely elaborated. It is 


interesting to notice his demand for a reform of Matri 
culation requirements at Oxford and Cambridge such as 
to give those Universities " their proper influence in a 
reformed system of Secondary Education." For this pur 
pose he urged that Responsions at Oxford and the Previous 
Examination at Cambridge should consist of the following 
subjects : 

1. Any three of the following languages (Latin, Greek, French, 

2. Elementary Mathematics. 

3. Elementary Natural Science. (Subjects to be selected from 
a schedule to be drawn up.) 

4. English. 

" It might be laid down," he added, " that every candidate 
must pass in at least two of these four groups before commencing 
residence, and the remainder before offering himself for any other 
university examination." 

It is to be observed that this proposal involves the 
abolition of " compulsory Greek " and anticipates in a 
remarkable way the scheme drawn up in comparatively 
recent years for the First School Examination by means of 
which, if a sufficiently high standard is attained, it is now 
possible to obtain exemption from Responsions at Oxford, 
the Previous Examination at Cambridge, and the Matri 
culation Examination at other universities. In educational 
matters Percival combined in a remarkable degree the wide 
vision which can frame a general policy of really compre 
hensive scope, and the mastery of detail which makes 
possible the formulation of practical steps to be taken 
immediately ; this combination is particularly noticeable in 
the many addresses which he delivered to the Educational 
Section of the British Association in the early years of that 
Section s existence. 

The zeal for women s education which he had shown as 
Headmaster of Clifton and as President of Trinity never died 
down. But in this, as in other connections, his proposals 
did not always please his friends. On May 21, 1897, the 
proposal to grant degrees to women was defeated at Cam- 


bridge by 1713 votes against 622. Oxford had defeated a 
similar proposal the previous year. Percival at once came 
forward with an alternative proposal. The general idea of a 
University for Women had already been advocated by Bishop 
Westcott. Percival was ready with a fully developed scheme. 
A letter embodying it, dated May 22, the day after the 
Cambridge vote, was published in The Times on May 26 : 


SIR Now that the women s war is ended for the moment 
and peace reigns once more in the University of Cambridge, I 
hope it may not be inopportune to make a practical suggestion on 
the subject of a new University for Women. Encouraged in this 
hope by your leading article this morning (May 22), I desire to 
ask of those interested, as indeed we all are, in women s education, 
and more particularly of the authorities of the Royal Holloway 
College, favourable consideration of a proposal which I ventured 
to make some years ago, when it was felt to be premature. 

Stated briefly, my proposal is that amongst the various move 
ments of this annus mirabilis one should be the establishment of 
a Queen Victoria University for Women, of which the Royal 
Holloway College might be the first constituent college. 

No apology is needed for the proposed addition of one more 
to the many forms of memorial already before the public, because 
it will be generally felt that nothing less than a rich variety of 
memorials will suitably represent to future generations the many- 
sided and marvellous expansion of England under the rule of 
Queen Victoria. Indeed, the only reasonable limit to such variety 
is that every monument should be of an enduring character 
aere perennius and either beneficent or beautiful, and should 
express the spontaneous loyalty and affection of those who 
establish it. So considered, a women s university has a strong 
claim upon our support, as among all the various improvements 
in English life which give lustre to the Queen s reign, few, if any, 
are more deserving of special record than the progress of women s 
education, and it would accordingly be very appropriate if the 
movement could be crowned on this unique occasion by such a 
memorial, connecting this growth with the Queen s name for all 
time to come. 

It may possibly be alleged that the facilities now offered to 
women at our ancient universities are superior to anything that 
could be provided in a new institution of a separate kind, and 


that larger facilities will be given by and by, yesterday s vote 
notwithstanding. There are, however, various weighty con 
siderations on the other side of this question, as has been widely 
felt during the recent controversies on the subject at Oxford and 
Cambridge. For my own part I see nothing but good in the 
opening of the doors of our universities to women students, and, 
as having taken some share during the last thirty years in helping 
forward the higher education of women both in the provinces and 
in Oxford, I trust I shall not be suspected of any desire to check 
the progress of the movement, or to depreciate the value of the 
work which the universities have done and are doing in this good 
cause. All who are familiar with university life and have care 
fully observed this movement will acknowledge that two things 
have been made abundantly clear. On the one hand every 
anticipation of good results from the facilities extended to women 
has been more than fulfilled, while on the other hand every 
prognostication of evil has been falsified. 

And yet it may reasonably be doubted whether this mixed 
education under a traditional system formed and intended 
exclusively for men should be the sole kind of university education 
accessible to women, and there is much force in the argument 
that for true progress in this, as in other matters, we need liberty 
with variety of choice. The provision for women s education is 
not unnaturally felt to be one-sided and incomplete, until the 
growing liberty to make such limited use of the men s universities 
as may be accorded to them is accompanied or supplemented by 
the establishment of a separate university, in which the higher 
education of women may develop freely along its own lines, a 
university so constituted as to be the intellectual home or head 
quarters of the most cultivated and distinguished women of their 
time. If such a university were in existence, there can be little 
doubt that many parents would prefer it for their daughters, as 
feeling that it would train and enrich their life under the most 
satisfactory conditions, and as recognising that it would be of 
very great value to them, if they could thus be brought into some 
direct personal contact with those women who had become 
specially distinguished or influential in one or another field of life 
or literature. 

But, it may be asked, even assuming that the establishment 
of such a university is in the abstract desirable, and that many 
parents would welcome it, so as to get rid of the present com 
pulsory uniformity involved in a system of mixed education on 
lines laid down exclusively for men, what hope is there that any 
such institution could be established with any prospect of 
success ? And it is my reply to this question which I desire to 


commend to public notice, and for which I ask your considera 
tion and support. 

Assuming it to be possible to establish such a university for 
women, I submit that nothing could be more appropriate than to 
associate its foundation with the name and memory of Queen 
Victoria ; and I trust it might be to the Queen herself not the 
least acceptable of the memorials through which her people are 
now expressing their gratitude for the extension of her reign and 
their affection for her as one of the most beneficent and sym 
pathetic sovereigns that have ever ruled in any country. And if 
my proposal should commend itself to the authorities of Holloway 
College and to a few other friends of women s education it would 
be an easy matter to carry it into effect. Taking the Royal 
Holloway College as the point of departure I would apply for a 
Royal Charter establishing the Queen Victoria University for 
Women, with Holloway College as the first constituent college of 
the University. New colleges might and would be founded later 
within the precincts of the University, as occasion might arise, 
and founders and benefactors might come forward, so that the 
University would grow just as Oxford and Cambridge have 

The one indispensable condition to be secured at the outset 
is that it shall not be a paper university, but a localised and 
living institution, the intellectual home and headquarters of at 
least a prominent group of the best and most cultivated and most 
influential women of their generation. This would be secured, if 
it were enacted through the charter of the University that the 
senators or governing council shall consist partly of, let us say, 
twelve women highly distinguished in literature, art, science, or 
some form of public service ; that they shall in all cases be 
selected by the sovereign from among the most distinguished 
women of the Empire, and be designated by some such title as 
" Students of the Queen Victoria University for Women," or 
" Queen Victoria Students," thus constituting what might be 
described as a women s order pour le merite. Such an order would 
be much coveted, and would form a highly appropriate recogni 
tion of the most distinguished women of each generation, and, 
what is of special importance for the life of the university, would 
give to it the highest intellectual distinction from the very 
beginning, enriching it with just the kind of associations which 
would make it a true University, an inspiring home of higher life 
and culture to successive generations of English women. To 
make such an order effective for its educational purpose, it would 
be necessary to provide for a certain amount of residence on the 
part of the distinguished women selected for membership, and 



for this end a moderate endowment would be requisite, each 
Queen Victoria studentship being endowed just as fellowships of 
colleges are endowed at Oxford or Cambridge, the income to be 
paid only on condition of a certain minimum amount of residence 
being kept during the year and in term time, so that the young 
students may be brought within the range of these distinguished 
women s personal influence. This minimum period of annual 
residence might be fixed at two or three months, and the amount 
of stipend might be regulated by statute as endowments for the 
purpose flowed in. 

I have ventured to suggest Holloway College as the first 
constituent college of such a university, because its position is 
quite ideal for such a purpose, and the establishment of the 
university on this spot would be an easy matter, if favoured by 
the authorities of Holloway, as the College possesses beautiful 
buildings suitable for all the immediate needs of such an institu 
tion. And that the scheme is worthy of the acceptance of the 
governing body of Holloway may be seen from the following 
considerations. The things which would be required of the 
College would involve comparatively little sacrifice and might 
be thus enumerated : 

1. Some small amount of space for a university office. 

2. The occasional use of the noble public rooms of the College 
for public university functions. 

3. The offer of rooms in the College free of charge to those 
Queen Victoria students who might from time to time be in 

Until funds were provided for the building of such rooms this 
might throw upon the College the burden of offering half a dozen 
sets of rooms for this purpose. On the other hand, the advantages 
which would accrue to the College would be tenfold. Under 
present conditions the College can never rise above the position 
of a provincial college or school, beautiful in its buildings and 
surroundings, and in certain respects highly favoured, but lacking 
the associations and the dignity of university life and position ; 
whereas the proposed change would raise it to a new level. Its 
teachers would acquire a new dignity, and its young students 
would breathe a larger and more stimulative atmosphere, as it 
would at once become a centre of national interest and culture. 
Should it be thought that I owe some apology to the authorities of 
Holloway for thus venturing to make proposals which would 
affect the position and fortunes of their College, I must plead my 
conviction that, if the possibilities I have indicated can be realised 
and with their good-will it should not be difficult to realise them 
the result would be to add greatly to the dignity and the 



prosperity of Hollo way College, while introducing a new and val 
uable element into our system of women s education, and giving 
to women of distinction an honourable recognition which is no 
more than their due, and would be much appreciated, and could 
not be given at a time more appropriate than this year of the 
Queen s reign. Your obedient servant, 


May 22. 

The comments which were received in answer to this 
letter varied in complexion, but expressed opposition almost 
exactly in proportion to the writer s intimacy with the sub 
ject. Professor Pelham wrote at once : 


May 27. 

MY DEAR BISHOP Your letter in The Times of Tuesday 
on the Women s question has caused myself and others some 

Granting that for the present the admission of women to 
degrees at Oxford and Cambridge is impracticable, and granting 
also that the ultimate solution of the difficulty may be found in 
a Women s University, I cannot believe that such a proposal as 
yours can do anything but harm. 

The foundation in a hurry of a bran-new university would 
naturally provoke hostility from the existing colleges and halls. 
These may fairly claim to be consulted before being wiped out of 
existence or merged in a new corporation. Whatever is to be 
done in the direction of a Women s University, must be done by 
building on what exists, not by destroying or ignoring it. 

Are Newnham and Somerville to migrate to Holloway, or are 
we to be subordinate Colleges in a university of the London type ? 
The first alternative can hardly be seriously suggested. The 
second is open to all the objections which lie against non-teaching 

The whole question requires long and patient consideration 
and can only be prejudiced by hasty action. 

Forgive my plain writing. Yours very truly, 


The whole matter was effectively summed up by the 
Principal of Somerville : 



May 28, 1897. 

MY DEAR BISHOP I am very sorry that you cannot come to 
us on the igth, as I should have greatly valued the opportunity 
for a little talk, however brief. May I venture to say that I hope, 
if an able and willing millionaire should come forward in response 
to your letter to The Times, that you will beg him to consult 
women concerned in education before taking hasty action. 

You and others of our kindest friends are blinded, I fear, by 
your kindness, and believe that women have already achieved 
what we are aiming at. Your scheme is a beautiful one for the 
future, but we are not ready for it yet and I do not think we shall 
be for the next fifty years. 

As you know no one better the university education of 
women has only existed at all for twenty-five years, and the 
beginnings were so small that it is only within the last twelve or 
fifteen years that the effect has been appreciable, and even yet, 
as was strongly asserted by our enemies in the recent controversy, 
women do not carry on their studies after leaving the university 
or distinguish themselves in research or other original work. The 
reason is obvious to those who are engaged in the work nine- 
tenths of the women who distinguish themselves at college must 
at once proceed to earn their daily bread, and that usually under 
exhausting conditions which entirely preclude them from carrying 
on their own studies. We have not yet the material for a Women s 
Teaching University of the high standard at which we should like 
to aim. Money is indeed wanted for women s education, but it 
is for fellowships to enable them to continue their studies or 
some other form of endowment of research better buildings, 
better libraries and so forth. 

The number of women really fitted to take up the highest 
studies will never, I think, be very large but of these a large 
proportion thirst to go on with their work, but are unable to do 
so for want of means. 

The experiment of women s universities has been freely tried 
in America, and with what result ? Americans will not say this 
publicly, but privately they admit that the standard in these 
exclusively women s universities is always tending to drop, 
because they are in the same position as ourselves and have not 
a sufficient body of women educated up to the standard of the 
men teachers in a university of the highest class. . . . 

In the exclusively women s universities, there is no outside 
standard to be aimed at. Every drop, in what is required of 


the pupils, reflects and perpetuates itself in time among the 

I should very much dread, at present, the founding of a 
University for Women only, though fifty or a hundred years hence 
we may be ready for it, if your millionaire will help us with 
endowment now. We can work on without the degree, which was 
largely asked for as a help to bread winning, if we can only get 
endowment for continuance of study. Believe me, Yours very 

It was clear that the suggestion was premature. But 
it may yet appear that in this as in so many matters Percival 
was urging what another generation would see to be advisable 
or even necessary. It is at least doubtful how far the best 
interests of boys and girls at school are secured by sending 
both through the same curriculum ; and if they are not, it is 
plainly evil that either should be sacrificed to the other. It 
may quite possibly seem best to those who are guiding 
educational progress that different courses should be followed 
by boys and by girls, and that certificates or degrees should 
be awarded on different conditions. If, when the education 
of girls and women is sufficiently established for such a 
course to be adopted without loss, different conditions are 
in fact laid down, it is almost certain that separate uni 
versities for women will be formed, even if they are in the 
same cities as the men s universities and largely share in 
their teaching power ; there would at least be separate 
discipline and separate Boards of Faculty and that is 
tantamount to a separate university. Percival s proposal 
was premature, and its form was unacceptable. Its principle 
may yet prove to be sound and even necessary. 

The story of Percival s work for the general development 
of education shows how inevitable it was that he should be 
asked to preside at that great Conference of Trade Unionists 
and Educationalists which met at Oxford on August 22, 1903, 
towards the end of the Extension Summer Meeting. That 
Conference voted into existence the " Association to Promote 
the Higher Education of Working Men/ soon to be known 
as the Workers Educational Association. Percival cordially 
welcomed the formation of the Association as a further step 


towards the goal that he had before him in all his efforts on 
behalf of university extension twenty years before. 

A similar Conference was held in August 1905, under the 
chairmanship of Dr. Strong, then Dean of Christ Church. 
The Bishop was again present, and proposed the following 
resolution : 

That this Conference, representative of co-operative societies, 
trade unions and educational organisations, having regard to the 
educational wastage consequent upon young people of both sexes 
either neglecting or being prevented by conditions of employment 
from utilising the facilities afforded by education authorities for 
instruction in the evening, urges the Board of Education to 
ascertain from the local education authorities how far and under 
what conditions employers and employed, in their respective 
areas, would welcome legislation having for its ultimate object 
compulsory attendance at evening schools. 

Mr. Albert Mansbridge, the founder and for many years 
the General Secretary of the Workers Educational Associa 
tion, writes as follows about the Bishop s help in the early 
stages : 

It will be impossible for any one who was present to forget 
the kindly influence which in itself seemed a combination of 
labour and scholarship, exercised by Dr. Percival over the epoch- 
making Conference which confirmed the formation of the W.E.A., 
or The Association to Promote the Higher Education of Working 
Men, as it was then called. The gathering was unique, because 
it was the first time that representatives of Co-operative Societies, 
Trades Unions and Universities had met together, and it is certain 
that there was no other person so qualified as Dr. Percival to 
understand their various points of view, and to weld them into 
a common whole, as he did. 

It was not possible for him to undertake active work in the 
Association, but he was ever ready to counsel and to assist. It 
was a great joy to him to attend meetings. In reality Dr. Percival 
was the first President, for no one was appointed to that office 
until 1908. 

Members of the Association were always glad to meet Dr. 
Percival, and never more than on those happy occasions when 
he came to Oxford for the purposes of the Summer Meeting. 
The sermon he preached on one occasion did much to clear away 


suspicions which were lingering in the minds of some concerning 
the real intentions and purposes of Universities. 

The movement of the W.E.A. thus owes to Dr. Percival more 
than can easily be expressed. In my office as General Secretary, 
I was not only guided and counselled by him, but inspired ; and 
through him also our work was commended to the world at 

On July 24, 1907, the Bishop of Birmingham (Dr. Gore) 
moved in the House of Lords for the appointment of a Royal 
Commission on the two ancient Universities of Oxford and 
Cambridge. Percival, who warmly supported him, said, 
after reference to Bishop Gore s introductory speech : 

I speak as a somewhat older man. I entered the University 
of Oxford in 1854, when the great Commission had just con 
cluded its labours, and I was the first Fellow elected in my 
College under the new statutes. I have felt all through my life 
that I could never be sufficiently grateful to the men who, in 
Parliament and in the University itself, conferred on the Univer 
sity and the nation the inestimable fruits of the work done 
by that Commission, such men as Lord John Russell and Mr. 
Gladstone, Dr. Tait and Dr. Jeune, Jowett, Mark Pattison, and 
in particular, Arthur Stanley and Gold win Smith. As Mr. 
Mark Pattison well said, the progress and good influence of 
Oxford were greater during the succeeding twenty years than 
they had been during the previous 200 years, and I do not think 
that any one who has made a study of Oxford life would for a 
moment doubt the truth of that statement. 

And now to-day, through the Bishop of Birmingham, we 
ask His Majesty s Government to consider whether the time 
has not come for a new Commission in view of the vast changes 
that have come about in almost every department of English life 
during the last half century. That period, in Oxford as well 
as in Cambridge, has been one of very active internal reform 
and marvellous progress, so that the Oxford of to-day is an 
entirely different place from the Oxford of sixty years ago. I 
hope that all who take note of our appeal on this occasion will 
remember that fact, and will by no means underrate the amount 
of internal reform which has taken place. It would be quite 
impossible for any foreign visitor to pass the sort of verdict on 
the University of Oxford which was passed by a distinguished 
German visitor sixty years since, who said : 

" Oxford cannot be considered a place of research. We 


cannot look upon it as a home of scientific education. It is 
not even distinguished as a home of liberal education, but it 
has one remarkable and unique distinction it is a training 
place for gentlemen " and he added, with a touch of malice 
it may be, " especially for Tory gentlemen." Whatever may 
have been the case with Oxford then, that is not a verdict which 
could be passed to-day. We who are approaching His Majesty s 
Government in the hope of a Commission being issued by and 
by not immediately must be understood to come with a full 
consciousness of the vast amount of good progressive work which 
has been done. 

But while many reforms have been brought about, yet we 
feel, as the Bishop of Birmingham has put it, that there are a 
great many important particulars in which it is not possible 
for a university to reform itself. Reform from within any 
institution is very difficult if not impossible, and it is almost 
always inadequate. With regard to Oxford there are a large 
number of most far-reaching and important changes which can 
only be made through legislative action from outside. I will 
indicate two or three of them by way of selection. There is, 
first of all, the entrance examination, which really determines 
a great part of the Secondary Education of the country. The 
entrance examination at Oxford simply consists of a rather 
miserable modicum of arithmetic with a little Euclid or algebra, 
of a book or two of some classic, the elements of Latin and Greek 
accidence, and the never-to-be-forgotten attempts at Latin 
Prose. That examination is a survival from early or mediaeval 
times which no one would think of establishing now ; and yet, 
the university finds it very difficult, in its relation to the colleges, 
to alter it. One of the fundamental reforms we might expect 
from a Royal Commission would be that new subjects of study 
would be recognised, and Greek would disappear as a compulsory 
subject. Then, I think the pass examination a bad system, 
because the student works to attain only a minimum standard 
of knowledge, and it would be more beneficial if in every univer 
sity examination students had the opportunity of winning some 
mark of distinction. To my mind, the passman ought to have 
no existence in the university. He should be transformed by 
this offer of distinction. 

As to endowments, I wish to associate myself with every 
word that the Bishop of Birmingham said as to the waste of 
endowments on scholarships at present. Many of those scholar 
ships go, not to the most deserving, not to those who, if they 
had the opportunity, would do the greatest service to the nation, 
but to those who, from the circumstances of their homes, have 


been provided with the most expensive education, who have 
been, so to speak, over-trained during the early years in most 
expensive establishments, and in many cases these men could 
have gone to the university without the aid of scholarships, 
which were in most cases intended only for poor and deserving 

One of the greatest mistakes made by the Commission of 
1852 was the throwing open to the unrestricted competition of 
all the counties of England of endowments and scholarships 
intended as a stimulus to learning in certain districts. This 
took away from many able boys the opportunity of obtaining 
the kind of education which might have made them very valuable 
servants of the State. Then further a Commission would deal 
with the whole question of higher education of women, and also, 
of course, with the powers of Convocation and possibly the 
vexed question of Parliamentary representation. 

Probably the most important work the Commission would 
have to do would be to deal with the relations to be established 
between the old universities and the new city universities which 
have sprung up, and, through them, with the new democracy. 
How are the ancient universities to be brought into closer touch 
with the leading elements in the new democracy represented in 
the great Labour Movement ? A Commission would find some 
very interesting problems in this connection, and the discussion 
that would be raised throughout the country would be of the 
highest value to future education. Mr. Chamberlain has in 
tentionally or unintentionally done very great service in effecting 
two great revolutions in English life. When he raised the flag 
of tariff reform he split his own Party, but he set the nation 
thinking, and started flowing a new wave of liberal progress. 
That was one revolution ; the other was the foundation of 
Birmingham University. Each of them has been directly or 
indirectly beneficent. 

By establishing the University of Birmingham as the centre 
and crown of the life of a great city, Mr. Chamberlain destroyed 
the idea of a federal university, which had prevailed in the 
Midlands and the North of England, and every great city became 
ambitious to have its own university Manchester, Liverpool, 
Leeds, Sheffield, and Bristol. Mr. Chamberlain has done very 
great service to the nation by creating in English cities this 
new interest in higher education, and by setting flowing this 
interest through every grade of the community. He has affected 
and influenced the life of all in the new democracy raising them 
with new hopes, new expectations, new ambitions. That was 
one of the greatest services lately done to English life. 


But these new city universities are still in their infancy. 
We have not yet had time to know with any certainty what 
sort of relationship they ought to bear towards the older univer 
sities. We may have our visions, but we have not yet had 
sufficient experience. I have a vision of all these city univer 
sities being connected by an open high road, and of students 
passing from one to the other, following some famous teacher, 
or to study some special subjects under the most favourable 
circumstances, so that we may have an education such as we 
have never had before. But as yet they are very young, and 
as I hold that this relationship is by far the most important part 
of what would be the work of the new Commission I am not in 
a very great hurry to have such a Commission. I should be 
quite content to have it next year or the year after ; but I do 
hope that, for the good of the future education of England, 
before he leaves his office the Lord President of the Council 
will take care that this new Commission shall be set on foot 
to take in hand this most important part of the educational 
work of the people, for the happiness of the generations to 

In August 1907, the year of the Conference which led to 
the appointment of the first Joint Committee, and so to the 
inauguration of the Tutorial Class Movement, 1 Percival again 
came to Oxford during the Summer Meeting and preached in 
the University Church. On this occasion a number of work 
ing men were present, attending the Summer Meeting. It 
was the first time that the Workers Educational Association 
had brought a party to Oxford for this purpose, and in view 
of subsequent developments must be pronounced a truly 
epoch-making episode. Every university now has its Joint 
Committee ; several carefully organised summer schools are 
held each year in connection with various universities, under 
the auspices of the W.E.A. One of the working men who, 
in 1907, visited a university for the first time was Mr. Reuben 
George of Swindon ; he heard the Bishop preach, and his 
impression, written twelve years later, may fitly close this 
story of Percival s work for education : 

1 Cf. The Tutorial Class Movement by A. Mansbridge (Longmans). It 
was Dr. Warren, Percival s former pupil, who, as Vice-Chancellor, nomin 
ated the University Members of this first Joint Committee. 


He spoke of the influence of Oxford on the life of the in 
dividual and of the nation. He told how for a short time we 
should live the life of the university student. He drew the 
picture of what Oxford stood for, its spiritual life and aspira 
tions ; he told us of the schools of Athens, how the world was 
indebted to them, how the scholars visited them, and how she 
sent her scholars away right through the world. Then, of course, 
he drew a picture of Oxford, of her influence and power, and 
I can tell you that from that moment I felt that I stood with 
the great scholars, and you may think me vain or foolish to say 
so, but I feel I belong to that world to-day. I feel I belong to 
its glorious literature, history, and spiritual life ; all that Oxford 
has stood for. The sermon was to me a great panorama of 
great and good men marching along through the world, the 
great scholars, and preachers, and reformers. I have felt ever 
since then that I was in touch with the best. Of course you 
can quite understand I had come to Oxford and met the W.E.A. 
with good old Zimmern * as our host at New College. It was 
a new world to me, and the sermon filled my spiritual aspira 
tions. One thing I noted, how very few of the university 
students ever reached the fullness of Oxford life, how very few 
took in that for which the University stood. I thought of the 
good old Friars, and men like Latimer and Ridley, and Cranmer ; 
men like Wesley, and William Morris. The sermon and the 
week following all stirred me, but the beautiful melody of the 
old Bishop s voice, that supreme dignity, that broadness and 
charity ! How he spoke of Newman ! And you felt that you 
could see Gladstone and the many other great men. For word 
picture I never realised anything like it. It gave me the greatest 
spiritual uplift of my life. To-day I remember it, to-day I am 
a better man for it. I am a new man, a different man. I am 
not a saint (you know that), but I have different ideals from 
that Oxford meeting, and that sermon I feel was the greatest 
influence at the meeting. When I came out I met a fellow- 
comrade from Swindon, he like myself was under the dose. 
He came to me and said : " Reuben, I could pray now." I said 
I could and we felt that we had touched the eternal, that we 
had felt the inspiration of the greatest. Believe me I have had 
many influences but nothing like that, and to-day I am in the 
W.E.A. Other influences have helped, but the old Bishop 
made me believe what I realise ever since, that the spiritual 
influence was the greatest of all. I shall never forget the tone 
and ideals of that sermon as long as I live, and if I am idealist 

1 Now Professor of International Politics at Aberystwyth. 


I owe a tremendous lot to that sermon. I feel I belong to the 
great ; the old Bishop made me feel so. 

To have done something really effective towards opening 
to the common people the treasure-house of beauty and 
wisdom is the true crown of Percival s never-ceasing efforts 
on behalf of national education. 



THE story of Percival s diocesan activities was broken off at 
the point where the education controversy of 1902 began. 
It is time to take up the thread again. For several years the 
education controversy raged, but the diocesan work went 
steadily forward. 

In his third Visitation Charge, delivered in 1904, that is 
to say during the lull in the education controversy which 
followed the Act of 1902-3 and preceded the Bill of 1906, 
he dealt with three general topics : the place of the Church 
in the life of the Nation ; Relations with Nonconformists ; 
and the attitude to be adopted towards the critical study of 
the Bible. The first was the most fully developed ; the 
other two sections are chiefly important as indications of 
what was to follow in later years. 

Dealing with the place of the Church in the Life of the 
Nation he said : 

One of these subjects, which at the present time requires of 
us in an unusual degree both thoughtful and dispassionate con 
sideration, I must, notwithstanding its great practical importance 
and the misunderstandings that prevail about it, be content to 
dismiss with a few words by way of reminder and suggestion. 
It is the share which ministers of Christ, bishops and clergy 
alike, are called upon to take, as a matter of duty, in the ordinary 
social and political affairs of their country. 

Our Lord and His disciples, as you know, stood apart. They 
abstained from all direct criticism of social institutions, and they 
said no word on any matters of immediate political controversy. 
Even on such prevalent contemporary evils as slavery and 



infanticide, or the various forms of injustice or oppression which 
were all around them, they are almost silent. 

But, when seeking an explanation of this attitude, we have 
to bear in mind that they were not, as we are, free citizens of a 
free country. 

They were living under an alien, imperial, and heathen Govern 
ment, of relentless spirit and iron hand, prepared at any moment 
to crush or crucify ; so that as regards what we call political or 
public affairs, passive obedience or aloofness was their only choice. 

There lies the root of the difference between them and us. 
When men live under a free popular government, every one is 
bound to consider his share of personal responsibility for every 
social or political evil which is allowed to continue that is for 
the consequences, good or evil, that ensue from the policy and 
action of the Government which he helps to place in power ; and 
the clergyman is equally with all others responsible for a right 
discharge of the duties of the citizen. 

But he is also a priest, and pastor, and prophet. He is thus 
under a lifelong obligation to devote himself assiduously and with 
a single aim to the moral and spiritual welfare of the people 
amongst whom he is called upon to live and labour, and in 
particular the welfare of the poor, the weak, and the suffering 
classes, these being his special charge. He has, therefore, to 
regulate all his share in public affairs, as well as the habits, 
practices, amusements, and pursuits of his daily life, by this 
paramount consideration. 

He is, consequently, bound to see to it very carefully that, 
if he takes any part in public matters, it must be always with a 
view of himself applying and teaching others to apply the 
principles of the gospel Revelation to all social and political 
concerns, as well as the separate life of individuals. 

. . . Each generation contributes its part to the march of 
social and religious progress by answering to some special call ; 
and the greatest of all the calls that have come to us in our day 
is that which bids us rouse in busy men of all professions and 
trades the desire to carry the personal influence of Jesus into all 
their practical affairs and relationships. And if we clergy are to 
be true to our prophetic office, we must not shrink from the duty 
of stirring this desire in them. It is a difficult work, because it 
involves the uprooting of many prejudices, and it is certain to 
run counter to many conventional notions and practices. 

