Richard Sibthorp, youngest son of a celebrated Lincolnshire family, became through his forceful preaching and acknowledged piety, one of the leading Anglican Evangelicals of the 1820s. During the next decade his Old Testament studies turned him into a High Churchman who transformed his chapel on the Isle of Wight into a pioneering centre of ritualism. In 1841, at great personal cost, he converted to Rome. More astonishing was his announcement, in October 1843, that he was returning to the Establishment. This new biography challenges received opinions of Sibthorp. He emerges as a man of impressive spirituality, unwilling to compromise in his search for truth, even at the price of misunderstanding and ridicule.
Michael Trott is a graduate of Bristol University, with a long-standing interest in the nineteenth-century church. Under the supervision of Professor Alan McClelland, a noted biographer of Cardinal Manning, he has spent several years researching the life of Richard Waldo Sibthorp. He was awarded his doctorate earlier this year.