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Celebrity Drawings by John Moss

Manchester Philanthropists & Religious


Thomas Deacon

Thomas Deacon was born in London, but from about 1720 he made
Manchester his home. A fervent promoter of the anti-William
and Mary cause, and a Jacobite supporter, he seemed to have
the knack of avoiding personal conflict with authorities while
many other fellow supporters were executed for their beliefs,
including William Paul and John Hall of Otterburn who were executed
in 1716 for the parts they played in the Jacobite Rebellion
of 1715. Deacon had actually written the Declarations which
they made at their execution.
Following the Rebellion, Deacon prudently fled to Holland for
a while, before returning to London to study medicine under
a Doctor Mead. Although he remained unqualified, Deacon later
set up a medical practice in Manchester and was most successful.
In about 1733 he was consecrated a “Non-juring” Bishop,
and set up his own episcopal church in Manchester, calling it
the “True British Catholic Church”, and meeting mostly at his
own house in Fennel Street, Manchester. He wrote and published
his own liturgy and acted as minister to a small congregation.
During the 1745 Rebellion, Deacon and his sons were deeply involved
on the side of the Young Pretender, Charles Stewart (Bonnie
Prince Charlie).
One of his sons immediately joined the Manchester Regiment;
a dandy and a show-off, he was executed for treason in 1746
and his head was displayed on the top of the Exchange Building
in Market Street as a warning to other potential rebels. A second
son was transported and a third died at his trial. Deacon himself
was never brought to trial, despite his open hostilities to
the crown and his constant criticisms, and was to die a natural
death in his bed in 1753 aged 56 years.
He is buried in St Ann’s Churchyard in Manchester and an altar
tomb was erected to his memory.
There is a portrait of Thomas Deacon in the reading room at
Chetham’s Library.


(Saint Ambrose Barlow)

Saint Ambrose Barlow

Edward Barlow, later canonised as Saint Ambrose Barlow, was
born at Barlow Hall near Chorlton-cum-Hardy in Manchester. The
Hall is now a golf clubhouse. He was baptised in Didsbury, son
of a devout Catholic family, where his father, Sir Alexander
Barlow had lost most of his income as penalty for his beliefs.

Following his family’s wishes, Edward became a Benedictine monk
and in 1615 entered the priesthood. He was sent back to work
in England – a hazardous undertaking, since all Jesuits and
Catholic priests had been banished from England under threat
of arrest for treason. Nonetheless he became widely known and
respected throughout south Lancashire, and was praised for his
frugality and modesty, as well as for the simplicity of his
ways and the devoutness of his beliefs. Unquestionably a good
man, he spent his time walking on foot around the counties,
helping the sick and aged and procuring food for the aged.
While he was performing a Mass to a congregation of over 100
people at Morley’s Hall near Leigh on Easter Sunday 1641, he
was arrested, without warrant, by a neighbouring Anglican minister
and his whole angry congregation. Brought before the local Justice
of the Peace, he was formally arrested, charged and sent under
armed guard to Lancaster Castle, a notorious prison, (which
still is used for this purpose today). After 4 months detention
he tried and was sentenced to death. On 10th September 1641
he was hanged, drawn and quartered – the customary death for
a “traitor” in those days. His skull is preserved in Wardley
Hall, Worsley, now the residence of the Roman Catholic Bishop
of Salford.
Subsequently Rome declared him to be a martyr for his faith
and he was canonised a saint. Many rumours exist concerning
the miraculous properties of the skull – reputedly, strange
noises are emitted and inhabitants suffer great discomforts
when the skull is removed from its niche.

The first catholic church to be dedicated after St Ambrose Barlow
was opened in 1970 in Birmingham.

James Prince Lee

James Prince Lee

The first Bishop of Manchester, James Prince Lee, was born in
London and educated at St Paul’s School and Trinity College,
Cambridge. While at college he distinguished himself as an outstanding
classical scholar, and he was to remain a devotee of the classics
throughout his life. He was ordained in 1830, whereafter he
began a teaching post at Rugby School, under the headmastership
of Dr Thomas Arnold. A successful teacher, he became headmaster
of King Edward’s Grammar School in Birmingham in 1838. In 1848,
the Prime Minister, Lord Russell, selected Lee as bishop of
the newly created cathedral in Manchester, a controversial appointment
which raised a great deal of local animosity – first, that he
was not a native Mancunian or Lancastrian, and second, that
he had spent most of his life in teaching and had precious little
experience in religious matters. Lee was stubborn, domineering
and opinionated, and was greatly disliked for his personal dictatorial
style, and his reputation suffered further after a court trial
in which he was accused of scandalous behaviour. He successfully
defended the case, and won it, but gained no friends in the
Despite all this, he was in many ways a sensitive and highly
educated man, with an extensive library of rare books on a wide
range of topics, including science, literature, art and theology,
at his home in Mauldeth Hall. A successful marketeer, he had
a way with the wealthy industrialists of Manchester, and succeeding
in persuading many to give large donations to the building of
some 130 churches which he oversaw during his bishopric of Manchester.
He was one of the founders of the Manchester Free Library, and
he bequeathed his own personal library of books to Owens College
(now the University of Manchester) at his death. His death at
Mauldeth Hall in 1869 followed a long period of illness. He
is buried in Heaton Mersey Churchyard.