In doing it we have to preach to our neighbours with untiring 
reiteration the duty of applying the Christian spirit, and Christian 
principles, and Christian rules of conduct, to a great many 
things in social, industrial, commercial, and political life, which 


have hitherto been hardly touched at all by the influence of the 

It is, for instance, in this spirit that the clergyman is bound 
by his office, if he is to be faithful, to deal with all such questions 
such as the drink traffic, its monopoly, and the extension or 
restriction of it, bearing in mind the temptations, the evil in 
fluences, and the obstacles or stumbling-blocks which it has been 
permitted to raise in the way of a Christian life and of Christian 
endeavours ; or, again, that other question of the proper housing 
of the working classes, with all the moral and spiritual con 
sequences which it involves to them and to their children. 

Especially he has to bear in mind that in all matters of public 
policy, as Christ s minister he is bound to be very watchful and 
jealous for the welfare of the poor, the weak, and the suffering 
amongst us, whose interests have always been in danger of being 
overlooked, forgotten, or misunderstood by those powerful trade 
or class interests which, as a rule, exercise the preponderating 
influence in public affairs. 

As I look back over the general policy of our Church, and 
what may be described as the general clerical attitude of late 
years, and especially since the ill-starred changes in our public 
life which began in 1886, I feel the exceeding gravity of these 

It is because of their gravity that I would ask you to take 
home with you and give them careful, prolonged, thoughtful, 
dispassionate, prayerful consideration, with your mind removed 
as far as may be from all the disturbing influences of political 
feeling or passion or prejudice. 

The gravity of the matter for us and our Church consists in 
this that we seem to any discerning eye to be very near the 
parting of the ways, if we have not already passed it unseeing. 
If I am right in this estimate of the situation, the question which 
demands our most serious attention is whether our Church of 
England is to drift into being mainly the Church of the upper, 
the wealthier, the privileged, the Laodicean classes, the classes 
whose instincts and sentiments have always been anti-democratic, 
or whether it is to retain or to win the affection of the great mass 
of the people and exercise its redeeming influence over their life. 

When we read our gospel with open heart and unclouded 
vision, is it not clear to us that the spirit of the Saviour and of 
His Apostles is the spirit of social democracy ? 

It is indeed a matter of primary importance that every 
minister of our more privileged Church, set as it is amidst all the 
spiritual temptations, the entanglements, and dangers of privilege, 
should always bear this in mind. 


From this it follows that, if our Church is to be the instrument 
for exercising the regenerating power of Christ among the labour 
ing masses of our industrial community, it must work in this 
spirit of social democracy ; if it is to be in any real and living 
sense the Church of the people in the coming years, their inform 
ing and inspiring guide, our clergy must be so imbued with this 
spirit of the Saviour in the Gospel as not to lose entirely, what 
we have undoubtedly lost in some degree, the loyal sympathy 
of the working multitudes and their leaders. 

Those of our clergy will do for their Church this inestimable 
service of securing her in the affections of the people, who exhibit 
among them that profound and consuming devotion to the 
poorer classes, to the weak, the neglected, the sinner, the sufferer, 
that feeling for their weakness, that sympathy for their needs, 
that belief in their righteous claims which burns and shines, as 
a light from heaven above us, on almost every page of the gospel 
story, making this story the Magna Charta of all true popular 
and democratic progress. 

Such as I apprehend it, is the Christianity of Christ, and none 

The other two general sections of this Charge deal with 
the attitude of the Church towards Nonconformists and with 
its attitude towards the Higher Criticism. The former 
subject is discussed by means of quotations from the Rev. 
Urijah R. Thomas, of Bristol, at one time Chairman of the 
Congregational Union of England ; from Canon Hensley 
Henson, now Bishop of Durham, who was Bishop Percival s 
successor at Hereford, and from Dr. Armitage Robinson, then 
Dean of Westminster. It was typical of Percival that here, 
as in the quotations from Lightfoot and Hort in the first 
Charge, he should commend his cause by expressing it in the 
words of men whom he expected to have with his hearers a 
greater authority than his own. 

His advice with regard to the Higher Criticism is an 
exhortation to devout and patient study, and an appeal to 
those who are zealous for traditional orthodoxy to await the 
verdict of such study. So in speaking of " the distressful 
controversy concerning the gospel record of the Saviour s 
birth and infancy " : 

Into this discussion itself I do not propose to enter on this 


occasion. Like all the deeper questions of doctrine or historical 
research, it should be left as far as possible in the hands of the 
devout and reverent student with mind and temper adequately 
equipped and disciplined for so responsible a work. 

It is not for every impulsive or rash hand to steady the 
Ark of God when it seems to tremble. 

For orthodox and heretic alike the Bishop has a 
warning against entering with undue readiness into the 

discussion of great mysteries : 

For my own part, I dislike and deprecate those superficial 
discussions of the deeper things of our faith and life which, under 
the influence of a cheap press, tend to become a fashionable 

Such discussions, in which sometimes curiosity is more 
prominent than humility, taken up and bandied about by those 
who have no adequate equipment for them, either in knowledge 
or in training and mental discipline, no due sense of their personal 
responsibility in handling them, no due reverence, no cleansed 
vision, are far from being the best methods for arriving at the 
true apprehension of the things pertaining to our spiritual life. 

This Charge caused considerable stir and was much dis 
cussed in the press. In particular the Liverpool Daily Post 
declared it to be " as salutary and sane a state paper as any 
prelate of the Establishment has ever put forth." 

In 1905 a very bitter attack, partly based on this Charge, 
was delivered against the Bishop by " Father Ignatius." 
This gave the clergy of the diocese an opportunity of ex 
pressing their personal respect for the Bishop, which they 
were all the more eager to take because of their frequent 
opposition to him in public affairs. An address was drawn 
up in these terms : 

MY DEAR LORD BISHOP We, the undersigned, deeply resent 
the uncalled for and vulgar attack made upon you at Llanthony 
on Ascension Day, and desire to express to you our feelings of 
respectful regard and sympathy. 

This was signed and forwarded to the Bishop with the 
following letter by the Dean : 


June 9, 1905. 

MY DEAR LORD BISHOP I have much pleasure in sending 
you a short form of address signed by the Dean, members of the 
Chapter, Archdeacons, and all the Rural Deans in your diocese, 
as a protest against the most scurrilous and false abuse of the 
so-called " Father Ignatius," uttered by him at a large assembly 
of people at Llanthony on last Ascension Day. There are some 
who have expressed an opinion that it was scarcely worth while 
to notice the ravings of such a lunatic, but inasmuch as his 
address has been inserted in the local papers and is read by many 
ignorant and foolish persons throughout the diocese, many of us 
have thought it desirable that it should be known that your 
clergy, as represented especially by the Rural Deans and others, 
protest most strongly against such utterances being inserted in 
the papers, and desire to show the great regard and esteem in 
which you are held by them. Believe me to be yours very 


It was in the following year that Bishop Percival in 
augurated the excellently conceived and widely beneficial 
scheme of Book Boxes. The education of the young and 
the mental interests of the full grown were hampered by the 
lack of any good libraries indeed, very often of any libraries 
at all in the villages, whether at the schools or elsewhere. 
In 1906 Percival devised a scheme of Circulating Book 
Boxes to meet this need. The scheme was described as 
follows by Canon Bannister in a letter to The Times written 
on September 6, 1912 : 

To any school in the diocese, provided or non-provided, the 
Bishop is prepared to send a box of fifty books of standard 
literature (history, biography, science, fiction, etc.). These 
boxes are exchanged quarterly, a small annual subscription 
covering the cost of carriage and management. Last year 
78 schools participated in the scheme, more than 40,000 volumes 
being issued to readers. 

Another set of Boxes, intended for adults, circulated in the 
villages. The Bishop was enabled to do this by the help of 
his close friend, Mr. Andrew Carnegie, who supplied any 
deficit in the funds. He himself took great pains over the 



choice of books. Some were to be books of a general religious 
interest, but not those written with an obvious religious 
" moral " ; some were to be books on agriculture ; some 
novels by the great writers were always included. 

A criticism of the scheme by an Education Officer led to 
an interesting justification of it by Percival. An official at 
the Board of Education wrote to Canon Bannister on 
June 24, 1913 : 

DEAR SIR You were kind enough to procure for me, recently, 
some information respecting the Hereford Scheme of Circulating 
Book Boxes which I found most helpful and have since 
endeavoured to put to a good use. A Director of Education for 
a County Authority before whom the scheme was placed by a 
Welsh Member of Parliament who thought of adopting it in his 
county has, however, offered the following criticism upon it. 
If you will not consider me unduly troublesome I should be 
extremely glad to have your comments (or those of the acting 
Secretary of the Hereford Book Scheme whose name and address 
I have unfortunately mislaid) upon what this Education Officer 
says : 

The Scheme has many attractive features, and would un 
doubtedly be productive of much benefit. After considering 
the matter very carefully, however, I must admit that in my 
humble opinion the plan of providing a small library of well- 
chosen books for each individual school has superior advan 
tages. Taking the " reading age " of a school child (that is, 
the age during which a child attending one of our Elementary 
Schools can be induced to read books for himself) as from 9 
to 14 years, he can scarcely read more than a total of about 
250 books. Of course, a child could " skim through " a far 
larger number of books than this, but it is a part of the duty 
of the teacher to teach a child how to read intelligently and 
thoroughly, and every skilful teacher could do this without 
detracting from the child s interest and pleasure in the books. 
The expenditure would, therefore, not be prohibitive ; and 
the amount spent in the Hereford Scheme in distribution, etc., 
would go far to meet the cost of renewals and repairs. The 
children and teachers, too, would take a greater pride in their 
own school library ; the books would therefore be more care 
fully handled ; it would be easier to obtain donations of 
suitable books from parents, managers, and others interested 
in the particular school ; and anxious parents would place 
fewer obstacles in the way of their children s using the books. 


Suitable books for children s use are not expensive, and the 
best and " cleanest " books so far as my experience goes 
always appeal to well-trained children most. 
I feel that these criticisms call for a more reasoned reply than 
I am able to give to them without knowing what your experience 
of the Hereford Scheme would lead you to say on the point. 
Hence my troubling you on the matter. 

Canon Bannister consulted the Bishop, who replied : 

June 26, 1913. 

DEAR BANNISTER The critic of our scheme can hardly have 
had much experience. The great advantage of the Circulating 
Box over the Permanent Library is that it excites and keeps up 
the interests of both teachers and pupils to an extent impossible 
with a stationary list of books. 

Moreover, the books are fresher and cleaner, as in the Station 
ary Library they inevitably grow musty. Also it increases the 
curiosity and interest of parents as to the books that may be 
brought home when a new box arrives. And finally it is cheaper, 
to say nothing of the difficulty of raising the capital required for 
a library in poor rural parishes. 

There is no reason why, where possible, our scheme should not 
work together with the local provision of a small number of books 
specially chosen as a Permanent Library for definite purposes. 
Yours sincerely, 


Percival never limited his efforts for the welfare of his 
diocese to the ecclesiastical sphere ; his concern for general 
education led him to such efforts as that of the Book Boxes 
and to continuous labour for the development of education 
in both urban and rural areas. The following notes on 
his educational work at Hereford are contributed by Mr. 
Theodore Neild of Leominster : 

In 1895 and for many years afterwards education was at a 
discount in Herefordshire. The care of it had been suddenly 
imposed upon a County Council elected to look after agriculture, 
the roads and the rates. An unkind critic was heard to say that 
the C.C. had but one fixed educational ideal, and that this was 
not to have any rate for Secondary Education. He would have 


to admit, however, that in recent years many unexpected things 
had come about, including that very rate. 

The Bishop naturally was co-opted upon the Local Education 
Authority soon after his entry upon his diocese, and was a regular 
attender throughout his stay. As might have been expected 
under the conditions described his influence on that body was 
by no means equal to his deserts. For while there were those 
who were aware of his past and respected his earnestness and 
wisdom, there were also those who hated his politics and his 
breadth of religious view, and seemed to pride themselves on an 
ostentatious disregard of his comparatively infrequent utterances. 
It was typical of his unwillingness to neglect any opportunity 
of educational usefulness that his special work on the Education 
Authority was the chairmanship of the Evening Class Sub 
committee, the work of which post he diligently fulfilled. 

His interest in Elementary Education was less direct, but it 
showed itself in the plea which he put in from time to time for 
the supply of fully trained teachers ; if it had been possible 
he would have excluded all uncertificated teachers. And he 
expended a sum of money given him by his friend, Mr. Carnegie, 
in books which were sent about from school to school in boxes, 
the carriage of which Dr. Percival defrayed himself. 

His interest in Secondary Schools was more direct. He was 
upon the Boards of the Secondary Schools of the city, and would 
give addresses at their public functions. 

Perhaps, however, his most strenuous educational effort was 
his attempt to turn an old educational foundation at Staunton- 
on-Wye with well situated buildings which had cost 35,000, to 
better account both for the neighbourhood and for the County. 
In his capacity as Bishop he was chairman of the trustees of the 
charity, and felt it to be a serious responsibility that hardly any 
real educational advantage was accruing to the beneficiaries 
under the trust, though the many devices for expending the 
income failed to absorb it. 

The Board of Education consequently had endeavoured to 
get possession of the endowment for wider purposes, but had 
been defeated by the trustees. As a result matters had reached 
a deadlock, for all proposals made by the trustees for the in 
crease of educational advantages were regarded by the Board 
as devices to render the poorly used endowment more secure to 
the locality. 

In 1910, however, the Bishop felt that a fresh attempt ought 
to be made ; an influential Sub-committee drew up a fresh case 
to submit to the Board, and an interview was arranged with Mr. 
Pease. Probably in consequence of previous failures, only one 


colleague accompanied him. The Bishop s good faith was be 
yond suspicion, but it was only after long and earnest entreaty 
that leave was given for the trustees to devote any substantial 
amount of the endowment to the creation of higher classes with 
a rural bias, and then only as an experiment. 

This much having been attained, the Bishop spared no 
thought nor pains to render the experiment a success. It was 
inspiring to those who had known him as head of a college and 
of two great public schools to see the elasticity of the veteran s 
mind, to note how carefully he thought out what the needs of 
an out-of-the-way country parish were, and the route by which 
the village folk could be led to wish for what was best. His 
great humility in seeking advice from those who had had any 
experience with experiments at all in the same direction won 
him regard and reverence. He drew up the curriculum himself, 
took great pains to secure the best staff that the school purse 
would allow, and by personal contact sought to imbue them 
with his own high aims, and also with the hope that from a 
somewhat humble beginning would ultimately emerge a Rural 
Secondary School of importance, that would be of great value 
to the neighbourhood, to the County, and do pioneer work in a 
direction that students of education desired to see increasingly 
taken. He rarely missed a meeting of the trustees or of 
the managers, though it meant a journey of twenty miles to 

In spite of great difficulties, including the War, the School 
had a large measure of success ; the experimental period was 
extended from time to time, and there were indications that 
the Department was not unfavourable to a scheme which was 
upon lines on which it was already wishful to travel wherever 

Some of the local trustees, however, who were unable to share 
his conceptions, or who were afraid that local interests might 
suffer, or who felt uncertainty as to what changes the end of 
the War might bring, were insistent that no forward step should 
be taken until that end came. This was a source of poignant 
regret to the Bishop, who, in a letter to Mr. Fisher, had expressed 
the hope that he might see such a school as he had sketched 
established before he died, and who had, there can be little doubt, 
remained longer at Hereford in the hope of the realisation of his 
vision. And almost up to the time of his leaving for Oxford, 
when not strong enough to speak above a whisper, he was un 
willing to forego an interview with a colleague who could bring 
him news of the progress of the scheme on which his heart had 
been so set 


It may not be out of place to refer to Dr. Percival s apprecia 
tion of the work, educative and other, of Adult Schools. On one 
occasion he gave the Friends Adult School in Hereford an 
address that was felt to be memorable, so " intensely human," 
simple and strong was it. He said to the men : "the Hebrew 
prophets were messengers to the people, informal teachers ; 
inspired laymen who received a call to work for God, just as 
some of you have. They belonged to all classes. Isaiah be 
longed to the official or court class, whilst Amos and others 
belonged to the labouring class. Isaiah was one of the best 
laymen, he was the salt of his generation. Remember God 
works through the inspired layman." He spoke of our slowness 
to recognise the brotherhood of coloured races. And he wound 
up with a warning against drunkenness, bad language, impurity, 
and gambling. 

During this period the Bishop was showing his zeal both 
for education and for overseas missions by his work as Chair 
man of the Archbishop of Canterbury s Oxford and Cam 
bridge Missionary Exhibitions Committee. This Committee 
was established on January 25, 1905, and from that time 
until his resignation of the see, Percival presided over its 
deliberations. The scheme was one for providing exhibitions 
to enable men, who proposed to offer themselves for service 
as missionaries, to go into residence at Oxford or Cambridge. 
Percival was very regular in attendance at the meetings of 
this Committee, and the success of its enterprise owed much 
to his thought fulness and attention to detail. 

Naturally he was eager to help University Extension in 
his own diocese. Hereford had been one of the earliest 
Oxford centres, though its career as an Extension centre was 
not perfectly continuous. One of his first acts on arriving 
at Hereford had been to attend an Extension meeting, and 
throughout his episcopate he was Chairman of the Local 
Extension Committee. He constantly gave evening parties 
for the Extension students, and was never in better form 
than on these occasions. As one of his first meetings in 
Hereford was in connection with this work, so one of the 
last was a meeting of the Extension Committee, when he 
went with his accustomed thoroughness into all the details 
of the balance-sheet. No cause claimed from him a more 


devoted service than the promotion of Higher Education in 
all its forms. 1 

The fourth Visitation was held in 1907, and the Bishop 
took occasion to deal with the controversy about Voluntary 
Schools. 2 In the same year he launched what from this 
time until the outbreak of the Great War was one of his most 
cherished efforts. At the Diocesan Conference in October 
1907 the following resolutions were passed : 

(a) That more attention should be given in the public teaching 
of the Church to the obligation resting on all Christians to apply 
in practice the principles of the gospel as to the duty of the 
Christian to his neighbour, with special reference to the moral 
character of the actual conditions of industrial life, but that care 
should be taken to guard against the risks involved in any 
partisan use of the Christian pulpit ; 

(b) That as recommended in the Report of the Industrial 
Relations Committee of the Lambeth Conference, 1907, it is 
desirable to form in this diocese, as part of local Church organisa 
tion, a Standing Social Service Committee, to encourage the 
general study of social and industrial problems from the Christian 
point of view, and to assist in creating and strengthening an 
enlightened public opinion in regard to such problems, and 
generally to promote a more active spirit of social service as a 
part of individual duty. 

(c) That the Bishop be asked to nominate six or more clergy 
and a corresponding number of laymen to serve on such a Com 
mittee ; who shall report to the next meeting of the Conference, 
and hold office until their report is presented, and shall have 
power to add to their number. 

The Committee was appointed accordingly, and at its first 
meeting Sir James Rankin was elected Chairman, Colonel 
Middleton Vice-chairman, and Canon Bannister Secretary. 
The Bishop followed its work with the closest interest. Its 
reports, dealing with such questions as the Wages of Agri 
cultural and Unskilled Labourers, the Supply and State of 
Cottages in Country Districts, the Rent of Cottages, the 
Extent of Drunkenness, Gambling and Immorality, did 
much to bring home to the Church people of Hereford the 

1 See Chapter XI. 2 See pp. iQi-193- 


nature of the problem, and to prepare for better days. The 
changes brought about through the war have made the 
particular statements and recommendations of the Com 
mittee obsolete ; but at the time of their issue, the statements 
of fact were thorough and illuminating and the recommenda 
tions were far-reaching. The Bishop showed the greatest 
keenness about this work and was insistent in pressing home 
the needs w,hich the Committee brought to light. 

On August 14, 1908, the Bishop s eldest son, Robert 
Percival, had died after a long and painful illness. He had 
been living at " The Hermitage," a beautiful house on a 
hill seven miles from Hereford, which the Bishop had bought 
for him and his wife six years earlier. It was a great joy 
to the Bishop to ride out to see him whenever he could find 
time. His death when it came was in the nature of a release, 
but none the less a bitter sorrow to the old man whom 
successive bereavements were making more and more lonely. 
It is one of the penalties of early distinction that it tends to 
lead a man to make friends with men older than himself. 
Then, as old age comes, he is left more and more alone ; if in 
addition he is bereaved of his children, the solitude becomes 
almost complete. Had it not been for the devoted com 
panionship of Mrs. Percival, the Bishop would have increas 
ingly felt this solitude. For since the turn of the century 
many old and dear friends had gone. 

To Mrs. Killigrew Wait 

(Home to-morrow early.) 


December n, 1902. 

DEAR MRS. WAIT I hardly know how to write to you on 
hearing of the sad news of Killigrew s death ; for I am feeling as 
if one of the dearest threads of my life had been snapped without 
notice. On you the blows have indeed fallen heavily of late. 
May God give you His best consolations. And indeed you have 
many of these in your family around you, and all the happy 
memories and associations of love and pride when you think of 
your dear husband, and in the hopes beyond the veil. I knew 
no one whose soul was more attuned to worship there. 

Perhaps Mary will kindly let me know the day and hour and 


place of the funeral. Some fixed engagement may make it 
impossible for me to come, but I will be there if I can. Always 
yours affectionately, 


To Miss Wait 

July 25, 1904. 

DEAR MARY I am grieved to hear that your dear mother is 
very ill, and that you fear she may not live long. If you feel it 
desirable to give her the enclosed, you will do so ; if not, please 
to keep it back and give her such messages from me as you think 
best. Yours affectionately, 


To Mrs. Killigrew Wait 

July 25, 1904. 

DEAR MRS. WAIT I am sorely grieved to hear that your 
illness has taken a bad turn, and though I cannot express my 
feelings as I could wish I desire to say what you feel sure of 
without my saying it that my affectionate sympathy and my 
prayers are with you every day. 

I shall know no other friends on earth like you and your 
husband ; and I too begin to look beyond the veil and to think 
as you are doing more of the meetings than the partings. May 
our Heavenly Father give you His own support and consolations. 
Always your affectionate friend, 


To Miss Wait 

August 3, 1904. 

DEAR MARY I was very sorry that I could not come yesterday 
as I was obliged to be in London. My thoughts are much with 
you in your home, where you must all be feeling the desolation at 
every turn. For myself I may say that the loss of your father 
and mother means the loss of the friends who were more to 
me than any one else outside my own family. Always yours 


It was thus in an increasing loneliness that Percival 
worked on into the evening of his days. But the energy did 


not fail, and no opportunity was missed. Certainly he was 
not the man to miss any chance of helping forward the 
social service which he urged upon others. As soon as the 
Labour Exchanges began to come into operation he circulated 
the following letter to the Rural Deans of the diocese : 

Labour Exchanges 

November 1910. 

MY DEAR RURAL DEAN May I ask you to be good enough to 
help me through the parochial clergy of your Deanery to discharge 
a public duty which arises out of a recent Act of Parliament The 
Labour Exchanges Act, 1909. The Board of Trade has divided 
the United Kingdom into ten Divisions one of which our West 
Midland Division has its centre at Birmingham. I am asked 
by the Divisional Officer, Mr. John T. Homer, J.P., to assist him 
in making known the purpose and value of the Act, and I am 
very glad to do so. The Act is intended to help all persons of 
both sexes, and particularly the juveniles, to find work suitable 
to their capacities, and to help employers to find the workers 
whom they need. It is thought, and I think rightly, by Mr. 
Homer, that the clergy are most likely to know of such persons, 
and particularly of the young people, and that in many cases 
they can best help them by showing them how to put themselves 
into communication with the nearest official of the Labour 
Exchange Department. It is hoped shortly to arrange that 
notices shall be posted in many Post Offices and Police Stations 
stating where the nearest officer of the Labour Exchange Depart 
ment is to be found. Exchanges are about to be opened at 
Hereford, Shrewsbury, and Ironbridge. Travelling officers will 
also be sent in time to other local centres in Herefordshire and 

The object of the Department is to bring the employer and the 
unemployed into touch in regard to every kind of labour, trade, 
and occupation, except indoor domestic service. 

Every one needing employment, from a manager to a labourer, 
and every employer wanting such a person, is invited to make use 
of the Labour Exchanges. It must be distinctly understood that 
an employer has full right of selection from those registered at the 
Exchanges and that no effort will be spared by the Department 
to provide the most suitable person for the work. The Exchange 
does not undertake the relief of distress but seeks to provide an 
efficient means whereby employer and unemployed may be 


brought together. Indirectly, of course, it will save much distress 
and hardship, and make it unnecessary for men and women to 
wander about in search of work. 

I hope that the clergy will kindly insert this letter in their 
parochial magazines for January, and will do all in their power in 
other ways to bring the matter to the notice of both employers 
and unemployed. The success already achieved by the Exchanges 
is shown by the Board of Trade figures published about the middle 
of each month, and any further information about the system will 
be willingly supplied by the Divisional Officer, 164 Corporation 
Street, Birmingham. Believe me, Yours sincerely, 


The early summer of 1911 was occupied by a heated 
controversy. It was the year of King George s Coronation, 
and Percival held a United Communion Service in Hereford 
Cathedral. This was the occasion of much conflict, but the 
story must be told separately. As a result of this contro 
versy he was naturally much exhausted and in September 
went abroad with his wife and revelled in the beauty of the 
Italian Lakes ; but even then he was writing letters all the 
time in preparation for his Diocesan Conference at which 
he was especially eager to secure a strong discussion of 
social questions. In the November of this year he issued 
a Supplement to the Diocesan Messenger, summarising the 
results of an inquiry which he had made of all incumbents 
in the diocese with regard to work for lads and young men 
which they had found specially useful. Perhaps none of the 
forms of work described are at all original ; indeed they 
hardly could be ; but the gathering of them together in one 
brief statement was a most practical way of helping the 
clergy to solve " one of the most pressing of all social 
problems in a diocese like ours, namely, how to raise the 
low standard of morals and conduct which still prevail in 
many of our rural parishes." 

This interest in the welfare of boys carried Percival 
beyond the limits of his diocese. Mr. J. H. Whitehouse 
gives the following account of his work in connection with 
the National League of Workers with Boys : 

Dr. Percival was the first President of the National League of 


Workers with Boys. The Society included the Heads of many of 
the organisations for boys scattered throughout the country, as 
well as a large number of schoolmasters and others interested in 
education. He held the Presidency until his death. The work of 
the Society is still carried on, but the League has been merged in 
the Society for Experiment and Research in Education. 

During the years of his Presidency the Bishop took the warmest 
interest in the objects of the Society, and particularly applied 
himself to constructive suggestions to deal with the evils of casual 
labour, blind alley occupations for young persons, and the 
educational neglect of our youth. 

I was in frequent correspondence with him on these questions, 
and we often met at the House of Commons or the House of Lords 
to consider aspects which might be brought up in Parliament 
either in the form of questions or of Bills. 

In the year 1909 there was considerable interest shown in the 
Press and in Parliament upon such subjects as street trading by 
children, and blind alley occupations generally, and a Committee 
was set up by the Home Secretary to enquire into some aspects 
of these questions. 

In July of this year the Bishop wrote me the following letter : 

" DEAR MR. WHITEHOUSE Best thanks for your letter of 
I2th inst. The objections of employers show how entirely the 
feeling of responsibility for boys whom they are employing (and 
very often at a cheap rate) has disappeared from the minds of 
employers, and the need of revival. I hope you will stick to the 
point and I am glad to see your name on a Commission of Inquiry. 
A short Bill dealing with this subject alone, however modest, 
would be very useful as a beginning. Yours sincerely, 


Later in the same year Dr. Percival submitted to me the 
following suggestions for dealing with the employment of boys 
under the age of 17 : 

1. Every boy under 17 seeking employment to present a cer 

tificate stating his age and the occupation for which he is 
preparing when he reaches the age of 17. 

2. Such certificates to be obtained at the nearest Post Office, filled 

up before the Post Office official ; counterfoil to be kept at 
the Post Office. 

3. Every employer to keep a record of these certificates, to be 

shown whenever required to the educational or the police 


4. Any one employing a boy under 17 without such certificate 

to be liable to a fine for each case, not exceeding . 

5. No boy under 17 to be employed for more than hours 

each day. 

6. The Local Authority to be supplied weekly by the Post Office 

(or by the Headmaster of the School when the boy leaves it), 
with a list of boys in the district certificated for employment ; 
to make reasonable provision for their general or industrial 
education, and to have power by bye-laws to enforce attend 
ance on such instruction. 

7. Any boys under 17 who have left school and are not in employ 

ment to be liable to be taken by the police to the magis 
trates. Regulations to be made for such boys. 

I had many conferences with the Bishop upon these proposals, 
and he ultimately drew up a short Bill for introduction in the 
House of Lords. 

He was deeply concerned with the failure of the elementary 
school system. He wanted to see the school age raised and to 
control the employment of these boys in order to prevent their 
going to any work which would not give them a career in life. He 
was always very impressed by the necessity of surrounding work 
ing boys with sympathetic influences after they had left school, 
and I have a number of letters from him in the year 1909 respect 
ing a boys club which he was anxious to found at Hereford. 

On July 28th in that year he wrote to me : 

" We are thinking of establishing a boys club here, to be 
joined, as soon as may be, by boys after leaving the elementary 
school. Can you kindly send me copies of any useful and suitable 
rules, and any hints or suggestions arising out of your experi 
ence ? " 

I do not now remember whether his scheme was successfully 
carried out at Hereford. 

The Report of the Royal Commission upon the Poor Law was 
published in 1909, and Dr. Percival took great interest in its 
constructive proposals, particularly those of the Minority Report. 

