Who’s Who ‘N’

Newman John Henry, St.  Cardinal, Tractarian Leader and RC Cardinal, educationist and writer 1801-1890. One of the most complex and influential of Victorians, whose life almost spanned the century. Educated Trinity College Oxford, then became a fellow of Oriel in 1822 and ordained Deacon. He came from an Evangelical background like his contemporary Manning. A combination of influences at Oriel College and rediscovery of the Church Fathers led to the Tractarian Movement, kicked off by Keble. He became Vicar of St Mary’s; his sermons there from 1832 and the Publications of Tracts for the Times (134-142) defined the Oxford or Tractarian Movement. It sought to redefine Anglicanism as derived from the Church Fathers and Catholic in origin.  When Newman said the 39 Articles were in concert with Roman Catholic teaching of the Council of Trent, a great controversy erupted in Oxford. Newman isolated himself in Littlemore Oxford, and 1845 was received into the RC Church. He defended his move with writings notably his Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine and in 1864 his important Apologia pro vita sua – a frank and personal reply to Charles Kingsley’s attack- and later his doctrinal summary called Grammar of Assent (1870) and The Dream of Gerontius, thejourney of a soul. Newman founded the Oratory in Birmingham and a university in Dublin. A thinker rather than an administrator he typifies the dialectic between ecclesiastical authority and intuitive spiritual progress so often seen in the church.     

Newton, John Evangelical Divine 1725-1807   formerly a slave trader and ships captain he was converted in 1748. He became surveyor of the tides at Liverpool 1755-1760. Influenced by George Whitfield he studied Latin, Greek, Hebrew and Syriac.  He was ordained in 1764, was a Curate at Olney and then rector of St Mary’s Wooolnoth in the City of London. With William Cowper wrote the Olney Hymns. His most famous hymn is Amazing Grace; others were How sweet the name of Jesus sounds and Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken. He influenced William Wilberforce, Charles Simeon and Hannah More   

Nightingale Florence, Founder of Hospital Nursing 1820-1910, born into a wealthy upper middle-class family and educated by her father she eschewed either social advancement or a fine marriage to pursue the profession of nursing still in its infancy. She a mystical and devotional streak that lay at the heart of her vocation She learnt nursing in Kaiserswerth a house for the sick run by Protestant Deaconesses. After being appointed head of a hospital for gentlewoman in Harley, she volunteered to lead 38 women to nurse soldiers in the Crimean campaign. Based at Scutari she became known throughout Victorian Britain as The Lady with Lamp. Exacting standards of cleanliness lay at the root of her nursing. Returning to England she a started a school of nursing at St Thomas’.  She pioneered reforms for the army nursing corps. She believed strongly in statistics. She lobbied the government ceaselessly, and in particular (Lord) Sidney Herbert and wrote a definitive book on nursing called Notes on Nursing in 1859.  She pioneered a new standard in nursing that remains at the basis of British health care. Not a feminist herself, she became an icon of feminists.