Wikipedia entries Ralph Allen et al

Ralph Allen

Prior to Now on Combe Down link: Ralph Allen and Prior Park

Ralph Allen
Died29 June 1764
Resting placeClaverton Churchyard
Known forQuarrying of Bath Stone

Ralph Allen (1693 – 29 June 1764)[1] was a British entrepreneur and philanthropist, who was notable for his reforms to England's postal system.

Allen was born in Cornwall but moved to Bath to work in the post office, becoming the postmaster at the age of 19. He made the system more efficient and took over contracts for the mail system to cover England to the borders of Scotland and into South Wales. He bought local stone mines from his postal profits and had Prior Park built as his house to show off the versatility of the local Bath stone, using the old post office as his town house. With the architect John Wood the Elder, the stone he mined was used in the building work for the development of the Georgian city. However, the mines did not consistently make a profit and Allen subsidised them from his postal profits.

After his death, he was buried in a pyramid-topped tomb in Claverton churchyard. He is commemorated in the names of streets and schools in the city of Bath and was the model for Squire Allworthy in the novel Tom Jones by Henry Fielding.

Early life

Much is unknown or obscure regarding Allen's early life. The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography gives his father as Philip Allen, reputed to be an innkeeper.[1] As a teenager, Allen worked at the Post Office at St Columb, run by his grandmother. He moved in 1710 to Bath, where he became a post office clerk, and at the age of 19, in 1712, became the Postmaster of Bath.[2] In 1742 he was elected Mayor of Bath.[3]

Involvement in the postal system

Allen's second postal contract, 1727, at the Bath Postal Museum

At the age of 27, Allen took control of the Cross and Bye Posts in the South West under a seven-year contract with the General Post Office, although he had no official title.[4] At the end of this period he had not made a profit, only breaking even,[3] but he had the courage to continue.[5]

Over the next few years, he reformed the postal service. He realised that post boys were delivering items of mail along their route without them being declared and that this was lost profit. He introduced a "signed for" system that prevented the malpractice.[6] He also improved efficiency by not requiring mail to go via London.

Ralph Allen's reputation grew and he took over more and more of the English postal system, signing contracts every seven years until he died aged 71. It is estimated that he saved the Post Office £1,500,000 over a 40-year period.[7] He won the patronage of General Wade in 1715, when he disclosed details of a Jacobite uprising in Cornwall.[8]

Bath stone and his residences

With the arrival of John Wood in Bath, Allen used the wealth gained from his postal reforms to acquire the stone quarries at Combe Down and Bathampton Down Mines.[3][9] Hitherto, the quarry masons had always hewn stone roughly providing blocks of varying size. The resulting uneven surface is known as "rubble" and buildings of this type – built during the Stuart period – are visible throughout the older parts of Bath.[10]

The distinctive honey-coloured Bath stone, used to build the Georgian city, made Allen a second fortune. The building in Lilliput Alley, Bath (now North Parade Passage), which he used as a post office, became his town house[11] and in 1727 he refronted the southern rubble wall, extended the house to the north and added a new storey.[12] John Wood the Elder refers to this in his "Essay towards the future of Bath". Allen was astute at marketing the qualities of Bath stone and erected an elaborately ornate building a few feet to the north of his house to demonstrate its qualities. The extension (as Wood refers to it) has become known as "Ralph Allen's Town House", though whether it was designed by Wood is unproven and many local historians consider it unlikely.[13][14][15] Allen continued to live there until 1745, when he moved to Prior Park, and the town house became his offices.[16]

Prior Park House, home of Ralph Allen

Allen had the Palladian mansion of Prior Park built (1742) on a hill overlooking the city, "To see all Bath, and for all Bath to see".[9] He gave money and the stone for the building of the Mineral Water Hospital in central Bath 1738.[17] In 1758 he bought Claverton Manor, just east of Bath.[18]

Allen had a summer home built in the coastal town of Weymouth in Dorset, overlooking the harbour at number 2 Trinity street, opposite the Customs House.[19] There is a plaque on the house to commemorate Allen. His Bath stone was used in the Georgian buildings of Weymouth.[20]


Ralph Allen is buried in a pyramid-topped tomb in Claverton churchyard, on the outskirts of Bath.[21] A marble bust stood in the Mineral Water Hospital (later the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases) and was moved to the hospital's new building at Combe Park in 2019.[22]

