Notable Alumni of Ushaw College

John Lingard

Rev. John Lingard 1771-1851

John Lingard trained for ordination at Douai, and taught at Crook Hall, and then at Ushaw.  An eminent historian, John Lingard is best known for his book 'The History of England'.  He also wrote the very popular hymn titled 'Hail Queen of Heaven'. Most of the earnings from his writings were directed towards educating students to the priesthood at Ushaw following its creation.

Cardinal Wiseman

Cardinal Nicholas Patrick Stephen Wiseman 1802–1865

Wiseman became a Cardinal of the Church and the first Archbishop of Westminster when the Catholic Hierarchy was restored in 1850 following centuries of persecution. Born in Seville, he was a student at Ushaw until the age of sixteen. A great scholar, he was appointed curator of the Arabic manuscripts in the Vatican's Library, and professor of Oriental language in the Roman University.  As Cardinal, he supported Ushaw in all its endeavours and was a frequent visitor to the College during his years in Rome.


James Chadwick

Bishop James Chadwick 1813-1882

James Chadwick was the second Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle. He was educated at Ushaw from 1825 until his ordination in 1836. As a Professor, he taught a variety of subjects including philosophy and theology. He was fulfilling these academic duties when he was elected bishop of the diocese in 1866, which dominated most of his time after. A man of great personal dignity and charm, he was noted for his gentleness of manner towards staff and students alike. His remains are buried here at Ushaw.

Thomas Wilkinson

Bishop Thomas Wilkinson 1825-1909

Appointed Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle in 1889,  Thomas Wilkinson was President of the College from 1890, fulfilling both offices until his death in 1909.  He placed the College on a secure financial footing, and revived its educational standards and prestige, arranging for many Ushaw students to attend and be examined at the University of Durham during his years as President. He too is buried in our cemetery.


Francis Thompson

Francis Thompson 1859 – 1907

After attending Ushaw, Thompson studied medicine for a time. He then moved to London to become a writer, but became addicted to opium, and was a vagrant for many years. A married couple, who read his poetry and rescued him, helped him publish his first book, 'Poems' in 1893. His most famous work 'The Hound of Heaven' describes the pursuit of the human soul by God. There is a room named after him at Ushaw.

Merry Del Val

Cardinal Raphael Merry Del Val 1865-1930

Merry Del Val was of Basque origin, and was a student at Ushaw for two years, leaving at the age of 19 when he moved to Rome to complete his Catholic studies.  He served as secretary of the conclave that elected Saint Pius X, who is said to have accepted his election as Pope through Merry del Val's encouragement; Pius appointed Merry del Val as his  Cardinal Secretary of State.


Joe Tasker

Joe Tasker (1948-1982)

Joe Tasker was one of the most talented British climbers of the late 70s and early 80s. As a student at Ushaw, he started climbing in our quarry. After leaving the seminary he worked as a dustman before studying sociology at Manchester University. He improved his climbing skills during this time, graduating from rock climbing in Britain to winter routes in the Alps. He climbed in many Himalayan expeditions with Doug Scott and Chris Bonington, and published two books recounting his exploits.  Joe was tragically lost in 1982 with Peter Boardman whilst climbing the north east ridge of Mount Everest.