Historical account of Lisbon college/Preface

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The following sketch is largely a reprint, with some modifications and additions, of certain papers which appeared in the Catholic Magazine of 1834-5, giving a short history of the English College at Lisbon, and which were written by the Rev. John Kirk, D.D., of Lichfield. This account, however, has been supplemented and is now brought down to the present time. The period thus covered, embraces some seventy years, viz., from 1828, the date at which Doctor Winstanley became President.

In deciding to publish in a more permanent form the History of Lisbon College, I was influenced by a desire to make more widely known, the no small share which it took in the maintenance and defence of the Catholic Faith in England during the times of persecution.

From Lisbon came forth some of the most prominent and remarkable men who, during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, vindicated by their writings Catholic teaching against the attacks and misrepresentations of the keenest and most learned advocates of Protestantism ever produced by the Anglican Establishment. Moreover, for well nigh three centuries, Lisbon College has contributed to the Mission a succession of laborious and devoted priests, who have taken their share in building up again the fabric of the Church in this country.

It is not unreasonable, then, to conclude that the History of one of the Ancient Missionary Colleges will not be entirely devoid of interest to others besides those who have been prepared for and received the Priesthood within its venerable walls.

A list of the Alumni of the College from its foundation has been appended, taken from the College Register kindly lent by the President, Mgr. Hilton for the purpose. This, however, is not put forward as complete, for during the eighteenth century the records of the College seem to have been much neglected, and many documents lost. The names of many students have been inserted in this list who, having spent some years at Lisbon College, left for various reasons without taking the oath, and therefore cannot strictly be called Alumni, yet who always considered Lisbon to be their Alma Mater. On the other hand, the names of many students who left without taking Orders, and whose subsequent history has not been traced or has been deemed unimportant, have been purposely omitted.

I may be allowed to avail myself of this opportunity to tender my thanks to the Superiors of the College and others for the assistance which they have readily afforded me, es pecially to the Right Rev. President, Monsignor Hilton, who most kindly gave me access to the Annals of the College, thus enabling me to bring its history down to the present time.