His name is commemorated in Ralph Allen Drive which runs past his former home at Prior Park. Now a busy road from Combe Down village to Bath city centre, this was the route by which the stone from his quarries at Combe Down was sent on wooden sledges down to the River Avon. Prior Park College, a private school for 11- to 18-year-olds, is housed in Allen's former home and incorporates a boys' boarding house named Allen House.[23] The Prior Park Landscape Garden and Palladian bridge are cared for by the National Trust, who brought the garden back from dereliction in 1993.[24][25] He is also remembered in Ralph Allen School, one of the city's state secondary schools.[26]

The Ralph Allen CornerStone in Combe Down village opened in the autumn of 2013. This houses the archives of the Combe Down Heritage Society and provides a community hub and information centre as part of the legacy of the project to infill the stone mines underneath the village.[27]

Henry Fielding used Allen as the model for Squire Allworthy in the novel Tom Jones.[3]


See also


  1. ^ a b Buchanan, Brenda J. "Allen, Ralph". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/386. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. ^ Staff, Frank (1966). The Penny Post, 1680–1918, p. 57. London: Lutterworth Press
  3. ^ a b c d "Ralph Allen Biography". Bath Postal Museum. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  4. ^ "Ralph Allen". St Mary the Virgin, Claverton. Archived from the original on 6 August 2016. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  5. ^ "Ralph Allen's Postal Contract". A History of the World. BBC. Archived from the original on 7 November 2016. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  6. ^ "Ralph Allen (1693–1764)". Royal Mail. Archived from the original on 21 January 2018. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  7. ^ "Ralph Allen of Prior Park". National Trust. Archived from the original on 21 January 2018. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  8. ^ "Ralph Allen". Jane Austen Centre. Archived from the original on 17 October 2013. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  9. ^ a b "Ralph Allen". Bath UK. Archived from the original on 21 January 2018. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  10. ^ Greenwood, Charles (1977). Famous houses of the West Country. Bath: Kingsmead Press. pp. 70–74. ISBN 978-0-901571-87-8.
  11. ^ "060219.Bath, A Room with a View". Bath Daily Photos. Archived from the original on 21 August 2008. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  12. ^ Historic England. "The Ralph Allen Town House (1395830)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  13. ^ Ross, Kay. "Building Report on The Friends Meeting House, York Street, Bath" (PDF). The House Historians. Bath and North East Somerset. Archived (PDF) from the original on 21 January 2018. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  14. ^ Holland, Elizabeth (1992). The Kingston Estate Within the Walled City of Bath: A Composite Plan of the 1740s Showing the Work of John Wood and Others. Blackett Press. ASIN B00ILBPT60.
  15. ^ "Ralph Allen's House, Terrace Walk, Bath". Images of England. English Heritage. Archived from the original on 18 October 2012. Retrieved 10 January 2009.
  16. ^ "060219.Bath, A Room with a View". Bath Daily Photos. Archived from the original on 21 August 2008. Retrieved 16 April 2009.
  17. ^ "Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases". Bath Heritage. Archived from the original on 13 November 2017. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  18. ^ "The History of Claverton Manor". American Museum & Gardens. Retrieved 17 November 2020.
  19. ^ Knowles, Rachel. "Ralph Allen - Weymouth's first Georgian tourist". Regency History. Archived from the original on 21 January 2018. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  20. ^ "Ralph Allen black plaque in Weymouth". Blue Plaques. Archived from the original on 20 January 2018. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  21. ^ Historic England. "Mausoleum to Ralph Allen, in churchyard to south of St Mary's Church (1214536)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 14 January 2008.
  22. ^ "Mineral Water Hospital history makes its way to the RUH's Combe Park site". Bath Echo. 18 December 2019. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  23. ^ "Our History". Prior Park College. Archived from the original on 21 January 2018. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  24. ^ "History: Prior Park, Bath, England". Parks and Gardens UK. Parks and Gardens Data Services Ltd. Archived from the original on 26 December 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  25. ^ "Development of the garden at Prior Park". National Trust. Archived from the original on 3 April 2015. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  26. ^ "About our School". Ralph Allen School. Archived from the original on 20 January 2018. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  27. ^ "Ralph Allen CornerStone". Ralph Allen CornerStone. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 20 January 2018.

