Known also as AQUAPONTANUS, historian of the Catholic Confessors under Queen Elizabeth, b. in Yorkshire about 1532; d. probably at Trier, about 1596. He proceeded M.A. at Oxford in 1556, was ordained priest, and in 1563 became Rector of Lincoln College in that university. He also held several other important preferments all of which he resigned in 1574, when with several of his students he crossed over to Douai, preferring "the old form of religion" to the novelties of those whom he styled "Calvinopapists and Puritans ". He probably never returned to England but lived at various places on the Continent (Reims, Paris, Rome, Trier ); in 1588 and 1594 he resided at Trier. Ribadaneira, followed by Father Southwell and Brother Foley, accounts him a member of the Society of Jesus, though there is no proof of the fact (Records of English Catholics, I, 408). He refuted (Trier 1589) a Protestant work on the pope as Antichrist and wrote also an "Account of the Six Articles usually Proposed to the Missioners that Suffered in England ", and against which he voted in 1562
Bridgewater is best known as the earliest martyrologist of Catholic England. His work, conceived in the spirit of Eusebius as a triumphant apology for Catholicism, is entitled "Concertatio Ecclesliae Catholicae in Angliâ adversus Calvinopapistas et Puritanos sub Elizabethâ Reginâ quorundam hominum doctrina et sanctitate illustrium renovata et recognita, etc.," i.e. The Battle of the Catholic Faith in England under Queen Elizabeth, renewed in the lives of certain men illustrious for learning and sanctity, among them more than one hundred martyrs, and a very great number of others distinguished for their (religious) deeds and sufferings; confirmed also by the retractations of apostates, by new edicts of the persecutors, and by the writings of very learned Catholics against the Anglican, or rather female, pontificate, and in defense of the authority of the Roman pontiff over Christian princes (Trier, 1588, about 850 pp. in 8vo). Another edition was brought out (ibid.) by Cardinal Allen in 1594; it served thenceforth as an original record of English Catholic sufferings for the Faith and Dodd, Challoner, and Lingard used extensively its reliable biographical and historical data. Its rather miscellaneous contents are described in the Chetham Society's Remains (XLVIII, 47-50).
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 in fifteen hardcopy 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