John Keble, priest, Tractarian, poet, 14th July 1866
A leader of the Tractarian movement, which protested at the threats to the Church from liberal developments in both politics and theology.
Born in 1792, the son of a priest, John Keble showed early brilliance as a scholar, becoming a Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford, at the age of nineteen, a few years before his ordination. He won great praise for his collection of poems, The Christian Year, issued in 1827, and was elected Professor of Poetry in Oxford in 1831. A leader of the Tractarian movement, which protested at the threats to the Church from liberal developments in both politics and theology, he nevertheless did not seek preferment and in 1836 became a parish priest near Winchester, a position he held until his death in 1866. He continued to write scholarly books and was praised for his character and spiritual counsel. Yet he is still best remembered for the sermon he preached in Oxford, considered by some the beginning of the Oxford Movement, delivered on this day in 1833.