Consecration of the Vicar-Apostolic of Gibraltar 1899

THE NEW VICAR-APOSTOLIC OF GIBRALTAR. CONSECRATION AT HAVERSTOCK HILL.

All who were present on Monday last at the church of the Dominican Fathers, Haverstock Hill, on the occasion of the consecration of Bishop Bellord for the Vicariate of Gibraltar must have been impressed by the fitness of the noble edifice for so great a function. The open and spacious sanctuary, well raised above the level of the nave, presented an unrestricted view to all who thronged the enormous church. The beautiful oaken stalls, carved by Peters of Antwerp, were filled with long lines of white-robed friars, black-robed Benedictines, Augurtinians and Passionists, purple-robed Monsignori, and secular priests in their graceful lace-trimmed cottas, while moving about the altar were the officiating prelates and their numerous assistants in performance of their sacred rites and clothed in the symbolic grandeur of their sacred vestments. And through all the splendour of colour and moving forms a grand simplicity was manifest. Those who were present, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, – and not a few non-Catholics were in evidence, – must have been moved, too, by the supreme care and the many safeguards with which the Church in all the details of a sublime ritual surrounds the great act by which the apostolic commission is handed down to individuals in unbroken continuity as it was received from Christ.

The Bishop of Emmaus was the consecrator, and the Assistant-Bishops were Bishop Brindle, D.S.0 , and the Bishop of Southwark. These were attended by their chaplains, the Revv. Fathers Davies and T. Hogan for the Bishop of Emmaus : Fathers Reekes and Coote for the Bishop of Southwark ; Fathers Denny and C. Cox for the Bishop of Hermopolis ; and Fathers Amigo and Armstrong for the Bishop-Elect. The Cantors were the Revv. Fathers Pennington and Wyatt, and the masters of ceremonies Fathers G. Cox and Mgr. Dunn.

Occupying places in the stalls were the Very Revv. Father John Procter, O.P., Provincial ; Father Gabriel Whitacre, O.P., Prior ; the Right Rev. Mgri. Goddard, Moyes, Fenton and Connelly; the Very Revv, Dr. Johnstone, V.G., Provost Moore, Canons Keatinge, Pycke, Scannell and Fannan ; the Revv. Dr. Aidan Gasquet, O.S.B., Father Arthur, C.P. ; Deans Lucas, Reardon, Vere ; several army chaplains ; the Very Rev. P. r ., Kelly, O.S.A. ; the Dominican Fathers Thomas Laws, Reginald Buckler, Austin Rooke, Bernard Sears, Raphael Moss, and Gilbert Tigar ; while a large number of secular priests from several dioceses were in the body of the church.

The Apostolic Brief having been read, the Bishop-elect took the episcopal oath prescribed by Pius VI. for Bishops in the British Empire. Then followed the Examen, in which, response to questions of the Consecrator, the Bishop-elect made solemn profession of faith and fealty and devotion to his episcopal duties, promising to preserve humility and patience, and to be gentle and tender to the poor and to strangers, and to all who suffer want. The Mass begins, the Litanies of the Saints are chanted, the Book of the Gospels is laid open on the shoulders of the Elect in token that while he is appointed to rule over others he himself is subject to the law of the Gospel. A swift-winged moment swept by and the mighty and mysterious act has passed. The consecrating hands have been imposed and the simple word has been spoken ; ” Receive the Holy Ghost.” Almost unobserved, the great central act has been consummated. Then the Mass proceeded, interwoven with, the signs and ceremonies continued the kiss of peace and brotherhood was given, the new-made Bishop was enthroned and endowed with mitre, ring and crozier, while the praises of the Te Deum are resounding, with his new born powers he imparts his solemn benediction. A touch of human interest was there when the Bishop proceeding round the church made scarcely perceptible pause as he extended his hand to a Sister of Mercy who knelt in the foremost seat, and thus it came about that his sister was the first to kiss his hand and receive his happy blessing.

MGR. BELLORD’S CAREER.

The Right Rev. James Bellord, to give the title in full, Bishop of Milevis and Vicar-Apostolic of Gibraltar, was born In London in 1846, educated at St. Edmund’s College, Ware, an, ordained priest at Hammersmith on March 12, 1870, Like Mgr. Brindle, the new Auxiliary Bishop to Cardinal Vaughan, Mgr. Bellord has had a distinguished career as a military chaplain. He served with the troops in Bermuda in 1875-77, and, again in 1888-92, and also through the Zulu, the Boer, and the Egyptian campaigns. Upon him devolved the sad duty of performing the last rites over the body of the late Prince Imperial of France, who, it will be remembered, lost his life during the first mentioned war. The Bishop was present at the battle of Ulundi, at which the Zulus were finally subdued at the battle of Tel-el-Kebir, in Egypt, Father Bellord was severely wounded early in the action, but, despite his own sufferings, he courageously insisted on being carried round to give the consolations of religion to the wounded and dying. For the last few years he has been attached to the garrison at Colchester. Needless to tell, he has always been most popular both with the officers and men at all the stations at which he has served. In consequence of his appointment to Gibraltar the Bishop retires from the army after near thirty years’ service.

Father Bellord is the author of some devotional works, and, last year he published a remarkable book, Meditations on Christian Dogma, founded on St. Thomas Aquinas, to which the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster contributed a preface: and which has been most favourably received. Three of his sisters are nuns, two being Sisters of Notre Dame and the other a Sister of Mercy at the convent in Crispin-street, London,

LETTER FROM THE EMPRESS EUGENIE.

After the ceremonies luncheon was provided in the Priory. Bishop Patterson, in proposing the health of the new Bishop, referred to him in warm and felicitous terms, and said he had known him man and boy all his life, and had enjoyed as well the friendship of his parents. The toast was receive enthusiastically, and drunk with musical honours. Father Amigo, on behalf of the people of Gibraltar, promised the Bishop a hearty welcome, and Mgr. Goddard, in the course of some graceful reference to the relations of the Bishop, when be was chaplain to the forces in Zululand, with the unfortunate young Prince to whom he administered the last consolations of religion, read the following letter from the Empress :

Villa Cyrnos, Cap Martin.

Cher Monsignor Goddard,—J’ai communiqué à S.M. l’Imperatrice votre lettre du 17e l’informant de la nomination du Père Bellord, à l’Evêché de Gibraltar. Sa Majesté a appris avec plaisir cette nouvelle. Elle se réjouira toujours de ce qui pourra arriver d’heureux à ceux, de près ou de loin, se rattachent à la mémoire de son malheureux fils – et elle felicite le Père Bellord de son élévation a l’Episcopat.

Sa Majesté vous remercie de votre bon souvenir. Quoiqu’elle ne pas complêtement rétablie l’état de sa santé s’est amelioré.  Veuillez agreer, cher Monsignor, l’expression de mes sentiments respectueux et dévoués.

Franceschini Pistri

The Bishop, in his reply, thanked all who had been so kind to him, and whom he held in dear remembrance. The toast of Bishop Patterson was also drank.

In the afternoon, Mr. and Mrs. E. J. Bellord held a reception at their house in Belsize Park Gardens, at which, besides the Bishops and the clergy who had assisted at the functions of the morning, the following ladies and gentlemen were present with many other friends of the family : Colonel Donovan, Major Tibbs, Major Ration, Dr. Ware, Mr. and Mrs. W. B. Hallett, Mr. and Mrs. Le Brasseur, Mr. and Mrs. E. Hanley and Miss Hanley, the Hon. Mr. Parker and Lady Parker, Mr. and Mrs. E. O’Bryen, and Mr. and Mrs. F. W. Pursell.

The members of the Deanery of Colchester presented the Bishop with a handsome pectoral cross as a token of their regard. A gift highly valued for its givers and very beautiful in itself, was the episcopal ring, presented by his sisters, who, as has been said, are nuns. The exquisite Gothic mitre, which Was worn by the Bishop at the ceremony, and was much admired for its beauty, was the gift of his brother, Mr. E. J. Bellord.

The church at Haverstock Hill is full of interest to those who have watched the Catholic revival in England and the reintroduction of the religious orders into the country.

