posted on 11 January 2005
Born 25th August 1865, at Carlton near Selby, Yorkshire. Son of a local carpenter and an Irish mother. His Parish Priest, who assisted at Carlton Towers, a nearby residence of the Norfolk Family, sponsored his education and at the age of 11 he set off for Ushaw. Whilst a student there he secured his B.A. degree from London University. He then came to the Venerable English College as a student to take further degrees and was ordained in 1893, aged 28. He then returned to Ushaw to teach there for 4 years, but in 1900 he founded a Laity-sponsored School, St. Bede’s Grammar School, in Bradford and became its first Headmaster.
The school prospered but led to differences between Hinsley and his Bishop. Consequently Hinsley moved to Southwark Diocese.
After 13 years combining parish work with lecturing at Wonersh, he was made Rector of the V.E.C. and worked in Rome from 1917 – 1928. He bought Palazzola and had its swimming pool built. However, he was created Bishop of Sardis in 1927 and sent as Apostolic Visitor to Africa where after 7 years, ill-health caused him to retire.
He became a Canon of St. Peter’s and there expected to end his days. To the surprise of many he was called out of retirement on the death of Cardinal Bourne to become the fifth Archbishop of Westminster on 25th March 1935. He became a Cardinal in 1937.
He denounced the Hitler Regime – founded the Sword of the Spirit as an ecumenical venture to rally the churches against totalitarianism – and became famous in all homes for his wartime radio chats and stirring encouragement when Britain stood alone.
He died on 17 March 1943, at the age of 78.