Bishop Hugh Singleton 1851-1934

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Bishop Hugh Singleton
Bishop Hugh Singleton

Hugh Singleton was born in Watson Street, Birkenhead in July 1851 into a typical Birkenhead family. He was baptized and educated at St Werburgh’s in Grange Road.

Once his formal education was completed, he chose to enter the priesthood and took his training at Ushaw in County Durham. He was ordained just prior to his 29th birthday in July 1880 and his first appointment was at St Joseph’s church in Seacombe where he was to stay for twenty years.

He then moved on and was eventually ordained as Bishop of Shrewsbury in September 1908 at the age of 57 by the Archbishop of Westminster Cardinal Bourne, the head of the Catholic Church in this country. Bishop Singleton chose to be ordained to this position at St Joseph’s, where, of course, he had spent such a large part of his career. However after his ordination as Bishop he chose as his Episcopal church, The Church of the Holy Name of Jesus in Beresford Road, Birkenhead where he remained until his death.

In 1914 he officially opened St Edmund’s Orphanage in Bebington which had originally been planned some 20 years earlier as a memorial to the recently retired Bishop Knight.

Despite his high standing within the church, Bishop Singleton was regarded by all who knew him as a man of great kindness and humility. When leaving the town on church affairs he would be seen carrying his own case along Beresford Road as he went to catch the tram down to Woodside Station and thence onwards to Shrewsbury.

Bishop Singleton died in his sleep at home on 17th December 1934 aged 83 and following a full requiem mass was interred at Flaybrick cemetery in the same grave as one of his predecessors Bishop Edmund Knight.