Edward Ilsley

Edward Ilsley (11 May 1838 – 13 June 1926) was an English prelate who served in the Roman Catholic Church in England as the first Metropolitan Archbishop of Birmingham (1911–1921), having previously been the second diocesan Bishop of Birmingham (1888–1911).[1]

Born in Stafford, Staffordshire, England on 11 May 1838 to a recusant family, he was ordained to the priesthood on 29 June 1861.[1] He was appointed an Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham and Titular Bishop of Fesseë on 21 November 1879.[1] His consecration to the Episcopate took place on 4 December 1879; the principal consecrator was Bernard Ullathorne, Bishop of Birmingham, with Francis Amherst, Bishop emeritus of Northampton, and Edmund Knight, Auxiliary Bishop of Shrewsbury (later diocesan Bishop of Shrewsbury), serving as co-consecrators.[1] Following the retirement of Ullathorne in January 1888, Ilsley was appointed the diocesan bishop of Birmingham on 15 February 1888.[1] Ilsley became the Metropolitan Archbishop of Birmingham on 28 October 1911 when the diocese was elevated to the status of a metropolitan archdiocese.[1][2]

Ilsley retired on 15 January 1921 and was appointed Titular Archbishop of Macra on 13 June 1921.[1] He died on 1 December 1926, aged 88.[1]


Archbishop Ilsley Catholic School in Acocks Green, Birmingham, which uses his coat of arms (five golden birds around a golden floriated cross on a blue shield, derived from that of St Edward the Confessor) as their school badge. Ilsley's motto was Justus et Tenax Propositi or Just and Firm of Purpose.[3]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "Archbishop Edward Illsley". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. David M. Cheney. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
  2. "Archdiocese of Birmingham". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. David M. Cheney. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
  3. "Archbishop Ilsley Catholic School". Retrieved 22 November 2014.
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Bernard Ullathorne
Bishop of Birmingham
Title elevated
New title Archbishop of Birmingham
Succeeded by
John McIntyre
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