Tuesday, July 31, 2012

St. Ignatius of Loyola and the Jesuits in England

Today is the feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola. His foundation the Society of Jesus would have a great impact on post-Reformation England. Many of the English martyrs mentioned on this blog were Jesuits, including most famously St. Edmund Campion and St. Robert Southworth. Forty years after the order's formation, the Jesuit mission to England began. It might have begun earlier, as the Jesuits wanted to be involved in the restoration and revival of Catholicism in England during the reign of Mary I. Reginald Cardinal Pole, the Archbishop of Canterbury had different plans for that effort, however, as Eamon Duffy described in his study of that reign, Fires of Faith.

As the U.K. site for the Society of Jesus states:

The history of the Elizabethan Jesuits is the stuff of legends and hagiography: clandestine meetings, priest-holes, raids, escapes from the Tower of London, imprisonment, torture, and martyrdom.

There were also conflicts between the Jesuits and the secular priests over the strategy for perpetuating Catholicism in England. Some Catholics, the Appellants, wanted to demonstrate loyalty to the Queen and to England, while Father Robert Parsons, who came to England with Edmund Campion and then returned to the Continent, urged steps like the excommunication of Elizabeth I and the Spanish Armada. Jesuit colleges in France, Spain, and Italy trained young men for the mission in England.

The Jesuits in England were also involved in some manner in the plots to place Mary, Queen of Scots on the throne of England and the Gunpowder Plot; then they were suspected in the so-called Popish Plot and supported the Jacobite rebellions after the Glorious Revolution--and therefore many of them suffered execution and/or martyrdom. On the other hand, Lord Baltimore asked the Jesuits to assist in the founding of Maryland in the New World.

The French Revolution drove the English Jesuits from the Continent to Stonyhurst in England in 1794, even though the Pope had suppressed the order in 1773. In 1801 the Jesuits were restored and in 1803 the English Province was restored. Finally, Catholic Emancipation in 1829 and the Restoration of the Hierarchy in 1850 led to the foundation of many Jesuit colleges--including Campion Hall in Oxford--and parishes throughout England.

Famed English Jesuits of the modern era include: Gerard Manley Hopkins, convert and poet; Frederick Copleston, the historian of philosophy; John Hungerford Pollen and Philip Caraman, historians and biographers who focused on the English recusant era of Jesuit martyrdoms; and Clifford Howell, who wrote on doctrine and worship. A more infamous Jesuit was George Tyrrell, the Modernist theologian.

Blessed Everald Hanse: Twisted Words

Blessed Everald Hanse was born in Northamptonshire; executed 31 July 1581. He was educated at Cambridge, and was soon presented to a good living. His brother William, who had become a priest in April 1579 tried to convert him, but in vain until a sharp attack of illness made him enter into himself. He then went over to Reims in northern France (1580–1581), was ordained and returned but his ministry was very short.

In July he was visiting in disguise some Catholic prisoners in the Marshalsea, when the keeper noticed that his shoes were of a foreign make. He was closely examined, and his priesthood was discovered. As yet there was no law against priests, and to satisfy the hypocritical professions of the persecutors, it was necessary to find some treason of which he was guilty. He was asked in court at the Newgate Sessions, what he thought of the pope's authority, and on his admitting that he believed him "to have the same authority now as he had a hundred years before", he was further asked whether the pope had not erred (i.e. sinned) in declaring queen Elizabeth I Tudor excommunicated, to which he answered, "I hope not." His words were at once written down as his indictment, and when he was further asked whether he wished others to believe as he did, he said "I would have all to believe the Catholic faith as I do." A second count was then added that he desired to make others also traitors like himself. He was at once found guilty of "persuasion" which was high treason by Elizabeth. He was therefore in due course sentenced and executed at Tyburn.

The trial is noteworthy as one of the most extreme cases of verbal treason on record, and it was so badly received that the Government had afterwards to change their methods of obtaining sentences. The martyr's last words were "O happy day!" and his constancy throughout "was a matter of great edification to the good". The Spanish ambassador wrote: "Two nights after his death, there was not a particle of earth on which his blood had been shed, which had not been carried off as a relic."

He was beatified in 1886 by Pope Leo XIII. As you might recall, Elizabeth I's Parliament did not create the statutes that made the presence of a Catholic priest in England a matter of treason until 1585. When her government came to try St. Edmund Campion and his companions later in 1581, the court had to find them guilty of some conspiracy or another, because the kind of verbal twisting and interpretation they had to do to find Father Hanse guilty did not look good.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Catherine of Aragon's Chaplains and Thomas Cromwell's Zwinglians

On July 30, 1540, two different sets of martyrs set off for Smithfield for execution. There were three Catholics, who had refused to swear Henry VIII's Oaths of Succession and Supremacy, and there were three Protestants--more properly, Zwinglians--who refused to accept the definition of Christian sacramental doctrine outlined in Henry VIII's Six Articles. The three Catholics were what I call Supremacy Martyrs, since the immediate cause of their execution/martyrdom was their refusal to accept Henry VIII as the Supreme Head and Governor of the Church of England, the Ecclesia Anglicana.

Thomas Abel, Richard Fetherston, and Edward Powell had all been chaplains and defenders of Queen Catherine of Aragon--very learned men; graduates of the University of Oxford. Thomas Abel had written Invicta veritas. An answere, That by no manner of law, it may be lawfull for the most noble King of England, King Henry the eight to be divorced from the queens grace, his lawfull and very wife. B.L. in 1532 and had also been implicated in the Nun of Kent cause celebre. Richard Fetherston had also written against Henry's divorce of Catherine in Contra divortium Henrici et Catharinae, Liber unus although no copy of the text survives. He also tutored the Princess Mary. Henry VIII had favored Edward Powell for his works against Lutheran doctrines in earlier days, but then Powell ran afoul of Henry's changing policies and desires to cast aside Catherine of Aragon.

The Zwinglians Robert Barnes, Thomas Garrett, and William Jerome were also taken to Smithfield that day. Robert Barnes had attended the University of Cambridge and had "hung out" at the White Horse Inn with other Lutheran minded students and masters. While Thomas Cromwell was in power, they had preached against the Catholic Bishop, Stephen Gardiner, but once Cromwell fell and was executed on July 28, 1540, they lost their protector and were sentenced to death.

