Bishop England's growing Fame

John Francis Maguire
CHAPTER XX (5) start of chapter

As years went on, so did the fame of Bishop England increase, until the time came when, from one end of the Union to the other, his name became a household word with Catholics of every nationality, who recognised in him a champion fully equipped, and equal to the good fight. The feeling of his own countrymen towards him cannot be described, so intense was their pride in his great qualities—his power of pen and tongue, his resistless force as a controversialist, his capacity for public affairs—the nobleness and grandeur of his nature, which all men respected, and which made for him the fastest friends among those who were not of his Church. There were other great and good bishops, who by their saintly character and holy lives commanded a respectful toleration for their faith; but Bishop England extorted respect for his religion by the matchless power with which he unfolded its principles to those who crowded round him wherever he went, and refuted the calumnies and misrepresentations that had been the stock-in-trade of the enemies of Catholicity for centuries. Like all Irishmen, of that day as of the present, Bishop England at once became an American citizen, thoroughly identified with his adopted country, proud of her greatness, jealous of her honour, loving her beyond all others, save that old land whose recollection lay warm in his heart.

The Irish in America, first published in 1868, provides an invaluable account of the extreme difficulties that 19th Century Irish immigrants faced in their new homeland and the progress which they had nonetheless made in the years since arriving on a foreign shore. A new edition, including additional notes and an index, has been published by Books Ulster/LibraryIreland:

Paperback: 700+ pages The Irish in America

ebook: The Irish in America