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Eccleston, Samuel, fifth Archbishop of Baltimore, U.S.A., b. near Chestertown, Maryland, June 27, 1801; d. at Georgetown, D.C., April 22, 1851. His father was Samuel Eccleston, an Episcopalian. After her husband's death, Mrs. Eccleston married a Catholic gentleman named Stenson. Samuel was thus brought under Catholic influences, and sent to St. Mary's College, Baltimore, where he was converted. Entering St. Mary's Seminary in 1819, he was ordained priest, April 24, 1825. He went to Issy, France, for further theological studies, and, returning to Baltimore in July, 1827, was made vice-president, and two years later president, of St. Mary's College. On September 14, 1834, he was consecrated titular Bishop of Thermia, and coadjutor with the right of succession for Baltimore, and, upon the death of Archbishop Whitfield, October 19, 1834, succeeded to the metropolitan see. He became also administrator of Richmond, until Bishop Whelan's appointment in 1841.
During his term of office many new churches were erected. He contributed largely of his own means towards the building of the cathedral. To provide for German Catholics the Redemptorists were invited from Austria in 1841; the Brothers of the Christian Schools were introduced into the United States in 1846, establishing Calvert Hall School at Baltimore, and the same year the Brothers of St. Patrick took charge of a manual labor school (since discontinued) near that city. An important event was the opening, November 1, 1849, of St. Charles's College, founded by the generosity of Charles Carroll of Carrollton. Five provincial councils, the third to the seventh inclusive, were held at Baltimore under Archbishop Eccleston. (See Archdiocese of Baltimore.)
SHEA, Hist. of the Cath. Ch. in U.S. (New York, 1892) . I, 441, II, 1; SCARF, Chronicles of Baltimore (Baltimore, 1874), 497-501; CLARKE, Lives of Deceased Bishops (New York, 1872), I, 484; REUSS, Biog. Encycl. Cath. Hierarchy of U.S. (Milwaukee, 1898).
J. P. W. MCNEAL