Both the Catholics and the Zwinglians were sentenced to death without trial. Bills of Attainder condemned the Catholics as Traitors and the Zwinglians as Heretics. Three hurdles dragged the men to Smithfield from the Tower; each hurdle held a traitor and a heretic. At Smithfield, the traitors were hung, cut down and butchered while alive, their bodies quartered and their heads cut for display; the heretics were burnt alive at the stake. A poem titled, "The Metynge of Doctor Barnes and Dr. Powell at Paradise Gate and of theyre communicacion bothe drawen to Smithfylde fro the Towar" described the juxtaposition of the Catholic and the Protestant that day.

This day demonstrates Henry VIII's equal opportunity injustice; he sentenced both those who refused to swear the oaths he demanded and those who refused to obey the religious doctrine he required. The Catholics certainly knew the dangerous route they were taking -- defending Catherine against the king's wishes and refusing the oaths. By 1540, the pattern of execution for those offenses was well established. The Zwinglians were probably caught off guard by Cromwell's sudden fall; on the leading edge of Protestant thinking and theology, they lost their protector and were caught up in the strange factional divisions Henry countenanced in the later years of his reign. (See chapter 2 in Supremacy and Survival, in the section titled, "Thomas Cromwell, Thomas Cranmer, and Henry's Reformation" for more insight into that period.)

Catherine's former chaplains were beatitified by Pope Leo XIII; the Zwinglian preachers were honored by John Foxe in his Acts and Monuments.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

What I'm Reading Now--July/August

In paperback: Eric Ives' The Reformation Experience: Life in the Turbulent Sixteenth Century. Per the publisher, Lion:

The Reformation was one of the most cataclysmic events in European history, which still has a powerful influence on events today. But what was it really like to live through the Reformation in England? How did people cope when some of their dearest beliefs were challenged, then reaffirmed, only to be challenged again? What happened to individuals and communities, as conflicting beliefs and loyalties drove them apart? In this fascinating study, Professor Ives shows the impact the Reformation had on individual Christians and what it meant to their lives. To what extent did people believe in the first place, and how much did they accept the new teaching? How did it change their behaviour, and their perspectives on both life and death? Reflecting the most recent scholarship and controversy, this book provides an important and gripping insight into ordinary people's thoughts and lives, and contrasts with the usual emphasis on the great figures of the Reformation. Eric Ives is Emeritus Professor of English History at the University of Birmingham, and an expert on the Tudor period. In 2001, he was awarded the OBE for his services to history. Among his books is the highly acclaimed Life and Death of Anne Boleyn, while his most recent, Jane Grey: a Tudor mystery has been described as 'essential provocative reading'.

On Kindle: G.W. Bernard's The Late Medieval English Church: Vitality and Vulnerability Before the Break from Rome. Per the publisher, Yale:

The later medieval English church is invariably viewed through the lens of the Reformation that transformed it. But in this bold and provocative book historian G. W. Bernard examines it on its own terms, revealing a church with vibrant faith and great energy. Bernard looks at the structure of the church, the nature of royal control over it, the clergy and bishops, the intense devotion and deep-rooted practices of the laity, anti-clerical sentiment, and the prevalence of heresy. He argues that the Reformation was not inevitable, nor made unavoidable by the defectiveness, corruption, superstition or outdatedness of a church ripe for a fall: the late medieval church had both vitality and vulnerabilities, the one often linked to the other. The result is a thought-provoking study of a church and society in transformation.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Thomas Cromwell, RIP

Henry VIII attainted Thomas Cromwell, whom he'd just created the Earl of Essex in April of 1540 and condemned him to the traitor's death of being drawn, hung, and quartered on July 28, 1540. Henry regretted this execution just a few months later, which he had commuted to beheading, soon after he got rid of one of his better servants. Cromwell was accused of various crimes, but the true cause was the marriage he'd arranged between Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves. According to this site, he was accused/found guilty of:

~Releasing men convicted or suspected of treason
~Misusing and expropriating funds
~Taking bribes
~Making appointments without royal approval
~Being a “detestable heretic” who had spread heretical literature throughout the kingdom
~Being a “maintainer and supporter" of heretics
~Speaking treasonable words – When preachers like Robert Barnes had been reported to him, Cromwell had said: “If the king would turn from it, yet I would not turn; and if the king did turn, and all his people, I would fight in the field in mine own person, with my sword in my hand against him and all other” and “if I live one year or two, it shall not lie in the king’s power to resist or let it if he would”1.
~That he was a sacramentary, a supporter of Zwingli and someone who denied the real presence of Christ in the sacrament.

(Please note that Robert Barnes and being a supporter of Zwingli will come up again in just two days!)

Cromwell had been arrested in June, stripped of all his titles, and held in the Tower of London; he wrote letters to Henry VIII protesting his innocence, but he had fallen victim to the machine of injustice he had helped his master construct. Henry VIII's distaste for Anne of Cleves was matched by his desire for Catherine Howard, so he arranged the annulment of the first marriage (July 9), his marriage to Catherine, and the execution of Thomas Cromwell accordingly--he married Catherine the same day at Oatlands Palace in Surrey that Cromwell was beheaded on Tower Green in London. He had designated Oatlands Palace as Anne of Cleves' residence--just to add to the completion of Henry's triumph over this arranged marriage.
As at the Frick Museum in New York, Thomas More and Thomas Cromwell are often opposed: the former a defender of the Catholic Church and her doctrine and worship, the latter the Vice Regent in Spirituals of the new Supreme Head and Governor of the Church in England, destroying many of the outward signs of Catholicism, etc. Cromwell assisted in the dividing of Christians, which action does not match Jesus's prayer to His Father in Heaven that all would be one in Him as He is one with the Father (John 17:21) , and he destroyed a material and spiritual culture of beauty and depth. Unlike Hilary Mantel, I see no reason to malign Thomas Cromwell (as she maligned Thomas More)! Nevertheless, I find this kind of special pleading for Thomas Cromwell from a New Yorker review of Wolf Hall just as bad as special pleading for Thomas More re: the six heretics whose trial and execution he oversaw:

. . . the eminent British historian G. R. Elton had begun claiming, in successive writings on the Tudors, that Cromwell wasn’t so bad. Under him, Elton wrote, English political policy, formerly at the whim of the nobles, became the work of specialized bureaucracies. England thereby progressed from the Middle Ages into the modern period, and you can’t make that kind of revolution without breaking eggs. Elton’s research revealed, furthermore, that under Cromwell only about forty people per year were killed in the service of the Crown’s political needs. That’s a pretty cheap omelette.

