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1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Bridgett, Thomas Edward

BRIDGETT, THOMAS EDWARD (1829–1899), Roman Catholic priest and historical writer, was born at Derby on the 20th of January 1829. He was brought up a Baptist, but in his sixteenth year joined the Church of England. In 1847 he entered St John’s College, Cambridge, with the intention of taking orders. Being unable to subscribe to the Thirty-Nine Articles he could not take his degree, and in 1850 became a Roman Catholic, soon afterwards joining the Congregation of the Redemptorists. He went through his novitiate at St Trond in Belgium, and after a course of five years of theological study at Wittem, in Holland, was ordained priest. He returned to England in 1856, and for over forty years led an active life as a missioner in England and Ireland, preaching in over 80 missions and 140 retreats to the clergy and to nuns. His stay in Limerick was particularly successful, and he founded a religious confraternity of laymen which numbered 5000 members. Despite his arduous life as a priest, Bridgett found time to produce literary works of value, chiefly dealing with the history of the Reformation in England; among these are The Life of Blessed John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester (1888); The Life and Writings of Sir Thomas More (1890); History of the Eucharist in Great Britain (2 vols., 1881); Our Lady’s Dowry (1875, 3rd ed. 1890). He died at Clapham on the 17th of February 1899.

For a complete list of Bridgett’s works see The Life of Father Bridgett, by C. Ryder (London, 1906).

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