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Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century biographies contain errors and bias. We rely on volunteers to edit the historic biographies on a continual basis. If you would like to edit this biography please submit a rewritten biography in text form . If acceptable, the new biography will be published above the 19th Century Appleton's Cyclopedia Biography citing the volunteer editor





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John England

ENGLAND, John,  -  A Stan Klos Biography

ENGLAND, John, R. C. bishop, born in Cork, Ireland, 23 September 1786; died in Charleston, South Carolina, 11 April 1842. He was educated in the schools of Cork, and studied law for two years, but in 1803 entered the theological College of Carlow. Here his progress in his studies was so brilliant that after his second year he was selected to deliver public lectures on religious subjects, he also devoted much of the time given him for recreation to the instruction of the militia stationed in the town.

 

He also founded an asylum for unprotected females that afterward suggested the plan of the Presentation Convent, and established free schools for the education of poor boys. In 1808 he was recalled by his bishop and appointed president of the theological seminary at Cork. He took a leading part in the agitation for Catholic emancipation, and, with the view of helping the cause of religious liberty, founded the "Chronicle," which he continued to edit till his departure from Ireland.

 

When the See of Charleston, embracing the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, was founded, Dr. England was nominated its first bishop. As he had determined to become an American citizen, he refused to take the oath of allegiance exacted from Irish bishops on their consecration. After some difficulty he was consecrated in Cork in 1820, and arrived in Charleston the same year.

 

Bishop England had many obstacles to contend with. There were only two priests and two Churches in the three states under his jurisdiction, and his flock was made up chiefly of poor Irish emigrants and refugees from Santo Domingo. In order to provide priests for his diocese he opened a classical school in Charleston and the success that attended his efforts in this respect enabled him to support several of his ecclesiastical students. Not only did he succeed in training a body of educated missionaries for his Church, but also he largely contributed to the revival of classical learning in South Carolina. Several schools were reopened, and the College of Charleston, which had suspended for some time, resumed its studies.

 

He infused new life into the Philosophical literary association of Charleston as soon as he became a member, and did much to suppress dueling, not by intemperate denunciations, but by forming the most influential gentlemen of the state into an anti-dueling association. His address in reprobation of the practice before this body is considered a masterpiece of argument and persuasion. He was invited by congress to preach in the hall of representatives at Washington, and was the first Catholic clergyman on whom this honor was conferred.

 

To explain and defend the doctrines of his Church he established the "United States Catholic Miscellany" at Charleston. It was through the columns of this periodical that most of Bishop England's writings found their way to the public. His influence was felt in every part of the Catholic Church in this country, and his influence at Rome was decisive in all ecclesiastical affairs connected with the United States. Citizens of every creed attended his courses of lectures, which he delivered in all the great cities of the Union. Nothing, however, endeared him to the people of Charleston so much as his heroism during the frequent visitations of the yellow fever, when he continued at his post night and day.

 

In 1831 he visited Ireland and obtained the services of three nuns of the Ursuline order, by whose aid he established the Ursuline schools of Charleston. He also founded orphan asylums, boarding schools, and free schools, which he placed under the charge of Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. He conceived the plan of assembling the prelates in council for mutual aid, and has been styled "the author of our provincial councils." he visited Europe four times in the interests of his diocese, was sent twice as apostolic delegate from the pope to Haiti, and was offered an Irish bishopric, which he declined.

 

On his return from Europe in 1841 malignant dysentery broke out among the steerage passengers, and his attendance on them was incessant until he was attacked by the disease himself, He finally died from its effects, which were heightened by overwork, immediately after homing.

 

Dr. England increased the number of Churches in his diocese to seventeen, and left a numerous and well organized clergy behind him. His principal works are "Discourse before the Hibernian Society of Savannah" (Charleston, 1824), "Explanation of the Construction, Furniture, and Ornaments of a Church" (Baltimore), "Letters on Slavery," and "Works," edited by Bishop Reynolds (5 vols., Baltimore, 1849).

Edited Appletons Encyclopedia by John Looby, Copyright © 2001 VirtualologyTM

ENGLAND, John, R. C. bishop, born in Cork, Ireland, 23 September 1786; died in Charleston, South Carolina, 11 April 1842. He was educated in the schools of Cork, and studied law for two years, but in 1803 entered the theological College of Carlow. Here his progress in his studies was so brilliant that after his second year he was selected to deliver public lectures on religious subjects, he also devoted much of the time given hint for recreation to the instruction of the militia stationed in the town. He also founded an asylum for unprotected females that afterward suggested the plan of the Presentation convent, and established free schools for the education of poor boys. In 1808 he was recalled by his bishop and appointed president of the theological seminary at Cork. he took a leading part in the agitation for Catholic emancipation, and, with the view of helping the cause of religious liberty, founded the "Chronicle," which he continued to edit till his departure from Ireland.

When the see of Charleston, embracing the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, was founded, Dr. England was nominated its first bishop. As he had determined to become an American citizen, he refused to take the oath of allegiance exacted from Irish bishops on their consecration. After some difficulty he was consecrated in Cork in 1820, and arrived in Charleston the same year. Bishop England had many obstacles to contend with. There were only two priests and two Churches in the three states under his jurisdiction, and his flock was made up chiefly of poor Irish emigrants and refugees from Santo Domingo. In order to provide priests for his diocese he opened a classical school in Charleston and the success that attended his efforts in this respect enabled him to support several of his ecclesiastical students. Not only did he succeed in training a body of educated missionaries for his Church, but also he largely contributed to the revival of classical learning in South Carolina. Several schools were reopened, and the College of Charleston, which had suspended for some time, resumed its studies.

He infused new life into the Philosophical literary association of Charleston as soon as he became a member, and did much to suppress dueling, not by intemperate denunciations, but by forming the most influential gentlemen of the state into an anti-dueling association. His address in reprobation of the practice before this body is considered a masterpiece of argument and persuasion. He was invited by congress to preach in the hall of representatives at Washington, and was the first Catholic clergyman on whom this honor was conferred. To explain and defend the doctrines of his Church he established the "United States Catholic Miscellany" at Charleston. It was through the columns of this periodical that most of Bishop England's writings found their way to the public. His influence was felt in every part of the Catholic Church in this country, and his influence at Rome was decisive in all ecclesiastical affairs connected with the United States. Citizens of every creed attended his courses of lectures, which he delivered in all the great cities of the Union. Nothing, however, endeared him to the people of Charleston so much as his heroism during the frequent visitations of the yellow fever, when he continued at his post night and day.

In 1831 he visited Ireland and obtained the services of three nuns of the Ursuline order, by whose aid he established the Ursuline schools of Charleston° He also founded orphan asylums, boarding schools, and free schools, which he placed under the charge of Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. He conceived the plan of assembling the prelates in council for mutual aid, and has been styled " the author of our provincial councils." he visited Europe four times in the interests of his diocese, was sent twice as apostolic delegate from the pope to Haiti, and was offered an Irish bishopric, which he declined. On his return from Europe in 1841 malignant dysentery broke out among the steerage passengers, and his attendance on them was incessant until he was attacked by the disease himself, He finally died from its effects, which were heightened by overwork, immediately after homing. Dr. England increased the number of Churches in his diocese to seventeen, and left a numerous and well organized clergy behind him. His principal works are " Discourse before the Hibernian Society of Savannah" (Charleston, 1824) • "Explanation of the Construction, Furniture, and Ornaments of a Church " (Baltimore)" "Letters on Slavery"" and "Works," edited by Bishop Reynolds (5 vols., Baltimore, 1849).

Edited Appletons Encyclopedia, Copyright © 2001 VirtualologyTM

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