Unless you or your loved one is the egg. If we are going to impose our 21st century morality on the 16th century, let's try to find some consistency. If each human person and his or her freedom from injustice is a moral absolute--just to pick a standard--then don't excuse the death of forty people a year sacrificed for the sake of progress, however defined. (From nobles to bureaucrats! What a revolution!)

Henry VIII had determined to exert his majestic will on his English subjects--Thomas More found the courage within himself to disagree (albeit rather silently and subtly at first) with his monarch's methods and goals, and suffered for it; Thomas Cromwell aided and abetted his monarch's methods and goals, and suffered for it. When I was standing in front of that fireplace face-off at the Frick, I knew which cause I would want to suffer for, if I must.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Blessed Robert Sutton

Blessed Robert Sutton was beatified by Pope John Paul II. He was born at Burton-on-Trent; quartered at Stafford, 27 July, 1587. He is not to be confused with the another Robert Sutton, who was a companion of the Blessed William Hartley. He took the degree of M. A. from Christ Church, Oxford, 9 July, 1567, and became Rector of Lutterworth, Leicestershire, in 1571, but was converted by his younger brother William, afterwards S.J. With his younger brother Abraham, who matriculated from Hart Hall in 1576, aged 25, he arrived at Douai, 23 March, 1575 (1576). They were both ordained subdeacons at Cambrai in September, deacons in December, and priests in the following February; having said their first Masses, 7 March, they left for England, 19 March, 1577 (1578). Robert was arrested at Stafford, and condemned merely for being a priest. He was cut down alive. After the lapse of a year Catholics managed to secure one of his quarters, when the thumb and index-finger were found to be intact. Abraham Sutton gave Father John Gerard the thumb, which is now at Stonyhurst College.

Ignatius Press has recently reissued Father John Gerard's Autobiography of a Hunted Priest:

Truth is stranger than fiction. And nowhere in literature is it so apparent as in this classic work, the Autobiography of a Hunted Priest. This autobiography of a Jesuit priest in Elizabethan England is a most remarkable document and John Gerard, its author, a most remarkable priest in a time when to be a Catholic in England courted imprisonment and torture; to be a priest was treason by act of Parliament.

Smuggled into England after his ordination and dumped on a Norfolk beach at night, Fr. Gerard disguised himself as a country gentleman and traveled about the country saying Mass, preaching and ministering to the faithful in secret - always in constant danger. The houses in which he found shelter were frequently raided by "priest hunters"; priest-holes, hide-outs and hair-breadth escapes were part of his daily life. He was finally caught and imprisoned, and later removed to the infamous Tower of London where he was brutally tortured.

The stirring account of his escape, by means of a rope thrown across the moat, is a daring and magnificent climax to a true story which, for sheer narrative power and interest, far exceeds any fiction. Here is an accurate and compelling picture of England when Catholics were denied their freedom to worship and endured vicious persecution and often martyrdom.

But more than the story of a single priest, the Autobiography of a Hunted Priest epitomizes the constant struggle of all human beings through the ages to maintain their freedom. It is a book of courage and of conviction whose message is most timely for our age.

John Gerard, S.J., was a Jesuit missionary priest in Elizabethan England when the Catholic Church was under heavy persecution by the government. The footnotes provided by the translator prove the absolute facts of his account in this book, which is corroborated even by the files of the Elizabethan secret police.

"In my early years in the Society of Jesus, I recall that this book was read at my table... On first listening to it, the book also struck me as describing a persecution of Catholics that could not happen here. One is no longer quite so sure. It may, be a very up-to-date book in its own way."
-James V. Schall, S.J., from the Foreword

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Blessed George Swallowell, Layman

I posted earlier this week on St. John Boste and Blessed John Ingram--today is the anniversary of the death of Blessed George Swallowell on July 26, 1594 in Darlington. He was a layman and former Anglican minister and was condemned to death for the crime of becoming a Catholic, which was not just a felony punishable by hanging, but an act of treason--according to Parlimentary statute--punishable by drawing, hanging, and quartering.

This story provides some excellent background to the situation of Catholics in Durham, especially after the Northern Rebellion, when many showed themselves most ready and willing to return to the Catholic faith. About today's martyr, the author, Chris Lloyd notes:

George Swalwell - his name is often spelled Swallowell - was born in Darlington in 1564. He became a clerk at Trimdon in 1575 and, after he was ordained in 1577, became a curate there. A few years later he moved on to work and teach in the parish of Houghton-le-Spring.

In 1590, his work caused him to visit a Catholic languishing in Durham Jail because of his faith. They fell into argument during which George saw the light and converted to Catholicism. Rather than keep it hidden, he rushed to the pulpit in Houghton and announced that he had hitherto been in error, that there was "no true mission" in Protestantism and so he quit the church on the spot. He was arrested and thrown in Durham Jail.

He came to trial a year later and was reprieved. However, the authorities decided to have another go at him in 1594. They had lost the only witness, known as Willie, who had heard George's pulpit pronouncement, but a fellow called Finch testified that he had once heard Willie tell the story, and this was enough. On Tuesday, July 23, George was sentenced to death for treason. He stood in the dock with two other accused Catholics, Father John Ingram, of Warwickshire, and Father John Boste, of Penrith. Poor Mr Boste had already done time in the Tower of London, where he had been stretched on the rack at least four times "in a manner that rendered him a permanent cripple".

When the death sentence was announced, George immediately reconverted to Protestantism and promised to do whatever the judge said if he could keep his life. But Mr Boste fixed him with a steely stare and asked: "George Swalwell, what hast thou done?" George immediately converted back once more to Catholicism, and the judge ordered that he be hanged, drawn and quartered at Darlington.

On July 24, Mr Boste was executed at Durham; on July 25, Mr Ingram was executed at Gateshead; on July 26, it was George Swalwell's turn.

Here are some details of Blessed George Swallowell or Swalwell's execution, from the same article:

"Upon the day designed for execution, he was brought two miles off the place on foot, and then was put into a cart, where he lay on his back with his hands and eyes up to heaven, and so he was drawn to the gallows," records Bishop Richard Challoner in his 1741 book, Memoirs of the Missionary Priests.

