Frederick William Rolfe was born in London on July 22 1860, the eldest of seven children of a middle-class family, his father an owner of a piano factory, a family business that was steadily declining. Educated at the North London Collegiate School, Frederick left at the age of 14, taking up temporary positions as tutor or teacher at six different schools over the following decade.

In January 1886, Rolfe converted to Roman Catholicism, being received into the Church in Oxford by a Jesuit priest and later in the month receiving the sacrament of confirmation at the hands of Cardinal Manning in the Archbishop’s Palace in Westminster. In October 1887, sponsored by the Bishop of Shrewsbury, Rolfe was admitted to St. Mary’s College at Oscott to pursue a priestly vocation. He left the

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Citation: Jones, Gordon. "Frederick William Rolfe". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 December 2011 [, accessed 09 December 2023.]

3831 Frederick William Rolfe 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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