Children


With Anne Barton (1831-1921):
  1. Thomas Henry Fitzpatrick (b.1866)


Mentions


In *Memoirs of John Barton:
"Robert Clark, our first missionary to the Punjab, who had gone out to India with T.H. Fitzpatrick in 1852 had just come home on his first furlough."


*Stock 1899 Volume 2, p68:
"In the next year, 1851, came Thomas Henry Fitzpatrick. Educated for the law, the young Gray's Inn student had been converted to Christ (like R. W. Stewart long afterwards) just when about to be called to the bar, and then (like Stewart) chose holy orders instead. After taking a theological course at Dublin and his degree, he became curate at Bishop Ryder's Church, Birmingham. One day, just when it was known that the Punjab was open for a C.M.S. Mission, he was startled by an old clergyman laying his hand upon his shoulder, and saying, " Fitzpatrick, you are wanted there!" The arrow went home: he offered to the Society; he was appointed, with Robert Clark, to begin a Mission in the Punjab, where he laboured with unstinted self-sacrifice for several years. Illness at last drove him back: and after a fruitless attempt to work again in India, he took a Cumberland parish, married a sister of John Barton, and died a few months after, in 1866. After he had been in India two or three years, he wrote home as follows:

"If any of my younger brethren in Orders, or any of our University men ready for Orders, ask you, 'Does Fitzpatrick still think he was right in his leaving his curacy in a district of 10,000 poor in the town of Birmingham, to go to preach Christ to the Heathen of India?' tell them he can never be too thankful for it. And if they ask, 'Would he venture to say that others similarly circumstanced should do likewise?' say it is one of his most frequent and most earnest prayers that they may have grace to do so." "


Obituary


His obituary is in The Church Missionary Intelligencer Volume 2, New Series (1866), p174 (online here):
"Obituary.

THE REV. THOMAS H. FITZPATRICK, M.A.

The long series of conflicts in which the Sikh armies, with a courage and discipline unequalled in the history of Oriental nations, had met and fought the British force of combined Europeans and natives, was terminated by the battle of Goojerat (Jan. 21, 1849). The Sikh army surrendered; the empire of the Punjab was ended; and all the territories comprised within its limits became a portion of the British Empire in India.

Many of our countrymen on the spot, both civil and military, felt that in this event a new and important opportunity was presented for the extension of Christian Missions. If the plough of heavy national tribulation had gone before to break up the soil, it was becoming that the Christian evangelist should follow close after, sowing the seed of the everlasting Gospel, and thus laying the foundation of better times, and peaceful rather than sanguinary harvests. It is true that the American Missionaries had already entered in; but that English soldiers should conquer the Punjab, and yet English Missionaries neglect to come with healing influences and words of sympathy to bind up the recently-inflicted wounds, and win the population to the service of Christ, would have cast on English Christianity a perpetual reproach. A statement was therefore put into circulation throughout India, soliciting subscriptions, with a view to the establishment of a Christian Mission in the Punjab, the Church Missionary Society being at the same time indicated as the organization which would be invited to undertake the work. To that invitation, so soon as addressed to it, the Society did not hesitate to accede.

The two first Missionaries sent forth were the Rev. R Clark and the Rev. T. H. Fitzpatrick. The former is still happily in the field; and may he be long spared to serve the Mission by his energy and experience: the latter, in February last, was called to his eternal rest.

It is to the memory of this devoted servant of the Lord Jesus Christ that we desire to pay this brief tribute of our affection and respect. We know that such men, who, amidst self-denial and tribulation, go forth to lay, in some distant land, the foundation of a nation's new life, need no earthly memorials—all such, even the most costly and elaborate, are perishable. Their memorials ore above—"God is not unrighteous to forget your work of faith, and labour of love, which ye have showed toward his name." But these reminiscences are grateful to ourselves, and beneficial to the church. In such records of Missionary deaths there is a living influence. There can be no doubt that, throughout the country, there is a large amount of the Missionary element which lies at present in a dormant state, and needs to be aroused; and details of this kind are specially fitted, under the divine blessing, to vitalize this, and bring it into action.

