William Henry Bliss

Last updated

William Henry Bliss (26 April 1835 – 8 March 1911) was an English scholar and Anglican convert to Catholicism.

Church of England Anglican state church of England

The Church of England is the established church of England. The Archbishop of Canterbury is the most senior cleric, although the monarch is the supreme governor. The Church of England is also the mother church of the international Anglican Communion. It traces its history to the Christian church recorded as existing in the Roman province of Britain by the third century, and to the 6th-century Gregorian mission to Kent led by Augustine of Canterbury.

Contents

Early life and education

Bliss was born in Newton St Loe, Bath, Somerset. [1] He was the son of Rev. William Bliss and Jane Monck (born Jane Bridges). Bliss was the grandson of Dr John Bliss M.D., a physician who specialised in the treatment of gout. The family owned a tweed mill (Bliss Tweed Mill) at Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire.

Newton St Loe village in the United Kingdom

Newton St Loe is a small Somerset village and civil parish located between Bath and Bristol in England. The majority of the village is owned by the Duchy of Cornwall. The parish has a population of 681.

Bath, Somerset City in Somerset, England

Bath is the largest city in the ceremonial county of Somerset, England, known for its Roman-built baths. In 2011, the population was 88,859. Bath is in the valley of the River Avon, 97 miles (156 km) west of London and 11 miles (18 km) south-east of Bristol. The city became a World Heritage site in 1987.

A Doctor of Medicine is a medical degree, the meaning of which varies between different jurisdictions. In the United States, Canada and some other countries, the MD denotes a professional graduate degree awarded upon graduation from medical school. In the United Kingdom, Ireland and other countries, the MD is a research doctorate, higher doctorate, honorary doctorate or applied clinical degree restricted to those who already hold a professional degree in medicine; in those countries, the equivalent professional degree is typically titled Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS).

He was educated at Winchester from 1847 to 1852. He then went up to Magdalen College, Oxford, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in 1859 (receiving his M.A. in 1863. In 1868 he was awarded a BCL. [2]

Winchester College school in Winchester, Hampshire, England

Winchester College is an independent boarding school for boys in the British public school tradition, situated in Winchester, Hampshire. It has existed in its present location for over 600 years. It is the oldest of the original seven English public schools defined by the Clarendon Commission and regulated by the Public Schools Act 1868.

Magdalen College, Oxford constituent college of the University of Oxford in England

Magdalen College is one of the wealthiest constituent colleges of the University of Oxford, with an estimated financial endowment of £273 million as of 2018. Magdalen stands next to the River Cherwell and has within its grounds a deer park and Addison's Walk. The large, square Magdalen Tower is an Oxford landmark, and it is a tradition, dating to the days of Henry VII, that the college choir sings from the top of it at 6 a.m. on May Morning.

In 1854, he edited The Parson .

On 4 May 1859 he married Mary Jane Wray, daughter of Rev. Cyril Wray of St. Martin's, Liverpool. Over twenty years they were to have eleven children.

Clergyman

Bliss suffered from a stammer. He therefore spent more than the usual time as a deacon. He was finally ordained by the Church of England in 1865. [2] He served as Curate of Honington for four years from 1858, then moved to St James, Plymouth until 1865 and took the Vicarage of North Hinksey on the outskirts of Oxford in 1866.

Deacon ministry in the Christian Church

A deacon is a member of the diaconate, an office in Christian churches that is generally associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions. Some Christian churches, such as the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Anglican church, view the diaconate as part of the clerical state; in others, the deacon remains a layperson.

Ordination is the process by which individuals are consecrated, that is, set apart as clergy to perform various religious rites and ceremonies. The process and ceremonies of ordination vary by religion and denomination. One who is in preparation for, or who is undergoing the process of ordination is sometimes called an ordinand. The liturgy used at an ordination is sometimes referred to as an ordination.

Curate person who is invested with the care or cure (cura) of souls of a parish

A curate is a person who is invested with the care or cure (cura) of souls of a parish. In this sense, "curate" correctly means a parish priest; but in English-speaking countries the term curate is commonly used to describe clergy who are assistants to the parish priest. The duties or office of a curate are called a curacy.

In 1867 Bliss published his first major work, The Canons of the First Four General Councils, in Greek and English. It warranted a second edition in 1869.

Ancient Greek Version of the Greek language used from roughly the 9th century BCE to the 6th century CE

The Ancient Greek language includes the forms of Greek used in Ancient Greece and the ancient world from around the 9th century BCE to the 6th century CE. It is often roughly divided into the Archaic period, Classical period, and Hellenistic period. It is antedated in the second millennium BCE by Mycenaean Greek and succeeded by medieval Greek.

