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Westminster Diocesan Archives

GODFREY, Cardinal William (1889-1963): Archbishop of Westminster


Reference code(s): GB 0122 G and G/G

Held at: Westminster Diocesan Archives

Title: GODFREY, Cardinal William (1889-1963): Archbishop of Westminster

Date(s): [1956-1962]

Level of description: Collection (fonds)

Extent: 83 boxes

Name of creator(s): Godfrey | William | 1889-1963 | Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born Liverpool, 25 September 1889. He was educated at Ushaw and at the Venerable English College, where he was ordained in 1916 during the First World War. He gained his Doctorate the following year. He then taught Classics, Philosophy and Theology at Ushaw for 12 years.

In 1930 he was appointed Rector of the College where during the next 8 years he watched Mussolini's rise to power. He was known affectionately to his students despite his strictness as 'Uncle Bill'.

In 1938 he became the first Apostolic Delegate to Great Britain, Gibraltar and Malta and he served in this post with such discretion that in 1953, long after the war, he became Archbishop of Liverpool and Archbishop of Westminster 1956-1962. He was created Cardinal Priest of Santi Nereo e Achilleo on 15 December 1958. He died in London on 22 January 1963 aged 73.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of William Godfrey as Archbishop of Westminster, [1956-1962], including material on the Holy See; Bishop's conferences; synods; religious orders; Vicars General and Chaplaincies; Papal Encyclicals; ecclesiastical and diocesan matters; moral, social and political issues; ecumenism; media, communications and publications; foreign countries; national and international institutions; government; embassies; hospitals; trusts, foundations and communities; lectures; homilies; patronages; personal correspondence; staff; invitations; education; visits and finance.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

Original order.

Conditions governing access:

Mostly open, some items are closed under the Data Protection Act, for more details consult the Archivist. Consultation by appointment only between 12:00-5:00, Mondays and Wednesdays. Call: 0207 938 3580 or email: for appointments.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies, subject to condition of the original, may be supplied for research use only on the undertaking of a copyright declaration. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Westminster Roman Cathlic Diocesan Trustees.

Finding aids:

Subject index available in the Archive's reading room.



Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Received by the Archive from Archbishop's House.



Archivist's note: Compiled by Sarah Drewery.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: Sep 2008

Catholicism | Christianity | Ancient religions | Religions
Diplomacy | Foreign relations | International relations
Ecumenicalism | Christianity | Ancient religions | Religions

Personal names
Godfrey | William | 1889-1963 | Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster

Corporate names
Roman Catholic Church
Vatican x Holy See