BICKERSTETH, EDWARD: The name of three clergymen of the Church of England.
1. A leader of the Evangelicals; b. at Kirkby Lonsdale (60 m. n. of Liverpool), Westmoreland, Mar. 19, 1786; d. at Watton (21 m. w.s.w. of Norwich), Hertfordshire, Feb. 28, 1850. He was at first a lawyer and practised at Norwich, but he was always of deeply religious temperament and in 1815 received priest's orders and was sent to Africa by the Church Missionary Society to inspect the work there. Returning in Aug., 1816, he became one of the society's secretaries and for the rest of his life spent much time traveling in the service of the society; in 1830 he became rector of Watton. He was an active opponent of the Tractarian Movement, and was one of the founders of the Evangelical Alliance and of the Irish Church Missions Society. His published works were numerous and many were very popular; the more important (A Help to the Study of the Scriptures, 21st edition; A Treatise on Prayer, 14th edition; A Treatise on the Lord's Supper, 13th edition; A Guide to the Prophecies, 8th edition; and others) were collected in sixteen volumes (London, 1853). He also compiled Christian Psalmody (Hereford, 1833), a much-used hymn-book, and edited the Christian's Family Library (50 vols.).
Bibliography: T. R. Birks, Memoir of E. Bickersteth, 2 vols., London, 1856 (by his son-in-law); DNB, v, 3-4.
2. Dean of Lichfield, nephew of the preceding; b. at Acton (12 m. s. by e. of Bury St. Edmund's), Suffolk, Oct. 23, 1814; d. at Leamington (80 m. n.w. of London) Oct. 7, 1892. He studied at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge (B.A., 1836; M.A., 1839; D.D., 1864), and at Durham University; became curate of Chetton, Shropshire, 1838; at the Abbey, Shrewsbury, 1839; Penn Street, Buckinghamshire, 1849; vicar of Aylesbury and archdeacon of Buckinghamshire, 1853; honorary canon of Christ Church, Oxford, 1866; dean of Lichfield, 1875; resigned in 1892. In 1864, 1866, 1869, and 1874 he was prolocutor of the lower house of convocation of Canterbury, and as such was a member of the committee of New Testament revisers. He was a High-churchman. He published Diocesan Synods in Relation to Convocation and Parliament (London, 1867); My Hereafter (1883); edited the fifth edition of R. W. Evans's Bishopric of Souls (1877), with a memoir of the author; and contributed the commentary on Mark to the Pulpit Commentary (1882).
3. Bishop of South Tokyo, Japan, eldest son of Edward Henry Bickersteth (q.v.); b. at Banningham (10 m. n. of Norwich), Norfolk, June 26, 1850; d. at Chisledon (30 m. n. of Salisbury), Wiltshire, Aug. 5, 1897. He was educated at Cambridge (B.A., 1873), and was ordained priest in 1874. He was curate at Hampstead, London, 1873-75; fellow of Pembroke College, Cambridge, from 1875 till 1877, when he headed the Cambridge Mission for Delhi, India. In this mission he so impaired his health that he was obliged to return to England in 1882, and he became rector of Framlingham, Suffolk. In 1886 he was consecrated bishop of Japan. He was an extreme High-churchman and strove to reproduce this type of church life among the Japanese. The result was the so-called "Catholic Church of Japan" (Nippon Sei Kokwai). In 1887 a visit to Korea bore fruit in the establishment of a mission in that country. In 1892 his visit to the Anglican mission stations in Japan convinced him that there should be more bishops; accordingly his diocese was made that of South Tokyo. Again his health gave way and he returned home to die. His lectures for Japanese divinity students were published under the title Our Heritage in the Church (London, 1898).
Bibliography: S. Bickersteth, Life and Letters of Edward Bickersteth, Bishop of South Tokyo, London, 1905 (by his brother).