|The Most Reverend
Samuel Eccleston, S.S.
|Archbishop of Baltimore|
|See||Archdiocese of Baltimore|
|Installed||October 19, 1834|
|Term ended||April 22, 1851|
|Successor||Francis Patrick Kenrick|
|Other posts||Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Richmond (1835-1840)|
|Ordination||April 24, 1825
by Ambrose Maréchal
|Consecration||September 14, 1834
by James Whitfield
June 27, 1801|
|Died||May 22, 1851
Georgetown, Washington, D.C.
|Denomination||Roman Catholic Church|
|Parents||Samuel Eccleston and Martha Hyson|
Raised in an Episcopalian family, Samuel Eccleston was born near Chestertown, Maryland, to Samuel and Martha (née Hyson) Eccleston. His grandfather, John Eccleston, was from Preston in North West England, and came to the Colony of Maryland in the middle of the 18th century. His father, who had three children from a previous marriage, died when Samuel was a young boy. Following his father's death, his widowed mother remarried a Catholic gentleman named Stenson. While a pupil at St. Mary's College in Baltimore, run by the Sulpician Fathers, he converted to Catholicism on May 29, 1819.
Following his conversion, Eccleston decided to enter the priesthood, and enrolled at St. Mary's Seminary in July 1819. He was ordained a priest by Archbishop Ambrose Maréchal on April 24, 1825. Later that year, he entered the Sulpicians, and was sent to continue his studies at the Grand Seminary of Saint-Sulpice in Issy-les-Moulineaux, France. After visiting England and Ireland, he returned to Baltimore in July 1827, and became a faculty member and Vice-President at his alma mater of St. Mary's College. He was made President of the same institution in 1829.
On March 4, 1834, Eccleston was appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of Baltimore and Titular Archbishop of Thermae Basilicae by Pope Gregory XVI. He received his episcopal consecration on the following September 14 from Archbishop James Whitfield, with Bishops Benedict Joseph Flaget, S.S., and Francis Patrick Kenrick serving as co-consecrators, in the Cathedral of the Assumption. Upon the death of Archbishop Whitfield on October 19, 1834, Eccleston succeeded him as the fifth Archbishop of Baltimore. At the age of 34, he is the youngest cleric to become Archbishop in the history of the Archdiocese. In 1835, he was also appointed by the Holy See as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, an office in which he remained until the appointment of Richard Vincent Whelan in 1840. He received the pallium, a vestment worn by metropolitan bishops, on November 1, 1835.
Under Eccleston's encouragement, the Sisters of the Visitation increased the number of their academies, the Brothers of St. Patrick came to direct a trade school near Baltimore, and the increasing German Catholic population was confided to the care of the Redemptorists. The Brothers of the Christian Schools founded Calvert Hall School in 1845, and St. Charles College was established in 1849. Between 1837 and 1849, he held five Provincial Councils of Baltimore; he even invited the exiled Pope Pius IX to preside over the Seventh Provincial Council in 1849. Several new churches were erected during his administration as well.
- "Most Rev. Samuel Eccleston S.S.". Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore.
- Shea, John Gilmary (1890). A History of the Catholic Church Within the Limits of the United States: From the First Attempted Colonization to the Present Time. New York.
- Fuller, Horace W., ed. (1894). The Green Bag: An Entertaining Magazine for Lawyers VI. Boston: The Boston Book Company.
- "Samuel Eccleston". Catholic Encyclopedia.
- "Archbishop Samuel Eccleston, P.S.S.". Catholic-Hierarchy.org.
- Clarke, Richard Henry (1872). Lives of the Deceased Bishops of the Catholic Church in the United States I. New York: P. O'Shea Publisher.
|Catholic Church titles|
|Archbishop of Baltimore
October 19, 1834 – April 22, 1851
Francis Patrick Kenrick