The gallows had been erected on Bakehouse Hill, between the Market Square and Tubwell Row. "To terrify him the more, they led him by two great fires, the one made for burning his bowels, the other for boiling his quarters," says Challoner.

Four priests accompanied him on the walk across the Market Square to the gallows, beseeching him to reconvert yet again to the Protestant faith. He would not listen, and they became so fed up with him that they beat him with a rod to make him climb the ladder to his death more quickly.

The rope was put around his neck and "Mr Swalwell desired if there were any Catholics there they would say three paters, three aves and the creed for him, and so making the sign of the cross, he was turned off the ladder". He was cut down before he lost consciousness "and the hangman, who was but a boy, drew him along by the rope yet alive, and there dismembered and bowelled him, and cast his bowels into the fire". "Then the hangman cut off his head and held it up saying: 'Behold the head of a traitor!' His quarters, after they were boiled in the cauldron, were buried in the baker's dunghill."

Alias, Martyr: Blessed William Ward

Blessed William Ward was born William Webster in Thornby, Westmorland around 1560 and was raised as an Anglican. Although there isn't any record in the sources I found of his educational career, he became a teacher and then travelled to Spain with a Catholic friend. Something happened while he was in Spain--perhaps the expressions of faith, attending Mass with his friend, the art and culture influenced him--and William Webster became a Catholic.

Back home, he converted his mother--under laws passed by Elizabeth I's government, both his efforts and her conversion were treasonous felonies. Webster was repeatedly imprisoned for professing his faith--paying fines for his recusancy and refusal to attend Church of England services. When he was over 40 years old he went to Belgium to study for the priesthood; he arrived there on 18 September, 1604; received the minor orders on 16 December, 1605; the subdiaconate on 26 October, 1607; the diaconate on 31 May, 1608; and the priesthood on the following day, taking the name Father William Ward. On 14 October he started for England, but was driven on to the shores of Scotland, arrested, and imprisoned for three years.

Upon being released, he worked the next 30 years in and around London, secretly ministering to the Catholic population and the poor in general. According to Bishop Challoner, "he was zealous [with a] fiery temperament, severe with himself and others, and especially devoted to hearing confessions. Though he had the reputation of being a very exacting director his earnestness drew to him many penitents. So mortified was his personal life and so secret his numerous charities that he was even accused of avarice." Father Ward was frequently jailed or banished during the reigns of both James I and Charles I, as  those periods of relative tolerance ebbed and flowed. He was in London when Parliament issued the proclamation of 7 April, 1641, banishing all priests under pain of death, but refused to retire, and on 15 July was arrested in the house of his nephew. (Charles I had to accept this proclamation because he needed funds from Parliament to fight the rebels in Ireland.) Six days later he was brought to trial at the Old Bailey and was condemned on 23 July. Martyred at age 81 on July 26, 1641, he died uttering the words: “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, receive my soul!” He was among the 162 English Martyrs Pope Pius XI beatified in 1929.

Martyrs and Relatives

These two martyrs, executed on July 26 in 1600, had relatives were also suffered martyrdom for their priesthood in recusant England:

Edward Thwing was born in Yorkshire. He went to Reims, France in the summer of 1583 to study for the priesthood and then went to the Jesuit community at Pont-a-Mousson, evidently intending to enter the order. But within two years, he was back at the English College. After completing his studies with a stay in Rome, he returned to France for his ordination in Laon on December 20, 1590. His return to England was delayed by health problems. In 1597, he was finally able to go to England but was captured by the Elizabethan authorities as soon as he arrived. He and a fellow priest, (Blessed) Robert Nutter, managed to escape from their prison, and eluded arrest for the next three years. In May of 1600, they were re-captured. On July 26, 1600, Father Thwing was executed at Lancaster by drawing and quartering, together with Father Nutter. They were beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1982 as two of the 85 Martyrs of England and Wales. His nephew was also martyred, during the Popish Plot craziness: Blessed Thomas Thwing.

Blessed Robert Nutter was born at Burnley, Lancashire, c. 1550; executed at Lancaster, 26 July, 1600. He entered Brasenose College, Oxford in 1564 or 1565, and, with his brother John, also a martyr (executed at Tyburn on February 12, 1584 with four other priests and beatified by Pope Pius XI in 1929) became a student of the English College, Reims. Having been ordained priest, 21 Dec., 1581, he returned to England. On 2 Feb., 1583-4 he was committed to the Tower, where he remained in the pit forty-seven days, wearing irons for forty-three days, and twice subjected to the tortures of "the scavenger's daughter". On 10 November, 1584, he was again consigned to the pit, where he remained until, on 21 Jan., 1584-5, he, with twenty other priests and one layman, was shipped aboard the "Mary Martin" of Colchester, at Tower Wharf. Landing at Boulogne, 2 Feb., he revisited Rome in July, but, on 30 November, was again committed to prison in London, this time to Newgate, under the alias of Rowley. In 1587 he was removed to the Marshalsea, and thence, in 1589-90, was sent to Wisbech Castle, Cambridgeshire. There, in 1597, he signed a petition to Father Garnet in favour of having a Jesuit superior, but, on 8 Nov., 1598, he and his fellow martyr, Edward Thwing, with others, besought the pope to institute an archpriest.

Blessed John Ingram

The Catholic Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle posts this prayer for the canonization of Blessed John Ingram on their site:

O God, you gave us Blessed John Ingram to inspire and encourage us. Grant that we may know the benefit of his prayers so that we, your Church, can give witness to his sanctity. We make our Prayer through our Lord Jesus. Christ your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.

The site also tells the story of his trial and execution:

From Berwick he was sent to Newcastle, then to York and eventually to the Tower of London for examination by Richard Topcliffe. He suffered grievous torture while in the Tower, yet steadfastly refused to betray his friends and associates.

From London he was sent to Durham to stand trial with two other Martyrs, St. John Boste and Blessed George Swallowell.

All three were convicted and condemned to be hanged, drawn and quartered. St. John Boste was executed that same day (July 24th) in Durham, Blessed George Swallowell in Darlington on Monday 29th July.

Blessed John Ingram was executed at Gateshead on Friday 26th July 1594, at a gallows near where is now the church of the Holy Trinity. He was only 29 years of age.

