Nicholas Patrick Stephen Wiseman

Wiseman, Nicholas Patrick Stephen, 1802–65, English prelate, cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, b. Seville, Spain, of Irish-English parentage. In 1836 he founded (with Daniel O'Connell) the Dublin Review. In 1840 he was taken from his rectorship of the English College at Rome (which he had held since 1828) and made coadjutor to the vicar apostolic of the central district of England. Later he was appointed vicar apostolic of the London district. He was very influential among Catholics and was sympathetic to the Oxford movement. In 1850 the pope restored the hierarchy in England; Wiseman was appointed a cardinal (the first English cardinal in modern times) and was selected as the first archbishop of Westminster, the Catholic primate of England. He succeeded in allaying much of the suspicion that existed between the older Catholic families of England and the newer converts and worked to lessen the anti-Catholic feeling in England. He wrote many books, notably Fabiola (1854), a historical novel of early Christianity. Henry Edward Manning was his assistant and successor.

See E. E. Reynolds, Three Cardinals (1958); biography by B. Fothergill (1963).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.