His Eminence 
Henry Edward Manning
Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster
Henry Edward Manning by George Frederic Watts cleaned.jpg
Cardinal Manning
Province Westminster
See Westminster
Enthroned 1865
Reign ended 14 January 1892
Predecessor Nicholas Wiseman
Successor Herbert Vaughan
Ordination 23 December 1833 (Anglican priest)
14 June 1851 (Catholic priest)
Consecration 8 June 1865 (Archbishop)
Created Cardinal 15 March 1875
Rank Cardinal priest of Ss. Andrea e Gregorio al Monte Celio [1]
Other Archdeacon of Chichester 1840-1851 (Anglican)[2]
Personal details
Born 15 July 1808(1808-07-15)
Totteridge, Hertfordshire, England
Died 14 January 1892 (aged 83)
London, England
Buried Westminster Cathedral
Nationality British
Denomination Roman Catholic Church
Parents William and Mary (née Hunter) Manning
Spouse Caroline Sargent

Henry Edward Manning (1808–1892) was an English Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster and Cardinal.[3]

Early life

Manning was born at Totteridge, Hertfordshire, the third and youngest son of William Manning, a West India merchant, who served as a director and (1812–1813) as a governor of the Bank of England, and who sat in Parliament for some thirty years, representing in the Tory interest Plympton Earle, Lymington, Evesham, and Penryn consecutively.

Henry's mother, Mary (died 1847), daughter of Henry Leroy Hunter, of Beech Hill, Reading, and sister of Sir Claudius Stephen Hunter, 1st Baronet, came of a family said to be of French extraction. Manning spent his boyhood mainly at Coombe Bank, Sundridge, Kent, where he had for companions Charles Wordsworth and Christopher Wordsworth, later bishops of St Andrews and Lincoln respectively. He attended Harrow School (1822–1827) during the headmastership of Dr George Butler, but obtained no distinction beyond playing in the cricket eleven in 1825.

He matriculated at Balliol College, Oxford, in 1827, and soon made his mark as a debater at the Oxford Union, where William Ewart Gladstone succeeded him as president in 1830. At this date he had ambitions of a political career, but his father had sustained severe losses in business, and in these circumstances Manning, having graduated with first-class honours in 1830, obtained the year following, through Frederick John Robinson, 1st Viscount Goderich, a post as a supernumerary clerk in the Colonial Office.

From this, however, he resigned in 1832, his thoughts having turned towards a clerical career under Evangelical influences, including his friendship with Favell Lee Mortimer, which affected him deeply throughout life.

Anglican clergyman

Returning to Oxford, he gained election as a fellow of Merton College, and received ordination in the Church of England; and in 1833 he became rector of Lavington-with-Graffham in Sussex due to the patronage of Mrs Sargent.

Henry Edward Manning portrait

Cardinal Manning

Manning married Caroline, Mrs Sargent's granddaughter, on 7 November, 1833, in a ceremony performed by the bride's brother-in-law, Samuel Wilberforce, later Bishop of Oxford and Winchester. Manning's marriage did not last long: his young and beautiful wife came of a consumptive family, and died childless on 24 July 1837. When Manning died many years later, for decades a celibate Roman Catholic clergyman, a locket containing his wife's picture was found on a chain around his neck.

Though he never became an acknowledged disciple of John Henry Newman, the latter's influence meant that from this date Manning's theology assumed an increasingly High Church character, and his printed sermon on the "Rule of Faith" signalled publicly his alliance with the Tractarians.

In 1838 he took a leading part in the Church education movement, by which diocesan boards were established throughout the country; and he wrote an open letter to his bishop in criticism of the recent appointment of the ecclesiastical commission. In December of that year he paid his first visit to Rome, and called on Dr. Wiseman in company with Gladstone.

In January 1841, Philip Shuttleworth, Bishop of Chichester, appointed him Archdeacon of Chichester, whereupon he began a personal visitation of each parish within his district, completing the task in 1843. In 1842 he published a treatise on The Unity of the Church, and his reputation as an eloquent and earnest preacher being by this time considerable, he was in the same year appointed select preacher by his university, thus being called upon to fill from time to time the pulpit which Newman, as vicar of St Mary's, was just ceasing to occupy.

Four volumes of Manning's sermons appeared between the years 1842 and 1850, and these had reached the 7th, 4th, 3rd and 2nd editions respectively in 1850, but were not afterwards reprinted. In 1844 his portrait was painted by George Richmond, and the same year he published a volume of university sermons, omitting the one on the Gunpowder Plot. This sermon had annoyed Newman and his more advanced disciples, but it was a proof that at that date Manning was loyal to the Church of England as a Protestant.

Newman's secession in 1845 placed Manning in a position of greater responsibility, as one of the High Church leaders, along with Edward Bouverie Pusey, John Keble and Marriott; but it was with Gladstone and James Robert Hope-Scott that he was at this time most closely associated.

Conversion to Catholicism

Legros - cardinal Manning

Cardinal Manning, by Alphonse Legros

Cardinal manning cartoon

1882 caricature from Punch.

Manning's belief in Anglicanism was shattered in 1850, when, in the so-called Gorham judgement, the Privy Council successfully ordered the Church to institute an Evangelical clergyman who denied that the sacrament of baptism had an objective effect of baptismal regeneration. The denial of the objective effect of the sacraments was to Manning and many others a grave heresy, contradicting the clear tradition of the Christian Church from the Fathers of the Church on, and the fact that a civil, secular court had the power to force the Anglican Church to accept such a heretical opinion proved to him that, far from being a divinely created institution, the Anglican church was merely a man-made creation of the English Parliament.

The following year, on 6 April 1851, he was received into the Roman Catholic Church and soon after, on 14 June 1851 was ordained a priest in it. Given his great abilities and prior fame, he quickly rose to a position of influence, and, in 1865, was chosen as Archbishop of Westminster.

Among his accomplishments as head of the Catholic Church in England were the building of Westminster Cathedral and a greatly expanded system of Roman Catholic education. In 1875, he was made a cardinal and he participated in the conclave that elected Leo XIII in 1878.

Influence on social justice teaching

Henry Edward Manning

Henry Edward Manning in his 83rd year.

Cardinal Manning was very influential in setting the direction of the modern Roman Catholic Church. His warm relations with Pope Leo XIII and his ultramontane views gained him the trust of the Vatican. He was among the strongest supporters of the doctrine of papal infallibility, unlike Cardinal Newman, who believed the doctrine but thought it might not be prudent to formally define it at the time. Manning used this goodwill to promote a modern Roman Catholic view of social justice. These views are reflected in the papal encyclical Rerum Novarum issued by Leo XIII. It is the beginning of modern Roman Catholic social justice teaching.

Styles of
Henry Edward Manning
CardinalCoA PioM
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See Westminster

For a comparison of Manning and Newman, see the section entitled "Newman and Manning" in the article on Cardinal Newman.

Cardinal Manning was instrumental in settling the London Dock Strike of 1889. He had a significant role in the conversion of notable figures, including Elizabeth Belloc, the mother of the famous British author, Hilaire Belloc, upon whose thinking Manning had a profound influence.

When Cardinal Manning died his estate was probated at £3,527. His funeral was the largest seen in Victorian London. [4]


  • Rule of Faith (1839)
  • Unity of the Church (1842)
  • The Eternal Priesthood (1883)
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Nicholas Wiseman
Archbishop of Westminster
Succeeded by
Herbert Vaughan


Books by or about Manning

no:Henry Edward Manningpt:Edward Manning sv:Henry Edward Manning

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