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Wilberforce, Robert Isaac

WILBERFORCE, ROBERT ISAAC (1802-1857), English clergyman and writer, second son of William Wilberforce, was born on the 19th of December 1802. He was educated at Oriel College, Oxford, taking a double first in 1823. In 1826 he was chosen fellow of Oriel and was ordained, among his friends and colleagues being Newman, Pusey and Keble. For a few years he was one of the tutors at Oriel, but the provost, Edward Hawkins, disliked his religious views, and in 1831 he resigned and left Oxford. In 1832 he obtained the living of East Farleigh, Kent, which in 1840 he exchanged for that of Burton Agnes, near Hull. In 1841 he was appointed archdeacon of the East Riding. About this time Wilberforce became very intimate with Manning, and many letters on theological and ecclesiastical questions passed between them. In 1851 Manning joined the Church of Rome, and three years later Wilberforce took the same step. He was preparing for his ordination when he died at Albano on the 3rd of February 1857. He left two sons, the younger of whom, Edward Wilberforce (b. 1834), became one of the masters of the Supreme Court of Judicature. Edward's son, Lionel Robert Wilberforce (b. 1861), was in 1900 appointed professor of physics in the university of Liverpool.

R. I. Wilberforce assisted his brother Samuel to write the Life and to edit the Correspondence of his father. His other writings include: Church Courts and Church Discipline (1843); Doctrine of the Holy Eucharist (1853); Doctrine of the Incarnation in Relation to Mankind and the Church (1848 and later editions) ; The Five Empires, a Sketch of Ancient History (1840); A Sketch of the History of Erastianism (1851); An Enquiry into the Principles of Church Authority (1854); and a romance, Rutilius and Lucius (1842).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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