Miscellaneous author, b. at Lincoln, England, 21 October, 1768; d. at Brighton, 28 May, 1836. He was the son of the Rev. Henry Beste, D.D., prebendary of Lincoln Cathedral. His mother, Magdalen, daughter and heiress of Kenelm Digby, Esq., of North Luffenham in Rutland, claimed to be the representative of the extinct male line of the historic Sir Everard and Sir Kenelm Digby. His father dying in 1782, Henry was sent two years later by his mother to Oxford. He became a commoner of Magdalen College, where he took his B.A. degree in 1788 and his M.A. in 1781. He was afterward elected to a fellowship, which he resigned when the family estates came to him on the death of his mother. In September, 1791, he took deacon's orders in the Anglican church, and a little later retired to Lincoln, displaying great activity there as a preacher. Doubts about the spiritual authority of the Established Church sprang up in his mind, which were strengthened by intercourse with the Abbé Beaumont, then in charge of the small Catholic chapel at Lincoln. The result was that he was received into the Catholic Church by Rev. Mr. Hodgson, Vicar-General of the London district, 26 May, 1798. In 1800, he married Sarah, daughter of Edward Sealy, Esq., and was the father of the well-known author, John Richard Digby Beste. His first works were a treatise entitled "The Christian Religion briefly defended against the Philosophers and Republicans of France (octavo, 1793), and in the same year a discourse on "Priestly Absolution " which was republished in 1874. It is interesting that this latter work anticipated some of the Tractarian arguments and met with the warm commendation of the chief members of the University of Oxford in 1794. After his conversion Beste was an occasional contributor to Catholic periodicals . He also travelled abroad and spent several years in France and Italy. Cardinal Wiseman met him at Rome in the Jubilee of 1825, and mentions him in his "Last Four Popes" (Boston, 1858), p. 245). In 1826 Best English Family's Residence there during that period, preceded by some account of the Conversion of the Author to the Catholic Faith" (octavo). Two years later he wrote a similar book on his stay in Italy. Ten years after his death appeared his last work, called "Poverty and the Baronet's Family, a Catholic Story" (12mo, 1846).
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online