posted on 11 January 2005
Born Seville, Spain, of Irish parents. Educated Waterford, Ushaw and the Venerable English College. At the age of 16 he entered the College. Ordained in 1825, he was made a Rector shortly afterwards. He became a noted scholar and gold medallist – especially in Syriac – and enriched the Library with rare books in his researches. At 38 he became Coadjutor Bishop of the Central District of London and President of Oscott College.
At the age of 48, when the Pope allowed England and Wales to have 12 Bishoprics subject to Westminster, Wiseman became Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster. He worked with Manning, regulated afresh the style of Religious Services and Devotions in England and the structure of Seminaries, secured status for Military Chaplains, and set up schools for needy children. His own youthful exuberance still reveals itself - but only just – on a pillar beside the College Tank where he carved his own name. His titular Church was Saint Prudentiana.
He died on 15th February 1865, in London aged 62.