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William Weathers



Titular Bishop of Amyela; born 12 November, 1814; died at Isleworth, Middlesex, 4 March, 1895. His parents were Welsh Protestants; the mother and children were converted after the father's death. He was educated at the Franciscan school, Baddesley (1823-28), and at Old Hall, where he remained for forty years, and held in turn every office. Before his ordination (1838) he was already a master (1835). He was prefect of discipline 1840- 43, vice-president and procurator 1843-51, prefect of studies for some years, and president 1851-68. His presidency forms a memorable epoch in the history of the college and of Catholicism in southern England. The years succeeding the restoration of the Hierarchy saw a readjustment of standards. With a view to invigorate the future secular clergy, Manning thought it necessary that the control of the seminary should be in the hands of his newly-formed congregation, the Oblates of St. Charles; and, under his influence, Cardinal Wiseman appointed a staff at St. Edmund's who were neither desired nor welcomed by the president (1855-56). The result was an attempt to manage the college without the president's co-operation. The Westminster Chapter took up the matter, and, after an appeal to Rome, the Oblates were withdrawn in 1861. Dr. Weathers's own appreciation of higher ideals is indicated by the remodelling of the college rules during his presidency, and by the invitation and firm support given to Dr. Ward, a convert and a layman, as lecturer in theology (1852-58). When Archbishop Manning removed the divines to Hammersmith in 1869, he appointed Weathers rector of that seminary, which position Weathers held until the seminary was closed by Cardinal Vaughan in 1892. At his own choice, he then became chaplain to the Sisters of Nazareth at Isleworth. He had been created D.D. in 1845, became a canon of Westminster in 1851, was named a domestic prelate to Pius IX in 1869, and was consecrated bishop, as auxiliary to Archbishop Manning, in 1872. In 1868 he went to Rome as representative theologian of the English bishops in the deliberations preparatory to the Vatican Council. He published, under the name Amyclanus, An Enquiry into the Nature and Results of Electricity and Magnetism (1876).

The Tablet (1895); Edmundian, no. 6; WARD, Hist. of St. Edmund's College (London, 1893); IDEM, W. G. Ward and the Cath. Revival (London, 1893); IDEM, Life of Card. Wiseman (London, 1897); SNEAD-COX, Life of Card. Vaughan (London, 1910).

J. L. Whitfield.








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