William Tyler (bishop)

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Right Rev. William Tyler
Bishop of Hartford
Church Roman Catholic Church
See Hartford
In office March 17, 1844—June 18, 1849
Predecessor none
Successor Bernard O'Reilly
Ordination June 3, 1829
Consecration March 17, 1844
Personal details
Born (1806-06-05)June 5, 1806
Derby, Vermont
Died June 18, 1849(1849-06-18) (aged 43)
Providence, Rhode Island
For other people named William Tyler, see William Tyler (disambiguation).

William Tyler (June 5, 1806 – June 18, 1849) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church who served as the first Bishop of Hartford (1844–1849).


One of eight children,[1] Tyler was born in Derby, Vermont; his father was a farmer, and his mother was the sister of Daniel Barber and aunt of Virgil Horace Barber, both Protestant ministers who converted to the Catholic Church.[2] The family moved to Claremont, New Hampshire, when William was a child. He converted to Catholicism at age fifteen[2] or sixteen.[1] He completed his classical course at the academy founded by his cousin Virgil in Claremont, and became a member of the household of Bishop Benedict Joseph Fenwick, S.J., in 1826 at Boston, Massachusetts, where he studied theology.[1]

Tyler was ordained to the priesthood by Fenwick on June 3, 1829.[3] He then served as a curate at Holy Cross Cathedral and did missionary work in Aroostook County, Maine,[2] before becoming vicar general of the Diocese of Boston.[1]

On November 28, 1843, Tyler was appointed the first Bishop of the newly erected Diocese of Hartford by Pope Gregory XVI.[3] He received his episcopal consecration on March 17, 1844 from Bishop Fenwick, with Bishops Richard Vincent Whelan and Andrew Byrne serving as co-consecrators, at Assumption Cathedral in Baltimore, Maryland.[3] Upon Tyler's arrival in Hartford the following April, the diocese included the entire states of Connecticut and Rhode Island, containing nearly 10,000 Catholics.[4] Since there were only 600 Catholics in Hartford, he soon moved his residence to Providence, which had 2,000 Catholics.[1] He designated Sts. Peter and Paul Church as his cathedral.[5]

Tyler recruited clergy from All Hallows College in Ireland, and received financial assistance from the Society for the Propagation of the Faith in Lyons, France, and the Leopoldine Society in Austria.[1] His already poor health further weakened by consumption, he received Bernard O'Reilly as a coadjutor bishop and later died from rheumatic fever, aged 45.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Hartford". Catholic Encyclopedia. 
  2. ^ a b c d Clarke, Richard Henry. "Right Rev. William Tyler, D.D.". Lives of the Deceased Bishops of the Catholic Church in the United States. 
  3. ^ a b c "Bishop William Barber Tyler". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. [self-published source]
  4. ^ "History of the Archdiocese". Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford. 
  5. ^ "Brief History of the Cathedral". Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul. 

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Bishop of Hartford
Succeeded by
Bernard O'Reilly