Vaughan, Herbert Alfred (DNB12)
VAUGHAN, HERBERT ALFRED (1832–1903), cardinal, born in Gloucester on 15 April 1832, was eldest son of Colonel John Francis Vaughan (1808–1880) of Courtfield, by his first wife, Louisa Elizabeth, third daughter of John Rolls of the Hendre. His mother's nephew was John Allan Roils, first Lord Llangattock (1837–1912). Always royalists and catholics, the Vaughans of Courtfield suffered for generations in fines and imprisonment and double land tax. The cardinal's uncle, William Vaughan (1814–1902), was catholic bishop of Plymouth. His mother, a convert from Anglicanism, used to pray every day that all her children should become priests or nuns. Of her eight sons, six became priests — three of them bishops — and all her five daughters entered convents. The cardinal's next brother, Roger William Bede Vaughan, catholic archbishop of Sydney, is already noticed in the Dictionary. His third brother, Kenelm (1840–1909), was for a time private secretary to Cardinal Manning and was a missionary in South America.
Herbert was educated at Stonyhurst from 1841 to 1846. Thence he went for three years to a Jesuit school at Brugelette in Belgium. Later, after a year with the Benedictines at Downside, he passed to Rome in the autumn of 1851 to study for the priesthood. His school career was undistinguished. His natural tastes were those of an ordinary country gentleman, and he has left it on record that when, at the age of sixteen, he definitely made up his mind to give himself to the church he chiefly regretted dissociation from the gun and the saddle.
During his stay in Rome his work was constantly hindered by ill-health. It was thought that he could not live to be ordained. A special rescript was obtained from Pius IX to enable him to receive priest's orders eighteen months before he was of the canonical age. He was ordained at Lucca on 28 Oct. 1854. The following year he went to St. Edmund's, Ware, as vice-president of the seminary; in 1857 he joined the congregation of the Oblates, then introduced into England by Manning; and he left St. Edmund's when the Oblates were withdrawn as the result of litigation in Rome between Cardinal Wiseman and his chapter in 1861. During the two following years of doubt and indecision a desire to do something for the conversion of the heathen world became almost an obsession. Under the influence of an old Spanish Jesuit he finally resolved to found in England a college for foreign missions and to find the means by begging in foreign countries. Having obtained at Rome the blessing of the pope, he sailed at the end of 1863 for the Caribbean Sea.
Landing at Colon, he crossed the isthmus to Panama, then part of the republic of New Granada. The town was suffering from small-pox, and the dead were counted in hundreds. At the same time, owing to the refusal of the clergy to accept a new constitution requiring what was regarded as an acknowledgment of the civil power in spiritual matters, all the churches had been closed, and priests were forbidden to say mass or administer the sacraments. Vaughan spent his days among the sufferers, saying mass, hearing confessions, and consoling the dying. He was summoned before the president of the republic and warned to desist. He had promised to say mass in the room of a woman sick of the small-pox. and he did so. Taken before the prefect of the city and committed for trial, he escaped by boarding a ship bound for San Francisco. After spending five months travelling up and down California with varying success he determined to try his fortune in South America. His plan was to beg his way through Peru and Chili, and then to ride across the Andes into Brazil, and to sail from Rio, either for Australia or home. This plan he carried out except that instead of riding across the Andes he sailed round the Horn in H.M.S. Charybdis. These wanderings, during which his begging exposed him to varied risks, lasted nearly two years.