He wrote to me from the Lollards Tower in April 1910 : 

" I wonder if you could, without trouble, do me a little favour ? 
On Wednesday morning I have to meet a Convocation Committee 
on the Poor Law, and I should be grateful if you could tell me in a 
few words what points you think it would be well for us in our 
Report to press upon the Government as most urgent for legisla 


As a result of this letter, we had a discussion covering the chief 
questions dealt with by the Commission, and he realised that the 
subject was so vast that it was hopeless to expect a comprehensive 
measure on the lines of the Minority Report at any early date. 
He agreed that for immediate purposes the better plan would be 
to try to induce the Government to take action upon some detail 
of the problem such as the question of boy labour. He thought 
it might be possible to induce the Government to take action in 
this connection, and pave the way for further reforms. 

Dr. Percival retained until his death the deepest interest in all 
the causes which the Society sought to promote in Parliament and 
elsewhere. He helped forward a project by which, in the year 
1912, a large number of educationalists and representative workers 
amongst boys produced a book entitled Problems of Boy Life, and 
he wrote an introduction to the book, from which the following is 
quoted : 

" Being allowed the privilege of writing a few words of intro 
duction to this book, I desire to commend it to the sympathetic 
attention of all who care for social betterment and progress. 

"Of late years the public conscience has been stirred, and none 
too soon, to a sense of the dangers, moral and physical, involved 
in the overcrowded and squalid life of the working multitudes in 
our great cities ; and thoughtful men are becoming unanimously 
of opinion that for our national well-being it is imperative that the 
conditions of this life should be altered without longer delay, and 
no reforms are more urgent than those that deal with the up 
bringing of the young. 

" Hence the special value of such a book as this, a value which 
is enhanced by the fact that the writers claim our attention, as 
having themselves personally worked at the problems with which 
they deal and as having thus acquired a first-hand knowledge of 
both the needs and the difficulties which confront us in our en 
deavours to make up for the absent-mindedness of past years and 
the unheeded growth of vast slum populations whose lot is a dis 
credit to our Christian civilisation." 

Shortly before the Bishop s death it was my privilege to lay 
before him on behalf of many friends in both Houses of Parlia 
ment a proposal to hold a public function in recognition of his 
services to the cause of the youth of the country. He was too ill 
to accept this tribute to his work. But I was charged to convey 
to his friends the assurance that to the end he would do everything 
in his power to press forward the reforms he and they desired 
to see. 


During 1912 a beginning was made with the formation 
of the Agricultural Labourers Union in Herefordshire. The 
Bishop privately subscribed to the first " agitation." The 
local agent had written to him asking for his support. A 
few months later this agent, who had attempted to form a 
union in the District where he was himself a working farm 
foreman, was brought into the courts. The Bishop promptly 
sent further help to be used in his defence : 

August 14, 1912. 

DEAR BANNISTER I am sorry to hear what has befallen , 

and I enclose 5, which you will kindly use at your discretion. I 
hope his prosecutors may hear some plain speaking on the nature 
of their conduct. 

The way of the man who endeavours to lift his class to a share 
of the sunshine is certainly a hard one. Yours sincerely, 


There can be no doubt that Percival had hoped to be 
translated to the Archbishopric of York. And he had 
grounds for this hope. It had been known for a considerable 
time that a vacancy in that see was imminent, and Sir 
Henry Campbell-Bannerman had plainly given Percival to 
understand that he intended to nominate him for the appoint 
ment. When the vacancy occurred, Sir Henry was already 
dead. Mr. Asquith decided on the appointment of a man 
in full vigour, and wrote to Percival to say that he had felt 
bound to come to the conclusion that he was now too old 
to take up new work of so arduous a kind. That it was a 
deep disappointment is unquestionable. The Dean of Bristol 
had a letter from him in which he said, " Asquith has sent 
me my obituary notice." The Dean s brother, Prebendary 
Wynne Willson, writes : " When I saw him on the day of the 
announcement of Lang s appointment, he was less reticent 
than I ever knew him to be. He sketched some of his plans 
that he had had in view, specially in relation to the new 
northern universities. Though his best friends knew he 
could not cope with the work, he himself did not yet feel the 
limitations of his age." 


He had always hoped for work in the industrial North, 
and he believed that as Archbishop of York he would have 
been able to bring the Church into living contact both with 
the new universities and with the great centres of the Labour 
Movement. He knew that he had a hold on the working 
men of the Midlands and the North, for to the very end of 
his active life the announcement of his name as preacher or 
speaker would pack any church or hall. It was mainly for 
the sake of the work that he felt he could still do in con 
nection with social progress, and for the drawing together 
of the Church and the rising democracy, that he desired the 
opportunity which York would have given him. 

Towards the end of the year in which he suffered this 
disappointment, and thereby learnt that his work would be 
at Hereford while strength for work lasted, he formed a 
scheme for using part of the Palace as a hostel for students 
of theology preparing for ordination. In December 1909 he 
circulated the following letter to many tutors at Oxford and 
Cambridge and to others who were in a position to influence 
young men in their choice of a Theological College : 


December 4, 1909. 

DEAR This letter is written for the purpose of informing 

those of my friends who may wish to make use of the information 
that I am proposing to receive here a limited number of young 
university graduates who are preparing for Holy Orders, and 
that the work will commence next July, if a sufficient number of 
students have applied before Easter, and are ready to begin their 
course of preparation. 

I am led to enter upon this piece of work partly because of the 
need of such assistance as can be offered here to candidates for 
Orders, and partly by the fact that I now have available for such 
a purpose a very suitable portion of my Palace, and other accom 
modation close by, but more particularly because I am so fortunate 
as to have around me in the Cathedral body, and in the immediate 
neighbourhood, a group of unusually able and experienced clergy 
who are desirous of doing some good service for our Church by 
assisting in the instruction and training of young men for the work 
of the ministry. 


The students will be under the immediate charge and direction 
of Canon Bannister and Dr. Hastings Rashdall (both of them 
Canons Residentiary in our Cathedral), with one of my chaplains 
as resident tutor. 

For the courses of instruction in the various subjects required, 
as also for tutorial guidance, they will moreover have the 
assistance of : 

The Rev. Canon Capes, Canon Residentiary of Hereford ; 

The Rev. Charles Harris, D.D., Rector of Colwall, Examining 
Chaplain to the Bishop of Llandaff, and sometime Theo 
logical Lecturer at Lampeter ; and 

The Rev. T. W. Harvey, Vicar of Bosbury, formerly in charge 
of the Clifton College Mission in Bristol, and sometime 
Warden of the Lichfield Evangelist Brotherhood. 

Occasional courses of lectures will also be given by other 
distinguished teachers. 

Our Cathedral Library adjoins the Palace and will be at the 
disposal of the students ; and from my garden the Bishop s 
Cloister leads into the Cathedral, so that the position and sur 
roundings are unusually favourable for the period of devout study 
and preparation between undergraduate life at the University 
and admission to Holy Orders. 

Moreover, the city is close at hand, outside my gates, and 
valuable experience may be gained under the direction of one or 
other of our city incumbents. 

The inclusive charges will be 20 per term of about eight weeks, 
the year being divided into four terms, arranged according to the 
Ember seasons. 1 

Two or three Exhibitions, each of 40 per annum, can be 
offered to meritorious students, who may require the help. 

Should you have any pupil or friend desiring such preparation 
as we have to offer, he should make application to Canon Bannister, 
The Close, Hereford ; or to Dr. Hastings Rashdall, New College, 
Oxford. Believe me, yours faithfully, 


P.S. If by any chance a sufficient number of students should 
desire to begin their studies in March next, we could make 
arrangements to receive them then. 

The scheme, however, found little support, partly, no 
doubt, because of the type of churchmanship which it was 

1 Only one paid, and he half-fees. The other two were taken free, 
the Bishop giving them hospitality for the three terms in the Palace. 



expected to encourage, but partly also because the current 
of opinion was setting strongly towards larger Theological 
Colleges and away from small hostels. Those hostels which 
were already established under a leadership which had been 
tested and proved were able to maintain themselves. A new 
hostel, even if expected to encourage a school of thought 
that was acceptable to the majority of Bishops and to a fair 
proportion of the young men who were seeking ordination, 
would have had little hope of success. The hostel in the 
Palace at Hereford had not this advantage. Percival was 
regarded to a far greater extent than was at all justified 
as a partisan of Low or Broad if not even of anti-Church 
principles ; and the most famous of those whose names were 
given, Dr. Hastings Rashdall, was widely known as a 
" Liberal Theologian," while his moral earnestness, his 
power of sympathy and stimulus with young men, and his 
deep personal devotion and piety were familiar only to those 
who had the high privilege of his friendship. So the scheme 
failed. Only five students ever came, and the attempt was 
abandoned, to the Bishop s profound disappointment. 

A small storm arose in 1912 with reference to the Atha- 
nasian Creed. On Easter Day, in that year, the Bishop 
said to Canon Bannister, as they left the Cathedral together : 
" How terrible it sounded those innocent choir boys repeat 
ing those awful words, without doubt he shall perish ever 
lastingly in the Athanasian Creed. * Canon Bannister 
replied, " If we have your support we will abandon the use 
of the Creed." With the consent of the Chapter the change 
was made on St. Andrew s Day, at the beginning of the 
Church s year. It was not noticed publicly till just before 
Christmas when the Minor Canons sent a formal appeal to 
the Bishop, urging that the new use was a violation of the 
Cathedral Statutes and of the Declaration signed by all priests 
at their ordination, and that therefore the Chapter were both 
acting illegally and were hindering the Minor Canons in the 
discharge of their conscientious duty. This was sent to the 
Bishop on December 19, with a request for a prompt reply on 
the ground that " Christmas is so near, and action we may 
have to take depends upon what your Lordship may decide." 


It is clear that on legal grounds the Minor Canons had 
right on their side. The Chapter modified its decision, 
ordering that plain Mattins should be said with the Atha- 
nasian Creed at 8 A.M. and sung without it at n. This 
met the legal claim of the Minor Canons and the Bishop 
replied to their Appeal on December 21 : 

I am thankful that in acknowledging your letter I need do 
nothing more than express my satisfaction that your difficulty is 
happily settled by the decision of the Chapter. 

This decision will keep within the guidance of the Rubric, 
maintain the testimony of the Creed, and at the same time relieve 
the general congregation who attend the n A.M. service from 
what most thoughtful lay people feel to be very painful the 
repetition of the damnatory clauses. No doubt you know how 
prevalent and strong the feeling is among the mass of educated 
lay people ; and I think some feel it to be even more painful to 
hear our boys cheerfully singing the tremendous words " without 
doubt he shall perish everlastingly." 

Under the circumstances, and now that the Chapter have made 
this arrangement in the hope of satisfying the different elements 
in the congregation, I hope you may feel able to give them all 
possible help, so as to smooth over any differences that may 
have arisen. 

Whoever reads the earlier morning service will, of course, have 
fulfilled his statutory duties ; but it will make things much 
happier and will be a very appropriate exhibition of a kindly 
Christian spirit if you freely offer to take your part as usual in 
the choral service at n A.M., and I sincerely hope you may do 

The Minor Canons, however, felt bound to absent them 
selves from the n A.M. service on Christmas Day. That 
afternoon the Bishop wrote to his son, the Rev. L. J. Percival : 

We had a beautiful service at n A.M. without either Minor 
Canon or Athanasian Creed. 

No doubt you saw in the newspapers that the Dean and 
Chapter made quite a nutter in ecclesiastical circles by deciding 
to omit the Athanasian Creed ; and the High Church people 
round the Cathedral are not pacified by their final decision to 
have plain Morning Prayer with that Creed at 8 A.M. and the 
Choral Mattins at n A.M. as on other days. They think it 
derogatory to the Athanasian Creed to delegate it to a plain 


8 A.M. service, though I suppose this is nearer the Roman Use 
than ii A.M. 

The Bishop did not add, as he might have done, that 
many of those who insist on the repetition of the Quicunque 
Vult on the appointed days in the course of Morning Prayer 
do not themselves recite it at a service where the general 
congregation is present. If the " chief service of the day " 
is a Choral Eucharist, the recitation of this document is no 
longer required of the ordinary worshipper. 

In April 1912 Percival became aware of rumours that he 
was on the point of resigning. In sending a statement of 
this belief, taken from some newspaper, to Canon Bannister 
he said : 

Needless to say, the enclosed rumour is some person s genial 
invention. I know well enough that I am not of much use, but 
I see no reason why I should not " plough my allotted field until 
my work be done/ and I happen to have the advantage of coming 
of a long-lived race. 

He was eager to work as long as strength lasted ; in 1912 
no serious failure had begun to show itself. But it is possible 
that a realisation that his time was short led him to press 
forward more doggedly than ever the causes which he had 
especially at heart. 



PERCIVAL had always been keenly interested in efforts to 
promote more intimate relations with Nonconformists. This 
is one of the matters on which general opinion has moved 
most rapidly, and some historical imagination is already 
required if the motives and results of acts only ten years old 
are to be properly understood. Not so very long ago even 
practical co-operation with Nonconformists in social reform 
and the like was regarded by a large number of Anglicans 
as a betrayal of the Church. The differences of theological 
and ecclesiastical principles were often sharpened by political 
and social differences. Dissent was often condemned not as 
separation from the outward order of the Catholic Church, 
but as separation from the National Establishment. This 
was the prevailing point of view in the days when Percival s 
mind was chiefly being formed. He never set any high value 
on the one world-wide order of the Church. His spiritual 
zeal found its outlet chiefly in the demand for personal and 
public righteousness in the present and the near future. So 
it was natural for him to be vividly aware of spiritual unity 
with Nonconformists, who have often been foremost in 
the hunger and thirst after righteousness ; and he was 
comparatively little impressed by the importance of the 
considerations which have held Church people back from 
any easy scheme of " reunion all round." 

His first definite activity in the direction of co-operation 
with Nonconformists was in connection with the " Christian 
Conference " of which the following brief account is given 
by Mr. A. G. B. Atkinson : 



The " Christian Conference " was a permanent organisation of 
Christians of all denominations, formed in 1881. Its formation 
was due to the initiation of Dr. Fremantle, then rector of St. 
Mary s, Bryanston Square. It was the object of the Conference 
to promote mutual knowledge and sympathy between men of 
various denominations with the intention of making the life of 
English people more Christian. Upon these lines meetings were 
held in London twice yearly for twenty years. Later, meetings 
of a more public character were arranged during the week of the 
Church Congress, and such meetings were held with much success 
at Bradford, London, and Newcastle. Thus an open platform 
was provided during the Congress Week, the Congress rules not 
admitting Nonconformists to take part. Dr. Percival was a warm 
supporter of the movement, his most noteworthy contribution to 
the discussions being at the meeting held in September 1899, 
intended as a supplementary meeting to the London Congress. 
Speaking on the general question of reunion, some striking 
utterances of the Bishop may be recalled : 

" In the Church of England, which I am for a moment repre 
senting before you, there may still be some persons, although they 
are undoubtedly a diminishing number, who feel that a Bishop 
should hesitate to take any part in a mixed assembly of this kind. 

" To reassure any of my fellow-churchmen who have this 
feeling, I would refer them to the Resolution of the Lambeth 
Conference of 1897, declaring that the time has come when efforts 
should be made to bring us nearer together in visible Christian 

" Such persons would probably remind me that as a Bishop 
I am bound with all faithful diligence to drive away all erroneous 
and strange doctrine, and I am not unmindful of the obligation. 

" In coming here to-night, I come in the full consciousness 
of my promise solemnly made. The only liberty I claim in the 
matter is liberty to discard the antiquated, and I trust obsolete, 
weapons of an exclusive or persecuting church weapons that 
belong to times of ignorance, and are very apt to recoil on the 
heads of those who make use of them. 

" I gladly recognise thus much is patent to all of us the 
growth of kindlier relationships, and freer and more frequent 
social intercourse, and consequently a better understanding, 
between different denominations of Christians, with more of 
mutual respect. I am thankful also to see more readiness to join 
in common work for the public good, and of a religious character, 
and to widen the area of such common work. 

" But when I go beyond this I am confronted by two opposing 
theories, which must finish their warfare before we can hope for 


final unity on the one hand, the theory of a Church crystallised, 
unchangeable, semper eadem, with creed immutably formulated, 
a mediatorial priesthood, and specially ordained and exclusive 
channels of sacramental grace ; and on the other hand, the theory 
of the Spirit of the Divine Christ working in human life in manifold 
ways and under many forms a theory which welcomes as 
members of the Christian Church all who acknowledge Christ as 
the Lord of their life, and are moved and regenerated by the 
power of His Spirit. 

" Those of us who are drawing near to the day of our departure 
from this earthly scene can hardly hope to see the issue of this 
conflict. As it has lately been said in another connection, we 
shall miss some interesting discussions ; but we may go to our 
rest in the assured conviction that the prospect and promise of 
an active and beneficent religious spirit working strongly in the 
life of the coming century, and of a gradual growth towards some 
form of spiritual union in Christ, are becoming constantly clearer 
and brighter than any one would have ventured to predict forty 
years ago. 

" In all this I seem to see an augury of the day, how distant or 
how near no man would dare as yet to prophesy, when the creed 
of the great mass of English-speaking Christians may once more 
be a simpler creed than the creed of Christendom has ever been 
since Apostolic times ; when doctrinal differences which now 
separate us may no longer be held an insuperable barrier to 
communion ; when, with a keener consciousness of the Divine 
Fatherhood and our common brotherhood in Christ, men will be 
content to rely for their spiritual union less exclusively on dogmatic 
definitions, and more on filial piety and that spirit of Christian 
charity which is the clearest intimation that has been vouchsafed 
to us of our share in the divine life." 

The Milton tercentenary afforded an opportunity of 
action which Percival was prompt to seize. Towards the 
close of 1908 he issued the following letter to various clergy 
and Nonconformist ministers in the diocese : 

December i, 1908. 

MY DEAR BROTHER IN CHRIST The Lambeth Conference of 
Bishops in 1908 recommended that " Committees should be 
appointed to watch for opportunities of united prayer and 
mutual conference between representatives of different Christian 


bodies, and to give counsel where counsel may be asked in this 

This Resolution has, I fear, remained to a great extent a 
dead letter, the fact being that most of us are liable, after gather 
ing in conference and expressing admirable sentiments in general 
resolutions, to go away and become immersed in our individual 
concerns, and forget all about them. 

Again, the last Resolution proposed at the Lambeth Con 
ference, which was attended this year by about 242 Bishops, 
runs as follows : 

" The constituted authorities of the various Churches of 
the Anglican Communion should, as opportunity offers, arrange 
conferences with other Christian Churches and meetings for 
common acknowledgment of the sins of division, and for inter 
cession for the growth of unity/ 

These resolutions and suggestions, coming from such an 
authoritative source, it will be generally acknowledged, ought 
not to be practically overlooked or disregarded. 

But they remain of little value, if we simply treat them as 
pious opinions and take no steps to give them practical effect 
in neighbourly action and intercourse. 

And, having this feeling in my mind, it has occurred to me 
that the tercentenary of Milton s birth offers an unusually 
appropriate occasion for a neighbourly gathering of Christians 
of different denominations for common worship and conference 
in honour of his great name and in the cause of godly union 
and concord. 

To Milton, as to Bunyan, our religious and literary life, to 
whatever denomination we may belong, owes more than any 
of us can estimate, and our common indebtedness to such 
supremely gifted souls should help to lift us above those 
traditional sectarian barriers which too commonly divide us, 
stopping the flow of Christian brotherhood and fellowship. 

Consequently I am venturing to invite you to a Conference 
at The Palace, on Saturday December 12, at 2.15 P.M. Besides 
our Dean and other Clergy of the Diocese, I hope to have with 
us the Dean of Worcester and Canon Wilson, the Rev. Dr. 
Horton, the Rev. Arnold Thomas of Bristol, Professor Herford 
of Manchester, and the Nonconformist ministers of our city 
and neighbourhood. 

Also I have arranged, in co-operation with the Dean, for a 
short service of United Prayer and Praise in the Cathedral on 
Sunday December 13, at 3 P.M., with a Sermon by Prebendary 
Bannister. To this service we hope to gather people of good 
will belonging to every Christian denomination in the city and 



neighbourhood, and I shall be grateful if you will kindly make 
it known to your parish or congregation. Believe me, yours 


The Conference duly took place in the Cathedral Library 
on Saturday, December 12. The occasion was to celebrate 
the tercentenary of Milton s birth, and the speeches delivered 
were confined to this topic. The other speakers, beside the 
Bishop, were the Rev. Arnold Thomas, the Dean of Worcester, 
Dr. Horton and Dr. Harris. Votes of thanks were proposed 
by the Dean of Hereford and the Rev. D. Basil Martin. On 
the following day a special service was held in the Cathedral 
at 2.45. The Dean read the prayers, Dr. Horton read the 
lesson and Prebendary Bannister preached the sermon. 

Soon after this the Bishop took a prominent part in 
establishing a " Christian Ministers Club " in Hereford, 
consisting of Canons of the Cathedral, about a dozen local 
clergy and as many Nonconformist ministers. The club 
met every month, alternately at the house of a Churchman 
and of a Nonconformist, for prayer, Scripture study, and 

A little later, in 1910, largely as a result of mutual inter 
course at this club, Canon Bannister, with the Bishop s 
consent and encouragement, delivered an address at the 
Wesley an Harvest Festival in Hereford. The Bishop gave 
him a letter to " our Wesleyan neighbours," expressing the 
hope that the result might be "to strengthen the growing 
spirit of unity and goodwill and co-operation in all good 
works, which is one of the most hopeful signs in the religious 
life of our day." Canon Bannister said in the course 
of his address, with the Bishop s approval, that we must 
" never rest content until we have learned to join one 
another in the highest act of prayer until we have estab 
lished the custom of intercommunion, of uniting, from time 
to time, with those of another household, in the Supper of 
the Lord." 

All through his life Percival had many intimate friends 
among the ministers of the Free Churches. Chief among these 


perhaps was Dr. J. B. Pat on, the famous Congregationalist 
divine, whose death fell early in 1911. Percival attended 
the funeral and delivered an address at the graveside : 

As we stand at the grave of Dr. Paton, while we mourn the 
loss of a dear friend, who was one of the finest and most lovable 
Christian characters of our generation, we think of him, in 
particular, as having been in a unique sense the apostle amongst 
us of Christian social service. 

Unresting and untiring in his beneficial activity, endowed with 
never-failing enthusiasm and an all-embracing charity, he was 
the soul of the many good causes for which he laboured, and 
he combined in a remarkable degree the gifts of original and 
constructive imagination on questions of social well-being with 
a rare power of embodying his ideas in a practical form. 

Thus he was at once an inspiring prophet and a practical 
leader in the pioneering work of social service for the love of 
Christ ; and for my own part as my mind travels over the 
forty-six years of our intimate friendship, I feel that I have 
known no one of whom it could be said that he was at once so 
free from every denominational prejudice and so unselfishly 
devoted to good works and endowed with a mind so fertile in 
suggestion, and a Christian enthusiasm so inspiring. The memory 
of such a life is a great possession, and we thank God for it. 

In the letter of invitation to the Conference which was 
held to celebrate the Milton tercentenary, Percival alluded 
to the fact that the Lambeth Conference of 1908 passed 
various resolutions on the subject of Reunion. In these 
the essential principles of the Church of England were 
declared and the hope of Reunion by ways compatible with 
these principles was expressed. In particular the Conference 
reaffirmed the resolution of the Conference of 1897 that 
" Every opportunity should be taken to emphasise the 
Divine purpose of visible unity amongst Christians as a fact 
of revelation." Bishop Percival repeatedly urged that such 
resolutions were not only useless but hypocritical and harmful 
if they led in fact to no action. An opportunity of the kind 
referred to in the Resolution seemed to him to be offered by 
the Coronation of King George V. It was a time when 
national unity would be specially present to the minds of all 



men, and it seemed to him desirable to give the completest 
possible expression to the unity of English Christians. The 
idea was not suddenly conceived ; he had in the previous 
year sanctioned the expression by one of his clergy of the 
hope that such a step might be taken, and on January i, 
1911, he had written as follows to his friend Canon Cremer : 


New Year s Day, 1911. 

DEAR MR. CREMER I hope I thanked you for your letters 
written last October, but I sometimes fail to carry out good 
intentions in such matters. Anyhow I have kept them, and now 
I am writing to ask whether you have looked carefully into the 
legal points as regards our relation with Nonconformists ? I 
should rather like at some appropriate time to establish the 
precedent of a Bishop inviting Nonconformist neighbours to a 
joint Communion, but they might naturally say in reply would 
you or your clergy come and join in our services, and I feel that 
before taking any active steps one should be quite clear as to 
what would be well within the limits of the law. 

All this I know you have considered, so that you can, I hope, 
save me some trouble by telling me your conclusions and the 
authorities, and I feel sure you will be glad to help me in this way. 

With every good wish for the New Year, ever yours sincerely, 


Jan. 9, 1911. 

DEAR MR. CREMER Many thanks for your kind and helpful 
reply to my inquiry. I will make some further inquiries of 
some lawyer, so as to see exactly how we stand in the eye of 
the law. Yours sincerely, J. HEREFORD. 

The result of his inquiries was that he decided to hold in 
the Cathedral a celebration of the Holy Communion to which 
Nonconformists were invited. He announced his intention 
in the following letter to the Diocesan Messenger : 

The Coronation. To assist in the due celebration of the 
Coronation Day, Thursday, the 22nd of June, the Archbishops 
of Canterbury and York have commended certain forms of 
prayer and thanksgiving to Almighty God for general use. 


Cheap copies of these forms can be obtained from either 
the Oxford or the Cambridge University Press ; and my hope is 
that they may be adopted by our clergy and used in every 
church of the diocese as the expression of our sincere and earnest 
prayer that the blessing of God may rest abundantly on our 
King and Queen through a long and happy reign, and that it 
may be a reign of growing peace, prosperity, and goodwill, 
blessed to their people everywhere in the increase of righteousness 
and truth, and the uplifting, the purifying, and the brightening 
of all the common life. 

United Service of Holy Communion. Such a season of prayer 
and thanksgiving, drawing together all classes and all denomina 
tions in the spirit of loyalty, patriotism, and goodwill, and lifting 
us by its influence above the atmosphere of religious divisions, 
must be recognised as peculiarly appropriate for any united 
religious service in which we can properly Join. 

Accordingly, with the cordial support of the Dean, I am 
venturing to add to our regular Diocesan Services and Festivals 
of Thanksgiving a celebration of the Holy Communion in our 
Cathedral at 11.30 A.M. on Wednesday, the 28th of June, to- 
which I propose to invite both members of our own Church and 
also such of our Nonconformist neighbours and friends as may 
feel moved to join in our worship on this unique occasion. 

My hope is that such an invitation may be of service in 
helping to promote amongst us the true spirit of godly union 
and concord. 

At the same time I am aware that it may possibly raise 
scruples in the minds of some of our clergy, and I freely acknow 
ledge my sympathy with such scruples, though I hope to show 
that in this case there is no real ground for them. 

As an old man I know how difficult it is for us to emancipate 
ourselves from the influence and power of any traditional doc 
trines or views of our earlier years, which the advance of know 
ledge may have proved to be no longer tenable, and this difficulty 
comes to us of the older generation at the present time with 
unusual force, because we are living in an age of unusual transition 
as regards Biblical knowledge and ecclesiastical tradition. 

Thus those of us who were taught the traditional doctrine of 
Apostolical Succession naturally feel that episcopacy is essential 
to the Church of Christ, and communion with non-episcopal 
Christians is consequently difficult to accept ; but as it is now 
almost universally recognised that, whilst episcopacy (to use 
the language of theologians) is of the bene esse, it is not of the 
esse of the Church, in other words that, good and valuable as 
history has proved it and as we believe it to be, it is not an essential 



and indispensable part of the Church s organisation, there is 
in fact no sufficient reason why episcopal and non-episcopal 
Christians, holding the same creeds, and believing in the same 
sacraments, should not kneel together at the Lord s Table. 

By such an act of united worship in the spirit of Christian 
brotherhood we shall in fact be helping to give practical effect 
to the recommendations of the last Lambeth Conference of 
Bishops of the Anglican Communion, who were very emphatic 
as to our duty to join in every reasonable effort towards the 
friendly relationships and closer union in Christ of all who profess 
to be His disciples and followers. 

There is, however, another difficulty which may be felt by 
many loyal churchmen. The rubric at the end of our Con 
firmation Service states that none should be admitted to Holy 
Communion but such as have been confirmed or are desirous of 
being confirmed. 

This direction would constitute a grave and serious difficulty 
if it applied to this case, but it is, I think, quite clear that it 
does not apply ; and it may be helpful to quote some authorita 
tive opinions on the subject. 

Bishop Creighton, as we are told in his life, held that this 
rubric was intended solely as a direction for normal cases in our 
own Church, and did not contemplate the case of Nonconformists, 
and he said that Archbishop Benson agreed with him in this 
view. Archbishop Maclagan held the same view. 

Similarly Archbishop Tait wrote that the Rubric applied 
solely to our own people and not to those members of foreign 
or dissenting bodies who occasionally conform. Other leading 
churchmen might be quoted to the same effect. 

Moreover, as is well known, members of other Protestant 
churches were in former years freely admitted to Communion 
in our Church, so that in this invitation we shall be transgressing 
no rule of church order, whilst we shall be acting on a most 
appropriate occasion in that spirit of charity and goodwill 
which is the essential and indispensable condition of true Christian 

On such grounds I invite my fellow churchmen in the diocese 
to join in our service on the 28th of June ; and I do so feeling 
confident of their loyal response in the spirit of Christian brother 
hood and love. J. HEREFORD. 

The letter which he issued to the Nonconformist ministers 
was as follows : 


Letter to Nonconformist Ministers 

May 1911. 

