Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Francis Richard Wegg-Prosser

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Only son of Rev. Prebendary Francis Haggit, rector of Newnham Coutney, born at Newnham Courtney, Oxfordshire, 19 June, 1824; died near Hereford, England, 16 August, 1911. He was educated at Eton and at Balliol College, Oxford, and grduated (first class in Mathematics) in 1845. In 1849, when he succeeded to the estates of his great-uncle, Rev. Dr. Prosser of Belmont, Herefordshire, he assumed the name of Wegg-Prosser. He was a member of Parliament from 1847 to 1852, when he was received into the Catholic Church by Bishop Grant of Southwark. This event entirely altered his career. After providing facilities for Catholic workshop in his neighbourhood, he built a beautiful church on his estate, which, by agreement with the Bishop of Newport and the superiors of the English Benedictine Congregation, became the pro-cathedral of the diocese. On the adjoining land given by him, a monastery was built, to serve as the novitiate and house of studies of the congregation. Wegg-Prosser was also identified with several Catholic interests. For many years he was a zealous member of the Superior Council of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, a member of the Catholic union, and a representative of the Diocese of Newport on the Catholic Education Council. In his secular life he was devoted to mathematical science, and particularly to astronomy. He wrote a book, "Galileo and his Judges" (London, 1889), on the question of Galileo, and translated, under the title "Rome and her captors" (London, 1875), the letters collected by Count Henri d'Ideville upon the Roman question of 1867-70. He married Lady Harriet Catherine, daughter of the second Earl Somers; she died in 1893, leaving two sons and two daughters.

J.C. FOWLER