His last words to the people assembled to see him suffer were "I take God and His Holy Angels to the record that I die only for the Holy Catholic Faith and Religion, and do rejoice and thank God with all my heart that He made me worthy to testify my faith therein by the spending of my blood in this manner."
These last days of July offer us a great testimony of how these martyrs consoled and supported each other. St. John Boste had strengthened Blessed William Swallowell (about whom more soon), and their trial and executions demonstrated the endurance of recusancy in northern England.

Blessed John Ingram - Pray for us.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Martyrs of 1592 and 1594

The Catholic Encyclopedia cites a horrible detail in the execution of Blessed Joseph Lambton, most likely on July 24, 1592 at Newcastle-on-Tyne:

English martyr, b. 1569; d. at Newcastle-on-Tyne. The day of his death is variously given as 23 June, 23 July, and 27 July, and the year as 1592 and 1593; but from a letter of Lord Huntingdon it is clear he died before 31 July, 1592, and Father Holtby's Stonyhurst manuscript says he died on a Monday, so that the probable date is 24 July, 1592. He was the second son of Thomas Lambton of Malton-in-Rydall, Yorks, and Katharine, daughter of Robert Birkhead of West Brandon, Durham. He arrived at the English College, Reims, in 1584, and at the English College, Rome, in 1589. Being allowed to curtail his theological course, he was ordained priest when only twenty-three, and sent on the mission on 22 April 1592. He was arrested at Newcastle on landing with [Blessed] Edward Waterson, and condemned at the next assizes under 27 Eliz., c. 2. He was cut down alive, and the reprieved felon who acted as hangman refused to complete the sentence, which was at last carried out by a Frenchman practicing as a surgeon at Kenton.

On the same date, two years later, another martyr, St. John Boste, suffered in Durham:

Priest and martyr, b. of good Catholic family at Dufton, in Westmoreland, about 1544; d. at Durham, 24 July, 1594. He studied at Queen's College, Oxford, 1569-72, became a Fellow, and was received into the Church at Brome, in Suffolk, in 1576. Resigning his Fellowship in 1580, he went to Reims, where he was ordained priest, 4 March, 1581, and in April was sent to England. He landed at Hartlepool and became a most zealous missioner, so that the persecutors made extraordinary efforts to capture him. At last, after many narrow escapes, he was taken to Waterhouses, the house of William Claxton, near Durham, betrayed by one Eglesfield [or Ecclesfield], 5 July, 1593. The place is still visited by Catholics. From Durham he was conveyed to London, showing himself throughout "resolute, bold, joyful, and pleasant", although terribly racked in the Tower. Sent back to Durham for the July Assizes, 1594, he behaved with undaunted courage and resolution, and induced his fellow-martyr, Bl. George Swalwell [or Swallowell], a convert minister, who had recanted through fear, to repent of his cowardice, absolving him publicly in court. He suffered at Dryburn, outside Durham. He recited the Angelus while mounting the ladder, and was executed with extraordinary brutality; for he was scarcely turned off the ladder when he was cut down, so that he stood on his feet, and in that posture was cruelly butchered alive. An account of his trial and execution was written by an eye-witness, [Blessed] Christopher Robinson, who suffered martyrdom shortly afterwards at Carlisle.

Blessed Joseph Lambton was among the 85 Martyrs of England and Wales beatified by Blessed John Paul II, while St. John Boste was canonized by Pope Paul VI. Blessed George Swalwell, Blessed Christopher Robinson, and Blessed Edward Waterson are also among those beatified in 1982.

Derbyshire Martyrs

Blessed Nicholas Garlick, Blessed Robert Ludlam, and Blessed Richard Simpson, three priests, suffered martyrdom on July 24, 1588 in Derby.
It's neat when one can find a parish website commemorating the English martyrs, Blessed NIcholas Garlick and Blessed Robert Ludlam are featured on this site from the Catholic Church at Glossop in Derbyshire:

Who is Blessed Nicholas? None other than one of the martyrs of what is called the English Reformation. Nicholas was a local boy, from Dinting, about a half hour’s walk west from Old Glossop. The Catholic Encyclopaedia tells us that Nicholas was born in about 1555 and met his end at Derby in 1588, following his capture with his brother priest Robert Ludlum at Padley, also in the Peak District and to the south-east of Glossop.

A charismatic man, Nicholas seems to have had great influence, for example, during his time as school-master at Tideswell in the Peak, enough indeed that some of his pupils followed him to the seminary at Rheims in France, where men were being prepared for the missionary priesthood in protestant England, men who expected to meet a grisly end if they were arrested by the authorities (at a time when being a priest was considered in England to be an act of treason). Nicholas went there in 1581, was ordained and returned to Englandin 1583. He was arrested soon afterwards and exiled in 1585 with a warning.

The Catholic Encyclopedia tells more about the second and third priests who suffered that day:

With Garlick was arrested another priest, Robert Ludlam, or Ludham, who had, like Garlick, been at Oxford and had engaged in teaching before his ordination in May, 1581. In Derby Gaol, a small and pestiferous prison, they found a third priest, Robert Sympson, who was of Garlick's college at Oxford. There he had taken Protestant orders, but was soon after reconciled to the Church, for which he suffered long imprisonment in York Castle. In this trial his faith had grown stronger, but having been ordained and passed through many labours, including exile, he was again in durance and in danger of his life, and this time he was wavering. Garlick and Ludlam cheered, reconciled, and comforted their fellow-captive, and all three were tried and suffered together.

These martyrs are remembered annually with a pilgrimage and Mass at Padley Chapel; it was a Padley, the home of John Fitzherbert, that Fathers Garlick and Ludlam were captured. The Catholic Fitzherberts suffered much for their faith, including the invasion of their home on July 12, 1588 when these priests were captured, according to this site:

The special events which led up to the execution, and subsequent martyrdom of the two Catholic priests who were captured at Padley have been recorded many times, but briefly the main protagonists in the saga were:-

Sir Thomas FITZHERBERT, who married Anne, daughter of Sir Arthur EYRE. Inherited Padley through his marriage to Anne. Lived at Norbury, having handed over the tenancy of Padley to John, his younger brother. A staunch Catholic, he had been imprisoned in 1559 at Derby for his recusancy. Although he was later released, he was ultimately denounced by his nephew, imprisoned again and died in the Tower of London on 2nd October 1591.