DEAR SIR Seeing that we all desire to assist in making the 
approaching Coronation season memorable as a time of unity 
and goodwill amongst all the loyal subjects of our Sovereign, a 
time for the healing of divisions, and the promotion of mutual 
charity, it has occurred to me and to some of my fellow church 
men that it would be a fitting conclusion to our religious services 
and our loyal thanksgivings if we could hold in our Cathedral 
a service of Holy Communion in which Christians of all denomina 
tions might be invited to join. 

Accordingly, with the cordial support of the Dean, I have 
the privilege of asking you to convey to members of your con 
gregation our invitation to join in such a service on Wednesday, 
28th June, at 11.30 A.M. 

We feel that a united service of this character will be a truly 
happy accompaniment of our dutiful and loyal celebration of 
the new reign of our King and Queen, and we see no reason why 
those who believe in the same Divine Lord, and accept the same 
creeds and the same Sacraments, should not at such a time, 
forgetting secondary differences, kneel together at the Lord s 
Table ; and our hope is that such a gathering for united worship 
in the central church of the diocese may be of real benefit in 
strengthening amongst us that spirit of godly union and concord 
which all Christian people desire to promote. 

At ordinary times we may feel it somewhat difficult to take 
any practical steps towards giving effect to this desire, though 
we know that it can never be really fulfilled or be more than 
a pious aspiration without some such individual initiative. To 
this initiative we are specially invited by such an event as the 
Coronation, lifting us, as it does, from our ordinary surroundings 
into the higher atmosphere of Christian patriotism and unity of 
spirit in Christ our Lord. 

In the hope that this invitation may be acceptable to your 
people, I am yours sincerely, J. HEREFORD. 

Notice of the service was thus given at the beginning of 
May. At that time the Convocation of Canterbury was on 
the point of meeting. On May 4, at the opening of the 
Session of the Upper House, the Bishop of Winchester called 
attention to the matter. In the course of his speech, after 

xiii REUNION 319 

deprecating any idea of carrying a resolution or holding a 
prolonged debate on the matter, he said : 

I thought it would be well if some one, speaking for the 
opinion of his brethren here, speaking as he believed in a repre 
sentative character for the Episcopate, expressed his conviction 
that this action of the Bishop of Hereford s was a contravention 
of sacred principles with which we have no right to interfere, 
was unconstitutional in the deepest sense of the word I am 
not talking of the British constitution but of the constitution 
of the Church and was calculated to divide Christian men and 
women much more than to unite them. 

He went on to point out that the Lambeth Conference, 
in advocating closer relations with Nonconformists, had not 
advocated any action of the kind in question, and concluded 
with these words : 

All I would venture to say is that I believe I speak for a 
general feeling here as well as for an enormously diffused feeling 
outside (the Bishop of Hereford here interposed with the 
words : " clerical, not lay feeling ") clerical and lay, outside, 
that this action of his is not according to our principles, is beauti 
ful in its motive but unhappy in its effect, and not only is it 
unconstitutional, giving away more than we have any right to 
give away, but it divides, and will divide, more than it unites, 
and leads straight to consequences which, perhaps, the Bishop 
of Hereford may not have altogether forecast, which probably 
none of us can altogether forecast. Therefore, I think I must 
publicly dissociate myself from his action, and others who agree 
with the general effect of what I have said may, perhaps, be 
silent, since I have voiced them. 

The Bishop of Hereford, after referring with appreciation 
to the courtesy with which the Bishop of Winchester had 
handled the matter, said : 

What I have to say can be summed up in one sentence, that, 
as I am not conscious of having done wrong, I have nothing to 
withdraw nothing to regret in the matter. Any one reading 
my letter to my people in my diocese will, I think, see that, in 
the first place, I based my action on a very considerable number 
of authorities among our archbishops and bishops. Moreover, 
by " authorities " I mean not only persons of high position, but 


persons whose views would be respected and probably accepted 
by every one of your lordships. For the rest, I felt that I was 
simply, on a very unique occasion in our national life, and a very 
appropriate occasion as it seems to me, in a very natural way, 
and with a very slight amount of initiative, giving practical 
effect to the general exhortations, if I may venture to use the 
term, which are to be found in the Encyclical Letter of the last 
Lambeth Conference, and not only of that, but of at least one 
previous Conference. I have the feeling that unless, as reason 
able opportunity arises, we do, under a sense of our own in 
dividual responsibility, take some practical steps to give effect 
to these general declarations or exhortations that come from 
great national assemblies, we reduce them to the level of pious 
aspirations ; and if we go on in that way, time after time, and 
generation after generation, it seems to me the result, certainly 
on the general mind, is a certain sense of unreality about these 
things. The Bishop of Winchester spoke of my having contra 
vened some principle. I am not conscious of having contra 
vened any principle that ought to be regarded. In my letter, 
as I have already indicated, I referred to certain authorities as 
being virtually, if not explicitly, of opinion and most of them 
have probably expressed that opinion in their own practice 
that those whom we have been in the habit of calling our ortho 
dox Nonconformist neighbours should not be rejected if they 
offer themselves as communicants at the Holy Table of the 
Lord. I have gone beyond those authorities merely in practi 
cally declaring to the Nonconformists of my city and diocese 
that if they come, they will not only be not rejected, but will be 
welcomed in what I believe to be the true spirit of Christian 
brotherhood. Remembering as we do the familiar language of 
Scripture, I do not see how any of us can really in his heart feel 
that any fundamental Christian principle is being contravened 
by our kneeling together at the Table with those who believe in 
the same God and accept the same creed. If my action should 
cause serious pain, I am profoundly sorry, but with all of us it 
must happen that, in the course of our lives, we are obliged to 
make up our minds between causing pain to some who may 
not share our views, and being untrue to what we believe to be 
the course of Christian duty. We were all made familiar in our 
early days with the very useful expression, " Amicus Plato ; 
major amicus veritas," and it is on that principle that I have 
ventured to do this, knowing that it would give pain to some 
extent to some of my clerical and other friends ; but I base 
myself on the fact that, as I have ventured to say in my letter, 
we are living in a transitional time as regards many forms of 

xiii REUNION 321 

knowledge, and not least as regards our knowledge of our own 
Christian faith and its history, and, living at such a time, it is 
impossible to follow in the footsteps of broadening knowledge 
without causing some pain to those brought up in narrower 
views. Fully as I appreciate the spirit in which the Bishop has 
expressed himself, I venture to think that he speaks not in the 
position of a representative of the great body of our Reformed 
and Protestant English Church, but as the representative of 
what I may call the sacerdotal party in it. From them we differ 
widely in regard to the fundamental principle which should 
guide us in this matter. My principle, as I have already said, is 
this : There is no reason why good Christian people, who believe 
in the same Lord and accept the same creed, should not kneel 
with us at the same Holy Table. I have had the feeling again 
and again that it takes off from the sincerity of our professions 
of friendly relationship and our desire for unity, if we refuse to 
take steps in this direction. I go even a little further. Within 
the last month or two I attended the funeral of a friend of mine, 
and in the course of half a century of intimate relations I was 
brought to the conviction that he more truly represented the 
Christian character in our English life than other men whom I 
have knowledge of ; and I feel that it would surely be a contra 
diction of the very fundamentals of our faith and hope if we are 
not to freely join in our most solemn worship with men of that 
type because they happen to be divided from us on what are now 
proved to be minor or secondary considerations. ... As for 
the suggestion that I am hampering rather than helping forward 
the spirit of unity, I think we bishops are too much inclined to 
fear that any individual action which is progressive may be 
likely to rouse opposition among those who are bound fast in 
the bonds of ecclesiastical tradition. I have the confident hope 
that, whatever momentary controversy my action may give rise 
to, the ultimate result will be that in a degree I do not claim 
for it any merit, because I do not think it a great act, but a very 
natural one at such a time it will tend, as the motive which 
dominated me in writing my letter led me to conclude, to godly 
union and concord throughout our national life. 

The discussion was closed by the Archbishop of Canter 
bury, who alluded to the long and rather tangled history of 
the question of principle. He agreed with the Bishop of 
Winchester regarding the expediency of making it clear that 
what was proposed at Hereford was not in accordance with 
the resolutions of the Lambeth Conference, though he could 



not have used all the expressions employed by the Bishop of 
Winchester. He concluded by saying : 

I feel that what has been said, whether or not we agree with 
every particular word which the Bishop of Winchester did not 
expect or invite us to do dissociates the Episcopate from being 
involved in responsibility for the Bishop of Hereford s action ; 
and I know that the Bishop of Hereford himself does not in the 
least intend so to involve us. The words spoken must have 
made that clear both to the realm and to the Church. I think 
the two speeches delivered this morning are speeches worthy of 
the best traditions of this House, worthy and I can give no 
higher praise of the two men who uttered them. 

On May 5, the Bishop wrote to Canon Bannister : 

As you will have seen in to-day s papers the hot water has 
boiled over, and Convocation has acted more suo. The Bishop 
of Winchester, whether of his own motion or not, I don t know, 
solemnly arraigned me, professing to do so in the name of the 
Church, so that I was obliged to say that he represented not the 
Church but the sacerdotal party in it. 

The Bishop of Winchester found he had rather a hard task 
to reconcile what he and his friends call their intense desire for 
Christian union with their refusal to do anything or countenance 
any effective steps to bring it nearer. 

It was inevitable that the Bishop s action should involve 
him in a maelstrom of controversy. He received a multitude 
of letters from sympathisers all over the country. Canon 
Barnett wrote from Hampstead : 

I want to say thank you for your action as to the Common 
Communion. Perhaps one of the greatest needs of the day is 
bravery, and if only more people would dare they would be 
surprised to find the many on their side. Your action will, I 
expect, show that many, many more are hurt by a policy of 
exclusiveness than by one of generosity. 

Miss Arnold s letter from Fox How must have been 
particularly welcome : 

You have had the courage to bring to a practical test the 
reality of the many vague aspirations after unity and Christian 



fellowship of which we have heard so much but which hitherto 
have been little but words. It is mournful indeed that such an 
opportunity should be met by opposition and discouragement. 

I believe my dear father would most surely have been with 
you in this effort to promote a true " Christian Communion," 
and it is this conviction that makes me venture to write to you. 
You will have earned and will have received the gratitude of 
many who long for a wider and more practical recognition of 
what they believe to constitute the true bond of Christian unity 
the fellowship with all those " who love our Lord Jesus Christ 
in sincerity." 

A characteristic letter came from Mr. J. L. Paton, High 
Master of Manchester Grammar School, a son of Dr. PercivaTs 
old friend, and a former member of his staff at Rugby : 

MY DEAR BISHOP I can t help writing to you. I see they have 
been attacking you for asking " schismatics " to join in the 
Supper of the Lamb, and I want to say to you how much it has 
been to me that you allowed me to join in the Communion at 
Rugby. Ever since the unity which is in Christ has been more 
real to me, the things which separate have seemed smaller. I 
don t know anything about Canons of 1603, but I do know that 
the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace is the will of the 
Master, and they who help towards it are of His Spirit. 

They said things like this about Stanley, and they will say 
the same of any one who feels that the Church is national. One 
can only pray for them as Tyndale prayed for King Hal : " Lord, 
open the eyes of the King of England." 

With all best regard to Mrs. Percival and yourself. Yours 


7. v. ii. 

One other letter of sympathy and approval may well be 
quoted in full ; it is from Mr. J. St. Loe Strachey, the editor 
of the Spectator : 

I feel I must write a line to tell you how admirable I thought 
your letter to your diocese in regard to the Communion for Non 
conformists. I am of course writing on it in the Spectator to 
back you up strongly, and hope to be able to get what I have 
written into this week s Spectator. As I daresay you know, 
I went very closely into the history of the thing, and have 


mentioned, what no doubt you did not refer to for fear of raising 
more controversy, the case of the Revisers Communion held 
in Westminster Abbey under Stanley. It was this Communion 
Service that one of the extreme clerical papers of the day de 
scribed as " casting pearls before swine " ! I am glad to think 
that we have moved a little since then, for I do not think that 
even a clerical newspaper could now use language so atrocious. 
I have also mentioned as a precedent the fact that the Prince 
Consort and other Royal Princes and Princesses who have had 
non-Episcopal confirmation have always received the Com 
munion without confirmation in our Church. Queen Alexandra 
is, of course, another case in point. I have also noted the 
recommendation by the Ritual Commission of 1870, with only 
one dissentient, of a rubric : " But note, the foregoing directions 
are not to be held to authorise the refusal of the Holy Com 
munion to those who humbly and devoutly desire to partake 
thereof." I feel convinced that the object of the Bishops in 
Charles II. s time was but to prevent young children from re 
ceiving the Communion. Therefore they insisted that anybody 
who was ready and willing to be confirmed, i.e., of a confirmable 
age and temper of mind, should receive the Communion. If 
they had meant anything else, why not have kept the old rubric 
as it stood ? Besides, as is well known, they were making a 
concession to the demands of the Nonconformists and speci 
fically said that they believed the concession to be wide enough. 

I am, of course, immensely pleased by your splendid straight 
speaking about the subject of Episcopacy. Nothing has been 
more injurious to the Church than this recent attempt to exalt 
Episcopacy into an absolute test, and to un-Church all those 
who do not make it a matter of idolatry. There is nothing more 
lamentable than the way in which people seem to love grounds 
for exclusion rather than for inclusion, and yet inclusion as 
against the exclusion of the Pharisees is the essence of our Lord s 

Please excuse my worrying you with this letter, which I fear, 
written at a moment of great pressure, is not very coherent. My 
gratitude for your fine letter must be my excuse. 

Professor Gwatkin, who journeyed from Cambridge on 
purpose to take part in the service, writing at this time to 
Canon Bannister on another matter, added : 

What a row my Lord of Hereford has made. It is no doubt 
very damnable : but as a matter of fact I believe " the plain 
meaning " of the rubric never occurred to any one till the bigots 

xni REUNION 325 

invented it fifteen or twenty years ago. Surely it is governed 
by the general statement that in all these our doings, we ordain 
nothing but for our own people only. But the whole disturbance 
is an appeal of the Pharisees to the superstition of the English, 
that if you take account of anything outside the literal wording 
of a statement, you are " not dealing honestly with it." That 
appeal is a large part of their tactics. 

It was not to be expected, however, that there would be 
no expression of adverse opinion. Naturally this did not 
take the form of letters addressed to the Bishop, but consisted 
either of expression in the Press of the dismay which he had 
created, or of formal remonstrance. Such a remonstrance 
was presented to the Dean of Hereford at a meeting of the 
General Chapter on June 26 : 

To the Hon. and Very Rev. the Dean of Hereford 

We whose names are undersigned have learned with great 
regret that you have given your cordial support to an indis 
criminate invitation to persons unconfirmed and possibly even 
unbaptized to Communicate in the Cathedral ; and as members 
of the Cathedral body, we desire to dissociate ourselves from 
any participation in this action. 

This was signed by the Precentor, the Archdeacon of Ludlow, 
the Archdeacon of Hereford, one of the Residentiary Canons 
and sixteen Prebendaries. It had been intended that this 
document should be private, and some of the signatories, 
including the Archdeacon of Hereford, had only given their 
names on this understanding. But it somehow reached the 
Church Press, together with the names of the signatories. 

The Dean, on receipt of the protest, said that when he 
gave his consent he had not realised the nature of the service. 
It is clear from the correspondence which ensued, that there 
had been a genuine misunderstanding or lapse of memory 
in some quarter. 

Despite the remonstrance the service took place as 
announced. During its course the Bishop preached on 
i Corinthians, xiii. 13, and said : 

The Coronation season, as I have already ventured publicly 


to indicate, with its glow of united feeling and its hopes for the 
new reign of the King and Queen whom we honour and for whom 
we pray, appeals to us as pre-eminently an occasion on which 
believers in Christ should put aside those minor differences that 
separate them on ordinary days and gather round His Holy 
Table in that spirit of Christian brotherhood and charity which 
is the bond of peace and of all virtues, and the hope of all religious 
progress ; and it is in this spirit that we are here for our united 
sacrifice and service of praise and thanksgiving. 

But my action in giving you the opportunity of thus marking 
a memorable occasion by appropriate worship has been so 
challenged and criticised that it has become due to you, as to 
myself, that I should briefly justify it. 

By some of my fellow churchmen, imperfectly or wrongly 
instructed in the history of our Reformed Church, the rubric 
which stands in our Confirmation Service is quoted against me, 
and I am accused of disregarding the law of the Church. 

But such objectors seem to have forgotten, or they do not 
know, that this rubric has been interpreted by archbishops and 
bishops of highest authority to be a purely domestic rule of our 
Established Church, and I myself so understand it, a rule intended 
to secure that our children as they grow up to years of discretion 
should be adequately instructed and of devout purpose before 
they come to the service of Holy Communion. 

Thus the rubric, rightly understood, has no direct or explicit 
reference to devout members of other Christian denominations, 
and consequently it contains no prohibition which I have dis 

Moreover, it should be noted for our encouragement that 
we are here this morning in full accord with the pre-Tractarian 
sentiment and usage of our Reformed Church, and our action, 
taken as it has been in the spirit of Christian fellow-citizenship 
and brotherhood, might fairly be termed a revival, too long 
delayed, of time-honoured relationships between our Established 
Church of England and members of other Protestant denomina 
tions, relationships of faith and charity in Christ, our common 

To estimate the objections that have been made to this 
our service at their true value, we have to bear in mind that 
they come from a clerical party in our Church which is separatist 
and retrograde in character, opposed to the principles of the 
Reformation, and steeped in the exclusive and uncompromising 
spirit of the early Tractarians. 

That spirit has created the atmosphere of their life and domin 
ated their studies, and is to-day the chief obstacle in the way 



of any really cordial intercommunion between members of our 
Church and our Christian brethren of other denominations. 

Of these Episcopalian sacerdotalists it has to be borne in 
mind that their fundamental conception of our Lord s com 
mission to His Church and of the early history of that Church, 
a conception which modern scholars since the rise of the Trac- 
tarian movement have shown to be a misconception, bars their 
progress to real brotherhood in Christ Jesus, making it imperative 
for them to refuse Communion to all Christians who are not 
professedly Episcopalian. 

Good men of this type having failed as yet to learn that 
their exclusive theory of Apostolical Succession is built on a 
misunderstanding of the words and doctrine of Christ, and of 
the history of the early Church, are not unnaturally opposed to 
our larger and truer conception of Christian brotherhood. 

The narrow separatist spirit in which they have been brought 
up, and their attitude of isolation from other Protestant Christian 
bodies may remind us afresh how, as in St. Paul s day, so again 
and again in one generation and another, blindness in part 
happens to Israel. 

But now that the researches of dispassionate, truth-seeking 
historical scholars have shattered the intellectual foundations of 
the High Church sacerdotalist party in our Communion, their 
influence over thoughtful people has become precarious and is on 
the wane ; and the more it wanes the better and the stronger 
becomes the hope that our unhappy ecclesiastical antagonisms 
and divisions will give place to the growing spirit of Christian 
brotherhood and goodwill. 

And in our national progress towards this happier state of 
more charitable feeling amongst the different denominations of 
Christian people our united worship this morning may, I trust, 
have its place as a historical landmark of abiding value. 

But whether this be so or not, it cannot fail to be of good 
service in our individual and in our common life, as helping to 
strengthen among all enlightened Christians the sense of unity 
in our one Lord, and the spirit of mutual goodwill ; for not in vain 
do men gather, as we are gathered to-day, in this spirit, kneeling 
and praying together as humble members of that mystic com 
munion in Christ our Saviour which is the blessed company of 
all faithful people. 

So groweth and so abideth faith, hope, charity, these three ; 
but the greatest of these is charity. 

The remonstrance which had been presented made the 


Bishop exceedingly angry. Writing to the Archdeacon of 
Hereford on July 12, he said : 

I have looked at your protest, and it certainly does little 
credit either to its composer, whoever he was, or to the men 
who signed and presented it. Its tone is contemptuous, in an 
insolent way, to Nonconformist bodies, and offensive to the 
Bishop. ... I am truly sorry that you should all have so far 
allowed your minds and feelings to be warped by ecclesiastical 
prejudice and party spirit. 

The Archdeacon replied on July 15 : 

With regard to the remonstrance, I regret its publication as 
much as you do. I signed it with the proviso that it should not 
be published. I cannot plead guilty to its wording. I signed 
it myself solely because I believed the action you had taken, on 
your own sole initiative, and without ascertaining whether you 
could carry your diocese, or even your own fellow bishops with 
you, was calculated to do very grave harm to the cause which 
you and I equally have at heart. I think that it has aroused 
more ill-feeling between churchmen and Nonconformists than 
anything that has occurred for many years, and that it has 
been a set-back to the cause of Home Reunion from which it 
will take a long time to recover. If you had taken your diocese 
more into your confidence before taking such an important step 
you would have discovered this before it was too late. But, 
unfortunately, you seem to have taken counsel only with a small 
number of men of your own way of thinking, and to have been 
quite unconscious of what was likely to be the effect of your 
action on the Church at large. ... I have not the least doubt 
that in this particular matter I represent the vast majority of 
your clergy. There was not, I am told, one single member of 
the Chapter who expressed unreserved approval of the proposed 
service. . . . And I should like you to understand that every 
signature given was spontaneous and independent. No one, for 
instance, before signing knew that I had signed, or intended 
to sign, nor did he know who his fellow signatories were. This 
fact alone shows how widespread the feeling of distress was. 
And in spite of what you said in the service, we really are not 
" sacerdotalists " nor " intolerant," and some of us are not 
unduly ignorant. One of the most pathetic letters I received 
and I received a good many was from one of your most hard 
working and respected " evangelical " clergy, lamenting the 



mischief that was being done in his own parish, and the difficult 
position in which your action had placed him with his parishioners. 
So I hope you will not misunderstand us. We all of us recognise 
the kindliness of heart and the intense longing after closer 
fellowship between Christians which prompted what you did. 
We claim unreservedly to share those feelings. But we do 
think that you committed a grave error of judgment in the 
means you took to bring it about, and that you have confused 
people s minds upon very important matters in a way which will 
make our work in our own parishes a great deal harder than it 
was before. I have spoken freely in this letter, as I hope I shall 
always be able to do, while our present relations are maintained, 
but I trust that I have said nothing inconsistent with the deepest 
respect both for your person and your office. 

The Bishop in replying said : 

As to the publication of that protest, I accept of course what 
you say : no doubt you have just cause to complain of some one. 

As regards the clergy, have I not lived among them sixteen 
years and become familiar with all the results of their seminarist 
training, and do you imagine that I did not know what to expect ? 
The fact is that you clergy expect the Bishop to subordinate his 
judgment to yours, whether you are right or wrong ; and in 
this case you have simply inherited the tradition of the Tractarians 
and have failed to learn what scholars have brought to our notice 
since the days of Newman and Keble. 

Percival made no pretence to act as a " constitutional 
monarch," and the difficulties of working as one of his 
colleagues in the administration of the diocese must often 
have been acute. He knew his own mind and followed it. 
But here once more he did not really see how the minds of 
his opponents worked. He knew that they disagreed with 
him, but he did not see how completely their judgment on 
the particular question was inherent in their general position. 
Consequently his arguments left them untouched, and his 
impatience irritated them. Indeed it is hard to see what 
phrases in the remonstrance merit the terms, " contempt 
uous," " insolent," or " offensive." He had, as the last letter 
quoted makes clear, quite deliberately acted in a way which 
he knew would bring him into opposition to the clergy. He 


judged the occasion adequate. But he had no right to 
object to their expressing their dissent. The expression of 
it was, to an onlooker, perfectly respectful and restrained. 
Only by some breach of confidence were his archdeacons 
presented to the public as opposing the bishop. 

Outside the diocese, indeed, other forms of protest, less 
creditable to the spiritual sanity of their authors, may be 
illustrated by a notice which appeared in the porch of a 
church outside the Hereford diocese : 

Communicants of St. George s please note 


For dishonour done to Our Lord and His Church, 
especially in the Cathedral of Hereford. 

On Tuesday, July i8th, at 6.30 and 7.15, the Holy Eucharist 
will be celebrated in this Church, with the especial object of 
making small amends to Our Blessed Lord, and a Litany of 
Reparation will be said immediately before the Blessing. 

The Bishop took the opportunity for a formal defence of 
his action which was offered by his Fifth Visitation Charge 
in 1912. He began by alluding to the new impulse towards 
unity : 

Owing to the new appreciation of the duty of social service 
and other causes, our time has seen a marked growth in the 
desire for religious unity, but owing mainly to the deflection of 
outlook caused by the Oxford movement, we have not sufficiently 
realised that this unity, to be practically effective and of bene 
ficent influence in our common life, must be unity of spirit with 
our immediate neighbours, the various denominations of Christian 
people living at our doors and forming an integral part of the 
community to which we belong ; and it must be counted among 
the unhappy consequences of the Tractarian movement that 
it deflected the clerical mind from the thought of union with 
other Protestant bodies, which should be the aim of our Reformed 
Church. . . . 

We were in communion with the other Protestant churches 
a hundred years ago, and had been so since the Reformation ; 
we are so no longer. To renew this, all that is wanted is a change 



of opinion among the clergy. The laity are still generally in 
favour of religious fellowship with the Refornu \\ dandies. 1 

Holding, as I do, the belief expressed above, that our Church 
has come to the parting of the ways, and feeling that the unique 
occasion of the Coronation afforded an appropriate opportunity 
for contributing my humble quota of practical support to that 
growing spirit of union with our immediate neighbours, which 
I hold to be of vital importance to our Church and Nation, 
I invited the devout members of the various Christian denomi 
nations in and around Hereford to a joint Communion in our 

From this invitation some of my clergy in their first alarm, 
when I was attacked by the leaders of their party, made haste to 
dissociate themselves ; and considering the influences under 
which they had been trained and passed their lives, this was in no 
way surprising, but I venture to submit to you that, having regard 
to the higher interests of our Church and the greater call of 
Christian charity, their view of the matter was a short-sighted 
and mistaken view. 

But in issuing that invitation I have to confess that I myself 
was under one mistake. I had in my mind the exhortation of the 
Anglican Bishops assembled at the Lambeth Conference, an 
exhortation thrice repeated, at intervals of ten years, to do all 
we can to encourage and strengthen the spirit of unity among all 
Christian people, and to aid in the healing of those divisions that 
separate different Christian denominations ; and it seemed to me 
that there could be no real unity of spirit between Christians who 
were not prepared to kneel together at that Table of the Lord, 
where there is no distinction of Jew or Greek, of bond or free, and 
consequently there could be no real or vital meaning in those 
exhortations unless interpreted as I had interpreted them. So 
long as we bar the way to the Holy Table against those whom it 
may be we effusively call our brethren in Christ, our professions 
of brotherhood have in them the taint of unreality and they are 

My mistake lay in my belief that my Episcopal brethren who 
framed and issued these appeals would look upon my action as 
the natural response to them. 

I did not sufficiently remember that even Lambeth resolutions 
and appeals for unity might be so limited by many considerations 
in the minds of those who sent them forth as to be, in fact, little- 
more than pious opinions or aspirations which they hardly hoped 
to see translated into concrete acts of friendly intercommunion. 

And it certainly did not occur to me as possible that any 
one of the two hundred bishops taking part in the Lambeth 


Conference could join in issuing its appeal to all churchmen, and 
himself go from the Conference to the great gathering of all 
Protestant denominations for their World Missionary Conference 
at Edinburgh, there joining these various bodies in their business 
and in worship, and not only greeting them effusively as Christian 
brethren, but making himself in some degree responsible for their 
missionary work, whether Wesleyan, Baptist, or Congregational, 
and having done all this, could turn round and attack me in our 
Canterbury Convocation for an act of Christian goodwill, which 
was simply a common-sense application of the Lambeth resolu 
tions to the actual facts and conditions of our English life. 

The whole incident should be remembered as an instructive 
object lesson, showing us into what inconsistencies and insin 
cerities a neo-Tractarian churchman may unconsciously drift, 
his kindly disposition and his desire for friendly relationships and 
co-operation and influence drawing him in one direction, whilst 
his ecclesiastical presuppositions and prejudices, his party ties 
and party obligations draw him no less strongly in the other. 

But not by such a policy will our Church maintain her influence 
and power over the mind of the nation, or foster amongst us the 
true spirit of Christian brotherhood. 

My expectation and hope is that, entering as we are on a 
period of clearer knowledge of early Christian history, and a clearer 
understanding of the spirit of our blessed Lord, our Church may 
gratefully retain and cherish all that is best in the Tractarian 
movement, while emancipating herself from the sacerdotal and 
separatist elements of that movement, which are so alien to the 
true spirit of our Christian faith and must inevitably denationalise 
her if persistently maintained ; and I trust that, as a practical 
step towards union of spirit among Christians of different denomina 
tions, and the happier relationships which this spirit produces in 
our common life, it may become in some degree customary for our 
clergy on appropriate occasions to invite their neighbours who 
have the status of communicants in their own denomination to 
join in our service of Holy Communion in the church of their 

No doubt the Bishop realised that his action would lead 
to invitations to go further ; and it did. In the following 
letter to Canon Bannister written on August 28, 1912, he 
gives his answer to a suggestion from local Nonconformists 
that some leading churchmen should join in their Com 
munion Service, and so, as one of them put it, " return our 

xiii REUNION 333 

visit." He plainly sympathises in principle, but on grounds 
of expediency decides against it ; at the same time he 
discloses his view of simultaneous efforts towards closer 
relations with the Orthodox Church of the East : 

I think the Nonconformists do not quite realise the difficulties, 
and expect rather more than can be given all at once. 

In old days our bishops and clergy communicated freely with 
continental Protestants, but the present generation of Church 
people under Tractarian influences have been imbued with a very 
different spirit. If a fairly influential body of clergy could be got 
publicly and jointly to declare their readiness to communicate 
with non-Episcopalian Christians, that might perhaps be the best 
thing to secure as a first step. 

