Rev. William Paul (Guilherme Paulo) Tilbury
England to Brazil, 1784-1863

From "Victorian Memorial Brasses" by David Meara, 1983

Ware (St. Edmund's College), Hertfordshire
... Rev. W. P. TILLBURY, 1863 ...

From the President of The Edmundian Association:

"William Paul TILBURY was born on 25 January 1784 to Protestant parents. He converted to Catholicism and came to St Edmund's College in 1806 to study for the priesthood. After three years here, he was threatened with tuberculosis and had to seek a warmer climate.

He spent the greater part of his life working as a missionary in Rio de Janeiro, where he died, at the age of 79, on 28 May 1863. Upon his death he left all his money (about £4,500) to the College, subject to annuities to his two slaves, José and Antonio. The former died in 1873 and the latter in 1890. He also left his chalice to Bishop WEATHERS, President of the College, for use in his lifetime and then for transfer to the College.

We had a search for the TILBURY Chalice in the College Chapel, but could find no trace of it. It is listed as being there in 1903.

I attach a small, blurry image of Father - later Canon - TILBURY from the College archives; I am unsure of its origin."

From "History of St. Edmund's College, Old Hall" 1893, by Bernard Ward

"William Paul TILBURY" [mentioned, online 'snippet' only]

From "The Essex Literary Journal", June-May 1839
(pub. Meggy & Chalk, High-street, Chelmsford)
Original Miscellaneous Articles

Sir William Tilbury

(The following account of a person in humble life, who appears to have bettered his fortune by perseverence under difficulties, and by a visit to a foreign clime, is from Mr. Cunnington's manuscript "History of Braintree," which we quoted in our last.)

Sir Wm. Tilbury is supposed to have been an illegitimate child, born at Ingatestone, but after some time taken charge of by an aunt at Braintree, who sent him to a day school, where he learned to read and write; and it so happened that Daniel Copsey, afterwards the Rev. D. Copsey, was his school fellow. At the age of about 13 or 14 years, he was hired by the late Mr. Daniel Joslin, a linen draper of the town, as kitchen boy, in which capacity his behaviour was observed to be very studious, steady, and obliging. One thing in particular is remembered of him - which is that when he was cleaning knives he would have a book stuck up before him, so as to enable him to read at the same time; and always when his work was done, he would clean and dress himself and sit down to read. Although his name was William, he used always, as a matter of convenience to be called Joe, and Mrs. Clarance, Mr. Joslin's sister, who is my informant, used to observe what a number of books he had, and sometimes said to him - “Joe, I can't think where you get all your books;” to which he made answer that some friend or other lent them to him. While he was at Mr. Joslin's he kept up the acquaintance of his old school fellow Copsey, who was then an usher in a school in the town, and who it is believed taught Tilbury to write. After some time Mr. Joslin, observing his good behaviour, attention to books, and general abilities, made up his mind to extract him from the kitchen, and put him forward; and at first took him into the shop in the evening to help fold up the linen drapery which had been taken down to show customers in the course of the day, and afterwards to help wait in the shop on market days. In these instances he fully realized his master's expectations, and he determined to get him some better place. Accordingly he spoke to a commercial traveller with whom he was acquainted, and who got him a place in a warehouse in London, after he had resided with Mr. Joslin three or four years.

