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Full text of "Catholic history of Liverpool"

JOHN M. KELLY LIBRARY 







Donated by 

The Redemptorists of 
the Toronto Province 

from the Library Collection of 
Holy Redeemer College, Windsor 



University of 
St. Michael s College, Toronto 



REDEEMER UBIWRY 




CATHOLIC HISTORY. 



CATHOLIC HISTORY 



OF 



LIVERPOOL 



THOMAS BURKE. 



LIVERPOOL : 
C. TINLING & Co., LTD., PRINTERS, 53, VICTORIA STREET. 

1910, 



KKMB u 



CATHOLIC HISTORY 



OF 



LIVERPOOL. 



CHAPTER I. 

No city or town in Great Britain, and few in Ireland, 
contains so many Catholics within its boundaries as the city 
of Liverpool. This is due to its close proximity to Ireland. 
Indeed, it may be said with truth that Liverpool would not 
have risen into prominence at such an early date had not 
successive English monarchs from Henry the Second to 
William the Third recognised the great convenience afforded 
by the Mersey for the conquest of Ireland. In turn the 
Anglo-Irish difficulty and its consequences filled Liverpool 
with an enormous Irish population, which carried into an 
essentially Protestant community the ancient faith, and 
renewed in some forty churches the ritual and devotions 
which for many centuries were practised and observed in the 
pre-Reformation churches of Walton, St. Mary s del Key, am} 
St. Nicholas. 

An Anglican weekly, commenting on the pageant 
festivities of 1907, observed that the Church of England did 
not figure as prominently as was desirable in the processions 
and tableaux ; that there was too much prominence assigned 
to events and incidents connected with the Roman Catholic 
Church in and around Liverpool. The complaint was well 
founded, though, had it been otherwise, the pageant would 
have been shorn of much of its beauty, and, what is more 
important, would have been an untruthful representation of 
the past history of the town. Why, however, the Benedictine 
priory of Birkenhead was made so prominent a feature, and 
the ancient parish church of Walton ignored, puzzled many 
people who knew local history, to say nothing of no reference 
to the first church erected in the town, St. Mary of the Quay. 
Save for the beautiful banner of St. Nicholas,* the " old 

* Worked by Mrs. Jacob and presented to St. Nicholas Pro-Cathedral, 
Copperas Hill, by Councillor A E. Jacob, J.P. 



church ; in Chapel Street was set aside as if it had never 
existed, unless it be that St. Nicholas was not regarded as a 
parish church, as it was subject to Walton until the year 1699. 

The church of St. Mary at Walton dates back to Saxon 
times. Domesday Book records its existence, and the posses 
sion by its resident clergy of an endowment of certain lands 
in Bootle. In the year A.D. 1094 Roger de Poictiers granted 
the tithes of Walton to the Priory of Lancaster, and a little 
later the church was added to the endowment of SS. Peter 
and Paul, Shrewsbury. Up to the reign of King Edward the 
Fourth, the presentation to the living lay in the hands of the 
monks of the interesting town on the Severn, elevated by 
Pope Pius the Ninth into a cathedral city in the year 1850. 
The head of the Molyneux family bought the right of 
presentation, and entailed lands in Nottinghamshire on his 
brother, on condition that there was paid the sum of forty 
shillings yearly to the priest who served at the high altar of 
Walton. In the valuation of Pope Nicholas, A.D. 1291, the 
value of the living is set down at forty-four pounds. It is 
related that " Roberte Fizacreley was priste incumbent " 
there of the foundation of John Mowbray, to sing Masses for 
the " sowle of him and his antecessors." This is a disputed 
point. One writer says that the chantry was founded A.D. 
1470, by Father Vfohn Molyneux, rector of Walton, and third 
son of Sir Richard Molyneux, who won his knighthood on the 
well-contested field of Agincourt. The Molyneux family* 
had an intimate connection with the ancient foundation of 
Walton. We find a Molyneux rector in 1528, again in 1543, 
and 1557. Indeed the Molyneuxs remained faithful until 
well into the nineteenth century. When the dissolution took 
place, a grant of one pound fourteen shillings was ordered to 
be paid to the displaced priest, Robert Fazackerley,f and 
though the chantries were re-established by Queen Mary, the 
following reign saw them finally diverted from fheir original 
purpose. 

The first chapel was that attached to the Castle of 
Liverpool, built early in the thirteenth century on the site 
now occupied by the Queen Victoria memorial. Sixty years J 
after the granting of the first charter by King John, August 
28, 1267, the chapel of St. Mary of the Quay was in 
existence, and provided for the spiritual wants of the small 
population which then inhabited the town. It was built 
close by the water s edge, and the present Chapel Street takes 

* Earls of Sefton. 

t History of Walton, by John Wilson, St. John s College, Cambridge. 
I Bamsay Muir. 



its name from this ancient chapel, and not from the Church 
of our Lady and St. Nicholas as is commonly believed, which 
was not erected until 1355. The first chantry attached to 
St. Mary s was founded by Henry, Duke of Lancaster, in the 
year 1353. From the rent roll* of John of Gaunt, his 
successor, we gather that " Lyr pulle is worth at farme 38, 
" whereof an allowance of rent was given by Henry, quondam 
" duke, whom God assoil, to the chapel there, twelve shillings. 
This was the High Altar of Liverpool so frequently alluded 
to in documents referring to the town. John of Gaunt 
followed the example of his predecessor by founding the 
chantry of St. Nicholas, and Mr. John Crosse added the 
chantries of St. Katharine and St. John. In 1464, Charles 
and Elen Gelybrand granted lands in Gerston for the main 
tenance of a chaplain at this chapel,* and in 1529 Cecilia, 
widow of Ewan Halghton, bequeathed lands in Wavertree and 
West Derby for a chaplain " at a certain altar, called Our 
" Lady s altar." There would appear to have been a special 
reverence for Our Lady s altar, judging by the various 
bequests for its support. Rector Crosse, of St. Nicholas , 
Fleshamble, London, in the year 1515 bequeathed a new 
common hall to the town, with the condition attached that 
the arcade beneath should be for the benefit " of the priest 
" who sings before Our Lady, and shall pray for ye soules 
" of John Crosse, Avice Crosse, John Crosse, Hugh Botill, 
" and all theire frendes soules." In the will of William, son 
of Adam, the first Mayor of Liverpool, an office which he 
occupied eleven times, we read " I bequeath my soul to 
" God and the Blessed Virgin and all saints, and my body to 
be buried in the chapel of Liverpool, before the face of the 
" image of the Virgin, where is my appointed place of 
" burial. "f The worthy mayor died in the year 1383, and 
was laid to rest as he desired. His will ordered three quarters 
of wheat made into bread to be distributed to the poor on the 
day of his funeral, and the payment of fourpence to every 
priest in the chapel of St. Nicholas. In December, 1459, 
John Hales, Bishop of Lichfield, granted forty days 
indulgence " to the penitents confessed and contrite who 
" should expend, bequeath or give " towards the restoration 
of this ancient chapel, the names of the benefactors to be 
mentioned at every Mass celebrated within its walls. 

St. Mary s proved too small to accommodate the 
increasing population, and the erection of a new building was 
decided upon by the Corporation, to be wholly maintained by 

* Quoted by Mr. John Elton, Lancashire and Cheshire Historic Society, 
t John Elton. 



the burgesses. The Duke of Lancaster was requested to 
grant a piece of land upon which to erect the new church, 
which was dedicated to St. Nicholas, the patron saint of 
seamen, in accordance with the Norman custom. A grant of 
ten pounds from Duke Henry s rental served as an endowment 
for the " two conjoined chapels/ or as a document signed by 
King Edward the Third on the nineteenth day of May, 1355, 
puts it, " to certain chaplains to celebrate divine service 
" every day for the souls of all the faithful deceased in the 
" chapel of the Blessed Mary and St. Nicholas of Liverpool."* 
A new burial ground was also resolved upon, and on the third 
day of February, 1361, Robert Stretton, Bishop of Lichfield 
f nd Coventry, wrote that he was " favourably inclined and 
" consented that the church of St. Nicholas of Liverpool, and 
11 the cemetery contiguous to it in the parish of Walton within 
" our diocese, may be dedicated by any Catholic Bishop 
" enjoying the grace and union of the Apostolic See." 

St. Nicholas was essentially a Corporation church, as we 
may see from the directions issued by the local authority for 
its management. On June 3rd, 1558, the Corporation 
ordered: "the priest of the altar of St. John shall daily say 
" one Mass between the hours of five and six in the morning, 
l to the intent that all labourers and well disposed people may 
come at the said hour." This early celebration was in 
harmony with the general medieval custom known as the 
Morrow s Mass. 

A year later Queen Elizabeth was the reigning monarch, 
and the two chapels ceased to be part of. the Universal 
Church. The chantry properties were appropriated by the 
Duchy of Lancaster, and the Corporation purchased the now 
empty chapel of St. Mary for twenty shillings on the 31st 
March, 1554. It became the town s warehouse, and so 
remained until the early years of the eighteenth century, 
when it was 1 demolished, a piece of vandalism quite in keeping 
with the commercial spirit of that age. At the dissolution 
of the religious houses the following priests were attached to 
the four chantries: Sir Ralph Howarth, the chantry of St. 
Nicholas ; Sir Richard Frodsham, Our Lady s ; Sir Humphrey 
Crosse, Saint Katherine s; Sir Thomas Rowley, St. John s. 
The prefix " Sir " is equivalent to the modern title of 
reverend as applied to a secular priest. For over a century 
and a half from the Reformation the Catholic history of the 
town is almost a blank. The Benedictines ceased to enjoy 
their ancient privilege of ferrying passengers across the river, 
the modern " Monks Ferry " alone remaining to remind later 

Brooke s translation. 



generations of an interesting historical fact. The Prior s 
house in Water Street, wherein was sold the produce of the 
lands of the Birkenhead priory, was closed for ever, and 
except in secret the sons of St. Benedict no longer ministered 
to the farmers and labourers of the Cheshire side of the 
Mersey. The accession of James the Second renewed the 
hopes and stimulated the faith of Lancashire Catholics, but 
Liverpool was then a Puritan town and disregarded his royal 
orders for toleration towards his co-religionists. 

In 1687, the King interfered on behalf of one Richard 
Latham, surgeon, and his wife who carried on a school, two 
professions from which Catholics were excluded. The royal 
command was disobeyed, and in consequence the deputy- 
mayor and senior alderman were removed from office.* A 
few short years later the foreign troops of William of 
Orange encamped on the shores of the Mersey, en route for 
the Boyne, to summarily exclude from the throne the would-be 
defender of his Liverpool Catholic subjects. In 1613, " John 
" Synett, an Irishman, born in Wexford, master of a barke, 
" was excommunicated by the Bishop of Chester for being a 
" Catholic recusant, and so dying at his house in Liverpool, 
" was deneyed to be buried at Liverpoole church or chapel," 
and again in 1615, " Anne, ye wyffe of Geo. Webster of 
" Liverpoole, deyed a Catholicke, and was deneyed burial at 
" ye chappelle of Liverpoole, by ye Mayor and by Mr. More." 

That Catholicism maintained a vigorous existence in the 
neighbourhood may be inferred from the sturdy faith of most 
of the families between Liverpool and Lancaster, and the 
number of Catholics to whom the devoted sons of St. Ignatius 
of Loyola ministered at the end of the seventeenth century. 
No one can ever know the full extent of the labours of the 
Jesuits in Lancashire for over one hundred years, but from 
the scanty records handed down to us we may picture for 
ourselves some idea of the results of the zealous missionary 
work of the great Society of Jesus. To them, under God, the 
Catholics of Liverpool and neighbourhood owe a debt which 
can never be repaid. The story of their heroism, self-sacrifice, 
courage and tenacity needs the pen of the author of a 
" Lost Arcadia " to do it full justice,! and even now, under 
new conditions and happier times, every Catholic Lancastrian 
feels his heart swelling with admiration at the mere recital of 
the outlines of the history of the Jesuits in Liverpool. Some 
light is thrown on the steadfastness of the old families to the 
Catholic faith by the communications from the Government 

* Ramsay Muir. 
f See Cunningham Graham, ex M.P., on the Jesuits in Paraguay. 



6 

in the year 1701, which warned the Mayor of the 
" disaffection " of the Harringtons of Huyton, the Blundells 
of Crosby, and the Scarisbricks of Scarisbrick, and many 
others, * whose adherence to the Church of their fathers 
spelled disloyalty to the Crown in the eyes of the English 
statesmen of that persecuting period, happily long past. 

Further light is thrown upon this period by a document 
in the possession of the Historic Society of Lancashire and 
Cheshire, t It relates the story of the exemptions of Catholics 
in the neighbourhood of Liverpool from certain taxes ordered 
to be assessed upon property held by them in pursuance of an 
Act of Parliament passed in the ninth year of the reign of 
George the First. The title ran thus :" An Act for granting 
" an aid to His Majesty, by laying a tax upon Papists, and 
" for making such other persons who shall refuse upon a due 
" summons, or neglect to take the oath above mentioned, to 
" contribute towards the said tax for reimbursing to the 
" public the great expense occasioned by the late conspiracy, 
" and for discharging the estates of Papists from two-thirds of 
" the rents and profits thereof for one year, and all arrears 
" of the same, and from such forfeiture as are therein more 
" particularly described." The amount to be levied upon the 
" Papists " is set down at 100,000, but this Act is compara 
tively lenient when compared with previous legislation, 
inasmuch as it prescribes certain grounds upon which 
exemption may be claimed. In the main an oath to preserve 
the Protestant succession or bona-fide alienation of the 
property to a Protestant, prior to a certain date, secured 
exemption from the proposed impost. The alienation of 
property simply meant that no Catholic could hold property, 
and in Ireland it was quite a common practice to secure the 
good offices of a friendly Protestant to whom it was 
" alienated, but who gave back the rents or profits to the 
rightful if not legal owner. That this confidence was only 
too often abused formed one of the greatest sources of Irish 
" disaffection " under the tyranny of the Penal Laws. The 
document referred to relates thirteen successful appeals for 
exemption heard at Prescot on the seventeenth day of 
September, 1723. One Percival Rice, owner of lands in 
Speke, Halewood, Fazakerley and West Derby, " takes the 
" oath and declaration," and so " evades " payment, as does 
Mr. Thomas Prenton of Garston, who thus saves himself an 
assessment of six pounds. Mr. John Lancaster, Rain hill, 
escapes the tax by having alienated his property before 

* Pic ton s Memorials of Liverpool, 
f See Volume 18. Paper by Mr. A. Craig Gibson, F.S.A. 



December 25, 1722, to a Protestant gentleman.* Annuities 
derived from property were doubly taxed under this Act. 
Mrs. Mary Harrington, of Liverpool, who had an annuity of 
two hundred pounds from lands in Huyton, " forming the 
" property of Mr. Charles Harrington and on his decease 
" registered by Mr. John Harrington," also managed to 
successfully claim exemption. Another successful claimant is 
Mr. Humphrey Carroll, of Windle, whose property is 
vested in and belongs to " infants under eighteen years of 
age. There is abundant evidence that the Molyneuxs, 
Blundells, Harringtons, Norrises and Scarisbricks definitely 
refused to conform to the new religion, and cheerfully accepted 
the grave consequences of their courageous refusals. Nocturnal 
searches for suspected persons in other words, the priests 
who moved in secret from one part of the county to another, 
to celebrate Mass and perform the other sacred offices of the 
ministry were everyday occurrences, and the want of success 
on the part of the visitors clearly indicates the strong hold 
which the Faith had over the greater portion of the agri 
cultural population, who must have known the whereabouts 
of the much-sought-for priest in hiding. For example, we 
have these entries in the diary of Nicholas Blundellf : 
" October 19, 1715. We expected the Hors Militia to come 
" here." " Oct. 31, 1715. I came not in till dusk expecting 
" a call." " Nov. 13. This Hous was twice searched by some 
" Foot as they came from Leverpole." Volumes might be 
written about such entries as " I sat in a Streat place for a 
" fat man," referring to the narrow hiding place in which 
this courageous Catholic gentleman sought to conceal his 
apparently corpulent body from outside observation during a 
visit from the " Hors Militia " or " Foot " from Liverpool, or 
the pathetic story hidden under the plain words: " Nov. 19. 
" Searched again," or "Nov. 20. I had a Bedfellow." 

The bedfellow was no doubt the courageous Jesuit who 
risked life or liberty in ministering to this worthy family of 
Blundells who gave shelter for many a decade to the clerical 
wanderers of Lancashire, as they came in quick succession to 
carry out the duties of their sacred office. One smiles at the 
entry under date of August 9, 1704: " I went to Leverpole 
" with Lady Gerard, my wife, etc. We saw ye new church. 
It was indeed worth a visit to Liverpool, to see the church of 
St. Peter in Church Street, the first parish church erected 
since the Reformation, which has the added interest to this 

* Thos. Holland of Sutton, William Leadbetter of Windle, secured 
exemption on similar grounds. 

f See Father Gibson s Lecture, Historic Society. Volume 34. 



8 

generation of being the only existing building of the Liverpool 
of Queen Anne s reign.* It must have presented a strange 
appearance to the Catholic eyes of the worthy squire. St. 
Nicholas had been despoiled of its church furniture, even the 
vestments being used for theatrical purposes, as we read in 
the statement of one John Rile, a schoolmaster, who acknow 
ledged having in his possession two copes which he utilised for 
some children s plays. 

The first Jesuit labouring in Liverpool, of whom we have 
any definite record preserved, was Father William Gillibrand. 
Belonging to Lancashire, as his surname implies, he returned 
to his native county after spending some time in the neigh 
bourhood of London. In the year 1701 he served at Crosby, 
receiving by way of remuneration " two pounds from Mr. 
" Nicholas Blundell." He did duty also at Ormskirk and 
Liverpool, as is apparent from his own statement that he 
received " two pounds from Ormschurch," and " three pounds 
"from Mr. Eccleston for helpinge at Leverpole. The 
recordsf of the Society of Jesus show that the Jesuit Fathers 
in the early years of the 18th century worked at Ince Blundell, 
Formby, Lydiate, Croxteth, and some twenty other stations 
between Liverpool and Preston. On the Cheshire side of the 
Mersey they held outposts for the Faith at Hooton, the seat 
of the Stanleys, and in the old cathedral city of St. Werburgh, 
Chester. 

The first resident priest in Liverpool after the Reforma 
tion was Father Mannock, S.J. He belonged to a good stock, 
his father being Sir Francis Mannock, baronet; while his 
mother was the daughter of Sir George Heneage, baronet, 
the head of the well-known Lincolnshire family. Here it 
may be noted that the commercial centre of the present city, 
Fenwick Street, owes its name to the Catholic wife of Moor of 
Bankhall, who hailed from Northumberland, as her name 
plainly tells us had we no other grounds for the assertion .J 
Father Mannock remained in Liverpool for two years. He 
had previously served at Chester as chaplain to Mr. 
Fitzherbert, who paid him the sum of ten pounds per annum. 
The smallness of the stipends paid to the zealous Jesuits 
provokes a smile when read in these days of trade unions, 
which have secured for the most casual of labourers a much 
larger wage than ever lined the pockets of the cultured and 
learned men who kept alight the lamp of faith in Liverpool, 
if indeed the smile be not accompanied by eyes brimming 

* See Liverpool under Queen Anne. H. Peet, Esq., F.S.A., J.P. 

f See Xaverian, Liverpool, 1887. 
J Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire. Volume 34. 



9 

with tears. Under date of March 26, 1762, Father Tatlock, 
S.J., writes to his provincial: " For my part, I ve worn not 
" only a turned coat, but also a turned waistcoat, patched 
" breeches, shoes, stockings and shirts, all patched this whole 
" year past, on account of my losing a year and a half of my 
" rent at Lydiate, beside the charge of boarding myself and 
"house there." Truly a picture of apostolical poverty. In 
these days he would be arrested not for saying Mass in secret, 
but for presenting the appearance of a " rogue and vagabond." 

By this time the Jesuits had built a chapel in Lumber 
Street, Old Hall Street, and dedicated it to the Blessed Virgin 
under the title of St. Mary. It was in the fitness of things 
that the site was chosen. Hard by was the pre-Reformation 
foundation in Chapel Street, while in the immediate neigh 
bourhood was the spot where a well-founded tradition says 
St. Patrick preached on his way to the Isle of Man. 

In Marybone, within a few yards of the present church of 
Holy Cross, a water fountain marks the place on which stood 
for centuries St. Patrick s Cross, as marked on old maps of 
the town, and which was in existence as late as 1775. In an 
Act of Parliament passed in 1771, to secure the repair of the 
road between Preston and Liverpool, the cross is specially 
named, because the street now called Marybone was 
then "the road to Ormskirk." The neighbourhood possessed 
other traditions of Ireland s patron saint, the street between 
Cheapside and Hatton Garden bearing the name of St. 
Patrick s Hill.*" This first Catholic chapel was founded in 
1736, by Father John Hardesty, S.J. His real name appears 
to have been Tempest. From a MS. found by the writer in 
the archives of St. Mary s, some doubt may be thrown on this 
statement recorded in the annals of the Society of Jesus. It 
is so interesting that it deserves a record of more permanent 
character, especially as it has never been printed before in 
any book or record. 

" Mr. Kirby having promised before the whole 
" congregation, August ye 4th, this pst year 1734, to 
" procure a convenient place in this parish for Divine service 
" to be therein performed every Sunday and Holy Day 
" throughout ye year, and to be at the sole cost and charges 
" for all necessaries hereunto, and administer also gratis, the 
"necessary functions of a Pastor, viz., Christenings, &c., 
" Instructing Children in the knowledge and principles of 
"holy Religion, and giving all due attendance on the sick; 
" and to direct his Intention every Sunday throughout the 

* See Storehouse, Streets of Liverpool. Also see note in Mr. Henry Feet s 
Liverpool in the reign of Queen Anne. 



10 

"year for the Prosperity of this Congregation; Provided 
" however that (since for this Parish, the whole fund being 
" but 2 6s. Od., is insufficient to procure a convenient place, 
" not only, but altho there were, wou d scarce defray or 
" discharge the necessary expenses for Divine Service, and 
" that not only the Holy Scriptures and Religion, but 
" Conscience even itself directs that in such cases where there 
"is no other means to subsist by, a reasonable maintenance 
" must of necessity be raised out of the members of the 
" Congregation) Every chief Catholick whether a Man or 
" Woman in every family within this Parish, shall for himself 
" or herself and their children included living with them, if it 
" hath or may please God to bless them with any, shall 
" contribute or cause to be contributed to him according to 
" their Circumstances. We, therefore Subscribers to this 
" present Paper in consequence of the foregoing Reasons and 
" of the Promises above mentioned the Performance whereof 
can not but be exceedingly advantagious to the whole 
congregation in general and each member thereof, in 
particular do promise to pay to the said Mr. Kirby the first 
day or thereabouts of each month the sum of one shilling 
per month. 

" Witness our hands. 

" William Dwarihouse. 
" Brigt Dwaryhouse and Isabel Barratt. 
" X their mark." 

This document is written in a fine hand, evidently that of 
the Jesuit Father who drew it up and also wrote the names 
of the two women. It will be noticed that he spelt 
the first surname with a " y," instead of an " i " as 
William Dwarihouse " did. The total population of the 
town was not much more than 7,000, and the Catholics must 
have formed only a small proportion. The small subscription 
of less than threepence per week shows their poverty, which 
is proven by the charming letter written by Father Hardesty* 
or Tempest many years after quitting St. Mary s : " While I 
" lived in the aforesaid town, I receved one year with another 
" from the people, about one or two and twenty pounds a 
" year, by way of contributions towards my maintenance, and 
" no other subscription was ever made for me or for the 
" buildings. From friends in other places I had part of the 
" money I built with, but much the greatest part was what I 
" spared living frugally, and as not many would have been 

* This letter was written to Father Molyneux, Viscount, biit he never 
claimed his title. 



11 

" content to live."* Still the good priest never regretted 
having spent the best years of his life " in serving the poor 
" Catholics of Liverpool/ nor can we, who have been 
privileged to witness the growth and wondrous development 
of the seed sown in the obscure street, hidden from the gaze 
of the passers by, by a poor Jesuit who lived " frugally " that 
God s work might be performed. 

Father Tempest began his mission in Liverpool as early 
as 1715, and we find him serving at Lydiate in 1722, 
"going there once a month. He was assisted at St. Mary s 
by Father William Pinnington, S.J., a native of Salford, 
who worked zealously in the Liverpool area for over twelve 
years. Father Carpenter, S.J., was in charge of the little 
mission when the Scots retreated from Derby, after their 
ill-fated attempt to restore an unworthy prince to the throne 
of his ancestors. Liverpool was strongly Hanoverian in its 
sympathies, and to demonstrate the fact, a section of its 
inhabitants on April 30, 1746, made an attack on the chapel 
and levelled it to the ground. f The personality of Father 
Carpenter made a deep impression on the rioters, as he forced 
his way through their ranks, entered the chapel and reverently 
removed the Ciborium. His courage probably saved his life; 
the rioters making way for him as he walked out from the 
ruined chapel to seek shelter in the house of a Presbyterian 
friend in St. Paul s Square. J It was a severe blow to the 
small Catholic community to see the results of Father 
Tempest s sacrifice swept away to gratify the anti-Catholic 
prejudices of Liverpool s Protestantism, and was an ominous 
warning that the growing spirit of tolerance had not yet 
developed into a vigorous tree. The Mayor and Council did 
not relish such disturbances in their midst, and no doubt 
believed they were acting in the interests of public peace in 
refusing permission to Mr. Henry Pippard, a son-in-law of 
Mr. Blundell of Crosby, to rebuild the church. It did not 
occur to them that honest folk quietly worshipping their 
Creator had a stronger claim on the protection which they 
alone could give than a noisy mob bent on pillage and disorder. 
Liverpool has ever had a reputation for the ease and facility 
with which a large portion of its inhabitants can be inflamed 
into creating " religious " troubles, nor has it quite lost in 
the twentieth century that unenviable distinction. From a 

*Xaverian. Feb. 1886. 

f A regiment of 648 men, and five companies of 60 men, were raised 
for the defence of the town. Annals of Liverpool, 

I See John Rosson s speech at laying of foundation stone 
of St. Mary s, 1844. 



12 

MS. preserved in St. Francis Xavier s we learn that for some 
considerable time Mass was celebrated in the house of a Mr. 
Green,* who lived in Dale Street. Written by one of the 
family who witnessed as a boy the destruction of the chapel 
in Lumber Street, we may assume that his father s residence 
served the purpose of an inn. " Mass was said, Sundays and 
" holidays, in the garrets, the whole of which, as well as the 
" tea and lodging rooms of the two storeys underneath, 
" and the stairs, W3re filled by our acquaintances of different 
" ranks, and admitted singly and cautiously through different 
" entrances, wholly by candle light, and without the ringing 
"of a bell at the elevation, etc., but a signal was 
" communicated from one to another. From this simple but 
graphic story we may infer that anti-Catholic feeling ran 
high at this period, while the diffarent ranks " tells us 
plainly that the Faith was still preserved among the better 
off as well as the poorer classes. 

They were, however, men of resource, and proceeded to 
again make provision fo^ the celebration of the Divine 
mysteries, despite the opposition of the Council. To this 
end they erected a warehouse on the site of the old chapel, and 
from the pen of Mr. Green we have a most graphic account 
of the new building. It was erected on the south side of the 
upper end of Edmund Street. The front of this street was 
covered by varying kinds of buildings, and a number of 
courts with small houses with small backyards opening into 
the intended chapel yard. The houses were occupied by 
several Catholic families, one serving as a residence for the 
Jesuit Fathers. On the east side of the warehouse, which lay 
behind these court houses, there were two large folding doors, 
one above the other, surmounted by a teagle rope, block and 
hook, cupped against the rain, as was then the usual practice 
in warehouse buildings. The upper storey served as the 
chapel, its upper folding doors being bricked up from the 
inside, and the whole of the walls stuccoed. Large beaded 
windows, with strong outside shutters to be closed on the east 
alley side for security out of service time, gave an appearance 
to the building of being used merely for business purposes. 
Sufficient light for Divine service was obtained from similar 
windows on the west side, and two large sash windows on the 
south; these two sides being protected from inquisitive eyes 
by a small yard with walls encompassing and separating them 
from another courtyard, in which several Catholic workmen 
lived. This yard was effectually closed at nightfall by strong 

* Uncle of Father West, S. J., who superintended the building of 
St. Francis Xavier s Church. 



13 

double folding gates. The ascent to the chapel was by a 
broad staircase on each side within a bricked and walled-in 
space of the lower warehouse storey, the entire space between 
the two side walls being used as covering in cold or rainy 
weather, or to avoid any attention caused by the worshippers 
standing about the street, the remainder of the lower rooms 
being used for storing lumber. Fathers Stanley, Michael 
Tichborne, John Rigby and Anthony Carroll served at 
various periods in this quaint church, hidden away for fear of 
the angry populace without. Mostly educated at St. Omer s, 
they returned to England, and by unflagging zeal and energy 
kept the Catholic spirit alive in Liverpool and Lancashire. 
Being Jesuits they did not expect a quiet, uneventful life, 
and they were not disappointed. Protestant Liverpool found 
them out in the year 1759, when " to the disgrace of the 
"police and of a small portion of the inhabitants,"* St. 
Mary s was once again destroyed. Again the irrepressible 
Jesuits rebuilt the chapel, and this time remained in peaceful 
possession. Their whereabouts was probably discovered from 
the fact that one of them attended the French sailors then 
imprisoned in the Tower, Water Street, " being proficient 
" in the French language," and as a testimonial of their 
gratitude, presented him with a model of a fully rigged ship, 
carved during long hours of captivity.f The priests who 
laboured in the third chapel of St. Mary s included Fathers 
Wappeler (a native of Westphalia), Carroll, O Brien and 
Hawkins. The most remarkable of the Jesuit priests at this 
mission was Father John Price. Gore s Directory for 1769 
gives the name of John Price, no occupation stated, living in 
Moor Street. It is a cherished tradition handed down by 
Liverpool Catholics of the early years of the nineteenth 
century that a chapel did exist in Moor Street. Very 
probably Father Price said Mass in his o/wn house for the 
Irish sailors who arrived every day in the coasting traders. 
The street is not well known even now, though it can be seen 
a hundred yards from the site of the Castle of Liverpool, 
running from Fenwick Street to the Back Goree. In the 
Directory of 1777, he is described as " gentleman " residing at 
21, Queen Street, close by St. Mary s, and later issues of the 
Directories leave no room for doubt of his priestly character. 
He built a chapel in Chorley Street, and though some writers 
on Catholic affairs appear to throw some doubt upon this 
fact, an examination of the columns of the Liverpool 
newspapers puts an end to all doubts on this point. On the 

* Brook s History of Liverpool. 
f "Catholic Times," 23rd March, 1872. 



14 

12th November, 1786, it is announced that Father Price will 
preach in " his chapel, Chorley Street, for the purpose of the 
" annual collection on behalf of the Royal Infirmary." The 
sum of 6 6s. 8d. was handed to the treasurer of the hospital 
as the result, an amount which compares favourably with 
the amounts sent in from the Protestant churches. In 1780, 
Father Price preached a sermon for the same charity, 
collecting a much larger sum than the Childwall Parish 
Church. In the " Catholic Annual," in an article written by 
Father Gibson, it is stated that Father Price opened a new 
chapel in Sir Thomas Buildings on September 7th, 1788. This 
date does not appear to be quite accurate, and looks like 
confusion with St. Peter s chapel, Seel Street, which was 
undoubtedly opened on that date. It cost the worthy Jesuit* 
550 to provide the new chapel, and for twenty-five years he 
laboured there single-handed. The building remained intact 
until 1898, when the School Board erected their new offices 
on the site, now the Education Office of the Liverpool 
Corporation. A writer in the " Liverpool Daily Post," 
October, 1888, says: " In Sir Thomas Buildings, the 
" well-known thoroughfare from Dale Street to Whitechapel, 
" there are to be seen at the present time the remains of an 
" old Catholic chapel, which was erected by the friends of 
"Father Price, S.J., soon after the year 1780." Another 
Liverpool writer says " a person walking along from Dale 
" Street to Whitechapel, by Sir Thomas Buildings, might 
" easily pass the chapel without notice, only one end or gable 
" of it reaching to the street, and houses on each side coming 
" close up to it. Its position is on the right hand, seven or 
" eight houses from Dale Street, "f The cause of the severance 
of Father Price from St. Mary s was the momentous decision 
of Pope Clement 14th, in 1773, to suppress the Society of 
Jesus. This did not mean that the Jesuits departed from St. 
Mary s at once ; on the contrary several priests of the Society 
remained there until 1783, when Father Williams, S.J., 
handed over the keys to the monks cf Saint Benedict, who 
have remained in possession ever since. A remarkable figure 
at St. Mary s during these years of suppression was Father 
Raymond Harris, S.J., a Spaniard, whose real name was 
Hermosa or Ormaza. The comments of his Provincial on his 
eccentricities are very severe, and he secured considerable 
notoriety by plunging into the great controversy over the 
morality of the slave trade. Roscoe, the biographer of Pope 
Leo the Tenth and Lorenzo de Medici, wrote a number of 

* Assisted by a Wexford man, named Ryan. 
t Churches and Chapels. David Thorn. 



15 

pamphlets against the horrible traffic in human lives, to 
which Liverpool merchants owed so much of their prosperity. 
Father Harris wrote a reply to prove the " licitness of the 
slave trade " from Holy Scriptures. Pamphlets on both 
sides followed each other in quick succession, and so delighted 
were the merchants with the writings of Father Harris, that 
having the Town Council in their hands, they passed a special 
resolution of thanks and awarded him an annual honorarium. 
It was the first and last occasion that the City Fathers 
honoured a priest of any rank or degree, and a Jesuit to boot. 
Be that as it may, to his conduct the Society owed the loss of 
the parent church. Mr. Herdman says, " the first and 
" second chapels were the property of the Jesuits, and the 
" latter continued in possession until the suppression. I have 
" recently been informed on the best authority, that, although 
" suppressed by Pope Clement s Bull, the Jesuits for many 
" years afterwards kept possession of St. Mary s chapel. 
" Somewhere about 1787 or 1790* the Benedictines, I believe, 
" obtained possession." On the front page of the " Liverpool 
Advertiser," of January 1st, 1784, we may read in the 
advertising columns the following announcement : " Price 
" threepence, to be continued in weekly numbers, eight, of 
" an appeal to the public or a candid narrative of the rise and 
"progress of the differences now fulfilling in the R n 

" C c congregations in Liverpool, with an appendix 

" containing a comparative view of Bishop Gibson s letters on 
"the subject." The Bishop here referred to was Dr. Mathew 
Gibson, Vicar Apostolic of the Northern District, Bishop of 
Comara. " The book," says a Liverpool antiquarian, " was an 
" octavo of four hundred pages. I am sorry to say it is very 
" dull indeed." The differences here referred to were serious 
in the extreme, and gave great scandal. 

The eccentric Father Harris was the immediate cause 
of the quarrel, the echoes of which did not die away for over 
half a century. 

In the year 1758, when two priests were introduced to 
St. Mary s, an agreement was made between the congregation 
and the Jesuit Superior, Father Mansell, that the temporal 
management of the chapel, the collection of bench rents, and 
the equal division of same between the two " incumbents " 
should be conducted by trustees, to be chosen by qualified 
bench holders. This lay management of matters of finance 
seems to have worked well for about twenty years, but 
entailed serious consequences later. According to a 
letter addressed " to the public " by Messrs. Lawrence, Kaye, 

* This is an error ; 1783 was the actual date. 



16 

Butler, K-osson and Billinge, the time came when the senior 
incumbent " usurped to himself the right of ^collecting and 
" disposing of church monies." The result was friction with 
the lay managers, and the division of the congregation into 
two parties, one siding with the priest, the other with the 
managers. In 1779 serious differences manifested themselves 
between Father Williams and Father Harris, the former 
having followed the course of some of his predecessors in office 
by collecting the bench rents and ignoring the claims of the 
trustees to have the disposal placed in their hands. 
A meeting of the bench holders was held in the Golden Fleece 
Hotel, Dale Street, on September 15th, 1779, to discuss the 
points of difference, when it was found that Father Williams 
refused to tolerate any interference with his management. 
The bench holders insisted on the original conditions being 
complied with, and appointed four of their number to visit 
the absent members and secure their signatures to a memorial 
to the Very Rev. Father Walton, " our worthy prelate," 
requesting him to support their " resolves." We learn from 
this report that there were one hundred and fouj benches in 
the chapel and that sixty of the holders appended their 
signatures to the petition promoted by Messrs. David Tuohy, 
Francis Gandy, Henry Billinge and Andrew Rosson. The 
Bishop appears to have approved of the policy of dividing the 
income between the resident clergy, but it does not appear 
that Father Williams adopted that course. In fact, he 
appears to have disregarded it, with the result that dissensions 
broke out in the congregation and developed to such an extent 
that on the 6th of March, 1872, the trustees endeavoured 
to seize the church by violence. The rioters on this occasion 
were representative bench holders, and acted without any 
authority from Mr. Thos. Clifton, of Lytham, who held the 
property in trust for the remaining members of " a late 
" certain society," as the Jesuits were styled during the 
suppression. 

This outburst of violence did not last, but from 
documentary evidence still in existence it is clear that these 
bench holders claimed the entire management of the chapel. 
On the 5th October, 1782, they issued a series of regulations, 
nineteen in number, to re-assert their claim, because, as the 
preamble puts it, " there is reason to apprehend that the 
" regulations established for the temporal management of the 

" R n C cc 1, situated in Edmund Street, are not 

"sufficiently known to the individuals of that persuasion." 
These extraordinary rules laid it down as a necessary 
condition of being allowed to serve at the chapel " that every 



17 

" new incumbent, before his admission to serve the place, 
" do sign a written contract, whereby he shall bind himself 
" to abide by the regulations/ 

They included a proviso that the clergy should give an 
account of all monies received by them each quarter ; that the 
bench holders representatives hold office for three years ; and 
that they sell or let at any rent they think fit, the seats in 
the chapel, and of dividing the proceeds equally between the 
two incumbents. They also included the sole right of the 
trustees to appoint a collector of rent, " to transact all the 
" temporal affairs of the chapel, both as to necessary repairs, 
"alterations, or any other unavoidable expenses whatever; 
" and that the same be deducted from the yearly income of 
" the two incumbents." To avoid further dispute a 
" Committee of Repairs " was appointed, half nominated by 
the " trustees " and half nominated by the incumbents, to 
decide what were " necessary repairs or disbursements." 
The arrangement was a total failure. Father Williams and 
Father Harris failed to agree, and it was alleged by the 
partisans of the latter, who had a numerous following, that 
it was the intention of the senior incumbent " to starve him 
out." It would appear to have been the intention of Father 
Williams to rid himself of his eccentric colleague ; finally 
the Bishop stepped in and put an end to the unseemly dispute 
by suspending both priests. 

But that the Society of Jesus had been suppressed these 
differences would never have arisen, and we gather from a 
letter addressed to Father Archibald MacDonald, O.S.B., 
July 28th, 1783, by Father N. Sewall, S.J., then residing in 
Preston, what the intentions of his colleagues were, he having 
been appointed their " agent." 

" It was the intention of the members of a late certain 
" body to authorise the late Thos. Clifton, Esq., their trustee 
" for the chapel and house in Edmund Street, Liverpool, to 
" convey over the trust of the said chapel and one house to 
"Sir Robert Gerard, Bart., and Henry Blundell, Esq., for 
" the use of the Roman Catholic congregation in Liverpool ; 
" and at a meeting of the said committee, held in Wigan on 
" Monday, the 17th day of February, 1783, an agreement 
entered into by Thos. Clifton and Henry Blundell, Esqrs., 
was acceded to by them, and deeds of conveyance, &c., 
ordered accordingly, to be drawn up, the full execution of 
which the unexpected death of Thos. Clifton, Esq., alone 
prevented." The demise of Mr. Clifton, and the non- 
execution by him of the conveyance to Messrs. Blundell and 
Sir Robt. Gerard, was the keynote to many of the further 
deplorable misunderstandings which ensued. Father Sewall 



18 

then goes on to say: "That in consequence of the above 
" agreement the members of a late certain body* 
" did not think themselves entitled to interfere, directly 
or indirectly, in nominating or removing incumbents 
in future at Liverpool, and that, therefore, the said com- 
mittee expressly charged the Rev. Mr. Emmett, the 
Bishop s Vicar for that certain body, immediately to signify 
the same to his Lordship, and at the same time particularly 
entreated him and the Rev. Mr. Williams, one of the 
incumbents (at St. Mary s), not to meddle in the affair in 
any shape, but to leave the whole entirely to the Bishop, 
the two intended trustees (Blundell and Gerard), and the 
congregation at large." 

It would appear from these resolutions adopted by the 
members of a " late certain body " at the meeting in Wigan, 
that they did seriously desire to leave the matter in the 
Bishop s hands, and prevent either Fathers Williams or 
Harris from interfering in the choice of the priests who were 
to serve the old chapel, but dated, as they were, the 17th day 
of February, the following letter written by the " Bishop s 
" Vicar for that certain body," fourteen days earlier, must be 
taken into account : 

" Honored Sir. I make no doubt you have heard of the 
" scandalous disputes that have subsisted for some years past 
at Liverpool. Though by a sort of patched up accommoda- 
tion they are coming to a conclusion, still it is the general 
opinion of all that there cannot be a sincere and lasting 
peace in your congregation whilst either of the present 
incumbents do duty in your town or neighbourhood of 
Liverpool. The Bishop, therefore, in his last, dated 23rd of 
January, desires me to look out for two others, who may be 
ready to succeed when Mr. Williams and Mr. Harris have 
settled their accounts and paid their debts. As there are 
none of our Body out of Place or prepared for the post, I 
* take the liberty of applying to you to be so good as to 
appoint two of your Order. Your religious Vow of 
Obedience will be an efficacious means of preventing for the 
future any dispute rising to a head. I spoke to Mr. Gregson 
and Mr. Brewer on the subject. Mr. Brewer said he 
believed there was one at liberty at present, and that he 
f< would be willing to supply until another could be had, and 
" that he would write to you about it. As Mr. Brewer is a 
" proper person for the place, I could wish he could stay 
" there, at least for some time. I have received an answer 

* The Society of Jesus. 



19 

" from our agent,* Mr. Sewall ; he tells me that the proposal 
" is much approved of, and that it is the only means of 
" establishing peace and reuniting the congregation. He says 
" we shall be willing to let you have the Chapel and a House 
" for two priests on condition of paying a small acknow- 
" ledgment annually. He thinks in order to render yourselves 
" more independent of the congregation it would be very 
" proper to have a long lease from Mr. Clifton, who is trustee 
" for the same, on condition of paying to him the above 
" annual acknowledgment only. The House has lately been 
" put in full repair, part of which is not as yet paid for. I 
" dare say you would not be against discharging that debt ; 
" I can t well tell what it is. This I can say, that everything 
" shall be made as easy and agreeable as possible and lays in 
" my power. Be so good as to give me an answer as soon as 
" you conveniently can, which I hope will be a favourable 
" one, for the sake of the peace in God s Church, which is the 
" wish and prayer of all good men, and of your obedt. 
" honble. servt., 

" Jos. EMMETT. 
"Gill-Moss, the 3rd of Feb., 83. 

" P.S. Direct from me, at No. 9, Edmund Street, 
" Liverpool." 

This letter is addressed to " Mr. Bolas, Warwic Bridge, 
" Carlisle," Provincial of the Benedictines. 

The result of this appeal was that Father Archibald 
Benet MacDonald, O.S.B., and Father Brewer, O.S.B., of 
Woolton, proceeded to take charge of the mission, and on 
the 3rd April, 1783, Father Williams handed over the keys 
to the first-named Benedictine. A hostile reception met them 
at the verv moment of their arrival. From a MS. in the 
handwriting of Father MacDonald we are told that, within 
twenty-four hours of his arrival in Liverpool he was summoned 
to appear before " a committee of persons calling themselves 
" trustees," who forbade him to officiate. His intention, 
owing to former disputes, being " so to comport himself as to 
" give umbrage to no man," he was much pained at the 
feeling displayed. The authority of Father Emmett, S.J., 
and of the Bishop, were produced, but to no avail. The bench 
holders sought to obtain possession of St. Mary s by force, and 
scenes of gross disorder prevailed in the sacred edifice, which 
were unfortunately repeated on other occasions. Father 
MacDonald wrote to Mr. Henry Blundell on the 9th April, 
1783, that the Bishop having suspended "Messrs. Williams 

* Rev. N. Sewall, S. J. 
NOTE. The wax seal to this remains still intact. 



20 

" and Harris, by his (the Bishop s) desire and the consent of 
" the Jesuits, two of our people took possession of the chapel 
and house on the 3rd inst. Should have been very glad you 
" were in the country to have waited upon you as we did upon 
"Sir Robert Gerard, for his approbation on the occasion; 
" doubt not, however, but you will concur in giving quiet and 
" peace to that distracted congregation. There are yet great 
" appearances of discontent, which, as Trustee, it is hoped 
"you, Sir, will endeavour to dissipate." 

The nominees of the bench-holders appear to have been 
much enraged at Father MacDonald s appeal to Messrs. 
Blundell and Gerard, and especially at his action in 
summoning the following meeting : 

" April 2nd, 1783. Your company is desired at the great 
" room of the Angel Inn, at six o clock to-morrow evening, 
" 3rd inst., in order to chuse chapel wardens or managers for 
" the R m C k C 1, Edmund Street, conformably to an 
" agreement lately made between Thos. Clifton, of Lytham, 
" and Henry Blundell, of Ince, Esquires." The ill-received 
incumbent informed the dissentients that " the meeting was 
"called in order that the world might know who those were 
" that really composed the greatest and most respectable part 
"of the congregation." Violence was offered to him in the 
Church, and the following handbill was distributed to tho 
members of the congregation, dated April 5th, 1783 : 

" Whereas two strange Gentlemen are lately come to 

" this Town, with Intent to Impose themselves as Incumbents 

" on the Congregation of the R n C c C 1, Edmund 

" Street, saying they have been ordered to settle here, and 

" they have supposed that the Rev. Mr. Emmott must have 

authority for so doing ; and at the same time owned that 

they could not produce any authority for such Pretensions. 

And whereas some anonymous letters, dated the 2nd instant, 

have circulated in this Town, inviting some of the Bench- 

holders in said Chapel to meet at the Angel Inn, on the 

" 3rd Instant, at Six o clock that Evening, in order to chuse 

" f Chapel Wardens or managers for the said Chapel, con- 

" formably to an agreement lately made between Thomas 

" Clifton, of Lytham, and Henry Blundell, of Ince, Esqrs. 

" In Consequence of such Anonymous Letters, some Bench- 

" holders of different Denominations did meet, and it now 

" appears sundry Persons were at that illegal Meeting Chosen, 

" notwithstanding they declared they were unacquainted 

" with the Old Rules, that the above Agreement specifies 

" shall be the mode of election. This is therefore to inform 

" all Bench-holders that no Men, or any set of Men whatever, 

" can be authorised in the capacity of Trustees or Chapel 



21 

" Wardens without the concurrence of Henry Blundell, Esq., 
" and Sir Robert Gerrard, excepting those that have been 
" chosen upwards of a year ago, who have been authorised 
" by the Right Rev. the Lord Bishop of this District, to 
" appoint a Collector to receive Rents of Benchers. 

" The Trustees think it their Duty to forewarn all persons 
" from paying regard to any authority such Persons 
" so illegally chosen may pretend to claim from so 
" unwarrantable a Nomination, and hope that every Bench- 
" holder will pay their Rents unto Mr. Richard Eltonhead, 
" and no other person, and the Trustees do hereby promise to 
indemnify them for so doing. Signed: Robert Lawrence, 
" John Kaye, Christopher Butler, Andrew Rosson, Henry 
"Billinge, Trustees. 

"... By the aforesaid Regulations, no person can serve 
" this Congregation, as an Incumbent, without the appro- 
" bation of the Qualified Bench-holders. It being therefore 
" unwarrantable for any person to act in that Capacity, 
" without such an Approbation first obtained, it is hoped the 
" Congregation will never suffer any innovation to take Place, 
" in a Matter of such Importance to themselves and Posterity, 
" as the choice of their own Pastors." 

This extraordinary claim to select their own pastors was 
no doubt seriously put forth, and illustrates the ill-tempered 
manner in which the entire negotiations were conducted. The 
Bishop s authority was flouted, and a newspaper controversy 
ensued which was characterised by such abusive language and 
accusations of deliberate " duplicity," one against the other, 
that to the Protestant population of Liverpool the letters 
were anything but " dull reading." Father MacDonald 
wielded a trenchant pen ; shafts laden with satire and 
ridicule poured into the ranks of his hostile flock, or rather 
the bench-holders, who in turn assailed him with 
vituperation and the grossest calumnies. One sample will 
suffice to illustrate this incredible battle of pens. " The 
" flowers of your rhetoric," writes one critic of the poor 
Benedictine, " are all gathered from the luxuriant gardens of 
" Billinsgate and St. Giles," and his letters as " masterpieces 
" of bad grammar, abusive language and nonsense," which 
made the writer of this choice production believe he had 
" rashly engaged with a veteran soldier lately arrived from the 
" garrison of Gibraltar, and accustomed to fiery engines of 
" Elliott s Red Hot Balls. (" Alluding to a Christian oration 
" lately delivered from the altar by Mr. Arch. McDonald, 
" wherein, in the true spirit of Christian meekness and 
" charity, he wished no greater harm to his opponents than 



22 

" a fiery destruction similar to that which the brave General 
" Elliott s red-hot balls effected on the French and 
Spaniards)."* 

Father MacDonald, with characteristic courage, boldly 
deprived six of the " brawlers in his chapel of their benches, 
one of the six being a member of the weaker sex. In the 
confusion which prevailed as the result of the claims of the 
miscalled trustees under the regulations of 1782, the 
misinterpretation of Father Emmett s clear and unequivocal 
appeal to the Benedictines to serve the chapel, the apparent 
neglect on the other hand of Father Williams to follow the 
advice of Father Sewall to take no part in the selection of an 
incumbent, and the claim of Mr. Clifton (son of the deceased 
gentleman of the same name) to be consulted, the gravest 
scandal was given to the whole population of the town. 
Mr. Clifton resolved to carry the whole matter into the 
courts of law, a most reprehensible proceeding in face of the 
Bishop s decision and the " resolve " of the Jesuits themselves 
not to interfere with the selection of the new priests to serve 
at St. Mary s. A document is still in existence which 
demonstrates how Father MacDonald was dragged into the 
courts. It is an estimate of the expenses which he 
would incur in defending the case against him, and amounts 
to two hundred and twenty pounds, with the prospect of 
having to pay a much larger amount should Mr. Clifton s 
cause prove successful. The Bishop intervened by addressing 
a special pastoral letter " To the Catholics of Liverpool," 
dated October 8, 1783 : 

" It is with inexpressible concern we have found the most 

zealous endeavour, hitherto ineffectual, towards suppressing 

" those discussions which not only dishonour your holy 

" religion, but strike at the very being of ecclesiastical 

" authority and subordination. . . . The enemy of our 

* souls, jealous of these spiritual blessings with which 

indulgent Providence has blessed them, and endeavouring 

1 to defeat the benevolent designs of Heaven in your regard, 

has prevailed so far with some as to make them not only 

1 lay aside the decency and submission due to superior power, 

" but obstruct and impede the most active exertions to restore 

the comforts of peace and promote your spiritual welfare. 

" To this desirable end we have long directed our prayers and 

labours, yet, is there not reason to fear that we have 

laboured in vain. Lenity, dictated by the most weighty 

" motives, has been stiled timidity, an indecent surrender of 

; ecclesiastical power. On the other hand, measures not more 

* Advertiser, August, 1783. 



23 

severe than necessary have been termed animosity, 
obstinacy, an undue stretching of prerogative. Can, then, 
this discordancy of sentiments be a standard of rectitude, a 
rule of acting ? No ! not even to him who would wish to be 
all things to all men, that he might save all. Some of the 

* most uninstructed characters, in terms equally illiberal and 

* unjust, arraign and condemn the decrees of that authority 
which they ought to respect and implicitly obey : read 
lectures on the object, the nature, the extent of ecclesiastical 

" jurisdiction ; on the sacred and till this day uncontroverted 
" rules of Church discipline, invading the prerogative of that 
" tribunal which has an exclusive right to censure and punish 
" any violation of the sacred trust with which we are 
" invested. To this ecclesiastical tribunal inferior Church- 
" men are to look for redress and protection, when aggrieved 
" and oppressed by the superior. The measure is clearly 
" proper, warranted by the Canons, due to an injured 
" character, and so easily adapted that a peaceful and silent 
" acquiescence under the weight of dishonourable and criminal 
" imputations will be interpreted the effect either of conscious 
" guilt or unseasonable compassion for a Prelate who wishes 
" not for extraordinary tenderness but that the merits of his 
" conduct be discussed by that tribunal to which he is 
" amenable.* But are you still ignorant to such a degree as 
" to want information that an appeal to the public 1<i 
" determine the validity and justice of ecclesiastical censures 
i( is an irreligious encroachment upon the rights of the 
" sanctuary, a most preposterous attempt to exalt the sheep 
" above the pastor, to direct your teacher, leal your guide, 
" and over awe your Prelate, a sacrilegious effort to invert 
" the order established by our Blessed Redeemer and disturb 
" the system of Infinite Wisdom. Obey your Prelates and be 
" subject to them, with whom it is a very small thing to be 
" judged of you and of man s judgment. A vindication of 
" their conduct to a tribunal so unprecedented and repugnant 
" to their dignity would be a tacit and disgraceful acknow- 
" ledgment of its usurped jurisdiction. . . . We, therefore, 
" beseech you, dearly beloved, by the bowels of our Lord Jesus 
" Christ, not to interfere with the prerogative of His repre- 
sentative. We are ambassadors for Christ; God, as it were, 
" exhorting by us. When exhortations prove insufficient, we 
are invested with authority, not only to teach and rebuke, 
" but to chastise ; not only to build and to plant, but to root 
" up and pull down, and to destroy. Wherefore, we strictly 
forbid, under pain of excommunication, any person to 

* An appeal to Rome. 



24 

insult, in the Catholic Chapel, Edmund Street, by any ill- 
usage, abuse, reproaches by word of mouth or in writing, or, 
in the aforesaid chapel designedly to impede or disturb in the 
exercise of his spiritual functions the Rev. Mr. McDonald 
or the Rev. Mr. Kennedy. In terminating a debate 
concerning temporal concerns, follow the advice of the 
Apostle, 1 Cor., c. 6, v. 5, &c. : If you have judgment of 
things pertaining to the world, I speak to your shame, is 
it not so ? that there is not among you any one wise man 
that is able to judge between his brethren ; already, 
indeed there is plainly a fault among you that you have 
law suits one with another ! Why do you not rather take 
wrong? Why do you not rather suffer yourselves to be 
defrauded?" 

The pastoral concludes with a most eloquent and beautiful 
appeal for peace. 

At the Lancaster Assizes the question was settled. The 
presiding judge decided that Father Williams, in handing 
over the keys to Father MacDonald had " inducted " him as 
his lawful successor. A patched up peace prevailed at length ; 
the disorders ceased, but many years passed away before the 
storm which accompanied the entry of the Benedictines into 
Liverpool was forgotten by the Catholics of the town and 
neighbourhood . 

It was in the fitness of things that the Benedictines 
should have succeeded the Jesuits. On the confiscation of the 
Birkenhead Priory, the monks lost their hold on the banks 
of the Mersey. In the intervening ages they, too, worked 
secretly in Lancashire to preserve the ancient faith. From 
1697 to 1717 they served the family of Lord Molyneux at 
Sefton, until they were superseded by the "friars," again 
resuming their work in the year 1742.* On the apostacy of 
the ninth Viscount and first Earl (due to a mixed marriage), 
the Chaplain, Father Vincent Gregson, lived in the end 
portion of the buildings at present adjoining the church, 
called the " cockloft." He obtained a piece of land at 
Netherton,f close by, and built a chapel and house in which 
the faithful Catholics who did not follow the example of 
their lord worshipped God in the ancient fashion. The 
Benedictines had also served for some years at St. Swithin s, 
Gillmoss. Now that they were established at St. Mary s, 
they could see from the western boundary of the parish their 
dismantled priory on the Cheshire side of the Mersey, with 
its tower lifted high above the intervening forest of masts. 

* CathDlic Directory, 
t Still served by the Benedictine Fathers. 



25 

By a curious coincidence the Sovereign Pontiff who 
cancelled the Decree of Suppression, and restored most of the 
privileges of the Society of Jesus, was himself a monk of the 
Order of St. Benedict. 

The Benedictines followed up their work at St. Mary s 
by founding a new mission at the south end of the town, 
where the increasing Catholic population called for church 
extension. It was opened on September 7th, 1788, and 
dedicated to the Prince of the Apostles. This church is 
better known as the Seel Street chapel, and is the only 
building of an ecclesiastical character which has familiarised 
the name of the street in which it is situate. This may have 
arisen originally from a desire to avoid confusion with the 
parish church of St. Peter in Church Street, and it is 
therefore not strange that in the lease granted by the 
Corporation, " Seel Street Chapel/ and not St. Peter, is the 
official description of the building. 

The original founder was the rector of St. Mary s, 
Father MacDonald, who was a native of Lochaber, Scotland. 
He appears to have created a good impression on the 
Protestant population, being referred to by one writer as 
" a kind-hearted and much respected man."* On the walls of 
the church a mural tablet perpetuates his memory in these 
words : "In the vaults of this church are deposited the 
" remains of Father Archibald MacDonald ; died July 29, 
" 1814. The founder of this chapel, and for a period of 
" 26 years its liberal, intelligent, and revered pastor, to 
" whose memory the Catholicks of Liverpool erected this 
" monument." These two opinions must be read in con 
junction with the acts of the Benedictine chapter held in the 
year 1785, when he was censured for his somewhat violent 
polemical writings in connection with the disputes at 
St. Mary s. His sermon on the opening day was described 
by a local paper in flattering terms : " One can truly say that 
" a better discourse has not been heard in any place of 
" worship."! The musical part of the service attracted 
considerable attention. It was organised by two Protestant 
musicians whose name constantly appear on concert pro 
grammes of that day ; the organ which was provided, and the 
" choice chorus," forming a happy omen of the celebrated 
organists, choirmas>ers and singers who made the musical 
services at the Seel Street chapel renowned for one hundred 
and seventeen years. 

* Smither s History of Liverpool, 
t Williamson s Advertiser, 8th September, 1788, 



26 

Judging by a drawing of the church preserved in the 
Corporation Library, the outlines of the church were pretty 
much the same as now : a plain, square, brick building devoid 
of external ornament, though of smaller dimensions than the 
present church. " A quadrangular room, good solid work, 
" with as much gallery room as possible, and a priest s house 
" at the altar end, was all he (Father MacDonald) aimed 
" at."* His portrait in oils is one of the treasures of the 
Priory of St. Peter s, and hangs in the dining room side by 
side with similar portraits of successive rectors of this notable 
church. He was appointed Cathedral Prior of Rochester 
shortly before his death. 

The Town Council records relate that on the first day of 
April, 1789, it was resolved that " a new lease be granted to 
" the Rev. Archibald MacDonald, of the Roman Catholic 
" chapel lately erected by him, and situate in Seel Street, for 
" three lives of his own nomination, and for twenty-one years 
" afterwards, at a ground rent of twelve pence per yard, and 
" for the above purpose only, a perpetual lease shall be 
" granted of the chapel, and on the death of any life, on the 
" persons entitled applying for the renewal within six months 
" after such death." The resolution goes on to declare that 
the lease will lapse if the building ceases to be used as a 
chapel. A separate lease was also granted for the house and 
schools on payment of a fine of 3 3s. Od., and an annual 
ground rent of twelve pence. 

This decision indicates that cordial relations then pre 
vailed between the local authorities and the Catholic body, 
and the annual collection in the three Catholic chapels for 
the Infirmary points to the conclusion that the chapels were 
recognised as duly authorised places of worship. Collections 
are also recorded in the local journals from the priests at 
Farn worth, Appleton and Upholland. 

The first public reference to the founder of St. Peter s 
occurs in reference to his sermon at St. Mary s, or as it was 
termed " the Roman Catholic chapel in Lumber Street."! 
We have seen that poor Father Tempest had only an 
income of one or two and twenty pounds per annum in 1750, 
and in 1799 we find that in the same church after a sermon 
by Father Talbot, O.S.B. a most excellent sermon "J for the 
Poor School, he secured an offering of 20 14s. 6d., from 
which may be inferred that the Catholics had increased 
considerably in number. It is difficult to estimate how many 

* Centenary Sketch, 1888. 

f Gore s General Advertiser. 

J Liverpool Phoenix, 1799. 



27 

Catholics were in Liverpool in the first half of the 18th 
century, certain it is that the Faith had not disappeared. 

Mr. Henry Peet, in his most interesting book on 
Liverpool in the reign of Queen Anne estimates the popula 
tion of the town at seven thousand. A close examination of 
the list of ratepayers in every street of the town reveals but 
half a dozen Irish surnames. There are, however, numerous 
characteristic Catholic names, such as Scarisbrick, Molyneux, 
and Blundell. 

Owing to the close commercial intercourse between 
Ireland and Liverpool during the eighteenth century there 
must have been a colony of Irishmen in the town. The 
campaigns of Henry the Second and Richard the Second in 
Ireland brought Liverpool considerable reputation. Irish 
merchants came regularly to Liverpool to sell yarn and linen 
on its quays to Manchester merchants.* They attended, no 
doubt, the old church of St. Nicholas, and on its seizure by 
the State for the reformed religion one can only conjecture 
where they received the spiritual consolation of their Faith. 
Certain, however, it is that political blunders in the govern 
ment of Ireland largely increased the number of Irish 
Catholics in Liverpool towards the middle of the century, and 
created the demand for chapels, which gave rise to the founda 
tion of St. Peter s and Sir Thomas Street, in addition to the 
mother church of St. Mary s. 

Unfortunately, one is not able to give any estimate of 
the number of native Catholics who held steadfast to the 
Faith during the long years of persecution and deprivation of 
citizenship. Gore s Directory for 1766 contains the names 
of some twelve hundred householders. Of these only fifteen 
bear distinctive Irish names, such as Coyle, Doran, Dougherty, 
Dowdall, Finigan, Fe,arns, Molloy, Ryan, MacCormac, 
Finglass and Staunton. There were two Kellys, not 
necessarily an Irish surname, there being many in Lancashire 
who are not Irish by birth or descent. As might be 
expected, on account of the coasting trade, five of these Irish 
names represent captains of vessels. Doran and Finnigan 
are described as merchants; the remainder being apparently 
dealers in clothes, or as they were called in those days, 
slopmen. In the Directory for 1769 twenty-two names 
appear, seven being captains, and there also appears for the 
first time the relation of Irish connection with the drink 
trade ; a much too prominent feature of Irish life in Liverpool 
at a later stage. By 1774 there is a further increase to forty 
householders, and in 1781 eighty Irish names are recorded, 
eleven being captains and twelve victuallers. The first 
* Mrs. J. B. Green s The making of Ireland and its undoing. 



28 

mention of the surname Burke is in connection with a woman 
who kept a public-house in Litherland Alley in 1777, and in 
1781 we have the first record in print of Irish association 
with the hard work of the Dock side in the case of Thomas 
Burke, living by the Old Dock, and described as a porter. 
Wexford names are prominent : Byrne, Dwyer and Ryan, 
the last named being a ship broker. In this year, 1781, the 
Celtic prefix O appears for the first time: Captain O Mara 
and Francis O Neale, provision dealer. From the public 
advertisements, it would appear that the means of locomotion 
were to some extent under the direction of Irishmen, most 
probably Catholics. The coaches of Mr. James Maguire set 
out every morning, except Saturday, from the Horse and 
Rainbow, High Street, for Warrington and Manchester, and 
the local resident superintendent of the Dublin packets was a 
Captain O Connor. It was asserted that a large number of 
Wexford people came to Liverpool during the year 1798 on 
account of the rebellion of that year, and it was further stated 
that they were " loyal " Irishmen.* As the Wexford struggle 
was confined to a small area of the country, and only lasted a 
very short period, the grounds for this assertion are not very 
strong. It is much more likely that the immigration was due 
to the increase in the trade between both ports, a trade so 
important that Liverpool freemen were exempted from the 
dues payable on Wexford produce. The tonnage returns for 
Liverpool shew that in 1798, no less than 988 vessels arrived 
from the Irish ports, a number which went on increasing 
until 1820, when 2,162 ships entered the Mersey laden with 
agricultural products. To this must be attributed the 
increasing numbers of the Irish population and we have 
evidence that in 1788, the year which saw the opening of 
Father Price s chapel and St. Peter s, 367 children were 
baptised in the three chapels, representing a fair proportion 
of the total population of all creeds, f Catholics must have 
been growing prosperous, comparatively speaking, as from the 
records of the treasurer of the Infirmary as early as 1789 and 
1790 the amount sent to him from St. Peter s alone amounted 
to 18 9s. lid. and 23 2s. lOd. respectively. The main 
streets of that parish had been constructed for some years, 
and in the Directory for 1790J about 120 Irish householders 
names are given, irrespective of the numerous English 
Catholics who cannot be identified by name. No less than 
sixty-eight bear the Irish prefix, Mac, though a few are 

* Troughton s Liverpool, 
f Canon O Toole s tables. 

* Wosencroft s Directory. 



29 

clearly of Scottish or Ulster origin. From the record of 
burials in St. Peter s vaults and churchyard we find such 
striking English surnames as Baynes, Parr, Dickinson, 
Skelton, Formby, Stubbs, Bridge, &c. The name of Peter 
Byrne, deputy-master of th& George s dock, 1790, also occurs 
in the registers, and Geo. Marsh, who founded the chapel at 
Portico, near St. Helens, was interred in St. Peter s in 1826. 
The baptismal register* gives the names of fifty children 
born in the parish in 1799, one year after the opening of the 
chapel. 

Before the close of the century the clergy who served in 
St. Mary s were Father Edmund Pennington, O.S.B., who 
succeeded Father MacDonald in 1788, and served as incumbent 
until 1794, when he died; Father Joseph Collins, O.S.B., who 
enlarged the chapel, and Father Alexius Pope, O.S.B., the 
latter remaining in charge until 1802.f 

* St. Peter, Centenary record, 1888. 
f St. Mary s, by Father Bede Cox, O.S.B. 



30 



CHAPTER II. 

The opening year of the nineteenth century witnessed a 
large influx of poor Irish people into Liverpool. One writer 
attributed the immigration to the passage into law of the Act 
of Union* which abolished the Irish Houses of Parliament, 
and provided for the future government of Ireland from 
Westminster. It is difficult to see how such an Act was 
directly responsible for sending the Irish of 1801 in large 
numbers to Liverpool, though it is certain that the result 
which ensued therefrom created the Irish Liverpool of a later 
date. The statement was made however by a responsible, 
impartial local historian and deserves to be recorded. " Few 
" Irish of any class, high or low, until after the rebellion 
"of 1798; but afterwards, the Union caused a considerable 
change in that respect."* The immediate reason would 
appear to have been due to an old and oft repeated cause, 
set forth by another Liverpool author ,f who wrote in 1825 
a most impartial, painstaking work. " In 1801 the state of 
" Ireland caused numbers to flock over to Liverpool in s such 
" a distressed state that a violent dysentery ensued, followed 
" by numerous deaths." It is a significant political fact that 
at the moment when Ireland s outward sign of its distinct- 
nationhood was taken away, five thousand " stalwart, well- 
set " Irish militiamen responded to the call of England to 
fight her battles against Napoleon, and arrived in the Mersey 
en route for an expedition against the French, who, but two 
short years before had sent ships of war to fight for Ireland. 
Irish soldiers were constantly arriving in Liverpool, and no 
doubt threw much additional work on the shoulders of the 
few Benedictines and one Jesuit who were in charge of the 
three small chapels. At the same time that the Irish militia 
were in town, five thousand French and Spanish prisoners 
of war arrived and found a temporary resting place pending 
their transfer to their respective countries, as the exigencies 
of warfare^ permitted. The municipal records shew that the 

* Brook s History of Liverpool. 

f Smither s Commerce. 
J Liverpool Phoenix, March, 1800. 



31 

town was progressing rapidly. By the year 1800 the principal 
streets in the present parish of St. Mary s had been completed ; 
Bevington Bush was also constructed and the streets south of 
the Custom House, now constituting the parishes of St. Peter s 
and St. Vincent de Paul s were rapidly approaching com 
pletion. The site of the present Custom House was then a 
dock, and Irish immigrants coming to a strange town sought 
shelter in the immediate vicinity as far as was possible, which 
accounts for the dense Irish population which within living 
memory was to be seen in and around Whitechapel, Paradise 
and South John Streets on the north, and flowing south en 
the other hand compelled the provision of St. Patrick s Church 
twenty years later. The north end developments necessitated 
the provision of another church, and St. Anthony s came into 
existence to supply the need. It was the first church in 
Liverpool in the charge of a secular priest and was destined 
to become the fruitful mother of many churches and schools 
and the rallying centre of great Catholic effort for over half 
a century. The original church stood at the corner of Dryden 
Street, and was known as the French chapel for two reasons. 
It was built by a Protestant gentleman* to testify his 
sympathy with the French nobility expelled from their native 
country during the French revolution, and its first resident 
priest was Father Jean Baptiste Antoine Gerardot, Canon, 
Dignitary, and treasurer of the Metropolitan Church of 
Rheims, as he was described in a book dealing with that 
period. f He was driven from France during the last years 
of the eighteenth century and helped considerably to minister 
to the French prisoners located in Liverpool to the conclusion 
of the long drawn out struggle which terminated on the field 
of Waterloo. He became the first popular priest in Protestant 
Liverpool. Every sympathy and consideration was shewn 
to him by all classes of citizens; Churchmen and Dissenters 
alike rallied to his support, even going the extreme length of 
attending his chapel on special occasions, and on one notable 
Sunday he collected at Mass the sum of one hundred pounds, 
the largest offertory made to that time in a Catholic chapel. 
The dedication to St. Anthony was due to Father Gerardot s 
name. From a contemporary we learn the dimensions of 
the chapel; fifty-five feet long by thirty-two in width, and 
that the services were carried out with great dignity and good 
taste. The prejudices against the Catholic population were 
rapidly declining, and Father Gerardot was enabled in con 
sequence to announce that he would celebrate Midnight Mass 

* Father B. Murphy s sermon in St. Anthony s, August, 1815. 
t Smither s Commerce. 



32 

at the Christinas of 1813. The front of the chapel was illumin 
ated by candles arranged in the shape of a star, and the 
initial letters J.S. Even the musical programme has been 
preserved. The music of the Mass was taken from the 
compositions of \Vebbe and Cassuli; Novello s harmonised 
version of the Adeste Fideles was sung at the offertory; 
Handel s Pastoral Symphony from the Messiah was rendered 
and the Te Deum was sung at the conclusion of that eventful 
ceremony which set Liverpool talking about the beautiful 
services of the Church.* Another Liverpool author writing 
of the Catholic chapels, four in number in the year 1810, says 
" they are numerously attended. "f We have it recorded on 
the testimony of the Vicar Apostolic, Bishop Smith, that he 
and his coadjutor, Bishop Gibson, J in the month of June, 
1813, confirmed 621 persons in St. Mary s, Lumber Street, 
and 571 in St. Peter s, Seel Street. The poverty of the 
working people made the provision of school accommodation 
almost impossible ; a serious drawback to the full develop 
ment of the work of the Clergy. St. Peter s has the distinc 
tion of providing the first permanent school of any importance, 
though there is no doubt that St. Mary s clergy provided the 
first Catholic school in Liverpool. As was only to be expected 
from an Order celebrated for its pursuit of learning, the monks 
of St. Benedict were the pioneers of elementary education in 
Liverpool. If an unusually well informed Protestant writer 
is to be believed, he saw in the year 1806, the twentieth annual 
report of the Charity School in Copperas Hill, which implies 
that a Catholic school was in existence there as early as 1786. 
This is clearly an error, as the school was founded at a much 
later date. At the opening of the Holy Cross Schools, 
Fontenoy Street, in 1853, Mr. Allan Kaye, sub-sheriff of 
Lancashire, stated that the original Catholic school of Liver 
pool was opened in 1803, in Gerard Street, off Byrom 
Street, the accommodation being for thirty children. There 
is nothing in thL statement inconsistent with St. Mary s claim 
for priority, as Gerard Street would come within the purview 
of the clergy of that church. That there was a crying need 
for school accommodation is proven by an organisation which 
came into existence in the year 1807; and its title clearly 
establishes the nationality of the children for whom the 
schools were needed. It was called the Benevolent Society of 
St. Patrick, and had for its sole aim " the educating and 
apprenticing of Irish children of all denominations." The 

-Williamson s Advertiser, 1813. 

f Troughton s Liverpool. 
\ Brother of the Dr. Gibson, Vicar Apostolic, 1788. 



33 

school was built in Pleasant Street, within a few hundred 
yards of the future Pro-Cathedral of St. Nicholas, and it 
continued its work for sixty -three years. Curiously enough 
this school had the full sympathy and co-operation of the 
clergy and the leading Catholic laymen, and through its doors 
passed thousands of Catholic children. The Liberals of that 
interesting period, assisted by the great William Rathbone, 
afterwards M.P. for the town, whose statue stands in Sefton 
Park, devoted themselves with great enthusiasm to this 
excellent work. No religious difficulty prevailed, as the 
clergy were admitted to give religious instruction. By 
the year 1824 there were 504 children in average attendance, 
all Irish. The headmaster bore the name of Patrick Brennan. 
Up to the year of Catholic emancipation no less than 5,744 
boys and girls had passed through the schools, which had also 
the distinction of educating the children on industrial as well 
as literary lines, and it was claimed in the annual report that 
after strict enquiries only five boys who had been educated 
in the Hibernian Schools had committed any breach of the 
law, imperial or local. In a schedule attached to Brougham s 
Education Bill, introduced into Parliament in the year 1821, 
it is stated that 300 children were in average attendance at 
the Catholic Charity Schools, Copperas Hill, which read in 
conjunction with the 500 attending the neighbouring schools, 
goes to prove that a large Catholic population had grown up 
in the neighbourhood between St. Peter s and the late Father 
Price s chapel in Sir Thomas Street.* The death of this priest 
in 1813 paved the way for the formation of a new parish; the 
foundation of St. Nicholas Church, Copperas Hill. As the 
suppression of the Jesuits brought about the coming of the 
Benedictines to Liverpool, so the decease of the late Jesuit 
made easy the erection of the future Pro-Cathedral. It is a 
,sad reflection that this fine old priest, founder of three chapels, 
and zealously working for the preservation of the faith for 
30 years, found his last resting place in the graveyard of the 
Protestant Church of St. James, Toxteth Park; one would 
have expected to find his earthly remains interred at Lydiate 
or in the vaults of Seel Street, but such was not the case. 

Lengthy negotiations passed between the lay committee 
which undertook the foundation of St. Nicholas and the 
Jesuits before the chapel in Sir Thomas Street was finally 
closed. Father Randal Lythgoe, S.J., in a letter dated 
October 26, 1841, to Father Glover, English assistant to the 
General of the Jesuits at Rome, wrote " Father Price s church 
" was closed to facilitate the erection of St. Nicholas, and 

* Better known as Sir Thomas Buildings. 



34 

" it was to this end, and with a distinct understanding with 
" Mr. John Leigh and the members of the committee of St. 
" Nicholas, that when the latter was completed they should 
" exert themselves and raise another chapel to be served by 
" priests connected with Stony hurst."* The fulfilment of 
this understanding was delayed twenty-six years, but the laity 
who made it were not to blame. The new church was opened 
on the 17th August, 1815, by the Vicar Apostolic, Bishop 
Smith; Father Thomas Penswick, the first rector, preaching 
the inaugural sermon. On the Sunday previous Father 
Murphy, who had crossed over from Dublin to preach at the 
" French Chapel," St. Anthony s, pronounced a eulogium on 
the Liverpool Town Council for their liberality towards St. 
Nicholas , they having presented the site on which the church 
was built. The opening day was remarkable from the fact 
that for the first time in the history of Liverpool, from the 
Reformation, a Mayor of the town attended a High 
Mass. In the evening eighty Catholic gentlemen sat down 
to a public dinner in honour of the joyful event of a new 
church being opened. Mr. P. W. Whitnall presided, 
supported in particular by Messrs. Kaye, Gore, Leigh, Smith, 
Billinge, Merrit, Wright and Scarisbrick. The English 
nationality of these gentlemen is well testified by their sur 
names. In a report of the School Committee eight yeara 
after this event, it is recorded that they spent 537 13s. 5d. 
on the maintenance of the school, an amount which was 
certainly very creditable to them in view of the poverty of the 
working people, with an attendance of 480 children. We 
have already noted the average attendance. The head master 
was Mr. Edward Brennan; Mr. H. F. Leigh, who lived in 
Colquitt Street, was one of the founders of the school, and 
another member of the same family acted as treasurer. A 
tablet on the west wall of the Pro-Cathedral perpetuates the 
memory of this excellent layman. " Henry Faithwaite Leigh. 
of Colquitt Street, formerly of Bark Hill, near Wigan, died 
April 21, 1833, aged 77 years. He was one of the chief 
founders of this place of Divine worship and the adjoining 
school. Firm in faith, confident in hope, full of charity 
both for God and man. He set aside this world for Heaven. 
Stranger drop not one single tear, a simple prayer is all 
I ask." The tablet also records the name of his son, George 
Leigh, and of Mrs. Catherine Pulford, his mother-in-law. 

In the year 1821, the Catholic population, estimated by 
the numbers attending Mass on the Sunday mornings, was 

* Xavei iaM, June, 1887. 



35 

12,000,* as compared with a total seating accommodation of 
56,200 in all the Anglican and Dissenting places of worship 
in the town. From a census taken in this same year we learn 
that the total number of houses occupied were 19,007, the 
average number of dwellers therein amounting to 5*84. A 
distinguished Liverpool Irishman,! whose name will frequently 
occur in these pages because of his great service to the church 
and his single-minded devotion to his country s cause, in a 
comment upon Canon OToole s tables of baptisms, calculated 
that ten years earlier (1811) there were 21,359 Catholics living 
inside the town boundaries. As corroborating this opinion, 
a priest attached to St. Nicholas speaking at a public meeting 
in the schools in 1830, declared that the Catholics numbered 
not less than one-third or one-fourth of the entire population, 
and called special attention to the definitely ascertained fact 
that in the course of twenty-three years the number of 
Catholic baptisms had increased 340 per cent.J The next 
extension of church accommodation took place at St. Peter s, 
Seel Street, the extended church being opened on November 
27, 1817. The preacher on this interesting occasion was 
Father Baines, O.S.B., of Bath, who was regarded as the 
principal pulpit orator of his day. Mozart s twelfth Mass, 
with full orchestral accompaniment, was rendered. Here 
we may pause to note that the newspapers of the day and for 
many years later devoted much attention to the musical portion 
of the services, and only in rare instances made any reference 
to the text selected by the preacher or any of his observations. 
In the Liverpool Mercury of November, 1817, one reads with 
amazement the following extraordinary advertisement, which 
happily has not appeared since. " On Monday, December 
" the first, the whole of the unsold pews will be publicly let 
" in the chapel, at the hour of eleven in the forenoon." This 
announcement refers to the extended accommodation provided 
in Seel Street. It is extremely probable that a great number 
of Irish labourers found work in the year 1819, in excavating 
the Prince s Dock. Most of the docks were constructed by 
Irish labourers, and other works of a similar character 
requiring muscle were so carried out by them. The Orange 
men of the town appear to have had their political passions 
inflamed by the presence of a large Catholic and Irish 
population in their midst, and the development of church 
buildings as well as the marked tolerance of the Liberal party 



Smither s Commerce. 

>r of " The Irish Libn 
Britain." 

t Mercury, 21st May, 1830. 



t Mr. John Denvir, author of " The Irish Library ; The Irish in Great 

Britain." 



aggravated the situation. They began a series of attacks 
both wordy and physical on the Catholic Church and Ireland, 
which to them as to more enlightened persons were regarded 
quite erroneously as synonymous terms. Retaliation was 
inevitable. On the 12th July, 1819, when the Orange body 
celebrated the famous scrimmage " twixt a Dutchman and 
" a Scot/ * they were waylaid at the corner of Dale Streetf 
and Byrom Street by a host of Irish labourers who made a 
desperate onslaught on them. Stones, sticks and other 
weapons were freely used, and both sides sustained severe 
injuries. It was the beginning of that wretched race quarrel 
on false issues which was assiduously kept alive by one political 
party in the city for the most unworthy ends, and continued 
to disturb the harmony of the citizens for half a century. 
When the learned Roscoe contested Liverpool in the Liberal 
interest in the year 1807, the real issue was the abolition of 
slavery. Catholic Emancipation was a minor point in that 
struggle. His opponents carried both their candidates to victory 
by issuing the following squib. " This day, about two o clock, 
"His Holiness Pope Leo Tenth made his long expected entry. 
" He bore two banners ; Catholic Emancipation and Abolition 
7< of the Slave Trade." After six days polling the author of 
the Life of Pope Leo was badly beaten, receiving only 379 
votes against 1,277 and 1,461 given to his Tory rivals. The 
Irish Catholics of the early years of the nineteenth century 
were accused by interested politicians of disloyalty, an 
accusation which has not yet been discontinued. Strangely 
enough it was their loyalty to the unfortunate Queen 
Caroline which accounted for their first appearance in the 
political arena of Liverpool, the prelude to effective interfer 
ence in much more important matters both of religion and 
politics. The sympathies of the great bulk of the Liberal 
party lay with the persecuted consort of a worthless 
Hanoverian, and when the news reached Liverpool that she 
had triumphantly vindicated her honour, they organised a 
huge public demonstration to express their delight. In the 
public procession which wound up the festivities the Catholic 
and Irish Societies took no unimportant place. They had at 
length lifted their heads, and begun to realise the duty they 
owed to the city of their adoption. Two years later another 
influx of Irish immigrants arrived in the town, due to the 
severity of Irish landowners, who demanded their pound of 
flesh notwithstanding the generally depressed condition of 

* See humorous squib, Dublin Leader, July, 1908. 

t The exact spot where the Holy Cross procession was attacked on 

May 9th, 1909. 



