The Catholic Archdicese of Birmingham Archives

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FJG - Papers of Archbishop Francis Joseph Grimshaw

Dates: 1885-1965

Number of records in this collection: 581


The Papers of Archbishop Francis Joseph Grimshaw (1901-1965), fifth Archbishop of Birmingham, 1954-1965. Born in Bridgwater, Somerset, on 6 October 1902, and educated at Dr Morgan's Grammar School, Bridgwater, and St Brendan's School, Clifton, run by the Irish Christian Brothers, Grimshaw went to the English College, Rome, where he was ordained on 27 February 1926 for the Diocese of Clifton, having gained a doctorate in Theology. He served as an assistant priest in Swindon until 1932, when he was appointed parish priest of St Joseph's, Fishponds, Bristol, serving also as Diocesan Inspector of Schools. In 1945 he moved to St Mary's, Bath, and was nominated Bishop of Plymouth just over a year later. Consecrated in Plymouth Cathedral on 25 July 1947, he was translated to Birmingham on 11 May 1954 and enthroned on 14 September. Falling seriously ill in November 1964, he died on 22 March 1965. His obituary in the 'Archdiocese of Birmingham Catholic Directory 1966', pp.203-204 gives an assessment of his episcopate in Birmingham, during which time 45 new churches and 75 new schools were opened. The papers in this collection include much personal material, which appears to be the residue of the papers left by Grimshaw at the time of his death, and simply packed away. The correspondence is also, for the most part, personal, although some letters of a business and administrative nature supplement the correspondence to be found in the collection of Archbishop's Papers, 1929-1965. The same is true of the material relating to the Second Vatican Council, especially in relation to the Liturgy. Grimshaw was a member of the Commission largely responsible for the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy and of the Council for the implementation of the Constitution. The two collections need to be seen in parallel.

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