The Friars Preachers or Dominicans, commonly called Black Friars, came into England in 1221, and founded a house in Holborn, removed in 1286 to Ludgate. This was destroyed in 1538, and the Times Office is built on part of the site. Under Queen Mary they established another community in Great St. Bartholomew’s, Smithfield, in 1556, but this was destroyed by Queen Elizabeth in 1559. On the invitation of Cardinal Wise-man, in 1861, the Friars commenced a mission in Kentish Town, and in 1863 began a Priory on Haverstock Hill, which was completed in four years, and solemnly opened May 31, 1883 , It has a total length of 200ft., the nave of 6 bays being 140ft., and the choir 60ft. Fourteen chapels and the high altar are dedicated to the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, each chapel in the aisles being 15ft. wide. The lady chapel on the right side of the choir, contains the altars of the Holy Rosary, St. Joseph and St. Dominic. The church is in the style of the 13th century, built of brick, with stone dressings. There are several good stained glass windows, especially in the choir, by Hardman and Co., Birmingham. The high altar (late decorated style) Put up and consecrated in December, 1889, cost £ 2,000. The Priory was built by the late Countess Tasker.

The above text was found on p.21,6th May 1899 in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at http://www.thetablet.co.uk .

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Downside’s War Memorial – The Nave Of The Abbey Church. August 1925

Downside Abbey

This contains a brace of great, great uncles and aunts, a recently widowed great, great uncle, and a first cousin twice removed.

DOWNSIDE’S WAR MEMORIAL – THE NAVE OF THE ABBEY CHURCH.

The dignity, the magnificence and the friendliness which mark great functions at Downside were present in more than their usual abundance last Saturday on the occasion of the solemn opening of Downside’s war memorial—the nave of the abbey church. The weather was perfect; the capacity of the place was tested to its utmost by a representative gathering of interested well-wishers; the hospitality of the monks was worthy of their best traditions; and the ceremonies had all the stateliness and symmetry peculiar to Downside. Even in its curtailed stages the abbey church lent itself well to great ceremonies; but on Saturday, and now nearly complete, the spectacle of the crowded building during High Mass was truly magnificent. The fine sanctuary with the two Cardinals and their assistants; the choir filled with the clergy of the diocese, specially invited; the monks and the choir; the body of the building filled with the school and the friends of Downside, made a vivid, wonderful picture. High Mass was sung by His Eminence the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Gasquet being present in the sanctuary. The separate processions of these dignitaries as they entered and left the abbey church, composed of Bishops and Abbots, the secular and regular clergy of the diocese and the monks of the community, winding their way through the aisles of the old and new building, were most impressive in their mixture of humility and medieval splendour. Cardinal Gasquet’s pro-cession, as a son of the house, was singularly picturesque and touching. The Mass was Christopher Tye’s Euge Bone; the proper of the Mass was plainchant. The deacon of the Mass was Dom Aidan Trafford; the sub-deacon Dom David Knowles; assistant priest, Dom Hugh Connolly. The two assistants at the throne, Dom Ethelbert Horne and Dom Lucius Graham; assistants to Cardinal Gasquet, Dom Odo Langdale, Dom Stephen Rawlinson. The master of ceremonies, Dom Charles Pontifex, assisted by Dom Paul Brookfield.

THE SERMON.

The Bishop of Clifton preached the sermon, his whole chapter being present capitulariter. A close friend of Downside, he knew many of the boys whose memories were that day being perpetuated; and his words, scholarly, sympathetic and paternal, met with the demands of the moment, for they stimulated as well as they soothed. In illustrating the fight of centuries between ” barbarism and the Creed of Christ “ he showed how Europe in the sixth century, through the savagery of Totila who loved war, and the saintliness of St. Benedict who loved peace, became divided into two main camps, and how ” after years of slumbering hostility the last culminating conflict between the modern representatives of those two camps came in our own day.” The Great War was, he said, ” the crowning struggle between the brood of Totila and, whether they knew it or not, the heirs of the centuries that had been moulded by Rome and St. Benedict . . . And so among the youth and manhood of England the sons of Downside, both as soldiers and chaplains, were well to the front when in Belgium our first small but gallant force bore the brunt of the enemy’s onslaught; and, when recruited and augmented, they entered upon that long weary and wasting war in the trenches. . . . And so they went down, cheerfully and gallantly, one hundred and nine of them, some of them mere boys. . . . In that day Deborah sung and said ‘ 0 ye of Israel that willingly offered your lives todanger, bless the Lord’; but this day (to-day) the cry of the Prophetess is taken up by the Foster-Mother of our own warriors, nor Mother of the fallen only but of them, too, who came out of the fiery ordeal unscathed. . . . She seems to say I sent you forth with mourning and weeping, but the Lord has brought you back to me with joy and gladness for ever. This soaring nave, these graceful aisles . . . will stand unto all time as a memorial to you, not an empty memorial . . . but a living home where Heaven and earth ever meet. Where soul can draw nigh to soul. . . . Your spirits will for ever haunt this holy place; the memory of your deeds, of your simplicity and gallantry, of your long-sustained patience, of your cheery comradeship, of your fidelity to God and country, will be for ever graven on the hearts of children yet to be mine, who will worship where you worshipped, nourishing the same holy thoughts and high inspirations and drinking large draughts out of the heart of Him over whom death bath no longer power.’ ‘ . . . Ending his eloquent and touching discourse with the hope that with religion in a more flourishing state, wars might entirely cease, he said, ” Thoughts and hopes and visions such as these must assuredly rise in the hearts and gather to the eyes of all of us whose lot it is to take some part in the solemn festivities of this memorable and happy day.”

Turning to the two Cardinals, the Bishop concluded his stirring and beautiful sermon with the words : ” My Lord Cardinal of Westminster, none but yourself could have lent so proper and becoming a lustre to this monastic celebration; for on your shoulders lies the Roman pallium, the emblem of jurisdiction worn by Augustine of Canterbury, and Dunstan of Glaston, and Elphege of Bath, and Lanfranc and Anselm of Bec, all of them monks of St. Benedict, whose example in upholding the faith of our forefathers you emulate so nobly. And without your presence, my Lord Cardinal of Santa Maria in Campitelli, Downside’s cup of joy would have been far from full to-day. Just twenty years ago, at the opening of this choir of your beloved Abbey, you told in touching words the story of the makers of Downside. Downside proclaims to-day with gratitude and with love that among the names of her makers, all great men and holy, last but by no means least, your own will be ever included.”

THE NEW NAVE.

Sir Giles Gilbert Scott

” This holy place “ is the new building—seven bays of a spacious nave, designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott; and they form a noble building which, bridging the ornate handsome transept, carries on and completes in harmonious fashion the chaste severity of the choir. The total length of the nave is, at present without the future three bays, 112 feet, the portion just added is too feet, and the total length of the church when finished will be 362 feet. The width of the nave, with aisles, fifty-six feet. From floor to groin the height of the nave is seventy feet. The new nave is not only a noble and gracious structure from the artist’s point of view but it is a church inspiringly devotional. One of its many beauties is the fact that its acoustic properties are perfect. Small, light voices in the sanctuary can be heard at the great west door. This surely is the test of good building.

The music, arranged and conducted by Dom Thomas Symons (choirmaster), was admirable. The choir, its sweet precision augmented by the fervour of the whole school, gave a rendering of O felix Roma, which was a stirring addition to the programme. The organ was played with skill by Dom Gregory Murray, the voluntaries being chosen with taste and executed in felicitous style.

SPEECHES AT THE LUNCHEON.

Mass over, the Abbot of Downside, Dom Leander Ramsay, the monks and the school, who together with the guests, clerical and lay, numbered about seven hundred (guest-master Dom Christopher Batley), sat down to luncheon in a marquee erected on the cricket field. A Royal Artillery Band played during the meal and in the afternoon. There were five short speeches : by the Cardinal Archbishop, Cardinal Gasquet, the Bishop of Clifton, the Abbot of Downside, and Sir Giles Gilbert Scott..

ABBOT RAMSAY.

