The Papal Jubilee – Rome, 1908


This was the jubilee to celebrate fifty years of Pope Pius X being a priest. In family terms, the baton has been passed from Mgr Henry O’Bryen as a papal chaplain, to Mgr Manuel Bidwell; though they weren’t related to each other.

Vatican City Bridge and St Peters

Sunday, November 22, 1908.


Judging by some appearances, there were many pilgrims in Rome who did not go to bed at all last Sunday night ; for long before the dawn, indeed as early as four o’clock, a very early newspaper bird found a group of over a hundred of them waiting patiently outside the doors of St. Peter’s. Alas, that such patience should have been utterly without its reward, for some two hours later a whole regiment of soldiers marched sleepily and silently into the great Piazza, mercifully dislodging the peaceable enemy and making it take up its position at the foot of the steps leading to the Basilica, where it was hardly better off than the thousands and tens of thousands that arrived between six and seven o’clock. During the hours of waiting they had the satisfaction of watching the Italian troops make a series of wonderful evolutions for some recondite object, probably known to the commanding officers ; but shortly before eight the first chapter of the waiting closed, when those possessing tickets were allow to pass through a hedge of bayonets, and to enter the Basilica. Here it was warmer and more interesting.

The immense interior was decorated in festive damask ; a broad space, secured by a wooden barrier and by a double line of the Palatine Guard, was left open in the centre, and two hours more passed quietly and pleasantly enough, in spite of the crush (and the crush was in parts so thick that there were a few cases of fainting), and the long standing—for it was impossible to plant even a tiny campstool anywhere. It is estimated that St. Peter’s when quite full will “stand” about ninety-thousand persons, but last Monday the space between the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament and that of the Pieta was curtained off; so was the opening all down the centre, and the free wide circle round the papal altar, and the entire apse reserved for the dignitaries, and the tribunes, which meant that a third of the available space was unavailable for the eager multitude ; and so there must have been between fifty and sixty thousand persons present when the trumpets rang out the glad news that the procession, till now hidden by the acres of curtain on the right, had begun to move, and the first notes of the Sistine choir were heard, faintly at first, but growing louder and stronger each moment until even those in the far distance in the transepts could distinguish the “Ecce Sacerdos Magnus !”

It had been announced very sternly that on this occasion there were to be no tribunes except those reserved for the Pope’s Family, Royalty, the Roman Patriciate, the Knights of Malta, and the Diplomatic Corps. But there were vacant spaces under the two choirs and in a few other places which afforded a little room for benches, and so a couple of hundred persons did after all secure a special position. The tribune next to the throne, divided only by an invisible barrier from that of the Roman Patriciate (which was full), was occupied by the Holy Father’s brother, his three sisters, his nephew Mgr. Parolin, and his niece ; the Grand Master of the Knights of Malta with nearly all the chief dignitaries left no vacant places in the tribune reserved for them ; the Royal tribune held the Princess Matilda of Saxony, and the Grand Duchess Xenia of Russia with her consort the Grand Duke Michaivich and their seven children ;

Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich of Russia and his wife Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna.

a score or so of Extraordinary Embassies and Missions sent by Emperors, Kings, Queens, and Presidents to represent them at the Pope’s Jubilee had their own place of distinction, as had the entire diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See, and all these tribunes glistened with brilliant uniforms and flashing decorations. This time also a position of distinction was reserved for the Order of the Holy Sepulchre, which was represented by Count Fabio Fani, Procurator of the Patriarch of Jerusalem, for the Knights residing in Rome, Sir Thomas H. Grattan Esmonde, M.P., representative of the Order in Ireland, and Mgr. Rivelli, a Knight Commander of the Order. Among the English-speaking Chamberlains on duty at the tribunes were the Marquis MacSwiney, Colonel Bernard, Chev. De Falloux Schuster, and Comm. Christmas, while among the others who took part in the historic function were Mr. Stuart A. Coats, the Hon. A. Wilmot and Captain Bartle Teeling. Mgr. Bidwell was one of the four Chamberlains in attendance on the Holy Father.


Long before the Holy Father himself appeared before the expectant gaze of the multitude the procession was moving rhythmically up the middle of the basilica. A Pontifical Master of Ceremonies led it, followed immediately by Papal Chamberlains of Sword and Cape, both private and honorary, the Procurators di Collegio, the Apostolic Preacher with the Confessor of the Pontifical Household, the Procurators General of the Mendicant Orders, the Bussolanti, the Custodian of the Tiaras flanked by two Chamberlains bearing the tiaras, the Private Chaplains bearing the mitres, two mace-bearers with silver maces, the Assistants of the Chamber, the Private Chaplains, the Private Clerics, the Honorary Chaplains, Consistorial Advocates, the supernumerary Honorary and Private Chamberlains, the Auditors of the Rota, the Master of the Apostolic Palaces, Prince Ruspoli, Master of the Sacred Hospice, Mgr. Bressan with the ordinary.mitre of the Holy Father, the thurifer, the Papal Cross borne by Mgr. Pescini, surrounded by seven clerics, Mgr. Sincero, Auditor of the Rota, and Apostolic Sub-deacon, between the Greek deacon and subdeacon of the Mass, the Penitentiaries of St. Peter’s preceded by clerics bearing the Verga decorated with flowers, the Abbots General of the Religious Orders and the Abbots nullius, the Bishops, Arch-bishops, and Patriarchs, a long line of prelates of the Latin and Oriental Churches numbering almost three hundred, the Sacred College of Cardinals, represented by thirty-five of its members, and then the Pope—  borne aloft over the heads of the people on the sedia gestatoria carried securely on the shoulders of twelve stalwart pontifical chair-bearers, with two Chamberlains on either side bolding the long flabellm, and surrounded by the Commandant and the officers of the Swiss Guard, and by four guards bearing the four great medimval swords that symbolise the four cantons of Switzerland, by Prince Rospigliosi, Commandant of the Noble Guard with his officers, by Count Pecci, Commandant of the Palatine Guard, and by numerous mace-bearers and functionaries, while the Marquis Clemente Sacchetti, charged as Foriere Maggiore with the duty of watching over the moving throne, walked immediately behind it, and before Cardinals Segna and Della Volpe, who were to assist the Pope at the Mass. The second part of he procession consists of the Dean of the Rota, the two Grand Chamberlains on duty, the Pope’s Physician, the Majordomo, the Protonotaries Apostolic, and the Regent of the Apostolic Chancellery, and then the Generals of the Religious Orders and Congregations.


There is hardly a sound to be heard throughout the basilica as the Pontiff passes along between the crowds, blessing on either side, but almost everybody present seems to be waving silently a white handkerchief— a curiously impressive sight to one looking down on it from above, and noting how in a moment the black sea of heads is transformed into a fluttering white ocean. Only as the Pope reaches the section reserved for the pilgrims from the Venetian province, where perhaps he bends a little more towards the people as he forms again and again the sign of the cross with his hand, he hears a low murmur from the proud and affectionate people there asking God to bless him, and he is for a moment visibly moved.

All had taken their places in the sanctuary when the “sedia gestatoria” reaches it, is softly lowered to the ground, and the Pope advances to one of the two thrones where he receives the obedience of the Cardinals, and some Archbishops, Bishops and Abbots. Then he is vested for the Mass while “Nones” [part of the Divine Office]  is being sung. He assumes the pontifical vestment known as the ” fanone”, and the Mass is begun, his Holiness being assisted by Cardinal, Serafino Vannutelli, as assistant priest, by Cardinals Segna and Dela Volpe as assistant deacons, and by Cardinal Cagiano as ministering deacon. The ceremonies of the Mass were the same as on all similar occasions, and the music was rendered by two choirs, the Sistine under Perosi, and a Gregorian made up chiefly of students under Mgr. Rella. At the end of the ceremony Cardinal Rampolla fulfilled the ancient custom of offering the celebrant a purse containing 25 giulii (about half-a-sovereign)    ” for a Mass well sung.” Everybody from the altar to the door tried hard, but not always effectually, to kneel as the Pope intoned his blessing. The procession was formed again, and passed back by the path it had come, and shortly the red curtains in front of the Chapel of the Pieta hid the Jubilarian Pontiff from the people.

