A tribute to the life and work of Brian Torode

‘Convert, Scholar, Bishop’ by Giles Mercer

Brownlow Biography

I can only commend this excellent and beautifully published biography of William Brownlow produced by Dr. Giles Mercer back in 2016. Before he was received into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church, Brownlow worked as an Anglican Priest and, during the years 1857-59, he served in the Diocese of Gloucester where he was an assistant Curate and later ‘Lecturer’ of the Parish of Tetbury. Ten years later, Brownlow collaborated with another Convert, Dr James Spencer Northcote, to produce ‘Roma Sotterranea’ which explored the interpretation of subterranean Christian Art within the Holy City. Strangely, back in the 1840s, Northcote’s own brother-in-law, Temple Hamilton Chase, was also an assistant Curate in Tetbury and, like Brownlow, was trained by John Frampton who was Vicar of Tetbury for fifty-two years.

Giles Mercer reveals how Bishop Brownlow played an increasingly important role in the expanding Nineteenth Century Catholic Church, especially during his time as Bishop of Clifton. He served his far-flung diocese, which extended across the Counties of Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire, from 1893 until his death in 1901.

For more information about this important book:

Convert, Scholar, Bishop. William Brownlow

Giles Mercer has also produced a fascinating podcast on the life of Bishop Brownlow for the English Catholic History Association:

William Brownlow: Convert, Scholar and Bishop by Dr Giles Mercer KSG

and his podcast on the life of St Alphege:

St Alphege: Saint of Bath and Saint for our Times by Dr Giles Mercer


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