Henry Edward Dormer Collection
This is an archival collection relating to the life and work of Henry Edward Dormer (1844-1866). It consists of books, photographs, slides, films, correspondence, drawings, banners, and realia, including Dormer’s sword. Dormer was born in Warwickshire, England, and after studies in Europe and in Ireland, made a retreat at age 19 under Father Rudolph Suffield, a Dominican friar, an event which apparently changed his outlook on life. Stationed with the King’s Own Royal Rifles in London, Upper Canada, in 1866 during the era of the Fenian Raids, Dormer is reputed to have led a life of selfless devotion to God, attending to the needs of the poor, sick and elderly of the colonial garrison town. Dormer bestowed money, clothing, food and other necessities to those in need, and gave religious instruction to children and soldiers, if they requested it, all the while wrestling with the question of his own possible religious vocation. Dormer contracted typhoid fever and died on 2 October 1866, just as he had decided to enter the Dominican novitiate. As word of Dormer’s death spread contemporary newspaper accounts reported that “the saint is dead.” Digitized pages from the notebook of Henry Edward Dormer and additional biographical information taken from the files of Cathedral Connections can be viewed from the website of St. Peter’s Cathedral Basilica.
Extent: 194 cm. of textual record + realia