Proposing the health of the guests, with which he coupled the names of Their Eminences Cardinals Bourne and Gasquet, the Abbot of Downside spoke of the completion of the nave of the church as not only an addition to that edifice itself but a multi-plication, as the beauties of the earlier parts of the building had now been greatly enhanced. Years ago, said the Abbot, during the agonies of war, that form of a memorial to the old boys of Downside School had been discussed by the school authorities, and the idea met with ready acceptance. Thus their new nave would stand as a memorial of the Old Boys of Downside, and also as an external memorial of the Christian ideals for which they gave their lives, besides being a further work accomplished for the glory of God. He trusted that the boys who in the future came to worship in that portion of the church which was built under such conditions would receive influences which would have an effect upon their whole lives.

Welcoming the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, the Abbot said : ” We thank him for his presence to-day ; and also for singing solemn Mass. We thank him also for the personal friendship he has always shown to Downside, and also because he comes to us as the representative of the hierarchy of England. By his presence Cardinal Bourne has shown his continued interest in the work which this community is endeavouring to do in the far west and has for some time been trying to accomplish to further the work of the Church of God in this country.” Abbot Ramsay spoke also of the pleasure given them that day by , the presence of Cardinal Gasquet, who really looked on Downside, the speaker believed, as his home. It was to the Cardinal that Downside owed the origin, fifty years ago, of the scheme for building its abbey church ; the inception of that difficult task was due to His Eminence’s initiative and courage. At that time their financial resources were more slender than they had since become ; but Cardinal Gasquet faced the enterprise, and their great abbey church might virtually be looked upon as his memorial. Continuing, the Abbot thanked the Bishop of Clifton for his sermon. He believed, he said, that his lordship looked upon Downside as his second home. Members of that community were always glad when the Bishop came amongst them, and he really was, in a true sense, ” one of the family.” The Bishop of Clifton had identified himself in a wonderful way with the fortunes of their monastic house. Next the Abbot welcomed at that celebration many Old Boys, some of whom he knew had submitted to the same hazards and dangers of war as had the fallen whom they commemorated that day. They had done their duty in like manner ; and had earned the gratitude of their fellow-countrymen. The Abbot next welcomed, the parents of the Old Boys whose memory they commemorated ; and finally extended a welcome to Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, the architect of the new nave. He congratulated Sir Gilbert on the manner in which he had accomplished his task. He had added to the work of two previous schemes of construction which already existed, and had succeeded in expressing his own individuality, without destroying the character of the earlier work.

CARDINAL BOURNE.

Cardinal Bourne

Replying to the toast, Cardinal Bourne spoke of that day as an occasion for devout thankfulness for what had been accomplished. His Eminence complimented Cardinal Gasquet upon the unhesitating boldness with which he had embarked on the scheme for building the abbey church fifty years ago. For the Catholics of this country, he said, no dreams could be too great, no schemes too large, no enterprise too far-reaching, it they were to do the work which God had committed to their hands. They owed a debt of gratitude to all who had been associated with this work. The Cardinal recalled that one of his previous visits to Downside was some thirteen years ago, when the new school buildings were opened. He paid another visit some four years ago, when the relics of their Irish Catholic martyr, Blessed Oliver Plunket, whose sufferings formed a bond of association between the Irish and the English Catholics, were placed in their present shrine. Through the prayers of that martyr, no doubt great spiritual blessings had already rested upon that foundation. Many of their countrymen who did not yet accept the authority of the Holy See must be impressed by the evidence all over the country of what their communion could accomplish in England.

CARDINAL GASQUET.

Cardinal Gasquet

Cardinal Gasquet, who followed, told a story of his Downside days to illustrate his point, subsequently made, that for years it has been a mistake on the part of many Catholics to embark upon building schemes which turned out ultimately to be far too small. When, said His Eminence, he first urged, he desirability of building the church at Downside the President-General was appealed to to stop ” this lunacy.” The Cardinal, in his speech, traced the successive steps in the building of Downside Abbey. First came the transepts and the choir, then the lady chapel and the other beautiful chapels, and finally their nave. All that now remained was to complete two or three bays and the tower. Cardinal Gasquet announced that a holiday would be granted to the boys next term in commemoration of this celebration, and concluded by proposing the health of the architect.

Sir Gilbert Scott briefly replied.

The Bishop of Clifton, in a short and happy speech, expressed his thanks for the many kindly references made to himself by various speakers that day. The Catholics of England, said his lordship, had a very good leader in Cardinal Bourne, who knew the mind of the Church and always let the public have it. They were greatly indebted to the presence of His Eminence.

THE CLOSING CEREMONIES.

On Sunday the Mass, sung by the Bishop of Clifton, was for the Old Gregorians who returned from the war. The great requiem for the fallen, on Monday, a most impressive Mass, was sung by Bishop Keatinge, Army Bishop; all the ministers on the altar on this occasion being ex-chaplains; Cardinal Gasquet present on the throne; the O.T.C. in the body of the church in full uniform. This stately ceremony rivalled the function of Saturday, some thinking the austere beauty of the latter outshone the magnificence of the former; but each in its lofty fashion suited the occasion.

After the Mass Sir Hugh Clifford, G.C.M.G., in the presence of the O.T.C., the monks and friends, unveiled the memorial tablets at the west door, on which are recorded the names of the dead : and with that solemnity the ceremonies at Downside ended.

THE GUESTS.

The prelates and clergy present included : His Eminence Cardinal Bourne, Archbishop of Westminster, His Eminence Cardinal Gasquet, the Bishop of Clifton, the Archbishop of Cardiff the Bishop of Lancaster, Bishop Butt, Bishop Vaughan, Bishop Keatinge, the Abbot of Buckfast, the Abbot of Belmont, the titular Abbot of Glastonbury, Mgr. Provost Russell ; Canons Lee, Chard, Davey, Lyons, Sugden, Murphy, O’Riordan ; Mgr Barnes, Mgr. Watson, Mgr. Pyke, Mgr. Coote ; Father Bede Jarrett, Provincial O.P. ; Father Prior of Wincanton, O.D.C. Father Daniel, O.M.C. ; Father Guardian, O.F.M., of Clevedon Father Meyer, S. J. ; Dora Philip Langdon, ; Fathers Bilsborrow, Carroll, Byrne, Jackson, Long, Groomes, Hackett, Grorod, Hudson, Morvin, O’Sullivan, Valluet, Iles, Hayes, Ellis, Cashman, and O’Connell.

