RepositoryJesuits in Britain Archives
Ref NoABSI/SJ/53
TitleFr Thomas Corbishley SJ (1903-1976)
LevelSub fonds
DescriptionThomas Corbishley's personal papers include: personal documents such as degrees and certificates; letters sent to Corbishley; appointment diaries; offprints, articles, sermons, lectures, book reviews and related publications correspondence; broadcast scripts and recordings; research notes and drafts of articles; articles collected by or sent to Corbishly, including articles about Corbishley himself; papers relating to the various committees and causes with which Corbishley was associated; obituary and tributes; and a number of miscellaneous items. There is only one personal photograph.
Admin_HistoryThomas Corbishley was born in Preston on 30 May 1903. He was educated at Preston Catholic College and entered the Society of Jesus on 7 September 1919, joining the novitiate at Roehampton.

He studied philosophy at St Mary's Hall, Stonyhurst, before moving to Campion Hall in Oxford where he completed a degree in Moderations and Greats (Latin, Greek and classics). He then taught at Stonyhurst College for three years before moving on to Heythrop College in Oxfordshire to study theology. He was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest on 10 September 1936. He completed a tertianship at St Beuno's and served as Prefect for Juniors at Roehampton, Craighead and St Beuno's. Corbishley made his final vows in the Society of Jesus on 2 February 1939.

In 1945 Corbishley succeeded Fr Martin D'Arcy SJ as Master of Campion Hall when D'Arcy became Provincial. Corbishley remained in this role until 1958 and was primarily engaged in preaching, retreat giving and lecturing. On leaving Oxford, Corbishley was appointed superior of the community at Mount Street in London. During this time, he was much involved in ecumenical work. Corbishley was invited to preach at Westminster Abbey in 1966 and at St Paul's Cathedral in 1968. Corbishley was elected to the General Congregation of the Society of Jesus in 1957 and attended six provincial congregations. On several occasions he served as Vice-Provincial while the Provincial was abroad.

After the end of his term of office as superior in 1966, Corbishley remained at Mount Street and was engaged in writing, preaching and lecturing for the rest of his life. Corbishley had a keen interest in the great matters of the day, particularly the debates surrounding the entry of Britain to the European Economic Community, nuclear disarmament and the role of the United Nations. He wrote a number of books including 'The Contemporary Christian' (1966) and 'The Prayer of Jesus' (1976), produced a translation of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius and contributed many articles to the Month, the Tablet and the Catholic Herald.

Corbishley died at the age of 73 on 11 March 1976, a month after being diagnosed with incurable cancer. Corbishley's Requiem Mass was held at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Farm Street, on 23 March 1976. His nephew, Fr Philip Corbishley, was the chief celebrant and the service was attended by the Duke of Norfolk and various Anglican clergy. Interment followed at Kensal Green cemetery. A service of evensong was held at Westminster Abbey on 17 May 1976 in thanksgiving for Fr Corbishley's life and ecumenical work.

A full obituary can be found in 'Letters and Notices' 82, pp. 133-146.
Related Material - 5 black and white portrait photographs, see SJ/PH/248, and Campion Hall group photographs (ref: 32/5/2A)
- Corbishley's article on Alice Meynell, the poet and suffragist, published in 'Unitas' No. 67 (November-December 1947), see AX/4.
- Fr Edward Yarnold's homily at Corbishley's Requiem Mass, cassette tape, see 100/966/8.
- Corbishley's homily at the 5th Hopkins Service, 3 June 1973, reel to reel magnetic tape, see 100/966/4.
- 2 letters to Fr Leslie Walker SJ (1954, 1958): SJ/51/3/6.
- 2 letters to Fr Richard Copeland SJ on Corbishley's death, see 44/3/4/1.
- Campion Hall: see index cards.
- For correspondence with Alfred Thomas SJ see SJ/57/-

Material by Corbishley held in the pamphlet collection:
- 'Agnosticism', Catholic Truth Society (1948): ALBSI/P/321, #39.
- 'The Authority of the Church', reprinted from the Modern Churchman: ALBSI/P/324, #39
- 'Catholicity: the goal of ecumenism': ALBSI/P/325, #39
- 'Die Religion der Romer', reprinted from Christus und die Religionen der Erde [1950]: ALBSI/P/326, #39
- 'The light of the world. A series of six short radio talks given in the BBC programme Lift Up Your Hearts' (1960): ALBSI/P/327, #39.
- 'Obedience: Lecture given at the Conference of Novice Masters (November, 1962)' (1963): ALBSI/P/328, #39.
- 'Quirinius and the Census - a Re-study of the Evidence' (1936): ALBSI/P/330, #39.
- 'Theologians - Are They Human?' Reprinted from the Downside Review (1959): ALBSI/P/331, #39.
- 'What is purity?' (Manresa Press, 1940): ALBSI/P/332, #39.
- 'Gerard Manley Hopkins: The Fifth Annual Hopkins Society lecture preached at Holy Trinity Church, Roehampton, 1973: #130.
Printed document
Audio tape
AccessConditionsThe papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to archive material in the Jesuits in Britain Archives.
PublnNoteAmong his publications are:
- 'Roman Catholicism' (1950)
- 'Religion is Reasonable' (1960)
- St Ignatius of Loyola, 'Spiritual Exercises' translated by Thomas Corbishley SJ (1963)
- 'Ronald Knox the priest' (1964)
- 'The Contemporary Christian' (1966)
- 'The Life of Rev Mother M. Cecilia Marshall IBVM: Mary Ward of the twentieth century' (1969)
- 'The spirituality of Teilhard de Chardin' (1971)
- 'One body, one spirit' (1973)
- 'The Prayer of Jesus' (1976)
DS/UK/300Corbishley; Thomas (1903-1976); Jesuit Priest1903-1976

    Copyright ©