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John Keble

1792-1866. Hymnwriter and Tractarian. Educated at Oxford, where he won a double first and became a fellow of Oriel (1811-23), he assisted his vicar-father before accepting the country living of Hursley, Hampshire, where he remained until his death. In 1827 he published anonymously The Christian Year. According to A. Fox, its influence (over 100 editions were published by 1867) has been overrated and has in any case waned. Parts of it and Keble's other collections are still sung, e.g., “Blest are the pure in heart,” “New every morning,” “Sun of my soul,” “There is a book,” and “When God of old.” In 1833 Keble preached his Oxford Assize sermon in which he denounced contemporary Erastianism as “national apostasy.” Newman regarded the sermon as the start of the Oxford Movement.* Keble also contributed to Tracts for the Times (1833-41). After Newman's secession to Rome, Keble and Pusey led the movement. Keble's standard edition of the Works of Hooker appeared in 1836. Keble is remembered less for his many books than for his hymns and as a devoted parish priest. In 1870 Keble College, Oxford, was founded in his memory.