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Bishop John England Letters

Identifier: MC 99

Scope and Contents

This small collection contains incoming and outgoing correspondence to and from Bishop John England. Unless otherwise marked all of the letters were sent from England to William Gaston between 1821 and 1840. The letters deal with England’s attempt to grow the Church in the South.


  • Creation: 1821 - 1846

Biographical / Historical

John England was born in Cork Ireland on September 23, 1786. He was ordained in 1808 and consecrated as the first Bishop of Charleston on September 21, 1820. He would remain Bishop of Charleston until his death on April 11, 1842. Bishop England made the first English translation of the Roman Missal in the United States as well as founded the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy. He led the diocese from having only a handful of priests that he brought with him from Ireland and a few hundred Catholics to having their own seminary and over 10,000 Catholics.

William Gaston, the primary recipient of Bishop England’s letters, was a Catholic who served as a United States Representative for North Carolina and later served on North Carolina’s Supreme Court.


0.2 Linear Feet (; 1 box)

Language of Materials



This collections contains correspondence of Bishop John England, first Bishop of Charleston, South Carolina. The bulk of the collection contains outgoing letters from Bishop England to the Honorable William Gaston.

Custodial History

Accession Number 1990.056 and M379

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was a given to the American Catholic Historical Society as a gift from the Right Reverend H. P. Northrop, Bishop of Charleston South Carolina.

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Catholic Historical Research Center of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia Repository

6719 Calvert Street
Philadelphia PA 19149