External links

William Warburton

Prior to Now on Combe Down link: William Warburton

William Warburton
Bishop of Gloucester
DioceseDiocese of Gloucester
In office1759–1779
PredecessorJames Johnson
SuccessorJames Yorke
Other post(s)Dean of Bristol (1757–1760)
Personal details
Born(1698-12-24)24 December 1698
Died7 June 1779(1779-06-07) (aged 80)
Gloucester, England

William Warburton (24 December 1698 – 7 June 1779) was an English writer, literary critic and churchman, Bishop of Gloucester from 1759 until his death. He edited editions of the works of his friend Alexander Pope, and of William Shakespeare.


St Mary's church at Brant Broughton, where Warburton was rector from 1727
Prior Park, Warburton's home from 1745

Warburton was born on 24 December 1698 at Newark, Nottinghamshire, where his father, George Warburton was town clerk.[1] He was educated at Oakham and Newark grammar schools, and in 1714, he was articled to Mr Kirke, an attorney, at East Markham. In 1719, after serving his articles he returned to Newark, where he began to practise as a solicitor,[1] but, having studied Latin and Greek, changed his mind and was ordained deacon by the Archbishop of York in 1723.[2] He was ordained as a priest in 1726, and in the same year began to associate with literary circles in London.[1]

Sir Robert Sutton gave Warburton the small living of Greasley, in Nottinghamshire, exchanged next year for that of Brant Broughton in Lincolnshire. He was, in addition, rector of Firsby from 1730 until 1756, although he never lived in the village.[2] In 1728, he was made an honorary M.A. of the University of Cambridge.[3]

At Brant Broughton for 18 years he spent his time in study, the first result of which was his treatise on the Alliance between Church and State (1736). The book brought Warburton into favour at court, and he probably only missed immediate preferment by the death of Queen Caroline.[2]

A series of articles defending the writings of Alexander Pope against charges of religious unorthodoxy,[1] led to a friendship with the poet which contributed greatly to Warburton's social advancement. Pope introduced him to both William Murray, later Lord Mansfield, who obtained for him the preachership of Lincoln's Inn in 1746, and to Ralph Allen, who, in Dr Johnson's words, "gave him his niece and his estate, and, by consequence, a bishopric." Warburton married Gertrude Tucker, in September 1745,[1] and from that time lived at Allen's estate at Prior Park, in Gloucestershire, which he eventually inherited in 1764.[2]

He became prebendary of Gloucester in 1753, chaplain to the king in 1754, prebendary of Durham in 1755, Dean of Bristol in 1757, and Bishop of Gloucester in 1759.[2]

Literary works

By 1727 Warburton had written the notes he contributed to Lewis Theobald's edition of Shakespeare,[2] published a Critical and Philosophical Enquiry into the Causes of Miracles,[1] and contributed anonymously to a pamphlet on the jurisdiction of the Court of Chancery, The Legal Judicature in Chancery stated (1727). This was an answer to another anonymous pamphlet, written by Philip Yorke, later Lord Chancellor.[2]

The Divine Legation

After Alliance between Church and State, his next and best-known work, Divine Legation of Moses demonstrated on the Principles of a Religious Deist (1738–41, in two volumes), preserves his name as the author of the most daring and ingenious of theological paradoxes. The deists had made the absence of any inculcation of the doctrine of a future life an objection to the divine authority of the Mosaic writings. Warburton boldly admitted the fact and turned it against the adversary by maintaining that no merely human legislator would have omitted such a sanction of morality. Warburton's extraordinary power, learning and originality were acknowledged on all sides, though he excited censure and suspicion by his tenderness to the alleged heresies of Conyers Middleton. The book aroused much controversy. In a pamphlet of "Remarks" (1742), he replied to John Tillard, and Remarks on Several Occasional Reflections (1744–45) was an answer to Akenside, Conyers Middleton (who had been his friend), Richard Pococke, Nicholas Mann, Richard Grey, Henry Stebbing and other critics. As he characterised his opponents in general as the "pestilent herd of libertine scribblers with which the island is overrun," it is no surprise that the publication of the book created many bitter enemies.[2]

