Born in Elsham, Kent, England, 1825.
Took the habit in Ashbourne on 14 August 1848.
Final Oblation in Everingham on 14 May 1852 (No. 254)
Died in Everingham on 5 July 1852

Brother George Featherstone was the first lay brother to be professed in the British Province. He was born in 1825 in Elsham in Kent, England, of farming stock. On the death of his father he was apprenticed in a grocery shop in Canterbury. When his mother also died he moved to London and entered a draper’s shop and was soon promoted to a supervisory position. A friend of his from his Canterbury days brought him to the Jesuit church at Farm Street. Having been till then without religion, he was deeply affected by this experience and after a Jesuit priest had instructed him he entered the Catholic Church. His conversion was profound. The priest introduced him to Brother Francis Lynch, an Oblate novice who was in London on business. This led to his seeking immediately to enter the Oblate novitiate as a Lay Brother. After two month’s postulancy in the Oblate community in Penzance, he was sent to Ashbourne where he entered the novitiate on 14 August 1848. Some months later the novitiate was transferred to Market Weighton, Yorkshire, and the writer of the memoir on Brother George in Chronique de la Province d’Angleterre writes: “It is there that the writer of these lines saw him first. He was very much struck with the modesty and regularity of our dear Brother. We could scarcely believe him to be a convert of 12 months. He was so much like one who has spent the most part of his life in Religion.” Again the novitiate was moved, this time to Maryvale near Birmingham. Here he made his first vows before Fr. Casimir Aubert on 15 August 1849, along with scholastic novices Fox, Kirby and Lynch. In 1850 he met the Founder on his visit to England.

The writer of the memoir mentioned above tells us that Brother George worked with complete dedication as cook and baker. In Maryvale he was catering for a community of some 25 to 30 persons. The unaccustomed nature of the work is said to have weakened his constitution. He began to be ill and was sent to convalesce in Aldenham for a while. He was also given permission to spend some time in his place of birth among his relatives and former friends. His brother sent him to see ‘a celebrated doctor in London’ who gave an optimistic prognosis. He longed only to return to his community and was assigned to Holy Cross Liverpool where the work would be lighter. As his ill health persisted he was sent a few months later to Everingham, arriving there on 8 December 1851.For a while he improved but in the spring of 1852 he became bedridden. He made his final oblation on 14 May 1852. He died a holy death at 7.30 a.m. on July 5, 1852. In the Personnel Register 1862-1863 the words are written against his name: “Born a protestant, and regenerated by faith, he was a model of virtue. He died as one of the predestined”. He was buried beside Father Perron in the cemetery of Everingham.

Yvon Beaudoin
and Michael Hughes, o.m.i.