Ullathorne was born in Pocklington, Yorkshire, the eldest of ten children of William Ullathorne, a prosperous businessman with interests in groceries, draperies and spirits, and Hannah (née Longstaff), who converted to Roman Catholicism when she married. When he was nine years of age, Ullathorne's family relocated to Scarborough, North Yorkshire, where he began his schooling.
At 12 he was taken from school and placed in his father's office to learn the management of accounts. The intention was to send him to school again, but Ullathorne wished to go to sea, and at the age of 15, with his parents' permission, he made the first of several voyages to the Baltic Sea and Mediterranean. While attending Mass in Memel he experienced something in the nature of a conversion, and on his return asked the mate if he had any religious books. Ullathorne was given a translation of Marsollier's Life of St Jane Frances de Chantal, which deepened his reliogious devotion. At the end of this voyage he returned home. In February 1823, aged 16, he was sent to Downside, near Bath, where he was mentored by John Bede Polding, afterwards the first Archbishop of Sydney, who influenced him greatly.
In 1823 Ullathorne entered the monastery of Downside Abbey, taking the vows in 1825. He was ordained priest in 1831, and in 1833 went to New South Wales as vicar-general to Bishop William Morris (1794–1872), whose jurisdiction extended over the Australian missions. Ullathorne returned to Britain in 1836, met Bishop Murphy and enlisted for the Australian mission. After another visit to Australia, Ullathorne settled in England in 1841, taking charge of the Roman Catholic mission at Coventry. He was consecrated bishop in 1847 as Vicar Apostolic of the Western District, in succession to Bishop C.M. Baggs (1806–1845), but was transferred to the Central District in the following year. Ullathorne helped found Saint Osburgs Church in Coventry.
Bishop of Birmingham
On the re-establishment of the hierarchy in England, he became the first Roman Catholic Bishop of Birmingham. During his nearly four decades of tenure at the see 67 new churches, 32 convents and nearly 200 mission schools were built. In 1888 he retired and received from Pope Leo XIII the honorary title of archbishop of Cabasa. He died at Oscott College and his monument is in the crypt of St. Chad's Cathedral, Birmingham, although he was buried in the sanctuary of the Church of St Dominic and the Immaculate Conception at Stone, Staffordshire. There is an eponymous Catholic school in Coventry named for Archbishop Ullathorne.
Of Ullathorne's theological and philosophical works the best known are The Endowments of Man (1882); The Groundwork of the Christian Virtues (1883); Christian Patience (1886). For an account of his life see his Autobiography, edited by A. T. Drane (London).
||This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (September 2013)|
|This section lacks ISBNs for the books listed in it. (September 2013)|
- T. L. Suttor, 'Ullathorne, William Bernard (1806 - 1889)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Vol. 2, MUP, 1967, pp 544–546; retrieved 15 October 2009
- Serle, Percival (1949). "Ullathorne, William Bernard". Dictionary of Australian Biography. Sydney: Angus and Robertson.
- Mennell, Philip (1892). " Ullathorne, The Most Rev. William Bernard". The Dictionary of Australasian Biography. London: Hutchinson & Co. Wikisource
- "The autobiography of Archbishop Ullathorne : with selections from his letters" at Archive.org
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "William Bernard Ullathorne". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press
|Catholic Church titles|
Charles Michael Baggs
|Vicar Apostolic of the Western District
Joseph William Hendren
|Vicar Apostolic of the Midland District
|New title||Bishop of Birmingham