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Our pre-history: The Oxford Movement

The Oxford Movement was a group of High Church Anglicans the members of which were often associated with the University of Oxford. They arose out of the religious and constitutional reforms of the 1820s and 30s, which raised important questions.

They were also known as the Tractarian Movement after a series of publications “Tracts for the Times” in 1841. Oxford’s undergraduates, like Newman, Palmer, Froude, Keble and Pusey were soon taking their ideas well beyond universities and into the parishes to which they were ordained. 1. Who Shall Educate. or, Our Babes in the Woods. Punch .23 April 1853.

The sword of the figure in the Puritan hat on the left bears the label “Dissent” while that of the one on the right, who is dressed like an eighteenth-century squire, has “High Church,” which suggests he represents the pre-Oxford Movement High-And-Dry Anglicans, who probably would have been caricatured as Romanist priests.

Oxford House was seen explicitly as a church settlement, carrying the ideal of the Oxford Movement to deprived area of London, East End, and with an explicit attachment to parish (St Andrews’s, Bethnal Green).

Source : 
- Cameron, Averil; Archer, Ian W. “Keble the Past and Present” Third Millennium, London 2008
- Image: ‘Who Shall Educate. or, Our Babes in the Woods’. Punch .23 April 1853.