The Catholic Archdicese of Birmingham Archives

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B - ‘B’ Series of Historical Documents

Dates: 1830-1899

Number of records in this collection: 12643


Containing over 12,500 documents, this collection is an adequate testimony to the growth of the Church in the Midlands since Emancipation. Inevitably most of the papers concern day-to-day administration. However, some are of more than local interest, viz. the division of the country into eight Districts or Vicariates Apostolic in 1840, the negotiations for the Restoration of the Hierarchy in 1850 (in which young Bishop Ullathorne was prominently concerned), and the letters and comments of the latter during the sessions of the Vatican Council in 1870. Letters from Dr Newman, Fr Faber, John, Earl of Shrewsbury, Ambrose Phillipps de Lisle and others, illustrate the rapid strides the Faith was making in the middle of the 19th century. The overall picture is that of a church adapting itself to normal ecclesiastical government, meeting the needs of a growing population in the industrial towns, and concerning itself with educational problems, from the vexed question of University education to the Poor Schools and their struggle for survival.

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