John FITZHERBERT, Thomas's brother. Captured by George, Earl of Shrewsbury at Padley on 12th July 1588, with his son Anthony, three of his daughters, Matilda, Jane and Mary (married respectively to - Thomas BARLOW, Thomas EYRE and - DRAYCOTT), and ten serving men from the estate. Jane and Mary were placed in the custody of the Anglican Rectors of Aston, and Weston upon Trent. The others were taken to the county Gaol at Derby. John was reprieved of the death sentence, by an alleged payment of £10,000 in bribes; kept 2 years in Derby Gaol and then sent to Fleet Prison in London where he died on 8th November 1590.

Thomas FITZHERBERT, John's traitorous son, who betrayed his uncle Thomas. Had Norbury estate after his uncle died, but was refused Padley by arch-villain Richard TOPCLIFFE.

Richard TOPCLIFFE, a spy for the Privy Council, who persuaded Thomas to betray his uncle. Sir Thomas made a will whilst he was in the Tower, disinheriting his nephew, but Topcliffe managed to get hold of it, and destroyed it. He obtained Padley for himself after Sir Thomas and John's deaths, but lost it again after 1603 (when Elizabeth I died) to Anthony FITZHERBERT, Thomas's brother (who although captured in 1588 apparently survived!).

Monday, July 23, 2012

Blessed Margaret Pole's Brother

H/T to Tea at Trianon for this link. The Telegraph has a story about the last Plantagenet prince and Angers' bid for the British Crown Jewels:

Angers, in the Loire valley, was the capital of Anjou province and the geographical base of the Plantagenets, who ruled England from 1154 until 1485, providing some of the most celebrated monarchs in British history, including Richard the Lionheart and Henry V.

But when Edward Plantagenet, the Earl of Warwick, was executed for treason in the Tower of London in 1499, the house’s legitimate male line came to an end. “As redress for the execution of Edward, Angers today demands that the Crown Jewels of England be transferred to Angers,” reads a petition posted on the city’s official website.

Recalling 25-year-old Edward’s “unfair and horrible death” at the hands of henchmen working for Henry VII, England’s first Tudor king, the city believes it is owed an apology and 513 years’ worth of compensation.

According to this website:

EDWARD PLANTAGENET, EARL OF WARWICK, was the son of George, Duke of Clarence, brother of Edward IV. After the execution of his father in 1478, the young earl was kept in honourable confinement at the castle of Sheriff-Hutton in Yorkshire until Henry's accession to the throne in 1485, when the earl's Yorkist blood, and the strong claims it gave him to the crown of England, made it a very obvious necessity on the new king's part to have him placed in the more secure prison of the Tower of London. From this prison he never again emerged except on two occasions, viz., in 1487, when he was paraded through the principal streets of London to disprove the imposture of Lambert Simnel, and in 1499, when he was beheaded on a charge of being concerned with Perkin Warbeck, then also a prisoner in the Tower, in a conspiracy to get forcible possession of the Tower, and effect the overthrow of Henry's government.

The young Earl's close confinement, 14 years in the Tower of London, had left him unable to "tell a goose from a capon" according to Henry VII's latest biographer, Thomas Penn. He also recounts that the poor Earl was still confused at his trial in London's Guildhall, which Penn calls a farce. Henry VII had the records of the conspiracy locked up tightly and Warwick was beheaded on Tower Green, November 28, 1499. Perkin Warbeck was hung at Tyburn on November 23, 1499. Henry VII arranged the marriage of the last Plantagenet princess, Margaret, to a knight, making sure she was out of the way of the succession.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

More Popish Plot Victims and Martyrs

As this site notes, Sunday, July 22, 2012 is the anniversary of the martyrdom of St. John Lloyd and St. Philip Evans, SJ--333 years ago.

St John Lloyd [was] a Welsh priest who was hanged, drawn and quartered together with St Philip Evans on 22 July 1679 at Gallows Field in Cardiff, Wales. To have spent 25 years ministering to Welsh Catholics without being caught by the authorities is a rather amazing achievement compared to the majority of the other priests among the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.

St John Lloyd was born around the year 1630 in Breconshire, Wales, into a fervent Catholic family. One of his brothers became a priest and died in prison for the Faith and one of his sisters joined the Blue Nuns. Growing up, the stories of the priestly martyrs who preceded him must have inspired young John to follow in their footsteps. By the age of 19 John had travelled to Spain to enrol at the seminary of the Royal college of St Alban at Valladolid, and had taken the missionary oath to return to Wales to serve as a priest. After 4 years of study John was ordained in 1653 or 1654, and sent back to Wales.

John’s missionary territory consisted of the South Wales counties of Glamorgan and Monmouthshire. For the next 24-25 years John travelled between homes of loyal Catholics, administering the sacraments and encouraging his flock to remain faithful. Things were going OK on the quiet, until the political climate changed with the Titus Oates plot. With the motivation for persecution refreshed, priest hunters tried extra hard and soon arrested John in November 1678 at the home of the recusant John Turberville at Penllyn. . . .

More information on St. Philip Evans, SJ, see this story of his life and death by the great 20th century historian of the martyrs of the English Reformation, Jesuit Father Philip Caraman.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Edmund Burke on Religious Liberty

From an article in Crisis Magazine by William F. Byrne, Associate Professor of Government and Politics at St. John’s University (NY), and author of Edmund Burke for Our Time: Moral Imagination, Meaning, and Politics:

Burke’s own religious background is actually a matter of some controversy. He was an Irishman; his mother and sister were Catholic. Burke, his father, and his brothers were officially Anglican, but this was probably a reflection of the political realities of the time. Due to the severe challenges presented by the oppression of Irish Catholics, it was common in families for the women to be openly Catholic while the men were secretly Catholic but nominally Anglican. Burke’s father was a lawyer, and appears to have been one of many Catholic lawyers who “converted” to the Church of Ireland when Catholics were barred from the profession. At any rate, Burke spent much of his early youth with his Catholic cousins, then attended a Quaker school (schools for Catholics were illegal) and the Anglican Trinity College. . . .

For Burke, religion was the “first prejudice.” That is, religious presumptions are foundational to virtue, morality, and a good society. He celebrated the English tradition of “education by ecclesiastics,” believing that this fostered the right attitude and outlook in young men. Most notably, he emerged as a defender of England’s church establishment, believing that this discouraged “fraud and violence and injustice and tyranny” in government. He liked church-state linkage not for the benefit of the church, but as a way of conveying the idea that politics is a sacred trust. Burke had a deep sense of the sacred, and he understood that it is vital that we recognize that our whims—experienced either singly or collectively—do not set the standards of right and wrong. Church-state linkage helped to “consecrate” the state. . . .