One day, after he was in London, he happened to go into a Roman Catholic Chapel, and was so much struck with the manner of performing the service that he used afterwards frequently to attend. In a short time he was observed by some of the congregation, who made themselves acquainted with him, and, admiring his appearance and intelligence, proposed to him that he should leave the warehouse, and they would send him to college. He accepted the offer, and was sent to a College near Stondon, in Hertfordshire, where he made rapid progress. His fellow students were principally foreigners and the sons of noblemen and gentlemen. When had been there some time, a foreign nobleman came to see his son, and before he went away proposed to take Tilbury back with him to the Brazils, (as it is thought) to attend to the education of his sons. He accordingly went, and was afterwards appointed tutor to the Emperor's children, and eventually Knighted. It seems, however, that subsequently he has taken orders in the Roman Catholic Church. He used when at College to come to his old master's, and stop three or four days, and he also visited the old Marchioness of Buckingham, at Gosfield Hall, as well as some French Nuns, who resided at the Park. Since he has been abroad he has kept up a correspondence with Mrs. Clarance, the last letter that lady received, being dated “Rio de Janeiro, Nov. 11, 1830.” In this letter he states he is not rich yet; but he is happy, though not more so than when at Braintree. He continues - “I have often said to myself, when seated in the Palace - 'Well, here I am seated by the side of an Emperor, with a fine star on my breast, and now in what am I more really happy than when I used to be seated at Braintree with William Young, Susan Brown, and Ann Hayes, (his fellow servants). Had I risen from one table to take my place at the other immediately, I should no doubt have been dazzled and giddy with the sudden change; but advancing step by step up the ladder, of what you are pleased to call fortune, my progress becomes natural to me.'” He adds - “There is one thing I often wish for in this hot climate, and that is, to be able to transport myself to the nice cool cellar of the great house (Mr. Joslin's) to get a draught of beer.” He states he learned the death of his old schoolfellow through an English Magazine which fell into his hands, and that he was not before aware that he had taken orders.

From "Diccionário Bibliográphico Portuguez: Estudos" 1958, by Innocéncio Francisco da Silva, Ernesto Soares

Guilherme Paulo TILBURY,

"Teacher of English at the S. Jose Seminary and State teacher of English, French and Geography in Rio de Janeiro.

"(315 A Brief Introduction to the Study of Geography. Rio do Janeiro, National Printers, 1823.)" [Was this GPT's work? Or the next person in the list?]

From "Newspaper Reports from Old Rio, 1808-1850", by Delso Renault, 1969

"Father TILLBURY (G. P. TILBURY), wrote a brief Introduction to the Study of the French Language, published by the National Printers in 1823; price, 480 rei."

[Is there some confusion in the above two notices, or did Father TILBURY publish several works at the same time? — including 'A Brief Explanation regarding Grammar' — that a prior knowledge of Portuguese grammar was essential before studying English:]

"Contendo quanto basta, e o que he de absoluta necessidade saber da grammatica portugueza para apprender qualquer outra lingua. Offerecida a'quelles senhores, que esquecidos dos estudos da sua mocidade, querem ainda applicarse ao estudo das linguas vivas ou mortas. Rio De Janeiro: Na Typographia Nacional, 1823."

From "Colégio Brasileiro de Genealogia"

Grand Masters
Serving Kings and Princes

65. Guilherme Paulo TILBURY
"English teacher to the Emperor Dom Pedro I, and to his daughters: the Princesses D. Maria Teresa, D. Maria Isabel, D. Maria Francisca, D. Isabel Maria, D. Maria da Assumpcao, and D. Ana de Jesus."

"Chaplain to the Military Division of the Imperial Guard of the Police. Named as English teacher to the Queen and the Princesses, by Decree issued at the Palace of Rio de Janeiro on 4th April 1827. The Decree of 8th April 1827, issued at the Palace of Rio de Janeiro, authorised payment of 4,000 rei for each lesson given to the Princesses."

From "The United Service Journal and Naval and Military Magazine" 1830

Narrative of the Formation and Revolt of the Irish Brigade in the Brazilian Service, at Rio, in 1828, by an Officer of the Expedition

[Seeing that, during the war between Brazil and Argentina, his country's forces seemed unable to vanquish the inferiorly equipped Argentinian soldiers, the Emperor of Brazil sent representatives to Ireland to recruit labourers, supposedly to work on the land, with a suitably enticing description of their possible future, while in fact he intended to use them in his army. The result was disastrous, ending in the revolt of those Irish who emigrated to Brazil and particularly the smaller number of them who joined the army, and a running battle in the streets of Campe and Rio. During the initial phase of the revolt:]

"The Government had punished the [Irish] officers, under the impression that in doing so it would intimidate the men, and put a stop to the constant complaints they were in the habit of making with respect to their food, pay, and clothing. Of the latter necessary, none was dealt out to them until the greater number were literally naked.

