Dicconson, Edward (DNB00)


DICCONSON, EDWARD, D.D. (1670–1752), catholic prelate, was born in 1670, being the third son of Hugh Dicconson, esq., of Wrightington Hall, Lancashire, by Agnes, daughter of Roger Kirkby, esq., of Kirkby in that county. He was educated in the English college at Douay, and at the end of his course of philosophy, in 1691, returned to England. Subsequently he resumed his studies at Douay, where he took the oath on 8 March 1698–9. He took priest's orders; became procurator of the college in 1701; and in 1708–9 he was professor of syntax and a senior. In 1709–10 he was professor of poetry, and in 1711–12 professor of philosophy. He was made vice-president and professor of theology in 1713–14.

He left Douay college to serve the English mission on 13 Aug. 1720, having been invited by Peter Giffard, esq., to take the ministerial charge at Chillington, Staffordshire. While there he was Bishop Stonor's principal adviser and grand vicar. Afterwards he was sent to Rome as agent extraordinary of the secular clergy of England. On the death of Bishop Thomas Williams he was nominated vicar apostolic of the northern district of England, by Benedict XIV, in September 1740, and he was consecrated on 19 March 1740–1 to the see of Malla in partibus infidelium by the bishop of Ghent. Proceeding to his vicariate he fixed his residence at a place belonging to his family near Wrightington, called Finch Mill. He died there on 24 April (5 May N.S.) 1752, and was buried in the private chapel attached to the parish church of Standish, near Wigan. Francis Petre was his successor in the northern vicariate.

He wrote:

  1. A detailed account of his agency at Rome in four manuscript volumes, full of curious matter.
  2. Reports and other documents relating to the state of his vicariate. Manuscripts preserved among the archives of the see of Liverpool.

Six volumes of his papers were formerly in the possession of Dr. John Kirk of Lichfield. Dicconson copied for Dodd, the ecclesiastical historian, most of the records from Douay college, besides writing other parts of his work.

Dicconson's name was falsely affixed to a portrait of Bishop Bonaventure Giffard [q. v.], engraved by Burford from a painting by H. Hysing.

[Brady's Episcopal Succession, iii. 207, 250, 255–9; Gillow's Bibl. Dict.; Bromley's Cat. of Engraved Portraits, p. 271; Chambers's Biog. Illustr. of Worcestershire, p. 592; Catholic Miscellany, vi. 251–4, 260; Addit. MSS. 20310 ff. 188, 190, 208, 20312 ff. 139, 141, 20313 ff. 173, 175.]

T. C.