37 

Irish agriculture. The newspapers record the sequel in these 
words. " Crowds of indigent poor sought relief at the work- 
" house in Cumberland Street, and at the parish church of 
" St. Peter s, Church Street." It would be an interesting 
item of historical value could we calculate the heavy cost to 
Liverpool ratepayers of Irish misgovernment, and a no less 
interesting speculation would be the progress of Catholicism 
in Liverpool had Pitt failed in carrying into law the ill-fated 
Act of Union. This second exodus from Ireland to Liverpool 
must have been very considerable, as a local historian* tells 
us that around the Exchange not fifteen in a hundred were 
natives of the town owing to the numbers of poor Irish 
arriving daily. This immense mass of Catholics around the 
Tithebarn street and Vauxhall Road area, entailed serious con 
sequences social and economic to the town which have not 
wholly disappeared to this hour, and brought about the erection 
of further chapels and schools, but for which the citizens of 
Liverpool had been brought face to face with insoluble 
problems of crime and lawlessness. Liverpool has failed 
entirely to realise its debt to the devoted Catholic clergy and 
the energetic Catholic laymen who saved the situation to some 
extent both in the twenties and the terrible years which were 
soon to follow. This Irish congestion had a curious sequel 
if we are to credit the statement that when the " cabbage 
" patches " which lined " the road to Ormskirk," had to give 
way to much needed sites for dwelling houses, the new street 
was called Marie-la-bonne, modified to Marybone, at the 
request of the Catholics " who began to occupy the houses 
"erected."! Agricultural land now assumed a high value as 
" eligible " building sites, and brought in its train as a logical 
result the awful problem of housing the poor which perplexes 
local and imperial statesmen ignorant of the one method of 
solving the difficulty. 

St. Mary s Chapel, just sixty-six feet long and forty- 
eight broad was sorely taxed to find room for the thousands 
who sought to hear Mass therein, and placed a responsibility 
upon the shoulders of the Benedictine Fathers, which they 
were unable to face successfully for nearly twenty years. 
This crowded area was filled by men who were without any 
proficiency in skilled occupations and had to depend entirely 
on the demand for the physical energy which fortunately they 
possessed in abundance, otherwise their sojourn in the town 
had been attended by much more serious consequences. Their 
one and only consolation was the brightness of their faith in 

* Smither s Commerce, 
f Stonehouse Streets of Liverpool. 



38 

God, and the practice of their religion, of which there it 
abundant proof in the speeches both of clergy and laity of 
the day. A similar state of affairs existed at the South end 
of the town. Seel Street Chapel was utterly unable to cope 
with the congested Irish population living in the streets off 
Park Lane and St. James Street, and a lay committee took 
in hand the erection of a new church to supply the spiritual 
needs of this Irish colony. The dedication of the church leaves 
no doubt as to the nationality of the poor for whom it was 
founded and quite a thrill of enthusiasm swept over the Irish 
population at the announcement that the Park Place Church 
was to be placed under the protection of the Apostle of 
Ireland.* Touched by the needs of the Irish poor many of 
the leading Liberals gave substantial assistance towards the 
undertaking, and the poor contributed their mite generously 
and whole heartedly. The English Catholics of the town 
were generous to a degree and on the 17th of March, 1821, 
not many months after the project had been conceived, the 
foundation stone was laid amidst scenes of jubilation, probably 
never equalled since that memorable day. St. Patrick s feast 
occurred on a Saturday that year, not the most suitable day 
for public rejoicings or processions, but the day mattered not, 
the heart of Catholic and Irish Liverpool was touched in its 
tenderest part, and a great procession was the result. Those 
were the days of great faith. Consequently the day was 
opened by the Irish Society attending Mass at St. Mary s, a 
compliment to the parent church as well as a thanksgiving 
to God, and then reforming, the procession wended its way 
to St. Anthony s, where the second half of the procession 
had also heard Mass at an early hour. Led by several 
carriages in which were seated the rector of St. Nicholas, 
Father Pens wick, Father Dennet, of Aughton, and the 
preacher at the ceremony, Father Kirwan, St. Michan s, 
Dublin, the monstre procession moved off on its long march 
to Park Place. Then followed the Irish Societies, wearing 
their regalia, bearing banners and flags, and accompanied by 
numerous brass and fife bands, including the Hibernian 
Society, Benevolent Hibernian Society, Hibernian Mechanical 
Society, Benevolent Society of St. Patrick, Amicable Society 
of St. Patrick, Free and Independent Brothers, Industrious 
Universal Society and the Society of St. Patrick. The last 
named organisation was founded specially to raise funds for 
the new church. Behind these organisations which comprised 
fifteen thousand men, marched the school children from the 

* Strong opposition was offered by the Protestant body to the erection, 
on the ground that there was plenty of accommodation already. 



39 

schools of Copperas Hill and the Hibernian School in Pleasant 
Street. That year the famous Irish regiment* whose exploits 
under Wellington in the Peninsular War were still 
remembered, was stationed in the town. On hearing of the 
proposed procession they expressed a keen desire to take part 
in it, and the Officer in command appealed to the War Office 
for the necessary permission, which was readily given. Their 
appearance in the procession, many of them bearing signs of 
their services to the King, aroused the sympathies of the 
liberal minded non-Catholic population and kindled the 
enthusiasm of their countrymen to fever heat. In the absence 
of the Vicar Apostolic who sent his blessing, Father Penswick 
well and truly laid the foundation stone, and amidst the 
jubilation " of the thousands of English Catholics in the town " 
and the plaudits of the immense crowd of native born Irish 
men, the new mission was launched on its notable career. The 
festivities concluded by four public banquets held in Crosshall 
Street, Sir Thomas Buildings, Ranelagh Street and Paradise 
Street. Two years later the unfinished building began to be 
used and quite a surprise was felt by the average citizen at 
the strange and unique spectacle of hundreds of men and 
women kneeling outside the walls of the church on Sunday 
mornings, unable to obtain admission to the sacred edifice 
which was crowded to its utmost capacity as far as its condition 
permitted. Father Penswick, who was the head and front of 
the scheme for founding the church, made a herculean 
effort to finish the building. To this end he founded in his 
own parish an auxiliary branch of the Society of St. Patrick 
and raised a considerable sum of money. Many distinguished 
Irish ecclesiastics crossed over to Liverpool and preached in 
the still unfinished building; the Professor of Rhetoric at 
Maynooth one Sunday morning collecting two hundred 
pounds. Irish and English Catholics worked harmoniously 
until a foolish murmur was spread abroad that Father 
Penswick intended to put an English priest in charge of the 
mission and that he intended to frustrate the idea of the lay 
Trustees to make the ground floor of the church free for ever. 
This latter proposal, afterwards carried out, is a striking light 
on the poverty of the masses of the people at that time. An 
angry correspondence sprang up in the newspapers and 
retarded the collection of the needed funds, but eventually 
the rumours were dispelled by the appointment of Father 
Murphy. 

On the 22nd August, 1827, the church was opened by 
ceremonies of such splendour and solemnity as had never 

Connaught Bangers. 



40 

before been witnessed by Liverpool Catholics of any preceding 
age. Over forty priests were seated in the chancel, coming 
from all parts of Lancashire and Cheshire. As a compliment 
to the founder of the church, Father Penswick was invited to 
sing the High Mass, an eloquent sermon being preached by 
Father Walker (later on one of the resident clergy), 
who had a high reputation as a pulpit orator.* The amount 
collected inside the church on that day reached the large sum 
of three hundred pounds. The papers of the day paid special 
attention as usual to the musical portion of the service which 
was of a very high character, and specifically mentioned a 
young priest named White whose singing attracted much 
public attention. He had but recently returned from his 
studies in Rome and was asked by Pope Leo the Twelfth to 
join the choir in the Sistine chapel. This flattering offer was 
declined; the young Levite preferring the hard work of a 
mission in his native Lancashire to musical fame in the 
Eternal City. On the Sunday following the ceremony the 
church was opened free to the public as had been arranged by 
the Trustees; a stone laid in the outer west wall inscribed 
with this condition stands to this hour to perpetuate this 
curious condition. Mr. John Brancker, one of the noblest 
spirited public men of a generation remarkable for the high 
character and unselfishness of so many of its leading citizens 
on the Liberal side, had given generously to the funds for the 
church. He gave one special gift which against his own wishes 
told succeeding generations of his great charity. The fine 
statue of St. Patrick which stands outside the church was 
ordered by him from a Dublin firm of sculptors and placed in 
position in November, 1827. It has the distinction of being 
the first Catholic emblem displayed to public gaze in Liver 
pool since St. Patrick s Cross in Marybone had been destroyed. 
Dr. Cahill, professor of philosophy at Maynooth, paid the 
church an early visit and preached to an immense congrega 
tion. 

The three preceding years were remarkable for the 
great activity of the English Catholic residents. A Catholic 
orphanage for girls had been founded in Mount 
Pleasant (now the orphanage located in Falkner Street) and 
an effort was made to establish a similar institution for boys. 
For this much needed end the congregation of St. Mary s and 
St. Peter s subscribed one hundred and forty-five pounds and 
to help both orphanages the leading Catholics resolved to 
establish an annual Charity Ball. The first ball was held in 

* In August, 1837, he preached the sermon on the opening of St. 
Werhurgh s, Birkenhead. He was then stationed at Scarborough. 



41 

the Music Rooms,* Bold Street, and was most successful. 
This is one of the two institutions which still exist in our 
midst, the Catholic Benevolent Society being the other. The 
proceeds were devoted entirely to providing means for 
carrying on the work of succouring the orphan Catholic 
children and preserving their Faith. 

Catholic Emancipation had become the foremost political 
question of the day, thanks to the intensity of the agitation 
then being carried on in Ireland. Bills to remove the 
disabilities under which Catholics were deprived of even the 
elementary right of citizenship were annually introduced into 
Parliament with little prospect of success, that branch of the 
legislature known as " the other place " forming a most 
effective barrier to their passage into law. In no part of the 
country did Catholic claims receive more effective support 
than from the Liberal party in Liverpool, who were right in 
the forefront of that momentous struggle for liberty of 
conscience. This was the more remarkable because of the 
scanty support given to the movement by Liverpool Catholics 
themselves, who, for some time seemed afraid of the great 
forces arrayed against them. They were influenced by the 
fear of provoking active Protestant hostility, which in those 
days had the opportunity of displaying its hatred of the 
Catholic body in ugly and oppressive forms. During the 
year 1824 they were encouraged to come out into the open 
and join heartily in the very vigorous fight waged on their 
behalf by William Rathbone and the splendid body of 
Liberals behind him. A remarkable Catholic meeting was 
held on October 7th, 1824, in St. Nicholas Schools. Its 
proceedings were considered so important that the " Liverpool 
Mercury " devoted five and a half columns to a report of the 
proceedings. A Catholic Association had been founded in 
London, and branches had been formed in Birmingham, 
Manchester, Blackburn and Preston. Liverpool Catholics 
followed the example, and this great gathering, presided over 
by Mr. John McCarthy, was the result. As was the practice 
in those days, the resolutions demanding civil and religious 
liberty appeared in the advertising columns of the 
" Mercury," followed by the signatures of Dr. Penswick, now 
coadjutor Vicar Apostolic, and Fathers Robinson, Fisher, 
Glover and Fairclough, of the Order of St. Benedict ; Fathers 
Gerardot and White, and fifteen other priests residing in the 
neighbourhood of Liverpool. The signatures of the laity 
display the great power and influence of the English 

* Now occupied by Messrs. Bacon, Bold Street, at the corner of 
Concert Street. 



42 

Catholics in and around the town. Sir Thomas Massey 
Stanley of Hooton, Sir Edward Mostyn of Mostyn, 
Charles Orrel of Orrel, and such Lancashire namei 
as Anderton, Barnwell, Blount, Bannister, Bretherton, 
Gerard, Hoghton, Kaye, Leigh, Prest, Rockliff, 
Reynolds, Whitnall, Wright, Waring, Lathom, and Rowe. 
Very few Irish signatures were attached. The " Liverpool 
Mercury " backed up the Catholic claim with great vigour, 
and by way of return for the brilliant services of the editor, 
no St. Patrick s Day dinner passed for very many years without 
the toast being drunk enthusiastically : " The Liverpool 
* Mercury, the friend of civil and religious liberty !" Some 
light is thrown on the customs of the early twenties by 
perusing the toast lists, which beginning with " The King," 
were invariably followed by at least eighteen or nineteen other 
and appropriate toasts. A flourishing branch of O Connell s 
Catholic Rent Society came into existence, of which the 
cultured and liberal-minded editor of the " Mercury " was the 
treasurer. His services were so thorough and successful that 
Mr. Egerton Smith was constantly spoken of at O Connell s 
meetings in Dublin as a member of the Catholic Church, and 
this reputation gave him considerable trouble when in later 
years he became a candidate for the Town Council. In this 
connection it may be worth recording that the first illustration 
to appear in a Liverpool newspaper was a picture of O Connell 
in barrister s robes in the columns of the " Mercury," which 
was published immediately after the famous Clare election. 
The same journal exhibited in the windows of its publishing 
office the first franked letter of the first Catholic Member of 
Parliament. O Connell s election for Clare and his refusal to 
take the blasphemous oath demanded as a condition of taking 
his seat were watched with intense interest by the Reform 
party as well as the Catholic residents of Liverpool. The local 
agitation was not without its effects. There was presented 
to Parliament a petition asking for Catholic Emancipation 
bearing the signatures of the Rector of Liverpool, the Rev. 
Mr. Campbell,* and thirty-two Protestant clergymen, many 
of whom had previously appended their signatures to petitions 
against the removal of the disabilities under which Catholics 
and Dissenters laboured. 

Another organisation was founded in the February of 
1826, called the Catholic Defence Society, the precursor of 
the Catholic Truth Society of our own time. The original 
meeting was held in St. Nicholas Schools, and the object of 
the Society was " to counteract the abusive torrent daily 

* Whose portrait hangs in the Board Room of the Select Vestry. 



43 

" pouring out from that portion of the Press engaged in the 
" services of the religious tract societies, and the weekly stream 
" flowing from the pulpits of itinerant and illiberal preachers." 
To prevent the passage of any Catholic Relief Act, every 
possible kind of misrepresentation was indulged in to inflame 
the Protestant mind. Violent theological tirades against the 
doctrines, practices and devotions of the Catholic Church 
poured forth in a never ending stream from pulpit, platforms 
and the Orange-Tory Press. The works of Catholic Theologians 
were distorted and misquoted to maintain the worst possible 
kind of Protestant ascendancy, and the first aim of the newly- 
founded society was to provide non-Catholics with free copies 
of recognised standard works by Catholic writers. How far 
such a course could possibly succeed may well be doubted, but 
the idea of carrying the war into the enemy s camp illustrates 
the tone and temper of newly awakened Catholic manhood. 
The society held numerous public meetings and within six 
months of its formation reported the distribution of fifty 
pounds worth of Catholic literature. Liverpool was now the 
happy hunting ground of Irish-Orange parsons, societies and 
lecturers, all bent on one idea; "Papists lie down." One of 
the most irritating was the local branch of the Irish Sunday 
School Society. At first sight it appeared to be so far as 
Catholic aims were concerned a harmless organisation, but 
like all the Protestant agencies of that day, it was captured by 
the Tory party and effectively used for propaganda work in 
their interest. Thanks to an Irish soldier, named Spence, it 
was covered with ridicule, of that quality which kills, and 
for a long period ceased to become of any political or religious 
importance. A meeting was announced for March, 1827, and 
with a host of " itinerant" preachers, the Bishop of Dromore 
crossed the Irish Sea, to deliver an address well calculated to 
create passion and provoke tumult and disorder in the town. 
Spence possessed the saving grace of humour and quietly 
resolved to attend the Irish Sunday School Meeting and con 
found his Lordship from Dromore. He boldly mounted the 
platform and seizing a favourable opportunity rose and ad 
dressed the meeting. In a speech described in the press "as 
" fluent, animated and impressive," he effectively disturbed the 
harmony of the meeting which vainly attempted to silence or 
remove him. His extraordinary knowledge of the Bible stood 
him in splendid stead as he pelted scriptural texts at the 
heads of the " text mongers," answering off-hand every 
objection or interruption with an apt quotation from Holy 
Writ. Having disposed of the " Irish brigade " as the 
preachers from Ireland were ironically termed for years in 



44 

Liverpool, Spence next assailed the right reverend chairman, 
prefacing his observations by courteously informing him 
that he did not bear a crosier by Apostolic succession but 
because of certain Acts of Parliament. His appeal to the 
political history of these islands as well as the ecclesiastical 
story of the English Church were listened to by the audience 
whose attention he had now completely captured by his good 
temper, well constructed arguments, and his determined 
resolve to be heard. An Irish " itinerant " provoked beyond 
measure by the speech of Spence interrupted him with the 
unfortunate statement that Henry the Eighth was a " double 
" dyed scoundrel because he was half a Papist." A Protestant 
audience with a big P, could not stand this accusation, which 
gave Spence a new lease of power over them, and most 
effectively did he grasp the opportunity. The attempt of the 
" Courier " to belittle Spence only served to call more public 
attention to his extraordinary speech and the political aims of 
the alleged Sunday School Society. Certainly, it was admitted 
the soldier s shako covered a head well stored with Biblical 
and theological lore. 

The progress through Parliament of the Emancipation 
Bill did not excite to any great extent the local Catholic body, 
as its success was regarded as a certainty. One interesting 
petition was forwarded to the King by all the Liverpool 
Catholics who had been educated at Stonyhurst, appealing for 
the omission of the penal clauses against the Jesuits, and 
eulogising their former teachers " as useful, virtuous and 
" meritorious men." 

Political agitation having died down with the passing of 
the Catholic Disabilities Act, the leaders of the Church gave 
increased attention to the spiritual needs of their growing 
flocks. School accommodation was their greatest need. Bishop 
Penswick summoned a meeting on the 20th May, 1830, to 
discuss the problem and find a solution. Father Walker in 
the course of his speech stated that nine thousand children 
were either not attending school or being educated in the 
Corporation and Hibernian schools, and that only eight 
hundred places had been provided in Catholic schools. In 
face of the fact that in the previous year 1890 Catholic children 
had been baptised in the five Catholic Chapels, this small 
number of places in Catholic Schools was ridiculously inade 
quate and justified Father Walker s strictures. It was 
resolved to make a commencement by erecting new schools for 
St. Nicholas parish, and a lay committee was formed to carry 
out the project. Several Irishmen of standing served on this 
committee, Messrs. Kelly, Kearney and Lynch, but the larger 



45 

number comprised local names such as Chaloner, Whitnall, 
Duckworth, Sharpies, Marsh, Rockliffe, Dugdale, Holgrave, 
Hall, Leigh, Haskayne, Koskell and Day. If Father Walker s 
estimate of the Catholic population was accurate there were 
between fifty and sixty thousand Catholics in the town in 
1830, out of a total population of about 205,000. The local 
census taken in the following year gave 205,572 residents. 

In the same year the committee of the Hibernian Schools, 
in an appeal for funds made an interesting announcement that 
" persons are paid to conduct the children to their respective 
" Churches on Sundays," a fine illustration of the high- 
mindedness of the managers, and in its way explains one of 
the many reasons why the Catholic population of Liverpool 
whether of Irish or English nationality allied themselves 
politically with the Liberal party. 

Across the river in Wallasey " the humble Catholics 
" living in that neighbourhood " made the first attempt to 
found a permanent Church, St. Alban s, Liscard, being the 
final result. For years a priest from a Liverpool Chapel, 
probably St. Anthony s, crossed the river to celebrate Mass 
in the upper room of a small hotel, near the present site of the 
Wallasey Council Offices, and the congregation had to fill 
their pockets with stones before setting out from their homes, 
it being almost certain that the local Orangemen would assail 
them either going or coming. 

The next step taken in Liverpool was to provide a larger 
Church at the North end to replace the French Chapel, the 
venerable " stranger " Father Gerardot, having gone to his 
eternal reward. It was decided to imitate the example set at 
St. Patrick s with such success, by forming a lay committee 
called the Society of St. Anthony. By the end of October, 
1832, the Society had collected the sum of 2,000, and on St. 
Patrick s day of that year, on a site a few hundred yards north 
of the Dryden Street Chapel, the foundation stone was laid 
and blessed by the Rev. Father Wilcock. A huge procession 
marched from the south and centre of the town to Scotland 
Road, and after witnessing the simple ceremony, reformed and 
marched up to South Chester Street to witness the laying of 
the foundation stone of the new schools of St. Patrick. Truly 
the feast of Ireland s Apostle ought to arouse sweet and 
pleasant memories for Liverpool Catholics. 

The committee which undertook the task of erecting St. 
Arthony s Chapel had a serious task in hand. The members 
were : President, Father Wilcock, Vice-President, Mr. 
Christopher Dugdale, Treasurer, Mr. John Kaye, Solicitor, 
Mr. Allan Kaye, Committeemen ; Messrs. Anthony Myres, 



46 

Henry Croft, Edward Blanchard, George Beealey, 
Richard Beesley, W. Every, G. Fendler, Richard 
Gillow and Joseph Pyke, and Mr. R. Chapman 
acted as Secretary. It is notable that not one 
Irish name figures on this committee, and from a paragraph 
in the ninth report we may understand how the money was 
raised : "the only funds for carrying this vast enterprise into 
"effect were the voluntary donations of a few wealthier 
" Catholics, and the weekly penny subscriptions of the 
" labouring class." Out of the donation list of 563 5s. 10d., 
Irish names are credited with 87 Is. Od., including 20 from 
Mr. Richard Sheil and two amounts of 10 each from Messrs. 
O Donnell and Patrick Leonard. At the very outset the 
Committee was hindered from carrying out its work by a 
tedious law suit about the site, which does not appear to have 
ended favourably, with the result that in the interval " the 
" population in the district, chiefly by the continued influx 
" of fresh comers, had increased to many thousands. For this 
" multitude, the erections essential for the preservation and 
" practice of religion, as well as for the education of crowds of 
" destitute children, had to be provided." The work had to 
be commenced at any cost, and right nobly it was carried 
through. From the annual reports of St. Anthony s Society, 
we may learn the lines upon which this and similar Societies 
worked. They had absolute control over all receipts and 
disbursements, the raising and paying off of loans, and dis 
charging of builders accounts. For instance, all the collections 
on the Christmas Eves of 1839, 1840 and 1841, on the anniver 
saries of the opening, Bishop Brown s consecration in 1840, 
sermons, fees paid for graves and vaults and free seats account, 
are all set out in detail on the credit side of the Treasurer s 
account, and on the other side all payments to bricklayers, 
masons, ironmongers, plasterers, are carefully recorded; so 
carefully thatl 10s. Od. " To Newfoundland dog for Cemetery 
Ground " appears among the many details. 

There is always a reverse side to the medal. The joy of 
the Irish at these splendid developments of Catholic work was 
soon turned to sorrow at the dreadful outbreak of cholera 
which carried off over fifteen hundred victims in twelve months. 
This fearful pestilence had previously taken hold of Ireland 
itself, with its usual concomitants. As if to fill the cup of 
Irish grief and disappointment the Irish harvestmen who 
crossed over to England annually to engage in agricultural 
operations, failed to secure employment, owing as they alleged 
to the decision of the English farmers not to engage any Irish 
labour. No doubt there was a fringe of truth to the allegation, 



47 

as party feeling over the passing of the Emancipation Act had 
not wholly disappeared, but the real cause was an economic 
one. The wasteful, degrading and unchristian Poor Law was 
about to be abolished; English labour was set free and 
Guardians released from the cruel responsibility of finding 
work for "unemployed" in their respective parishes, which 
degraded labour and inflicted heavy burdens on the honest 
poor who scorned to ask them for work. These were the causes 
which induced the " English farmer " to endeavour to put a 
check to Irish immigration, but the consequences to the 
harvestmen were serious in the extreme. Crowds of them 
proceeded to the Parish Offices in Fenwick Street, appealing 
to be sent home at the public expense, and many of them 
remained in the town, adding an unwelcome addition to the 
permanent population of the City, and raising still further 
problems for priests and statesmen. St. Anthony s was com 
pleted in the year 1833, on the Feast of St. Michael the 
Archangel. Bishop Pens wick had the happiness of singing 
the first High Mass inside the walls of the new Church, and 
Bishop Baines, who exercised jurisdiction over the Western 
District of England, was the preacher on this auspicious 
occasion. His fame as an orator attracted an immense con 
gregation, a critic of his address remarking that it was of 
" surpassing eloquence, which more than satisfied anticipation." 
An old Liverpool resident once informed the writer that 
the long line of carriages which stood in Scotland Road that 
morning exceeded in numbers and elegance anything that he 
witnessed thirty years later outside the fashionable Anglican 
or Dissenting Churches. The sale of tickets and collection 
on this occasion amounted to seven hundred pounds, a 
remarkable tribute to the great generosity of the people and 
the eloquence of the Bishop. 

The land and buildings cost 10,000, and the necessities 
of the parish may be gauged from the dreadful fact that it 
contained six hundred children totally unprovided with any 
kind of school accommodation. A bold stand for a share in the 
municipal government of the town closed this eventful year. 
It was fraught with serious consequences to the generations 
which have come and gone since the visit of the Commissioners 
to investigate local administration. The Catholic body placed 
their case unreservedly in the hands of Mr. John Rosson, 
barrister-at-law, the most brilliant Catholic public man who 
has ever appeared in the Catholic History of Liverpool. For 
a generation he was the life and soul of every Catholic move 
ment, whether in founding churches or schools, planning 
new organisations for the defence or advocacy of Catholic 



48 

interests, or directing his people in the stormy and 
dangerous fields of political activity. His name shines out 
brightly in every line of local history and it is the shame of 
his co-religionists that no monument perpetuates the memory 
of this fine Englishman. He was the first Liverpool Catholic 
to give evidence before a Government Enquiry. Before the 
Commissioners he boldly contended that the Emancipation 
Act had been rendered null and void by the methods adopted 
to elect members to the Town Council, and made out a 
splendid case for municipal reform. His evidence taken on 
oath is doubly interesting as he gives officially the first satis 
factory statement as to the numbers of the Catholic population 
within the four corners of the town. According to his evidence 
the number of baptisms during the year 1832 were as follows : 
At St. Mary s, 559; St. Peter s, 446; St. Nicholas, 616; St. 
Anthony s, 359; St. Patrick s, 408; a total of 2,388 The 
total number of baptisms in all the Churches and Chapels of 
the town amounted to 8,504, so that Mr. Rosson argued that 
out of a total population of 220,974, the Catholics numbered 
not less than 59,500. Bearing in mind that there were in the 
town a great number of young unmarried Irish labourers, in 
a greater proportion than prevailed in the English residents 
of other denominations, the numbers stated underestimated 
the actual Catholic population. At the annual Easter Vestry 
held in the parish church of St. Nicholas , Chapel Street, in 
the course of a discussion on the mortality of the town, one of 
the speakers said there were at least 70,000 Catholics in the 
town. With Catholics and Dissenters excluded from the Town 
Council, that body could not be said " to be the image of the 
" people ; " an expressive phrase and typical of Mr. Rosson s 
style. 

A new Reform Bill was passed into law and on St. 
Stephen s Day, 1835, the new elections were held and resulted 
in a magnificent Liberal victory. The pent-up feelings of thirty 
years were at last given full vent and the result was the anni 
hilation of Toryism; only five Tories securing election. Three 
Catholics were returned, the precursors of a long line of 
Catholic and Irish public men who have not only zealously 
worked for the parties to which they were attached but have 
always set up a high standard of civic patriotism 
worthy of the Church itself. Mr. J. Roskell was 
elected for Lime Street Ward. He was one of the 
pioneers of the Lancashire Watch and Clock Trade, 
and his premises in Church Street were well known until late 
in the nineteenth century.* He gave several hostages to the 

* Lately occupied by a Catholic Councillor, Mr. Henry Miles. 



49 

Church, one of his sons becoming Bishop of Nottingham on the 
restoration of the Hierarchy. By a curious technicality he 
lost his seat at the end of the year 1836. Being a contractor 
to the Select Vestry, he set the account owing to him against 
the Poor Rates owing to them. The Revising Barrister upheld 
the Tory objection that he had not paid his Poor Rate and 
struck him off the roll of voters, thus depriving him of his 
seat. Later on he was again elected a member of the Council. 

Mr. Richard Sheil, of Chatham Street, was elected for 
Scotland Ward, a man of whom we shall have occasion to 
speak later and whose name is perpetuated in one of our public 
parks. South Toxteth Ward returned Richard Sharpies, the 
head of a family distinguished for invaluable services to the 
Catholic body. The Liberals seized every Aldermanic seat 
and set out in right good earnest to govern Liverpool in the 
best interests of the entire community. Their tolerance 
towards Catholics proved their undoing, and incidentally 
their downfall by a curious coincidence, made for the greatest 
developments of Catholic activity and progress. 

It appears strange to associate Catholic advancement with 
an Act of the Imperial Parliament. Certain it is Hiat the 
Act which reformed municipal government in Liverpool was 
the indirect cause of that extensive provision of school accom 
modation which is the great glory of the Diocese of Liverpool, 
coupled of course with the insensate bigotry of the Conserva 
tive party of the day. 



50 



CHAPTER III. 

One of the first acts of the new Town Council was to 
accede to the request of Mr. Sharpies to allow the Catholic 
Charity Ball to be held in the Town Hall, where it has been 
held ever since with satisfactory financial results to Catholic 
Charities, especially the original beneficiary, the Falkner 
Street Orphanage. 

In the year 1826 the Corporation had provided two schools, 
one in Bevington Bush, known as the North Corporation, and 
the other iri Park Lane, known as the South Corporation 
school, in order that the children of the poor might receive 
some degree of elementary education. It was a fine conception 
for the Council to build schools fifty years before the Act of 
1870, and shews how in many ways Liverpool public men were 
ahead of their day and generation. The schools were, 
however, captured by the Anglican clergy and became to all 
intents and purposes Church of England Schools, in which 
the Catechism and the formularies of that Church were 
taught. They were, therefore, only used by one section of the 
community, though maintained entirely at the public expense. 
True to their principles, the victorious Liberals resolved to 
open the doors to every child without doing violence to any 
conscience. It was not an easy undertaking, and gave much 
anxiety to the party leaders. Ho-v to create a scheme by 
which poor Catholics and such Dissenters as were in the same 
social scale could sit side by side at the school desk, was, 
strangely enough, a difficult problem to solve. Ireland offered 
an example and a solution. The Liberal leaders were 
encouraged by the unanimity by which the Archbishop of 
Dublin, the Presbyterian Synod of Ulster, and the head of the 
Irish Episcopalian Church, had accepted a syllabus of reli 
gious instruction for the new Irish schools. Without quite 
appreciating the peculiar set of circumstances which created 
this strange agreement, the Liberal party resolved to follow 
the example set them and introduced the same system into the 
Corporation Schools, with some modifications rendered neces 
sary by local conditions. It was decided that school should begin 
with a hymn and reading of certain portions of Holy Scripture 
as recommended to Liverpool by the Irish Commissioners of 
Education, with facilities for the Clergy of all denominations 
to teach their particular tenets at stated hours. One hour after 
school work had ceased was to be devoted to pure Biblical 



51 

instruction for all children whose parents permitted them to 
remain, or did not offer objection. Marvellous to relate these 
proposals were accepted by the Catholic priests and the 
ministers of the Dissenting bodies, but were most emphatically 
repudiated by the clergy of the Established Church who 
oould not conceal their chagrin at being deprived of complete 
control over the schools. They fomented the bitterest agita 
tion which ever disturbed a town notorious for occasional 
outbursts of party feeling, and stimulated religious hatred by 
the grossest misrepresentations. Bands of Orangemen way 
laid Protestant children returning from the schools and 
threatened them with chastisement if they returned ; placards of 
an inflammatory character denouncing the schools were posted 
on the hoardings, and a series of public meetings organised 
where all the speakers, mostly clerics, preached from the one 
text, " the Unitarians have excluded the Bible." For some 
time this body came in for the full force of Anglican denun 
ciation, but the astute leaders of the Conservative party who 
realised that this cry would not avail to win back their former 
domination of the Council, changed the attack to the Roman 
Catholics and under the skilful guidance and eloquent tongue 
of the Reverend Hugh McNeill, the flag of " No Popery " was 
nailed to the masthead, and waved from thenceforward for 
over a quarter of a century. The one offending cause was that 
as Biblical instruction was to be given, the Douai version was 
allowed to be read to the Catholic children and the English 
version to the Protestant. " The Bible has been expelled/ 
was the false cry repeated a thousand times not only on the 
platforms indoor and outdoor, but the falsehood was thundered 
forth in the Churches by firebrands whose memory must bear 
the grave responsibility of setting class against class and 
arousing the demon of racial and religious bigotry. The 
Council debated nothing but " Education " at almost every 
meeting for four or five years. The five Tory members turned 
themselves into amateur theologians and seriously debated 
inside the Town Hall whether the text " The seed of the woman 
shall crush the serpent s head," did not imply veneration of 
the Blessed Virgin, whether the translators of the Bible into 
the vernacular had not made a mistake in the gender of a 
certain noun, and other amusing excursions into grammar and 
the higher criticism as laid down by Irish Orange theologians. 
The campaign of calumny was carried to such extremes 
that Mr. William Rathbone was compelled to tell a Tory 
colleague that he was guilty of falsehood. In the same debate 
he went the length of declaring that Mr. McNeill had been 
guilty of a " most- wicked violation of the duties which one 



52 

" Christian owed to another. For a Rathbone, and such an 
one, to reproach opponents in such terms, is strong evidence 
of how unscrupulously his party was assailed for refusing to 
allow two public schools to become the sole property of one 
section of the inhabitants. That he and his party were not 
afraid of the logical consequences of their principles was 
splendidly illustrated in the debate over the renewal of the 
lease for the Seel Street Schools site. The Finance Committee 
recommended the renewal on the terms agreed upon in 1788, 
but this course was rejected by the Council on the grounds 
that the site was much too valuable to be sold on lease at such 
a small price. In the resolution which determined the lease, 
it was also expressly laid down that no grant should be made 
to any school not under the absolute control and management 
of the Council. The division list shews that the Catholic 
members voted in the majority. The latter decision was 
regarded by the Orange Conservatives as aimed at them, and 
they again renewed their attack upon the Liberals for their 
school policy. In the monthly intervals between noisy, ill- 
tempered debates, carried on with remarkable pertinacity by 
the five Conservative members, the Orange tail held a series 
of meetings which the Churchmen proper supported in a 
weakly spirit, which they lived to regret, while sectarian 
animosities were further inflamed by the audacious speeches 
of alleged ex-priests of Irish birth against their Catholic 
fellow-countrymen. These gentlemen attracted large audiences 
under the skilful leadership of McNeill, backed up by the 
united influence of three Conservative journals which opened 
their columns to every slander and calumny against the 
Catholic priesthood which perverted ingenuity could suggest. 
The Conservative leaders rejoiced at the change which these 
influences were making in the minds of the citizens, and looked 
forward with confidence to a speedy return to power. The 
" Liverpool Mercury " stands out in strong relief by its valiant 
struggle against this unworthy policy, and maintained a high 
standard worthy of the noblest traditions of the Press in its 
comments on municipal administration. A relentless war 
was waged by the Tory journals against the " Mercury," but 
failed utterly to make any change in the dignified writings of 
its editor and staff. The Irish population found it much more 
difficult to restrain their indignation, and but for the priests 
serious disturbances would have ensued. The cruel allegations 
against them compelled the formation of a Defence Associa 
tion, inaugurated at a meeting of twelve hundred men in St. 
Peter s Schools in July, 1837, followed by similar gatherings 
in St. Nicholas . The famous Irish Catholic controversialist, 



53 

Father Maguire, came over from Ireland, and turned the 
tables on the " ex-priests " by his exposures, while the 
brilliancy of his platform style, rapier-like thrusts, keen sense 
of humour, and withering sarcasm, irritated McNeill and gave 
great delight to the multitude of Catholics who crowded to 
hear his addresses. McNeill finally set the town ablaze by his 
famous story of the Fisher Street Martyrdom, recounted from 
the pulpit of St. Jude s. He announced that a Catholic mob, 
armed with sticke, stones and one scythe marched to Fisher 
Street, a narrow street in St. Patrick s parish, and made a 
murderous onslaught on a Protestant labourer whose wife was 
a Catholic. They then, he alleged, smashed in the doors and 
windows, and completely wrecked the house of this defenceless 
Protestant. There was such an air of truth about this story, 
that the leading Liberals were deeply pained, and so intense 
was the feeling aroused that the Catholic body was compelled 
to institute a searching enquiry They did so, and the 
evidence of the Protestant inhabitants of Fisher Street, who 
came forward, testified that the " martyr " had himself been 
the aggressor. He had severely beaten a sick man in the 
neighbourhood, and was soundly thrashed in turn, as he 
deserved, by a " mob ; of irate women professing both creeds, 
who had witnessed his brutality. Never was a slander so 
completely refuted, but Dr McNeill refused to apologise or 
explain. His sole aim was to divide the Catholic and Liberal 
parties ; that it had failed was not his fault. To some extent 
his work had been a success, as at the election of 1836 Coun 
cillor Sheil was ejected by ten votes from the representation 
of Scotland Ward, and several Liberals fell with him. Mr. 
Sheil was elected an alderman a little later, the first Catholic 
to hold that position in England or Wales. The elections of 
1837 were more disastrous for the Liberals, and encouraged by 
these victories the Tory party went on with greater zest and 
enthusiasm to the attack on the education policy of the still 
dominant Liberals, who manfully refused to move one step 
from the lines laid down in 1836. The platform controversies 
in Ireland between Father Maguire and the celebrated 
Protestant champion, Rev. Thresham Gregg, were well 
reported in the Tory newspapers, and commented on editorially 
to keep up Orange enthusiasm. McNeill always refused to 
meet Father Maguire, in spite of numerous taunts and repeated 
challenges, and some militant spirits in the Catholic body 
sent fifty pounds to their accepted champion as a token of their 
appreciation. The level-headed Catholics, priests and laymen 
alike, who realised that no good could result from his further 
appearances in the heated atmosphere of Liverpool, and 



54 

feeling that local Catholic interests were being prejudiced 
rather than pushed forward by unseemly controversy, 
resolved to put an end to it. Announced on one Sunday 
to preach at St. Peter s, a great crowd assembled; not so 
Father Tom Maguire ; " local differences " being assigned by 
him as the reason. To demonstrate the foolishness of the 
assertion that the Catholics withheld the Scriptures from the 
children in their own schools, while permitting them to be 
read to them in the Corporation schools, it was publicly an 
nounced in the newspapers that the girls attending St. 
Patrick s Schools would be publicly examined in the Church 
on the 15th May, 1838. The children marched through the 
main streets of the town, and in the presence of a very large 
and mixed congregation were examined as to their knowledge 
of the Bible by one of the clergy. This curious demonstration 
created a sensation in the town, and was so successful in 
creating a better feeling towards Catholics that it was repeated 
annually for many years. 

Many distinguished ecclesiastics visited the town during 
the thirties, and thus served the double purpose of promoting 
great enthusiasm for works of charity and cementing the bonds 
of amity between the English and Irish Catholics, 

In March, 1835, Dr. Folding, O.S.B., Bishop of Van 
Diemen s Land and Australia, visited the town and preached 
on a Sunday afternoon at St. Mary s, Woolton, in which 
district there were only three hundred Catholics. It was 
noted in the press as a significant proof of Catholic interest 
in the work of spreading the faith, that he collected twenty- 
eight pounds for his new mission, the distant diocese over 
which he had been appointed Bishop. A few days later he 
sailed from the Mersey accompanied by thirteen priests and 
novices amid the hearty farewell cries of a large crowd. The 
following year the " Lion of the Fold of Judah," the renowned 
John MacHale, Archbishop of Tuam, paid a visit to Liverpool, 
and preached at St. Patrick s. His arrival was signalised by 
great rejoicing on the part of the Irish population, and the 
sum of two hundred pounds was placed in the offertory bags 
at the morning service towards reducing the debt on the 
Church. The * Liberator , O Connell, at the special invitation 
of the Liberal party, made a short stay in the town on his 
way to Parliament, and addressed a large meeting in the 
Amphitheatre, on the political questions of the day. His 
chairman and host was Mr. William Rathbone, who 
courageously brought him on Change next day, accompanied 
by Mr. John Brancker, Mr. Egerton Smith, of the " Mercury," 



55 

and Mr. James Muspratt*. The " Mail " always alluded to 
the last-named gentleman as being a Catholic in order to 
prejudice his success at local municipal fights, though its 
editor knew full well that he was not one. He was the father of 
Mr. E. K. Muspratt f and grandfather of Mr. Max Muspratt,! 
both prominent members in turn of the Liverpool City 
Council and actively identified with the work of higher 
education, notably the Liverpool University. This visit of 
O Cbnnell was long remembered in the town, though inci 
dentally it prejudiced the public position of his host. 

The Catholic body sustained a severe loss in the opening 
month of the year 1836, by the death of the Right Rev. Dr. 
Thomas Penswick, Vicar Apostolic of the Northern District. 
Twenty-one years had elapsed since his appointment to St. 
Nicholas , and as we have seen, he took a leading part in the 
building of new churches and schools before his appointment to 
the important position of coadjutor to Bishop Smith, in 1824, 
whom he succeeded in July, 1831. 

On the walls of the Pro-Cathedral a tablet preserves his 
memory in these words : "First incumbent of this chapel, 
" Bishop of Europum and Vicar Apostolic, died 28th January, 
" 1836 : 64th year of his age and twelfth of his episcopate. 
" This cenotaph is erected as a tribute of gratitude for his 
" services and a monument of respect for his virtues/ His 
remains were interred at Windleshaw Abbey, as is attested 
in an entry of the register of deaths, preserved in the Pro- 
Cathedral archives. Dr. Briggs succeeded him as Vicar 
Apostolic. 

In 1838 Mr. William Blundell was appointed High Sheriff 
of Lancashire, the first Catholic who held that distinguished 
position, and celebrated his appointment by attending High 
Mass at St. Nicholas, in state, accompanied by trumpeters and 
javelin men. The following year another Catholic held the 
office Mr. Charles Scarisbrick, both selections having the 
effect of helping the undoing of the Liberal majority in the 
Council. 

Catholic progress was being well maintained; the muni 
ficence of Mr. Bartholomew Bretherton securing a new chapel 
at Rainhill, the first stone of which was laid in April, 1838, 
by Mrs. Gerard, and on the 27th June the Vicar Apostolic, 
Bishop Briggs, opened the church of St. Austin s, Aigburth 
Road, " within a mile from the toll bar." This mission was 
founded by the Benedictines, the land being generously offered 
* Who served in the Peninsular War as a sailor, 
f Pro-Chancellor of the Liverpool University. 
J Elected M.P. for Exchange Division, January, 1910. 



56 

as a gift by Mr. Peter Chaloner, of Aigburth. The sermon 
was preached by the Very Reverend Dr. Brown, O.S.B., 
President of Downside, then the foremost Catholic contro 
versialist in England. Some opposition was offered to the 
erection of this church by the Vicar Apostolic, who eventually 
consented to its erection on condition that no funds were 
collected in Liverpool proper, and that a sufficient sum of 
money was set aside to guarantee an annual income to the 
priest in charge of 90 per annum. The altar of the church 
was brought from a suppressed Franciscan convent in Lisbon, 
to which it had originally been presented by Cardinal Sousa. 
During this same year the magnificent picture of the 
Crucifixion, by Keyser, of Antwerp, was hung over the High 
Altar of St. Patrick s. It had been exhibited in Liverpool 
some years earlier, and universally admired by the art loving 
public of the day. A general desire was expressed, now 
realised, to retain it within the town. No other church in the 
neighbourhood possesses such a fine painting, which forms an 
admirable background for the lofty chancel of St. Patrick s. 

The Coronation of Queen Victoria was fixed for the 28th 
June, 1838. Being the vigil of the feast of Saints Peter and 
Paul, it was a fast day, and to enable the Catholics to take 
part in the celebrations, orders came from Rome transferring 
the fast to the 26th of June. In Liverpool the event 
was celebrated in a special manner by the laying of the 
foundation stone of St. George s Hall, by the mayor, Mr. 
William Rathbone. The local Catholics of both nationalities 
were well represented in the Mayoral Procession from the 
Town Hall to Lime Street, the whole of the clergy being in 
attendance, and seven Hibernian Societies with their banners 
flying presented one of the interesting features of the 
procession. 

The Catholic Magazine for November, 1838, stated that 
the number of baptisms in the five chapels during the previous 
year amounted to 2,917, or an increase of 429 on the numbers 
given by Mr. John Rosson for the year 1832. The editor 
proceeded to argue that this figure proved a Catholic popula 
tion of 87,500, and added the somewhat amazing statement 
that, owing to mixed marriages the actual number of Catholics 
was only 70,000. Such a conclusion was not quite logical if 
based solely on the number of baptisms in Catholic chapels, 
though it is certainly startling to find the evils of mixed 
marriages pointed out so emphatically at such an early date. 
In later years these ill-assorted unions became one of the great 
sources of leakage, and it is difficult to hazard even a specula 
tion as to their cause in the thirties. They certainly did not 



57 

take place among the Irish population, owing to the intensity 
of the racial problem. The atmosphere was charged with 
hatred and passion against both Rome and Ireland, and it 
may be that these mixed marriages occurred amongst the 
native English population, as the gradual disappearance of 
so many Catholic families cannot be explained to any degree 
of satisfaction save on this hypothesis. They were both 
numerous and comparatively wealthy, and did yeoman service 
for the Church which the poverty-stricken Irish were not so 
well able to do, however willing. Some further light is 
thrown on this confused problem by the fact that out of 
2,893 marriages celebrated that year in the Parish of Liver 
pool, only 297 were performed in Catholic Churches. These 
figures did not include St. Patrick s, which is situate in the 
Parish of Toxteth, the figures not being available for this 
parochial district, but they are sumcent for the purpose of 
shewing that the writer in the Catholic Magazine had good 
grounds for his assertion. The Catholic Directory for 1840, 
on the other hand, gives the population as approximately 
80,000. At the meeting of the Town Council on the 9th of 
November, 1838, Mr. Rathbone, in answer to an inquiry, gave 
the numbers of Catholic children attending the two Cor 
poration Schools as follows: Out of a roll of 1,013 in 
Bevington Bush School, 650 were Catholics; and in Park 
Lane, 363 out of a total of 748 ; illustrating the great need 
of purely Catholic schools. 

The publication in the Press of the following demand 
note created much amusement, and incidentally helped 
forward the cause of religious equality : 

Sefton, Dec. 31, 1838. 

" The Rev. Mr. Abram, to the Rector of Sefton, Dr., 
"For small tithes, viz.: Smoke, one penny; garden, one 
halfpenny." 

To impose a tax on the smoke issuing from the priest s 
chimneys for the support of the Protestant rector of Sefton, 
was scarcely calculated to promote good feeling, and could not 
be regarded as an incentive to the development of the 
Lancashire coal fields. 

The years 1839 and 1840 did not pass away without further 
evidences of Catholic activity. Bishop Briggs, in a pastoral 
letter relating the progress made in his huge diocese, mentions 
the receipt of a special sum of 1,026 for the foundation of 
new missions in Lancashire. Dr. Youens, the new rector of 
St. Nicholas , assisted by Messrs. Rosson, Chaloner and 
Yates, put new life into the branch of the Catholic Institute 
at St. Nicholas. It was a development of the former Tract 



58 

and Book Society, and its work ran on similar lines, with the 
addition of undertaking the distribution of suitable Catholic 
books to soldiers and sailors and inmates of hospitals and work 
houses, which were then essentially Protestant in character, 
and certainly in management; and most likely sources of 
proselytism for the younger inmates. In its first year St. 
Nicholas branch had four hundred and forty-eight members, 
each paying a minimum subscription of six shillings per 
annum, and had distributed seven thousand pamphlets to the 
persons described above. The indefatigable John Rosson, in 
1839, launched the first Catholic Registration Society. He 
foresaw the great political advantages to Catholics of the 
power of the vote, and being essentially a practical man he 
knew exactly the steps to be taken towards this end. The 
inaugural meeting was held in St. Patrick s Schoolroom, in 
July, where he laid down the lines upon which the new 
organisation should run. Arrangements were made for 
systematic house-to-house canvassing, and what was more 
original, he proposed a scheme of contributions out of which 
advances would be made for the payments of rates, to be 
returned except in cases of grave necessity. The payment of 
the poor rate by a certain date is indispensable for securing 
the franchise even now. One speaker at this memorable 
meeting said the Catholic population numbered one hundred 
thousand, but Mr. Rosson, who had no love for exaggerated 
statements, answered him that that was an excessive number, 
adding that 72,000 was nearer the mark. This confirms the 
figure given in the Catholic Magazine. Mr. Roseon gave the 
number of Catholic voters as about one thousand, apparently 
a small number, but it must be remembered that the franchise 
was very restricted, and the great bulk of Irish Catholics in any 
event lived in tenement houses. It was evident, however, that 
more Catholics than one thousand were entitled to be placed 
on the lists, and a vigorous effort was made to increase the 
number. Branches were established at the various missions, 
notably St. Nicholas and St. Anthony s, and a series of 
stirring meetings were held to arouse the Catholic body to the 
importance of the franchise in view of the serious issues soon 
to be decided in the Council Chamber. The Tory papers 
sounded a note of wild alarm at this totally unexpected de 
velopment. To see the beginning of active political 
interference on the part of Catholics so long accustomed to 
the lurking-holes and hiding-places, alarmed the noisy 
adherents of Dr. McNeill and that section of the Press which 
voiced their sentiments. The movement must, therefore, be 
misrepresented and its leaders libelled; and so they were. 



59 

A very successful bazaar had been held in the Adelphi Hotel 
in aid of the funds of the Catholic Benevolent Society, eleven 
hundred pounds being handed over to the treasurer as the 
result. The " Mail "declared that the object of the bazaar 
was a pretence, and that the money raised was to be spent in 
paying the poor rates for needy Catholics so that they might 
be placed on the lists of voters. It accused the Liberal leaders 
of supporting the bazaar because of its ulterior object. 
Neither statement was true, but served the purpose of further 
stimulating Orange and Conservative hostility, more especially 
against Mr. Rosson, who was, in common with every Catholic 
leader of that time, a staunch upholder of Liberal principles. 
The " Mail " finally described the Registration Association 
as " really a satanic attempt to prevent the Conservative party 
" having a majority at the ensuing November elections." 
When the Revision Court met the presiding genius decided 
that payment of rates out of a loan to be repaid was not a 
legal payment, a decision which provoked well-merited 
derision. The war over the Council schools broke out afresh. 
Petitions signed by Conservative citizens were sent into the 
Council protesting against the scheme for erecting new schools 
in other parts of the town, an excellent illustration of Orange 
love of education. The real ground of their objection was 
that the thousands of Catholic children running about the 
streets would have the right of entry, and the petitioners 
preferred that the much larger number of their own co 
religionists should have no education rather than this should 
be the result. To provoke debate, motions were submitted by 
the Tory leaders that only the authorised revision of the Bible 
should be read to the Catholic children, which were rejected 
by the Liberal majority. Mr. Rathbone was accused of 
having violated the traditions of the mayoralty by receiving 
O Connell publicly while mayor of the town. This accusation 
was groundless, as the hospitality offered to the Irish leader 
had been given long before Mr. Rathbone s election to the chief 
magistracy of his native city, and his calumniators knew well 
that this was the fact. When the violence of this movement 
had well-nigh exhausted itself, Dr. McNeill and his " Irish 
"Brigade " flung themselves vehemently into the struggle and 
turned the town into a veritable pandemonium. The Tories of 
Scotland Ward called upon their friends " to renew their exer- 
" tions at the Parliamentary and municipal elections against 
" that demon, O Connell," but their candidate, Mr. Thomas 
Murray Gladstone, was defeated by one vote. Mr. Rathbone 
lost his seat in Pitt Street Ward by one vote, and was again 
defeated three weeks later in North Toxteth by the narrow 



60 

margin of three. The Liberal Chairman of the Education 
Committee of the Council suffered defeat also, and but for the 
aldermen the Tories would at last have secured a majority in 
the Council Chamber. The schools attracted much attention 
by reason of this tremendous politico-religious contest, and 
brought many distinguished persons to visit them, including 
the Bishop of Norwich, Mr. Charles E. Trevelyan, and Lord 
Russell. Only one Protestant clergyman, Rev. Mr. Aspinall,* 
incumbent of St. Michael s, Upper Pitt Street, gave his 
support to the schools. Mr. Trevelyan drew up an interesting 
report in which he wrote : " the Roman Catholic clergy at the 
" North End are most exemplary in their attendance, while 
" at the South End they leave the work entirely in the hands 
" of Protestant teachers." A most remarkable and striking 
fact! 

Undaunted by the raging tide of bigotry, the Catholic 
leaders carried the war into the enemy s camp by organising 
meetings against the levying of the Church Rate, the continued 
Criminal Jurisdiction of the Ecclesiastical Courts, and de 
manding that grants to the Established Church should cease. 
The Liberals joined warmly in this movement, Father Parker, 
of St. Patrick s, being one of the prominent speakers. They 
also influenced the mayor to summon a town s meeting to 
petition Parliament to abolish the corrupt and unreformed 
Irish corporations, which passed off quietly and successfully ; 
Messrs. Rosso n and Sheil being the Catholic speakers. In 
1840 the Ear^ of Sefton presented a piece of land for the 
erection of a Catholic school at Gillmoes, together with a hand 
some subscription for the building, and on the 31st March the 
first stone was laid. July brought the meeting in (he Seel 
Street Schools, which inaugurated the movement to which 
Catholics owe the beautiful church of St. Mary s, Edmund 
Street, a church of very tender memories for Liverpool 
Catholics. The venerated rector, Father Fisherf 
who served St. Mary s for forty years, speaking at 
the gathering, said : " the present chapel has not adequate 
" accommodation for the vast multitudes who come every 
"Sunday. Many were obliged to remain exposed to all the 
" inclemency of the weather, without anything to cheer them 
"but the warm piety of their Irish hearts." It was a fine 
tribute to this worthy son of St. Benedict, " the esteemed and 
" venerated head of the Catholic body " as he was termed, 

* Father of Mr. J. B. Aspinall and Mr. Clarke Aspinall, afterwards 
Recorder and Coroner respectively. 

t Uncle of Monsignor Fisher, Vicar-General to Bishop O Reilly. 



61 

that all the priests and leading laymen of the town were 
present to give a hearty send-off to the newly-formed society 
of St. Mary s, which undertook the work of collecting funds. 

On New Year s Day, 1840, Catholic Liverpool took steps 
to repay the debt it owed to the Society of Jesus for the work 
performed in the previous century. The promise of Mr. 
Leigh and his associates on the surrender of Father Price s 
chapel had apparently bean forgotten, and the foundation of 
St. Francis Xavier s Society on the date named was not due 
to their initiative. The first meeting was held in the "Rose 
" and Crown tavern, Cheapside, owned by a Mr. Kirby, and 
for two years the committee met there regularly. Later on 
they met at the " Gas and Light," Dale Street; the 
"Brunswick Rooms," Hunter Street; "Chapel House," 
Salisbury Street, the final meeting being held on November 
16, 1845, in " The Cabbage," Richmond Row, Father Joseph 
Johnson, S.J., in the chair. The social habits of Liver 
pudlians of the forties is well illustrated by this quaint list of 
taverns in which the meetings of a church building committee 
were held. Each of the members paid one shilling entrance 
fee, and the town was mapped out in districts over which a 
collector was appointed to gathor in the small weekly sub 
scription. These energetic men lived in all parts of the town, 
no less than fourteen residing in Ford Street, Gildart s 
Gardens, Banastre, Milton and other streets still standing in 
Vauxhall Ward. The great bulk have Irish surnames, but 
the committee proper bore such well-known names as Rosson, 
Chaloner, Jump, Holme, Lightbound, S. Holland Moreton, 
Rockliff, Sharpies, Bullen, Brown, Hore, Yates, Knight, 
Folding, Gallon, O Neill, O Donnell, Cafferata, Towneley, 
Firmey, Whitty, Walton, Verdon, Aspmall, Bretherton, 
and Roskell. A public meeting was organised by Mr. John 
Rosson, and held in St. Peter s Schools, Seel Street, which was 
attended by the great bulk of the clergy, many of whom were 
sympathetic, others being somewhat anxious as to the 
possibility of the proposed new church interfering with 
existing missions. The result was highly satisfactory, Mr. 
Rosson s warm eulogium on the work done by the Jesuits in 
Paraguay, China, Japan and in Lancashire, arousing much 
enthusiasm. The collectors, during the six years which 
elapsed from 1840 to 1845, with the subscriptions of the com 
mittee, brought in the large sum of 7,535 ; a substantial sum 
for the Catholic community of the day. One of the collectors, 
a ship s carpenter, named Henry Starkey, became one of the 
first lay brothers to serve the infant community on their 
opening a house in Salisbury Street. 



62 

In the first address to the Provincial it is stated that they 
were busy obtaining signatures to a petition to the Vicar 
Apostolic to grant permission for the erection of the church, 
followed by the pleasant announcement : " We have secured 
" a piece of land, three thousand square yards, in a respectable 
" part of the town, midway between St. Nicholas and St. 
" Anthony s, where a church would be very desirable. It is 
" our intention to make over the land and the church entirely 
" to your disposal, as you may direct." It was feared by 
many that a church in this district would interfere with St. 
Nicholas and St. Anthony s, and the committee were urged to 
build the church near the docks. To this the committee replied 
that to take such a step would involve the payment of a 
" ruinous price " for the site, an unconscious lesson in elemen 
tary political economy which, if pursued to its ultimate and 
logical issue, would have taught the committee the one and only 
solution of the problem of poverty. To have gone to the dock- 
side would have brought the church into the domain of either 
St. Peter s or St. Mary s, and the results which have followed 
show the keen foresight of the committee and the Jesuits. 
Salisbury Street was then on the fringe of the town, and the 
Anglican authorities displayed much wisdom and saved the 
next two generations much worry and expense by building the 
churches of St. Augustine s and St. Jude s in an area obviously 
destined to be the centre of a densely crowded population. 
Eventually the> Bishop gave his consent, but from the columns 
of the " Tablet " of that year one gleans some idea of the 
opposition offered by some of the clergy. A week after this 
decision, Father Parker, of St. Patrick s, wrote to the editor of 
the " Tablet " contradicting the announcement, and in quite 
official language informs him that the Bishop " absolutely 
" refuses his consent to building that or any other Catholic 
" church on the site proposed." The editor promptly turned 
the tables on Father Parker by the statement that the inference 
from his letter was inaccurate; the consent of the Bishop had 
been obtained to the re-entry of the Jesuits, and that the only 
point not quite settled was the site. Father Parker was 
opposed to this course and the " absolute refusal " was repu 
diated by the more accurate absolute consent. His unnecessary 
interference in the matter so far as rushing into print was 
concerned, aroused some feeling, as did his later equally 
unfortunate excursion into the thorny arena of Irish politics. 
Meanwhile the Jesuits laid the foundations of their well- 
known College of St. Francis Xavier, by opening a " Prepara 
tory Classical and Commercial Day School " in 36. Soho Street, 
on October 27th, 1842. The first masters were Fathers Francis 



63 

Lythgce and Charles Havers. In November, 1843, the school 
was transferred to St. Anne Street. The venture did not 
promise to be successful as the total number of day scholars in 
March, 1843, was only eleven, with three attending the night 
school.* Two years later the school was transferred to Salis 
bury Street, where it was destined to achieve great success and 
to win for the Catholics of Liverpool the reputation of being 
in the very forefront in providing facilities for higher 
education. Extension after extension was provided to meet 
the growing requirements, and at the time of writingf further 
new buildings are being added to the first Catholic Secondary 
School founded in Liverpool. 

The centre of the town was now congested to a degree 
beyond the limits of safety to health, and the " invasion " of 
the Irish harvesters in 1840 accentuated this serious menace. 
In August, the largest number of harvestmen within then 
living memory arrived in the Mersey en route for the agricul 
tural districts. One vessel carried a cargo of eight hundred 
such passengers. They tramped through Lancashire and 
Yorkshire, and as far south as Nottingham and Leicester, but 
owing to their numbers and the state of the crops, the majority 
failed to find any employment. Their condition was 
desperate ; they tramped the long journey back to Liverpool, 
sick at heart, and weary of the awful disappointment, which 
meant starvation to themselves and most likely eviction of their 
families, as their earnings abroad paid the rent at home. " We 
" have seen scores of these poor fellows," wrote a Protestant 
witness, " with blistered feet, scarcely able to crawl, wandering 
" through our Liverpool streets, begging for bread and trying 
" to raise the means of getting back home." The nett result 
was a large permanent addition to the Catholic population, 
which threw further burdens on the ecclesiastical authorities, 
while settling down amidst their kindly kinsfolk in the crowded 
streets, alleys, and courts, they helped unconsciously, and 
certainly unwillingly, to create a set of conditions which even 
now, close on seventy years later, are a reproach to local 
administration. Fever broke out, and while tending his poor 
flock Father Glover, O.S.B., caught the disease and died a 
martyr of charity. On the 16th August, 1840, a meeting was 
held in the Seel Street Schools to perpetuate the memory of 
the heroic priest. Mr. John Rosson, who presided, made a 
remarkable statement as to the ravages of disease among the 
clergy during his lifetime. " It was in the dark cellar of want, 
" at the bed of sorrow and in the wards of disease that the 

* Xaverian, 1896. 
t 1908. 



64 

" Catholic priest finds a premature grave. Fathers Edward 
" Glover (brother of Father Vincent), Fairclough, Pennington, 
" Tarleton, Spencer, Watkinson, Pratt, and White, all of these 
" in my recollection had rendered up their lives as sacrifices to 
" the holy cause of imparting spiritual consolation to the dying 
" Christian in places which had become pestilential by the 
"dreadful visitation of cholera and typhus/ Mr. Kosson 
then referred to a recent pastoral of Bishop Briggs, which 
enumerated no lees than twenty-five of his priests " from youth 
" to middle-age " who had passed away in eighteen months 
owing to diseases contracted in the performance of their sacred 
duties. The tablet which was placed in St. Peter s as the out 
come of this meeting bears the following inscription : "In 
"respectful and affectionate memory of the Rev. Vincent 
" Glover, O.S.B., who for twenty-two years was the faithful 
" pastor of this congregation. Delicate in constitution, worn 
" out in the public service, he died August 6th, 1840, aged 49. 
"R.I. P." Contrast this loving token with the abominable 
attack on the priesthood from the official organ of Liverpool 
Protestantism. Speaking of the Irish population, the leader 
writer of the " Mail " says : " A race of men of a kindly nature 
" are the victims of priestly deluders, sanctified robbers, con- 
" fessional seducers, political mendicants, the blackest 
" scoundrels of the human species. They extort pennies from 
" dying wretches and farthings from miserable children, and 
" actually tax the felon s remains and the murderers at the 
" foot of the gallows." It is not to be wondered at that Irish 
men in Liverpool were proverbially the enthusiastic supporters 
of the Liberal party in face of such writings as the above, 
written in the interests of political propagandists on the other 
side. The immediate cause of this shocking exhibition of bad 
taste was the work done at St. Nicholas and other parishes in 
connection with the Catholic Institute of Great Britain, to 
which reference has already been made. At the annual 
meeting held in London in May, 1840, an address was read 
from Liverpool, signed by the Rev. Dr. Youens, rector of St. 
Nicholas . It stated that the town was divided into five 
districts for purposes of organisation, each meeting once a 
month and having its own president and secretary. A general 
meeting of all five committees was held every quarter, at which 
progress was reported and points presenting any difficulty 
discussed. The reverend doctor on behalf of Liverpool 
appealed to the head office to adopt a forward policy " more 
" becoming so powerful a body " as the Catholics then were. 
At this gathering several of the leading laymen referred to 
Liverpool as the one spot in England to which they were most 



65 

indebted, and by resolution it was decided to refer the sugges 
tion in Dr. Youen s address to a special committee for 
consideration and report. One special victory which the 
Institute obtained was securing for all Catholic inmates of 
workhouses and hospitals immunity from the regulations 
compelling inmates of public institutions to attend the services 
of the Established Church. 

The growth of the Catholics in England brought about 
great changes in episcopal government. On the 13th May, 
1840, the number of vicariates was increased from four to 
eight ; Lancashire and Cheshire being placed under the juris 
diction of Dr. Brown, who was consecrated in St. Anthony s 
chapel on August the 24th. Bishop Briggs (now transferred 
to Yorkshire), Bishop Griffiths, London, Bishop Murdoch, 
coadjutor Vicar Apostolic of the western district of Scotland, 
and Dr. Fleming, Bishop of Newfoundland, were present to do 
honour to this auspicious development of Catholicism in the 
North. One hundred priests from all parts of the new vicariate 
were also present. On the following day all these prelates 
assembled at Rainhill, to assist the new bishop in opening St. 
Bartholomew s. Always anticipating future Catholic needs, 
the Rev. Dr. Youens, of Copperas hill, and Mr. John Rosson, 
founded early in 1841 the Asylum for the Blind, now in 
Brunswick Road, one of the most worthy of the many schemes 
of charity projected by the Catholics of Liverpool. Dr. Youens 
had also the pleasure of unveiling the fine stained glass 
windows in the Pro-Cathedral, designed by Pugin, the five 
principal figures representing Our Lady, St. Nicholas, St. 
Patrick, St. Cuthbert, and St. George, a work which deservedly 
ranks as one of the finest pieces of decorative work emanating 
from the brain of the inaugurator of the Gothic revival. 

An unfortunate incident occurred in the month of 
February which illustrated the delicate relations between the 
English and Irish Catholics of the town, and the ease with 
which the susceptibilities of the latter could be touched in a 
tender spot. The developments of the political situation in 
Ireland had gradually removed O Connell from his great and 
influential position as a purely Catholic leader. Catholic 
Emancipation was one thing, Repeal of the Union another. 
The glamour of O Connell s personality had captured in any 
case the support of the Irish in Lancashire, whilst many 
Englishmen who were still under a deep debt of gratitude to 
him for his great services to the Catholic cause, had their 
doubts as to the wisdom of the new movement. Irishmen, on 
the other hand, failed to recognise the right of an English 
Catholic to his own views on important imperial political 



questions, such as the restoration of the Irish Parliament. 
Friction was inevitable, and unfortunately the parish priest 
of St. Patrick s was the central figure if not the actual cause. 
His strong personality refused to adapt itself to surrounding 
conditions and as the result he became at once unpopular, if 
not obnoxious, to his Irish congregation. A petition to 
Parliament demanding the repeal of the Union was placed 
outside the doors of St. Patrick s Church for signature on a 
certain Sunday morning. Father Parker forbade the pro 
moters to place the petition there on the ground that to act 
otherwise would be an infringement of the trust deed, and, 
secondly would cause dissension in his congregation. The more 
ardent Irish spirits declined to accept his explanation and 
attributed his action to pro-English prejudices. As a matter 
of fact this was far from being the truth, and had Father 
Parker not set up the groundless contention of violation of 
the trust deed the difficulty might have been smoothed over. 
He then committed the mistake of appealing to O Conneli 
himself, which only seemed to irritate the Repealers, and the 
more so as O Connell s letter severely censured the opponents 
of the rector. It was a curious revelation of O Connell s views 
on the legitimacy of Anglo-Irish interference in the Repeal 
movement, to find Father Parker reminding him that during 
a previous visit to Liverpool they had both discussed the 
advisability or otherwise of pushing forward the agitation in 
Liverpool, and that O Conneli had advised the inexpediency 
of such a proposal, being of opinion that it would be illegal. 
Since that time," wrote Father Parker, " an association of 
Repealers has been started in a way calculated to do serious 
injury to the cause of civil and religious liberty." O Connell s 
reply is not without interest : " I am deeply shocked at hearing 
of the conduct of the Repealers in the vicinity of your 
chapel, and more disgusted than I can express at men using 
disrespectful language towards any of their respected clergy. 
The Repealers have no right to bring their petition into the 
" vicinity of your chapel without your permission." O Conneli 
then goes on to say that the rule in Ireland, " never broken," 
was to ask permission from the parish priest, and concludes 
a vigorously written letter by emphatically declaring that he 
" will not accept any support from Liverpool Repealers if they 
"shew any further disrespect to the clergy of the town." 
Instead of following O Connell s advice, a Liverpool Repealer, 
also named O Conneli, entered into a lengthy correspondence 
with Father Parker, the net result being a widening of the 
breach, and though the strain was relieved to some extent 
later on, this painful display of want of confidence in each 



67 

other s integrity had the effect of severing the Irish and 
English Catholics of the town from working harmoniously 
except on rare occasions, and in later generations helped to 
undo the fine work accomplished heretofore by united effort. 
The differences were momentarily forgotten over the 
memorable fight for the schools at the November election of 
1841. Somewhat prematurely the Liberal party announced 
that if returned to power they would build schools in every 
district of the town to be conducted on the same lines as the 
two schools already in existence. NcNeill and his Tory 
followers paraded the streets with open *Bibles attached to 
long poles, and strenuously appealed to the electors not to 
allow the erection of any schools unless Catholics and 
Dissenters would accept instruction from the authorised 
version of the Scripture. " Converted priests " harangued 
frenzied Protestant audiences, and were described by John 
Rosson, quoting Edmund Burke, " as only qualified to read 
the English language," and went on to say that as scholars 
they were " despicable/ and as divines " grossly ignorant 
" men/ These Orange zealots forgot in their blind fury that 
the outcome of a Tory Protestant victory would be to force the 
Catholics to build schools for themselves*, else they had never 
undertaken the campaign which aroused the worst passions of 
one section of the community and effectually destroyed for 
many years peace and harmony among the diverse sections 
which made up the Liverpool of the early forties. 

Wild stories were put in circulation of tha " murder " 
of seven Protestant clergymen in Ireland, which so inflamed 
the Orange population of Toxteth that they smashed up an 
anti-Corn Law meeting in Great George Place, confusing, in 
their frenzy, economics with " Popery." They then marched 
to St. Patrick s Chapel, and shattered the windows of both 
schools and church. The wife of a policeman was saying her 
prayers quietly in the church when the infuriated mob made 
the attack, and, as the consequence, lost her life from fright, 
an incident which increased animosity on both sides. The 
Conservative party, emboldened by the strife, demanded that 
no prayers should be recited in the Council schools save those 
to be found in the Anglican liturgy, and that no teachers 
should be appointed outside those who professed the 
Protestant faith as defined by Dr. McNeill. A lady had been 
appointed a teacher at the North Corporation School, on the 
recommendation of the Protestant Bishop of Ferns. Coming 
from Ireland, her orthodoxy was suspected and the Conser 
vatives in the Council refused to ratify the decision of the 
* Life of William Rathbone, by Miss Eleanor Rathbone. 



68 

Education Committee. The Liberals declared that they 

declined to make religious belief a test, but had no objection 

to informing their opponents that the lady in question 

professed the Protestant faith. On this assurance, and for 

" the maintenance of truth," the Conservatives withdrew their 

opposition. They had, however, secured their object, the 

" maintenance " of religious controversy, and had so well 

succeeded that they fought the elections with an air of 

confidence, which was abundantly justified by the results. 

The Liberals were swept out of the Council by this whirlwind 

of passion ; only three being returned at the poll. Every 

retiring Liberal Alderman was ousted, and until 1892 the 

Liberal party remained in a hopeless minority. The Catholic 

Aldermen Sheil and Roskell, fell with their Liberal colleagues, 

and William Rathbone suffered his third defeat in Great 

George Ward. Flushed with victory, the Tories resolved upon 

a policv of making it impossible for any Catholic child 

attending further the Corporation schools. The educational 

treaty of peace was rudely torn up, never to be restored, as 

the Nonconformists very naturally were driven into bitter 

hostility against the party which had practically resolved to 

teach at the expense of the ratepayers, the authority of the 

Church of England. The elections were fought on the first of 

November, and by the first day of the following month the 

Catholics learned with dismay the intentions of the dominant 

party. They took up a firm but dignified attitude and 

presented the following remonstrance to the new Corporation : 

It being generally understood that it is in contemplation to 

discard the Douai Version of the Bible entirely from the 

Council schools, and to require that all the children shall use 

the Authorised Version of the Established Church, and shall, 

moreover, join in a common form of prayer at the beginning 

and end of school, the Catholic clergy of Liverpool beg 

most respectfully to state to the Council that they cannot 

conscientiously concur in such an arrangement, whereby the 

religious principles of the children attending the schools will 

be compromised ; and pray that the contemplated changes 

may not be adopted." Then follow the signatures of the 

Rev. Dr. Youens (St. Nicholas ), Fathers Wilcock (St. 

Anthony s), Thos. Fisher, O.S.B. (St. Mary s), and Dale, 

O.S.B. (St. Peter s). Councillor Smith proposed that 

separate schools should be provided for the Catholics in poor 

districts. The debate which ensued was characterised by 

truculency and tolerance. Unitarianism and " Popery " 

were regarded as convertible terms by the Conservative leaders, 

and in insulting and contemptuous language the Catholic 



69 

claim to be regarded as citizens was flouted and rejected. Why 
the Unitarian body should have been singled out for reproach 
was probably due to the fact that the leading Liberals, with 
few exceptions, belonged to that community, and distinguished 
themselves not only by their entire sympathy with the cause 
of religious toleration, but gave many practical tokens of 
sympathy with the Catholics of the town. 

The Catholic children had no option but to withdraw from 
the Council schools, an action which gave intense satisfaction 
to the Tories, especially with regard to the North Corporation 
School. True to the course which had been mapped out 
beforehand, the Council schools were now turned into adjuncts 
of the Established Church, and all children in the Bevington 
Bush School were compelled to attend on Sundays and 
marched to the church service in St. Bartholomew s, Nay lor 
Street, unless the parents objected." To mark his 
" abhorrence " of this policy, the Earl of Sefton sent a dona 
tion of twenty-five pounds to St. Anthony s Schools, Scotland 
Road,* and many other Liberals, including Sir Joshua 
Walmsleyf followed his example. The Catholic mind was 
finally made up. " Schools of our own ! " was the cry which 
resounded from every home as well as every pulpit. Thus the 
Tories of Liverpool may be styled the promoters of that 
magnificent series of Catholic schools which have sprung up 
in every quarter of Liverpool, to which came the teaching 
orders who lifted elementary education to the highest pinnacle 
of perfection. The bigoted Evangelicals did not anticipate 
such a result. Had they been far-seeing, instead of being 
blinded by rancour and partisanship, they would have seen 
that their policy would eventually bring about this result. 
What would have happened had McNeill not driven the 
Liberals from power is now an interesting speculation. Every 
ward in Liverpool would have had its Council school, and 
under the disinterested management of a Liberal Education 
Committee most Catholic children would have been in atten 
dance. Mixed schools are not looked upon with friendly eyes 
by Catholics, but the success of a six years experiment, and 
the poverty of the labouring classes, would, in all human 
probability, have prevented the erection of purely Catholic 
schools for a generation. 

Where were the teachers to come from ? was the anxious 
query heard on all sides. The Government had made no 

* " Another kind of Town Councillor arose, who, with great pretension to 
religion, most irreligiously and unjustly, expelled from the public schools 
Catholic children by the hundreds." St. Anthony s Report, 1842. 

t Mayor of Liverpool, 1839-40 ; afterwards M.P. 



70 

provision for training teachers. Ireland came to the rescue, 
so far as the boys were concerned, and with the advent of the 
Irish Christian Brothers * to St. Patrick s a new era of useful 
ness and charity was begun for that fine body of teachers. Later 
on they came to St. Anthony s, St. Nicholas , St. Mary s, and 
St. Vincent s. Without payment or reward, save the volun 
tary offerings of the parents, these cultured men did a noble 
work for the poor children of their own race. To make them 
practical, earnest Catholics was their first aim ; to equip them 
for the battle of life was an easy matter for a body which 
had long distinguished itself by practical aims which have 
since disappeared from curriculums framed by more 
ambitious but less successful educationalists. For forty years 
they laboured in the town, and their departure under the 
pressure of the Act of 1870 caused widespread dissatisfaction. 
To them belongs the distinction of founding the first evening 
continuation schools, in St. Patrick s, during the year 1842, 
which were attended by one hundred and twenty Irish adults, 
anxious as most Irishmen have ever been for education. Such 
an impression was created by this experiment that Dr. 
Ullathorne, O.S.B., paid a special visit to St. Patrick s to 
preach a sermon in its sup-port. The Benedictines at St. 
Mary s summoned a special meeting on December 16th, 1842, 
in the Grecian Hotel, to consider the sad plight of the great 
numbers of poor children in that district. They adopted a 
resolution regretting the decision of the Town Council, and 
resolved to issue an appeal to friends of education " of all 
" denominations to provide means of dealing with these 
" unfortunate children."! Fathers Fisher, Wilkinson and 
Dale addressed a letter to the senior churchwarden of the 
Parish of Liverpool, Mr. W. Birkett, pointing out the condi 
tion of the poor children of St. Mary s, and expressing the 
hope that the community would provide means for their 
instruction. The impertinent reply which followed illustrates 
the unfortunate tone and temper of the official Anglicans 
towards the Catholics of that day. Mr. Birkett began and 
ended by denying the right of the three Benedictines to claim 
the title of priests or be called " reverend," as they had not 
been ordained in conformity with the laws of the Church of 
England. It became necessary to give this gentleman an 
elementary lesson in the doctrine of the Church whose self- 
appointed spokesman he had become, and Father Wilkinson 
was selected by his brethren to perform that duty. How 

* The same work has been undertaken in Borne by the Irish Christian 

Brothers, at the express request of Pope Pius the Tenth. 

t Liverpool Albion. 



71 

well he performed the task may be gleaned from this 
crushing reply : "With regard to my Orders, though I have 
" not entered the ministry by making the declaration required 
" by the rubrics of the Established Church, permit me, sir, to 
inform you, that the rubrics of that Church recognise the 
validity of my Orders ; and, if from a desire to have less 
labour "and more pay, or any other equally creditable motive, 
I were to apostatize from the faith of my fathers, and 
embrace a creed in conformity with the laws of this realm, 
a Bishop of your Church would readily admit the validity 
of my Orders, and at once appoint me to a curacy. And 
now, as to my designating myself a Catholic clergyman, I 
ain a humble member of the ancient faith, Catholic in 
every attribute, and in every sense, Catholic in all 
ages and in every nation ; Catholic by the received and 
admitted consent of mankind ; properly designated Catholic 
in history, geography, in the works of travellers, in the 
Senate, at the bar, in the public journals, in the drawing- 
room, and in every other department and locality, unless an 
exception be found in the vestry of Our Lady and St. 
Nicholas." Quoting the full title of the old parish church was 
the unkindest cut of all; devotion to Our Lady or St. 
Nicholas not being a prominent feature of the principles of 
the unfortunate recipient of this well-merited castigation. 
The better educated members of the English Church heartily 
enjoyed Father Wilkinson s ready and apt reply. Church 
warden Birkett was snuffed out, and did not venture again into 
the fields of religious controversy. 

The Liverpool correspondent of the " Tablet "* estimated 
that forty thousand Catholics were unable to hear Mass owing 
to deficient accommodation in Liverpool. To meet the need, 
the Benedictines, during the summer of 1842, began the work 
of providing a new church in Edge Hill, under the patronage 
of St. Anne and in August of the same year the fine church of 
St. Oswald, Old Swan, served by the secular clergy, was 
opened by the Vicar- Apostolic. This Church, recalling, as 
it does, the architecture of the 13th century, created a sensation 
amongst the Protestant section which then dominated both 
the English Church and the politics of the Council Chamber. 
The spire was the gift of Mr. Michael Gibson, of West Derby, 
and the peal of bells aroused easily-awakened animosity. 
Under the impression that such features in a Catholic Church 
were forbidden by law, they made a protest, only to discover 
that their knowledge of the laws of their country was in 

* October, 1843. 



72 

inverse ratio to the measure of their bigotry.* The same 
month witnessed the remarkable meeting in the Amphitheatre, 
when the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Daniel O Connell, delivered 
an address in aid of the building fund of the proposed church 
of St. Francis Xavier. Certain delicate matters of negotia 
tion between the Jesuits and Benedictines, the final echoes of 
the controversy of 1783, had been completely removed, as well 
as the local difficulties with the Bishop, who had given his 
consent to the erection of the church on the Salisbury Street 
site. A notable gathering of the clergy, secular and regular, 
appeared on the platform, including the Rector of Stonyhurst 
and the Very Rev. Dr. Brewer, O.S.B., president of 
Ampleforth. Another remarkable figure was the ex- 
Methodist minister, the Rev. Father Mason. O Connell said 
he " rejoiced emphatically that the erection of the church had 
" met with the approval of every class of ecclesiastics in the 
" town," and went on to say that " the suppression of the 
" Jesuits was one of the greatest of calamities ; and bitter 
" punishment had affiicted the nations which had committed 
" that crime. They had been punished with severity, with a 
" scourge of iron, and tears, and blood, and even these could 
" hardly atone for the crime they had committed against 
" themselves. Here they were again ! The Jesuits ! ! !" The 
president of Ampleforth followed, and warmly eulogised the 
work in hand. " Before the Order of St. Benedict came to 
" Liverpool, the Fathers of the Society of Jesus stood the brunt 
" of persecution, and raised the standard of the Cross in the 
" town. It was therefore but right that, as they had stood 
" valiantly in the field of battle in the days of persecution, 
" they should now be welcomed to accomplish the great work 
" which they had begun." In December of the same year the 
Catholic body opened a secondary school, St. Edward s 
College, under the presidency of the Rev. Dr. Fisher, f and 
to further still more the work of teaching and evangelising 
the poor the Sisters of Mercy completed their convent in 
Mount Vernon. With regard to the nuns, an hysterical bigot 
wrote, " the Sisters of Mercy will effect more conversions in 
" one year than all the priests in Great Britain." The Rev. 
Dr. Youens was mainly instrumental in bringing this fine 
body of religious workers to aid the work of the Church in 
Liverpool. O Connell was so impressed with these evidences 
of activity that he paid a visit to Liverpool in the following 
year as the guest of Mr. Edward Chaloner, Old Swan, and 
visited both institutions as a mark of his appreciation of the 

* The same ignorance which led to the Police Enquiry, 1910. 
f Father Goss, eleven years later Bishop, was Vice-President. 



