William Raymond Scott (1824-94)

Though he became an ardent ritualist, whose ministry proved controversial, his beginnings were rather more protestant: born in Plymouth in 1824, he studied at Trinity College Dublin, and from 1848 served his title at Emmanuel, Bolton-le-Moors, a church built by the famous Canon James Slade in the newly-created diocese of Manchester. In 1852 he applied to be a chaplain in the Crimea, but was turned down (and corresponded with the Bishop of Exeter on the reasons why); also in that year, he published Apostolical Succession and Canon LV, a Reply to the Revd W Goode’s Tract, with historical Proofs that Episcopacy is a Divine Institution. He served further curacies at St James Enfield (where the incumbent was a member of the high-church Cambridge Camden Society) from 1853 and Compton Dando in Somerset from 1856. Three years later he became perpetual curate of St Mary Magdalene, Harlow, and married an Irish-born teacher Helen Sinclair; here he became a member of the General Committee of St. George's Church Defence Association, supporting the ministry of Bryan King.

In 1862 he undertook to travel out with the newly-consecrated Bishop of Honolulu, Thomas Nettleship Staley [right] to work in the Sandwich Islands, but meanwhile he was asked by the Columbia Mission Society to sail via Victoria and accompany - together with a chaperone, Isabella Robb - a group of sixty or seventy young women. Some at the mission society felt he was unsuitable, being very high church, quite severe and somewhat emotional, but they were desperate to find an escort for their female emigration project (see here for another local example of this practice). Lady Jane Franklin, suspicious of his rhetoric and demeanour, had written to Bishop Tait of London (with whom Scott himself also corresponded) I was grieved to hear that he is a man of unhappy temper and so infatuated with Popish tendencies ... how he [the Bishop of Honolulu] could think of taking such a man ... (As shown below, the Bishop in fact shared his ecclesiastical stance - though neither were Romanists; in 1860 Scott had signed the Declaration of the Clergy against Alteration of the Book of Common Prayer, &c, &c.)
The high church Guardian felt otherwise:
....Mr. and Mrs. Scott (happily no novices in travelling), with their two children, sailed at a few days' notice. They will go from Victoria to the Sandwich Islands. When the various temptations and evils of an emigrant ship are considered, we may be thankful for the sake of the Columbian Mission that Mr. and Mrs. Scott have undertaken the important task of caring for their special passengers, and that they will have on their voyage not only pastoral help and privileges, but the presence of a lady educated and refined, who will be always ready to help and advise. We may also be glad that the Bishop has secured a man with heart and courage to undertake such a voyage so unexpectedly; it augurs well for his future work in those interesting islands.

In various regards they spoke too soon. Scott and his family set sail on the Tynemouth, a 600hp iron screw steamer of 1,620 tons that had weathered a severe storm in the Black Sea during the Crimean War. Conditions for third-class and steerage passengers below deck were appalling, with overcrowding, illness, and rackettering over the provision of food and a severe gale early on in the journey. Scott became unpopular for his long haranguing sermons and ritualistic practices (prostrating himself on deck during communion, it's said), and exercised a prurient and excessive restraint of his charges (and some suspected worse). A crisis was to come: there was a mutiny mid-Atlantic, and the men on board had to take charge of the vessel; it was hit by a huge wave, dislodging iron tanks below and causing the loss of a lifeboat. They made it to the Falklands; some mutineers were re-instated, others court-martialled and imprisoned with hard labour. Thereafter Scott did not speak to the captain; and when they finally reached Victoria would not let the girls off the ship because of the moral dangers ashore. See further on this expedition and its aftermath Peter Johnson Voyages of Hope: the Saga of the Bride Ships (TouchWood 2002), chapters 5 'The Voyage from Hell: the Tynemouth' and 6 'The Arrival of the Tynemouth'.

In the Sandwich Islands he had grand visions for the mission church, which landed the congregation - who were of various nationalities - deeply in debt, and his style of worship alientated them. But this was the Bishop's style too, as these two gushing accounts from contemporary newspapers show. The first, from the Polynesian, describes the extraordinary event of the confirmation and first communion of the King and Queen of the Hawaiian Islands - complete with Tallis' setting of the Prayer Book Litany sung in Hawaiian! - and the second an ordination in 1863 on the Sandwich Islands. Scott assisted on both occasions.

At half past ten on the morning of the 28th of November, a procession left the vestry and entered the church in order. First, Major Hoopili, Chief, and Aide-de-camp to the King, surpliced, bearing the banner of the Díocese of Honolulu; next, the Choir, composed of natives, and also surpliced, walking two and two; then the Clergy, the Revds. E. lbbotson, W. R. Scott and G. Mason, surpliced and with white stole, and lastly the Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of the Diocese in alb and rochet, preceded by his pastoral staff. Their Majesties the King and Queen were by this time arrived at the west door of the church, whither the Bishop, attended by one of his chaplains, immediately proceeded, and greeted them, kneeling, with the Apostolic Salutation and Benediction. The King and Queen, proceded by the Bishop, entered the church and took the places allotted to them, and the services of the day commenced.

