John Carroll (bishop)


John Carroll

Archbishop of Baltimore
John Carroll Gilbert Stuart.jpg
SeeArchdiocese of Baltimore
AppointedNovember 6, 1789
InstalledDecember 12, 1790
Term endedDecember 3, 1815
PredecessorDiocese erected
SuccessorLeonard Neale
Orders
OrdinationFebruary 14, 1761
ConsecrationAugust 15, 1790
by Charles Walmesley
Personal details
BornJanuary 8, 1735
Marlborough Town, Province of Maryland
DiedDecember 3, 1815(1815-12-03) (aged 80)
Baltimore, Maryland, United States

John Carroll SJ (January 8, 1735 – December 3, 1815[1]) was a prelate of the Roman Catholic Church who served as the first bishop and archbishop in the United States. He served as the ordinary of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Maryland.

Carroll is also known as the founder of Georgetown University (the oldest Catholic university in the United States), and of St. John the Evangelist Parish of Rock Creek (now Forest Glen), the first secular (or diocesan, meaning that its clergy did not come from monastic orders) parish in the country.

Early life and education

John Carroll was born to Daniel Carroll I and Eleanor (Darnall) Carroll at the large plantation which Eleanor had inherited from her family. He spent his early years at the family home, sited on thousands of acres near Marlborough Town, the county seat of Prince George's County in the Province of Maryland.[2] (Several remnant surrounding acres are now associated with the house museum known as "Darnall's Chance", listed on the National Register of Historic Places and part of the system of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission for northern suburban Washington, D.C.).

Other Carroll relatives were instrumental in the development of the colonial Province of Maryland and the establishment of Baltimore (1729), soon to be the third-largest city in America, and developed as a port on the Chesapeake Bay. His older brother Daniel Carroll II (1730–1796) became one of only five men to sign both the "Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union" (1778) and the Constitution of the United States (1787).[3] His cousin Charles Carroll (1737–1832) was also an important member of the Revolutionary Patriot cause, and was the last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence (1776). Charles Carroll lived long enough to participate in the industrial revolution, with the ceremonies of the 1828 setting of the "first stone" for the beginning of the construction of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.

John Carroll was schooled at home by his mother, before being sent to a Catholic school at Bohemia Manor in Northeastern Maryland, secretly conducted by Father Thomas Poulton, a Jesuit. At the age of thirteen, he was sent to the College of St. Omer in French Flanders (northern France, bordering southern edge of modern Belgium). (This was established for the education of English Catholics after they suffered discrimination following the Protestant Reformation instituted by King Henry VIII in England). During the upheavals of the French Revolution (1789–1799), the College migrated to Bruges, and then Liège. It returned to England and was located at Stonyhurst in 1794, where it remains today.) Also attending St. Omer with him was his cousin Charles, who was to become the only Catholic signatory of the Declaration of Independence, and the first United States Senator (1789) from Maryland.[4]