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Felix Englefield



Englefield, Felix, a Franciscan friar, d. 1767. He was the younger son of Henry Englefield of White Knights, Reading, and Catherine, daughter of Benjamin Poole of London. His elder brother, Henry, succeeded their cousin Charles as sixth baronet in 1728. It is uncertain whether his own baptismal name was Charles or Francis. He joined the Franciscans at Douai and was ordained there, probably about 1732, when he was approved for preaching and hearing confessions. He had been teaching philosophy there before ordination, and from 1734 to 1746 he taught theology. In 1744 and 1745 he was titular guardian of York, but remained in residence at Douai. From 1746 to 1749 he acted as definitor, and at the end of that period was in England, for in March, 1749, he was sent to Rome on behalf of his own order and other regulars to procure the repeal of the papal decree of 1745 regulating the relations between the vicars Apostolic and the regulars. In this he failed, as Benedict XIV supported the vicars Apostolic by the "Rules of the English Mission", issued in 1753. In 1749 Father Felix was titular guardian of Oxford, and in the following year he attended the general chapter at Rome in place of the provincial, Father Thomas Holmes, who was too infirm to undertake the journey. In 1750-1751 he was titular guardian of Greenwich; custos 1752-1755, and finally, on August 19, 1755, he was elected provincial and held that office till 1758, living for part of the time at Horton in Gloucestershire. While provincial he drew up a valuable list of all the Franciscans then (1758) in England, with their addresses. Father Thaddeus, O.F.M. (op. cit. inf., p. 14) states that he was the reputed author of the "Miraculous Powers of the Church of Christ", published anonymously in 1756. But this was really written by William Walton, afterwards Vicar Apostolic of the Northern District, whose name appears on the title-page of a subsequent issue. Father Englefield died probably at Douai, though one account says he was on the English mission at the time.

EDWIN BURTON








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