English language West Germanic language

English is a West Germanic language that was first spoken in early medieval England and eventually became a global lingua franca. It is named after the Angles, one of the Germanic tribes that migrated to the area of Great Britain that later took their name, as England. Both names derive from Anglia, a peninsula in the Baltic Sea. The language is closely related to Frisian and Low Saxon, and its vocabulary has been significantly influenced by other Germanic languages, particularly Norse, and to a greater extent by Latin and French.

Contact with Catholicism

Bliss appeared to have very good prospects within the established church. He was the son of a clergyman, was blessed with a good education and had very useful contacts. He was being published. However, at Oxford he came into contact with the Oxford Movement. This group of High Churchmen originally attempted to show that the Church of England was a direct descendant of the Church established by the apostles. Many members of the group converted to Catholicism, including John Henry Newman. Bliss became curate to his uncle James at Plymouth. His uncle was a leading Anglo-Catholic.

Bliss was increasingly turning towards Catholic theology and doubting the historical legitimacy of the Church of England. In 1869 he followed Newman into the Roman Catholic faith. [3] He then secured the position of Keeper of Periodicals at the Bodleian Library in Oxford.

Work in the Vatican

In 1877 the Public Record Office asked Bliss to go to Rome to do research in the Vatican Archives on its behalf. [2] He accepted the offer and spent most of his time searching the mediaeval Papal Registers in order to find all the dealings between the Papacy and Great Britain and Ireland. This job required Bliss to spend nine months of each year in Rome and this became Bliss’ habit until he died at the Via Delphini in 1911. His wife raised the children in England and remained an Anglican.

At first the Papal bureaucrats were suspicious of an Englishmen. [4] He won them over and by 1886 he was the English Tutor to Victor Emmanuel, heir to the Italian crown. He enjoyed cordial relations with the Italian Royal family. [5]

In the Vatican Bliss produced a series called the Calendar of The Entries in the Papal Registers Relating to British Isles Volumes I and II. These were entirely Bliss's work. He edited volumes III, IV, and V with collaborators.

Other work

Bliss also studied the transcripts of manuscripts in Milan and Stockholm. His work from these cities is still available in the Public Record Office. Overall, his output is an important source of material for mediaeval historians.

Bliss is buried in Rome. His papers are kept at Downside Abbey. [6]

Publications

Related Research Articles

Vatican Secret Archives Vatican archives of acts promulgated by the Holy See

The Vatican Secret Archives is the central repository in the Vatican City for all of the acts promulgated by the Holy See. The pope, as Sovereign of Vatican City, owns the archives until his death or resignation, with ownership passing to his successor. The archives also contain the state papers, correspondence, papal account books, and many other documents which the church has accumulated over the centuries. In the 17th century, under the orders of Pope Paul V, the Secret Archives were separated from the Vatican Library, where scholars had some very limited access to them, and remained closed to outsiders until the late 19th century, when Pope Leo XIII opened them to researchers, more than a thousand of whom now examine some of its documents each year.

John de Bohun, 5th Earl of Hereford English noble

John de Bohun, 5th Earl of Hereford was born in St Clement's, Oxford to Humphrey de Bohun, 4th Earl of Hereford and Elizabeth of Rhuddlan, a daughter of Edward I of England.

History of the papacy aspect of history

The history of the papacy, the office held by the pope as head of the Roman Catholic Church, according to Catholic doctrine, spans from the time of Peter to the present day.

Gui de Maillesec Catholic cardinal

Guy de Malsec was a French bishop and cardinal. He was born at the family's fief at Malsec (Maillesec), in the diocese of Tulle. He had two sisters, Berauda and Agnes, who both became nuns at the Monastery of Pruliano (Pruilly) in the diocese of Carcassone, and two nieces Heliota and Florence, who became nuns at the Monastery of S. Prassede in Avignon. He was a nephew of Pope Gregory XI, or perhaps a more distant relative. He was also a nephew of Pope Innocent VI. Guy was baptized in the church of S. Privatus, some 30 km southeast of Tulle. He played a part in the election of Benedict XIII of the Avignon Obedience in 1394, in his status as second most senior cardinal. He played an even more prominent role in Benedict's repudiation and deposition. Guy de Malsec was sometimes referred to as the 'Cardinal of Poitiers' (Pictavensis) or the 'Cardinal of Palestrina' (Penestrinus).

Neo-ultramontanism is the belief of certain Roman Catholics, primarily during the period immediately prior to the First Vatican Council, that papal infallibility was not restricted to a small number of papal statements but applied ipso facto to all papal teachings and statements.

Hugh of Evesham was a 13th-century English churchman, physician and alchemist. Given his name, it is likely that he came from Evesham, Worcestershire.

