Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A Victorian Converts



Cardinal Manning was a real friend to me, and I often spent an hour with him on a Sunday morning or afternoon discussing general topics. At my request, when I had no thought of being converted to his Church, he marked in a book of prayers which he gave me several of his own selections, which I have carefully preserved; but I can truly say he never uttered one word, or made the least attempt, to proselytize me.

He left me to my own free, uncontrolled, and uncontrollable action. My reception into the Church of Rome was purely of my own free choice and will, and according to the exercise of my own judgment. I thought formyself, and acted for myself, or I should not have acted at all.

I have always been, and am, satisfied that I was right.

As to Cardinal Manning, his extreme good sense and toleration were my admiration at all times, and I shall venerate his memory as long as I live. His kindness was unbounded.

It was after his death, which was a great shock to me, that I was received into the Church by the late Cardinal Vaughan.

When the latter was showing Lady Brampton and myself over that beautiful structure, the new Westminster Cathedral, I thought I should like to erect a memorial chapel, and made a proposal to that effect.

We resolved to dedicate it to St. Gregory and St. Augustine. It was afterwards called "Our Chapel." The stonework was accordingly proceeded with, and afterwards the plans for decoration were submitted to the Archbishop and myself. For these decorations I subscribed a portion. The rest of the work was our own, and we have the satisfaction of feeling that Our Chapel is erected to the honour and glory of God. "

From The Reminiscences Of Sir Henry Hawkins (Baron Brampton)(1904)

By Henry Hawkins Brampton (b. at Hitchin, Hertfordshire, 14 September, 1817; d. at London, 12 October, 1907),
Judge of the Queens Bench Court, London

A Biographical entry of his life is in The Catholic Encyclopedia.