The visits to Moscow, probably engineered by politicians and 
financiers, are not altogether creditable to our church authorities. 

I wonder what would be the best way of moving in the matter 
of intercommunion. 

The whole episode is very illustrative of the position in 
which the Church of England then habitually found itself 
with regard to Reunion. A convinced believer in one 
method of approach announces his intention of following 
that method on one occasion. A storm arises. A wise 
representative of opposed convictions makes a formal speech 
dissociating himself from the proposed action, but expressing 
deep sympathy with the aim, and refraining from the 
proposal of any condemnatory resolution. Had the Bishop 
of Winchester delivered a fierce attack, a general conflagra 
tion must have ensued ; it is plain that he took up the 
matter in Convocation precisely in order to prevent the 
opposition from uttering itself through some less conciliatory 
spokesman. In the result the episode occurred and was 
soon forgotten. Such unity as there was before ir> the 
Church of England continued unimpaired, but also, of course, 
undeepened. The cause of Reunion with separated bodies 
also remained exactly where it was. The protagonist was 
thanked by those who agreed with him and censured by 
those who disagreed ; and each group maintained its former 

We have every ground for hoping that the action of the 


Lambeth Conference of 1920 will prove to have opened a 
door through which we may pass to a new state of things. 
If that is so, the credit will, in great measure, be due to those 
who in various ways, according to their several convictions, 
kept the subject vividly before the Church in the days when 
no plan for common action had been reached. We look 
back from the vantage ground won by the noble appeal of 
the bishops at Lambeth in 1920 to a time of fierce debate 
when no progress seemed to be made. 

If we have now a hope, then undreamt of, that all may 
work together for the full realisation of One Holy Catholic 
Church, we are also bound to recognise that all those who 
have cared and struggled in the cause have helped to bring 
us to that hope. 



No part of Percival s Episcopal action has been so strongly 
criticised as his appointments to canonries and other 
positions in the diocese. Those who opposed his general 
policy exploited to the utmost his conduct in this matter. 
As Prebendary Wynne Willson puts it : " Whenever he 
appointed a Liberal, public notice was taken ; other cases 
passed without remark/ 

The first criticism on this score was due to his attempt 
in 1896 to appoint to a canonry, Mr. Alexander. As has 
already been narrated, it was found that Mr. Alexander was 
technically disqualified on legal grounds, and the Bishop 
collated to the vacant stall Canon Williams, who was perhaps 
the most prominent High Churchman in the diocese. But 
Mr. Alexander s name had been publicly mentioned, and at 
once there were voices raised in protest. The ground of 
objection was that Mr. Alexander was being brought in from 
outside the diocese, and that the clergy of the diocese had a 
grievance on that account. It appears, however, that this 
was not felt very widely within the diocese. There it was 
recognised that a young man would be able to do especially 
valuable work, and that to choose a young man within the 
diocese would constitute" an even graver slight to the senior 
men than the importation of one from outside. Anyhow 
the actual result was the appointment of a priest already 
well known in the diocese and a strong High Churchman. 

A series of appointments followed, causing no vexation 
or protest. The appointment of Canon Bannister in 1909 



raised no outcry, but a sentence from the letter in which the 
offer was made may be quoted : 

I should like him (i.e. the new Canon) to be ready to give me 
his aid in any diocesan matters in which I might need it now 
that I am to spend the little remainder of my working days in 
Hereford a sort of Barzillai the Gileadite ; I may want to do 
some things from time to time for which I shall need efficient 

Certainly the Bishop received what he hoped for. Canon 
Bannister was unfailing, throughout the later years of 
Percival s episcopate, in ardent support, helpful advice and 
ungrudging labour. 

Towards the close of 1909 another vacancy occurred and 
was filled by the appointment of Dr. Rashdall, now Dean of 
Carlisle. The Bishop s hope was that when his Hostel was 
opened, Dr. Rashdall would take a large share in the control 
of it. 

The real tumult only began in 1911. In July that year 
Canon Williams died. It was a time of great stress and 
anxiety, because of the United Communion Service which 
took place in June that year. On July 21 the Bishop wrote 
to Canon Bannister : 

July 21, 1911. 

DEAR CANON You will have heard that our dear friend 
Williams passed away this morning. 

I wish I knew where to look for a good successor. I feel I 
must, if possible, find a good Liberal who will give me loyal 
support, and a man of distinction so as to stop the mouths of 

Could you make private inquiries as to good men who might 
be available ? 

Rashdall and Gwatkin might have some names to suggest, 
and you may know other ways of hearing about suitable men. 
Yours sincerely, 


The result was that Mr. Lilley, now Archdeacon of Ludlow, 
was appointed certainly a Liberal, and certainly distin 
guished. But the mouths of the gainsayers were not stopped. 


A considerable correspondence took place in the Church Press 
and in the local papers. The main points appear in the two 
letters here reproduced from the Hereford Times. It should 
be mentioned that the diocese of Hereford had long previously 
been dubbed " the Dead See " : 

To the Editor of the " Hereford Times " 

SIR If what " An Inquirer " says in your issue of last week 
is correct, may we not trace in the appointments of the residentiary 
canons, one source of friction between the Bishop and his clergy ? 

It is generally understood that the appointment to the 
canonries was given to the Bishop of Hereford to make up for 
the appointment to incumbencies taken away from the See of 
Hereford and given to the See of Worcester. I write under cor 
rection as I can only say what is generally understood, and also 
point to appointments that were made in the memory of people 
now living and before the present occupancy of the See, but if 
this is correct, and no doubt this is the idea of the majority of the 
clergy, they cannot but look upon the appointments recently 
made as being, to say the least, " hardly correct." 

Further, that with whatever party they as individuals may be 
classed high, broad, or low by their friends they would all as 
a body prefer to see amongst the canons residentiary one at least 
to whom those who favour those leanings may turn for help and 
guidance. This view, so rumour goes, was put before the Bishop 
quite recently by one of the present body before the recent 
appointment was made. 

Some of us remember the speeches and the happy locking- 
forward when the Bishop came ; all were ready to join, there was 
no question of politics politics which has been the curse of the 
Nonconformists in Wales. The Church was said to be asleep in 
the diocese of Hereford and we looked forward to a guidance and 
leadership, a great march forward, and what do we find ? The 
laity alienated, and the clergy out of touch with one who might 
have been a great power in the diocese. A veritable dead See 



HEREFORDSHIRE, December 9, 1911. 

To the Editor of the " Hereford Times " 

SIR Your correspondent " Vicar," with a sort of perverted 
local patriotism, and some redundancy, seems to take a pride in 



calling his own diocese " a veritable dead See indeed." For 
myself, I do not feel competent either to justify or to disprove 
this grave accusation against the clergy and laity of Herefordshire 
and part of Shropshire. But assuming, strictly without prejudice, 
that " Vicar s " charge is true, I seem to remember that it was 
first alleged against the diocese of Hereford some years before 
Dr. Percival began his magnificent, but, according to " Vicar," 
entirely fruitless, attempts at resuscitation attempts which have 
attracted the attention of the world outside, and only last summer 
won for him enthusiastic praise from such critics as the editors of 
The Times and the Spectator. 

What seems most keenly to have annoyed " Vicar " is the 
Bishop s appointments to canonries. Like many other vicars, 
your correspondent dutifully follows his Church Times in giving 
" under correction " a fantastic suggestion that the Bishop is 
bound to choose the canons from the clergy of the diocese. Dr. 
Percival, one may readily admit, has not acted on " Vicar s " idea 
that canonries should supply old-age pensions to worn-out in 
cumbents from the diocese. Yet the Bishop did consider the 
diocesan incumbents in making his choice. He has during his 
episcopate appointed six clergymen to canonries. Of these, three 
were from his own diocese hard-working incumbents, who had 
served eighteen, twenty-two and ten years respectively in their 
parishes. For the other three vacancies he chose men of brilliant 
reputation, whose names, unknown, as " Vicar " would probably 
think, to the " dead See," are familiar to scholars throughout 
Europe. I may say, not " under correction," but on trustworthy 
authority, that, in the case of two of these canons from outside 
the diocese the Bishop had never in his life spoken to them. They 
were appointed, after long and careful consideration of the needs 
and requirements of the diocese, solely on the evidence of their 
published writings and their distinguished record in the hope, 
perhaps, that they might help to vivify " Vicar s " " dead See." 

In thus choosing from outside some of the canons he has 
appointed, Bishop Percival has done what other bishops do and 
very much what his predecessor did, who, out of six canons 
appointed by him, chose two from outside the diocese. Bishop 
Lightfoot again, during his episcopate at Durham, only appointed 
two canons, one came from the diocese of York, and the other, 
Canon Body, from the diocese of Canterbury. And there was no 
protest, which makes one wonder whether it is really the selection 
from outside that rankles, or whether the grievance is that the 
new canons are Broad Churchmen. Well, indeed, would it be for 
the Church of England if every bishop had as clean a record in the 
exercise of his patronage as the present Bishop of Hereford. 


It is frequently asserted, even in print, that Bishop Percival 
promotes only " men of his own way of thinking," that, as one of 
your correspondents elegantly phrased it some time ago, " no 
High Churchman need apply." Though one is naturally reluctant 
to mention names, yet a slander expressed in general terms can 
only be refuted by quoting particular instances. Omitting the 
canons residentiary of Bishop Percival s creation (two of whom, 
it will be remembered, were Canons Williams and Oldham) the 
following is the complete list of the present bishop s appointments 
taken from the Diocesan Calendar : The two archdeacons, twelve 
of the prebendaries, the incumbents of the following twenty-five 
benefices in the Bishop s gift ; Bosbury, Brampton Abbotts, 
Breinton, Bridstow, Brimfield, Brinsop, Bullinghope, Clehonger, 
Coddington, Colwall, Eaton Bishop, Hampton Bishop, Hereford 
(Holy Trinity), Holdgate, Kimbolton, Ledbury, Lingen, Little 
Marcle, Ross, Stanford Bishop, Thruxton, Tupsley, Wellington, 
Whitbourne and Withington. I confidently challenge any one 
who knows the present holders of the above preferments to say 
how many of them are markedly " of the Bishop s own way of 
thinking." The two archdeacons, at any rate, and seven of the 
above-mentioned twelve prebendaries signed, if we may trust 
the Church Times, the protest against the Bishop s action in the 
matter of the Coronation Communion. 

" Clergymen," says the great Lord Clarendon (who, if I 
remember right, was no malignant Puritan), " understand the 
least, and take the worst measure of human affairs of all mankind 
that can read and write." Without committing myself to any 
approval of this sweeping assertion, I do strongly suspect that, 
so far as " Vicar " and his like are concerned, the very head and 
front of the Bishop of Hereford s offending hath only such extent 
as is revealed in the following little anecdote a true one. " What 
I admire in the Bishop of Hereford," said a layman to a vicar, 
" is this that he thinks more of righteousness than of points of 
dogma." " Yes," reluctantly agreed the cleric, " but he carries it 
too far. He puts personal religion above the Church." 


December ig, 1911. 

The second of the two letters just quoted gives accurately 
the facts up to date. But two more appointments were to 
follow, calculated to create an even greater disturbance. 
The first, however, was parochial only, and therefore the 


disturbance, though very great, did not spread beyond the 

At the beginning of 1914 the Bishop appointed to the 
living of Bromyard a priest, the Rev. F. E. Powell, who had 
published a book containing a reference to the difficulties 
felt by scholars with regard to the Virgin Birth and Bodily 
Resurrection of our Lord. A petition was signed by a 
number of the parishioners asking the Bishop to reconsider 
the matter. Mr. Powell wrote to the Bishop saying : 

This petition I readily acknowledge the parishioners have a 
perfect right to make, and since, as one of the three founders of 
the Church Reform League in 1895, I have long advocated the 
claims of a congregation to a considerable voice in the selection 
of their clergyman, I make no complaint. And this being so, the 
feeling indicated in the petition, in so far as it is not engineered 
from without, but the genuine expression of those parishioners who 
have read and understood the extracts from my book, is one which I 
desire, nay, am bound to respect. If, therefore, this feeling be 
that of the leading and influential churchmen of Bromyard (and 
as to this I have at present no knowledge) may I be allowed to 
withdraw my acceptance of an offer which, coming unsought and 
quite unexpectedly from your lordship, I have regarded as an 
honour and a token of your kind confidence in me ? 

The Bishop refused to reopen the question and the 
petitioners appealed to the Archbishop of Canterbury. The 
Archbishop saw no sufficient grounds for his interference, 
and Mr. Powell was instituted. The Archdeacon of Hereford 
asked to be excused from inducting the new Vicar, and the 
Bishop inducted him himself. He took the opportunity of 
replying to the petition which he had received, saying that 
he had examined the passages in Mr. Powell s book of which 
complaint had been made, and did not find them such as 
ought to preclude a man from serving the Church as a 
minister. He appealed strongly for support for the new 
Vicar in his work. 

At about this time a petition had been presented to 
Convocation, signed by 676 priests in the London diocese. 
This petition had expressed grave anxiety " in consequence 
of the unrebuked denial of certain fundamental truths of the 


Faith by some who hold office in the Church." Considera 
tion of the petition was deferred, and now a similar petition 
was being circulated in the Hereford diocese. The Bishop 
supposed that this was the work of outsiders, but it was not 
so. As he wrote to the Archdeacon of Hereford : 

As regards the memorial I assumed that it was due to outside 
effort, because, notwithstanding some previous experience, I 
thought that my own clergy would have felt it to be disloyal to 
work at a thing of this kind behind my back without saying one 
word to me on the subject. 

The Bishop then circulated the following letter to the 
clergy of the diocese : 

March 23, 1914. 

MY DEAR BROTHER I am told that a memorial, signed by a 
number of London clergy, and presented by the Bishop of London 
to Convocation at its last session, is now being circulated among 
our clergy in this diocese with requests for signature. 

Who are responsible for this circulation I do not know, but I 
presume they must be outsiders, and I feel it my duty to express 
the hope that you will adopt the wiser course of declining to take 
any part in such a movement. 

All experience shows that memorials or protests of this kind 
are quite ineffective and do harm rather than good to the cause 
they advocate. 

Signed as they generally are by many who cannot claim to 
speak with the authority of trained students or scholars, and 
substituting protest for reasoned argument they carry no con 
viction to the minds of those whose views they condemn, and they 
give rise to a good deal of unedifying discussion among unthinking 

Many years ago I was impressed by some instructive words of 
a distinguished man of letters. When young, he said, I was made 
to read on Sundays a Bible Commentary, which set forth all the 
mistaken heterodox interpretations of important passages, 
followed by a refutation of those interpretations, but the result 
of my reading was that I remembered the heterodox opinions and 
forgot the refutations. 

Just so by their memorials and their protests men sometimes 
give currency and strength to views which they consider objection 
able and wish to destroy. 


This particular memorial deals in part with the mystery of our 
Saviour s birth and resurrection, subjects which should be dealt 
with in all humility by means of thoughtful and reverent argu 
ments, if our Christian faith is to retain its living reality and its 
influence on the lives of educated men. 

But this memorial also asserts that Episcopacy is essential to 
a church, and that without Episcopacy there can be no valid 
ministry of the Word and Sacraments. 

I suppose that all faithful members of our Church believe that 
experience has abundantly shown Episcopacy to be the best form 
of church government, and we gratefully recognise and cling to 
all the benefits we derive from it ; but every one who signs this 
memorial also stands committed to the assertion that no Presby 
terian or other non-Episcopal Church in Christendom has a valid 
ministry of the Word and Sacraments. 

Now to any one who has really studied the New Testament or 
followed the history of the early Church, or who dispassionately 
considers the Christian experience of all ages, this is a stupendous 
assertion which cannot be justified, and if our clergy commit 
themselves to it the inevitable effect must be that they will lose 
the confidence and respect of the educated and thoughtful lay 
members of the Church, and will render impossible that charitable 
union of all Christian people which we all alike desire to see. 
Believe me, Yours sincerely, 


During the following winter Canon Capes died. It was 
a great personal sorrow to the Bishop, for the two had been 
friends since the old days at Queen s College, Oxford. On 
November 3, 1914, he wrote to the Rev. L. J. Percival : 
We feel the loss of Canon Capes acutely. He was in 
valuable to the Chapter, and his death is to me the breaking 
of very old ties. And I have the disagreeable duty of finding 
a successor." His choice fell on the Rev. B. H. Streeter, 
Fellow and Dean of Queen s College, Oxford, and already 
distinguished as a theologian. He had written essays of 
great value in the volume edited by Dr. Sanday under the 
title Studies in the Synoptic Problem ; he had been editor of 
the volume called Foundations ; and he had published a 
stimulating little book, Restatement and Reunion. The letter 
in which the Bishop made the offer of the canonry is as 
follows : 


Dec. 1914. 

DEAR MR. STREETER You have probably seen that we have 
lost Canon Capes, and this loss, which is to me and to the Cathedral 
a very grave one, lays on me the duty of finding a successor as 
Canon Residentiary. 

And it will be a special satisfaction to me if the connection 
with the College of my early days can be continued. 

This, however, is a minor consideration, and not at all my 
chief reason for troubling you with this letter. 

A short time ago I was expecting Capes to resign at Christmas, 
and had a little talk with Armstrong and the Provost and also 
with Professor Sanday ; and from all of them I came away with 
my feeling strengthened that I should like to have you here as 
Capes s successor. 

I know, of course, that if you come, I shall be criticised in 
certain ecclesiastical quarters, but that is of little moment ; and 
I am thinking of the good you would do to the tone of our clergy 
and to our religious life. 

If the prospect attracts you, I should like to know whether 
you could give us the amount of residence that would be neces 
sary. Canon Rashdall steps into the actual vacancy, so that the 
canonry I have to offer is that now held by Rashdall. He tells 
me that it has never in recent years been of less value than 450 
and the house, and sometimes it rises to 500. 

The minimum official residence is three months, the exact 
months being arranged by the canons amongst themselves, the 
senior having prior right of choice. 

But I feel that the canon to be appointed could hardly do 
what is required for the good of the diocese unless he were with 
us for a somewhat longer portion of each year, so as not only to 
take his statutable share of the Cathedral services, but also to 
contribute an influence to the diocesan life outside the Cathedral, 
as, for instance, by preaching for clergy and giving occasional 
lectures in different parts when desired. 

What occurs to me is that if you were canon, and could give 
occasional lectures up and down the diocese on such subjects as 
those discussed in your Restatement and Reunion you would thus 
help to imbue our clergy with the spirit of that book, and so 
would do a great service to our Church. 

But this would mean giving us altogether at least four months 
in the course of each year. 

Would this be compatible with the work you may wish to keep 
up in Oxford, or with any other plans you may have in your mind ? 


I have mentioned the three men in Oxford to whom I have 
spoken on the subject, in case you may wish to talk over my 
offer with any of these, should you think it deserving of con 

I shall be very thankful if this is so, as I feel sure your help 
would be of great value in the life of the diocese, and we greatly 
need it. Believe me, Yours sincerely, 


After some correspondence, Mr. Streeter accepted the 
appointment on the understanding that not more than three 
months of residence should be required in each year. 

As the Bishop had foreseen, there was a great commotion. 
One leading clergyman of the diocese circulated a letter in 
which he was fiercely attacked. He discussed this letter 
with the Archdeacon of Hereford, and a correspondence 
ensued between the Bishop and the Archdeacon in which the 
following passages occur. It should be mentioned that the 
Archdeacon had already frankly told the Bishop that he was 
alienating the great bulk of the clergy and very many of the 
laity of the diocese by his policy : 

Feb. 25, 1915. 

MY DEAR LORD ... I quite agree with you, after reading 
through the letter, that it is in the worst taste possible, and if I see 
the writer I shall not scruple to tell him so. But at the same time 
I must be perfectly honest with you, and say that, while I very 
much regret a great deal that has been said and done, I cannot 
but share the dismay in the minds of both clergy and laity 
throughout the diocese, at what seems to them the mistaken 
policy which you have recently pursued in making your appoint 
ments. The fact that one of your rural deans and one of your 
leading laymen should have taken the unusual course of criticis 
ing their bishop in the public Press over their own signatures, 
shows how very strong the feeling is. And though, as your 
Archdeacon, I always try when the matter is mentioned, to put 
forward what I understand (from the Press) to be your motives, 
and am always ready to defend the integrity of your intentions, 
I cannot pretend to be other than seriously alarmed at the effect 
both on the efficient working of the diocese, and, I regret to say, 
on the faith of many of our lay people. But in taking the line 


that you have done, you cannot have had your eyes closed to 
these things, and therefore I can only conclude that you are 
conscientiously convinced that there are larger issues involved 
which outweigh in your mind such merely local considerations. 
I profoundly disagree, but I hope that I do not misinterpret you. 
Yours very sincerely, 



February 27, 1915. 

DEAR ARCHDEACON I have to thank you for your letter, and 
am glad you have read again the letter circulated in the diocese 
and that you now realise its objectionable and contemptible 

You are good enough to say quite frankly that you profoundly 
differ from me as regards my recent exercise of patronage. 

This does not surprise me, knowing how intimately you are 
associated with the High Church party, and I have no complaint 
to make. 

This difference may possibly hamper you in your legal dis 
charge of your duty as my officer, and I am sorry that I should 
have felt obliged to lay on you the burden of this difficulty ; 
but I know you will do your best to impress on the section of 
clergy who are dissatisfied that the Bishop has been guided 
solely and entirely by what he conscientiously believes to be his 
duty to the National Church of which he is a responsible officer. 
It depends on you more than any one else whether the spirit of 
political and ecclesiastical bitterness and prejudice is to be 
exorcised or not. 

I have a good defence for my action, but I will not trouble 
you with it. My stalls were filled with High Churchmen during 
my first ten years, and I myself appointed the highest of them, 
and no one uttered a word of complaint. Now, when I have 
looked on for twenty years and seen Liberal Churchmen, however 
distinguished, relentlessly boycotted and passed over with de 
preciation and detraction almost everywhere, and have thought 
it necessary in the interest of the Church to do something to 
prevent this freezing out of Broad Churchmen and the narrowing 
of our National Church into a sect, there is raised this outcry 
I might reasonably complain, but I know that human nature 
being what it is some men will use the occasion and some will be 
honestly alarmed ; but I shall be justified in the long run. 
Yours very truly, 



March i, 1915. 

MY DEAR LORD Thank you for your open and generous 
letter, for I confess that when writing to you I felt rather like a 
Rugby boy daring to find fault with his headmaster ! Your 
position is exactly what I supposed it to be, and I should not have 
written again, but that I think you rather mistake mine, and for 
the sake of mutual confidence, I should like to make mine clear. 
I really cannot plead guilty to any conscious identification with 
the " High Church party/ unless you reckon Temple in his 
later years to have been a member of that party. . . . No, 
my difficulty does not arise from the " High Church " point of 
view. I do not even wish the Broad Churchmen to be " snowed 
under." I quite recognise that they should have their place in 
the Church of England, unless, and until, they arrive at the 
position of " denying " Articles of the Christian Faith. But I 
do very strongly feel that their place is in the intellectual centres, 
and not in a country diocese. We are a simple-minded people, 
who have no use for such a philosophical conception as a truth 
being true while the fact wherein God has enshrined the truth 
for eighteen centuries is false. ... I am sure that you are mak 
ing a mistake if you think that the opposition which has been 
aroused is wholly or even mainly due to a " spirit of political 
and ecclesiastical bitterness." It is in more cases than you 
suppose a real if somewhat inarticulate cry of distressful 
souls. And I do beseech you, if (as I suppose you must) you 
refer to the matter in your coming charge, to make generous 
allowance for this feeling, and not to assume that we are all 
bigoted partisans of some " movement " in a past genera 
tion. ... I very seldom come across any one certainly among 
the clergy who does not speak of yourself personally with 
reverence and even affection. We all realise, I think, your true 
kindness of heart and your desire to do your duty, even if we 
cannot always agree with your mode of action. Yours very 


There is obviously no need for an answer to this, but I was 
anxious to make clear to you my own position. 

March 10, 1915. 

MY DEAR ARCHDEACON I ought to have thanked you for 
your letter of the ist before this, but I have in fact had rather 
more to do day by day than I could get through. 


There are several points in it on which I ought to say a word. 

If I think of your associations and sympathies being with 
the High Church party, I hope you will forgive me ; I wish they 
were all like you. 

As regards Broad Churchmen, the freezing out has gone on 
so long, and has been to such an extent almost universal, with 
the result that the cleavage between the best students earnest, 
devout, truth-seeking men, such as Dr. Sanday and the ordinary 
clerical opinion threatens to be disastrous, that at last after long 
waiting, I felt it my duty to do something to stop it. And as 
regards critical scholars like Streeter, it is not fair to talk of them 
as denying facts of Revelation. 

What I think they would say is that a new and more correct 
understanding of the Bible record necessitates a restatement of 
the Creeds in accordance therewith. Till that restatement can 
be agreed upon some articles must be understood as in some 
degree symbolical. Indeed, you yourself, and Bishop Gore, and 
all the opponents of the Broad Church student, repeat some 
articles in this sense. The fact is that a time of transition like 
this makes heavy demands on the charity and the faith and 
patience of all thoughtful people. 

... I am grateful for what you say as to personal refer 
ences to myself. I have certainly endeavoured so to act as 
Bishop that I might say with Samuel : " The Lord is my witness 
that ye have not found ought in my hand," which could be 
described as a job. Yours very sincerely, 


The Bishop subsequently, on the preferment of Dr. 
Rashdall to the Deanery of Carlisle, appointed the Arch 
deacon to the vacant Canonry. 

The appointment of Mr. Streeter to a canonry might be 
taken as a reply to the Bishop of Zanzibar s attack on 
Foundations in his pamphlet Ecclesia Anglicana : What does 
she stand for P To that Bishop it seemed that Percival had 
betrayed the faith, and he proceeded solemnly and formally 
to excommunicate him in a document which sets forth at 
length the grounds for such action, and concludes as follows : 

Therefore do We, Frank, Lord Bishop of Zanzibar, hereby 
declare and pronounce that, so long as the ground of our com 
plaint set forth above remains, there can be, and from this day 
forward there is, no Communion in Sacred Things between 


Ourselves and the Right Reverend John, Lord Bishop of Hereford, 
nor between Ourselves and any priest within his jurisdiction who 
shall make known his approval of the false doctrines now officially 
authorised within the. Diocese of Hereford ; and We do further 
warn and charge all Our faithful people that, pending the meeting 
of Our Sacred Synod, they duly observe this Our Declaration and 

This document was published in the Church Press, as was 
Percival s reply : 

I regret the pain it must have caused you to adopt the course 
you have felt it your duty to adopt. I freely acknowledge the 
excellence of your motives, and this leads me to regret all the 
more your lack of Christian sympathy, your apparent inability 
even to understand the position of those from whom you differ, 
and your misguided conception of your own position and of your 
duty. For one bishop to take upon himself to excommunicate 
another bishop on his own sole authority because of an alleged 
misuse of the patronage in his diocese is a proceeding which it 
is not easy to justify and which certainly does not tend to edifica 
tion. And I must confess to some surprise that your natural 
modesty did not suggest to you that if public action was called 
for it should have been left to the proper authority. Hasty and 
ill-considered individual action such as yours could hardly be 
defended under any circumstances, and in this case you would 
have done well to bear in mind that Canon Streeter has not even 
been arraigned, much less condemned, before any ecclesiastical 
Court or Synod, and that he continues to hold a license to officiate 
from my brother bishop the Bishop of Oxford. Thus I may 
venture to say, as an old man to a younger, that although acting 
no doubt in all sincerity and from the highest motives, you have 
been led to take too much upon you. 

Moreover, the books Foundations and Restatement and Reunion 
do not, as you suggest, contain any denial of " the historical facts 
stated in the Creeds," or of any " fundamental dogma," nor can 
they be shown to contravene either the letter or the spirit of the 
declaration recently issued by the Upper House of the Canterbury 
Convocation, to which you refer. Indeed, so far from meriting 
the strictures you pass on them, the books in question are, in 
the judgment of reasonable men, positive and constructive in aim 
and character, and embody a commendable endeavour to establish 
the fundamental beliefs of Christianity in the face of difficulties 
which are widely felt at the present time among educated church 
men, and which it would be disastrous to ignore. 


I note your statement that you have been unable to take 
counsel with your Synod, and I can readily believe that the 
special difficulties and anxieties caused in your diocese by the 
war have prevented you from giving the subject such careful 
and serious attention as you would otherwise have given to it ; 
but I submit that such attention ought to have been given before 
rushing into public denunciation, and I anticipate that you 
yourself on further reflection will come to feel that your action 
has been precipitate and unwise. Of your earnestness in the 
work of the Mission field I desire to speak with all respect, and 
I pray that it may be rightly guided, trusting that in future you 
will abstain from rash and ill-considered denunciation of your 
fellow-churchmen and concentrate yourself entirely upon that 
work in happy and fruitful service of our common Lord. In this 
distressful time we ought surely to rise above our unhappy ecclesi 
astical divisions and pray for more of the spirit of unity in Christ 
and more brotherhood among men. 

Percival s formal justification of the whole policy which 
he had adopted in his later years at Hereford was given in 
his sixth and last Visitation Charge, delivered in 1915 : 

It is, I feel, due to you and also to myself, that I should refer 
briefly to certain criticisms that have been publicly made on 
some recent appointments to canonries in our Cathedral. 

I thankfully recognise the immunity I have enjoyed during 
the twenty years of my episcopate from adverse criticism of my 
exercise of patronage, and I honestly think that I have deserved 
this immunity ; for I have certainly treated all patronage as a 
matter of very serious duty, involving grave personal responsi 
bility, and to be dispensed without fear or favour or partial 

And I am grateful that my endeavours so to dispense it, 
and my desire to do the right thing in each case, seem to have 
been generally recognised by people of goodwill. 