The result was the very opposite of what the Brazilian legislators had intended. ... At first, various stratagems were used to entrap them; one of these, in which royalty itself figures, is especially deserving of notice. His Majesty the Emperor, acting, it is supposed, under the impression that the performance of a few signal acts of religious devotion, in presence of the Irish, would completely gain them over, humiliated himself so far as to fill the office of clerk, at the celebration of Mass in the barrack-yard of Praya Vermelha, for three successive Sundays. Some waggish fellow gave out, that their regular attendance on those occasions would as essentially render them soldiers as if they had bound themselves to that effect by oaths; the consequence was, that after the first Sunday, scarcely one of them could be induced to attend, and the exhortations of Father TILBURY, and English Roman Catholic preist, who officiated, or rather played the part of the recruiting serjeant, under his Majesty's orders, were wasted."

From "Notices of Brazil in 1828 and 1829", by Robert Walsh, Rio de Janeiro, 1830 (F. Westley and A. H. Davis)

[The Emperor] "wished to acquire a knowledge of English, and to that end he commenced, along with his children, a course of reading with the Rev. Mr. TILBURY, an Englishman, who has taken orders in the Catholic church, and to whose courtesy and information on several subjects, I am very much indebted."

"I found the Emperor [Dom Pedro II] standing in the middle of a room inside. When I had seen him before on the steps of the throne, with his little boy beside him, he looked to me a tall and portly man; but when I now approached ... I perceived his person was below the middle size, and remarkably thick and sturdy. ... he said to me in French,

'I am much obliged to you for the books you sent me by the Marquez d'Aracaty, ... I have not had time yet to read them; besides, I do not understand English well.'
'I have been informed your Majesty speaks it fluently?'
'No! I was learning it from Father TILBURY, but he is ill, poor man....' "

From "Revista do Instituto Histórico e Geográfico Brasileiro" 1862

Foi o anno de 1836 para Luiz GONCALVES uma quadra de repouso consagrado a actos de devocão. Nós lhe devemos o Septenario das Dores de Maria Santissima, repassado de verdadeira piedade e unação religiosa, que para seu maior merito appareceu com um apendice poetico votado ao mesmo objecto pelo distincto traductor do livro de Job, José Eloy OTTONI.

Recuperou no anno seguinte [1837] seu ardor bellicoso o Athanasio fluminense e empunhando as armas da igreja voou ao combate para profligar as calumnias que um ministro methodista escrevera para New-Yorck contra o povo eclero d'esta cidade. O Desaggravo e um eseripto cheio de colera e de justa indignacao contra as falsidades do audaz aventureiro americano que se despachara — 'missionario do Rio de Janeiro'. — Vergado pelos annos e enfermidades lembrou-se Luiz GONCALVES da era de 1821: mostrou uma energia de que poucos mocos seriam capazes e repelliu ao mesmo tempo o insulto feito a religião e a patria.

Uma vez na estacada difficil era fazer retirar ao valente lidador catholico. N'uma publicacao que em 1838 redigia o padre TILBURY inseriu Luiz GONCALVES a sua Analyse do annuncio do vendedor de Biblias. — Respondendo as accusacôes do idolatria que nos dirigem os protestantes faz o padre-mestre uma douta preleccao sobre as diversas especies de culto que admittimos, e chegando ao exame dos livros sagrados mostra as adulteracoes que as seitas heterodoxas tem introduzido tanto no 'Antigo', como no 'Novo Testamento'. Posto que escripto com paixao distingue-se esta 'analyse' por um certo ar de brandura, direi quasi conciliatorio, que, como já por vezes tenho notado, faltava absolutamente aos luminosos trabalhos do doutissimo theologu, de quem me honro de ser compatriota."

[Translation anyone? Briefly: in 1837 there had been the attacks by a Methodist minister of New York (the 'Missionary of Rio de Janeiro') against Catholic ideas; in 1838 Father TILBURY wrote a pamphlet in response to Protestant accusations of idolatry directed against the Catholics.]

From "The Dublin Review" 1840, by Nicholas Patrick Wiseman

"Exculpation of the clergy and Catholic people of Rio, or Refutation [by the Rev. TILBURY] of the lies and calomnies of an imposter who styles himself the Missionary of Rio de Janeiro."

