William John Fitzpatrick
Historian, b. in Dublin, Ireland, 31 Aug., 1830; d. there 24 Dec., 1895. The son of a rich merchant, he had ample means to indulge his peculiar tastes, and these were for biography, and especially for seeking out what was hitherto unknown and not always desirable to publish about great men. Educated partly at a Protestant school, partly at Clongowes Wood College, he early took to writing and in 1855 published his first work — "The Life, Times and Correspondence of Lord Cloncurry". The same year he wrote a series of letters to "Notes and Queries" charging Sir Walter Scott with plagiarism in his Waverley novels, and attributing the chief credit of having written these novels to Sir Walter's brother Thomas. The latter was dead, but his daughters repudiated Fitzpatrick's advocacy and their father's supposed claims, and the matter ended there. In 1859 Fitzpatrick published "The Friends, Foes and Adventures of Lady Morgan". From that date to his death, his pen was never idle. His research was great, his industry a marvel, his patience and care immense, nor is he ever consciously unjust. For these reasons, though his style is unattractive, his works are valuable, especially to the Irish historical student. Notable examples are "The Sham Squire" (1866), "Ireland before the Union" (1867), "The Correspondence of Daniel O'Connell" (1888), "Secret Service under Pitt" (1892). Fitzpatrick also wrote works dealing with Archbishop Whately, Charles Lever, Rev. Dr. Lanigan , Father Tom Burke, O.P., and Father James Healy of Bray. In 1876 he was appointed professor of history by the Hibernian Academy of Arts. Fitzpatrick's painstaking research as well as his spirit of fair play are specially to be commended and have earned words of praise from two men differing in many other things — Lecky and Gladstone.
More Catholic Encyclopedia
Browse Encyclopedia by Alphabet
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.
Browse the Catholic Encyclopedia by Topic
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