The manner in which Mr. Fitzpatrick was led to offer himself for the Mission-field is remarkable. Originally intended for the bar, he had nearly completed his term as a student at Gray's Inn, when, being brought under the sanctifying power of Christianity, he decided on entering the ministry. He therefore returned to Dublin, attended divinity lectures at Trinity College, and from thence took orders in the diocese of Worcester. Birmingham was his first sphere of action, where he worked laboriously as a curate. One evening, in a company, the conversation turned upon Missions, and the fact was mentioned that the army had given 1000l. to commence a Mission in the Punjab, and that men were wanted. A venerable old man laid his hand upon Fitzpatrick's shoulder, and said, "Fitzpatrick, you are wanted there!" It went as an arrow to his soul: he offered himself to the Church Missionary Society, and was accepted to be associated with the Rev. R. Clark in this great enterprise of a Christian Mission to the recently annexed Punjab.

He reached Calcutta on October 13, 1851, and on February 9, 1852 we find him present at an important meeting held at Lahore, attended by all the leading residents, and presided over by Archdeacon Pratt. A local Church Missionary Association was then formed, having as its President the late Sir Henry Lawrence; and steps wore token for the expenditure of the moneys which had been raised on the spot, amounting to 3000l., on such objects as were necessary to the prompt and due prosecution of the work.

On the 24th of May 1852 the foundation-stone of a church was laid at Umritsur, which had been selected as the Missionary centre and first place of occupation, an address being delivered by Mr. Fitzpatrick. This will be found in the "Church Missionary Intelligencer" for 1852, p. 246, &c. To reproduce it here is unnecessary, with the exception of one passage, in which he pressed home upon his countrymen the necessity that they should identify themselves with Missionary effort— "Hitherto, as a people, we have not so done our duty. We have impressed the native mind with a sense of British power, justice, and wisdom. We are considered merciful, and many of us benevolent; but as a people we are not esteemed religious. They think we do not pray; that we have but little regard to divine things. If this be so, as I believe all wise men admit, what an awful responsibility rests upon us to show them that we are not only great, wise, just, and good, but that we are also religious ; that we worship one God in spirit and in truth; and that we love our religion more than empire, yea, above all things ! Such an impression, thus conveyed, would, with the divine blessing, cause multitudes to flock to Christ, and, casting away their idolatries and superstitions, become one with us in the fellowship of the Gospel."

Assuredly the attempt to conciliate the native by an official indifference towards Christianity, as though men cared nothing for its interests, and did not desire its extension among the heathen, was a policy alike unbecoming and injurious. They who so acted were regarded either as irreligious or insincere men. If the former, it was to the disparagement of Christianity; if the latter, to the detriment of British interests. The natives concluded, either that a religion, which could not enkindle even in those who professed it a becoming zeal, was of no value, or else that these men, acting a part, had some sinister object in view. The latter was the prevalent feeling. It was to the Hindu the more credible. Hence wide-spread distrust; hence the alarm caused by so trivial a thing as a greased cartridge; hence the mutiny of 1857. That was a severe lesson. But the royal proclamation announcing the new policy—no coercion—and yet, on our part, a frank profession of the Christian faith, showed that the lesson had been learned. On another and important subject—the relative importance of home and foreign work, and the urgent necessity that, amidst the interest which attaches to the former, the claims of the latter should not be forgotten—we quote the following passage from a letter dated June 22, 1852—"If any of my younger brethren, in orders, or any of our University men ready for orders, ask you, 'Does Fitzpatrick still think he was right in leaving his curacy, in a district of 10,000 poor in the town of Birmingham, to go to preach Christ to the heathen of India?’ tell them he can never be too thankful for it. And if they ask, 'Would he venture to say that others similarly circumstanced should do likewise?’ answer them, if you please, that one of his most frequent and most earnest prayers is, that they may do likewise."
Yes, it is honourable, serviceable, to sustain a Christian work at home, but to begin such a work in a heathen laud is still more so. The difficulty lies in the commencement. Nor can we wonder that it is so, for, in the midst of the deep corruption of a dark and depraved race, to deposit a seed of good of such vitality and power that, however concealed for a time, it shall be sure to spring up and develop itself in results of great national importance, is so great a thing to do, that it must needs be difficult. Such a work must not be judged of by its show, but by its reality. It may be so small as scarcely to be discernible; but if it be genuine, then a glorious future lies wrapped up within it as in a bud. Missionaries go out to these initiative undertakings, and they die, many of them young; but life is to be measured, not by the length of years, but by the amount of work which has been done, and young Missionaries do more in a few years, than many who remain at home do in a great many years. It is not that the work of home labourers is not valuable, but in its bearings it cannot be compared with the great achievement of securing, after a severe conflict, a footing for Christianity in some heathen land, from whence it may gradually extend itself. What is well begun is half done.

