Two major pieces of literature on Augustus Welby Pugin (1812–1852), the renowned Gothic Revivalist and Catholic convert who designed Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, six cathedrals, and more, state, in summary fashion, that Pugin illustrated St John Henry Newman’s Live of the English Saints. The late Professor Margaret Belcher, however, provided a great deal of detail on this subject in the second volume of her The Collected Letters of A.W.N. Pugin, published in 2003. This essay republishes, for the first time since 1914, all eleven of Pugin’s illustrations and does so for the first time ever in a single document.
The period in question is mid 1842 through the end of 1844. During this time, Pugin was, among other things, doing his typical traveling (Scotland, Ireland, and the Continent), worked on his home in Ramsgate, and on several churches, including three cathedrals. He also published An Apology for the Revival of Christian Architecture in England (1843) and Glossary of Ecclesiastical Ornament and Costume (1844). For his part during this time, Newman (1801–1890) was in the throes of converting to Catholicism and had relocated from Oxford to Littlemore, a few miles away, in February 1842. Among other things, he was busy drafting An Essay on The Development of Christine Doctrine (1845).
With respect to Newman’s Lives of the English Saints, the first thing to notice is that any and all illustrations were by Pugin, no one else, and they were not attributed to anyone at the time of original publication. Second, Newman himself may not have written any of the Lives. He edited the first two numbers: St Stephen Harding and St Richard. The introduction to the 1900 edition, the first comprehensive edition, stated that the work is described as Newman’s because he initiated the effort.
Here is how the work came about: Newman’s thoughts on the subject started at least as early as 4 April 1841, when he wrote to his friend, J.W. Bowden, about English saints, the “National Church,” and the desirability of someone writing a biography of St Anselm (1033/34–1109). In the summer of 1842, Newman had a conversation with publisher James Toovey about “publishing the Lives of the [English] Saints … thinking it would be useful, as employing the minds of persons who were in danger of running wild, and bringing them from doctrine to history, from speculation to fact; again, as giving them an interest in the English soil and English church, and keeping them from seeking sympathy in Rome as she is”. On 3 April 1843, almost precisely two years since Newman had first written Bowden on the subject, he wrote Bowden again, stating that he intended the work “to be historical and devotional, but not controversial.”
As of 18 May 1843, “Many men are setting to work [researching and writing biographies].” There were 30 such men. A few months later, in early fall of 1843, Newman published a prospectus describing the anticipated Lives. He envisioned a monthly publication written by various authors, each writing independently of the others. He identified 300 saints!
At some point in 1843, Newman asked J. R. Bloxam, previously a curate to Newman, to find out from Pugin what he wanted to do about illustrations for Saints Stephen and Richard. Pugin initially declined the work.
In late 1843, Anglican Father and Oxford Professor E. B. Pusey saw some pre-publication proofs of the first Life, that of St Stephen Harding, by J. D. Dalgairns who lived in community with Newman at Littlemore. Pusey’s objections to these proofs caused Newman great anxiety. Newman had wanted the Lives to present facts with total detachment but realized that “miracles, or monkery [monasticism], or popery” would unavoidably seep in. Newman consulted James Hope, a young barrister and William Gladstone, then a Member of Parliament (and future Prime Minister), both of whom shared Pusey’s concerns.
By December, Newman decided to withdraw from the project but desired that individual biographies, many of them in process, would be published one at a time and that enough of them would eventually constitute a series. As soon as the first, on St Stephen, came into print, it was clear that the project of publishing lives of English saints was incompatible with Anglicanism. After the second biography (of St Richard) was published, Newman gave public notice in January 1844 that he was withdrawing as editor. He declared that only those biographies completed or nearly completed would be subsequently published.
There was a flurry of correspondence—28 letters identified and summarized by Belcher—between Pugin, Newman, Toovey, and the new editor Frederick Oakeley (then minister at Margaret Chapel, the predecessor of All Saints, Margaret Street, and the author of the draft life of St Augustine of Canterbury) from the last half of January through November 1844, some of which may have crossed in the mail. The subjects included employing Pugin to illustrate individual lives as well as the design of a “Wrapper,” or frontispiece, that is, a title-page illustration that would be used for every number in the series, Pugin’s fees, the colors of the illustrations, the status of the work of the engraver, Orlando Jewitt, and comments on Pugin’s illustrations. For example, Toovey wrote Newman on February 9 that Pugin had supplied a “beautiful” design for St Augustine.
Additional correspondence includes the following: On 1 March 1844, Pugin wrote Newman, stating that Toovey had asked for an illustration of St Richard but that Newman, in some previous, unidentified, correspondence, had asked for an illustration of the family of St Richard. Pugin asked Newman if Newman wanted four illustrations or a single illustration showing all of the saints. In response, on March 6, Newman wrote Toovey insisting that the design regarding St Richard was for Newman himself and that Newman had written Pugin “that he is to attend to me, and not to any one else.” It appears that, although Newman had given up editor responsibilities in general, he maintained them with respect to Pugin’s illustrations, and not just for the one for St Richard.