The laity present were : Mr. and Mrs. Allan, Mr. and Mrs. Allen, Mr. and Mrs. Armour, Mrs. Awdry, Mr. and Mrs. Baker, Mr. E. J. Bellord, Mrs. Bethell, Count and Countess Blucher, Mr. and Mrs. Bradley Dyne, Mrs. Byrne, Mr. and Mrs. Bisgood, Mrs. Callender, Mrs. FitzGerald, Mrs. Cawston, Mrs. Cocquerel, Mr. and Mrs. Coke, Mrs. Collingridge, Mrs. and Miss Coppinger, Capt. and Mrs. Crichton-Stuart, Mrs. Cryan, Mrs. and Miss Chichester, Mrs. Maidlow-Davis, Mr. and Mrs. de Cosson, Mr. and Mrs. Devas, Major and Mrs. Dorehill, Mr. Julian Duggan, Col. and Mrs. Ellis, Mrs. W. A. Fitzgerald, Mrs. Finnigan, Mr. Justice and Mrs. Foster, Mrs. and Miss Gleadell, Sir Charles and Lady Gordon-Watson, Mr., Mrs. and Miss Green-Armytage, Mrs. Greenwood, Mrs. Hayward, Mr. and Mrs. Hernu, Mrs. Leary, Mrs. Heydon, Mrs. Sherborne, Mrs. and Miss Inns, Mrs. Keenan, Dr. and Mrs. Kennedy, Mrs. Kestell, Mrs. Lattey, Mr. and Mrs. A. Le Sueur, Mrs. Lethbridge, Mrs. Lewton-Brain, Mrs. Mackenzie, Mr. and Mrs. McCormack, Mrs. and Miss MacDermot, Col. and Mrs. Macmillan, Mrs. Marshall, Lady Ware, Mr. T. Mathew, Professor and Mrs. Maxwell-Lefroy, Mrs. May, Sir Thomas Molony, Mr. and Mrs. Morgan, Mrs. and Miss Morrison, Mrs. Murray, Mrs. O’Connor, Mr. and Mrs. Oldham, Major and Mrs. Pettit, Mr. and Mrs. Pettit, Mr. and Mrs. Pierson, Mrs. and Miss Poett, Mr. Powys-Lybbe, Mrs. Purdon, Mrs. Powers, Mrs. Radcliffe, Mr. Everard Radcliffe, Sir James and Lady Reynolds, Mr. and Mrs. Robertson, Lady Rose, Sir Mark and Miss Sheldon, Sir Dodington and Lady Sherston-Baker, Col. and Mrs. Sleeman, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Mr. and Mrs. Squire, Mr. and Mrs. Steel, Mr. Wolseley, The Misses Stonor, Mr. and Mrs. Stowell, Mr. E. Sumner, Mr. and Mrs. Taylor, Mrs. Thompson, Miss E. Eckersley, Mr. and Mrs. Thornely, The Baroness Van der Straten-Waillet, Mrs. Walford, Capt. and Mrs. Wegg-Prosser, Mr. Francis Weld, Dr. Ware, Capt. Joseph Warrington, Lt.-Col. Alfred V. Agius, Mr. and Mrs. J. J. Arathoon, Mr. and Mrs. C. J. Baker, Mr. G. Bellord, Mr. C. F. Blount, Mr. C. F. Bull, Mr. H. J. Bunbury, Mr. C. F. Bates, Mr. and Mrs. Gerard E. H. Butterfield, Mr. C. J. Byrne, Mr. D. N. Byrne, Mr. F. L. Byrne, Viscount and Viscountess Campden, Mr. H. C. Callaghan, The Hon. Charles Clifford, Mr. A. Cryan, Mr. J. Cuming, Capt. D. W. Daly, Mr. R. D. S. Daly, Mr. Francis W. Denman, Capt. Hubert de Trafford, Mr. Rudolph de Trafford, Mr. P. H. de Bromhead, Mr. A. Divan, Mr. G. D. Dillon, Mr. A. J. Ellison, Mr. R. C. S. Ellison, Mr. H. O. Evennett, Mr. J. Ferrers, Mr. Roger Ford, Mr. T. E. Fox-Hawes, Mr. C. H. French, Mr. B. F. Giles, Mr. F. W. Grey, Capt. Hubert Hanley, Mr. G. E. Hecht, The Hon. Martyn Hemphill, Mr. Matthew Houghton, Capt. Noel Huth, Mr. B. Rawdon Jackson, The Rev. F. R. James, Mr. N. D. Jennings, Lord Killeen, Mr. M. B. Koe, Mr. Francis Langdale, Mr. R. Lamb, Mr. R. F. Lethbridge, Mr. T. M. Ling, Mr. James MacLachlan, Mr. R. Maidlow-Davis, Lt.-Col. and Mrs. Maskell, Mr. M. W. B. May, The Hon. Michael Morris, Mr. J. J. Mostyn, Mr. and Mrs. John Mulhall, Mr. James Mathew, Mr. Robert Mathew, Mr. C. Nichol-son, Mr. L. V. Parker, Mr. J. A. Pearson, Mr. George Rendel, Mr. T. St. A. Ronald, Mr. R. N. Roskell, Mr. Leslie Rowell, Mr. W. B. Rumann, Mr. G. L. Russell, Mr. and Mrs. H. F. Ryan, Major T. W. Ryan, Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Ryan, Mr. and Mrs. A. E. Stokes, Mr. Martin Saunders, Mr. George Sumner, Mr. R. R. Stokes, The Hon. John Stourton, Mr. Anthony Stokes, Mrs. P. S. Stokes, Sir Richard Throckmorton, Mr. Harold Turnbull, Mr. K. Turnbull, Mr. H. P. Turnbull, Mr. B. R. Turnbull, Mr. T. F. Turner, Mr. S. N. Turner, Baron Guy Van der Straten-Waillet, Mr. William Vowles, Mr. R. R. A. Walker, Mr. M. C. Walter, Mr. R. J. Woodroffe, Mr. A. B. Woods, Mr. and Mrs. Bulfin, Miss Symes, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Baker, Mr. Thomas F. Batt, Mr. and Mrs. Cary-Elwes, Mrs. Chute, Sir Hugh and Lady Clifford, Mr. and Mrs. Kidston, Mr. and Mrs. Segrave Daly, Mr. and Mrs. Ellison, Mr. and Mrs. Eyre, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Fisher, Mrs. Fogarty, The Countess of Gainsborough, Mr. George N. Gresley, Mr. Herrenberger, Mrs. Hyatt, Lt.-Col. and Mrs. Mainwaring, Dr. and Mrs. Langran, Mrs. Monk, Mrs. P. M. Payne, Mr. and Mrs. Pontifex, Mr. J. F. Radcliffe, Dr. Ryan, Mr. John Thatcher, Col. and Mrs. Trevor-Cory, Miss Agnes Wilson, Mr. and Mrs. Alban Woodroffe, Mr. A. R. T. Woods, Mr. and Mrs. F. G. Sumner, The Rev. Mr. Mostyn and Miss Mostyn, The Rev. Mr. Freeman, Mr. Dean, Sir John O’Connell, M. and Madame Unzue, Commander and Mrs. Hippisley, The Hon. Mrs. Strachey, Mr. and Mrs. J. Sumner Dury, Mr. and Mrs. Barlow, Lady Hoare, Miss Freame, Miss Christmas, Mr., Madame and Miss de Navarro, Col. Huntley G. Spencer, Mr. and Mrs. Thatcher, Mr. and Mrs. Pike, Major and Mrs. Leadbitter, Mrs. Brookfield, Mr. Parnell, Mr. Glyde, Mrs. Scrope, Lady Hylton, Mr. and Mrs. White, Mr. A. K. W. Peacock, Major and Mrs. Stapleton-Bretherton, Mr. and Mrs. King, The Rev. and Mrs. Sparrow, Dr. John Taylor, Miss Denham, Mr. Ward, Dr. Wigmore, Mr. George H. Wheeler, Mr. Alec Waley, Sir George Oatley, Mr. George Gregory, Dr. and Mrs. Jones, Mr. Alfred Jones, Mr. and Mrs. W. R. Le Sueur, Mr. Wylie, Mr. and Mrs. Lush, Mr. and Mrs. Watts, Mr. and Mrs. Campbell, Mr. Cunningham, Monsieur and Madame Cartel, Mr. and Mrs. Woollen, Mr. and Mrs. Moorat, Mr. and Mrs. Davies, Mr. Leeming, Mrs. Emery, Mr. and Mrs. Brameld, Mr. Goosens, Major Fryer, Mr. and Mrs. Harriss, Dr. and Mrs. Pollard, Mr. and Mrs. Richardson, Miss Hickie, Miss Holden, Miss O’Neill, Dr. Scales, Mr. Chambers, and Dr. and Mrs. Mitchell.

The above text was found on p.12,1st August 1925, in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at http://www.thetablet.co.uk .

The Annual Dinner Benevolent Society for the Relief of the Aged and Infirm Poor 1883

Albion Tavern, 172 & 173 Aldersgate Street, Aldersgate EC1

I wasn’t going to do any more of these for a while. There are relatively few members of the family there. Uncle Edmund (Bellord), and cousin John, as well as Frank Harwood Lescher, who is a first cousin by marriage (to Mary Grehan – Paddy Grehan III’s daughter), he’s also the nephew of Harriet Grehan (neé Lescher) who is also Mary Grehan’s step-grandmother. herman Lescher is his brother.

The main reason for posting this one is the absolutely extraordinary speech by the chairman. I can’t quite work out if he’s scolding them, teasing them, speaking more bluntly than he intended it to sound, or whether the “highly felicitous terms” and “equally happy manner” are just euphemisms for a bit pissed.