73 

work of higher education and charity. Meanwhile the monks 
of St. Benedict were forging ahead with the new schools of 
St. Peter, where five hundred children were in average atten 
dance, and looking ahead, erected new schools, attached to St. 
Austin s, Aigburth, which were opened on the 8th May, 1843. 
In June, land was purchased in Falkner Street to provide the 
new buildings for Catholic female orphans, heretofore housed 
in Mount Pleasant, and the noble Sisters of Charity 
began that most excellent work the care of the blind, 
with eighteen pupils. Amidst all the poverty of the people 
the heads of the Church were performing their work with 
great diligence and earnestness, and excited amongst their 
Protestant brethren a spirit of great sympathy. Anglicans 
and Dissenters alike were forced to pay tribute to these 
developments of Catholic zeal in spite of discouragement and 
that one great obstacle to progress in a commercial age, lack 
of means. The great mass of Catholics who lived between the 
parishes of St. Peter s and St. Patrick s, a distance of only 
half-a-mile, were in sore straits for both chapel and school 
accommodation. Father Parker was equal to the occasion. 
In January, 1843, he rented a " penny theatre " at the corner 
of Blundell Street, in which Mass was said on the 5th 
February, 1843, for the first time, and two hundred 
children, turned out of the Park Lane Council 
School were taught during the week by one Christian 
Brother. At a public meeting held to raise funds for the new 
mission, Father Parker announced a contribution of twenty 
pounds from a Protestant friend, Mr. John Bipley, of Canning 
Street, and informed the audience that a volunteer from the 
Diocese of Derry, Father McCormac, would be placed in 
charge. St. Patrick s had seating accommodation for 
eighteen hundred people, and the three masses on Sundays 
were attended by crowds who filled up every inch of space. 
The neighbouring Church of St. Peter s was also overcrowded, 
si that this new mission was a veritable godsend to the poor 
Irish who resided in and around Park Lane and St. James 
Street. 

The evils of intemperance had begun to shew their 
inevitable results amongst the Irish inhabitants in the crowded 
streets and alleys of the town. Indeed, the demoralising 
influence of intoxicants was much too prevalent amongst all 
classes of labourers, whether of Irish or English nationality. 
At St. Peter s, Seel Street, there had long been established a 
Total Abstinence Society, and in that mission was begun the 
movement to secure the presence of the great Capuchin friar, 
Father Theobald Matthew. In a few days six thousand 



74 

signatures were appended to a petition begging this worthy 
priest to visit the town and deliver a series of addresses on 
temperance. His visit in July, 1843, was the great religious 
event of the year. Mr. William Rathbone cordially invited him 
to be his guest at the historic house, Greenbank, Wavertree, 
in which O Connell had often enjoyed the hospitality of the 
great Liberal leader. The invitation was accepted, and on the 
Sunday morning his host and another great Liverpool man, 
Mr. Edward Rushton, the stipendiary magistrate, attended 
Mass at St. Patrick s, in order to hear the inaugural address 
of a memorable campaign. The immense audiences which 
gathered outside St. Patrick s and St. Anthony s listened with 
rapture to the burning eloquence of the friar, while their 
hearts were touched at the sight of the brown habit so 
intimately bound up with the history of Ireland. No preacher 
ever made such an impression on the Catholics of Liverpool, 
and but for the dread disaster which happened four years 
later, Catholic Liverpool had been synonymous with sober 
Liverpool. Forty thousand Irish Catholics took the tem 
perance pledge, and even to-day, after the lapse of sixty-five 
years, traditions live, and have been tenderly handed down, of 
the extraordinary scenes of piety and robust faith witnessed 
outside the Church of St. Anthony s, where thousands knelt 
down on God s acre to pledge themselves to accept to the full 
the cross laid on them by the young Franciscan. 

A renewal of the educational war was occasioned 
by the introduction into Parliament of Sir James Graham s 
Education Bill, which practically proposed to endow the 
schools of the Established Church. At a series of public 
demonstrations against this measure both the Catholic and 
Dissenting bodies stood shoulder to shoulder, not only in 
Liverpool but throughout the country. On the first Sunday 
in April, 1843, the Bill was explained to the congregations, 
and 25,000 Catholic adults signed a petition of protest to 
Parliament. A short but vigorous agitation put an end to 
all hopes of carrying the measure, which was ultimately with 
drawn. 

In August, 1843, Dr. Baines, the Vicar-Apostolic, 
died, and was 1 succeeded by his coadjutor, Dr. Brown. 
The new coadjutor, Dr. Sharpies, was consecrated in Rome a 
few months later. For the first time since the Reformation, 
the Bishop had the great consolation of performing the 
ceremony of ordination in Liverpool, in the Church of St. 
Nicholas , an event of more than ordinary importance. There 
were very few priests, and the vocations from amongst the 
Liverpool population small in number. The year closed with 



an 



75 

, addition to St. Mary s of large schools in Ray Street, 
formerly the property of the Methodist body, and in February, 
1844 they were placed under the direction of the Irish 
Christian Brothers. On the first day of May, 1844, the Fathers 
had the pleasure of seeing the foundation stone of the new- 
Church laid by Bishop Sharpies, in the presence of two 
thousand people. Strange to relate the address at the 
ceremony was not delivered by the Bishop, but by that dis 
tinguished layman Mr. John Rosson. He warmly eulogised 
the work accomplished by the Benedictines during the sixty- 
one years they had laboured at St. Mary s, and recalled the 
scene which occurred on the same spot ninety-nine yeais before, 
when the old church was pulled down. " Before the priest 
" quitted the church, he opened his Ritual, and calmly read 
" the preparation for death, and, thinking his time was come, 
" put on his vestment and presented himself to the infuriated 
" mob in Edmund Street. Two or three axes were applied to 
" the door, and on its being demolished, the multitude stood 
"aghast; a gangway was formed for the priest, who passed 
" into the house of a Presbyterian friend opposite, who 
" sheltered him from further insult." From some remarks 
in the course of his address we may conclude that at this 
early date English and Irish Catholics found it difficult to 
commingle. He appealed to both sections to work in harmony, 
for " if there were two classes who ought to embrace each 
" other, they were the persecuted Saxons of Lancashire, and 
" the persecuted Celts/ The Society of St. Mary, under the 
leadership of Mr. John Yates, junior; and Mr. James Finney 
worked with might and main. In the course of five years 
they collected 6,357 18s. lid. towards the contemplated 
expenditure of 14,667, for the site, church and equipment. 
It is a tribute to the great enthusiasm of the weekly collectors 
and the generosity of the poor, that they brought in to the fund 
2,150. The following August saw the work almost completed, 
and with great ceremony, beginning on the 18th August and 
continued for eight days, the Church of St. Mary* was opened. 
Among the Bishops present on the first day were the Vicar- 
Apostolic and his Coadjutor, Dr. Brown, O.S.B., Vicar- 
Apostolic of Wales, Dr. Briggs, Vicar-Apostolic of Yorkshire 
and Dr. Morris, Vicar of the London District. 

The Society of St. Francis Xavier had made such progress 
that a beginning was made on the 18th March, 1844, when 
Father Randal Lythgoe, S. J., blessed the first excavations. By 
the month of November it wts announced that the Jesuits 

* Bishop Goss once said, " This is the church of my diocese." 



76 

hoped to see the first stone laid on the anniversary of the 
canonization of St. Francis Xavier, but it was four months 
later, July 9th, 1845, when Bishops Brown and Sharpies 
performed that ceremony. 

The Faithful Companions of Jesus came to town in 1844, 
opening a boarding school in Great George Square, under 
taking at the same time the supervision of St. Patrick s girl s 
school. Following the example set by the Brothers, they 
opened a night school for girls and secured an attendance of 
two hundred. There were then on an average one thousand 
children attending St. Patrick s schools. Another new school 
was opened on July 15th, 1844, atlnce Blundell. The Orange 
daily, " The Mail," called public attention to these extensions 
of Catholic work, " notwithstanding the opposition offered in 
" various quarters to the extension of Popery, we regret to 
" hear that it is on the increase." Orange-Tory Liverpool did 
not view with equanimity the erection of new churches and 
schools. A Protestant Church, All Saints, in Grosvenor Street, 
had been discontinued by the Protestant authorities. It was 
built on the site of a former somewhat famous tennis court, 
whereon volunteers were drilled during the invasion scare. 
Inside the walls the first " anti-Popish " sermon in Liverpool 
was delivered. To the dismay of the ultra-Protestants, the 
Catholic body purchased the building with the intention of 
founding a new mission to be dedicated to St. Joseph. An 
indignation meeting was held in the Portico, Newington, reso 
lutions adopted protesting against the sale, and a deputation 
proceeded to the residence of Archdeacon Kushton with the 
avowed intention of preventing the ratification of the 
purchase. Nothing came of the protest, save that the tide of 
bigotry began to flow quicker and stronger and reached its 
height when the need for a resident bishop was gratified by 
the purchase of Eton Lodge,* Woolton Road, as the local 
residence for the Vicar- Apostolic, f To express their feelings 
the Orangemen made repeated attacks on St. Patrick s, and the 
clergy of that church. Led on by the Stipendiary, Mr. Edward 
Rushton, the magistrates resolved to put down the outrages 
with a strong hand, especially as the police seemed quite 
indifferent to performing an obvious duty. The Grand Master 
of the Orangemen sat on the Watch Committee, and too many 
of the humbler members of the force had secured appointment 
by joining the Orange organisation. Mr. William Rathbone 
and Mr. Rushton secured the adoption of a resolution con 
demning the further recruiting of the force from " illegal " 

* Formerly a school kept by an old Eton master ; hence its name, 
t Hence Bishop Eton, now occupied by the Redemptorists. 



77 

organisations. This motion received the sanction of the Home 
Secretary to whom it was presented, and the magistrates then 
resolved to present it to the Watch Committee. Under the 
guidance of the Orange Grand Master, the Watch Committee 
at the ensuing pay day took measures to find out the religion 
of every member of the force, with the object of removing the 
Catholic policemen. Mr. Kushton boldly met this move by 
asserting the right of the magistrates themselves to dismiss 
from the force all members of illegal societies. Though the 
lawyers decided against the validity of this claim, Mr. Kushton 
secured the object he had in view, that of ending the disgrace 
ful rows in the South end of the town. To further this end he 
appealed to the Irish Societies to abandon their usual procession 
on St. Patrick s Day, 1845, which appeal received the 
unanimous support of the clergy. Some enthusiasts refused 
to obey, and, meeting in Williamson Square, marched to St. 
Patrick s, where the doors were closed against them. 
Retracing their footsteps they proceeded to St. Anthony s 
with the same result. This testimony to the great moral 
power of the clergy impressed the leading citizens, who freely 
admitted that Orange provocation had been severe, and for 
some time very friendly relations prevailed between the priests 
and the authorities. 

Meanwhile, the English Catholics of the town gave 
evidence of their good-will towards their Irish co-religionists, 
and their esteem for the great Irishman who had won for them 
the restoration of their own liberties. O Connell had been 
arrested, and sentenced to a term of imprisonment, by the 
Irish courts. A huge demonstration of protest was organised 
by the Blundell family, in the Amphitheatre, which was 
attended by all the leading families of the town and district, 
and by the clergy, secular and regular. A petition was sent 
up by them to Queen Victoria, praying for O ConneH s release, 
but, before Her Majesty could consider its contents, the con 
viction had been quashed by the supreme courts. This 
incident was celebrated by general Catholic rejoicings. Houses 
were illuminated in the Catholic quarters, notably in the 
densely-populated district around the present Custom House, 
South John and Paradise Streets. 

Another public body came into existence as a consequence 
of the new Poor Law, the Liverpool Board of Guardians, better 
known by its official title, the Select Vestry. The first elections 
resulted in the return of a solid phalanx of Tories, due to the 
extraordinary behaviour of the returning officer. Dr. 
Bilsborrow, late Bishop of Salford, described the Guardians 



78 

as " that awful Protestant body,"* and good reason he had for 
so naming it. In 1839, under the old law, Father Parker, of 
St. Patrick s, reported that during the month of October, he 
had heard the master of the workhouse school, addressing the 
children in the schoolroom, say that " every Catholic would go 
" to Hell with a Testament in his hand." Of the hundred 
children thus addressed a small proportion were Catholics, and 
in their presence he held up a wafer, with the blasphemous 
observation, " this is the God of the Papists/ An inquiry 
was held, and the charges sustained, but the Orange party 
would permit no punishment beyond a mild censure. In 1841, 
Father John Dawber asked the Vestry to allow him the use 
of a room in which to say Mass, and in a very modest appeal 
pointed out that it was a great hardship for old and infirm 
people to be compelled to rise early in all kinds of weather, 
and walk half-a-mile to hear Mass outside. The " Liverpool 
" Courier," the Conservative organ, opposed this proposal as 
" an act of Popish aggrandisement." 

The Vestry held its meetings for the first year with 
closed doors, the " Liverpool Mercury," which took the most 
active share in bringing about a change in its composition, 
describing it as " the secret conclave." The Liberals and 
Catholics joined in a cordial union to alter its complexion, and 
at the Easter of 1845, returned Messrs. Bright, Thorneley and 
Maynard, to fight for equality and open dealing, against 
twenty-six of the most illiberal men who ever possessed a share 
in the government of the town, municipally or parochially. 
The Select Vestry had decided, in obedience to Dr. McNeill, 
that no religious service of any kind for the Roman Catholics 
should be permitted inside the workhouse. Mr. Bright sought 
to remove this restriction by a proposition that the use of the 
dining hall be allowed for the celebration of Mass. The Rector 
of Liverpool was, ex-officio, the Chairman of the Board,t and 
on this occasion he declared that the law of the realm did not 
contemplate the performance of any religious ceremony, other 
than those in conformity with the laws of the Established 
Church. No doubt this was a perfectly accurate statement, 
but it did not help to remove an irritating restriction from a 
Catholic point of view, or prevent gross abuse from the point 
of view of good administration and discipline, inmates being 
allowed to go out on Sundays, without supervision, if they 
declared themselves to be Catholics, whether they were so or 
no.J Mr. Bright s motion was rejected. At the same meeting 

* In a conversation with the writer at St, Charles , Aigburth Road, 
t This anomaly was removed by Mr. Gladstone s Parish Council Act, 1894. 
J Bedclothes, linen, &c., were stolen by the inmates, who declared them 
selves Catholics in order to get out and sell the articles thus obtained. 



79 

it was decided to ask permission from the Bishop of Chester 
to allow Divine Service to be held for the Protestant inmates 
of the Kirkdale Schools, in the dining hall of that institution. 
Mr. Bright observed that as the Rector had objected to Divine 
Service for Catholics in a dining hall, he ought surely, on 
ecclesiastical or rubrical grounds, to object in this instance. 
Mr. Rector Brooks did not reply, but a Mr. Bremner retorted, 
4< No ! not at all ; the one is Popery, the other the Established 
" Church." The language of this gentleman was so offensive 
that five Conservatives voted for Mr. Bright s motion. It was 
urged that, as sixty-one inmates, owing to ill-health, were 
unable to attend Mass outside, a room might be set apart for 
the purpose of a private celebration. But to no avail. Mr. 
Bremner represented the whole trend of Tory Protestantism. 
Catholics and Liberals, at the following elections, made one 
supreme effort to secure further representation, and carried 
eleven seats out of twenty-one. Three out of four overseer- 
ships also fell into their victorious hands. Mr. John Yates, 
junior, was the first Catholic Poor Law Guardian. The 
concession of a room was granted, and peace prevailed for a 
short time. In the Council, Mr. Blackburn, member for 
Vauxhall Ward, made a last despairing effort to break down 
the policy of exclusion embarked upon by the Church party, 
but failed, and never again did Catholics appeal to that 
Municipal body for any concession. 

In 1844, Bishop Brown inaugurated a new depar 
ture in the methods employed to raise funds for 
churches and schools. The lay committees had not 
been an unmixed blessing. In the case of St. Patrick s 
there had been serious friction, and St. Nicholas was 1 to all 
intents and purposes a proprietary church. Advertisements 
appeared, offering such a pew in an eligible position to the 
parishioners, the highest bidder securing the coveted seat. The 
committee also doled out the funds as they thought fit, and 
there is still living* one venerable ecclesiastic who sat shivering 
in his room, because of the scantiness of the fuel supplied. In 
some other cases, the lay committee simply undertook the 
responsibility of purchasing suitable sites, their local knowledge 
enabling them to make good bargains, and in overseeing the 
work of sub-contractors. One evil could not well be guarded 
against the itinerant begging by irresponsible persons, and in 
this way considerable sums of money were lost. Persons with 
out any authority collected the pennies of the faithful, which 
never found their way into the funds of the responsible 
committee. 

* Right Rev. Monsignor Carr, Vicar-General. 



80 

Bishop Brown issued a pastoral letter, read in all the 
churches, announcing a new arrangement. A Board was 
appointed by him, consisting of the two Vicars, two Benedic 
tines, two Jesuits, and certain representatives of the secular 
clergy, who were to administer all funds collected in future 
for church extensions. It was further laid down that the 
funds be raised by annual donations from individuals, an 
annual collection in every church, and, with the one exception, 
that weekly collections for the six weeks prior to the annual 
collections were allowed, all other methods which had obtained 
in the past were strictly forbidden. The Bishop also fixed the 
minimum and maximum stipends of the clergy at <80 and 
120 per annum, respectively. The lay committees had done 
good work, but owing to the methods pursued in electing 
them, many abuses had crept in, and the new arrangement 
gave general satisfaction. 

In 1844, the Catholic Club was founded, Sir Arnold 
Knight presiding at the first meeting. Mr. Richard Sheil 
was appointed the first president; Mr. Edward Bretherton 
acting as secretary. The main objects of the new 
organisation were, " to promote unity of purpose, energy in 
"practical charity, and good fellowship in principle." The 
nevv club took a very prominent part in the work of promoting 
and assisting works of charity, while, on its political side, 
excellent work was done in the defence of Catholic interests. 
During this year, Bishop Sharpies confirmed no less than 
3,784 children ; 888 at St. Patrick s, 746 at St. Anne s, 823 
at St. Nicholas , 781 at St. Mary s, 535 at St. Peter s, and 
11 at St. Edward s. 

In November Father Wilcock retired from St. 
Anthony s, after 25 years of service in the priesthood, and 
was succeeded by Father Thos. Newsham, a man of extra 
ordinary energy and capacity, who left his mark on the history 
of the north end. He was not many months in office when he 
secured a substantial concession for his flock from the North 
Shore Mill Co. This company had insisted that all the children 
employed by them must attend a Protestant Sunday School, 
and Father Newsham, by his tact and good humour, induced 
the directors to withdraw this uncalled-for hindrance to 
Catholics securing employment.* 

The fourth day of August, 1846, and the seven succeeding 
days, witnessed the great pomp and ceremonial attending the 
opening of the fine church of St. Anne. It was built on a 
well-chosen site, then without the borough of Liverpool, it now 
stands in the centre of a teeming mass of poor people, the 

* See Tablet, 1846. 



81 

extensions of the city having driven out the better-class 
Catholics to more suburban parts of the ever-growing city. 
It was opened by Bishop Brown, and several notable prelates 
assembled in the sanctuary. After many years, Dr. Folding, 
O.S.B., Archbishop of Sydney, returned to his native land to 
witness this great sign of the progress of his fellow religionists. 
Dr. Murphy, Bishop of Adelaide, the first rector of St. 
Patrick s, Liverpool, Dr. O Connell, Bishop of Waterford, with 
the Vicar- Apostolic of London, Dr. Morris, by their presence 
contributed to the greatest ceremony yet witnessed on the 
banks of the Mersey. At that time there was a fine male choir 
at St. Mary s, trained by Father Cooper, O.S.B., and they 
rendered the music of the Mass and of Vespers during the 
eventful week. Bishop Murphy preached in his old and much- 
loved church of St. Patrick s, in aid of the Christian Brothers. 
They had just lost Brother Joseph Maher, the pioneer of 
elementary education, under the new regime, in Liverpool. 
As he lay in simple state in the schoolroom, crowds flocked to 
pay their tribute of sorrow and prayer around his remains, 
ere they were interred in the vaults of the church. The need 
for such men was shewn in the letter of the Vicar- Apostolic of 
Yorkshire, written in 1846, that in England there were at 
least 25,000 Catholic children without any school accommo 
dation of any kind, Catholic or otherwise. 

A dark cloud fell upon Liverpool in the last months of 
the year, and when it passed away, a new Catholic Liverpool 
arose, with new problems and fresh difficulties, many of 
which are not yet solved. No man can understand aright the 
Liverpool of the second half of the nineteenth century, who 
does not seriously study the dread incidents which the 
November and December portended. 



CHAPTER IV. 

From the point of view of public health, Liverpool had 
degenerated into one of the worst towns in the Kingdom. 
Narrow streets, narrower courts, overcrowded alleys, and bad 1 
drainage, were exacting a heavy toll of disease and death. 
Streets were left unswept for as long a period as three weeks, 
in working class quarters, the Town Council being much too 
busy with the interests of party to occupy itself with such 
mundane affairs. The Tories were blind to all warnings; 
in capturing the Council Schools they had exhausted their 
mandate. To promote sanitary reform, a Health of Towns 
Association had been formed in the Metropolis, and the first 
Liverpool branch was founded in St. Patrick s schoolroom. 
Just as, half-a-century later, it was reserved for Liverpool 
Catholic public men to fight the battle of housing reform, so 
in the early forties it was left for the Catholic leaders to speak 
out against the criminal neglect, by the Corporation, of th 
important question of public health. Sir Arnold Knight, 
M.D., father of a future Bishop of Shrewsbury, and of a 
distinguished Jesuit, delivered the address at this gathering, 
presided over by Mr. R. Sheil. His speech is painful reading, 
descriptive of the conditions under which the labouring classes 
were compelled to live, conditions which made moral or 
physical health well-nigh impossible. Sir Arnold stated, that 
in London one out of every thirty-seven of the population 
died annually; Liverpool s proportion being one in twenty- 
eight. In the Metropolis, 32 out of every 100 children died 
before reaching the age of nine ; Liverpool had the unenviable 
record of 49. Nor was this all. In the densely populated 
streets and courts of Vauxhall Ward, this number went up to 
64, an appalling rate of mortality. Physical deterioration had 
set in, or, as the Catholic Knight put it, Liverpool men " were 
" unfit to be shot at, an allusion to the rejection of 75 per cent, 
of the recruits for the army. 

This speech gives the answer to much of the superficial 
criticism of the result of Irish " habits " on the general health 
of towns. The death roll gives the needed and only reply to 
the puzzle which has worried Catholic statisticians as to the 
causes which have operated to prevent the prolific Irish from 
being one-half, at least, of the population of Liverpool. Sixty- 
four out of every hundred Irish children dead before nine 



88 

years of age, from preventible causes ! ! The Irish poor did 
not build the narrow streets nor the dirty courts, they did not 
leave the streets unswept, and had no responsibility for 
stinking middens, left unemptied at their very doors, nor did 
they create the economic conditions which drove them across 
the channel, and in turn made life in Liverpool the burden it 
really was. Drink ! Yes, they drank ! No wonder ! where 
drink alone could bring forgetfulness of present misery. But 
for the small band of priests who laboured amongst them, and 
the faith they brought from Ireland, Irish Liverpool had 
become heathendom. The demoralisation of child life caused 
by exclusion from the schools, in 1841, had sown its seeds, and 
a deadly harvest was to be reaped a generation later, which, 
even to the twentieth century, has made Liverpool a bye-word 
to every stranger entering its gates. It was too late for any 
body of men to cure the evil, when the famine years sent 
hundreds of thousands of Irishmen and women into the very 
streets and alleys, where over-crowding and disease had become 
every-day features, and excited no surprise. The closing 
months of 1846 ended in " an inpouring of wretchedness from 
"Ireland; streets swarming with hungry and almost naked 
" wretches. Written by a friendly hand, these words fail to 
convey an adequate picture of the scenes witnessed every day 
during November and December, 1846. At the meeting of the 
Select Vestry, December 15th, 1846, the captains of the 
coasting vessels were censured for carrying over such large 
numbers of immigrants, and it was seriously suggested that 
Liverpool should follow the example of the Isle of Man 
authorities, by refusing permission to land. It is pleasant to 
record that the first meeting held to raise funds for the relief 
of the famine stricken, was organised by the Irish navvies, 
then constructing the railway to Bury. The meeting was held 
in the schoolroom underneath St. Joseph s chapel, Grosvenor 
Street, on November 30th, every navvy putting down one day s 
wages on the table as his tribute to the unfortunate people of 
his own country. In the church, the first sermon for the same 
object was preached by Father McEvoy, parish priest of Kells, 
in the fertile plains of Meath, who received fifty-two pounds 
from the poor labourers of St. Joseph s parish. The new year, 
1847, opened inauspiciously. During the six days, January 
4th to 9th, the Select Vestry relieved 7,146 Irish families, 
consisting of 29,417 persons, of whom 18,376 were children. 
From the 13th to the 25th of the same month, 10,724 deck 
passengers arrived from Irish ports, and during the month of 
February they came pouring in at the average rate of nine 
hundred per day. So dreadful was their poverty that we have 



84 

the authority of the Rector of Liverpool, speaking ou the 26th 
of February, that nine thousand Irish families were being 
relieved, a number which increased to eleven thousand by the 
end of March. The Stipendiary Magistrate had given an 
instruction to the police to keep a record of the number of 
immigrants, and, at a meeting of the justices summoned by him 
to consider suitable measures to cope with this serious menace 
to health and peace, he stated that, from the first day of 
November, 1846, to the twelfth day of May, 1847, the total 
number of Irish immigrants into Liverpool amounted to 
196,338. Deducting the numbers actually recorded as sailing 
to America, no less than 137, 5*1 9 persons had been added to the 
population of Liverpool. When the year ended, the total 
number of immigrants, excluding those who were bound for 
America, reached the immense total of 296,231, all 
" apparently paupers."* 

The already overcrowded Irish quarters gave some kind of 
shelter to the new comers ; its character makes the heart sick, 
even when read in cold print. No less than 35,000 were housed 
in cellars,! below the level of the street, without light or 
ventilation; 5841 J cellars were " wells of stagnant water/ or, 
as an official report to the Corporation puts it, 5,869 were 
found, on examination, to be " damp, wet, or filthy." In the 
district now known as Holy Cross parish, not then formed, and 
in St. Vincent s, an appalling state of affairs prevailed. In 
Lace Street, Mary bone, in a cellar 14 feet long, ten wide, and 
six in height, twelve persons were found endeavouring to 
breathe, and, " in more than one instance, upwards of forty 
* people were found sleeping " in a similar under-groand 
dungeon. The Stipendiary shocked the town by his narrative 
of a woman being confined of twins, in a Lace Street cellar, 
crowded with human beings. In Crosby Street, Park Lane, 
now occupied by the Wapping Goods Station, of the L. & N. W. 
Railway Company, 37 people were found in one cellar, and in 
another eight lay dead from typhus. The unfortunates 
" occupied | every nook and corner of the already over-cro ,vded 
" lodging houses, and forced their way into the cellars (about 
" 3,000 in number), which had been closed under the Health 
" Act of 1842. In different parts of Liverpool, fifty or sixty of 
" these destitute people were found in a house containing three 
"or four small rooms, about twelve feet by ten."* By 
February, the mortality from fever was eighteen per cent, 
above the average, and four months later was 2,000 per cent. 

*Head Constable Dowling s Report to the Watch Committee. 

f Liverpool Mercury, 1847. 

J Gore s Annals of Liverpool. 

S Medical Officer s Report for 1847. W. H. Duncan, M.D. 



85 

above the average of previous years.* Smallpox broke out arid 
carried off 381 children, and an epidemic of measles added 378 
to the total. In Lace Street, already mentioned, one-third of 
the inhabitants, that is to say 472 persons, died from fever 
during the year. In the Parish of Liverpool, the weekly 
mortality by the month of August reached 537, as against the 
usual average of 160 ; while in the extra parochial districts of 
Toxteth and Everton, it was 111 against 50. The curse of 
mis-rule in Ireland, and mis-government in Liverpool, had 
come home to roost, and he who would pass judgment on Irish 
poverty or " crime " of later years, let him read the story which 
every stone of the charnel houses in Vauxhall, Exchange, 
Scotland, Great George and Pitt Street Wards, told and still 
tell. Here were sown the dragon s teeth, and they have sprung 
up, not in armed men, but workhouses, reformatories, and 
gaols. 

Regulations of all kinds were brought into force to put 
a much-needed check on this enormous influx, but without 
avail for at least a year. The Poor Law authorities returned! 
24,529 to their native parishes during the years 1847 and 
1848 ; it was only a drop in the ocean, for vessels were arriving 
daily with fresh contingents. Deck passages from Dublin cost 
as small a sum as sixpence, which probably tempted thousands 
to try their fortune in our midst. It stands to the infinite 
credit of the citizens that distinctions of race, religion, and 
party were obliterated in presence of this awful visitation, and 
that they united to succour the sick and hungry, both in the 
town and the country from whence they came. There were two 
exceptions, which only served to bring out this noble generosity 
in strong relief. Vestryman Mellor gleefully exclaimed, at a 
meeting of the Select Vestry, " when they are all gone, we will 
" people Ireland with a better set," and Dr. Hugh McNeill 
characteristically accused the Irish clergy of refusing to 
dispense the English Relief Funds, unless the recipients paid 
them a consideration. These men were the sole exceptions to 
the truly Christian spirit which prevailed in all classes. Bishop 
Sharpies acted with commendable promptitude. Summoning 
a meeting of Catholics in the Concert Hall, Lord Nelson 
Street, he had the pleasure of receiving two thousand pounds 
from his flock in the course of a few minutes. This sum was 
subscribed by less than fifty persons, and was dispatched next 
day by the treasurer, Mr. C. J. Corbally, in equal shares to the 
Archbishops of Cashel and Tuam. Church collections were 
immediately taken, and one thousand pounds came from this 

* W. H. Duncan, M.D. Report to the Health Committee, 1847. 
f Sec Dr. Mackav s article on Liverpool in Mornirn Chronicle. 



86 

source; St. Patrick s heading the list with 118 16s. 7d., a 
few shillings more than the amount subscribed by St. Nicholas . 
A name never to be forgotten in the annals of Liverpool 
Catholicism appeared for the first time in print, in connection 
with the famine fund, that of a young priest, Father James 
Nugent, who preached at St. Alban s, Blackburn, and handed 
72 12s. 8d. to the Liverpool treasurer. It was related by the 
journals of the day, that the Post Office was besieged by Irish 
labourers, sending small sums of money home to their afflicted 
kinsfolk. The condition of Ireland was bad, but it may well 
be doubted whether that of Liverpool was not worse. Where 
were the mass of new-comers to be housed? Where was 
employment to be found? Whence could be drawn clergy 
to come to attend to their spiritual needs? If church and 
school accommodation was deficient before 1847, it was surely 
deficient now. 

In January, 1847, the Rector of Liverpool informed the 
Government that dysentery had assumed alarming proportions, 
due to the cabbages and turnips which formed the only food 
of the first immigrants. February saw eight hundred cases 
of typhoid ; the reading of the death-roll each Sunday morning 
in the churches sending a cold shiver through the immense 
congregations. Hurriedly the parish authorities set up fever 
sheds, in Great Homer Street on the North, and Mount 
Pleasant on the South, and fitted up a hospital ship in the 
Mersey, to cope with the new terror. Then came the awful 
visitation of typhus. Liverpool Protestantism bowed its head 
in reverence at the heroism of the handful of Catholic Priests. 
Undaunted, they went from room to room in crowded houses ; 
from cellar to garret, ministering to the sick. They were 
never absent from hourly attendance in the hospital wards. 
Here at least there was some privacy, but in the crowded rooms 
and cellars it was next to impossible to hear the last 
confession, unless the priest lay down beside the sick man to 
receive the seeds of disease from poisoned breaths in return 
for spiritual consolations. In very truth they were braver 
men than ever faced the lions in a Roman amphitheatre. 
If life must be sacrificed, it were fitting that St. Patrick s 
should provide the first victim. Father Parker,* rector for 
seventeen years, succumbed to typhus on April 28th, aged 43, 
and was followed on May 26th by the scholarly Benedictine, 
Dr. Appleton, of St. Peter s, who exchanged the Presidency of 
Douai College for a martyr s crown, won in the pestilential 
cellars of Crosby Street. The fine sanctuary of the church 

* Buried in the vaults of the church. Dr. Youens sang the Requiem ; 
the Rub-deacon was Father Nugent 



87 

recalls his last work for the oldest ecclesiastical building in 
Liverpool, and the tablet on the walls of the church reminds 
succeeding generations of his great charity. St. Patrick s 
again rendered two more victims, Father Grayston succumbing 
on the 16th June, aged 33, and his colleague, Father Haggar, * 
aged 29, following him seven days later. A third priest who 
had left the plains of Westmeath to work among his people in 
England, the Rev. Bernard O Reilly, was also stricken down. 
The rector of Old Swan, Father, afterwards Canon, Haddocks, 
took him from the presbytery at Saint Patrick s to his own 
house, in the country, where he recovered in a most miracu 
lous manner, and lived to become the third Bishop of 
Liverpool. St. Mary s then took up the beadroll of death ; 
Father Gilbert, O.S.B., aged 27, and Father William Dale, 
O.S.B., aged 43, succumbing to typhus on the 31st May and 
28th June respectively. 

On the 22nd August, Father Richard Gillow,f a member 
of a most devoted Catholic family, yielded up his young life 
he was but 36 years of age at St. Nicholas , and on the 28th 
September, the death of Father Whitaker, at St. Joseph s, 
completed the death-roll for the year. Father Whitaker J s 
career was unique. He entered Douai with the intention of 
becoming a Benedictine, and after some years abandoned his 
undoubted vocation for the study of medicine. On the eve of 
qualifying he changed his mind and resumed his ecclesiastical 
studies at St. Sulpice, Paris. From thence he proceeded to 
Ushaw, where he was ordained, and after serving on the 
mission at Bolton, York, and Manchester, found an early 
grave in the slums of Liverpool. The deaths of these priests;:; 
made a profound impression on a town which had witnessed 
15,000 deaths from famine and fever, and exalted in the esti 
mation of the Protestant citizens the character and dignity 
of the priesthood. The strain on the surviving clergy, most 
of whom suffered severely, was intense. They lay at night^ 
on chairs and sofas in their clothes, awaiting the sick calls 
which never failed to come, fearful lest the time spent in 
dressing might mean the loss of the Sacraments to some poor 
wretch lying in his dismal hovel. To the townspeople such 
heroism conveyed the reason why Catholics reverenced the office 
of the priest ; for Catholics it knit fresh bonds between them 
and the clergy. 

* Died at the house of Mr. Denis Madden, 116, Islington. 
f He founded the 8t, Vincent de Paul Conference at St. Nicholas. 

J To these should be added Father Nightingale, who died March 2nd, 
and Father Thomas Kelly, D.D,, who died May 1st. 

yN See (Jshav? Magazine, June, 1895. 



88 

In the midst of these scenes of desolation the sad news 
arrived from Genoa that the great defender of the poor Irish, 
the brilliant advocate of Catholic claims, had given up his 
soul to God. The death of O Connell added to the grief and 
suffering of the poor immigrants, whose confidence in his 
powers knew no bounds. It was announced in the " Tablet " 
that his body would pass through Liverpool on its way to 
mother earth, but the authorities, fearing an outbreak, induced 
his unintelligent son to alter the arrangements. Instead of 
coming to Liverpool from Southampton, the coffin passed 
through Chester, where it rested one night before the altar in 
the city of St. Werburgh, and on the 26th July, 1847, arrived 
in Birkenhead. The steamer " Duchess of Kent " lay in the 
Mersey, en route for Dublin. Its quarter-deck was covered 
with an immense black canopy, under which the coffin was 
placed, surrounded by lighted tapers, and covered with a pall 
still in the possession of the Benedictines at St. Mary s. To 
relieve the poignant feelings of the Irish multitudes they were 
allowed in relays to board the steamer and kneel for a few 
moments before the remains of the " Liberator." The evening 
before, the body of the O Conor Don, M.P., lay in similar 
state ere it passed down the swiftly flowing waters of the 
Mersey to the land from whence he sprang. By November 
the tide of immigration began to slacken, and the black cloud 
of death and disease became less heavy and sombre. As the 
months rolled on, every quarter of the town had suffered, and, 
excluding those who had succumbed, sixty thousand of the 
inhabitants had suffered from fever and forty thousand from 
diarrhoea or dysentery.* 

The year 1848 opened with a great improvement in the 
death-rate from " Irish fever," but scarlatina and influenza 
now began to play havoc with the juvenile population. The 
deaths from fever during 1848 had fallen to 989; scarlatina 
claimed 1,516, and other zymotic diseases accounted for 
4,350. f From January, 1848, to April, 1849, 1,786 fatal cases 
of scarlatina occurred with children under 15 years of 
age, and when, in 1849, the horrors of Asiatic cholera were 
superadded, out of 5,245 deaths 1,510 cases were those of the 
same tender years, not including the 1,059 carried off by 
dysentery. f The importance of these figures from the point 
of view of Catholic Liverpool is that seven-eighths of the deadj 
were Irish; famine at home being exchanged for death abroad. 

There were then in Vauxhall Ward, to take only one part 
of the typical Irish quarters, 27 streets, 226 courts, and 153 

* Dr. Duncan s Report, page 18. 
f Ibid. : Ibid. 



89 

cellars. In the street houses 6,888 persons found a shelter, 
and in the courts, exclusive of the cellars, 6,148; or, as the 
Rev. Dr. Cahill put it, they crowded the desolate garret, the 
putrid cellar, and the filthy lane. In normal days in this 
district and Scotland Ward the deaths were in the ratio of 
one to fourteen of the residents as compared with one to 
thirty-eight in Rodney and Abercromby wards. According to 
a census taken by a well-known Anglican clergyman, Canon 
Hume, who made a house-to-house visit, there were 3,128 
children between the ages of three and a half and twelve 
without the slightest school accommodation, and if we include 
those up to fourteen years of age, at least one thousand more 
must be added to the number. " Crime," as the word was 
then used, had begun to increase. In 1845 there were 3,889 
cases; in 1846, 4,740; in 1847, 6,510, in 1848, 7,714; and in 
1849, 6,702. The cause we have already indicated. " Mr. W. 
Rathbone, at a meeting to raise funds, declared that it was 
the Irish landlords and not the people who ought to have been 
forcibly immigrated. Mr. Rushton, in his report to the Home 
Secretary, dated April 21, 1849, gives his view of the increase 
in " crime." " I saw from day to day the poor Irish popula- 
" tion forced upon us in a state of wretchedness which cannot 
" be described. Within twelve hours after they landed they 
" would be found among one of three classes, paupers, vagrants, 
" or thieves. Few became claimants for parochial relief, for 
" in that case they would be discovered and might be sent back 
" to Ireland. The truth is that gaols, such as the gaol of the 
" borough of Liverpool, afford the wretched and unfortunate 
" Irish better food, shelter, and raiment, and more cleanliness 
" than, it is to be feared, many of them ever experienced 
" elsewhere ; hence, it constantly happens that Irish vagrants 
who have offered them the choice of being sent back to 
" Ireland or to gaol in a great many cases desire to go to 
" prison." This awful picture was confirmed by the Prison 
Commissioners in the same year, who speak of " the intensity 
" of the distress, and the vast immigration of Irish paupers 
" who commit petty offences in order to be sent to prison. At 
" the time of our visit to the gaol more than one-third of the 
" males were of this description, and more than half of the 
" females." Here are two official statements as to the origin 
of " Irish crime," to be aggravated as the succeeding years 
rolled on by the same causes, poverty, overcrowding, casual 
employment, and the natural consequence of all three, excess 
in drink. Compare these figures with the annual report 
furnished to the justices by the Anglican Chaplain of the gaol. 
In the year 1841 there were 201 prisoners committed to the 



90 

Assizes for serious crime, 35 being Catholics; committed to 
the Sessions for less serious crimes 317, 66 being Catholics. 
The Courts of Summary Jurisdiction or Police Courts com 
mitted 1,541, the Catholics numbering 486. From a popula 
tion numbering a third* of the whole these figures show no 
sign of " Catholic crime 7 being in undue proportion; 
decidedly the reverse, especially in the Assize and Sessions 
cases. For the year 1842, 41 Catholics were sent from the 
Assizes out of a total of 185 ; from the Sessions 100 out of 
472, and from the Police Courts 513 out of 1,536. During 
the year 1843, 1,410 prisoners were sent to Kirkdale Gaol; 
78 Dissenters, 280 Catholics, and 1,036 Protestants. Crime 
began with the poverty of the victims of the great famine, 
and was due to causes over which they had little control. 
Their children were the greatest sufferers, the inheritors of a 
sad past. The want of schools was the main cause, for, as 
Father Nugent wrote sixteen years later in his first report to 
the justices, " education is not an absolute preservative against 
" crime, yet it must always be an incalculable advantage 
" towards gaining an honest livelihood, and making a position 
" in a town like Liverpool. ? | The children s story has yet to 
be told. 

The Corporation now plunged headlong into the work of 
sanitary reform, and blundered badly. The solution of the 
whole question lay, according to their notion of things, in 
closing insanitary cellars. From 1847 to 1849 they ejected 
25,015 persons who dwelt in cellars, a desirable course to 
pursue provided they offered better surroundings or knew that 
private enterprise would supply them. One result did accrue, 
which was to overcrowd still more the houses already too fully 
occupied. I Tenement houses have been Liverpool s second 
greatest curse, the fruitful cause of intemperance amongst 
women and even worse evils. Local authorities bad not then 
the powers obtained thirty years later, and on that score the 
Liverpool Town Council was not entirely blameworthy. It 
was, however, unsympathetic, short-sighted, indifferent. 

A general election was fought in the month of 
September, 1847 ; Free Trade and Education being the two 
main issues. Cobden had made certain the victory of one 
issue ; the other was in its usual condition of glorious uncer 
tainty. One hundred thousand pounds had been set aside by 

* Bee Mr. Edward Bretherton s reply to Lord Sandon, who, in a speech 
in the House of Commons said Catholics were one-fourth. 1843. 

t Annual Police Report, October 26th, 1864. 

{ See Dr. Duncan s report. He appealed to his committee to proceed 
cautiously in the evictions. 



91 

Parliament for the purpose of assisting elementary education, 
and it appeared practically agreed that the Catholics would be 
excluded from any direct participation in the distribution. 
The " Liverpool Mercury " urged Catholics to fight ; " a tame 
" acquiescence now would add to the difficulty and delay of an 
" act of justice, which Her Majesty s Government propose to 
" postpone to some future and more convenient opportunity." 
The vigorous agitation conducted by the Catholic body did 
secure such an alteration, though, as was stated by the Hon. 
Chas. Langdale, of the Catholic Poor School Committee, it 
would be necessary to raise twenty thousand pounds in order 
to secure a grant of ten thousand. Liverpool took the lead in 
the struggle which brought about the change, inaugurating 
the campaign at a Catholic demonstration at the Music Hall, 
Bold Street. They were encouraged in the fight by the pros 
pect of being able to remove from the streets hundreds, nay, 
thousands of Catholic children. The Church must carry out 
her Divine mission, though pestilence stalked the 
streets. The Liverpool election gave the Catholic body an 
opportunity of demonstrating its feeling upon this point, and 
it is not without interest to note that all its leaders were Free 
Traders and at the same time ardent Catholic educationalists. 
Mow to reconcile both views with a view to a solid vote at the 
poll was as difficult then as now, coupled with great anxiety as 
to the necessity of not injuring the friendly Liberals of the 
town. Sir Thomas Birch and Mr. Cardwell were the Liberal 
Free Trade candidates. Lord John Manners stood boldly for 
Protection and the Corn Laws. Fortunately, a fourth candi 
date appeared on the scene in the person of Sir Digby 
Mackworth, an uncompromising Orange zealot. His main 
plank was the repeal of the Emancipation Act, and the 
exclusion of Catholics from all public offices. With such views, 
harmonising as they did with the words and acts of local 
Toryism, his success was regarded as a certainty; how to 
prevent it was the aim of the Catholic leaders. A meeting in 
the Concert Hall was convened by Sir Arnold Knight, Messrs. 
Sheil, Yates, Hore, and Gillow, and was specially addressed 
by Mr. Vaughan,* of Courtfield, head of the famous family 
which has given so many of its sons to the highest offices in the 
Church. It was resolved, on the motion of Mr. E. Bretherton, 
seconded by Dr. McCarron, " That the speeches and address of 
" Sir Digby Mackworth prove him to be deplorably ignorant 
" on all subjects of commercial importance ; that the false and 
" bigoted opinions he entertains respecting the Catholic 
" religion are unworthy of the present age, and insulting to 

* Father of the future Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster. 



" th! good feelings of the enlightened constituency of Liver- 
" pool, and this meeting pledges itself to use every means to 
" defeat him, being convinced that he is a most unworthy 
" person to represent Liverpool in Parliament." How to 
secure this desirable end was not so clear, and the means 
employed proved that the electioneering strategy of the- 
Catholic advisers was quite equal to the successful tactics of a 
later generation of Irish politicians. It was decided, on the 
suggestion of Sir Arnold Knight, " that the Catholic electors 
" be most earnestly requested not to vote until after one o clock 
" p.m. on the day of election, and, should Sir Digby Mackworth 
" be first, second or third on the poll, they are requested to vote 
" for the two candidates that may be highest. If Sir Digby be 
" last on the poll, the Catholic electors will judge for themselves 
" which of the three candidates they will support." This 
policy proved a complete success. Open voting was then the 
law, and as the polling results were announced hourly it was 
a simple matter to ascertain the position of each candidate, and 
so make it easy to decide in a two-membered constituency for 
whom to vote in order to keep out a third or fourth candidate . 
The Liberals carried both seats. Cardwell, 5,581 ; Birch, 
4,482; Mackworth, 4,089; Manners, 2,413. Twelve hundred 
Catholic votes cast for both Liberals after one p.m. disposed 
of Mackworth s chances, to the chagrin of the Tories, who 
practically deserted Manners and Protection for Mackwortfe 
and No Popery. 

Irish political questions then assumed an acute phase in 
Ireland, and did not tend to make the position of the poor 
Irish in Liverpool more secure. The insurrection of 1848 
created a feeling of resentment against Irishmen generally, and 
was accentuated by several arrests in Liverpool of prominent 
Confederates, as they were called, for aiding the revolutionary 
movemeiit at home. Indeed, so panic-stricken were the 
authorities that 3,000 special constables were sworn in to 
prevent an imaginary rising in Liverpool on St. Patrick s Day, 
1848. The clergy were in a difficult position. Father Bernard 
O Reilly, St. Patrick s, was unceasing in his denunciations of 
secret societies, which had no real existence in Liverpool, and, 
on the other hand, had repeatedly to lead his people out into 
Park Place to defend the church from Orange attacks. Again 
and again, with ladders and ropes, the Orangemen of 
Toxteth sought to pull down the statue which stands outside 
the western wall, and were as often defeated by the skilful 
tactics of the future Bishop. The insurrection in Italy, directed 
against Papal rule of the "patrimony of St. Peter," aroused 
bitter feelings on both sides, and but for the consummate tact 



98 

of the clergy, bloodshed would have followed iu the wake of 
famine and disease. There is no gainsaying the fact that Irish 
political troubles were hindering the progress of the Church, 
as even the moderate English residents of the town confused 
then, as now, Catholicism with Irish political aspirations. 

The clergy and the leading laymen realised the seriousness 
of the situation, and devoted all their energies to the practical 
needs of more churches and schools for the survivors of the new 
army of invasion . 

In November, 1847, to the deep regret of most of the laity, 
the Vicars Apostolic decided to take from the Catholic Institute 
of Great Britain the supervision of child education, with the 
result that that fine organisation was broken up and its funds 
handed over to their lordships. Out of this change came the 
Catholic Poor School Committee, to which the various vicari- 
ates were invited to send representatives. The Rev. Dr. 
Youens,* Mr. Chasi. Towneley, and Mr. Weld Blundell were 
selected to represent Lancashire. A deputation from the new 
committee visited Liverpool to confer with the clergy and laity 
as to the means to be adopted to provide school accommodation. 
At the public meeting held in St. Nicholas , it was clearly 
shown that Liverpool was in a much worse state than any other 
town in the kingdom, owing to the immense immigration. The 
result of this conference was an address to the Privy Council 
setting forth the claims of Liverpool Catholics for grants 
towards the provision of additional schools. Mr. Nasmyth 
Stokes, f Secretary of the Catholic School Committee, drew up 
the memorial, in the course of which he says : " I have been 
" asked to request your favourable consideration for St. Mary s. 
" The congregation is represented to be the poorest Irish con- 
" gregation in Liverpool, containing thousands of poor 
" children. The managers are anxious to place the girls school 
" under Government inspection, and to obtain pupil teachers." 
He next proceeds to give the number of baptisms in St. Mary s, 
to prove the crowded condition of the ancient parish. Out of 
a total of 9,906 baptisms in every church and chapel of every 
denomination in the Parish of Liverpool, 1,196 were performed 
in St. Mary s, while in the town itself, out of 11,516, 2.015 were 
Catholic baptisms, and these figures did not include the 
parishes of St. Anthony s or St. Joseph s, so that at the very 
lowest estimate one-fourth of the children born in 1847 were 
of Catholic parentage. A conference was also held in the 
Catholic Club, at which the inspector urged the Catholics to 
put their schools in such repair as to secure the small grants 

* He died on June 2nd, 1848, from a fever contracted while on a holiday. 
f Appointed H.M. Inspector of Catholic Schools in 1853. 



94 

then available. To show his personal appreciation of the work 
done for fifty years by the Hibernian Schools, under the 
guidance of the Rathbones, Holts, and Hornbys, Father 
Mathewpaid a special visit in 1849, and addressed the children. 
A report from the Gaol Chaplain, calling attention to the 
awful fact that there were in Kirkdale Gaol 144 boys and girls 
of tender years, induced Mr. George Holt to make an earnest 
appeal to the Corporation to remove the restrictions which 
prevented the attendance of Catholic children at Council 
schools. Purely secular education, he urged, would be better 
than running the streets, but the Church party refused to stir 
one inch from their former attitude; only five votes being 
recorded for Mr. Holt s motion. The " Athenaeum " published 
a severe attack on the majority, declaring the debate was 
" painful and humiliating to read," at a time when " thousands 
" were prowling about the docks and streets in a complete state 
" of mental and moral destitution." This mistaken policy of 
the leaders of the Established Church cost them the support 
and sympathy of the Catholics of Liverpool, when, in later 
years, they in turn found themselves attacked on the same 
point. From that hour was handed down the tradition that 
the real enemy of religious toleration was not the militant 
Nonconformist, but the strongly-entrenched Anglican.* 

On the 23rd January, 1848, the temporary chapel in 
Blundell Street was abandoned, and a shed 90 feet by 30, in 
Norfolk Street, was fitted up to make more provision for the 
7,500 Catholics in St. Vincent s district, not one-fifth of whom 
could be provided for.f 

The Benedictines at St. Mary s were absolutely unable to 
cope with the tens of thousands living in hovels in the district 
east and north of their church in Edmund Street, which, as 
we have read, was the " poorest Irish congregation in the 
"town." In a shippon in Standish Street, a priest came on 
Sunday mornings to celebrate Mass, and here the teeming 
thousands were quite unable to get inside. It was due to 
Father Thomas Newsham, of St. Anthony s, that this provision 
was made. A Liverpool Catholic, Mr. Samuel Holland 
Moreton, generously provided a temporary building, which 
enabled six hundred persons to hear Mass on the upper storey, 
and two hundred children to receive instruction during the 
week on the ground floor. On the 25th March, 1849, the 
temporary building was opened, and Holy Cross Mission began. 
Many years afterwards Father Nugent, who preached on the 

* It explains also the want of cohesion between the two bodies in the 

Education war now going on. 
t Rev. John Kelly, Life of Bishop O Reilly. 



95 

opening day, said that the sight of the neglected children 
crowding into the temporary school caused him to conceive the 
necessity for the introduction of the great teaching order 
the Nuns of Notre Dame. It was observed by a Liverpool 
newspaper that the opening ceremony on Lady Day was 
attended by " men and women whose appearance denoted 
"extreme poverty." The worthy Rector of St. Anthony s, 
having secured some provision for the poor of this district, now 
turned his attention to the riverside or western district of his 
own parish. It was the same story; thousands of Irish immi 
grants living in abject poverty. No school, no church. With 
great courage, animated solely by an ardent zeal for souls, he 
purchased " a clay* pit," and began the erection of a church 
dedicated to St. Alban. His troubles were not merely financial ; 
frequent strikes took place; indignation meetings of the 
labourers and artisans held denouncing the contractors who 
were erecting the chapel, accompanied by frequent deputations 
to Father Newsham, whose decision on every point was 
accepted as final. At length, on August 19, 1849, the church 
was opened by Bishop Brown ; a mere shell, as the first priest 
in charge, Father Thomas Kelly, found it. " The most that 
" could be said of the church was that its walls were standing " ; 
the windows were not all in, nor the doors hung, and the tower 
only half built.* It was all that could be done for the House 
of God by its charitable founder, who also busied himself to 
enable the poor crowded around Eldon Street and Vauxhall 
Road to hear Mass. 

St. Francis Xavier s was opened on December 4, 1848, 
by Bishop Brown, who also sang the High Mass on the 
following Sunday. Then followed another edifice to relieve still 
further the pressure on St. Mary s accommodation. On 
February 15, 1848, a meeting was held in St. Mary s School 
room, with the object of raising a memorial, which would be 
both lasting and useful, to the memory of those monks of St. 
Benedict who had given up their lives the preceding year. Dr. 
Murphy presided, and, on the motion of Mr. J. Neale Lomax, 
a man destined to be of great service to the poor Catholics of 
the town, it was decided to erect a memorial church at the 
northern side of the parish. A warehouse was bought at the 
corner of Great Howard Street and ChadwicK Street, and at 
a meeting held October 12, within its walls, presided over by 
Father Wilkinson, O.S.B., the decision was ratified to 
commemorate " the late lamented priests of St. Mary s, Fathers 
" Fisher, Dale, and Gilbert, to whom this part of the town is 
" already consecrated by their apostolic labours and the 

* Catholic Annual. 



96 

" sacrifice of their lives." It was announced that 367 had 
been subscribed, and a wooden model of the proposed church 
was exhibited. On the 9th September, 1849, the martyrs 
church, dedicated to St. Augustine, was opened by Bishops 
Sharpies and Morris, as a chapel of ease to St. Mary s, and, 
owing to the continued tide of Irish immigrants, became at 
once the centre of an immense district. Father Fisher was 
not one of the priests who died from fever, but he well deserved 
that his memory should be perpetuated, having served at St. 
Mary s from 1802 until April 12, 1847, when he departed this 
life at the advanced age of eighty years. 



97 



CHAPTER V. 

In the month >of September, 1850, Pope Pius the Ninth 
restored the English Hierarchy, Dr. Brown signing his name 
as " George, Bishop of Liverpool," for the first time on Sunday, 
November 3rd. Six days later, as soon as the new Mayor had 
been installed, the Town Council passed a resolution against 
" the recent assumption of authority and power in this 
" kingdom by a foreign potentate." A petition to the Mayor 
was signed requesting him to summon a town s meeting on 
November 20th to further protest against " Papal aggression." 
Catholics wisely refused to bow before the storm. Fathers 
Worthy and Walmsley, and Mr. Richard Sheil, attended the 
meeting and spoke in turn against the motions proposed, 
expressing their amazement that the people of Liverpool could 
really believe any harm had been done because Dr. Brown had 
changed his signature from " George, Bishop of Tloa," to 
" George, Bishop of Liverpool." It was a courageous act to 
face such a hostile meeting, and their temperate speeches did 
much to quell the fury of their opponents. In a weak moment 
the Government introduced that absurd measure known as the 
Ecclesiastical Titles Act, to which the Catholics of the town 
responded by the greatest public meeting yet held by them in 
condemnation of the measure, Mr. Thomas Weld-Blundell 
presiding. The Orange section replied in turn by a brutal 
attack on the well-known Passionist, Father Ignatius, better 
known to Englishmen as the Honourable and Rev. George 
Spencer,* as he was quietly walking past St. Patrick s, and by 
renewed attacks on that building. The elections of 1852 
showed that the Catholics were not prepared to submit to these 
insults, even though they ran the risk of offending 
their Liberal allies. As in 1847, they were prepared 
to set Free Trade on one side to defeat Sir 
Digby Mackworth, they now resolved to prevent the 
re-election of one of the retiring Liberal members for the 
town, Sir Thomas Birch, because he had voted for Lord 
Russell s foolish Bill. They displayed no temper, and went 
about the work in a calm, dignified spirit. Mr. Richard Sheil 
took the chair at a meeting of the Catholic Registration 
Committee in the rooms of that body, Houghton Street, at 
which the following resolution was adopted : " That this 

* He resigned a rectory worth 2,000 per annum to become a Catholic 
His nephew, Earl Spencer, was twice Viceroy of Ireland. 



98 

" meeting sincerely deprecates the resolution of a part of the 
" Liberal party to bring forward Sir Thomas Birch, which 
" resolution is highly offensive to Catholics, and calculated to 
" ensure his defeat." Placards were posted on the walls urging 
the Catholic electors not to pledge their support to any candi 
date, but to await developments, and representations were 
made to Mr. Rathbone that it was advisable, in the best 
interests of Free Trade, to withdraw the invitation to Sir 
Thomas Birch. Another public meeting was held in the Music 
Hall, Bold Street, attended by Sir Arnold Knight, Messrs. 
Yates, Sheil, Bretherton, Hore, Gillow, Cafferata, Lynch, and 
Kearney, at which a letter from Mr. Rathbone was read, 
regretting that Sir Thomas had not given satisfaction to the 
Catholic voters. The meeting decided " that they were sorry 
" the Liberals had resolved on compromising the Free Trade 
" position, but could not support Sir Thomas at the poll." 
Eventually Mr. J. C. Ewart was selected as the second Liberal 
candidate. McNeill stepped in and successfully turned 
the issue before the town into one of approbation of the 
Ecclesiastical Titles Act, both Liberals being defeated. The 
corruption and bribery which secured McNeill s triumph were 
so flagrant that the successful candidates were unseated on 
petition, and on a new writ being issued the Liberals 
triumphed, Mr. Bramley Moore being badly beaten. 

On the 26th September, 1851, his Grace the Archbishop 
of Tuam preached at St. Nicholas , in aid of the schools. He 
was accompanied by Archbishop Cullen. The Tory journals 
demanded the prosecution of Dr. MacHale, for signing himself 
" John, Archbishop of Tuam," but even at this time of keen 
excitement the proposal was covered with ridicule and aban 
doned. Both prelates were on their way to London to consult 
with Cardinal Wiseman, and it is noteworthy that they selected 
Father James Nugent, then stationed at the Pro-Cathedral, to 
accompany them. The tension of religious feeling was relieved 
by two huge jokes, in one of which the head of the Theological 
College, Birkenhead, and in the other Mr. Michael James 
Whitty, formerly Head Constable, and now founder and editor 
of the " Daily Post," figured. The unconscious humour of a 
clerical firebrand in one instance deserves first place. An 
announcement appeared in the advertising columns of the 
" Mercury " that an ex-curate of the Rev. Dr. Hook, of Leeds, 
would preach in St. Werburga s Church, Birkenhead, in aid of 
the schools attached to that mission. It was a simple announce 
ment, such as had appeared many times in the Liverpool 
journals, and outside the Catholics, to whom it was specially 
addressed, very few, if any, of the citizens took any notice of 



99 

it. Not so the Rev. Joseph Baylee, M.A., principal of the 
College, afterwards St. Aldan s, Birkenhead. He caused 
posters to be placed on every hoarding in Birkenhead, with the 
following address to his townsmen : " An announcement 
" having been made that the late Protestant curate of Dr. 
" Hook, Leeds, is to preach at the Catholic Chapel of St. 
" Werburga, I am reluctantly compelled to make this public 
" protest against an assumption which has no real foundation. 
" The building referred to is only a Romanist place of worship, 
" and has no claim to be a Catholic church. Its priests have no 
" authority in this parish ; they do not preach the word of God 
" as set forth in His Holy Word, and in the teaching of the 
" ancient Catholic Church. They are, therefore, schismatics, 
" and teach heresies. As Christ s minister lawfully appointed 
" towards you, I subscribe myself in great truth, Joseph 
" Baylee, priest of the one Catholic and Apostolic Church." 
This ex-cathedra announcement from the self-appointed curator 
of the souls of all men within the boundaries of Birkenhead, 
created immense amusement, especially as the clerical writer 
annoyed his " Protestant " friends by his assumption of 
authority. It served the purpose of filling the " Romanist 
" place of worship/ and of affording cheap amusement to 
Catholics on both sides of the river. 

The other joke was the committal of a Catholic editor to 
Lancaster Gaol in defence of the liberty of the Press, against 
the tyranny and shallow justice of a local County Court Judge. 
Many a Catholic had found his way to Lancaster; some had 
found graves there, in consequence of their faith, and this 
historic fact gave additional interest to Mr. Whitty s in 
carceration for a much less serious cause. 

Judge William Ramshay, in the course of a trivial case, 
made some sarcastic comments on the people of the town. Mr. 
Whitty caused the words, " Mr. Ramshay s opinion of the 
" people of Liverpool," to appear on the placard of the " Daily 
" Post " on the following day. A grim humorist on the staff 
placed one of these bills in the neighbourhood of the County 
Court, so that it might catch " his Honour s " eye. It did. 
Without more ado he delivered himself of a violent harangue 
in the Court, ordered the arrest of Mr. Whitty and his son, 
and in default of payment of a fine of fifteen pounds, com 
mitted the former to Lancaster. His Honour went further, 
and threatened to send every journalist in the town to bear him 
company. Mr. Whitty s counsel did not improve the temper 
of the new Daniel by coolly suggesting that Mr. Whitty, junr., 
would have been justified in shooting the bailiffs of the Court 
who arrested him in his office. Escorted to Lime Street Station 



100 

by an immense crowd, Mr. Whitty set out for Lancaster, and a 
deputation of leading citizens proceeded to London to demand 
the removal of Judge Ramshay. In a few hours two thousand 
signatures of merchants, public men, and journalists were 
affixed to a petition to the Home Secretary backing up the 
demand, and next day, to save Mr. Whitty any further incon 
venience, Mr. Robertson Gladstone induced Mr. J. R. Jeffrey 
to pay the fine. An enquiry was held at Preston, conducted by 
the Earl of Carlisle, and after a nine days trial the Judge was 
dismissed, and condemned to pay the costs, which amounted 
to 1,800. Mr. John Rosson, himself a lawyer, publicly 
characterised Mr. Ramshay s defence as an " olla podrida of 
" piracies from Erskine, Curran, Shell, Brougham, and 
" O Connell." This distinguished Catholic layman about this 
time received a commission from the Spanish Government to 
visit Galway and make a report as to the character of the 
former commercial relations between the Citie of the Tribes 
and Spain, from the eleventh to the sixteenth centuries. 

The provision of schools was the one great all-absorbing 
task which the Catholic body set itself to achieve in the early 
fifties. The Jesuits had completed the new altar and chancel 
at St. Francis Xavier s, which were solemnly blessed on the 
18th October, 1851, by the Right Rev. Dr. Canoz, Vicar- 
Apostolic of Madeira, who preached in French. Having begun 
the further beautifying of the church by the erection of the 
chancel screen and stone pulpit, under the direction of Father 
O Carroll, they proceeded to erect new schools in Haigh Street. 
On August 15th, 1853, the first stone was laid by Mr. Richard 
Sheil, in the presence of the Bishop, and on Sunday afternoon, 
October 23rd, 1854, the schools were formally opened. At 
Easter, 1853, Father O Carroll called at Mount Vernon to 
request the Sisters of Mercy to take charge of the new schools. 
From a letter written by the nun who was placed in charge, 
we learn that at 3 p.m. on the date of opening Sister Mary 
Stanislaus MacQuoin, who was to take charge of the infants, 
accompanied her Superioress to Haigh Street, when Father 
O Carroll s emotion quite overcome him, now that the dearest 
wish of his heart had been accomplished, and the poor children 
of the parish had at length been provided with the means of 
religious and secular instruction. 

In a series of letters written by Father Ignatius Grant, 
S.J.,* who was stationed at St. Francis Xavier s at that period, 
there will be found a vivid character sketch of the founder of 
the schools. The following extract from one of these epistles 
gives some idea of this fine Irish Jesuit, and incidentally of 

* See Xaverian, May, 1889- 



101 

two of the merchants to whom Catholic Liverpool owed much 

for their great charity : " It was St. Joseph s Day. We began 

" by an attack on Mr. Edward Chaloner, after a long walk the 

" whole length of the docks. It was a mahogany sale day, and 

" there was luncheon. All were in good spirits. As we were 

leaving the office, Mr. Chaloner, with his quaint irony and 

amusing good nature, said : I think, Father O Carroll, yours 

is a tell-tale face to-day. I think you came a-begging, and 

you have not had the courage to say so. Eh ? Yours is an 

expressive countenance, but it can t explain itself away. 

Well, Mr. Chaloner, I did indeed intend to ask for a little 

help for my Poor School, but I know you have been very well 

bled last week. Never mind that, there is still a little left. 

4 Here, Cashier, let these gentlemen have five pounds each. 

Good morning, and pray for me. 

" We passed on to the office of Mr. John Browne, of 

Wavertree, and I must confess that my heart sank within me 

as we saw the retreating forms of Father Nugent and Father 

Kelly, of St. Alban s, as we approached. Father O Carroll 

was for going home. Passons outre, he said. I demurred, 

and said, Sink or swim, I will tell Mr. Brown my wants in 

honour of St. Joseph ! Mr. Brown began by telling us, 

You are late in the field, for two very comely nuns from 

Blackburn have preceded those priests, and it was impossible 

to say them nay. But, Father Grant, as you are putting up 

gas, you will want pedestals. Will the mast of a ship be of 

any use to you? I will give you that. It is quite invalu- 

able, and perhaps you will add to the favour by allowing 

the mast to be cut up by your eighteen feet saw ? 

Not only that, said he, but send me the dimen- 

sions and measurements of your pillars, and I will 

have them turned for you, and delivered at St. 

Francis Xavier s. " Comment is needless on these incidents. 

They represent the daily and perhaps not so successful 

toil of the clergy in the struggle with debt on a poor mission. 

Referring again to the new schools, a Sister of Mercy wrote,* 

" I well remember the Lightbounds, Gillows, Tiernans, 

" Roskells, Verdons, and Coopers as being amongst the most 

" forward in promising their aid and active co-operation on 

" that day, a promise that they each and all nobly fulfilled 

" during the seventeen years I continued in charge of the 

" schools." 

" When the school opened next morning 300 girls and 100 
" infants were enrolled; but, alas ! hundreds had to be refused 
" admittance for want of room. The saintly founder, realising 

*See Xaverian, October, 18S9. 



102 

" how inadequate the accommodation was, enlarged the 
" premises, and built a room over the infants school, and one 
" adjoining it over the offices. It was then that the hanging 
" stone staircase was made, which at the time excited great 
" admiration. Before the new rooms were opened, anxiety and 
" fatigue having greatly reduced Father Carroll s strength, 
" he was called to his reward."* From this interesting and 
charmingly-written letter we glean that even then the schools 
could not provide for all who sought to gain admission, and 
two houses had to be hired " in the terrace opposite/ to supply 
the demand for school places. Sister Mary Stanislaus remained 
in charge until May, 1871, the long term of thirty -seven years. 
It is not without interest to Liverpool men that one of the 
earliest appearances of Mr. Charles Santley,f the great bari 
tone, was at a concert to raise funds for the schools in Haigh 
Street. 

St. Nicholas clergy undertook the provision of new schools 
in Copperas Hill, designed by Mr. McGrath, a local Catholic 
architect. Both clergy and laity worked with a will. " It will 
" not, perhaps, be thought a mark of presumption," wrote His 
Majesty s Inspector to the Privy Council, in his report for the 
year 1852, "if I take the liberty of expressing my admiration 
" at the rare zeal and intelligence with which the Catholic 
" clergy and laity of Liverpool co-operate in this and similar 
" works. I have had no greater consolation in the labours of 
" my office than that which I owe to these gentlemen, with 
" whom it has been my privilege to be associated, and the 
" success of whose generous labours I have now the satisfaction 
of recording. "J The moving spirit in the erection of schools 
as well as churches was Father Thomas Newsham, Hector of 
St. Anthony s, to whom a special compliment is paid in the 
report referred to, " as a gentleman to whom the progress of 
" popular education in Liverpool owes a great deal." He 
founded the schools of St. Hilda, in Blackstock Street, to 
accommodate 750 children, and St. Helen, Eldon Street, for 
500, and was especially successful in the selection of his 
teachers. The girls side of the two schools mentioned, as well 
as St. Anthony s, were singled out year by year for special 
praise by the Inspectors. The report for 1852 says of St. 
Anthony s : " The managers, who have given the most ample 
" proofs of their deep interest in its progress and welfare, and 
" whose generous exertions in favour of elementary education 

* He died from typhus fever, caught while in attendance on an Irish 
family in the parish, 
f Sir Charles Santley. 

J See Report, T. W. M Marshall, January, 1853. 
Father Newsham and his brother priests. 



103 

" are not limited to this institution, may be congratulated upon 
" their good fortune in possessing the services of one of the most 
" accomplished and skilful teachers in this country." 

Writing of the Eldon Street School, the Inspector makes a 
remarkable reference : " I will beg leave to refer to a school 
" lately opened in the very heart of one of the most notoriously 
" corrupt and immoral districts in England, upon the state of 
" which an interesting pamphlet was published not long since 
" by a distinguished clergymanf of the Established Church. I 
" refer to a well-known spot in Liverpool, abandoned till 
" recently as the natural domain and appropriate receptacle of 
" the refuse of a great city. In the worst street in this locality, 
" in which amongst other centres of corruption were five 
" infamous houses, and where, as I am informed, even the 
" police ventured with reluctance, contenting themselves with a 
" glance down the street, a school of large dimensions and 
" excellent architectural character and arrangements was 
" erected during the course of last summer. The school was 
" committed by the founder, the Rev. Thomas Newsham, to 
" the care of a few religious ladies, all very young, but of whom 
" the Superior is probably one of the most sagacious and 
11 accomplished teachers of our time. It was a mission of no 
" common difficulty and peril, but they who imposed the task 
" knew what they were about, and that the feeble hands to 
" which it was entrusted were able to contend with any form of 
" evil, however menacing and formidable, which could cross 
" their path. I visited the school about four months after its 
" operations had commenced. It then presented the aspect of 
" a long-established and highly-organised school, and the 
" deportment of the children, who were not only thoroughly 
" subdued and disciplined, but completely under the control 
" and influence of the teachers, was even unusually gentle and 
" pleasing." The Nuns who worked this extraordinary change 
were the Sisters of Notre Dame. 

Indeed, the influence of the religious communities in 
forming character had, in the short space of two years, 
impressed the Education Authorities at Whitehall, who began 
to learn themselves, at the feet of the Nuns of the different 
religious communities, how instruction should be imparted. It 
speaks well of their desire to be instructed that they published 
the following report on the work done in the Catholic girls 
schools in different parts of the country : " Everyone knows 
" how much easier it is to instruct the children of the working 
" classes with skill, however obtuse and corrupt they may be 
" from previous neglect and evil associations, than to accomplish 

t Canon Hume. 



104 

" those more delicate operations which properly belong to 
" education ; and whoever has tried to civilise and refine rude 
" natures, to root out vile and long-indulged habits, to extin- 
" guish and replace wilf ulness by docility, obstinacy by meek- 
" ness, restlessness by patience, and self-love by self-contempt, 
" has attempted a task which makes perhaps a larger demand 
upon human wisdom and perseverance than any other. Yet 
this is what is done, and upon a very large scale, in many of 
the schools of which I have been speaking. . . . They are 
the choice and especial fruits of the highest order of Christian 
education, and for this reason they deserve to be recorded by 
one whose province it is to notice and report whatever is most 
characteristic in the facts which come under his observation." 
This wonderful change was consequent upon the coming of 
the Nuns of Notre Dame from Namur. To Father James 
Nugent belongs the honour of introducing this fine teaching 
order to Liverpool. The beginning of their work was simple and 
uneventful, but there were not wanting severe critics of his 
action. " Among the clergy; men of age and experience, who 
" persuaded themselves that there was no room for the new- 
" comers ; they would obtain no employment, no support, and 
" would speedily return defeated to Belgium."* 

No greater or more lasting monument to Father Nugent s 
foresight, wisdom, and perseverance can be seen than the 
magnificent results which accrued, not only to Liverpool, but 
to Great Britain, from the presence of the Sisters of Notre 
Dame. On March 28, 1851, there arrived at 3, Islington Flags, 
four foreign Sisters Sister Superior Mary Alphonsus de 
Ligouri, Sister Mary Albania, Sister Mary Ursula, and Sister 
Mary Eulalia. The following week they were joined by Sister 
Mary Anne and Sister Mary Francisca. 

" I arrived in the morning," wrote Sister Superior, " with 
" Sister Mary Albania. I merely brought her with me to take 
" charge of St. Nicholas Poor School, which was to commence, 
" Monday, 31 March. The Poor School at Copperas Hill was 
" one large room ; a gallery at one end of it for the infants ; 
" the other children were arranged in little square classes from 
" 20 to 30, each of these classes under the care of a pupil 
" teacher. We found great disorder prevailing throughout, as 
" there had been no regular mistress for some time."f Simple 
but telling words the writer of them a foreigner in our midst, 
sowing the tiny seed soon to grow into a mighty tree. We read 
of her papering, with her own hands, the soiled walls of the 
small room in Islington Flags, which was to serve as the first 

*Catholic Register, July 8th, 1881. 
fEnglish Foundations of the Sisters of Notre Dame. 



105 

chapel of the community early evidence of her practical 
character. Less than two months after their arrival six hun 
dred children were gathered together in the primitive school of 
St. Nicholas, with its square classes, and such a revolution had 
been effected that H.M. Inspector one year later was able to 
report that " it must be a source of great pleasure and consola- 
tion to the managers to witness the complete success of their 
wise and generous efforts to promote elementary education 
within the district under their charge. . . . It is a 
special character of institutions conducted by teachers of this 
class, that the intellectual work they accomplish, however 
1 valuable and effective, is uniformly accompanied by a more 
precious moral and religious triumph, of which they alone 
1 seem to possess the secret." On the Monday week after their 
arrival the Sisters began the work of Secondary Education for 
which they have achieved world-wide renown. They began 
with nine pupils, one of whom was destined to become a member 
of the Liverpool community,* and eight months later the 
numbers had increased to a little over thirty. Who can imagine 
now, gazing at the fine pile of buildings in Mount Pleasant, that 
they had such a simple beginning in an eight-roomed house on 
Islington Flags ? 

On October 4th of the same year the Sisters accepted the 
charge of the Falkner Street Girls Orphanage, previously 
under the care of the Sisters of Mercy, Sister Alphonsus leaving 
her work in Islington to take up the new responsibility. She 
was succeeded by a remarkable woman, Sister Aimee de Jesus, 
who became Superior-General of the Congregation some years 
later. The first house in Mount Pleasant, " a large house with 
" a good garden," number 96, was purchased by Sister Aimee, 
thanks to the generosity of a remarkable member 
of the congregation of Notre Dame, better known as the 
Honourable Mrs. Petre. Her late husband was one of the 
founders of the Catholic Poor School Committee, and his 
enthusiasm for education was amply shared by his gifted wife. 
Shortly after the beginning of her widowhood, she sought 
admission to the ranks of the Notre Dame community at 
Namur, and as Sister Mary Francis attained to the dignity of 
Superioress. Her knowledge of English Catholic difficulties in 
providing schools and teachers was invaluable to the community 
which had undertaken the heavy responsibility of teaching in 
Liverpool and other centres under circumstances of great diffi 
culty. The debt which the Catholics of England owe to this self- 
sacrificing, noble-hearted lady can never be repaid. In Mount 
Pleasant a middle school for girls, with some limited accommo- 

* Miss Lomax, Sister Teresa of the Passion. 



106 

dation for boarders, was established, and developed daily until 
the eventful day when the Training College solved the problem 
of providing trained teachers for Catholic schools. Sir James 
Kay Shuttleworth inaugurated the pupil teacher system in 
1846, and two years later, when Catholic schools became 
eligible for participation in the education grants, Mount 
Pleasant witnessed the establishment of the first Pupil 
Teachers Centre, and from its foundation made its influence 
felt, not only on the students, but on the whole country, by 
reason of the excellent methods introduced and perfected by 
the Sisters of Notre Dame. 

A quarter of a century later the leading educationalists of 
Liverpool, men of the stamp of Mr. S. G. Rathbone* and Mr. 
Christopher Bushell,f in seeking a model for the training of 
pupil teachers for Liverpool Board Schools, gratefully acknow 
ledged and copied the methods pursued at Mount Pleasant as 
the most successful yet attempted in any part of the kingdom. 

There was no training college for secular masters; 
November, 1851, being the earliest moment when a principal, 
Rev. John Melville Glenie, M.A., was appointed to the 
newly-founded College of St. Mary, Hammersmith. The 
Christian Brothers had not come under Government inspection 
in Liverpool at such an early date, because their rules forbade 
them to permit any outside interference with the methods 
approved of by their own Superior, and this led to an unfortu 
nate difference of opinion between the clergy of St. Mary s and 
their congregation. The " Tablet " announced that, the Rector 
desired to get rid of the Brothers in order that he might not 
only place St. Mary s under Government inspection, but secure 
the Privy Council grants for buildings and staff. These grants 
were liberal, including aid towards provision of new schools 
and teachers houses of 10s. to 20s. per six square feet; two- 
thirds of the cost of requisite outlay for fittings ; 9d. per child 
for books and maps triennially ; stipends for monitors, rising 
from 10 for first year of service to 20 at the end of the 
fourth year. To pupil teachers who completed their five years 
course with credit the Privy Council allowed 25 per annum 
for three years in payment for their services as assistants in 
schools taught by certificated teachers, and teachers could 
entitle themselves to annual augmentations of salary, varying 
from ten to thirty pounds. The conditions laid down were 
that all schools should be built in accordance with official 
requirements, and the property settled in permanent trust for 
Catholic education in form of deed " approved by the 

* Second Chairman of the Liverpool School Board. 
tFirst Chairman of the Liverpool School Board. 



107 

" Bishops "; to accept inspection, and several other conditions, 
such as the redemption of a certain amount of debt. These 
conditions prevailed in 1852 when the St. Mary s difficulty 
arose. Indignation meetings were held, and Father Sheridan 
was severely censured by the Irish portion of his flock. At a 
meeting held in the Catholic Club, Messrs. James Whitty, 
Livingstone, Curtin, and Berry guaranteed to pay annually the 
sum of money the school would lose by the retention of the 
Brothers. The offer was declined, and Father Sheridan s 
explanations were not accepted in view of the decision to retain 
the Brothers at Seel Street, St. Patrick s, and St. Nicholas . 
Much soreness was caused at their removal, and for some time 
the Rector was the one unpopular figure among the clergy. 
The next school to be founded was SS. Thomas and William, 
Edgar Street, which was begun on June 29th, 185 2; Father 
William Carter blessing the foundation-stone. Mr. Thomas 
Gillow,* formerly of Liverpool, but then a resident of Mexico, 
presented this fine school, designed by the celebrated architect, 
Mr. Hansom, to supply the needs of the densely-crowded area 
at the northern end of Vauxhall Ward. 

In 1850 the Bishop handed the temporary church in 
Standish Street to the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, and they 
resolved to erect a school before spending a single farthing on 
a much-needed permanent church. Years afterwards Cardinal 
Manning paid them the compliment of saying that in so doing 
the Oblates " had acted with their traditional good sense," 
Neither schools were likely to receive grants, or, as it is put in 
the Privy Council Report, " additional accommodation is now 
" being provided for nearly 7,000 children, at a cost of about 
" 15,000, and of these only two will receive any assistance 
" from the grant administered by the Committee in Council. 
" Such a fact requires no comment ; but it ought to be noticed 
" as indicating the spirit which has inspired these great works." 
In Holy Cross parish there were 2,500 children between the 
ages of four and fourteen for whom Father Noble, O.M.I., felt 
it incumbent upon him to provide adequate school accommoda 
tion. Both the Privy Council and the Catholic Poor School 
Committee had declined to render any assistance towards the 
maintenance of the school under the chapel, given by Mr. 
S. H. Moreton.f Provided new schools were built, the Govern 
ment would make a grant of 750, and the Poor School 
Committee a donation of 200. The Oblate Fathers were in a 

Marquis of Selva Nevada, and father of Archbishop Gillow, of Oaxaca. 
He died at San Martin, Mexico, January, 1878. 

f Mr. Moreton s gift see sworn evidence of Canon Fisher, in 1870, in 
the trial, Goss v. Hill. 



108 

serious difficulty, out of which they could scarcely see their 
way. No help of any value could be expected from the 
poverty-stricken famine immigrants, who had not as yet shaken 
off the terrors of 1847. The proselytisers were busy in their 
midst. A ragged school had been opened in Hodson Street, a 
few hundred yards away from the chapel and school, and with 
liberal offers of food and clothing tempted the poor children to 
enter its doors. Some few did succumb to the temptation, and 
were promptly taught the necessity of abandoning the " errors 
" of Rome. Fathers Noble and Egan were compelled to resort 
to extreme measures against this ignoble method of snatching 
brands from the burning, or, as a humorous song put it, 
" damning their sowls for penny rowls, and flitches of hairy 
" bacon." Organising an open-air meeting in front of the 
Ragged School, they appealed to the people to withstand the 
temptation a little longer, pledging their word to provide new 
schools almost immediately. They then forced their way into 
the building, and bore away in triumph a number of Catholic 
children, on whose temporary " conversion " the proselytisers 
had spent a considerable sum of money. This exploit put new 
life and courage into the poor wretches who had daily to face 
the dreadful alternative of food and the Authorised Version, 
or hunger and the faith of their fathers. To redeem their 
promise was the aim of the Oblates. Organising a system of 
weekly collections of one penny, three hundred and fifty 
pounds were raised in less than a year, and on the 31st May, 
1852, Father Noble had the great joy of laying the foundation- 
stone of the Fontenoy Street Schools. At this gathering Father 
James Nugent delivered an inspiring address, and made the 
announcement that the girls department was to be placed 
under the supervision of a religious community, and predicted 
a glorious future for Catholic education in Liverpool under the 
care of the Nuns. This notable event was celebrated with great 
parochial rejoicings, in which the High Sheriff of Lancashire, 
Mr. S. Weld-Blundell, Mr. J. B. Aspinall,* and Mr. Allan 
Kaye, Sub-Sheriff, joined with great heartiness. 

To solicit the aid of the charitable beyond the confines of 
the parish, Fathers Noble and Egan had organised a public 
meeting in the previous January, at the Music Hall, Bold 
Street, and before a large audience drew a graphic picture 
of the needs of their immense parish of 11,000 persons "in 
" the greatest possible distress." The result was so encouraging 
that Father Noble expressed his belief that when the schools 
were opened there would not be " a penny of debt" remaining. 
To build such fine schools in a poor district appeared to many 

* A future Recorder of Liverpool. 



