Charles Eyre (bishop)

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The Most Reverend
Charles Petre Eyre
Archbishop of Glasgow
Uk rc glasgow a eyre.png
Coat of Arms of Charles Petre Eyre,
Archbishop of Glasgow
Archdiocese Glasgow
Installed 1878
Term ended 1902
Successor John Aloysius Maguire
Ordination 19 March 1842 (Priest)
Consecration 3 December 1868 (Archbishop)
Personal details
Born 7 November 1817
Askham Bryan, near York, England
Died 27 March 1902 (aged 84)
Glasgow, Scotland
Denomination Roman Catholic Church
Parents John Lewis Eyre and Sara Eyre (née Parker)

Charles Petre Eyre (1817–1902) was a Roman Catholic clergyman who served as the Archbishop of Glasgow from 1878 to 1902.

Born at Askham Bryan Hall, Askham Bryan, near York, England on 7 November 1817, he was the fifth of nine children of John Lewis Eyre (died 1880) and Sara Eyre, née Parker (died 1825). His father later became a director at the South Western Railway Company. His family was the recusant Eyre family of Derbyshire, a family which had retained their Roman Catholic beliefs since the English Reformation and suffered land loss as a result.

On 28 March 1826 Charles was received into St Cuthbert's College, near Durham. He rose to become a deacon by May 1828, and in the following year, December 1839, entered the Venerable English College, Rome, and was ordained a priest there on 19 March 1842. He returned to England and took charge of Newcastle in 1843, taking positions at Wooler, Illness and Haggerstone between 1849 and 1856, before returning to Newcastle. He became Vicar-General of the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle in 1868.

Although previously considered for other bishoprics, it was not until 29 November 1868 that he was officially nominated for a prelacy. He was appointed Titular Archbishop of Anazarbus and Apostolic Delegate for Scotland on 3 December 1868 . He was consecrated to the Episcopate in Rome on 31 January 1869. The principal consecrator was Cardinal Karl-August von Reisach, Archbishop Emeritus of Munich and Freising, and the principal co-consecrators were Henry Edward Manning, Archbishop of Westminster and Frédéric-François-Xavier Ghislain de Mérode, Titular Archbishop of Melitene.

Following the resignation of Bishop John Gray on 4 March 1869, Archbishop Eyre was appointed the Apostolic Administrator of the Western District of Scotland on 16 April 1869. He travelled to Glasgow in March 1869, charged with organising the re-establishment of Roman Catholic hierarchy in Scotland. After attending the First Vatican Council (1869–70), he returned to Scotland in a mission to build schools and to unite the Scottish catholic community, bitterly divided between Scottish and Irish Catholics. In 1874, he opened St Peter's Seminary, Bearsden (now at Cardross).

Despite some resistance among Scottish Catholics, the Scottish hierarchy was restored by Pope Leo XIII on 15 March 1878. The Western District was elevated to the Archdiocese of Glasgow, with Charles Petre Eyre appointed as its first Roman Catholic archbishop since the Scottish Reformation.

Six years later he established a cathedral chapter. Archbishop Eyre was successful to a large extent in integrating the new establishment into Scottish society. The University of Glasgow awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Laws in 1892. He was one of the early patrons of Celtic FC, founded in 1888 with a name designed to inspire unity between Scottish and Irish Catholics in the Glasgow area.

He died on 27 March 1902, aged 84, at his home in Glasgow. He was buried in his seminary at Bearsden; now the site of the new Bearsden Academy building. His body was later moved to St Andrew's Cathedral, Glasgow. Archbishop Eyre left a number of religious and historical works, including works on Scottish saints, the medieval church of Glasgow, and St Cuthbert.


Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Antoine-Pierre IX Hassun
Titular Archbishop of Anazarbus
Succeeded by
Jean-Baptiste Salpointe
Preceded by
John Gray
(vicar apostolic)
Apostolic Administrator of the Western District
District elevated to
the Archdiocese of Glasgow
New creation Archbishop of Glasgow
Succeeded by
John Aloysius Maguire