The work was suddenly cut short by a letter of recall from Manning. Vaughan reached England in the last week of July 1865, bringing with him 11,000l. in cash and holding promises for a considerably larger sum. Friends now came to his help, and a house and land were purchased at Mill Hill without his having to touch the money collected in the Americas. That was to be assigned to the maintenance of the students. The college, called St. Joseph's College, was opened in a very humble way on 1 March 1866. The most rigid economy was practised in all household arrangements. The progress was rapid; additional accommodation became necessary, the foundations of the present college were laid, and in March 1871 the new buildings opened, free from debt, with a community of thirty-four. In the autumn Vaughan saw the first fruits of his labours when the Holy See assigned to St. Joseph's missionaries the task of working among the coloured population of the United States. In November he sailed with the first four missioners, and after settling them in Baltimore started on a journey of discovery and inquiry through the southern states, in the course of which he visited St. Louis, New Orleans, Mobile, Savannah, Memphis, Vicksburg, Natchez, and Charleston. All his life he continued to take the deepest interest in the development of the Mill Hill college, and he remained president of St. Joseph's Missionary Society till his death. The college which he had built has now three affiliated seminaries. His missionaries are at work in the Phihppines, in Uganda, in Madras, in New Zealand, in Borneo, in Labuan, in the basin of the Congo, in Kashmir, and Kafiristan. In 1911 they gave baptism to nearly 15,391 pagans.
Vaughan's first visit to America convinced him of the power of the press. In November 1868 he bought 'The Tablet,' which was founded by Frederick Lucas [q. v.] in 1840, and for nearly three years he was its acting editor. It was the time of the controversy about the papal infallibility. A disciple of Manning and W. G. Ward, Vaughan advocated uncompromisingly in 'The Tablet' the Ultramontane cause.
After the death of Dr. Turner, bishop of Salford, in July 1872, Vaughan, largely through Manning's influence, was chosen as his successor. He was consecrated at St. John's Cathedral, Salford, on 26 Oct. 1872. The catholic diocese of Salford, although geographically small, was estimated to contain 196,000 souls and was rapidly increasing. The new bishop was soon in love with Lancashire and its people, and, wrote of Salford as 'the grandest place in England for popular energy and devotion.' After his first survey of the wants of his diocese the bishop saw the need of a pastoral seminary, where newly ordained priests might spend together their first year. A sum of 18,000l. was collected, and the Pastoral Seminary was opened within three years. The bishop's second project was St. Bede's College, a catholic school of his own in Manchester, mainly for commercial education. Two houses facing Alexandra Park were purchased close to the Manchester Aquarium, which had hitherto been associated with high scientific and philanthropic ideals. The news that the Aquarium Company was near to bankruptcy and might be converted into a music hall, led the bishop to secure it summarily for 6800l. With the support of the leading catholics of Manchester the old Aquarium was in the summer of 1877 absorbed in the new buildings of St. Bede's college which were opened in 1880; a central block was completed in 1884. More than two thousand boys have since passed through the school, and in 1910 one hundred and eighty boys were taught within its walls.
The diocese was comparatively well equipped in regard to elementary schools, but in other respects the diocesan organisation was deficient. Vaughan soon placed the whole administration on a thoroughly business footing. The diocesan synods which had been held every seven years were made annual. The system of administering the affairs of the diocese through deaneries was developed. Each dean was made responsible for the proper management of all the missions within his deanery. A board of temporal administration was appointed annually at the synod to advise the bishop on matters of finance, and to control schemes for new expenditure. The bishop was insistent that earnest efforts should be made to reduce the indebtedness of the missions and diocese. When he left Salford after fourteen years, the general debt had been reduced by 64,478l.
As a result of a census of the catholics of Manchester and Salford and a thorough inquiry into the various dangers menacing catholic children the bishop issued in November 1886 a pamphlet, 'The Loss of our Children,' in which he announced and justified the formation of the ' Rescue and Protection Society.' Ten thousand catholic children were declared to be in peril of their faith. It was shown that eighty per cent, of the catholic children who left the workhouses of Manchester were lost to the catholic church. The bishop resolved on a crusade of rescue. Much money and many workers were needed. He gave at once l000l., together with the whole of the episcopal mensa, or official income, each year until he went to Westminster. 'Rescue Saturday' was established to make collections throughout the diocese every week on 'wages night.' Within three years litigation had removed all catholic children from protestant philanthropic homes, and a sufficiency of certified poor law schools for catholic children was soon established. The report of the Rescue Society for 1890 showed that seven homes, including two certified poor law schools, had been bought or built, and that in them 536 destitute children were maintained. In the same year 1515 cases were dealt with by a central committee, which met every Thursday at the bishop's house, and 8385 by district committees in various parts of the diocese. In the same period 234 children were adopted by catholic families in Canada. The cost was 159l. a week; 2000 people were taking an active part in the rescuing and protecting of the children.