109 

to be "a palpable absurdity," to quote the words of their 
founder, but his enthusiasm for the poor children knew no 
bounds, and, finally, on the 14th November, 1853, the schools 
were opened by a meeting of praise and congratulation which 
the clergy of the town honoured by their presence, including 
the enthusiastic Father Nugent. On January 16, 1854, the 
children were assembled in the Church to hear Mass, and then 
proceeded in procession to the schools, headed by the clergy 
and followed by an immense crowd. Each class was formally 
received at the doors of the school by the Nuns and cere 
moniously conducted to its own class-room. To aid the work 
of giving religious instruction to the boys, a new organisation 
of laymen was established in seven parishes. It was called 
the Christian Doctrine Society, and its members gave up 
their leisure on Sundays to teach the Catechism. With great 
foresight Father Noble had provided for the men of the 
parish a meeting place in Bispham Street, out of 
which developed a fine temperance organisation. Weekly 
meetings were held and addresses delivered, which did much 
to scotch the drink evil, the one deadly enemy now remaining 
to Catholic progress. The schools, as a matter of fact, though 
in an unfinished condition, were first used on Easter Monday, 
1853, for a meeting of the temperance workers, who gathered 
to hear an address from Father Nugent, who had the distinc 
tion of being the first man to speak in Holy Cross Chapel 
and now in its schools. To draw his people to the evening 
services on Sundays, Father Noble inaugurated a curious 
practice, copied from the Jesuits in Rome. Two priests stood 
on a platform in the church; one assumed the role of a bad 
or indifferent Catholic, an infidel or a heretic, and from these 
points of view, as was arranged beforehand, defended his 
conduct or opinions against th attack of the other disputant. 
It was 1 an excellent- device for affording much-needed 
instruction to the poor people on the doctrines and practices 
of the Church, and aroused much interest outside the parish 
because of its novelty.* In February, 1852, the Rev. Dr. 
Cahill preached a course of sermons in the chapel, and on 
one Sunday evening the gallery of the chapel partially col 
lapsed owing to the crowds which gathered to hear the 
preacher, whose flamboyant pulpit style made him a very 
popular preacher for the people. A panic ensued. The 
police arrived on the scene and instead of helping to restore 
order, behaved so roughly that a riot ensued. An enquiry 
was held by the magistrates, and several officers of the force 
were dismissed. The " Tablet " stated that Mr. Dowling, the 

* 11 Dotto el L ignorante. Still practised in the Gesu in Rome. 



110 

head constable, was also removed from his office for his share 
in the disturbance. He certainly did resign after an enquiry 
into " other circumstances " connected with the administra 
tion of the law, and from the speeches delivered by his friends 
in the Council, there seems to be some justification for the 
assertion of the journal founded by the brilliant Frederick 
Lucas. Holy Cross parish from the moment of its foundation 
began to make history. 

Among his multifarious duties Father Noble* found time 
to hold the office of chairman of the Falkner Street refuge 
for orphan girls. 

At St. Anne s, Edge Hill, after a preliminary meeting in 
the historic schoolroom in Seel Street, the Benedictines began 
the erection of new schools, and on the feast of St. Patrick, 
1851, the first stone was blessed and laid by the Very Rev. 
Father Greenhough, O.S.B. The new buildings were designed 
at a cost of 2,000 to accommodate 850 children. 

One of the needs of the early fifties was a Catholic news 
paper. A small magazine called the " Catholic Vindicator " 
had been in existence for some years, which eventually col 
lapsed, probably because of the very meagre news of Liverpool 
events which it published. Father Noble, O.M.I., Holy 
Cross, and Mr. John Rosson were the foremost figures in the 
movement for the establishment of a local paper. They 
summoned a meeting, which was held in July, 1851, Mr. 
Rosson presiding, and on the motion of Father Noble it was 
decided to found a paper and to avoid clashing of political 
interests, a committee was appointed, consisting of equal 
numbers of English and Irish laymen, who eventually founded 
a little weekly paper called " The Catholic Citizen. "t Mr. 
McConvery, formerly of the " Belfast Vindicator/ became 
the editor of the new venture. The Rev. Dr. Cahill travelled 
to Liverpool to assist the project, and an extract from his 
speech aptly illustrates his extraordinary platform utterances 
and his somewhat mixed political views. " Our liberties 
are threatened, our Faith proscribed, and our race marked 
out for social and political annihilation. By union alone 
can we defeat the blow aimed at our ancient and national 
records. I am influenced in the part I am taking by the 
most decided feeling to preserve Irish allegiance to the 
throne, and of stifling in its birth the furious and unmiti- 
gated hatred and revenge which would necessarily burn in 
the heart of every Irishman through all coming genera- 
tions if the Whig Premier was applauded for burning the 
Blessed Virgin and breaking the Crosier." 

* Drowned in Leith Harbour. f " Tablet," August 2nd, 1851. 



Ill 

Dr. Cahill did one great service by discouraging the St. 
Patrick s Day s annual parades, which had greatly degener 
ated in character and Catholic spirit. 

Owing to failing health, Bishop Brown was not able to 
fulfil with his usual zeal the requirements of his sacred office. 
The appointment of a coadjutor Bishop, with the right of 
succession, was decided upon, and the choice fell upon Canon 
Goss, who was consecrated on September 25, 1852, at the 
Pro-Cathedral. The ceremony was performed by Cardinal 
Wiseman, Dr. Grant, Bishop of Southwark, and Dr. Erring- 
ton, Bishop of Plymouth. Bishop Turner, of Salford, and 
Bishop Brown, of Shrewsbury, also assisted. The sermon 
was preached by the convert Oratorian, Father Faber, and 
caused considerable commotion, it being generally interpreted 
as an attack on the religious orders and congregations. The 
preacher afterwards explained that such was not his intention, 
and that he had simply referred to the historical fact that 
the secular clergy came first, and the religious orders later 
in the history of the Church. Dr. Goss was a tall, handsome 
man, with a dignified and somewhat stately appearance. His 
sermons were of the vigorous order, and his platform speeches 
racy and sparkling. Speaking at a dinner at the Irish 
Catholic Club, the new bishop alluded to his alleged political 
views, and observed " It has been urged against me that I 
" am too much of an Englishman, and a man of local feelings 
"and affections; I am, nevertheless, an Irishman at heart." 

The higher education of Catholic youth was not lost sight 
of amidst the zeal displayed for elementary schools for the 
poor members of the community. 

In 1851, Father Nugent and Father Worthy founded 
the Catholic Middle School in Rodney Street, its aim being 
to provide a liberal education in the arts. 

Father Nugent organised a series of weekly public 
lectures by prominent Catholics in historical, literary and 
philosophical subjects, as well as forming an association 
among the elder boys to develop their latent capacity for 
public speaking. He was already displaying his wonderful 
power of organisation and that restless, unceasing energy 
which was ever seeking for new fields of useful work for his 
co-religionists, and the general welfare of the citizens. The 
Rodney Street School did not satisfy his desires ; he therefore 
began the erection of a new building of more suitable 
character to take its place, one worthy of the Catholic body. 
He foresaw the need would arise for a well-educated Catholic 
laity, capable of taking a prominent part in the government 
of the city, and to hold high positions in its commercial and 



112 

industrial life. To this end a plot of land was bought in 
Hope Street, and on the 29th March, 1853, the corner stone 
was laid by Bishop Brown, who, addressing the founder said, 
" Esto perpetuum hoc aedificium;" to which Father Nugent- 
replied " Spero." In the evening a demonstration was held 
in the Concert Hall, Lord Nelson Street, when a suitable 
address was delivered by the historian, Mr. T. W. Allies. 
At this meeting one of the speakers asserted that there were 
12,000 Catholic children without school places, despite the 
strenuous efforts made during the previous three years. 
Father Nugent carried on his scheme of public lectures in 
connection with the Catholic Institute, as the new foundation 
was called, delivered in the Concert Hall, the new series being 
inaugurated by the ex-rector of Witham, Mr. K. Simpson, 
Oriel College, Oxford, his subject being an exposition of the 
principles of the Church regarding private judgment. The 
subject was well chosen, and was regarded as a reply to several 
addresses delivered by various Anglican clergymen of the 
Orange-Tory section, who had created much ill-feeling by 
using their text as a peg upon which to deliver a series of 
violent tirades against " Popery." 

The Institute was opened by Cardinal Wiseman, on 
October 31st, 1853. He was accompanied by the Bishop- 
elect of Nottingham, Dr. Goss. On the evening before an 
enormous crowd of all classes and creeds assembled in the 
Philharmonic Hall to hear a lecture by the Cardinal, entitled 
" The highways of peaceful commerce are the highways of 
the Arts." The Liverpool " Mercury " published the lecture 
in next day s edition, the report occupying six columns. It 
was the first time that Liverpool saw a cardinal in the flesh, 
and most of the leading members of the Protestant com 
munity were attracted to hear the very beautiful and 
picturesque lecture which Cardinal Wiseman delivered, 
attired in his cardinal s robes. His visit was followed up by 
that of the great Oratorian, Dr. Henry Newman,* who 
delighted large audiences by his series of lectures on the 
Turks. The Archbishop of Dublin, Dr. Cullen, also visited 
the town during the year, preaching at St. Patrick s in aid of 
the schools. 

Catholicism was progressing beyond any doubt, and its 
leaders, clerical and lay, were deeply anxious to prevent even 
the possibility of arousing any outward display of hostility 
on the part of the lower section of the inhabitants. To this 
end, as St. Patrick s Day, 1852, approached, the clergy made 
a strenuous effort to ensure that the usual Irish procession 

* Cardinal Newman. 



113 

should give no cause for any disturbance or reflect discredit 
to any degree on their religion. Earnest appeals to abstain 
from any indulgence in intoxicating liquors were made from 
every pulpit, and with such success, that the Recorder in his 
charge to the Grand Jury observed, " It was creditable to the 
" clergy for having advised, and to the people for having 
followed the prudent course s j ested. There was not a 
" single Irish person tipsy on that day, and he wished to see 
" English people follow the example set." 

In 1853 large congregations assembled at the Church of 
St. Francis Xavier to hear one of the foremost preachers of 
the Society of Jesus, Father Sumner.* One evening the 
congregation were startled by the sound of angry voices out 
side, followed by volleys of stones driven through the windows. 
It was a demonstration of feeling on the part of the North 
End Orangemen, in favour of a Bill before Parliament for 
the inspection of convents, or, as it was actually printed, 
" A Bill to facilitate the recovery of personal liberty in 
" certain cases." This method of expressing public opinion 
on one side is not yet unknown in Salisbury Street. The 
indignation of Liverpool Catholics was easily aroused against 
such outrages, but they were kept in check by the clergy, 
who organised a number of meetings of protest against the 
Bill. Mr. Daniel Powell was the principal layman in 
leading and organising this series of meetings. Holding a 
prominent position in the corn trade, he was foremost in his 
support by purse and personal advice of the charities of the 
town under Catholic auspices. To wipe out the discredit of 
not having a single member of the Town Council to represent 
Catholics, he was invited to stand for Vauxhall Ward in 
November, 1853, but was defeated by seven votes. The Tory 
duplicate voters came into Vauxhall to vote, in preference to 
voting elsewhere, to maintain the " Protestant " character 
of the municipal council. 

The Catholics of Liverpool seemed to be destined to be 
ever dissipating their energies in political strife to be 
constantly torn away from the great works of charity to 
defend the privileges won by hard righting. 

In February, 1854, Lord John Russell made amends for 
his Ecclesiastical Titles Bill by introducing a Bill into Par- 

* His voice was threatened by a painful disease, and before the Court of 
Enquiry, appointed by Cardinal Manning, into the Beatification of the 
English Martyrs, he attested the miracle worked in his favour by the 
"Holy Hand," relic of Blessed Edmund Arrowsmith, preserved in St. 
Oswald s, Ashton-in-Makerfield see Xaverian. 

t Father of the late Dean Powell, Birchley, and of the late Father E. 
Powell. 



114 

liament to relieve Catholics and Dissenters from the un 
pleasant necessity of subscribing to certain oaths, contrary 
to their conscientious views or convictions. Ever on the 
watch to maintain a one-sided Protestant ascendancy, the 
ultra-Protestant Tories of Liverpool compelled the Mayor of 
the town to summon a Town s meeting, with a view to passing 
a resolution against the proposed measure. The meeting 
was duly summoned, and it was proposed " That in the 
opinion of this meeting, the measure of Lord John Russell 
for the abolition of the oaths at present taken by Members 
of Parliament, and the substitution of a new oath, involves 
f a new and serious innovation in the Protestant character 
of the Constitution. Dr. Hugh McNeill was one of the 
weightiest speakers on the side of this motion. Somehow 
both he and his supporters disregarded the just claim of the 
Nonconformist bodies to represent Protestantism in its 
broadest and truest aspect, an attitude so characteristic of 
these gentlemen that a messenger from Mars would be driven 
to believe that every dissenting chapel was served by a Jesuit 
in disguise. The noble, broad-minded Liberal leader, who 
had often saved the fair name, of his native town by his 
courageous intervention at critical periods, promptly rose and 
moved as an amendment to the proposition submitted 
" That the maintenance of neither the religious nor political 
" institutions of the country depended upon the administra- 
" tion of oaths or religious tests." 

At the same moment a large Conservative meeting was 
going on in the Amphitheatre, Mr. Charles Busheil in the 
chair. This gathering was organised in the belief that the 
Mayor would adjourn the Town s meeting in the Sessions 
House, and to make sure that neither meeting would pass 
an obnoxious or adverse motion, Father Noble, of Holy Cross, 
marched to the Amphitheatre at the head of his parishioners. 
Having upset the intention of the Tories there, he led his 
followers to the Sessions House just in time to carry Rath- 
bone s amendment. The debate lasted all afternoon, the 
Mayor, Mr. J. B. Lloyd, displaying gross partisanship in his 
management of the meeting. The great bulk of the citizens 
were out of sympathy with the object of the meeting, but 
by their abstention they gave a chance to the ultra-Protestants 
to carry a motion which did not reflect their opinions. 
Messrs. J. B. Aspinall, John Yates, Jas. Whilty, R. Sheil 
and C. J. Corbally faced the angry mob in the Sessions 
House, and backed by the political genius of the courageous 
Oblate Father, saved Liverpool from the discredit of beiner, 
officially at least, against Lord Russell s Bill. In the month 



115 

of May, owing to the tactics of Mr. Benjamin Disraeli, who 
for political reasons opposed the Bill, it was lost by four votes . 
To keep up the agitation, the Liverpool " Standard," one of 
the Tory~ofgans, made serious allegations against the morality 
of the priesthood, including the specific charge of " consorting 
" with the most abandoned characters, and with hardly the 
" decency to conceal his atrocious conduct." Bishop Brown 
entered the lists at once against the traducer. Instructed by 
him, Mr. John Yates, in his capacity as a solicitor, demanded 
from the editor the name of the priest who had " hardly the 
" decency to conceal his atrocious conduct/ The editor 
replied that he had " no knowledge of the Right Rev. Dr. 
" Brown, Roman Catholic Bishop of this diocese," and pro 
ceeded to deny his claim to any such title. Mr. Yates was 
not to be put off by this side issue, and demanded an apology 
under threat of immediate legal proceedings. The editor 
refused to divulge the name, and admitted that the accusation 
was not directed against any priest in the diocese of Liver 
pool. The repetition of this and similar libels kept alive a 
base spirit of prejudice and intolerance, which prevented, as 
was intended, the Catholics from living in perfect harmony 
with their neighbours. In May of 1854, the remains of Mr. 
James Wiseman, brother of the Cardinal Archbishop of West 
minster, were laid to rest in St. Oswald s churchyard, Old 
Swan. For many years he had been stationed in Liverpool 
as an officer of the Board of Trade, and had acted as inter 
preter of foreign languages in the local courts of justice. 

Stricken down in health and threatened with paralysis, 
Father Mathew visited Liverpool en route for the warmer 
climate of Madeira. Once again he was the honoured guest 
of Mr. W. Rathbone, and in the library at Greenbank, Mr. 
James Whitty, President of the Irish Catholic Club, and 
Mr. R. Sheil, President of the Catholic Club, presented a 
joint address of welcome to the great Capuchin. As a token 
of his delight at the great work accomplished in Liverpool and 
Lancashire towns by Father Mathew, the Earl of Sefton for 
warded a gift of twenty pounds to defray the expenses of the 
enforced voyage. 

The better side of Liverpool public life was shown to 
advantage during this year of polemical strife by the extra 
ordinary unanimity which prevailed amongst all leaders of 
religious thought, that the time had arrived for concerted 
action to save the children running about the streets and 
quays from moral destruction. To two men belong the 
distinction of bringing about this union of hearts if not of 
conscience a former Stipendiary, Mr. Edward Rushton, and 



116 

the indefatigable Father Nugent. The evil effects of over 
crowding, expulsion of Catholic children from the Council 
Schools, and the results of Irish immigration in 1847 and 
1848 in particular, had now produced their joint results. 
Mr. Rush ton had been crying out for years " Save the child." 
No less than 12,508 children under seventeen years of age 
were imprisoned in the gaols of England, the very last place 
in which they ought to have been found. The law made no 
provision for their detention or their reformation elsewhere. 
To Liverpool men of all creeds, and especially to the Catholics 
of the town, belongs the supreme credit of bringing about 
a much-needed change in the treatment of juvenile " crime " 
which has worked out so successfully since in all parts of the 
kingdom. The Mayor was induced to summon a Town s 
meeting to promote a movement for a new charter of freedom 
for the children. The platform in the Sessions House pre 
sented a strange spectacle to the assembled citizens. Dr. 
McNeill sat side by side with that remarkable minister of 
Pembroke Chapel, the Rev. Charles Birrell,* the scholarly 
Unitarian leader, Martineau, and, more wonderful still, the 
coadjutor, Bishop Goss. 

For the first time a Catholic prelate accepted the invita 
tion of a Mayor of Liverpool to a meeting of his fellow- 
citizens, and greater surprise was shown when he rose to 
speak in moving a resolution which wisely laid it down as 
a cardinal principle that any change in the law must be 
accompanied with the power to compel negligent parents to 
contribute towards the maintenance of their children. Dr. 
Goss said, " it required no argument to prove that if children 
" went astray by the bad training of the parent, or by his 
" example, in either case the reformation of the child must 
" be at the expense of the parent ; and if the parent were 
" able to pay, he should be made to do so; just as when the 
" children fell sick, and required medical attendance, the 
" doctor looked to the parent for payment. It gave him 
" pleasure to find that the subject of religion had not been 
" introduced, that all sectarian views had been done away 
" with, and everyone seemed to combine harmoniously to 
" promote a measure which was for the benefit of a neglected 
" mass." Mr. J. S. Mansfield, stipendiary, wrote to Father 
Nugent, that the want of some school for children coming 
before him had been a serious hindrance to him in his work 
as a police magistrate. A committee was formed with the 
approval of Bishop Brown, who issued an appeal to his flock 

* Father of Mr. Augustine Birrell, ex-Minister of Education, and Chief 
Secretary for Ireland. 



117 

for assistance. A site was purchased, and the Birkdale Farm 
School was the outcome. 

Irish immigration into Liverpool had not ceased. From 
January 1st, 1850, to December 31st, 1853, no less than 
2951,674 arrived in the Mersey, " apparently paupers," 
exclusive of the larger numbers who came to Liverpool en 
route for America.* In the two years, 1854 and 1855, this 
enormous average total of over 70,000 persons fell to 5,153. 
It is not at all likely that they remained in our midst ; they 
probably made their way to Lancashire and Yorkshire towns, 
and the Midlands, but it is pretty certain that owing to their 
lack of means a large proportion perforce remained to 
augment the gigantic proportions of the Irish-born population 
of the town. 

The large and increasing number of Catholic inmates of 
the Liverpool Workhouse, and the large number of children 
both there and in the parish schools at Kirkdale in the early 
fifties, were clearly due to the poverty of the immigrants. 
On MarcH 2nd, 1855, there were 3,317 persons inside the 
walls of Brownlow Hill, of whom 1,245 were registered as 
Catholics. This number included 143 children under five 
years of age. In the schools there were 1,003 children, of 
whom more than one half were Catholics. The character of 
the religious instruction was most unsatisfactory in both insti 
tutions. No instruction of any kind was provided for the 
Catholic children in the workhouse by the authorities. A 
visiting priest endeavoured in his spare time to teach 
them the catechism, but the varying ages of the children, 
workhouse discipline, and domestic regulations, made his 
efforts nugatory. Mr. James Hughes, a Catholic member of 
the Select Vestry, had striven in vain in 1853 to improve the 
religious teaching in Kirkdale. The headmaster was Mr. H. 
J. Hagger, f of whom Mr. Hughes said in his speech, "a better 
" instructor of youth could not be found in Her Majesty s 
" dominions." The schools committee would not agree to 
accept Mr. Hughes proposals, just as the workhouse com 
mittee refused to provide, or allow any one else to provide, a 
much needed strengthening of the teaching staff. Early in 
1854, Mr. Hughes publicly stated that he was present at a 
religious examination of Catholic children from the Work 
house, held in St. Nicholas , Copperas Hill, and so astounded 
were the laymen in attendance at the gross ignorance 
displayed, that they volunteered to pay for the services of a 
special female teacher, if the Vestry would permit her 

* See Major Greig s Annual Police Reports. 
t Now Clerk to the Select Vestry. 



118 

entrance into the " House." At the Vestry meeting, Mr. 
Hughes made this proposition, and on the advice of Mr. 
James Whitty, who had joined the Board a little while before, 
he withdrew the proposition. This shrewd Wexford man 
was destined to be the ablest and shrewdest of the political 
leaders, and by his tact, as well as his extraordinary courage, 
won lasting advantages for his countrymen and co-religionists, 
as a Poor Law Guardian, a Councillor, and finally, a quarter 
of a century later, as member of the School Board. Though 
he induced Mr. Hughes to withdraw his motion, Mr. Whitty 
had no intention of allowing the matter to drop, and on the 
14th March, 1854, proposed, " that the Board give permission 
" to a lay teacher to visit the workhouse at hours suitable to 
" the proper discipline and regularity of the house, to impart 
" religious instruction to the Catholic children, without any 
" charge to the funds of the parish." Tin s well drawn and 
reasonable proposition was characteristic of its proposer. A 
sharp debate followed, and only two Liberals, Messrs. Bradley 
and John Moss, with the two Catholics, voted for it, as Mr. 
Whitty quite expected. Then lie flung a bomb-shell into the 
ranks of the majority, by declaring that he held a list of the 
Catholic children who had been proselytised by other visitors, 
non-Catholic, who were allowed to enter the workhouse at 
their own sweet will. This accusation was a serious one, but 
it was allowed to pass unchallenged by the accused, while the 
accuser and his friends outside resolved to carry on a per 
sistent attack on the management, from a religious point of 
view, of all the parochial institutions. Catholic " leakage " 
flowed from them in a big stream, almost to the last days of 
Bishop O Reilly s episcopate, forty years later. 

In November, 1854, the Kirkdale schools committee 
decided, by three votes to two, to recommend the vestry to 
purchase a few copies of the Douai Bible, to be read to the 
Catholic children. Prayer books and catechisms were sup 
plied, gratis, by the priest, who was now permitted to enter 
at fixed hours. The " Protestant party " on the Board, 
refused by eleven votes to nine to allow Catholic children to 
read the Bible, and the discredit of this decision rested 
entirely on the shoulders of the Hector of Liverpool, who 
decided the issue by the injudicious but deliberate observation 
that he had read Unitarian versions of the Bible which 
omitted all references to the Divinity of Christ, but had never 
taken the trouble to find out what the Douai version con 
tained.* In January, 1855, the Catholic members revived 
the old fight for a special room for Divine Service, This had 
* See " Mercury s " Report of the discussion. 



119 

once before been decided favourably, but owing to the 
gradual capture of seats on the Board by the Ascendancy 
party, the settlement was disturbed. Somewhat astutely, Mr. 
Whitty suggested that the workhouse van might be used to 
convey old and infirm Catholics to Mass outside, during 
inclement weather. Like his former motions it was intended 
to put the majority in a bad light before the liberal minded 
public for penalising the sick, he knowing full well that the 
proposition would be rejected. It served the purpose of 
raising the main question and on the 22nd May, 1855, Mr. 
Whitty moved that a suitable place attached to the work 
house be set apart on Sundays for Catholic services. The 
motion was warmly supported by the main body of Liberals, 
apart from its inherent fairness, on the ground that it was 
high time the scandals arising from alleged Catholics 
going out on Sunday mornings, and not returning till late 
at night, were ended. Fearing that the motion would be 
carried, Mr. Satchell beat the Protestant drum. He 
asserted ironically, that in the Board Room, " Rome told a 
" flattering tale, that the Jesuits were ringing the chimes to 
" tickle the ears of unsound Protestants." His tactics were 
successful. Rather than face the odium of being termed 
" unsound Protestants," several members refused to vote as 
they -had previously promised, and Mr. Whitty found him 
self defeated by 13 votes to 11. Every month the question 
cropped up in some form or other, and the proposal to build 
a church, for the use of the Protestant officers and inmates, 
gave further opportunities for pressing forward the demand. 
Mr. Hughes urged that the new building be so constructed 
that the basement* be reserved permanently for Catholic 
services. Unfortunately his death, in August, 1855, some 
what interfered with the proposed solution, which might 
otherwise have been carried. Every effort was made to 
capture the vacant seat by the Tories, but the Vestry de 
feated the attempt, electing Mr. James Fairhurst, of St. 
Anne Street, by thirteen votes to eight. 

At a bye-election during the year Mr. R. Sheil stood 
for Scotland Ward, and, after an absence of fourteen years, 
found himself again a member of the Town Council. So 
strong had the Catholic vote become in Scotland Ward, that 
from that day, it has invariably returned either Irish or 
Catholic nominees. 

The adjoining Ward of Vauxhall would this year have 
elected Mr. Daniel Powell, but he died in October, in the 
midst of the preparations for his nomination. For twenty 
* Now used as a Workhouse Ward. 



120 

years he had freely given his time and money to the service 
of the poor Catholics of the town, and held many offices of 
trust, including the chairmanship of the Catholic Club. 

At the Easter of 1856, Mr. Fairhurst retired, and did 
not seek re-election. The churchwardens refused to nominate 
a Catholic in his place, at the Easter Vestry, thus breaking 
through the arrangement arrived at many years before, that 
two Catholics, at least, should have seats on the Select Vestry. 
Instead, they nominated Mr. Syred, whose views on political 
and religious questions were ultra-Protestant. The Catholics 
resolved to have a fight at the poll, and nominated Mr. 
Flanagan. Syred appealed to the electors to put down " Mass 
"houses" and "Catholic combination." The poll was kept 
open for three days ; Flanagan securing a majority of voters, 
and Syred a majority of votes. This was due to the system 
under which rateable value determined the number of votes 
allotted to the ratepayer. The fight became so hot on the 
third day of the poll, party feeling running very high, that 
the Catholic leaders deemed it inadvisable to arouse any 
further exitement, and allowed the poll to be closed, Mr. 
Syred being declared elected. Mr. James Whitty now stood 
alone, the only Catholic Guardian of the Poor, but his 
influence and consummate political strategy were worth more 
than one vote, and before the echoes of the Syred-FIanagan 
fight had died away, he won a substantial concession. On 
his proposition the Schools Committee resolved, by five votes 
to three, " That the Catholic boys and girls be allowed to 
" assemble in one room for religious instruction, on Wed- 
" nesdays and Sundays, in the evening, and that as many as 
" possible of the girls employed in domestic duties be 
" permitted to attend on these occasions." A Liberal 
Guardian, Mr. Cook, seconded the motion, which was dis 
cussed with the usual heat at the succeeding meeting of the 
Vestry. On that occasion, Mr. Denton summed up the whole 
question by giving his opinion that it would be better to 
educate these poor children to be good Catholics rather than 
make them bad Protestants. The Liberals rallied round 
Mr. Denton, who consistently supported Mr. Whitty in his 
claims for equality, with the result that the motion was 
carried by twelve votes to nine. This was one step forward, 
towards preserving the faith of the poor children committed 
to the care of illiberal Guardians, whose entire policy had 
been directed, up to that hour, to de-Catholicise them. 
Irritated at this decision Mr. Satchell, the leader of the most 
bigoted section of the Board, made a serious accusation 
affecting the honour of Father Doyle, of St. Anthony s, who 



121 

had devoted himself to the spiritual welfare of the Kirkdale 
Catholic inmates, as far as the Vestry would permit. The 
Irish priest declined to allow himself to remain under any 
suspicion, and instructed Mr. John Yates to demand a 
retractation, and an apology, from the author of the libel, 
who shrank from the manly course which was alone open to 
him, and an action at law was at once commenced. Mean 
while, after a lengthened enquiry, the Schools Committee 
unanimously acquitted Father Doyle of the further charge 
of tampering with the faith of the Protestant children, and 
took the somewhat punitive step of preventing him from 
introducing any of his brother clergy to help him in the 
heavy task of instructing the 874 Catholic children inside 
the walls of the schools. Mr. Whitty warmly defended 
Father Doyle, and pointed triumphantly to the fact that, on 
enquiry, it had been proven that, out of nine children 
alleged to have been interfered with, seven had been found 
to be receiving Protestant instruction who were bona- 
fide Catholics ; an apt illustration of Kirkdale methods. The 
sturdy Catholic leader declined to admit for one moment 
that Father Doyle entered the institution at the goodwill 
of the Guardians, but did so " under the shadow of the law 
" of the land," and was therefore entitled to protest against 
any obstacle being placed in the way of his ministration. 
Seeing victory within his grasp, Mr. Whitty induced Father 
Doyle to accept a belated apology from his Orange libeller, 
and proceeded to gain another victory. In October, he 
proposed that permission be given to one boy and two girls, 
among the Catholic inmates, to be trained as pupil teachers, 
so that they might help the priest in giving religious instruc 
tion, and see that morning and evening prayers were duly 
recited. This proposition was carried by one vote in Com 
mittee, and confirmed by the Vestry by nine votes to seven. 
A later attempt, by Mr. Satchell, to rescind this decision was 
defeated by ten votes to nine a narrow margin of votes 
which demonstrated the wisdom of Mr. Whitty in preventing 
the policy of the Guardians and Father Doyle s libeller being 
exposed in a court of justice. 

In September, 1855, Mr. Nathaniel Caine undertook the 
thankless task of having a census taken of the attendance at 
all the places of worship within the boundaries of the town. 
So far as the Anglican Churches were concerned, the result 
of the census was eminently unsatisfactory. His figures of 
the attendance at all the Masses were as follows : St. 
Patrick s, 7,632; St. Anthony s, 7,042; St. Mary s, 5,827; 
St. Nicholas , 3,995; St. Joseph s, 3,726; St. Peter s, 3,048; 



122 

St. Francis Xavier s, 2,789; St. Augustine s, 2,308; St. 
Alban s, 1,879; Holy Cross, 1,852; St. Anne s, 1,494; St. 
Vincent s, 1481; St. Philip Neri s, 1,003; a total attendance, 
exclusive of Mount Vernon, of 44,076 persons. If these 
figures were accurate a lamentable falling off in attendance 
at the Sunday Mass had been proven. The figures occasioned 
much dispute, one of the disputants stating that the total 
number of persons who heard Mass on the Sunday in 
question reached the large total of 88,304. 

When the news reached Liverpool of the conclusion of 
the war in the Crimea, the children of the town were 
marshalled in a procession through the streets. The news 
papers of the date give the numbers from the Catholic Schools 
as under: Father Kenrick headed the procession with 1,100 
children from .St. Patrick s; Father Noble, O.M.I., followed, 
with 1,200 from Holy Cross; St. Anthony s mustered 1,120, 
under the care of Father Newsham ; St. Mary s sent 750 with 
Father Callaghan, O.S.B.; Father Wallwork, from the Pro- 
Cathedral, led a similar number; St. Joseph s totalled 700, 
with Father Duggan ; St. Alban s 400, under the care of 
Father Thos. Kelly; Father Davey, O.S.B., marched with 
400 from St. Peter s; St. Francis Xavier s was represented 
by 430 children, headed by Father Sumner, S.J. ; Mount 
Vernon sent 100 with Father Walmsley; the rear being 
brought up by Father Bernard O Reilly, with 500 from St. 
Vincent s. Here there were 7,450 children accounted for, 
exclusive of St. Anne s, St. Augustine s, St. Hilda s, St. 
Helen s, and the Catholic Institute, and as the infants for 
obvious reasons took no part in the long walk, and a great 
number of the older ones, owing to want of suitable clothing, 
were also excluded, the total number of Catholic children 
could not have been less than 15,000. Assuming that two- 
thirds of this number attended Mass on the Sunday of Mr. 
Caine s census (a very moderate estimate), only 34,000 adults 
fulfilled the Sunday obligation, an obviously inaccurate calcu 
lation. A controversy raged for some time around these 
figures, which Mr. Caine asserted were approximately correct, 
and had the effect of stimulating the clergy and ministers of 
all denominations to secure a better observance of the 
Sabbath law. 

In 1852, St. Vincent de Paul s, Norfolk Street, was 
separated from St. Patrick s, and created a separate parish, 
Father Edward Walmsley being appointed rector. He had 
been educated at Stonyhurst and TJshaw, and was half- 
brother to Canon Walmsley, who, later on, held the respon 
sible position of Vicar-General of the diocese. His career was 
cut short on November 23rd, 1852, by an attack of fever 



123 

contracted in the discharge of his sacred duties.* He was 
succeeded by Father Bernard O Reilly, then curate at St. 
Patrick s. The new rector set to work to erect a permanent 
church, and on the 20th May, 1854, at a meeting held in the 
Clayton Hall, the coadjutor Bishop presided, to shew his 
interest in the new project. Mr. J. B. Aspinall proposed, 
" that the erection of a new church in the district of which 
" New Bird Street is the centre is a work of the highest order 
" of charity." Father O Reilly organised a weekly Sunday 
collection, and every Sunday he was seen, after last Mass, 
proceeding from door to door, collecting the pennies of the 
poor, and by the date of the meeting referred to had raised 
two thousand pounds by this means, f In Eldon Street, the 
centre of a most congested district, Father Vanderspitte, in 
1854, bought a warehouse capable of holding one thousand 
people, and in its gloomy and unattractive rooms began the 
mission of Our Lady of Reconciliation de la Salette. Like 
Father O Reilly, he had to rely almost entirely on the pennies 
placed at his disposal by an extremely poor population, com 
posed, without exception, of casual labourers. The days were 
rapidly coming to an end when large donations could be 
expected from rich Catholics, commercial developments and 
changes of a far-reaching character bringing about gradually, 
but surely, the disappearance of the individual Catholic 
merchant of the first half of the nineteenth century. Church 
and school builders, henceforth, were to be the poor, and 
right nobly they responded to their new responsibilities. 

On the 25th January, 1856, Bishop Brown died at his 
residence in Catharine Street. Sixteen years had elapsed 
since his appointment as coadjutor Vicar- Apostolic. Educated 
at Ushaw College, where he was the favourite pupil of the 
historian, Rev. Dr. Lingard, he became Professor of 
Theology, and eventually Vice-President of his alma mater. 
Passing away to his eternal reward at the age of seventy, he 
had seen the Church grow in numbers and importance in the 
huge county of Lancashire, over which he ruled with con 
spicuous success for ten years previous to the establishment 
of the See of Liverpool. During his five years episcopal rule 
in the town, he had seen an increase of nine churches, five 
convents, two secondary schools, and twenty-five priests. 

The Jesuits had re-entered the city, and on the advice of 
Father Nugent, Bishop Brown had invited the Redemptorists 
to make his former residence at Eton Lodge the nucleus of 

* Father Walmsley was interred in the vaults of St. Patrick s chapel. 

t One of Father O Reilly s collectors was Mr. Brindle, whose son, the 

soldier priest of the Soudan, is now Bishop of Nottingham. 



124 

the well-known foundation which has done so much to deepen 
the spiritual life of Liverpool. 

His mortal remains were interred in a vault in St. 
Oswald s, Old Swan. 

In 1854, the Institute of St. Elizabeth of Hungary had 
been also founded, to support, clothe, and train destitute 
girls for domestic service, not the least of the many good works 
established under Bishop Brown s rule. They carried on 
their work at 20, Soho Street. 

In this year the Dean of Limerick founded the Young 
Men s Society movement in Liverpool, establishing the first 
branch at St. Mary s, Edmund Street. Dean O Brien began 
the new organisation in Ireland in 1849, when the horrors of 
the famine shewed signs of abatement. Hs was inspired with 
the belief that the rising generation could only be saved from 
utter despair by the constant exercise of the religious prac 
tices of the Church, especially the frequenting of the 
Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist. The funda 
mental rule of the Young Men s Society is monthly 
attendance at Holy Communion; each Society approaching 
the Altar in a body. Divided into guilds, ruled by officers of 
their own choosing, and governed by a council formed from 
among the members, and subject only to the veto of the 
Chaplain, the Society provided means for training its 
members in habits of regularity, discipline, obedience, and 
manly Christian piety. A social and intellectual side could 
be developed inside each separate Society, suited to the rank 
and character of its members, which served as an antidote to 
outside temptations, and carried on under the banner of the 
Church, minimised the possibility of any weakening of their 
Faith. This organisation, to which Dean O Brien gave the 
best part of his life, proved an unmixed blessing for the 
Catholics of Ireland. To those who migrated into the towns 
and cities of England, its value was incalculable. It kept 
them together in the bonds of faith and amity, united them to 
the clergy and the parish church, and, by mutual intercourse, 
kept alive the Catholic faith in their hearts under circum 
stances of considerable danger and difficulty. The movement 
spread rapidly over England and Scotland; in Liverpool it 
took special root. Every parish had its own Society and 
club-room, and the files of the local newspapers record a long 
list of prominent Catholic laymen, as well as clergymen, who 
sought within the four corners of the rules to raise the 
despairing victims of the famine from the degradation con 
sequent upon life in the overcrowded alleys of Liverpool. 
Down to the early eighties, the annual re-unions of the Socie 
ties in St. George s Hall, addressed by distinguished Catholic 



125 

members of both Houses of Parliament, and Bishops, notably 
Archbishop Manning, were prominent incidents in local 
Catholic life. The Annual Conferences, held in different 
towns, to discuss topics of Catholic importance, were the first 
attempts to bring together all classes of Catholics on the 
common ground of unity of faith, while the monthly meetings 
were addressed by prominent local men, who, but for these 
societies, would have had few opportunities of coming into 
contact with the labouring Irish population, to their mutual 
spiritual and temporal advantage. 

Father Nugent rendered fine service to this movement, 
for which he had a special affection, while men of the stamp 
of Michael Daly, the first president of the Central Council, 
and that splendid type of cultured Catholic business man, 
Michael Fitzpatrick,* president for 20 years, found in the 
work a splendid and useful method of carrying on a lay 
apostolate among the poorer members of ths Liverpool com 
munity. Leading Irishmen, like A. M. Sullivan, M.P., 
John Francis Maguire, M.P., Count Moore, M.P., and even 
the Protestant Irish leader, Mr. Isaac Butt, crossed the 
Channel frequently to encourage their countrymen in per 
severing in their allegiance to Dean O Brien s ideal, all 
convinced that it was the only organisation of that day 
which could save the sons and grandsons of the famine years. 

* Member of the Liverpool School Board and Education Committee of 
the City Council. He was one of the founders of the School of Science, 
Technology and Art, established in the old Jesuit church in Sir 
Thomas Buildings, now merged in the Liverpool Education Committee. 



126 



CHAPTER VI. 

The first official act of Bishop Goss was the laying of the 
foundation stone of the new church of St. Vincent de Paul, 
in St. James Street. The ceremony took place on the trans 
ferred feast of St. Patrick, April 6th, 1856. Addressing 
the large crowd which had gathered to rejoice at the prospect 
of a handsome church replacing the wooden shed in Norfolk 
Street, and to give a cordial reception to the new Bishop, 
Dr. Goss paid a warm tribute to the Irish residents of the 
parish. The site alone cost six thousand pounds, a heavy 
initial outlay, and the expense of erecting the beautiful 
Gothic structure, designed by Mr. Welby Pugin, could only 
be faced by the brave heart of a future Bishop, Father 
Bernard O Reilly. Bishop Goss shared to the full the rector s 
confident hopes. " We rely," he said, " hopefully and confi- 
" dently; we have no fears, because we are satisfied you carry 
" with you the faith which you have inherited from your 
" fathers. The foundation stone which is thus laid on the 
" transferred feast of your patron saint, St. Patrick, will be 
"to you a great and glorious remembrance." His words did 
not fall on barren ground, and he was moved deeply as the 
Irish ship carpenters of the parish passed in single file, each 
laying one day s wages on the newly blessed stone. Then 
followed the dock labourers with their offerings, the total 
offering amounting to one hundred and one pounds, nine 
shillings. In the evening of this auspicious day the Bishop 
attended the usual dinner in honour of St. Patrick s Day, 
organised by the Catholic Club. It was held in the Adelpin 
Hotel, and as a compliment to the parish of St. Vincent s, 
one of its parishioners, Mr. James Daly, was selected as the 
chairman of the festive gathering. One of the chief guests 
was Mr. John Bridge Aspinall, barrister, who in the course 
of a speech made the remarkable statement that at the recent 
assizes fair play for the first time had been given to a member 
of the .Catholic Church. He was referring to an action 
for damages brought against a local Conservative 
daily newspaper by Mr. Edward Darby, a tide 
waiter in Her Majesty s Customs. In an article 
headed " A rebel in Her Majesty s Customs," this 
partisan journal laid it down as a fixed principle that no 
Catholic should be allowed to hold any office under the Crown, 
giving as the sole reason that no member of the Catholic 



127 

Church would perform his duties loyally. The defence set 
up at the trial consisted of passages from Catholic theo 
logical works, divorced from the context to such an extent as 
to represent views quite foreign to the authors intentions. 
The trial served the useful purpose of educating the non- 
Catholic population of the town in Catholic beliefs, and under 
the direction of the judges, both Protestant Irishmen, Baron 
Martin and Justice Willes, the plaintiff was triumphantly 
vindicated against the charge that a Catholic and a rebel 
were synonymous terms. 

During this year the entire cost of the site of St. 
Vincent s was paid off; Father O Reilly s weekly collectors 
working with a will to enable him to cope successfully with the 
heavy financial burdens which the erection of the new church 
involved. The bonds of affection between the rector and these 
simple working men grew firmer with advancing years, and 
when nearing his seventieth year, with all the responsibilities 
of the episcopal office upon his shoulders, Bishop O Reilly 
visited his old collectors when stricken with illness, consoling 
them on their death beds in gratitude for splendid services, 
rendered freely and whole-heartedly. Bishop Goss, too, had 
a warm corner in his heart for St. Vincent s collectors, and 
visited them very often at their weekly meeting. The wooden 
Stations of the Cross, which adorned the walls of the Norfolk 
Street chapel, were the gift of the Bishop, while still a Canon 
of the Diocese. The new church was opened on August 26th, 
1857. Dr. Leahy, the Bishop of Dromore, crossed the Irish 
Sea to preach the inaugural sermon. A quaint figure, with 
flowing beard, was the Bishop of Almira, Vicar-Apostolic of 
Thibet and Hindostan, who, with Bishop Brown, of Shrews 
bury, assisted the Bishop of Liverpool in the performance of 
the opening ceremonies. The Rector paid a tribute to the 
generosity of his poor Irish flock, who had contributed six 
thousand, five hundred pounds, from the inception of the 
scheme of building to the date of opening. Every Sunday he 
went out with his collectors, visiting house after house, 
collecting the pennies which eventually amounted to 
the sum mentioned above. It was in this way, as well as 
by his assiduous visitations, that he acquired such an exact 
knowledge of the lives and history of every family in his 
parish. An uncle* of the writer stated that Father O Reilly 
was able to tell not only the names of the parishioners who 
attended Sunday Mass, but the number of days each dock 
labourer had secured work, their earnings, their wants and 
failings. A week never passed without some poor labourer 

*Father of the Rev. John Barrett, D.D M B.A. 



128 

being summoned to the rector s house, to be assisted out of 
a slender purse, admonished or advised, as suited the needs 
of each individual. A high official of the Police Force paid 
him the curious, but meritorious, compliment of being " the 
" best policeman " in the town. It can be said of him that, 
during the long years of his rectorship at St. Vincent s, he 
fulfilled in every detail the hard test laid down by Buskin.* 

Such close knowledge of the lives of his people was a 
splendid preparation for a most successful episcopate, and 
explains the extraordinary affection which every son of St. 
Vincent sf had for him during his lifetime, in that parish, 
and afterwards in his more exalted position. 

Liverpool Catholics owe much to the Chaloner family. 
Mr. Charles Chaloner had built the schools at Grassendale, 
and his brother, Mr. Edward Chaloner, generously provided 
the schools at St. Oswald s, Old Swan. When Father O Reilly, 
anxious for the moral welfare of the little ones of his crowded 
parish, sought to provide them with school accommodation, it 
was Mr. Edward Chaloner who came to his assistance. 
The enthusiastic priest s (t great solicitude " for the 
children, stirred the generous layman to purchase a 
disused Methodist chapel in Jordan Street, at a cost of 
4,360, which he handed over, ready furnished, to Father 
O Reilly. On January 4th, 1859, the schools were opened by 
a soiree, Bishop Goss presiding. The reply of Mr. Chaloner 
to the Bishop s tribute was characteristic of the man and of 
his family. He said that good work should be done with 
one s money before death, and when he departed it would be 
found that he had not left a single penny for charity. Mr. 
John Yates, in a speech on this interesting occasion, declared 
that every mission in the town now possessed a well appointed 
school. Mr. Chaloner s interest in St. Vincent s schools did 
not end here. One pleasant memory of every child was the 
annual outing at Mr. Chaloner s expense, to his pleasant 
country house in Old Swan, an excursion which only 
ceased with the death of the kindly-hearted benefactor. 
Years later, public improvements involved the demolition of 
the Jordan Street school, and with the compensation money, 

* " The bishop s office is to oversee the flock ; to number it, sheep by 
sheep ; to be ready always to give full account of it. Now it is clear he 
cannot give account of the souls if he has not so much as numbered the 
bodies of his flock. The first thing, therefore, that a bishop has to do is 
at least to put himself in a position, in which, at any moment, he can 
obtain the history from childhood of every living soul in his diocese, and 
its present state." " Sesame and Lilies." 

fThe writer was baptised by him in St. Vincent de Paul s. 



129 

awarded by the Corporation, Father O Reilly built the new 
schools in Norfolk Street, and called them the Chaloner 
schools.* 

In December, 1856, Bishop Goss opened the chapel of 
Our Lady Immaculate, in St. Domingo Road, designed by 
Mr. Welby Pugin. It was the intention of the founders that 
this building should serve as the Lady Chapel of a Cathedral 
to be erected on this site, the highest position in the north 
end of the city. From an architectural point of view no 
better spot could have been chosen. A cathedral of fine pro 
portions erected thereon would be the dominating feature of 
the city, visible from every point of the estuary and the 
south-western portion of the Wirral peninsula. In view of 
later changes in this neighbourhood, one cannot refrain 
from expressing doubts as to the suitability of a cathedral in 
the " storm centre," as it is now known. The idea was 
eventually abandoned for financial reasons St. Edward s 
seminary and college stands on the site of the estate 
purchased in the year 175>7 by a Mr. George Campbell, owner 
of a privateer which captured a richly-laden French vessel, 
on its way from San Domingo. The profits resulting from 
this doubtful transaction placed a considerable sum of money 
at the disposal of Mr. Campbell, who gave the name of St. 
Domingo to the neighbourhood, which it still bears. The 
house now occupied by Bishop Whiteside was built in 1790, 
by Mr. J. Sparling, a former Mayor of Liverpool, and later 
it became the official residence of Prince William, Duke of 
Gloucester, commander of the district forces. In turn it 
became a school for young gentlemen. While awaiting an 
audience of Bishop Whiteside, in the spring of 1898, the 
present writer and the late Mr. William Rathbone, M.P., sat 
in the library discussing the history of the building. The 
latter made the interesting statement that he and Mr. 
Stansfield, a member of Mr. Gladstone s third Cabinet, and 
Secretary for War, had received their early education 
together in that very room. In later years, \vhen it became 
the College of St. Edward, the present Poet Laureate, Mr. 
Alfred Austin, was one of the pupils, and from its flat roof, 
as he described it some years ago, he enjoyed the then fine 
view of Cheshire, North Wales, and the Irish Sea. 

Early in his episcopate, Bishop Goss made himself felt 
in Liverpool. Week after week, he delivered outspoken, 
breezy addresses, which dealt with every phase of municipal, 
parochial, and general public matters, as well as purely 
Catholic matters. The pressmen followed him from church 

* Enlarged in 1893 by the Rev. John Oldham, rector of St. Vincent s ; 
now rector of St. Alban s, Athol Street. 



130 

to platform, fully reporting his vigorous sermons and speeches, 
which were widely read, and sometimes severely commented 
upon* in the editorial columns of the daily press. 

At the dinner held on the evening of April 6th, 1856, 
the Bishop made a vigorous onslaught on the Select Vestry, 
a body which richly deserved episcopal castigation. " There 
" is a class of people called Select Vestrymen, who have taken 
" to persecuting in a small way. They are strong and 
" valorous, and fiery with religious zeal against the poor 
" children, but cowardly when they come face to face with 
" men. If we are to have war, we ought to have it in the 
" open, with persons who could stand persecution, and not 
" on harmless and innocent children/ The Clerk to the 
Vestry wrote to the Bishop, enquiring if his speeich, as 
reported in the daily papers, was a correct version of his 
remarks, adding that, if so, an explanation would be required 
by the Brownlow Hill Guardians. There was no sign of 
shirking a fight on the part of Dr. Goss. It was his first 
criticism of Liverpool public men, and he replied to Mr. 
Hart that the speeches of Messrs. Satchell and Jones, at 
Vestry Meetings, fully justified his contention that a spirit 
of persecution had been displayed towards poor children, 
whose miserable lot in life had placed their religion at the 
mercy of such narrow-minded men. He proceeded to give 
details to substantiate his allegations by charging the Select 
Vestry with forcing Patrick and James Joseph Flynn to 
attend the Protestant services at the Kirkdale schools, and 
with changing the religion of Sara Hawkins in the creed 
register, in defiance of the law of the land. This was not 
the reply which Vestrymen expected, and they gave expres 
sion to their disappointment and annoyance at successive 
meetings of the Board. Even the capable chairman, a man 
of wide reading and culture, Rector Campbell, accentuated 
the situation by declaring from the chair that the persecution 
of Protestants was enjoined upon all Catholics as a sacred 
duty. What relation this threadbare accusation had to 
Bishop Goss s charge that the Vestry had deliberately defied 
the law of England, it is difficult to appreciate. Mr. James 

* Since these lines were written Mr. John Denvir, once Editor of the 
" Catholic Times," has published his delightful " Life story of a rebel." 
Speaking of Dr. Goss, he says, " the bishop had a blunt, hitting out 
from the shoulder style of speaking that compelled attention. But you 
could hardly call them sermons at all ; they were rather powerful dis 
courses upon social topics, which, from a newspaper point of view, made 
splendid copy. Accordingly, during the year before his death, I followed 
him all over the diocese to get his sermon for each week s paper. There is 
no doubt that Dr. Goss s sermons helped materially to put a backbone 
into the " Catholic Times," and greatly to increase its circulation. 



131 

Whitty, in a humorous speech, sought to relieve the acuteness 
of the position, but the Rector was in no mood for concilia 
tion. He proceeded to quote decisions of General Councils 
of the Church to defend his proposition, and in so caustic a 
tone that his colleagues, roused to a pitch of excitement, 
passed a resolution solemnly recording the statement that 
Bishop Goss had styled them " bad men ; and " persecutors 
" of harmless and innocent children."* 

Bishop Goss won a substantial victory in spite of all the 
angry feeling displayed by the Tory Protestant members, 
and all the outstanding points in dispute were settled save 
one. 

At the annual Easter elections the irreconcilables issued 
placards declaring that " seventeen Popish priests were can- 
" vassing for the Liberal candidates, and strenuously 
appealing to the electors not to submit to " Popish teachers 
" and nurses " in the schools of the Parish. The Liberals 
triumphed at the poll. They were not by any means pro- 
Catholic, but simply fair-minded men, prepared to obey the 
law and to enquire into complaints made by substantial 
persons. The Mr. W. Jones to whom Dr. Goss had called 
special attention re-opened the floodgates of controversy by 
calling the attention of the Vestry to the fact that some eight 
or nine children at Kirkdale would not " chant " grace at 
meal times, and made a violent attack on Father Doyle for 
having, as he alleged, incited them to do so. That hundreds 
of Catholic children did " chant " the usual prayer was a 
point Mr. Jones conveniently ignored, and his extravagant 
utterances culminated in the extraordinary allegation that 
every child for whom a situation had been found by the 
Guardians had absconded as the result of the debates in the 
Board Room. 

The theory that children in and around Liverpool read 
the daily papers, was too amusing for even the Select Vestry 
to swallow, but they seriously discussed the " chanting " of 
grace. Mr. Owen pointed out that the Poor Law Order 
enjoined the " saying " of the prayer, not by the children but 
by the headmaster, Mr. H. J. Hagger, or his deputy. Father 
Doyle defended himself warmly in the columns of the news 
papers, though not quite discreetly it must be admitted, and 
the petty persecutions which he revealed won sympathy for 
him, even from those who disliked his methods. The Central 
Poor Law Authority was appealed to, but the result gave 
no satisfaction to either parties to the unseemly controversy, 

* See Report of proceedings in "Mercury," Sept. 9th, 1857, which 
occupies three columns. 



132 

and was followed by a series of angry debates which lowered 
the reputation of the Select Vestry. 

The Board generally disliked religious controversy and 
rejected a proposal to allow a well-known Protestant lecturer 
to address indiscriminately the inmates of the workhouse 
wards. Mr. James Whitty quaintly observed that the 
Scripture readers already entering the workhouse poured 
out the waters of life with such unction that they took good 
care to let the Papist get more than his share of the spray. 
Just at this moment another Catholic gentleman joined the 
Board, Mr. Cafferata.* He was in time to witness another 
outbreak. A boy named Doran was entered in the creed 
register as a Protestant, owing to the absence of his mother 
from Liverpool at the time- of admission. His illness turning 
out to be serious, the boy s grandmother and aunt gave the 
governor, Mr. Coates, the religious history of the family, 
which induced him to permit the priest to administer the last 
Sacraments. The fires of controversy were re-kindled. 
Violent tirades against the priest were delivered in the Parish 
Offices ; it was all in vain that the impartial Vestrymen urged 
that the governor had called in the priest in good faith, under 
justifiable circumstances. 

Controversy then broke out in the West Derby 
Union. An Anglican clergyman, named Fenton, proposed 
that the Sisters of Mercy, from Mount Vernon, be no longer 
allowed to visit the Catholic inmates, giving the grotesque 
reason that nuns were not " licensed ministers of religion." 
A Mr. Kirkus, speaking as a Protestant, said they would do 
well as guardians to emulate the Sisters of Mercy in their 
devotednees to the sick poor. The motion was not carried, 
but there was no mistaking the opinions of the majority, who 
were hostile to any methods, private or public, to console 
or alleviate the Catholics under their care. An opportunity 
soon presented itself to enable the headmaster of the work 
house school to act upon the implied wishes of his masters. 
He turned the Sisters out of the schools , when visiting one 
day, alleging that they had attempted to influence a Catholic 
girl. Father Corrie Grant, S.J., of St. Francis Xavier s, 
took up the cause of the nuns, attending a meeting of the 
Guardians, where he pointed out that both Catholics and 
Protestants of tender years were forced every Sunday to 
attend the services of the English Church. He invoked the 
protection which the law provided for the safeguarding of a 
child s faith, but the loyalty of West Derby Guardians for 
years was always subordinated to sectarian interests. Stung 

* Despite the Italian surname, members of his family were Freemen of 
the Town. 



133 

by Father Grant s exposures, they decided by one vote to 
exclude the nuns altogether. The minority, all Protestants 
be it said, were accused by their colleagues of being merely 
" Catholics in disguise," doing the work of Rome in secret. 
Mr. Kirkus, a Liberal member, scored heavily off the 
Protestant Reformation Society, which had fomented the 
West Derby Union quarrel. This organisation had run away 
without paying the rent for some rooms used for propaganda 
purposes, and Mr. Kirkus, who proved to be the owner of 
the property, suggested at the Guardians meeting that a love 
for Gospel teaching was not at all inconsistent with the pay 
ment of just debts. This little joke did not improve the 
temper of the proselytisers . 

The " leakage " due to the obstacles placed in the way 
of Catholic children receiving instruction, was a source of 
anxiety to the Bishop during all the years of his episcopal 
rule. Any attempt to stop it only provoked angry recrimi 
nations from the militant Protestants, who had come under 
the influence of Dr. McNeill, and thwarted every effort to 
successfully promote harmonious relations between all classes. 

Mr. Cropper, a leading member of the Select Vestry, 
foreseeing the danger of further politico-religious strife, made 
an earnest effort to remove some of the irritating grievances 
under which Catholics suffered inside the workhouse. The 
Board had refused to allow any Catholic service inside the 
walls of Brownlow Hill, consequently those w ho desired to 
hear Mass went outside on Sunday mornings. From an 
administrative point of view it was dangerous to allow inmates 
to go outside in large numbers, especially as every ne er-do- 
well anxious to get out for ulterior purposes declared himself 
a Catholic. Articles of clothing, bed linen, etc., were stolen 
by the latter class, and it was found impossible in practice to 
search a large number leaving on Sunday mornings. Inmates 
returned in the evening intoxicated, and disturbed the wards 
by their noisy behaviour. These evil results were due entirely 
to the policy of the ultra-Protestant members, who refused to 
listen to the simple demand that a room should be set apart 
for the Sunday Mass. The Liberal members supported Mr. 
Cropper s demand for a searching enquiry into the conduct 
of inmates declaring themselves " Catholics " to get outside, 
and the result was that a room was reserved for Catholic 
services. " Protestant " feeling was still too strong to permit 
of full liberty of access to the Catholic inmates by the clergy, 
and the restriction was imposed that only one priest should be 
permitted to celebrate Mass and perform the other duties of 
the sacred office. As no salary or reward of any kind was 



134 

offered, it was almost impossible to secure from the neighbour 
ing chapel of St. Philip Neri the continuous services of the 
same priest, Sunday and week-day. Bishop Goss opened 
negotiations with the Vestry, and an arrangement was finally 
arrived at by which Father Fleetwood became the first chap 
lain, with full permission to call upon the services of his 
brethren* in Hope Street when necessary ; but only one priest 
at a time could be in the building. 

Mr. George Melly, as the result of a few months experi 
ence as a Vestryman, induced his colleagues to allow a number 
of ladies interested in charitable work to visit the women s 
and children s quarters. Twelve ladies were selected, Father 
James Nugent nominating four Catholics Misses Mary and 
Isabella Gillow, Annie and Eliza Roskell. The excellent 
work thus inaugurated by a worthy member of a worthy 
family has been in operation down to this hour, and has 
proved an unmixed blessing in the women s quarters. Step 
by step Catholics were securing some measure of fairplay, and 
only by strenuous warfare, which was distasteful to the 
Catholic leaders. The aid given to them by the Liberal 
party was invaluable, and knit fresh bonds of attachment 
between them and both English and Irish Catholics. 

The political influence of the Catholics was increasing. 
Mr. C. J. Corbally, after a spirited contest, won Vauxhall 
Ward by 56 votes from the retiring Conservative member, on 
the 1st of November, 1857. A Parliamentary election 
earlier in the same year gave the Catholic electors a chance of 
inflicting a defeat on the bitterest section of their opponents. 
Liverpool has rarely enjoyed the privilege common to every 
other constituency in England of giving a straight vote on some 
important political issue. Religious controversy has always 
been introduced in one form or another, and this insane 
policy must be held responsible in the main for the fierce out 
breaks of " religious " rancour, which revive old and senseless 
antagonisms. The Liberals nominated only one candidate, 
Mr. J. C. Ewart; the Conservatives nominating candidates 
for both seats. One of the latter, Mr. Charles Turner, raised 
the bogey of No-Popery on the Maynooth grant, which he 
managed rather adroitly to tack on to opposition to the 
opening of the Crystal Palace on Sundays. The Catholic 
leaders supported the Liberal candidate, but also resolved to 
defeat Mr. Turner by advising their co-religionists to give 
their second vote to the other Conservative candidate. It was 
a risky policy, but the electioneering capacity of the Irish 

* One of whom was Father Nugent. 



135 

voters was quite equal to the occasion. To the surprise of all 
parties, Bishop Goss took advantage of a dinner on St. 
Patrick s night, in the Irish Catholic Club, to give episcopal 
approval to the policy of the leading members of the Catholic 
community. "He hoped they would not vote for the man who 
" would oppose the grant to Maynooth, and who objected to 
" rational recreation on Sundays. He asked Mr. Turner if he 
" never walked in his garden on Sundays. If it was not a sin 
" for him to do so, why should it be sinful for a poor man to 
* go to the Crystal Palace, or take a walk in the country? " 
This unexpected advocacy of Sunday recreation by a Catholic 
Bishop rallied a large number of Radical voters and non-party 
men to vote for Ewart and against Turner, who was defeated 
on the polling day. 

In 1857, the Bishop had the pleasure of opening the 
Chapel of Our Lady of Mercy, Mount Vernon, when Father 
W. H. Anderdon, a nephew of Cardinal Manning, preached, and 
on April 19th of the same year he blessed the new bells of St. 
Anne s, Overbury Street. At the latter ceremony the Bishop 
observed that as yet Catholic Churchesi could not have a peal 
of bells, and said he could not understand why, if one bell were 
allowed, the country would be ruined by the provision of two. 
In May, 1857, he laid the first stone of the new aisle of St. 
James , Marsh Lane, Bootle, which was opened by him on the 
31st December, accommodation being thus provided for five 
hundred and twenty persons. By this time the Benedictine 
Fathers of St. Mary s had completely renovated the Ray Street 
Schools, in order to qualify for the new grants from the Privy 
Council, and on the 19th July, 1857, a soiree was held in the 
schools to celebrate the event. To those who remember the 
venerable Rector of St. Peter s, Seel Street, Father Percy 
Maurus Anderson, O.S.B., and were acquainted with his 
musical skill, it will be interesting to record that at this gather 
ing he made his first appearance in Liverpool, and " surprised " 
the audience by his fine tenor voice. He had travelled from 
Yorkshire to join his brethren of St. Benedict in their 
rejoicings. 

The Blue Book of 1857 comments favourably upon 
the great strides made by the Catholics of Liverpool 
in the provision of schools and teachers, and the 
marked improvement in the quality of the male teachers. 

Hammersmith had now begun to make its work felt. 
The schools singled out for special reference include one well- 
known in Liverpool. " St. Francis Xavier s, Liverpool, under 
"Mr. Andrew Kelly; St. Ignatius , Preston, under Mr. 



136 

"Lehane; the Catholic school at Lancaster, under Mr. 
" Henry, deserve the highest praise. The two nxst> named 
schools were attached to missions conducted by the Jesuits. 
The Report goes on to single out the boys schools at Liscard, 
Carlisle, Burnley and Longton, and proceeds: "Still, after 
" due allowance has been made for all which the praiseworthy 
" efforts of the masters above named, and others of the same 
" stamp, have accomplished for boys, it cannot be denied that 
" the girls schools exhibit the same superiority to which 
" their Lordships attention has been formerly called." This 
continued tribute to the unique results attained by the nuns 
oi the various teaching orders, and the wonderful interest 
evinced by the Privy Council in their success, paved the way 
for further recognition and support from Imperial sources. 
Educationalists of all classes were stimulated by their example 
and for some years attempted feebly to copy their methods, 
though even yet the distinction between work for gain, and 
that performed in the spirit of self-sacrifice and self-renun 
ciation, is not adequately appreciated. At the end of the 
year 1854, 325 girls were serving their apprenticeship in 
Catholic schools, but were unable to avail themselves of the 
Queen s Scholarships, founded July 14th, 1855, because of 
the absence of any Training College for Catholic girls. The 
Poor School Committee were occupied with the enlargement 
of Hammersmith, but hampered by lack of means, they were 
unable to provide similar accommodation for girls. The 
Sisters of Notre Dame came to the rescue. In 1855 1 , Mr. 
Allies, Secretary of the Poor School Committee, proceeded to 
Namur to lay the difficulties of the Catholics of England 
before the Superior-General. The use of Mount Pleasant 
was offered, with the stipulation that the Sisters were not to 
be called upon to surrender their property, or asked to pay 
the entire cost of maintenance. The Committee set aside one 
hundred and fifty pounds, and arranged to pay a capitation 
grant of two pounds per annum for every student in atten 
dance. H.M. Inspector sanctioned the use of the building 
for twenty-one students, and the world-famous Training 
College set out on its unparalleled history. Among those who 
came in 1855 to begin the projected college was a future 
Sister Superior, Sister Mary of St. Philip. She sat in 
December of that year at the first examination for the 
Queen s Scholarships, held in Mount Pleasant, at which 
eight students passed in the first class, and eleven in the 
second. Further extensions took place in 1857, to provide 
for sixty students, and in the succeeding scholarship examina 
tion, twenty-seven students passed in tlie first class and 
twelve in the second, a result, to quote the Inspector s 



137 

report, " unparalleled in the history of training schools." 
The growing number of students, the demand for capable 
teachers, and the reputation of the Sisters, brought with 
them additional responsibilities, and further buildings had 
to be provided in 1859. 

Distinguished visitors came from all parts of the country 
to enquire into the working of the successful college, notably 
Sir James Kay Shuttleworth, who, before leaving, said " his 
" visit added to the strong conviction he had always felt of 
" the great power given to training colleges by making them 
" denominational." 

Teachers, trained under such conditions, carried with 
them to distant parts of the country the beat traditions of 
the Sisters, and instilled some degree of their spirit into those 
schools where it was impossible to secure the services of the 
nuns themselves. Sister Jeanne de Jesus, who had been 
Superior for two years, died on March 22nd, 1859, a severe 
blow to the infant Training College, and was succeeded by 
Sister Mary Theresa, " who has been the mainstay of every- 
u thing in Mount Pleasant from that day to this (1885.)"* 

The funeral of Sister Jeanne, at St. Oswald s, was 
attended by fifty-five students in training and one hundred and 
eighty scholars from the Practising and High Schools. Her 
services to education were warmly eulogised by the Liberal 
newspapers of the day. 

Mr. Nasmyth Stokes, in his first report to Whitehall, 
remarked that " the Practising School at Mount Pleasant, 
" though attended by only one hundred children, gives an 
" admirable model of a well organised and thoroughly 
" taught school. Students in training are frequently taken 
" to other schools in the town, and thus enlarge their 
" experience by visits to departments of various kinds." By 
the year 1852, Mount Pleasant had supplied 57 trained 
teachers to the town and district. Out of 556 candidates 
and apprentices examined in 1861, 74 came from Mount 
Pleasant High School and 67 from the Practising School. 
St. Francis Xavier s alone sent up 72 girls for examination. 

In 1858 Cardinal Wiseman visited Liverpool, and was the 
guest of Mr. Edward Chaloner. To the surprise of many good 
people he proposed to visit the Protestant Reformatory ship, 
41 Akbar," and was warmly welcomed by the committee of 
management. The Bishop of Liverpool did not attend, and 
His Eminence was accompanied by the Bishop of Shrewsbury, 

* See History of Notre Dame, Liverpool, published 1885. 



IBB 

Father Nugent, and many of the clergy. The next evening 
he delivered a lecture at the Philharmonic Hall on the appro 
priate subject : " Is the present education of the poor of a 
" sufficiently practical character, or can this be imparted to 
" it? " He laid down principles 1 in this address which proved 
to be much ahead of his time, and even now are not universally 
acted upon. " Few," he said, " remained sufficiently long at 
" school to receive a decent education ; the poor under-valued 
"it. We must endeavour to the utmost to put forward educa- 
" tion and excite the poor particularly to take advantage of it. 
" . . Education must not be merely mental but manual, 
" to make him who receives it not only skilful but dexterous, 
" so that he might know how to use his hands and arms 1 . He 
" did not consider the education of an officer complete if he 
" could not wield his sword, brandish it over his head, and 
" strike one down with it. Nor should we consider the educa- 
" tion of the artisan complete if he could not wield with 
" strength his 1 hammer, or that of the peasant unless he could 
" hold and guide his plough. Clearly, if education had no 
" reference to the future life of the boy or girl, it was a mere 
" waste of time and power of the scholar and of the teacher." 
The Cardinal went on to suggest that washhouses and kitchens 
be attached to all schools for girls, and asked, " Could no plan 
" be devised whereby the boys who were at school could like- 
" wise be employed so many hours a day in industrial pursuits, 
" to the prosecution of a trade in one form or another ? It was 
" because the poor saw no practical result from the present 
" method of education that they did not like education, and 
" took their children away at the very earliest moment." He 
complained also that the teachers for both town and country 
schools were trained on the same lines, a policy which he 
soundly condemned. This protest against a mere literary 
education of the children of the poor attracted the attention of 
the townspeople, who rubbed their eyes with amazement at 
such practical lessons being taught in a Protestant town by a 
prince of the Holy Roman Church. There was a section, 
however, which did not welcome the Cardinal. Sufficient for 
them that he was a " Papist." As his carriage drove away 
along Hope Street, at the conclusion of the meeting, it was 
followed by a mob of Orangemen, who smashed the carriage 
with stones and missiles of various kinds so effectively that it 
only realised fifteen pounds when, two days later, it was 
offered for sale at Lucas s Repository. A number of the 
assailants were arrested, and in inflicting sentence on one 
young man, Mr. J. S. Mansfield, the Stipendiary Magistrate, 
observed : " I suppose some statement about Protestant feeling, 



139 

" or other hypocritical excuse, will be got up to counteract this 
" infamous and disgraceful outrage." The prisoner said he 
had gone to see Dr. McNeill debating with the Cardinal. 

Having completed the Fontenoy Street Schools, the Oblate 
Fathers set to work to provide a much-needed church to replace 
the small temporary chapel. Ten thousand Catholics were living 
in Holy Cross parish, and, owing to the overcrowded state of 
the two neighbouring parishes, it was physically impossible for 
all the adults to hear Mass on Sundays. The clergy organised 
a meeting at the Concert Hall, Lord Nelson Street, on 
February 1st, 1859. Bishop Goss presided. Mr. J. B. 
Aspinall proposed " That, from the numbers of the Catholic 
" population, the present chapel has been found insufficient, 
" both for the decent celebration of the Divine mysteries and 
" even the safety of the public." He paid a warm tribute to 
the labours of the " foreign "* priests at Holy Cross and in 
the Eldon Street district, and expressed his personal pleasure 
in being asked to take part in the provision of a new church 
in a district which had attracted him from the outset. The 
resolution was seconded by Mr. Walton, f and amongst the 
other speakers was Councillor Richard Sheil. A subscription 
list was opened, and was 1 headed by a donation of one hundred 
pounds from the Holy Cross Temperance Society. So much 
progress had been made that the Oblates arranged to have the 
first stone placed in position on June 13th, 1859. Bishop Goss 
performed the ceremony in the presence of some thirty priests, 
including Dr. Fisher, { a future Vicar-General, Fathers 
O Reilly (the third Bishop), Dutertre, O.M.I., Jolivet, O.M.I. 
(the future Bishop of Natal), Vanderspitte, Grandidier, 
Duggan, Power, and Magrath. The address delivered by the 
Bishop consisted almost entirely of an earnest appeal to the 
people to keep away from the neighbourhood of the Old Swan, 
where, on the previous day, the Orangemen had provoked a 
serious riot. The Bishop was well aware of the militant 
character of the Irishmen of the parish, and feared they would 
march out to Old Swan on the following Sunday, when a 
renewal of hostilities was threatened. His advice was taken, 
and the rows which made the Old Swan district infamous were 
not renewed. The following year, on October 14th, the new 
church was solemnly opened by Bishop Goss, who sang the 
High Mass, a former Liverpool priest, now Bishop of 
Nottingham, Dr. Roskell, preaching the sermon in the 

* Fathers Dutertre, Jolivet and Amiste were Frenchmen. 

t Father of Mr. Justice Walton. 
I President of St. Edward s College. 



140 

presence of a great assembly of priests and laity. Solemn 
Vespers and Te Deum were sung in the afternoon, when a 
famous Irish priest preached, the Rev. Dr. Lavelle, of Partry, 
and after compline in the evening the pulpit was occupied 
by the Rev. Dr. Marshall, formerly of St. Anthony s, 
Scotland Road, but then stationed at Edinburgh. The 
" Liverpool Mercury " of that day described the church as 
" decidedly the best specimen of ecclesiastical architecture, 
with one exception, of which Liverpool could boast." 
On the 2nd of February, 1859, Dr. Goss laid the 
foundation stone of the fine church in Eldon Street, 
designed by Mr. Welby Pugin, and dedicated to Our 
Lady of Reconciliation de la Salette. Owing to the unfavour 
able weather the ceremony was performed under a huge tent, 
and, as the Bishop expressed it, " one more milestone was 
" erected to mark the uprise of the poor Catholics at that part 
"of the town." Newspaper want of knowledge of Catholic 
matters was- displayed in the reports, which expressed surprise 
at a Capuchin heading the procession. Father Vanderspitte, 
the founder of the Mission, had worked a moral revolution in 
this rather notorious district, and had even founded a fine 
brass band among his young men, which, under the tuition of 
Monsieur Nono, maintained a reputation in musical circles for 
many years. The cnurch was opened on the 15th August of 
the following year. 

In 1859, Canon Thomas Newsham retired from his 
strenous labours at St. Anthony s, to a country mission at 
Fleetwood, and was succeeded by the Rev. Pierse Power, who 
had spent eleven years at St. Patrick s. One of his first acts 
was to wage war with the Select Vestry because of the negli 
gence of some of its officers in attending to the poor in his 
new parish. Unlike most clerical complainants addressing 
themselves to that body, he had the satisfaction of being 
listened to, and of proving his case, for the Vestry not only 
censured the offender but passed a resolution warning him that 
any repetition of neglect would ensure dismissal from office. 
Strife broke out anew at Brownlow Hill. Allegations were 
made against one of the lady visitors, Miss Gillow, that she 
had tampered with the religion of a girl, with the suggestive 
name of Foley. This girl, then fifteen years of age, and an 
inmate of the workhouse, had previously been an inmate of 
the Kirkdale Schools, and registered as a Catholic. Inside the 
" house " she was a Protestant, and, not unnaturally, Miss 
Gillow spoke to her on the matter. For so doing the Work 
house Committee called upon her for an explanation, accusing 
her of having threatened the girl at the same time. Miss 



141 

Gillow ignored the request, sending to Father Nugent an 
explanation and denial of the allegations. She was under the 
impression that as he had secured her services, Father Nugent 
was the right person to whoun to give any explanation of her 
conduct as a visitor. The Workhouse Committee resolved that 
Miss Gillow should ceasie her visitations, whereupon her 
brother, Mr. William Gillow, 55, Shaw Street, wrote to the 
Vestry Clerk suggesting that another tribunal should investi 
gate the charges , as he had no confidence in the impartiality of 
the Workhouse Committee. His application was not acceded 
to, and Miss Gillow was compelled to resign. Father Richard 
Doyle, visiting priest at the schools, scarcely allowed a meeting 
to pass without calling attention to some case in which the 
creed register was marked inaccurately. He was accused, of 
annoying the parochial authorities, and replied that he had 
no intention of doing that; but his duty to the Catholics 
outside who paid him his stipend did not permit him to 
knowingly allow Catholic children to receive Protestant 
instruction. In this connection it is remarkable that bearing 
in mind the enormous Catholic population of the Parish of 
Liverpool, and the poverty in which most of them were 
plunged, 58 2 of the children in Kirkdale in 1859 were 
registered as members of the Church of England. 

Further difficulties arose in the " house " when Bishop 
Goss wrote to the Vestry, pointing out that every Catholic was 
bound by the law of the Church to approach the Sacraments 
during the season of Lent. He urged that, as the Catholic 
inmates belonged to the very poorest class, they were neces 
sarily the most ignorant, and needed special instruction before 
receiving Holy Communion. Father Fleetwood was then 
growing old and infirm, and the Bishop urged the Vestry to 
rescind their former decision to allow only one priest to enter 
the building. He further suggested that Father Nugent or 
Father Laverty, of the Institute, might be allowed to assist in 
the work. Mr. Churchwarden Cropper met this request by 
the impudent declaration that of his own knowledge Father 
Fleetwood was in sound bodily health, and well able to per 
form the duties referred to, and carried the Workhouse 
Committee with him in refusing the Bishop s request. Messrs. 
Whitty and Cafferata employed the interval between this 
meeting and that of the Vestry so well that they secured 
victory by thirteen votes to five. Father Nugent, who was 
now in the very front rank of the clergy, performed his new 
duty with such tact and discretion that no complaint was ever 
made against his admission to the cold surroundings of the 
room in which he gave instructions and heard confessions 



142 

alternately with his two colleagues. At that moment the 
Catholic body throughout the country was generally 
unpopular, by reason of the stream of secessions from the 
Anglican Church of prominent clergymen and laymen. This 
made itself felt in Liverpool, too, where the secession of the 
Rev. A. G. Marshall, curate at St. Matthias , brought down 
upon him censures as undeserved as they were severe from his 
incumbent. The signal tact of Mr. James Whitty preserved 
the general toleration of the Liberal members of the Select 
Vestry, who, Churchmen and Dissenters alike, could not avoid 
being influenced by the general sense of uneasiness at the 
growing " dominance of Rome." 

Father Patrick O Callaghan, O.S.B., of St. Mary s, died 
on the 31st March, 1858. His funeral was the occasion of a 
remarkable demonstration of grief on the part of his former 
parishioners, who, two thousand in number, marched four 
deep, from Edmund Street to Grassendale churchyard. 
Ninety -two carriages followed the hearse. Mr. C. J. Cbrbally, 
J.P., stated that his " commercial friends on Change were 
" bewildered at such an extraordinary manifestation of 
" sorrow " for a simple priest, and freely expressed their 
amazement as the huge procession passed down Exchange 
Street East. 

The vast Catholic population of the town, and the 
passing of the Intra-mural Act of 1859, created the demand 
for a Catholic cemetery. In any case the space for burials 
in the vaults or graveyards of St. Anthony s, St. Patrick s, 
St. Nicholas and St. Peter s had become seriously curtailed 
by the passage of time. Following the Irish practice, the 
dead were carried through the streets to these churches on 
the shoulders of their friends, the bearers being changed at 
intervals, it being regarded as a mark of respect to be 
allowed a share in the merciful work of burying the dead. 
Canon Newsham had purchased an estate of twenty-four 
acres at Ford, and on Sunday, September 22nd, 185 9, Bishop 
Goss blessed the wooden crosses which were to serve as the 
Via Dolorosa. He drove in state from St. Patrick s, accom 
panied by the leading clergy, the entire route being crowded 
with people, wending their way to Ford, to witness the 
ceremony. The " Liverpool Mercury," in its report of the 
proceedings, stated that " several hundred carriages, cabs, 
" omnibuses, and spring carts," laden with passengers, 
drove behind the Bishop s carriage ; a motley, but represen 
tative, procession. 

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was consecrated, 
September 8th, 1861, fifteen thousand people crowding into 



143 

the cemetery grounds. It is a curious fact that an augmented 
choir and orchestra rendered Haydn s First Mass on this 
occasion, an illustration of the ideas then prevailing as to 
suitable music for the opening of a cemetery chapel. 

The outbreak of the Italian Revolution in 1860, brought 
fresh troubles to the Catholics of Liverpool. Naturally they 
desired to express loyalty to, and sympathy with, the august 
head of the Church, whose estates were invaded by men 
whose ideal of a united Italy was tarnished with a fierce 
hatred of the Christian religion itself. The motive power 
behind the revolution was not quite the* spirit of pure love 
of Italy, or hatred of the Austrians; its roots lay deeper. 
Parish meetings were held, and special collections of Peter s 
Pence made in every church. Mr. Edward Chaloner gave 
five hundred pounds, at his own parish church of St. Oswald, 
and two hundred and fifty at St. Vincent s. Bishop Goss 
proceeded to Rome, to lay at the feet of Pope Pius the Ninth 
the addresses of loyalty from every corner of his diocese, and 
the extremely generous offerings of the faithful. 

Liverpool became quite uneasy at these demonstrations, 
and the opportunity was seized by itinerant street preachers 
to arouse the lower orders of the town into hostile manifes 
tations against the Church. Englishmen generally 
sympathised warmly with the Italian Movement, but it 
cannot be admitted that the outburst of bigotry against 
Liverpool Catholics came from men who understood the 
bearings of a delicate international question. The relations 
between the different parties and the Catholic leaders became 
more and more strained, until the early seventies, when the 
Temporal Power of the Popes was destroyed and Victor 
Emmanuel proclaimed King of Italy. This friction had 
unfortunate consequences. The rapidly closing gulf between 
Catholics and their fellow citizens was widened, works of 
charity were hindered and the Catholic leaders had a 
difficult task to perform in preventing even worse conse 
quences. Without sacrificing any principle they displayed 
great tact in their public relations, and credit is due in the 
main to the splendid leadership of Mr. James Whitty. 

Garibaldi opened an agency in Castle Street, under the 
management of a soldier, Captain Hampton, to secure 
recruits for the " Italian patriots. " The officers of the 
volunteer corps lent their drill shed in Devon Street to 
Captain Hampton, for the purposes of drilling the Liverpool 
" volunteers." In September, 1860, no less than eighty 
" volunteers " marched to Lime Street Station, accompanied 
by cheering crowds who looked upon them merely as enemies 



144 

of the Pope, without any thought of the actual merits of 
the question at issue. 

Some differences manifested themselves in the Catholic 
body. Many were in favour of the expulsion of the Austrians, 
sympathising with the Italian Nationalist movement against 
foreign rule, and a small minority, undoubtedly, were 
favourable to the separation of the Holy See from purely 
political relations with the European States. At this early 
stage of the Italian troubles, many English and Irish 
Catholics appeared to believe that once the Italians were freed 
from the rule of the Austrian, peace would be won for Italy, 
and security obtained for the absolute freedom of the 
Sovereign Pontiff. As Englishmen forgot how the Temporal 
Power saved British Commerce, in the reign of Pope Pius 
the Seventh, when he refused to obey Napoleon s command 
to close his harbours against English shipping, many Catholics 
also forgot the real significance and value of the Pope s 
unfettered possession of the patrimony of St. Peter.* The 
" Liverpool Daily Post " took a very prominent part in 
advancing the views of the Catholic minority, or Liberal 
Catholics, as they were quite erroneously termed. The 
founder and editor was Mr. M. J. Whitty, a native of 
County Wexford; an ex-ecclesiastical student; Head Con 
stable of Liverpool ; founder of the Eire Brigade, and of the 
first penny daily newspaper. 

