Wilberforce, Samuel (18051873)

Wilberforce, Samuel, English prelate, born at Clapham, third son of the succeeding; entered Oriel College, Oxford, at 18, where he distinguished himself by his powers of debate; took holy orders, and rose to eminence in the Church; was made Bishop of Oxford in 1845, and of Winchester in 1869; was a High Churchman of the pure Anglican type, and equally opposed to Romanism and Nonconformity; shone in society by his wit and powers of conversation; Carlyle often “exchanged pleasant dialogues with him, found him dexterous, stout and clever, far from being a bad man”; “I do not hate him,” he said to Froude one day, “near so much as I fear I ought to do”; he found him “really of a religious nature,” and secretly in sympathy with himself on religious matters; was killed by a fall from his horse; he was popularly known by the sobriquet of “Soapy Sam” (18051873).

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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