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MILL


315


MILNER


(Martin); Relations dea J csuites (Quebec, 1858), Rel. 1668, 19. 2 col.; Rel. 1669, 10, 1, 2 cols.; Rel. 1670. 48-63; Rel. 1672, 18, 1 col.; 20, 2 col.; Rels. Inedites (Paris, 1861), I, 22-30, 32-3 38 46, 54. 175, 239-56; II, 11, 38, 106. 197; Girodard in Proceed. Rou. Soc. Can.. V, Memoirs, 87-101; Charlevoix, Hisl. de la N.-France. I (Paris, 1764). 398. 501-10. 564; Sommervogel. Bibl. de la C. de J., V, 1099; De Rochemonteix, Les Jesuites el la N.-France, III, 185-200; Margrt, DecouverUs, etc. V, 28, 38; Colled, de Docs, relatifsa la N.-France. 1,21, 239, 335, 488, 552-3, 559-62, 557. 571. 595; II, 59, 80, 87; [S.unt-VallierI, Estat present (.16S7) de VEglise, etc. (Paris, 1688), 204 sqq.

Arthur Edward Jones.

Mill Hill College. See Joseph, Society op Saint, for Foreign Missions.

Milner, John, b. in London, 14 October, 1752; d. at Wolverhampton, 19 April, 1826. At the age of twelve he went to Sedgley Park School, but the follow- ing year he was sent by the venerable Bishop Chal- loner to the English College at Douai, France, to study for the priesthood. He remained twelve years, but he does not seem to have distinguished himself in any special manner there. On his ordination in 1777 he returned to England. Two years later he was sent to Winchester to assist the French prisoners in that city, among whom a fever had broken out ; and when the pastor, Rev. Mr. Nolan, fell a victim to the fever, Milner was permanently appointed in his place. Winchester was then one of the few towns in the south of England where a Catholic chapel was openly sup- ported. Its existence was indeed illegal, for the penal laws were still in full force ; but practically there was not much prospect of its being interfered with. Milner remained there twenty-three years, during which time he devoted himself to missionary work, rebuilt the chapel, and established a school. The Catholic religion in England was at the time going through a double crisis, partly by the action of its own members, and partly by the influence from without, due to the French Revolution. Some thousands of French priests took refuge in England, and were supported by the Govern- ment. Some 700 were lodged in the old unfinished king's house outside Winchester, where they formed themselves into a large religious community. Milner, who was brought into daily contact with them, spoke in high terms of the extraordmary edification of their daily lives. The same events on the Continent led to the breaking up of the English convents in France and the Low Countries, and the nuns fled for refuge to their own country, where they arrived penniless and helpless. A great effort was made to assist them. Milner took his share in the movement by establish- ing in his mission the Bendictine nuns, formerly of Brussels, with whom he ever afterwards maintained cordial relations. The Franciscans from Bruges like- wise settled at Winchester.

During succeeding years, Milner began to make his name as a writer and controversialist. His " History of Winchester" appeared in 1798, and showed remark- able power and learning. It led to a controversy with Dr. Sturges, a prebendary of the cathedral, which brought forth two of Milner's best-known works, " Letters to a Prebendary" and "The End of Religious Controversy". In deference to the wishes of his bishop, however, the last-named work was withheld for the sake of peace, and it did not see the light until nearly twenty years later. It was during his resi- dence at Winchester that Milner was first brought into contact with the public affairs of Catholics, which formed the other aspect of the crisis in that body. The Cisalpine or antipapal movement among the laity was beginning, the moving spirit being Charles Butler, nephew of Alban Butler, a lawyer of eminence and reputation, and the lifelong opponent of Milner. The movement also affected some of the clergy, the well- known writer. Rev. Joseph Berington, being the most notable example. Milner, who had a keen sense of orthodoxy and loyalty to the Holy See, directed all his endeavours to combating this movement. His writings were numerous and powerful ; but they had


the defect of unceasing asperity of language, so that he continued to embitter the strife. The committee of Catholic laymen, elected first m 1782, and re- elected five years later, were the centre of such opin ions, and towards the end three ecclesia.stics were added, two of whom (James Talbot and Charles Berington) were bishops. The object of the committee was to help to bring about Catholic emancipation. With this end in view, in 1789 they issued a " Protestation ", disclaiming some of the more objectionable doctrines with which they were popularly credited, including the deposing power and papal infallibility. Despite the Cisalpine tone of the document, it was signed by nearly 1.500 Catholics, including all the vicars Apos- tolic, though the signatures of two were afterwards withdrawn. Pitt who was then Prime Minister prom- ised to introduce a bill of Catholic re- lief; but when it was drafted, it was found to contain an oath which all Catholics were to lie called upon to take, based on the "protesta- tion", but in stronger language, and containing doctrine to which no good Catholic could set his name ; while the Cath- olics throughout were called by the absurd title of " Protesting Cath- olic Dissenters". John Milner The four vicars Apostolic met at Hammersmith, in October, 1789, Milner attending as theological adviser. They unanimously condemned the oath and the new appellation. During the foUowingyear the Bishops of the Northern and London Districts died. A great effort was made by the committee to secure the trans- ference of Bishop Charles Berington to the London District. This would have been a triumph for the Cisalpines; but fortunately it did not succeed. Rome, being warned, appointed Dr. Douglass, a Yorkshire- man, who had been outside the late disputes.

The committee now suggested some modification of the oath ; but it was not sufficient to free it from ob- jection, and three out of the four vicars Apostolic joined in condemning it a second time. When the Relief Bill was brought foi-ward in February, 1791, the bishops called Milner to their assistance. By means of his vigorous action an impression was made on the Government and the oath was further modified ; but the situation was really saved after his return to Winchester, when the House of Lords, at the instiga- tion of the Protestant Bishop of St. David's, substi- tuted a totally different oath for the one objected to; and in this form the Bill was passed. It abolished the penal laws properly so-called and legalized the cele- bration of Mass; but Catholics continued liable to numerous disabilities for many years afterwards. After this the Catholic Committee dissolved; but the chief members re-formed themselves into an association to which they gave the name of the Cisalpine Club and which lasted for many years. Milner continued to write and speak in opposition to them. The clergy who were supporters of the Cisalpine spirit were chiefly in the Midland District, one group who had acted together being known as the Staffordshire Clergy. By a strange fate it was this very district over which Milner was called to nile in 1803, when he was consecrated Bishop of Castabala, and appointed Vicar Apostolic of the Midland District. It is credit-