The Litany, in the Hawaiian language, exquisitely sung by the Rev. E. Ibbotson, was first chanted; the responses with thrilling effect being rendered by the choir and general congregation. The first part was harmonised to Tallis's responses, the remainder was in plain song. The densely crowded congregation seemed deeply moved by the beauty and devotional character of the service.

The Litany ended, the Bishop, attended by his clergy and the choir, returned to the vestry, to vest for the great rite of the day. In a few moments a chant was again heard, and the procession having re-formed, issued from the vestry by the north door, and went down Kutui-street, chanting the processional psalm, "The Heavens declare the glory of God", being the 19th Psalm, sung to the Gregorian third tone, second ending. As the cadences died away in the distance, or were faintly heard in the church as the procession moved by it or gradually approached, and then swelled into a grand united burst of adoration, the effect was thrilling in the extreme. The procession re-entered the church by the west door, outside which the military were drawn up, presented arms and saluted the Bishop and Clergy. Passed into the church and the choir having filed off into their respective places, the processional Psalm closed, the Bishop ascended the steps of the altar, vested In alb and cope, mitred, with episcopal ring, &c, the pastoral staff on his north and the banner of the diocese on his south, the three priests being at the steps behind. The King and Queen then rose, and, attended by their witnesses, his Excellency the Honorable Mr. Wyllie, and the Honorable Judge Allen, Chancellor of the Kingdom, drew towards the altar, and, humble reverence made, knelt and awaited the commencement of the confirmation office.The chaplain, the Rev. G. Mason, having read the preface, the Bishop put the questions to the candidates. The answers made and the suffrages said, the prayer invoking confirmation by the Holy Ghost and the special confirming graces of the Spirit, was said by the Bishop, and he called upon all present to unite in silent prayer to the Almighty to bless those then about to be confirmed. With one accord all present fell upon their knees, silence that might be felt ensued, and never, we are certain, did prayers more fervent or more loving ascend for a sovereign's sake, than then rose from heart after heart, in that vast multitude, inside and outside the sacred building, for their beloved King and Queen. "All one in Christ Jesus"- never was this priceless truth more thoroughly realised. King and Queen meekly kneeling at the throne of mercy to seek divine help from the King of kings–the bond of union was complete–and in the deep emotion of the prostrate sovereigns not a few of their subjects shared. Entranced as the people had been before at the deep solemnity of the plaintive song, subdued to heartfelt sympathy, to earnest devotion of love, were they now at the unheard outpouring of the soul for blessings upon their sovereigns. The secret prayer ended, the wonderful hymn "Veni Creator Spiritus" was sung to the ancient melody with a majesty and pathos that visibly affected most present. Then followed the prayer, "Defend, O Lord, this thy servant", with the imposition of hands, and the act of Confirmation was complete. Again a breathless silence, while prayers in secret again ascended that those two bended suppliants, that moment sanctified, might indeed "continue Thine for ever". The silence was broken by the solemn voice of the Bishop teaching the multitude and adjuring the newly dedicated. Few were the words, hut not a heart that must not have felt them. Then the loving salutation, "The Lord be with you", and the response like a clap of thunder, "And with thy spirit". The Lord's Prayer, joined in by a thousand voices, rose to the Common Father of us all, the two concluding Collects for Fatherly guidance and everlasting protection followed, and a hymn was again sung; but not this time of adoration simply, or supplication for gifts, but one soul-stirring burst of exulting praise rolled up to God; the grand Old Hundredth Psalm, in its most ancient words, and to the old majestic tune, swelled through the house of God, and was echoed in the streets outside till literally it was lost as it rose heavenward. The final awful benediction "The blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be upon you and remain with you for ever", and the great Amen, and the service was ended.

Never was a religious rite more impressing, more solemnly celebrated than this; never did the inherent "beauty of hoIiness" of the Church's ritual shine lovelier or more conspicuous. Bishops and priests correctly vested, the accessories of banner and pastoral staff—emblematic of the soldier's duty and the shepherd's care, the altar and all its appurtenances bright and fragrant with the choicest flowers—everything was comely and meet for the festive service. The meek worship ef the candidates, the unmistakable look of loyalty and love, the fervent, the tearful prayers of the people, the awful moment of self-dedication and divine confirmation, the jubilant thanksgiving of the natives, all combined to make the act a united one, to invest with dignity the great mystery engaged in, and even to signalise the National Holiday in a way never to be forgotten.

