Henry Nutcombe Oxenham

Henry Nutcombe Oxenham

Henry Nutcombe Oxenham (15 November 1829 -23 March 1888) was an English ecclesiologist and author. He was originally ordained in the Church of England, but later converted to the Roman Catholic Church.

He was born at Harrow School, where his father was a master. From Harrow, Oxenham went to Balliol College, Oxford.

He took Anglican orders in 1854, but became a Roman Catholic in 1857. At first his thoughts turned towards the priesthood, and he spent some time at the London Oratory and at St Edmund's College, Ware. Being unable, however, to surrender his belief in the validity of Anglican orders, he proceeded no further than minor orders in the Roman Church.

In 1863 he made a prolonged visit to Germany, where he studied the language and literature, and formed a close friendship with Döllinger, whose "First Age of the Christian Church" he translated in 1866. Oxenham was a regular contributor to the "Saturday Review". A selection of his essays was published in "Short Studies in Ecclesiastical History and Biography" (1884), and "Short Studies, Ethical and Religious" (1885).

He also translated in 1876 the second volume of Bishop Hefele's "History of the Councils of the Church", and published several pamphlets on the reunion of Christendom. His "Catholic Doctrine of the Atonement" (1865) and "Catholic Eschatology and Universalism" (1876) are standard works.


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