This article incorporates unedited text from the public-domain Catholic Encyclopedia. It may be out of date, or may reflect the point of view of the Catholic Church as of 1913. It should be edited to reflect broader and more recent perspectives. (June 2017)

Pontifical Beda College
Former name
Collegio Ecclesiastico
Collegio Pio
Christo spectante curramus
Established1852; 172 years ago (1852)
FounderPope Pius IX
Religious affiliation
Roman Catholic
RectorCanon Philip Gillespie

The Pontifical Beda College (Italian: Pontificio Collegio Beda) is a college in Rome. It was founded as the Collegio Ecclesiastico at the Palazzo dei Convertendi in 1852 by Pope Pius IX and is intended for older men, often convert clergymen, wishing to prepare for the Roman Catholic priesthood.


This college was moved in 1854 to the English College to accommodate a larger number of clergymen from England who had joined the Roman Catholic Church from other Christian denominations and wished to prepare for the Catholic priesthood. They came only for four years, because they were seen to have significant experience already. Here the college became known as the Collegio Pio. It also included lifelong Catholics drawn to the priesthood later in life, and priests studying for post-graduate degrees in Rome.[1] Pope Leo XIII issued a new constitution in 1898 and placed the college under the patronage of Bede, the eighth century Anglo-Saxon monk and scholar. Edward Henry Howard bequeathed to the two colleges his library.[2]

It was decided by the Sacred Congregation of Studies (1917), that it should be completely separated from the Venerable English College, and that it should have a corporate life entirely of its own under a rector and staff of its own and in its own premises. Pending the acquisition of a permanent home, temporary premises were rented in the Prati di Castello from the Polish Hospice. Horatius Kinder Mann [la] was brought from England to be the new rector, and J. C. Richards was appointed vice-rector. The Bede students took up their new quarters on 2 January 1918.[3]

When the First World War ended, the Polish returned to Rome and the Beda became homeless. The community was transferred in 1922 to the Via S. Niccolo da Tolentino close by the Piazza Barberini. The college made progress under the guidance of Mann and his vice-rector McShane.[4]

In 1956 Pope Pius XII provided from the extraterritorial property of the Holy See the land on which the present Beda stands, adjacent to the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls. Pope John XXIII formally opened the new building on 20 October 1960.[5]

The Beda remains the responsibility of the Bishops of England and Wales but now receives men from English-speaking countries worldwide.[5]

With plans to relocate the Scots College, it was announced in May 2023 that students of the Scots College would move to Beda College in September 2023, until a permanent location is found.[6]

Notable students

Father Thomas Byles (1870–1912), English Catholic Priest and passenger of RMS Titanic.

.List of rectors

This list is incomplete; you can help by adding missing items. (November 2018)

1897–1908: Giles [Vice-Rector] 1908–1911: Butt [Vice-Rector] 1911–1917: Thomas George [Vice-Rector]


  1. ^ "A brief History of the Beda College", Pontifical Beda College
  2. ^ Benigni, Umberto. "Roman Colleges." The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 13. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 11 January 2016Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 23 November 2015.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 November 2015. Retrieved 23 November 2015.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ a b c "Vatican appoints Liverpool priest as new Rector of the Pontifical Beda College in Rome". Diocese of Shrewsbury.
  6. ^ Meade, Matthew (12 May 2023). "Scots College to close as city centre location sought". Archdiocese of Edinburgh. Retrieved 18 May 2023.
  7. ^ "Duchemin, Rt Rev. Mgr Charles L. H." Who Was Who. Oxford University Press. 1 December 2007. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U52191. ISBN 978-0-19-954089-1. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  8. ^ "Drumm, Rev. Mgr Walter Gregory". Who's Who 2018. Oxford University Press. 1 December 2017. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U14154. ISBN 978-0-19-954088-4. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  9. ^ Kennedy, Duncan (12 May 2010). "Catholic recruits and the sex abuse scandal". BBC News. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  10. ^ "Leading Theologian Monsignor Strange Appointed Visiting Professor". St Mary's University. 14 January 2015. Retrieved 3 November 2018.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Roman Colleges". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

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