RepositoryJesuits in Britain Archives
Ref NoABSI/SJ/17
TitleFr James Splaine SJ (1834-1901)
LevelSub fonds
DescriptionThis collection contains Splaine's diary written in Jamaica, 1872, a typescript of the diary, and a letterbook from the 1890s.
Admin_HistoryJames Francis Splaine was born on 10 February 1834 to a prominent Catholic family in Liverpool. Of Splaine's four brothers, three became priests with two, Cyprian and William, also joining James in entering the Society of Jesus. After completing his education at Stonyhurst College, Splaine entered the Society on 20 September 1854 among the first cohort of novices to be admitted to Beaumont.

After a study of philosophy, Splaine taught at Mount St Mary's for two years and at Stonyhurst for one year as Master of Syntax. He served a prefectship at Beaumont and studied theology at St Beuno's. He was ordained priest in 1867. In November 1869, Splaine travelled to Jamaica as a missionary. He spent three years in Jamaica before returning to England in 1872 via the United States and Canada.

Splaine took his final vows at Stonyhurst on 15 August 1874. From 1877 to 1881, Splaine was parish priest at Great Yarmouth and from 1881 to 1887 he was parish priest at Chesterfield. After a short stint at Blackpool, Splaine was appointed Rector of Preston College in 1887. In 1894, Splaine moved to Edinburgh before being appointed Spiritual Father at Liverpool in 1897. His final appointment was as Spiritual Father at St Beuno's.

During the 1880s and 1890s Fr Splaine wrote a number of pamphlets on education, the poor, catechism and transubstantiation, some of which were published through the Catholic Truth Society. Throughout his career, Splaine was an extensive journal writer.

Having suffered ill health and exhaustion for some time, Fr Splaine died on 21 December 1901 in Richmond, where he was on a missionary secondment. He was buried in the public cemetery at Richmond.

A full obituary can be found in Letters & Notices, Vol. 26, pp. 352-358.
Related Material - Renunciation (1874). Ref: 1/4/1/2.
- 2 letters regarding the parish of Chesterfield (1882). Ref: MSB/48 (Letters of Bishops & Cardinals), ff. 285-288.
- Letter to Br Foley seeking advice on right of way dispute (1885). Ref: CH/S.
- 2 letters from solicitors regarding the case in the Chancery of the County Palatine of Lancaster between Eliza Walmsley and Fr Nicholas Papal (1888-1889). Ref: SY/12.
- 3 letters to Fr Splaine regarding the purchase of the Talbot Road property in Blackpool (1893). Ref: ML/1
- See index cards for brothers, William Splaine SJ and Cyprian Splaine SJ
- Selected extracts from travel journals/diaries published in LL&NN under the title 'Father James Splaine's Notes of Travel'. On Jamaica: LL&NN 27, pp 153-162; On return journey via United States and Canada: LL&NN 27, pp. 327-340, 468-478 and 28, pp. 116-131: On tertianship at Castres via Paris: LL&NN 28, pp. 196-201, 260-277, 311-327, 412-425; On Iceland: LL&NN 28, pp. 481-493; On Norway: LL&NN 30, pp. 49-61.
- Jamaica Mission Letters, 1837-1872. MSB/36 (calendared).
AccessConditionsThe papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to archive material in the Jesuits in Britain Archives.
PublnNoteAmong his publications are:
- History of the First Catholic Charitable Society (Preston, 1895). Ref: BX 2141 P
- 'Ought we honour Mary?' Catholic Truth Society XXII (1902). Ref: PAM/SP
- 'The Catholic Sick-Room' Catholic Truth Society XXXI (1896). Ref: PAM/SP
- 'Transubstantiation' Catholic Truth Society IV (1895). Ref: PAM/SP
DS/UK/963Splaine; James Francis (1834-1901); Jesuit Priest1834-1901

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