There was a Catholic weekly, "The Northern Press/ 
printed and published in Post Office Place, which had a large 
circulation in the town and neighbourhood. Its editor was 
Mr. S. B. Harper, a convert from the Anglican Church. He 
wielded a vigorous pen, and took up an uncompromising 
Catholic attitude, which brought about a battle of pens 
between himself and the editor of the " Daily Post." In the 
contest he was worsted. The brilliant Wexfordman, with 
the advantages of an excellent education, a considerable 
knowledge of Catholic theological works, a facile pen, and the 
advantage, from a political standpoint, of being quite un 
orthodox, overwhelmed the rival editor. Mr. Whitty laid 
down the following proposition in the editorial columns of 
the " Post " : " Frankly accepted and boldly turned to 
" account, the loss of the Temporal Power might have secured 
" to the Catholic Church a new lease of life, more vigorous 
" and beneficent than it had ever yet enjoyed." The 
" Northern Press " replied to this rather specious argument 

* For an excellent exposition of the case for the Temporal Power, 
see Bishop Whiteside s Pastoral on the accession of Pius the Tenth. 



145 

in a well-informed, but rather loosely written, -editorial, 
which gave Mr. Whitty an opportunity of shewing that all 
Liverpool Catholics did not follow Mr. Harper s reasoning. 
On October 23rd, 1860, he wrote : " We have asserted 
" frequently that the Ultramontanes did not represent the 
" Roman Catholics of England and Ireland. There is in 
" this town a Catholic newspaper, called the Northern 
" Press, conducted, in reference to its principles, with con- 
" siderable ability, but, as its principles are vile, hurtful alike 
" to religion and to man. The English Roman Catholics 
" decline to support it, they refuse to subscribe, they do not 
" read it. This is not to be wondered at, for it is eternally 
" abusing Victor Emmanuel, Garibaldi, and the Daily Post. 
It is evident from a perusal of its columns that the 
" Northern Press " was not a Liberal organ, and this very 
probably accounts for Mr. Whitty s assertion that the 
English Roman Catholics did not read it, to say nothing of 
its extravagant language and want of dignity, which 
certainly did give offence to many leading Catholics. Here 
is a fair sample : " What we want to know is, who made the 
" Daily Post our teacher? What right has this miserable 
" driveller to thrust itself before us ,as a teacher of what is 
" best for Catholics to do or not to do? Who is to blame for 
" this weekly, almost daily, insulting scribble against us 
" Catholics? We will answer that question. Catholics are 
" themselves to blame. We are a mean, miserable, time- 
" serving body, after all, without a spark of true Catholic 
" honesty about us. The smiles of fortune and success in 
" this world generally emasculate character, so that men who 
" ought to be at the head of every Catholic movement sit at 
" ease, in the midst of their acquired abundance, and neglect 
" their duty to their fellow man. Nationality, public spirit, 
" self -sacrifice, are blotted out from their vocabulary, and the 
" more they advance in prosperity, the more they are eaten 
"up by selfishness. . . So Victor Emmanuel is applauded, 
" Garibaldi is raised to the gods, and the Pope may fall to 
" the ground, for all these liberal minded Catholics care. 
" Catholics are to blame for the shame and obloquy that has 
" of late been thrown on their religion. We truckle to 
" the spirit of the world ; we sneak along and hide our honest 
" feelings, because we are too cowardly to stand up for them 
" and bear the battle with the world. The Daily Post 
" comes out, morning after morning, with lies and calumnies, 
" and we read it, and, what is worse, feel but little indig- 
" nation, when the mantle of burning shame should crimson 
" our cheeks to hear and read these vile insults to our holy 
" Faith." There is internal evidence in this picturesque bit 



146 

of ink slinging that Mr. Whitty had good grounds for his 
belief that some Catholics of prominence were not quite 
orthodox on the question of the Temporal Power. It must, 
however, be said that at this early period of the Italian move 
ment no one anticipated that the Sovereign Pontiff would be 
deprived of the whole of his territory, and placed in the invi 
dious position of being practically a subject of the King of Italy 
without that freedom which the Head of the Church should 
enjoy in his relations with the Christian world. Herein lay 
the real nature of the differences which did prevail in 
" English Roman Catholic " circles, in Liverpool and neigh 
bourhood. The " Daily Post 5 replied briefly that it had 
"never printed a line insulting to any Christian faith." 
Catholic opinion was excited at the vigorous attacks on the 
Temporal Power by this journal, and a movement began, 
which came to nought, to establish a daily paper which the 
Catholics of the town might read without having their 
feelings wounded. At a meeting of St. Mary s Young Men s 
Society, Father Almond, O.S.B., said, " while we look forward 
" to that boon, let us not forget the boon we have, the 
Northern Press. 7 Let us not separate this night without 
"saying, bad luck to the Daily Post!" " (Hisses.) 

The " Mercury " departed from the lofty tone which had 
characterised its columns. Instead of confining its criticisms 
to the real points at issue in Italy, it poured out a torrent of 
personal abuse on Pope Pius, whose allocutions it described 
(C as 1 largely enriching the literature of Billingsgate." To make 
matters worse, wild stories were put in circulation of perse 
cution of Protestants in Spain, which lost nothing in the 
telling, week after week, in the press and on the platform. 
Bishop Goss spoke out against these accusations and 
challenged Sir Robert Peel to produce evidence in support 
of the allegations. Public opinion was too excited to secure 
a fair hearing, and the first evidence of this was the rejection 
from Vauxhall Ward by two votes, of the retiring Catholic 
Liberal, Mr. C. J. Cor bally. 

This gentleman accepted his defeat quietly and sought 
a seat on the Burial Board of the Parish His nomination 
was challenged on religious grounds by the Tory leaders, but 
the great bulk of the Liberal electors stood by him, and with 
Messrs. Thornely and S. B. Jackson he was successful at the 
poll. With his partner, Mr. Richard Shell, he was placed 
on the Commission of the Peace, on the nomination of the 
Liberal leader. The Catholic Club organised a series of 
lectures to educate public opinion on the points then disturb 
ing the Protestant mind, the first lecture being delivered in 
the Philharmonic Hall, by Dean O Brien, Limerick, founder 



147 

of the Young Men s Societies, the subject matter being " The 
" Church and Human Progress." 

The elections in 1861 closed an interesting chapter in the 
political history of Liverpool Catholics. Compulsory attend 
ance of children in elementary schools was in the air, and the 
establishment of a system of national schools was fast becoming 
a fixed principle of the Liberal party. Hitherto Catholics of 
all ranks, with very few exceptions, in Lancashire were staunch 
opponents of the Conservative party ; now there were signs of 
disintegration. Fearful lest the rising school of Liberalism 
might injure the denominational schools , some of the Catholic 
gentry, notably Sir Robert Gerard, appeared on the Conserva 
tive platform. That they were influenced by the demand for 
household franchise and Parliamentary reform and other 
advanced Liberal proposals is certain, but the rupture was 
precipitated by the new developments of education policy. 

Mr. W. E. Gladstone had refused to stand again for the 
county division then known as South Lancashire. This con 
stituency included Southport, Wigan, St. Helens 1 , Warrington, 
Leigh, Ormskirk, and the freeholders of Liverpool and Man 
chester. If anywhere, there was a large Catholic vote inside 
this area. To secure it was 1 the aim of the Liberals and Tories 
alike for their respective champions, Mr. Cheetham and Mr. 
Charles Turner. The Liberals estimated that the Noncon 
formist and Catholic electors out-numbered the official 
Conservatives by three to one, and looked forward with great 
confidence to a substantial majority. 

The Conservative candidate had been defeated in Liverpool, 
as already related, because of his 1 strong anti-Catholic views 
and his constant appearances on McNeilPs platform. That 
any Catholic would vote for him appeared to be outside the 
bounds of possibility. Lord Derby made a strenuous effort to 
win the seat for Mr. Turner, and the Liberal Party became 
alarmed at the circulation of a rumour that at the previous 
general election Cardinal Wiseman had issued private 
instructions to the Bishops to support Lord Derby, who had 
promised in return, so it was alleged, to concede the appoint 
ment of paid Catholic chaplains to the army, navy, prisons, 
and workhouses.* Bishop Goss was charged with using his 
influence against the Liberal candidate, and many Liverpool 
Catholics accepted this accusation as well founded. The 
Catholic Club met to consider the situation. Mr. P. S. 
Bidwill, Colonel of the Irish Volunteer Corps, presided. The 
decision was as follows : " That, while disapproving on 
* principle of certain views and opinions of Mr. Cheetham, it 

* See Disraeli s letter to the Cardinal, quoted in Wilfred Ward s Life. 



148 

" is the duty of all Catholics to support him, as he is the only 
" exponent of Liberal principles in home legislation with 
" which Catholics are identified." Mr. Charles Turner won 
by 835 votes. * The Liverpool polling showed that he had only 
a majority of 88 votes, which centainly went to prove that the 
Catholic freeholders had voted in accordance with the 
recommendation of the Catholic Club. In Manchester, Mr. 
Cheetham had a majority of 400, but in the country districts 
he was out-voted. The Liberal leaders attributed the 
unexpected result to Bishop Goss, and alleged that the clergy 
did interfere in the contest at his suggestion. The " Liverpool 
" Mercury/ on the other hand, observed : " We know that as 
" a rule the Catholic clergy interfere less in political matters in 
" the way of solicitation than the brethren of any other 
" denomination, and that the Jesuits never vote at all." The 
Birkenhead contest furnished some evidence which seemed to 
the Liberal leaders to confirm their suspicions. A meeting was 
summoned by the priests of Birkenhead to decide the relative 
claims of Messrs. Brassey and Laird. It was> decided to 
support the Conservative candidate, whereupon a protest was 
published, signed by 326 Irish voters, declaring that no voter 
was invited to this meeting, save those who were known to be 
favourable to Mr. John Laird. Canon Chapman, Hector of St. 
Werburgh s, openly took the field against Mr. Brassey, and 
marched at the head of one hundred Catholic voters to the 
polling place. Mr. Brassey was defeated by 323 votes; the 
Catholic vote being responsible for this result. 

This was the beginning of the gradual drifting apart 
from each other of Irish and English Catholics, which 
became more marked in later years. At that moment the 
separation was particularly unfortunate, and it led to the 
disappearance from public and even semi-public affairs of both 
Irishmen and Englishmen who could ill be spared from the 
active work of propagating much-needed charities. 

One of these works was the saving of the faith of Poor 
Law children. In February, 1860, the Catholic Poor School 
Committee, London, conceived the idea of establishing Poor 
Law Schools to which the Guardians could send the Catholic 
children from the workhouses. It was a brilliant idea, and as 
it emanated from Catholics it must excite " Protestant " 
hostility. Quite apart from the Catholic purpose, the removal 
of Poor Law children into private institutions licensed by the 
Government was infinitely better than the crude methods which 
prevailed for thirty years in even the best managed Unions. 

* The bells of St. Peter s, Church Street, and St. Nicholas , Chapel 
Street, were rung in honour of the Conservative victory. 



149 

Mr. Jones, churchwarden, called the attention of the Select 
Vestry to the movement, and proposed that, " This Board 
" views with concern and regret the agitation begun in London 
" for separate Poor Law Schools. He further quoted a pai-a- 
graph from the " Northern Press " to the effect that but for 
the presence of Mr. James Whitty, the Select Vestry would 
be as 1 active a proselytising agent as the other Boards of 
Guardians in the country. The Vestry declined to share the 
fears of Mr. Jones, not because they entirely disagreed with 
him, but because the members regarded the proposal as outside 
the range of practical politics. A local committee was formed 
to further the work, and a Bill was lodged in Parliament 
framed by Lord Petre and the Honble. Charles Langdale. 
Their hands were strengthened when Mr. James Whitty called 
public attention to the large numbers of Catholic children sent 
from the Kirkdale Schools to Protestant families in the 
neighbourhood of Bacup. He suggested that when such 
children were sent out, the Governor be instructed to require 
a written undertaking from the employer that he would send 
the child to a place of worship on Sundays in accord with the 
religion described in the Poor Law creed register. This act 
of justice had been denied for years, and what was worse, the 
Vestry declined to defend the children when employers 
flagrantly forced the child labourer to attend an alien service. 
Mr. Whitty & suggestion was rejected, whereupon a deputation, 
consisting of the Very Rev. Provost Cookson, Mr. John Yates, 
and Mr. J. Neale Lomax, waited upon the Schools Committee, 
and gave details of the proselytism practised. They further 
announced that the Catholic Club would be willing to under 
take the entire responsibility of finding suitable situations for 
every boy and girl discharged from the Kirkdale Schools. They 
besought the hearty co-operation of the Vestrymen, and 
suggested as a practical method that they should be furnished 
with a list of the children about to be discharged. 
This proposal was not accepted. Despite the detailed 
information supplied to them, many of the members, 
in good faith, declined to believe that any employer could be 
so bigoted or unreasonable as to tamper with an employee s 
religious faith. Eventually the victory was gained, Father 
Gibson, the visiting priest, being supplied with the lists asked 
for. Mr. Cropper opposed the confirmation of this" agreement 
at the Vestry meeting on the ground that a similar application 
might be sent in by the Methodist body, as if the latter were 
not entitled to the rights of citizenship. Until unfortunate 
political complications many years later broke up this 
admirable work on the part of the Catholic Club, hundreds of 



150 

children were placed with Catholic families or with Protestant 
employers who most loyally kept faith. No better work was 
ever done for the poor by the Catholic leaders, and we who live 
under happier conditions ought to remember their names with 
deep affection. Bishop Goss presided at a meeting to celebrate 
this victory. He stated that over two hundred children had 
been discharged annually, of whom two-thirds 1 lost their 
religion by reason of their environment. During the " Educa- 
" tion Campaign " of 1906, the writer spent some time in a 
mining centre in North-East Lancashire, to which hundreds of 
children had been sent during the sixties, and personally 
examining the abundant proofs submitted was satisfied that 
Dr. Goss s estimate of two-thirds under-estimated the loss of 
faith, nay, of all religious belief. 

The payment of Catholic chaplains was the next Poor 
Law problem. The House of Commons appointed a Select 
Committee to enquire into this question, as well as the 
proposal that it should be compulsory on Guardians to appoint 
a certain number of Catholic teachers in workhouse schools. 
Mr. James Whitty gave evidence before this Committee. It 
came as a great surprise to those who believed that the work 
house was filled with Catholics to learn from Mr. Whitty s 
evidence that, though the majority of the residents of the 
parish were Catholics the proportion receiving indoor relief in 
1861 was 1,204, as against 1,478 non-Catholics. The Orange 
element severely attacked Mr. Whitty for giving evidence 
without having obtained previously the permission of the 
Vestry, and the Liberals, led by Mr. Peck, quite as warmly 
resented any attempt to silence such an experienced Guardian . 
Without waiting to see what the Select Committee would 
recommend, the Vestry passed a resolution protesting against 
any changes being made, on the motion of its most illiberal 
member, Mr. Satchell. The same section made a desperate 
effort to prevent a Catholic gentleman, Mr. Lightbound, Dale 
Street, from succeeding to a vacant seat, but were defeated ; 
in fact, they were defeated mainly by their violent speeches. 

The emigration from Ireland to America during the year 
1861 reached a high figure, and was followed by a movement 
in the same direction from Liverpool. It is unfortunate that 
no particulars were obtained, as in 1847, of the emigrants 
arriving in the Mersey, so that it could be computed how 
many Irish people living in the city had been caught by the 
emigration fever. The number of Catholics in the town has 
always been a disputed point. Father James Nugent, speak 
ing on St. Patrick s Day, 1861, asserted in a positive manner 
that there were at least 150,000 Catholics out of a total 



151 

population of 462,749. On the following Feast of St. Patrick, 
Bishop Goss stated that on an average seven thousand children 
were in daily attendance at the schools, which at first sight 
would appear to traverse Father Nugent s figures, but closer 
examination of the prevailing conditions only serves to show 
how fallacious it would be to estimate the population by the 
school attendance. There was no compulsory attendance then 
as now. In 1854, eight years before the Bishop s 1 statement, 
7,450 children marched through the streets in procession, and 
110 less than five schools were unrepresented. How did it 
come about that eight years later there were less children 
apparently in Catholic schools? As early as 1852, the 
Inspector of Schools noticed the extraordinary fact that in 
the small school of St. Hilda 650 entered their names on the 
books in one year, and during the same period 400 left. 
Compulsory education has been the handmaid of religion in 
Catholic Liverpool since 1870 ; the pity is the same law did not 
date from 1850. Father Nugent stated that at this period* 
no less than 23,000 children were roaming about the streets 
and docks, a dreadful fact which set his fertile brain to work 
out many a scheme of social salvation. The St. Vincent de 
Paul Society made the first move early in 1861, by opening a 
house, 15, Everton Crescent, f to accommodate seventy boys 
who earned their living a sad and precarious one by street 
trading. This splendid work of saving the boy, under the 
inspiring leadership of Father Nugent, developed later on, and 
the Jesuit Fathers at St. Francis Xavier s did their share by 
establishing a Ragged School in Birchfield Street, Islington, 
transferred afterwards to 79, Finch Street. J Here were 
gathered a host of poor street urchins, provided with free 
meals and clothing, and, under the care of the Sisters of 
Charity, given some training in religious and secular know 
ledge. The Jesuit Fathers provided them with breakfast on 
Sunday mornings, and then marched them to St. Francis 
Xavier s to hear Mass. This institution lasted until the 
passage of the Act of 1870 made school attendance compul 
sory. || The work of rescue was still further developed on May 
18, 1862, when the Rev. J. H. Fisher opened the orphanage in 

* 1861. 

t The great development of the work so begun i now to be 
witnessed in the well-known Father Berry s Homes, Shaw Street. 
{ Now Kempston Street. 

|| Father George Porter, S.J., made the superintendency of this school 
his special work. He established a dispensary here for the sick poor, and 
secured the voluntary services of Drs. A. M. Bligh (Councillor and 
Alderman for nearly 30 years), John Bligh (now a Justice of the Peace), 
Shepherd, Kirk, O Leary, Cavanagh, and Austin Williams. Free meals 
have always been a feature of St. Francis Xavier s School. 



152 

Beacon Lane, which, was placed under the care of the Sisters of 
Charity. Later on it became a Certified Industrial School, and 
continues in the twentieth century its beneficent work of 
juvenile reclamation. 

Bishop Goss, in the second year of his episcopate, 
invited the Sisters of the Good Shepherd to open a refuge in 
Liverpool, and their first house was established in Netherfield 
Road.* The work of reclaiming the sad wreckage of fallen 
womanhood did not meet with much appreciation from the 
surrounding population, many attacks being made upon the 
house by bands of bigoted Orangemen, who little knew the 
self-sacrifice of the saintly sisters. Father Nugent had a 
special love for this work, and gave early evidence of his 
appreciation of the Good Shepherd nuns by acting as secre 
tary of the successful bazaar in their aid, by which the sum 
of three thousand pounds was raised. At that date, Novem 
ber, 1861, the nuns had removed to Mason Street, where they 
had fifty penitents under their care.f With the proceeds of 
the bazaar a site was bought at Ford, where the nuns labour 
to this hour. Miss Rosson, sister of the Mr. John Rosson 
whose name figures so prominently in preceding chapters, 
contributed one thousand pounds in aid of this great charity. 

In June, 1862, a renewal of hostilities took place between 
Messrs. Whitty and Harper in their respective journals. The 
editor of the " Daily Post " provoked the fight by the follow 
ing leader : " The Pope finds in the four hundred prelates 
" assembled in Rome, willing abettors of his policy. Some, 
" if not all the prelates, were disposed to launch at the King 
" of Italy and his subjects the awful thunders of the Church. 
" They advised the Holy Father to pronounce excommunica- 
" tion against Victor Emmanuel and his adherents, and to 
" relieve his subjects from the oath of allegiance. The 
" Opinione Nation ale " avouches this fact, but, nevertheless, 
" we are incredulous. For a long time the thunders of the 
" Church have been innocuous; the Bishops representing both 
" Catholic and Protestant Powers would hardly recommend a 
" proceeding which strikes direct at the solemn compact 
" between princes and people. It is the old story of relieving 
" people from their oaths, and the adoption of tie repudiated 
" doctrine of the dethroning of Sovereigns. Excommunication 
" has lost its force, and in Italy it would be fulminated in 
" the teeth of public opinion, which even in times long past 
" annulled the power of the Pontiff. The Bishops, however, 
" are to present an address to the Pope, expressing sympathy 

* The area which figured so prominently in the Police Enquiry, 
Liverpool, February, 1910. 

f See "Tablet," November, 1861. 



153 

" and promising support. Of course, the brief report is not 
" to be relied upon ; it would be strange indeed, if, amidst 
" four hundred prelates from every corner of the world, there 
" were not a few with courage enough to tell the Head of the 
Church a few wholesome truths. This was an exasperating 
leader, and provoked a reply from the " Northern Press " : 
" The Editor of the Post is not, we are well aware, a theo- 
" logian ; but he is what is commonly known as clever, he has 
" plenty of strong commonsense, and has had the immense 
" advantage of a knowledge of the fundamentals of the 
" Catholic Faith; and, for this reason, such writing displays a 
" far greater amount of stupidity than it would in the writing 
" of one who had always been ignorant of the fundamentals 
" of the Catholic doctrine; it is 1 doubly criminal. Excommu- 
" nication is a purely spiritual force. God sometimes enforces 
"it with temporal judgment; sometimes, as in the case of 
" Napoleon the First, as a warning to the criminal ; sometimes, 
"as in the case of Cavour, a warning to others. But the 
mere temporal judgment is scarcely to be considered in the 
force of the excommunication. That is the terrific penalty 
" of eternal perdition." This was just the kind of writing 
which Whitty delighted to reply to, and he took full advantage 
in his reply. He pointed out that but a few days earlier he 
was called by a Protestant paper " a Papist, a Jesuit in 
disguise, and now the Northern Press comes along with the 
" regret that a writer, once a Catholic, should have fallen so 
" completely into the Protestant groove of thought. The 
" Daily Post concerns itself only with politics, never with 
" theology. If theologians depart from their profession, they 
" become amenable to censure or to criticism. We dare not 
" say that we are as good Christians as our neighbour in Post 
" Office Place, but as we know a great deal more about the 
" Roman Catholic faith than he does he will not be offended 
"if we tell him that, refraining from eating beefsteak and 
" onions on Fridays does not constitute a good Catholic. He 
" is pleased to ascribe to us the usual folly of perverts; and 
" as he ought to be a good judge in that case, having from 
" being a bad Protestant become a good Catholic, we dare 
" not question his inferences, although we repel his insinua- 
" tions. Now, as we know a great deal more about theology 
" than he does*, we will show him that he is utterly ignorant 
" of the Catholic doctrine on the point." Mr. M. J. Whitty 
then proceeded to publish in extenso the evidence given by 
Dr. Doyle, the famous Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, before 
a Parliamentary Committee in 1825. The object of this 
Committee was to find out some means of convincing English 



154 

public opinion that Catholics could be loyal to lawfully con 
stituted sovereignty as a preparation for the passage of 
Catholic Emancipation. It was scarcely fair of the Editor of 
the " Post " to overwhelm his Catholic rival with the evidence 
of an Irish Bishop, of whom in all probability Mr. Harper had 
never heard. In any case, there were plenty of theologians 
of equal rank whose opinions were quite opposed to Dr. 
Doyle s ; but the point upon which Mr. Whitty fastened was 
the emphatic declaration that it was not in the power of any 
Pope to absolve the Catholic people from their oath of 
allegiance. He knew very well that the Catholic people of 
Italy had taken no oath of allegiance to a King of Italy, and 
that Pope Pius was not depriving any monarch of his kingdom, 
a point which Bishop Doyle made in his famous evidence. Be 
that as it may, it was undeniably clever to confound the 
untrained Editor of the Northern Press" by setting up a 
Bishop against him. The article concluded with the biting 
taunt : " The Catholics of Liverpool, we presume, read the 
Northern Press as they do Punch, for the pleasure 
" afforded by extravagant nonsense." 

In October, 1862, a debating society attached to one of 
the Anglican churches in Birkenhead announced a discussion 
on the question "Is Garibaldi a patriot?" This simple 
announcement brought about a serious disturbance of the 
peace of Birkenhead, and had an unfortunate influence on the 
political relations between the Catholics and Liberals of 
Liverpool. A great crowd of Irish labourers gathered outside 
the schoolroom where the debate was announced to be held, 
and prevented by force the delivery of a single speech. In the 
riot which ensued a large number of persons were seriously 
injured. To make matters worse, the Rev. Mr. Baylee, to whom 
reference has already been made in a previous chapter, created 
a feeling of consternation by a statement that he heard the 
Rector of St. Werburgh s, Canon Chapman, cheering and 
encouraging the Irish labourers in their uncalled-for and 
indefensible attack on the meeting place. This serious 
accusation aroused hot passions on both sides of the Mersey. 
As a matter of fact, Canon Chapman was fifty miles away from 
Birkenhead at the time of the disturbance. There was a priest, 
Father Brundritt, who addressed the rioters, not in terms of 
encouragement, but of condemnation. When the Catholic 
population learned that Mr. Bay lee s son had called at St. 
Werburgh s Presbytery and begged Father Brundritt s aid 
to disperse the crowd, and that he bore testimony to the 
successful intervention of the priest, a storm of indignation 
filled Liverpool as well as Birkenhead against the deliberately 



155 

uttered calumnies against Canon Chapman. Not for the first 
time had Mr. Baylee, senior, provoked disorder in Birken- 
head; this time bloodshed followed. The debate was 
announced again, and would have passed off without inter 
ference had the passions of both sides not been inflamed to fever 
heat. Even the local authorities lost their heads. Two 
hundred men of the Forty-Ninth Regiment were brought into 
Birkenhead, and one thousand special constables sworn in. 
The high sense of duty which animated the amateur policemen 
may be gauged from their behaviour on the parade ground, 
where they called for cheers for Garibaldi and groans for Pope 
Pius the Ninth and Napoleon the Third. In the streets a 
battle was fought in which the special constables were put to 
flight ; blood flowed freely, and but for the military, Birken 
head would have had occasion to long remember the month of 
October. The " Daily Post " gave a long detailed report of 
the riot, and spoke out freely against its originators. Mr. 
S. B. Harper, always on the look-out for any excuse to attack 
Mr. Whitty, wrote a furious attack on " the blackguardly 
" report," and expressing " intense disgust " at its publication. 
The " Post " simply replied that the report which appeared in 
the " Northern Press " had been lifted bodily from its own 
columns, but that wherever the word " Catholic " appeared it 
was struck out by Mr. Harper. In every contest the 
" Northern Press " was easily worsted by the leading daily. 

Mr. John Yates was the Liberal candidate for Castle 
Street Ward at the time of the riot, and spoke out with con 
siderable heat against the Irishmen of Birkenhead. Mr. M. J . 
Whitty claimed this speech as another proof of his assertion 
that the leading Catholics of Liverpool were not " Ultramon- 
" tanes," and lamented the bad feelings engendered on both 
sides of the Mersey by " the Pope s miserable bit of land." 
The Liberal electors of Castle Street Ward did not 
stop to consider whether Mr. Yates was or was not 
an Ultramontane, nor did they attach much import 
ance to his denunciation of the rioters; sufficient for 
some of them that Mr. Yates was a Catholic. He lost a 
seat in a Liberal stronghold through Liberal defections. The 
moral was not lost on the rank and file of the Irish population . 
Had John Yates applauded the rioters he would have lost his 
seat in the Council; he suffered the same loss, despite his 
unsparing advocacy of free speech and his popularity with the 
"Daily Post." 

Liverpool dislikes moderate men. That Castle Street 
voters should set such a bad example was a revelation of how 
easy it was to arouse anti-Catholic feeling, even against such 



156 

a man as Yates. They oould not have behaved worse had he 
opened a recruiting bureau for the Pope in his office. In 
a few months the Liberal dissentients shewed signs of regret, 
and when Mr. Yates unseated his Conservative opponent on 
an election petition, they returned him to the Council. He 
was just too late to record his- vote for Councillor Sheil s nomi 
nation as alderman ; the proposal was defeated by the casting 
vote of the Mayor. 

One of the indirect results of the Civil War in 
America was the difficulty which Father Gibson and 
Mr. J. Neale Lomax experienced in finding situations for 
the Catholic boys discharged from the workhouse. The 
cotton famine had closed down the mills in which many of 
these boys and girls found employment. In two years, over 
two hundred children had been placed with Catholic families, 
and on July 7th, 1862, at a meeting convened by Canon 
Cookson, it was reported by Father Gibson that, owing to the 
cotton famine, he had been unable to deal with forty boys. 
He stated that, under the circumstances, the Vestry had to 
send them into districts where they were certain to lose their 
faith. On the cessation of hostilities the Committee resumed 
its beneficent work. Meanwhile, Mr. James Whitty was 
working quietly to secure the appointment of one Catholic 
teacher on the Kirkdale staff, and* received a powerful backing 
from the editor of the " Daily Post." Though defeated in 
the Vestry, he secured the concession of a Catholic being 
appointed labour master. This man conducted the children 
from Kirkdale to St. Anthony s, to Mass and Benediction, 
a long journey, necessitated by the strange policy of the 
Schools Committee, which, refusing permission for Mass 
inside, compelled some non-Catholic officer to attend Mass 
outside. The new arrangement at least relieved one officer 
of an irksome duty. 

Bishop Goss inaugurated a new departure in rescue work 
in August, 1863. He summoned a meeting in the Concert 
Hall, Lord Nelson Street, to consider a proposal to establish 
a training ship in the Mersey for Catholic boys needing 
reformatory treatment. The Bishop s Committee, after much 
experience of the work, made representations that industrial 
and farming work was not successful with certain types of boys 
committed by the magistrates, and suggested that a training 
for the sea would be much more beneficial. The Admiralty 
expressed willingness to hand over the frigate, Clarence,* for 
the purpose, and to put the ship into condition for the new 
work ten thousand pounds was required. At the meeting 

* Burnt down forty years later. The institution still exists at 
Farnworth, Widnes. 



157 

eight hundred pounds was placed in the Bishop s hands, many 
donations coming in from Protestant friends of the new 
movement. 

A new responsibility was placed on the Bishop s shoulders 
by the passage into law of the Prison Ministers Bill, in 1863. 
This Act enabled the Justices to appoint paid ministers of 
religion to instruct prisoners not registered as members of 
the Anglican Church. It was a great concession to Catholics, 
who had agitated for it unceasingly for the previous twenty 
years. Unlike the Town Council, Select Vestry, and other 
governing bodies, the Justices) of Liverpool were always 
conspicuous by their impartiality. In this year they met to 
consider the appointment of a Catholic Chaplain, and fixed 
the sum of three hundred pounds per annum as stipend. 
The choice fell upon Father James Nugent, No happier 
selection could have been made. The recommendation had 
to run the gauntlet of the Town Council, and the Conservative 
party therein demurred, on the ground that the Council 
alone had the right to fix the stipend, and even to refuse to 
pay such. The Rev Dr. Taylor,* one of the most brilliant 
members of the evangelical school of thought, stimulated the 
Council, by a vigorous platform agitation, to refuse payment 
to the new chaplain. His eloquent tongue delivered a series 
of passionate and bitter attacks on the Catholic Church, in 
which he also laid down the strange proposition that the 
Catholic population of Liverpool had no right to assistance 
from the rates, as they did not, except in few instances, make 
any contribution to the common purse. This taunt at the 
poverty of his own Catholic countrymen was unworthy of 
Dr. Taylor, and brought down on his head a severe castiga- 
tion from Mr. Whitty of the " Daily Post/ who had mastered 
the elements of political economy. The Home Secretary 
stopped the controversy by deciding that as the chaplain s 
salary came out of funds made up out of fines and court fees 
the Town Council had no veto. It was a happy decision and 
prevented further agitation, though the argument of the 
Home Secretary is not quite so unassailable as appears at 
first sight. 

Having disposed of Dr. Taylor, Mr. Whitty then turned 
his attention to the Bishop, who, until now, had been left 
severely alone by the " Post." Dr. Goss began one of his 
Lenten pastorals in these terms : " The times in which we live 
"are not favourable to the work of our salvation. We are 

* Archdeacon of Liverpool, father of Mr. Gerald Kyffin- Taylor, 
elected M.P. for Kirkdale, July, 1910. He was much respected by 
Catholics in late years, and on his death the flag was hoisted half- 
mast on the tower of St. Charles , Aigburth Road. 



158 

" living in a constant whirl of excitement. The quiet old 
times have passed away for ever. Even the lone farm house 
" on the outskirts of civilisation, and the hovel on the moss, 
" are laid open to the busy world by some intersecting line 
" of railway, or by the busy purveyors of news, who are 
" paid for gratifying the itching curiosity of busy idlers 
M panting for excitement. The penny post carries the scandal 
" of every village far and wide, and the penny paper daily 
" lays before its readers, all that is being done on the great 
" stage of life. Public and private vices alike find room, if 
" they are only thought sufficiently exciting. The melan- 
" choly suicide, the desperate burglary, the cruel murder, 
" the dexterous robbery, the successful forgery, the daring 
" theft, the insidious advertisement, the revolting details of 
" the divorce court, the coroner s inquests on the victims of 
" science and quackeries in the attempt to hide the shame of 
" crime, or conceal the guilt of murder, are found side by 
" side with the horrors of distant battle fields, the success 
" of revolt and treason, and blasphemous sneers against the 
" Mother of God, her Divine Son, or His anointed 
" ministers." This vigorous and picturesque epitome of the 
contents of a daily journal illustrates the literary skill as 
well as the outspokenness of the Bishop. In this case it was 
the mere prelude to a straight talk with his flock on Lenten 
duties, but Mr. Whitty fastened on it as a reflection on the 
Press, and attacked the author in equally vigorous language : 
" Pious and pure minded himself, he would make all others 
" good if he knew the way; but unfortunately, in one direc- 
" tion at least, he has mistaken it. . . Dr. Goss, like used- 
" up aristocrats, associates cheapness with nastiness; he is 
" tolerant of papers at threepence, but reprobates papers at 
" one penny. The reports he objects to appear in the dear, 
" as well as in the cheap papers, with a difference : the 
" details are given more copiously in the former than in the 
" latter. If Dr. Goss knew a little more of humanity and 
" society than he does, he would not have fallen into the 
" error of good, but mistaken, people, in denouncing the 
" publication of proceedings in the Law Courts. What the 
" preacher says in the pulpit is excellent, but it is in part 
" an abstraction. It wants the apt and frightful illustration 
" which the newspaper furnishes. It is now a custom and a 
" fashion to affect an imitation of the past, and Dr. Goss, 
" disgusted with all that is modern, laments that all that was 
" good has disappeared. This mode of misjudging is as 
"ancient as Homer; and the good Bishop of Liverpool only 
" errs a little more than Gladstone, who holds in as much 
" reverence the heroic ages in Greece, as Dr. Goss does the 



159 

fi middle ages in Europe. As a matter of fact the Bishop 
made no distinction between threepenny journals and penny 
ones, and beyond his reference to the " quiet old times/ there 
was no allusion, direct or implied, to the middle ages. Acting 
generally upon the principle that his pastorals were intended 
for the members of his flock alone, the Bishop rarely noticed 
newspaper or platform criticisms, but the " Post/ by its 
lengthy reports of his speeches and sermons, made its Monday 
editions the medium of conveying Dr. Goss s opinions to a 
much larger constituency. He, however, waited his oppor 
tunity to reply to the above criticism, and gave Mr. Whitty 
something to reflect upon, both as a Catholic and a journalist. 
It is very probable that Dr. Goss would have refused to 
notice the " Daily Post " leader, had its author been a non- 
Catholic. " The Press/ he wrote, " has done much for the 
11 spread of knowledge and the defence of our liberties ; but 
it exceeds its province when it ventures to discuss the 
mysteries of Divine revelation, or unravel the intricacies 
of theology. It weakens its own influence by going out of 
its sphere, and it is laying the foundation of its own ruin 
when it strives to depreciate every authority but its own. 
It presumes to lecture the Pope on theology, the Com- 
mander-in-Chief on military affairs, the Lord Chancellor 
on law, and the Prime Minister on affairs of State. It is a 
mighty engine, but it is too often made subservient to party 
views, irrespective of principle. It is considered as an 
investment of capital, and is worked with a view to the 
interests of shareholders. Its writers, though men of 
ability, are often devoid of political integrity, inasmuch as 
they write at the same time for papers of opposite politics. 
. . . Within its proper sphere there is no more useful 
organ for the protection of right than the public press ; but, 
as men do not wish to see the pulpit converted into a 
platform for political discussion, so neither should the 
platform be converted into a pulpit for the discussion of 
religious topics." This was but the beginning of Dr. Goss s 
writings and speeches on public matters, and of more than 
one controversy with the editor of the " Daily Post." In very 
truth, during his long episcopate, Dr. Goss was, in fact as in 
name, the Bishop of Liverpool. 

In November, 1863, Mr. James Whitty contested 
Vauxhall Ward as the Liberal candidate against Mr. Thomas 
Rigby, and won the seat by nineteen votes. Soon afterwards 
the Mayor announced that he had invited Garibaldi to visit 
Liverpool during his sojourn in England in order to offer him 
civic hospitality. The three Catholic members of the Council, 
Messrs. Sheil, Yates, and Whitty, did not divide the Council 



160 

against this proposal, contenting themselves with a protest. 
The " Daily Post " accused them of " preferring the Pope to 
" the Roman Catholic Church." Dr. Parsons, at a dinner in 
the Catholic Club, eulogised the action of the three Councillors, 
who, like himself, were devoted members of the Liberal Party, 
whereupon Mr. Whitty, in a series of special articles written 
under the nom-de-plume of " Roman Catholic," vigorously 
assailed the doctor. In one of these contributions he advised 
him to restrain his fiery eloquence, and to borrow a copy of 
Dr. Lingard s " History of England " from Mr. James Whitty, 
so that he might learn something of Papal opposition to 
English liberty in the days of King John. Dr. Parsons wrote 
several clever replies , but did not appear to quite appreciate the 
significance of " Roman Catholic s " contention that Stephen 
Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury, had been censured by 
Pope Innocent for his share in forcing the King to concede 
Magna Charta.* One sentence in the " Post " created intense 
irritation : " The Father of the Faithful is obliged to surround 
" himself with foreign troops, lest his people might force him 
" to do them justice." These articles, widely read as they 
were by all classes, made the position of Catholic public men 
almost intolerable ; hampered in their public work, their 
charitable projects hindered in their development, worried 
with anxiety lest the humbler members of the Catholic body 
should take to reprisals, as in Birkenhead, their position was 
not at all enviable. Fortunately, Garibaldi did not visit the 
town, being recalled to Italy, where a renewal of the war 
against the Papal States was threatened. His name, however, 
became the rallying cry of party; the Constitutional Con 
servatives boldly availing themselves of the halo which 
surrounded the revolutionary leader. A bye-election was 
fought in St. Anne s Ward. Mr. James Fairhurst, who had 
done much useful service on the Select Vestry, standing as 
the Liberal candidate. Being a Catholic, the Tory leaders 
hoped to defeat him by reason of the feelings aroused over the 
question of the Temporal Power of the Pope, and the protest 
made against a civic reception being accorded to Garibaldi. 
The usual party cries were dropped ; the Pope and Garibaldi 
were skilfully kept before the eyes of the electors. Fortu 
nately, Mr. Fairhurst s long services to his party, and his 
personal worth, kept the bulk of the Liberal electors on his 
side, and he secured the seat by a narrow majority. At the 
same moment Mr. Henry Sharpies was appointed a magistrate, 
thus maintaining the prestige of the Catholic body. 

* The chapter on this subject in Dr. Lingard s History, will 
well reward the Catholic reader. 



161 

About this time another " religious disturbance " arose 
at Brownlow Hill. Father Thomas Wilson, who had acted as 
chaplain at the fever wards, caught the deadly infection, and 
after one year s service in the mission, at the early age of 28 
years, died of typhus fever on April 13, 1864. From want of 
experience he had committed several minor indiscretions from 
the point of view of the Vestry, which was on the eve of 
passing a vote of censure when the fatal illness seized him. 
Mr. James Whitty, in order to lessen the mortality which 
dogged the footsteps of every priest entering the fever wards, 
suggested that the Vestry consent to a rota of seven clergymen 
being arranged so that the duty of ministering in the deadly 
atmosphere might not fall so heavily on any individual priest. 
The Guardians had no appreciation of the heroism of such men, 
nor of the motives which induced them to undertake such 
duties, and consequently refused to listen to the suggestion. 
Bishop Goss refused to maintain silence in such circumstances. 
He wrote to the Vestry reminding them that the Rev. Dr. 
Roskell had lost his life from the infection of the Brownlow 
Hill fever wards, and to excite their generosity mentioned the 
fact that this heroic priest had declined promotion in the 
Church that he might live only for the fever-stricken poor of 
the Parish of Liverpool. As to the late chaplain, Father 
Wilson, his decease was a serious loss to the Catholic body, as 
he was a master of the Greek, Latin, German, French, and 
Italian languages, a profound student of Hebrew and Anglo- 
Saxon, and was marked out for high distinction in the world 
of education. The " Daily Post " made its first onslaught on 
the Dissenters because of the illiberal votes given by their 
representatives on the Vestry in this connection. " Dissenters 
" scarcely ever have sufficient wisdom to prefer plain sense to 
" crotchets. . . It is not often we agree with the 
" Bishop ; but it is simple justice to say that no public writer 
" could have more justly laid down the duty of the Workhouse 
" Committee, or enforced it with more cogency." A rota of 
three priests was eventually agreed to Father Gotham, S.J., 
St. Francis Xavier s ; Fathor Lenoir,* O.M.I., Holy Cross; 
Father Van Hee, Our Lady s, Eldon Street. 

The Catholic population of the Parish of Liver 
pool began in the early sixties to flow eastwards, 
from the congested areas of Scotland, Vauxhall, 
Exchange, and St. Anne s Wards. In 1861, the 
proportion of Catholic marriages in the parish to the total 
number solemnised in all other churches and chapels in the 

* Father Lenoir celebrated his golden jubilee in Kimberley, South 
Africa, in 1910. 



162 

same area was 23 per cent., which fell to 19 in the two 
following years, the actual figures being 868, 692, 768. This 
proportion is some evidence of the changing character of the 
population. Temporary provision had been made in St. 
George s Schools, West Derby Road, to meet the wants of the 
residents of that district in so far as Sunday Mass. The 
erection of a permanent church was decided upon, and on 
May 8, 1864, Bishop Goss laid the foundation-stone of St. 
Michael s. He opened the new church on September 24th of 
the following year, Dr. Dorrian, then coadjutor Bishop of 
Down and Connor, preaching the first sermon ; Father George 
Porter, S.J., occupying the pulpit in the evening. Father 
Tobin wasi the first rector. 

St. Patrick s parish had become so extensive and populous 
that a school-chapel, dedicated to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, 
was built and opened in November, 1866. Archbishop 
Errington preached on this occasion. Father Michael Donnelly 
was placed in charge of this new outpost of the Faith in Toxteth 
Park. In the north end, Father Seed, the indefatigable 
Rector of St. Alban s, undertook to provide school accommo 
dation for one thousand children. Land was bought in 
Boundary Street, and on July 15, 1866, the Bishop blessed the 
foundation-stone. The provision of these two schools was 
evidence of the foresight of the Bishop and clergy in antici 
pating the passing of a new Education Act with compulsory 
education and School Boards as its main features. In view 
of the meagre assistance given by the Education Department 
of that day to voluntary schools, the financial burden on 
parishes such as the two mentioned, was a strain which was 
relieved only by the consolation that it was undertaken for the 
glory of God. Greater sacrifices loomed ahead, as will be 
seen later, with the changes 1 in education law, and were quite 
as cheerfully undertaken. 

These developments had the effect of needlessly irritating 
Dr. Hugh McNeill, who renewed his public attacks on the 
Church. Unmindful of the fact that notoriety is the life 
ambition of certain types of controversialists, two priests 
entered the lists, and secured for Dr. McNeill exactly what 
he desired, renewed public interest in his lectures against 
Catholicism, which only too often sounded depths quite 
unworthy of his undoubted knowledge and ability. Father E. 
Powell, secretary to the Bishop, wrote a series of letters to the 
newspapers defending Catholics from the very slanderous 
statements which were recklessly made against them, and then 
Father E. Guy, O.S.B., took up the challenge and attracted 
large congregations to Seel Street by his sermons on these 



163 

controversial topics. Reading these letters, lectures, and 
sermons in cold print, one is compelled to admire the learning, 
literary ability, and enthusiasm of their authors 1 , while 
regretting that such energy was wasted in a futile discussion 
which temporarily revived a feeling of bitterness between some 
sections of the inhabitants. Liverpool seems to have the 
unenviable peculiarity of latent intolerance bursting forth into 
red heat just when all sections have settled down into complete 
harmony in civic or social work for the good of the masses. 
The extreme Irish Nationalists a few months before this waste 
of words created consternation in purely Catholic circles by an 
unexpected demonstration against Mr. A. M. Sullivan, editor 
of the historic Irish weekly, the Dublin " Nation." Ho visited 
Liverpool, in March, 1864, to deliver a lecture in aid of the 
schools of St. Mary, Woolton. The subject of his address was 
" Napoleon the First. " His reputation as an orator attracted 
a crowded audience in the Concert Hall, Lord Nelson Street, 
and Father Bernard O Reilly occupied the chair. A number 
of Irishmen holding strong political views, in order to 
emphasise their disagreement with some opinions which Mr. 
Sullivan had expressed in the editorial columns of his paper, 
created a disturbance at j,his gathering. The reverend chair 
man warmly rebuked the interrupters for their behaviour at 
a meeting held with the sole purpose of helping a Catholic 
school, and Mr. Sullivan* stated that the disturbers had 
crossed over from Dublin to give him annoyance. Some 
Liverpool men did take a share in creating the " scene," the 
first sign of the growth in England of a new school of Irish 
Nationalist thought. 

On the first day of November, 1865, Mr. John Yates 
retired from Castle Street Ward to contest Vauxhall, and 
defeated Mr. R. R. Minton by thirty-eight votes. On the 
same day Mr. James Fairhurst lost his seat in St. Anne s 
Ward by fifteen votes, and was elected for Scotland Ward on 
the retirement of Mr. Clarke Aspinall. Mr. Richard Sheil 
had the unique experience of being elected an alderman of 
Liverpool twenty-four years after his deprivation of the same 
honour after the famous municipal elections of 1841. During 
the Vauxhall contest Mr. Minton asserted that no less than 
twenty thousand persons resided in fifty small streets in the 
ward. The " Liverpool Mercury," on October 26th, called 
attention to the indifference of the Town Council to matters of 
public health, declaring that the death-rate was no lower than 

*A. M. Sullivan, M.P. for Meath and Louth, Leader of the 
Temperance Movement, and a brilliant advocate of the Home Rule 
Movement. 



164 

twenty years earlier. Mr. Minton admitted that the death- 
rate in Vauxhall Ward was 42 per thousand of the estimated 
population. Epidemics of disease were frequent, and carried 
off large numbers of the poorer classes. The Medical Officer 
of the Corporation reported that in Great Crosshall 
Street, Marybone, and Fontenoy Street, an area of 63,609 
superficial yards, there were living 1,993 families, consisting 
of 9,632 persons. During the year 1865, 116 of these had 
died from fever, especially typhus. The Government of the 
day sent a special Medical Commissioner, Dr. Buchanan, to 
enquire into the outbreaks of typhus in this and other areas in 
Liverpool. He reported that 60 per cent, of the attacks 
occurred among young people under twenty years of age, and 
quoted with approval the opinion of Professor Christiansen 
that typhus only assumed an epidemic character at periods of 
great want among the labouring classes. The Commissioner 
added that from his own observation, " where there is starva 
tion there is most frequently typhus." Liverpool s Medical 
Officer attributed the ravages of the disease to " poverty, 
" overcrowding, and filth." The greatest sufferers by far 
were Irish. Under the conditions named by medical experts, 
great masses of people were existing, with consequent moral 
as well as physical deterioration, both of which told against the 
spiritual fervour of the people as compared with that of the 
first Irish comers to the town. The rescue work and gaol 
statistics of the next chapter must be read in conjunction with 
this frightful picture of poverty and its concomitants in a large 
town. 



165 



CHAPTER VII. 

The working boys home, nowadays a common feature of 
rescue work among children, was first established in 1865, by 
Father Henry Gibson,* visiting priest to the Kirkdale schools. 
It is gratifying to Catholics, especially in Liverpool, that a 
priest of this diocese was half a century ahead of all social 
reformers in inaugurating this splendid system of aiding the 
child wage earner. It occurred to Father Gibson, as the 
natural outcome of the Liverpool movement to find situations 
for the poor children under the care of the Select Vestry. He 
had had a wide and varied experience of the children of the 
poor and wretched. Long before the passage into law of the 
Prison Chaplains Act, he had undertaken, at the request of 
Bishop Goss, to visit the Kirkdale gaol, where his experience 
of juvenile prisoners gave him a special knowledge of the 
causes which, in Liverpool, conspired to create criminals. 
Knowing the bottom cause it was easy to find the remedy. 
He began by taking into his own house eleven boys who had 
been found employment in Liverpool by the Catholic Club 
Committee, and whose earnings were, as yet, too small to 
pay for suitable board and lodging. His health gave way under 
the strain of the serious efforts he put forth to save the Catholic 
child from moral destruction. He was the author of a well 
known series of instructions, " Gibson s Catechism made 
" easy," derived from those given by him as chaplain of the 
Kirkdale schools, and a series o-f " Lives of the Saints." His 
name deserves to be held in the affectionate remembrance of 
every lover of child life, and the prayerful recollection of 
the Catholics of Liverpool. He left Liverpool in 1871, and 
died at Bolton-le-Sands, March 7th, 1907. The great layman 
who was his active colleague in this meritorious work, Mr. James 
Whitty, retired from the Select Vestry in 1865, in favour of 
Mr. Thomas Martin. Twelve years service in Brownlow Hill 
entitled him to a rest, and though he took up the more 
honoured, but less useful, work of a Town Councillor, his 
place at the Select Vestry was never adequately filled. 
Speaking on March 20th, 1865, f he threw light on the fearful 
leakage of Catholic children under Poor Law management. 

* Brother of Mr. Gibson, of th firm of Reynolds & Gibson, and 
uncle of GolonelJ. P. Reynolds, J.P., who, as honorary president of 
Father Berry s Homes, Shaw Street, still carries on the glorious 
work founded forty-five years ago by his saintly relative, 
t See " Daily Post," March 21st, 1865. 



166 

When he joined the Vestry in 1853, no creed register was 
kept in the workhouse, and, in consequence, out of a total 
of one thousand only sixty children heard Mass, a fearful 
heritage for the children of the Irish famine. On the day of 
his retirement from the Vestry, six hundred and sixty, out 
of a total of twelve hundred, were being fully instructed in 
the faith of their fathers. Father James Nugent now stepped 
in as the protector of all poor children in the town which 
gave him birth, and his magnificent work in this sphere alone, 
irrespective of his other multifarious activities, raised for 
him an imperishable monument in the hearts and minds of 
his fellow townsmen,* and incidentally raised the status of 
the Catholic body in a town traditionally Pn-testaut. As 
early as 1849, he established, with the help of Mrs. Baines, 
a house in Spitalfields, to feed and provide a bed for the poor 
waifs who had begun at that early date to infest the streets 
of Liverpool. They belonged entirely to the race from which 
the worthy priest himself had sprung, for the famine years 
made an impression on him which was never effaced. Later 
on, in the sixties, he opened a house in Soho Street, and 
finding the task of maintaining it unaided beyond his means, 
his practical mind suggested the idea of enlisting the active 
sympathy of the young men of the town, especially those of 
the middle classes. For this purpose he organised a meeting 
in the Catholic Club, where he laid his proposals before a 
representative gathering of young men. The personal magnet 
ism of the enthusiastic young priest secured for him at the 
very outset the co-operation of a willing band of workers. 
The new organisation bore the title, " the Association of 
" Providence for the protection of orphan and destitute 
" boys."f Numerous meetings were held in various parte of 
the town to gain sympathy and enlist workers, and to make the 
subscribers feel their share in the good work, Father Nugent 
arranged that they were allowed to nominate any child in 
their various districts for admission to the new institution. 
Father Nugent had no particular political proclivities. To do 
the work which lay at his own door was the cardinal feature 
of his life s work, leaving statesmen and politicians to deal 
with the causes which provided him with so large a sphere 

* Father Nugent was ordained in St. Nicholas, August 30th, 1846, 
probably the first ordination in Liverpool. After eight years study 
in Ushaw and Rome, spent two-and-a-half years in missionary work 
in Blackburn and Wigan. Eecalled to Liverpool on New Year s 
Day, 1849, and spent the remainder of his life there. 

f More than thirty years later one of his latest institutions has 
a somewhat similar title : the House of Providence, West Dingle, 
Toxteth Park. 



167 

for his philanthropic work. He had most certainly a warm 
corner in his heart for the Irish race, but this did not 
prevent him from pointing out the follies and vices of his 
countrymen in England. Herein lay the bottom cause of his 
general unpopularity at that time, and in later years with the 
growing Nationalist party, which looked to the removal of 
the causes of Irish emigration, while he set his heart 
upon the curing of the results, and at the same time 
removing the prejudices which confused crime and strong 
drink with Irish blood and Catholic faith. At this first 
meeting, Father Nugent claimed the special help of the better 
class Irishmen on the ground that ninety-five per cent, of the 
poor children running about the streets bore Irish names. 

One of his first recruits was Mr. John Denvir, a cultured 
Irishman, who was the head and front of the Nationalist 
organisation in Liverpool until his appointment, in 1885, as 
chief organiser of the Irish movement in England, Wales and 
Scotland, necessitated his removal to London, where he now 
resides. He was the first governor of the Boys Refuge, and 
first editor of the " Catholic Times." His fine literary gifts 
resulted in the foundation of the " Irish Library ; " the 
establishment and editorship of two local papers, " The 
" United Irishman " and the " Nationalist " ; his latest work, 
published a few years since, being a well-written and copious 
history of the Irish in Great Britain. He had often been 
invited to take a seat in Parliament for an Irish constituency, 
but preferred to remain outside performing work more in 
harmony with his great gifts, notably that of organising the 
Irish vote in Great Britain. Having taken the teetotal 
pledge from Father Mathew, he naturally found himself in 
a congenial atmosphere when Father Nugent added the 
crusade against drink to his many undertakings. His name 
figures as secretary of the first meeting of the Association of 
Providence held in the Bevington Theatre in 1865. 

The neglect of the authorities to deal effectively with 
juvenile " criminals " is eloquently told in the Police Report of 
the Head Constable in 1865. No less than 833 children were 
dealt with under the Juvenile Offenders Act during the 
previous year, but owing to the apathy of the police in the 
first instance, and to certain defects in the machinery pre 
scribed by the Act, despite the strenuous efforts of the 
Stipendiary Magistrate, only 13 were committed to the 
reformatory ships, Akbar and Clarence. Some idea of the 
shocking condition of Liverpool child life may be gleaned 
from the following table, giving the figures of children tried 



168 

before the magistrates for vagrancy, begging, thieving and 

kiiidied offences. 

1862 1863 1864 1865 

Under ten years of age 112 87 83 49 

Ten to twelve years 252 208 222 210 

Twelve to fourteen 323 430 429 356 

Fourteen to sixteen 472 578 565 610 



1,1591,3031,2991,225 

In comparing these figures with later years it must be 
borne in mind that later Acts of Parliament created a large 
number of offences for which young people for their own 
protection might be charged before the magistrates, and it 
should also be borne in mind that neither the police nor the 
public were as keen on saving the child as a generation which 
came under the influence of a Nugent, a Garrett, or a Major 
Lester. 

Father Nugent had undertaken the secretaryship cf the 
Clarence Committee, and his experience of that work, as well 
as his wider and more varied work in the gaol, gave his public 
utterances greater weight than would have attached to a less 
experienced man. In the prison he met not only the adult, 
but the child committed there for serious offences against 
property. His first annual report to the magistrates contains 
the very significant statement that out of 5,281 " Catholics " 
committed from September 30, 1863, to the same month of the 
following year only sixteen men and four women " attended 
" church " when outside the prison walls. When Catholics of 
Irish birth or descent cease to attend Mass, moral degradation 
has certainly overwhelmed them. These annual Reports are 
of interest too, as throwing light upon certain causes which 
tended to the committal of crime, and Father Nugent did not 
hesitate to point them out to his townsmen in the hope that 
they would be removed by political action. The want of 
education in adults, who as children had been excluded from 
the Council schools, and the absence of compulsory attendance 
from the Statute Book, to mention two causes only, were doing 
deadly wrong. The proportion of males in Walton Gaol who 
could neither read nor write was 45 per cent. ; in the case of 
female prisoners 54 per cent. A Catholic has views of his 
own as to what constitutes real education, and Father Nugent, 
in his capacity as a priest, after fifteen years experience, 
appraised the value of mere secular knowledge at its real value. 
In one of the Reports* he wrote : " Education is not an absolute 
" preservative against crime, yet it must always be an incal- 

* October, 1864. 



169 

" culable advantage towards gaining an honest livelihood, to 
" make a position in a town like Liverpool." He was referring 
to the casual labour which, then as now, is such a fruitful 
cause of poverty and drink. It was the curse of the Irish 
labourer who came to Liverpool after the famine with 
nothing to depend upon but his physical strength. Deprived 
of the discipline implied in the acquisition of a definite trade, 
he was exposed to trials and difficulties which tended towards 
moral deterioration, and was, with various other minor causes, 
a fruitful source of intemperance. Father Nugent observed 
this dread fact, and kept records of the history of every person 
coming under his supervision in Walton Gaol, to drive home 
the full significance of the evil of casual labour. In January, 
1866, he published some of these records. Male prisoners : 
1,002 labourers, 103 hawkers, 87 servants, 25 shoeblacks, 200 
sailors, and 312 mechanics. The figures on the female side 
of the gaol are much more painful in significance 607 
followed no occupation, 369 were basket women, 88 char 
women, and 964 were prostitutes. The Catholic males 
comprised 61 per cent, of the total male inmates of Walton 
Gaol, and the Catholic females 62 per cent, of the female 
inmates. Contrast these figures with the Catholic population 
in the prisons fifteen and twenty years earlier and the reader 
will realise the change which had come over the face of 
Liverpool. " From a careful analysis of the year 1865," wrote 
Father Nugent, " four-fifths of the crime of the Irish people 
" came from 75 per cent, of those who are dependent upon 
" contingent labour. They are the first to suffer, and the 
" last to benefit by any change in the commerce of the town." 
It is not without its significance that out of 2,099 prisoners 
in one year, 1,022 had been born in Liverpool. The Liverpool 
"Daily Tost" in an editorial on the 1865 Report, observed 
that, in Ireland, highway robbery, theft or burglary were 
almost unknown. " No people in the world, perhaps, excel 
more in family affection than the Irish Their conduct 
when they go abroad testifies to this fine quality in their 
nature, and Liverpool merchants pass abundant proofs 
through their hands of the pecuniary contributions made 
to their poor relatives at home." The following detailed 
statement of the nationality, religion, education and occupa 
tion of all the prisoners committed to the borough gaol, 
during the year ending September 30th, 1864, was found 
among Father Nugent s papers.* It is in his own hand 
writing, and was most likely circulated by him privately in 
high Catholic circles to secure active support for the Refor- 

* Lent by the Very Rev. Canon Pinnington to the writer. 



170 

matory Association founded in June, 1865, in the archdiocese 
of Westminster. 

To enable the reader to appreciate the real significance 
of the tables, Father Nugent was careful to define clearly 
the meaning of the terms he employed. 

Felony. All offences against property; against the 
Criminal Justices Act, Juvenile Offenders for Reformatory, 
Juvenile Offenders Act; whether summarily dealt with or 
convicted at Sessions. 

Vagrancy. All persons tried and convicted at the 
Sessions; those remanded for further enquiries and after 
wards discharged at the Police Courts; misdemeanours; not 
accounting for ; and all offences against the Merchant Shipping 
Act. 

Assaults. All offences against the person, wounding, 
grievous bodily harm and threatening. 

The following figures are then tabulated. 

MALES. 

Catholics. Protestants. 

Felony 336 433 

Assaults 708 470 

Vagrancy 869 898 

Drunkenness . 825 .... 479 



2,738 2,280 

FEMALES. 

Catholics. Protestants. 

Felony 248 215 

Assaults 431 246 

Vagrancy and Prostitution ... 1,520 772 

Drunkenness . 884 579 



3,083 1,812 

Closer examination of these figures shew that drunken 
ness accounts for 30 1 per cent., and accounts for 25 9, or in 
other words 56 per cent, of the Catholic male prisoners were 
convicted for these two classes of offences. Vagrancy accounts 
for 31-7 and felony for only 12*3 per cent, of the whole 
convictions, 2,738 in number. In this case of Catholic 
females, felony occurred only in 8 per cent of the convictions ; 
assaults 14 per cent. ; drunkenness 28 7 ; vagrancy and pros 
titution, 49 3. The following table shows the proportions as 
between prisoners professing to be Catholics or Protestants : 



171 

CATHOLIC MALES. PROTESTANT MALES. 

Felony 12 3 per cent. ... 19 percent. 

Drunkenness 31-1 ... 20 6 ,, 

Assaults 25-9 ... 21 

Vagrancy 31 7 ... 39-4 



100 100 

CATHOLIC FEMALES. PROTESTANT FEMALES. 

Felony 8 percent. ... 11*9 per cent. 

Drunkenness .... 28 7 ... 31 9 

Assaults 14 ... 13-6 

Vagrancy and 

Prostitution . 49-3 42 6 



100 100 

Sixty-six per cent, of the Catholic male prisoners were 
labourers, against 50 per cent, of the Protestant; Catholic 
mechanics, 22 per cent. ; Protestants, 28 per cent. ; Catholic 
sailors, 8 per cent. ; Protestants, 14 per cent.. The remainder 
came under the headings of no occupation, shopmen, clerks, 
dealers, shopkeepers. On the female side no less than 40 per 
cent, came under the ominous description of no occupation 
(excluding all the prostitutes), and very few indeed were 
domestic servants. This last-named fact made a deep impres 
sion on Father Nugent s mind, and explains his lifelong 
insistence on the value of domestic training for girls belonging 
to the working classes. As time went on he realised more 
and more the deplorable results accruing from wives of 
labourers and other ill-paid classes of labour having had no 
training in the management of a household before marriage. 
Father Nugent then proceeds in this valuable memorandum 
to make an analysis of the birthplace of the Catholic prisoners, 
from which we learn which portions of Ireland contributed 
their quota to the crowded alleys and streets. 

IRISH-BORN MALES. 
Leinster. Connaught. Ulster. Munster. 

649 566 337 205 

The County and City of Dublin alone accounted for 52 
per cent, of Leinster s total. Analysing the Connaught 
immigrants, we find that the County Mayo supplied 295 ; 
Gal way, 138; Roscommon, 59; Sligo, 58; Leitrim, 16. The 
greater number of the Ulster prisoners came from Belfast. 

IRISH-BORN FEMALES. 

Leinster. Connaught. Ulster. Munster. 
936 571 412 274 



172 

As in the case of the males, Dublin County and City 
account for 54 per cent, of Leinster " crime " ; Mayo, 258 ; 
Galway, 149; Roscommon, 74; Sligo, 67; Leitrim, 21. 

Two cases are not recorded. The educational status of 
the prisoners tells its own story of misgovernment at home and 
denial of opportunities in Liverpool. Forty-four per cent, of 
the Irish-born males were quite unable to read or write, 43 3 
per cent, of Liverpool-born Catholics being in the same posi 
tion ; 55 6 per cent, of Irish-born females were also illiterate, 
compared with 57 2 of Liverpool-born Catholic women. It will 
come as a surprise to most Irish readers to find that the 
Province of Leinster, and especially the County of Dublin, had 
sent so many immigrants into Liverpool. No doubt, in the 
years immediately following 1847 an immense number of Con- 
naught-born persons arrived in Liverpool, but save on the 
hypothesis that they were more virtuous, more industrious, 
and more sober, which is not to be lightly accepted as a fact, 
it is a strange phenomenon that such a small percentage found 
their way to Walton Gaol. On the other hand, it is equally 
difficult to believe that Leinster and County Dublin men had 
a double dose of original sin, and that the number of prisoners 
was therefore out of all proportion to the actual number 
immigrating into and settling in Liverpool. Nor can the 
numbers be accounted for by reason of the large number of 
weekly sailings between Dublin and Liverpool, as Wexford, 
Dundalk, and Drogheda were in quite as close communication. 
The more likely view is that the Connaught people did not 
settle down in Liverpool in such large numbers as is believed.* 

The Inspector of Reformatory Schools wrote a very signifi 
cant Report to the Home Secretary in 1865 on the subject 
of juvenile offenders against the law. He said it was 
attributable " to the rapid rate at which the lower classes, 
" especially of Irish labourers, immigrate to the great centres 
" of employment, crowding the already overcrowded dwellings 
" more and more, and throwing thousands of neglected, 
" untaught children on the streets and allies (sic) for exercise 
" and recreation." This gentleman had evidently keen powers 
of observation, and put his finger on the main causes which 
led to the demoralisation of child life in Liverpool and other 
large centres. His observations are a complete defence of the 
position taken up by Irish Nationalists that misgovernment 
in Ireland being responsible directly for the Irish land system, 
the " British garrison " in Ireland, it was to blame for the 

* Denvir s "Irish in Britain" corroborates this view: "hardy 
Con naught men generally passed through Liverpool on their way 
to the English agricultural counties." 



173 

consequences, which included the overcrowding of English 
cities and towns. Her Majesty s Inspector was not a politician, 
however, and could not suggest in any event the Home Rule 
solution of the problem ; he could but suggest compulsory 
attendance at elementary schools. 

In the Soho Street Refuge there was provision for only 38 
children permanently, and on one night 647 wretched lads had 
been provided with a meal, and a makeshift arrangement had 
to be made to provide 134 with a night s shelter.* It may be 
observed in passing that many of these children were not 
Irish, as Father Nugent, to avoid sectarian difficulties and 
the odious charge of proselytism, had publicly pledged his 
word to take in Protestant boys, and hand them over next 
morning to the managers of the Everton Terrace Ragged 
School. In this way he won the confidence of all classes, and 
maintained it to the end of his life. There were many leading 
Catholic laymen who attributed the growth of criminality in 
young men and women to the workhouse system. In a con 
troversy with the Rev. Thomas Carter, Protestant Chaplain 
of Walton Gaol, Mr. J. Neale Lomax wrote that, " the main 
" portion of the criminals came from the workhouse. It cannot 
" be otherwise so long as Guardians send out children, babies 
" of thirteen years, almost without education, either religious 
"or profane, into the world to shift for themselves." The 
Liverpool Select Vestry was considerably in advance of its 
time in providing separate schools at Kirkdale. Throughout 
England, however, Guardians were indifferent to child train 
ing; in Liverpool it was not so. What the Select Vestry did 
do was to put obstacles, from a Catholic point of view, in the 
way of children receiving full Catholic instruction, and this 
was the thought running in Mr. Lomax s mind. He quoted 
with deadly effect the following opinion expressed in the 
Police Court in October, 1853, by the Stipendiary Magistrate : 
" From time to time the young female prisoners in the dock 
" say they have been brought up in the Kirkdale Schools. 
" This must be a very unsuccessful institution, else so many 
" of its scholars would not be brought up before me." Five 
years later, 1858, Mr. Brown, the Poor Law Inspector, wrote 
that the schools were a " failure," an opinion which he modified 
after a closer examination. Catholic opinion was unanimous 
in condemning the results of the Kirkdale training. Father 
Henry Gibson spoke serious words of warning against the 
character of the religious training. Morning and evening 
prayers by eight hundred children, left to the supervision 
" of a boy and a girl," and sent out to church without much 

*See Mr. John Denvir s letter, " Daily Post," February, 1867. 



174 

if any supervision,* were not likely to impress young minds 
with the necessity or importance of church attendance in after 
life. Indeed, the priest had on one occasion declared that 
boys from Kirkdale were rapidly transformed into thieves. f 
Thanks to the numerous concessions won by Mr. James Whitty, 
and the new scheme for securing employment and lodging 
for Catholic children, these dangers were being rapidly 
removed, but it was seriously urged that the non-churchgoers 
who were found in Walton by Father Nugent had come in the 
main from the workhouse children. Father Nugent carefully 
avoided any recriminations, preferring to deal with the circum 
stances which surrounded children in the late sixties. To 
public men accustomed to ten years working of an Act to 
regulate street trading children, J it will come as a proof of 
the foresight of Father Nugent, that in January, 1866, he 
said : " If street trading by children under fourteen years of 
" age were checked juvenile offences would decrease/ The 
experience of the Liverpool Watch Committee has justified 
this belief, and the extension of similar powers to the whole 
country will do much to improve the moral tone of the street 
traders of the nation. || 

To enlist the aid of enlightened Protestantism in Liver 
pool for the salvation of the child was Father Nugent s greatest 
service to the Church in Liverpool, if not the whole of Eng 
land. It broke down barriers, scotched prejudice where it did 
not make it hide its head in shame, created a more tolerant 
atmosphere, and, what was more important still, brought 
about the recognition of the social work performed by the 
priests of the town, and its influence on the character of the 
Catholic citizen. On February 15, 1865, Liverpool was sur 
prised to find that Father Nugent had secured the aid of the 
new Stipendiary. Mr. T. Stamford Raffles, in his crusade for 
the salvation of the neglected child. He had organised a 
public meeting in St. George s Hall to inaugurate the new 
movement, which made him the most prominent citizen of the 
town. That Mr. George Melly sat beside the Stipendiary was 
no surprise ; his fine public spirit knew no distinction of party, 
creed, or race. The following year, November 28, 1866, 
Father Nugent achieved a greater success when in the Small 
Concert Hall, St. George s Hall, he gathered around him 
nearly every member of the Town Council, Conservative and 
Liberal alike; the Protestant Chaplain of Walton Gaol, and 
his own co-religionist, Lord Howard of Glossop, M.P., in 

* " Daily Post," February 20, 1866. 
f J. N. Lomax, Catholic Club, 1866. 

J Passed in 1899 for Liverpool, at the instance of the City Council. 
I) Now happily the law of the land. 



175 

support of his rescue work in Soho Street. In his speech at 
this memorable gathering he stated that, during the past year 
of its working, the Association of Providence had dealt with 
four hundred children, mostly on their personal application 
at Soho Street. Of these thirteen had found a permanent 
residence in the Beacon Lane Orphanage. He gave particulars 
of the ages of these child applicants for assistance. One was 
three years of age ; two, four years ; 18, six years ; 34, seven 
years; 21, eight years; 28, nine years; 22, ten years; 38, 
eleven years; and 44, twelve years. The remainder ranged 
from thirteen upwards. He had also undertaken the leading 
part in the management of St. George s Industrial School, 
West Derby Road, and to wipe off a debt of 5,000, which had 
been incurred in providing that institution, obtained the 
services of Mr. John Farn worth, Mayor of the town, who pre 
sided at the St. George s Hall meeting, supported by a large 
number of non-Catholic philanthropists. On that day, October 
22, 1866, was inaugurated that civic acknowledgment of 
Catholic charities of such character, which, happily for Liver 
pool, still continues. In this year the Liverpool Town Council 
voted 1,500 towards fitting up the " Clarence " Training 
Ship, whereupon the Orange Association forwarded a strong 
protest against any further help being given, " because the 
" propagation of the doctrines of the Church of Rome are 
" contrary to the spirit of the Constitution as established at 
" the Reformation, which has made this country the most 
" wealthy, happy, and free of all the nations in Europe." 
Among the four signatories to this protest occurs the name of 
Mr. Joseph Ball, afterwards Lord Mayor of the city in 1905. 
To the great disappointment of Catholic workers in the rescue 
of children, Bishop Goss made an attack on the Reformatory 
and Industrial Schools system. " I am not one of those who 
believe that compulsory reformation, any more than com- 
pulsory education, will prove in the long run a very great 
benefit. ... I do not think that compulsion will make 
any man good. You may watch him, you may guard him, 
but at the same time there are means of vice which he may 
gratify in spite of even parental care or the strictest watch- 
fulness. I am averse to anything like compulsion ; and I 
must say that I regret the enactment of these reformatory 
laws ; I think it is a retrogade step. I regret that laws have 
been passed which take away the freedom of the young before, 
almost, they may be said to come within the meshes of the 
laws of the country, for they have the effect of taking away 
children who have no settled means of livelihood, but are 
4 found wandering about the streets. Still, it is the law, and 



176 

" therefore it is our duty to endeavour to provide for those 
" whom the law commits to our care." The Bishop went on to 
argue " that education was a parental duty, and we ought to 
" be jealous of the State slipping in between a parent and 
" child, because if it has the right to compel education it has 
" the right to prescribe what the education should be." 

To lay down the principle of parental rights did not 
involve any attack on reformatory or industrial schools, and 
Mr. John Yates publicly condemned the Bishop for making 
a pastoral letter the medium of spreading erroneous ideas as 
to their curative or preventitive value, adding that at that 
very moment there were 194 boys on the " Clarence " who, but 
for the reformatory law, would surely have been in gaol. The 
law had saved hundreds of children from drifting into crime, 
and, incidentally, had saved their faith. The Tory papers 
attacked Dr. Goss, who must have rubbed his eyes with 
astonishment when he read the only defence of this extra 
ordinary pastoral in the editorial comments of the " Daily 
" Post. " The Bishop answered the criticisms by saying that 
he had only referred to the children running about the streets 
being deprived of their liberty, quite unmindful of the obvious 
fact that the Industrial Schools were founded to save this 
class of children from falling into ways of crime. Dr. Goss 
made amends for his ill-timed jibe at rescue work by another 
pastoral one month later in date, when he wrote : " It is in 
" the reformation of juvenile criminals that the greatest 
" solicitude has been exhibited, and the wisest measures have 
" been adopted." Two months later both the Bishop and his 
defender, Mr. M. J. Whitty, learned the value of the con 
tention of Mr. John Yates, that a reformatory or industrial 
school was a better place for a child than a gaol. A boy, 
aged seven years, was committed to gaol in default of paying 
a fine of five shillings. The child had committed the heinous 
offence of flinging a stone at a child of equal age, who had 
called him " a turncoat and a Protestant." On hearing of 
the decision, Mr. M. J. Whitty sent over to the Police Court 
the amount of the fine, and after examining the boy in his 
editorial sanctum in Lord Street, wrote that " this English 
" arab had been educated like Rob Roy s sons." Nor did 
the Bishop s views- on compulsory attendance at school meet 
with the approval of his clergy. Some of the older clergy had not 
forgotten the Inspector s criticism of a school in Liverpool in 
1852, certified for 135 boys, which received 650 during the year. 
With characteristic courage, Father Nugent attended a meet 
ing in the Law Association Rooms of various clergymen of all 
creeds, and made what would appear to be the best speech of 



177 

his life from the point of view of solid argument in advocacy 
of compulsory attendance at school. In answer to the criti 
cisms of the Reformatory system, he said it was next to 
impossible to do much good with boys committed at fourteen, 
fifteen, and even sixteen years of age. Dr. Goss himself, in 
preaching at Holy Cross, said there were 300 children running 
wild in that parish, neither attending school nor receiving 
adequate parental supervision. Father Guy, O.S.B., spoke 
at the same meeting, and boldly declared that the only hope 
of saving the children lay in their being compelled to attend 
school every day. There was much force in the contention 
that once the right of the State to compel attendance was 
acknowledged, the time was not far distant when it would 
claim to decide what was education. This has unfortunately 
proved true; but the immediate problem at that day was to 
choose between the schoolroom and the streets, between crime, 
ignorance, and public disorder and a combined religious and 
secular education for a class of child who would not otherwise 
receive any training. Bishop Goss, however, was not con 
vinced, and showed his impartiality by attacking St. George s 
School, West Derby Road, in another pastoral letter. He 
quoted the Inspector s remark : " This school reports nothing 
" satisfactory." Neither the clergy or laity serving on St. 
George s Committee would submit silently to public criticism 
from the Bishop, and in reply published the reports of the 
same Inspector for the three previous years. They disturbed 
even the equanimity of Dr. Goss by the bold statement that 
the unfavourable report was due to the Inspector s private 
opinion that " superintendence by religious orders, male or 
" female, was utterly unsuitable." His Lordship next 
assailed the Toxteth Poor Law Guardians. During the year 
1867 several Anglican clergymen secured seats on the Toxteth 
Board; and on one occasion distinguished themselves by 
attaching more importance to capacity to play that much 
maligned instrument, the harmonium, than to proficiency in 
imparting secular knowledge to Poor Law children. It did 
not affect the Catholic body in any way, but the Bishop seized 
the opportunity to speak his mind on a delicate question, the 
presence of clergymen on public bodies. Quite in keeping 
with his usual practice, he selected the altar of St. Patrick s, 
situate in the Toxteth area, to make his statement. After 
castigating the would-be educationalists , the Bishop observed 
that there had been introduced " what he thought was one of 
" the worst elements which could be introduced into the 
" administration of civil and social affairs. He was a 
" Churchman, and therefore not likely to underrate the ser- 



178 

" vices or capacities of Churchmen ; but he thought the priest 
" should keep to the altar, that he should perform the duties 
" for which he was ordained. * The Catholic body has been 
in the happy position of always finding laymen, Nationalists 
or Liberals, to undertake public work, while it is a misfortune 
that the Catholic Conservative has shirked public duty; it 
may be for political reasons. 

The proposal to establish an Anglican bishopric in Liver 
pool brought forth a spirited protest from Bishop Goss. He 
denounced the scheme in a sermon delivered in St. Alban s 
Church, Athol Street, in June, 1867. The Rector of Liver 
pool, Mr. Campbell, replied with equal warmth : " As reported 
" in the Northern Press/ your Lordship denounced an 
" attempt to introduce another Bishop into the diocese of 
" which you are the lawfully constituted Bishop, as a gross 
" injustice to you, and a flagrant attempt to make a spiritual 
" harlot of the See to which another one was already wedded. 
He, in turn, accused Dr. Goss of coming into a See to which 
the Bishop of Chester f was already wedded, a statement 
obviously aimed at the Bishop s declaration that " the Pope 
" studiously made it a point to act with the utmost delicacy 
" towards the national susceptibilities of Englishmen, and 
" with the highest good taste abstained from appointing 
" Bishops to any Sees already occupied by Protestants. 
Salford, Shrewsbury, and Liverpool are cases in point. 
Unfortunately, the Rector of Liverpool, in his reply, quoted 
a section of the ill-starred Ecclesiastical Titles Act, which 
placed Dr. Goss under a penalty of one hundred pounds foi 
11 assuming " the title of Bishop of Liverpool. From the 
altar of St. Joseph s, Grosvenor Street, the Bishop answered 
that " his title had been conferred upon him by the successor 
" of a long line of Pontiffs, and of him who had conferred upon 
" an English King the title, Defender of the Faith. If the 
" monarch plumed himself upon a title which he had no reason 
" to adopt, because he had been unfaithful to the giver, it was 
" strange that Rector Campbell should remind him of this 
" ancient penalty of one hundred pounds." 

A few days later the Rector voted in the majority against 
a proposal that a paid Catholic Chaplain should be appointed 
to the huge workhouse and hospital in Brownlow Hill. Dr 
Goss made his visitation of St. Philip Neri s, almost under the 
shadow of the building in which this vote was recorded, and 

* It is remarkable that no priest was ever nominated for the 
Liverpool School Board or Liverpool Select Vestry, and until the 
death of Mr. Michael Fitzpatrick in 1906, a priest did not serve on 
the Education Committee. 

f The diocese of Chester included Liverpool. 



179 

taunted the fighting Rector that " at an age when he must be 
" rather thinking of the Day of Judgment, forgetting the 
" infirmities of life, he came down to the Vestry, not to 
" advocate fair play, but to deprive the Catholic body of its 
" just claims." The incumbent of St. George s Church,* the 
Rev. John Kelly, who had already made his debut in the 
arena of Orange theology, took up the cudgels in defence of 
the Rector, but the Bishop, who never refused to break a lance 
with a worthy foeman, treated the violent discourses of this 
militant gentleman with silent contempt. 

The Fenian movementf had already made its mark on the 
Irish political movement, and seriously disturbed the authori 
ties at Westminster and Dublin Castle. Many hundreds of 
Liverpool Irishmen were members of the Irish Republican 
Brotherhood, and thousands were warm sympathisers of the 
new movement to free Ireland by physical force from further 
misgovernment. The well-known raid on Chester Castle was 
planned in Liverpool, and some local Irishmen participated in 
the attack on the prison van in Hyde Road, Manchester, when 
the Fenian leaders, Kelly and Deasy, were rescued. Both the 
Bishop and the clergy found themselves in an awkward posi 
tion by reason of the presence in Liverpool of so many 
adherents of the " Fenian " movement. Their position was 
not made easier by the silly attempts of itinerant Irish 
preachers and their allies to confuse Fenianism with 
Catholicism. Meetings were held by these persons to denounce 
the revolutionary movement, and the addresses delivered 
proved to be a strange incoherent medley of " misdoings in 
" convents, tales of torture, and priestly intrigues with 
"Fenian leaders. On November 23rd, 1867, Allen, Larkin, 
and O Brien were executed in Manchester for their participa 
tion in the attack on the prison van, and the death of Sergeant 
Brett, who was unintentionally shot in the melee. Probably 
at no time during the nineteenth century was Irish feeling so 
deeply stirred as by this execution, J and so alarmed were the 
authorities in consequence that great military preparations 
were made to cope with an expected outbreak in Liverpool. 
Handbills were distributed announcing that a " funeral pro- 
" cession " would be held in honour of the Manchester 
Martyrs on Sunday, December 15th. Irishmen were invited to 

* The site is now occupied by the Queen Victoria Memorial. 

f One of its leaders, Mr. Stephen Joseph Meany, was sub-editor 
of the " Daily Post," under Mr. M. J. Whitty, and was credited with 
some of the anti-clerical writings in that journal. He was sentenced 
to fifteen years penal servitude. 

J The Protestant rector of Wigan used very bitter language in 
denouncing the verdict and sentence. 



