Francis Haywood was born in Liverpool and died in Silliers, Worcestershire on 29 May 1858. An influential merchant, he came from a wealthy family, and spent almost all his life in his native city, taking an active part in liberal and Unitarian circles. In 1828 he translated the reply by Karl Gottlieb Bretschneider – one of the main representatives of German rationalism in the field of Bible criticism – to Hugh James Rose's essay on the state of Protestantism in Germany. It was Rose's intention to put the Church of England on its guard against the rationalistic criticism of the Continent. In the introduction to the text and in the numerous notes that accompany it, Haywood defends the Germans' freedom and their independent judgement: the fathers of the Reformation ‘justified their secession from the Church of Rome upon the principle that they were, of themselves, competent to understand the Bible … It is in like manner that the Rationalist vindicates the propriety of subjecting religion, in a certain degree, to the decision of reason’; what is more, freedom is to the advantage of religion and of the Church: ‘the critical direction lately given to Theological inquiries in that country will be generally advantageous to Christianity, in elucidating much in Biblical history which is obscure, and in reforming some things which time has corrupted’ (Bretschneider, 1828, pp. vi–vii).
From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.