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Jarrett, Bede


Dominican preacher, historian, and spiritual writer; b. Greenwich, England, Aug. 22, 1881; d. London, March 17, 1934. The son of Col. H. S. and Agnes (née Beaufort) Jarrett, he was named Cyril at Baptism. After studying at Stonyhurst he entered the Dominicans at Woodchester in 1898 and was given the name Bede at his reception of the habit. He made his philosophical and theological studies at Woodchester and Hawkesyard. In 1904 he was the first Dominican in modern times to be sent to the University of Oxford, where he read history and took his degree in 1907. The following year he spent in Louvain, where he received his lectorate in theology. He was thereupon assigned to parish work in London. He was made prior of the London house of his order in 1914 and was elected provincial of the province of England in 1916, in which office he served for 16 years. During his provincialate Jarrett opened a study house for Dominicans at Oxford in 1921; it became a priory in 1929. He established a house at Edinburgh in 1931, transferred the school for boys to Laxton in 1924, and extended the work of the English Dominicans to South Africa in 1917. He helped the congregations of English Dominican Sisters in effecting their amalgamation. Despite his involvement in administration, he managed to find time for scholarly work and spiritual writing. At the expiration of his provincialate, Jarrett became the second prior of the house he had established at Oxford. He had a remarkable genius for friend-ship, was a man of vision and an exemplary Dominicanmany have said that his St. Dominic (London 1924) was an unconscious self-portraitwho profoundly influenced all who knew him. Among his other works, all published in London, were: Medieval Socialism (1913), St. Antonino and Medieval Economics (1914), Social Theories of the Middle Ages (1926), A History of Europe (1929), The Emperor Charles IV (posthumous, 1935), Religious Life (1920), The English Dominicans (1921), Meditations for Layfolk (1915), Living Temples (1919), The Space of Life Between (1930), The House of Gold (1931), and No Abiding City (1934).

Bibliography: k. wykeham-george and g. mathew, Bede Jarrett (London 1952). w. gumbley, Obituary Notices of the English Dominicans from 1555 to 1952 (London 1955).

[s. bullough]

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