William Lockhart (1819-92) is one of the forgotten giants of the Victorian Catholic Church. Born into a well-connected and wealthy family, he studied at Oxford and joined Newman's community at Littlemore. An encounter with Fr Luigi Gentili led to his speedy reception into the Church in 1843, occasioning Newman's resignation as Vicar of St Mary's and the famous 'Parting of Friends' sermon.What happened next is less well known. Lockhart joined the Institute of Charity (Rosminians), won fame as a preacher and founded the London parishes of Our Lady and St Joseph, Kingsland and St Etheldreda's, Ely Place. He also wrote a number of controversial works, edited popular Catholic magazines and encouraged young writers such as Alice and Wilfrid Meynell, Edmund Bishop and Baron Corvo. His story is also that of a family who gave everything to the Church; indeed his half-sister, Elizabeth, is recognised as foundress of three religious communities. Lockhart, who called himself 'the first fruits of the Oxford Movement', was closely involved with Cardinal Manning and remained strongly influenced by two remarkable men, both beatified by Pope Benedict XVI: Antonio Rosmini (whose works Lockhart helped translate into English) and John Henry Newman. Nicholas Schofield is currently a parish priest in west London and archivist of the archdiocese of Westminster. His previous publications include A Roman Miscellany; the English in Rome 1550-2000 (as editor) and The English Cardinals and The English Vicars Apostolic (both co-authored with Fr Gerard Skinner).
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