Dalgairns, John Dobree

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Theologian; b. Guernsey, Oct. 21, 1818; d. Burgess Hill, Sussex, April 6, 1876. He took a second class in humane letters at Exeter College, Oxford, in 1839. Already an ardent disciple of newman, his letter of 1838 to the Paris Univers on the oxford movement led to correspondence with the Passionist Dominic Barberi. The first to join Newman at Littlemore in 1842, he wrote scholarly lives of saints for the series of early English saints edited by Newman, and manifested in them a profound grasp of medieval history. Feeling drawn ever closer to Catholicism through his studies, he invited Barberi to Littlemore with Newman's consent and was received into the Church in September 1845. Ordained in December 1846, he joined the London Oratory in 1849, and after several assignments succeeded Frederich H. Faber as superior in 1863. An eminent preacher, confessor, and member of the Metaphysical Society, he was the most gifted of the London Oratorians. His knowledge of philosophy and acquaintance with the writings of German scientists enabled him to meet Thomas Huxley successfully on his own grounds. Unfortunately, he suffered from chronic restlessness, laying too much stress on interior perfection, and making excessive demands upon his own zeal. Overstrain brought on paralysis and, after a year's mental illness, death. His chief Catholic writings are: The Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus (London 1853; latest edition 1920 with an introduction on the history of Jansenism); The Holy Communion, its Philosophy, Theology and Practice (Dublin 1861); the editor of the latest edition (1911), A. Ross, notes that one chapter needs revision because of Pius X's decree of 1905.

Bibliography: j. gillow, A Literary and Biographical History or Bibliographical Dictionary of the English Catholics from 1534 to the Present Time (London-New York 18851902; repr. New York 1961), 2:35. f. l. cross, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (London 1957) 369.

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