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Home > Catholic Encyclopedia > M > Thomas William Marshall, LL.D., K.S.G.

Thomas William Marshall, LL.D., K.S.G.

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Controversial writer, b. 1818; d. at Surbiton, Surrey, 14 Dec., 1877. He was son of John Marshall, government agent for colonizing New South Wales. His parents were Protestants, and he was educated at Cambridge (Trinity College) where he graduated B.A. in 1840. Taking orders in the Church of England, he became Vicar of Swallowcliff, in Wiltshire, to which living the Perpetual Curacy of Antstey was attached. Profoundly influenced by the Tractarian movement, he set himself to study the episcopal government of the Church, and his first book, published in 1844, was a work on this subject. But in writing this book he was led by his researchers to abandon the Anglican position as untenable, and in November, 1845, he was received into the Catholic Church in Lord Arundell's chapel at Wardour Castle. In 1847 he was appointed the first inspector of Catholic Schools, a position which he held until 1860, when he was asked to resign, owing to the public feeling aroused against him by the publication of his pamphlet exposing the Anglican missions to the heathen. After two years spent in America he returned to England and published his best known work on "Christian Missions" 1862). In 1870 and the following year he lectured in the United States with great success, the Jesuit College of Georgetown conferring on him the degree of Doctor of Laws. In 1872 he returned to England, where he devoted himself to literary pursuits for the remaining five years of his life. He married Harriet, daughter of the Rev. William Dansey, Rector of Donhead-St.-Andrew, who joined the Church with him and who survived him.

He was a valued contributor to the Catholic press in England and America. His published works are: "Notes on the Episcopal Polity of the Holy Catholic Church" (1844); "Twenty-two Reasons for Entering the Catholic Church" (1846); "Letter to the Rev. Cecil Wray, M.A." (1846); "Christianity in China" (1858); "Tabulated Reports on Roman Catholic Schools inspected in the South and East of England" (1859); "Christian Missions, their Agents, their Method and their Results" (1862; 1863; New York, 1865; London, 1865. Translated into French and German); "Catholic Missions in Southern India to 1865" (1865, written in conjunction with the Rev. W. Strickland, S.J.); "Order and Chaos, a Lecture delivered at Baltimore" (1869); "My Clerical Friends and their Relation to Modern Thought" (1873); "Church Defence: Report of a Conference on the Present Dangers of the Church" (1873); "Protestant Journalism" (1874); "Anglicans of the Day" (1875).

Arthur Featherstone Marshall, B.A. Oxon.

A younger brother of Thomas, abandoned his curacy at Liverpool to become a Catholic in the early sixties. He was widely known as the author of "The Comedy of Convocation", a satirical brochure exposing the inconsistencies invoked in all three of the Anglican views---High, Low, and Broad Church. His "Old Catholics at Cologne" was hardly less popular during the period immediately following the Vatican Council and the defection of Döllinger. Other controversial works of a light and popular character by this brilliant writer were "Reply to the Bishop of Ripon's Attack on the Catholic Church" and the "Infallibility of the Pope."


GILLOW, Bibl. Dict. Eng. Cath., IV, 479-484; COOPER, in Dict. Nat. Biog., XXXVI, s.v.; GONDON, Motifs de conversion de dix ministres Anglicains (Paris, 1847); The Tablet (December, 1877).

About this page

APA citation. Burton, E. (1910). Thomas William Marshall, LL.D., K.S.G.. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

MLA citation. Burton, Edwin. "Thomas William Marshall, LL.D., K.S.G.." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 9. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. <>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Bobie Jo M. Bilz.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. October 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York.

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