At the same time, I have not been greatly surprised that 
one or two of my recent appointments have called forth some 
objections. Let me give you one or two of my reasons for 
making them. 

In the course of twenty years I have had the opportunity of 
appointing seven canons. Three of these were already serving 
as incumbents in the diocese, and two of them as pronounced 
High Churchmen belonged to the dominant party in the Church, 
that party which, during the last fifty years, has secured for 


itself by far the greatest share of the best patronage in our 
Church of England. One I appointed from the outside to supply 
an urgent need of our Cathedral, because of his eminence and his 
unique fitness for the special work required. And when you 
think to-day of all that Canon Capes did for the preservation of 
our slowly decaying records and for the administration and well- 
being of the Cathedral itself, as also for the School attached 
to it, you will freely admit that my appointment has been more 
than abundantly justified. 

The remaining three of these seven appointments I have felt 
it my duty, under very exceptional circumstances, to bestow 
on men of unusual distinction outside our own diocese. 

And here is my justification for these appointments. I have 
selected them as leading members of the Liberal Progressive 
Broad Church School of Theology, that school to which, as it 
happens, I myself more or less belong. 

It was not, however, on this personal ground that I selected 
them, but because in the course of a long life I have seen and 
regretted time after time the persistent neglect and hard treat 
ment meted out to this important section of our Church by the 
higher authorities of both Church and State. 

I have seen a succession of eminent and devout churchmen 
of this school passed over again and again, and treated with 
what amounted to a polite but lifelong boycott, and meeting 
with no adequate recognition of their merit or their work. 

Even statesmen who were supposed to represent Liberal and 
Progressive opinion have again and again passed them by, 
possibly influenced by misrepresentation and detraction. Under 
these circumstances, I have been brought, after long years, to 
feel that it has become my duty to the Church, regarded as the 
reformed progressive and National Church, to do what little I 
have the opportunity of doing to redress the balance of this 
unequal treatment, and help to remedy the harm which such 
treatment of an important section of churchmen was doing to 
our religious life, and, indeed, to the prospects and influence of 
the Church itself. 

No one can feel more deeply than I do of how little weight or 
importance is anything that I can do in the Church at large ; 
but we should all act on our convictions, however unimportant 
we may be ; and it seemed to me to be high time that this per 
sistent exclusion of Liberal Churchmen from any due recognition 
should cease, or that some one at any rate should vindicate their 
claim and do something to re-establish the comprehensive and 
tolerant character of our National Church, and to save it from 
becoming practically denationalised and sinking into a sect, and 


from inevitably losing vital influence over the educated manhood 
of a Protestant people. 

Fortunately it is no function of the biographer to sit 
in judgment on the actions he narrates. Percival would 
certainly have agreed that a provincial Cathedral surrounded 
by a purely rural area was no specially suitable place for the 
gathering together of a Chapter, brilliant in distinction but 
keenly sensitive to the perplexities of current thought. But 
it was the only position that he controlled ; no one else 
seemed willing to act ; he considered that the Liberal Theo 
logians were being boycotted to the great injury of the 
Church, and he came to the conclusion that he ought to do 
what lay in his power to correct this state of affairs. 

The question of principle the only question of principle 
was whether the school of thought, to which the men 
appointed by Percival in the latter years of his episcopate 
belonged, had a right to its position within the Church. 
Percival emphatically held that it had. Holding this con 
viction, he bravely acted on it. The points of expediency 
were two : was a rural diocese a suitable arena for his action ? 
and, if not, was the total gain to the Church worth the loss, 
if any, that might be involved to the diocese by the appoint 
ment of men less obviously adapted to its immediate needs ? 
Percival would, no doubt, have preferred an urban centre 
for the action that he felt bound to take ; he would have 
preferred all his work to be in urban centres, among the 
industrial population. But he did not hold that a rural 
diocese was a definitely unsuitable place for Liberal Theo 
logians ; he hoped that a group of scholars at the centre 
would gradually influence the minds of the clergy so that 
without any shock to faith the message of the Gospel would 
more and more be presented in a form immune from any 
attack by advancing knowledge. He peremptorily denied 
the saying that " Broad Churchmen have no message for the 
common people." Consequently he did not feel that he was 
in any degree sacrificing his diocese ; and he felt that he was 
benefiting the Church. 

It must be admitted, however, that he did exasperate 


the feeling of those who disagreed with him by his charges 
of unfairness or partisanship. He differed from their whole 
point of view ; that was legitimate ; but he did not put 
himself in their position and consider how, holding that point 
of view, they were bound to regard his action. To have 
done this need not have led to any modification of his own 
conduct, but it would have led to considerable modification 
of his attitude towards his opponents. 

He claimed with justice that, if his appointments were 
reviewed as a whole, it would be found that he had been fair 
to all schools. But it also has to be admitted that in the 
later years his major appointments were chiefly of one colour. 
His own justification of his action admits this. He had 
waited till he thought it would be wrong to wait longer. 
Then he adopted a deliberate policy, and followed it with 
characteristic thoroughness. 

There was undoubtedly a change of direction in his policy 
from 1902 onwards. He had always been a Liberal in politics ; 
he had always sympathised with Liberals in theology. The 
education conflicts led him to feel more isolated than before, 
and to adopt a more definitely " Liberal " attitude. He did 
this, not because the views which he now more insistently 
emphasised and favoured were his own, but because he 
thought they were not receiving fair play. If he became 
himself to some extent a partisan, it was because he thought 
the party to which he attached himself had a just claim on 
his championship. Had he possessed greater intellectual 
sympathy with his opponents, and consequently a more 
conciliatory method of statement and argument, his cham 
pionship would have been still more effective. As it was, 
he created a cleavage between the Cathedral and the diocese. 
He said in a letter to Canon Bannister written on February 4, 
1913, " We have hardly any Modern Churchmen outside the 

But he bore his witness to the Church as a whole, and 
it was not without effect. If he himself hardened in his 
own position as a result of isolation, it is equally true that 
" Modernists " are driven sometimes to " negations " by 
the boycotting process when sympathetic treatment would 


produce another effect. Conciliation breeds conciliation. 
If men are made to fight with their backs to the wall, they 
cease to look for points of agreement with their adversaries. 
If George Tyrrell had remained in the more tolerant atmo 
sphere of Anglicanism he would quite conceivably have 
remained substantially orthodox. The reconciliation of the 
traditional Christian faith and modern knowledge is necessary 
in every age, and in every age is difficult. It cannot be done 
by assertions and counter-assertions, by protests and counter- 
protests. It can only be done when men speak the truth 
in love. The position of the Modernist in the Church of 
England is easier than in some parts of the Catholic Church ; 
but it is difficult enough. He has his own problem of con 
science to face ; he is the object of suspicion to a large 
section, probably the most active section, of the Church; 
and under such handicaps he confronts an acutely difficult 
intellectual problem requiring the most delicate handling. 
If he receives no encouragement from any in authority in 
the Church, it is small wonder when he becomes antagonistic 
to the prevailing currents of Church life, to his own and 
the Church s great loss. Percival sought to make the 
Modernists and Liberal Theologians feel that at least one 
bishop valued their efforts and appreciated their difficulties. 
He may have made mistakes of method ; but his aim was 
no unworthy one and his pursuit of it showed a courageous 

2 A 



THE story of John Percival s life has now been told down 
to the fatal year 1914. That is a date which for all in whose 
working lives it fell marks a sudden break of interest. Until 
then men had followed their various aims, sometimes in 
conflict with each other. In that year one dominating 
purpose seized upon all Englishmen, obliterating former 
differences and uniting them all in the concentrated effort 
and sorrow of the Great War. But for Bishop Percival sorrow 
began with the beginning of the year. His son, Guthrie, 
died most unexpectedly shortly after returning from Mexico 
where he had lately been. The whole sad story is given in 
outline in the following letter to Prebendary Wynne Willson : 

Jan. 27, 1914. 

DEAR WYNNE WILLSON I have just received your letter, and 
am very grateful for its consoling sympathy, which I greatly need, 
for Guthrie s death is a sore bereavement, and it has all come so 
suddenly. He left Mexico in the best of health and spirits, 
hoping to be back again after a few weeks at home ; but when 
his wife met him at Paddington he could hardly speak or hold 
up his head, being in the grip of very severe double pneumonia 
after a bad chill on the voyage. The rest was just a struggle 
till the heart gave way. The funeral service was at St. Mary s, 
Bryanston Square, at 11.30 this morning, and afterwards at 
Brookwood Cemetery. I feel thankful that you were spared the 
journey. Yours very sincerely, 





To the sorrow itself was added the bitterness of dis 
appointment ; on hearing of his son s illness the Bishop had 
been on the point of starting for London when he had a 
telegram to say that his son had had a good night and was 
out of danger. He did, however, come to London a few 
days later and was able to have some conversation with 
Guthrie. Soon after this the end came suddenly, when the 
Bishop had gone to Bournemouth. 

To the Rev. L. J. Percival 


Jan. 24, 1914. 

DEAR LANCE Your telegram gave me a great shock, as I had 
begun to hope that the poor boy would pull through, though 
when I saw him last Saturday my heart sank. It has been a 
dreadfully sad home coming for him, and one can only say God s 
will be done. ... I am thankful that you are on the spot to 
give your help. Yours affectionately, 


At this time he was glad to hope for some help in the 
spiritual work of the diocese. The last three years had been 
a time of constant controversy in which the Bishop was in a 
small minority. He was resisting what seemed to him the 
mischievous development of Catholic beliefs and practices. 
But he never ceased to value the influence and work of 
devoted Catholics or to admire the heroism which they 
showed. In the spring of 1914 Bishop Hine, formerly of 
Zanzibar, was retiring from his diocese of Northern Rhodesia, 
and Percival sought to secure his help in the Hereford 

To the Rev. R. Burges Bayly 

March 20, 1914. 

DEAR MR. BURGES BAYLY I am glad to hear that Bishop 
Hine is at last being released ; and I should be glad if you would 
tell Canon Crowfoot that the Bishop will be doing me a service 
if, when he comes home, he will come and give us a little help, as 
my chaplain will by that time be married and living in his own 


house. I should like it if the Bishop cared to try the experiment 
of occupying his rooms in the Palace and assisting us with 
emergency work, which as you know means assisting an incumbent 
when ill or being responsible for the work of a parish during a 
vacancy. A saintly and experienced man like the Bishop going 
to one parish or another would be of great value to both priest 
and people ; and I hope he would not shrink from the experiment, 
especially as he knows Mrs. Percival and is an old friend of her 

I should feel obliged if you can make all this known to the 
Bishop, through Canon Crowfoot or otherwise. Yours sincerely, 


March 25, 1914. 

DEAR MR. BURGES BAYLY I return the Bishop s touching 
letter with thanks for a sight of it with what rare and heroic 
simplicity he writes of the journey in front of him, as if it were 
little more than a walk through Herefordshire. Yours sincerely, 


During the dark days at the end of July Percival 
anxiously watched the gathering of the war clouds. His 
old passion for peace was still strong, and he knew no more 
than other men of the actual course of the recent diplomacy. 
Two days before the declaration of war he wrote to Canon 
Bannister : 

August 2, 1914. 

DEAR BANNISTER Do you think we could get the Mayor to 
call a meeting of citizens to urge the Government to adhere to 
the policy of neutrality and efforts for peace ? 

I have joined a Committee of protest against the mischievous 
utterances of our jingo Press ; and I sent last night a letter to 
every incumbent in the diocese about Prayers in Church, and 
asking him if possible to call a meeting of his parishioners, and 
to send to the Premier a resolution from it urging the policy of 
neutrality and efforts for peace. Yours sincerely 


Like many another advocate of peace, Percival was 
suddenly illuminated by the German violation of Belgian 

xv LAST YEARS 357 

neutrality. At once he confessed his conversion, and on 
August 12 this letter from his pen appeared in The Times : 


To the Editor of " The Times " 

SIR I am venturing to ask the hospitality of your columns 
in consequence of some wrong impressions abroad as to the 
patriotism of those who laboured for peace and the neutrality 
of our country so long as it was possible to do so. 

Many of us believe that the great military empires of Europe 
with their war lords, their cynical reliance on brute force, and their 
unscrupulous policy, are a standing menace to all democratic 
and Christian civilisation. Their unceasing struggle for the 
balance of power, with its accompanying disregard of all moral 
obligation, brings not only danger, but also disgrace upon inter 
national politics. It is difficult to understand how men who 
in their personal relationships are honest and honourable can 
submit to be the instruments and ministers of such a policy. 
So long as these militarist governments dominate the politics 
of Europe, a concert of leading Powers, acting in the spirit of 
unselfish duty and goodwill, is practically impossible. 

Thus it was obviously the duty of our Government, as it was 
its wisdom, to keep clear of all entanglements in the intrigues of 
the rival Continental Powers. France unhappily became thus 
entangled through alliance or understanding with one of these 
Powers in self-defence against another, and was kept in conse 
quence within the vicious circle. 

But we were assured by the Premier and Sir Edward Grey 
that England was free from all treaty obligations, and conse 
quently at liberty to remain neutral in the war which the three 
military empires had provoked, and to labour for peace ; and, 
many of us, thus assured, as in duty bound, gave the policy of 
neutrality our whole-hearted support. Unfortunately, however, 
this assurance only covered half the ground. 

While the course of our foreign policy had left us free from 
treaty obligations, it appears that in connection with our friendly 
ententes there had been commitments by way of understandings 
which, though entered into without authority of Parliament, 
made it difficult for us as a nation to stand aside with honour. 

However, at this point the German Government (we have no 


quarrel with the German people) solved our difficulties by its 
shameless cynicism and its flagrant disregard of all moral con 
siderations. While breaking its pledged word by its unprovoked 
invasion of Belgium, it suggested to us the bargain by which we 
were to condone its action and desert the Belgian people. This 
proposal the Prime Minister appropriately described as infamous. 
The proposal, it is true, was accompanied by certain promises. 
But what is the value of a promise from a promise breaker ? 

Under these circumstances I am brought to the conclusion 
that in obedience to our treaty obligations, and in support of 
Belgium s just claim, our country had no choice but to take up 
the sword if honourable dealing was to have any chance of sur 
viving in international affairs the cynicism and duplicity 
against which we are thus called to fight are worse than war, 
notwithstanding all its horrors and its miseries, and for my part 
I trust that every Englishman will do his part in the cause of 
righteous dealing and to free our civilisation from the maleficent 
and unscrupulous pride of military despotism. 

And amidst all the gloom of present and impending warfare 
there is this ray of hope for the masses of the people in every 
country involved in it that such a fearful war, so wantonly 
provoked, can hardly fail to bring us appreciably nearer to the 
day when the people at large will rise up and insist that these 
unscrupulous militarist governments must be swept away and 
give place to governments in which the people rule and are free 
to live in the spirit of international brotherhood, peace, and 

Such a war is a heavy price to pay for our progress towards 
the realisation of the Christianity of Christ, but duty calls, and 
the price must be paid for the good of those who are to follow us. 

That better and happier day, when the people now under 
militarist rule shall regulate their own life, is doubtless still so 
far away that an old man like myself can hardly hope to see its 
dawning, but amidst all the burden of gloom and sorrow which 
this dreadful war lays upon us we can at least thank God that it 
brings that better day a long step nearer for the generations in 
front of us. Your obedient servant, 


On August 25 he wrote again to Canon Bannister : 

Yes, the days are dark and one can only pray that the French 
may be strong enough to roll back the German wave from their 

xv LAST YEARS 359 

In the midst of the heavy anxieties of the first months 
of the war Percival kept his eightieth birthday. He had 
many letters of congratulation, but it is doubtful if any 
pleased him more than one which he received from John 
Percival Wynne Willson, the eldest son of his friend. 1 To 
him the Bishop replied : 


Sept. 27, 1914. 

MY DEAR BOY It was very nice of you to send me your good 
wishes on my birthday, and I am very glad to have them ; and 
I hope you have a great many happy birthdays before you. I 
am so very glad to hear that you are getting on so well at school. 
With my best thanks for your letter. Yours affectionately, 


Percival celebrated his eightieth birthday in a charac 
teristic fashion. He sent sums of money to various poor 
clergy in his diocese with this note : 

The Bishop, feeling that a thank-offering is due from him 
for the gift of length of days and good health, thinks it may 
appropriately be given to some of those who have been doing 
good work for the Church in the diocese on a very scanty income, 

and he hopes you will accept the enclosed and use it as 

you think best. 

In October the news was received that Arthur Percival 
had been awarded the Legion of Honour. Writing to 
Canon Alexander to answer congratulations the Bishop said : 

October 10, 1914. 

MY DEAR ALEXANDER It was very good of you to send me 
your kind and welcome letter, and I return my grateful thanks. 

Yes, if my son s mother had lived his distinction as a soldier 
would have been a great joy to her. What has won him this 
particular decoration I do not know, as he has told us nothing 

1 This is the boy of whom his father tells the story, that when quite a 
small boy he was taken to see the Bishop. On being brought into the 
study the child saw a tiny chair which caught his fancy, and he took it 
and placed it beside the Bishop and sat in it. Later, when the child left, 
the chair was in his perambulator, placed there by the Bishop s orders. 


about it. He is a very reticent and modest person. I can only 
suppose that it may be for something he did in that very risky 
retreat after the battle of Mons. I hope the Germans will have 
more sense than to threaten London with Zeppelins. They seem 
to be of little use unless it is useful to strike terror into an un 
offending population, and they would certainly make our English 
people so angry that they would give a stimulus to recruiting. 

You seem to have done well with your finances this last year. 
With best regards to Mrs. Alexander. Yours very sincerely, 


Soon after this, Arthur Percival wrote to say that he had 
been told officially that he was to be promoted to a Brigade. 
But almost immediately this happy news was followed 
by that of Colonel Percival s death. It was a shattering 
blow. Writing to the Rev. L. J. Percival he said : 

Thank you for writing. I feel as if this sudden blow had 
taken all strength and feeling out of my life. We shall miss him 
sorely every day. 

The aching void was still a constant anguish two years 

To Mrs. Arthur Percival 

Oct. 30, 1916. 

DEAR CECIL I do not remember, if I ever realised, whether 
the 30th or the 3ist was the day on which we lost Arthur. The 
only thing I know for certain is what a daily sorrow the loss has 
been to me ever since. Every day my thoughts are with him ; 
sometimes I try to be thankful that he had a life so congenial to 
him, and that he was happy, as I believe he was, in all the stren 
uous work and amidst all the perils of the last weeks of his life ; 
and sometimes I wonder what he would have done as a General 
the last two years. But this is idle, and the sense of loss is the 
ever present thing, so that I can hardly bring myself to take 
interest in anything. 

I am, however, thankful to have had him, and I hope you, 
being younger, are recovering from the sense of loss and able to 
enjoy the interests of life which you have within your reach. 
With my love, I am, Ever yours affectionately, 



To the Rev. L. J. Per rival 

Nov. 3, 1916. 

DEAR LANCE I was glad to have your letter this morning 
and to hear of your All Saints Day. 

It will always be to us the end of dear Arthur s noble life ; 
and it is some consolation to feel that he enjoyed it all so fully ; 
and no doubt his last days were gladdened by the thought that 
his opportunities were just opening out before him. But God 
disposes and we must be content. . . . 

We got through our Diocesan Conference one day only 
quite happily. Everything goes very pleasantly nowadays. 
Dr. Chapman keeps me on my legs by careful instructions, but 
I am rather tottery and so take no liberties, and I am rather 
amused when people say, as they do almost daily, I am very 
glad to see you looking so well. We go to Clifton next week for 
a council meeting. Yours affectionately, 


The love for Clifton lasted till the end ; and the Bishop 
founded there a memorial of his son for which the thanks of 
the Council were expressed in a letter from Sir Herbert 
Warren, the President of Magdalen. 

March 13, 1915. 

MY DEAR LORD BISHOP When you left the Chair the other 
day the Council asked me to take your place, which in itself I 
always regard as a privilege. 

The Headmaster then reported to us a proposal from your 
self to found a Scholarship of 30 to 40 a year, open to sons of 
British officers in His Majesty s service, in memory of your son, 
Lieutenant-Colonel Arthur Jex-Blake Percival, Fifth Fusiliers, 
D.S.O., and Officer of the Legion of Honour, who was killed in 
action at Ypres on the 3ist of October 1914. 

I need not say I am sure that the Council one and all were 
deeply touched by this proposal, and that they were unanimous 
in accepting this very precious gift from you. 

They passed the resolution " that the Scholarship is accepted 
with the best thanks of the Council," and requested me to write 
to you on behalf of the Council and express their appreciation of 
this gift. 


I have had the minute from the Secretary, but how shall I 
attempt to discharge my task ? I think words simple and short 
will be best. I have tried before to tell you something of what 
I thought of your splendid and gallant soldier son, and your sad 

I would say now first that we all, your old friends, feel what a 
help this Scholarship will be to the School. We feel your 
generosity in giving it to the School, a generosity not new, but 
for that reason the more marked. We feel how helpful it will 
be to many parents of boys, exactly of the kind whom the School 
would wish to aid in the coming years, but before all we feel, 
and I feel especially, that this Foundation is no common, but 
rather a very sacred, one, and that the name and example of your 
son himself, commemorated by it, should be in themselves a 
stimulus, I hope sometimes something of an inspiration, to the 
young hearts who in the future history of the School will be 
the " Arthur Percival " Scholars. Believe me to be, My very 
dear Lord Bishop, Always sincerely yours, 


The Bishop s Sixth and last Visitation was held in 1915. 
In the course of his Charge, which was mainly occupied with 
the justification of his policy in making appointments, 1 the 
Bishop said : 

We meet to-day under heavy clouds : anxiety and sorrow, 
sacrifice and bereavement, are casting their shadow over so many 
lives. It is in the hope that we are contributing in some degree 
to the upraising of the life of nations a little nearer to the standard 
of Christ s Kingdom and to the promise of happier days for the 
generations in front of us that we bear unflinchingly, and as a 
call of God, each of us our individual share of the sure and heavy 
burden of sacrifice and bereavement in our darkened homes. 

And as we bear this burden it will assuredly be helpful if 
we are careful to remember and to teach that men learn their 
best and truest lessons of life and conduct in these hours of 
supreme visitation and sorrow. Such times call out all that is 
best and noblest in man s nature. They are our hours of truest 
insight, and they uplift us into the region of the higher and 
better life. Strengthened by such reflections, and feeling that 
along with our Allies we are the predestined instruments to save 
the Christian civilisation of Europe from being overcome by a 
brutal and ruthless military paganism, we should make it our 

1 See Chap. XIV. 

xv LAST YEARS 363 

primary duty to prosecute this warfare at all cost till the victory 
is won and the law of Christ is firmly established as the para 
mount authority in all national and international affairs. 

From the time when he became persuaded of the justice 
of the nation s cause there was no wavering of purpose ; but 
the sacrifice had been great. Such sorrows, however, did 
not interfere with the performance of his duties, or with his 
enjoyment of the presence of young folk about him. In the 
summer of 1915 the children of the Rev. L. J. Percival were 
staying at Hereford, to their grandfather s intense delight. 

To the Rev. L. J. Percival 

July 2, 1915. 

DEAR LANCE Roger s books have arrived, and we have had 
a little turn at them together. He seems to have made a nice 
beginning with his Latin. He is very pleased with himself, as 
he has a new suit on this morning, and has found a threepenny 
piece in one of the pockets. This puzzles him a good deal. He 
cannot tell how it got there, but he knows how it can be spent. 

Douglas is in excellent spirits, but he has no desire to come 
and show me what he can read. . . . Yours affectionately, 


He was still able to appreciate a vigorous and racy speech. 
On August 6, 1915, he wrote to Canon Bannister : 

We had a crowded and enthusiastic meeting in the Shire Hall 
last night, and Will Crooks addressed us in a very entertaining 
and stirring way more suo. 

The following account of him in these last years is given 
by the Rev. C. R. Norcock, who was his domestic chaplain 
from September 1916 until his resignation : 

One s first and last impression of Bishop Percival was that 
of the combination of reserve and " aloofness " in his manner 
with the wonderful gentleness and courtesy which he showed 
towards individuals. On learning that a candidate for deacon s 
Orders, who was chosen as " Gospeller," was very unwell, the 
Bishop sent for him before the Ordination, told him that he 


wished him not to miss the distinction of reading the Gospel, and 
added that to save him from feeling the strain of the long service 
he had ordered a chair to be put for him in a corner of the Choir, 
and had also appointed a " deputy " to read the Gospel, in case 
he should feel at the last moment unable to do so. 

I had to meet some rather unusual difficulties of a parti 
cularly trying kind in my first curacy, and received the kindest 
possible letters of advice and sympathy from the Bishop. It 
was almost always obvious that his sympathies lay with the 
curate rather than with the incumbent, when trouble of any kind 
arose to disturb the relations between them. 

When I returned to Hereford in the autumn of 1916 as 
domestic chaplain, the Bishop s health was beginning to fail 
him ; but he had lost none of his extraordinary intimate know 
ledge of parochial conditions all over the diocese. Sometimes 
when engaged on his correspondence with me, if the name of 
some remote parish came up for consideration, the Bishop would 
close his eyes and think for a moment, then astonish me with his 
accurate memory of all connected with the place and its incum 
bent. His judgments were usually gentle and most forbearing. 
" They are feeble folk," he would remark of some particularly 
fussy and helpless clergy. For ill-health, or poverty, he showed 
an especially warm sympathy. More than once I have seen his 
eyes fill with tears on reading a letter from some vicar in distress 
of mind or body. And then out would come his cheque-book, 
and a very generous gift would be sent, to call forth a grateful 
letter of relief and renewed hope in reply. 

He could, of course, be severe when need arose. He had no 
mercy for double-dealing, or disloyalty in any shape or form. 
The soul of " straightness " himself in all his actions, he could 
not understand the shifts and evasions to which some of the 
less honourable among his clergy had recourse from time to time. 
But such instances were extremely few and far between. He 
showed the utmost patience in granting interviews on almost any 
matter to those who wished to consult him. 

On one occasion a clergyman, whom I happened to have met 
previously, arrived during breakfast " to pay his respects to 
the Bishop," who at once went to him, and finding him a complete 
stranger from another diocese, charmed him with his courteous 
interest and attention. That was only one of many similar 
instances of the Bishop s ready accessibility to all. During this 
last year he more than once confirmed wounded soldiers in his 
private chapel, and after the service would delight to show them 
the many sporting trophies, once the property of his own soldier 
son, which adorned the Hall. 

xv LAST YEARS 365 

In the Chapel itself he had for long been in the habit of 
reading the lessons at the daily offices, and after the death of 
his son in action he would himself read the commendation of 
the Fallen to the divine " redeeming love " and mercy in the 
special form of " war prayers." At celebrations he was careful 
that the two lights of English custom should be used, and he 
would always take the ablutions outside the Chapel at the end 
of the service. He greatly disliked the use of the " cursing 
Psalms," and instructed the chaplain to be careful in making 
his selection of the psalm to be read in the shortened order of 
morning and evening prayer. 

From time to time one would gain a glimpse of his own deep 
and earnest faith. I once ventured to put to him the famous 
question, which was popularly supposed to be asked of every 
candidate for an army chaplaincy, " What would you say if 
you were called to the side of a man who had only two minutes 
(or five minutes) to live ? " The Bishop thought for a few 
seconds in silence, then answered, " The Twenty-third Psalm ; 
trust in Christ." 

His comments on books and their writers were invariably 
characteristic and illuminating. He lent me Bishop Gore s book 
on Reservation, remarking, when I returned it, that it was 
good, but that " he argues like a mediaeval bishop." He could 
not make much of Father Nicholai Velimirovic s book on the 
spirit of Serbian Christianity, saying only, " It seems to be a 
kind of mystical pronouncement." But, curiously enough, he 
greatly enjoyed Mr. G. C. Rawlinson s book of studies in modern 
French Catholicism, although its author s standpoint was pre 
cisely the reverse of his own. Probably the memory of his own 
meeting and conversation with the late Archbishop of Albi, Mgr. 
Mignot, had given him an interest in the French Church. 

Another book which he read more than once towards the end 
of his life was the Bishop of Durham s little volume, called 
Memories of a Vicarage. He had a special admiration for Dr. 
Moule, saying once of him, "He is a very good bishop. He 
attends to his spiritual duties." He spoke also with deep feeling 
of Bishop Ellicott s habit of rising early for private intercession 
for his people. At the ordinations, Dr. Percival invariably 
repeated aloud to himself the special suffrage in the Litany for 
the ordinands. He had a great liking and respect for the con 
victions of those whom he described as " moderate High Church 
men." Indeed, in certain respects his own views approximated 
to theirs. Lightfoot and Hort to him were the " masters." 

I asked him to lend me the MS. of the wonderfully impressive 
charge which he delivered on the eve of my ordination. He 


said, " You will find it all, better done, in Lightfoot " ; and after 
dinner Lightfoot s Ordination Addresses were sent in to my 
room ! Needless to say, his own most striking words of counsel 
and warning were not to be found there. 

His " Nunc Dimittis " was beautiful in its peace and resigna 
tion. On his last Sunday in Hereford he insisted (against his 
doctor s wishes) on receiving the Eucharist once more in his 
Cathedral ; and on the day on which he left for Oxford he said 
" good-bye " individually to every member of his household. 

To the gentleness and strength which marked his character 
one must add his deep, though quiet, sense of humour. We 
delighted to " draw him out/ with his fascinating store of 
reminiscences of the Oxford of Newman, Pusey, and Mark 
Pattison. It was to their generation that he himself belonged, 
and he seemed to sum up in his own character and outlook all 
that was best and most progressive in the Church of mid- Victorian 

To the very end he was dogged by controversy. In the 
latest years of his episcopate opinion in the Church of 
England was greatly agitated with regard to the adoration 
of the Reserved Sacrament. Percival was unable to attend 
a meeting of bishops at which this was to be considered, 
and circulated an appeal of which the most important 
paragraphs are as follows : 

I have to ask the kind indulgence of my brother bishops for 
venturing to trouble them with this appeal, which I make (as 
an old man) in the conviction that the usefulness and influence of 
the Church of England is gravely threatened by the Romanising 
section of the Church, and that it is the paramount duty of the 
bishops to maintain the Church as a pure and spiritual branch 
of the Church of Christ. 