Joseph Stevenson was an English Catholic archivist and editor of historical texts.

Pierre Desprès Catholic cardinal

Pierre Desprès was a French Cardinal during the period of Avignon Papacy. He was son of Raymond II Desprès, seigneur of Montpezat, and Aspasie de Montaigut, the heiress of Bertrand, seigneur de Montaigut. He had a brother, Raymond, who was ennobled in 1325. Pesserat points out that Montpezat was an important town, being the seat of the Archdeacon of Montpezat in the diocese of Cahors, who was also Sacristan of the Cathedral. Not at all coincidentally, Pope John XXII was a native of Cahors, and his father had been Sieur de Saint-Félix en Quercy. With his expertise in the law as a teacher and practitioner, and with his experience as a judge in the Roman Curia, Pierre Desprès was appointed Vice-Chancellor of the Church by John XXII, where he served from 1325 to 1361. He was thus head of the Papal Secretariat, in charge of the drafting of papal bulls and letters, and a principal papal advisor. The post was also one of the most lucrative in the Roman Curia, since a fee was charged for every document and the Vice-Chancellor received a share of every fee.

Roman Historical Institutes are collegiate bodies established at Rome, for the purpose of historical research, mostly in the Vatican archives. These have been set both by ecclesiastical authority, and by national governments.

Holy See–United Kingdom relations Diplomatic relations between Holy See and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Holy See–United Kingdom relations are foreign relations between the Holy See and the United Kingdom.

Napoleone Orsini was a Roman Cardinal. His ecclesiastical career lasted 57 years, 54 of them as a cardinal, and included six conclaves.

Templeport civil parish in County Cavan, Ireland

Templeport civil parish is situated in the Barony of Tullyhaw, County Cavan, Ireland. The chief towns in the parish are Bawnboy and Ballymagauran. The large Roman Catholic parish of Templeport containing 42,172 statute acres was split up in the 18th & 19th centuries into three new parishes, Templeport, Corlough and Glangevlin.

Llandderfel village and community in Gwynedd, Wales

Llandderfel is a village and community in Gwynedd, Wales, near Bala, formerly served by the Llandderfel railway station. The community also includes the settlements of Rhiwlas, Llanfor, Cefnddwysarn and Frongoch. The Community population taken at the 2011 census was 1,095.

The former Priory of Douglas was a Cistercian monastery of nuns on the Isle of Man, apparently founded in the reign of Rǫgnvaldr Guðrøðarson, King of the Isles.

Cormac Mág Shamhradháin O.S.A., b. c.1442-d.1511, was the Roman Catholic Bishop of Kilmore diocese, Ireland from 1476 to 1480 and the anti-bishop of Kilmore from 1480 to 1511.

Thomas Prestbury English abbot and university chancellor

Thomas Prestbury was an English medieval Benedictine abbot and university Chancellor.

Thomas de Stratford was a medieval Archdeacon of Gloucester of the Noble House of Stratford.

Monastery of Mohill-Manchan Ancient monastery at Mohill in county Leitrim

The monastery of Mohill-Manchan was anciently located at Mohill, in county Leitrim. The earliest church was founded by Manchan of Mohill in the 6th century. Little is known about the former monastic community here. About the year 1216, the monastery became a religious house of the Canons Regular of Saint Augustine dedicated to the Saint Mary until suppression c. 1550 – c. 1590. The Priory of Mohill was briefly revived during Confederate Ireland rule but suppressed again by Cromwellian forces c. 1649-1653. From the ruins St. Mary's Church, Mohill, of Protestant denomination, was established in the 18th century.

Kildallan

Kildallan civil parish is situated in the Barony of Tullyhunco, County Cavan, Ireland.

Dr John Hovyngham, also written Honyngham or Ovyngham, was an English clergyman, notary, diplomat and Archdeacon of Durham.

References

  1. "Eminent Blisses". Bliss Family History Society. Retrieved 20 January 2011.
  2. 1 2 3 "The Late Mr W. H. Bliss from The Atheneum". The Tablet. Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  3. "Tales from God's Acre: part 40 Thomas 2". St Leonard's Sunningwell. Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  4. Chadwick, Owen (1978). Catholicism and History: The Opening of the Vatican Archives. CUP Archive. pp. 86–88. ISBN   9780521217088.
  5. "William Henry Bliss BCL DD". Bliss Family History Society. Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  6. "Downside Abbey Archives" (PDF). National Archives. p. 224. Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  7. "Public Record Office: Rome Archives Series I". National Archives. Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  8. W. H. Bliss and C. Johnson (editors) (1897). "Regesta 138: 1344-1345". Calendar of Papal Registers Relating to Great Britain and Ireland, Volume 3: 1342-1362. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 21 April 2014.