Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Roger William Vaughan


Second Archbishop of Sydney, b. at Courtfield, Herefordshire, 9 January, 1834; d. at Ince-Blundell Hall, Lancashire, 17 August, 1883. He was the second son of Colonel John Vaughan and Eliza his first wife, and was thus the younger brother of Cardinal Vaughan, Archbishop of Westminster. Being delicate he was educated at home under the influence of his saintly mother till he was seventeen, when he went to Downside. There he decided to become a Benedictine, and, in 1855, having finished his novitiate, he was sent to Rome, where he studied at the Benedictine house of St. Paul-Outside-the-Walls. A year after his ordination (1859) he returned to Downside, where he took charge of the mission. In November, 1861, he became professor of philosophy, and, a year later, cathedral prior at St. Michael's Priory, Belmont, a post which he held till 1872. While at Belmont he wrote his great work, "The Life and Labours of St. Thomas Aquinas" (London, 1871-2; 2nd ed., 1890). In 1872 he was chosen as coadjutor to Archbishop Polding of Sydney, an event which justified the premonition he always had that he was destined to work in Australia. He was consecrated as titular Archbishop of Nazianzus by Archbishop Manning at Liverpool, on 19 March, 1872, and during the summer sailed for Australia. Five years later, on Dr. Polding's death (16 March, 1877), he succeeded him as Archbishop of Sydney. The remaining six years were devoted to apostolic work, especially preaching, in which he was indefatigable in spite of the strain on a constitution never strong. He proved a capable administrator, fighting energetically for Catholic interests, especially those of primary education, which he provided for by the foundation of Catholic schools. He also took great interest in the completion of his cathedral which he lived to open. He was a man of great holiness, and so far as possible continued even when archbishop to lead the life of a simple monk. While visiting England for the sake of his health he died suddenly at his uncle's house.

HEDLEY, Memoir of the Most Rev. Roger Bede Vaughan (London, 1884); GILLOW, Bibl. Dict. Eng. Cath., s. v. (which gives a list of his minor works); SNEAD-COX, Life of Cardinal Vaughan (London, 1910). See II, 282-86, for the lamentable differences which arose with regard to his burial; BIRT, Benedictine Pioneers in Australia (London, 1911).

Edwin Burton.