Wednesday, August 13, 2008

GKC and Father O'Connor link talked about in England

From the blog:
For the Catholic boys of Bradford, Fr. Arthur Hinsley (later Archbishop and Cardinal) founded St. Bede's Grammar School (originally) near St. Patrick's church. His assistant was Father John O'Connor. Fr. O'Connor was a great friend of G.K. Chesterton who based his famous character, Father Brown, on this real priest.
St. Bede's daughter school was Cardinal Hinsley Grammar School for boys. As far as I am aware, this was always a school with lay staff and under the control of its only Headmaster, the late Walter Earnshaw. In the early 1980s Hinsley/Clitherow amalgamated to form Yorkshire Martyrs Collegiate School.
The link between G.K.Chesterton and Mgr. O'Connor and the much maligned Heckmondwike will be a future feature on this blog.
I'll keep an eye out for this "future feature".


  1. I read Wikipedia's entry on Heckmondwike, but I see no reference to its being maligned, or why. Anyone?

  2. I don't know what that future feature will eventually entail, but I can offer this ballade of Gilbert's, as inscribed inside the cover of Fr. O'Connor's personal copy of The Ballad of the White Horse:

    The scratching pen, the aching tooth,
    The Plea for Higher Unity,
    The aged buck, the earnest youth,
    The Missing Link, the Busy Bee,
    The Superman, the Third Degree
    Are things that I should greatly like
    To take and sling quite suddenly
    As far as Heaven from Heckmondwike.

    As far as Hood is from Fitzooth,
    As far as seraphs from the flea,
    As far as Campbell from the truth,
    Or old Bohemia from the sea,
    Or Shakespeare from Sir Herbert Tree
    Or Nathan from an Arab sheik,
    Or most of us from £ s. d.
    As far as Heaven from Heckmondwike.

    As far as actresses from youth,
    As far, as far as lunch from tea,
    As far as Horton from Maynooth,
    As far as Paris from Paree;
    As far as Hawke is from a gee,
    Or I am from an old high bike,
    As far as Stead from sanity,
    As far as Heaven from Heckmondwike.


    Prince, Cardinal that is to be,
    Cardinals do not go on strike
    I’m far from wishing it (D.V.)
    As far as Heaven from Heckmondwike.

    I haven't the faintest idea what it could possibly mean. Keep us informed, Nancy!

  3. I wonder if the reference to Hevkmondwike is a private joke. Maybe Fr. O'Connor was a p.p. there?


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