Pusey, Dr Edward Bouverie

Regius Professor of Hebrew at Oxford from 1828, who contributed to the Tracts for the Times and was a leading Tractarian, especially after Newman's withdrawal in 1845. His Letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury (1842) condemned the Methodist doctrine of assurance as the heresy of 'justification by feeling', leading to antinomianism, in place of repentance, good works and the Sacraments. Thomas Jackson's Letter to the Rev. E.B. Pusey (1842) was a vigorous and detailed refutation of this. In 1868 Pusey's attempt to enlist Nonconformist (including Methodist) support for the Anglican monopoly of University education (famously represented in a Punch cartoon) was rebuffed by the WM Conference in a way that was condemned by Hugh Price Hughes as inexcusably discourteous. Following his death James H. Rigg published a book on his 'character and life work'.


'As the undeniable head of the Romanizing party in the Church of England, and especially as the patron and advocate of the Confessional as an organized institution within the Church, Dr. Pusey has deeply and widely offended the Protestant feeling of the country. Still, on the other hand, his saintliness of character, the consistency of his course, his power and influence as a preacher, the simplicity of his life, his personal rank and standing as a gentleman of large estate and ancient blood, his Hebrew scholarship and vast theological learning, the excellence of his commentaries on Old Testament prophecy, and his powerful championship of canonical Scripture against modern criticism, have combined to secure for him, far beyond the limits of his own section of the Anglican Church, deep personal respect... [Yet he was also] the most influential teacher of the deadliest error which, under cover of an orthodox creed, could possibly be propagated within our National Church…'

James H. Rigg, The Character and Life Work of Dr. Pusey, pp.13-15

  • The Times, 15 and 17 August 1868
  • James H. Rigg, The Character and Life Work of Dr. Pusey (1883)
  • H.P. Liddon, Life of Edward Bouverie Pusey (1893-7)
  • P. Butler (ed.), Pusey Rediscovered (1983)
  • History of the Methodist Church in Great Britain', vol.4 (1988) pp.457-60, 532-33
  • Peter Cobb, 'Methodists, Tractarians and the pursuit of holiness: a defence of Dr. Pusey', in Bulletin of the WHS Bristol Branch, no.75 (March 1997) pp.1-11
  • Oxford DNB