University of Tasmania
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Bishop Nixon and conflicts within the church of England in Tasmania in the 1850s

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posted on 2023-05-27, 00:51 authored by Batt, N
Francis Russell Nixon had a troubled period of office while Bishop of Tasmania (1842-62). In part this was due to his own vision for the church and his uncompromising character. Many of his problems were, however, caused and aggravated by the difficulty of transferring English institutions to colonial soil. The assumption of government control over chaplains, the vague legal position of the Church and the radicalism of the settlers caused him much concern. The major conflict in his episcopate was one which is always latent in the Anglican church, the struggle between High and low Anglicans. This was sparked off because of the Sydney Confelrenoe of Bishops 1850 drew many of the strands of earlier conflicts into its orbit was allowed to grow because of the legal difficulties and radicalism inherent in a colonial diocese and was nurtured by the Bishop's most vigorous opponent, H.P.Fry. Conflict folloved conflict as the Bishop sought to create a satisfactory organisation for the church. Compromise was finally reached, but not before the church itself had suffered.


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