Frederick Maurice was one of Victorian England's leading theologians and controversialists. He came from a Unitarian background but was baptised into the Church of England in 1831. He was educated at Cambridge and read for the bar in London.
Writings and professorship
Maurice edited or contributed to several leading journals including the Metropolitan Quarterly Magazine and Westminster Review before ordination and appointment as chaplain to Guy's Hospital from 1836. He was elected Professor of English Literature at King's in 1840, an appointment probably owing to his strident rejection of the secular principles of the Benthamite radicals. He became Professor of Theology in 1846.
He believed that religion should lie at the heart of education but more orthodox clergymen regarded him as a maverick for his faith in religious unity and espousal of Christian Socialism. The publication of his Theological Essays brought the controversy to a head at King's, resulting in his dismissal by the College Council in 1853.
Further teaching and writing
Maurice helped establish Queen's College for the education of governesses in 1848 and the Working Men's College in 1854 before obtaining a chair at Cambridge in 1866. He remained a prominent and often controversial teacher, writer and theologian until he died. A chair at King's, the F D Maurice Professorship of Moral and Social Theology, now commemorates his contribution to scholarship at the College.