On March 8, Pugin wrote Newman that he was pleased Newman was happy with his illustration for St Richard and explained some of the details. As of March 20, the life of St Stephen had sold 600 copies. Newman continued to be involved. He informed Toovey on April 27 that he liked Pugin’s illustration for St Richard and required Toovey to send him the next two illustrations. In reply, Toovey wrote Newman on May 7 stating that he had seen Pugin on “Saturday last” (May 4?), expecting a design for the Hermit Saints, and enclosed for Newman’s “approval” the one Pugin gave him for St Wulstan. Newman thanked Toovey on May 8 for Pugin’s beautiful design of St Wulstan. On May 16, Toovey sent him the second illustration, one for the Hermit Saints. On November 1, Newman wrote Toovey about an illustration that could be used for St German and a second one, unidentified, he deemed “one of Pugin’s best.”
The series, published in 1844 and 1845, consisted of 33 biographies. Pugin created and published eleven illustrations for biographies of fourteen saints by thirteen different authors. Pugin made his last design, for St Edmund, on 1 May 1845. Although Pugin’s name neither appears in the online versions of the 1844–1845 issues this author has inspected nor in the 1900 edition, Belcher found Pugin’s monogram in six of the eleven illustrations.
Below are Pugin’s eleven illustrations. They are not necessarily presented in the order in which they were published except that the St Stephen and the Family of St Richard illustrations were first and second, respectively, and St Edmund was last.
This essay first appeared in the summer 2023 issue of the e-newsletter of the Pugin Society, Ramsgate, UK. http://www.thepuginsociety.co.uk/. Ramsgate is the site of Pugin’s home, a Landmark Trust site, the church he built with his own money, the Shrine of St Augustine (of Canterbury), St Edward’s Presbytery, and St Augustine’s Abbey (now Divine Retreat Centre).
 Rosemary Hill, God’s Architect and the Building of Romantic Britain (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2007), 302, 349; David Meara, “The Catholic Context,” in Paul Atterbury, ed., A.W.N. Pugin—Master of the Gothic Revival (New York: Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, 1995), 54.
 Margaret Belcher, The Collected Letters of A.W.N. Pugin, vol. 2 (1843–1845) (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), 157–60.
 Professor Belcher noted that the 16-volume Sabine Baring-Gould, The Lives of the Saints, republished all of Pugin’s illustrations in the 1897–1898 and 1914 editions but not in the original 1872 edition. Margaret Belcher, A.W.N. Pugin: An Annotated Critical Bibliography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987), 151. Baring-Gould’s work is not restricted to English saints and has hundreds of illustrations. It is organized by feast day. This author found Pugin’s drawings, in black-and-white, for St Aelred (facing p. 176), the Hermit Saints (facing p. 216) and St Wulstan (facing p. 296) in the 1914 ed., vol. 1, https://archive.org/details/livesofsaintswit01bariuoft/page/216/mode/2up (This author has not looked for more of the eleven illustrations in Baring-Gould’s work.) Baring-Gould acknowledged Pugin as the creator of the three illustrations, both in the list of illustrations, p. xxxvi, and on the pages in which the images appeared, but Baring-Gould did not provide the source of these images, namely, Newman’s Lives of the English Saints.
 Professor Belcher included one illustration, in black-and-white, and attributed it to Pugin, in A.W.N. Pugin: An Annotated Critical Bibliography, 147.
 I acknowledge that some were published in 1845, and Pugin’s last design was submitted on 1 May 1845.
 Hill, God’s Architect and the Building of Romantic Britain, 273, 288–90.
 Hill, God’s Architect and the Building of Romantic Britain, 291–94.
 Hill, God’s Architect and the Building of Romantic Britain, 269–70 (Killarney), 303, 309 (Nottingham, Newcastle).
 See generally Alexandra Wedgwood, “Chronology,” in Paul Atterbury and Clive Wainwright, eds., Pugin: A Gothic Passion (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1994), xi–xiii; Hill, God’s Architect and the Building of Romantic Britain, 286.
 Ian Ker, John Henry Newman: A Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988), 246.
 The standard line is that Newman did no writing. Wollastan states, however, that Newman wrote the following: The life of St Gundleus (Gwynllyn), the prose portion of the life of St Bettelin (Bertelin), and possibly part of St Edelwald. Lives of the English Saints – Written by Various Hands at the Suggestion of John Henry Newman with an Introduction by Arthur Wollastan Hutton (1900 ed., vol. 6) App. II, 410, https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=wu.89092597913&seq=13.
 Belcher, The Collected Letters of A.W.N. Pugin, vol. 2, 158n6.
 Lives of the English Saints—Written by Various Hands at the Suggestion of John Henry Newman with an Introduction by Arthur Wollastan Hutton, vol. 1 (1900 ed.), vii. https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=wu.89095288668&seq=9
 Lives of the English Saints, 1900 ed., vol. 1, ix (quoting the letter). Newman reaffirmed his view in a letter of April 6 on the following page.
