A tribute to the life and work of Brian Torode

Oxford Movement in Gloucestershire

During the last few months of his life Brian was working on a book about the Oxford Movement and its impact on the County of Gloucestershire. These are his working notes….

Please download here to read this document:

I am currently in the process of editing Brian’s notes so your comments, corrections and additions would be very much appreciated.

Richard Barton (30-09-2020)

Did you know that the Keble Brothers of Fairford were related to Father Arthur Henry Stanton of Stroud?

Yes, through John Holbrow of Kingscote and his wife Mary Hailing who are commemorated in Kingscote churchyard:

‘John Holbrow of this parish, yeoman, and Mary his wife. She died the 25th of March in the 75th year of her age, and he the 20th August in the 85th year of his age, 1729’ (Taken from ‘Some account of the family of Holbrow, anciently of Kingscote, Uley and Leonard Stanley in Gloucestershire by William Phillimore Watts Phillimore)

Through their son William Holbrow we have the Kebles:

William Holbrow (1680-1741), was a clothier of Uley and sheriff of Gloucestershire. He married Anne Gale and they were Great Grandparents of the Reverends Thomas and John Keble.


Their daughter, Elizabeth Holbrow, was baptised at Uley on 7th August 1721. She married Reverend John Maule, Vicar of Ringwood, Hants, who died on 30th December, 1778. She died on 14th and was buried at Uley on 17th November 1784, aged 63.


Their daughter, Sarah Maule, died 11th May 1823, having married at Uley, 8th December 1785, Rev. John Keble, of Fairford, 52 years Vicar of Coln St. Aldwyn, M.A., and fellow of Corpus Christi College, Oxford. Sarah Maule was the mother of John and Thomas Keble of Oxford Movement fame.

Through their son John Hobrow we have Father Stanton:

John Holbrow (1686-1747), brother of William, a gentleman of Leonard Stanley, married Anna Clissold of Pitchcombe. They were Great Great Grandparents of the Reverend Arthur Henry Stanton.


John Holbrow (-1780), of Leonard Stanley, gentleman, was born at Horsley, and died, 25 October 1780, aged 68, at Leonard Stanley. He married at Leonard Stanley, 21 April 1746, Elizabeth Dale, of Leonard Stanley.


Thomas Holbrow (1756-1833), of Leonard Stanley, afterwards of Badbrook House, Stroud, gentleman ; born at Leonard Stanley; died 7 November 1833, aged 76, and was buried at Leonard Stanley ; Married at Stroud on 28 January 1783 to Martha Butt of Stroud.


Martha Holbrow, born 9 March 1799; died 9 January 1876; married at Painswick 10 October 1820, Charles Stanton, of Upfield Lodge, near Stroud (fourth son of William Stanton, of The Thrupp, near Stroud, and his wife Anne Carruthers); he died 27 March 1863. Martha was the mother of Arthur Henry Stanton.


Reverend Arthur Henry Stanton, born 21 June 1839. Died 1913.

Therefore, William Holbrow, the Great Great Grandfather of Arthur Henry Stanton was the brother of John Holbrow, the Great Grandfather of John and Thomas Keble; making them second cousins, one removed.

William and John Holbrow were also brothers of my Great VIII Uncle’s wife, Mary Trotman, nee Holbrow (1682-1760).

12 comments on “Oxford Movement in Gloucestershire

  1. Madeleine Hurricks
    February 17, 2016

    Thank you for keeping up this work. I was researching the life of J F S Gabb of Charlton Kings author of devotional books. Do you know where he fitted in? His book of 1853 includes prayers for donning alb, stole, chasuble etc is familiar from NZ Tractarian church of St Michael and All Angels’ Christchurch.
    Madeleine Hurricks

  2. Philip J Wells
    June 28, 2016

    The text for Fr Stanton includes ‘Inhibited by Bishop of Gloucester – when, why?’ This may relate to a conversation I had with Brian Torode about King’s Stanley and the Revd John Gibson who I am researching. In 1876 St George’s Church, King’s Stanley re-opened for Divine Service on Thursday in Easter Week, 20th April. The Services were, the Celebration of Holy Communion at 8 a.m., and at 11.30, Morning Prayer, and Celebration of Holy Communion. The Sermon was preached by The Lord Bishop of the Diocese, Dr Ellicott who caused some surprise by announcing that he would also preach twice on the following Sunday instead of the Rev. A.H. Stanton, Assistant Curate of St. Alban’s, Holborn, London, as had been widely advertised. There are articles about this in several newspapers as well as Church Times and Stanton’s Memoir.

    • Richard Barton
      June 28, 2016

      Thank you for this addition. I cannot add any further information myself but should you find more yourself please post it here. Richard Barton

  3. Richard Barton
    June 28, 2016

    Philip J Wells: The Selsley consecration also had problems – ‘Consecration of the Church of All Saints’, Stanley End, King’s Stanley’. The church was consecrated by the Rt Revd W. Thompson, Bishop of Gloucester, on 28 November, 1862. The Revd John Gibson was one of the Clergy present. In the evening he preached the sermon ‘and the Building thronged.’ The opening time had been considerably delayed to the afternoon, whilst a hanging floral cross with its bottom stem fixed to the rear of the altar was removed at the Bishop’s insistence in order to comply with a judgement of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. Poor Revd John Gibson, who only came in 1857, had to be very careful from then on about what he did!