The bleak and wintry weather which filled the rest of the day in Rome did not prevent the multitudes from coming out after dusk to witness the illuminations of the facade and colonnade of St. Peter’s, of all the houses in the Borgo, of all the churches and religious houses of Rome, and of a great number of the private dwellings ; but it did prevent the sight that was most eagerly looked forward to, that of the illumination of St. Peter’s dome, an event not witnessed since ” black ’70.”  [ The fall of Rome to the Italians in 1870] However, the disappointment was remedied on Thursday, when the rain stopped for half an hour as if on purpose to gladden the multitude with the wonderful sight.

The Dome of St Peter’s

The above text was found on p.17, 28th November 1908 in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at .

National Building Society: A Link With Cobden And Bright.

This was from the Times in 1935, entitled:  ” A Link With Cobden And Bright: The  History Of The National Building Society. “ The National Building Society started as the National Permanent Mutual Benefit Building Society founded by two Liberal M.P’s, Sir Joshua Walmsley and Richard Cobden, in 1849. In 1944, the Abbey Road Building Society  and National Building Society merged to become The Abbey National, which it remained until 2004 when it was bought by Santander. At the time, Sir Josh and Richard Cobden were next-door neighbours in Westbourne Terrace. Both houses were slightly larger than the ” modest villa(s) ” they were promoting. Both houses were six storeys, with twenty rooms, and in 1851 the Walmsleys had a household staff of six.



The history of the National Building Society, which dates its beginning from a meeting at the London Tavern, Bishopsgate, in 1849, is related by Mr. George Elkington, F.R.T.B.A., chairman of the society, in “The National Building Society, 1849-1934,” just published (W. Heffer and Sons, Cambridge).

The original meeting decided to form a society for the purchase of land to enable members to qualify as voters by acquiring a plot of land of the annual value of £40. Among the founders were the leaders of the Anti-Corn Law agitation, Richard Cobden, John Bright, Joseph Hume, and Sir Joshua Walmsley.

In its early days the movement had many enemies. Mr. Elkington quotes from an article on the Reform Bill in a magazine published in 1852:-” You have only to walk to Stoke Newington, and at the back of the Coach and Horses Lane you will see the new-fledged free- holders all working like negroes to raise up a modern Utopia.”

The original political object of the movement soon passed, and the society is entitled to look upon itself as one of the pioneers of the great building society movement. The cost of building 80 years ago, when compared with the price of modem houses, seems incredible.

In a circular published in 1854, the directors of the society presented articles and plans descriptive of houses ” suited to the wants of a considerable number of members.” The first of these was a modest villa containing on the ground floor a front and back parlour, hall and kitchen, and on the upper storey a landing and three bedrooms. The cost of erection was estimated, ” in the near neighbourhood of London, at £160.” [ a modern day equivalent of £115,000] “The next design, somewhat more ambitious, was for a pair of houses with, for each house, a half-sunk basement containing two kitchens, a ground floor with hall, dining room, parlour, bathroom, and one bedroom, and an upper storey with three bedrooms and a dressing room. The estimated cost was £700 a pair. [ a modern day equivalent of £500,000]

The period since the War is described by Mr. Elkington as the years of swift expansion. The present time, he says, finds the building society movement with a remarkable history of swift expansion still actively progressing and discovering fresh opportunities of service int its wide field.

from The Times, January 18, 1935

Rome December 1878


Among the articles recently presented to the  Holy Father were some curious and beautiful baskets made of the inner bark of trees, the work of the Indian tribe of Abenikis in Maine, U.S. Two pairs of elaborately ornamented mocassins were also presented to the Pope from the same tribe by the hands of Dr. James Healy, of Portland, Maine. His Holiness inquired minutely into the condition of this interesting tribe of Abenikis, who some centuries ago were converted to Christianity by Catholic missionaries, one of whom, Father Sebastian Rastes, was martyred by the new Englanders. An apostate was never known among this tribe. Leo XIII. gave to Bishop Healy a splendid medal for the chief of the tribe, and also wore a pair of the mocassins the evening of the day when they were presented, when Bishop Ryan, of Buffalo, took farewell audience. A beautiful carpet, the pattern of which represents the dome of St. Peter’s, was presented to the Pope by a society of French ladies. A deputation of the clergy and chapter of Fano had audience of his Holiness. On Monday, November 25, there was the customary reception of visitors in the Consistorial Hall. Mgr. Paolo Scapaticci and Commendatore Egidio Dati, the President and Vice-President of the Roman Diocesan Council for the Pious Work of the Propagation of the Faith, were received in private audience.

Consistorial Hall, Vatican

On Wednesday, the 27th November, Leo XIII. gave audience in the Throne Room to the Professors of the Gregorian Pontifical University, established in the German and Hungarian College under the direction of Jesuit Fathers. The professors belonged to the Chairs of Theology, Canon Law, and Philosophy, and were headed by Father Cardella, Provincial, Father Molza, Rector, and Father Kleutgen, Prefect of Studies. Father Cardella read an address in Latin, expressing the constant affection and firm devotion of the Company of Jesus to the Apostolic See. He mentioned that from the University on whose behalf he spoke had issued nine Pontiffs, of whom the reigning Pontiff was the last. He rejoiced in being enabled to make that statement, and returned thanks to God. He then declared the unalterable obedience of the University to the desires of Leo XIII., and especially with reference to the wish of the Pope that the theological and philosophical course of teaching should be rendered more efficacious for the contests against error. His Eminence Cardinal Parocchi, Archbishop of Bologna, was received in private audience by the Pope on the 27th. His Eminence laid an offering of Peter’s Pence at the feet of his Holiness, from the parish priests and some pious Institutes of Bologna.


King Umberto I and Queen Margherita

King Humbert and Queen Margharita made their entrance into Rome on Sunday, the 24th, amid great official rejoicings. The Royal Family were well guarded from the danger of assassination. Their carriage, in passing from their Palace to the railway terminus in Naples, was surrounded with troops. The terminus was strongly guarded. The entire line of railway from Naples to Rome was protected by sentinels stationed at intervals to give the alarm in case of danger. In Rome the Questor, Signor Bolis, made some hundreds of arrests, and, it is said, discovered some terrible plots against the life of the King. Several regiments of infantry were called to Rome to keep order. The houses along the route between the railway terminus and the Quirinal were carefully examined by police agents, and all suspicious persons removed. A number of officers, not on regimental duty, were selected to walk on either side of the King’s carriage during the drive from the railway station to the Quirinal. A squadron of Cuirassiers rode in front of the Royal cortege. King Humbert looks wretchedly ill, and had a severe fit of coughing just before entering his carriage at the station. In the carriage with his Majesty sat the Queen, the young Prince of Naples, Prince Amadeo, and Signor Cairoli. The Via Nazionale and the Via Quirinale were lined with soldiers. Their Majesties arrived at the Quirinal in safety and without any disturbance of the public peace. On the evening of the 24th, and also of the 25th, the Corso was illuminated and also the public buildings. On the latter morning soldiers from every regiment in Rome were supplied with torches, and marched, with the torches burning, from the Piazza del Popolo to the Quirinal.


The condition of Italy is at present truly alarming. The Internationalists seem determined to  force on a revolution. They are said to have  obtained the two and a half millions of francs which were so mysteriously stolen between Ancona and Genoa, and to have bought some thousands of rifles. The accounts of explosions of bombs, and of seditious demonstrations at Pesaro, Pisa, Genoa, San Sepulcro, Bologna, &c., &c. prove the fact that almost all Italy, and notably the Romagna, is ripe for revolt. In Rome the windows, or gratings, in the basement story of the Home Office were walled up, to prevent the Internationalists from blowing up the Palace by dynamite, or burning it with petroleum.


By the wish of the Cardinal-Vicar, the Rev.H. Morgan, of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, will preach every Sunday at three o’clock in the afternoon, in the church of S. Andrea delle Fratte, commencing on Sunday, the 1st of December, being the first Sunday in Advent.


