Fletcher, John (d.1848?) (DNB00)

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FLETCHER, JOHN, D.D. (d. 1848?), catholic divine, a native of Ormskirk, Lancashire, was educated at Douay College, and at the English seminary of St. Gregory in Paris. When the seminary was dissolved he proceeded to the college of St. Omer, of which his great-uncle, the Rev. William Wilkinson, was for some time president. Fletcher was one of the professors at St. Omer throughout the imprisonment of the members of the college at Arras and Dourlens. Upon their release in 1795 Fletcher accompanied them to England, and was successively missioner at Hexham, Blackburn, and Weston Underwood. He was created D.D. by Pope Pius VII on 24 Aug. 1821, in recognition of his missionary merit and excellent sermons. Fletcher became chaplain to the Dowager Lady Throckmorton, and served the mission at Leamington. In 1844 he removed to the mission at Northampton, which he resigned in 1848, owing to his advanced age. He died shortly afterwards.

His works are: 1. ‘Sermons on various Religious and Moral Subjects, for all the Sundays after Pentecost,’ 2 vols., London, 1812, 8vo; 2nd edit. 1821. Prefixed is ‘An Essay on the Spirit of Controversy,’ which was also published separately. 2. ‘The Catholic's Manual,’ translated from the French of Bossuet, with preliminary reflections and notes, London, 1817, 12mo, 1829, 8vo. 3. ‘Thoughts on the Rights and Prerogatives of the Church and State; with some observations upon the question of Catholic Securities,’ London, 1823, 8vo. 4. ‘Comparative View of the Grounds of the Catholic and Protestant Churches,’ London, 1826, 8vo. 5. ‘The Difficulties of Protestantism,’ London, 1829, and again 1832, 8vo. 6. ‘The Catholic's Prayer-Book,’ London, 1830, 12mo. For some time this manual was extensively used. It was chiefly compiled from the manuscript of ‘A Prayer-Book for the Use of the London District,’ 1813, by the Rev. Joseph Berington [q. v.] 7. ‘The Prudent Christian,’ London, 1834, 12mo. 8. ‘Guide to the True Religion,’ a series of sermons, 2nd edit., London, 1836, 8vo. 9. ‘Transubstantiation, &c. A Letter,’ London, 1836, 8vo. 10. ‘Short Historical View of the Rise, Progress, and Establishment of the Anglican Church,’ London, 1843, 8vo.

He also published translations of several works, including Father Edmund Campion's ‘Ten Reasons’ (1827), Antonio de Dominis's ‘Motives for Renouncing the Protestant Religion’ (1827), and De Maistre's ‘Letters on the Spanish Inquisition’ (1838).

[Gillow's Bibl. Dict. of the English Catholics; Catholic Magazine and Review (1833), iii. 112; Butler's Hist. Memoirs (1822), iv. 441.]

T. C.