Biography of John Henry Newman

Portrait of Cardinal Newman

Cardinal John Henry Newman was a nineteenth century Cardinal and scholar.

When and Where was he Born?

21st February 1801, 80 Old Broad Street, London, England. Christened John Henry Newman.

Family Background:

John Henry Newman’s father was a London banker who was opposed to religious enthusiasm and his mother was Jemima Foudrinier from a French Huguenot family.


Great Ealing College. Trinity College, Oxford.

Timeline of Cardinal John Henry Newman:

1824: Newman is ordained as a Deacon in Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford. He becomes curate of St Clement’s Church in Oxford.

1825: He is ordained as a priest.

Bust of Newman
Bust of John Henry Newman at Birmingham Oratory  (copyright Anthony Blagg)

1826: He becomes a tutor at Oriel College, Oxford.

1828: He becomes vicar of St Mary’s Church.

1838: He becomes the editor of the journal”The British Critic”.

1842: Newman moves to Littlemore.

1843: He retracts his anti-Catholic statements but resigns from St Mary’s Church.

1845: He enters the Catholic Church.

1846: He is ordained to the priesthood in the Catholic Church.

1848: The Oratory in Birmingham is founded.

Plaque at Birmingham Oratory
Plaque at the Birmingham Oratory unveiled by Pope Benedict 16th (copyright Anthony Blagg)

1877: He is elected as an honorary fellow of Trinity College, Oxford.

1879: Newman becomes a Cardinal.

When and Where did he Die?

11th August 1890, Birmingham, England of an attack of pneumonia.

Age at Death:


Written Works:

1844: “Lives of the English Saints”.
1845: “An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine”.
1852: “Discourses on the Scope and Nature of University Education”.
1864: “Apologia Pro Vita Sua”.
1865: “The Dream of Gerontius”.
1868: “Collected Works”. “Parochial and Plain Sermons”. “An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent.”


Never married as a Catholic Priest.

Site of Grave:

Private cemetery next to the chapel of the Oratorians, Rubery, Rednal, Birmingham. His body was supposed to be taken to the Oratory in Birmingham but when the grave was opened it was found be empty.

Newman original Grave
Due to vandalism the original grave site of Cardinal Newman has been fenced off at the Lickey Hills, Birmingham (copyright Anthony Blagg)
Newman grave
Security fencing around original grave

Places of Interest:


The Oratory, Hagley Road, Edgbaston.

Birmingham Oratory
Rear of the Birmingham Oratory where Newman is now remembered (copyright Anthony Blagg)