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Ullathorne, William Bernard


Benedictine monk and archbishop; b. Pocklington, Yorkshire, England, May 7, 1806; d. Oscott, Warwickshire, March 21, 1889. His family was one of yeoman farmers who remained Catholic throughout the period of penal laws. William traced his descent from St. thomas more. He was a cabin boy in his youth, but dissatisfaction with seafaring led to his entering the Benedictine priory at downside (1823), where he received the religious habit 12 months later. Following ordination in 1830 he taught for a short period before sailing in 1832 for australia as vicar-general to Bishop Morris, OSB. Here he worked assiduously among the colonists and convicts for ten years, with occasional visits to Rome, Ireland, and England on mission affairs. His pamphlet, Horrors of Transportation, is regarded as a classic indictment of the complacency of British government. After a breakdown in health, Ullathorne returned home and took charge of the mission at Coventry. His name was proposed as bishop, first of Hobart Town, then of Adelaide, and finally of Perth, but he never returned to the Australian mission. In 1846 he was nominated vicar apostolic of the western district of England. Two years later he was transferred to the central district. In his autobiography, Ullathorne relates his early determination never to rest until the hierarchy was restored to England. Indeed, he was the leading protagonist of the cause at Rome. In 1850 he became the first bishop of Birmingham, where he resided until his resignation in 1888. He was then made titular archbishop of Cabasa. His role was a leading one in most of the social and religious movements of his day. He wrote many pamphlets on matters of moment, his Döllingerites and Mr. Gladstone's Expostulation Unravelled being especially noteworthy. His correspondence during attendance at vatican council i proved an important historical source, utilized by Edward Cuthbert butler as the backbone of his history of this synod.

Bibliography: w. b. ullathorne, From Cabin-boy to Archbishop (London 1941), autobiography. e. c. butler, The Life and Times of Bishop Ullathorne, 18061889, 2 v. (London 1926). m. f. glancey, Characteristics from the Writings of Archbishop Ullathorne (London 1889).

[v. a. mcclelland]

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