Vaughan identified himself with the resistance of the English catholic bishops to certain claims put forward on behalf of the regular clergy in regard to the right to open schools without the authority of the diocesan, to the division of missions and the attendance at synods. In 1879 Vaughan joined in Rome the bishop of Clifton, the Hon. W. Clifford, who was the principal agent of the English bishops there, and a decision was substantially given in their favour in the bull 'Romanes Pontifices' on 14 May 1881.
In the general position of denominational schools in England, Vaughan took early a strong stand from which he never departed. In 1883 he had convinced himself that without the help of parliament the catholic, like all denominational schools, must perish. He therefore began a campaign in favour of financial equality between the voluntary and the board schools, starting the voluntary schools association. Branches sprang up over the country, while its programme received the sanction of Manning and the hierarchy. Its demands were formulated in February 1884. The agitation was thenceforth carried on with immense vigour, especially in Lancashire.
The bishop mixed freely with men of all denominations in Manchester. He was a frequent speaker at public meetings on temperance, sanitation, and the better housing of the poor. He advocated the establishment by the local authority of covered recreation grounds for public use, I urging that amusements should tend to unite and not divide the family group. He was the founder of the Manchester Geographical Society, and he frequently attended the discussions before the Chamber of Commerce, where, on occasion, his missioners from Mill Hill were invited to give an account of the countries they were helping to open up.
On the death of his father in December 1880 Vaughan succeeded to a life interest in the entailed estate at Courtfield. He arranged to receive 1000l. a year; and, subject to that annuity, he renounced his interest in the property. Of his seven brothers, six, including the eldest four, were priests at their father's death.
Besides Herbert, the next brothers, Roger, Kenelm, and Joseph, were ready in their turn each to give up his contingent right. Courtfield consequently passed at once, in the lifetime of all of them, to the fifth son, Colonel Francis Baynham Vaughan.
Vaughan was appointed archbishop of Westminster in succession to Manning on 29 March 1892 on the unanimous recommendation of the English bishops. He himself protested that his lack of learning unfitted him for the high office. On leaving Lancashire a marble bust was placed by public subscription in Manchester town hall. He was enthroned very quietly in the Pro-Cathedral, Kensington, on 8 May, and received the pallium from the hands of the apostolic delegate, the Hon. and Rt. Rev. Mgr. Stonor, archbishop of Trebizond, on 16 August in the Church of the Oratory. On 19 Jan. 1893 he became cardinal, receiving the red hat from the hands of Leo XIII, with the title of SS. Andrea and Gregorio on the Cœhan. His long intimacy with Manning and frequent visits to Archbishop's House had made him quite familiar with the main problems which awaited him. But his efforts at solution often differed from those of his predecessor.
Vaughan embarked without delay on a large scheme of concentration in catholic ecclesiastical education throughout the country. He closed St. Thomas's Seminary at Hammersmith. On 15 July 1897 St. Mary's College, Oscott, was constituted de jure and de facto the common seminary for a group of dioceses, Westminster, Birmingham, Clifton, Newport, Portsmouth, Northampton, and what was then the vicariate of Wales. In the interest of concentration and efficiency the cardinal accepted a policy of complete self-effacement both for himself and his diocese. The supreme control of the central seminary was vested in a board of co-interested bishops. The cardinal provided as much money for the new endowment of the seminary as the other bishops together, and Westminster sent more students than any other diocese. But he claimed for himself and Westminster only one-seventh share in the government of the seminary, and no greater part in its management than was conceded to a bishop who had perhaps only a couple of students there. This policy was a mistake; and before his death he realised that in founding the Central Seminary on such lines he had largely parted with the power to control the training of his own students. The arrangement was brought to an end shortly after his death.