180 

meet outside the Rotunda Theatre, Stanley Road, and to 
march in solemn order as far south as St. Patrick s Chapel, 
Park Place. The Orange organisation, under the leadership 
of Mr. Joseph Ball, announced its intention of holding a 
counter-demonstration on the same day, and at the same place 
and route. The Mayor of the town, Mr. Edward Whitley,* 
issued a proclamation forbidding the proposed Irish procession, 
whereupon the Orangemen countermanded their intended 
hostile gathering. 

Mr. M. J. Whitty, writing in the " Daily Post," appealed 
to the Irishmen of the town to abandon the demonstration, as 
it might affect their employment and social position, not quite 
the grounds 1 of appeal which would have induced Irishmen to 
lay down their arms. The authorities were convinced that 
their proclamation would be defied, and as the last resort 
Canons Fisher, Wallwork, and Bernard O Reilly were invited 
to confer with the Mayor at the Town Hall. The outcome of 
this conference was the issue of the following letter from St. 
Edward s, addressed by the Bishop : " To the Irish portion of 
" our beloved flock in the town of Liverpool and its vicinity. 
" We earnestly and affectionately exhort you, and if need be 
" command you, by that authority which we hold from God, 
" and in virtue of our sacred office, that you abstain from join- 
" ing in any procession. May God in His mercy bless you; 
" may He give happiness to your fair but afflicted country." 

This appeal fell upon deaf ears for the most part. 
Another gathering was announced for the neighbourhood of 
Shell Park, just outside the then boundary of the municipal 
boundary. The County Justices held a hurried meeting and 
proclaimed this meeting. Bishop Goss resolved to issue a final 
appeal to the Irish Catholics to obey his request. " We repeat 
" the injunction we have already given ; and we command you 
" that in no part of the county subject to our jurisdiction do 
" you hold any meeting or join in any procession. You have 
" always been wont to listen to our words, and to obey our 
" commands. Do not send sorrow to us at a time when we are 
" about to celebrate the great festival of peace." 

With great reluctance the leaders accepted the Bishop s 
counsel, and the proposed meetings and processions were 
abandoned. The Mayor publicly returned thanks for " the 
" most essential and serviceable aid rendered by the Catholic 
" Bishop and clergy." In one of his pastoral letters Dr. Goss 
displayed his knowledge of Irish political history by his state 
ment that every revolutionary movement in Ireland had been 
organised by Irishmen outside the pale of the Catholic Church, 

* Elected M.P. for the Everton Division of Liverpool, 1885. 



181 

and created some surprise by the assertion made on the 
authority of the Irish Hierarchy, that the Fenian movement 
had been begun by Irishmen who were opposed to the Catholic 
Church. Preaching during that memorable month of 
November, he expressed his " sincere sympathy with the Irish, 
" for no country had ever been more cruelly wronged." 

In 1868, on Sunday, March 8th, Dr. Goss blessed the bell 
at St. Alexander s, Bootle. In the course of his address he 
referred with scorn to the action of the Bishop of Manchester, 
who, when called upon to consecrate a cemetery, did not 
perform the ceremony according to the rubrics of the English 
Church, because some snow was falling. To the amazement 
of the Burial Board, he simply contented himself with entering 
the office of the Registrar and signing a deed, which he said 
in excuse was all that was needed. The Bishop ol Liverpool 
was no respecter of persons, and spoke out emphatically on 
every subject of public importance which came under his notice. 
He observed with some interest and pride that at a meeting 
of Anglican and Dissenting clergymen, held to consider some 
means of removing one serious blot on the reputation of the 
town, the non-attendance at Church services of the masses, 
there were uttered words of praise for the Catholic clergy for 
their assiduous and successful exertions in this respect among 
the Catholics belonging to the labouring classes. 

Taking advantage of the " Fenian alarm," Mr. Joseph 
Ball, who had taken to himself the entire credit of frightening 
the Irish from holding the proposed " funeral procession in 
the previous December, now resolved to enter public life by 
opposing Mr. Thomas Martin, the retiring Catholic member 
of the Select Vestry. The fight for the Disestablishment of 
the Irish Church, the wrangle still going on in Liverpool over 
the Temporal Power, and the irritation in some Protestant 
quarters at Dr. Goss s sermons and pastorals, presaged a big 
victory for the Orange-Church candidate. The issue, as denned 
by Mr. Ball, was simplicity itself: no Catholic of any 
nationality or political belief should be allowed a seat on any 
public body. 

A tremendous struggle, unequalled in the history of the 
town, was the result, and for ten days practically all business 
was suspended. The polling place was the Law Association 
Rooms, Cook Street, in the very heart of commercial Liver 
pool. At the end of the first day s polling Mr. Ball secured 
751 votes recorded by 296 voters, against Mr. Martin s 441 by 
121 persons. Next day Mr. Ball s votes had jumped up to 
2,061 from 628 voters; Mr. Martin being in a minority with 
1,648 votes recorded by 609 electors. The Liberal party issued 



182 

a manifesto in Mr. Martin s favour, protesting against the 
doctrine that no Catholic was fit to enter public life. Still 
Mr. Ball led, his votes and voters being 3,583 and 1,401 ; Mr. 
Martins, 3,021 and 1,212. The Catholics refused to allow the 
poll to be closed, and made a herculean effojrt to improve their 
position. House-to-house visitations were*made; vehicles of 
all kinds were requisitioned, but on the fourth day they were 
still in a bad position, with 3,567 votes against 4,185; 1,483 
voters against 1,684. Still they refused to acknowledge 
defeat, and next day secured a majority of voters, though still 
in a minority of votes. The end of the eight days fight showed 
Martin ahead with 4,396 voters against 3,696, and 8,243 votes 
against 7,970; thus at last voters and votes were against Mr. 
Ball. Neither side would give way now, and finally, on 
Saturday, April 25th, Mr. Thomas Martin routed the Orange 
nominee by 9,946 votes to 9,470, and by 5,684 voters to 4,740. 
Mr. Ball retired from the contest on the spurious plea that the 
Liberal party had diverted the contest into political channels, 
instead of allowing it to be fought out on Orange versus 
Catholic lines. 

The question of how to deal with the destitute children of 
the town came up again during this year, on the initiative of 
the leading Catholics of the town, who never missed a chance 
of calling public attention to the evil results resulting there 
from. The magistrates met on June 24th, 1868, to consider 
what action they could take, and the esteem in which they 
held Mr. C. J. Corbally was shewn in their voting him to the 
chair. Father Nugent gave them his views, also stating that 
no less than two thousand children were trading in the streets. 
The following table shows the numbers of young people 
arrested from 1860 to 1867 : 

1860 1861 1862 1863 1864 1865 1866 1867 



768 823 1159 1303 1299 1225 1133 1500 
The difficulty of finding permanent employment was 
intensified by the passing of the Workshops Act, which forbade 
the employment of any child unable to read or write. Thus 
the very class which did not attend school, or at best most 
irregularly, was doubly handicapped in the search for employ 
ment, and had no alternative but to seek a precarious living 
in the streets. The sale of matches and small wares was as often 
as not a mere cloak for begging, and at best was demoralising. 
Beyond the suggestion that the police should take greater 
advantage of the Industrial Schools Act, the magistrates were 
practically powerless. A census was taken at midnight on 
January 1st, 1869, of all children found in the street* 



183 

either trading or wandering about without any control being 
exercised over them.* It was found that 541 little boys and 
172 little girls were at that very late hour offering small 
articles for sale or begging. Father Nugent gathered 500 
Catholic boys off the streets and entertained them in the Boys 
Refuge, Soho Street. He made the startling comment on the 
demoralisation which had set in amongst the generation which 
had sprung u|> from the famine immigrants that only twenty 
boys present had been,born in Ireland. The principal speaker 
at this- pleasant meeting was Mr. Charles Russell, destined to 
be Lord Chief Justice of England. Father Nugent announced 
that his Association of Providence had decided to extend the 
sphere of their activities, and side by side with the work being 
done at 22, Soho Street, to establish a Boys Refuge in St. 
Anne Street, in the former residence of the Judges of Assize. 
Mr. Samuel Greg Rathbone, Mr. William Rathbone, and Mr. 
Weld Blundell gave one hundred pounds each; Mr. W. 
Clarkson and Lord Howard, fifty pounds; Mr. G. Melly, 
twenty pounds; Chief Justice Lush sent a donation of five 
pounds. The founder had decided to train the boys in some 
industrial occupation which could be followed on leaving the 
institution, believing this to be the only way to prevent them 
slipping into the army of street traders and later on entering 
the dismal host of casual labourers. To create a taste for a 
regular life was Father Nugent s 1 chief aim. He did not, 
however, escape some hostile criticism, especially from Mr. 
M. J. Whitty, in the editorial columns of the " Daily Post." 
He was elegantly described as an admirable stage manager, a nd 
denounced for purchasing printing machinery at a cost" of four 
hundred pounds. At the same time the " Albion " joined the 
" Post " in demanding exact financial statements of receipts 
and disbursements. Father Nugent had purchased the rapidly 
declining " Northern Press," and began to print it at his 
Refuge in Soho Street. The " Post " accused him of having 
engaged a " vituperative writer " to assail Mr. Whitty, and of 
having purchased the " Northern Press " with money given to 
him for charitable purposes. Father Nugent wrote an indig 
nant reply, denying that he had employed anyone to " put 
" down " the " Daily Post," and though admitting that the 
" Northern Press " was printed at the Soho Street Refuge, it 
was so done because of a contract arranged with the committee, 
who had no responsibility for its contents, and that the 
machinery was not purchased out of public subscription, but 
had been presented to him by a personal friend. The " Post " 
pursued him in a vindictive spirit for many years, and, alluding 

* See Speech of Mr. G. Melly, February 4, 1869. 



184 

to his absence from an education meeting, sneeringly said 
it would never have done for a priest to be shouted down by 
cries of " Produce a balance-sheet." Father Nugent was not 
easily dissuaded once he had made up his mind, and pursued 
his work of saving the Catholic child, unmindful of Mr. 
Whitty s attacks, which, for once in his career, were based o n 
personal dislikes. 

In anticipation of the passage into law of a Bill 
for compulsory attendance at school, a meeting of all 
parties was held early in 1869, to found the Education Aid 
Society, the precursor of the present Council of Educatioli. 
The objects aimed at were : Payment of school fees in cases of 
proved poverty, and a choice of schools for the parents, so as 
to avoid any religious difficulty. The Bishop of Chester pre 
sided, and was supported by two priests, who spoke to the 
resolutions Father Guy, O.S.B., and Father Hilary Lenoir, 
O.M.I., of Holy Cross. 

Mr. William Rathbone, M.P., moved the main resolution, 
setting forth the objects of the new movement. The Rev. Dr. 
Taylor moved as an amendment that no parent be helped 
unless he sent his child to a Bible school. It was a repetition 
of the policy of the Anglican clergy in 1841, which was now 
filling the gaols and reformatories ; the policy that Dr. Taylor 
had laid down in 1864, against the payment or appointment of 
a Catholic Chaplain to the borough gaol. Catholics- were not 
ratepayers because they were poor, a bit of new political 
economy. Now, voluntary assistance was to be denied. His 
speech was an attack on Dr. Goss and Cardinal Cullen, and 
the violent polemics in which he indulged would have defeated 
the new organisation had not the same Rathbone who faced 
McNeill thirty years earlier been ready now to face his no less 
bigoted successor. The margin of victory was narrow ; three 
votes. 

The report of the Government Inspector for 1868 told 
eloquently the need for compulsory education in Liverpool. 
Onl^ 5,719 Catholic children were in average attendance, while 
the non-Catholics were in a more pitiable plight. Notwith 
standing their being two-thirds of the population, only 8,254 
were attending school. From this Report we learn that there 
were night schools at Holy Cross, average attendance, 117 ; St. 
Thomas and William, averaging 41 ; St. Oswald s, Old Swan, 
62; and at St. Nicholas , Copperas Hill, 406 girls were in 
attendance. 

On July 22, 1869, Bishop Goss opened the Boys Refuge 
in St. Anne Street, in the presence of Lord Howard and a 
large attendance of the leading Protestant gentlemen of the 



135 

town. His Lordship expressed his delight that one of his own 
clergy had come forward with sufficient courage and resolution 
to venture upon the purchase of that large house to remove 
the destitute boy from the dangers of the streets. Dr. Goss 
had additional proofs of the enthusiasm with which his flock 
worked in this direction. Mr. J. Neale Lomax reported that 
in six years the Association founded by Canon Cookson and 
Mr. J. Whitty had found situations in Catholic families or 
with Catholic employers for 263 boys and 346 girls discharged 
from the Kirkdale Schools. The Catholic Guardians were 
able, too, to congratulate themselves and their Protestant 
supporters upon having secured the appointment of a Catholic 
schoolmistress at Kirkdale, who was responsible for the 
religious instruction of the Catholic children. Another 
organisation which was 1 rendering yeoman service for the girls 
was St. George s Industrial School for Girls, located in 
Laburnum House, Fairfield. 

In January, 1854, a few Belgian nuns of the Augustinian 
Order were introduced to Liverpool by the Very Rev. Canon 
Wall work, and located themselves in Evert on Crescent. It 
was the only institution in England which made Valenciennes 
lace, but the nuns did not confine their training to this unique 
branch of industry. They trained poor girls in all branches 
of domestic work, and found them situations in different 
families in the town. Owing to the success which they 
achieved in a few years after their arrival they rented a build 
ing known as the West Derby Hospital, and in 1868 took 
possession of Laburnum House. The Finance Committee of 
the Corporation had paid one shilling per week per child for 
some years, under the provisions of the Reformatory Act, but 
ceased to continue the payment in 1868, at which date 108 
destitute girls were in training. On June 21st, 1868, Dr. Goss 
laid the foundation-stone of the new schools of St. Vincent de 
Paul, consequent upon the compulsory acquisition by the 
Corporation of the Jordan Street Schools, presented by Mr. E. 
Chaloner. On this occasion he delivered an address which was 
regarded as an attack on the Irish population, and to the 
close of his episcopate, four years later, his observations were 
keenly resented by many Irishmen. " All men/ said he, 
"possessed fair chances of advancing themselves; the paths 
" of preferment were closed against none." He was interrupted 
by a man in the crowd with the remark, " Yes, my Lord, if 
" he is not an Irishman." The Bishop noticed the interruption, 
and sharply replied, " What does that man say ? Let him 
" speak out like a man if he has anything to say. He went 
on to contend that, though Ireland " had suffered great and 



186 

" cruel wrongs, in Liverpool, as in the rest of England, Irish- 
" men had a clear stage, if they would only be true to them- 
" selves, and refrain from drink and other vices." These 
words only were reported in the daily Press, and it was alleged 
they only formed a small portion of a severe criticism of the 
Irish members of the Bishop s flock. Whilst his Lordship s 
comments on the drink habit were undeniably true, it was- 
doubtful whether the Irish labourer drank any more than hia 
neighbour in the same humble walk of life. Dr. Goss was 
not, however, so accurate in his assertion that Irishmen had 
a clear stage for preferment. The maxim, " No Irish need 
" apply," had not yet disappeared from the employer s 
vocabulary, and between the instinctive dislike of Rome on 
the one hand, and the anti-Irish feeling due to Irish political 
agitations notably the Fenian movement on the other, the 
prospects of preferment were very small indeed. Indeed, it 
would not be an exaggeration to say that, but for the fortu 
nate circumstance that most of the stevedores were Irishmen, 
the Catholic Irish labourers on the dock side would have had 
a hard time. Railway developments and dock extensions 
needed men of considerable physical strength to carry out the 
work of excavating, and in this department Irishmen got more 
than their share. Navvying does not appear to have had any 
special attraction for the average English labourer in Liver 
pool. The Irish party resented a Bishop lending the weight of 
his experience and authority to criticisms which they refused 
to admit were well grounded. Bishop Goss was, however, never 
deterred by public criticism from expressing his opinions freely, 
and in this instance he acted in perfect good faith ; he found 
it difficult to believe that his own countrymen could be so 
deeply prejudiced against Irishmen. 



187 



CHAPTER VIII. 

The year 1870 opened a new chapter in the history of 
Catholic Liverpool. Mr. W. E. Forster s Education Bill 
provided for the establishment of new local education 
authorities and compulsory attendance at school of all children 
from five to twelve years of age. The Catholics and the 
Anglicans were the only bodies, save in a few instances, such 
as the Wesleyans, who had made any seriousi effort to provide 
educational facilities for the children of the nation. To supply 
the deficiency was the avowed intention of the authors of the 
new Bill, but there were not wanting far-seeing critics who 
urged that the effect would be to supplant the existing volun 
tary schools. This opinion, which has been abundantly 
justified by after events, prejudiced the School Board experi 
ment at the very outset, as the different religious bodies, 
especially the Anglican authorities, made strenuous efforts to 
capture* the new education authorities. The provisions of 
the Bill made it clear that a heavy financial burthen would be 
placed on the shoulders of the Catholic body, and few indeed 
seemed to realise what the ultimate effect would be when the 
Bill became an Act of Parliament. As soon as the Speech 
from the Throne announced the forthcoming measure, Liver 
pool Catholics took counsel one with the other. A meeting 
was held in the Catholic Club, 34, Church Street. Canon 
Bernard O Reilly was in the chair, and Father James Nugent 
acted as secretary. It was decided to oppose the passage of 
the Bill, and to organise a series of public demonstrations to 
stir up public opinion. The committee appointed consisted 
of men holding every shade of political opinion Conservative, 
Liberal, and Home Ruler. Sir Robert Gerard, Thomas Weld 
Blundell, J. B. Aspinall, Henry Sharpies, Francis Reynolds, 
Edward Leeming, P. S. Bidwill, Hugh Cullen, James Whitty, 
John Yates, John MacArdle, and others; such a committee 
as could only have been brought into existence in the face of 
some grave danger to Catholic interests. 

The demonstration held in the Theatre Royal, f William 
son Square, on St. Patrick s Day, came as a surprise to 
Liverpool citizens, sfccustomed though they were to huge public 
gatherings when party or racial feeling ran high. The square 

* Lord Salisbury s advice to denominationalists : " Capture the 
School Boards." 

t Now a Cold Store. 



188 

was packed by a great multitude who were unable to gain 
admission to the crowded theatre. Sir Robert Gerard pre 
sided ; the principal speakers being the eloquent Irish member, 
John Francis Maguire, Father George Porter, S. J., Rector of 
St. Francis Xavier s,* Father Nugent, Mr. George Segar, and 
Mr. John Yates. The dominant note of the speeches may be 
found in the terse resolution adopted: " Religion being the 
" basis of all true education, this meeting holds that any 
" system which would tend to secularize education cannot be 
" acceptable to the Catholics of this country." After the 
lapse of forty years, and in the midst of a renewed fight for the 
same principle laid down in this resolution, one rises from the 
perusal of the newspaper reports, captivated by the eloquent 
speeches which raised the memorable meeting in Williamson 
Square to a pitch of hitherto unparalleled enthusiasm. It 
was- decided, on the motion of Father Nugent, to send a depu 
tation to Mr. Forster to point out certain provisions in the Bill 
which gave an unfair advantage to the proposed School Boards. 
The deputation consisted of Canon O Reilly and Messrs. 
Aspinall, Whitty, and Yates. This demonstration was 
followed by another, organised by the Christian Doctrine Con 
fraternities, which was attended by two thousand " of the 
" poorest Catholics in the town." All classes of Catholics 1 were 
united in opposition to the Bill, whilst they resolved that in 
the event of its becoming law they would rise to the heavy 
responsibilities entailed by the provision of new schools and 
the better equipment of those already in existence. All 
Catholics were animated by the principle laid down in a 
remarkable leading article in the " Catholic Times " : " If 
" Saint Ambrose were alive at the present moment, he would 
" sell the very chalice from the altar, and consecrate in glass 
" to find means to save the children." As if to add fuel to the 
fires of controversy, Mr. Newdegate, M.P., selected this 
moment to introduce his famous Bill for the inspection of 
convents. There, was a well-grounded belief that the large 
Liberal majority behind Mr. Gladstone in the House of 
Commons would furnish Mr. Newdegate sufficient supporters 
to combine with the Orange-Protestant elements on the Oppo 
sition benches to carry his tyrannical proposal. To encourage 
this possible coalition a series of meetings was organised in 
Liverpool by the Rev. Dr. Taylor, ably assisted by a new 
recruit to the ranks of Anti-Catholic controversialists, the Rev. 
Mr. Vernon White, minister of the Presbyterian Church in 
Islington, f To the great credit of the leaders of the Con- 

* Afterwards Archbishop of Bombay. 
f Corner of Salisbury Street now a Jewish Synagogue, 



189 

servative party in the town, they refused to give any counten 
ance to these meetings, else Dr. Taylor s grossly insulting 
language about the nuns 1 , and the violent harangues of himself 
and Dr. White, would have brought about public disturbances 
in the streets. It is painful to think that such scholarly men 
could speak of the Sisters of Charity and Mercy and the teach 
ing nuns in such terms as were used during this 1 short-lived 
but vicious agitation. To make matters worse for the Liberal 
party which supported Mr. Forster, these Orange leaders were 
thick and thin supporters of the Education Bill, which they 
interpreted as an attack on the voluntary school system. It 
was difficult to keep the Catholic working-men in hand during 
this quarrel, and Mr. Neale Lomax organised a series of 
meetings, which were attended by them in large numbers, to 
defend the fame and work of these good women. The Protes 
tant section of the community were attracted to Saint Francis 
Xavier s to hear the brilliant sermons of Father George 
Porter, S.J., in explanation of the works of mercy and charity 
performed every hour of the day by women whose only thought 
was to help the poor children, the sick in the slums, the daily 
practice of the corporal works of mercy. As Father Nugent 
said of them, these sermons " were worthy of the priest who 
" was the foremost preacher in Liverpool." These addresses 
took the sting out of the attacks of Drs. Taylor and White, 
who retired beaten from the field. The Bill was successfully 
resisted, and not one moment too soon. Liverpool Catholics 
were prepared to give their last penny for the schools, but 
there was a grim resolve in their hearts to resist to death the 
first violation of a Liverpool convent. 

Attention was once more devoted to the Education Bill. 
Mr. Gladstone encouraged the Catholic agitation by his speech 
on the " case of the Roman Catholics," which, he said, " weighs 
" much on my mind. I am very much opposed to the extrava- 
" gant claims which their heads make on their behalf, but 
11 still, they raise important considerations in the civil 
"interests of the community." Substantial changes were 
made in the Bill, and it became law. The School Boards could 
teach the Bible in their schools ; hence the voluntary schools 
could not be prevented from giving religious instruction. 

Bishop Goss, on September llth, 1870, addressed a 
pastoral letter to his flock on the new situation : " The Act 
" places the Church of England in a position of peculiar hard- 
" ship, and involves us- in a difficulty of which our fellow- 
" citizens have little or no share. Our present schools will 
" not be molested beyond being thrown open to children of any 
" religious denomination, and having to set aside special times 



190 

" for religious instruction." His Lordship urged upon his people 
the practice of reading the New Testament at night when the 
family was 1 gathered together, but he was unsparing in his 
denunciation of the indiscriminate reading of the Old Testa 
ment, as the Jews of old did not allow their children to read 
many passages. This criticism was aimed at the exponents of 
pure Bible teaching in all schools. " Mahomet," he wrote, 
" reverently put aside every scrap of paper bearing the name 
" of God; but Parliamentary Christians are willing to expose 
" it to the sorriest end, provided they can enforce it upon an 
" unwilling people." The pastoral proceeded to appeal for the 
necessary funds to meet the estimated need of eight thousand 
school places. During the month of September a meeting 
of the clergy and laity was held in the Law Association Rooms, 
Cook Street, to discuss the situation. Provost Cookson stated 
that as- compulsory attendance was now enjoined on all 
children from five to twelve years of age, 23,754 Catholic 
children came within these limits. The total provision already 
made amounted to 15,646, thus leaving the deficiency men 
tioned in the Bishop s pastoral. Mr. James Whitty enquired 
what was the area in which the deficiency existed, and was 
informed that it lay between Woolton and Little Crosby, 
Huyton and the River Mersey. On the motion of Father 
George Porter, S.J., a new committee was formed to raise 
funds and otherwise deal with school problems, with the 
cumbersome title of " The Liverpool Education Crisis Catholic 
" Committee/ 

The average attendance at each of the Catholic schools in 
the year 1870, taken from the official Blue Book, showed 
clearly, from a Catholic point of view, the wisdom of making 
education compulsory. : St. Francis Xavier s, 834 ; St. 
Anthony s, 745 ; St. Mary s, 708 ; SS. Thomas and William, 
628 ; Holy Cross, 502 ; St. Peter s, 488 ; St. Alban s, 455 ; 
St. Anne s, 449; Mount Vernon, 336; St. Oswald s, 281; 
St. Nicholas, 254 ; Mount Carmel, 236 ; St. Helen s, 144 ; the 
Practising School at Mount Pleasant, 142.* That is to say. 
that only 6,202 children were in average attendance out of a 
total of not less than twenty thousand children between the 
ages 1 of five and twelve, and out of at least fourteen thousand 
for whom accommodation had been provided. Provost 
Cookson s figures included several country schools Woolton, 
Gillmoss, Crosby, and other small places in the outskirts of 
the town. It is incredible that less than five thousand children 

* Several schools are not included in the return, but this does not 
affect the issue. All these schools are within the present Municipal 
borough of Liverpool. This was not so in 1870. 



191 

were attending school inside the area now occupied by the 
Parliamentary constituencies of Scotland, Exchange, and 
Abercromby, * then much more crowded centres of population 
than now. At one of the Education meetings Father Nugent 
gave the figures of 150,000, as representing the Catholic popu 
lation of Liverpool. Accepting the rule that there were 183 
children between the ages of five and twelve to every thousand 
of the population, the average attendance ought to have been 
10,980, instead of 6,202. This 1 indifference to education was 
due not so much to want of school places as to poverty. 
Hundreds of families needed the earnings of the children. The 
economic results of the Act of 1870 have been as remarkable as 
was the development of the Catholic school to the expulsion of 
Catholic children under Conservative rule in 1841. 

A year s grace was allowed for preparation of plans of 
new schools 1 , for submission to the Imperial Government. To 
make full use of this period was the aim of the Bishop. He 
summoned a meeting in the Theatre Royal, on October 24th, 
over which he presided, to raise funds for the much-needed new 
school buildings. The Archbishops of Trebizondt and Balti 
more,! the Duke of Norfolk, Lord Howard of Glossop, Sir 
Piers Mostyn, Baron Vasconcellas, supported the Bishop, 
with the Marquis of Bute, who made his first appearance on a 
Catholic platform. It was resolved that, " as the Act recog- 
" nised the rights of parents to control the education of their 
" children, it was the duty of every Catholic to make all possible 
" exertions to afford parents the means of discharging this 
" responsibility." A general fund for the whole country was 
opened, to which the Duke of Norfolk contributed the hand 
some sum of ten thousand pounds ; a similar amount being 
subscribed by the Marquis of Bute. Lord Howard gave five 
thousand pounds, and seven donations of one thousand pounds 
were also subscribed. In all the total donations amounted to 
forty-six thousand pounds, proof positive of the eager desire 
of the leading Catholics of the country to safeguard the Faith 
of the children. It should be remembered with gratitude that 
the Catholic aristocracy acted with such magnificent 
generosity to provide schools for Irish children. Gratitude is 
short-lived. One Irishman, at least, tenders to their memory 

*The present attendance September, 1910 in the same areas 
if) 13,000. 

f Archbishop Errington, formerly a priest at St. Nicholas , 
Copperas Hill; rector of St. Mary s, Douglas, Isle of Man, after 
resigning his office of coadjutor archbishop of Westminster. 
I Dr. Kenrick. 

The vault of the Vasconcellas family may be seen, much 
neglected, in the main avenue of Ford Cemetery. 



192 

grateful homage. Father Nugent rendered splendid service 
by stirring up the Catholic middle classes to a full sense 
of their responsibility in such a critical moment, both by his 
speeches and letters, and the columns of the " Catholic 
"Times/ 7 * The Rector of St. Patrick s, a Belgian priest, 
Father Edward Goethals,f held a meeting in February, 1870, 
to devise means to build an additional school in Hyslop Street. J 
At St. Michael s, West Derby Road, Father Tobin raised 
seven hundred pounds; one thousand pounds was subscribed 
in the parish of Our Lady Immaculate, St. Domingo Road ; 
one thousand and fifty pounds at St. Alexander s and land 
was purchased at Waterloo, all to meet the requirements of 
the new Education Act. At a meeting in St. Alban s, Athol 
Street, it was announced by the Rector, Father Seed,J that, 
from 1863 to 1870, five thousand seven hundred pounds had 
been raised in pence, to meet the cost of the erection of the 
parish schools, which had amounted to 7,163 6s. 7d. As the 
result of a renewed effort only five hundred pounds debt 
remained. 

One serious and far-reaching result of the Act of 1870 
was the decision of the Irish Christian Brothers not to accept 
inspection, examination, or supervision of their work by the 
Government Inspectors. In the course of a few years they 
ceased to teach in the Liverpool schools. Canon O Reilly was 
the last priest to retain their services at St. Vincent s, || from 
which school they departed in 1876, to the everlasting regret 
of the Catholics of Liverpool. They did noble work in Liver 
pool, and raised the standard of the boys schools 1 as the Nuns 
of Notre Dame did for the girls. To the Irish population their 
departure was a serious loss, as they inculcated love of country 
as well as of religion, and wielded an extraordinary influence 
over the children of the Irish race. Many of their pupils filled 
high positions in the town, and at least three of them are 
members of the Liverpool City Council at this moment. 

The School Boards opened up a new field of public work 
for the laity. Five Catholics were nominated at the first 

* 4 *With courage, energy, and foresight, all may do what the 
Jesuits at St. Francis Xavier s have accomplished." " Catholic 
Times," July 23, 1870. 

t Now Dean Goethals, forty-four years rector of this mission. 

J Both Schools had 1,334 children on the rolls, September, 1910. 

I Canon Seed. 

H The writer was a pupil at St. Vincent s under these excellent 
men. Brothers Goodwin, Kelly and Timmons were the last teachers. 
They were succeeded by the Brothers of the Christian Schools, who 
only remained a few years. Bishop Whiteside brought the Irish 
Christian Brothers back to Liverpool to take charge of a Pupil 
Teachers Centre. They are now in charge of the Catholic Institute. 



193 

elections Mr. John Yates, Mr. James Whitty, Mr. C. J. 
Corbally, Mr. Edmund Browne,* and Mr. Henry Sharpies. 
It was felt that the Catholics by united action could carry the 
five candidates, and as there were, according to calculations 
made by Father G. Porter, S.J., 13,000 Catholics on the 
register out of a total of 40,000, victory was a certainty. 
Strenuous efforts were made to elect the new Board without a 
contest, and several candidates having been induced by their 
respective proposers to withdraw, the Catholics withdrew Mr. 
H. Sharpies, the remaining four being elected. On the 1st of 
November, Colonel P. S. Bidwill gained a seat in Vauxhall 
Ward without a contest, and Mr. John McArdle was re-elected 
for Scotland Ward by 1,251 votes. There were now six 
Catholic members of the Town Councilf Alderman Sheil, 
Councillors Bidwill, Fairhurst, MacArdlo, Whitty, and Yates, 
all members of the Liberal party. When the new Council met 
they found that the Finance Committee had agreed as a con 
cession to Orange sentiment to allow a statue of Dr. McNeill 
to be placed inside St. George s Hall. The Catholic members 
opposed this decision, Colonel Bidwill proposing that a 
plebiscite be taken ; but the motion was rejected by 40 votes 
to 12, Liverpool thus emphasising its conception of the fitness 
of things by placing the libeller of Queen Victoria side by side 
with its greatest son, Mr. W. E. Gladstone. 

In the midst of the struggle over the Education 
Bill, the solitary Catholic member of the Select 
Vestry, Mr. Thomas Martin, was waging the same 
fight which his predecessors had fought for twenty- 
eight years. In January, 1870, he moved : " That, in the 
" opinion of this Board, it is undesirable that the religious 
" teaching and instruction should be dependent upon the 
" voluntary attendance of the Catholic clergy ; and, that with 
" a view of remedying same steps be taken to secure the 
" services of one or more clergymen whose duties shall be to 
" attend to the wants of the Catholic inmates, who shall be 
" officers of the Select Vestry, and who shall be paid adequate 
"salaries for their services." Mr. Glover seconded, and the 
motion was lost by the casting vote of the chairman. The 
need was specially felt in the Kirkdale Schools, where, in 1870, 
there were 872 Catholic children. During the four years, 1866 
to 1870, 1,479 Protestant and 1,248 Catholic children had been 
admitted to the schools. By 1870, for the first time in the 

* Father of the Rev. Joseph Browne, late Rector of Stonyhurst, 
and now Rector of St. Francis Xavier s (1910). 

t Father Nugent, six years before, predicted that the proposed 
Reform Bill would give Catholics great electoral power. 



194 

parish, the Catholic children were in a majority, a significant 
comment on the social status of Irish labourers in Liverpool. 
In September, Bishop Goss wrote again to the Vestry, pointing 
out that owing to the outbreak of fever in the town there 
were one thousand cases under the care of the Guardians his 
priests were overwhelmed with work, and asked the Board to 
set aside a small sum of money which would enable him to 
obtain the services of another priest. He urged that as all 
ratepayers paid poor rate, all were entitled to share in its 
distribution. The suggestion was rejected by twelve votes to 
ten, whereupon Alderman Woodruff declared his intention to 
raise the amount among his Protestant friends. The 
" Catholic Times " took up another aspect of Select Vestry 
work, and vigorously assailed that body for its general policy 
of sending out such Catholic children as could not be provided 
for by the Catholic Committee to non-Catholic homes. Father 
Nugent was again ahead of his time in urging the boarding out 
of children with Catholic families, 5 * while they were still very 
young. He wrote : " The Select Vestry is- in an economical 
" mood, and object to pay more for boarding out children than 
" they would pay for them in their Industrial School. It is 
" dearer for a time to turn a pauper into a respectable 
" citizen." Owing to the prevalence of fever in the town, the 
Medical Officer of the Schools prohibited the children going 
out to Mass. Mr. Birchall, the Governor, said that one of the 
teachers " read Mass " to the others on Sunday, and the highly 
intelligent committee decided that the ministrations of the lay 
sacerdotalist was quite sufficient. Shortly afterwards they 
gave permission to a priest to enter the schools on Sundays 
while the pestilence prevailed without, to give religious instruc 
tion, whereupon Mr. Martin waxed sarcastic at the committee, 
which previously sheltered itself behind the Medical Officer, 
now allowing a priest from a fever-stricken area to go inside. 
Messrs. Yates, Whitty, and Lomax proceeded to London to 
enter a protest with the President of the Local Government 
Board. The Inspector reported that the provision of Catholic 
instruction was " unsatisfactory. 7 Attending the committee, 
he gave his reasons, but they still refused to allow a priest to 
" read Mass " while permitting a young teacher to do so, The 
" Catholic Times " called upon the Irish members of Parlia 
ment to enquire if the Catholic Emancipation Act had been 
repealed in Liverpool, and went on to say, " but for the 
"judicious action of Mr. H. J. Hagger, Vestry Clerk, the 
" Vestry would often run riot. With a few exceptions, it is 

* This is now the practice of all Boards of Guardians, acting 
under the Order of the Local Government Board. 



195 

" composed of men whose intelligence is only bounded by 
" obstinate bigotry, and whose liberality is in inverse ratio to 
" their refinement." The Toxteth Board set them a good 
example. Having laid it down as a necessary condition of 
receiving outdoor relief that all children must attend a school 
which they regarded as well equipped, a decision which 
excluded St. Patrick s, a deputation from the Catholic Club 
waited on the Board, which immediately set the matter right. 

At the Easter of 1870, Mr. John Clarke, Great Howard 
Street, gained a seat on the Vestry, and threw himself with 
much vigour into the fight for a Catholic Chaplain, which was 
the only outstanding " religious difficulty " which prevented 
the Liverpool Parish Guardians from working together in 
perfect harmony. 

Father Nugent, in the August of 1870, decided to visit 
Canada and the United States, with the intention of ascer 
taining by personal observation what prospect awaited young 
people emigrated from the crowded streets of Liverpool. It 
had long been a source of great difficulty to the managers of 
Industrial and Poor-Law Schools to find suitable employment 
for boys when the time came for their being discharged. The 
experiment of sending boys to Canada was just beginning to 
attract public attention, and as Father Nugent was about to 
take out a small party of children he resolved to lay his plans 
before the leading citizens and secure their co-operation. 
Summoning a meeting, which was attended by Poor-Law 
Guardians, magistrates, and others interested in the removal 
of children from dangerous surroundings, he unfolded his plan 
of action. Canon O Reilly, on behalf of the clergy, gave his 
blessing to the mission, and on the 18th August Father Nugent 
made his first trip across the Atlantic. After nine months 
sojourn in America, during which he visited the great 
industrial centres and the agricultural districts of Canada and 
the United States, he returned to Liverpool, when he was 
presented by the Christian Brothers in charge of the Boys 
Refuge with his portrait in oils.* A great meeting of citizens 
was held in St. George s Hall to hear Father Nugent s report 
of his experiences. Father Kelly, of St. James , Bootle, pre 
sided, supported by thirty Liverpool priests, who were 
naturally deeply interested in any movement which would save 
the children from the sad fate of the streets. " Let any 
" man," said Father Nugent, " walk our streets, let him go 
" along Marybone, Vauxhall Road, or Scotland Road, and his 
" heart will sink as he sees not only poverty, but naked, dis- 
" gusting pauperism. When I see so many poor girls 

* This portrait still hangs in the Committee Room, St. Anne Street. 



196 

crowding the workhouses and prisons ; when I see the 
noblest race God has created degraded and demoralised in 
our large towns, is it not the duty of every man that has a 
spark of humanity in his veins, to stretch out his hands and 
give the warm feelings of his- heart to put them in a position 
where they can be self-reliant, where they can gain their 
bread without becoming a race of paupers? The famine 
years and the continued curse of Irish misgovernment had laid 
their deadly hands on the large towns of Great Britain, Liver 
pool worst of all. Local Irish Nationalists did not relish 
Father Nugent s strictures, but the practical mind of the 
experienced priest knew the evils of the town, and devoted his 
wonderful energy and enthusiasm to their cure. 

The Select Vestry invited Father Nugent to appear before 
the Schools Committee to discuss the practicability of sending 
children to Canada from the Kirkdale Schools, especially those 
between eight and ten years- of age. It was a remarkable 
change to find the Vestry taking up so reasonable an attitude 
towards the Catholic children, and here again the magnetic 
personality of Father Nugent proved a valuable asset to the 
Catholics of his native town. The Vestry agreed to try the 
experiment, while the enthusiastic priest went from town to 
town, winning numerous supporters for his new rallying cry 
"Save the Boy." 

On Sunday, January 23rd, 1870, during the course of a 
mission in St. Joseph s Church, Grosvenor Street, someone 
created a stampede by a foolish cry of " Fire." Fifteen persons 
were trampled to death in the ugly rush from the building. 
Mr. Alderman Hubback, the Mayor of the town, opened a fund 
for the relief of the bereaved families, a kindly act which 
created an immense amount of good feeling towards himself 
and the civic authorities. His action was all the more appre 
ciated as he was a prominent member of the Conservative 
party, and he gave further proofs of his generous instincts by 
giving official recognition to the efforts of the parishioners of 
St. Alexander s to erect new schools. Father E. Powell, who 
was attached to this mission for nineteen years, organised a 
bazaar at St. George s Hall, and secured the services of the 
Mayor to preside on the opening day. 

At St. Francis Xavier s, Father George Porter, S.J., 
signalised his rectorship by hanging a peal of eight bells in 
the tower of the church, which Bishop Goss solemnly blessed 
on the 24th July, 1870. This incident was the unfortunate 
occasion of creating friction with Mr. Verner White, who 
waxed furious at the " audacity " of the Jesuits, and after 
making a strong protest threatened legal proceedings to secure 



197 

the removal or permanent silence of the new bells. The diffi- 
ciiity was solved with great tact by Father Porter, who adroitly 
changed the hour of the evening service from seven o clock to 
half-past six, thus saving the alleged annoyance to the Presby 
terian worshippers at the Islington Church. When this 
brilliant priest left to undertake the important duties 
of Archbishop of Bombay, Bishop Goss addressed to him a 
public letter, couched in affectionate language, of farewell and 
congratulation. He was succeeded by his brother, Father 
Thomas Porter, S.J., afterwards Bishop of Jamaica. 

The crowded condition of Scotland and Vauxhall Wards, 
districts already well supplied with churches and schools, 
needed, in the Bishop s judgment, further church accommoda 
tion. A Dissenting chapel in Bevington Bush became vacant, 
which was purchased for 1,560, and on the 27th November, 
1870, was opened by the Vicar-General, Canon Fisher. On 
the fifth day of the same month he wrote to Father 
O Donovan,* then a curate at St. Joseph s, Grosvenor Street, 
appointing him rector of the new mission. " The Bishop has 
" placed this mission under the protection of St. Bridget, 
" knowing well how fervent and heartfelt is the devotion of 
" Ireland s faithful children to that much-favoured saint." 

The sermons and other addresses of Bishop Goss during 
the last two years of his life attracted more public attention 
than any delivered during the nineteen years of his episcopal 
rule. Preaching at Little Crosby, in May, 1871, he severely 
criticised the general attitude of the Press towards- revealed 
religion. The movement for the destruction of the Temporal 
Power of the Pope, then nearing its final stages, afforded spe 
cious pretexts for articles hostile not only to Catholicism, but 
to every form of Christian belief. Bishop Goss aroused the 
anger of his old-time critic, Mr. M. J. Whitty, by one sentence 
in this Little Crosby sermon, which ran as follows: " In the 
" newspapers dogmas and traditions have been cast aside, and 
"crude notions put forward of the origin of man." Mr. 
Whitty occupied two columns of the " Daily Post " with his 
reply to the Bishop. " People have ceased," he wrote, " to 
" place much value upon sermons of any kind, whether Catholic 
" or Protestant ; and, above all, they regard with perfect 
indifference all that is said by Cardinal Cullen, or even by 
your Lordship in pastoral letters. The profane scoff and 
pronounce it bos>h ; the pious regard your advice as a matter 
of course, nothing more. Newspaper men see so much of the 
behind the scenes of social life that their very cleverness 

*Now a Canon of the Chapter, who has since built a fine new 
Church and Schools. 



198 

<c and cynicism causes them to question whether there can be 
" such a thing as true religion, morality, or sincerity in the 
" world. The Press is not the pulpit, but the abuse of its 
" liberty, of which the Bishop complains, once removed, it 
" could be made a powerful machine for the moral and social 
"elevation of the masses." The admission contained in the 
last sentence, as well as the definite statement that journalists 
do not believe there can be real morality or sincerity in the 
world, opened up a wide field for controversy. Father Guy, 
O.S.B., took up Mr. Whitty s cynicisms, and in a series of 
brilliant letters and sermons, disposed of the proposition that 
" newspaper men," as such, were quite so sceptical or 
materialistic as the able editor of the " Daily Post " would have 
the world believe. The " Post," a few weeks later, created 
some feeling against Bishop Goss, by publishing his sermon at 
St. Joseph s, with the unjustifiable heading : " Reproof of the 
" Irish." His Lordship had said: "Eternal honour to those 
" who love their country. Irishmen have as much right here 
as in Ireland, and with that to endeavour to acquire political 
" power and influence, through the fulfilment of the law of 
" God, so that they might become a reformed people." Had 
the heading been " Reproof of the Teetotallers " there would 
have been some justification, as in the same sermon he advo 
cated temperance as distinguished from total abstinence. He 
" disfavoured greatly," teetotalism, " because it had been 
" introduced upon the false principle that it was prescribed by 
"God." 

The Bishop attacked the Liverpool School Board because 
of its general attitude towards Catholics. That body had 
decided upon the introduction of Bible teaching into all the 
schools provided by them out of the rates, and the Catholic 
members argued that, if any CatHslic children attended the 
new schools, it would be in accord with the Board s principles 
to permit them to read the Douai version of the Bible. With 
unnecessary heat the majority rejected the proposal, thus 
following the example of the Tory Town Council thirty years 
earlier. The Board went further to display its hostility 
towards the arrangement made a year earlier, by which one 
shilling per head per week was paid towards the maintenance 
of children committed at their instance to Catholic industrial 
schools. It was urged that such payments were an infringe 
ment of the principles of the Education Act of 1870. To 
encourage the members disposed to act upon this policy, a 
number of public meetings were addressed by Rev. Drs. Taylor 
and Verner White, and Mr. Hugh Stowell Brown.* To make 

* His statue stands outside the Myrtle Street Baptist Church. 



199 

matters worse, two of the best of the Liberal leaders, Mr. 
William Crosfield* and Mr. George Melly, M.P., waited on the 
School Board to protest against the further continuance of the 
weekly payments. Eventually, owing mainly to the influence 
of Mr. James Whitty, a compromise was arranged on the basis 
of continuing the payments for all children committed to the 
Industrial Schools prior to the date of this interesting debate 
and decision. It was the first time that Nonconformists and 
Churchmen joined hands against the Catholics of the town. 
Certainly it was a new feature in the political life of Liverpool 
to find prominent Liberal leaders uniting with ultra-Tories of 
the stamp of the Rev. Dr. Taylor in resisting Catholic claims, 
especially on such a delicate question as the rescue of poor 
children from a life of shame. It is quite true there was a 
finely-drawn question of principle at issue, but just such an 
issne as to justify Cardinal Newman s fine simile about 
stretching principles until they break like the string of a violin. 
At any rate, one immediate consequence was a further loosen 
ing of the close ties which bound the Irish and Catholic people 
to the Liberal party, a disintegrating influence which has 
probably continued to this very hour. A municipal contest 
was the turning point. The retiring member for Exchange 
Ward was Mr. J. J. Stitt, who was also a member of the School 
Board. In the course of the debate over the proposed provision 
of Douai Bibles for Catholic children in Board Schools, he 
indulged in criticisms of that version which were at once 
irrelevant to the issue at stake, grossly offensive to his Catholic 
colleagues, as well as betraying an ignorance of the written 
Word which was quite inexcusable in an educated man. The 
Catholic voters of the parish of Holy Cross resolved to teach 
him a lesson in good manners and sound Liberalism, if the 
latter term really included Bible teaching in Board Schools. 
Mr. Stitt was oppos-ed by a Conservative, and appealed to the 
Catholics of Holy Cross to support his re-election. This they 
emphatically refused to do, and, under the leadership of Mr. J. 
Neale Lomaxf and Mr. John Prendiville,| strenuously fought 
for the return of Mr. Stitt s opponent. To do so was to break 
away from a tradition as old as the first election of the reformed 
Town Council, and created consternation in both Liberal and 
Catholic circles. Mr. Stitt was defeated in this stronghold of 

* Member of the Town Council, and father of Mr. Wm. Crosfield, 
Councillor, Select Vestryman, Member of the Dock Board, and ex- 
Member for Lincoln, who died in 1908. 

t A statue of the Sacred Heart in the main avenue, Ford 
Cemetery, marks his last resting place. 

tA well-known tug owner; was a member of the Birkenhead 
Board of Guardians for many years. 



200 

Liberalism by 241 votes ; his defeat being the first proof of the 
political power placed in the hands of Catholics by the passing 
of the household franchise. Mr. Stitt did not improve matters 
by his speech at the close of the poll, when he asked " whether 
" we have the right to think and speak for ourselves ; whether 
" we are to listen to the dictation of that hierarchy whose 
" principal characteristic has ever been the suppression and 
" stifling of public opinion." Mr. Stitt took himself too 
seriously. The hierarchy had never heard of him, and at the 
worst had only asked for Bible teaching, which was the main 
plank in Mr. Stitt s educational platform. Bishop Goss replied 
to the defeated candidate s outburst from the altar of St. 
John s, Fountains Road. After warmly defending the action 
of the Holy Cross parishioners, he went on to say that he 
" always held the doctrine that politics were safely left in the 
" hands of the laity. At the same time, when faith or morals 
" were concerned he held it to be his duty to lay the matter 
" fairly and distinctly before his people, while he still held that 
" either a bishop or a clergyman had a right to use his civil 
"privilege." A bye-election for a seat on the School Board 
caused the Conservatives and Churchmen to nominate Mr. 
L. R. Baily,* the Dissenters nominating the Rev. Dr. Verner 
White. The Bishop for the first time interfered in a local 
election, by asking his people to support the Conservative 
candidate. A fiercely fought contest ensued, out of which Dr. 
White emerged the victor by 1,089 votes. That the Conserva 
tives should be defeated in Liverpool was a great surprise, 
especially with a large body of Catholics at their back. It 
served to show either that the Catholics disregarded the 
Bishop s advice by abstaining from voting, or, that the strong 
current of Protestant feeling swept away the ordinary claims 
of party. The polling shewed that the latter supposition was 
the right one. In Scotland Ward, Mr. Baily polled 2,056 
votes, in Vauxhall 502, Holy Cross parish 786, to name only 
three thickly populated Catholic districts. 

Mr. J. J. Stitt, stung by his defeat at the hands of 
Catholic voters, endeavoured to carry a proposal at the School 
Board to prevent the payment of school fees of children whose 
parents through illness were compelled to seek indoor me dical 
aid from the Guardians. This penal proposal was also to 
apply to orphan children living with relatives. The motion 
was rejected by ten votes to three. The " Catholic Times," in 
commenting upon this debate, made an attack on the 
committee of the Seamen s Orphanage for refusing to make 
provision for the religious training of the orphans of Catholic 

* Defeated Captain O Shea in Exchange Division, 1885 



201 

sailors. It pointed out that the land upon which the 
Orphanage stands had heen presented by the Town Council, 
and that the committee, by their conduct, were turning a 
generous municipal gift into an endowment for the State 
religion. This criticism eventually though not immediately 
secured fair treatment for the orphans of Catholic 
seamen. 

For some time Liverpool had made no move towards 
supporting His Holiness Pius the Ninth in his serious struggle 
to resist the seizure of Rome and the patrimony of Peter. In 
1870 a detachment of Papal Zouaves reached Liverpool and 
were welcomed by the Earl of Denbigh, Chevalier Lloyd, and 
three prominent local Catholic gentlemen Messrs. Lomax, 
Prendiville, and Denvir who entertained them to a public- 
luncheon. One of the number, a young Englishman, named 
Francis Woodwark, was seized with a fatal illness, and the 
Oblate Fathers had him conveyed to the Presbytery of Holy 
Cross, where he was tenderly nursed, but to no avail. The 
Requiem Mass, sung by Father Coopman, O.M.I., was the 
occasion of a great demonstration of respectful sympathy, and 
the Zouave was laid to rest in Anfield Cemetery in the 
presence of his fellow soldiers. 

" The silence of Lancashire," as Father Nugent called it, 
was broken by a demonstration organised by the Catholic 
Young Men s Societies, an organisation for which he had a 
special affection. The Earl of Denbigh presided, and Mr. A. 
M. Sullivan, M.P., editor of the historic weekly, "The 
" Nation," stated the case for the Temporal Power of the 
Pope. " The Pope has had in Rome one great attribute, the 
want of which Europe has felt, is feeling, and will still more 
deeply feel. The Papacy had a mediative and arbitrative 
character. What princes among themselves will ever agree 
to be a president in a family of kings ? Such a man was the 
* Pope in history, such he must be if chaos and anarchy are 
not to succeed." 

On the 26th February, 1871, Alderman Richard Sheil 
passed away at the ripe age of eighty years. For fifty years 
he had been a prominent figure in every Catholic movement. 
Born in Dublin, in 1790, he was a member of the same family 
which gave to Ireland the brilliant writer and M.P., Richard 
Lalor Sheil. After spending many years of his life in Hayti, 
Mr. Sheil came to Liverpool, and carried on large business 
with great success. No Catholic movement was complete 
without his presence, whilst his interest in public matters was 
so intense that the Tory Corporation paid him the compliment 
of naming one of its public parks with his surname. One of 



202 

the first three Catholic councillors, the first Catholic alderman, 
he had the unique honour of being the first to re-enter the 
Council and again become the only Catholic alderman. Dark 
complexioned, he looked like a Spanish monk, and his mer 
chant friends used to say of him that he had missed his 
vocation. His warm Irish temperament and mellifluous 
brogue made him a host of friends in all parties which he with 
kindly wisdom turned to account for the benefit of his 
co-religionists. Indeed, had he so desired even a Conservative 
majority would have elected him to the honourable position 
of the Chief Magistracy. To do honour to his memory, and 
as an acknowledgement of his signal services to the Church, 
the Vicar-General sang the Requiem Mass in the absence 
through illness of the Bishop. His mortal remains were 
interred in Anfield Cemetery. 

In addition to his multifarious works, Father Nugent 
added that of the crusade against intemperance. Branches 
of the new " League of the Cross " were established at almost 
every mission; weekly meetings held in various parts of the 
town, which were addressed at length by the " second Father 
" Mathew," as he was termed, and as an antidote to the 
public house in the slums, the weekly concerts were begun 
which have since become a feature of social work among all 
sections of Liverpool reformers. As an evidence of the 
deadly results of intemperance, the School Board in the 
second year of its existence addressed a memorial to the 
magistrates pointing out that 25,000 children were attending 
school irregularly as the result of excessive drinking on the 
part of the parents. Father Nugent, to the hour of his 
death, always regarded the temperance crusade as the 
greatest work of his life, and as the most successful in its 
results 1 . 

As far back as the early fifties the Medical Officer of 
Health had suggested the provision of a mortuary chapel on 
moral and sanitary grounds. The epidemic of 1865 induced 
a Protestant gentleman, named Robert Hutchinson, to make 
the generous offer of providing such a chapel in a poor 
Catholic neighbourhood. The first stone of All Souls, 
Collingwood Street, was laid on December llth, 1866, but 
after contributing 2,825, the generous donor became 
involved in serious- financial complications and the work was 
stopped. Some time later a special subscription was made 
to complete the work, to which the Earl of Derby, Mr. 
William Rathbone, Mr. S. G. Rathbone, Messrs. Lamport 
and Holt, and D. and C. Maciver contributed one hundred 
pounds each. This timely assistance enabled the Catholic 



203 

authorities to complete the church, which was opened by 
the Vicar-General, Dr. Fisher, on St. Patrick s day, 1872. 
Father T. Hogan was appointed Rector. In June, Father 
John Nugent was appointed to found a new mission " between 
" Kirkdale, Ford and Gillmoss." A Protestant gentleman, 
named Mr. C. Harvey, placed an out-building in Rice Lane 
at his disposal, which was duly opened for Divine Service, 
on October 20th, 1872, again by the Vicar-General, the 
Bishop having passed away to his eternal reward seventeen 
days before. A temporary school had been provided in 
Raymond Street, to provide accommodation for the new 
parish of St. Sylvester s; new schools for St. Peter s parish, 
to be erected in Gilbert Street, were on the point of 
completion; St. Patrick s new schools were opened on April 
2nd, 1872 ; and in May an old chapel was fitted up to serve 
as an addition to the school accommodation. From a letter 
written to the " Catholic Times," January 7th, 1871, by 
Father Moses Doon, we learn that a dissenting chapel in 
Claremont Grove had been purchased for the purposes of a 
temporary Catholic chapel, and he publicly thanked Dean 
Kelly, Boo tie, for generously providing him with an altar. 
The chapel, under the title of St. John, was opened on the 
12th February, 1871, when the Vicar-General preached the 
first sermon. 

The flow of the Catholic population northwards from 
the centre of the town, was shewn by the provision of this 
church and that of the Blessed Sacrament at Walton, just 
as the erection of St. Michael s and the new schools at St. 
Oswald s testified to the extensions eastwards. Such develop 
ments seemed to indicate a great and growing increase 
in the number of Catholics in the town, but the many 
circumstances already alluded to in the condition of the 
people did not make the picture quite so rosy as would 
appear at first sight. One of the last sermons delivered by 
the Bishop in his usual outspoken manner indicated that he 
was under no delusions as to the real character of this 
apparent progress. " There are " he said, " from 150,000 to 
" 200,000 Catholics in Liverpool, and only 50,000 went to 
" Mass. His opinion was that, as Catholics, they were growing 
" up into a vast population nominally, but that they were 
"growing up forgetful of their duties."* The figures given 
by Father Gibson as to performance of the Easter duty of 
approaching the sacraments bore out the Bishop s statement. 

In Liverpool the average attendance at Mass on Sunday 
mornings was only 51,270; the numbers observing the law 

* Sermon at St. Bridget s, January 14, 1872. The present 
figures (1910) are : Population 135,000 ; attendance at Mass 68,000. 



204 

of approaching the Sacraments at Easter or thereabouts 
amounting only to 42,354. Contrast this with the figures for 
Preston and Wigan. The numbers attending the Sunday 
Mass were 14,671 in Preston and 5,602 in Wigan. but the 
numbers performing the Easter obligation are the important 
feature as compared with Liverpool; 13,334 in Preston, and 
5,718 in Wigan. In the other portions of the diocese 38,029 
attended Mass, and 35,751 received the Sacraments.*" 
Demoralisation had set in twenty years before, hence the 
serious statement of the Bishop that Liverpool was rapidly 
reaching a stage of nominal Catholicism. The pity is that 
compulsory attendance at school had not been the law in 
1850, instead of 1870, else a different set of figures had been 
the result. 

It is not without its significance that in October, 1859, 
the Bishop had stated that " not from surmise but from 
" actual computation " 50,000 then heard Mass on Sundays. 
In twelve years there had been no increase. 

On October the 3rd, 1872, Dr. Goss, who had been ailing 
for some years, passed away suddenly, in his fifty-eighth year.f 
Born in Ormskirk, the son of a Protestant father, he shewed at 
an early age the signs of his vocation for the priesthood. 
Educated at Ushaw and Rome, he became a professor and 
vice-president at St. Edward s College, Liverpool, of which, 
with Monsignor Provost John Henry Fisher, J he was one 
of the founders. His life was of the most simple character. 
At no time had he an income of five hundred pounds per 
annum. The great work of his life was the provision of schools 
for the children of the diocese, especially during the last two 
years of his life, when he made a herculean and successful 
effort to provide new schools to meet the requirements of the 
new Education Act. "We will not cease while there is a 
" single Catholic child, not alone in Liverpool, but in the 
" whole of the diocese, that has not a good Catholic school 
" near at hand." No more fitting epitaph could be inscribed 
on his tomb in Ford cemetery than this loving declaration of 
his keen interest in the children of his diocese. Archdeacon 
Manning, preaching at the Requiem Mass, said of him that 
some of his natural traits were solidarity of character, a 
masculine simplicity and openness of heart which was 

* December 18, 1871. 

fA boy sent in haste to summon the Bishop s friend, Father Ray, 
was homas Whiteside, who 22 years later became the fourth Bishop 
of Liverpool. 

J Born in Manchester, on the site of the present Town Hall. He 
was a schoolfellow of Dr. Ryle, first Protestant Bishop of Liverpool. 
Ushaw Magazine, 1895. 



205 

exhibited in his face, and a calm, deep, manly speech, which 
displayed at once the character and inward spirit of his 
mind. He had known how Dr. Goss was sometimes strong 
and resolute, almost to vehemence, in decisions which he 
thought truth or justice required, but no man was more for 
bearing, more considerate or more equitable to others, or more 
ready in balancing justice, to change his conclusions when 
facts or reason could be adduced against him. " I do not 
know that I was ever more impressed than in reading a 
1 few simple words, which he once spoke in a time of great 
disorder a time, it may be, of great danger from the 
very place, it may be, from which 1 speak so long as my 
hand can hold my pastoral staff, so long as my voice can 
ring, I will never cease to denounce the evil. The future 
Cardinal Archbishop had twelve years earlier paid Bishop 
Goss a high compliment. Referring to the long drawn out 
dispute over Oscott,* and the constant appeals to Rome which 
vexed the soul of Cardinal Wiseman, Provost Manning, as 
he then was, wrote to the Cardinal on hearing of the visit 
to Rome of Bishops Clifford and Brown (Shrewsbury), " I do 
" not think that the two who are going are formidable after 
" Dr. Errington and Dr. Goss." The panegyric of the Arch 
bishop of Westminster, shews how much his opinion of the 
dead Bishop of Liverpool had changed as the result of a 
closer and fuller knowledge, as he had once written of him 
during the time of the Oscott dispute, " Goss with his usual 
" rough violence the crozier, hook and point." 

The closing years of his life were somewhat embittered 
by the prolonged litigation over the will of Samuel Holland 
Moreton, and the attacks of the " Liverpool Courier " on the 
Vicar-General, Monsignor Fisher, who drew up the disputed 
document. Moreton, to whom some reference has already 
been made in these pages, became possessed, on August 19th, 
1854, of certain rights in the Hundred of Wirral, formerly 
held by a Mr. Samuel Spencer. Incredible as it may appear 
to the present generation, these " rights " included a claim 
to administer justice, summon jurors, fine certain offenders, 
decide points of law, order payment of debts, levy distresses, 
etc., and for a thousand years previously private individuals 
had so acted. In pursuance of these rights he seized the 
Manor House, Thornton Hough, and claimed the foreshore of 
the Mersey on the Cheshire side, which claim was successfully 
resisted by the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board some years 
later. 

* See Mr. Wilfrid Ward s "Life of Cardinal Wiseman." 



206 

In March, 1869, he was seized with a fatal illness at his 
residence in Islington Flags. Bishop Goss, owing to severe 
illness, was- not able to attend him, whereupon the Vicar- 
General, Dr. Fisher, proceeded to the bedside of the dying 
man. Moreton requested Dr. Fisher to write out a will in 
words which he dictated, leaving all his property to the 
Bishop, and refused to listen to the suggestion that Messrs. 
John Yates, Edward Whitley,* or Mr. Bateson, should be 
sent for to frame his last testament in proper form. Moreton 
declared that the lawyers had ruined him, and were the 
" scrapings of hell," and that he had no intention of allowing 
his property to fall into the hands of his wife s relations. 

Next day, Dr. Fisher dictated a form of will to his 
brother, Father Fisher, using a formula from a standard work, 
" Jarman on Wills." An urgent messenger arrived at St. 
Edward s College on that day, requesting the immediate 
presence of Dr. Fisher, who, proceeding to Mr. Moreton s 
residence, shewed the written will to the sick man who signed 
it, the witness being a Protestant servant. f 

Mrs. Moreton, who appears to have lived at Thornton 
Hough, arrived, and was informed by Canon Fisher of her 
husband s decision. No allowance for her was specifically 
set forth in the will, Moreton acting on hisi declaration made 
years before that Dr. Goss could give Mrs. Moreton whatever 
he liked. Five years before he had told Canon Fisher that 
he intended to make the Bishop his sole legatee, and in 1868, 
made the same statement to his own clerk and collector of 
rents. 

Mr. Moreton was buried in the churchyard of Neston 
Catholic Chapel. 

On April 9th, 1869, the Liverpool organ of Protestant 
ascendancy, the " Courier," devoted a column and a half to 
an attack on Bishop Gross alleging that the will was not a 
genuine one. Moreton " made a will, or rather, as rumour 
" puts it, had a will made for him, in which the whole of his 
" extensive property goes to the Church of Rome, in the 
" person of her chief representative here, Dr. Goss, the titular 
" Bishop of Liverpool." ..." The days of clerical judge- 
" ships in England are, we presume, past ; otherwise, should 
" Dr. Goss be entitled to exercise the unfamiliar but 
" presumably tremendous powers of his Lordship (of the 
" Hundred of Wirral) we might anticipate that one of the 
" first and most welcome of his judicial acts would be to harass 
" and oppress arch heretics like ourselves, should we ever 

* A well-known solicitor, Mayor, and M.P. for Everton. 
t See "Courier," June, 1870. 



207 

" come within his clutches, for the unpardonable sin of 
" shewing the public how the Church of Rome still endeavours 
" to enrich herself out of deathbed patients." 

The spectacle of a Catholic Bishop in possession of the 
rights of the Wirral Hundred Lordship was too terrifying for 
the nerves of the Tory editor. 

Mrs. Moreton engaged the services of the distinguished 
Irish barrister, Andrew Commins, LL.D.,* to secure a sub 
stantial annual allowance. On this becoming known, the 
" Courier " proceeded forthwith to fan the flames of anti- 
Catholic feeling, by insinuating that " the worldly wisdom 
" which characterises Roman Catholic policy," would secure 
" a quiet arrangement" with Mrs. Moreton. 

It also gave prominence to a wild story that the parish 
priest of Neston had given credence to a statement of his 
servant that the ghost of the deceased had been wandering 
about the lanes of Wirral, declaring to all and sundry that it 
could not rest unless Mrs. Moreton acquiesced in the " quiet 
" arrangement/ 

Notices were served in the name of Bishop Goss on all 
the tenants of the estate, notifying the change of ownership, 
whereupon a caveat was entered by Mrs. Moreton, and to 
complicate the whole situation, a man named Hill was found 
just in time to prevent the will being proved, who declared 
he was the heir-at-law. The Duchy of Lancaster also put in 
an appearance, and in June, 1870, Lord Penzance, after a 
trial which lasted four days, decided that Moreton was 
incapable of making a will, with costs against the Bishop, f 

Dr. Goss was laid aside by a complete breakdown in 
health, and at the time of the trial was undergoing treatment 
in Carlsbad. The " Courier " broke out in a fierce attack on 
the Bishop. " It shews the devices by which the Roman 
" Catholic Church acquires its vast possessions, and the tactics 
c< of the ready instruments 1 by whom the wealth is gathered. 
" The compilation of the will can only be referred to an 
" unscrupulous spirit of aggrandisement on the part, not of 
individuals, but of the Roman Catholic Church. "| 

* Ex-M.P. for S.E. Cork and Eoscommon, Alderman of the 
City Council. 

f Mr. Charles Russell, afterwards Lord Chief Justice, was junior 
counsel for Bishop Goss. 
J The value of the estate was computed at from 35,000 to 60,000. 



208 



CHAPTER IX. 

The selection of a successor to the late Bishop was, in 
the peculiar circumstances of Liverpool, a task of no little 
diiliculty. Two remarkable editorial articles appeared in the 
" Catholic Times," written by Father Nugent, at a moment 
when rumour was busy speculating as to the likely appoint 
ment of one prominent ecclesiastic, Monsignor J. H. Fisher, a 
life long friend of Dr. Goss. On November 2nd, 1872, these 
words appeared : " The See of Liverpool is the centre of 
" Catholic life and action in England. Its judicious and 
" vigorous administration is more important to the progress 
" of the Catholic Church in this country than even the 
" Metropolitan See of Westminster. There is a Catholic 
" power and spirit in Lancashire, a union of classes, a 
" numerical strength, which a man of judgment and ability 
" could direct beyond all other dioceses in England. Here 
" there is a landed gentry, a large and intelligent body of 
" commercial men, an energetic middle class of tradesmen and 
11 farmers, and, more than all, the overwhelming numbers of 
the working classes. . . Here is a position which requires 
no ordinary man, but a prelate gifted with piety, self- 
sacrifice and knowledge ; a man with a large grasp of mind, 
familiar with the difficulties and trials which beset a priest s 
life, having the singular ability to rule ; but wielding the 
{ crosier with a firm hand and a gentle heart. A bishop to 
fill so important a position, must be a man of large views, a 
representative of no particular section of the clergy, but 
one who will gather round him the multiplied strength of 
the Church s power, and be the same to the regular as to 
the secular clergy." The powerful position of the Liverpool 
diocese was not at all exaggerated, and the temperate tone of 
the article deserved a better recognition than it received. 
When the news reached Liverpool in February, 1873, that 
Canon Bernard O Reilly had been appointed, Father Nugent 
penned these words in his newspaper : " The important 
" position which the diocese of Liverpool holds in the Catholic 
" world in England ; the fact that the town itself is the strong- 
" hold of Catholicity ; the goodwill and growing disposition of 
" public bodies to do fuller justice to Catholics than was done 
" in past times ; and the immense responsibility resting on the 
" shoulders of the leading prelate, might induce some of our 
" fellow Catholics to desire the appointment of a man of 



209 

" more striking brilliancy, and of larger experience in dealing 
" with public questions, or of one whose practical knowledge 
" of Church affairs abroad was more personal and more inti- 
" mate; but on these heads we experience but little fear for 
" Dr. O Reilly, as we feel that his sterling piety and his 
; innate good sense will supply any such deficiency." On the 
22nd of March, this final comment appeared: "Dr. O Reilly 
" has been essentially a working parish priest; his career has 
" been one of homely and modest usefulness ; he has not come 
" out into the glare of public life, or sought to bask in the 
" sympathising smiles of those who love to appreciate public 
" merit ; and for these reasons it would be almost impossible 
" for us to bring his numerous meritorious actions prominently 
" before those who are unacquainted with him save by name. 
" But from what we know of him we can foretell a most useful 
" and solid episcopal career. We do not expect a brilliancy, 
" or that energy and vigour of thought, habit and language, 
" which distinctly marked his lamented predecessor ; but we 
" do expect, and we know we shall find, a calm, peaceful sway, 
" devoid of external excitement, or political or social conflicts ; 
" a rule that will be firm in conception, and yet mild and 
" temperate in action, a consideration for the wants and 
" feelings of his flock that will compel him to act for their 
" best interests, and a steadfast effort to support the exertions 
" of his clergy in all that they have to undertake for the benefit 
" not only of their particular congregations but the Catholic 
" community at large." These editorials created an estrange 
ment between the newly-appointed Bishop and their author 
which lasted for a very considerable period. 

The new Bishop was not anxious to bear the burthen, 
and according to his biography in the Ushaw Magazine, 
written by Father John Kelly, he hurried to the Bishop of 
Beverley to consult him as to the best means of escaping the 
responsibility. 

On the feast of his favourite saint, March 19th, 1873, and 
in his own beloved church of St. Vincent de Paul, Canon 
O Reilly was consecrated Bishop of Liverpool. Archbishop 
Manning, the Bishops of Nottingham, Birmingham, Ply 
mouth, Beverley, Hexham, and Shrewsbury were present, 
whilst Ireland welcomed another Irishman to the episcopate, 
by the presence of Dr. Nulty, Bishop of Meath, and Dr. 
Dorrian, Down and Connor. On the same occasion Father 
Roger Bede Vaughan, was 1 consecrated coadjutor to the 
Archbishop of Sydney, Dr. Folding, O.S.B 

At the dinner of the Catholic Club held a few days later 
the new Bishop laid down the lines upon which he intended to 



210 

act with regard to interference in political matters : " He was 
" told ho was a Liberal, and that recent events in connection 
" with education had made him a Tory. He was in his 
" politics simply a Catholic, and if he had a leaning towards 
" Liberalism, he must have had his views more or less 
" modified by a recent course of events, and he believed that 
" that was the position of all Catholics. They were ready to 
" throw every party to the winds, and to assume simply the 
" name of Catholics." These remarks, delivered in a club 
traditionally Liberal, of which every member was, and had 
been, hard workers for the Liberal cause, marked the serious 
cleavage in the Catholic body consequent on the passing of 
Forster s Education Act. The ties which bound the Liberals 
and Catholics of the town had been unloosened. Whatever 
the Bishop s opinions were on political questions he never 
thrust them on his flock during his reign of twenty-one years, 
and in this he followed the sage advice of the experienced 
Archbishop of Westminster, Dr. Manning. In the northern 
portion of his diocese he had now to rule over the faithful 
Catholic people of the Fylde, who had clung to the ancient 
faith with as much tenacity as the Irish who lived in the 
south-western district. No doubt, in 1873, the northern 
Catholics were Conservatives, with but a few and striking 
exceptions. The Bishop had expressed the opinion that all 
Catholics were prepared to throw every party to the winds 
and remain simply Catholic. In this he was somewhat under 
rating the striking developments among his own countrymen 
who were preparing to act on that policy for the sake of 
Ireland. The result of the Fenian movement had been to 
create a militant Nationalist spirit on the part even of those 
Irishmen who disliked the secret methods of the Irish Repub 
lican Brotherhood. To distrust all English political parties, 
and rely upon themselves, was the mainspring of Irish 
political action until Mr. Gladstone s Home Rule Bill of 1886 
united them once again in Liverpool to their ancient allies. 
The Home Rule movement, under Butt, may be said to have 
had its origin in Liverpool, where later on Parnell was 
selected as the president of the Irish organisation. Had not 
Dr. O Reilly displayed his " innate good sense " by keeping 
rigidly aloof from politics of all kinds, it is with his own 
countrymen he would have come into collision. After the 
bitter controversies of forty years originated by the McNeills, 
Taylors, and Yerner Whites, the ten years press and platform 
onslaught on the Papacy and the Temporal Power, the 
irritation of a large Irish section because of the late Bishop s 
prohibition of the Manchester Martyrs procession, and a 
slowly growing tolerance on the part of the local 



211 

authorities, Liverpool needed a prolonged rest from either 
episcopal or clerical interference in political or religious 
controversies. Dr. O Reilly realised this necessity, and 
devoted the whole of his energies to his episcopal duties, the 
provision of churches and schools and the establishment of a 
diocesan seminary. A few months after his consecration a 
parliamentary vacancy occurred in Liverpool, consequent upon 
the death of Mr. S. R. Graves. The Liberals selected Mr. 
W. S. Caine, who had been defeated in 1868, and the Home 
Rule Association brought out Andrew Commins, Doctor of 
Laws, the scholarly, cultured leader of the newly-formed 
Irish Organisation. As there were some twelve thousand 
Irish electors on the register, the election of Mr. Caine was 
impossible in a three-cornered contest. To complicate the 
issues, the Rev. Mr. Verner White, imitating the example of 
McNeill, resolved to turn the election into a Protestant-versus- 
Catholic fight, and fearing the defection of the Orange voters, 
Mr. John Torr, the Conservative candidate, was forced to 
declare that he would vote for the refusal of any Parliamen 
tary, School Board, or Parochial grants, to educate any 
Roman Catholic in workhouses, parish schools, or prisons, in 
his faith, or pay any stipend to a Catholic Chaplain. The 
Home Rule Association, which was simply concerned with 
the one object of forcing to the front the solution of the 
Irish question, having interviewed the Liberal candidate, 
withdrew Dr. Commins, and strove with might and main to 
defeat Mr. John Torr, who won the fight by 1912 votes. 
What struck all parties as the serious side of the contest, 
was that Mr. Caine only received 16,790 votes, thus proving 
that the Irish electorate considerably outnumbered the 
Liberal voting strength. Having demonstrated their power 
the Irish party took up a more aggressive attitude the 
following year at the general election. The minority seat 
was held by Mr. William Rathbone, who was again 
nominated with Caine to fight the Liberal battle. In the 
Catholic Club dissensions broke out, as the result of the pro 
posal of the younger Irish members that a Catholic candidate 
should be brought out. It was urged that eleven or twelve 
thousand votes would secure the third seat, and the authors 
cf the proposal were quite indifferent as to the almost certain 
result of defeating Mr. Rathbone. 

The issues were again complicated by the extreme wing 
of the Liberal party demanding from Rathbone and Caine 
a pledge to vote for the repeal of clause twenty-five of the 
Education Act. This section was the only protection Catholic 
parents enjoyed against being forced to send their children 
to Board Schools, and the Nonconformist attitude towards 



212 

Mr. Rathbone on this 1 point justified the action of the Home 
Rule Association in demanding pledges on the question of 
local government for Ireland. 

A state of confusion arose from these complications 
which threatened to bring in its train an overwhelming defeat 
of the Liberal party. The " Daily Post," in a leading article 
of January 26th, 1874, declared emphatically that the Liberal 
party " could not even hope to win the second seat, and looked 
" with great anxiety to the decision of the Irish party/ 

Mr. Rathbone, while favouring, as a matter of principle, 
the repeal of clause twenty-five of the Education Act, could 
not vote for its " absolute repeal " unless provision were made 
to give parents a choice of schools, but Mr. W. S. Game s 
attitude was much more aggressive. 

On January the twenty-seventh, the Catholic Club met 
to receive the report of the deputation which had waited upon 
the Liberal leaders, to discuss the possibility of a Catholic 
standing with Mr. Rathbone for the second seat. It was 
alleged that " great discourtesy " was shewn to the deputation 
by many leading Liberals, and, as the result of a stormy 
discussion, the Catholic Club decided, by 39 votes to 37, to 
nominate their own candidate. The minority were anxious 
to avoid such a serious rupture with the Liberals, especially 
as it involved the defeat of Mr. William Rathbone, and urged 
that the small majority of two, justified further consideration 
being given to the matter. It was then agreed to interview 
both Liberal candidates as to their attitude towards the 
demands put forward by the extreme Nonconformists. 
Messrs. Yates, Whitty, Browne and Martin Rankin com 
posed the deputation, and presented their report to a special 
meeting on January 29th; Mr. C. J. Corbally presided. 
A motion was proposed to support both candidates, but a 
strong feeling prevailed that the answers to the deputation 
were ambiguous, and an amendment was proposed in these 
terms : " that in view of the arbitrary and precipitate conduct 
" of the Liberal Association, the meeting was not justified in 
" recommending the Catholic electors to take any particular 
" course." This suggestion was adopted by forty votes to 
twenty-one. Messrs. Yates and Whitty did not regard them 
selves as in any way bound by this vote, and issued a 
manifesto to the Catholic electors in favour of the Liberal 
candidates. The next night, Messrs. Bid will, Corbally, 
Browne, Cullen, Rankin, and Prendiville, appeared on the 
Liberal platform. All these gentlemen, save Mr. John 
Yates, were Irishmen, and their action was regarded as a 
direct challenge to the rising school of Irish Nationalists, who 



213 

were more anxious to raise the Home Rule issue at this 
election than to have the contest fought around the problema 
tical amendment of a clause in the Education Act of Mr. 
W. E. Forster. The ultra-Catholic members of the Club had 
joined hands with the latter in refusing to support the 
Liberal candidates. The Home Rule Association then met, 
and were addressed by Mr. John Ferguson of Glasgow,* Mr. 
John Denvir, and Mr. Alfred Crilly.f It was decided to 
invite Mr. James Samuelson to stand as the Liberal Home 
Rule candidate. This gentleman had, however, accepted an 
invitation to contest the Borough of Birkenhead in the 
Liberal interest, and was therefore unable to comply with 
the request of the Irish Home Rulers. His selection would 
have given the Liberal party a splendid chance of 
winning the two majority seats. Liverpool was then a three- 
membered constituency, and each elector was only permitted 
by the law to vote for two candidates, an arrangement which 
secured one seat for the minority. Mr. W. S. Caine, annoyed 
at the attitude of the " Catholic Times," which had strongly 
recommended the adoption of a Catholic candidate, a policy 
which he attributed to Father Nugent, made an ungracious 
attack on its owner for having attended a meeting to honour 
the new mayor, Mr. A. B. Walker. Mr. Caine contrasted 
Father Nugent ; s action at the Town Hall with the tem 
perance demonstration held the next night, when Archbishop 
Manning attended to give his blessing to the League of the 
Cross, Father Nugent s new organisation. This did not make 
for Mr. Caine s success at the poll. Mr. Samuelson, J on the 
other hand, would have had the undivided support of both 
Irishmen and Catholics. The Home Rule Association issued 
an appeal to their supporters to abstain from taking any 
part in the election, a policy which secured the defeat of Mr. 
Caine. In Scotland Ward, only sixty-three per cent, of the 
Irish electors went to the poll for Rathbone and Caine, the 
remainder abstaining in obedience to the Home Rulers. Still 
more serious results 1 flowed from this contest. The Catholic 
Club held a meeting at which the conduct of those members 
who had refused to abide by its decision was brought under 

* Of the firm of Cameron and Ferguson, publishers ; a Protestant 
Nationalist, and a leading member of the Glasgow City Council until 
hia death a few years ago. 

fA prominent figure in Irish politics in Liverpool. Held the 
post of secretary to the Financial Reform Association. A witty, 
eloquent, and genial Irishman. 

| He was the brother of Alderman Bernard Samuelson. In 
November, 1885, he stood for the Kirkdale Division, when Mr. John 
Redmond, now leader of the Irish Party, stood in the Nationalist 
interest. 



214 

review. These gentlemen then joined officially the Liberal 
organisation, leaving the field free for Irish Nationalists to 
direct the Irish vote, and putting an end to Catholic organisa 
tions as such during the episcopate of Bishop O Reilly. The 
previous November, Mr. J. Neale Lomax went to the poll 
at a School Board election, when Mr. James Fairhurst gained 
a seat, as a protest against the policy of the Catholic Club. 
It was clear that a cleavage had taken place in the Catholic 
leadership, and the Catholic Club gradually ceased to possess 
any political influence in the town. The division in the 
Catholic ranks manifested itself even more openly on two 
occasions in quick succession. In February, 1874, Messrs. 
Booth and Hakes, at the School Board, proposed that no 
school fees should be paid in necessitous cases if the children 
attended a denominational school. Dr. Hakes was a member 
of the Evangelical Church party, and knew that from the 
establishment of the School Board, the Church schools had 
received one thousand and seven pounds, and the Catholic 
schools during the same period six hundred and thirty-three 
pounds. His proposal occupied two full days discussion, in 
the course of which he laid it down as his conviction that, 
" Roman Catholics were instructed in such a way as only to fit 
"them for gaols or workhouses." The motion was defeated 
by a combination of all parties, one of the majority being 
Dr. Cross of Islington. This gentleman was invited to stand 
for St. Anne s Ward, in the Conservative interest, in. the 
month of March, whereupon Mr. Joseph Ball called upon the 
Orange electors to vote for the Liberal candidate. 

