Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Henry William Wilberforce


Born at Clapham, 22 September, 1807; died at Stroud, Gloucestershire, 23 April, 1873. He was third son of the famous William Wilberforce, and younger brother of Robert Wilberforce. He entered Oriel College, Oxford, in 1826, becoming a pupil of Newman; and after taking a brilliant degree became a law-student at Lincoln Inn. Newman persuaded him to leave the law for the Church, and in 1834 he took Anglican orders, becoming successively curate of Bransgrove, Hampshire (1834), vicar of Walmer (1841), and vicar of East Farleigh, Kent (1843). On 15 Sept., 1850, he and his wife were received into the Catholic Church. He then devoted himself to journalism, being proprietor and editor of the "Catholic Standard", afterwards known as the "Weekly Register", from 1854 to 1863. His works were: "The Parochial System", London, 1838; "Reasons for Submitting to the Catholic Church", London, 1851, a pamphlet which ran through several editions and led to much controversy; "Proselytism in Ireland" (London, 1852); "Essay on Some Events preparatory to the English Reformation" (London, 1867); and "The Church and the Empires" (London, 1874). His wife was Mary, daughter of the Rev. John Sargent; they had five sons and four daughters.

NEWMAN, memoir prefixed to The Church and the Empires, with portrait (London, 1874); FOSTER, Alumni Oxoniensis 1715-1886 (Oxford, 1891); MOZELEY, Reminiscences of Oriel and the Oxford Movement (London, 1882); ASHWELL, Life of Samuel Wilberforce (London, 1880-2); MOZLEY, Letters and correspondence of John Henry Newman (London, 1891); COOPER in Dict. Nat. Biog., s.v.; GILLOW in Bibl. Dict. Eng. Cath., s.v.

Edwin Burton.