World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

James Burns (publisher)

Article Id: WHEBN0019219971
Reproduction Date:

Title: James Burns (publisher)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: How Green Was My Valley, John Henry Newman, Burns & Oates, Little Office of Our Lady
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

James Burns (publisher)

James Burns (b. near Montrose, Forfarshire, Scotland, 1808; d. in London, 11 April 1871) was a Scottish publisher and author.

During the last half of the nineteenth century his work in the cause of Catholic literature and Catholic church music contributed much to the rapid advancement of the Church in Great Britain and to the many conversions that were made throughout that period.


His father was a Presbyterian minister and sent him to a college in Glasgow with the idea that he should follow the same calling. But feeling no inclination for it, he left the school in 1832 and went to London where he found employment with a publishing firm. He acquired a knowledge of the trade and then set up for himself in a modest way. He soon won success and Anglican ministers adopted him, in their literary campaign of tracts and polemic publications. He then became a "Puseyite", or High Church man. From his press were issued books of a high literary tone in the series he called The Englishman's Library and The Fireside Library. The Oxford Movement under John Henry Newman drew him within its range, and he became a Catholic convert in 1847.

The Anglican publications of the old house were sold off. Burns succeeded, in a comparatively brief time, in building up a reputation as publisher of Catholic literature. To his "Popular Library" Cardinal Wiseman contributed Fabiola and Cardinal Newman, Callista. Other volumes from well-known writers, prayer books, and books of devotion made the name of the firm of Burns & Oates a household name.

Burns himself also wrote constantly on church music, and edited and republished many compositions. He died from cancer.


His widow, who was also a convert, survived him twenty-two years, dying a member of the Ursuline community at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., January, 1893. Of his five daughters, four entered the Ursuline Order and the other became a Sister of Charity. His only son was ordained a priest, serving for a long time as chaplain at Nazareth House, Hammersmith, London.


  • public domain:  The entry cites:
    • Catholic Family Annual (New York, 1884);
    • London Tablet and Weekly Register, files (15 April 1871).

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.