Besides the two Royal personages, candidates for the confirmation, there were present of the Court and Diplomatic corps—Her R. H. the Princess Victoria, the Queen Dowager, His Excellency the Governor of Oahu, Her Excellency the Governess of Hawaii, the Hon. Mrs.Rooke, and Mr J.Y. Davis, of the Royal Family; and of the Court, by the Chancellor of the Kingdom, Chief Justice Allen, and Mrs. Allen, His Excellency Mr. Wyllie, His. Excellency W. W. F. Synge, H. B. M. Commissioner and lady, the Honorables G. M. Robertson, C. R. Bishop, John Li, and Iheir ladies, the Hon. Mrs. Haalelea, Miss E. K. Lasnui and others.

In the evening a crowded congregation, chiefly native, attended by the King and Queen, besides many foreigners, including some of the Cabinet Ministers and the foreign Commissioners, again thronged the church, when a solemn service in Hawaiian was celebrated by the Revs. E. Ibbitson and W. R. Scott, and the benediction given by the Bishop; the grand ceremonial of the memorable day being closed by a Te Deum, chanted by the Bishop, Priests, and choir in procession, and joined in by the rejoicing congregation.

On the Sunday following being Advent Sunday, and the Festival of St, Andrew, the services of the Church were again made more than ordinarily solemn, by their Majesties the King and Queen receiving their First Communion. The altar, vested in violet, and the stoles of the Bishop and clergy of the same mournful colour, reminded all of the Eoltmn season that day had entered upon. An early celebration, at which the Revs. E. Ibbitson and G. Mason officiated, at half-past 7, prepared the way for a conflrmation, at half-past eight, when his Excellency Mr. Wyllie, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Judge Robertson, and the Hon the Attorney-General were confirmed, the Bishop being served by the Rev. W. R. Scott. After the Hawaiian service at half-past nine, at which the Rev. E. Ibbitson preached in the Hawaiian language, the Church became crowded to overflowing, vast numbera remaining in the streets outside, to hear and see at least something of the great service of the day. After the Litany, chanted by Rev. E Ibbitson, and a sermon by Rev. W. R. Scott, on the subject of the Eucharist, from the words, "How great is His goodness, and how great His is beauty. Corn shall make the young men cheerful and new wine the maids", the Bishop retired to vest, and, re-entered, attended by the Revs. G. Mason and E. Ibbitson, vested in alb, chasuble, &c. The introit was beautifully sung, being the Eucharlstic hymn, "Sing we that Blest Body broken", sung to Palestrina. The Bishop then commenced the sacred office, the Gospeller being Rev. W. R. Scott, and Epistoler Rev. G. Mason. After the Prayer of Consecration, the hymn, to Troyte's chant No.l, "Thee we adore, O Hidden Saviour, Thee", was sung so sweetly and so devotionally, as to make a marked impression upon the worshippers. The Bishop and Priest having communicated, the King and Queen, meekly kneeling before the altar, received their first communion, and no one present but felt the awe of the moment, and offered a fervent prayer to the Almighty, as from the Paton [sic], at the hands of the Bishop, and from the Chalice, at the hands of his Server, Rev. W. R. Scott, the King and Queen of earth partook in soul of that sacramental food, the gift of the humble, houseless carpenter's Son of Bethlehem, King of kings, and Lord of lords. The others communicated, the prayer and praise offered, the "Gloria in Excelsis" sung, the benediction given,and the Communion, the perfection of Confirmation, was completed, and the King and Queen became In full communion with that Church, the Church of their deliberate adoption, as it had been sought as the Church of their choice by their predecessors for many a disappointed year.

On Sexagesima Sunday last, the Bishop of Honolulu held his first ordination, when Mr. Joseph James Elkington was admitted to the holy order of deacon. Mr. Elkington, who had for some years past been occupied in the mission work of St. Mary's, Soho, left England in April, 1863, to join the mission at Honolulu, where he has since been engaged. On the day appointed for the ordination, matins was sung as usual in the Hawaiian language at 9.20 a.m., after which the bishop and choir left the church for the vestry. At eleven the procession re-entered, the bishop, vested in alb, dalmatic, chasuble, and mitre, being conducted to his throne by the Rev. W. R. Scott, bearing the pastoral staff. In the absence of Archdeacon Mason, the sermon was preached by the Rev. E Ibbotson, who afterwards presented the candidate vested in cassock to the bishop sitting in his chair before the altar. His lordship then sang the Litany. The Holy Communion was afterwards celebrated, the Rev. W. R. Scott acting as Epistoler. After the Epistle the questions were put, and the candidate kneeling humbly before the bishop was solemnly admitted to the diaconate. After the laying on of hands the newly-ordained deacon was vested in surplice and stole upon the left shoulder, and then read the Gospel, acting as Gospeller throughout the remainder of the service. A large congregation, native and foreign, assembled to witness the solemn proceedings, and offer their prayers on behalf of Mr. Elkington and the work he is about to undertake ...

