William Thomas Manning
William Thomas Manning was an U.S.
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 Episcopal bishop
A bishop is an ordained or consecrated member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox Churches, in the Assyrian Church of the East, in the Independent Catholic Churches, and in the...

 of New York.


Manning's family moved to the United States from England in 1882, where he entered the University of the South
Sewanee, The University of the South
The University of the South is a private, coeducational liberal arts college located in Sewanee, Tennessee. It is owned by twenty-eight southern dioceses of the Episcopal Church and its School of Theology is an official seminary of the church. The university's School of Letters offers graduate...

 (Sewanee, Tennessee
Sewanee, Tennessee
Sewanee is an unincorporated locality in Franklin County, Tennessee, United States, treated by the U.S. Census as a census-designated place . The population was 2,361 at the 2000 census...

) in 1888, where he worked under William Porcher Du Bose and obtained a B.D.
Bachelor of Divinity
In Western universities, a Bachelor of Divinity is usually an undergraduate academic degree awarded for a course taken in the study of divinity or related disciplines, such as theology or, rarely, religious studies....

 degree in 1894.

When the Bishop was asked whether salvation could be found outside the Episcopal Church, he replied,

"Perhaps so, but no gentleman would care to avail himself of it."

Manning became deacon
Deacon is a ministry in the Christian Church that is generally associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions...

 on December 12, 1889, and priest on December 12, 1891.

Further stations were:
  • Rector of Trinity Church, Redlands, California
    Redlands, California
    Redlands is a city in San Bernardino County, California, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 68,747, up from 63,591 at the 2000 census. The city is located east of downtown San Bernardino.- History :...

  • Professor of Systematic Divinity at the School of Theology of the University of the South (1893–1895)
  • Rector of St. John's Church, Lansdowne, Pennsylvania
    Lansdowne, Pennsylvania
    Lansdowne is a borough in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States located southwest of downtown Philadelphia. It was named for the Marquess of Lansdowne. The borough grew quickly in the early part of the twentieth century when a railroad stop was established near the intersection of...

  • Rector of Christ Church, Nashville
    Nashville, Tennessee
    Nashville is the capital of the U.S. state of Tennessee and the county seat of Davidson County. It is located on the Cumberland River in Davidson County, in the north-central part of the state. The city is a center for the health care, publishing, banking and transportation industries, and is home...

  • Vicar of St. Agnes', New York (1903–1904)
  • Assistant rector of Trinity Church, New York (1904–1908)
  • Rector of Trinity Church, New York
    Trinity Church, New York
    Trinity Church at 79 Broadway, Lower Manhattan, is a historic, active parish church in the Episcopal Diocese of New York...

  • Bishop of New York (May 11, 1921-December 31, 1946)

One year prior to the US entering World War One
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 Manning declared:

During World War One he served as a volunteer chaplain at Camp Upton
Camp Upton
Camp Upton was an installation of the United States Army located in Yaphank on Long Island in Suffolk County, New York. It was located near Camp Mills.-History:...

. Bishop Manning was a chevalier of the Légion d'honneur
Légion d'honneur
The Legion of Honour, or in full the National Order of the Legion of Honour is a French order established by Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul of the Consulat which succeeded to the First Republic, on 19 May 1802...

 of France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 and an officer of the Order of the Crown of Belgium.New International Encyclopedia
New International Encyclopedia
The New International Encyclopedia was an American encyclopedia first published in 1902 by Dodd, Mead and Company. It descended from the International Cyclopaedia and was updated in 1906, 1914 and 1926.-History:...

 From 1922 to 1924 he was much in the public eye on account of controversies with the Rev. Percy Stickney Grant
Percy Stickney Grant
Percy Stickney Grant was an American Protestant Episcopalian clergyman. He was born in Boston and was educated at Harvard University and at the Episcopal Theological School in Cambridge . He was assistant minister of the church of the Ascension and minister of St...

, because of his radicalism
Extremism is any ideology or political act far outside the perceived political center of a society; or otherwise claimed to violate common moral standards...

, and with the Rev. William Norman Guthrie
William Norman Guthrie
William Norman Guthrie was an American clergyman and grandson of famous radical Frances Wright. He was educated at the University of the South, and from 1889 to 1910 was lecturer and professor of literature at several universities, including the University of Chicago. From 1911 to 1937, he was...

, because of dancing and other innovations at his religious services in St. Mark's in-the-Bouwerie
St Mark's Church in-the-Bowery
St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery is located at 131 East 10th Street, at the intersection of Stuyvesant Streets and Second Avenue in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City...

, New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...


In 1939-40 Bishop Manning took a leadership role in the successful effort to force the City University of New York
City University of New York
The City University of New York is the public university system of New York City, with its administrative offices in Yorkville in Manhattan. It is the largest urban university in the United States, consisting of 23 institutions: 11 senior colleges, six community colleges, the William E...

 to rescind their offer of a professorship to the philosopher Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, OM, FRS was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, and social critic. At various points in his life he considered himself a liberal, a socialist, and a pacifist, but he also admitted that he had never been any of these things...

; Russell had publicly testified of his atheism
Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities...

 in his book What I Believe
What I Believe
"What I Believe" is the title of two essays espousing humanism, by Bertrand Russell and by E. M. Forster , respectively.Several other authors have also written works with the same title, alluding to either or both of these essays....

, and of his support for what was then called "free love
Free love
The term free love has been used to describe a social movement that rejects marriage, which is seen as a form of social bondage. The Free Love movement’s initial goal was to separate the state from sexual matters such as marriage, birth control, and adultery...

" in Marriage and Morals
Marriage and Morals
Marriage and Morals is a 1929 book by the philosopher and mathematician Bertrand Russell that questions the Victorian notions of morality regarding sex and marriage....

. A Manhattan court granted victory to Manning's side in Kay v. Board of Higher Education, better known as The Bertrand Russell Case
The Bertrand Russell Case
The Bertrand Russell Case edited by John Dewey and Horace M Kallen is a collection of articles on the 1940 dismissal of Bertrand Russell as Professor of Philosophy from the College of the City of New York....


After retiring in 1946, Manning died in 1949 and is buried in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

External links

  • Documents by and about Manning from Project Canterbury
    Project Canterbury
    Project Canterbury is an online archive of material related to the history of Anglicanism. It was founded by Richard Mammana, Jr. in 1999, and is hosted by the non-profit Society of Archbishop Justus...

  • Biography
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