Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Andrews, William Eusebius

ANDREWS, WILLIAM EUSEBIUS (1773–1837), journalist and author, was born at Norwich 15 Dec. 1773, of parents in a humble position in life, who were converts to the Roman catholic faith. He was apprenticed to the printers and proprietors of the ‘Norfolk Chronicle,’ and afterwards he was manager of that newspaper for fourteen years. Perceiving the importance of the press for the advocacy of catholic principles, he removed to London, where he started in 1813 the ‘Orthodox Journal and Catholic Monthly Intelligencer.’ While conducting this periodical he published for a year, at Glasgow, a weekly pamphlet at 2d., entitled the ‘Catholic Vindicator,’ with the view of counteracting the influence of a publication called the ‘Protestant.’ Pecuniary losses compelled him to suspend the publication of the ‘Orthodox Journal’ for a time; but with the aid of a few friends, mostly protestants, he established his first weekly stamped newspaper, the ‘Catholic Advocate of Civil and Religious Liberty,’ in December 1820. For nine months he struggled with great difficulties, and was obliged to abandon the undertaking. Proposals were then made for bringing out two separate publications, one for catholics under the title of the ‘Catholic Miscellany,’ with a nominal editor, and the other exclusively political, the ‘People's Advocate,’ avowedly edited by him. Both made their appearance in January 1822, but the political pamphlet survived only seven weeks, and the sole editorship of the other devolved upon Andrews after the second number. He continued, under very pressing pecuniary difficulties, to conduct it until June 1823, when the ‘Miscellany’ passed into other hands. In the previous January he had re-established the ‘Orthodox Journal,’ and he continued to publish it for some months. On 25 Sept. 1824 he started a weekly stamped newspaper called the ‘Truth-teller.’ This he carried on for twelve months, and afterwards he continued it in the form of a pamphlet; but eventually it had to be given up for want of support. It began on 1 Oct. 1825, and ended on 25 April 1829, extending to fourteen volumes. Still unsubdued, the indefatigable journalist renewed his periodical labours in the ‘Orthodox Journal,’ and completed its twelfth volume. Subsequently he continued his exertions in the ‘British Liberator’ and ‘Andrews's Constitutional Preceptor’ (1832), and on 8 Sept. 1832 he started ‘Andrews's Penny Orthodox Journal’ as a weekly candidate for public favour. It survived only till 1 March 1834, and was followed by ‘Andrews's Weekly Orthodox Journal’ from 8 March to 27 June 1836. It was then entitled the ‘London and Dublin Orthodox Journal,’ and after the death of Andrews it was continued by his son till November 1845, after which date it came out monthly under the simple original title of the ‘Orthodox Journal.’

In 1826 Andrews established the society of the ‘Friends of Civil and Religious Liberty,’ which, in little more than a year, circulated nearly half a million of tracts. This was the parent of the ‘Metropolitan Tract Society,’ and of several similar associations. The great object of Andrews throughout his busy life was to vindicate and spread Roman catholic principles through the medium of the press; but he does not appear to have received much encouragement from the ecclesiastical authorities, with the exception of Bishop Milner, who was always his warm friend and supporter. He died at his house, 3 Duke Street, Little Britain, London, on 7 April 1837.

His separate publications include: 1. ‘The Catholic School Book,’ 1814, which was extensively used in catholic schools in England and the United States. 2. ‘The Historical Narrative of the Horrid Plot and Conspiracy of Titus Oates,’ 1816. 3. A series of eighteen controversial pamphlets in answer to a Lancashire clergyman named Sibson, 1822. 4. ‘A Critical and Historical Review of Fox's Book of Martyrs, showing the inaccuracies, falsehoods, and misrepresentations in that work of deception,’ vol. i., London, 1824, 8vo. Lowndes mentions an edition in three vols. 8vo, 1826. This work, as Mr. John Hill Burton points out, was the natural fruit of the anti-catholic animosity of the day. It was published in numbers at 3d. each, with woodcuts, the first of which represents the devil prompting Fox to write his ‘Acts and Monuments.’ The author's object of casting odium on his opponents is best accomplished in details of the persecution of the catholics under Queen Elizabeth, and an account of the later penal laws of Ireland. As a criticism on Fox the work exhibits occasional ingenuity, but not much learning or impartiality. 5. ‘Popery Triumphant! a right-doleful-clerical-comical Drama, as performed at the Upper Rooms, Bath, on the 10th of December 1833, by some of His Majesty's servants of the Law Church, assisted by a few dissenting preachers, members of the British Reformation Society; with a commentary on each performer,’ London [1833], 8vo. 6. ‘The Catholic's Vade Mecum.’ 7. ‘The Two Systems.’ 8. ‘An Abridgment of Plowden's History of Ireland.’ 9. An edition of Bishop Milner's ‘End of Religious Controversy.’

[London and Dublin Orthodox Journal, Nos. 95, 96; The Lamp, 26 Dec. 1857; Husenbeth's Life of Bishop Milner, 421 seq.; Edinb. Catholic Mag. i. 319; Catholic Mag. and Review (Birmingham), ii. 731, 788, iii. 25, 146, 289, 522; John Hill Burton in Biog. Dict. Soc. D.U.K.; Cotton's Rhemes and Doway; Notes and Queries, 3rd ser. xi. 3; Lowndes's Bibl. Man. ed. Bohn.]

T. C.