The annual dinner of the Benevolent Society took place on Monday at the Albion, Aldersgate-street, and was presided over by the Hon. Mr. Justice Day, supported by the Bishop of Emmaus. Among those present were Mgr. Goddard, Canons Gilbert, D.D., V.G., Wenham, Moore, O’Halloran, McGrath, and Murnane; Very Revv. P. Fenton, President of St. Edmund’s College, Stephen Chaurain, S.M.,Vincent Grogan, Michael Kelly, D.D., and Michael Watts Russell ; Revv. W. E. Addis, J. J. Brenan, D. Canty, G. Carter, C. Conway, D.D., C. A. Cox, J. E. Crook, G. S. Delaney, E. English, M. Fanning, W. Fleming, J. Hussey, C. Harington Moore, E. F. Murnane, T. F. Norris, P. O’Callaghan, M. O’Connell, D. O’Sullivan, E. Pennington, Leo Thomas, D. Toomey-Vincent, C.P., T. Walsh, and J. Wright ; the Abbé Toursel, and the Abbé Richard ; Sir James Marshall and Judge Stonor ; Drs. Carré, Hewitt, and McDonell ; Messrs. J. Bans, W. Barrett, C. J. Standon Batt, E. J. Bellord, J. G. Bellord, A. J. Blount, George Blount, James Brand, Arthur Butler, George Butler, George Butler, junior, John Christie, H. A de Colyar, E de V. Corcoran, J. Conway, E. Curties;, Samuel H. Day, W. H. Dunn, V. J. Eldred, A. Guy Ellis, R. M. Flood, E. J. Fooks, J. Fox, Garret French, J. B. Gallini, W. O. Garstin, Dickson Gray, E. Hackney, W. B. Hallett, J. S. Hansom, A. Hargrave, W. D. Harrod, A. Hawkins, A. Hernu, H. Hildreth, Thomas Hussey, Thomas Hussey, junior, J. J. Keily, K.S.G., Stuart Knill, K.S.G., G. P. Kynaston, Denis Lane, F. D. Lane, C. Temple Layton, F. Harwood Lescher, Herman Lescher, Sidney Lickorish, W. H. Lyall, G. S. Lynch, J. P. McAdam, Francis McCarthy, M. McSheehan, James Mann, J. J. Merritt, Wilfrid Oates, T. O’Neil, Bernard Parker, F. R. Wegg-Prosser, L. J. Ratton, Eugene Rimmel, E. W. Roberts, G. St. Aubyn, M. A. Santley, Joseph Scoles, A. W. C. Shean, Charles Spurgeon, C.C., Philip Thornton, M. E. Toomey, G. A. Trapp, E. F. Devenish Walshe, John Wareing, Thomas Welch, and Stephen White.

After the concluding grace had been said by the Bishop of Emmaus, Mr. Justice Day in giving the health of the Pope, said he really did not know how to deal with his Holiness without incurring ecclesiastical censure. If he wished him a long life, he might be accused of desiring to keep him out of heaven, if a short one he would be denounced as a traitor. But of this thing he was sure he could leave the toast of the Pope to the good wishes of such an assembly as he had the honour to preside over.

“The Queen, “The Prince of Wales and the rest of the Royal Family,” were the next toasts.

Mr. Justice Day then rose to propose ” Success to the Benevolent Society.” He found it was usual to make an appeal for the charity, and if he did not make one it would be no fault of their excellent secretary (Mr. A. Butler, whose name was received with loud cheers), who had filled his (the chairman’s) pockets with details and statistics of the society. But the more he respected their secretary the more he resisted him. He was not going to make an appeal, He was afraid he could not make use of the stock excuse of want of custom of public speaking, nor could he say he was a man that knew nothing about charity, for he was a most charitable man (and he could lay his hand on his heart when he said so). He had been engaged all his life in getting for others what they could not get for themselves. He had had to appeal to juries for justice which judges denied. What would be the good of any appeal from him ? He saw before him a number of well-known charitable gentlemen who came there full of interest in the Benevolent Society and determined to support it to the best of their means. What more could they desire? He had no faith in after dinner speeches. If he attempted to rise into the higher regions of oratory, he would be sure to break down and fall into weariness and dulness. He saw on the title page of their report that this was stated to be ” the oldest Catholic charity in the metropolis,” he presumed that meant the oldest charity in the hands of Catholics, for it was a very long way off from being the oldest, Catholic charity in London was well known by its ancient charitable endowments. This charity was established at a time of hardship, penalty, and trials of our ancestors, and they naturally sought a way of supplying the wants of the old and infirm of their community and founded this charity, and he called on them to support it by their generous contributions this day. He was glad to see the merchants and bankers of the City of London contributed to this excellent work, which was entirely carried out by unpaid officials. He saw they gave gave 150 pensioners what ?—three and four shillings a week !  Not enough for the comforts, barely enough for the necessaries of life !  Let them think of that and of the many applicants who were eagerly waiting to get even this small pittance to eke out their subsistence for the few remaining years of their life.

[According to “The Art of Dining; or, gastronomy and gastronomers”  by Abraham Hayward. pub. John Murray, London 1852,  the ordinary price for the best dinner at this house [The Albion] (including wine) is three guineas. If the prices were still about the same in 1883, the dinner cost the equivalent of one month’s pension for each of the 150 pensioners.]

The collection was then made, which amounted to £1,040.

The Chairman afterwards proposed, in highly flattering terms, the health of his Eminence the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, for whom the Bishop of Emmaus replied, in eulogistic expressions, of the great charity of his Eminence to all men.

Sir James Murshall proposed, and the Very Rev. Canon Murnare replied for, the ” Bishop of Southwark.”

The Bishop of Emmaus, in highly felicitous terms, proposed the health of the Hon. Justice Day, who replied in an equally happy manner.

Then followed the healths of the “Bishop of Emmaus,”  “The Clergy of Westminster and Southwark,”  “The Stewards,” given by the hon. chairman, and replied to by Judge Stonor, after which the proceedings terminated.

1st December 1883, Page 34

The Annual Dinner Benevolent Society for the Relief of the Aged and Infirm Poor 1901

The Benevolent Society for the Relief of the Aged and Infirm Poor. was the oldest Catholic charity in London  founded in 1761 It’s a nice worthy Catholic, and City cause, and it’s good to see members of the family there. This year there weren’t that many, but at least Great Grandpa was there, even if he was the only O’Bryen that year. Also present were Uncle Wilfrid (Parker) his brother-in-law, his cousin Frank Harwood Lescher, and Frank’s cousin Joseph S. Lescher [by then a papal Count]. The only surprise is that John Roper Parkington wasn’t there, but maybe he had a cold.

 

The annual dinner of the Benevolent Society for the Relief of the Aged and Infirm Poor was held at the Albion, Aldersgate-street, on Monday evening. The Hon. Mr. Justice Walton presided, and there were also present the Bishop of Emmaus, the Bishop of Southwark, Sir Westby Perceval, K.C.M.G., Colonel Maguire, Major J. H. White, V.D. ; the Very Revv. Provost Moore, Canon Johnston, D.D., V.G., Canon Keatinge, Canon McGrath, Canon Murnane, Canon Pycke, Canon White ; Commendatore Hicks, K.C.S.G. ; Captain Shean ; the Revv. W. V. Allanson, D.3., Thomas Carey, Alexander Charnley, S.J., George Cologan, W. J. Condon, C. A. Cox, G. B. Cox, J. Crowley, George Curtis, E. du Plerny, J. Egan, Edmund English, E. Escarguel, M. Fanning, Dean Fleming, Roderick Grant, James Hayes, W. J. Hogan, D. Holland, S. E. Jarvis, 1.C., William L. Keatinge, Hugh Kelly, Michael Kelly, O.S.A., D.D., P. McKenna, E. B. Mostyn, E. F. Murnane, Edward Murphy, J. M. Musgrave, Francis J. Sheehan, Edward Smith, Francis Stanfield, J. S. Tasker, G. B. Tatum, Lea Thomas, S.M., Louis Toursel, Felix J. Watters, S.M., D.D., A. E. Whereat, D.D. ; and Messrs. Frank Beer, J. Nugent Burke, John Carnegie, John Christie, A. K. Connolly, James Connolly, John J. Connolly, J. A. Connolly, S, Frederick Connolly, John Conway, James Donovan, P. F. Dorte, LL.B., Cecil Dwyer, Reginald B. Fellows, M.A., H. M. Fisher, R. M. Flood, P. J. Foley, Francis T. Giles, Anthony Hasslacher, Charles Hasslacher, J. E. Hill, James D. Hodgson, S. Taprell Holland (hon. treasurer), Thomas Holland, Henry J. Hudson, John Hussey, William Hussey, J. Virtue Kelly, Joseph F. Lescher, J.P., D.L., F. Harwood Lescher, Austin Lickorish, Bernard McAdam, James P. McAdam (hon. secretary), J. M. McGrath, Ernest A. O’Bryen, Wilfrid W. Parker, R. J. Phillips, Herbert Plater, B. Rooney, L.L. Schiller, E. Simone, Joseph Sperati, Paul Strickland, Francis P. Towsey, Joseph S. R. Towsey, William Towsey, John M. Tucker, George Walton, J. Arthur Walton, George Wesley, A. E. White, Basil J. White, C. B. Wildsmith, M. J. Wildsmith, &c.

