Thomas Williams (Archbishop of Birmingham)

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Thomas Williams
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Thomas Cuthbert Leighton Williams (20 March 1877 – 1 April 1946) was an English clergyman who served in the Roman Catholic Church as the Archbishop of Birmingham from 1929–46. [1]

English people Nation and ethnic group native to England

The English people are a nation and an ethnic group native to England who speak the English language. The English identity is of early medieval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Angelcynn. Their ethnonym is derived from the Angles, one of the Germanic peoples who migrated to Great Britain around the 5th century AD. England is one of the countries of the United Kingdom, and the majority of people living there are British citizens.

Catholic Church Christian church led by the Bishop of Rome

The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's "oldest continuously functioning international institution", it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the Pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.

Archbishop of Birmingham Wikimedia list article

The Archbishop of Birmingham heads the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham in England. As such he is the Metropolitan Archbishop of the Province of Birmingham. The archdiocese covers an area of 8,735 km2 (3,400 sq mi) and spans of the counties of Oxfordshire, Staffordshire, West Midlands, Warwickshire and Worcestershire. The see in the City of Birmingham where the archbishop's seat is located at the Metropolitan Cathedral and Basilica of Saint Chad.


He was born in Handsworth, Birmingham on 20 March 1877 to James Anthony and Emma Mary (née Leighton) Williams. He was educated at St Wilfrid's College, Cotton and St Mary's College, Oscott. He was ordained to the priesthood on 24 August 1900. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1903 and a Master of Arts degree in 1909. [ citation needed ]

Handsworth, West Midlands district of Birmingham, England, formerly in Staffordshire.

Handsworth is now an inner city, urban area of northwest Birmingham in the West Midlands. Handsworth lies just outside Birmingham City Centre.

Cotton College

Cotton College was a Roman Catholic boarding school in Cotton, Staffordshire, United Kingdom. It was also known as Saint Wilfrid's College.

St Marys College, Oscott Church in Birmingham, UK

St Mary's College in New Oscott, Birmingham, often called Oscott College, is the Roman Catholic seminary of the Archdiocese of Birmingham in England and one of the three seminaries of the Catholic Church in England and Wales;

Pastoral career

Between 1905–09, he was Assistant Master at St Wilfrid's College, Cotton and Assistant Master at St Edmund's College, Ware. [2]

A Master is the head or senior member of a college within a collegiate university, principally in the United Kingdom. The actual title of the head of a college varies widely between institutions.

St Edmunds College, Ware

St Edmund's College is a coeducational independent day and boarding school in the British public school tradition, set in 440 acres (1.8 km2) in Ware, Hertfordshire. Founded in 1568 as a seminary, then a boys' school, it is the oldest continuously operating and oldest post-Reformation Catholic school in the country. Today it caters for boys and girls aged 3 to 18.

He was appointed the Master of St Edmund's House, Cambridge from 1909-18. [2] During the First World War, he also served in the Royal Army Chaplains' Department (RACD) and was mentioned in despatches. After the war, he was the Principal of St Charles's House, Oxford (1920–22) and Rector of St Wilfrid's College, Cotton (1922–1929). [2]

Royal Army Chaplains Department

The Royal Army Chaplains' Department (RAChD) is an all-officer corps that provides ordained clergy to minister to the British Army.

The principal is the chief executive and the chief academic officer of a university or college in certain parts of the Commonwealth.

Rector (academia) Academic official

A rector is a senior official in an educational institution, and can refer to an official in either a university or a secondary school. Outside the English-speaking world the rector is often the most senior official in a university, whilst in the United States the most senior official is often referred to as President and in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth of Nations the most senior official is the Chancellor, whose office is primarily ceremonial and titular. The term and office of a rector can be referred to as a rectorate. The title is used widely in universities in Europe. and is very common in Latin American countries. It is also used in Brunei, Turkey, Russia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Israel and the Middle East. In the ancient universities of Scotland the office is sometimes referred to as Lord Rector, is the third most senior official, and is usually responsible for chairing the University Court.

He was appointed the archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Birmingham by Pope Pius XI on 23 June 1929. His consecration to the Episcopate took place on 25 July 1929, the principal consecrator was Cardinal Francis Alphonsus Bourne, Archbishop of Westminster, and the principal co-consecrators were Bishop Dudley Charles Cary-Elwes of Northampton, and Bishop John Patrick Barrett of Plymouth. [1] In 1937, Williams also became President of the Catholic Social Guild. [2]

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham archdiocese

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham is one of the principal Latin-rite Catholic administrative divisions of England and Wales in the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church. The archdiocese covers an area of 3,373 square miles (8,740 km2), encompassing Staffordshire, the West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and much of Oxfordshire as well as Caversham in Berkshire. The metropolitan see is in the City of Birmingham at the Metropolitan Cathedral Church of Saint Chad. The metropolitan province includes the suffragan dioceses of Clifton and Shrewsbury.

Pope Pius XI 20th-century Catholic pope

Pope Pius XI, born Ambrogio Damiano Achille Ratti, was head of the Catholic Church from 6 February 1922 to his death in 1939. He was the first sovereign of Vatican City from its creation as an independent state on 11 February 1929. He took as his papal motto, "Pax Christi in Regno Christi," translated "The Peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ."

Consecration is the solemn dedication to a special purpose or service, usually religious. The word consecration literally means "association with the sacred". Persons, places, or things can be consecrated, and the term is used in various ways by different groups. The origin of the word comes from the Latin word consecrat, which means dedicated, devoted, and sacred. A synonym for to consecrate is to sanctify; a distinct antonym is to desecrate.


He died in the Old Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham on 1 April 1946, aged 69, [1] and was buried in the crypt of St Chad's Cathedral, Birmingham on 5 April 1946.

St Chads Cathedral, Birmingham Church in West Midlands, England

The Metropolitan Cathedral Church and Basilica of Saint Chad is the mother church of the Archdiocese of Birmingham and province of the Catholic Church in Great Britain and is dedicated to Saint Chad of Mercia. Designed by Augustus Welby Pugin and substantially complete by 1841, St Chad's is one of the first four Catholic churches that were constructed after the English Reformation and raised to cathedral status in 1852. It is one of only four minor basilicas in England. St Chad's is a Grade II* listed building. The cathedral is located in a public greenspace near St Chad's Queensway, in central Birmingham. As of 2014 the Archbishop is Bernard Longley and the Dean Canon Gerry Breen.

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  1. 1 2 3 "Archbishop Thomas Leighton Williams". . David M. Cheney. Retrieved 21 August 2013.[ self-published source ]
  2. 1 2 3 4 Sharp, John (2004). "Williams, Thomas Cuthbert Leighton (1877–1946)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/65568 . Retrieved 23 October 2012.
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
John McIntyre
Archbishop of Birmingham
Succeeded by
Joseph Masterson