Henry Drummond (1786-1860) was born to a banker and the daughter of a famous Scottish politician. Raised in wealth, his circumstances allowed Drummond to attend Harrow and Christ Church College, Oxford. Despite not taking a degree at his university, he was elected to the House of Commons in 1810. An independent Tory, his wealth allowed him to encourage any cause he was interested in.
In the 1820s, he began hosting meetings of Anglicans and other clerics at his country house, Albury Park. Among these was Edward Irving, who inspired the other in their belief in prophecy, speaking in tongues, and the imminent return of Christ. They evolved a set of doctrines which resulted after his death in the formation (in 1835) of the Catholic Apostolic Church – seen as a restoration of the original Church. Since Drummond was providing most of the money, the headquarters of the new church was at Albury Park.
Twelve Apostles were chosen – of whom Drummond was one – and the world was divided up between them.
Letters were sent to all the monarchs of Europe and the various religious leaders, including the Pope, in which those worthies were informed that the original leadership of the early Church had been remade; those figures were all invited to submit to it.
As they did not do so, the Apostles began organising the life of the new body: they ordained bishops and priests; designed an elaborate liturgy requiring many clerics and far “Higher” than anything in the Roman Missal; and built a number of beautiful churches around the British Isles and elsewhere. They then settled down to await the Second Coming. The last Apostle (whom alone could ordain) died in 1901, the last priest around 60 years later. Their churches survive – many intact.
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