Autograph letter signed ("John H. Newman"), 4 pages (7 x 4 1/2 in.; 178 x 115 mm), with autograph envelope, stamped and postmarked, The Oratory, Birmingham, 6 July 1862, to Mrs. [Patrick] O'Connor, of Dundermot, Ballymoe, Ireland. Red half-morocco drop-box, gilt-stamped title on spine.
Offering advice on the wisdom of sending her son to Oxford, Newman's own university, concluding that it is not the place for a devout Catholic boy and revealing "... the dangers of a spiritual & moral character, which are incident to a residence at Oxford ... I would not dare to recommend a Catholic youth to go there ... as young men grow up, they are inevitably brought into conflict with the mortal enemies of their souls—and, though there is certainly more temptation in one place than another ... temptation & peril must come upon them ..."
Newman, a former fellow of Oriel College and vicar of the university church, here counsels against his own alma mater. In 1846, he had resigned from the church, become a Catholic and had founded the branch of the Oratorians in Birmingham. Education was at the heart of his ministry. He founded the Oratory School in Edgbaston and in 1858 attempted to open a branch of the Oratorians in Oxford itself. This was countermanded by his great rival Cardinal Manning, who was fearful of Catholics being encouraged to go to Oxford. From this letter, it is clear that Newman shared the same fears.
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