Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 supplement/Anderdon, William Henry

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ANDERDON, WILLIAM HENRY (1816–1890), jesuit, born in New Street, Spring Gardens, London, on 26 Dec. 1816, was the eldest son of John Laircount Anderdon [q. v.] When about fifteen years of age he began to attend the classes at King’s College, London. He matriculated on 16 Dec. 1835 at Balliol College, Oxford—the college at which his uncle, Henry Edward (afterwards cardinal) Manning, had graduated five years earlier. Before long he gained a scholarship at University College, and he graduated B.A. in 1839 (second class in classics), and M. A. in 1842. Taking orders, he became curate first at Withyam, Kent, and afterwards at Reigate. In 1846 he was presented to the vicarage of St. Margaret’s with Knighton, Leicester, but he resigned that living in 1850, and on 23 Nov. in the same year he was received into the Roman catholic church at Paris by Père de Ravignan in the chapel of Notre-Dame de Sion (Gondon, Les Récentes Conversions de l’Angleterre, 1851, p. 103). After going through a course of theology at Rome, he was ordained priest at Oscott by Bishop Ullathorne in 1853. Subsequently he delivered lectures on elocution and rhetoric at Ushaw.

His sermons drew large congregations when he accepted the chaplaincy of the Catholic University in Dublin under the rectorship of Dr. (afterwards Cardinal) Newman. He held office in that institution from 1856 to 1863. He also took part in founding a Franciscan convent at Drumshanbo. In 1863 he came to London to take the post of secretary to his uncle Manning, who had just ascended the archiepiscopal throne of Westminster. Afterwards he spent two years in a mission to America, returning to this country in 1870. He received the degree of D.D. from Rome in 1869.

Having resolved to join the Society of Jesus he entered the novitiate at Roehampton in June 1872, and took the first vows in 1874, His missionary career as a Jesuit began at the church of St. Aloysius, Oxford; he spent a year at Bournemouth, and another year at Stonyhurst as prefect of philosophers; and for many years he was engaged in giving missions and retreats in various parts of the country. He afterwards taught elocution to the novices at Manresa House, Roehampton, where he died on 28 July 1890.

His works are:

  1. ‘A Letter to the Parishioners of St. Margaret’s, Leicester,’ London, 1851, 8vo, explaining his reasons for joining the communion of the church of Rome; this letter elicited several replies.
  2. ‘Two Lectures on the Catacombs of Rome,’ London, 1852, 8vo.
  3. ‘Antoine de Bonneval: a Story of the Fronde’ (anon.), London [1857], 8vo.
  4. ‘The Adventures of Owen Evans, Esq., Surgeon’s Mate, left ashore in 1739 on a Desolate Island’ (anon.), Dublin, 1863, 8vo; commonly known as ‘The Catholic Crusoe.’
  5. ‘Afternoons with the Saints,’ 1863.
  6. ‘In the Snow: Tales of Mount St. Bernard,’ London, 1868, 8vo.
  7. ‘The Seven Ages of Clarewell: the History of a Spot of Ground,’ London, 1868, 8vo.
  8. ‘The Christian Æsop: Ancient Fables teaching Eternal Truths,’ London, 1871, 8vo.
  9. ‘Is Ritualism Honest?’ 1877.
  10. ‘To Rome and Back: Fly-leaves from a Flying Tour,’ London, 1877, 8vo.
  11. ‘Bracton: a Tale of 1812,’ London, 1882, 8vo.
  12. ‘Fasti Apostolici: a Chronology of the Years between the Ascension of our Lord and the Martyrdom of SS. Peter and Paul,’ London, 1882, 8vo; second thousand enlarged, 1884.
  13. ‘Evenings with the Saints,’ London, 1883, 8vo.
  14. ‘Luther at Table,’ London, 1883, 8vo.
  15. ‘Luther’s Words and the Word of God,’ London, 1883, 8vo.
  16. ‘What sort of Man was Martin Luther? a Word or Two on his Fourth Centenary,’ London, 1883, 8vo.
  17. ‘Britain’s Early Faith,’ London, 1888, 8vo. He also published various controversial pamphlets and articles in the ‘Dublin Review,’ the ‘Month,’ and the ‘Weekly Register.’
[Browne’s Annals of the Tractarian Movement, pp. 175, 213; Foster’s Alumni Oxen. 1716–1886; Men of the Time, 11th edit.; Merry England, xvi. 1–25, 110–31 (with portrait); Purcell’s Life of Manning, 3rd edit. ii. 767; Times, 30 July 1890; Weekly Register, 2 Aug. 1890, p. 145,]

T. C.