Scots College, Rome

The Feast of St. Andrew, the Patron of Scot-land, was duly commemorated in the Scots’ College in Rome. The church was beautifully arranged with festive hangings, and the external front was repaired and freshly decorated. Dr. Campbell, the Rector, sung the Mass, the music being plain, with voices only. Among those present at the commemoration were the Bishops of Beverley, Liverpool and Armidale, Lady Margaret Howard, Lord Ralph Kerr, Miss Clifton, Mrs. Vansittart, Mrs. Savile Foljambe, Mrs. Kinloch Grant, Monsignor Stonor ; Monsignor Agnozzi, Secretary of Propaganda; Monsignor Kirby; Monsignor Cretoni, Sub-Secretary of State ; Very Rev. Dr. O’Callaghan, Rector of the English College ; Monsignor Rinaldini ; Very Rev. Dr. Hostlot, Rector of the American College ; Father Mullooly, Prior of St. Clement’s ; Professor Dr. Bernard Smith; Rev. Dr. English ; Mr. Winchester ; Mr. Bliss ; Mr. Plowden ; Mr. Hugh Gladstone ; and Cavaliere Fontana.



Monsignor Achille Rinaldini, who was Sostituto in the Secretariat of the Propaganda and for a long time was Minutante for British affairs at Propaganda, has retired from those offices and has taken possession of his canonry at Sta. Maria Maggiore. He is succeeded in the office of Minutante by the Rev. Signor Zonghi.

The above text was found on p.17, 7th December 1878 in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at .

Requiem Mass For Cardinal Cullen. Rome 7th December 1878

According to the Irish Times Weekend Review (September 2011) : ” Cardinal Paul Cullen was the towering figure of modern Irish Catholicism and arguably the most important figure in modern Irish history between the death of Daniel O’Connell and the rise of Charles Stewart Parnell. “ Rev. H. O’Bryen, D.D. is well settled into Roman life, having stopped being a parish priest in Lancashire five years earlier at the age of thirty eight, and moved to Rome. It’s another three years before he becomes a papal chaplain.


Sant’Agata dei Goti, Rome.
Requiem Mass In The Irish College, Rome, For The Repose Of The Soul Of The Late Cardinal Cullen.

On Thursday, Nov. 28, all the English and Irish residents in Rome met in the church of St. Agatha, the church of the Irish College, to assist at the Requiem Mass for the repose of the soul of the lamented Paul Cullen, Archbishop of Dublin and Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church. The interior of the ancient Church of St. Agatha was beautifully decorated with black and gold hangings and a magnificent catafalque was erected in the centre of the nave, on the summit of which rested on a cushion the Cardinalitial hat. At either side of the catafalque were arranged seats for those invited to the ceremony, the choir being occupied by the students. Over the outer gates of the Church was affixed the following inscription in large letters :—

Paulo Cullen

Sanctae Ecclesiae Romanae

Presbytero Cardinali tit. S. Petri in Janiculo

Archiepiscopo Dublinensi

Hibernia Primati

Apostolicae Sedis libertatis Adsertori

Ecclesiae Catholicae Magistro Custodi et Vindici

Piis operibus instituendis et amplificandis

Cura, consilio, strenue dum vixit intento

Religionis cultu pietatis amore posteris memorando

Litteris scientiis domi forisque clarissimo

Collegium Hibernorum

Suo olim moderatori solertissimo

Justa funebria.

The Mass was pontificated in presence of the Right Rev. Monsignor Kirby, Domestic Chaplain to His Holiness and Rector of the College, by the Right Rev. Dr. O’Mahony, Bishop of Armidale, the assistant priest being the Very Rev. John Egan, Vice-Rector of the College. The Rev. Thomas Bourke was Deacon and the Rev. E. Mackey, Sub-Deacon, and the Masters of Ceremonies were the Rev. Michael O’Donnell and the Rev. W. Burke. The Mass was by Cacciolini, an ancient and celebrated Roman Master, and was well rendered by the choir of the College, assisted by gentlemen from the Vatican and Lateran choirs. The conductor was Signor Don Fausti, Musical Director to the Irish College. I may add that the church was warmed by a new apparatus recently erected by Monsignor Kirby.

Among those present and occupying seats around the catafalque were the Bishop of Beverley, the Bishop of Liverpool, the Bishop of Rochester, U.S., the Bishop of Portland, U.S., the Archbishop of Seleucia, the Hon. and Right Rev. Edmund Stonor, Domestic Prelate to his Holiness ; Mgr. Angelo Jacobini, Assessor of the Holy Office ; Mgr. Rinaldini, Canon of St. John Lateran ; Mgr. William H. Manning, Mgr. Paolo Fortini, the Very Rev. Dr. Bernard Smith, O.S.B., Professor at the Propaganda; Very Rev. Dr. O’Callaghan, Rector of the English College ; Very Rev. Dr. J. Campbell, Rector of the Scots’ College ; Very Rev. Dr. Hostlot, Rector of the American College, and the Vice-Rector, Rev. — Wall ; Very Rev. Joseph Mulloolly, Prior of St. Clement’s ; Very Rev. Father Kehoe, Prior of Sta. Maria in Posterula ; Rev. Dr. English, College of Noble Ecclesiastics ; Very Rev. Father Dunne, Guardian of S. Isidore’s ; Very Rev. Stanislas White, Secretary to the Abbot of the Cistercian Order in Rome ; Very Rev. Father Douglas and Father H. Morgan, of the Redemptorists; Very Rev. Dr. Quin ; Mgr. Mogliazzi, Chaplain to his Holiness ; Rev. H. O’Bryen, D.D. ; Rev. Father Doyle, Carmelite ; Rev. P. Cuddihy, Milford, Mass., U.S. ; Rev. J. Higgins, Rev. W. F. Higgins, Rev. J. Keane; Messrs. Grace and Maxwell, of the Christian Brothers, &c., &c. The members of the various ecclesiastical colleges in Rome were present, including those of the English, Scots, American, Propaganda, Apollinare, Capronica, and the Dominican, Franciscan, and Augustinian Colleges, the Avvocato Carlo Sagnori, and Professor Borghi, Musical Director at the Propaganda College.

Seats were reserved in the Coretto, for his Eminence Cardinal di Pietro, Dean of the Sacred College ; his Eminence Cardinal Simeoni, Prefect of the Propaganda ; and his Eminence Cardinal de Falloux du Coudray, Titular of St. Agatha’s.

Among those in the body of the church were Miss Sherlock, the Baron Hoffmann, Mrs. Vansittart, the Donna Maria di Braganza ; the Marquis De Stacpoole and his sister ; Mrs. Steele (daughter of Lady Louisa Trench) ; Rev. Thomas Hamilton, R.N., Dr. De la Roche, Count Raymond, Cavaliere Franchi, the Misses Steele, Mrs. W. Maziere Brady, Miss Coles, Commendatore Winchester, Private Chamberlain di Spada e Cappa to Leo XIII. ; Mr. John Grainger, Honorary Chamberlain to Leo XIII. ; Mr. and Mrs. Millen, Mr. Haas, Mr. and Mrs. F. Montague Handley, Miss Gorman, Miss Johns, Miss Whalley, Mr. J. Higgins, Mr. Connelian (Boston Pilot). Mr. Blake (late Chairman of the Fishery Commissioners), Mr. John Hogan (son of the celebrated sculptor), Miss Whelan, Cavaliere Silenzi, &c., &c.

The sermon was preached, after the conclusion of the Mass, by Monsignor Anivitti, Private Chamberlain partecipante to Leo XIII. Monsignor Anivitti is one of the most noted pulpit orators in Rome, and his oration on O’Connell, delivered in the Irish College on the occasion of the O’Connell Centenary, was published both in Italian and English.