Victory for the latter seemed certain when the great bulk 
of the Catholic electors upset all calculations by voting for 
Dr. Cross, who secured an easy victory. A week later, April 
8th, 1874, the Liberal party retaliated. Mr. John Pren 
diville was nominated for a seat on the Select Vestry, along 
with Mr. Charles Doherty, a retiring Catholic member. The 
extreme wing of the Liberal party, not satisfied with the 
voting at St. Nicholas 1 vestry, demanded a poll for the 
purpose of defeating both candidates. The leaders took up 
the attitude that as the churchwardens list included Mr. 
Doherty, the Liberal voters be urged to support him. The 
poll was opened on April 8th, and continued day by day, 
until the same day in May, when, seeing no hope of ultimate 
success, Mr. Prendiville withdrew after receiving 10,191 
votes from 8,661 electors. The one cry of the dissentient 
Liberals was, " who voted against Mr. J. J. Stitt? John 
" Prendiville !" an effective reference to the Exchange Ward 
contest of 1871. On the other hand the Irish leaders who 



215 

had counselled abstention at the parliamentary elections, a 
policy which Mr. Prendiville defied, were very lukewarm in 
his support as the poll shewed. That a combination of 
Tories, Liberals, and angry Nationalists should secure the 
defeat of an excellent Catholic gentleman was to be regretted, 
but the one lesson to be drawn from this unfortunate contest 
and the St. Anne s Ward election, was that Liberal Irishmen, 
like Mr. James Whitty and Mr. C. J. Corbally, could no 
longer direct the Irish vote, and that even Mr. John Yates 
had ceased to be a political factor of importance. The Liberal 
Catholic had had his day. The future lay with the Irish 
Nationalist, then preparing to take an important part in the 
public life of Liverpool. In October, 18/5, the Irish party 
took the field openly against all comers, by boldly nominating 
Mr. Laurence Connolly for Scotland Ward, against the 
retiring Liberal, Mr. William Williams. To challenge the 
claim of a friendly Home Rule Liberal to represent an Irish 
ward, especially when his personal and political record was 
spotless, and one who was backed by the Rector of St. 
Anthony s, was a rude awakening to the moderate Irishman, 
and a warning to both political parties. The " Catholic 
" Times backed Mr. Connolly s candidature, and taunted 
the Catholic Club with " fondly supposing itself to govern 
" Catholic opinion in Liverpool. In his election address, 
Mr. Connolly declared himself a Home Ruler pure and 
simple, and expressed the opinion that the liquor trade 
ought to be placed " on a more satisfactory basis/ He 
advocated Sunday closing of all public houses, and was 
" convinced that much of the crime and drink was due to the 
" impoverished dwellings " of the labouring classes. Dr. 
Alexander Murray Bligh was the chairman of the committee 
which carried on this memorable fight, which terminated in 
an Irish victory by 928 votes. Mr. Connolly retained his 
seat until November, 1886, when his duties as Nationalist 
member for Longford, and the responsibilities of the huge 
fruit business he had built up, compelled him to retire. 

The Liberal party threatened reprisals, not against the 
Nationalists, but with curious inconsistency and ingratitude 
against the Catholic Irishmen who had been their thick and 
thin supporters. Mr. Edward Browne, one of the main sup 
porters of Rathbone and Caine, though officially selected 
again to stand for Pitt Street Ward by the Liberal leaders, 
lost sufficient Liberal support to be defeated by ten votes. 
Sufficient for them that he was both Irish and Catholic, and 
therefore united by a double tie to the Nationalist nominee 
for Scotland Ward. 



216 

On August 18th, 1876, Mr. James Whitty passed away. 
Born in Bally teague, Co. Wexford, he began business in 
Bradford, in 1839, as a woollen merchant, removing to Liver- 
poo! in 1846. In Price Street the firm of Whitty and Whelan 
laid the foundations of a prosperous business, and in the 
midst of his many engagements Mr. Whitty found time to 
enter the Select Vestry, where, as has been already related, 
he rendered brilliant service to his fellow Catholics. Later 
on, both in the Town Council and School Board, his keen 
wit and intellectual resource secured many concessions to the 
poor people whom he delighted to represent. His death was 
a severe blow to Catholic interests, and the great demonstra 
tion which accompanied the final obsequies testified to the 
high esteem in which he was held by all sections of the 
community. The monument in Ford cemetery, erected by 
public subscription, bears an inscription which epitomises 
his personal worth and public spirit, " A man of rare talent, 
" persuasive eloquence, and untiring zeal ; these qualities he 
" devoted to the service of the poor of Liverpool, irrespective 
" of creed or country/ A warm-hearted, patriotic Irishman, 
anxious to serve his native land, he was unable, like many of 
his day and generation, to rightly appraise the value to 
Ireland of the new and aggressive policy of the Home Rule 
party. Nevertheless, like John Rosson at an earlier date, he 
stood, during thirty years public service, the leader of the 
Catholic party, the foremost of its defenders, the most 
successful in achievements. The Home Rulers now resolved 
to add another member to the Town Council, and selected 
Mr. Charles MacArdle, a well-known cotton broker, who was 
returned unopposed for Vauxhall Ward, a fact which induced 
Father Nugent, who supported Mr. MacArdle, to comment 
severely on the " impotency of the Catholic Club to grapple 
" with the situation." The Liberal party sought in vain to 
secure a candidate to contest the Home Rule supremacy, 
their last hope being a Liverpool Irishman, who, strange to 
relate, became some years later one of Parnell s lieutenants* 
in Parliament. Mr. MacArdle remained in the Council for 
nine years, and continued to be a member of the School 
Board until the dissolution of that authority on the passing 
of Balfour s Education Act in 1902. f 

In November, 1876, the Irish party resolved on the bolder 
step of ousting the retiring Irish Ciatholic members for 
Vauxhall and Scotland Wards. In the first named ward 
Colonel P. S. Bidwill offered himaelf for re-election. He 

* Mr. Garrett Byrne, 
f Died January, 1906. 



217 

had become very unpopular by publishing on the day 
following the death of Bishop Goss, a private letter on the 
delicate question of the Temporal Power. Such a breach of 
confidence brought down the severest censures from priests 
and people. Dr. Andrew Commins was selected by the Home 
Rule Association to oppose Bidwill, and at a meeting held in 
Oriel Street, presided over by Councillor Charles MacArdle, 
the issue was made clear. Ireland s demand for Home Rule 
must be pressed home on any and every occasion. In Scotland 
Ward, Dr. A. M. Bligh raised the Irish flag against 
Councillor John MacArdle. The " Mercury " devoted a 
special leader* to this interesting development and propheti 
cally warned the electors of the results certain to flow from 
a Home Rule victory in both wards. " Much more than the 
" Municipal elections will depend upon the issue of this 
" struggle. Should the Home Rulers f succeed in electing Dr. 
" Bligh, it will be immediately telegraphed to Ireland and 
" America that the first seaport in the world has chosen Home 
" Rulers for its representation in the local parliament, and 
" an effort will be made immediately to secure a Home Ruler 
" as a minority candidate for the representation of the 
" borough." The priests were hopelessly divided in both 
wards; some supporting the moderate men on the ground of 
past services, some supporting the advanced movement. 
Dr. O Reilly made no sign. The literature issued by the 
Liberal Irishmen reflected grave discredit upon them, while 
they did not scruple to break up the Home Rule meetings by 
brute force. Mr. Philip Smith, J Great Howard Street, 
nominated Colonel Bidwill; Mr. S. B. Guion, the well-known 
shipowner, and Mr. Leicester, the miller, were the 
nominators of Mr. John MacArdle. Dr. Bligh only won 
Scotland Ward by 212 votes, a narrow majority when com 
pared with Mr. Connolly s 928, a year earlier, and Dr. 
Commins defeated Colonel Bidwell by 191 votes. The 
following year Mr. Patrick de Lacy Garton, was nominated 
by the Nationalist party against the retiring Catholic Liberal, 
Mr. James Fairhurst, in Scotland Ward. The latter named 
gentleman had done yeoman service for his co-religionists, 
but was not anxious to fight a contested election. The 
" Mercury " appealed to him to stand again, promising him 
that the full Conservative vote would be recorded in his 
favour, in order to stem the tide of Home Rule successes. 
He declined to divide his co-religionists, and though strenuous 

* Oct. 19, 1879. 

f The "Mercury" editorial wrote the words "Home Rulers" 
with small initial letters " home rulers." 

J Vice-Chainnan of the Select Vestry, 1895. 



218 

efforts were made to secure a Catholic candidate they failed, 
whereupon a Conservative candidate entered the lists, only 
to be defeated by 846 votes. One outstanding difficulty 
remained to be solved; that was the membership for 
Vauxhall Ward of Mr. John Yates. The Home Rule party 
wisely resolved not to oppose his re-election. Had they done 
so they would have lost the moral prestige which had already 
been gained by them, and most certainly the clergy to a man 
would have taken sides with Mr. Yates. It would have been 
difficult for the Bishop to have held his peace in the event of 
Irish opposition to the veteran Catholic leader. Fortunately 
better counsels prevailed, and Mr. Yates held his seat without 
opposition until the ever memorable contest in 1886, when 
even the powerful influence of Mr. Charles Stewart Parnell, 
failed to defeat this fine type of English Catholic Liberal. 

The Home Rule party was now in the ascendant. It 
claimed the sole right to direct the Irish vote, and resolutely 
refused to support any candidate who did not put in the 
forefront of his political programme Ireland s demand for 
self-government. Father Nugent having made some obser 
vations at a public meeting, which were regarded as reflecting 
upon the Home Rule movement in Liverpool, Mr. W. J. 
Oliver, on behalf of the Home Rule Association, demanded 
an immediate explanation or withdrawal. The words which 
gave offence were these : " Some people have taunted me with 
not taking a more prominent and active part in the great 
" Irish questions of the day. Few would dare call in question 
" my deep and long continued interest in the best concerns 
" of the Irish people. But I will never be found in the train 
" of men in whom I have no faith who discuss national 
" questions in public houses, and who desecrate the green flag 
" of our race with excess of drink." Father Nugent did not 
look with a kindly eye on the large number of Irish publicans 
who were taking an active part in the Home Rule movement, 
and it was to them that the above quoted observations were 
addressed. In his reply to the protest of Mr. Oliver, he 
stated that the Home Rule Association was not before his 
mind when he made his speech, nor were his allusions to 
drink levelled against its officers or leaders. He was only too 
ready to acknowledge that Drs. Commins, Bligh and John 
Bligh, Messrs. Denvir, MacArdle and Connolly, were seeking 
to raise the character of the Irish people of the town, both 
by example and by precept. This little controversy shewed 
how jealous the Irish leaders were of the good name of the 
Home Rule Association, and their determination to oppose 
either priest or laymen who sought to discredit the Irish 
movement. 



219 

With the avowed object of putting pronounced Home 
Rulers in every public position, the Irish party interfered in 
both School Board and Poor Law elections, two departments 
of public activity heretofore left entirely in the hands of the 
Catholic clergy and laity. At the Select Vestry elections of 
1879, they nominated Dr. John Bligh against Mr. J. Miles, 
who was a Liberal with strong Irish and Catholic sympathies, 
and kept the poll open for two days. Having secured a 
majority of 380 voters, but not of votes, owing to the then 
law of votes in proportion to rateable value, Dr. Bligh was 
withdrawn. 

At the School Board election of the same year the 
Catholics decided to increase their representation from four 
to five members. Mr. Edward Browne having, to the great 
regret of his co-religionists, withdrawn his name, the Home 
Rulers demanded that Mr. William Madden, solicitor, and 
Mr. Edward Magee, should be accepted. As a compromise 
Dr. John Bligh was proposed by the clergy, and at a meeting 
of representative Catholics, held in St. Nicholas Schools, 
Dr. O Reilly presiding, it was resolved to re-nominate Messrs. 
Segar, Walton and Yates, with the addition of Dr. Bligh and 
Mr. Rowland Wilkinson. As- victory was quite impossible 
without the hearty co-operation of the Home Rulers, the name 
of Mr. Wilkinson was withdrawn a few days before the poll, 
and Dr. Patrick Canavan* substituted. Catholic interests 
were safe in Irish hands, and it was fortunate for both 
sections of Catholics that an open rupture was avoided. 

From every point of view the Bishop s strictly neutral 
position was abundantly justified and helped materially the 
principal objects which he had in mind to be carried out 
successfully. On the day of his consecration there were 121 
churches in the diocese, served by 133 seculars and 88 
regulars. Twenty years later he bequeathed to his successor 
the services of 254 secular priests, 150 regulars, and 161 
churches. The first important act he performed was 
to raise a memorial to his brilliant predecessor. To his 
practical mind statues in marble or memorials in brass might 
be left to more favourable times; no more fitting memento 
could be raised to perpetuate the memory of a bishop, who 
had in the last four years of his life increased the school 
accommodation in Liverpool alone by five thousand places, 
than another building in which to train the little ones he 
loved so dearly. The outcome of the subscription list was 
the Bishop Goss Memorial Schools, attached to the Church of 

* In later years Dr. Canavan removed to Bootle from Great 
George Square, and became a member of the School Board and Town 
Council of that borough. 



220 

St. Joseph. Lady Stapleton Bretherton headed the list of 
subscribers with five hundred pounds; Messrs. Henry 
Sharpies, Francis Reynolds, James Reynolds, Henry Jump, 
John Mercer and D. Gordon Stuart subscribing one hundred 
pounds each. The remainder of the money was obtained by 
the generous offerings of all classes of Catholics anxious to 
do honour to the memory of Bishop Gossi. 

Eleven hundred square yards of land were purchased at 
the heavy initial cost of four thousand pounds ; and the 
school buildings entailed the expenditure of a further six 
thousand pounds. On April 16th, 1877, the schools were 
formally opened by the Vicar-General, Monsignor Fisher, in 
a simple address to the assembled school children, who began 
their school career by reciting the De Profundis for the late 
Bishop. The Brothers of the Christian Schools, and the 
Sisters of Notre Dame, were entrusted with the supervision 
of the new schools. In March, 1876, the adjoining church 
collapsed. Steps were taken immediately to provide a new 
church, and with such success that on the evening of the 15th 
August, the foundation stone was laid by Bishop O Reilly, 
who opened the new church on March 19th, 1878. Father 
Maurice Duggan, rector of the mission for 25 years, retired 
during this year, his successor being Father Robert Bridge, 
afterwards vice-rector of St. Joseph s seminary at Upholland. 

The development of the south end of the town induced 
the Bishop to consider the provision of a new church of Our 
Lady of Mount Carmel, to replace the school chapel which 
afforded accommodation for only fourteen hundred in a 
district containing five thousand Catholics. Dr. O Reilly 
presided at the public meeting held on December 12th, 1875, 
to consider ways and means, and in the course of his address 
paid a high tribute to the Sunday collectors who had gathered 
five thousand pounds in the course of the previous nine years. 
At this gathering he announced his intention of building a 
new church between High Park Street* and St. Anne s, Edge 
Hill, to meet the wants of a rapidly growing population, as 
already the better paid artisan and clerk were migrating from 
the crowded central districts. The new church of Mount 
Carmel was completed in the summer of 1878, and opened by 
the Bishop on July 21st. 

In the extreme north of the town, then outside the 
Municipal boundaries, the Rev. J. P. Nugent, after a severe 
struggle of six years, had the pleasure of seeing the comple 
tion of the new church of the Blessed Sacrament, and its 

NOTE. The Goss Memorial Window in St. Alexander s was unveiled 

on May 7, 1876. 
* The Church of St. Bernard, Kingsley Road. 



221 

opening by the Bishop on June 16th, 1878. On the boundary 
line of Liverpool and Bootle, Dr. O Reilly saw the necessity 
of providing extra Church accommodation, and on November 
3rd, 1878, he opened a temporary chapel, dedicated to Our 
Lady of Perpetual Succour, and served from St. Alexander s. 

Close by, in Kirkdale Road, he purchased a Masonic Hall 
in December, 1877, and on February 3rd, 1878, the mission 
of St. Alphonsus began its career under the guidance of the 
Rev. E. J. Birchall. 

Meanwhile the Bishop, with great heartiness, was 
pushing on the all-important work of building carefully 
planned and well-equipped permanent schools. Father 
O Donovan, rector of St. Bridget s, had undertaken the heavy 
responsibility of building new schools in Limekiln Lane. " I 
"hope you will strain every effort to provide a new school, 
Dr. O Reilly wrote to him at the close of the year 1875. The 
district was a very poor one, inhabited entirely by a 
labouring population, whose scanty earnings ill provided for 
daily needs, but the zealous Irish priest rose superior to 
every obstacle, and on January 7th, 1878, the splendid schools 
of St. Bridget were formally opened by the Vicar-General. 
Few, if any, of the Catholic schools of the town have so high 
a record for efficiency and excellent results, and visitors of 
other creeds, inspectors and educationalists of all classes, have 
related in generous terms their high appreciation of the fine 
work done within the walls of St. Bridget s under the 
direction of Father O Donovan. 

In the same year, Father Pierse Power completed the 
new schools of St. John, which were opened on June 17th, 
1878, by the Vicar-General, in the name of the Bishop who 
had already won the reputation of a builder of churches and 
schools. The Brothers of the Christian Schools were placed 
in charge of the boys departments of both schools, and 
marked their entrance into Liverpool by establishing in 
Shaw Street a male pupil teachers centre, under the 
patronage of the Sacred Heart, on March 1st, 1878. The 
Nuns of Notre Dame, who had charge of the girls and 
infants departments, had gradually forged ahead and lifted 
the Catholic body above and beyond every denomination in 
the land by their extraordinary successes in the Queen s 
Scholarship examinations and the unique results of the 
Training College. In 1872, in face of candidates from every 
corner of the land, Mount Pleasant secured one place in 
the first ten, and thirteen in the first hundred, while in 1875 
and 1878 they won first place, and in the latter year gained 
also the second, sixth and twelfth places. For nine years 



222 

the students of Notre Daine carried off the prizes offered by 
the Liverpool Council of Education to the Liverpool student 
gaining the highest place in the Queen s Scholarship examina 
tion. Such a succession of triumphs astonished non-Catholic 
educationalists, who paid high tribute to the brilliant 
services rendered to elementary education by the Sisters of 
Notre Dame. Dr. O Reilly, visiting the College in December, 
1878, told the Sisters with what satisfaction he was able to 
tell Pope Leo the Thirteenth, in a recent visit to Rome, that 
one thousand trained teachers had been sent out from Mount 
Pleasant since its foundation, and how delighted His 
Holiness was to hear that a Catholic girl had come out first 
in an examination for which 2,000 students had entered. 
The success of Mount Pleasant entailed unpleasant conse 
quences. Mr. Robert Lowe did many stupid acts in his 
capacity as a Liberal Minister, but none more so than his 
foolish attempt to strangle the Training Colleges by the 
introduction of the vicious principle of payment by results. 
Under this regulation the Training Colleges were not paid 
any grants until the trained teacher had been, at intervals 
of one year, inspected at his or her school, and gained 
favourable reports from the Inspectors. Mr. Lowe further 
laid it down that one-fourth of the cost of the student s 
education must be provided by fees and subscriptions. In 
other words, only the well-to-do were to be permitted to enter 
the teaching profession, and this was decreed by a Liberal 
Minister. An entrance fee of five pounds had now to be exacted 
from the successful Queen s Scholar, and the Sisters of Notre 
Dame had to wait two or more years to receive the grant 
which they had so well earned. The first fruits of repressive 
and reactionary regulations were the destruction of the 
Catholic Training College at St. Leonard s-on-Sea, after eight 
years successful working. Mount Pleasant withstood the 
storm, thanks mainly to the wisdom of its gifted Superior, 
Sister Mary Theresa.* She circularised the clergy to engage 
teachers who had been two years in training, and to retain 
them so that the grant might not be lost, and by her 
endeavours a Committee was formed representing the dioceses 
of Liverpool, Salford, Shrewsbury, Beverley and Birming 
ham, to devise ways and means of thwarting the new penal 
regulations. For ten years, thanks to Liberal administra 
tion, Mount Pleasant was the only Catholic girls Training 
College in England, and during that period saved the Catholic 
body from educational shipwreck. 

* Founder of Everton Valley Collegiate School, now one of the 
foremost secondary schools in the country. 



223 

In 1876 the new High School buildings, designed by Mr. 
Edmund Kirby, were completed and opened on January 10th 
of that year, a worthy addition to the buildings already 
provided on the Mount Pleasant site. 

The Government Report for 1877 tells the tale of con 
tinued Catholic progress. In that year the children, 
belonging as they did to the poorest class of the community, 
earned on examination results an average amount of 
14s. IJd. per head, as compared with 14s. 2|d. by the 
wealthy Anglican schools, and 14s. 5d. by the rate endowed 
scholars of the Board Schools. As the aggregate income from 
all sources was only 1 lls. IJd. per head, the brilliant 
successes attained by the Catholics, handicapped as they were 
most severely by this small income, eloquently testifies to 
the self-sacrifices and teaching ability of their teachers, both 
lay and religious.* 

Filled with zeal for the service of the poor, Dr. O Reilly 
introduced the Little Sisters of the Poor into Liverpool, in 
1874. The newcomers began their great work of charity in 
Hope Street, where they provided accommodation for sixty 
inmates, and five years later their progress was such that 
the Bishop blessed the foundation stone of their new home 
in Belmont Road, on April 24th. 

The Little Sisters have saved many hundreds of old 
people from the fate of entering the workhouse, and have 
set an example to Poor Law administrators of how to deal 
with the deserving poor. Inside these homes a refuge has 
been found free from the necessary official restraint, which, 
however well meant, can never be the same as personal service 
given not for salary but for the love of God. There are no 
more familiar figures in the town than the Little Sisters, 
and none more widely respected by the general community. 

The Sisters of Charity opened a new reformatory school 
for girls in May Place, in November, 1876, and when the 
industrial school in Mason Street was condemned by the 
Home Office in 1879, a bazaar was organised, and with the 
proceeds was built the new school at Freshfield. 

The School Board, in the early years of its existence, 
tried a curious experiment to withdraw children from 

* On the death of Sister Mary of St. Philip in 1904, the most 
brilliant of all the Superiors of Mount Pleasant, Sir Francis Sandford, 
secretary of the Education Department, wrote : " She is a woman 
who might fearlessly place her hand even on the helm of State." In 
1899, the late Mr. William Eathbone suggested to the writer that 
Sister Mary should be co-opted on the Technical Instruction 
Committee, which then carried on the work of the Technical Instruction 
Acts. The invitation was conveyed and declined. 



224 

denominational schools, the bait being one penny per week 
school fee. Despite the warnings of many members who 
predicted failure for the experiment, a building was rented 
in Love Lane. Whatever chance a new Board School might 
have in a district where there was an obsolete church school 
with high school fees, there was certainly little chance in 
a Catholic neighbourhood. Father Ross, O.S.B., made up 
his mind to demonstrate to the School Board that Catholic 
children would only attend a Catholic school. The days of 
1832 were past, never to return. 

After a trial of eight months the School Board closed the 
Love Lane building, having spent 1,144 on the experiment, 
receiving only 5 3s. 2d. in school fees. As the editorial in 
the "Daily Post * tersely put the case: " The Roman 
" Catholics of the Love Lane district were not content with 
"not patronising the school. The priest tabooed it; the 
" people stoned it." Nor was Catholic hostility merely 
confined to Board Schools. The Council of Education had 
been previously formed. Its scheme of rewards and scholar 
ships for elementary schools, demanded success in a Scriptural 
examination, as an essential condition. Here, at the very 
outset, shipwreck threatened an organisation which aimed 
at helping the children of all classes, because an examination 
was insisted upon which would effectually exclude all 
Catholics from the benefits of the new scheme. It was not 
that an examination in Scriptural knowledge was objected 
to, but the method of conducting the same. A Town s 
meeting was summoned at the Town Hall, to give the 
Council of Education the seal of approval of the munici 
pality. It was at this gathering that leading Catholics 
protested against the scheme, and refused to give any further 
assistance to the movement unless Catholic children were 
permitted to select an alternative paper. The Town s 
meeting had to be adjourned in consequence. Eventually the 
eloquent advocacy of the Catholic claim by the Rev. Charles 
Beard, minister in charge of the Renshaw Street Unitarian 
Chapel, brought about the desired result, and. one more victory 
for Catholic principles recorded. 

The Liverpool School Board established a new institu 
tion for the correction of boy truants, an experiment of 
much value for the Liverpool of the seventies. Both 
Catholic and Protestant children were committed to the 
Hightown School, and housed in separate buildings. Mr. 
S. G. Rathbone, who was the initiator of this experiment 
and anxious that no religious difficulty should arise to 

* See " Daily Post," May 12, 1874. 



225 

prevent its success, supported the demand of the four 
Catholic members for pure Catholic teaching. The Board 
declined on the ground that the Act of 1870 forbade the 
expenditure of public money on dogmatic teaching. After 
some lengthy debates, the School Board gave permission for 
the use of the Douai Bible, but decided that any Catholic 
prayer books must be provided voluntarily. To permit their 
use was sufficient strain on the School Board conscience, 
without going to the extreme of paying for them. Mr. 
S. G. Rathbone finally set the whole matter right. The 
children were to be given religious instruction separately, 
and allowed out on Sundays to attend Mass, and a Catholic 
master was appointed to supervise them. No Catholic 
pictures or objects of devotion could be exhibited in the 
school room, the bare elementary rights conceded by statute 
were permitted. It may well be doubted whether any man 
but a Rathbone could have prevented vigorous Catholic 
opposition to a project conducted on such lines. The estab 
lishment of Day Industrial Schools by the School Board 
created another religious difficulty. These schools were to 
be mixed like the Hightown Truants Schools, and Bishop 
O Reilly displayed great reluctance in giving sanction to 
Catholic children attending them. Here the Catholic 
members won a substantial victory, supported by a broad- 
minded, sympathetic Home Office Department. The 
provisions for religious teaching; appointment of Catholic 
teachers in proportion to school population; the right of the 
parochial clergy to nominate certain teachers to give religious 
instruction or to give it themselves ; and the selection of the 
superintendent and deputy of each school, from Catholics 
and Protestants alternately, finally induced Bishop O Reilly 
to withdraw his opposition. The whole system has worked 
satisfactorily in Liverpool, though needing the constant 
vigilance of Catholic representatives on the Board, but in 
a large measure the admirable rules of the Home Office are 
responsible for the success of these mixed schools. On the 
side of higher education Catholic Liverpool was progressing 
favourably. In 1876, the Jesuits at St. Francis Xavier s 
erected the new college in Salisbury Street, at a cost of 
30,000, to meet the growing demand of the middle classes 
of Liverpool and vicinity for higher education. In 1853, 
the number of scholars in the old building, on the site of 
the present presbytery, was but twenty-four, increased to 
sixty-one in 1858. At the end of the year 1867, one hundred 
and eighty-seven were enrolled, and when Forster s Act 
revolutionised elementary education, two hundred and sixty 
boys were attending the classical or commercial courses. 



226 

Seven years after the opening of the new building the 
students increased to three hundred and sixty, and by the 
close of the year 1885, four hundred boys were on the rolls. 
When the jubilee of the foundation was celebrated in 1892, 
it was stated that three thousand five hundred students had 
passed through the college, a great number filling important 
positions in the professional life of the town and country. 
Sir Joseph Walton, Judge of the High Court, Mr. Walter 
Whitty,* Mr. William Madden, f are but a few of the 
barristers; Messrs. J. S. Bradley, J. P. McKenna,J H. J. 
Holme, J. A. O Hare, P. E. O Hare, Lynch, Stanna- 
nought, P. C. Kelly,|j Gradwell, McEvoyJ and T. P. 
Maguire, solicitors practising in the city; numerous medical 
men, including Clarke, Callan, Dr. Baxter,** Murphy, 
Mackarel and Rafter, and a host of commercial men, who 
have freely given their services to the public in one capacity 
or another. ft Up to the year 1892, no less than eighty 
students at the College had entered the sacred ministry. Of 
these, quite contrary to popular expectation, only twenty-two 
joined the Society of Jesus, while forty-four became secular 
priests. Five became monks of St. Benedict, three Fran 
ciscans, three Redemptorists, two Oblates of Mary Immaculate, 
and one entered the Dominican order. Monsignor Verdon, 
Bishop of Dunedin, New Zealand, was a former student under 
the Jesuit Fathers. Some of the most brilliant members of the 
Jesuit Society have served at St. Francis Xavier s as rectors 
or on the College staff, and it will be long ere the memory of 
Fathers Sumner, Thomas Porter, George Porter, Harris, 
Donnelly, and Hayes!! will be forgotten by former students 
of the College. The successes of the boys in the Oxford Local 
Examinations, which they entered for the first time in the 
year 1877, have been one long unbroken record of successes. 
Down to the moment of writing the first place among Liver- 

* Son of the late Mr. James Whitty. 
f Served on the School Board and Town Council. 

| Member of the Liverpool School Board. 

Member for Scotland Ward until his death. 

j| Member for Brunswick Ward in the present City Council. 

IT Served three years as member for Low Hill Ward. 
** Member for St. Anne s Ward and Justice of the Peace. Served 
for years on the West Derby Board of Guardians. Mr. George 
Lynskey, LL.B., son of Mr. G. J. Lynskey, City Councillor, who has 
just passed a series of brilliant examinations in the law, is one of the 
latest successful students of the College. 

t f- Councillor Austin Harford, J.P., Liverpool ; and ex-A.lderman 
Walter Cole, Dublin City Council, were students at St. Francis 
Xavier s College. 

H Elected English Assistant to the new Jesuit General. Died in 
Rome, 1906. 



227 

pool students has always been won by St. Francis Xavier s 
boys, and as often as not, in one section or another, they 
have beaten the whole of the boys in every secondary school 
in England.* 

Turning from educational matters, it deserves notice that 
during Bishop O Reilly s episcopate, and under his sage 
counsel great concessions were won from the three Boards of 
Guardians. A vigorous fight was waged to secure the appoint 
ment of a paid chaplain in the case of the Select Vestry, and 
the barest consideration from the Toxteth and West Derby 
Boards, both of which had inherited the worst traditions of 
the Satchells and Bremners of Brownlow Hill. In January, 
1876, Mr. Digby Smith, a Catholic vestryman, withdrew a 
notice of motion for the appointment of a chaplain, on the 
ground that it was useless to persevere further in the matter. 
In face of repeated defeats, it required a considerable amount 
of moral courage to renew the struggle in the Vestry Board 
Room. Mr. William Rathbone had joined the Board a little 
before this date, and publicly expressed his " regret to learn 
" that there was- no chance of carrying Mr. Digby Smith s 
" motion. It had seemed to him as a matter of discipline, it 
" would be better to have the priest an officer of the Parish, 
" and, as a matter of justice, if the richer denomination had 
" a paid chaplain, the poorer were entitled, indeed more 
" entitled." 

Several times during the year 1877, Mr. Cosgrove, a 
Catholic Vestryman, raised the question, and during the 
succeeding three years, Mr. Philip Smith, made the question 
his own. In June, 1880, the nearest approach to victory was 
the voting on Mr. F. J. MacAdam s motion, which was lost 
by eleven votes to ten. Mr. Edmund Kirbyf won the fight 
at the Birkenhead Board by his personality. He had no 
powerful backing of Catholic colleagues and no Rathbone, 
with the prestige of his name and family, to assist him, yet 
he won a notable victory, which was the prelude to the 
victory in Brownlow Hill. Mr. Garrett M. Byrne, a former 
Vestryman, and now a member of that section of the Home 
Rule Members of Parliament which gave its 1 allegiance to the 
Protestant Parnell, called the attention of Her Majesty s 
Government to the excuse offered by the West Derby Board 
of Guardians for rejecting Father Hall s motion ; the excuse 
being that such payments were not legal. Mr. A. M. 

* Out of 42 Senior City Scholarships, tenable at the Liverpool 
University, offered by the Liverpool City Council, since 1904, St. 
Francis Xavier s boys have won 20 ; 9 falling to the Catholic Institute- 
or the Mount Pleasant and Everton Valley girls. 

t The well-known architect, Mr. E. Kirby, F.B.B.I.A. 



228 

Sullivan, M.P. for Heath, also spoke in the debate on the 
intolerant conduct of the Select Vestry and West Derby 
Guardians. He knew Liverpool well, both Catholic and Irish, 
and his speech made a powerful impression on the Liberal 
Ministry, and drew from the President of the Local Govern 
ment Board the important statement that, while the 
appointment of a Catholic chaplain was- not legal, it was 
distinctly proper to appoint a priest or minister of a Dissenting 
body as religious instructor. Mr. Philip Smith, on November 
16th, 1880, renewed the demand, whereupon Mr. Joseph 
Woodcock, the Conservative leader in Brownlow Hill, moved 
as an amendment that the Select Vestry was prepared to 
receive and favourably consider an application for payment 
from persons rendering service to the inmates in the form of 
religious instruction. Mr. Smith shrewdly accepted Mr. 
Woodcock s amendment, and in a few weeks, Father 
O Donnell, who had given thirteen years ungrudging service, 
was appointed religious instructor at a salary of 150; and 
the priest at the Kirkdale schools, on making his application, 
was awarded 75 per annum. The long drawn out fight of 
forty years was at an end. 

The Toxteth Union now called for vigorous action from 
the Catholics of St. Patrick s and Mount Carmel parishes. 
The Catholic vote in both parishes ha,d increased enormously, 
and had secured a large Liberal representation on the Board, 
but was not strong enough to secure direct representation 
owing to the property franchise being left undisturbed. It 
was powerful enough, however, to compel the Guardians to 
take action in the case of a boy named McCourt who, appren 
ticed to a tradesman in a Welsh town, found himself debarred 
from attending Mass. A deputation from the Catholic Club 
waited on the Toxteth Board, and secured a vote in favour of 
compelling the boy s employers to observe the " covenant " he 
had made with the Guardians. It was at this meeting that 
Mr. John Yates, on behalf of Bishop O Reilly, made the 
announcement that it was intended to ask the whole of the 
Guardians of the three Liverpool Boards 1 , to hand over to his 
direct care all the Catholic children in the workhouses, at the 
same cost per child as was borne by the ratepayers. The 
Bishop O Reilly Poor Law School, at Leyfield, West Derby, 
perpetuates the proposals made that day, but which were not 
agreed to during the Bishop s lifetime. The inmates of the 
Toxteth Workhouse were not allowed the privilege of hearing 
Mass within its walls, and had to walk to St. Anne s, Edge 
Hill. Unmindful of the experience of the Select Vestry, the 
dominant party refused to make any concession until Novem- 



229 

ber, 1878, when they were caught napping, as by a majority 
of one vote Catholics secured the use of a room for Divine 
service. The victory was short lived. A fortnight later it 
was rescinded. The Catholics made a com past with the 
Liberal party at the Easter elections of 1879, for the purpose 
of ousting some of the retiring Conservative Guardians. Two 
Catholic candidates were placed on the Liberal list, but, 
though all the Liberals were returned, the two Catholics 
were defeated. Liberal Toxteth did not like Toryism ; neither 
did it relish the prospect of a Catholic sitting in the High 
Park Street Board Room. The Bishop gave his views on this 
extraordinary contest a few days after the polling. " The 
black spot was Toxteth, where Catholics were refused the 
smallest privileges. While the Liberal representatives were 
returned by as many votes as would have sufficed, if dis- 
tributed, to have returned three Catholic candidates, not 
a single one was- elected. The so-called Liberals of Toxteth 
Park were a disgrace to their professions, and he hoped 
Catholics would bear in mind that they could not always 
depend on professions. At the next elections, even if they 
incurred the odium of the Liberals, they should make 
Catholic interests a test of all candidates."* This unex 
pected pronouncement expressed the feeling of every Catholic 
elector who had worked hard to secure the Liberal victory. 
The following year s contests equalised the Liberal and 
Conservative representation, but the two Catholic candidates 
were again defeated. Negotiations were opened between the 
Liberal leaders and the Catholic body, and in 1881, as the 
result of a great and sustained effort, the Conservatives were 
routed. Led by Mr. Edward Paull,f a fine type of sturdy 
Quaker Liberal, the victors, by ten votes to five, not only put 
an end to the intolerant policy of previous Boards, but 
resolved to pay a stipend of seventy-five pounds to a Catholic 
chaplain. Father Edward Goethals, rector of St. Patrick s, 
played an important part in securing this final victory, and 
one of his curates, Father Fanning! became the first chaplain 
to the Smithdown Road Workhouse. 

West Derby now stood alone in obstinate refusal to con 
cede anything to Catholics. It had rejected Father Hall s 
proposals by twenty votes to seven, and on one occasion in 
1880, when the Vicar-General wrote a polite letter informing 
the Board of Father McEntegart s withdrawal from serving 
the Catholic inmates at Walton Workhouse, and expressing 

*" Mercury," April 23, 1879. 

t Councillor for Great George Ward ; Alderman and Justice of 
the Peace. 
J Father Fanning held the position until his death, September 10, 1909. 



230 

the hope that the new nominee would be acceptable, the 
irate Guardians decided " that the letter be utterly dis- 
" regarded." A Catholic Association was founded to 
organise the voters inside the area of the Union, and to 
educate the electors on the merits of the Catholic claim. In 
the two first years of its existence the Association carried 
eight Catholic candidates to the Guardians and the Local 
Board. Many years were still to pass by before West Derby 
hoisted the flag of religious equality. In 1877, a controversy 
broke out in the " Catholic Times " between Father Tobin of 
Chorley, and the chaplain of Kirkdale schools, as to the 
dangers to faith resulting from sending boys to colliery 
districts in north and north-east Lancashire. Father 
Tobin insisted that this policy of the Liverpool Guardians 
meant certain loss of faith, and he quoted his own letters to 
certain employers of labour in his district who would not 
afford facilities 1 to their young Catholic employees to attend 
Mass. Father Bonte admitted the fact. On January 12th, 
1877, he wrote that 150 boys had been " located unfavourably, 
" and have lost or are losing their faith." The decay of the 
spirit of the Catholic Club had brought in its train the 
breaking up of the fine work inaugurated by Father Gibson 
and Mr. J. Neale Lomax, of finding situations for Catholic 
boys in Catholic families or in surroundings which merited 
the approval of the local clergy. Politics had wrecked the 
Catholic Club, especially its adherence to Liberalism, and no 
other organisation had as yet arisen, despite spasmodic 
attempts here and there in the town. The letters of Father 
Tobin aroused the attention of Catholics of all shades of 
opinion ; the Select Vestry itself joining in the work by 
insisting on certain conditions being observed by the 
employers. 

Bishop O Reilly did not lose sight of the main objects of 
the Catholic school, that of providing a sound religious 
training. From the point of view of secular knowledge r the 
schools were as efficient as any in the country. The results of 
the examinations in the year 1872, shewed that the Catholic 
schools stood first with 61 88 of passes, against 61-57 in the 
British; 60 47 in the Anglican and 49 15 in the Board Schools. 
In 1875 the last named had forged ahead reaching 6T89 
against 59 61 in Catholic and 58 17 in Anglican Schools. To 
test the quality of the religious instruction the Bishop insti 
tuted an annual religious examination, and appointed Canon 
Carr* to perform the duty of examiner. The result was a 

* Now Monsignor Carr, Vicar General, and Provost of the 
Chapter ; in the sixtieth year of his priesthood. 



231 

surprise. The boys schools in Liverpool only gained 14 per 
cent, of marks, as against 40 per cent, in the girls and 77 in 
the infants departments. In some of the leading schools of 
the town, Canon Carr reported " the ignorance of prayers, 
" catechism, and necessary religious knowledge as extra- 
" ordinary." Excluding St. Anne s and Mount Carmel, there 
were 27,096 children, and reckoning these two schools as 
having two thousand between the ages of three and fourteen, 
29,096 Catholic children resided in the town. Only 22,334 
were on the rolls, and worse still only 14,000 were in atten 
dance on the day the Canon held his examination. What 
was noticeable in the report was 1 the superiority of the girls 
schools as compared with the boys . This led Father Holden, 
in his report, to observe that " boys schools have certainly 
" not the benefit of teachers so well organised and zealously 
" devoted to religious education." At every visitation Dr. 
O Reilly referred to this 1 deplorable state of affairs, and not 
least among the many worthy works of his episcopate ranks 
the splendid improvement in religious- education in the 
Liverpool schools. 

Following up the temperance work to which he devoted 
so much time and attention, Father Nugent founded 
Branches of the League of the Cross at St. Joseph s), 
Mount Carmel, St. Anthony s, Eldon Street, St. 
Alexander s, and St. Michael s, numbering 11,192 
members, of whom the weekly visitations shewed that 
75 per cent, were fulfilling their promise of total abstention 
from intoxicating liquor. Besides these there were over 
18,000 members in other parts of the town. The weekly 
meetings- were held in the League Hall, William Brown 
Street, on the site of the present Reading Room and Art 
Gallery, and here in January 26th, 1874, Archbishop 
Manning, to shew his appreciation of Father Nugent s work, 
addressed a monstre meeting. He was accompanied by Bishop 
O Reilly who expressed his personal views on the question of 
total abstinence in the following terms. He was not a total 
abstainer himself, and in his experience had found men whom 
he did not advise to take the pledge, because they were in 
no danger and did not need to do so : " His experience had 
" shewn him too, that nothing but total abstinence would 
" keep some men from degrading themselves or keep women 
" from debasing themselves, or would keep parents from being 
" a curse to their children." In a humorous speech he 
impressed the audience with the sincerity of Dr. Manning s 
views, " who would not take a drink even to prolong a life 
" so useful to the Church in England." A limited company 



232 

was formed to secure permanent headquarters for the League 
of the Cross Crusade, which resulted in the building of the 
well-known League Hall at the junction of Rose Place and 
Cazneau Street. 

In 1874 two prominent members of the Catholic com 
munity passed away, in the persons of Mr. Edward Chaloner 
and Mr. Henry Sharpies. The former died on February 12th, 
aged 75 years, and was interred in the Old Swan Church, 
under the Sacred Heart* altar. His life had been one of 
consistent usefulness to the Church in Liverpool; his purse 
ever open to meet the varied demands of a poor and 
struggling Catholic population ; churches, charities, and 
especially their schools. It is to be regretted that in these 
days the fine schools in Norfolk Street are better known as 
St. Vincent s, rather than as the Chaloner Schools. His 
memory deserves to be held in kindly remembrance by his 
Catholic fellow-townsmen. Dr. O Reilly, who held him in 
high esteem, paid him the tribute of singing the Requiem 
Mass at Saint Oswald s. Mr. Henry Sharpies died on 
December 17th, of the same year. Like Mr. Chaloner he 
was engaged in the timber trade, f Born in Liverpool in 
1808, he had witnessed the growth of the sparse Catholic 
population to the enormous numbers for whom church and 
school accommodation could not be provided fast enough. 
One of the first three Catholic Town Councillors, he became 
also one of the first Catholic magistrates, and was specially 
associated with the girls orphanage, first in Mount Pleasant 
and later in Falkner Street, and took a lively interest in the 
Clarence Reformatory Ship. An Oscott man, his intellectual 
attainments were considerable, and helped considerably to win 
for him a high place in the affections of his fellow-citizens of 
all parties. Bishop Sharpies, coadjutor Vicar-Apostolic, was 
his brother, and died at his residence in the Old Swan. 
Underneath the Lady Chapel of St. Oswald s, which he had 
built, lies the body of Mr. Henry Sharpies awaiting the final 
resurrection. 

Mr. Michael James Whitty died suddenly on June 10th, 
1873, aged 78 years. A native of Ferns, Co. Wexford, where 
his father carried on the business of a maltster and owner of 
small coasting vessels, Mr. Whitty entered the College of 
Maynooth as an ecclesiastical student. In 1821 he proceeded 
to London, with the intention of pursuing a literary career. 
Here he wrote " Tales of Irish Life," illustrated by his friend, 

*Mr. E. Chaloner paid for the erection of the side chapel in 
which his remains lie. 

His grandfather was the first man to import timber into Liverpool. 



233 

George Cruikskank, the eminent caricaturist, and a history 
of the rebellion organised by Robert Emmett. After spending 
some years as editor of the London and Dublin Magazine, he 
came to Liverpool on the invitation of Mr. Robert Rockliff, 
of the well-known Liverpool firm of publishers and stationers-, 
and edited the Liverpool Journal. His erratic genius induced 
him to resign this position to become Chief Constable or 
head of the watchmen, and in this responsible post he had 
ample opportunity of displaying his talent for organisation. 
He founded the Fire Brigade as a branch of the Police 
service, and during his twelve years of office considerably 
increased the efficiency of the Police force. The temptation 
to again wield the pen instead of the truncheon proved 
irresistible ; the result being the foundation of the first penny 
newspaper in England. 

We have already seen specimens of his capacity as a 

leader writer and critic, in his many controversies with the 

late Bishop, the " Northern Press," and his intervention in 

Catholic politics, where his strong character revealed itself 

in bold relief. That he was a thorn in the side of the 

Catholic party, and on many occasions did serious harm 

among non-Catholics by the form and character of his attacks 

on the Pope and Church government, was beyond question, 

and made him intensely unpopular with the leaders of the 

Catholic community. In a well-written appreciation of the 

deceased journalist, another side of his character was set 

forth : " Though seeming the most dogmatic, disputatious, 

and self-assertive of men, he was naturally one of the most 

retiring ; as careless 1 of the mere personal part of the matter, 

as he was of everything merely personal attire, social 

precedence, and all things else of the kind. Known to do 

acts stealthily, physically the most repulsive, to ameliorate 

suffering in the obscurest and most outcast walks of life." 

A feature of the present issues of the " Daily Post," 
" Talk on Change," was originated by Mr. Whitty, who 
gathered in person the gossip prevalent in the news-room. 

His remains were interred in Anfield Cemetery, Father 
Guy, O.S.B., and Father Chapman, reading the burial service. 
Among the mourners present were Major Greig, Head Con 
stable, Mr. Barry Sullivan, the eminent tragedian, and Mr. 
(now Sir) Edward R. Russell, who continues to edit the 
" Liverpool Daily Post." 

The provision of so many new churches and schools 
premised the increasing growth of the Catholic population, 
a supposition strengthened by the fact that so many of the 
churches were erected on the confines of the old borough. 



234 

This, however, was not warranted by the actual facts. In a 
census taken by the Anglican authorities in 1881, the total 
number of Catholics was set down as 140,115, out of a total 
of 552,425. Father Austin Powell disputed the accuracy of 
the figures.* The total number of births in Liverpool in the 
year 1879, amounted to 21,277, of which number 6,850 were 
baptised in the Catholic churches, excluding St. Alexander s 
on the border lines of Liverpool and Bootle. Father Powell 
put the case thus : " As the total births are to the Catholic 
" births, so is the total population to the Catholic population." 
The result of this calculation gave the number of Catholics 
as 177,849, or 32 per cent, of the population. He further 
argued that the birth rate shewed 38 9 per thousand persons, 
or one birth for every 25J persons. Taking the mean figures 
for the years 1879 and 1880, and multiplying them by 25-|, 
the Catholic population in 1881 was 176,026. 

Father T. E. Gibson, on the contrary, accepted the 
Anglican figure as approximately correct. Twenty years 
earlier he had compiled figures by using as a multiple, not 
25 J, but 22, and later on the rather low figure of 20. His 
figures for thirty years were as follows: 

Catholic 

Baptisms. Population. Increase. 
1851 ... 5,508 ... 110,610 ... 
1861 ... 6,454 ... 129,080 ... 17-17 
1871 ... 6,673 ... 133,460 ... 3 39 
1880 ... 7,357 ... 147,140 ... 10 25 

Between the final estimates of the two priests there was 
a difference of over 25,000 persons- which needed some 
explanation. None was forthcoming. Father Powell, while 
admitting a higher death rate in certain well known Catholic 
districts, still maintained that the only rational way of 
estimating the population was to compare the Catholic births 
with the total births and multiply them by a figure which 
represented the number of births to a thousand of the total 
population. 

An Irish statistician, writing under the initials " G. S." 
from Dublin, strengthened Father Powell s contention. The 
census for 1851 shewed that there were 85,000 Irish born 
persons in Liverpool, and as the census for 1861 shewed 
almost the same number, those removed by death or migration 
must have had their places filled by direct migration from 
Ireland. "If we assume that the English born children or 
" descendants of the 85,000 Irish born in 1851 are but equal 

* " Catholic Times," December 16, 1881. 



235 

" in numbers to their parents of Irish, birth, there are 170,000 
"Irish in Liverpool and 30,000 in the vicinity," 

Four years later, when the Redistribution Act of 1885 
raised the question of denning the boundaries of the new 
single member constituencies, the writer was one of two 
persons who counted the Irish names on the list of electors, 
with the result that over 15,000 distinctively Irish surnames 
were found on the list. This did not include many Norman 
or less pronouncedly Irish surnames, and of course excluded 
all English surnames. There could be no doubt that, in 
cluding the English Catholic population, the larger Irish 
families and the great number of unmarried young Irish 
labourers, Father Powell s figures were much nearer the 
mark than Father Gibson s. Father Nugent s testimony on 
this debatable point is of some importance. In a report 
which he drew up he stated that in the year 1851, the 
official census gave the population of Liverpool as numbering 
375,955. " It was then considered, owing to the immense 
influx from Ireland, from 1846 to that date (1851), that 
" the Catholic body was one-third of the inhabitants. If 
<; the population was 375,955, and the Catholic body was 
" one-third, then there would be 125,318 Catholics. In 1852 
" the Catholic baptisms were 5,632, which, multiplied by 
" 22J, equalled 126,720; near the average of one-third. It 
" was then found that the borough of Liverpool doubled 
" itself in twenty-five years." Eleven years later the number 
of Catholic baptisms had increased to 6,915, which repre 
sented a population of 135,587 ; an increase of 8,867 persons ! 

What had become of the difference? Had they become 
merely nominal Catholics, as Bishop Goss had asserted? 
Father Gibson gave the numbers attending Sunday Mass in 
1871 and 1881 as respectively 51,250 and 57,687, and the 
numbers observing the Easter precept as 42,354 and 57,295. 
The increase does not correspond with the natural increase 

NOTE. Writing in 1899, Father Nugent adds: " The baptisms 
in the whole diocese were 14,565, and it is supposed that half that 
number would represent the baptisms in the City ; i.e. 7,282 x 22 =2 
163,845. But this cannot be correct, as it would only give an increase 
of 367 baptisms in 37 years. If the Catholic population 50 years ago 
was 126,720, and if Liverpool doubles its population in 25 years, 
surely the Catholic population doubles itself in 50 years. Father 
Nugent s opinion was that the multiple of 25 instead of 22J was the 
sounder method of calculating the Catholic population. This, he 
stated, was the view held by Cardinals Manning and Vaughan, and 
Canons Toole, Oakley and Kershaw. He agreed with Father Powell, 
however, that the " rational way " was to compare the Catholic 
births with the total births, and multiply them by a figure which 
represented the births per thousand of the entire population. 



236 

of population, and Father Powell threw some light on the 
undoubted leakage by his assertion that marriages are no 
test because below the average, and " a large number are not 
" solemnised in the Catholic Church." 

No more significant proof of the decadence of the Faith 
amongst the lower orders can be adduced than the " large 
" number " marrying inside the walls of the Protestant 
Churches. It implied a refusal to receive the Sacraments 
before marriage rather than any unlawful union, and proved 
that such persons were only Catholics in name. No doubt 
they sent their children to Catholic schools, as many must 
have been mixed marriages. An examination, in 1896, of 
the register of an Anglican school in the heart of the parish 
of Liverpool, shewed 33 per cent, of names of Celtic Irish 
origin. These children were no doubt the offspring of mixed 
unions, but neither Father Powell nor Father Gibson make 
any reference to this source of leakage in their communi 
cations to the press. 

One of Bishop O Reilly s greatest achievements was the 
foundation of the diocesan seminary at Upholland. As 
Father Nugent wrote on the Bishop s decease, this project 
was " the cherished child of his heart, even to his last 
breath; 3 its foundation the boldest act of his- life. In 1875, 
St. Edward s College, Everton, was extended to accommodate 
double the number of students, but the Bishop felt the need 
of providing a larger spiritual and intellectual centre to 
provide priests for an ever-growing diocese. On the feast 
of his patron saint, March 19th, 1877, he commenced the 
task, and set an excellent example to his flock by heading the 
subscription list with two sums of 1,700 and .2,000 
bequeathed to him as personal gifts by Mr. Gilbert Hayes 
and Mrs. Santamaria, respectively. His clergy responded 
handsomely to this call with the sum of 8,408, the total 
subscriptions amounting to 34,659 11s. 8d., towards an out 
lay of 58,000.* Exactly two years after the scheme had 
been launched the Bishop laid the foundation stone, and on 
September 22nd, 1883, Upholland Seminary was opened* with 
four professors and thirty-one students. The diocese of 
Liverpool, especially the large towns, had had to depend to 
a considerable extent upon the services of Irish priests " lent " 
for short periods by their respective bishops-, and splendid 
service was rendered by them, especially among their own 
people of Irish birth or descent. The common link of 
nationality enabled priests and people to work much more 
harmoniously than was possible with clergy of English birth or 

* See Ushaw Magazine. Father Kelly s sketch of Dr. O Reilly. 



237 

training, due in the main to the prevailing political relations 
between Ireland and Westminster. Fortunately, many young 
Irish Levites " volunteered for the English mission " and 
their permanent residence in the diocese kept up the strong 
Irish tradition of unity between priests and people. 
Sympathy is a precious gift, and between the Irish priest 
and the poor Irish dwellers in the crowded streets, it was 
much more generously and openly extended than was possible 
between the clergy of the English race, belonging in the main 
to the sturdy yeoman class in the northern portion of the 
diocese. The latter had not the opportunity of appreciating 
the many-sided character of the Irish race, and, it is much 
to be feared, were not so intimately acquainted with Ireland s 
unhappy history, even of the first half of the nineteenth 
century. With the passage of time, the gradual amelioration 
of the oppressive system of Irish landlordism, and the steady 
decrease of Irish immigration into Liverpool, the need for 
Irish born, if not Irish trained, priests has considerably 
lessened, while on the other hand, the gradual softening of 
racial prejudices, enabled thousands of Irishmen to value 
and keenly appreciate the self-sacrifice and apostolic zeal of 
the sons of St. Cuthbert, and, at a later day, the priests who 
came out from St. Joseph s, Upholland. This great change 
was not felt so much in Dr. O Reilly s lifetime as it is at 
this moment. 

On December 16th, 1883, the Vicar-General, Monsignor 
Fisher, opened the temporary chapel of St. Francis 
de Sales, Walton. It was but a stable with a loft, generously 
lent by Mr. J. Morgan,* and for four years it served the 
needs of the growing Catholic population in a district which, 
centuries before, was the cradle of Liverpool Catholicism. 
Under the guidance of Father Thomas Smith, these four 
years were utilised to provide more suitable and lasting 
accommodation, and on October 16th, 1887, the new school 
chapel in Hale Road was opened by the Bishop In his 
sermon on that day, Dr. O Reilly mentioned the interesting 
fact that, when in 1872 his predecessor laid the responsibility 
upon Father John P. Nugent of commencing the mission of 
the Blessed Sacrament, there were only fifty-six Catholics 
in the whole of Walton. In five years this tiny number had 
increased to five hundred and sixty. In June, 1886, the 
population of the new mission of St. Francis de Sales was 
1,950, and on the day on which the Bishop was speaking 
had reached close on 2,400 persons. The township of Walton 
was added to the City of Liverpool in November, 1895. 

* Who, on his wife s death, became a Jesuit priest, and died three 
months after his ordination. 



238 

At the extreme south end, the village of Garston, as it 
was in the early eighties was served by the Benedictine 
Fathers at St. Austin s, Grassendale. The increase of the 
Catholic population created the necessity for a new chapel. 
A start was made on July 8th, 1883, with a temporary* 
chapel dedicated to St. Francis of Assissi; new schools being 
added in the October of the following year. Father Frederick 
Smith was placed in charge of the new mission, who, in 
addition to his parochial duties, represented the district for 
many years on the West Derby Board of Guardians, and 
acted as one of the Diocesan Inspectors of Schools. J 

The developments of the Lancashire and Yorkshire 
Railway carried with them the removal of an old landmark 
in local Catholic history. St. Mary s, Edmund Street, 
representing the re-birth of Catholicism, was acquired under 
an Act of Parliament for railway purposes, and on November 
llth, 1883, Mass was said for the last time on the historic 
site. A temporary chapel was built in Pownall Square, 
pending the erection of the new church in Highneld Street, 
which was solemnly opened on July 9th, 1885, by Bishop 
O Reilly. Two days previously it had been re-consecrated 
by Dr. Scarisbrick, O.S.B., Bishop of Port Louis, who had 
served on the mission at St. Peter s, Seel Street, from 1867 
to 1871. This change enabled the latter church to claim the 
privilege of being the oldest building in Liverpool devoted 
to Catholic worship. The memorial to Father Sheridan, 
O.S.B., keeps up the link which binds the new church of 
St. Mary to the past; the beautiful alabaster altar with its 
reredos of Caen stone, and its sculptured groups of the Dead 
Christ and a recumbent figure of Father Sheridan in a 
fourteenth century tomb, forming one of the finest decorative 
features of a noble building. 

St. Alexander s having been extended in 1884, the 
temporary chapel of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour was 
discontinued. 

At the other end of the borough of Bootle, another link 
with the past was broken by the acquisition, under com 
pulsory powers, by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway 
Company, of the Church of St. James. On July 20th, 1884, 
Bishop O Reilly laid the foundation stone of the new church 
in Marsh Lane, which he opened in February, 1886. With 
the completion of the tower, the addition of new altars, 
pulpit, stained windows and bells, improvements not com 
pleted until the year 1900. St. James may worthily rank as 

* New Church opened 1905. 
J Until his death, November 26, 1909. 



239 

a cathedral church, while the splendid elementary schools, 
and a valuable adjunct in the shape of a Select School, 
Parochial Hall, etc., justify its- claim as the best equipped 
parish in or near the city. 

A worthy compliment was paid to Dean Kelly by the 
Bishop, in permitting him to lay the foundation stone of the 
new schools, immediately after his Lordship had performed 
the same function for the new church. 

In another of the outer districts 1 , Waveitree, now in 
cluded in the borough of Liverpool, Bishop O Reilly, on 
October 4th 1885, laid the first stone of the church of Our 
Lady of Good Help, to take the place of the temporary 
chapel in the old public offices of the Wavertree Local Board, 
opened by Bishop Goss in 1871. 

On May 24th, 1885, the first stone of the new church 
of the Sacred Heart was laid to provide for the needs of the 
increased population, due to the development of the great 
open space known to an earlier generation as Kensington 
Fields, and on November 1st, the extension of Our Lady Im 
maculate, St. Domingo Road, was also opened by the Bishop. 
This extension perpetuated the memory of Father Michael 
Carney, B.A., who died a martyr of charity in January, 
1885, from an attack of fever, contracted while performing 
his sacred duties in the infectious diseases hospital in 
Netherfield Road. 

November 22nd, 1885, witnessed the opening of the fine 
church of St. John, Kirkdale. The district had recently 
been divided into two parishes, and in his address on this 
interesting occasion, Bishop O Reilly said that in 1875 there 
were only 2,700 Catholics in the neighbourhood. Seven 
years later the numbers increased to 7,500, and were in 
creasing at the rate of from seven hundred to one thousand 
per annum. 

In the heart of the Scotland Division the last of the 
temporary churches disappeared with the completion of the 
new church of St. Sylvester, opened by the Bishop on Sep 
tember 22nd, 1889, seventeen years after Dr. Goss had 
expressed his hope of erecting a commodious church ! 

At the School Board elections of 1885, Drs. Canavan 
and John BHgh declined re-nomination, and Messrs. 
Michael Fitzpatrick, W. J. Sparrow, LL.D.,* and J. A. 
Doughan,f were elected in their stead. After considerable 
discussion it was resolved to run a sixth candidate, Mr. John 

* Professor of Law at the Liverpool University, 1908. 
f Justice of the Peace, sat in the Council for Exchange Ward for 
some years ; member of the Liverpool Education Committee and 
Catholic Education Council. 



240 

Hand. Though the six candidates were successful serious risk of 
losing several seats was incurred owing to want of organisa 
tion. Isolated Catholic organisations existed here and there, 
but no central organisation. For some years unsuccessful 
attempts had been made to promote such a body, but 
political divisions prevented their realisation. A Catholic 
Social Club had been founded on February 16th, 1881 at 
14, Lime Street, Mr. Charles Rus&ell* in the chair, supported 
by Count Moore, M.P., and a large number of the clergy. 
A Catholic Union was also founded, but both proved 
failures. Mr. Doughan wrote to the " Catholic Times," 
pointing out the lamentable fact that only 8,878 Catholic 
electors recorded their votes, compared with 9,250 at the 
election of 1873. 

This falling-off was due entirely to the irritation felt 
by the Nationalist party at the selection of a certain candi 
date, and though Mr. Doughan made no reference to the 
fact, of which he was probably unaware, his efforts to promote 
a better state of things were well rewarded at the following 
triennial elections, when the six candidates were trium 
phantly returned by a solid vote of 10,411 Catholic electors. 

Walton, Wavertree, West Derby, and part of Toxteth, 
though inside the Parliamentary borough of Liverpool, were 
not included until 1895, in the School Board area. Walton 
had a separate School Board, on which two Catholic represen 
tatives sat, and on the Toxteth Board Mr. Hugh Quinn, 
solicitor, gained a seat and secured the recognition of St. 
Charles Schools, Aigburth Road. The Nationalist party 
defeated Mr. Charles MacArdle in Vauxhall Ward by 
electing Mr. Patrick Byrne, and in Great George Ward, Mr. 
James Ruddin,f one of the Select Vestrymen, gained a seat 
under Liberal auspices. 

In November, 1886, the Nationalist party surprised 
Liverpool by challenging the re-election of Mr. John Yates 
for Vauxhall Ward. Here was the spectacle of an Irish 
Nationalist opposing the return of a veteran English Catholic 
with a splendid record of work performed for his co 
religionists for over half a century. Mr. Yates was a 
convinced Liberal and Home Ruler, but his speech to a 
deputation inviting him to stand again annoyed the 
Nationalist party, who in their strength resolved to brook no 
insult real or implied. Mr. Parnell sent a letter to Mr. 
John Denvir wishing him success and " Parnell s message, 
: vote for Denvir, " met the eye on every hoarding. The 

* Lord Chief Justice of England, 
t Elected Alderman in 1892 ; Justice of the Peace. Died April, 1904. 



241 

clergy refused to desert the old veteran, who won easily, 
thanks to the Liberal and Conservative electors who voted 
solidly in his favour; the latter more from a desire to defeat 
the Irish Nationalist than from any special love for the Liberal 
candidate. A few months before the contest Mr. Yates was 
entertained to a banquet, and a handsome presentation made 
to him in recognition of his past services. Dr. O Reilly 
presided at this function to shew his personal esteem. 

Mr. Yates died on December 31st, 1887, aged 80 years. 
Born of Protestant parents, in Haslingden, on April 3rd, 
1807, he was sent to Sedgley Park to be educated, and as the 
result became a convert. Coming to Liverpool, he followed 
the profession of his father, that of a solicitor, and speedily 
came to be regarded as one of the ornaments of the legal 
body in the town. On the Select Vestry, the Town Council, 
School Board, and during his six years magistracy, he gave 
abundant evidence of his upright sterling character, and 
won for himself the esteem of his fellow-citizens of all 
parties and creeds. He never trimmed his views on Catholic 
or Irish questions to gain applause, as witness his personal 
visit to Connemara to expose the Irish Church mission frauds, 
or to quote Father Nugent, " what he did for the members of 
" the Young Ireland party in Kirkdale gaol " during the 
insurrectionary period of 1848. No church or school was 
erected, no charitable movement founded, no social reform 
inaugurated, during his long life in Liverpool, without his 
name being prominently associated with it, either in the 
shape of money, work or advice. His mortal remains were 
interred at St. Oswald s, the Bishop presiding at the Requiem 
Mass. He was succeeded in the Council by a young Irish 
labourer, Mr. John Gregory Taggart, selected by the 
Nationalist party, who has proved to be one of the ablest 
municipal administrators who ever sat in that chamber. 
Quite recently he has been appointed a Justice of the Peace 
and Alderman of the city.* 

Liverpool Catholics also lost by death, the services of the 
Recorder, Mr. J. B. Aspinall, who died February 5th, 1886, 
and Mr. C. J. Corbally, December 2nd, 1887. The latter 
gentleman was an Irishman, born 1812, who entered the 
ofHce of his uncle, the late Alderman Sheil, becoming 
eventually a partner. He, too, sat in the Council for some 
years as member for Vauxhall Ward, and served on the 
Burial Board of the Parish of Liverpool. For thirty un 
broken years he acted as treasurer of our oldest charity, the 
Catholic Benevolent Society (a position now held by Mr. 

* 1908. 



242 

J. A. Doughan, J.P.), and acted in the same capacity for 
the Clarence Reformatory Ship. Few of the Catholics who 
have been raised to the bench won such a reputation in the 
magistrates room for probity and sound judgment. 

The General Election of 1885 gave the Catholics of 
England and Wales an opportunity of forcing to the front 
the intolerable strain under which they suffered as the result 
of being compelled to pay the rate for the maintenance of 
Board Schools, and providing at the same time their own 
schools and a large portion of the expenses of maintaining 
them efficiently. Owing to the policy of Mr. Parnell, who 
sought to obtain the balance of power in the House of 
Commons, the Catholic body, as such, was enabled to press 
home the Education question, without any fear of a diversion 
by the Nationalist party. To prevent the Liberals securing 
a working majority, Mr. Parnell s manifesto called upon the 
Irish electors to vote for the Conservative candidates, and 
so cordially did his followers respond that both parties 
emerged from the electoral struggle equally balanced, quite 
unable to carry on the work of government without support 
from the Irish party. Foreseeing this likely development, 
Cardinal Manning advised the Catholics of England to put 
two questions to every candidate : " Will you do your utmost 
" to place voluntary schools on an equal footing with Board 
"schools? Will you do your utmost to obtain a Royal 
" Commission to review the present state of education in 
" England and Wales, and especially the Act of 1870 and its 
"administration by the School Boards?" 

To these questions the Conservatives gave an answer in 
the affirmative; the Liberals simply professing general 
sympathy. Bishop O Reilly had studiously avoided all refer 
ence to political questions in his pastorals, which were almost 
entirely devoted to spiritual matters, but in this year he 
wrote directly to his flock on the relation of their political 
power to the settlement of the education question on lines 
favourable to denominationalists. 

" We are " he wrote, " upon the eve of a General Election, 
" held for the first time under very altered circumstances. 
Vast numbers who, up to this, were not enfranchised will 
be entitled to vote.* We speak to you, and in doing so 
we have no intention, nay, it is far from our wish, to touch 
upon party politics, or even to touch upon matters of 
purely worldly interest. It is no concern of ours whether 
your politics are what are called Liberal or Conservative. 
Upon questions of purely secular interest you are much 

* The Act of 1885 extended the household franchise to the Counties. 



243 

" better qualified to judge than we are, and it is right and 
" fitting that you should form your own opinions and to act 
" upon them. There is, however, one issue at stake, to which 
" it is our imperative duty to invite your mos>t serious con- 
" sideration, and that is, the education of your children and 
" the future of our schools." . . . Quoting the questions 
framed by Cardinal Manning, the Bishop proceeded : " Insist 
" upon a clear answer to each of these questions. If the 
" answer be favourable, give him your vote and all the 
" support you can command. . . To many of you it may 
" be painful to vote against the political party with which 
" you have been long associated. Still, as the calls of conscience 
" are above those of party, we hope you will look upon it as 
" a duty to obey your conscience and not count the cost." 

The elections of 1885 gave Liverpool its first Catholic 
Member of Parliament, in the person of Mr. Thomas Power 
O Connor. He had sat for the borough of Galway since 
1880, and was re-elected in November 1885, but decided to 
sit for the Scotland Division of Liverpool. Under the able 
guidance of Mr. John Denvir, the Irish Nationalists of the 
town made a great effort to so arrange the boundaries of 
the adjoining division of Exchange that this seat also could 
be held against all comers by a member of Mr. Parnell s 
party. Ignoring the strong case made out by the Nationalists 
the commercial classes in Exchange and Castle Street 
Municipal Wards were separated by the Boundaries Com 
missioners, and at an Irish Convention held in Great Crosshall 
Street,* during the summer of 1885, it was 1 agreed, on the 
motion of Dr. John Bligh, that " an Irish Nationalist be run 
" for the Exchange Division, and that Mr. Justin MacCarthy 
" be requested to stand as our candidate." At a great 
meeting held next evening in the League Hall, Cazneau Street, 
this decision was confirmed, on the motion of the present 
writer, and was conveyed to the versatile novelist, journalist 
and historian. On Sunday, August 9th, Mr. MacCarthy 
visited Liverpool, accompanied by his son, and Mr. Timothy 
Healy, M.P., and publicly accepted the invitation, which, 
to the annoyance of many Liberals, was endorsed by the 
Liberal leaders. On the eve of the dissolution of Parliament, 
Mr. Justin MacCarthy was announced as the candidate for the 
city of Deny, being sent there by Mr. Parnell as* the " only 
" man " who could win the maiden city for Home Rule. No 
word or even hint had been previously conveyed to Liverpool 
of this new departure, and the leading men in the Nationalist 

* In a disused Methodist Chapel, opposite Holy Cross Church, 
now used as a glass warehouse. 



244 

party asked themselves what it all meant. If only one man 
could win Derry, to use Mr. Parnell s own words, why was 
he sent to Liverpool eight weeks earlier as the candidate for 
the Exchange Division 4 Dame Rumour was very busy and 
further developments were awaited with considerable anxiety. 
A demonstration was announced for November 16th, in the 
League Hall, Mr. William O Brien, M.P., and editor of 
" United Ireland, being announced as the chief speaker. To 
everyone s amazement Mr. Parnell, on the very day of the 
meeting, announced that he was coming with Mr. John E. 
Redmond, and Mr. T. P. O Connor. He gave reasons for 
Mr. MacCarthy s withdrawal, and announced his selection of 
Mr. T. P. O Connor for the Scotland Division. In the course 
of his speech he said, " I cannot absolutely say whether we 
" are sufficiently strong enough to beat botii political parties 
" in the Exchange Division, but our enquiries are still pro- 
" ceeding, and we hope to have figures which will be conclusive 
" one way or another in a few days. Until then we do not 
" consider it advisable to replace the vacancy." 

As a matter of absolute fact the figures had been supplied 
to him long before this meeting, as the sittings of the Revision 
Courts had been held earlier than usual. Notwithstanding 
the enthusiasm of that memorable meeting, Mr. Parneli s 
speech was a serious discouragement to the leading Irishmen, 
who were quite certain of carrying an Irishman for 
the Division. The excitement grew when it was announced 
on the next day that the Liberal party had selected a strong 
local candidate, Mr. T. E. Stephens, to fight for the seat 
under the banner of Mr. Gladstone. The Conservative party 
selected Mr. L. R. Baily, and the election warfare began in 
earnest. A bolt from the blue fell in the Irish ranks when 
the unusually well-informed London letter writer of the 
" Daily Post," just four days after Parneli s speech, penned 
the following paragraph : " What is remarkable is the 
" ostracism of Captain O Shea,* sitting on the Ministerial 
" benches, but keeping up social relations with Parnell and 
" his party." This somewhat obscurely worded paragraph 
aroused intense suspicion in certain Irish circles, and the 
position was very closely scrutinised, especially when Parlia 
ment was dissolved, the writs issued, polling days fixed, and 
still no word from Mr. Parnell, as to the result of his study of 
the figures as to the Irish vote in Exchange Division. In 
every constituency in the three kingdoms, the Irish policy 
had been decided upon except this one division. Late on the 
evening of the twentieth of November a telegram was received 

* He had negotiated the famous Kilmainham treaty 



245 

announcing Parnell himself as the candidate. The same 
evening, without any request from Liverpool, Captain O Shea, 
ignoring the official Liberal candidate, issued his address as 
a supporter of Mr. Gladstone, supported by Mr. Joseph 
Chamberlain and Lord Richard Grosvenor.* The Captain 
was on the spot, but no Parnell nor any address from him. 
The Nationalist headquarters were in the Temple, Dale Street, 
and at the mere rumour of ParnelFs candidature, canvassers 
nocked in from all parts of the town to organise the Irish 
vote. It is no exaggeration to say that Mr. O Connor s 
candidature was quite neglected to make sure of Parnell s 
victory in Exchange, and victory was certain in the opinion of 
the electioneering experts. The more sober spirits asked how 
could Parnell win with two Liberal candidates in the field? 
The writer was one of two persons! selected to meet Mr. 
Parnell on Sunday morning, November 22nd, in the North 
Western Hotel, Lime Street, and conduct him to a consulta 
tion with the local Nationalist leaders in the Temple offices. 
He made enquiries as to the effect upon the Irish voters of 
" Mr. O Shea s " candidature of which he appeared quite well 
aware, and announced his intention of running Mr. John 
Barry, M.P. for Wexford, for the Abercromby Division, to 
keep out Mr. Samuel Smith. The same afternoon he addressed 
a great meeting in the Concert Hall, Lord Nelson Street, and 
an enormous open-air meetting on St. George s Hall Plateau. He 
enjoined it as a duty upon every Irish elector to vote for the 
Conservative candidates- " unless some exception be signified by 
" the Central Executive." The significance of this phrase was 
not lost on the younger men of the Central Branch, Great 
Crosshall Street, and during the following twenty-four hours, 
in a vigorous canvass of Exchange, Vauxhall and St. Anne s 
Ward, their earnest advice was 1 , " vote for Parnell if he stands, 
" if not, vote for Parnell s policy, the balance of power, by 
" voting for Mr. L. R. Baily." It was of importance to these 
young enthusiasts that Mr. Parnell made no allusion to 
O Shea s candidature in his speeches: "the contest will be a 
" difficult one, but I believe it is just possible for me to win." 
Mr. T. P. O Connor, interviewed by the " Central News," 
declared that " the only gentlemen to whom any exception can 
" apply are Messrs. Joseph Cowan, Story, Thompson and 
" Henry Labouchere." Parnell s nomination papers, twenty 
in number, were signed by priests, merchants, shopkeepers and 
labourers, while Captain O Shea handed in but one paper, 

*See " Daily Post" leader. 

f The other was Mr. James A. Mulhall, now the Irish secretary 
of the Royal Liver Society. 



246 

containing only one influential Liberal signature. Mr. T. E. 
Stephens was also nominated. 

At two o clock Mr. Parnell quietly withdrew his nomina 
tion, and retired from the precincts of the Town Hall. The 
same evening he appealed to the Irish electors 1 to support 
Captain O Shea in these terms: " Mr. O Shea belongs to the 
" religion of the majority of Irishmen. If you desire to vote 
" for him as an Irishman or Catholic, I see no reason why you 
" should not do so." Nevertheless he worked strenuously for the 
rejected member for Clare, only to be defeated by some Irish 
Nationalists, who hated O Shea and the change of front of 
the Irish leader, matters which cannot be fully discussed in 
these pages. O Shea lost the seat by the narrow margin of 
fifty-three votes; the other Liberal candidate only polling a 
few votes. When Gladstone introduced the first Home Rule 
Bill, a Liberal Home Ruler defeated Mr. Baily in Exchange 
Division by two hundred votes, and this despite the defection of 
the influential Liberal Unionists. The election of 1886 puts 
beyond all doubt that Parnell would have won in 1885 had he 
gone to the poll. Mr. Gladstone s Home Rule policy rent his 
party in twain, and the Unionist party remained in power 
until 1906, with the short interval of the years between July, 
1892, and the election of 1895. 

The schools were safe from Liberal interference, if they 
ever intended to interfere, which may well be doubted, and it 
was years afterwards before Mr. Balfour carried his one clause 
Act increasing the imperial grant. It had been well had Mr. 
Balfour s policy of increased grants been permitted to develop, 
but militant denominationalists raised the demand just in 
itself for rate aid, forgetting that the adoption of this 
principle in an England of sub-divided religious thought, 
introduced an element which appears to have escaped the 
advocates of the new policy, that of ratepayers interference 
and control. The foremost Catholic educationalist in Liver 
pool was Father William Dubberley, S.J., manager of the 
Haigh Street schools from 1879 to his death on September 
20th, 1896. He threw himself heart and soul into the great 
work of perfecting elementary education. His unrivalled 
knowledge of every detail of school management made him a 
powerful defender of the Catholic schools, and a skilful 
exponent of the claims of his co-religionists for fair treatment. 

The remaining years of Dr. O Reilly s rule were devoted to 
his spiritual work. New churches and schools were springing 
up in all directions, and notably in the rapidly growing 
suburbs of the old borough, whose parliamentary boundaries 
were not co-terminous with the municipal. At the time of his 



247 

death there were 27 schools in Liverpool, with an average 
attendance of 22,000 children. 

Owing to the generosity of two Liverpool Catholics,* a 
school chapel was provided at Cabbage Hall, and dedicated to 
All Saints on September 8th, 1889. The beautiful Church of 
St. Clare, Sefton Park, also provided by the great generosity 
of the founders of All Saints, was consecrated on June 3rd, 
1890. Father Nugent, on the demolition of St. Mary s, had 
urged its transference to the neighbourhood of Sefton Park, 
but permission to do so was not obtained. At the river side of 
the Sefton Park area, a temporary chapel was erected, and 
dedicated to St. Charles on September 25th, 1892, followed by 
the erection of new schools which were opened by the Bishop 
of Salford. The infants school at St. Francis Xavier s, blessed 
and opened in 1879, by Father Thomas Burke, O.P., were 
further enlarged in 1891, and under the enthusiastic guidance 
of Father William Pinningtonf the fine schools of St. 
Alphonsus, Stanley Road, were opened in 1889. 

Many works of charity were founded during the last 
decade of Dr. O Reilly s rule. In 1881, the Catholic Children s 
Protection Society was founded. This excellent organisation 
emigrated to Catholic families in Canada many hundreds of 
children whose prospects in life were hopeless, unless effec 
tually removed from their former surroundings. 

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul made a beginning in 
1891 with the Homes for Friendless Boys, which has since 
developed to such an extent as to become one of the recognised 
charitable institutions wfiose annual meetings are held in the 
Town Hall, under the chairmanship of the Lord Mayor. The 
name of Arthur Chilton Thomas, a veritable Lancashire 
Ozanam, is indissolubly bound up with this splendid effort to 
save the friendless Catholic boy. A special committee was 
formed of one delegate from each conference of the St. Vincent 
de Paul Society, to carry on the projected " Home," and an 
earnest effort made to secure a fund which would enable the 
promoters to face the heavy expenditure involved. The name 
of Bishop O Reilly headed the first subscription list, followed 
by Messrs. Francis W. Reynolds, Henry Jump, Matheson, 
Stapleton Bretherton, Cullen, Bradley, Sharpies, Doughan, 
Browne, \Valton, Fathers Murphy, S.J., Carr, and Birchall. 
Many prominent Protestant laymen helped in the good work. 
Over one hundred boys found a home in the house 105, Shaw 
Street, during the first six months of its establishment ; 

* Frank and James Reynolds. 

f Member of the West Derby Board of Guardians for some years. 
In 1908 Member of the Education Council ; Liverpool Education 
Committee. Elected to the Chapter, 1909. 



248 

working boys in employment, but not receiving sufficient wages 
to keep themselves, and boys out of work for whom situations 
were found, and street arabs whose means of livelihood were 
as precarious as they were dangerous. 

As early as July, 1892, Mr. Chilton Thomas began in the 
" Xaverian " to call public attention to the splendid possibili 
ties of this great charity, coupled with the necessity for civic 
legislation, to minimise the dangers of street trading, as 
Father Nugent had done forty years earlier From thence 
onwards, he became the leading figure in Catholic rescue work, 
devoting his life solely to saving the boy for Church and 
country. 

Father John Berry, rector of St. Philip Neri s, opened in 
1892 St. Philip s Home for Street Trading .Boys in Marble 
Street, and a few years later took over the management with 
Mr. Thomas, of the Homes in Shaw Street, which were con 
siderably extended and still bear his name. Owing to failing 
health in 1897, he was compelled to leave the city, but con 
tinued his deep interest in the best work yet undertaken in 
the diocese to scotch the most fruitful source of so-called 
Catholic crime. Bishop O Reilly took a keen interest in the 
experiment, and one of his last acts before a fatal illness 
seized him was to visit St. Philip s home in Marble Street, at 
nine o clock p.m., where, sitting on a form, he talked to the 
boys about their labours in the streets, discussed with them 
their earnings and their personal histories quite in the spirit 
of his earlier work among the poor in St. Patrick s and St. 
Vincent s. 

In February, 1888, Bishop O Reilly launched another 
meritorious scheme for the betterment of the poor children of 
his diocese. It had long been his earnest desire to secure the 
removal of every Catholic child in a workhouse school to 
institutions under his own care. With this object in view he 
issued a pastoral letter to his flock, in which he frankly 
expressed his aims. " The Guardians, as a tule, are much 
fairer (here) than they appear to be elsewhere, and our poor 
children are treated, as far as their religion is concerned, in 
* a much more liberal spirit. Still, they labour under very 
1 serious disadvantages. They are brought up amongst 
children who are not Catholics, and though, to a certain 
extent, they receive Catholic teaching, and are allowed to 
practise their religion, still the results are generally very 
unfavourable. They leave the workhouse schools, little 
illuminated with the brightness of their faith, and with but 
little fervour in the practice of their holy religion. Indeed 
they are often, in a manner, ashamed of their religion, and 



249 

" being, as we have said, animated with but little fervour, they 
" soon fall away from the practice of its teaching. These 
" poor children help to swell the number of indifferent 
"Catholics; Catholics in name, they are strangers to every 
" Catholic instinct." 

The worthy Bishop did not live to see the fulfilment of 
his hopes. Liverpool Guardians were unwilling to fall in with 
his proposals, but his splendid initiative is worthily and 
fittingly perpetuated in the Bishop O Reilly Memorial Poor 
Law Schools, Leyfield, West Derby. As a matter of fact, a 
Catholic teacher was not employed in a single workhouse school 
in England, save in the schools of the Parish of Liverpool, 
ample testimony to the need for such institutions as projected 
by Dr. O Reilly.* 

Towards the close of 1893, he was stricken with a serious 
illness, which culminated in his death, on April the ninth of 
the following year. It is not often that, in a non-Catholic 
daily newspaper, one may find a true picture of a Catholic 
ecclesiastic, priest or Bishop, but the following leader from 
the " Daily Post," from the pen of Sir Edward Russell, is a 
true epitome of Dr. O Reilly s life and work: 

" Dr. O Reilly enjoyed the unqualified esteem of all who 
" knew him. He was perhaps somewhat retiring, possibly 
" somewhat shy. He was consistently and persistently occu- 
" pied with his own business. He did not include in the scope 
" of his business any attempt to dominate or pervade society. 
" We are not commenting on this either in praise or blame. 
" Possibly it might be the policy of a Roman Catholic Bishop 
" to keep his church more in evidence socially than Bishop 
" O Reilly did. Certainly there have been precedents, both 
" metropolitan and provincial, in favour of such a course. We 
" are merely recording the fact that with the late Bishop it 
" was very different, and that all his labours, great as they 
" were, were confined within the strict limits of the ecclesias- 
" tical province. In this we understand, from those who know 
" the facts, that he was far more successful than appeared 
" from any display that attracted the attention of the general 
" community. His episcopate was very remarkable for church 
" extension, and the solid results that he achieved were the 
" more notable because obtained in so quiet a manner, and 
" by means of such steady energy and perseverance. 

" Dr. O Reilly was identified with Liverpool throughout 
" the whole of his career. The early passages of it lay in a 
" period and in a neighbourhood the cholera time in the 
" poorest parts of Liverpool which made him thoroughly, 

*See Pastoral Letter, July, 1888. 



