Monday, November 2, 2015

HERALDRY: Harris Manchester College, Oxford

Chapel of Harris Manchester College, Oxford
David Harrison (Univ. 1960) wrote to Oxford Today to say that my article in the Michaelmas issue on the Oxford college coats of arms (pp. 45-50) was "full of interest but included one lapse in the commentary on Harris Manchester College".

The issue is the religious origin of the college. Harrison says, yes, the College goes back to the Manchester Academy in 1786, but it was not founded by "English Presbyterians".

The Manchester Academy succeeded the Warrington Academy, which has been called "the cradle of Unitarianism". This is the most relevant religious influence on Harris Manchester.
Two of the Founders are to be seen in the College’s Warrington Window – Thomas Barnes and Thomas Percival – while the third, my first cousin Ralph Harrison, has a beautiful window dedicated to him in the College Chapel. All three Founders were graduates of the Unitarian Warrington Academy and two, Harrison and Barnes, were ministers at Manchester’s Unitarian Cross Street Chapel. 
My reference to the Presbyterians has to do with the founding of the Warrington Academy (1757-1786), which became a Unitarian foundation, but came into existence based in part on legacies from English Presbyterians.

Harrison is a true authority on this topic. He has written a 506-page book The Harrisons of Bankfield 1500-2006 (2006). Amazon has one copy for sale that you can snap up for $332, but Harrison says that the book can be purchased new for £70. Or you can read the book in the Harris Manchester Library, Univ's library or the Bodleian or in London at the National Portrait Gallery or the British Library. The topic of the founders of Manchester College is fully covered in the Appendix to the book.

Other Heraldry Posts: Coat of Arms vs. Crest  Harris Manchester  Linacre

No comments:

Post a Comment