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BOURNE, Cardinal Francis Alphonsus (1861-1935) Archbishop of Westminster

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0122 Bo
Held at: Westminster Diocesan Archives
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Full title: BOURNE, Cardinal Francis Alphonsus (1861-1935) Archbishop of Westminster
Date(s): [1903-1935]
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 99 boxes
Name of creator(s): Bourne | Francis Alphonsus | 1861-1935 | Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born in Clapham in 1861 of an English (Civil Servant) father and an Irish mother. At the age of 8 he went to Ushaw and at 16 to St Edmund's College, Ware. He tried his vocation with the Dominicans at Woodchester, but in 1880 aged 19 he went to Hammersmith College and then at 20, on to St Sulpice in Paris. After 2 years there he went to Louvain. He was ordained in Clapham in 1884 when he was 23.

Five years later he was appointed Rector of St John's Seminary Wonersh. In 1896 he was Coadjutor Bishop of Southwark and Archbishop of Westminster 1903-1935. During the Eucharistic Congress in London (1908) he defied a Government ban on public processions of the Blessed Sacrament by giving the Blessing from the Cathedral Loggia. He became Cardinal with the titular Church of Santa Pudenziana when he was 40 in 1911.

He became known for his patriotic speeches during the First World War, he upheld the rights of the Arabs in Palestine, was a fervent supporter of Catholic schools, denounced the violence in Ireland, reproved the Modernists, and was luke-warm towards inter-faith talks. He opposed the idea of a separate Catholic University and a Catholic Political Party. He died 1 January, 1935, aged 73.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Francis Alphonsus Bourne as Archbishop of Westminster, [1903-1935], 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; ecumenicalism; 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 bills; visits; finance; St Edmund's College, Ware; missions, including in Austria, Germany and India and boy scouts and girl guides.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Original order.

Conditions governing access:

Open for 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 and list of Bourne's correspondence are available in the Archive's reading room.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Received by the Archive from Archbishop's House.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

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

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