The Chairman, in proposing the first toast of the evening, ” His Holiness the Pope and his Majesty the King,” said : Through the world his Holiness is looked upon as the principal authority in spiritual matters, as his Majesty the King personifies the principal authority in temporal matters. Not many days since I had the honour of dining with the Goldsmiths’ Company, and the first toast, according to the ancient custom of the Company, was the Church and King. We translate that toast in the same spirit of loyalty. (Hear, hear.) I ask you to drink to the health of our Holy Father Leo XIII., to his health and his well-being. May that venerable life, which has been so fruitful of blessing to the Church and mankind, be still further prolonged to be a guidance to his children throughout the world. (Loud cheers.) One cannot forget that this is the first time for more than sixty years that the toast of the King has been proposed at the annual dinner of the Benevolent Society. The occasion carries our minds back to the number of years which that great Sovereign—the late Queen Victoria—ruled over this great realm with such magnificent results, and at the same time carries our minds forward with great expectations and great hopes. (Cheers.)

The toast was acknowledged with musical honours.

The next toast was that of ” Queen Alexandra, the Prince and Princess of Wales, and the other members of the Royal Family,” a toast which the Chairman remarked would arouse the same feelings of personal devotion as the previous toast.

The toast was received with enthusiasm.

THE SOCIETY.,
The Chairman rose and said : Gentlemen, I have now to ask you to drink to the success of the Benevolent Society. The Society has appealed to me very warmly and sincerely ever since I first knew it. In the first place it is a benevolent society in a very special sense. 1 think it is a most useful thing, a most excellent thing, that it should bring us together in pursuit of a charitable object, and I think it is also a good thing that it should bring us together in a friendly and social gathering. (Hear, hear.)

I am sure it is very true, as I have often heard it said by one whom we have lost, and for whom I shall always have the greatest possible reverence and affection—the late Lord Russell of Killowen—(cheers)—that if we are to succeed as we ought to do in this city one thing is wanted amongst Catholics, and that is greater unity. (Cheers.) The more we can see of each other, the more the laity can see of the clergy at gatherings like this the better it is for us and the stronger will be our position in this city, and the greater will be the success which we shall attain in every undertaking we have in hand. (Hear, hear.) The history of the Benevolent Society, although, as far as I can see, its records are not very voluminous, is very interesting. It was founded in 1761, and this takes our minds back to the time when to be a Catholic was to be a criminal, for a priest to say Mass was a capital offence, and for a Catholic to send a child to a Catholic school was an offence which might entail forfeiture of all he possessed. The Society couples us up and links us with the Catholics of old days, those who before the time of the establishment of the hierarchy and before Catholic Emancipation struggled and fought priests and laity for the faith. We are proud to know that we are now carrying on a work which was begun in the old days by the ” heroes “ who kept alive the faith. From the year 1761 we go to 1788 and ten years later, during which the Penal Laws had been repealed, at least to a very large extent. At the first annual gathering the amount subscribed was £ 53 Later on the Society met at ” The Five Bells,” Moorfields, and the annual gathering took place in “The Three Mariners,” Fore-street. Later on the meeting took place in Moorfields Chapel. In 1849 the amount subscribed at the annual dinner was £ 349. In 1857 the name of Canon Gilbert—(cheers)—who was so much revered not only by the Society, but by Catholics in all parts of the country, joined the Committee, and the name of the Rev. James Laid Patterson, now the Right Rev. Bishop of Emmaus, was included in the list. (Cheers.) Passing to 1861 we find the amount subscribed was £ 574.

ITS WORK.

And now I turn to more recent days, and I find that the amount spent and distributed during the last year was £1,484 13s. 61, besides some money for coals distributed at Christmas. I think we have reason to congratulate ourselves upon the success of this venerable and most useful Society. (Hear, hear.) It seems to me that there are two forms of benevolence to which objection cannot possibly be taken. One is the good work of assisting children in their education, and especially the poor children of the Catholic poor. (Hear, hear.) It is necessary that all Catholic children should have an efficient education in order to prepare them for the battle of life. (Hear, hear.) That is one form of good work which has been done in the past and in the way of building our poor schools. I am glad to see a spirit arising—it is a resurrection, it is a revival—of realising the importance of doing something for the education of our boys in our higher schools in the way of establishing exhibitions and scholarships which may assist a boy whose parents may not be in position to afford it, so that these Catholic boys may take their proper place in life. The other kind of work to which I allude is rendering assistance to those who have fought the battle and have failed. (Hear, hear.) That is a work which the Society undertakes. One of the saddest features of modern life is the necessity for something in the nature of old age pensions. Amongst Catholics in London this Society endeavours to give that assistance, and to do that most excellent work, of coming to the rescue of those who in their old age, by sickness, by misfortune, need the assistance of some charity. I know I shall not appeal to you in vain for subscriptions. We have 190 pensioners, we want to increase that number to 200. (Cheers.) I ask you to-night to support, as indeed you always do, but even more so this most deserving charity, and speaking personally it is a great pleasure to me to preside at the gathering. (Cheers.)

BISHOPS AND CLERGY.

Sir Westby Perceval proposed the health of “The Cardinal Archbishop, the Bishops, and the Clergy of the two Metropolitan Dioceses.” The speaker said : A note has been struck by our chairman as to the value of these gatherings from a social point of view, which appeals to us very forcibly. It is a sad want in Catholic London that so few opportunities are afforded Catholics to meet each other and to meet their clergy, and it is their health I submit to you this evening in the toast which I propose. (Cheers.) It is a very comprehensive toast, and when I was asked to propose it the first thought that entered my mind was the excellent opportunity for retaliation. (Laughter.) Most of us have sat at the feet of the clergy and had our little weaknesses exposed, but I have not been very successful in discovering the weaknesses of the clergy. (Laughter). There was a certain prophet of old who was told to curse and ended by blessing, and that is the position in which I find myself this evening. (Laughter.) We as ” Britons “ take a deep and practical pleasure in our bishops and our clergy, and we cannot show our love in a better way than by fostering and maintaining that spirit of loyalty. (Loud cheers.)

SPEECH BY THE BISHOP OF EMMAUS.

The Bishop of Emmaus in a humorous speech responded. He had long, he said, been a member of the Benevolent Society. In addition to carrying on the very praiseworthy work of assisting the poor, the Society had promoted a cordial feeling between clergy and laity which was, he thought, a distinguishing mark of English Catholicity. (Cheers.)

REPLY BY THE BISHOP OF SOUTHWARK, The Bishop of Southwark also responded. He said : The thought I am sure that must be uppermost in the minds of all present must surely be an expression of love for his Eminence the Cardinal Archbishop and of a desire that he may be long spared. (Hear, hear.) I certainly know of no life more precious to the Catholic Church in England at the present day than that of his Eminence Cardinal Vaughan. (Hear, hear.) He has given to us, as I often tell him, a marvellous example of courage in works he has undertaken, and particularly in the undertaking of the building of his magnificent cathedral. (Hear, hear.) He had not much encouragement at the beginning, but he has faced that burden and he has carried it on nobly, and the wish of everyone to-night is that he may be spared to see the cathedral opened. (Cheers.) Speaking for the diocese of Southwark, I think it is not badly represented this evening. (Hear, hear.) As I look round the room I think I can say that we of Southwark are trying to do our duty to the Society. (Hear, hear.) I hope the opportunity we get year by year to meet together—the clergy and the laity—may always be maintained to the very full, and may always promote those cordial relations which do exist between the clergy and the laity of this country. (Cheers.) As we look around upon this city—as I look myself upon the rapidly developing suburbs of South London, in which there has been an increase during the past year of 230,000 souls—we are able to realise what a great mission we Catholics, clergy and laity, have before us, if the work is to be well done and if we are to produce upon this city, and to carry it into action, the influence which we ought to have. (Loud cheers.) One great element in our work will be the clergy and laity more closely united together. (Hear, hear.) I do not know what the future is to bring forth, whether the laity are to be called upon to take a more active part in the temporal administration of our missions—(laughter)—but I am sure whatever call is made upon them they will respond generously. (Hear, hear.) Of this I am certain, that as we live we must inevitably see an enormous increase in the influence of the Catholic Church throughout the cities of London and Westminster, and throughout the Borough of Southwark. (Cheers.)

