Reformed Churchmen

We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "An Apology of the Church of England." In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at:

Saturday, September 6, 2014

6 September 1862 A.D. John Bird Sumner Passes—91st of 105 Archbishops of Canterbury: Anti-Tractabates

6 September 1862 A.D.  John Bird Sumner Passes—91st of 105 Archbishops of Canterbury:  Anti-Tractabates

John Bird Sumner (1780 – 6 September 1862) was a bishop in the Church of England and Archbishop of Canterbury.



John Bird Sumner was a brother of Charles Richard Sumner, bishop of Winchester. Their father was Robert Sumner and their mother was Hannah Bird, a first cousin of William Wilberforce.[2]

Sumner was born at Kenilworth, Warwickshire and educated at Eton College and King's College, Cambridge.[3]

In 1802 he became a master at Eton and was ordained the following year. He was elected a fellow of Eton in 1817 and in 1818 the school presented him to the living of Maple Durham, Oxfordshire. After being a prebendary of the Durham diocese for some years, he was consecrated Bishop of Chester in 1828. During his episcopate many churches and schools were built in the diocese. In 1848 he was elevated to Archbishop of Canterbury (with an annual income of £15,000[4]), and in this capacity he dealt impartially with the different church parties until his death.

His numerous writings were much esteemed, especially by the Evangelical party to which he belonged. His best known writings are his Treatise on the Records of Creation and the Moral Attributes of the Creator (London, 1816) and The Evidence of Christianity derived from its Nature and Reception (London, 1821).

In the well-known Gorham Case he came into conflict with Bishop Henry Phillpotts of Exeter (1778–1869), who accused him of supporting heresy and refused to communicate with him. He supported the Divorce Bill in parliament but opposed the Deceased Wife's Sister Bill and the bill for removing Jewish disabilities.

He was president of the Canterbury Association that founded Christchurch, New Zealand.[5] In 1848 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.[6]

He died in 1862 at Addington and is buried in Addington churchyard. He had married Marianne, daughter of George Robertson, Captain RN.


2.      Jump up ^ Edward J. Davies, "Some Connections of the Birds of Warwickshire", The Genealogist, 26(2012):58-76.

3.      Jump up ^ "Sumner, James Bird (SMNR798JB)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 

4.      Jump up ^ Appletons' annual cyclopaedia and register of important events of the year: 1862. New York: D. Appleton & Company. 1863. p. 760. 

5.      Jump up ^ Blain, Rev. Michael (2007). The Canterbury Association (1848-1852): A Study of Its Members’ Connections. Christchurch: Project Canterbury. pp. 78–79. Retrieved 23 March 2013. 

6.      Jump up ^ "Library and Archive Catalogue". Royal Society. Retrieved 2012-02-02. 


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