Thomas Frederick Simmons (1815-84) combined his ecclesiastical duties and liturgical interests with editing the fourteenth-century Middle English Lay folks' mass book (1879) for the Early English Text Society, with the aim of showing the continuity of the English Church from the medieval period through the Reformation. In the light of modern scholarship, this article recontextualises both medieval text and Simmons's own editorial practice, and shows how Simmons, as a second-generation Tractarian churchman, sought in this text - and others associated with it - evidence for the Church of England's Catholic underpinning in an imagined medieval English Church.
Alexander Crummell's application to enter the General Theological Seminary in 1839 was problematic for the Episcopal Church. Admitting the African American abolitionist would have exacerbated divisions over slavery within a denomination still recovering from the American Revolution and the Second Great Awakening. The Church's increasing financial dependence on its upper-class members was a further complication. In Northern states the social elite supported anti-abolitionist violence, whilst in the South support for the Church came predominantly from slaveholders, who opposed any form of abolitionism. In order to safeguard the Episcopal Church's future, the denomination had to reject Crummell's application.