BRIDGETT, THOMAS EDWARD: English Roman Catholic; b. at Derby (35 m. n.n.e. of Birmingham), Derbyshire, Jan. 20, 1829; d. at Clapham (a suburb of London) Feb. 17, 1899. His parents were Baptists, but in 1845 he was baptized into the Church of England. Two years later he matriculated at St. John's College, Cambridge, but just before taking his degree in 1850 he refused to take the oath of supremacy and was received into the Roman Catholic Church. He then studied for six years on the Continent, and was ordained priest in 1856, after having joined the Redemptorist Order. His life-work lay in the mission field to which his order is particularly devoted, and in 1868 he established the Confraternity of the Holy Family connected with the Redemptorist church at Limerick, Ireland. In addition to his activity as a missioner, he wrote The Ritual of the New Testament (London, 1873); Our Lady's Dowry, or, how England Gained and Lost that Title (1875); The Discipline of Drink (1876); History of the Holy Eucharist in Great Britain (2 vols., 1881); Life of Blessed John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester (1888); The True Story of the Catholic Hierarchy Deposed by Queen Elizabeth. (in collaboration with T. F. Knox; 1889); Blunders and Forgeries: Historical Essays (1890); The Life and Writings of Sir Thomas More (1891); and Sonnets and Epigrams on Sacred Subjects (1898). He likewise edited a number of works, of which the most important were Bishop T. Watson's Sermons on the Sacraments (London, 1876); R. Johnson's The Suppliant of the Holy Ghost (1878); Cardinal W. Allen's Souls Departed (1886); The Wit and Wisdom of Blessed Thomas More (1892); Lyra Hieratica: Poems on the Priesthood (1896); Poems on England's Reunion with Christendom (1896); and Characteristics from the Writings of Nicholas Cardinal Wiseman (1898).
BRIDGEWATER TREATISES: A series of books written in accordance with the will of Francis Henry, eighth earl of Bridgewater (d. Feb. 11, 1829), who left eight thousand pounds to the Royal Society, to be paid to one or several authors, selected by the president, for writing a treatise "On the power, wisdom, and goodness of God, as manifested in the Creation." The following eight authors were selected, and their treatises published (12 vols., London, 1833-36): (1) Thomas Chalmers, The Adaptation of External Nature to the Moral and Intellectual Condition of Man; (2) John Kidd, The Adaptation of External Nature to the Physical Condition of Man; (3) William Whewell, Astronomy and General Physics considered with Reference to Natural Theology; (4) Charles Bell, The Hand, its Mechanism and Vital Endowments as Evincing Design; (5) Peter Mark Roget, Animal and Vegetable Physiology considered with Reference to Natural Theology; (6) William Buckland, Geology and Mineralogy considered with Reference to Natural Theology; (7) William Kirby, The Habits and Instincts of Animals with Reference to Natural Theology; (8) William Prout, Chemistry, Meteorology, and the Function of Digestion considered with Reference to Natural Theology.
Calvin College. Last modified on 05/10/04. Contact the CCEL.