Lingard, John, 1771-1851 (Roman Catholic priest and historian)
- Existence: 1771 - 1851
John Lingard (1771-1851), Roman Catholic priest and historian, was a leading figure in the progress of Catholic emancipation during the nineteenth century. He was one of the last students to be educated at the English College at Douai, and after escaping from the continent during the French revolutionary troubles in 1793, he returned to England. He was associated with the community from Douai that was established at Crook Hall, and later at Ushaw College, County Durham, and for many years was the Professor of Natural and Moral Philosophy. After 1811 he settled at Hornby, Lancashire, where he was a missionary priest. Lingard's first major literary work was The antiquities of the Anglo-Saxon Church, published in 1806, and revised and expanded in 1845. His History of England...to 1688 was published in eight volumes between 1819 and 1830, and was noteworthy for its scrupulous reliance on original manuscripts, and for the generally even-handed treatment of subjects about which Catholics and Protestants were likely to disagree. It went through five editions in Lingard's lifetime, each of which was revised and expanded in the light of new discoveries. Such was Lingard's reputation as a result of the History that on his second visit to Rome in 1825-1826 there is strong evidence that he was created a cardinal in petto by Pope Leo XII. Pope Pius VII had earlier, in 1821, conferred on him the 'triple academic laurel' of doctorates in divinity and canon and civil law. Lingard also published many works of a controversial nature, as well as several ca techisms and versions of and commentaries on religious texts, mostly in the form of pamphlets or periodical articles.