John Spratt

Spratt, John, D.D., a philanthropist, was born in 1797, in Dublin, where he received his early education. At eighteen he was sent to a Carmelite College in Spain, at which he remained four years, and entered the Carmelite order, of which he became Provincial in Ireland. He was the prime mover in the foundation of many Catholic buildings and institutions in Dublin. The Carmelite Church in Whitefriar-street, the St. Peter's Orphanage, the St. Joseph's Night Refuge, the Catholic Asylum for the Female Blind, were amongst his most useful foundations. He was one of the first to join Father Mathew in his crusade against intemperance; and to the cause of total abstinence he devoted his most untiring energies for many years, working almost daily in conjunction with his friend James Haughton. Together they held Sunday evening meetings; and was on all occasions ready to administer the total abstinence pledge. In 1871, four months before his death, he consulted two eminent physicians respecting symptoms of gangrene in the toe, the result of languid circulation. The doctors prescribed alcohol. He reflected for a moment, and said: "I have spent my life in denouncing the use of alcohol, and it is better that I should now die than live a little longer by its help." He was struck down suddenly by heart disease while administering the pledge in Whitefriar-street Church, 27th May, 1871, aged 74, and was buried at Glasnevin.


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