The Viscount Halifax
Halifax in 1914
|Member of the House of Lords|
9 August 1885 - 19 January 1934
|The 1st Viscount Halifax|
|The 3rd Viscount Halifax|
Charles Lindley Wood
7 June 1839
|Died||19 January 1934 (aged 94)|
Hickleton Hall, Doncaster, England
|Resting place||Hickleton Hall, Doncaster, England|
|Spouse(s)||Lady Agnes Courtenay|
|Children||6, including Edward Wood, 1st Earl of Halifax|
|Parents||Charles Wood, 1st Viscount Halifax|
Lady Mary Grey
|Alma mater||Christ Church, Oxford|
Halifax was born in London, the eldest son of Charles Wood, 1st Viscount Halifax, a prominent Whig politician, and Lady Mary Grey, , the fifth daughter of The 2nd Earl Grey. As a student at Eton he was the favourite of William Johnson Cory, his Master, who dedicated his book of Uranian verse, Ionica, to him. Between 1858 and 1863, he studied law and modern history at Christ Church, Oxford. He earned a BA in 1863 and MA in 1865.
An Anglo-Catholic, Halifax became influenced by the Oxford Movement, and at the request of Edward Bouverie Pusey, became president of the English Church Union, a society dedicated to the promotion of Catholic principles and practices within the Church of England, in 1868. Along with the French priest, Ferdinand Portal he played a prominent role in the attempt to bring about dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England on the subject of Anglican Orders. Owing to what can only be viewed as a form of obstructionism between Canterbury and Westminster, no constructive dialogue ever came about, however, and the unhoped result of Halifax's actions was the condemnation of Anglican Orders as "absolutely null and utterly void" in the Papal Encyclical Apostolicae curae. The Archbishop of Canterbury Edward White Benson and the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Herbert Vaughan, can be accused of letting this early attempt at reapproachment fall away due to the narrow-minded vision of each other's place in the English Church during that era. It might also be argued that Pope Leo XIII was led astray by Vaughan and like-minded Roman Catholic scholars who viewed the Church of England as a state church with no real theological authority. Benson, like most Anglican clergy in the power structure viewed any Roman Catholic involvement in England as the "Italian Mission", with not even a toehold worth acknowledging in English Society.
Halifax served as president of the English Church Union until 1919, and again from 1927 until his death. One of his last achievements was the union of the English Church Union with the Anglo-Catholic Congress in 1933.
Halifax was a collector of ghost stories, many of which are to be found in Lord Halifax's Complete Ghost Book (ISBN 1-55521-123-2) and The Ghost Book of Charles Lindley, Viscount Halifax (ISBN 978-0-7867-0151-3).
Halifax married Lady Agnes Elizabeth Courtenay (1838-1919), daughter of The 11th Earl of Devon and his wife, Lady Elizabeth Fortescue, daughter of The 1st Earl Fortescue. They had four sons and two daughters:
Halifax died in 1934 aged 94, having outlived his three eldest sons. His fourth and youngest son succeeded to the viscountcy and was created Earl of Halifax in 1944 after serving as Viceroy of India, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and British Ambassador to the United States.