Louis Casartelli

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Louis Charles Casartelli
Bishop of Salford
Bishop Louis Charles Casartelli.jpg
Bishop of Salford 1903–1925
Appointed28 August 1903
Term ended18 January 1925
PredecessorJohn Bilsborrow
SuccessorThomas Henshaw
Ordination10 September 1876
by Herbert Vaughan
Consecration21 September 1903
by Francis Bourne
Personal details
Born(1852-11-14)14 November 1852
Cheetham Hill, Manchester, England
Died18 January 1925(1925-01-18) (aged 72)
Salford, England
BuriedSt Joseph's Cemetery, Moston, Manchester, England
DenominationRoman Catholic
ParentsJoseph Louis Casartelli and Jane Henrietta Casartelli (née Ronchetti)

Louis Charles Casartelli (14 November 1852 – 18 January 1925) was a Roman Catholic priest and was the fourth Bishop of Salford.[1]

Early life[edit]

Born of Italian parents at 2 Clarence Street, Cheetham Hill, Manchester, 14 November 1852. His parents, Joseph Louis (an optician) and Jane Henrietta Casartelli (Ronchetti), had resided in the area for some time. He was believed to have been considered an intelligent as well as pious child, something which was felt he learned from his mother.[2]


At the age of nine he attended Salford Catholic Grammar School and became fluent in French, German, Italian and Spanish. Whilst there he came under the influence of two masters, Canon Augustus De Clerc and Bruno de Splenter. Louis went on to study at St Cuthbert's College, Ushaw where he won a gold medal for classics as well earning an MA degree externally from University of London in 1873.[2]

In 1884 he began specialist theology studies at the University of Louvain, in Belgium, where he also specialised in Eastern languages, an interest first acquired – so he said – through a chance encounter with a book in the Manchester Free Library. He was an avid diary keeper, often writing in several languages on the one page, and frequently using the prayer (in Latin) "O God be merciful to me a sinner".[2]


Louis was ordained to the priesthood on 10 September 1876 by the then Bishop Herbert Vaughan. He was seconded to the teaching staff of St Bede's College, Manchester although in 1884 he returned once more to the University of Louvain and gained a doctorate in Oriental literature. Upon completion of his studies, he returned to St Bede's and in 1891 he was appointed rector. From 1898 he lectured five times each Lent term at Louvain, Sanskrit, Zend and Pehievi becoming his speciality. He was lecturer in Iranian languages in the University of Manchester, and was offered a position as the Katrak lecturer in Iranian studies at Oxford University but although he accepted he was unable to give the lecture due to illness.[2]


On 28 August 1903 Louis was appointed Bishop of Salford but wrote to Rome begging to decline. His appeal was rejected and he wrote to Abbot Francis Aidan Gasquet OSB "if the wish did not sound rather an impiety one could almost desire that Cardinal Gotti might have held me suspect of Liberalism and other dreadful things" (1 September 1903). He was consecrated in St John's Cathedral, on 21 September 1903 by Archbishop-elect Francis Bourne, with Bishops Thomas Whiteside and Samuel Webster Allen as co-consecrators.[2]

The poor Catholics of Manchester and Salford took great pride in the appointment, and when charged that nobody with any intelligence could possibly be a Catholic, would reply "Well just look at our Bishop". Bishop Casartelli was one of the first bishops in England to attempt concerted Catholic Action. He produced a monthly journal The Federationist and never failed to make a contribution on contemporary issues. He became the founder and president of the Manchester Dante Society from 1906, The Catenian Association from 1908, Manchester Egyptian Association from 1908 to 1910, the president of the Manchester Statistical Society from 1898 to 1900 and a supporter of the Oriental, Geographical, Antiquarian and other societies. On 18 December 1918 he was elected an honorary member of the Royal Asiatic Society which he declares in his diary of the day as "a most astonishing and unexpected honour."[2]


Bishop Casartelli died at his residence at St Bede's College, Manchester on 18 January 1925, and is buried in St Joseph's Cemetery, Moston, Manchester.[2]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
John Bilsborrow
Bishop of Salford
Succeeded by
Thomas Henshaw


  1. ^ "Bishop Louis Charles Casartelli". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. David M. Cheney. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g https://web.archive.org/web/20050418024409/http://www.churches-online.org.uk/salfordarchives/clergy/clergy_c.html