Rivington's Theological Library

Rivington's Theological Library[1] was a series of 15 volumes, edited by William Rowe Lyall and Hugh James Rose, and published in London during the 1830s by Rivington's. Rose as founder intended "to restore in England the tradition of the primitive church and revive a taste for patristic studies." His quest for contributors took him to Oxford in 1832, at a pivotal moment for what would become the Tractarian movement.[2]

A work by John Henry Newman, The Arians of the Fourth Century (1833), was intended for the Library.[3] Lyall, however, had objections, to its theology and its scope (Newman had been assigned the topic of Church Councils of the period), and it was published by Rivingtons, but outside the Library. Rose told Newman privately that the series was playing too safe, and was not making its mark.[4][5] A further work, commissioned from Joseph Blanco White, and announced as a History of the Inquisition, as Newman's had been intended as a History of the Principal Councils, took its own way, and became a work Observations on Heresy and Orthodoxy (1835) with a Unitarian aspect.[6] Other announced volumes, by Rose on Martin Luther, and by James Nichols on Hugo Grotius, did not appear in the series.[7]

Number Year Author Title
I 1832[8] Life of Wiclif Charles Webb Le Bas
II The Consistency of the Whole Scheme of Revelation Philip Nicholas Shuttleworth
III History of the Reformed Religion in France I Edward Smedley
IV The Life of Archbishop Cranmer I Le Bas
V The Life of Archbishop Cranmer II Le Bas
VI History of the Reformed Religion in France II Smedley
VII Scripture Biography I Robert Wilson Evans
VIII History of the Reformed Religion in France III Smedley
IX History of the Church in Scotland I Michael Russell
X History of the Church in Scotland II Russell
XI Life of Bishop Jewel Le Bas
XII 1835[9] Scripture Biography II Evans
XIII Life of Archbishop Laud Le Bas
XIV 1837[10] Biography of the Early Church I Evans
XV 1839[10] Biography of the Early Church II Evans


  1. Robert Wilson Evans (1839). Biography of the Early Church. M. Aurel, Fr. p. 6.
  2. Halévy, Élie (1961). "The Triumph of Reform 1830–1841". Internet Archive. Barnes & Noble Inc. p. 145. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  3. Christopher John Murray (13 May 2013). Encyclopedia of the Romantic Era, 1760-1850. Routledge. p. 803. ISBN 1-135-45579-1.
  4. Ian Ker (2 September 2010). John Henry Newman: A Biography. Oxford University Press. p. 52. ISBN 978-0-19-959659-1.
  5. Ian Ker (28 August 2014). Newman on Vatican II. Oxford University Press. p. 72. ISBN 978-0-19-871752-2.
  6. Mozley, Thomas (1882). "Reminiscences: chiefly of Oriel College and the Oxford Movement". Internet Archive. London: Longmans, Green. pp. 246–8. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  7. William Hendry Stowell (1834). The Eclectic Review. p. 236.
  8. Charles Webb Le Bas (1832). The life of Wiclif. Printed for J. G. & F. Rivington.
  9. Hugh James Rose; Samuel Roffey Maitland (1835). The British Magazine and Monthly Register. J. Petheram. p. 186.
  10. 1 2 James Donaldson (1864). A Critical History of Christian Literature and Doctrine, from the death of the Apostles to the Nicene council. pp. 33–.
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