 Newman to John Keble (chair of poetry at Oxford until 1841, Anglican priest at All Saints, Hursley) (18 May 1843), quoted in Ker, John Henry Newman, 275–76n41; Lives of the English Saints, 1900 ed., vol. 1, ix–x.
 Ker, John Henry Newman, 281.
 Letter of 18 May 1843, quoted in Ker, John Henry Newman, 275; Lives of the English Saints, 1900 ed., vol. 1, x.
 Lives of the English Saints, 1900 ed., vol. 1, xi–xiv (reprinting Prospectus in full); Newman, Apologia, Note D (first published 1864) (A. Dwight Culler, ed. 1956), 296-98.
 Lives of the English Saints, 1900 ed., vol. 1, xiii.
 Lives of the English Saints, 1900 ed., vol. 1, xviii. See Newman’s “Calendar of English Saints” and “Chronological Arrangement,” in his Apologia, Note D, 298-314, republished in Lives of the English Saints, 1900 ed., vol. 6, App. I, 383–97.
 Christabel Jane Powell, The Liturgical Vision of Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin, Durham thesis, Durham University, p. 277n984 (letter in Magdalene College archives) (2002), http://etheses.dur.ac.uk/3761 (published as Christabel Powell, Augustus Welby Pugin, Designer of the British Houses of Parliament: The Victorian Quest for a Liturgical Architecture (2006)). Powell does not provide a more specific date, presumably because there is not one. I have not found any such letter in vols. ix (May 1842–October 1843) or x (1 Nov 1843–6 Oct. 1845) of LD. Also, there is no mention of this letter by Belcher.
 Belcher, The Collected Letters of A.W.N. Pugin, 158n4 (citing Pugin’s letter to the Tablet of 21 Jan. 1846).
 Ker, John Henry Newman, 281.
 Ker, John Henry Newman, 281–82.
 Ker, John Henry Newman, 281–82.
 Belcher, The Collected Letters of A.W.N. Pugin, 160n6 (quoting and citing Newman’s Apologia); Lives of the English Saints, 1900 ed., vol. 1, xv (first published 1864) (A. Dwight Culler, ed. 1956), pp. 203-04).
 Lives of the English Saints, 1900 ed., vol. 1, xv, n2. Newman wrote a 4-page “Advertisement” for the Life of St Richard dated 21 Feb. 1844. Lives of the English Saints, 1900 ed., vol. 2, 3–6.
 Apparently this is referring to the “Advertisement” (or Notice) dated “January 1844” that appears on the first page of the Life of St Stephen.
 Lives of the English Saints, 1900 ed., vol. 1, xv–xvi.
 Belcher, The Collected Letters of A.W.N. Pugin, 158n6.
 Belcher, The Collected Letters of A.W.N. Pugin, 172.
 Belcher, The Collected Letters of A.W.N. Pugin, 159n6.
 Belcher, The Collected Letters of A.W.N. Pugin, 175.
 Belcher, The Collected Letters of A.W.N. Pugin, 159n6.
 Lives of the English Saints, 1900 ed., vol. 1, xviii.
 Powell, The Liturgical Vision of Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin, 227; Belcher, The Collected Letters of A.W.N. Pugin, 158n1, 160n6.
 The illustration for the Family of St Richard depicts four saints.
 No attribution to an author was made at the time of the original publications in 1844 and 1845. Biographies of the authors and the identification of the lives they wrote is supplied in Lives of the English Saints, 1900 ed., vol. 6, App. II, 402–15. The sources for these attributions are also described therein (398). Belcher says Pugin’s illustrations were for 11 (different?) authors, without identifying them. Belcher, The Collected Letters of A.W.N. Pugin, 160n6. I count twelve authors, and the thirteenth would be Newman. Powell states that this work allowed Pugin in 1844 to visit with Newman and his Littlemore community and other friends (The Liturgical Vision of Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin, 277, 295).
 Belcher, The Collected Letters of A.W.N. Pugin, 160n6.
 Belcher, The Collected Letters of A.W.N. Pugin, 158n4.
 The borders read “mansueti haereditabunt terram et delectabuntur in multitudine pacis” (Psalm 37:11) (“the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.”) I have not been able to determine whether these words were inspired by Pugin or Newman. In any event, Newman used them in the final words of his “Biglietto Speech” decades later on 12 May 1879, when he was made a Cardinal.
 As noted in n38, the authorship is provided in The Collected Letters of A.W.N. Pugin, 1900 ed., vol. 6, App. II, 402–15.
Jim Thunder holds a BA in theology and government from the University of Notre Dame; an MA in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia (thesis: Aquinas on Marriage), and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. He is the author of over 250 publications in law, public policy, history, religion and is a great-great-grandson of Pugin. Thunder is a Life Member of the Pugin Society, Ramsgate, UK and has spoken and written about Pugin for 25 years.