- Robert Gradwell
Robert Gradwell (b. at
Clifton-in-the-Fylde, Lancashire, 26 January 1777; d. in London, 15 March 1833) was an English Catholic bishop.
He went to the
English College, Douaiin 1791. The college being suppressed by the French revolutionists, he was confined for some time, and was not allowed to return to England till 1795. With most of the Douai refugees, he went to Crook Hall, Durham, where he was ordained priest in 1802.
He taught poetry and rhetoric for seven years at Crook Hall, and at the new college at
Ushaw. About this time, Pope Pius VIIdecided to reopen the English College, Rome, and on John Lingard's recommendation, Gradwell was appointed rector (1818).
Under his administration the establishment flourished. He also acted as Roman agent for the English vicars Apostolic, exhibiting tact and diplomacy in this office. In 1821 the pope made him a doctor of divinity.
In 1828 he was consecrated
Bishop of Lydda, as coadjutor to James Bramston, the vicar Apostolicof the London district, and he came to London soon afterwards to take up his new duties. After some years of ill-health, he died of dropsy.
His writings include: "A dissertation of the Fable of Papal Antichrists" (London, 1816); "A Winter Evening Dialogue ... or, Thoughts on the Rule of Faith" (London, 1816); and various journals, letters, and MSS. in connexion with his residence in Rome; his notes on the old archives of the English College there are of historical interest; all are in the Westminster archdiocesan archives.
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