Witham, George (DNB00)

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search


WITHAM, GEORGE (1655–1725), Roman catholic prelate, born on 16 May 1655, was the third son of George Witham of Cliffe Hall, near Darlington, Yorkshire, by his wife Grace, daughter of Sir Marmaduke Wyvill, bart., of Constable Burton in that county (Foster, Yorkshire Pedigrees). Robert Witham [q. v.] was his brother. George entered the English College at Douay in 1666, and subsequently proceeded to the seminary of St. Gregory at Paris to take the theological degrees. Having graduated B.D. at the Sorbonne, he taught philosophy at Douay in the vacations of 1684 and 1685. He returned to Paris, and was created D.D. at the Sorbonne on 14 Aug. 1688. He taught theology at Douay from 1688 to 1692. After serving on the English mission at Newcastle-on-Tyne he was appointed vicar-general under Bishop James Smith in the northern district. In 1694 he was sent to Rome by Bishops Leybourne, Giffard, and Smith, and he continued to reside there as agent for the English vicars-apostolic until 1703, when he was nominated vicar-apostolic of the midland district of England, being consecrated at Montefiasconi to the see of Marcopolis in partibus infidelium. In 1715 he was translated to the northern district. He died at Cliffe Hall on 16 April 1725, and was buried at the parish church of Manfield.

His brother, Thomas Witham, D.D. (d. 1728), was educated at Douay and at the English seminary of St. Gregory at Paris. Being appointed one of the chaplains of James II, he came to London and discharged the duties of his office until the Revolution. He was created a Doctor of the Sorbonne on 25 April 1692, was superior of St. Gregory's seminary from 1699 to 1717, and died at Dunkirk on 8 Jan. 1728. He wrote ‘A Short Discourse upon the Life and Death of Mr. George Throckmorton,’ sine loco, 1706, 12mo, pp. 120, and a volume of manuscript sermons now in the possession of Mr. Joseph Gillow, who has prepared it for publication.

[Brady's Episcopal Succession, iii. 540; Catholic Mag. and Review (Birmingham, January–August 1833), iii. 73, 98; Notes and Queries, 1st ser. vii. 243, 390.]

T. C.