THE CHAIRMAN.

Mr. Joseph Francis Lescher proposed the health of the Chairman. He said : When the elevation of Mr. Walton was announced the Catholic world was exceedingly gratified. (Cheers.) The men of Stonyhurst rejoiced exceedingly, and the commercial community of this great city were immensely pleased—(hear, hear.)—because they knew it was a recognition of a most honourable and straightforward career. I speak as only one of the commercial community of this city, and I say it was a distinct gain to us that Mr. Justice Walton should have this dignity and honour conferred upon him. (Hear, hear.) I say that the high esteem of the Bench will lose nothing of that grand record which has been handed down for generations. Looking abroad and at home, we may be sure that that high standard of excellence, which has been the one great feature of the courts of England, will continue to remain so long as such appointments are made. (Cheers.)

The Chairman thanked the last speaker for the kind—the too flattering—words which he used in proposing the toast. I am glad, indeed, to see here to-night not only my old friend, Mr. Lescher, but also my old master, Father Charnley. (Cheers.) It carries me back to my old days at Stonyhurst, and I shall always, and indeed we all should, remember the debt we owe to Stonyhurst, and certainly if I can ever do anything to assist and promote the high standard of education not only in my own school but in all our higher grade schools, I shall be most happy to do so. (Cheers.) Mr. Lescher has said a number of kind things about me, but I would remind him of the old proverb, ” It only takes six months to turn a good barrister into a bad judge “—(laughter)—and I am often inclined to say ” wait.” I cannot feel ashamed of the work I did at the Bar —(loud cheers)—and I sincerely and honestly felt a great deal of regret in saying good-bye to my old life, and I still hope I may be of some use to my old friends and to Catholics. (Cheers.) have now the pleasure of announcing the result of the collection which amounts to £1,031. (Cheers.)

Mr. Paul Strickland proposed the toast of “The Stewards.:” He said : Some years ago I had the privilege of being a pupil of Mr. Justice Walton, and I am glad to be able to give expression to the profound joy and rejoicing of Catholics that be should have been promoted to the Bench. If I may be allowed I should like to make an addition to the proverb quoted by the hon. chairman, and it is that after a few years a judge has been in the past promoted to be Lord Chief Justice. (Cheers.)

Mr. W. Towsey briefly responded for the stewards. He remarked that the stewards would always endeavour in the future as they had in the past to make these gatherings attractive to the general body of Catholics and the more there were of them the better. (Hear, hear.)

The above text was found on p.20, 30th November 1901 in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at http://www.thetablet.co.uk .

The Annual Dinner of the Benevolent Society for the Relief of the Aged and Infirm Poor. 1904

The Benevolent Society for the Relief of the Aged and Infirm Poor. was the oldest Catholic charity in London  founded in 1761 by Richard Challoner, the Vicar Apostolic of the London District [ the forerunner of the Archbishop of Westminster] between 1758 and 1781. It’s a nice worthy Catholic, and City cause, and it’s nice seeing eight members of the family all there. Having said that, only five were related at the time, another two came from a marriage twenty years later, and the final connection from a marriage fifty two years later.

At least at this one, Lieut.-General Sir William Butler’s speech is rather better than John Roper Parkington’s the following year.

ANNUAL DINNER.

The Annual Dinner in aid of the funds of this excellent charity was held on Monday last, and brought together a large number of the friends and supporters of the society.

Lieut.-General Sir William Butler, K.C.B., presided, and among the company present were the Hon. Charles Russell, Colonel Sir Roper Parkington, Colonel Maguire, Major J. H. White, V.D., Commendatore Hicks, C.C.S.G. ; the Very Revv. Canon Fleming, Canon Keatinge, Canon Murnane, Canon Pycke ; the Very Revv. J. P. Bannin, P.S.M., M. Kelly, O.S.A., D.D., P. J. Murphy, S.M. ; the Revv. Manuel J.Bidwell, D.D., Robert Bracey, 0.P., T. Carey, H. W. Casserly, Alexander Charnley, S.J., W. J. Condon, D. Corkery, G. B. Cox, J. Crowley, E. du Plerny, J. Egan, W. J. Hogan, S. E. Jarvis, I.C., W. Lewis Keatinge, Hugh Kelly, Mark A. Kelly, A. Muller, D.D., J. Musgrave T. F. Norris, J. O’Doherty, M. O’Sullivan, T. J. Ring, P. Riordan, C. A. Shepherd, E. Smith, C. J. Moncrieff Smyth, Francis Stanfield, J. G. Storey, W. 0. Sutcliffe, M.A., J. S. Tasker, E. A. P. Theed, Leo Thomas, S.M., A. E. Whereat, D.D. ; and Messrs. P. M. Albrecht, Frank Beer, Edmund J. Bellord, John G. Bellord, Harry Booth, James Carroll, J. H. Caudell, John Christie, A. K. Connolly, James W. Connolly, John A. Connolly, S. F. Connolly, P. F. Dorte, LL.B., Victor I. Feeny, H. Malins Fisher, A. C. Fowler, W. B. Hallett, Anthony Hasslacher,Charles Hasslacher, Jerome S. Hegarty, J. D. Hodgson, . Skelton Hodgson, S. Taprell Holland (Hon. Treasurer), J. M. Hopewell, John Hurst, John Hussey, R. H. N. Johnson, J. Virtue Kelly, C. Temple Layton, C.C., Charles E. Lewis, Bernard J. McAdam, James P. McAdam (Hon. Secretary), J. M. McGrath, C. A. Mackenzie, Herbert J. T. Measures, E. H. Meyer, A. C. O’Bryen, M.I.E.E., Ernest A. O’Bryen, Wilfrid W. Parker, Louis Perry, Joseph J. Perry, R. J. Phillips, Henry Schiller, J. H. Sherwin, Robert Shield, Eugene Simona, Joseph Simona, Joseph Sperati, James Stone, J. S. R. Towsey, William Towsey, C. H. Walker, Augustine E. White, Basil J. White, C. B. Wildsmith, P. G. Winter, H. Witte, C. J. Woollett, M.D., &c., &c.

THE LOYAL TOASTS.

The Chairman, in proposing the toast “The Pope and the King,” said : Catholics need no explanation of the toast I have now the high honour of proposing. By coupling together the name of Pope and King we reaffirm and maintain and continue that old tradition of Church and State which has existed in all civilised Christian communities for so many hundreds of years. I give you the healths of his Holiness the Pope and of his Majesty the King, and when we drink this toast with all loyalty and all honour, it would be well to remember the words of the old cavalier. Speaking to his son in the days of the Civil War, he said : “Son, if the crown should come so low that thou seest it hanging upon a bush, still stick to it.” (Loud cheers.)

The Chairman : The next toast I have to propose is that of the Queen, the Prince and Princess of Wales, and other members of the Royal Family. This toast meets with an enthusiastic greeting wherever it is proposed, but I venture to think there is no place where it can strike a deeper and truer note of harmony and devotion than when it is proposed at the gathering of a Society which has for its object the relief of the poor and the suffering. (Cheers.) The prerogatives of the Crown and the privileges of Parliament have oftentimes been the cause of civil disturbances in this country, but to-day the prerogative of Royalty is to lessen in every possible way the sufferings of the poor and of those who toil and labour for a livelihood. (Hear, hear.) Into the privileges of Parliament I will not enter, but it is our special privilege to-night to recognise in a special manner all that we owe to the Queen, to the Prince and Princess of Wales, and other members of the Royal Family.

SIR W. BUTLER AND THE SOCIETY.

