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Houghton, William Hyacinth (DNB00)


HOUGHTON or HOGHTON, WILLIAM HYACINTH (1736–1823), Roman catholic divine, born in 1736 in the hundred of West Derby, Lancashire, was descended from the Hoghtons of Hoghton Tower in the same county. He was educated at the Dominican College at Bornhem in the Low Countries, studied also for some time at Louvain, was ordained priest on 25 Feb. 1760, and from 1758 to 1762 held the office of prefect in the Bornhem College. Joining the English mission, he returned to this country, and held private chaplaincies until 1775, when he went back to Bornhem, and became successively prior, subprior, and procurator of the convent. He removed in 1779 to the English Dominican College, Louvain, where he acted as professor of philosophy. A controversy regarding his acceptance of the philosophical views of Newton and Descartes led him to return to England. He died at Fairhurst, the Lancashire seat of the Nelson family, on 3 Jan. 1823, and was buried at Windlesham, in the same county. Houghton edited and wrote articles in the 'Catholic Magazine and Reflector' (January to July 1801), the first catholic magazine that had appeared in England. He also published 'These ex Universa Philosophia, ...&c.,' Louvain, 1780.

[Gillow's Dict. of Cath. Bibl. iii. 416; Cath. Times, 8 June 1883.]

W. A. J. A.