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HINSLEY, Cardinal Arthur (1865-1943): Archbishop of Westminster

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0122 Hi
Held at: Westminster Diocesan Archives
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Full title: HINSLEY, Cardinal Arthur (1865-1943): Archbishop of Westminster
Date(s): [1935-1943]
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 55 boxes
Name of creator(s): Hinsley | Arthur | 1865-1943 | Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born 25th August 1865, at Carlton near Selby, Yorkshire. Son of a local carpenter and an Irish mother. His Parish Priest, who assisted at Carlton Towers, a nearby residence of the Norfolk Family, sponsored his education and at the age of 11 he set off for Ushaw. Whilst a student there he secured his BA degree from London University. He then came to the Venerable English College as a student to take further degrees and was ordained in 1893, aged 28. He then returned to Ushaw to teach there for 4 years, but in 1900 he founded a Laity-sponsored School, St. Bede's Grammar School, in Bradford and became its first Headmaster. The school prospered but led to differences between Hinsley and his Bishop. Consequently Hinsley moved to Southwark Diocese. After 13 years combining parish work with lecturing at Wonersh, he was made Rector of the VEC and worked in Rome, 1917-1928. He bought Palazzola and had its swimming pool built. Created Bishop of Sardis, 1927 and sent as Apostolic Visitor to Africa where after 7 years, ill-health caused him to retire. He became a Canon of St Peter's and there expected to end his days. To the surprise of many he was called out of retirement on the death of Cardinal Bourne to become the fifth Archbishop of Westminster on 25th March 1935. He was created Cardinal Priest of Santa Susanna on 16 December 1937. He denounced the Hitler Regime, founded the Sword of the Spirit as an ecumenical venture to rally the churches against totalitarianism and became famous in all homes for his wartime radio chats and stirring encouragement when Britain stood alone. He died on 17 March 1943, at the age of 78.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Arthur Hinsley as Archbishop of Westminster, [1935-1943], 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.

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 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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