After these two toasts had been acknowledged with musical honours, the Chairman proposed the toast of the evening, ” The Benevolent Society for the Relief of the Aged and Infirm Poor.” He said : I have now to propose to you a toast which brings very vividly before my mind the fact of my own un-worthiness in being the medium through which this toast is to be offered to the gathering tonight. (No, no.) And when I look back to the names of those who in former years fulfilled this duty, my feelings approach those of absolute dismay, because I find the toast has been submitted by some of the most revered, the most honoured amongst the Catholic body of this country, both clerical and lay. I can only plead for myself and ask you to accept the fact of my unworthiness as an excuse for being unable to do adequate justice to my task. (No, no.) This charity goes back a long way. It suggests many thoughts to even the most superficial amongst us. It has had, I believe, now well-nigh I50 years of existence. (Hear, hear.) The people who founded it were very different to what we are to-day. They had a great deal more of the world’s kicks and a great deal less of the world’s happiness. One hundred and fifty years ago the clouds of the penal laws hung darkly over the country. I will not refer to them further beyond saying that the remembrance of that period should deepen and intensify our desire to do good to the poor, to those whom the abrogation or even the existence of penal laws matters little, and whose social life is set so far below those of happier circumstances. We take a great interest in politics, but how little we would care for the most sensational paragraph in The Daily Mail if we had no breakfast-table to spread it upon, and more, if we had no breakfast to enable us to digest its amazing contents. (Loud laughter.) I see in the newspapers a great deal about free food, the big loaf and the little loaf. I wonder what our poorer brethren think of all these things—the big loaf, the little loaf, and the three acres and a cow. (Hear, hear, and laughter.) I can fancy some of these poor people, who have waited many years for the fulfilment of some of these marvellous promises, exclaiming ” If you cannot give us three acres, give us at least the cow.” (Cheers.) If we cannot give them the cow we can at least put some milk into their tea. (Loud and continued cheers.) They have claims upon us,.these old veterans of the poor. We may ask ourselves who are they ? I think I am right in saying they are the survivors, the few survivors, of a great army. (Hear, hear.) They are the scattered survivors of tens of thousands of a great army of workpeople out of whose sweat we are living. (Hear, hear.) These old veterans become eligible as candidates for this Society only when they have reached the ripe old age of 60 years. Think for a moment how many of their comrades must have fallen on that long road which they have travelled for half a century, or even longer. I look at the list of pensioners and I see their ages reach from 60 to 90. Two facts come home to me when I read the report of the Society. The first is the liberal gifts and benefactions of many of the large merchant princes of this city. (Cheers.) The second fact is that so many who respond to the appeal of the Society are from my own country—Ireland. (Loud cheers.) You remember the story of the boat’s-crew cast adrift on the ocean. Believing their last hour had come they thought they should do something appropriate to the occasion. Unfortunately there was no one amongst them who remembered the prayers of their youth, so they decided upon making a collection. (Loud laughter.) I do not for a moment suppose that any of my brethren who were unfortunate enough to find themselves in a similar position would have to resort to making a contribution to the seals and the seagulls, but I do venture to say that the most prayerful man amongst us could not offer any truer praise to his Creator, or do a more charitable act to his fellow creature than to contribute generously and unstintingly to a Society such as that which we have met to honour this evening. (Cheers.) There are few names come down from the remote past more identified with this great city of London than the name of Martin the apostle, the Roman soldier before he was Roman Bishop. The speaker, after relating the story of Martin dividing his coat to protect a poor beggar from the ravages of the weather, and the vision which he afterwards saw, said London was still, outwardly at least, largely Martin. Perhaps some portion of his mantle, said the speaker in conclusion, has descended upon this great city, still keeping alive his name and the spirit of charity to the poor. (Cheers.)  3rd December 1904, Page 23

Purssell marriages in the 1890’s

It has always been a slight curiosity that whilst Uncle Frank’s (Purssell) wedding was well written up, none of the Purssell sisters seemed to have had as grand a wedding. Of the seven children, Laura had married Max Winstanley in 1884, Lucy had married Henry Grant Edwardes in 1892, and Frank had married Lily Kuypers in 1896, and Alfred J. never married. But at least almost all of them got a brief mention in the Tablet.

Parker-Purssell marriage notice July 1898

PARKER—PURSSELL.–On June 30, at St. Dominic’s Priory, Haverstock Hill, by the Very Rev. F. A. Gasquet, D.D., Wilfrid Watson, second surviving son of the late Sir Henry Watson Parker, of Hampstead, and Lady Watson Parker, of 22, Upper Park-road, N.W., to Frances Charlotte, third daughter of the late Alfred Purssell, C.C., of Hampstead.9th July 1898, Page 13

Wilfrid Parker was the groomsman at  Frank and Lily’s wedding, and he, Frank, and their Kuypers brothers-in-law all went to Downside, which is where they met Father (later Cardinal) Gasquet.


O’BRYEN—PURSSELL.—On the11th inst., at St. Dominic’s Priory, Haver-stock Hill, by the Rev. P. A. O’Bryen, B.A., brother of the bridegroom, assisted by the Rev. George Cox, Ernest A. O’Bryen, of the Indian Forest Service, son of the late John Roche O’Bryen, M.D., to Gertrude Mary, youngest daughter of the late Alfred Purssell, C.C., of 9, Belsize Grove, Hampstead. (Burma papers please copy.) 15th October 1898, Page 13

 

BELLORD—PURSSELL.—On the 11th inst., at St. Dominic’s Priory, Haver-stock Hill, N.W., by the Rev. James Bellord, Chaplain to the Forces, Edmund Joseph Bellord to Agnes Mary, fourth daughter of the late Alfred Purssell, of Belsize Grove, N.W. 14th January 1899, Page 11

It was Edmund Bellord’s second marriage.James Bellord was appointed the Vicar Apostolic of Gibraltar and Titular Bishop of Milevum on 16 February 1899, and his consecration took place on 1 May 1899.

Diamond Jubilee Dinner at Providence Row 1897

Providence Row

On Thursday, June 24, in connection with the Princess of Wales’ Jubilee Fund, a dinner to three hundred very poor inhabitants of Whitechapel was held in the Refuge, Crispin-street, E., which was founded by the late Mgr. Gilbert in 1860. The large refectory was gaily decorated for the occasion with flags, banners, and flowers, a portrait of the Queen being placed at one end of the room, and one of the Princess of Wales at the other. Mr. F. W. Purssell, who had been courteously invited by the Lord Mayor to join the Mansion House Committee, presided, and was supported by many friends including Messrs. W. Towsy, and E. J. Bellord, Misses Irving, Towsy, Latham, Russell, and Mr. J. W. Gilbert (Secretary), who represented the institution on the Whitechapel Committee of the Fund.

Queen Victoria

The dinner, which was served by the Sisters of Mercy, the visitors, and the inmates of the Boarders’ and Servants’ Homes, consisted of cold roast beef, new potatoes, bread, pickles, lettuce, fruit-tarts, oranges, and ginger-beer by way of refreshment. This was followed by an entertainment, to which Miss Lynch, Messrs. P. Donovan, J. Schrappel and others, contributed. Afterwards hot tea and buns were distributed, and, on leaving, each was presented with a packet of tea or a pouch of tobacco.

The Princess of Wales

During the course of the afternoon, Mr. F. W. Purssell explained in a few words the object of the dinner, and called for three cheers for the Queen and the Princess of Wales, which were given most heartily. The poor people also showed their appreciation of the efforts of the voluntary ” waiters,” by giving three more cheers for the Sisters and other helpers. It must be a great gratification to all concerned in the management to know that the guests thoroughly enjoyed themselves, and went away loudly expressing the hope that another jubilee might soon occur.

The remains of the dinner were afterwards distributed among the poor of the neighbourhood. Thanks to an additional generous gift of bread, pastry, &c., from Messrs. W. Hill and Son of Bishopsgate-street, some hundreds of poor families have been helped in-this manner, and on Friday, the 25th, the Sisters entertained over two hundred poor school-children at tea. The Whitechapel Committee of the Fund have also made a grant of food to the Refuge Committee for destitution amongst the sick and needy of the district, who are unable to be present at the dinner.

The above text was found on p.36, 3rd July 1897 in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at http://www.thetablet.co.uk .