Monsignor Anivitti began his discourse with the words : In copulatione sanctorum Patriarchatum admitteris, and these words, which were addressed to the youthful son of the aged Tobias, formed not only the commencement but also served as the key note of the preacher’s eulogy upon Cardinal Cullen, whose supreme merit consisted in being worthy to be reckoned among the Patriarchs of Christianity, that is to say among the men whose services to their holy cause were greatest. Individualising his merit, Paul Cullen was compared to Malachy, the friend of S. Bernard, and to St. Patrick, the first apostle of Ireland, who, in his visions, might have saluted his successor, under whose rule, after the lapse of centuries of misfortune, the ancient faith of Ireland again resumed its brilliant lustre and shone forth in triumph.

The orator then laid down the principle that Christian nations possess an immortal life. He quoted Wisdom (Chapter I.) where it is written that God made the nations of the earth for health, and argued that so long as nations adhere to the true God and to His true Church they carry in their bosoms the principle of their lasting continuance and also of their recovery from their afflictions and evils. This truth was illustrated by the case of Ireland which, after three centuries of persecution and combat with heresy, one might have expected to see crushed for ever. Instead of this, behold two great men are given to her, and that in the same century which for other nations was so unfortunate, and these two are O’Connell the Emancipator, and Paul Cullen, who was, as it were, her Patriarch. Their missions certainly were different. The mission of the one was politico-religious : that of the other was religious and anti-political, for it was carried on in spite of the false politics which opposed its progress. If O’Connell could avail himself of religion to serve his politics, Cullen could not avail himself of politics to serve his proper mission, for he was obliged always to stand on his guard, even when collecting and developing the fruits of the victories of O’Connell, lest he should seem, as is the accusation to-day brought against us, to wish to pursue political, under the pre-text of religious ends. But the particulars of Cullen’s life demonstrate the wisdom and the uncommon virtue with which he addressed himself to his great task which was Catholic and National, and tended to the edification of the Universal Church.’

A rapid sketch was then given of Paul Cullen’s personal history, his birth in Kildare county, his education in Dublin to the age of 16 years, his residence at the Propaganda in Rome, his studies under Perrone, his admission to the priesthood, an d his celebrated public deputation, which to this day is remembered with admiration by Leo XIII., who was himself present at it, being at the time a member of the Roman prelature, of which be was even then a brilliant ornament. Cullen’s career as Vice-Rector and Rector of the Irish College, and as Rector of the Propaganda College, were noticed. He was the honoured and trusted agent of the Irish Bishops, and in this capacity’ acquired an intimate knowledge of all Irish affairs, as well as the confidence and esteem of the Irish Episcopate. While he was Rector in the Propaganda College he displayed consummate prudence in saving the property of the College from spoliation and the students from dispersion by boldly appealing to the United States Minister for protection from the Republicans who then, namely, in 1849, were masters of Rome. In 1850 Cullen was made Archbishop of Armagh, in 1852 Arch-bishop of Dublin, and in 1866 Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church.

Humility and mildness accompanied Cullen in his elevation to his high office, and in his episcopal career he gained to him-self the love of the people of Ireland and the cordial affection of the Irish Bishops. He studied the welfare of the clergy. He reformed some small ritual abuses. He sustained the rights of the Catholics of Ireland to Catholic education, and founded, by means of general collections, the Catholic University, in order to keep Catholic youths from frequenting the famous ” Queen’s Colleges,” where the secular instruction was separated from religious, and rendered in effect “godless.” He appealed to the English Government in behalf of liberty for Catholic teaching. He found time amidst his labours to promote piety and learning, and built no less than 36 churches. Proofs of his zeal remain in the numerous institutions he established, such as Holy Cross College, Clonliffe ; St. Brigid’s Orphanage, St. Vincent de Paul’s Male and Female Orphanages and Convent Refuge, the Deaf and Dumb Institution at Cabra ; the Reading-rooms for the Blind in Marlbro’-street ; the Mater Misericordiae Hospital in Eccles-street; St. Joseph’s Night Refuge, &c., &c. He invited to his diocese the Redemptorists, the Passionists, and the Marists. Thus he displayed the true spirit of the Gospel in endeavouring to secure the spiritual and temporal welfare of his flock by institutions calculated to relieve physical distress and poverty, and to mitigate the evils inevitable to society.

The central motive of all Cardinal Cullen’s apostolic work was in heaven, in the Divine Heart of Jesus, through devotion to which he became the good priest and the good Bishop. He had the happiness to consecrate his entire diocese to the Sacred Heart, as was done also throughout Christendom by other Bishops in 1875. Contemplation and prayer were the means whereby Cullen derived the inspiration from the Sacred Heart and filled his mind with divine consolation and aid. But on earth was his second source of inspiration, and this was in Rome, Christian and Papal. He was emphatically the champion of the Pope and of the Holy See. Witness his Pastorals, which were read throughout the Catholic world, and which breathed the spirit of union with Rome. And how closely he caught the spirit of the Roman Church is proved also by some twenty authentic epistles which he received from the Holy See on various occasions in recognition and confirmation of his holy work. He was distinguished more particularly for his courageous vindication of the temporalities and civil rights of the Holy See. He denounced the sacrilegious spoliation of the Pope and the Roman Church, asserted the claims of the Supreme Pontiff to complete liberty and independence, and endeavoured to repair the losses occasioned by the usurpation of the States of the Church by the Peter’s Pence apostolate. Three persons in all the Catholic world were foremost in this apostolate, and these three were Margotti in Italy, Dupanloup in France, and Cullen in Ireland.

But Cardinal Cullen, who rejoiced in efforts to assist the Holy See in its perils, who was so humble in his loving devotion to the Supreme Head of the Church, was denied the pleasure of beholding even the dawn of happier days or the restoration of independence to the Papacy. H e died without seeing the realisa-tion of his hopes. But he died like a model Bishop and like a Patriarch of the ancient type. He died like a St. John Chrysostom or a St. Martin of Tours, with his eyes fixed on heaven. In harness to the last, working up to the final moment, he calmly, like an ancient saint, expired as it were upon the cross, signing himself with the crucifix and blessing his spiritual children as the Patriarchs blessed their families, on whom the hopes of humanity depended. His funeral pomp was rather a triumph than a ceremony of the dead. One hundred thousand persons of all classes in society moved in orderly procession, which comprised 28 Irish Bishops and Boo priests from various dioceses, the whole cortége appearing more like a scene from the eternal Jerusalem than a mortuary solemnity. It was only grief for his loss that reminded the spectators that they were assisting at a function which was not one of festivity.

Here, in this College, and in this assemblage, his venerated remains are not present, but if they were, exclaimed the orator, turning himself towards the catafalque, who among us would not be glad to kiss his hands, to touch his feet, his lips, or his mantle, in token of love or admiration? And yet he is present with us—spirit to spirit ! He is present in prayer and in affection, present in the esteem entertained for his work, present in his example and in the fruits of his labour, and in his imperishable memory. May God grant that on a future day we may rejoin him in the assembly of the Patriarchs, and that we may be found worthy to share in his celestial reward, as on earth we have been privileged to have had him as our companion and as our guide in apostolic virtues.

Upon the conclusion of this discourse, which occupied over an hour in delivery, his Eminence Cardinal Simeoni, who sat during the sermon on a seat in front of the altar, proceeded to give the solemn absolutions. The voice of his Eminence betrayed the deep emotion which he felt in performing this last function for a brother Cardinal, with whom he had been so long and so affectionately associated.

(FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT.)       Rome, November 30, 1878.

The above text was found on p.17, 7th December 1878 in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at .


Rome 2nd February 1878

1878 was a busy year in Rome. Vittorio Emmanuele II died on the 9th January. The Pope died five days after this was published, on 7 February 1878 at 5:40 pm, of epilepsy, which led to a seizure and a sudden heart attack, while saying the rosary with his staff.  Pius IX was the longest serving Pope ever, and the last pope who held temporal powers, although Lazio, and Rome itself were absorbed into the Kingdom of Italy in 1870. Meanwhile, the still at this point, Rev. Dr Henry O’Bryen seems to be settled in splendidly, having stopped being a parish priest in Lancashire five years earlier at the age of thirty eight, and moved to Rome.  He doesn’t become a papal chaplain until 1881. But he is already preaching at S. Andrea  della Fratte, which he continued to do for the next seventeen years.

