|Birth Day:||July 27, 1870|
|Death Date:||16 July 1953(1953-07-16) (aged 82)
Guildford, Surrey, United Kingdom
|Birth Place:||La Celle-Saint-Cloud, France, British|
|#2||Capt. Peter Gilbert Marie Sebastian Belloc||Children||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|#3||2nd Lieut. Louis Belloc||Children||N/A||N/A||N/A|
As per our current Database, Hilaire Belloc died on 16 July 1953(1953-07-16) (aged 82)
Guildford, Surrey, United Kingdom.
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From an early age Belloc knew Cardinal Henry Edward Manning, who was responsible for the conversion of his mother to Roman Catholicism. In The Cruise of the "Nona" (1925), he mentions a "profound thing" that Manning said to him when he was just twenty years old: "All human conflict is ultimately theological." What Manning meant, Belloc explains, is "that all wars and revolutions, and all decisive struggles between parties of men arise from a difference in moral and transcendental doctrine." Belloc adds that he never met any man, "arguing for what should be among men, but took for granted as he argued that the doctrine he consciously or unconsciously accepted was or should be a similar foundation for all mankind. Hence battle." Manning's involvement in the 1889 London Dock Strike made a major impression on Belloc and his view of politics, according to biographer Robert Speaight. He became a trenchant critic both of capitalism and of many aspects of socialism.
He was powerfully built, with great stamina and walked extensively in Britain and Europe. While courting his future wife Elodie Hogan (1868–1914), an American whom he first met in 1890, the impecunious Belloc walked a good part of the way from the midwest of the United States to her home in northern California, "paying" for lodging at remote farm houses and ranches by sketching the owners and reciting poetry. The couple married in 1896.
Hilaire Belloc grew up in England, and would spend most of his life there. His boyhood was spent in Slindon, West Sussex, for which he often felt homesick in later life, as evidenced in poems such as "West Sussex Drinking Song", "The South Country", and even the more melancholy, "Ha'nacker Mill". After being educated at John Henry Newman's Oratory School in Edgbaston, Birmingham, Belloc served his term of military service, as a French citizen, with an artillery regiment near Toul in 1891. He proceeded to Balliol College, Oxford, as a history scholar, securing a first-class honours degree and never losing his love for Balliol, as is illustrated by his verse "Balliol made me, Balliol fed me/ Whatever I had she gave me again".
An 1895 graduate of Balliol College, Oxford, Belloc was a noted figure within the University, being President of the Oxford Union, the undergraduate debating society. He went into politics after he became a naturalised British subject. A great disappointment in his life was his failure to gain a fellowship of All Souls College, Oxford in 1895. This failure may have been caused in part by his producing a small statue of the Virgin and placing it before him on the table during the interview for the fellowship.
In 1906, he purchased land and a house called King's Land at Shipley, West Sussex, where he raised his offspring and lived until shortly before his death. Elodie and Belloc had five offspring before her death in 1914 from influenza. After her death, Belloc wore mourning garb for the rest of his life and kept her room exactly as she had left it.
From 1906 to 1910 he was a Liberal Party Member of Parliament for Salford South. During one campaign speech he was asked by a heckler if he was a "papist." Retrieving his rosary from his pocket he responded, "Sir, so far as possible I hear Mass each day and I go to my knees and tell these beads each night. If that offends you, then I pray God may spare me the indignity of representing you in Parliament." The crowd cheered and Belloc won the election.
His best travel writing has secured a permanent following. The Path to Rome (1902), an account of a walking pilgrimage he made from central France across the Alps and down to Rome, has remained continuously in print. More than a mere travelogue, The Path to Rome contains descriptions of the people and places he encountered, his drawings in pencil and in ink of the route, humour, poesy, and the reflections of a large mind turned to the events of his time as he marches along his solitary way. His book The Pyrenees, published in 1909, shows a depth of detailed knowledge of that region such as would only be gained from personal experience. At every turn, Belloc shows himself to be profoundly in love with Europe and with the Faith that he claims has produced it.
His son Louis was killed in 1918 while serving in the Royal Flying Corps in northern France. Belloc placed a memorial tablet at the nearby Cambrai Cathedral. It is in the same side chapel as the noted icon Our Lady of Cambrai.
Belloc sent his son Louis to Downside School 1911–1915. Louis's biography and death in August 1918 is recorded in "Downside and the War".
G. G. Coulton, a keen and persistent opponent, wrote Mr. Belloc on Medieval History in a 1920 article. After a long simmering feud, Belloc replied with a booklet, The Case of Dr. Coulton, in 1938.
In his 1922 book, The Jews, Belloc argued that "the continued presence of the Jewish nation intermixed with other nations alien to it presents a permanent problem of the gravest character," and that the "Catholic Church is the conservator of an age-long European tradition, and that tradition will never compromise with the fiction that a Jew can be other than a Jew. Wherever the Catholic Church has power, and in proportion to its power, the Jewish problem will be recognized to the full."
Robert Speaight cited a letter by Belloc in which he pilloried Nesta Webster because of her accusations against "the Jews". In February 1924, Belloc wrote to an American Jewish friend regarding an antisemitic book by Webster. Webster had rejected Christianity, studied Eastern religions, accepted the Hindu concept of the equality of all religions and was fascinated by theories of reincarnation and ancestral memory. Speaight also points out that when faced with antisemitism in practice—as at elitist country clubs in the United States before World War II—he voiced his disapproval. Belloc also condemned Nazi antisemitism in The Catholic and the War (1940).
In 1937, Belloc was invited to be a visiting professor at Fordham University by university president Robert Gannon. Belloc delivered a series of lectures at Fordham which he completed in May of that year. While pleased to accept the invitation, the experience left him physically exhausted and he considered stopping the lectures early.
Belloc's 1937 book The Crusades: the World's Debate, he wrote,
During the Second World War his son Peter Gilbert Marie Sebastian Belloc died at age 36 of pneumonia on 2 April 1941. He fell ill while on active service with the 5th Battalion of the Royal Marines in Scotland. He is buried in West Grinstead at Our Lady of Consolation and St. Francis churchyard.
Belloc suffered a stroke in 1941 and never recovered from its effects. He died on 16 July 1953 at Mount Alvernia Nursing Home in Guildford, Surrey, from burns and shock following a fall he had while placing a log into a fireplace at King's Land. His body was buried at the Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation at West Grinstead in the county of West Sussex, where he had regularly attended Mass as a parishioner. His estate was probated at £7,451. At his funeral Mass, homilist Monsignor Ronald Knox observed, "No man of his time fought so hard for the good things." Boys from the Choir and Sacristy of Worth Preparatory School sang and served at the Mass.
Recent biographies of Belloc have been written by A. N. Wilson and Joseph Pearce, and Jesuit political philosopher James Schall's Remembering Belloc was published by St. Augustine Press in September 2013.
Currently, Hilaire Belloc is 152 years, 0 months and 14 days old. Hilaire Belloc will celebrate 153rd birthday on a Thursday 27th of July 2023.
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