Despite Burke’s defense of church establishment, he was also a supporter of religious liberty. And, he bitterly attacked the anti-Catholicism laws imposed on Ireland. Such laws were eroding Irish society, destroying social and cultural bonds and transforming the population into an atomized mob ripe for rebellion. Government attacks on new and minority churches were bad enough, but attacking the major, ancestral church of a society was deadly. He warned against the promotion of a generic “Protestantism” understood as anti-Catholicism, pointing out that an atheist, with his rejection of all Catholic doctrine rather than just portions of it, is “the most perfect Protestant.” In attacking Catholicism, government was attacking religion, piety, and, ultimately, society itself.

Read the rest here.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Oscott College

How I would love to spend a day at St. Mary's College Oscott, specifically in "The Recusant Library and Rare Books Collection"!

The Recusant Library at Oscott College, with over 12,000 books and pamphlets, and 400 manuscripts, holds works of Catholic interest published between c.1470 and c.1850. There are, additionally, a number of historical, scientific and medical works.

The collection developed initially from two sources. First, the Harvington Secular Clergy Library which was assembled at the recusancy centre of Harvington Hall, Worcestershire. Founded in 1696 by Lady Mary Yate for the use of her family chaplains, it became a library for the use of priests of the Midland District.

As might be expected, this collection is particularly strong in controversial, catechetical and devotional works relating to the Church in England. The pamphlet wars of the 1670s and 1680s are well-represented. Bishop Milner acquired the collection in 1810 for the use of the College.

Oscott, of course, is where Blessed John Henry Newman preached at the first Catholic synod after the restoration of the hierarchy, so I would want to visit the Pugin-designed chapel too:

The pulpit is associated with the most significant occasion at Oscott in its early decades, the first synod of the restored Catholic hierarchy in 1852. This occasion was marked by the striking sermon preached from this pulpit by John Henry Newman. Later published as 'The Second Spring', the sermon was a moving account of the recovery of English Catholicism from the dark days of penal times to its Victorian splendour. It came to characterise the expression of the restoration of Catholicism, and the very title 'The Second Spring' passed into common usage to describe Catholic life in Victorian England.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Book Review: Saints, Sacrilege, and Sedition

Eamon Duffy's new book on the English Reformation, subtitled "Religion and Conflict in the Tudor Reformations" is a collection of essays, not the thorough composed book I hoped for initially. Nevertheless, Duffy displays the same level of erudition and original research that can be expected from him. In the first two chapters he speaks directly to the foundation of the English Reformations under the Tudors and its effects:

The Reformation marked, for England, the end of the notion of Christendom. The foundation of the English Reformation was neither sola scriptura nor sola fide, but the Royal Supremacy: Henry VIII utterly rejected justification by faith and burned those who preached it, and he understood the authority of scripture to reside chiefly in the fact that the scriptures taught obedience to the king. (Nice chiasmus, there.)

He depicts the English Reformation as a crucial break with the past:

Overnight, a millennium of Christian splendour--the worlds of Gregory and Bede and Anselm and Francis and Dominic and Bernard and Dante, patterns of thought and ritual and symbols that had constituted and nourished the mind and heart of Christendom for a thousand years--became alien territory, the dark ages of popery. . . . The Reformation silenced the prayers of men and women for their parents, it banished the saints, it drastically reduced the sacramental life of every Christian. The destruction of monasticism did more than take the roofs off some of the best buildings in England: it amputated one of the Church's perennial and most precious sources of Christian inspiration and renewal.

Duffy focuses his attention on the rood screens and how documents in parish churches reveal the lay involvement in their construction and renovation in chapter three; examines the records of one extraordinary large parish church in chapter four; and reviews the results of the 1552 Inventories of Church goods in chapter five.

He dedicates chapters 6 through 9 to the hierarchy, particularly to Cardinal Bishop and martyred saint, St. John Fisher, and to Reginald Cardinal Pole, the last Catholic Archbishop of Canterbury.

The last two chapters trace "the conservative voice" even among those who went along with the established Church of England as they recalled the past--the rituals, the rhythm of the Church year, the beauty of the churches, etc.; and finally he parses a line from Shakespeare's sonnet about bare ruined choirs, recalling the dissolved monasteries and their reputation.

I heartily recommend Saints, Sacrilege, and Sedition for anyone interested in the English Reformation.

I. Reformation Unravelled \ Introduction \ 1. Reformation, Counter-reformation and the English nation \ 2. Reformation Unravelled: Facts and Fictions \ II. The Material Culture of Early Tudor Catholicism \ 3. The Parish, Piety and Patronage: the Evidence of Roodscreens \ 4. Salle Church and the Reformation \ 5. The End of It All: Medieval Church Goods and the 1552 Confiscations \ III. Two Cardinals \ 6. John Fisher and the Spirit of his Age \ 7. The Spirituality of John Fisher \ 8. Rome and Catholicity in mid-Tudor England \ 9. Archbishop Cranmer and Cardinal Pole: the See of Canterbury and the Reformation \ IV. Catholic Voices \ 10. The Conservative Voice in the English Reformation \ 11. Bare Ruin'd Choirs: Remembering Catholicism in Shakespeare's England

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Another Tea at Trianon Review

Elena Maria Vidal does it again: looking at season three of The Tudors, she comments on the good things about the series (after discussing some of its more salacious aspects):

On the other hand, I have never seen or heard of such a magnificent dramatization of the Pilgrimage of Grace as was featured in Season 3 of The Tudors. The Catholic Pilgrims of Grace were simple people who had had their religion taken away from them; all they wanted was the opportunity to voice their complaints to the King. They marched under the sacred banner of the Five Wounds. It was one of the first times in history, if not the first, that the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was borne aloft in the name of a cause. They were brutally betrayed and executed. As I was watching the scene where their leader Robert Aske is bound in chains and preparing himself for a hideous death, I said to my mother, who was watching the show with me, "We don't know what faith is." Compared to people like Mr. Aske, I do not think most of us do. In reality, it was the Duke of Norfolk, not the Duke of Suffolk (Charles Brandon) who put down the Pilgrimage and oversaw the executions.The character of Mary Tudor was again particularly well done, beautifully acted by Sarah Bolger with integrity and grace. We are presented with the portrait of an innocent young girl in an increasingly profligate court, who is alone and isolated because of her Catholic faith, kept from marrying because her father is too busy with his own matrimonial ups and downs. Yet she tries always to do the right thing. Whatever course of action she follows, it seems to lead to heartbreak, and more heartbreak. She clings to her faith nevertheless. We can see the future Queen regnant beginning to take shape. Mary is no less her father's daughter as she is her mother's, and the granddaughter of the great Isabel. It is easy to weep for her.

