Berington, Charles

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Vicar apostolic of the English Midland district (179598) and controversialist; b. Stock Hall, Essex, 1748; d. Longbirch, Staffordshire, June 8, 1798. He was the third son of Thomas Berington of Moat Hall, Salop, and Anne Bates, heiress of Stock Hall, Essex. Educated at Douay College from 1761 to 1765 and St. Gregory's College, Paris, from 1765 to 1776, he was ordained in 1775, and won his doctorate at the Sorbonne the following year. He worked in the English mission at Ingatestone, Essex, and later became the tutor to the son and heir of Peter Giffard of Chillington, Staffordshire. On Aug. 1, 1786 he was consecrated titular bishop of Hierocaesarea at Longbirch, and appointed coadjutor to Bp. Thomas Talbot, vicar apostolic of the Midland district. At Talbot's death, he succeeded to the vicariate. His membership in the "Gallican" Catholic Committee (founded in 1783), whose sympathies were nationalistic and anti-papal, placed him strongly at variance with the other vicars apostolic and with the policy of the Holy See toward England. This brought him the dislike of most of the clergy, though personally he was amiable, learned, and kindly. On his accession to the vicariate, Rome refused him faculties unless he recanted his views. After three years of difficult negotiations, he gave way under protest, but he died as the result of an accident before his faculties could reach him.

Bibliography: w. m. brady, The Episcopal Succession in England, Scotland, and Ireland, a.d. 1400 to 1875, 3 v. (Rome 187677) v. 3 passim. c. butler, Historical Memoirs Respecting the English, Irish and Scottish Catholics from the Reformation to the Present Time, 4 v. (London 181921) v. 4. The Dictionary of National Biography from the Earliest Times to 1900 (London 18851900) 2:337. b. n. ward, The Dawn of Catholic Revival in England, 17811803, 2 v. (London 1909) 1:123, 2:131.

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