Thomas Griffiths (bishop)

The Right Reverend
Thomas Griffiths
Vicar Apostolic of the London District
Appointed 30 July 1833 (Coadjutor)
Installed 11 July 1836
Term ended 12 August 1847
Predecessor James Yorke Bramston
Successor Thomas Walsh
Other posts Titular Bishop of Olena
Ordination 1814
Consecration 28 October 1833
by James Yorke Bramston
Personal details
Born (1791-06-22)22 June 1791
London, England
Died 12 August 1847(1847-08-12) (aged 56)
Denomination Roman Catholic

Thomas Griffiths (born in London, 2 June 1791; died 19 August 1847) was an English Roman Catholic bishop.


He was the first and only Vicar Apostolic of the London District educated wholly in England. At the age of thirteen he was sent to St. Edmund's College, Old Hall, where he went through the whole course, and was ordained priest in 1814. Four years later he was chosen as president, at the age of 27. He ruled the college for fifteen years, at the end of which time he was appointed coadjutor to Bishop Bramston, then Vicar Apostolic of the London District. He was consecrated as titular Bishop of Olena at St. Edmund's College, 28 October 1833. Within three years Bishop Bramston died, and Bishop Griffiths succeeded him.

The agitation for a regular Catholic hierarchy in England became more and more pronounced and as a preliminary measure, in 1840, the four ecclesiastical "districts" into which England had been divided since the reign of James II of England were subdivided to form eight, Dr. Griffiths retaining the new London District. Soon after this, the Oxford movement and attendant Catholic conversions began: and the immigration of Irish Catholics grew. At the same time the growth of the British colonies, many of which had been until lately ruled as part of the London District, brought him into contact with the government. In all these spheres Griffiths discharged his duties with practical ability; but it was thought that he would not have the breadth of view or experience necessary for initiating the new hierarchy, and (according to Bishop Ullathorne) this was the reason why its establishment was postponed.

When Griffiths died, somewhat unexpectedly, in 1847 Ullathorne himself preached the funeral sermon. The body of the deceased prelate was laid temporarily in the vaults of Moorfields Church; but two years later it was removed to St. Edmund's College, where a new chapel by Augustus Pugin was in course of erection, and a special chantry was built to receive the body of Griffiths, to whose initiative the chapel was due. An oil painting of Griffiths is at Archbishop's House, Westminster; another, more modern, at St. Edmund's College.


    Catholic Church titles
    Preceded by
    James Yorke Bramston
    Vicar Apostolic of the London District
    Succeeded by
    Thomas Walsh
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