In 1863 the Bishop put Scott in charge of a new diocesan project on Maui, at Lahaina (the chief city of the Island and, until 1845, the capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii). Bishop Staley wrote in the Colonial Church Chronicle
The Church was planted in the island of Maui, at the beautiful coast-town of Lahaina, in January last. I have given the Rev W.R. Scott charge of the whole island. He has most eligible Mission premises at Lahaina, just on the beach, comprising a good residence, a spacious temporary church, and school buildings. Here, as at Honolulu, there is a considerable foreign element in his spiritual cure, and he has both English and Hawaiian services. Mr. Scott quickly established an Industrial Female College in the Mission premises. It is under Mrs. Scott's management; a young person, trained by the East Grinstead Sisters, acts as governess. She has twenty-three girls already under her constant charge. They learn cookery, house-cleaning, needlework, and the instruction is entirely in the English language. The dormitories are well and suitably furnished. It is under the management of a Committee presided over by Mr. Scott, the other members being the Governor of the island and the two churchwardens. It is aided by a Government grant. The school is quite full, and it is intended to enlarge it, owing to the applications for admission. Mr. Scott has recently opened an English school for boys, also in connexion with the Church, and I cannot but believe that his zeal and devotion will bear much fruit.

Alas, later that year Scott was accused of raping one of his students at Lahaina and was eventually forced to resign, leaving under a cloud of suspicion. During their time on the island their second son Clement McLeod Sinclair Scott had died, aged 3½. Left is Holy Innocents church in Lahaina, consecrated in 1927.

Back in England, for some months in 1865 he was curate of St Michael Shoreditch (though left this out of his later Crockford's entry) and then responded to Fr Lowder's plea for priests, laymen and nurses to minister to the afflicted in the cholera epidemic of 1866 in Wapping. He threw himself heroically into this work, and volunteered to become chaplain of the workhouse of St John-of-Wapping. The press reported a visit by the Bishop of London and Mrs. Tait (on a day when one of their 30 patients died that morning, and five the previous day), and described Scott as an excellent and kind nurse as well as an indefatigable spiritual pastor. Despite Tait's abhorrence of high churchmen, he admired zeal and self-devotion and it is said heartily shook hands with Scott, urging him to get a change of air as soon as he could to avoid breaking down under his labours.

It was at this point, in 1866, that Scott became a curate of St Mark Whitechapel. During his time there another daughter, Olga, was born (a couple of years after Beatrice). Here he established St Clement's Mission Chapel at 69 Backchurch Lane, on the borders of the parish [map left] - no doubt seeking to replicate the style of Lowder's mission chapels in Wellclose Square and Wapping. In December he acknowledged gifts of a Norman font, a consecrated altar, and some £37 in cash and stamps, and announced that he had been offered two sites in the lane for reasonable sums on which to build a permanent mission. It seems, however, that this venture was short-lived and did not survive his departure from the parish in 1868.

He was appointed to a post in Liverpool in 1870, about which the Liverpool Mercury wrote
A number of the attendants at Christ Church, Hunter Street, are indignant at the appointment of the Rev W.R. Scott, whom they describe as 'a Roman Catholic priest in disguise', to that church. Mr. Scott having declared in one of his sermons "that Protestantism had emptied heaven and filled hell", an indignation meeting was held in November last, and the bishop of the diocese was asked to remove him. Since that time other complaints have been made to the bishop respecting Mr. Scott's ritualistic practices, but although the bishop has written several letters on the subject, he has given no decided reply. A second meeting was therefore held on Thursday evening, the 3rd inst., at which resolutions were passed against Mr. Scott's appointment. The bishops generally came in for a share of blame in not having done their duty by suppressing ritualistic practices, and it was threatened that if the bishop of the diocese sanctioned Mr Scott's appointment a town's demonstration should be got up against it.

Instead, it seems, from 1870-74 he went as curate to St Martin-in-the-Fields, Liverpool, a church where there had been Protestant riots against ritualism, and where his predecessor had become a Roman Catholic: see this commentary on the vicar's sermon. [The church was blitzed in the Second World War.]

There followed short curacies in Southwold, South Hackney and Christ Church Poplar, and from 1881 a period without charge, for part of which the family lived in Camberwell and Greenwich (where his wife died in 1884 - their youngest child Richard was then about ten). In 1890 he left London for his last appointment at St Peter Charlton, in Marlborough, and died, intestate, in 1894.

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