Although Vaughan had previously opposed, like Manning and Ward, the education of catholic youths at the national universities, he changed his mind on coming to London, and at a meeting of the bishops on 4 Jan. 1895 he induced a majority to join him in urging that the Holy See should be asked to withdraw on certain conditions its former admonition against catholic attendance at Oxford and Cambridge. A resident chaplain should be provided with courses of lectures on catholic philosophy and church history. The resolutions of the bishops were finally approved by Leo XIII on 2 April 1895, and before his death Vaughan reported the success of the new policy.
From the first Vaughan meant to build Westminster Cathedral. In July 1894 he issued a private circular on the subject, suggesting a church after the style of Constantine's Church of St. Peter. The scheme met at the outset with little encouragement, but appeal was made for funds, and 45,000l. was received when John Francis Bentley [q. v. Suppl. II] was selected as architect. In the final design the idea of a Roman basilica was combined with the constructive improvements introduced by the Byzantine architects. On 29 June 1895 the foundation stone was laid. The building fund then stood at 75,000l., and it rose in May 1897 to 100,848l. Some 64,000l. was added before the cardinal's death, and his funeral service on 25 June 1903 was the cathedral's opening; there was no other.
Between 1894 and 1897 Vaughan played an official part in the controversy over the validity of Anglican orders which was raised by Anglican advocates of corporate reunion. Vaughan held that corporate reunion could come only by a process of corporate submission. Even as providing a point of contact and an opportunity for an exchange of views he thought the question of the validity of Anglican orders was unfortunately chosen. It was mainly a question of fact. But he urged the appointment in March 1896 of the international commission to report upon the question in all its bearings. The result was a declaration from Rome that Anglican orders were null and void (16 July 1896) and the issue of the bull Apostolicæ Curæ (13 September).
In the cause of denominational schools Vaughan laboured with even greater persistency in London than in Manchester. He was anxious to work in harmony with the leaders of the Church of England. In 1895 both anonymously in 'The Tablet' and over his own name in 'The Times' (30 Sept. 1895) he repudiated the term 'voluntary school' and declared for the cessation of voluntary subscriptions for the support of the public elementary schools. Dr. E. W. Benson, archbishop of Canterbury, inclined to more temporising courses (29 November). But Vaughan was resolute, and his steadfastness was rewarded by the education bill of 1902, which recognised his fundamental principle that all the schools are the common care of the state. In spite of illness he followed the debates of 1902 with unfailing interest. He discussed every clause and amendment with the special emergency committee of the catholic education council which had been appointed to watch the bill.
During his last five years the cardinal's health gradually failed. Periods of rest became necessary and frequent. In June 1902 he was ordered to Bad Nauheim. On 25 March 1903 he left Archbishop's House, Westminster, for St. Joseph's College, Mill Hill, where he died on 19 June 1903. He was buried in the garden there. There is a recumbent figure of him in a chantry chapel in Westminster Cathedral.
The leading notes of the cardinal's character were its directness, impulsiveness, and perfect candour. His mind was not subtle or speculative ; he loved plain dealing and plain speech. His sympathies were wide and generous ; there was an element of romance in his nature to which large and bold enterprises easily appealed. On the other hand he was apt to be impatient of details. His life was coloured and governed by an internal faith. It was his custom to spend an hour every night in prayer before the blessed sacrament. His manner in public was sometimes thought to be haughty and unsympathetic, and notes in his diary show a consciousness of hardness which he tried hard to dispel. An iron bracelet with sharp points made of piano wire was cut off his arm after death.
Tall in stature, he was strikingly handsome. He was never painted by any artist of repute. A caricature portrait by 'Spy' appeared in 'Vanity Fair' in 1893.
Vaughan published many popular manuals of devotion and religious instruction which owed their success to his simplicity of style and directness of thought.
[Snead-Cox's Life of Cardinal Vaughan, 1910 ; Ward's Life of Wiseman ; Purcell's Life of Manning ; private information.]