Dodsworth, William (DNB00)

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DODSWORTH, WILLIAM (1798–1861), catholic writer, born in 1798, received his education at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. in 1820, M.A. in 1823 (Graduati Cantab. ed. 1873, p. 118). He took orders in the established church, and at first held ‘evangelical’ doctrines, but in course of time, having been drawn to tractarianism, he became in 1829 minister of Margaret Street Chapel, Cavendish Square, London, where he was a popular preacher, his sermons being marked by stress of thought and simplicity of manner. About 1837 he was appointed perpetual curate of Christ Church, St. Pancras, London. His faith in the church of England was so rudely shaken by the judgment in the Gorham case, that he resigned his preferment and joined the Roman catholic church in January 1851. Being married he could not take orders in the church of his adoption, and after his conversion he led a quiet and unobtrusive life as a layman of that community. He died in York Terrace, Regent's Park, on 10 Dec. 1861, leaving several children by his wife Elizabeth, youngest sister of Lord Churston.

Among his numerous works are:

  1. ‘Advent Lectures,’ Lond. 1837, 8vo.
  2. ‘A few Comments on Dr. Pusey's Letter to the Bishop of London,’ Lond. (three editions), 1851, 8vo.
  3. ‘Further Comments on Dr. Pusey's renewed Explanation,’ Lond. 1851, 8vo.
  4. ‘Anglicanism considered in its results,’ Lond. 1851, 8vo.
  5. ‘Popular Delusions concerning the Faith and Practice of Catholics,’ Lond. 1857, 8vo.
  6. ‘Popular Objections to Catholic Faith and Practice considered,’ Lond. 1858, 8vo.

His portrait has been engraved by W. Walker from a painting by Mrs. Walker.

[Tablet, 14 Dec. 1861, p. 801, and 21 Dec. p. 810; Browne's Annals of the Tractarian Movement, 3rd edit. pp. 175, 193; Oakeley's Hist. Notes on the Tractarian Movement, p. 60; Gondon's Les Récentes Conversions de l'Angleterre, p. 235; Cat. of Printed Books in Brit. Mus.; Gent. Mag. ccxii. 109; Evans's Cat. of Engraved Portraits, No. 15153.]

T. C.