Defence of Pope

Either in quest of paradox, or unable to recognise the real tendencies of Alexander Pope's Essay on Man, Warburton defended it against the Examen of Jean Pierre de Crousaz through a series of articles he contributed to The Works of the Learned in 1738–9. Whether Pope had really understood the tendency of his own work has always been doubtful, but there is no question that he was glad of an apologist, and that in the long run Warburton's jeu d'esprit helped Pope more than all his erudition. This led to a sincere friendship between the two men, with Pope fostering Warburton as a literary collaborator and editor. As part of this effort, in a 1743 edition of the Dunciad published under Warburton's editorship, Pope persuaded Warburton to add a fourth book, and encouraged the substitution of Colley Cibber for Theobald as the "hero" of the poem. On his death in 1744, Pope's will bequeathed half of his library to Warburton, as well as the copyright to all his printed works. Warburton would subsequently publish a full edition of Pope's writings in 1751.[2]

Edition of Shakespeare

In 1747 his edition of Shakespeare was published, incorporating material from Pope's earlier edition. He had previously entrusted notes and emendations on Shakespeare to Sir Thomas Hanmer, whose unauthorised use of them led to a heated controversy. He also accused Lewis Theobald, with whom he had corresponded on Shakespearean subjects as early as 1727, of stealing his ideas, and denied his critical ability.[2]

Later works

Warburton was further kept busy by replying to the attacks on his Divine Legation from all quarters, by a dispute with Bolingbroke respecting Pope's behaviour in the affair of Bolingbroke's Patriot King, and by a vindication in 1750 of the alleged miraculous interruption of the rebuilding of the temple of Jerusalem undertaken by Julian, in answer to Conyers Middleton. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, "Warburton's manner of dealing with opponents was both insolent and rancorous, but it did him no disservice."[2]

He continued to write for as long as the infirmities of age allowed, collecting and publishing his sermons, and attempting to complete the Divine Legation, further fragments of which were published with his posthumous Works. He wrote a defence of revealed religion in his View of Lord Bolingbroke's Philosophy (1754), and Hume's Natural History of Religion called forth some Remarks ... by a gentleman of Cambridge (1757) from Warburton, in which his friend and biographer, Richard Hurd, had a share.[2]

In 1762 he launched a vigorous attack on Methodism under the title of The Doctrine of Grace. He also engaged in a keen controversy with Robert Lowth, later bishop of London, on the book of Job, in which Lowth brought home charges of lack of scholarship and of insolence that admitted of no denial. His last important act was to found in 1768 the Warburtonian lecture at Lincoln's Inn, "to prove the truth of revealed religion ... from the completion of the prophecies of the Old and New Testament which relate to the Christian Church, especially to the apostasy of Papal Rome."[4]


Warburton died at Gloucester on 7 June 1779. He left no children, his only son having predeceased him.[1] In 1781 his widow, Gertrude, married[1] the Rev. Martin Stafford Smith.[5]

Posthumous publications and biographies

His works were edited in seven volumes (1788) by Richard Hurd with a biographical preface, and the correspondence between the two friends—an important contribution to the literary history of the period—was edited by Samuel Parr in 1808. Warburton's life was also written by John Selby Watson in 1863, and Mark Pattison made him the subject of an essay in 1889.[6]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Knight, Charles, ed. (1858). "Warburton, William". The English Cyclopaedia. Biography—Volume 6. London: Bradbury and Evans.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Chisholm 1911, p. 318.
  3. ^ "Warburton, William (WRBN728W)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  4. ^ Chisholm 1911, pp. 318–319.
  5. ^ Barchas, Janine (2012). Matters of fact in Jane Austen history, location, and celebrity. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 9781421407319.
  6. ^ Chisholm 1911, p. 319.


External links

Church of England titles
Preceded by Dean of Bristol
Succeeded by
Preceded by Bishop of Gloucester
Succeeded by

Viscount Hawarden

Prior to Now on Combe Down link: Prior Park after Ralph Allen

Viscount Hawarden
Quarterly: 1st and 4th, Azure a Lion rampant Argent (Maude); 2nd and 3rd, Argent three Bars Gemelles Sable over all a Lion rampant Gules charged on the shoulder with a Cross Crosslet fitchée Or
Creation date5 December 1793
Created byGeorge III
PeeragePeerage of Ireland
First holderSir Cornwallis Maude, 3rd Baronet
Present holderRobert Connan Wyndham Leslie Maude, 9th Viscount Hawarden
Heir apparentHon. Varian Maude
Subsidiary titlesBaron de Montalt
Maude Baronetcy of Dundrum, County Tipperary
Seat(s)Great Bossington Farm, Kent
Former seat(s)Dundrum House
MottoVirtute Securus
(Safety by manliness)[1]

Viscount Hawarden is a title in the Peerage of Ireland.


