His was the genius of common sense; saneness was the chief characteristic of his life; sweet reasonableness was from first to last an abiding feature of his mind. He seems from his earliest days to have believed that there were two sides to every question, and, alike on public occasions or in private counsel, he never forgot this. It was this belief that tended to make him, as he grew in thought, “as high as the Church is high, or low as the Church is low, and broad as the Church is broad.” It was by acting on this belief that he was able, though he came into a diocese where much of the Church work had been carried out on somewhat narrow party lines, to win the confidence of men of very varied opinion, and to grow himself trustful of men from whose opinions he differed. He broke down party-spirit in Church matters, broadened and lifted Church life to a higher plane, and to a wider and more intellectual outlook than would have been possible, had he not been essentially a tolerant man. (p. 333)….
Other traits in his character which impressed themselves upon all who came in contact with him, were his singular unworldliness, simplicity of life and motive, his honesty and straightforwardness. He could never understand the habit of supposing that a man did not mean what he said. It was positive grief to him to find that, for the first few years of his episcopate, there were among the clergy and laity men who evidently were inclined to look upon him with caution. The suspicion with which Cumberland people, who remember the Red King and how he treated the Border City, have apparently ever since that day regarded men from the South country, was unintelligible to him. But before long he won their confidence and affection by sheer hard work, integrity of purpose, candour of mind, and force of personality. (p. 336)
Full of resource he possessed a remarkable capacity for finding the way out of a difficulty. Indeed, it may almost be said of him that he seemed to look on life as a series of mathematical problems which could be solved, given the right process. This resourcefulness gave him an abundant cheerfulness. It contributed to make him an optimist to the last. The worst that happened might, he would say, have been worse, though he did not deny it could have been better. (p. 336)
Those who knew him well, knew that the deeper secret of this cheery optimism lay in his absolute faith in God. “I have looked at the question,” he would say, “on all sides; I have thought it all over and done all I can; I have put all the head I know into it, and no amount of fretting or fuming can avail; it is in God’s hands, and I shall leave it there. Good-night!” And away he would go. No matter how arduous or exacting the day had been, or how full of perplexity the morrow was sure to be, he could always sleep soundly and be ready for the morrow’s work with undaunted spirit. (pp. 336-337)
Then, again, his swiftness of seeing a point, his strength and concentration of purpose, and his determination to brush away all unnecessary side-issues rendered him at times apparently impatient of men who were weaker of will, less swift in reasoning powers, or less decisive in action. This apparent impatience came out especially at public meetings, when men complained sometimes of the way in which the chairman did not sufficiently give weight to their arguments. Doubtless it was irritating to have to listen, as chairman, to speakers who wasted time, and would neither understand the point at issue, nor speak to the point. “I think, Mr. So-and-So, you mean this or that,” the Bishop would interrupt, with intent to help. “No, my lord, that is not at all what I mean.” “Then all I can say is that you are not saying what you mean,” would be the retort of the chairman. (p. 337)
Harvey Goodwin, Bishop of Carlisle. A Biographical Memoir, 1896)