  4. Stephen Savage
    June 30, 2016

    This is an extremely interesting piece of work and I look forward to seeing any further additions. I have visited very many of the places in Gloucestershire that are mentioned.

  5. Richard Barton
    August 26, 2018

    From Andrew Deuchar…

    Really interested to read the material collected by Brian Torode before his death (and hope it might appear in book form one day!

    I would be really interested in joining in with the discussion, as I am currently gathering material for my own book on the Davies family between 1795 and 1934. This represents four generations of my distaff family, ending with my grandfather’s generation. The ‘Alpha male’ in the first three generations was an Anglican clergyman, and both the 2nd and 3rd of these served in Bristol and Gloucester Diocese. Charles Greenall Davies (1808-1877) entered Gloucestershire as one of Francis Close’s team in Cheltenham, having care of St Paul’s between 1836 and 1841, from where he went to begin the ministry at Trinity Church Wakefield followed by a year’s locum first at Charles, Plymouth and then at St John’s Portsea, before returning to Gloucestershire as Vicar of Tewkesbury from 1846 until his death in 1877. He was a firm evangelical Protestant, as you might expect although I think he probably mellowed a bit at Tewkesbury. He was responsible, while at Cheltenham, for ensuring that F.W. Robertson (later of Brighton) took Orders rather than following his father into the Army. Stopford Brooke, in his Life & Letters of F.W. Robertson, quotes extensively from C.G. Davies. They grew apart latterly as FWR went liberal and more sympathetic to elements of Tractarianism.

    I am currently transcribing a diary of CGD’s in his last months in Portsmouth, and as he prepares to move to Tewkesbury. It is fascinating in many, many ways. One little fact I have picked up is that it sounds as though Archdeacon Thorpe of Bristol probably tried to prevent him from getting Tewkesbury….that’s a little bit of conjecture on my part, from one slightly oblique reference to the Archdeacon. I think CGD is significant because, although Brian suggests in his notes that apart from Francis Close there probably wasn’t much outright opposition to the Tractarians, I am pretty sure CGD would have been pretty vocal in his opposition!!!

    Interestingly, his son, C D P Davies, born in Tewkesbury in 1856, (and buried there in 1931!), went in the other direction, and was very much an Edward King style of liturgical innovator – indeed he was effectively removed from Ringmer parish in Sussex partly for introducing the usual things – bowing to the altar, altar candles, preaching in a surplice etc. In 1901 he became Rector of Fretherne, leaving there in 1918 for the Parish of Deane in Hants, before returning to Kemerton in 1927 to retire. He was a stalwart of the Diocesan Prayer Book Defence League, but was much more famous in the field of campanology (and it may have been the protestant objections to ringing for services pushed him towards the more Catholic side), and astronomy – he was a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and Chair of the British Astronomical Association!

    Both of them seem to have been very ready to get into a fight, though CGD clearly was a very hard-working, pastorally-minded minister and well-thought of by many. Indeed this diary I am working on shows that he gave priority to supporting and caring for the poorest and most struggling people, both within the military circles he worked in and the ordinary inhabitants of downtown Portsmouth, and rather disdained social contact with the ‘governing’ classes. But controversy seems to have dogged both (as well as Davies No.1, who was Master of Cranbrook School in Kent from 1812 until his death in 1850, and has received very poor reviews for his ministry from local historians!).

    If someone is continuing Brian’s work, I would be really glad to be in touch with them!

    Best wishes,

    Andrew Deuchar

  6. Andrew Deuchar
    August 26, 2018

    That is a pleasure, and I am delighted to find such extensive material relevant to my own researches. I would be glad to hear from anyone who has done research in similar areas, and will be glad to contribute to ongoing reflection on the issues and stories which have emerged, and may continue to do so. Andrew

    • Stephen
      August 27, 2018

      Dear Andrew, You are right. It is indeed all very impressive. If you are not a member of the Anglo-Catholic History Society then you should consider it as you would probably enjoy it. I was interested in the mention of James Davies of Abbenhall as he visited St Saviour’s, Leeds, in its early days to attend the Dedication Festival. He wrote about his visits in a couple of letters preserved in West Yorkshire Archives, in Morley at the Leeds office. I think there are photocopies at Leeds Central Library, local history. I tried once to transcribe them but they are difficult to read and I was missing things. It is obvious though that JD enjoyed the gossip shared on such occasions.

      • Andrew Deuchar
        August 27, 2018

        I am interested in the ACTS and will have a look. Unfortunately James Davies is not connected with my Davies family….but in terms of understanding the political/ecclesiastical context of the diocese it is all grist to the mill. Thanks Stephen.

  7. Ally Walker
    August 2, 2020

    Thank you for a fascinating article, which clearly explains the background and build-up to events connected to George Angus, the curate at Prestbury. I am currently researching him in connection with my own family.
    He employed both my paternal Grandmother and Great Aunt whilst in St. Andrews, Scotland. I have a photo of him, the original hangs in The Presbytery

    • Richard Barton
      August 2, 2020

      Hi Ally,
      I am so delighted to hear from you. Have you seen my other blog on ‘Convert Clergy associated with Clifton Diocese’? See I would really like to add more details about George Angus if you are willing to help? My email address is

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