It was created in 1793 for Sir Cornwallis Maude, 3rd Baronet, who had earlier represented the borough of Roscommon in the Irish House of Commons. He had succeeded his older brother, Sir Thomas, as third Baronet of Dundrum. He married Mary, a niece of Ralph Allen, through whom lands in Combe Down, Somerset, came into his family. His son, the third Viscount, sat in the House of Lords as an Irish Representative Peer from 1836 to 1850. His son, the fourth Viscount, was an Irish Representative Peer from 1862 to 1886 and served as a government whip from 1866 to 1868 and from 1874 to 1880 in the Conservative administrations of the Earl of Derby and Benjamin Disraeli. In 1886 the fourth Viscount was created Earl de Montalt, of Dundrum in the County of Tipperary, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. However, this title became extinct on his death in 1905 while he was succeeded in his other titles by his cousin, the fifth Viscount. He was the eldest son of the Very Reverend the Hon. Robert William Henry Maude, second son of the first Viscount. His son, the sixth Viscount, was killed at an early age in France during the First World War while serving as a lieutenant in the Coldstream Guards[2] and was succeeded by his cousin, the seventh Viscount.[3] He was the son of Ludlow Eustace Maude, younger son of the aforementioned Robert William Henry Maude. As of 2010 the titles are held by the latter's grandson, the ninth Viscount, who succeeded his father in 1991.

The Maude Baronetcy, of Dundrum in the County of Tipperary, was created in the Baronetage of Ireland on 9 May 1705 for the first Viscount's father Robert Maude. He represented Gowran, Canice and Bangor in the Irish House of Commons. His eldest son, the second Baronet, sat as a Member of the Irish Parliament for County Tipperary. In 1776 he was created Baron de Montalt, of Hawarden in the County of Tipperary, in the Peerage of Ireland. However, this title became extinct on his death in 1777 while he was succeeded in the baronetcy by his younger brother, the aforementioned third Baronet, for whom the barony was revived in 1785.

Family Seat

The family seat is Great Bossington Farm, near Adisham, Kent.

The former was Dundrum House, an eighteenth-century Palladian house in the style of Sir Edward Lovett Pearce,[4] near Cashel, County Tipperary. An extra storey was added to the house c.1890 by 4th Viscount Hawarden. After being sold by the Maude family in 1908, the house became a convent. It later became a hotel, in 1981.

Maude Baronets, of Dundrum (1705)

Barons de Montalt (1777)

Maude Baronets, of Dundrum (1705; Reverted)

Viscounts Hawarden (1793)

Earls de Montalt (1886)

Viscounts Hawarden (1793; Reverted)

The heir apparent is the present viscount's son, Hon. Varian John Connon Eustace Maude (born 1997)[5]


  1. ^ Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage
  2. ^ "Viscount Hawarden among those killed in battle". New York Tribune. 3 September 1914. p. 3. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  3. ^ Hesilrige 1921, p. 458.
  4. ^ Jones, Mark Bence. Burke's Guide to Country Houses. p. 115.
  5. ^ Morris, Susan; Bosberry-Scott, Wendy; Belfield, Gervase, eds. (2019). "Hawarden, Viscount". Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage. Vol. 1 (150th ed.). London: Debrett's Ltd. pp. 1768–1773. ISBN 978-1-999767-0-5-1.

Works cited

Peter Augustine Baines

Prior to Now on Combe Down link: Bishop Baines

Peter Augustine Baines

Vicar Apostolic of the Western District
Appointed3 March 1829
Term ended6 July 1843
PredecessorPeter Collingridge
SuccessorCharles Michael Baggs
Other post(s)Titular Bishop of Sigus
Ordination7 April 1810
Consecration1 May 1823
by Daniel Murray
Personal details
Born25 June 1786 or 25 January 1787
Peartree Farm, Kirkby, near Liverpool, England
Died6 July 1843
Prior Park College, Bath, Somerset, England
BuriedDownside Abbey, Stratton-on-the-Fosse, Somerset, England
DenominationRoman Catholic
Previous post(s)Coadjutor Vicar Apostolic of the Western District (1823–1829)

Peter Augustine Baines (1786/87–1843) was an English Benedictine, Titular Bishop of Siga and Vicar Apostolic of the Western District of England.


