Gillow, John (DNB00)


GILLOW, JOHN, D.D. (1753–1828), president of Ushaw College, son of Robert Gillow of Westby, Lancashire, and his wife, Agnes Fell, was born on 25 March 1753. He was sent in 1766 to the English College at Douay, where he was ordained priest, and occupied for eleven years the chairs of philosophy and divinity. In 1791 he returned to England to take charge of the mission at York, where he laboured for twenty years. Some curious mission stories concerning him are related in ‘Footsteps of Spirits,’ written anonymously by the Rev. James Augustine Stothert. On 11 June 1811 he was installed president of Ushaw College, near Durham, in succession to Thomas Eyre (1748–1810) [q. v.] The college flourished greatly under his management. He was highly esteemed, not only by catholics, but by members of all denominations; and his opinion was often solicited by the vicars-apostolic during the agitation which preceded the passing of the Catholic Relief Act. He died at Ushaw on 6 Feb. 1828.

A fine portrait of him, engraved by C. Turner from a painting by James Ramsay, was published in 1814, and reproduced in the ‘Orthodox Journal’ of 19 Oct. 1833. The original hangs in the refectory at Ushaw.

[Catholic Miscellany, ix. 31; Kirk's Manuscript Collections, cited in Joseph Gillow's Bibl. Dict.; Henry Gillow's Chapels at Ushaw, hist. introd. pp. 37–9.]

T. C.