Rome from our own correspondent Rome Jan 27th 1878

Reports were current in Rome on Thursday the 24th of  January that Pius IX had been suddenly taken ill and was at the point of death. For these reports there was absolutely no foundation. His Holiness all through the week held his usual audiences lying on the couch in his private library. On Monday he blessed the two lambs whose wool is intended for the palliums. On that day  he received many Cardinals and prelates, and on the following day some laymen of distinction were admitted to special audience in the library. Cardinals Manning and Howard were among the visitors this week to the Vatican. On Thursday a distinguished person, who had an interview with his Holiness for half an hour, found the Pope considerably improved in health and spirits. The wounds in the legs are healing up naturally, new flesh growing in a wonderful manner. The Holy Father was unusually cheerful, and expressed a hope to be able to leave his bed in a month or so when the severe weather shall have disappeared.

GARIBALDI:  It is known that General Garibaldi wrote a letter  of congratulation to King Humbert on his accession to the throne. It was not published, because Garibaldi, at the close of his letter, advised his Majesty to dismiss all his “reprobate Ministers.”

Umberto I

KING HUMBERT I. :  On the 19th of January the new King took the oath to observe the Constitution before the senators and deputies assembled in the Parliament House in Montecitorio. On the same occasion the senators and deputies swore allegiance to the King. The Queen, the young Prince of Naples, and all the Royal visitors and envoys, were present in the diplomatic box, or gallery, where seats were arranged for the ladies. The Archduke Renier, the Prince Imperial of Germany, the heir to the Portuguese throne, and the Queen of Portugal were all close to Queen Margherita. The young Portuguese Prince, a pretty boy of fourteen years, was much admired. But the Prince Imperial of Germany, with his broad shoulders, was the prominent figure, and had the post of honour near the two Queens. The new King made a speech, which was much applauded, but which did not contain a single word in reference to God or the Church, nor did it ask, directly or indirectly, the blessing of Heaven. Perhaps Humbert I., who separates himself by the numeral I. from his ancestor Humbert III., the Blessed, was conscious that any appeal to Divine Providence would be out of place in the declarations of a monarch who succeeds to the usurped patrimony of the Church. King Humbert, rightly or wrongly, is believed to be less religious than his father. Signor Mancini, the present Minister of Grace and Justice, was once his teacher in international and criminal jurisprudence, and from Signor Mancini it is not likely that much reverence for the Catholic religion could be learned by the young Prince. So far as can be inferred from recent events, King Humbert willrely on the army and on the German alliance to support his throne against all Republican attacks. To keep Germany on his side he must obey the behests of Prince Bismarck, and he must adopt a policy of antagonism towards the Holy See more pronounced and severe than that adopted by his father. In this anti-Catholic policy Signor Mancini will be his willing guide.

Cardinal Manning


CARDINAL MANNING:  His Eminence Cardinal Manning has lately  occupied much attention on the part of the Italian  press.  Fanjulla devoted to him a long article denouncing him for his want of respect to the memory of Victor Emmanuel, and particularly for refusing a high Mass to be sung for his late Majesty. Of course, it is well known in London that Cardinal Manning granted permission for the High Mass, although he hesitated and required additional in-formation concerning the intentions of the applicants. Other Italian newspapers claim Cardinal Manning as their friend and champion, and gravely assert that his Eminence alone among the Cardinals encourages the Holy Father to condone the loss of the temporal power, and come to terms of amity with the revolution ! He is said also to urge the selection of Malta for the next Conclave, and to have raised the resentment of all the Italian Cardinals against him. In all these statements there is not one syllable of truth.



OUTRAGES AGAINST THE CLERGY:  In various cities of Italy the revolutionists have  taken the opportunity of the King’s death to insult  the Bishops and clergy who do not at once comply  with the demands of political partisans. For instance, two members of the municipality of Piacenza waited on the Bishop of that city, and asked the use of the Cathedral for a funeral service for the late King. The Bishop replied that he could not himself pontificate, but would grant the use of the cathedral provided the laws of the Church were observed. He suggested the use of the Church of S. Francesco in Piazza, as more central and better adapted for the occasion than the Cathedral. He desired them to report his remarks to the municipal council, and to return the next day to arrange everything. The members of the municipality, however, misrepresented the words of the Bishop as an absolute refusal of the Cathedral, and inserted a statement to that effect in a local journal. The consequence was a riotous assemblage of roughs, who mobbed the Bishop, broke into his residence, and filled the town with tumult. The military had to be called out to quell the disorder. At Viterbo, Bologna, Venice, and other places, the clergy have been insulted and attacked by mobs of revolutionists. At Parma the Bishop was assailed the citizens were compelled to close their shops as a sign of mourning, and a tricolour flag was hoisted over the episcopal residence.

MILAN: At the funeral service in Milan Cathedral, on the 24th, in honour of the late King, the crush was so great that five persons were killed, and many others were injured, and had to be carried to hospitals.

PERE RATISBONNE:  On Sunday, the 20th, the Church of S. Andrea  della Fratte was magnificently decorated with red  satin damask bordered with gold, and an infinity of lights for the anniversary of the miraculous event in the life of Pere Ratisbonne, who, on the 20th of January, 1842, was there converted from Judaism by an apparition of the Blessed Virgin. Masses were said during the morning, and at five p.m. Cardinal Franchi gave solemn Benediction. Padre Giovanni, who possesses perhaps the finest tenor voice at present known, sang; and there was hardly standing room in the church. On Wednesday, the 23rd, the Rev. Dr. O’Bryen preached a sermon on the conversion of Pere Ratisbonne to a crowded audience in the same church. [ Alphonse Ratisbonne who was Jewish, converted to the Church, became a Jesuit, and went on to found the Congrégation de Notre-Dame de Sion, on of whose founding aim was the conversion of the Jews.]

APOTHEOSIS OF VICTOR EMMANUEL:  An amusing cartoon has appeared representing  the late King rising heavily heavenwards—his  well-known features appearing above the white sheet that envelopes his body. In the clouds is seen the Piedmontese Walhalla ” The Superga,” and out of it are issuing the deceased members of the house of Savoy. This cartoon has been considered sufficiently curious for the Bodleian library, to which a copy has been sent.

THE CLERGY HISSED:  It appears, unhappily, certain that the small party of clergy who surrounded the Crucifix in the procession of the King’s funeral were hissed. People who saw the procession at different points all assert the same.

Palazzo del Quirinale


OVATION AT THE QUIRINAL:  On the return of the King from the Chambers  on Saturday, the 19th, there was a great burst of  cheering on the part of the crowd assembled in  the Piazza del Quirinale; the King, the Queen, their Royal visitors, and the little Prince of Naples all appeared on the balcony—the Prince Imperial of Germany, taking the little Prince of Naples in his arms, held him up, to the great delight of the crowd, and then kissed him.



A PROPHECY: An astrologer of the Apennines, named Barbanera, in whom the Romans have great faith, made a lucky guess this year in his prophetic almanack. He says, ” On January 11th a great catafalque will be erected in Rome !” He also says, ” another will be required on February 10th.”  [ I rather like the slightly sneering tone of this, being written before the Pope’s death as obviously ridiculous, and the astrologer being almost spot-on. But given that the Pope was eighty six, it’s not a bad guess.]

THE LATE KING’S DEBTS:  The late King, it is stated, unified his large debts some two years ago, and borrowed of a bank  at Turin 15,000,000 lire, of which 7,000,000 have been paid. King Humbert takes this debt on himself, and will not burden the country with it.

ROYAL ECONOMY:  It would appear that economy is to be studied a little by the new King ; 1,000 horses are to be sold at once out of the Royal stables, and the estate also at Castel Porziano. The Royal stables, built at an enormous cost by the late King, are one of the sights of the city, on account of their vast size and completeness in every respect. It is said that, all told, 2,000 persons are employed in them.

SACRILEGES IN ROME:  During the great concourse of strangers into Rome for the late King’s funeral no less than three churches were broken into, and the tabernacles were robbed of the sacred vessels, the consecrated hosts being strewn about.

