A tribute to the life and work of Brian Torode
Newman memorabilia – Sunday 13th October 2019
John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890) and his links with Gloucestershire
Notes written by Brian Torode and probably based upon a talk given in 1999 by his friend, the late Hugh Greenhalf.
The first recorded visit of the young John Henry Newman to Gloucestershire was in 1820 when he and his father stayed in Cheltenham.
Newman became a Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford, and Vicar of St Mary’s Church in Oxford and he befriended John Keble when he was only twenty-two. From 1828, he visited the Kebles who lived at Fairford in Gloucestershire. John Keble’s father was the Vicar of Coln St Aldwyns and the family had links with Eastleach and Southrop. We know that Newman was at Fairford, again, in 1836, shortly after the founding of what became known as the Oxford Movement.
In 1834 Newman spent ten days with Thomas Keble, John’s brother, who was Vicar of Bisley. Whilst at Bisley, he experienced something of Thomas Keble’s pastoral work there – he had set up daily services in his church, begun lots of work and education classes to help the poor mill workers and started new service times so that they could attend communion at times when not working in mills. Newman preached at Bisley, took funerals and Baptisms, went walking on the common, visited Gloucester Cathedral, Fairford and Cirencester.
In 1837 Newman visited Thomas Keble’s new church at Oakridge which was the first in Gloucestershire to be influenced directly by the Tractarians. He went on to Badgeworth and Shurdington, to stay with Christie, the Vicar, where he preached for him and walked to Crickley Hill.
During the year 1840, Newman visited the recently-opened Christ Church in Cheltenham, to call on the Vicar whose sister had married Newman’s brother.
Newman was received into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church at Littlemore, in 1845, by Dominic Barberi. Afterwards, he travelled through Gloucestershire on his way to Oscott.
(?) There is a tradition that the alb that he wore for his First Mass was preserved for many years at the Roman Catholic Church of St Thomas of Canterbury at Horcott.
In 1865 Newman visited Stinchcombe to see the dying Isaac Williams.
In 1870 he visited Woodchester to see his friend, Henry Wilberforce, the youngest son of William Wilberforce. Two further visits to Woodchester followed in 1873 and on the second he preached at the funeral of Henry Wilberforce in the Priory Church.