I suggest for consideration the following as indicating the 
lines on which a concession may be made with safety : 

1. The rubric forbidding Reservation to remain untouched, 
recent experience having shown the wisdom of the reformers 
and the certainty of constant trouble in maintaining any other 
rule free from abuse under a good-natured, lax, or sympathetic 

2. To allow a priest the option of an alternative use in the 
communion of the sick as follows : 

Whenever he has already communicated it shall not be 
necessary for him to communicate again, and he shall be at 



liberty to consecrate sufficient bread and wine for the sick person 
and those who communicate with him, beginning the Conse 
cration Prayer at the words : " The same night that He was 
betrayed," etc., and he may also with the consent of the Bishop 
shorten the service as the condition of the sick person or other 
circumstances may require. 

In this way the established usage of our Reformed Church 
may be adequately safeguarded and the present backward drift 
towards Rome, which is so dangerous to our Church and so 
retrograde, may be stopped without offence to any loyal section 
of Church people. 

The aim of this proposal was to find some way of " meeting 
those who feel a difficulty in regard to communion of the sick 
and yet are honestly loyal to the spirit of the Prayer Book." 
Once more Percival was doomed to fail through total mis 
understanding of those whose views he did not share. It is 
inconceivable that any priest who feels a difficulty about the 
communion of the sick should be relieved by a permission to 
consecrate for the sick man without receiving the Sacrament 
himself ; for it is far more integral to the whole doctrine of 
the Eucharistic Sacrifice that the priest who consecrates 
should himself receive than that when he receives he should 
be fasting. Once more the genuine sympathy of feeling was 
frustrated by the absence of any corresponding sympathy 
of mind. 

In the last year of his episcopate the National Mission of 
Repentance and Hope was launched. Percival was already 
too old to take an active part, but he concerned himself very 
eagerly with the arrangements in the Hereford diocese, 
attending personally every service held during a Convention 
at Hereford that lasted for two and a half days. 

It had been his custom to preach in the Cathedral every 
year on Christmas Day. But in 1916 he wrote to Canon 
Bannister to say that he was forbidden to attempt it : 

December 22, 1916. 

DEAR CANON I am sorry to have to ask you to excuse me on 
Christmas Day. Dr. Chapman says I must not attempt it, and, 
what is still more important, I feel unable to prepare a sermon 


or to preach one when prepared. My powers of thinking and of 
utterance are both going from me, and there is nothing more to 
be said. 

It is disappointing, as I had got my subject ready All things 
new in Christ but Christ not yet fully recognised in public and 
international affairs, and the menace to civilisation from the 
recrudescence of anti-Christian barbaric standards in German 

But you will give us something much better, and I hope with 
out great inconvenience. Yours very sincerely, 


That marked the beginning of the end. Physical weak 
ness had begun to appear, but his patience and strength of 
will had greatly concealed it. Moreover he was full of 
sorrows. Friends of the old days were mostly dead. Of his 
eight children only two survived. Already he had given 
notice that if his health showed no improvement he would 
resign in the following year. No improvement took place, 
and in the summer of 1917 he left Hereford to spend his 
remaining days in Oxford. Of the many letters which he 
received four shall be quoted here : 

From the Headmaster of Rugby 1 

Sept. 1 8, 1917. 

MY DEAR LORD BISHOP At the close of your work your 
friends must all be wishing you to be conscious of the honour 
and love in which they hold you. When I think of all the men 
to whom I have owed much, and they are many, I think first of 
you. Not only did you give me my first real start in life, but you 
set me a noble example of wisdom and strength and devotion. 
Once you referred to me in public as your son in the spirit. It 
made me very proud, and I have longed better to deserve the 
name. I have used your inheritance not worthily, but at least 
with continual mindfulness of the gift. My gratitude must be 
shown, if I can show it, in deeds, but I should like you to know 
that I shall feel myself your debtor all my life. 

For yourself I hope and pray that the years God may give 
you yet may be blessed with good health, peace of mind, and 
happy memories. Believe me, Yours in grateful affection, 


1 Now Bishop of St. Edmundsbury and Ipswich. 

xv LAST YEARS 369 

From the Headmaster of Wellington 1 


November 23, 1917. 

MY DEAR LORD BISHOP I have often written to you for help 
and advice, and now the spirit moves me to tell you of my grati 
tude. It is very sincere. Many must be feeling this towards 
you, and I do hope that the consciousness of it will give a glow 
to the evening of your days. Often and often when I have come 
to the ugly corners which sometimes face all headmasters, I 
have got courage from thinking of the fearless way in which you 
would have faced such a situation. I am proud that I began 
my work under you at Rugby and continued it at Clifton, where 
your spirit can never die. There is change ahead of English 
schools, and I hope we shall have the wisdom to meet it, and 
that all the headmasters in England and there are many 
who have caught some inspiration from you will hand it on to 
the next generation. 

I don t often come to Oxford now, but when I do I will come 
to see you, so please do not answer this. I just wanted to say 
" Thank you." Yours gratefully and affectionately, 


From the Archbishop of Canterbury 

Sept. 27, 1917. 

MY DEAR BISHOP It is distressing to us to realise that we 
are no longer to have you and Mrs. Percival as inmates of the 
ancient Tower. But I hope we may none the less have oppor 
tunity of seeing you, if and when you are in London. 

I trust that the quiet of Oxford and the release from diocesan 
cares may be of real advantage to your health and strength. 

I have valued very highly during these busy years the 
advantage of your friendship and counsel, and these are not 
going to be withholden from us in the coming days. May 
God have you constantly in His keeping. I am, Yours 


1 Now Headmaster of Rugby. 

2 B 


From the Bishop-Designate of Hereford 1 


December 16, 1917. 

MY DEAR BISHOP I have been down with a bad chill con 
tracted a week ago, and am still rather a wreck. Besides, I did 
not know where you were living until this afternoon, when Mrs. 
Percival s letter (which had been " snowed under " a mountain 
ous mass of letters) came into my hands. 

It has seemed to me plainly my duty to accept a place on the 
Episcopal Bench, though I foresee that in that place there can 
be for me henceforth neither peace nor comfort. I hold it an 
honour to succeed to one who has held so long and so worthily 
the position of the leader of Anglican Liberalism, and I have 
allowed myself to hope that you will not be wholly discontented 
with having me in Hereford. With much respect, Believe me, 
my dear Bishop, most faithfully yours, 


For just over a year the Bishop lived at Oxford enjoying 
the society of many old friends. But strength was failing 
all the time. At last he became unable to speak, though he 
still liked to see his friends and showed by movements of his 
head or by the old quiet smile that he understood what was 
being said. So he peacefully sank to his rest. On Tuesday, 
December 3, 1918, he died. In a letter to Mrs. Percival 
the Archbishop of York expressed the feelings of all friends 
and pupils of Percival : 

From the Archbishop of York 


Dec. 16, 1918. 

DEAR MRS. PERCIVAL There can be no grief for him. I feel 
with all my heart the pathos of the sight of him once so strong 
imprisoned by infirmity. Now he has been liberated and is in 
freedom and peace. 

I like to think of him now finding ever more fully the visions 
and ideals of his life fulfilled and indicated. 

It is a wonderful tribute to his personality that a man who 
never faltered in the assertion of his convictions even when they 
were not popular received so large a measure of affection and 

1 Now Bishop of Durham. 



veneration to his blending of courage and courtesy. In his 
championship of what he believed to be right and his fearless 
opposition to what he believed to be evil, in his boldness, and in his 
tenderness, he always seemed to me a type of Christian chivalry. 
I am sure that he will still have a high place in the spiritual 
army which watches over the course of truth, justice and freedom. 
I often differed from his opinions but I never failed to see and to 
reverence the nobility of his spirit. Yours sincerely, 


He was buried in the Crypt of Clifton College Chapel, 
among the abiding monuments of his chief creative effort. 
The four headmasters who succeeded him Canon J. M. 
Wilson, Canon Glazebrook, Dr. David and Mr. J. E. King 
were all present, as well as a great number of his friends and 
admirers. His former pupil at Clifton, Sir Herbert Warren, 
represented the University of Oxford. There were memorial 
services in Hereford Cathedral, at Trinity College, Oxford, 
and in St. James s, Piccadilly. 

Looking back at the long career we realise the greatness 
of the achievement. Starting from the yeoman s home, and 
the little school, to which in his will he left 1000 to help 
able boys in need of assistance, he had passed the whole of 
his working life in posts of high responsibility and in close 
contact with the leading personalities and dominating forces 
of his time. He had toiled consistently for liberty, for 
peace, and for education. If, as he toiled, his own outlook 
hardened under the stress of controversy, it is equally true 
that to his friends his nature softened and mellowed. Many 
who had known him as a headmaster were surprised at the 
gentleness and accessibility which they found when they 
visited him at Hereford. Moreover, he was one for whom 
the discipline of sorrow was refining. Dr. David spoke 
truly of him : 

On all he did was the mark of greatness. A friend naturally 
shrinks from attempting to describe that greatness in cold words. 
There is something sacred about an influence like his. 


We feared him, and we knew the fear was good for us. 

He exacted, he insisted, he was not afraid to repeat again and 
again in his gentle and rather melancholy voice, often in the 
same words, his appeals for corporate life, for high tone, for un 
worldly purpose, for scorn of feebleness, for determined leader 
ship. All this we accepted because we knew that what he 
demanded of us he gave himself, at cost. And we were aware 
that there glowed behind it a great passion for righteousness. He 
grieved at that which baser men sometimes condone. It wounded 
him. He saw no reason why men or boys should make the least 
concession to the low, the base, the degrading, and he made us 
feel that there was no reason. 

He was one of those who led us through many sorrows to the 
full possession of the love of God. 

And perhaps the heaviest trial was the last. For many 
months he had patiently endured the misery of weakness. And 
then God set the strong soul free. 

He was a great individuality. He never shrank from 
standing alone. Sometimes it almost seemed that he pre 
ferred it. But whether he stood alone or with the multitude, 
he always stood for righteousness as it had been given him 
to apprehend it. He was a stern fighter, giving no quarter 
to views that he thought erroneous. He was a constant 
friend, never failing those who trusted his affection. He 
was a true prophet, refusing and forbidding to compromise 
the moral law. He was a man who lived by faith in God. 



(Reprinted at the request of Dr. Percival s family) 

Remember them that had the rule over you, which spake unto you the 
word of God ; and considering the issue of their life, imitate their faith. 
Hebrews xiii. 7. 

Such words are appropriate to our gathering here to-day. We 
are met together to give thanks for a long life of noble service, 
for consecrated spirit. And some of us at least are thinking of 
ties especially close. For myself, it is the old headmaster, the 
godfather, the venerable and affectionate counsellor for whom I 
render thanks. And as I call to mind all that I owe to him I can 
wish for no exhortation to memory and will more apposite than 
this : " Remember them that had the rule over you, which spake 
unto you the word of God ; and considering the issue of their 
life, imitate their faith." 

From earliest childhood I had learnt to love Dr. Percival. 
He was an old and specially close friend of my father, under 
whom he worked as an assistant master at Rugby, and at whose 
recommendation he was appointed at the age of twenty-seven 
to be the first Headmaster of Clifton, with all the responsibility 
of planning the main lines on which the School should develop. 
To him now that School looks back as the architect of its great 
ness, and most fittingly he has there been laid to rest. 

No one questions his greatness as a headmaster ; he is one of 
the pre-eminent figures of the nineteenth century, a century rich 
in great educators. At Clifton his task was to create ; at Rugby 
it was to revivify, and that perhaps is the harder of the two. It 
was only for his last two terms that I was at Rugby as a boy in 
his house. But I remember vividly the perfect strength and 
mastery which enabled him to treat minor offences with singular 
lightness, while judging with a truly awful sternness offences 



which are indicative of base or mean character. No one then in 
the School can forget the sudden realisation of love and trust in 
the chief whom we were losing that came to every boy at that 
time. Dr. Percival was a headmaster of the older type. There 
was no close intimacy, still less familiarity, between him and his 
pupils while they were still at the School. It was only when it 
was known that he was leaving us that many began to realise 
their feelings towards him. He went to a diocese not at all 
ready to welcome a man of his opinions, but by universal testi 
mony he won the esteem and affection even of those who most 
strongly differed from him. His loftiness of thought and feeling, 
his personal gentleness combined with clear conviction and 
indomitable will, his sure faith in God in fact, the sheer good 
ness of the man drew all hearts to him. 

All men revered him. Were it not that a slight indisposition 
prevents the Archbishop of Canterbury from being present, it 
would have been his wish to come and testify to his high apprecia 
tion of the friend whom he honoured. That cannot be ; and I 
have been asked, as one who has special reasons for remembering 
Bishop Percival with thankfulness, to speak of him here to-day, 
the pupil speaking of his master. It is difficult to single out 
special points in such a career or character as most deserving of 
meditation or gratitude. I will speak only of two. This is a 
democratic age, and Bishop Percival was a believer in democracy. 
Yet there has never been a more thorough believer in authority 
nor a man more expert in the exercise of it. Here was something 
that is sadly needed to-day. Our progress in democracy will be 
merely an advance to ruin unless there is a full recognition of 
leadership, and the faculty for reverence receives the training 
that only comes by exercise. By his keen support of all efforts 
for the extension of education, Bishop Percival showed his belief 
in the duty of offering to the children of all sections of society 
facilities for the fullest development of their faculties ; in that 
sense all should be equal. But by character and ability some 
would rise, as he himself had risen, to positions of leadership and 
authority. Then, though there was still equality of absolute 
worth, because the only true dignity belongs to the doing of a 
man s own duty, whatever it may be, yet the dignity of one 
would be found in his loyal obedience to another, because that 
other was invested with authority. To command is not nobler 
than to obey ; the equality of men is in the worth before God of 
their service, whether they render it as kings or as bondsmen. 
So he seemed to teach us. The great democrat was a stern 
disciplinarian. And the two found their reconciliation in his 
own obedience to conscience and reverence to God. 


This is the other point that I would single out for our recollec 
tion. I remember my father saying to me one day after he had 
visited us at Lambeth : " Merely to be in his presence is to be 
drawn nearer to God." Experience proved that this was true. 
There was in him something of the Puritan and a great deal of 
the Stoic. His faith was founded on the rock of solid intellectual 
conviction and absolute dedication of will. For this reason he 
could practise a toleration of doubtfully orthodox beliefs in 
others which caused dismay in many quarters. He was jealous 
for full freedom of inquiry and thought, knowing that a faith 
carefully sheltered from doubts is a precarious support in the 
greatest trials of life. And he took the consequences of this 
concern for intellectual liberty, giving appointments to those 
whose orthodoxy was suspect, because he thought the Church 
as a whole too slow to recognise the services of those who are 
battling for the faith of free men against the mechanical influences 
of the day. But this course was made possible for him, as was 
also his contempt for the attacks to which it exposed him, by 
his own sure faith and purpose. The fear of God of which the 
Bible speaks, not any cringing or selfish anxiety concerning what 
God may do to us, but a vivid sense of the awful majesty of the 
Most High and of man s puny insignificance before Him this 
was very living to him and the source of his moral strength. 
This type of mind is not expansive, and in many ways he was 
somewhat lonely. But he longed for intimacy and affection, and 
warmed to it when it was offered to him. 

For this stoicism did not comprise the whole of his spiritual 
life ; there was a tender and even affectionate devotion to our 
Lord. It is no accident, I am sure, that as I recall the sight of 
him in the pulpit at Rugby Chapel, in the days when as a boy 
of just thirteen I looked up to that beautiful white head rising 
in sharp contrast above the tall black-gowned figure, the words 
that come back to me are the words of the familiar Collect : 
" Daily endeavour ourselves to follow the blessed steps of His 
most holy life." 

Such an one it is that we commemorate. " Remember them 
that had the rule over you, which spake unto you the word of 
God." Some of us at least will vow to remember. " And con 
sidering the issue of their life, imitate their faith." God helping 
us, we will. One thing we know for certain. That noble beauty 
of character is not perished. The physical frame which served 
him through his long life, but became at last a burden, is laid 
aside. But we know that with angels and archangels and all 
the company of Heaven he lauds and magnifies the glorious 
Name of God whom here he served and worshipped. And some 


of us look forward to a day when we may once more be his pupils, 
learning from his wise and venerated counsel the lessons of life 
in another world than this, still strengthened by his quiet and 
gentle strength, still confirmed by his unshakable assurance, still 
girded to enterprise by his resolute will, as he points us still to 
his Master and Saviour, bidding us daily endeavour ourselves to 
follow the blessed steps of His most holy life. 


Abbott, Rev. E. A., Clifton Master, 
afterwards Headmaster of City 
of London School, 16 (note) 

Abbott, Evelyn, Clifton Master, 
afterwards Fellow and Tutor of 
Balliol, 32 

Aberystwyth University College, 
address there on Small Nation 
alities, 252 

Adult schools, 294 

Adventure, a mutual spirit of, 64 

Alexander, Rev. S. A., offer of 
Canonry to, 145 ; letters to, 132, 

151. iQi 

Appleby Grammar School, 3 
Arbitration, letter on, during a 

Coal Strike, 242 

Armenians, sympathy with, 140, 254 
Armitage, Rev. F., Clifton Master, 
then Headmaster, Neuenheim Col 
lege, 32 

Arnold, Miss F., letter from Fox 

How (" My father would most 

surely have been with you "), 322 

Arnold, Rev. C. T., letters from, 44, 


Arnold, Matthew, 128 
Asquith, H. H., Prime Minister, 303 
Asquith, W. W., Clifton Master, 19 
Athanasian Creed, a small storm 

about, 306 

Atlay, Bishop, his scheme for ex 
aminations on the Bible and 
Prayer Book, 160, 163 

Balliol supports Percival s scheme 
for a Bristol University College, 

Balliol, Master of, see Jowett 
Bannister, Canon, on Bishop s gen 
erosity, 169 ; describes " Book 
Boxes " scheme, 289 ; addresses 

Wesleyan Harvest Festival Meet 
ing, 313 ; letters to him, 291, 
322, 356, 358, 363 

Barnett, Canon, on the United 
Communion Service at Hereford 
Cathedral, 322 

Barrington Ward, M. J., Clifton 
Master, 32 

Bateman, servant and friend, 201 

Benefactions, Percival s, to Clifton, 

Benson, E. W., Archbishop, conse 
crates Percival, 134 

Birdwood, Sir William, at Clifton 
under Percival, 38 (note) 

Birrell, A., M.P., his attempt to 
make peace in the education con 
troversy of 1906, 185 

Blackpool, National Home Reading 
Union Meeting at, 267 

Bonham Carter, E., Legal Secretary 
in the Soudan, 211 

Boston Peace Congress, 200 

Botha, Louis, General, 254 

Bowen, Lord C. S. C., 35 

Boxing lessons sometimes desirable, 

Bradby, G. F., Rugby Master, 100 
(note), 105 ; quoted, 101 sqq. 

Bradby, H. C., Rugby Master, 103 

Breeks, Mrs. and Miss, 4, 13 

Bright, Dr. Franck, Master of Uni 
versity, 266 

Brighton Standard on " Spurious 
Sports," 232 

Bristol University projected, 259 ; 
realised, 263 

Brooke, Rev. C. H., on Bishop of 
Hereford s first Confirmation, 134 

Brough Sowerby, 2 

Brown, T. E., Clifton Master, 15, 19, 
32; glimpse of Percival at his 




native place, 5 ; letter of qualified 
condolence on the Rugby Head- 
mastership election of 1874, 50 ; 
signs letter concerning " a happy 
crisis in the history of the 
School," 51 ; orchestral simile, 57 

Brown s Letters quoted, 5 (note) 

Bryce, Lord, 5 

Burges Bayly, Rev. R., on impress- 
iveness of Bishop Percival s Con 
firmations, 1 60 ; letters to, 191, 

242, 355 

Burrows, Montagu, Professor, 28 

Butler, Rev. A. G. (of " Butler s 
Leap "), Rugby Master, then 
first Headmaster of Haileybury, 
walk with Percival and Wilson, 

Butler, Professor H. E., Head of 
the School at Rugby, his appre 
ciation of his Headmaster, 108 

Bywater, Professor, an obiter dictum 
of, 70 ; and on an utterance of 
Percival s, 69 

Callender House, Clifton, 80 
Call Over note, a Rugby, 114 
Camel and donkey riding, 209 
Campbell, Mrs. Lewis, on Clifton 

society in 1865, 14 
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H., 303 
Cannan, Charles, 59 ; Tutor of 

Trinity, 76 

Cannan, E., Professor, 236 
Canterbury, Archbishop of, see 

Temple, Benson, Davidson 
Capes, Canon, his death a keen 

personal sorrow to the Bishop, 

343 . 
Carnegie, Andrew, helps about the 

" Book Boxes " scheme, 289 
Case, T., President of C.C.C., 258 
Cay, Charles H., Clifton Master, 

15. 25, 31 

Chamberlain, Joseph, M.P., ac 
complished two great revolutions 
in English life," 280 
Chapman, Dr., 137 ; letter to, 139 
Charges, the six Episcopal, 146 sqq. 
Chinese coolies controversy, 252 
" Christian Ministers Club," 313 
" Christianity and Industrial Prob 
lems," Report of Archbishop s 
Committee, 82 
Churchill, Winston, 253 

Church Times, improved in tone, 


Clifton College, Chapter II. 
Cliftonians, Old, address to Dr. Per 
cival at Jubilee meeting, 59 
Clough, Arthur H., 128 
Cobbe, Miss Frances Power, 15 
Compliment, a genuine, 115 
Congress, Church, paper at, 181 
Congress, Peace, at the Hague, 256 ; 

at Boston, 200 

Cookson, C., Fellow of Magdalen, 59 
Courtney, Leonard, quoted, 205 
Creighton, Rev. M., Bishop of Peter 
borough, presents Percival at his 
Consecration, 134 
Cremer, Canon, letters to, about the 

United Communion Service, 315 
Cricket at Clifton, 36 
Crooks, Will, speaks at Hereford, 363 

Dakyns, H. G., Clifton Master : 
summarily enlisted, 18 ; edits 
Brown s Poems, 19 ; teaches 
Clifton the use of Rugby foot 
ball, 35 ; congratulates the Per- 
civals on going to Rugby, 95 

David, Dr. A. A., appointed to 
Rugby mastership by Percival, 
Headmaster of Clifton, then 
of Rugby, now Bishop of St. 
Edmundsbury and Ipswich, 105 ; 
writes on Percival s resignation 
of Hereford, 368 ; last words 
about the Bishop, 371 

Davidson, Dr. Randall T., Arch 
bishop of Canterbury, writes on 
Bishop of Hereford s resignation, 
thanking him for " friendship 
and counsel," 369 

Davies, Mr. Arthur, impressions of 
Rugby Divinity teaching, 1 1 1 

Davies, E. J., 29 

Davies, Rev. J., on Percival s 
interest in scheme of Bishop 
Atlay s, 163 

Day Schools v. Boarding Schools, 37 

Debus, Dr. H., Master at Clifton, 
later Professor at Royal Naval 
College, Greenwich, 32 

Disraeli succours Hayman, 44 

Dissatisfaction with Oxford, grounds 

of, 53. 7 1 

Dobell, Sydney, his misgivings on 
Female Education removed, 259 



Dunn, T. W., Clifton Master, then 
Headmaster of Bath College, 28 

Eardley-Wilmot, Mr., letter to, 226 

Edwards, Rev. C. L., reports " a 
friend who wishes to remain 
anonymous," 168 ; on Church 
Association vans, 143 ; letter 
to, 143 

Elliot, Dean, 80 

Ellis, Professor Robinson, his his 
toric visit to Clifton, 66 ; letters 
from, 90, 91 

Emmett, Tom, 103 

Evans, A. H., Captain of Oxford 
Eleven, 36 

Evans, Rev. Charles, accepts and 
then declines Clifton Headmaster- 
ship, ii 

Evans, Rev. T. S., great scholar, 
Rugby Master, 8 

Exercise " can be taken another 
day," 26 

Fitch, Sir Joshua, 267 

Fletcher, Frank, Master at Rugby, 
later Master of Marlborough, 
then of Charterhouse, 105 

Flower, Rev. J. E., on the Bishop s 
services as Chairman of the 
National Home Reading Union, 

Foch, Marshal, quoted, 29 

Football at Clifton, 34 

Foundations, by Canon Streeter, 342 

Fox, Mrs. E. L., note to Mrs. Per- 
cival, 51 

Fremantle, Dr., initiator of Christian 
Conference, 310 

Fry, Lewis, M.P., 15 

Furneaux, Rev. W. M., Clifton 
Master, later Headmaster of Rep- 
ton, then Dean of Winchester ; 
letter to, 2 ; secured as a master, 
17 ; asked to be Missioner at 
Clifton College Mission, 39 

Galpin, Canon A. J., impressions 
of President of Trinity, 74, 89 

Games, importance of, 35 

George, Reuben, on Percival s ser 
mon at the " Tutorial Class Move 
ment " inauguration, 281 

Girdlestone, Canon E., on the Rugby 
election of 1869, 43 

Gladstone, Rt. Hon. W. E., 254 

Gladstone, W. G. C., M.P., his 
amendments to the Welsh Church 
Bill, supported or suggested by 
Percival, 245 

Glazebrook, Rev. M. G., Canon (third 
Headmaster of Clifton), 59, 371 

Gore, Bishop Charles, his recol 
lections of President of Trinity, 
89 ; preaches at his Consecra 
tion, 134 ; moves in the Lords 
for a Royal Commission on Uni 
versities, 278 

Grace, W. G., 35 

Green, Professor T. H., 167, 265 

Grenfell, J. G., Clifton Master, 19 

Guthrie, Canon, n 

Gwatkin, Professor, 324 

Hague Peace Conference, 256 

Haig, F.M. Earl, at Clifton under 
Percival, 38 (note) 

Haldane, Lord, 59 

Hall, H. S., Clifton Master, 19 

Harcourt, Sir W., letters to Times 
on educational crisis, 174 

Hardwicke, Mrs., 14 

Harfords of Blaize Castle, the, 15 

Harvey, Rev. T. W., 305 

Hayman, Dr., 43 

Henson, Dr. H. Hensley, Bishop 
Designate of Hereford, on his 
succession to Percival, 370 

Hicks Beach, Sir M., his Budget, 251 

Hill, Dr. A., Master of Downing, on 
National Home Reading Union, 

Hine, Bishop, 355 

Hodges, Dean, Cambridge, U.S.A., 

Holland, Miss Louisa, see Percival 

Holloway College, the Royal, scheme 
for, 270 

Horace, Percival s love of, 28 

Hort s Christian Ecclesia, 170 

Horton, Dr., at Conference at Here 
ford, 312 

Hughes, Thomas, 156 

Humphry Ward, Mrs., 265 

Hutton, Dr., 6 (note) 

Hymnal, Clifton, high aims for, 34 

Irwin, S. T., Clifton Master, 19 

Jackson, Sir T. G., and Kettel Hall, 


James, Dr. H. A., President of St. 
John s College, Oxford, formerly 
Headmaster of Rugby, his im 
pressions of Percival s work there, 

Jefferson, Dr., 4 

Jex Blake, Rev. Dr. T. W., suggests 
Rugby Assistant Mastership to 
Percival, 7 ; Headmaster of Rugby 
(1874), 47 ; resigns (i 886), 93 

Johnson, Mrs. Basil, relates the 
story of Watts s portrait of Per 
cival, 42 

Jowett, Dr. B., Master of Balliol, 
warns against overwork, 34 ; 
advises against standing for 
Rugby (1874), 49; "sorry and 
glad " at result of election, 49 ; 
deprecates disappointment with 
Oxford, 78, 84 ; urges Oxford 
friends to support Percival s 
election to Trinity Presidency, 
64 ; supports the Bristol Uni 
versity College scheme, 262 ; 
letters to, 83, 85 

"Justice of our Cause" (1914), 
Times letter from Bishop, 357 

Karnak, 211 

Keble, John, 155 

Khartoum visited, 214 

King, Dr. J. E., Headmaster of 

Clifton, 371 
King, Rev. H., 5, 7 
King, Mrs., 7 
Kingsley, Canon Charles, lecture 

in Big School, Clifton, on " Eyes 

and no Eyes," 1 33 
Kitchin, Dean, 83 

Labour Exchanges, 298 

Labour Party, 242 

" Laitha," 2 

Lang, Dr. C. G., Archbishop of 
York, 303 ; letter of sympathy 
to Mrs. Percival (Dec. 16, 1918), 

37. 37 1 

Langmire, Ann, William, and Jane, 2 
Langmire, Richard, 3 
Latin prose, surprising, 30 
Layman, a Catholic, letter to, 145 
Layman, A, letter in Hereford Times, 


Leech, Joseph, Editor of Bristol 
Times and Mirror, 224 

Lee Warner, Henry, letter of con 
gratulation on the Rugby elec 
tion of 1886, 94 

Legion of Honour conferred on 
Colonel Arthur Percival, 359 

Leigh, Hon. J. W., Dean of Here 
ford, 289 

Leipner, Adolph, first Science 
Master at Clifton (1862), after 
wards Professor at Bristol 
University College, 32 

Leonard, Professor G. H., 263 ; his 
account of the Colston dinner at 
which Mr. H. H. Wills s gift to 
Bristol was announced, 264 

Lightfoot, Bishop J. B., 167 

Lilley, Archdeacon, appointed Canon 
of Hereford, 336 

" Loafing," 35 

Lux Mundi, 150 

Luxor visited, 210 

Macgregor, J. G., Clifton Master, 
afterwards Professor in Edin 
burgh University, 19 