FEB. 2, 1878:  The anniversary of the First Communion of the  Holy Father, February 2nd, will be the 75th anniversary of the Holy Father’s first Communion, made at Sinigaglia, his native city. The Cardinal Vicar of Rome invites all the faithful, and especially the young, to make a Communion on that day. There will be a grand function at the Gesù.

MONUMENT TO VICTOR EMMANUEL:   The proposed monument to Victor Emmanuel  has set all the painters, architects, sculptors, and  engineers to work, and many designs are already exhibited ; they all bear evidence of the haste with which they have been drawn, and nothing at all remarkable has been produced. They talk much of a grand façade to Sta Maria degli Angeli ; and that the hemicycle in front should become a colonnade, crowned by the statues of the statesmen and others connected with the unification of Italy, the new street, the Via Nazionale, to be entered under a grand triumphal arch.

THE REQUIEM FOR KING VICTOR EMMANUEL.—On the 9th of February a funeral service will be celebrated in the Pantheon for the repose of the soul of the late King Victor Emmanuel.

The above text was found on p.16, 2nd February 1878, in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at .

Rome – 5th January 1878

1878 was a busy year in Rome. Vittorio Emmanuele II died on the 9th January. A month later the Pope died; Pius IX was the longest serving Pope ever, and the last pope who held temporal powers, though Lazio, and Rome itself were absorbed into the Kingdom of Italy in 1870. Meanwhile  Mgr Henry O’Bryen seems to be settled in splendidly, having stopped being a parish priest in Lancashire five years earlier at the age of thirty eight, and moved to Rome. He’s certainly in grand company at the dinner at the English College, with two Cardinals, and Archbishop Eyre, the first post-Reformation Archbishop of Glasgow, who was also Henry’s sister’s godmother’s nephew. [ His sister Cecilia (1846 -1856) ]

Mgr HH O’Bryen

The following all comes from The Tablet on 5th January.

Rome, Dec. 31, 1877.

THE HOLY FATHER:  The health of the Pope improved perceptibly  during last week. On Sunday he was  moved for a few hours to the private library, a room separated from the Pope’s bedroom. only by a passage, which serves as his dining-room. His Holiness does not use the spring couch, or chair, procured from Paris by Cardinal de Falloux, but continues in bed, supported in a sitting posture by a contrivance which enables him to sit up without feeling fatigue. Cardinal Manning attended the audience on Sunday and other days this week. Cardinals Bartolini and Randi have recovered sufficiently to enable them to visit his Holiness, and to be present at the audiences which, since the 23rd, have been daily held in the private library. On Christmas Day the Pope received visits from the Cardinal Vicar, many Cardinals, and from some of the great officers of the Court, including Marquis Serlupi, General Kanzler, &c., &c.

On the 27th, the name day of his Holiness, the audience was attended by Cardinals Manning, Howard, De Pietro, Caterini, Consolini, Giannelli, Sacconi, Pecci, Pacca, Ferrieri, D’Avanzo, Franchi, Guidi, Franzelin, Hohenlohe, Bilio, Bonaparte, and De Falloux, as also by the Senator of Rome, Marchese Cavalletti ; Prince Ruspoli, the Bishop of Clifton, and others.

THE CONSISTORY:  On the 28th a Consistory was held by his Holiness in person. The Consistorial Hall was not used. The Throne Room, the throne being removed, was arranged with chairs for the Cardinals, who assembled at half-past 10 a.m. to the number of thirty-five, or thereabouts. All the Cardinals now in Rome attended, except their Eminences Amat, Asquini, and Brossais Saint Marc, who were unable to be present owing to illness (the Cardinal of Rennes will, it is hoped, be able to attend the next Consistory on Monday, the 31st). Mgrs. Martinucci and Cataldi, the Pontifical Masters of Ceremonies, attended, and the latter read the Acts of Consistory and conducted the ceremonies. At a given signal the Cardinals left the Throne Room and proceeded to the Pope’s private library, where the Consistory proper was held. His Holiness spoke in a clear voice a few words, not a formal allocution, as follows ” Venerable Brothers,—Your presence here to-day in such numbers gives Us an opportunity which We gladly seize to re-turn to you and to each of you Our most sincere thanks for the kind offices you have shown to Us in this time of Our illness. We thank God that We have found you Our most faithful helpers in bearing Our burden of the Apostolic ministry; and your virtue and constant affection have contributed to lessen the bitterness of Our many sufferings. But while We rejoice in your affection and zeal we cannot forget that we need daily more and more your co-operation and that of all Our brethren and of all the faithful, to attain the immediate aid of God for the many pressing necessities of Us and of the Church. Therefore We urgently exhort you, and especially those of you who exercise the episcopal ministry in your respective dioceses, as well as all the pastors who preside over the Lord’s flock throughout the entire Catholic world, to implore the Divine Clemency and cause prayers to be offered to God that he may give • Us, amidst the affliction of Our body, strength of mind to wage vigorously the conflict which has to be endured, to regard mercifully the labours and wrongs of the Church, to forgive Us all Our sins, and for the glory of His Name to grant the gift of good-will and the fruits of that peace which the angelic choirs announced to man-kind at the birth of the Saviour.”

The following appointments to churches were then made:-

  • Archbishopric of Nazianzum, in partibus infidelium, Monsignor Angelo di Pietro, translated from Nissa in partibus. (To be sent as Delegate-Apostolic to the Republics of Paraguay, Chili, and Bolivia, and the Argentine Republic.
  • Archbishopric of Chieti, with Vasto in administration, Mgr. Luigi Ruffo de’ Principi di Scilla, born in Palermo.
  • Bishopric of Fano, Rev. Camillo Santori, Rector and Pro-fessor of Dogmatic Theology in the Roman Pontifical Seminary, Sub-Secretary of Vatican Council, &c.
  • Bishopric of Tricarico, Rev. Camillo Sicilian de Marchesi di Rende, formerly a parish priest in the diocese of Westminster, &c., &c.
  • Bishopric of Nice, Rev. Father Matthew Victor Balain, Oblate of the Congregation of Mary Immaculate, Rector of the Seminary of Frejus, &c., &c.
  • Bishopric of Pella in partibus, Rev. Gustavus Leonard di Battice, President of the Ghent Seminary, &c., &c., deputed co-adjutor, with succession, to the Bishop of Ghent.

His Holiness then created Mgr. Vincenzo Moretti (born in Orvieto November 14, 1815), Archbishop of Ravenna, to be a Cardinal Priest ; and Mgr. Antonio dei Conti Pellegrini (born in Rome August 11, 1812), Clerk of the Apostolical Chamber, to be a Cardinal Deacon. (They receive the titles respectively of Santa Sabina and Santa Maria in Aquiro.)

The pallium was then demanded for two archiepiscopal sees, those of Baltimore, the first see in the United States and of Chieti. Baltimore has the precedence of Chieti, but as Mgr. Ruffo Scilla, the new Archbishop of Chieti, appeared in person, he took precedence in postulating of Dr. D. J. O’Connell, the Procurator of Archbishop James Gibbons, the American Primate.

On Sunday Cardinal Caterini, the Dean of the Cardinal Deacons, in his private chapel in the Palazzo Mattei, imposed the pallium on the shoulders of the new Archbishop of Chieti, and on the shoulders of the Procurator (Dr. D. J. O’Connell) of Archbishop Gibbons, of Baltimore, the oaths of fidelity being first administered to the recipients of the pallium. Mgr. Cataldi officiated as Pontifical Master of Ceremonies.

Triduums have been celebrated in the three great Basilicas and in other churches in Rome, to pray for the complete restoration of the health of the Holy Father.

Dr. Chatard will be appointed Bishop of Richmond, Virginia, at an early meeting of the Propaganda, and will accept that see unless his Holiness should express a desire to retain his services in Rome. If Dr. Chatard becomes Bishop of Richmond, Dr. Hostlot, the present esteemed Vice-Rector, will be made Rector of the North American College in Rome, vice Mgr. Chatard.


