University of Tasmania
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Charles Henry Bromby : second Bishop of Tasmania.

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posted on 2023-05-27, 08:27 authored by Condon, Herbert Henry
Born the son of the militant Vicar of Hull, Bromby's protected childhood was fostered in an atmosphere of urban development and ecclesiastical and political reform. He inherited his father's apprehensiveness of inflexible ecclesiastical and social traditions in a changing and expanding world. Bromby was prepared for the service of God and humanity in an age of revolution; he was educated at Uppingham and Cambridge, and remained greatly influenced by his family life in Hull. He determined to teach the poor and enhance their welfare in a rapidly developing industrial society. Bromby's great opportunity came when he was appointed Principal of the Cheltenham Normal College in Gloucestershire. There he introduced increasing numbers of men and women into the art of Christian teaching of the poor. His influence spread throughout the Kingdom and to distant parts of the world. Soon, however, he became opposed to frivolous bigotry in matters ecclesiastical and doctrinal, intellectual and governmental. He could not row in the same boat as the stringent Evangelicals nor with \free-trade educationalists\". His incipient doctrine of tolerant comprehensiveness in both educational and ecclesiastical affairs led to disagreements with Cheltenham Church authorities and his preferment to work in a Colonial Bishopric. The See to which he went Tasmania was a penal See struggling for life in an environment of government interference. Nixon had left a legacy of indiscipline personal animosity and diocesan indifference. The Church expressed itself in terms of personalities and colonial ownership. There was little intellectual appreciation of Anglicanism but a predilection for partisanship and improvisation. The See was poor and unendowed. Bromby wanted to free the Tasmanian Church from bonds of ignorance and intolerance. He sought \"disestablishment\" the Church's release from the government's ministerial financial and property control. His struggle was the more noteworthy in that it took place at a time when colonial episcopacy was legally uncertain and when important changes were taking place in Home and Colonial Church relations. Bromby won using diocesan and provincial Synods as his aids. To encourage freedom toleration and moderation Bromby consolidated clerical discipline within the Tasmanian Church. Further he preached Anglican \"comprehensiveness\" in doctrinal and ritualistic matters. He did not easily convince colonists of his altruistic intentions. In ecclesiastical affairs as in political colonists arrayed themselves with particular personalities as partisans. The Bishop's doctrine seemed both vacillating and insipid. Colonists argued with Bromby's son a violent partisan and sacramentalist and treacherous to the Bishop's cause. Bromby's aim to liberate the Tasmanian Church from inhibiting colonialism into a free tolerant comprehensiveness was distorted by his own nepotism and paternal devotion. Even the new cathedral which was to have been the centre of Bromby's golden age of unified Anglicanism and diocesan inter-dependence provided instead an impetus to arid parochialism. Disappointed Bromby returned to England. He died in 1907. Bromby saw more clearly than his contemporaries the needs of the Tasmanian Church and of Education in an age of transition. Only now are many of his plans being implemented."


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Copyright 1964 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (M.A.) - University of Tasmania, 1964. Includes bibliography

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