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MIDDLESBROUGH


286


MIDRASHIM


eri.and; Vknicf. : Waldkik; Walks: \Vi*uTEMnEnr.) arc given in detail their respective political and religious ilevelopnients throvighoiit the Miildle Ages. I'naer art icles of a wider scope (e. g., iMinorio ; Chius- tkndom; I\)I"k) is found a more general and synthetic tn'utment. Particular aspects and movements peculiar to different portions of it arc found in such articles as Chivalry; Crusades; Ecclesiastical Art; I'KUdal- ism; Gothic Architecture; Inquisition; Investi- tures, Conflict op; Land-Tenure in the Christian Era; Monasticism; Music, Ecclesiastical; Paint- ing ; Pilcrimages ; Sculpture ; in the art icles upon the great religious orders, congregations, and institutions which then came into existence: in the biognipliies of the popes, rulers, historical personages, schdUus, phi- lasophers, poets, ami scientists whose lives fall within this period; in the accounts of the miiversities, cities, and dioceses which were founded and developed throughout Europe from the fall of the Roman Em- pire to the time of the Reformation, and in innumer- able minor articles throughout the work.

Middlesbrough, Diocese of (Medioburgensis). — In nifdifval liisiory it was known as Myddilburga or Middilljurga, with many other variations of form.


There is an old tradition that a church in lionour of St. Hilda was dedicated by St. Cuthbert at Middlesbrough about 6S6, but the earliest positive reference to Mid- dlesbrough in ecclesiastical history goes to show that in the beginning of the twelfth century it was the site of a church dependent on the .\bbey of St. Hilda at Whitby. At tliat time the church of " St. Hilda at Mid- dlesburc " was given by Robert de Brus of Skelton Cas- tle, founder of Guisborough Priory, to the Black Monks of St. Benedict at Whitby, on condition that there should always be some monks at Middlesbrough serv- ing God and St. Hilda; and there .seems to have been a clause binding the monks to distribute twelve pence per week in alms to the poor of MicMlcslirouKh for the soul of the .said Robert de Bras. In tlie plunder of the religious hou.ses the "Cell of Middlesbrough" was granted by (^ueen Elizabeth to one Thomas Reeve on 4 February, l.i(j:{. From that date there is no evidence to show that Mass was ever celebrated there, until in 1848 a private room in North Street was u.sed for this purpose. A little later a modest chapel was erected and a resident priest placed in charge. Two causes concurred in the formation of a large Catholic congre- gation, namely, the Irish immigration and the rapid development of the ironworks in the Cleveland region. In 1872 Rev. Richard Lacy wjis entrusted with the charge of the Middlesbrough Mission. In August, 1878, St. Mary's church (replacing the original modest chapel) was opened with great solemnity by Cardinal Manning and Bishop Cornthwaite of Beverley. In December of the same year, St. Mary's became the


cathedral of the new Dioce.se of Middlesbrough. The "Diocese of Beverley, conterminous with Yorkshire, was, by Apostolic Letters of Leo XIII, dated 20 De- cember, 1S7S, divided into the Dioceses of Leeds and Middlesbrough. Bisho|) Cornthwailc (formerly of Bev- erley, henceforth of Leeds) being <i<l iiilriim named administrator of the new Diocese of Middlesbrough. It was not until 11 December, INTO, that the papal Brief was received notifying the ai)]iointnient of the new bishop in the person of the Rev. Richard Lacy, whose consecration took place in his own cathedral on IS December, 1879, at the hands of Cardinal Manning, assisted by Bishop Cornthwaite of l,eeds and Bishop O'Reilly of Liverpool. The chapter of the new diocese, consisting of a provost and ten canons, was erected by a decree of Leo XIII on 13 February, 1881. Our Lady of Perpetual Succour is the chief patroness of the dio- cese and titular of the cathedral; Sts. Wilfrid and John of Beverley are its secondary patrons. Besides these there are many others who have shed the lustre of their sanctity on northern Yorkshire; St. Hilda, Abbess of Whitby (scene of the famous Synod of Whitby in 664); St. John of Bridlington; St. William of York; St. Everilda; Blessed John Fisher; Blessed Thomas Percy, Earl of Northumberland; the Venera- ble Nicholas Postgate, and many others.

Notwithstanding the fact that the ecclesiastical division of Yorkshire met with adverse criticism at the hands of several leading members of both clergy and laity, moved by sentiment rather than a profound knowledge of the needs of religion, the following sta- tistics demonstrate both how groundless were the fears then entertained, and how accurately the situation had been gauged by the ecclesiastical authorities. In 1SM9 the Catholic population of Yorkshire was 13,000; ill 1!H1(I it was 167,(127. In 1839 there could hardly be

()(l() Catholics in what is now the Diocese of Middles-

brnvigh; in 1909 they numbered 50,344. In 1879 the total number of priests in the Diocese of Middles- brough was 54; in 1909 they numbered 113 (76 secu- l:irs and :'.7 regulars). In 1879 the churches and chapels \M ii:;s; in l'.i()9 they were 67. In 1879 the school- rhiMirii numbered 3135; in 1909 they numbered lit, 060. In ls79 there were 17 elementary schools; in 1909 there were 43. There are 23 elementary schools and 14 middle-class schools conducted by religious; two orphanages, one for boys under the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul at Hull, and the other for girls under the Poor Sisters of Nazareth at Middlesbrough; one reformatory for boys under the Fathers of Charity at Market Weighton; two pupil teachers' centres, one under the Sisters of Mercy at Hull, and the other under the Faithful Companions of Jesus at Middlesbrough; one training college for teachers, under Sisters of Mercy, at Hull; two colleges for boys, one under the Marist Fathers, at Middlesbrough, the other under Benedic- tine monks, in connexion with the well-known Abbey of Ampleforth.

Bishop Lacy was born at Navan, Meath, Ireland, 16 January, 1841, .studied at Ushaw College (Durham) and at the English College in Rome, where he was ordained 21 December, 1867.

KiHBY. Ancient Middlesbrough; Young, Whitby; Middles- brough Diocesan Archives.

RicHAKD Lacy.

Middleton, Anthony, Venerable. See Jones, Edward, Venerable.

Middleton, Robert, Venerable. See Hunt, Thurston, Ve.nerable.

Midianites. See Madianites.

Midrashim. — The term commonly designates an- cient rabbinical commentaries on the Hebrew Scrip- tures. It is the plural form of the word UmD^ Midrash which is found only twice in the Old Testament (II Par. [Chronicles], xiii, 22; xxiv, 27), where it is rendered by liber (book) in the Vulgate, and by