"... antidote against the Methodistic Poison, or Refutation of the second Report of the person called the Missionary of Rio, by the Rev. R. P. G. TILBURY, Rio, 1838. — Mr. TILBURY is an excellent English priest, long resident at Rio de Janeiro, and enjoying there, justly, the esteem of all classes."

From "The City of Petropolis", published by The Imperial Museum, 1957

"56 — TILBURI — A light vehicle invented by an English coach-maker, George TILBURY, about 1818. The first of this type of vehicle to circulate in Rio de Janeiro, in 1846, were painted yellow, having, within an elipse the monogram G.T. Those who were ignorant of the true origin of this small carriage associated the initials with the name of father Guilherme TILBURY, who had been living amongst us since before Independence — and it became known as the 'carriage of father TILBURY'."

From "Cronologia do Transporte Publico" (website)

1846: October

"Rio de Janeiro - 12th, was inaugurated the service of Tilburys, a vehicle of two wheels with an animal and a coachman next to the passenger. It carries the name of its creater, the Englishman Gregory TILBURY."

[Note: so far as is known - 12 January 2008 - the Tilbury Gig was first made by John TILBURY of Pinner, Middlesex, and Edgeware road, London; he was also a job-master and subsequently became very well-known for his hunters which stood at livery across a wide area of England. This John TILBURY had sons John, who expanded the coach-making business, and George. For more details, see "The Tilbury Magazine" - History Pages - via the link beneath. (Caroline, siteholder)]

The Tilbury Gig

From "State Education in Brazil", by Jose Ricardo Pires de Almeida, 1889

"... in the time of Jose Luiz ALVES, there were only five or six pupils, while in 1851, when run by Father Guilherme Paulo TILBURY, there were twenty-eight ..."

From "Almanak Administrativo, Mercantil e Industrial do Rio de Janeiro, e Indicador"

Imperial Ministry
State Teachers

Of English. Rev. G. P. TILBURY, [cross] 2, 1. da Carioca, 7, 2° andar.

Imperial Ministry
State Teachers

Of English. Rev. G. P. TILBURY, [cross] 2, 4, r. do Sabao, 264

War Ministry
Ecclesiastical Division

Father Guilherme Paulo TILBURY, [cross] 2, 4, r. do Sabao, 264

From "Life in Brazil", by Thomas Ewbank, Brazil, 1856

"... in Dereita Street, we turned up an old and narrow lane named, after the Praying Abacus, Rua do Rozario. At the head of it stands the ancient metropolitan temple, now a negro church, and the only one conceded to the colored population. Here are genii not met with in other temples, and to them our visit was intended.

... Entering, we found the place a picture of desolation; ... the cemetery of this church is large. The niches for the dead are four deep, and all tenanted except two.

'Black Benedict' is generally considered an imaginary saint, got up by the Portuguese with the view of more effectually keeping slaves in subjection. I have interrogated several priests on the subject, including Father TILBURY, but not one could say who he was, where he dwelt, nor how and when he became canonized."

From "Freeman's Journal and Daily Commercial Advertiser" (Dublin, Ireland), Wednesday, July 15, 1863

The Rev. William Paul TILBURY, after a long life of usefulness and devotion in the exercise of his Divine calling, gave up his soul to God at Rio de Janeiro on May 28th last, after having received all the rites of the church, in the 80th year of his age. A convert in his youth - educated at St. Edmund's College, for which he always cherished the fondest recollection, as has been evinced by his liberal benefactions to that establishment on leaving college (then in minor orders), finding he might be too much restricted in the exercise of his calling by the operation of the penal laws then in existence in this country, and wishing to breathe a Catholic atmosphere - he emigrated to the Brazils, where, for upwards of half a century, he has undisturbedly exercised the holy functions of the priesthood to the great benefit of the community in general, and to his own countrymen in particular, many of whom he has reclaimed from the errors of Protestantism, and brought over to the Catholic church. - (Weekly Register).

The Edmundian Association, Google Books Online, Gale Group Newspapers Online, The David Rumsey Historical Map Collection, other Websites

Map, and Illustrations of Rio de Janeiro in 1862

The Edmundian Association

St. Edmund's College, Ware, Hertfordshire

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