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Edward Vaughan Boulger (1846–1910)

from Advocate

There passed away last week at St. Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne, a very interesting convert to the Catholic Church, Edward Vaughan Boulger, Litt. D., Trinity College, Dublin. A native of Galway, Ireland, a student subsequently of Trinity College, Dublin, where his course was unrivalled for brilliancy. Dr. Boulger passed on to the German Universities, where he engaged in oriental studies. On his return he was made Regius Professor of Greek at Trinity. A Bohemian in spirit, he emigrated to Australia, and was appointed to the chairs of mental philosophy and history in the Adelaide University. Always of a restless disposition, he came on to Melbourne and Sydney, and plunged into journalism, but was eventually made Professor of Classics and English literature at the Loreto Training College at Albert Park, Melbourne, which position he held till his death. Before he came to Melbourne, he had drifted away from Protestantism, and had become a Pantheist. Singular to say, his study of the Pagan classics, of which he was fond, had kept the flame of religion alive in his breast. This is peculiar, as it is generally supposed to have the opposite effect. But he always said that the deep religious feeling of the creations of Virgil and Homer left an indelible impression on his mind, and prevented him from becoming an atheist. Then, as he taught history, and read the productions of the middle ages in the originals, the majestic figure of the Catholic Church through all the ages bore in upon his mind, the conviction that if any form of Christianity were true, it was the Catholic Church. Singular also to say, it was the study of Tertullian's "Apology"—a work in which the pagan systems of antiquity are shattered, and the truth of Christianity demonstrated, that finally determined him to make his submission to the Church. His retiring disposition and studious habits made him lead a very quiet life as a Catholic, attending daily Mass when he could, and frequently approaching the Holy Table. When the malady that ended his life laid him low, he was removed to St. Vincent's Hospital, where, fortified by all the last rites of the Church, and consoled by the loving care of the sisters and nurses, he breathed his last. The funeral left St. Brigid's Church, North Fitzroy, on the 12th inst., after the absolution at the Catafalque had been pronounced, and the school children had sung a dirge over his remains.

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Citation details

'Boulger, Edward Vaughan (1846–1910)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 May 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Edward Boulger, c.1890

Edward Boulger, c.1890

State Library of South Australia, b25411871

Life Summary [details]


28 October, 1846
Dublin, Dublin, Ireland


11 August, 1910 (aged 63)
Fitzroy, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Cause of Death

heart disease

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

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