Terry Waite

Terry Waite

(Born 1939)
Terry Waite was born
in Bollington, near Macclesfield in Cheshire on 31 May 1939,
the son of a local village policeman. He was educated locally
and when grown up joined the Grenadier Guards for a time, before
retiring on medical grounds. He attended the Church Army College
in London in 1958 and studied theology and later worked with
the Church of England Board of Education.
In 1964 he married Helen Watters, and they subsequently had
a son and three daughters. He was appointed Advisor to the Bishop
of Bristol with responsibility for lay education, and went on
in 1969 to work as Advisor to the first Archbishop of Uganda
in Africa. Narrowly surviving the Idi Amin coup, in 1972 he
moved with his family to live in Rome advising the Roman Catholic
Church on health and education matters. In this capacity he
travelled widely throughout Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and
the Americas. In 1978 he moved back to London and in 1979 he
was invited to work for the British Council of Churches.
In March 1980, he was appointed by the Robert Runcie, the Archbishop
of Canterbury, as Advisor on Anglican Communion Affairs and
on a wide range of international issues. It was during this
time that he was involved in negotiations for the release of
hostages in Tehran, Libya and Lebanon that he was himself taken
prisoner in Beirut. He was kept in solitary confinement for
four years and kept hostage for almost five years, 1763 days
in all. Terry left Lambeth Palace in April 1992 after having
served for more than 12 years. In the same month he was elected
a Fellow Commoner at Trinity Hall, Cambridge.
Many other international honours soon followed: in 1982 he was
awarded the MBE, and, in 1992, the CBE. He holds honorary doctorates
from the Universities of the City of London, Canterbury, Liverpool,
Durham, Sussex and Yale. He is the Founder Chairman of Y-Care
International, a trustee of the Butler Trust, Patron of Strode
Park Foundation for the Disabled, a Member of Council of Victim
Support as well as being an active supporter of many charitable
organisations. In 1989 he was awarded the UK Templeton Award.
In 1992 he received the Freedom of the London Borough of Lewisham
and the Freedom of the City of Canterbury.
He has written several books including “Taken On Trust”
(a personal account of his time as a hostage), “Footfalls
In Memory “, and his humorous book “Travels With A
Primate” . Anglia University awarded him an Honorary Doctor
of Philosophy.
Terry Waite is an influential international campaigner on humanitarian
issues, helping numerous organisations including Amnesty, Victim
Support and the YMCA.

John Bradford

John Bradford was one of Manchester’s first Protestant reformers,
and was a martyr executed on the order of Queen Mary for his
beliefs. He was born in Blackley in Manchester and was one of
the first pupils to attend the Free Grammar School which had
been founded by
Bishop Hugh Oldham
in Manchester (the forerunner of Manchester Grammar School).
School reports indicate that he was a hardworking and able student
who achieved high proficiency in writing and in arithmetic,
skills which were to serve him well in later life, when he became
secretary to the Crown Paymaster, John Harrington, who organised
finances for Edward VI’s campaign in France. In 1547 Bradford
entered Law at the Inner Temple in London, and while studying
here he became converted to Reform Protestantism. He gave up
Law, intending to take Holy Orders, encouraged by Bishop Latimer.
In 1548 he entered Catherine Hall College at Cambridge, and
two years later was ordained deacon by Bishop Ridley, to be
based at St Paul’s Cathedral. Eventually he became one of two
chaplains to the King. He became a renowned preacher, not only
in London, but throughout Lancashire and Cheshire. Like all
Protestant clerics, Bradford immediately realised the danger
when the Catholic Queen Mary acceded to the throne of England,
though he hardly curtailed his radical preaching. Eventually
and inevitably, his outspoken Protestantism resulted in his
arrest and imprisonment in the Tower of London on charges of
heresy and sedition. Fellow prisoners included Latimer, Ridley
and Cranmer. He was condemned as a heretic and sentenced to
be burnt at the stake, which took place on 1st July 1555. It
had been intended to execute him in his native Manchester as
a warning to others, but fearing the anger of the people, the
authorities thought better of it, and changed the place of execution
to Smithfield in London.
The execution was marked by large crowds, largely sympathetic
to Bradford and Ridley, and extra reinforcing troops had to
be summoned to hold back the people in the face of rumours of
proposed rescue attempts. There is a commemorating plaque on
the wall of St Bartholomew’s Hospital in Smithfield which marks
the place of the execution; another plaque to his memory is
in Manchester Cathedral,
and a statue of Bradford can be found on the facade of Manchester
Town Hall


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This page last updated 30 Dec 11.