The Guardian 1846 – 1951
Published in association with Lambeth Palace Library.
The Guardian was the leading newspaper of the Church of England, documenting the Church’s life week by week for 105 years, and has been described as the most intelligent weekly among the churches. It was founded in 1846 by R.W. Church, later dean of St. Pauls, and Frederic Rogers amongst others to uphold Tractarian principles and to demonstrate their relevance to the best secular thought of the age. Unlike such papers as The Record (1828) or The Church Times (1863), which appealed more to those holding decidedly party views, it was numbered among the best of the weeklies for the intelligentsia, providing an independent commentary on all the major contemporary theological, intellectual, political and social issues and preoccupations. It maintained high literary and scholarly standards, offering considered reviews of current theological and other publications. It is therefore an important source particularly for the Victorian and Edwardian periods, and has a contribution to make towards the study of the Oxford Movement, church and State relations, responses to Darwinian thought, the spread of Christian Socialism, the beginnings of the ecumenical movement, the challenge of war to Christian consciences, to name but a few examples. It is also a source for obituaries, especially of churchmen and, by the latter years of the 19th century, of influential agnostics and other leading critics of the Church, such as John Stuart Mill and Leslie Stephen. It ceased publication in 1951.