This is the first full-length, serious biography of Frederick Temple, an eminent, nineteenth-century figure and father of William Temple who was Archbishop of Canterbury during the Second World War. Born on a Greek island, of middle-class but impoverished parents, he was educated at Balliol College on a scholarship, became principal of a college which trained teachers for pauper children, then headmaster of Rugby, and Bishop successively of Exeter and London before
finally becoming Archbishop of Canterbury at the age of 76 in 1897. In the realm of education he could be considered the real designer of the Oxford and Cambridge Examination Board in the 1850s; was a contributor to the first of the `scandalous' volumes of liberal theology, Essays and Reviews in 1860;
was secretary of the Taunton Commission on grammar school education in 1868; and gave the Bampton lectures of 1884 on science and religion which made the theory of evolution respectable. As Bishop of London he attempted to mediate in the London dock strike of 1889; was responsible for the final form of the Archbishops' reply to the Pope's encyclical on Anglican orders; presided over the `Archbishops' Headings' on certain ritual practices in the `Church Crisis' at the end of the century; was
much involved in Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee celebrations; and crowned Edward VII. He collapsed in the House of Lords after speaking in the debate on the education bill of 1902 and died soon afterwards.
To gather the material for this fluent and attractive biography, the author has made use of the Temple family papers, most of which have been hitherto unpublished, as well as the more than 100 volumes of the Archbishop's official papers at Lambeth Palace.