LINGARD, JOHN (1771-1851), English historian, was born on the 5th of February 1771 at Winchester, where his father, of an ancient Lincolnshire peasant stock, had established himself as a carpenter. The boy's talents attracted attention, and in 1782 he was sent to the English college at Douai, where he continued until shortly after the declaration of war by England (1793). He then lived as tutor in the family of Lord Stourton, but in October 1794 he settled along with seven other former members of the old Douai college at Crook Hall near Durham, where on the completion of his theological course he became vicepresident of the reorganized seminary. In 1795 he was ordained priest, and soon afterwards undertook the charge of the chains of natural and moral philosophy. In 1808 he accompanied the community of Crook Hall to the new college at Ushaw, Durham, but in 1811, after declining the presidency of the college at* Maynooth, he withdrew to the secluded mission at Hornby in Lancashire, where for the rest of his life he devoted himself to literary pursuits. In 1817 he visited Rome, where he made researches in the Vatican' Library. In 1821 Pope Pius VII. created him doctor of divinity and of canon and civil law; and in 1825 Leo XII. is said to have made him cardinal in petto. He died at Hornby on the 17th of July 1851.
Lingard wrote The Antiquities of the Anglo-Saxon Church (1806), of which a third and greatly enlarged addition appeared in 1845 under the title The History and Antiquities of the Anglo-Saxon Church; containing an account of its origin, government, doctrines, worship, revenues, and clerical^ and monastic institutions; but the work with which his name is chiefly associated is A History of England, from the first invasion by the Romans to the commencement of the reign of William III., which appeared originally in 8 vols. at intervals between 1819 and 1830. Three successive subsequent editions had the benefit of extensive revision by the author; a fifth edition in 10 vpls. 8vo appeared in 1849, and a sixth, with life of the author by Tierney prefixed to vol. x., in 1854-1855. Soon after its appearance it was translated into French, German and Italian. It is a work of ability and research; and, though Cardinal Wiseman's claim for its author that he was " the only impartial historian of our country" may be disregarded, the book remains interesting as representing the view taken of certain events in English history by a devout, but able and learned, Roman Catholic in the earlier part of the 19th century.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)