250 

" and indeed agonisingly, familiar with the greatest suffering 
" and the most terrible needs of the humblest of the people. 
4> This gave a stamp to his ministry and a bent to his episcopal 
" action. It also led him into understanding and sympathetic 
" mutual contact with many of the best members of other 
"communions; and when he came into the full power of his 
" episcopal office he was enabled to co-operate with the 
" managers of our great charities, in a manner very much 
" strengthened and made useful by his striking pastoral ex- 
" periences. We may presume it to be unlikely that this 
" respected and lamented prelate will be succeeded by a man 
" of similar type, but his memory will long be held in kindly 
" reverence, and it will be recognised that he rendered to his 
" church in this diocese, exactly the services which it most 
" needed during the time he held sway/ 

Canon O Toole, in the " Catholic Fireside," described him 
from the point of view of a priest in these words : " The same 
" sense of duty which had made the memoir of his life simply 
" the spiritual record of his mission and parish* a few 
" hundred yards in diameter, still characterised him " as a 
Bishop. 

In his funeral panegyric, Bishop Hedley, O.S,B., said: 
As I read him he was of a nature in which the simple, the 
childlike, and the affectionate largely predominated. Policy 
on a wide or elaborate scale was not congenial to him . His 
arrangements were for plain and evident needs ; and any 
man might know his mind. He loved cheerfulness in 
business ; he could smile himself, and liked those who dealt 
with him to smile also." 

The municipality joined the sorrowing Catholics of the 
city in paying tribute to the simple, hardworking, prayerful 
prelate; its Lord Mayor, W. B. Bo wring, and his predecessor, 
Mr. R. D. Holt, attending in state, the final obsequies. In 
his beloved Upholland, the remains of the worthy Bishop lie 
in peace; an abiding incentive to the future priests from St. 
Joseph s seminary, to model their life s work in the diocese 
of Liverpool on his single-hearted devotion to the spiritual 
welfare of his beloved people. 

* St. Vincent de Paul, James Street. 



[THE END.] 



INDEX 



PAGE 

Adam, William, first mayor of Liverpool ; will of ... ... ... 3 

Allies, T. W 112 

All Saints , opening of school chapel ... ... ... ... ... 247 

All Souls , Collingwood Street 

Robert Hutchinson s generosity ... ... ... ... 202 

Public subscription... ... ... ... ... ... 202 

opened by Vicar-General 203 

Father Hogan, rector ... ... ... ... ... 203 

Almond, Father, O.S.B., attacks " Daily Post " 146 

Amicable Society of St. Patrick 38 

Anderdon, Rev. W. H 135 

Anderson, P. M., O.S.B., Father 135 

Anderton ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 42 

Anglicans capture Corporation Schools ... ... ... ... 50 

expel Catholic children 68 

Appleton 26 

Dr., O.S.B., Rev., death from fever ... 86 

Aspinall, J. B., Recorder of Liverpool ... ... ... ... 60 

Fontenoy Street schools 108 

speaks in Sessions House ... ... ... ... 114 

and St. Vincent s ... ..^ ... ... ... 123 

speech at Catholic Club 126 

Holy Cross 139 

Forster s Education Bill ... 187 

Attendance at Mass 34,121,122,203,204 

Augustinian Nuns in Liverpool ... ... ... ... ... 185 

Baines, Bishop, preaches at St. Anthony s 47 

death of ... ... ... ... ... ... 74 

O.S.B., Father, preaches at St. Peter s 35 

Mrs., Spitalfields refuge ... 166 

Banquets 34, 39 

Bannister ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 42 

Baptisms. See Statistics. 

Barnwall ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 42 

Barratt ... 10 

Baxter, Dr., J.P., C.C 226 

Beesley, G 46 

R 46 

Bench-holders. See Jesuits, St. Mary s. 

Benedictines, Birkenhead Priory 4, 5 

Father Sewall, S.J., writes to Father MacDonald, 

O.S.B. 17 

take charge of St. Mary s 19 

Father MacDonald summons parish meeting ... 20 

Bench-holders and 19, 20, 21, 22 



252 

Benedictines at Sefton 24 

at Gillmoss 24 

build St. Peter s 25 

extend St. Peter s 35 

St. Mary s overcrowded ... ... ... ... 37 

St. Peter s overcrowded 38 

and Catholic Female Orphanage ... ... ... 40 

Bishop Polding, O.S.B. 54 

found St. Austin s 55 

death of Father Glover, O.S.B. 63 

visit of Bishop Ullathorne, O.S.B 70 

found St. Anne s, Edge Hill 71 

and St. Francis Xavier s ... ... ... ... 72 

found St. Peter s schools ... ... ... ... 73 

Ray Street schools 75 

St. Austin s schools 73 

St. Mary s new church ... ... ... ... 75 

visit of Bishop Brown, O.S.B. 56 

erection of St. Augustine s 95, 96 

found St. Anne s schools 110 

Benevolent Hibernian Society ... ... ... ... ... ... 38 

Society ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 41 

of St. Patrick 32, 38 

Berry, John, Rev 248 

Berry 107 

Bidwill, Colonel 147, 187, 193, 216, 217 

Billinge 16, 21 

Bilsborrow, Bishop 77 

Birch, Sir Thomas, M.P. 91 

Birkdale Farm School 117 

Birkenhead election 148 

riots 154, 155 

Bishop Eton 76 

Blanchard, Edward 46 

Blessed Sacrament Church, Walton ; new church opened 221 

Bligh, Dr. A. M 151 

elected for Scotland Ward 215 

John, J.P 151 

contest for Select Vestry 219 

elected member of School Board 243 

Blind Asylum 65 

Blount 42 

Blundell 6, 7, 27 

Henry 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 

Nicholas 7, 8 

William, High Sheriff of Lancashire 55 

Weld 93, 97, 183, 187 

Blundell Street chapel. See St. Vincent s. 

Bolas, O.S.B., Father 19 

Botill, Hugh 

Boys Refuge 183 

Bradley, J. S 226 

Brancker, John, presents statue to St. Patrick s 40 

accompanies O Connell on Change ... ... 54 

Brennan, E. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 34 

p 33 

Bretherton, Bartholomew, founds Rainhill chapel 55 

E. 42, 80, 90, 91, 98 



253 

Brewer, O.S.B., Rev. Dr 18 

speech in aid of St. Francis Xavier s... 72 

Briggs, Bishop, appointed Vicar Apostolic ... ... ... ... 55 

opens St. Austin s ... ... ... ... ... 55 

lays down conditions for St. Austin s 56 

pastoral ... ... ... ... ... ... 57 

and St. Francis Xavier s 62 

transferred to Yorkshire 65, 75 

Brindle 123 

Brown, Dr., O.S.B 56 

Bishop of Shrewsbury Ill, 127 

Bishop, appointed coadjutor Vicar Apostolic 65 

consecration in St. Anthony s ... ... ... 65 

opens Rainhill chapel ... ... ... ... 65 

succeeds Bishop Baines 74 

holds first ordinations at St. Nicholas ... ... 74 

opens St. Mary s church 75 

resides at Eton Lodge, Woolton ... ... ... 76 

abolishes lay committees ... ... ... ... 79 

arranges for future church collections ... ... 80 

opens St. Anne s ... ... ... ... ... 81 

opens St. Alban s 95 

foundation stone of St. Francis Xavier s ... ... 76 

opens St. Francis Xavier s ... ... ... ... 95 

restoration of hierarchy ; first Bishop of Liverpool 97 

Haigh Street schools 100 

hands over Standish Street to Oblates of Mary 

Immaculate 107 

in failing health Ill 

coadjutor appointed ... ... ... ... ... Ill 

lays foundation stone of Catholic Institute ... 112 
authorises Mr. John Yates to prosecute editor of 

" Liverpool Standard " 115 

forms committee to establish Catholic Reformatory 116 

invites Redemptorists to Liverpool ... ... 123 

favourite pupil of Dr. Lingard and vice-president 

of Ushaw, death of 123 

Browne, Edward, and parliamentary election of 1874 ... ... 212 

defeated in Pitt Street Ward 215 

elected to School Board 193 

John 101 

Brundritt, Father, and Birkenhead riots ... ... ... ... 154 

Bullen 61 

Burke 28 

Bute, Marquis of 191 

Butler, Christopher ... 16,21 

Butt, Isaac, M.P ... 125 

Byrne 28 

Garrett, M.P 216,227 

Patrick, elected for VauxhaU Ward 240 



Cafferata 61, 98 

elected Vestryman 132, 141 

Cahill, Rev. Dean, preaches at St. Patiick s 40 

preaches at Holy Cross 109 

supports Liverpool "Catholic Citizen" ... 110 

discourages St. Patrick s Day parades ... ... Ill 



254 

Callan, Dr. 226 

Gallon 61 

Canavan, Dr. P., elected to School Board 219 

Cardwell 91 

Carney, Michael, Father 239 

Carpenter, Father, S.J., saves Blessed Sacrament from rioters at 

St. Mary s 11 

Carr, Monsignor Provost 79, 230 

Can-oil, Father, S.J 13 

Humphrey ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 7 

Carter, William, Father 107 

Catholic Association ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 41 

Catholic Benevolent Society ... ... ... ... ... ... 41 

" Catholic Citizen " 110 

Catholic Club, foundation of ... ... ... ... ... ... 80 

conference on school provision ... ... ... 93 

and Christian Brothers at St. Mary s 106 

Bishop Goss speech at ... ... Ill, 126, 130 

address to Father Mathew ... ... ... ... 115 

organises public lectures ... ... ... ... 146 

and South Lancashire election 147, 148 

offers to find situations for Kirkdale school children 149, 150 

and Father Nu gent s rescue work ... ... ... 166 

Forster s Education Bill 187 

entertains Bishop O Reilly ... ... ... ... 209 

political dissensions in 211,212,213,215,216 

Catholic Defence Associaton 52 

Society 42 

Emancipation ... ... ... , ... ... ... 41, 42, 44 

Institute of Great Britain ... ... ... ... 57, 64, 63 

Catholic Institute, Hope Street Rodney Street School Ill 

foundation stone of Hope Street school 112 

opened by Cardinal Wiseman ... ... ... ... 112 

Newman lectures on Turks ... ... ... ... ... 112 

Catholic Magazine 56 

Poor School Committee founded 93 

Registration Society ... ... ... ... ... ... 58 

Rent Society 42 

Tract and Book Society 58 

Catholic Times " Northern Press " purchased ... ... ... 183 

and Catholic schools ... ... ... ... ... ... 188 

and St. Francis Xavier s 192 

attacks Select Vestry 194 

criticises Seamen s Orphanage ... ... ... ... 200 

and " Silence of Lancashire " ... ... ... ... 201 

and appointment of Canon O Reilly to vacant 

bishopric 208, 209 

and Mr. Caine s candidature for Liverpool 213 

and Laurence Connelly s candidature ... ... ... 215 

attacks Catholic Club 215 

controversy between Fathers Tobin and Bonte 230 

" Catholic Vindicator " 110 

Catholic Young Men s Society 

First branch at St. Mary s 124 

" Silence of Lancashire demonstration 201 

Cavanagh, Dr. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 151 

Census, church attendance 34, 121, 122 

Chaloner ... ... ... ... 45 



255 

Chaloner, E., and Institute of Great Britian 57, 61, 101 

provides St. Oswald s schools 128 

provides St. Vincent s schools ... ... ... ... 128 

generous gift to Peter s Pence 143 

death of 232 

Chaloner, Peter, presents site for St. Austin s 56 

Charles, builds school of St. Austin s 128 

Chantries of Liverpool and Walton 2, 3, 4 

Chapman ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 46 

Canon, and Birkenhead election 148 

and Garibaldi riots 154 

Cholera. See under Statistics. 

Chorley Street Chapel 13, 14 

Christian Brothers 

teach in Liverpool schools ... ... ... ... ... 70 

found first evening schools 70 

leave St. Mary s ... ... ... ... ... ... 106 

leave Liverpool ... ... ... ... ... ... 192 

invited to return by Bishop Whiteside 192 

Christian Doctrine Society 109 

Church attendance 34 

collections for Royal Infirmary, 18th century 14, 26, 28 

collectors 45, 46, 61, 123 

Clarence Reformatory ship 156 

Clarke, John, elected Select Vestryman 195 

Clement, Pope 15 

Clifton 16, 17, 19, 20, 22 

Collins, Father, O.S.B 29 

Commins, Andrew, LL.D., counsel in Moreton will dispute ... 207 
Irish candidate for Liverpool ... 211 

elected Nationalist member for Vauxhall 217 

Confirmations ... * 32, 80 

Connaught Rangers join procession to St. Patrick s 39 

Connolly, Laurence, M.P., elected for Scotland Ward 215 

Conservatives and Catholic education 51,52,59,67,68,69,78 

Convent Inspection agitation 113,188,189 

Cookson, Provost 149, 190 

Cooper, Father, O.S.B 81 

Coopman, Father, O.M.I 201 

Copperas Hill. See St. Nicholas . 

Corbally, C. J., Treasurer Irish Famine Fund 85 

Speech at Town s meeting against Oaths Bill ... 114 

elected for Vauxhall Ward 134 

defeated 146 

elected to Burial Board 146 

appointed magistrate ... ... ... 146, 182 

elected to School Board ... 193 

elections of 1874 212 

death 241 

Coronation procession, Queen Victoria 56 

Corporation of Liverpool. See Town Council. 

Cotham, Father, S.J 161 

Cosgrove, Select Vestryman 227 

" Courier," Liverpool ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 44 

defends Select Vestry bigotry ... ... ... ... 78 

attacks Bishop GOBS 206 

Crilly, Alfred 213 

Croft 46 



256 

Crosby Street, St. Vincent s ... ... ... ... ... 4 

Crosse, John, founds charities of SS. John and Katherine ... 3 

Rector, Rev., bequeaths Common Hall to Liverpool ... 3 

Cullen, Cardinal, at St. Nicholas 98 

preaches at St. Patrick s 112 

Hugh 187,212 

Cm-tin 107 

" Daily Post." See M. J. Whitty. 

Dale, Father William, O.S.B 68, 70 

death from fever 87 

Daly, Michael, first president Y.M.S. 125 

Darby, Edward 126 

Davey, Father, O.S.B., marches at head of St. Peter s children ... 122 
Dawber, Father, seeks permission of Select Vestry to say Mass in 

Workhouse 78 

Day 45 

Denbigh, Earl of 201 

Dennett, Father 38 

Denvir, John 130, 167, 201, 213, 218, 240, 243 

" Disaffection " of Liverpool Catholics 6 

Disease. See Statistics. 

Doherty, Charles, Select Vestryman ... ... ... ... ... 214 

Doon, Father Moses 203 

Donnelly, Michael, Father 162 

Dorrian, Bishop 162, 209 

Doughan, J. A., J.P. ... ... ... 239,240,242,247 

Dowling, Head Constable, dismissed Police Force ... ... ... 110 

Doyle, f ather, fight for Catholic children in Workhouse schools. 
See Select Vestry and James Whitty. 

Dubberley, Father William, S.J 246 

Duckworth 45 

Dugdale ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 45 

Duggan, Father, marches with St. Joseph s children ... 122, 139 
Duncan, Dr. W. H., Medical Officer of Health, Reports 84, 85, 88, 90 

Dutertre, Father, O.M.I 139 

Dwaryhouse 10 

Earl of Sefton and St. Anthony s schools 69 

Father Mathew 115 

presents site Gillmoss school ... ... ... ... 60 

Ecclesiastical Titles Bill 97 

Eccleston 8 

Edmund Street chapel. See St. Mary s. 

Education 

Gerard Street school 32 

Brougham s Education Bill ... ... ... ... ... 33 

St. Peter s schools 32, 73 

St. Nicholas schools 33 

Hibernian Schools ... ... ... ... ... ... 33 

St. Francis Xavier s College 62 

St. Austin s school 73 

Graham s Education Bill 74 

Ray Street schools 75 

Faithful Companions 76 

Father Nugent on value of 90 

Nasmyth Stokes memorial 93 



257 

Education 

conference at Catholic Club ... ... ... ... ... 93 

Haigh Street schools 100, 101, 102 

St. Nicholas new schools ... ... ... ... ... 102 

Si. Hilda s 102 

St. Helen s 102 

Inspectors reports 102, 103, 104, 135, 136, 137 

Pupil Teachers 106 

Privy Council grants ... ... ... ... ... ... 106 

SS. Thomas and W illiam s 107 

Holy Cros 109 

St. Anne s 110 

Catholic Institute Ill, 112 

schools procession ... ... ... ... ... ... 122 

Jordan Street schools ... ... ... ... ... 128 

Norfolk Street schools 129 

Training College 136, 137 

Wiseman on ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 138 

Forster s Education Bill 187 

new schools 189, 191, 192 

Elections, Municipal ... 48, 53, 59, 68, 113, 119, 134, 156, 159, 160 

163, 193, 199, 200, 214, 215, 216, 217, 240 

Parliamentary, Defeat of Roscoe ... ... ... ... 36 

Catholics defeat Orange candidate, 1847 92 
Catholics defeat Chas. Turner, 1857 ... 134 

South Lancashire, 1861 147 

Birkenhead Election 147 

elections of 1874 213 

election of 1885 244 

School Board 200, 219, 140 

Select Vestry, first election j 77, 78, 79 

Syred-Ilanagan fight 120 

James Fairhurst elected 119 

Liberals triumph ... ... ... ... 131 

Flanagan defeated 120 

Prendiville defeated 214 

John Bligh defeated 219 

Ball v. Martin 183 

Toxteth Guardians 229 

Eltonhead 21 

Emmett, Father, S.J., invites Benedictines to St. Mary s 18, 19, 20, 22 

Errington, Archbishop 162, 191 

Evening schools at St. Patrick s ... ... ... ... ... 70 

Every, W. 46 

Exchange Division election, 1885 ... ... ... ... ... 243 

Ward election 199 

Faber, Father, and religious orders Ill 

Fairclough, Father, O.S.B 41 

Fairhurst, James, elected Select Vestryman 119 

elected for St. Anne s Ward 160 

defeated in St. Anne s 163 

elected for Scotland Ward 163 

retires from Council ... ... ... ... 217 

Faithful Companions, Great George Square : Evening schools at 

St. Patrick s 76 

Falkner Street orphanage, foundation of in Mount Pleasant ... 40 

removed to Falkner Street 73 

Q 



258 

Famine, 1847. See Statistics. 

Fanning, Father, first chaplain Toxteth Workhouse 229 

Farnworth ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 26 

Fazackerley, priest ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 2 

Fendler 46 

Fenton, Rev. Mr., moves to expel Sisters of Mercy 132 

Fever. See Statistics. 

Finney, James 61 

Fisher, Father, O.S.B 41, 60, 68, 70 

Monsignor, president St. Edward s 72, 139 

opens Beacon Lane Orphanage 151 

and Fenian troubles ... ... ... ... 180 

opens All Souls 202 

opens Walton school chapel 203 

opens Claremont Grove chapel ... ... ... 203 

Moreton will case ... ... ... 205, 206 

opens Goss schools ... ... ... ... 220 

Street " Martyrdom " 53 

Fitzherbert 8 

Fitzpatrick, Michael, president Y.M.S. 125 

member of School Board ... ... 239 

Flanagan ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 120 

Fleetwood, Father, chaplain Brownlow Hill ... ... ... 141 

Fleming, Bishop ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 65 

Fontenoy Street schools. See Holy Cross. 

Ford Cemetery, purchase of by Canon Newsham 142 

opening by Bishop ... ..; 143 

Free and Independent Brothers ... ...... ... ... 38 

French prisoners in Tower, Water Street ... ... ... ... 30 

Frodsham, Sir Richard, priest 4 

Gandy 16 

Gaol Statistics 89,90,94 

Garston ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 6 

Garton, P. de Lacy, elected for Scotland Ward 217 

Gaunt, John of, founds chantry at St. Nicholas 3 

Gelybrand, Charles and Ellen, grant lands in Garston to St. Nicholas 3 

Gerard 42 

Sir Robert 17, 18, 20, 21 

Sir Robert 147, 187, 188 

Mrs., lays first stone Rainhill chapel 55 

Gerardot, Father Antoine 31, 41, 45 

founder of St. Anthony s " French 
Chapel " 

Gerard Street school 32 

Gibson, Father Henry, and employment for children 156 

chaplain Kirkdale Gaol ... ... ... 165 

Kirkdale schools ... ... ... ... 165 

founds first working boys home ... ... 165 

on religious teaching in Kirkdale schools... 173 

Gibson, Bishop Mathew 15, 22, 32 

Father, T. E. 7, 14 

on Catholic population of Liverpool ... 234 

Michael, presents spire St. Oswald s 71 

Gilbert, Father, O.S.B. , death from fever 87 

Gillibrand, Father, S. J. 8 

Gillmoss 19, 24 

schools ... 60 



259 

Gillow, Father Richard, St. Nicholas , death from fever 87 

R 46 

Thomas, provides school of SS. Thomas and William ... 107 

98 

Misses Mary and Isabella, lady visitors to Workhouse 134, 140 

Glover, Father, O.S.B 43 

dies from fever ... ... ... ... 63 

S.J 33 

Goethals, Dean 192 

Good Shepherd nuns of. See Nuns. 

Gore 34 

Goss, Bishop, vice-president, St. Edward s 72 

appointed coadjutor ... ... ... ... ... Ill 

speech at Catholic Club Ill 

at opening of Catholic Institute ... ... ... 112 

speaks at Town s meeting for child rescue 116 

inauguration of St. Vincent s ... ... ... 123 

lays foundation stone of St. Vincent s ... ... 126 

pays tribute to the Irish 126 

opens St. Vincent s ... ... ... ... ... 127 

and weekly collectors ... ... ... ... ... 127 

opens Gordon Street schools ... ... ... ... 128 

opens chapel, Our Lady Immaculate... ... ... 129 

attacks Select Vestry ... 130 

negotiations with (Select Vestry) re Catholic chaplain 134 

asks electors to vote against Mr. Charles Turner ... 135 

on Sunday recreation ... ... ... ... ... 135 

opens Mount Vernon chapel ... ... ... ... 135 

laid first stone St. James , Bootle 135 

presides at inaugural meeting to found Holy Cross 139 

laid foundation stone Holy Cross ... ... ... 139 

Orange riots, Old Swan * ... ../ 139 

opens Holy Cross ... ... ... ... ... 139 

foundation stone, Our Lady s, Eldon Street ... 140 

Easter Communion at Workhouse ... ... ... 141 

blesses Stations of the Cross, Ford Cemetery ... 142 

consecrates Church Holy Sepulchre 142 

visits Pope Pius Ninth with addresses and Peter s 

Pence 143 

Protestants in Spain ; challenges Sir Robert Peel ... 146 

charged with interference elections of 1861 ... 147 
Catholic foster parents for Poor Law children; 

gives statistics of leakage 150 

gives statistics of school attendance 151 

invites Sisters of Good Shepherd ... ... ... 152 

and training ship " Clarence " ... ... ... 156 

on the daily press ... ... ... ... 157 158 

replies to " Daily Post " 159 

writes to Select Vestry about death of Father Wilson 161 

lays foundation stone of St. Michael s ... ... 162 

opens St. Michael s 162 

opens school chapel, Mount Carmel ... ... ... 162 

lays stone of St. Alban s schools 162 

appoints Father Gibson chaplain, Kirkdale Gaol ... 165 

attacks Reformatory schools ... ... ... ... 175 

opposes compulsory education 176 

Tory papers attack and " Daily Post " defends ... 176 

criticises St. George s school 177 



260 

Goes, Bishop, and Toxteth Guardians ... ... ... ... 177 

clergymen on public bodies ... ... ... 178 

proposed Protestant Bishopric of Liverpool ... 178 

controversy with the Rector of Liverpool ... ... 178 

forbids Manchester Martyrs procession ... ... 180 

on Irish revolutionary parties 181 

blesses bell at St. James ... ... ... ... 181 

opens Boys Refuge, St. Anne Street ... ... 184 

foundation stone, St. Vincent s new schools ... 185 

criticises Irish habits 185 

Forster s Education Bill 187 

Pastoral letter on school accommodation ... ... 189 

presides at Theatre Royal 191 

urges Select Vestry to appoint chaplain ... ... 194 

writes farewell letter to Father G. Porter, S.J. ... 197 

creates parish of St. Bridget ... ... ... ... 197 

on attitude of Press to religion 197 

" Reproof of the Irish " 198 

on teetotalism ... ... ... ... ... ... 198 

attack on School Board 198 

defends Holy Cross parishioners 200 

supports Tory candidate for School Board ... ... 200 

on Catholic progress 203, 204 

death of 206 

Manning s panegyric ... ... ... ... ... 205 

Moreton will case ... ... ... ... ... 205 

" Courier s " attack on ... ... ... ... 206 

memorial window ... ... ... ... ... 220 

memorial schools 220 

Gradwell, Joseph 226 

Grandidier, Father 139 

Grant, Bishop Ill 

Father, S.J 100 

appears before West Derby Guardians ... 132 

Grayston, Father, St. Patrick s, death from fever ... ... ... 87 

Green, Mass celebrated secietly at Green s Hotel, Dale Street ... 12 
Green s description of second chapel in Edmund Street ... 12,13 

Greenhough, Father, O.S.B 110 

Gregson, Father, O.S.B. 18, 19, 24 

Griffiths, Bishop 65 

Guy, Father, O.S.B 162, 177, 184 

Haggar, Father, St. Patrick s, death from fever 87 

Hales, Bishop 

Halghton, Cecilia, bequeaths lands in Wavertree and West Derby 3 

Hall 45 

Father 227 

Hardesty, Father, S.J 9 

Harford, Austin, Councillor, J.P 226 

Harper, S. B. See " Northern Press." 

Harrington, Mayor warned against ., 6 

suffer from Penal Laws ... ... ... ... ... 7 

Harris, Raymond, Father, S.J., defends slave trade ... ... 14 

Town Council thanks and votes 

annual honorarium 15 
differences at St. Mary s 16, 17 

suspended by Vicar Apostolic ... 20 

Harvey, C 203 



261 

Haskayne ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 45 

Havers, Father, S.J 13 

Hayes, Father James, S.J., English assistant at Rome 226 

Gilbert 236 

Health of Town s Association ... ... ... ... ... ... 82 

Henry, Duke of Lancaster, founds chantry at St. Mary s of the Quay 3 

grants lands to St. Nicholas ... ... 4 

Hibernian Mechanical Society 38 

Schools, Pleasant Street 32, 33, 45, 94 

Society 38 

Hogan, Father Thomas, All Souls 203 

Hoghton 42 

Holgrave ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 45 

Holland 7 

Holme 61 

H J 226 

Holt, George, and Catholic schools ... ... ... ... ... 94 

Holy Cross church 9 

beginning of mission, Standish Street shippon... 94 

S. H. Moreton provides a temporary chapel ... 94 

Oblate Fathers take charge 107 

Father Noble provides schools ... 107, 108 

Hodson Street Ragged School 108 

population of ... ... ... ... ... 108 

Christian Doctrine and Temperance Societies in 109 

Rev. Dr. Cahill s sermon, panic in chapel ... 109 

police brutality ... ... ... ... ... 109 

Head Constable dismissed ... ... ... 110 

attendance at Mass ... ... ... ... 122 

school children in procession ... ... ... 122 

school attendance 190 

and Papal Zouave 201 

Hore 61, 91, 98 

Howard, Lord, of Glossop ... 191 

Howarth, Sir Ralph, priest 4 

Hughes, James, Select Vestryman, religious teaching, Kirkdale 

schools 117 

Sunday Mass in Workhouse ... ... ... 119 

Hume, Canon, Census of Vauxhall Ward 89 

Ignatius, Father, C.P., attacked by Liverpool Orangemen ... 97 

Ince Blundell new schools opened 76 

Industrious Universal Society ... ... ... ... ... ... 38 

Notre Dame. See Nuns of Notre Dame. 

Institute of St. Elizabeth, Soho Street 124 

Irish Catholics v. English Catholics : political differences in 1841... 67 

1861... 147 

Irish Catholic Club ; R. Sheil, president 115 

Irish Immigration 27, 28, 30, 31, 35, 36, 37, 

47,63,83,84,85, 117, 150 

Militia arrive in Liverpool ... ... ... ... ... 30 

Poverty 37, 38, 46, 47, 63, 82 

Politics 

O Connell and Liverpool Repealers 65, 66 

48 movement ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 92 

Father O Reilly denounces secret societies ... ... 92 

Manchester Martyrs ... ... ... ... ... 179, 180 

Home Rule movement 210 



262 

Politics 

Caine-Torr election 211 

general election, 1874 211 

oust Catholic Liberals from Council ... 215, 216, 217 

Home Rulers and School Board elections ... ... 219, 240 

opposition to John Yates ... ... ... ... ... 240 

Parnell s candidature 243, 244 

Italian Revolution, Liverpool Catholics and ... 92, 143, 144, 145, 

146, 152, 154 

James the Second and Liverpool Catholics ... ... 5 

Jesuits, serving in Liverpool ... 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 15, 16 

Father Kirby s MSS 9, 10 

build St. Mary s, Lumber Street 9 

rioters destroy ditto ... ... ... ... ... ... 11 

celebrate Mass in Dale Street ... ... ... ... 12 

erect new chapel, Edmund Street ... ... ... ... 12 

rioters destroy second chapel 13 

Moor Street chapel ... ... ... ... ... ... 13 

Chorley Street chapel 13 

suppression of the ... ... ... ... ... ... 14 

hand St. Mary s to Benedictines 14, 17, 18, 19 

quarrels at St. Mary s 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21 

Father Emmett writes to Benedictine provincial ... 19 

negotiations with St. Nicholas committee ... ... 33, 34 

St. Francis Xavier s Society ... ... ... ... ... 61 

difficulties with Bishop Brown 62 

O Connell eulogises 72 

Johnson, Father, S.J 61 

Jolivet, Father, O.M.I 139 

Jump ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 61 

Kaye, John 15, 21, 34, 42, 45 

Allan 32, 45, 108 

Kearney 44, 98 

Kelly 44 

Dean, Rev 203 

P. C., C.C 226 

Thomas, Father, St. Alban s 95 

Crimean procession ... ... 122 

D.D 87 

Kennedy, Father, O.S.B 24 

Kenrick, Archbishop 191 

Father 122 

Kirby, Edmund 223, 227 

" Rose and Crown " ... ... ... ... ... ... 61 

Father, S.J., agreement with parishioners of St. Mary s ...9, 10 

Kirk, Dr. 151 

Kirkdale Schools. See Select Vestry, James Whitty, and Father 8 

Gibson. 

Kirwan, Father 38 

Knight, Sir Arnold, M.D., presides at founding of Catholic Club... 80 
founds Health of Towns Association ... 82 
and election tactics, 1847 ... 91, 98 

Lace Street, Holy Cross parish ... ... ... ... 84, 85 

Lancaster Assizes, action against Father MacDonald, O.S.B. ... 24 

Lancaster 6 



263 

Langdale, Hon. Chas. ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 149 

Latham ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 5 

Lathom 42 

Lavelle, Dr., Rev 140 

Lawrence ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 15, 21 

Lay Committees, abolition of 79 

Leadbetter 7 

Leahy, Bishop 127 

Leemins, E 189 

Leigh, H. F., founder of St. Nicholas schools 34, 42, 45 

John, negotiations with Jesuits ... ... ... ... 34 

Leonard, Peter 46 

Lenoir, Father Hilary, O.M.I 161, 184 

Liberal Party and Catholic Emancipation ... ... ... ... 36 

win Town Hall 48 

grant Town Hall for Catholic Charity Ball 50 

and Catholic education 50, 51, 59, 67, 68 

Seel Street lease 52 

Fisher Street " martyrdom " ... ... ... 53 

appoint Catholic High Sheriffs ... ... ... 55 

Liberal defeats 60, 68 

and Irish unreformed corporations ... ... ... 60 

Select Vestry bigotry 78, 79 

Lightbound, Select Vestryman... ... ... ... ... ... 61 

Liscard chapel. See St. Alban s, Liscard. 

Liscard schools, Government Inspector s eulogy ... ... ... 136 

Little Sisters of the Poor. See Nuns. 

Livingston ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 107 

Lomax, Neale John, aids foundation of St. Augustine s 95 

waits on Select Vestry ... ... ... ... 149 

difficulty in finding work for pauper children 156 
controversy with Protestant chaplain, Kirk- 
dale Gaol 173 
defends nuns against Dr. Taylor ... ... 189 

deputation to Poor Law Board ... ... 194 

leads Holy Cross parishioners against J. J. Stitt 1 99 
meets Papal Zouaves ... ... ... ... 201 

contests School Board seat ... ... ... 214 

Lumber Street chapel. See St. Mary s. 

Lynch 44 

Lythgoe, Father Randal, S.J., letter to Father Glover as to St. 

Nicholas 33, 75 
Francis, S. J., one of first masters at St. Francis 

College 63 

MacAdam, F. J., Select Vestryman 229 

MacArdle, Chas., elected for Vauxhall Ward 218 

MacCarthy, John 41 

Justin, M.P., candidate for Exchange Division of 

Liverpool 245 
MacDonald, Father Archibald, O.S.B. 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26 

See also St. Mary s and St. Peter s. 

MacHale, Archbishop, preaches at St. Patrick s ... ... ... 54 

at St. Nicholas 98 

McArdle, John, councillor, Scotland Ward 189, 195, 219 

McCarron, Dr 91 

McConvery, editor 110 

McCormac, Father, first priest at St. Vincent s 73 



264 

McEvoy, Father 83 

McKenna, J.P., member of School Board ... ... . . . .*.*. 226 

McNeill, Hugh, campaign against Catholics ... 51, 52, 53, 58, 59, 

78, 85, 114, 162 

Mackworth, Sir Digby, defeated by Catholic voters 92 

Madden, Denis 37 

William, member of School Board ... 219,226 

Haddocks, Canon ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 37 

Magistrates, and Orange policemen " 76, 77 

Magrath, Father ... ... ... ... ... ... 139 

Maguire, James ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 28 

John Francis, M.P 125, 188 

Father Tom 53 54 

T. P 226 

Maher, Brother Joseph, St. Patrick s 81 

" Mail " attacks James Muspratt ... ... ... ... ... 55 

and Registration Society 59 

slanders priesthood 64 

and Catholic progress 76 

Manning, Cardinal, preaches at Requiem Mass for Bishop Goss ... 204 
consecrates Dr. O Reilly ... ... ... 209 

temperance address 213, 231 

Mannock, Father, S.J 8 

Mansell, Father, S.J 15 

Mansfield, J. S., Stipendiary Magistrate, writes on child rescue to 

Father Nugent 1 16 

on Orange attack on Wiseman 139 

Marriage statistics 56, 57, 161 

Mixed 56, 57 

Marsh 45 

Marshall, T. W., School Reports 102 

Dr., Rev 142 

Mass, attendance at 34, 35, 121, 122, 205, 206 

Martin, Thomas, Select Vestryman ... ... ... ... ... 165 

Ball v. Martin election ... ... ... ... 181 

and workhouse chaplain ... ... ... ... 193 

Marybone ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 9, 37 

Mason, Father, ex-Methodist ... ... ... ... ... ... 72 

Mathew, Father Theobald, invited to Liverpool by St. Peter s 

Abstinence Society 73 

preaches at St. Anthony s and St. 

Patrick s 74 

guest of William Rathbone ... 74, 115 
visits Hibernian Schools ... ... 94 

presented with addresses of welcome... 115 
Meetings 

St. Mary s bench-holders 16, 20 

Catholic Emancipation ... ... ... ... ... 41 

Defence Society, ... 42, 52 

school accommodation 44, 70 

Registration Society ... ... ... ... ... ... 58 

Church rate 60 

St. Francis Xavier s 61 

Father Glover memorial ... ... ... ... ... 63 

Institute of Great Britain ... ... ... ... ... 64 

O Connell at Amphitheatre 72 

Graham s Education Bill ... ... ... ... ... 74 

protest against O ConnelTs arrest ... ... ... 75 



265 

Meetings- 
Catholic Club 80 

Health of Towns 82 

against Education grants ... ... ... ... ... 91 

general election, 1847 91,92 

meeting in St. Mary s to found St. Augustine s ... ... 95 

against Ecclesiastical Titles Bill 97 

to promote local Catholic paper ... ... ... ... 110 

to promote St. Vincent s ... ... ... ... 123 

to promote Holy Cross ... ... ... ... ... 139 

to promote training ship ... ... ... ... ... 156 

A. M. Sullivan 163, 201 

Father Nugent s rescue work meetings ... ... 166, 174 

Education Bill demonstrations, 187, 188, 191 

Convent Inspection meeting ... ... ... ... 188 

to build new schools ... ... ... ... ... ... 192 

201 
52 
78 
91 
146 
147 
217 



Young Men s Society demonstration 
Mercury," Liverpool, and Catholic education 

attacks Select Vestry 

urges Catholics " to fight " 
attacks Pius the Ninth 
and clerical interference in elections 
and " home rulers " 



Merritt 34 

Mixed marriages ... ... ... ... ... ... 56, 57 

Molyneux 2, 7, 10, 24, 27 

rectors of Walton ... ... ... ... ... ... 2 

Monks Ferry ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 4 

Morgan, J., Rev 237 

Moor Street chapel 13 

Moore, Count, M.P 125, 240 

Moreton, Samuel Holland, St. Francis Xavier s Society 61 

provides temporary chapel, Standish 

Street 94, 108 
law suit over his will ... 205, 206, 207 

Morris, Bishop 75, 81, 96 

Morrow s Mass, ordered by Corporation ... ... ... ... 4 

Mostyn, Sir E 42 

Mount Pleasant. See Nuns of Notre Dame. 

Mount Vernon. See Sisters of Mercy. 

Mowbray ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 2 

Municipal Elections. See Elections, municipal. 

Murdoch, Bishop... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 65 

Murphy, Bishop, first rector of St. Patrick s 39, 81 

Father B 31 

Dr 95 

Muspratt, James ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 55 

Myres 45 

Nationalists attack A M. Sullivan, M.P 163 

and Bishop Goss and 1874 elections 211, 212 

oppose Catholic Liberals ... 215, 216, 217, 240 

interfere in School Board elections 221, 240 

and Father Nugent 196, 215, 218 

Netherton 24 

Newman, Cardinal, lectures at Catholic Institute 112 

Newsham, Canon Thomas, appointed to St. Anthony s 80 

and North Shore Mill Co 80 



266 

Newsham, Canon Thomas, opens Standish Street Mission ... ... 94 

founds St. Alban s 95 

Privy Council compliments 102 

founds St. Hilda and St. Helen s schools 102 

Education Inspector eulogises ... ... 103 

marches with St. Anthony s children ... 122 

purchases burial grounds, Ford... ... 142 

retires from St. Anthony g ... ... 140 

Nightingale, Father 87 

Noble, Father, O.M.I., provides new schools in Fontenoy Street... 107 

attacks Hodson Street proselytisers ... 108 

organizes Temperance Society ... ... 109 

novel method of teaching the uninstructed 109 

chairman, Falkner Street Orphanage ... 110 

helps to found a Catholic newspaper ... 110 
marches at head of his parishioners to 

Sessions House 114 
Crimean procession, marches with Holy 

Cross children 122 

begins new church of Holy Cross ... ... 139 

Norfolk, Duke of 191 

Street chapel. See St. Vincent s. 

Norris 7 

North Corporation schools 50, 57, 60, 67, 69 

"Northern Press," edited by Mr. S. B. Harper, con- 144, 146, 152, 

troversies with " Daily Post " 153, 154, 155 

Nugent, John, Rev., founds new mission in Rice Lane ... ... 203 

completes church of Blessed Sacrament ... 220 
Nugent, Father James (Monsignor) 

preaches on behalf Irish Famine Fund 86 

on value of education ... ... ... ... ... 90 

preaches at opening of Standish Street chapel ... ... 94 

suggests coming of Nuns of Notre Dame 95, 104 

speaks at laying foundation stone, Fontenoj Street schools 108 

opening of schools ... ... ... ... ... ... 109 

speaks at Holy Cross Temperance Society ... ... 109 

founds Catholic Middle School, Rodney Street Ill 

organizes course of lectures Ill, 112 

founds Catholic Institute, Hope Street Ill, i: 

commences rescue work ... ... ... ... ... 116 

suggests invitation to Redemptorists ... ... ... 123 

and Young Men s Societies 125 

a chaplain at Brownlow Hill ... ... ... ... 134 

selects lady visitors for workhouse ... ... ... 134, 141 

visits " Akbar " 138 

success at Brownlow Hill ... ... ... ... ... 141 

and Catholic population in 1861 ... ... ... ... 150 

states number of street arabs in Liverpool ... ... 151 

and Good Shepherd Nuns 152 

appointed Gaol Chaplain ... ... ... ... ... 157 

child rescue work ... ... ... ... ... ... 166 

opens refuge in Spitalfields ... ... ... ... ... 166 

opens refuge in Soho Street 166 

founds " Association of Providence " ... ... ... 166 

and Irish faults 167 

secretary, Clarence committee 

first annual report to justices ... ... ... ... 168 

statistics of Catholic prisoners 169, 170, 172 



267 

Nugent, Father James (Monsignor) 

on value of education ... ... ... ... ... 168 

on casual labour ... ... ... ... ... ... 169 

occupations of prisoners 169 

prison statistics of nationality ... ... ... 171, 172 

on domestic training ... ... ... ... ... ... 171 

condemns street trading ... ... ... ... ... 174 

secures support from Mayor and leading citizens... 174, 175 

and St. George s school 175 

publicly advocates compulsory education ... ... ... 177 

establishes Boys Refuge, St. Anne Street 183 

attacked by " Daily Post" and "Albion" 183 

purchases " Northern Press " ... ... ... ... 183 

organises opposition to Forster s Education Bill, 1870... 187, 188 

and Father George Porter, S.J 189 

Catholic population in 1870 ... ... ... ... ... 191 

stirs up middle classes 192 

advocates boarding out workhouse children ... ... 194 

first visit of enquiry to America ; takes out party of 

children 195 

presented with his portrait ... ... ... ... ... 195 

Nationalist criticism of ... ... ... ... ... 196 

invited to discuss emigration by Select Vestry ... ... 196 

Save the Boy meetings in various towns ... ... ... 196 

and the " Silence of Lancashire " 201 

temperance crusade ... ... ... ... ... 202, 231 

on Canon O Reilly s appointment as Bishop 208 

advocates Catholic candidate for Liverpool ... ... 213 

and Mr. W. S. Caine 213 

supports Laurence Connolly s candidature for Scotland 

Ward 215 

supports Charles Mac Ardle for Vauxhall 216 

criticism of Home Rule Association 218 

opens the League Hall 232 

Catholic population statistics 236 

suggests rebuilding of St. Mary s in Sefton Park district 247 

Nuns 

Faithful Companions, open boarding school, Great 

George Square 76 

at St. Patrick s, open evening school 76 

Good Shepherd 

Netherfield Road, attacks by Orangemen 152 

Mason Street 152 

Ford 152 

Miss Rosson s generosity ... ... ... 152 

Father Nugent and ... ... ... 152 

Institute of Notre Dame 

nuns arrive in Liverpool ... ... ... ... ... 104 

take charge of St. Nicholas Schools 104 

Government reports on ... ... ... ... 103, 105 

begin High School 105 

take charge of Falkner Street orphanage ... ... ... 105 

first pupil teachers centre 106 

Government report on value of Notre Dame methods 136 

Training College commenced 136 

Queen s Scholarship successes ... ... ... 137, 221 

Sir James Kay Shuttle worth visits Mount Pleasant ... 137 

Inspector s report on Practising School 137 



268 

Institute of Notre Dame 

Robert Lowe s oppressive policy ... ... ... ... 222 

Sister Mary Theresa 222 

new High School buildings 223 

Sister Mary of St. Philip 223 

Institute of St. Elizabeth, Soho Street 124 

Little Sisters of the Poor, Hope Street, Belmont Road ... 223 

Sisters of Charity, open School for Blind 73 

open Beacon Lane orphanage ... ... ... ... 152 

May Place 223 

Sisters of Mercy, Rev. Dr. Youens brings them to 

Liverpool 72 

Mount Vernon Convent completed ... ... ... ... 72 

take charge of St. Francis Xavier s schools ... ... 100 

at Falkner Street orphanage 105 

West Derby Guardians and 132 

Oblates of Mary Immaculate. See Holy Cross. 

O Brien, Dean, founds Young Men s Society, first branch at 

St. Mary s 124 

lectures at Philharmonic Hall 146 

O Brien, Father, S.J 13 

O Callaghan, Father, O.S.B., Crimean procession 122 

funeral procession 142 

O Carroll, Father, S.J 100, 101 

O Connell, Bishop 81 

O Connell, Daniel, addresses Liverpool meeting 54 

guest of Wm. Rathbone ... ... ... ... 54 

and Liverpool Repealers ... ... ... ... 66 

speech in aid of building fund of St. Francis 

Xavier s 72 

guest of E. Chaloner 72 

visits St. Edward s and Mount Vernon Convent 72 

lying in state on "Duchess of Kent," Liverpool 88 

O Connor, 28 

Don, M.P. 88 

T. P., M-P 245 246 

O Donnell 46, 66 

Father, first paid workhouse chaplain ... ... ... 221 

O Donovan, Canon P., appointed Rector of St. Bridget s 197 

O Hare, J. A 226 

P. E., Councillor for Scotland Ward 226 

O Leary, Dr 151 

O Neill 61 

O Shea, Captain, M.P 245, 246 

O Toole, Canon 35 

Old Swan. See St. Oswald s. 

Orange attacks on Catholics ... ... ... ... ... 36, 43, 45 

attack on St. Patrick s 67 

policemen 76, 77 

attempt to pull down St. Patrick s statue 92 

attack on Father Ignatius ... ... ... ... ... 97 

attack on Wiseman 138 

attack on Good Shepherd nuns 152 

O Reilly, Bishop, stricken with fever at St. Patrick s 87 

denounces secret societies ... ... ... ... 92 

repels Orange attacks on St. Patrick s ... ... 92 

appointed rector of St. Vincent s 122 



269 

O Reilly, Bishop, begins new church 1 23 

leads St. Vincent s children in procession ... 122 

lays foundation stone, St. Vincent s 126 

opening of St. Vincent s 127 

affection for his collectors ... ... ... 127 

intimate knowledge of his parishioners ... 127, 128 

Jordan Street schools ... ... ... ... 128 

Norfolk Street schools 129 

rebukes Nationalists ... ... ... ... 163 

Fenian troubles ... ... ... ... ... 180 

Forster s Education Bill ... 187 

and Father Nugent s emigration schemes ... 195 

Father Nugent and 208, 209 

consecrated Bishop ... ... ... ... 209 

political views ... ... ... ... ... 210 

School Board election 219 

founds Goss Memorial Schools 220 

opens St. Joseph s new church ... ... ... 220 

Mount Carmel new church ... ... ... 220 

Blessed Sacrament, Walton 220 

Our Lady of Perpetual Succour 221 

beginning of St. Alphonsus ... ... ... 221 

introduces Little Sisters of the Poor 223 

and Industrial Schools ... ... ... ... 225 

proposes to take charge of pauper children 228, 248 

attacks Toxteth Liberals ... 229 

institutes religious examination ... ... ... 230 

on temperance ... ... ... ... ... 231 

founds Upholland Seminary ... ... ... 236 

opens school chapel, Hale Road ... ... ... 237 

gives Walton s Catholic population 237 

St. Francis , Garston ... ... ... ... 238 

opens St. Mary s, Highfield Street 238 

new church of St. James, Bootle... ... ... 239 

Our Lady s, Wavertree 239 

Sacred Heart 239 

St. John s new church ... ... ... ... 239 

St. Sylvester s new church 239 

presentation to John Yates ... ... ... 241 

pastoral letter, general election of 1885 ... 242 

founds All Saints , St. Clare, St. Charles ... 247 

protection of Catholic children ... ... ... 247 

visits trading boys home ... ... ... 248 

death of 249 

Sir Edward Russell s appreciation of ... 249, 250 

Bishop Hedley s panegyric ... ... ... 250 

Orrell, Charles 42 

Our Lady of Good Help, Wavertree, temporary chapel opened by 

Bishop Goss 239 
Bishop O Reilly lays 

foundation stone 239 

Our Lady Immaculate, St. Domingo Road, opened by Bishop Goss 129 

school funds 192 

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, school chapel 162 

school attendance ... ... ... 190 

new church opened ... ... ... 220 

Our Lady of Reconciliation, Eldon Street, mission founded ... 123 



270 

Our Lady of Reconciliation, Eldon Street, foundation stone and 

opening new church 140 

Our Lady and St. Nicholas 1,2,3,4,8 

Our Lady of Perpetual Succour ... ... ... ... ... 221 

" Papal aggression " 97 

Papal Zouaves 201 

Parker, Father 60 

and Jesuits 62 

Repealers 66 

Blundell Street chapel 73 

death from fever ... ... ... ... ... 86 

Parnell, Charles Stewart, M. P. 245 

Parsons, Dr 160 

Pastoral letters, Bishop Gibson and St. Mary s 22 

Bishop Brown 79 

Bishop Goss 157, 159, 175, 177, 180, 189 

Bishop O Reilly 242, 248 

Penal laws 6,7 

Pennington, Father, O.S.B 29 

Penswick, Thomas, Bishop, first rector of St. Nicholas 34 

attends procession to St. Patrick s ... 38 

founder of St. Patrick s 39 

sings High Mass at opening 40 

supports Catholic Emancipation Bill ... 41 

project for new schools at St. Nicholas 44 
sings High Mass at opening of St. 

Anthony s 47 

appointed coadjutor 55 

Vicar Apostolic ... ... ... ... 55 

death of ... ... ... ... ... 55 

buried at Windleshaw Abbey 55 

memorial in Pro-Cathedral ... ... 55 

Peter s Pence 143 

Petition for removal of Jesuit disabilities ... ... ... ... 44 

of clergy to Town Council ... ... ... ... ... 68 

against Graham s Education Bill 74 

for O Connell s release 77 

Petre, Honourable Mrs. (Sister Mary Francis) 105 

Pinnington, Father, S.J. 11 

Canon 247 

Pippard 11 

Folding, Archbishop, O.S.B. , preaches at Woolton ... 54 

departs for Australia ... ... ... 54 

at St. Anne s 81 

Polding 61 

Poor Schools Committee ... 91,93 

Pope, Father, O.S.B 29 

Porter, George, Father, S.J 189, 193, 196, 197 

Powell, Father Austin, on Catholic population 234 

E 113, 162, 196 

Daniel 113 

Power, Father Pierse 139 

at St. Anthony s 140 

attacks Select Vestry 140 

St. John s 221 

Prendiville, John, and Exchange Ward election 199 

and Papal Zouaves ... ... ... ... 201 



271 

PrendiviUe, John, election of 1874 212 

fights for seat on Select Vestry 214 

Prenton 6 

Prest 42 

Price, Father, S.J 13, 14, 33 

Prison Ministers Bill 157 

Processions 

Queen Caroline 36 

St. Patrick s Church 38 

Day 77 

St. Anthony s Church... ... ... ... ... ... 45 

St. George s Hall opening ... ... ... ... ... 56 

Crimean War Procession ... ... ... ... ... 122 

to Ford Cemetery 144 

funeral procession of Father O Callaghan, O.S.B. ... 142 

Manchester Martyrs ... ... ... ... ... 179 

Pyke, Joseph 46 

Quinn, Hugh, Toxteth School Board 240 

Rainhill chapel founded... ... ... ... ... ... ... 55 

opened ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 65 

Rankin, Martin 214 

Rathbone, William 

Hibernian Schools 33 

Catholic Emancipation ... ... ... ... ... 41 

Corporation schools ... ... ... ... ... ... 51 

entertains O Connell ... ... ... ... ... ... 64 

defeated in Pitt Street Ward 59 

defeated in North Toxteth 59 

defeated in Great George Ward 68 

entertains Father Mathew 74 

High Mass at St. Patrick s ... ... 74 

and Orange Policemen ... ... ... ... ... 76 

denounces Irish landlords ... ... ... 89 

and Catholic electors 98 

faces Orangemen in Sessions House ... ... ... 114 

gift to Boys Refuge 183 

eaves Catholic interests 184 

Rathbone, William, M.P. for Liverpool and Carnarvon 

contribution to All Souls 202 

Liverpool elections 211, 212,r213 

and paid chaplain for Liverpool Workhouse ... ... 227 

Ray Street schools. See St. Mary s. 

Recorder compliments priests ... ... ... ... ... ... 113 

Redemptorists ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 123 

Reformatory movement ... ... ... ... ... ... 116 

Religious census 121, 122 

" Religious Riots " ... ... ... ... ... ... 36, 154 

14 Religious Tests " 36 

Repealers and Father Parker ... ... ... ... ... ... 66 

Religious census, 1855 121 

Reports 

Gaol 89,90,94 

Health 84, 86, 88, 90, 164 

Religious examinations ... ... ... ... ... 117 

Schools 101, 102, 107, 135, 136, 137, 156, 184 



272 

Reynolds 42 

Frank 187, 247 

James ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 247 

J. P., Colonel 165 

Rice 6 

Rigby, Father, S.J 13 

Riots, Birkenhead 154 

Liverpool ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 36 

Robinson, Father, O.S.B 41 

Rockliff 42, 45, 61 

Rodney Street school. See Catholic Institute. 

Roscoe ... 14, 36 

Roskell, J. 45 

elected for Lime Street Ward 48 

loses his seat ... ... ... ... ... ... 49 

Bishop 49 

preaches at Holy Cross ... ... ... ... 140 

Misses Annie and Eliza, lady visitors to Brownlow Hill ... 134 

Rev. Dr., death from fever 161 

Rosson, Andrew 16, 21 

John ... 11 

and municipal reform ... ... ... ... ... 47 

estimates Catholic population in 1832 48 



and Catholic Institute of Great Britain 
founds Catholic Registration Society 
his scheme assisting Catholics to pay rates 
estimates Catholic popul ition in 1839 



57 
58 
58 
58 
58 



estimates number of Catholic voters 1839 ... 

Conservative hostility to ... ... ... ... 59 

speech for reform of Irish corporations ... ... 60 

organises meeting to promote St. Francis Xavier s 61 
speech at St. Peter s, on ravages of disease in ranks 

of the clergy 63 

helps Rev. Dr. Youens to found Blind Asylum ... 65 

satirises Irish " converted " priests 67 

delivers address at St. Mary s foundation stone laying 75 

and arrest of Mr. M. J. Whitty 100 

aids foundation of Catholic newspaper ... ... 110 

appointed by Spanish Government to visit Galway 100 

Rosson, Miss 152 

Rowe 42 

Rowley, Sir Thomas, priest ... ... ... ... ... ... 14 

Ruddin, Alderman James, J.P. 240 

Rushton, Edward, stipendiary 

attends St. Patrick s 74 

and Orange policemen ... ... ... ... ... 76 

report on Irish famine immigrants ... ... ... ... 89 

and child rescue ... ... ... ... ... 115, 116 

Russell, Lord, of Killowen 183, 207, 240 

Sacred Heart, Hall Lane 239 

Santley, Charles, Sir 102 

Scarisbrick, Archbishop, O.S.B 238 

Scarisbricks 6, 7, 27, 34 

Scarisbrick, Chas., High Sheriff 55 

School Board 193 

and Bible teaching ... ... ... ... ... 198 

and Catholic industrial schools 198 



273 

School Board, Councillor Stitt and Douai Bible 199 

Love Lane school fiasco ... ... ... ... 224 

truants and day industrial schools ... ... ... 224 

Scotland Ward, Election of Mr. R. Sheil 49 

defeat of Mr. Sheil 53 

defeat of Thomas Gladstone ... ... ... 59 

Mr. Sheil re-elected 119 

James Fairhurst elected ... ... ... ... 163 

John McArdle elected 193 

Laurence Connolly elected 215 

Dr. A. M. Bligh elected 217 

Patrick de Lacy Garton elected 217 

Seed, Canon 162, 192 

Seel Street Schools. See St. Peter s. 

Sefton, Earls of 24, 69, 115 

Segar, George 188 

elected to School Board 219 

Select Vestry, First election 77 

and Father Parker s accusations ... ... ... 78 

and Father Dawber 78 

permission for Mass hi Workhouse ... ... ... 79 

John Yates elected 79 

and Irish famine of 1847 83, 84, 85, 86 

statistics of Catholic inmates ... ... ... 117 

unsatisfactory religious teaching in Kirkdale 117, 120 

refuses room in workhouse for Sunday Mass ... 119 

Syred-Flanagan contest ... ... ... ... 120 

and Father Doyle 120, 121 

proselytism in Kirkdale Schools, Bishop Goss 

charges 130 

" chanting " of grace dispute ... ... ... 131 

Scripture readers in workhouse ... ... ... 132 

Mr. Cropper s enquiry ... ... ... ... ... 133 

George Melly suggests lady visitors ... ... ... 134 

Workhouse Committee and Miss Gillow ... ... 141 

Bishop Goss and Easter observance ... ... 141 

Father Nugent, chaplain 142 

Churchwarden Jones and Poor Law Schools ... 149 

employers refuse religious facilities to young people 149 

payment of chaplain ... ... ... ... ... 150 

attacked by Father Power 140 

death of Father Wilson from fever ... ... ... 161 

Bishop Goss suggests chaplain to ... ... ... 161 

" Daily Post " assails 161 

Father Gibson and Kirkdale children 165 

Thomas Martin elected ... 165 

"leakage" 166 

Neale Lomax on "criminals" from workhouse ... 173 

Poor Law Inspector s report on Kirkdale ... ... 173 

Bishop Goss attacks chairman of 179 

Ball-Martin contest 181 

Catholic teacher appointed ... ... ... ... 185 

Father Nugent criticises ... ... ... ... 194 

teacher " reads " Mass at Kirkdale ... ... ... 194 

Father Nugent compliments Mr. Hagger ... ... 194 

John Clarke elected 195 

Father Nugent interviews ... ... ... ... 196 

Catholic chaplain at last 228 

B 



274 

Sewall, Father, S.J 17, 19, 22 

Sharpies, Bishop, appointed coadjutor ... ... ... ... 74 

foundation St. Francis Xavier s ... ... ... 76 

confirmations ... ... ... ... ... 80 

and Irish famine funds 85 

opens St. Augustine s ... ... ... ... 96 

Sharpies 45, 61 

Henry 160, 187, 232 

Richard, elected for South Toxteth 49 

secures Town Hall for Catholic Ball 50 

Shepherd, Dr 151 

Sheridan, Father, O.S.B., and Christian Brothers 106 

Sheil, Richard, donation to St. Anthony s ... ... ... ... 46 

elected for Scotland Ward, 1835 49 

defeated in Scotland Ward 53 

elected first Catholic alderman 53 

speaks against unreformed Irish corporations ... 60 
Conservatives eject him from aldermanic seat ... 68 
Catholic Club founded 1844, elected first president 80 
presides at formation of Health of Towns Asso 
ciation 82 

lays foundation stone Haigh Street schools ... 100 
speaks at Town s meeting against Ecclesiastical 

Titles Bill 97 
speaks against selection of Liberal candidates, 

elections of 1852 97 

faces Protestant mob at Sessions House ... ... 114 

presents address of welcome to Father Mathew ... 115 

and Liberal candidate 98 

re-elected for Scotland Ward, 1855 114 

speaks in support of new Holy Cross church ... 139 

appointed justice of the peace ... ... ... 146 

loses aldermanic seat by Mayor s casting vote ... 156 

re-elected alderman, 1865 ... ... ... ... 163 

death of 201 

sketch of 201 

Sheil Park perpetuates his memory ... ... 202 

Simpson, K 112 

Sisters of Mercy. See under Nuns. 
Sisters of Charity. See under Nuns. 

Smith 34 

Bishop, confirmations in 1813 ... ... ... ... ... 32 

opens St. Nicholas ... ... ... ... ... ... 34 

death of 55 

Egerton, editor of Mercury " 42, 54 

Digby, Selectvestryman... ... ... ... ... ... 227 

Fred, Father 238 

Philip, Vice-chairman, Select Vestry 217, 227 

Thomas, Father 237 

South Corporation School 50, 57, 60 

Sparrow, W. J., LL.D., elected to School Board 239 

Spence, debate at Irish Sunday School meeting, criticises Pro 
testant Bishop of Dromore 43 

Spencer, Rev. G 97 

Stananought 226 

" Standard " Liverpool, traduces the priesthood, Bishop Brown 

demands apology 115 
Standish Street chapel. See Holy Cross. 



275 

Stanley, Father, S.J 13 

Thomas Massey, Sir 42 

Starkey, Henry, first lay brother at St. Francis Xavier s ... ... 61 

Statistics 

baptisms 28, 29, 35, 44, 48, 56, 93, 234, 235 

church attendance 34, 35, 121, 122, 203, 204 

confirmations ... ... ... ... ... ... 32, 80 

crime 89, 90, 94, 167, 168, 169, 

170, 171, 176, 182, 183 

deaths 46, 82, 84, 85, 86, 

87, 88, 89, 164, 194 

disease 30, 46, 82, 84, 85, 

86, 87, 88, 89, 164 
famine collections ... ... ... ... ... 85, 86 

gaol 89,90,94,116,167,168,169, 

170, 171, 172, 173, 182 

illiteracy 168, 172 

immigration 27, 28, 30, 35, 36, 37, 47, 

63, 83, 84, 85, 117, 150 

"leakage" 150,230,236 

marriages 56, 57, 162 

population 27, 28, 35, 45, 48, 56, 57, 

58, 83, 84, 117, 150, 151, 163, 
191, 203, 204, 234, 237, 239, 

poor relief 37, 47, 83, 84, 117, 141, 150 

religious examinations ... ... ... ... 230, 231 

schools 33, 44, 57, 63, 70, 76, 93, 101, 102, 107, 112, 

117, 122, 135, 136, 137, 151, 184, 190, 191, 
192, 222, 223, 225, 226, 230, 231, 236, 247 

teachers 136, 137 

voters 211, 213, 214, 215, 217, 

218, 219, 235, 240, 244 
Stokes, Nasmyth, secretary, Poor School Committee 

memorial to Privy Council ... ...... ... ... 93 

report on Mount Pleasant ... ... 137 

Stretton, Bishop ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 6 

St. Alban s, Liscard 45, 136 

Athol Street, founded 95 

attendance at Mass ... ... ... 122 

schoolchildren 122 

new schools 162, 192 

school attendance 190 

St. Alexander s, Bishop Goss blesses bell at ... ... ... 181 

funds for schools 192,196 

Goss memorial window ... ... ... ... 220 

Our Lady of Perpetual Succour ... ... ... 220 

extension of ... ... ... ... ... ... 238 

St. Alphonsus mission begun 221 

St. Anne s, church commenced ... ... ... ... ... 71 

opened , ... 80 

confirmations ... ... ... ... ... ... 80 

new schools ... ... ... ... ... ... 110 

attendance at Mass ... ... ... ... ... 122 

Bishop Goss blesses bells... ... ... ... ... 135 

school attendance 190 

St. Anthony s, French chapel, Dryden Street ... ... ... 31 

Father Gerardot at 31 

description of 31 



276 

St. Anthony s music at ... ... ... ... ... ... 32 

Father Murphy preaches at ... ... ... ... 34 

Society of St. Anthony 45, 46 

Father Wilcock lays first stone of new church ... 45 

Bishop Penswick opens ... ... ... ... 47 

record offertory at ... ... ... ... ... 47 

baptisms at 48 

Registration Society ... ... ... ... ... 58 

Earl of Sef ton s donation to... ... ... ... 69 

Christian Brothers 70 

Father Mathew visits 74 

refuse Irish procession ... ... ... ... 77 

retirement of Father Wilcock 80 

appointment of Father Thomas Newsham ... 80 

report on schools ... ... ... ... ... 102 

attendance at Mass ... ... ... ... ... 121 

school children s procession ... ... ... ... 122 

school attendance 190 

St. Augustine s, Great Howard Street 

meeting in St. Mary s to promote memorial church to 

Benedictine Martyrs of Charity 95 

purchase of warehouse in Chad wick Street 95 

subscriptions ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 96 

opening of ... ... ... ,.. ... ... ... 96 

attendance at Mass ... ... ... ... ... ... 122 

procession of children 122 

St. Austin s, Grassendale, Bishop Briggs opens 55 

presentation of Site by Mr. Peter Chaloner 56 

conditions laid down by Vicar Apostolic 56 

altar brought from Lisbon ... ... 56 

opening of schools 73 

gift of Charles Chaloner 128 

St. Bridget s, mission commenced ... ... ... ... ... 197 

schools opened 221 

St. Charles 247 

St. Clare, Sefton Park 247 

St. Edward s College, founded 72 

visit of O Connell 72 

Confirmations 80, 129 

St. Francis of Assisi, Garston, mission founded ... ... ... 238 

of Sales, Walton, temporary chapel, school chapel ... 237 

St. Francis Xavier s, Negotiations with trustees of St. Nicholas ... 33 

formation of St. Francis Xavier s Society ... 61 

meetings of the Society ... ... ... 61 

weekly collectors ... ... ... ... 61 

Father Joseph Johnson, S.J 61 

names of committeemen ... ... ... 61 

public meeting in St. Peter s schools ... 61 

first lay brother ... ... ... ... 61 

purchase of site 62 

opposition to ... ... ... ... ... 62 

Father Parker and 62 

beginning of college ... ... ... ... 62 

Daniel O Connell speaks in support of ... 72 

Benedictines support ... ... ... ... 72 

blessing of excavations ... ... ... 75 

foundation stone 76 

opening of ... ... ... ... ... 95 



277 

St, Francis Xavier s, Vicar Apostolic of Madeira blesses new altar 

and chancel 100 

chancel screen and stone pulpit 100 

first stone of Haigh Street schools 100 

opening of schools ... ... ... ... 100 

Sisters of Mercy take charge 100 

letters of Father Grant, S.J 101 

Mr. John Browne presents pedestals for gas 

lights 101 

Father Simmer, S.J 113 

Orangemen attack ... ... ... ... 113 

attendances at Mass ... ... ... ... 122 

procession of school children ... ... ... 122 

Father Grant, S.J., defends Sisters of Mercy 132 
Government inspector praises Haigh Street 

schoolmaster 135 

pupil teachers from ... ... ... ... 137 

Ragged School founded ... ... ... 151 

dispensing for sick poor ... ... ... 151 

Father Gotham, S.J., and fever wards ... 161 
Father George Porter, S.J., speaks against 

Education Bill 188 

school attendance at ... ... ... ... 190 

Father Porter defends th.e nuns 189 

Father Porter s estimate of Catholic voters... 193 

" Catholic Times " and Jesuits ... ... 192 

peal of bells hung, trouble with Islington 

Presbyterians 196 

Father Thomas Porter 197 

new college of, opened... ... ... ... 226 

brilliant success of students 225, 226 

names of some distinguished students ... 226 

Father Burke, O.P., opens infants schools ... 247 

St. George s Industrial Schools 185 

St. Helen s school, Blackstock Street 102 

school attendance ... ... 190 

St. Hilda s school, Eldon Street 102, 103, 151 

St. James , Bootle 238, 239 

St. John s, Claremont Grove Chapel ... 203 

new schools ... ... ... ... ... 221 

new church opened... ... ... ... ... ... 239 

St. Joseph s, Grosvenor Street 

Purchase of All Saints Protestant church ... ... 76 

Protestant protest ... ... ... ... ... ... 76 

first collection for Irish famine fund 83 

Father Whitaker dies from fever ... ... ... ... 87 

attendance at Mass ... ... ... ... ... ... 121 

school children s procession ... ... ... 122 

fatal panic at 198 

Goss Memorial schools ... ... ... ... ... 220 

church collapses, new church opened by Bishop O Reilly 220 

St. Mary s, Foundation of 9 

Father Kirby s agreement 

Town Council and ... ... ... ... ... 11 

pulled down by rioters ... ... ... ... ... 11 

description of new chapel 12, Ij 

destroyed second time ... ... ... ... ... 13 

Father Price, S.J., leaves 14 



278 

St. Mary s, parishioners quarrels 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 

clerical disputes ... ... ... ... ... if}, 17 

Jesuits invite Benedictines ... ... ... ig 

Father Mac Donald takes charge ... ... ... 19 

Bishop Gibson s pastoral 22 

Assize trial ... ... ... ... ... 24 

baptisms 28, 48, 93 

clergy at 29 

confirmations ... ... ... ... ... 32 

schools ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 32 

description of new chapel ... ... ... ... 37 

Irish societies at 38 

collection for Catholic orphanage 40 

St. Mary s Society ... ... ... ... . 75 

Father Fisher, O.S.B., and his Irish flock ... . .". 60 

Irish Christian Brothers at 70, 75 

protest meeting against Town Council s school policy 70 

clergy petition churchwarden Birkett ... ... ... 70 

Father Wilkinson castigates the churchwarden of 

St. Nicholas , Chapel Street 71 

Ray Street schools opened 75 

foundation stone of St. Mary s ... ... ... ... 75 

St. Mary s Society ... ... ... ... ... 75 

opening of St. Mary s 75 

confirmations ... ... ... ... ... ... 80 

death of Fathers Dale and Gilbert from fever ... 87 

death of Father Fisher 96 

overcrowded ... ... ... ... ... ... 94 

meeting to promote memorial to Benedictine martyrs 

of charity 95 

Father Sheridan and Christian Brothers ... ... 107 

attendance at Mass 121 

school children s procession 122 

renovation of Ray Street schools 135 

funeral of Father O Callaghan ... 142 

school attendance ... ... ... ... ... 190 

Edmund Street chapel demolished, new church, 

Highfield Street, opened 238 

St. Mary of the Quay, first chapel erected in Liverpool ... 1, 2, 3, 4 
St. Michael, West Derby Road- 
First chapel 162 

foundation stone and opening ... ... ... ... 162 

St. Nicholas , negotiations with Jesuits ... ... ... ... 33 

charity schools ... ... ... ... ... ... 33 

Town Council gift to 34 

Mayor attends High Mass ... 34 

opened by Vicar Apostolic ... ... ... ... 34 

expenditure on schools ... ... ... ... 34 

memorial to H. F. Leigh 34 

Catholic Association at ... ... ... ... 41 

Bishop Penswick ... ... ... ... 34, 41 

Catholic Defence Society at ... ... ... ... 42 

lay committee build new schools ... ... ... 44 

Father Walker on school attendance 44 

and St. Patrick s chapel 39 

baptisms at ... ... ... ... ... ... 48 

High Sheriff attends Mass in state 55 

Catholic Institute Society at ... ... ... ... 57 



279 

St. Nicholas , Registration Society 58 

Dr. Youens, rector ... ... ... ... ... 57 

stained-glass windows unveiled ... ... ... 65 

Christian Brothers ... ... ... ... ... 70 

Bishop Brown s first ordinations at ... ... ... 74 

confirmations ... ... ... ... ... ... 80 

Father Gillow s death from fever ... ... ... 87 

new schools ... ... ... ... 102 

procession of school children 122,190 

attendance at Mass 121 

St. Oswald, Old Swan, opened 71 

spire and bells 71 

schools provided by E. Chaloner 128 

school attendance ... ... ... ... 190 

St. Patrick s, foundation of 

Protestant opposition to ... ... ... ... 38 

English Catholics and ... ... ... ... ... 38 

foundation stone laid ... ... ... ... ... 38 

great Irish procession ... ... ... ... ... 38 

Society of 38 

Connaught Rangers and ... ... ... ... 39 

Irish parishioners and proposed English rector ... 39 

Father Murphy first rector 39 

church opened ... ... ... ... ... ... 40 

John Brancker presents statue ... ... ... 40 

Dr. Cahill visits 40 

foundation of schools ... ... ... ... ... 45 

baptisms at ... ... ... ... ... ... 48 

public examination of school children ... ... 54 

Archbishop MacHale preaches at ... ... ... 54 

picture of Crucifixion hung 56 

John Rosson founds Registration Society at 58 

Father Parker and Irish Repealers 66 

Orangemen attack 67, 76 

Christian Brothers at 70 

first evening schools 70 

Bishop Ullathorne, O.S.B., preaches at 70 

Father Parker and St. Vincent s 73 

Father Mathew at 74 

Faithful Companions at 76 

close doors against Irish procession ... ... ... 77 

Father Parker and Select Vestry 78 

confirmations at ... ... ... ... ... ... 80 

Bishop Murphy preaches at ... ... ... ... 81 

Health of Towns Association at ... ... ... 82 

Father Parker s death from fever 86 

Fathers Grayston and Haggar s deaths from fever... 87 

Orange attempt to pull down statue ... ... ... 92 

attendance at Mass 121 

procession of school children ... ... ... ... 122 

new schools ... ... ... ... 203 

St. Patrick s Cross 9 

Hill 9 

St. Peter s, Father MacDonald, O.S.B., founds 25 

music at ... ... ... ... ... ... 25, 35 

description of ... ... ... ... ... ... 26 

Town Council and lease of ... ... ... ... 26 

baptisms at ... ... ... ... ... 28, 48 



280 

St. Peter s, burials 29 

confirmations ... ... ... ... ... ... 32 

extension of 35 

sale of pews ... ... ... ... ... ... 35 

debate on renewal of lease in new Town Council ... 51 

Defence Association meeting ... ... ... ... 52 

Father Tom Maguire 54 

meeting to inaugurate St. Mary s new church... ... 60 

St. Francis Xavier s 61 

death of Father Glover, O.S.B. 63 

Memorial to Father Glover 64 

school attendances ... ... ... ... ... 73 

Total Abstinence Society invite Father Mathew ... 73 

confirmations ... ... ... ... ... ... 80 

Rev. Dr. Applet on s death from fever 86 

attendance at Mass ... ... ... ... ... 121 

school children s procession ... ... ... ... 122 

school attendance 190 

Gilbert Street school 203 

St. Sylvester, Sylvester Street : Raymond Street school 203 

new church opened ... ... 239 

SS. Thomas and William s school, Edgar Street, founded 107 

school attendance 190 

St. Vincent s Church, Blundell Street chapel 73 

public meeting ... ... ... ... 73 

first priest at ... ... ... ... ... 73 

Norfolk Street chapel 94 

separate parish ... ... ... ... 122 

first rector s death ... ... ... ... 123 

Father O Reilly appointed ... 123 

promotion of new church to replace Norfolk 

Street chapel 123 

weekly collectors ... ... ... ... 123 

Bishop Goss and weekly collectors ... 127 

foundation stone 126 

opening of new church ... ... ... 127 

Jordan Street schools ... ... ... 128 

school children s procession ... ... ... 122 

attendance at Mass ... ... ... ... 122 

Norfolk Street schools built 129 

St. Vincent de Paul Society open 15, Everton Crescent ... ... 151 

St. Werburgh, Birkenhead 98, 154 

Sullivan, A. M., M.P 125,163,201,228 

Sumner, Father, S.J 113 

Synett 5 

Taggart, Alderman J. G., J.P, 241 

Talbot, Father, O.S.B 26 

Tatlock, Father, S.J 9 

Temperance movemont ... ... ... ... ... 73, 74, 109 

Tempest, Father, S.J 9, 11 

Thomas, Arthur Chilton 247, 248 

Tichborne, Father, S.J. ... 13 

Tobin, Father 192, 230 

Town Council 

Erects St. Mary s of the Quay 2 

builds chapel of St. Nicholas 4 

provides burial ground 4 



281 

Town Council 

orders Morrow s Mass to be celebrated 4 

refuse permission to rebuild St. Mary s, Edmund Street... 11 

award honorarium to Father Harris, S.J. ... ... ... 15 

grant lease to Seel Street chapel ... ... ... ... 26 

present site of St. Nicholas 34 

grants Town Hall for Catholic Charity Ball 50 

and elementary education ... ... ... ... ... 50 

gives facilities for Catholics " 50 

debate on renewal of Seel Street lease ... ... ... 52 

statistics of Catholic children in Corporation schools ... 57 

discuss theological matters ... ... ... ... ... 51 

expel Catholic children from schools ... ... ... 68 

clergy petition ... ... ... ... ... ... 68 

Watch Committee and Orange policemen ... ... ... 77 

Mr. Blackburn suggests provision of schools for Catholics 79 

and sanitation ... ... ... ... ... ... 82 

eject Irish from cellar dwellings ... ... ... ... 90 

George Holt s appeal for Catholic education ... ... 94 

denounces restoration of Hierarchy ... ... ... 97 

dismisses Head Constable Dowling ... ... ... 110 

opposes Father Nugent s gaol chaplaincy ... ... ... 157 

invites Garibaldi 159 

and Clarence Reformatory ship ... ... ... ... 175 

Dr. McNeill s statue ... 193 

grants to Reformatory schools ... ... ... ... 185 

Townley 93 

Toxteth Guardians, Bishop Goss criticises 177 

Catholic Club and 228 

elections 229 

Father Fanning appointed chaplain ... ... 229 

Tract and Book Society 58 

Training Colleges 136, 137 

Tuohy 16 

Ullathorne, Bishop, O.S.B., preaches at St. Patrick s 70 

Upholland 26 

Seminary ... 236 

Vanderspitte, Father 123, 139, 140 

Van Hee, Father 161 

Vaughan, of " Courtfield," and election of 1847 91 

Vauxhall Ward, description of 88,89 

defeat of Daniel Powell 113 

election of C. J. Corbally 134 

defeat of Mr. Corbally ... 146 

John Yates elected 163 

population of ... ... ... ... ... 163 

death rate 164 

Colonel Bidwill elected 193 

Charles MacArdle elected 216 

Dr. Cpmmins elected 217 

Denvir v. Yates contest ... ... ... ... 240 

John G. Taggart elected 241 

P. Byrne elected 240 

Verdon, Bishop 226 

Verdon 61 

Vicariates increased 65 



282 

Walker, Father 40, 44 

Wall work, Canon, Crimean procession ... ... ... ... 122 

Fenian troubles 180,185 

Walmsley, Canon 97, 122 

Father E 122 

Walton Parish Church 1, 2, 4 

Walton, Mr., and Holy Cross 139 

Justice, member of School Board 219 

Wappeler, Father, S.J. 13 

Waring 42 

Webster 5 

West, Father, S.J 12 

West Derby Guardians, motion to expel Sisters of Mercy 132 

Father Grant, S.J., defends the nuns 132, 133 

and Catholic chaplain 229 

White, Father 41 

Whitaker, Father, St. Joseph s, death from fever 87 

Whitnall 34, 42 

Whitty, James, and Christian Brothers at St. Mary s 107 

braves mob in Sessions House ... ... ... 114 

president, Irish Catholic Club 115 

presents address to Father Mathew 115 

joins Select Vestry ... ... ... ... ... 118 

proposes Catholic lay teacher for Workhouse 

children 118 

accuses Vestry of proselytising 118 

and Sunday Mass in Workhouse ... ... ... 119 

secures religious teaching at Kirkdale ... ... 120 

defends Father Doyle 121 

calls attention to employers disregarding Catholic 

children s faith 149 

secures remarkable concessions ... ... ... 121 

gives evidence before House of Commons Committee 150 

payment of chaplains 150 

Orangemen denounce... ... ... ... ... 150 

and Rector Campbell 131 

Scripture readers in Workhouse ... ... 132 

advocates Catholic teachers in Kirkdale schools... 156 
induces Vestry to permit second priest to visit 

Workhouse 141 

elected for Vauxhall Ward 159 

opposes civic welcome to Garibaldi 160 

suggests rota of priests for fever wards ... ... 161 

retires from Select Vestry ... ... ... ... 165 

speech on Catholic leakage at Kirkdale ... ... 165 

Forster s Education Bill 187 

elected member first School Board ... ... 193 

visits Local Government Board to protest against 

Select Vestry 194 

election of 1874 212 

death of 218 

Whitty, Michael James, founder of " Daily Post " 

Committed to Lancaster gaol 99 

attacks Temporal Power 144,145 

controversy with " Northern Press " 145, 152, 153, 154, 155 

attacks Rev. Dr. Taylor 157 

criticises Bishop Goss pastorals 158 

and John Yates 155 



283 

Whitty, Michael James, founder of " Daily Post " 

attacks Dr. Parsons 160 

attacks Dissenters ... ... ... ... ... ... 161 

defends Irish character ... ... ... ... ... 169 

defends Bishop GOBS views on reformatories ... ... 176 

and the child delinquent 176 

and Manchester Martyrs procession ... ... ... 180 

severely criticises Father Nugent 183, 184 

ridicules Bishop Goss views on Press ... ... ... 197 

Father Guy, O.S.B., replies to ... " 198 

and " Reproof of the Irish " 198 

Garibaldi visit 160 

death of 233 

Wilcock, Father, laid foundation stone of St. Anthony s ... ... 45 

petition to Town Council 68 

resigns St. Anthony s ... ... ... ... 80 

Wilkinson, Father, O.S.B., letter to senior churchwarden 70 

castigates churchwarden ... ... 71 

foundation of St. Augustine s ... ... 95 

Rowland 219 

Williams, Father, S.J , 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 

See also St. Mary s. 

Wilson, Father Thomas, death from fever 6 

Wiseman, Cardinal, opens Catholic Institute... ... ... ... 112 

lectures at Philharmonic Hall 112 

visits " Akbar " 138 

lecture on education ... ... ... ... 138 

asailed by Orangemen 138 

James, burial at St. Oswald s ... ... ... ... 115 

Woolton 19 

Archbishop Folding, O.S.B., preaches at ... ... ... 54 

A. M. Sullivan lectures for Woolton schools 163 

Worthy, Canon, speaks at Town s meeting against Ecclesiastical 

Titles Bill 97 

founds Catholic middle school Ill 

Wright 34, 42 

Yates, John, and Catholic Institute of Great Britain ... ... 57 

St. Francis Xavier s Society ... ... ... ... 61 

president, St. Mary s Society ... ... ... ... 75 

first Catholic member Select Vestry ... ... ... 79 

speaks at Sessions House ... ... ... ... 114 

demands apology from "Liverpool Standard" ... 115 

waits on Select Vestry ;. ... 149 

denounces Birkenhead Irishmen ... ... ... 155 

defeated in Castle Street ward 155 

elected for Castle Street 156 

alleged by " Daily Post " to be against Temporal 

Power 155 

criticises Bishop Goss ... ... ... ... ... 176 

and Forster s Education Bill 187 

deputation to Mr. W. E. Forster 188 

elected to first School Board 193 

deputation to Poor Law Board ... ... ... 194 

elected for Vauxhall 163 

elected to School Board 193 

supports Rathbone and Caine 212 



284 

Yates, John, ParnelPs message, " Vote for Denvir " 240 

testimonial to 241 

death of 241 

Youens, Dr., Rev. 57,64 

founds School for Blind ... ... ... ... 65 

petition to Town Council 68 

invites Sisters of Mercy 72 

member Poor School Committee ... 93 



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Burke, Thomas. 
Catho lie hi story of 
Liverpool 47231582