Our Missionaries found the Punjab full of active official life. There was no stagnation there amongst the Europeans. Every one was in full action. And this told benefically upon the Missionaries; for how could they be less energetic in the discharge of their high calling. " It does one good to see so many men of talent and rank, all intent on their work, and all alive, and progressing onward, and sparing no labour of either body or mind, to secure their object. Every thing here is on the alert. Men are on their Arab horses, and off, at a moment's notice, anywhere, and at a rate that would terrify some in Eugland. Others go out, and spend six months at a time in tents, and think nothing of either the hot sun by day or the cold frosts by night, as they travel along, administering justice from town to town. They have sometimes to leave a station at a week's notice, and, selling all off, to go to a distant part of the country. And if men gladly do all these things as soldiers or rulers, surely we ought not to be behind in a better cause. They seem here to have their eyes open to every thing that is going on in the whole country—making roads and canals, erecting bridges, settling the revenue, building cantonments, planting trees, and looking into the minutiae of every thing."

It was well they were thus energetic, for five years more, and then came the deluge. If the organization of the Punjab had not been so well advanced when the mutiny broke forth, how would it have fared with British power in India? But the Punjab became the rallying-point. When Delhi fell, the neck of the rebellion was broken, but it was the Punjab that provided the men and the material.

And it becomes us to put forth all our energy, and expedite the work of Missions; for trying times appear to be at hand. The horizon is overcast. Two years ago (January, 1864) we adverted to the military establishments of the great European powers, and the difficulty of maintaining peace in. the midst of so great facilities for war; and therefore to the great need of energetic effort while peace remained unbroken. Such a crash of contending hosts are now imminent. Let us expedite the Lord's work, especially in the Mission-field. Let us see to it that in every region we have occupied there be planted the firm nucleus of a well-consolidated Christianity; not something to make a fair show in the flesh, but that which has within it the power of God. Then will these Missions stand, whatever betides. Convulsions there may be; nation arise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There may be no longer the same facilities for the prosecution of Missionary work. In the midst of perilous times under the sobering influence of chastisement, there may be more willingness on our part to work for God in the Mission field, but less of opportunity. Our Missions may be thrown very much on their own resources. Now, then, let us work the more energetically, that, even in isolation from us, Christianity, in India and elsewhere, may not only maintain its ground, but yield to us important and unexpected aid. Should times of trial supervene, so far as, in the day of her prosperity, England has been evangelistic in her action, that will come back to her, and she shall be repaid.

Our Punjab Mission has been characterized throughout by energetic action. The first Missionaries mastered the vernacular, and their example in this respect to all succeeding Missionaries is of first importance. The Punjab is a field which affords special opportunity for the exercise of linguistic talent. Several languages claim the attention of the Missionary. Besides the languages necessary for Missionary purposes in tho North-west Provinces, such as Persian, Urdu, Hindustanee, there are for cultivation in the Punjab the Pushtoo, the Punjabi, the Cashmiri, &c. In this important sphere of labour Mr. Fitzpatrick was enabled to take a leading part; so much so, that on his return to England he was engaged in bringing through the press Dr. Pfander's works in Persian and Urdu.

Moreover, by open-air preaching and itinerancies, he gave to the Mission an aggressive character. But while, in every direction, amidst a densely-populated country, they met with attentive hearers, they felt how few they were. "We want more men to instruct the people. They want more Missionaries; and I wish our young clergy at home knew how much they want more Missionaries."

In fact, the Punjab was lying wide before them, while as yet they had only touched Umritsur and its neighbourhood. Mr. Fitzpatrick deeply felt the wide-spread destitution ; and, so soon as the arrival of an additional Missionary at Umritsur set him free, proceeded on a Missionary tour to Mooltan, with a view to ascertain its fitness as a point of occupation. The European residents received him gladly; liberal aid was promised him; and, with the consent of the Parent Committee, ho transferred himself thither in the beginning of 1856. He was joined soon after by the Rev. W. J. Ball; but before the end of the year that Missionary was obliged to leave for Lahore, having been prostrated by a fever, said to be almost peculiar to Mooltan and Peshawur; and thus the mutiny of 1857 found Mr. Fitzpatrick without a colleague at this remote station. The position of affairs at Mooltan was very critical—two regiments of native infantry, one' of irregular cavalry, a battery of horse artillery, and only one company of European artillery. Thus explosive materials were accumulated in abundance, which the least spark might have ignited. But the Europeans were spared the horrors which were enacted at other places. The native troops were disarmed, and peace preserved.

