“Edward Lee Hicks was an eminent Anglican priest and author who served as Bishop of Lincoln 1910–1919. Born in Oxford in 1843, Hicks was educated at Magdalen College School and Brasenose College, Oxford and ordained in 1886. After a spell as Fellow and Tutor at Corpus Christi College, Oxford he was Rector of Fenny Compton before becoming the first Principal of Hulme Hall*. After this he was a Canon Residentiary of Manchester Cathedral, then Rural Dean of Salford until his elevation to the Episcopate. He was enthroned at Lincoln Cathedral (see image above) on 30 June 1910 and died in post in 1919. Novelist and biographer Penelope Fitzgerald was his granddaughter.”
From: Penelope Fitzgerald – a Life (2013) by Hermione Lee:
“Edward Lee Hicks never refused to see anyone who came to his door for help. He was a great enemy of poverty and injustice, having come, while he was at Oxford, under the influence of John Ruskin. Ruskin he admired, not only for his teaching but also for his delight in even the smallest details of life. Ruskin, he said, would describe “with the keenest relish” the joy of shelling peas…
Some people thought Hicks was too dangerously radical to be made a bishop, and the appointment came late in his life…It wasn’t only for his pea-shelling that Bishop Hicks admired Ruskin. Ruskin’s dictum – There is no wealth but life – was his own, and he used Ruskin’s attack on the immorality of capitalism, Unto This Last, as a text for his sermons…
…Hicks was a feminist, school of John Stuart Mill. He tried unsuccessfully to persuade his fellow bishops to take the clause about “obeying” out of the Marriage Service in the Prayer Book, and he supported women’s suffrage…When he and (wife) Agnes moved to Lincoln in 1910 – (younger daughter) Christina was then twenty-five, with a university education – she was “offered the choice of going away to make a career for myself, or of being “home-daughter”, whichever I pleased…I have never known a daughter so treated, and I have asked many.” ”
*see also “Hulme Hall and Manchester University (1886–1892)” (1998) by Graham Neville, Director of Education for Lincoln diocese 1980-1987.