English historian. Of an old RC family, he was ordained priest in 1795. In 1811 he went to a country mission where he spent most of the rest of his life writing. The success of his History of England [to 1688] (1819–30) was due to its objectivity, its use of contemporary documents, and the new light in which it viewed such controversial periods as the Reformation. There is some evidence that he was created cardinal in petto in 1826.
Subjects: Christianity — Literature.