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Diary of Charles Francis Adams, 1864

Thursday 14th

14 July 1864

Saturday 16th

16 July 1864
15 July 1864
Friday 15th

My letters were finished early. I had visits from three more of the captured Officers of the Alabama, encouraged by the parole granted to Mr Wilson, to come and ask the same as a favor of me. I signified to them distinctly that Captain Winslow must assume the entire responsibility in these cases. I had only expressed my readiness to concur in his judgment should he decide to favor Mr Wilson. I see that the Captain desires to shift the burden upon me, which will not do. In the afternoon I accompanied Mr Kuhn to the Parliament house. Our purpose was to visit the House of Commons, but finding it had adjourned for a recess, I took him into the House of Lords. We found Lord Houghton speaking on the late act of the Convocation in voting a condemnation of the book called Essays and reviews, a piece of ecclesiastical presumption instigated by the Bishop of Oxford, the head of the high church party. Lord Westbury followed in one of his smooth spoken, sharp cutting speeches, intimating in pretty broad terms that the convocation had incurred the hazard of penalties of the premunire. The archbishop Lengley defended himself by urging that they had previously asked the advice of the crown lawyers, and had been asked—after which they had consulted two other professional men who had given them a clear opinion in favor of the course that had been taken. The Bishop74 of London followed, regretting the embarrassment occasioned by the refusal of the crown to advise Convocation, and deprecating the policy that had been adopted as tending to widen rather than to heal difference in the church. This prelate is well known to be at the head of the broad and liberal section. Then came the Bishop of Oxford, who justified and defended himself and the censure of the convocation with much ingenuity, not failing to show his great indignation at the attack of the Lord Chancellor. Indeed his remarks went quite as far as the decorum of his position and the dignity of the body would permit. The Chancellor replied in a rather subdued manner, confining himself to the personal charges of misrepresentation made by the last speaker. Here the matter dropped and we went home. It is seldom in that body that so good an opportunity offers to hear a debate. The bench of Bishops contains many of the best speakers. The Bishop of Oxford is perhaps the first among them, though I have never seen any production of his that gives him the smallest claim to a durable reputation. Quiet evening.

Cite web page as:

Charles Francis Adams, Sr., [date of entry], diary, in Charles Francis Adams, Sr.: The Civil War Diaries (Unverified Transcriptions). Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2015. http://www.masshist.org/publications/cfa-civil-war/view?id=DCA64d197