Goss, Alexander (DNB00)

GOSS, ALEXANDER, D.D. (1814–1872), Roman catholic bishop of Liverpool, born at Ormskirk, Lancashire, on 5 July 1814, was educated at St. Cuthbert's College, Ushaw, and at the English College, Rome, where he was ordained priest by Cardinal Fransoni in 1841. In October 1842 he was appointed by Dr. George Brown [q. v.], Roman catholic bishop of Liverpool, to join Dr. Fisher as one of the superiors in St. Edward's College, Everton, which, under their management, was first opened as a catholic college 16 Jan. 1843. Goss continued there as vice-president until 20 Jan. 1853, when he was elected by propaganda as coadjutor to Bishop Brown. He was consecrated to the see of Gerra, in partibus, on 25 Sept. in that year by Cardinal Wiseman. He succeeded to the see of Liverpool per coadjutoriam on the death of Dr. Brown 15 Jan. 1856. During his episcopate a great impetus was given to Roman catholicism in Liverpool. He was a vigorous controversialist, and in politics supported the conservative party. His bearing was dignified, and his stature reached six feet three inches. He died suddenly at his residence in St. Edward's College, Everton, on 3 Oct. 1872. After a requiem mass in the pro-cathedral at Liverpool, where the funeral discourse was preached by Archbishop Manning, his remains were interred with great solemnity in the cemetery of St. Sepulchre at Ford. He was a constant contributor to the Chetham, the Holbein, and the Manx Societies. He edited the Chetham Society's volume for 1864, consisting of ‘Abbott's Journal,’ which gives an account of the apprehension, imprisonment, and release of Richard Abbott, a servant of Caryll, lord Molineux, in 1689–1691. The same volume contains an account of the ‘Tryalls at Manchester’ of Lord Molineux, Sir William Gerard, and others in 1694. For the Manx Society he edited ‘Chronica Regum Manniæ et Insularum, The Chronicle of Man and the Sudreys, from the manuscript codex in the British Museum,’ with historical notes by Peter Andreas Munch, professor of history in the royal university of Christiania. Goss added fresh documents and English translations of the ‘Chronica’ and of the Latin documents; it was prepared for the press by Archbishop Errington, and printed in 2 vols., Douglas, 1874, 8vo. At the time of his death Goss was engaged in collecting materials for a history of the northern bishops, which was to have been printed by the Manx Society. He made large collections for the history of the catholic religion in the north of England during the days of persecution. These collections are mainly drawn from original sources, public and private, and include innumerable transcripts from state papers and manuscripts in the Record Office, the British Museum, and other public offices and libraries, and from the archives of the catholic colleges and convents in England and on the continent.

[Brady's Episcopal Succession, iii. 418; Times, 4 and 10 Oct. 1872; Tablet, 12 Oct. 1872; Weekly Register, 12 Oct. 1872; Gillow's Bibl. Dict.; Gillow's Haydock Papers; Gibson's Lydiate Hall, Introd. pp. ix, x, xliii, 174.]

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