The Catholic Archdicese of Birmingham Archives

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D - ā€˜Dā€™ Series of Historical Documents

Dates: 1900-1929

Number of records in this collection: 5599


This collection of papers, containing 5,500 documents, covers the period 1900-1929. In the main the collection comprises correspondence, the principal recipient being the Rev. Michael Francis Glancey, the Diocesan Oeconomus or Treasurer. During the course of the period he was appointed to the Cathedral Chapter, of which he eventually became Provost, and made a Protonotary Apostolic. Under Archbishop McIntyre, he was Vicar General and appointed Auxiliary Bishop, with the titular see of Flaviopolis. The collection also contains sets of correspondence to the two Bishops (later Archbishops) of Birmingham during this period, the Most Rev. Edward Ilsley and the Most Rev. John McIntyre. There is also a small set of correspondence to the Rev. Francis de Capitain who took over from Glancey as Diocesan Treasurer. A great deal of the correspondence relates to requests for loans for the building of churches, schools, the opening of new Missions, and for priests to keep body and soul together. There are also many references and papers relating to endowments and bequests to Missions. There are a number of references to national and international events, especially during the 1914-1918 War, and a number of comments about the situation in Ireland and the popularity of Sinn Fein in the period up to 1920. There are many references to the local economy in certain areas; periods of depression in industry, like the railway and coal strikes in Staffordshire in 1912, and references to mining. A large collection of correspondence between Archbishop Ilsley and the Rev. Thomas Newsome throws much light on Newsome's innovative idea of setting up a home for children with learning difficulties and behavioural problems at Besford Court in the Worcestershire countryside. The collection reflects the discussion and speculation about possible changes in the Birmingham and other diocesan structures, fuelled by the antagonism between Cardinal Francis Bourne, Archbishop of Westminster, the protagonist for change, and the rest of the English Hierarchy.

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