PROTESTANT CHURCH IN ROME: The Free Italian church on the Piazza Ponte S.  Angelo (which is rarely open) was, however,  lighted up a few evenings ago ; and an Englishman might be seen preaching in English, with an Italian interpreting. In front of the pulpit was a table, with bread and wine on it, for the purpose of celebrating an English Dissenting communion. Every evening the Piazza is filled with the soldiers from the neighbouring barracks, who stand about talking and smoking in a very innocent manner until the “retreat “ at 7 p.m. calls them in. The parody of divine worship going on seemed to afford them much amusement, for they kept passing in and out through the little building, dignified by the name of a church, and wondering what it all meant. Apparently the Catholic religion has little to fear front the very feeble attacks of the Protestant sects. The Waldensian sects advertise a ” Christmas tree “ as one of the attractions of their chapel.

PIAZZA NAVONA: Quite a little fair is going on in the Piazza Navona, where may be purchased very prettily-constructed grottos, and all the figures that adorn a ” Presepio,” or representation of the Nativity. The three Magi, the shepherds, the sheep and cattle, and all the accessories are really very cleverly executed.

THE SECOND CONSISTORY; His Holiness held another Consistory this morning in his private library, sitting, as on the previous occasion, in a bed made for him in Rome under the direction of Doctor Ceccarelli, and gave the hats, with the customary formalities, to Cardinals Regnier, Manning, Brossais Saint Marc, Moretti, and Pellegrini. The Pope’s voice was clear and strong. His Holiness seems to be gathering strength, and bore the fatigue of the ceremonial well. Several noblemen and gentlemen were admitted to this Consistory. Several Bishops were nominated, amongst others Dr. Fitzgerald to the See of Ross, Ireland.

DIOCESE OF WATERFORD.—Monsignor Kirby has presented his Holiness with the sum of £1,700 from the Bishop (Dr. Power), the clergy, and faithful of the Diocese of Waterford and Lismore.

THE ENGLISH COLLEGE.—Dr. O’Callaghan entertained at dinner on the 30th, at the English College, Cardinal Manning, Cardinal Howard, Protector of the College, Archbishop Eyre, the Bishop of Clifton, Monsignor Stonor, Mgr. Cataldi, Monsignor Kirby, Dr. Grant, Dr. Hostlot, Dr. O’Bryen, Mr. Ward, Mr. Winchester, &c., &c.

The above text was found on p.17,5th January 1878, in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at .


The Sunday Bands 1856

Rotten Row c.1900

Yesterday the public promenade in Hyde Park and Kensington-gardens assumed its ordinary appearance on a Sunday. There was no attempt at music by a private band, as on the previous Sunday, nor any disturbance whatever. The weather was remarkably fine, and great numbers of people, including a large proportion of the higher classes, thronged the walks along the Serpentine and in the gardens, but no circumstance occurred to interrupt the common enjoyment, and the excitement consequent on the withdrawal of the music may be said, in Hyde Park at least, to have passed away.


The Bandstand, Hyde Park.

A band, organized by the society established for securing the performance of Sunday music in the parks, played in the Regent’s Park, on the stage erected for the performances of the band of the Second Life Guards on Sunday afternoons, prior to its suppression by the Government. It appears that, although the Government refused to countenance the performance of military bands in the parks on Sunday afternoons, intimation was given to Sir John Shelley, Sir Joshua Walmsley, and other supporters of the movement, that if the people chose to have private bands of their own in the Regent’s and Victoria Parks on Sunday afternoons they would not be interfered with.

During the week workmen had been employed, under the direction of Sir B. Hall, as Chief Commissioner of Public Works, and with the sanction of the Government, in re-erecting the stages, in order that military bands might play in Victoria Park on Wednesday and in the Regent’s Park on Friday afternoons, and we have authority for stating that Sir John Shelley took it upon himself the responsibility of directing that the ” People’s Band “ should avail themselves of the advantages of the stages already erected in both parks yesterday afternoon.

Shortly before 4 o’clock a well-appointed band of 30 performers, conducted by Mr. F. Pierce, mounted the stage, and commenced playing the March from the ” Stabat Mater,”  which was followed by the Polacca, Spanish (Godfrey);  Valse-” Fleuré die Marie” (Jullien);  Duetto-” I know a bank” (Bishop); “Pas Redoublé Nationale” (Tidswell);  Grand March (Hope); Valse-” Sylvan”  (Tinney);  Selection –” Lucia di Lammermoor “ (Donizetti);  Quadrille (D’Alhert); and Gallop-            ” Victory” (Anon). The performance concluded with a verse of  ” Partant pour Ia Syrie,” and ” God save the Queen.” Among the vast assembly were observed Sir John Shelley, Sir Joshua Walmsley, M.P., Sir Henry Halford, M.P., and Mr. W. Williams, M.P. The greatest order prevailed throughout  the afternoon, and the moment tho band had concluded the people quietly dispersed.

the above text was from the Times, Monday June 2, 1856. p.7

Objection to the taking an oath – 1847

Sir Joshua Walmsley


A tall, stout man, rather respectably dressed, appeared before Sir Joshua Walmsley, on Saturday, to make a charge against James Welsh of having stolen a pair of picks, being utensils used in making roads and excavations. The prosecutor, on being handed the book preparatory to being sworn, said: – I refuse to be sworn; I cannot conscientiously take an oath.

Sir Joshua Walmsley.-What are you? Are you a Quaker?

Prosecutor.- I sometimes go to the Quakers’ meetings.

Sir Joshua.-What religious denomination do you belong to?

Prosecutor.-I believe in Christ, and have been told not to take an oath.


Sir Joshua.-Who told you?

Prosecutor.- The Word of God.

Sir Joshua.-Are you a member of the Society of Friends?


Sir Joshua. Are you a Moravian?


Sir Joshua.- Are you ______  What are you?

Prosecutor declined to answer.

A Voice.-He doesn’t know what he is.

Sir Joshua.-Is it on religious grounds that you object to be sworn

Prosecutor.-It is.

Sir Joshua.-Well, it is very wrong that the ends of justice should be defeated in this way. I feel that I have a power to send you to gaol, but I hesitate to act upon that power. It may be that your repugnance to take an oath is based upon conscientious scruples, but I certainly doubt it. I am obliged to discharge a man who, in the face of the public, is all but proved to have been guilty of stealing your property, and he must now be let loose upon society to practise the same deeds with impunity. You see the result of your refusal.

Prosecutor.-I do, but I cannot help it.

Sir Joshua.-Let the prisoner be discharged.

Liverpool Mercury, re-printed in the Times, April 1, 1847. p.7

The Parliamentary Reform Association – 1849

This was about a month after the Parliamentary and Financial Reform Association had been set up in 1849 by John Bright, Joseph Hume, Sir Joshua Walmsley, and George Wilson, amongst others, to campaign for parliamentary reform, and reduced government expenditure. The argument being put forward that an increased electorate would naturally vote for less, rather than more government spending.


Yesterday evening a meeting of the inhabitants of the borough of Finsbury was held in Sadler’s Wells Theatre, for the purpose of supporting the views and objects of the Metropolitan Parliamentary and Financial Reform Association, Sir Joshua Walmsley, M.P., in the chair. Before entering upon the business of the evening, letters from several gentlemen apologising for their unavoidable absence, were read. Amongst the names were those of Messr. C.J. Fox, E Miall, C. Lushington, T. Wakley, and T. Duncombe, who in his rote enclosed a check for £10.,to be applied to the purposes of the association.

The chairman in his address to the meeting referred to the great inequality in the present system of representation, both as regarded the numbers of people and the amount of property represented.  These evils could only be met by an extension of the suffrage to every adult male who paid anything towards the poor rates, by a more equal apportionment of the electoral districts, and also by the abolition  of the property qualification. In addition to these it was the conviction of the members of the association that the principle of voting by ballot, and  triennial Parliaments were essentially necessary to that which it was their object to attain –  a full, free, and fair representation of the people in Parliament.