Throughout these perilous times ho remained at his post. The opportunities for usefulness were but small, but he did what he could. "Perhaps," he observes, "there is not another Missionary in India without a colleague or a native assistant, but this is my portion. I go to the city alone, and preach for a short time every second day. I feel it is a great cross to stand up alone, before a very degraded, polluted people, who gainsay in their hearts every word that I say, or pity my folly; but could I realize the love of our Saviour on the cross, and the real state of these perishing myriads, as I ought, I think I should forget self altogether, and entreat them, or reason with them, with unwearied earnestness and tenderness. Perhaps this is what God would have me learn in these trying circumstances." '

Eventually the health, as well of himself as of Mrs. Fitzpatrick, having severely suffered, he was compelled to return home, having baptized two adults, the first-fruits of a difficult Mission, carried on in difficult times.

Mrs. Fitzpatrick died on February 18, 1863, having survived her return home little more than two years. An obituary of this excellent Christian lady and devoted Missionary's wife was given in the "Church Missionary Record" for 1863, to which we would refer our readers.

Mr. Fitzpatrick returned to the Punjab in the latter end of the year 1863; but he reached his old Mission-field only to ascertain, by prostrating illness, how utterly unequal his constitution had become to the exigencies of the Indian climate. He was therefore compelled to bid a final farewell to India, returning to England at the end of 1864. He left with the sincere regret and fervent good wishes of many valued friends, amongst whom he was permitted to reckon the highest officials in the province, carrying with him also the brotherly love of all the Missionaries, who esteemed him as an able, zealous, and judicious colleague.

Hopes were entertained that he might receiver his health sufficiently to render valuable service in the ministry at home. He laboured for some months as curate at St Mary's Chapel, Brighton. There he was greatly valued as a faithful and experienced minister of the Gospel of Christ. He then entered the diocese of Carlisle. The writer of these lines found him at Keswick last summer, in charge of one of the churches. It was evident that years of toil and trial had told upon him; on his Christian character, in the way of much growth in grace; you saw in him the chastened Christian, spiritual in tone, uncompromisingly attached to those evangelical truths, the sustaining power of which he had so often proved, and devoted to the great work of winning souls to Christ; but on his physical frame those years had also told, and it was but too apparent that of original health and vigour by far the largest portion had been expended on Mission work in India.

In the September of that year [1865], having been presented by the Bishop of Carlisle to the vicarage of Dalston, he contracted a second marriage with Miss Barton, eldest daughter of the late John Barton, Esq., of East Leigh, Hants, and entered on the duties of an incumbency which he was to occupy only a few months, for on Saturday, February 13, 1866, the "Carlisle Patriot," contained the following announcement—

We record with much regret the death of the Rev. T. H. Fitzpatrick, which took place at his temporary residence at Dalston on Thursday evening. Mr. Fitzpatrick had been slightly unwell during the last week, but he was able to take part in the morning service on Sunday last, and to preach on the evening of that day, which he did with much earnestness and solemnity. It was not known that any change was apprehended until Wednesday, and his death occurred on the following day. Mr. Fitzpatrick had only held the vicarage for a few months, he having been presented to it by the bishop, and during that short period he had secured for himself the respect of the parishioners who were drawn to the church by his able pulpit qualifications, and who were satisfied of his earnest desire faithfully to fulfil the duties of a parochial minister. Mr. Fitzpatrick had already shown his interest in the welfare of his parish, by undertaking to build a chapel of ease in a district standing much in need of a church.

His remains were interred, February 8, in Kensal Green Cemetery, the burial service being read by the Bishop of Carlisle, assisted by the Rev. George Lea, of Birmingham."



Also mentioned at http://www.ampltd.co.uk/collections_az/cms-6-06/highlights.aspx:
"Rev Robert Clark (Chairman of the Punjab Native Church Council, 1876-1878, with letters and papers regarding his work at Amritsar, Peshawar and Lahore, 1853-1875, as well as proposals on missionary activity in Kashmir and at Srinagar)."
"Rev Thomas Henry Fitzpatrick (Amritsar, Multan and Peshawar, 1851-1864)."
"Rev Thomas Valpy French (Secretary of the Agra Church Missionary Association and Principal of the Lahore Divinity School)."