First president of Ushaw College; b. at Glossop, Derbyshire, in 1748; d. at Ushaw, May 8, 1810
Eyre, THOMAS, first president of Ushaw College; b. at Glossop, Derbyshire, in 1748; d. at Ushaw, May 8, 1810. He was the fourth son of Nathaniel Eyre and Jane Broomhead. On June 24, 1758, he, with his brothers Edward and John, arrived at Esquerchin, near Douai, the preparatory school for the English college. Having passed through school and college alike with credit, he remained after his ordination as general prefect and master of the classes known as rhetoric and poetry. In 1775 Mr. Eyre returned to England to take charge of the Stella mission near Newcastle, on the invitation of his kinsman, Thomas Eyre. While here he brought out a new edition of the works of Gother and also made a collection of materials (now in the Ushaw archives) with the intention of continuing Dodd’s “Church History”. His scheme for a new edition of Bishop Challoner’s Bible was given up at the request of Bishop Thomas Talbot. In 1792 he removed from Stella Hall to Wooler and thence to Pontop Hall in Durham. In 1794 Bishop Gibson desired him to take charge of the Northern students who had been expelled from Douai, and who were then temporarily at Tudhoe under Lingard, the famous historian, who had not yet been ordained priest. Mr. Eyre removed these students first to Pontop Hall and in October, 1794, to Crook Hall, where he became president of the new college. Though he was willing to resign this post in favor of Mr. Daniel, president of Douai, this suggested arrangement came to nothing and Mr. Eyre remained president. In 1803 an estate called Ushaw was bought by the bishop, and here, early in 1804, the new college was begun, and in July, 1808, Mr. Eyre began to remove his community thither. On August 2 he himself entered and the transfer of St. Cuthbert’s College from Crook Hall to Ushaw was complete. Mr. Eyre died at Ushaw, leaving a considerable sum to the college for professorships and burses. Besides the edition of Gother’s works he brought out, in separate form, Gother’s “Instructions for Confirmation” (Newcastle, 1783), and Gobinet’s “Instruction of Youth in Christian Piety”.