Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Born 20 May, 1762, at Petersfield, Hants; died 26 Nov., 1827, in London. He was educated at the English College at Douai, where he was ordained in 1786. He remained as professor, and afterwards prefect of studies till the college came to an end during the Terror. After undergoing eighteen months imprisonment, the collegians were set free, and returned to England in March, 1795. Poynter with the students from the South went to Old Hall, where he took a leading part in the foundation of St. Edmund's College, being first vice-president, then (1801-13) president. In 1803, Bishop Douglass of the London district being in declining health, Dr. Poynter was consecrated his coadjutor, remaining at the same time president of the college. On the death of Bishop Douglass in 1812, Bishop Poynter succeeded as vicar Apostolic. His position was rendered difficult by the persistent attacks of Bishop Milner in pamphlets and even in his pastorals (see JOHN MILNER ). Dr. Poynter endured all Milner's accusations in silence, having the support of all the other English and Scotch bishops ; but when in May, 1814, on the issue of the famous Quarantotti Rescript, which sanctioned all the "security" restrictions, Milner went to Rome to obtain its reversal, Dr. Poynter followed him there and wrote his "Apologetical Epistle" defending himself to Propaganda. Quarantotti's Rescript was withdrawn, and in its place was substituted a "Letter to Dr. Poynter", dated from Genoa, where the pope had taken refuge. A limited veto was sanctioned, but the exequatur was refused. Milner was directed to abstain from publishing pastorals or pamphlets against Dr. Poynter. He obeyed this injunction, but continued his attacks in letters to the "Orthodox Journal" until he was peremptorily prohibited by order of the pope, under pain of being deposed.

During his episcopate Dr. Poynter paid four visits to Paris of several months each (1814, 15, 17, and 22), with the object of reclaiming the property of the colleges at Douai and elsewhere, which had been confiscated during the Revolution. He received the support of the Duke of Wellington and Lord Castlereagh, and of the British commissioners appointed to deal with the claims. He succeeded eventually in recovering the colleges themselves and about £30,000 which had been kept in the names of the bishops, but the main claim amounting to £120,000 was lost. The French indeed paid it to the British commissioners, but these refused to hand it over, on the plea that it would be applied to purposes considered by English law as " superstitious ". The final decision was given in November, 1825. It is said that the disappointment of the failure of his long labours notably shortened the bishop's life. His principal works are: "Theological Examinations of Columbanus" (London, 1811); "Epistola Apologetica", tr. by Butler (London, 1820), also appeared in Butler, "Hist. Mem.", 3rd edition; "Prayerbook for Catholic Sailors and Soldiers" (London, 1858); "Evidences of Christianity" (London, 1827); "New Year's Gift" in Directories (1813-28); numerous pamphlets, pastorals etc. There is a portrait of him by Ramsay (1803) at St. Edmund's College, another in "Catholic Directory" for 1829; also a bust by Turnerelli and another at Moorfields.


More Encyclopedia

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.

Catholic Encyclopedia

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


Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 2:1-5
1 Now when I came to you, brothers, I did not come ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 119:97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102
97 How I love your Law! I ponder it all day ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:16-30
16 He came to Nazara, where he had been brought up, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 1st, 2014 Image

St. Giles, Abbot
September 1: St. Giles, Abbot (Patron of Physically Disabled) Feast day - ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter