Edmund Bishop

(1846—1917) liturgical scholar and ecclesiastical historian

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(1846–1917), liturgist and historian. A native of Totnes, Devon, he had his schooling at Exeter and in Belgium. After a short time as secretary to T. Carlyle, he held a government post from 1864 to 1885 in the Education Office, when he spent most of his leisure in research in the British Museum. In 1867 he was received into the Church of Rome. After leaving the Education Office he hoped to become a monk at Downside Abbey; but his intention was frustrated by weak health. He continued, however, to maintain close connections with Downside, where he made the friendship of F. A. Gasquet, who shared his liturgical interests. In 1890, in conjunction with Gasquet, he published Edward VI and the Book of Common Prayer, in 1908 a study of the early English calendars in the Bosworth Psalter; and in 1909 studies in various liturgical subjects in an appendix to R. H. Connolly's Liturgical Homilies of Narsai. He also made notable contributions to the early history of the Roman liturgy, esp. the text of the canonmissae and the history of the Gregorian Sacramentary. Perhaps his most widely known writing was his paper on ‘The Genius of the Roman Rite’, originally delivered to the Historical Research Society on 8 May 1899, in which he maintained that the two chief characteristics of the Roman rite (when divested of Gallican accretions) were ‘soberness’ and ‘sense’. This and many of his other papers were collected in Liturgica Historica (1918; posthumous).

From The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Christianity.

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