Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Richard Simpson

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Born 1820; died near Rome, 5 April, 1876. He was educated at Oriel College, Oxford, and took his B. A. degree, 9 February, 1843. Being ordained an Anglican clergyman, he was appointed vicar of Mitcham in Surrey, but resigned this in 1845 to become a Catholic. After some years spent on the continent, during which time he became remarkably proficient as a linguist, he returned to England and became editor of "The Rambler". When this ceased in 1862 he, with Sir John Acton, began the "Home and Foreign Review", which was opposed by ecclesiastical authority as unsound and was discontinued in 1864. Afterwards Simpson devoted himself to the study of Shakespeare and to music. His works are: "Invocation of Saints proved from the Bible alone" (1849); "The Lady Falkland: her life" (1861); "Edmund Campion" (1867), the most valuable of his works; "Introduction to the Philosophy of Shakespeare's Sonnets" (1868); "The School of Shakespeare" (1872); and "Sonnets of Shakespeare selected from a complete setting, and miscellaneous songs" (1878). Though he remained a practical Catholic his opinions were very liberal and he assisted Mr. Gladstone in writing his pamphlet on "Vaticanism". His papers in "The Rambler" on the English martyrs deserve attention.

COOPER in Dict. Nat. Biog., s. v.; GILLOW, Bibl. Dict. Eng. Cath., s. v.; WARD, Life and Times of Cardinal Wiseman (London, 1897); GASQUET, Lord Acton and His Circle (London, 1906).

Edwin Burton.