Open main menu

Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 2.djvu/801

This page needs to be proofread.


BOT


725


BOYGE


in his native Berkshire, but his hour for parliamentary life was not yet.

Next year, 1S50, there happened the gravest and most far-reaching event of Bowyer's career: his con- version from Anglican Protestantism to the Catholic religion. That same year Pope Pius IX set up in England a new Catholic episcopal hierarchy. At this proceeding, vulgarly styled "the Papal Ag- gression", English Protestantism went wild with rage and resentment for the space of several montlis. To Bowyer this popular mania offered a golden opportunity to stand forth boldly in the Holy Father's defence. His pamplilet, "The Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster and the New Hierarchy", ran through four editions, and was followed at intervals by several more publications on the same theme. From this beginning to the end of his days he was the foremost lay champion in England of the Catholic Church and her earthly head. His letters addressed to the newspapers, principally to the " Times ", were many, vigorous, and unanswerable; and in those days he was practically the only competent Catholic whose controversial letters were admitted into the English Protestant press. At the same time he zealously prosecuted his legal studies and \\Titings. His "Com- mentaries on Universal Public Law" came out in 1854 and is commonly considered his greatest literary achievement; "Introduction to the Study and Use of the Civil Law", his last publication, appeared in 1874.

To go back to 18.50, the period of his conversion, Mr. Bonyer was that year appointed Reader in Law at the Middle Temple. In 1852 he at last found his desired seat in Parliament, as member for the Irish borough of Dundalk, whose representative he con- tinued to be for the next si.xteen years. During that stirring period there came the Italian Unity move- ment, and the despoiling of the Roman Pontiff of the greater part of his temporal dominions, to be followed some years later by the seizure of the re- mainder. Then it was that Sir George Bonyer (who, on the death of his father, in 1860 had succeeded to the baronetcy), in company with Jolm Pope Hennessy, John Francis Maguire, and others, took every occasion to denounce in Parliament the Italian revolutionaries, especially for the robbery and virtual captivity of the Roman Pontiff, and the atrocities committed by King Victor Emmanuel's soldiery in the lately annexed Neapolitan realm. For all these misdeeds the Member for Dundalk continually called to account Lord Palmerston, Lord John (afterwards Earl) Rus.sell, Mr. Gladstone, and other English governmental abettors of the Italian Revolution, who could answer only by parading principles at once subversi\e and immoral. In 1868 he lost his seat for Dundalk, and for the next si.x years remained out of Parliament, until 1874, when, as a Home Ruler, he was chosen a representa- tive of the Irish Covmty of Wexford, retaining that seat until 1880. Meanwhile, as his principles and attitude with regard to the Italian question, to say nothing of other matters, were in nowise to the tiiste of the British Liberal party, he was, in 1876, turned out of the London Reform Club.

On the 7th of June, 1883, Sir George Bowyer was found dead in bed at his London chambers. No. 13, King's Bench Walk, in the Temple. His obsequies took place in the Catholic church of St. John of Jerusalem, which, alongside of the Hospital of Sts. John and Elizabeth, in Great Ormond Street, he had built at his own cost. And here it may bo re- marked that in architecture Sir George Bowyer had a strong leaning for the Palladian, or Italian, style, as against the Gothic, especially for public buildings, and his principles he put into practice in the afore- said church, which is a little Palladian gem. The church has now been removed bodily to St. John's n.— 46


Wood, there to serve the transferred and new- built hospital. Sir George Bonyer was a Knight Commander of the Order of Pius IX, and a Papal Chamberlain; Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St. Gregory the Great, Knight of Justice of the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem (or of Malta), etc. At home he was a Justice of the Peace and Deputy Lieutenant of Berkshire. He never married, and was succeeded in the baronetcy by his younger brother.

Diet. Nat. Bicg. (London, 1886); Anniuil Register, 1883. 152, 153; GiLLOw, Bibl. Diet, of Eng. Cath., I, 282-284; Times. Tablet, and other London newspapers for June. 188C.

C. T. BoOTHil.VN.

Boy-Bishop. — The custom of electing a boy-bishop

on the feast of St. Nicholas dates from very early times, and was in vogue in most Catholic countries, but chiefly in England, where it pre\-ailed certainly in aU the larger monastic and scholastic establish- ments, and also in many country parishes besides, ivith the full approbation of authority, ecclesiastical and ci^"il. The boy-bishop was chosen from among the children of the monastery school, the cathedral choir, or the pupils of the grammar-school. Elected on St. Nicholas's day (6 December), he was dressed in pontifical vestments and, followed by his com- panions in priest's robes, went in procession round the parish, blessing the people. He then took posses- sion of the church, where he presided at all the ceremonies and offices until Holy Innocents' day (28 December). At Salisbm">' he is .said to have had the power of disposing of any benefices that fell vacant during his reign, and if he died in office the funeral honours of a bishop were granted him. A monument to such a boy-prelate still exists there, though its genuineness has been questioned, and at Lulworth Castle another is preserved, which came from Bindon Abbey. The custom was abolished by Henry VIII in 1542, restored by Queen Mary, and again abolished by Elizabeth, though here and there it lingered on for some time longer. On the Conti- nent it was suppressed by the Council of Basle in 1431, but was revived in some places from time to time, even as late as the eighteenth century.

Rock, Church of our Fathers (London, 1853), III, xii; Lee, Glossary of Liturgical and Ecclesiastical Terms (London, 1877); Gasquet, Parish Life in Medieval England (London, 1906); Camden Society, Machyn's Dairy (London, 1848); Du Cange, Gto.s.sarium, ed Henschel (London, 1884), 3. w. Episcopus Innocentium and Epifcopus Puerorum; H.4.mson, Medii jEn Kalendarium, Dates, Charters and Ciistom^ of the Middle Ages (London, 1841), 61, 78, 82.

G. Cyprian Alston.

Boyce, John, novelist, lecturer, and priest, well knowii under the assumed name of "Paul Pepper- grass", b. in Donegal, Ireland, in 1810; d. in Wor- cester, Mass., 2 January, 1864. His father was a respectable and wealthy citizen, proprietor of the principal hotel in the town and a magistrate of the county. John early manifested a taste for literary pursuits, and with the desire of studying for the priesthood, entered the preparatory seminary at Navan, County Meath, and was graduated ■nith the highest honours in rhetoric and philosophy. He completed his stvulics at the Royal College of May- nooth and was ordained priest in 1837. For eight years he laboured on the Irish mission, but in 1845 he resolved to share the lot of his countrj-men in America. From Eastport, Maine, the scene of his first missionary labours, he was transferred, 14 No- vember, 1847, to St. John's Church, Worcester, where he remained until his death. Father Boyce was an eloquent lecturer and gifted WTiter. His published works are: "Shandy Maguire, or Tricks upon Travellers" (New York, 1848), which was dramatized by "J. Pilgrim"; "The Spswife, or the Queen's Secret" (Baltimore, 1853); "Mary Lee, or the Yankee in Ireland" (1859), first published