John Lingard

1771-1851. English Roman Catholic historian. Member of an old Roman Catholic family, Lingard was trained at Douai, ordained priest in 1795, taught at Crook Hall seminary and later at Ushaw, and became parish priest of Hornby near Lancaster in 1811. A man of genial and kindly temperament, he produced between 1819 and 1830 an eight-volume History of England with the intention of disarming Protestant critics by his candor and scholarship. Many were, and still are, bemused by this approach, but his essential premise was long ago exposed by T.B. Macaulay: no Protestant opinion on any subject can possibly be correct. In 1836 he produced a new version of the four gospels which relied on the Greek rather than the Vulgate text. This novel approach, combined with the tenor of his historical writing and the well-known Gallicanism* of his youth aroused the wrath of the hierarchy and the Ultramontane party.