Haigh, Daniel Henry (DNB00)

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HAIGH, DANIEL HENRY (1819–1879), priest and antiquary, son of George Haigh, calico printer, was born at Brinscall Hall, near Chorley, Lancashire, on 7 Aug. 1819. Before he had completed his sixteenth year he lost his parents, and was placed in a position of responsibility as the eldest of three brothers who had inherited a large fortune. He spent some time in business at Leeds, but soon resolved to take orders in the church of England. He went to live with the clergy of St. Saviour's Church, Leeds, contributing liberally towards various parochial objects and buildings, and when the four clergymen of this church joined the Roman catholic church Haigh followed their example, and was admitted at St. Mary's, Oscott, on 1 Jan. 1847. He ascribed his own conversion to the writings of Bede. Before taking this step he had in great part built a new church, dedicated to All Saints, in York Road, Leeds. He studied at St. Mary's College, Oscott, was admitted to the priesthood on 8 April 1848, and immediately afterwards laid the foundation-stone of St. Augustine's Church, Erdington, near Birmingham, on the erection and endowment of which he spent 15,000l. He lived near this church until 1876, much loved by the large population of poor Roman catholics among whom he worked. He made his house an asylum for orphans. On resigning his Erdington mission he went to live in the college at Oscott, and died there on 10 May 1879, aged 59. He had suffered much from chronic bronchitis.

Haigh's varied learning embraced Assyrian lore, Anglo-Saxon antiquities, numismatics, and biblical archæology. He was the chief authority in England on runic literature, and was of much assistance to Professor G. Stephens, who dedicated the English section of his work on ‘Runic Monuments’ to him. The bulk of his literary work is preserved in the transactions of societies, especially in the ‘Numismatic Chronicle,’ ‘Archæologia Cantiana,’ ‘Archæologia,’ ‘Æliana,’ ‘Royal Irish Academy,’ ‘Yorkshire Archæological Journal,’ ‘Archæological Journal,’ ‘Transactions of the Lancashire and Cheshire Historic Society,’ British Archæological Association (Winchester Congress, 1845), and ‘Zeitschrift fur ägyptische Sprache und Alterthumskunde.’ He published also the following independent works: 1. ‘An Essay on the Numismatic History of the Ancient Kingdom of the Angles,’ Leeds, 1845, 8vo. 2. ‘On the Fragments of Crosses discovered in Leeds in 1838,’ Leeds, 1857, 8vo. 3. ‘The Conquest of Britain by the Saxons,’ &c., 1861, 8vo. 4. ‘The Anglo-Saxon Sagas; an examination of their value as aids to History,’ 1861, 8vo.

[Tablet, 24 May 1879, p. 659; Yorkshire Arch. and Topogr. Journal, vi. 53; Gillow's Bibl. Dict. of English Catholics, iii. 84; C. Roach Smith's Retrospections, ii. 78; Palatine Note-book, September 1881.]

C. W. S.