McKenna, Mr., correspondence with 
Bishop, 247 

Magrath, J. R., Provost of Queen s, 

Maitland, Miss Agnes C., 275 

Mansbridge, Mr. A., on Workers 
Educational Association, 277 

Martineau, Dr., letter dated on his 
goth birthday, 133 

Massachusetts poets, 206 

M.C.C. beaten in one innings in 
Clifton s first Lord s match, 36 

Michell, Mr. W. G., on Rugby 
School Mission, 117 

Milner, Sir Frederick, 196 

Milton Tercentenary, its sugges 
tion to Percival, 311 

Modern sides, 54 

Montefiore, Mr., 43 

Moor, E. N. P., Clifton boy and 
master, 18 

Moore, George, 40 

Morley, Bishop, 213 

Moule, H. C. G., Bishop of Durham, 
his book, Memories of a Vicarage, 

1 On which he based a precept no less characteristic "Collect something, if only postage 



Mozley, Mr. J. R. : Percival s gentle 
ness, 16 ; T. H. Green and Hegel, 

Mundella, Mr., 43 

Music at Clifton, 33 

Myers, F. W. H., 258 

Nash, Mr. Vaughan, on Percival s 
Bristol activities, 80 

National Home Reading Union, 267 

National Mission of Repentance 
and Hope, his interest in, 367 

Natural Science at Clifton, 33 

Neild, Mr. T., notes on educational 
work in Hereford, 291 

" Neither is he that planteth any 
thing . . . ," text of Percival s 
first sermon at Clifton in 1862, 
and of his Jubilee sermon there 
in 1912, 23 

Nettleship, Professor H., 265 

New College aids in the Bristol 
University College movement, 

Newbolt, Sir Henry, Clifton re 
miniscences in his novel The 
Twymans, 21 

Newman, J. H., Cardinal, visits 
Trinity in 1880, 77 

Newton, Lord, his Bill on " Spurious 
Sports," 235 

Nichol, Professor, lectures to Clifton 
Sixth Form, 32 

Norcock, Rev. C. R., reminiscences, 

Norris, Canon J. P., 96 

Oakeley, E. M., Clifton Master, 19, 
32, 33 ; accompanies Percival 
and Brown to Lord s match, 36 ; 
letter to Mrs. Percival, 50 ; 
his " short sketch of a great 
career," 64 ; letter to him de 
scribing Percival s first impres 
sions on his return to Rugby, 98 ; 
letters, Jan. 22, 1895 ("Hereford 
not likely to come my way "), and 
Feb. 26, 1895 (" a great surprise, 
just when I had ordered our 
tickets for Egypt. ... I wish I 
had been young enough to stay 
at Rugby another five years "), 
132, 133 

Omdurman, visit to field of, 215 
Oxford disappointments, 53 

Oxford University Extension move 
ment, 265 

Pamphlet on Connection of Uni 
versities and Great Towns, 260 
" Parallelograms " disclaimed, 6 
" Parting Reminders," 30 
Patey, George Edward, Rugby 
School Marshal (notes a lapse), 8 
Paton, the Rev. J. B., 314 
Paton, J. L., Rugby Master, now 
Headmaster of Manchester Gram 
mar School, 105, 323 
Pattison, Mark, 77, 278 
Pau, 7 

Pearson, J. E., Clifton Master, 5 
Pelham, Professor H. F., 274 
Percival, Colonel Arthur Jex Blake, 
awarded Legion of Honour, 359 ; 
death, when about to be given 
command of a brigade, 360 ; 
letters to, 248-251 
Percival, Cecil (Mrs. Arthur Per 
cival), letter to, 360 
Percival, Charles, 15 (note) 
Percival, Elizabeth Ann (Mrs. Basil 

Johnson), 42 
Percival, Frederick, 78 
Percival, John 

1834-1855. Parentage, early years, 
and first schools, 2 ; Appleby 
Grammar School, 3 ; Taberdar 
of Queen s, 5 ; Oxford Honours, 
6 ; a fifth First Class prevented 
by illness ; medical advice 
sends him to the South ; 
sequel, 7 
1860. A Master at Rugby for 

two years ; then he becomes 
1862. First Headmaster of Clifton. 
Temple s forecast, n 

Marries Miss Louisa Holland 
(Oct. n), 14 

Glimpses, by Mrs. Lewis 
Campbell, Miss Alice Wink- 
worth, Mrs. H. C. Watson, of 
Clifton and Bristol society, and 
the Percivals relation to it, 

The Clifton masters, and 
some methods of securing them, 
17, 1 8 ; Canon Wilson s ac 
count of Headmaster, masters, 
and boys, 18-21 

Percival s sermons described 



Percival, John (contd.) 

by Sir H. Newbolt, Canon 
Wilson, and Sir H. Warren, 
20-29 ; his first Clifton ser 
mon s text, Neither is he 
that planteth anything, nor he 
that watereth, but God that 
giveth the increase " also the 
text of his Jubilee sermon there 
in 1912 

1867. Extract from his first ser 
mon in the new Chapel, June 
23, 1867, 23-25 

1869. Two years later, Dr. Tem 
ple becoming Bishop of Exeter, 
Percival stood for the vacant 
Headship of Rugby, but was 
rejected in favour of Dr. 
Hayman, 43 

His foresight and courage 
were shown in the recognition 
from the first of the claims of 
Natural Science. 1 The dis 
tinguished Science teachers he 
appointed form an impressive 
list. One of them, Sir William 
Tilden, F.R.S., writes : " The 
world is much indebted to Dr. 
Percival s insight, for without 
any knowledge of Natural 
Science he saw how important 
some knowledge of that kind 
was going to be," 33 

Another strong point in the 
Clifton system from the first 
was the passing direct from 
school of candidates for the 
Indian Civil Service and the 
Army, 38 

In fostering Music he was 
equally early in the field, 
though himself no musician. 
Besides other schemes for its 
advancement, both in the 
School and in Bristol, one 
the Sunday evening music and 
lecture grew into an im 
portant School institution [and 
gave scope for memorable ad 

dresses by Brown, Dakyns, 
Irwin, Vaughan, and others of 
the Staff, and by visitors the 
Bishop of Exeter (Dr. Temple), 
Professor Bonamy Price, Sir 
Herbert Warren, Judge Thomas 
Hughes, Sir Edward Fry, Mr. 
George Macdonald, etc.], 33 

1872. The making of the School 
Hymn Book greatly interested 
him, and drew from him advice 
to the compilers in which, as 
usual, he anticipated much 
later views, 33, 34 

From the beginning he set a 
high value on games as a factor 
in education ; in this connection 
the School motto " Spiritus 
intus alit " may be taken to 
suggest that the Percivalian 
spirit had not a little to do 
with the very remarkable early 
success of Clifton in athletics 
(1867-1887). He was generally 
to be seen in the Close during 
" foreign " matches, 35, 36 

The Town Boys, a very large 
element at Clifton, he organised 
into " Houses," making them 
equal sharers with the rest in 
the discipline and various ac 
tivities of school life (cp. for 
his views on Day Schools v. 
Boarding Schools his address 
to Whitgift School in 1911). 
Town parents also submitted 
gladly to the yoke, 36, 37 

1870. The School Mission in 
Bristol the first School Mis 
sion was the result of his 
deep interest in the great 
neighbour city, and also of 
his hopes that the School would 
derive from it, as the reward 
of their interest, some training 
in citizenship, 38 

[In both aspects the enter 
prise attracted the sympathy 
of the veteran author of Tom 

1 Natural Science even at Rugby was not regularly established in the school curriculum till 
1865, but it had been an alternative subject to German in the Upper School, to French below, 
since about 1853, when Dr. Goulburn appointed the Rev. B. Compton "Natural Philosophy " 
Master. He was succeeded by Mr. Highton, in whose absence Dr. Temple during his first half 
year as Headmaster took all the Natural Philosophy sets himself. The present writer treasures 
his note-book in Experimental Mechanics, the memorial of the first teaching he got from 
Dr. Temple. E. M. O. 



Percival, John (contd.) 

Brown, who wrote : " The Clif 
ton Register is a noble record 
of work for England, and 
Clifton may well be proud of 
it, and most of all, in my 
judgment, of the example set 
in the Mission to the other great 

His efforts in support of 
social reform were not confined 
to Bristol. The Life of George 
Moore by Smiles relates the 
effect of his letter to Moore on 
Westmoreland morality, and 
shows his interest in Moore s 
scheme to enable clever poor 
boys to better their education, 
41, 42 ; Mrs. Basil Johnson, 
the Bishop s daughter, tells 
the story of Watts s por 
trait of her father, a me 
morial of Mr. Moore s friend 
ship, 42 

1874. He stands again for Rugby 
(Dr. Hayman having been dis 
missed), and is a second time 
rejected, his friend Dr. T. W. 
Jex Blake being elected by a 
small majority, 44 

1878. Inauguration of a Jewish 
House at Clifton, the first ex 
periment of the kind, 43 

The first seventeen years of 
Clifton produced a remarkable 
Honours List, 38 

He accepts the offered Presi 
dency of Trinity, 52 ; Canon 
Wilson s impressions of his 
reasons for leaving Clifton, 53 ; 
Oxford feelings of surprise, 65 ; 
circumstances of the election, 
66 ; Sir H. Warren on his Presi 
dency, 75 ; friction between 
him and the Fellows and Under 
graduates, 74 ; " his rule irk 
some to some, but with result 
indisputable," 74 

1879. His interest in the cause 
of Female Education ; prime 
mover in establishment of 
Somerville College, and first 
President of its Council, 76 

1880. Winter trip to Engadine, 
and its episodes, 77 ; enter 

tains Cardinal Newman at 
Trinity, 77 

1 88 1. Loses his very promising 
youngest son Frederick, 78 

Appointed Canon of Bristol ; 
starts there Sunday Evening 
Nave Services, himself pro 
viding a pulpit, 80 ; account 
of his Bristol activities by 
Mr. Vaughan Nash, 80 

1882. Enthusiastic work as Pion 
eer of the University Extension 
movement ; urges the Colleges 
to plant colonies of their 
Fellows in the great provincial 
towns ; offers to resign 
Trinity, and take over the 
Censorship of the Unattached ; 
Jowett s advice, 83 ; starts the 
new buildings at Trinity, 86 

Initiates Sunday Evening 
Lectures at St. Mary s, 87 ; his 
Trinity sermons described by 
Bishop Gore and Canon Galpin, 

Declines to stand for the 
Eton Headmastership, and, 
shortly afterwards, for Harrow, 
89, 90 

1886. Invited by the Rugby 
Governing Body which had 
rejected him in 1869 and 
1874 he accepts the Head- 
mastership of Rugby, 90-95 ; 
congratulations of friends, 94, 
95 ; first bright impressions of 
Rugby (93) darkened by the 
need, soon realised, of a moral 
reformation, and by the doubt 
whether the short span likely 
to be granted would suffice for 
its achievement [he was now 
(1887) fifty-three], 101 

1887. Stamps out idleness ; abol 
ishes " unwholesome " athletic 
distinctions ; revives respon 
sibility of the Sixth Form ; 
keenly interests himself in 
Rugby games but only as a 
part of his system, 103 

His choice of masters, and 
relations with them, 105 ; im 
proves the status of Town Boys, 
making a Town " House," in 

First day of Term Addresses 



Percival, John (contd.) 

to School, and especially to 
new boys, 113 

His absolute control of the 
School ; symptomatic incident 
at School House Prayers, 114 ; 
not merely " popular," but, 
though feared, yet in the 
deepest sense loved ; but a 
terror to evildoers, 113 

Inspires the institution of 
the Rugby School Missions, 117 
1890. Writes to the Times, " well 
knowing how unpopular his 
action would be," on Welsh 
Disestablishment, 118 ; preaches 
at Westminster Abbey, de 
nouncing gambling, and lament 
ing a racing Prime Minister, 123 

Dr. James s impressions of 
his Headmastership, 107 ; Mr. 
H. E. Butler s, 108 ; Mr. A. 
Davies s, in ; Mr. W. G. 
Michell s, 117; Mr. G. F. 
Bradby s, 124 

1895. " He did what he set out 
to do, and Rugby will for 
ever honour him," 114 

Appendix to Rugby Chapter : 
sermon at unveiling of medal 
lion of Archbishop Temple at 
Rugby, June 25, 1905, 125-129 

Lord Rosebery offers him 
the Bishopric of Hereford, which 
after some hesitation he accepts, 
132 ; congratulations from Dr. 
Martineau and others ; con 
secrated in Westminster Abbey, 
136 ; makes his first Convoca 
tion speech in favour of Welsh 
Disestablishment, 137 ; writes 
to the Times criticising a 
memorial to Lord Salisbury, 
in which was suggested addi 
tional aid to voluntary schools, 
178 ; paper at Church Con 
gress on the Education con 
troversy, 181 ; writes in the 
Nineteenth Century a " Plea 
for Mutual Concessions," 185 
1896. Death of Mrs. Percival, 
138 ; the greatness of his loss, 
141, 142 

His first appointment to a 
Canonry (" of a definite Catho 

lic" "it is of no moment 
what people will say "), 145 

1898. His six Visitation Charges, 
each dealing with some main 
topic of the day, 146 sqq. ; 
correspondence about one of 
them with Bishop Talbot, 151 

Starts the Diocesan Mes 
senger ; gift of books by 
Thomas Hughes (who died in 
1897) to Rugby boys, 156 

1899, Jan. 1 8. Marries Miss Mary 
Symonds, 157 

Preaches at the Hague Peace 
Congress, 256 

1901. Comments in his second 
Charge on the end of the Boer 
War, and national vppis and 

^jueo-iS, 173 

A " pro-Boer " only so far 
as judging our pre-War policy 
mistaken, 248 ; denounces the 
importation of Chinese coolies 
to South Africa, 253 ; supports 
Campbell-Bannerman in his 
" epoch-making South African 
policy," 254 

Proposes in his second Charge 
" tne establishment of a Church 
Council in every parish," thus 
anticipating the Enabling Act 
of 1919, 173 

1902. Moves an amendment on 
the Education Bill of this year, 
proposing compulsory Continu 
ation Schools, which found 
little support then, but was 
enacted in a strengthened form 
in 1918, 185 

1904. His lifelong interest in the 
war against Drunkenness and 
Gambling was displayed in the 
Licensing Bill controversies oi 
1904-1908 ; he opposed the 
Bill of 1904 as " designed to 
benefit the Brewers," 228 ; 
supported Mr. Asquith s abor 
tive Bill, 228 ; moved for 
Committee to inquire into the 
increase of betting, 229 ; (hence 
the Street Betting Act) ; moved 
the second reading of a Bill 
(1912) to restrict gambling 
advertisements, 234 

Attends the Peace Congress 



Percival, John (contd.) 

at Boston, U.S.A. ; preaches 
there, and addresses 4000 
hearers, 202 

1905. Visits Egypt to see his son 
Colonel Arthur Percival ; his 
ten days camel ride, 209 ; 
account of the tour in extracts 
from letters to Mrs. Percival, 

His equally lifelong interest 
in the cause of National Edu 
cation, 258-283 

1868. In 1868 he and Mrs. Per 
cival formed a Committee at 
Clifton to promote the Higher 
Education of Women, and 
secured for the cause many 
eminent lecturers, 258 ; and 
Bristol University College and 
Clifton High School for Girls 
were first projected about the 
same time (1872), 259 

1879. He was first President of 
the Council of Somerville Col 
lege, and a prime mover of 
the Oxford University Exten 
sion movement, 265 

1890. First Chairman of Council 
of National Home Reading 
Union, 267 

1895. Gave evidence before the 
Royal Commission on Second 
ary Education, containing pro 
posals involving the abolition 
of compulsory Greek, and other 
wise anticipating coming re 
forms, 268 

1897. On the defeat, at both 
Universities, of the proposal 
to grant degrees to women, he 
came forward (the day after 
the Cambridge decision !) with 
a fully developed scheme for a 
Women s University, on the 
ground that " it may reason 
ably be doubted whether the 
mixed education under a tradi 
tional system formed and in 
tended exclusively for men 
should be the sole kind of 
university education accessible 
to women" (Times letter, 
dated May 22, 1897), 270 

1903. Presides at the great Con 

ference which voted the form 
ation of the Workers Educa 
tional Association ; Mr. A. Mans- 
bridge on his influence, 277 
1905. With the help of his friend, 
Mr. Andrew Carnegie, he in 
augurates the " excellently 
conceived and widely bene 
ficial scheme " of Book Boxes, 

Becomes Chairman of the 
Archbishop s Oxford and Cam 
bridge Missionary Exhibitions 
Committee, 294 ; " Father 
Ignatius " attacks his third 
Visitation Charge, which had 
caused much stir in the Press, 
and was called by the Liver 
pool Daily Post " as salutary 
and sane a State Paper as any 
Prelate of the Establishment 
has ever put forth," 288 

1907. Supports Bishop Gore s 
motion for the appointment of 
a Royal Commission on the 
Universities, 278 

Impressions of Mr. Reuben 
George of his sermon at the 
inauguration of the Tutorial 
Class Movement, 281 

Initiates a Social Service 
Committee to bring home to the 
Church people of Hereford 
the nature and importance of 
" problems about wages of 
labourers, state of cottages, 
drunkenness, gambling, and 
immorality," 295 

1908. Suffers a great blow in the 
death of his eldest son Robert, 

The Milton Tercentenary 
Conference at Hereford ; the 
" Christian Ministers Club " 
there, 313 

1909. Supports Lloyd George s 
Finance Bill ; sympathises with 
the aims of the Labour Party, 
but in a letter to the Times ad 
vocates arbitration in Strikes, 
242 ; opposes the Bill for mar 
riage with deceased wife s sister, 

His natural disappointment 
at being judged too old for the 
2 C 



Percival, John (contd.) 

Archbishopric of York, 303 ; 
plan for a Hostel for Students 
for Ordination at Hereford, 304 
191 1. Becomes first President of 
the National League of Workers 
with Boys ; Mr. J. H. White- 
house s account, 299 

The United Communion Ser 
vice in Hereford Cathedral, 
315 ; discussion thereon in 
Convocation and elsewhere ; 
letters of sympathy from Miss 
F. Arnold of Fox How, Canon 
Barnett, Mr. J. L. Paton, Mr. 
St. Loe Strachey, editor of the 
Spectator, 322 ; the Bishop 
defends his action in his fifth 
Visitation Charge, 330 

1914. He loses his son Guthrie, 


Advocates British neutrality 
in the threatened European 
War, but is " suddenly illu 
minated " by the German 
invasion of Belgium, 356 ; 
writes to the Times on " The 
Justice of our Cause," 357 

" Spends his eightieth birth 
day characteristically," 359 

Death of his son Colonel 
Arthur Percival, who had just 
been given the Legion of 
Honour and was about to be 
promoted to the command of 
a Brigade, 360 ; he founds a 
Scholarship at Clifton in his 
memory, 361 

1915. His sixth and last Charge, 
mainly devoted to the justi 
fication of his policy in making 
appointments, 362 

1916. Circulates proposals on the 
question of the Reservation of 
the Sacrament, with the aim of 
finding some way of "meeting 
those who feel a difficulty in 
regard to communion of the 
sick and yet are honestly loyal 
to the spirit of the Prayer 
Book," 367 

Recollections of the Rev. 
C. R. Norcock, 363 

The National Mission of Re 
pentance and Hope, 367 

Forbidden by his doctor to 
preach his usual Christmas 
sermon, 367 

1917. Resigns Bishopric, and 
leaves Hereford for Oxford ; 
letters from the Archbishop of 
Canterbury, Dr. Hensley Hen- 
son, Dr. David, Mr. W. W. 
Vaughan, 368 

1918, Dec. 3. The End, 370; letter 
from the Archbishop of York, 


Percival, Mrs., nee Louisa Holland, 
her marriage, 14 ; influence at 
Clifton, 1 6 ; at Rugby, 104 ; at 
Hereford, 143 ; letter from her 
to Mrs. Wait, 136 ; anecdote of 
a caricature, 76 

Percival, John Guthrie, 76, 354 

Percival, Rev. Launcelot J., letters to, 
229, 355. 361, 363 

Percival, Mrs., nee Mary Symonds, 
marriage, 157 ; letters to, Chap 
ter IX., 200, 202 

Percival, Robert Hardwicke, 296 

Percival, William, 2 

Percival, William, 15 (note) 

Perry, J., Clifton Master, after 
wards Professor and F.R.S., 32 

Philps, Rev. F. B., letter to, 162 ; 
gives account of Bishop s work 
for Diocesan Mission, 168 

Pinder, Rev. N., 66 

" Political sympathies astray," 
sermon at Clifton (1878), 254 

Powell, Rev. F. E., appointed Vicar 
of Bromyard, 340 

Problems for second Headmaster 
of Clifton, 54 

Problems of Boy Life, with Intro 
duction by Bishop, 302 

Raper, R. W., 67 

Rashdall, Dr. Hastings, Dean of 
Carlisle, 336 

Rawnsley, Canon, first Clifton Col 
lege Missioner in Bristol, 39 

Reinold, A. W., Clifton Master, 
afterwards Professor, 32 

Revenge, humorous, on twice-erring 
bicyclist, 30 

Richardson, Rev. J., Headmaster of 
Appleby School, 4 

Ripon, Bishop of (Boyd Carpenter), 



Robertson, Dr. A., Bishop of Exeter, 

describes circumstances of Trinity 

election, 66 ; recollection of Per- 

cival s sermons, 89 
Robertson, Rev. James, Rugby 

Master, afterwards Headmaster 

of Haileybury, 9 
Robinson, Mr. W., 3 
Rosebery, Lord, offers Percival 

Bishopric of Hereford, 130 
Rugby organisation adopted at 

Clifton, 34 ; Clifton repays, 1 1 1 
Rugby School, Chapter IV. 

St. James s, Piccadilly, Address, 

Dec. 7, 1918, 373 
St. Mary s, Oxford, letter to Vicar 

of, 87 
Scientific Society, Clifton College, 

3 2 

Scott Holland, Canon, letter of 
condolence, 140 

Selborne, Lord, offers Canonry to 
Percival, 78 

Self -promotion justified, 35 

Sermon at unveiling of Archbishop 
Temple s medallion at Rugby, 125 

Sermons, extracts from, 6, 24, 60, 
70, 82 

Shaw Lefevre, Miss M., 76, 97 

Short, T., Vice-President of Trinity, 

Shropshire Diocese Scheme sup 
ported by Percival, 170 

Sidgwick, Arthur, Rugby boy and 
Master, Fellow of Trin. Coll. 
Cam. and of C.C.C. Oxford, and 
Reader in Greek, sends con 
gratulations on the Rugby Head- 
mastership, 97 ; his School Homi 
lies, 20 

Sinclair, Dr., 166 

Sixth Form, Clifton, Resolution of 
on Rugby election of 1874, 51 

Skelton, John, Clifton School Mar 
shal, 27, 31 

Smiles, Samuel, Life of George 
Moore, 40 

Smith, E. H. C., Clifton Master, 18 

Smith, George, Rugby Master (now 
Headmaster of Dulwich), 105 

Smith, H. J. S., 53 

Somerville College, Oxford, Per 
cival first President of Council 
of, 76 

South Wales Daily News on " Spuri 
ous Sports," 233 

Springfield Republican, editor of, 
thanks Bishop "as an American 
citizen," 207 

Spurgeon, Rev. C., 135 

Stanley, A. P., 128 

Staunton- under- Wye School Endow 
ment, attempt to turn it to 
better use, 292 

Stevens, F. H., Rugby Master, 19 

Strachey, J. St. Loe, editor of the 
Spectator, 323 

Streeter, Rev. B. H., Canon of Here 
ford, 342 

Strong, Rev. T. B., Dean of Christ 
Church (afterwards Bishop of 
Ripon), 277 

Studies of the Greek Poets, by J. A. 
Symonds, 32 

Swinburne, A., 29 

Symonds, Dr. J. A., 15 

Symonds, John Addington, 32 

Symonds, Dr. Frederic, 7, 157 

Symonds, Miss Mary, 7, 157 

" Symposium," the Rugby, 9 

" Symptomatic," 104 

Tait, C. W. A., Clifton Master, 19 

Talbot, E., Bishop of Rochester (later 
Winchester), letter of condolence, 
140 ; correspondence with, 151- 
Z 55 speech in Convocation on 
the United Communion Service 
at Hereford, 319 . 

Temple, Frederick, Headmaster of 
Rugby (afterwards Archbishop of 
Canterbury), virtually appoints 
Percival to Clifton, 10 ; advises 
him to try for Rugby in spite 
of Jex Blake s candidature, 44 ; 
regrets result of election, 48 ; 
" presents " Percival at his Con 
secration, 134 

Temple, Miss J. O. (sister to Dr. 
Temple), letters to Mrs. Percival, 

45. 47 

Temple, William, address at St. 
James s, Piccadilly, 373 

Tennyson, 29 

Thomas, Rev. Arnold, 312 

Thomson, W., Provost of Queen s, 

afterwards Archbishop of York, 

advises Percival to take Rugby 

Assistant Mastership, 8 ; con- 

2 C 2 



gratulates him on Clifton Head- 
mastership, 13 

Thomson, Miss, 4 

" Three Trees," the famous Rugby, 


Thring, Dr., of Uppingham, 38 
Tilden, Sir W., F.R.S., 19, 32 
Times, letters to the, by Percival, 
(Welsh Disestablishment), 118 ; 
(Voluntary Schools), 178 ; 
(Secondary Education), 193, 196 ; 
(Spurious Sports), 231 ; (Arbitra 
tion), 242 ; (The Welsh Church 
Bill), 245 ; (A Women s Uni 
versity), 270 ; (" The Justice of 
our Cause "), 357 
Tobacco, 73, 105 
Tom Brown, 27 

Town Boys at Clifton organised, 37 
Town Boys at Rugby organised, 


Town parents organised, 36 
Tribune, The, letter to, 188 
Trinity College, Oxford, Chapter III. 
Turner, H. H., Professor of Astron 
omy at Oxford, 19 
" Tutorial Class " Movement, 281 
Twymans, The, Newbolt s novel, 21 
Tylecote, E. F. S., 29, 36 

"U.U. s," 20 

United Communion Service, 299, 

309 sqq. 

Universities and Great Towns, Con 
nection of the, pamphlet by Dr. 
Percival, 260 

Vaughan, C. E^ Clifton Master, 
afterwards Professor of History, 
Cardiff University College, 18 

Vaughan, W. W., Clifton Master, 
afterwards Headmaster of Giggles- 
wick, Wellington, Rugby, 369 

Vellabro Church, 78 

" Vicar, A," letter in Hereford 
Times, 337 

Victoria, Queen, 272 

" Vision unfulfilled," 61 

Wait, Mr. W. Killigrew, letters to, 

57, 132, 156, 224 
Wait, Mrs., 136, 140, 141, 158, 171, 

209, 296, 297 
Wait, Miss, 210, 297 
Walrond, A. F., 118 

Walrond, Theodore, C.B., 103, 117 
Warren, Sir Herbert, President of 
Magdalen, account of his school 
time at Clifton, 27-33 ; of Per- 
cival s election to Trinity Presi 
dency, 65 ; of his general position 
at Oxford, 75 ; letters from, 60, 
361 ; letter to, 55 
Waterfield, Rev. R., Rugby Master, 
afterwards Principal of Chelten 
ham, then Dean of Hereford, 


Watson, Rev. H. C., Clifton Master, 
recollections, 25 

Watson, Mrs. H. C., 16 

Watts s portrait of Percival, 42 

Webb, Rev. M. F., 168 

Welldon, Bishop, 90 

Wellesley, H. W., first Head of the 
School at Clifton, 31 

Whitehead, Sir George, 3 

Whitehead, Sir James, 3, 55 

Whitehouse, Mr. J. H., on Bishop s 
work for National League of 
Workers with Boys, 299 

Whitelaw, Robert, Rugby Master, 
104, 107, 140 ; on Arnold and 
Temple, 98 (note] 

Williams, Canon, appointed by 
Percival, 145 ; his death, 336 

Wills, Mr. H. O., 263; makes a 
Bristol University possible, 264 

Wilson, Rev. J. M., Rugby Master, 
second Headmaster of Clifton, 
now Canon of Worcester ; im 
pressions of Percival at Rugby, 
9, at Clifton, 18-23 on the 
Clifton Mission, 38 ; on Percival s 
grounds for leaving Clifton, 53 ; 
on his becoming Headmaster of 
Rugby, 95 ; sermon after his 
death (extract), 21 ; his Natural 
Science teaching at Rugby, 8 

Wingate, Gen. Sir A., Sirdar of 
Egypt, 216 

Wingate, Lady, 215, 216 

Winkworth, Misses S., C., and A., 
15, 258 

Winnington Ingram, Rev. E. H., 
146 ; letters from, 344, 346 

Wiseman, Rev. H. J., Clifton 
Master, 15 

Wollaston, G. H., Clifton Master, 15, 

Wollaston, Mrs., 15 


Woods, H. G., Tutor of Trinity, 
afterwards President, later 
Master of the Temple, 67 

Woolner, T., his bust of Percival, 

Worcester, Bishop of, official invita 
tion to take Rugby Headmaster- 
ship, 93 ; reply, 94 

Wordsworth, 29 

Worthington, A. M., Clifton Master, 
F.R.S., 32, 69 

Wynne Willson, Prebendary, 137, 

165 ; best man at Dr. Percival s 
marriage to Miss Symonds, 158 ; 
letter to, 354 

Wynne Willson, John Percival, 
letter to, 359 

York, Archbishop of, see Thomson, 

Zanzibar, Bishop of, " excommuni 
cates " Bishop of Hereford, 347 ; 
replied to, 348 


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