Mr G. Thompson, M.P. proposed  the first resolution, as follows: ”  That the absence of a really representative House of Commons, the preponderance of class legislation, the unequal pressure of taxation, the general extravagance of the public expenditure, and the consequences of these evils, engendering discontent and threatening disorders fatal to the political and social prosperity of this empire render the combination of the middle and working classes for the attainment of the reform advocated by the Metropolitan Parliamentary and Financial Reform Association a matter of momentous importance to the State.”

Mr  Thompson, after stating that Mr. Wakley was so much indisposed as to be unable to attend without danger to his life, proceeded to call to the remembrance of the meeting all the reforms which had been carried since the great one of Catholic Emancipation, and advocated the system of peaceful agitation as a weapon which the higher powers had always been unable to cope with, and which was the only means by which they could at present attain their end. Mr.Thompson referred to the disturbances of the continent, and the fact that the English people had not followed the example set them of warring against their own Government, as a proof that they deserved the extension of the suffrage that they asked. They did not seen to sap the foundations of the throne, nor to do anything to disturb the most illustrious lady in the land (enthusiastic cheering which lasted some time), nor did they wish to disturb the House of Lords (a storm of yells and hisses) They sought simply a fair representation of the people, and that they would obtain whether the reform came sooner or later. (Great cheers.) Mr. Barney seconded this resolution, which was carried nem. con.; and others of a similar tendency were proposed and carried, several gentlemen addressing the meeting in support of them. The meeting, which was a very crowded one, the theatre being filled in every part, separated at a late hour, after a vote of thanks to the chairman.

The above text was from the Times Tuesday June 19, 1849. p.8

More Parliamentary Reform – 1850

The Parliamentary and Financial Reform Association was set up in May 1849 by John Bright, Joseph Hume, Sir Joshua Walmsley, and George Wilson, amongst others, to campaign for parliamentary reform, and reduced government expenditure. The argument being put forward that an increased electorate would naturally vote for less, rather than more government spending.

In the old days of coach travelling an unprofessional stranger intruded himself into the commercial room of a roadside inn. He was received with ready courtesy by the previous guests, and was invited to take part in the convivial mysteries of the evening. No questions were asked; the false brother remained undetected until the time for the bootjack and the flat-candlestick had arrived. On rising to take his leave for the night the stranger’s ears were assailed with cries from all sides of  ” Sir, the usual thing-the usual thing!”  It appeared that the custom of the house was that every guest should, before rising from table, favour the company with ” a toast, song, or sentiment,” and any one of the three would have been accepted as ” the usual thing.” Let us leave the pseudo-bagman to get out of the scrape as best he may, and turn to the proceedings of the Parliamentary Reform Association, which held its annual meeting yesterday at the London Tavern.

Now, the first thing that strikes the mind on reading through the addresses of the various orators, is what we will venture to call their customary dullness. They resemble each other, and all speeches on the same subject, delivered by the average run of platform orators, as closely as the ” Want Places “ of the maids of all work. They are the ” usual thing “.  An elderly gentleman with a turn for political excitement, or a young and aspiring politician who has an eye upon Finsbury for a future day, as a matter of course, endeavours to convince his fellow-countrymen that they constitute the most oppressed and ill-governed community on the surface of the globe. He exhorts them to union in the most pathetic terms, just as though serious endeavours were made to scatter amongst them the seeds of discord and jealousy.

He represents the upper and lower-let us rather say the richer and poorer classes, throughout the empire as in a natural position of antagonism. He attributes all moral virtues and all political principle to the struggling and the indigent; the more opulent are of course excluded from any share in these moral elevations of character. He shows the frightful injustice of excluding from. the political franchise any class of our fellow-subjects. He figures out a haughty aristocracy as battening. and fattening upon the vitals of the people.

Half-a-dozen instances are quoted of such application of the public money as may-be most likely to elicit from the meeting a few rounds of groans and hisses – and so, with the customary rhodomontade about ” freedom’s battle,” and the customary assurance that a violent change in the political constitution of the country would put an instant end to everything in the shape of jobbery or corruption, the orator of progress brings his address to a conclusion. Such a speech as this is ” the usual thing ;” and of such speeches was the business of yesterday’s meeting made up. There is, a difficulty in dealing with such a subject – a serious discussion would lead to nothing more profitable than an interchange of the driest platitudes.

The trade of political agitation has in this division of the empire seldom proved a profitable one to its professors. The opinions of the majority, the prejudices of the majority, the interests of the majority are in favour of a gradual development of our political institutions, and are diametrically opposed to any sudden and violent change. It required upwards of half-a-century of sharp struggle before the bulk of the community could be induced to pronounce in favour of out present representative system. Under this altered system changes of enormous importance have taken place. Religious disabilities have been removed; fiscal burdens have been repealed; the whole commercial system of the empire has been altered; reforms in the doctrine and practice of the laws have been extensively introduced. It would not be wise to draw from all these facts an inference against timely changes at a future day, but at least they furnish us with abundant reason for caution and circumspection.

The argument is no longer what it was before the passing of the Reform Act. In the main, the will of the English people is law. It may be obstructed fora time, it may be diverted from its object for a session, the personal views of a Minister or the prejudices of a class may, for a brief moment, interpose between the formation and accomplishment of the people’s wish, but, in the end, it is listened to and obeyed. A man of sober mind, now o’days, thinks it just as possible that we may go too fast as too slow –  and therefore it is he turns a deaf ear to the arithmetical blandishments of Sir Joshua Walmsley, to the pungent invective of Mr. Searle, and to the flowery periods of Mr. W. J. Fox. We look round us upon the most civilized countries of the earth, and find our own the solitary exception in the midst of civil turmoil and the din of arms. After all, there is something in this. If we turn to any of the tests by which the state of the country can be ascertained, we find it to be in an almost unexampled condition of peace and prosperity.

Sir Joshua Walmsley  and his friends say to us, ” Give up your present position. Take, upon our recommendation, the chances of an untried future. The violent influx of pure democracy into the political constitution of the various continental nations may indeed have caused the evils you describe, but in England the case is different. When we look to the analogies between the past, the present, and the future, we will warrant that in sober-minded England no mischief will- occur even from the most sadden and extensive changes  in our political institutions, to the change be made in the popular direction.”  With every respect for the sagacity of Sir Joshua Walmsley and his friends, we must object to the sufficiency of the assurances. A foolish politician may destroy the prosperity of a country – it would require the labour of a long series of statesmen to place it once more on a secure foundation. Would any one run such a risk for the attainment of an uncertain, probably of a visionary’ benefit?

The most fervent partisan of change must desire that it should be quietly brought about – that advantage should be taken of events – that the minds of the losers should be conciliated into something like patient acquiescence, not roused and exasperated into violent opposition.’ What would be the result of the adoption of such a scheme as that of the Parliamentary Reform Association? We leave the decision of the question to the judgment of any man who has been mixed up with the political combinations of the last half-century.

It may, after all, be an error in judgment to attribute any great importance to the labours of this new association. In a country such as ours, in which every person can speak or write his mind upon all political subjects, there must always be extreme parties in politics ready to call attention to their views. We may not approve of the objects of any one of these fanatics of opinion, but we recognize the use of them all. One of them may restrain us from action too precipitate, the other will prevent us from falling asleep by their eternal threats and murmurs.

It was but a short time back that the Liverpool Reform Association fell foul of the sums lavishly squandered on the officers in the two services. In the course of the discussion it came to light that ensigns and sea lieutenants were not, after all, such very prominent members of the            ” moneyed  circles” as had been originally supposed; but at least the discussion roused attention to many abuses in the administration of the services, which have either been reformed or modified. It is just the same case with the Parliamentary Reform Association.

We must make up our minds to live with such bodies on the one hand, and with agricultural and Protection meetings on the other. No doubt they will balance each other to the public advantage in the long run. Meanwhile, we cannot but congratulate ourselves upon the shape political agitation has assumed in England. No great harm can ever arise from this usual dry routine of time-honoured speeches and stereotyped resolutions.

the above text was from The Times, Tuesday, October 15, 1850 p.4