For his early education he was sent to Lamspringe Abbey, near Hildesheim, in the Kingdom of Hanover, where he arrived in 1798. Four years later the monastery was suppressed by the Prussian Government,[1] and the monks and their pupils returned to England. Some of them, including Baines, took refuge at the recently founded monastery at Ampleforth, Yorkshire. He joined the Benedictine Order, and held in succession every post of authority in the monastery, the priorship alone excepted.

In 1817 Baines left Ampleforth and was appointed to Bath, one of the most important Benedictine missions in the country. There he became a well-known figure, his sermons attracting attention not only among Catholics, but also among Protestants. His printed letters in answer to Charles Abel Moysey, Archdeacon of Bath, became known as Baines's Defence.[2]

Bishop Peter Bernardine Collingridge, Vicar Apostolic of the Western District selected Baines as his coadjutor. He received episcopal consecration as Titular Bishop of Siga by Archbishop Daniel Murray at Dublin, 1 May 1823.

Bishop Baines soon began to formulate schemes for the future of the district, on a large scale. It was without a regular seminary for the education of its clergy. The Western District differed from the other three in that the bishop had always been chosen from among the regular clergy, Benedictines or Franciscans, and a large proportion of the missions were in their hands. Baines thought that he saw the solution of his difficulty in utilising the recently opened Downside School, near Bath, under Benedictine management. Baines proposed that the whole community of monks at Downside should be transferred from the Anglo-Benedictine Congregation, and placed under the Bishop of the Western District, but these proposals were not warmly received.

In 1826 Bishop Baines' health worsened and he was ordered a long tour on the Continent. He spent the greater part of the time in Rome. Bishop Collingridge died on 3 March 1829, the same year in which Catholic Emancipation was passed. Bishop Baines returned to England, in restored health, to succeed as vicar Apostolic.

An 1829 painting of him by Ann Agnes Trail (Sister Agnes Xavier)

He at once revived his scheme for the seminary at Downside, and, having failed to secure the consent of the monks, he put forward the contention that the monasteries at Downside and Ampleforth had never been canonically erected, for, owing to the unsettled condition of the English mission, the formality of obtaining the written consent of the ordinary had been overlooked. He drew the drastic conclusion that all the monastic vows had been invalid, and that the property belonged to the bishops. The case was argued out in Rome, but it was considered that, even if the strict law was on Bishop Baines' side, equity demanded that the rights of the Benedictines should be maintained, and a sanatio was issued by papal authority, making good any possible defects in the past. Leave was given for four monks at Ampleforth, including the prior, to be secularised. They left, together with thirty of the boys, to join Bishop Baines, who had himself been secularised, in founding a new college.

The site chosen was Prior Park College, a large mansion outside Bath, which Bishop Baines bought, and he set to work to build two colleges at either end of the "mansion house", which he dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul respectively, the former being intended as a lay college, the latter as a seminary, but the new college never became prosperous. In 1840 the number of vicariates in England was raised from four to eight, Wales being separated off into a district of its own. Bishop Baines continued over the Western District for three years more, when his sudden death took place.

On 4 July 1843, he distributed the prizes at Prior Park; the following day he preached at the opening of the new church of St Mary on the Quay, Bristol, returning to Prior Park in the evening, apparently in his usual health; but the following morning he was found dead in his bed. His funeral was at Prior Park and some years later, his body was removed to Downside Abbey.

An oil painting of him, formerly at Prior Park, is now at the Bishop's House (St. Ambrose), Clifton. There is an engraving in the Catholic Directory for 1844. Also a large portrait hangs in the Chapel of the Lady of our Snows at Prior Park College.



  1. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia, Peter Augustine Baines
  2. ^ The following links provide information about the communications between Bishop Baines and Dr Moysey: [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], "Short list of indexed books(page 891) - eBooks search engine". Archived from the original on 1 May 2008. Retrieved 27 April 2009., [8][permanent dead link]
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by Vicar Apostolic of the Western District
Succeeded by