Adrian Fortescue


(1874 - 1923)

(a cousin of John W Fortescue)

One of the century's most influential liturgists, was an artist, calligrapher, composer, adventurer - and a devoted parish priest. Author Michael Davies published a new book in the Autumn of 1999, that contains a biography and comprehensive selection of Fr. Fortescue's writing on the history and beauty of the Traditional Mass.

There is also an excellent book titled 'Adrian Fortescue - A Memoir' by The Rev. Dr. John G. Vance and The Hon. J. W. Fortescue, published by Burns, Oates & Washbourne, London, in 1924. 

Winifred Fortescue, in her book "THERE'S ROSEMARY... THERE'S RUE", wrote about their fascinating relation Adrian. He wrote to the historian John, (Winifred's husband), after being told indirectly that he was no relation to them.

"We were cousins in the 14th century. Mine is the elder but undistinguished branch. It did remain, however, loyal to its King and Faith which is more than yours did".

"We discovered him to be, in spite his early middle age a man of immense learning. He was a marvellous linguist, and enjoyed in learning abstruse and difficult tongues and dialects. He knew and loved the desert tribes; had travelled in the east disguised as an Arab and once had to kill a man in self-defence. He was an expert on old church music, on the liturgy, ritual and vestments of the Roman Catholic Church of which he was an ordained priest; a very good water colour artist besides being an erudite scholar with a comprehensive knowledge of the classics; he appeared to read every book that was written from abstruse scientific works to trashy novels, which, when sleepless, he devoured at a rate of three a night."

He was the Parish Priest for Letchworth, Hertfordshire.


Adrian Fortescue   

Adrian Fortescue

To learn more about the amazing life of Adrian Fortescue click on the link below.

Book Plate

A book plate designed by Adrian Fortescue for The Rev. Dr. John G Vance M.A., D.Ph

Book Plate

A book plate designed by Adrian Fortescue for Winifred - probably only used privately and never published

Click here to visit 'Adrian Fortescue: Priest & Scholar' by Michael Davies 

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Pictures - Burns, Oates & Washbourne Ltd