Read more here.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Hilaire Belloc, RIP

When Belloc ran for Parliament in 1906, his campaign manager begged him not to mention his Catholicism--so Belloc proclaimed during one of his speeches (when heckled for being a "Papist"): "Gentlemen, I am a Catholic. As far as possible, I go to Mass every day. This (taking a rosary out of his pocket) is a rosary. As far as possible, I kneel down and tell these beads every day. If you reject me on account of my religion, I shall thank God that he has spared me the indignity of being your representative." Of course, he was elected.

What a lion of the Faith! Hilaire Belloc died on July 16, 1953, eleven days shy of his 83rd birthday.

As Frederick Wilhelmson said of Belloc:

Born and baptized in the Church, a Catholic from childhood, his love and appreciation of the Faith came to him when young, but it came somewhat slowly. Of his inner life he tells us very little. French on his fathers side, Belloc it must be remembered did his military service in the French artillery, thus delaying his entrance into Oxford when he finally made up his mind to remain an Englishman. His spoken French remained that of a rough cannoneer. Latin European culture was the air he breathed in his youth and to which he returned whenever he could, even sailing across the channel to replenish his reserves of wine.

Were I to seek one scriptural passage which sums up Bellocs vision of the Faith, it would be: By their fruits ye shall know them (Mt 6:30). Aided here by a powerful visual imagination which was brought to bear in his many military histories, Belloc could see the Church at work down the ages and he adored what he saw. The Church made Europe and in so doing quickened the old Roman Order, in disrepair but by no means destroyed by the Germanic tribes from the north. All our typical Western institutions were either created by Catholic men from out of nothing or were inherited from our pagan forefathers and then quickened from within by the yeast of Christianity. Although the terms incarnational and eschatological were not current in Belloc's lifetime, he is a prime instance of a man with an incarnational understanding of religious truth. Belloc looked for blessings everywhere, and the whole of Christendom was for him an immense network of actual graces.

In addition to the book pictured above, TAN Books/St. Benedict's Press publishes several of his 153 or so books. A Path to Rome, The Servile State, and Characters of the Reformation are among my favorite works by Belloc! May he rest in peace. He is buried at Our Lady of Consolation Church in West Grinstead, Sussex.

I will not "leave him now for a little mire"

Blessed John Sugar and Blessed Robert Griswold (1604):

In July of 1603, Fr John Sugar was arrested and Robert Grissold was offered the chance of escaping by his cousin, but he refused to leave the priest. Both were imprisoned in Warwick Gaol, where they languished for a year.

On 13th July 1604 John Sugar was arraigned for being a Catholic priest and was condemned to be hanged, drawn and quartered. The next day Robert was arraigned and offered his freedom if he would conform and attend the services of the Church of England. He refused and was condemned for felony, that is for being in the company and assisting a Catholic priest, and he was sentenced to be hanged.

On 16th July both men were taken to the place of execution, known as Gallows Hill. John Sugar was drawn on a hurdle. Robert was given the opportunity of not following through the mud, but he replied, ‘I have not thus far followed him to leave him now for a little mire.’ Fr Sugar was executed first. Seeing the halter with which he was to be hanged lying on the ground, Robert went and dipped it in John Sugar’s blood, and going up the ladder he said to the people, ‘Bear witness, good people, that I die here not for theft, nor for felony, but for my conscience.’ Then he forgave his persecutors and the hangman, made an act of contrition, and called on the name of Jesus. Lastly, he commended himself into the hands of Almighty God and was turned off the ladder; he hanged until he was quite dead. He was buried beneath the gallows, while the head and quarters of John Sugar were set up on the gates of Warwick.

John Sugar was 42 years old and Robert Grissold about 29. They were beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1987.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Anglican Orders

Taylor Marshall, himself a former Episcopalian minister, writes about the vallidity of Anglican orders on his blog. He's answering a quesation he received after talking to Marcus Grodi on EWTN's The Journey Home: Does the Anglican Church have a valid Eucharist?

Dr. Marshall has a short answer (No.) and a longer explanation.

To quote: Here's the short answer: No, Anglicans or Episcopalians (the tradition deriving from Henry VIII's Church of England) do not have a valid Eucharist. This question was settled by His Holiness Pope Leo XIII in his papal bull Apostolicae Curae on the nullity of Anglican orders, issued 18 September, 1896. There are two reasons for the nullity of Anglican Holy Orders. After explaining these two reasons, I'll respond to the objection that Anglicans/Episcopalians have since "revitalized" their Apostolic Succession through the intervention of schismatic bishops of the Old Catholic/Orthodox/Polish National Catholic communities.

There are two reasons for the invalidity of Anglican Orders and Eucharist: First Reason Against Anglican Eucharist: Invalid Form of Priestly Ordination.

And the second reason is: "Invalid Form of Priestly Intent"--read the rest at "Canterbury Tales".

Saturday, July 14, 2012

A Lay Victim of The Popish Plot

Blessed Richard Langhorne (c. 1624 – 14 July 1679) was a barrister executed as part of the Popish Plot. He was admitted to the Inner Temple in May 1647 and called to the bar in November 1654. He provided legal and financial advice for the Jesuits.

His wife, Dorothy, was a Protestant from Havering in Essex. His sons Charles and Francis were both priests. When, in October 1677, Titus Oates was expelled from the English College at St Omer "for serious moral lapses", Charles Langhorne entrusted Oates with a letter to his father. Oates returned to St Omer with a letter from Richard thanking the Jesuits for all they had done for his sons.

When Oates and Israel Tonge unleashed their Popish Plot in September 1678, three Jesuits and a Benedictine were arrested. Langhorne was arrested a week later, imprisoned at Newgate and charged with Treason. Oates claimed, corroborated by William Bedloe, that Langhorne's earlier correspondence dealt with treason.

He was found guilty of High Treason. As the result of a petition by his wife, a ‘true Protestant’, he received a month's reprieve to tidy the affairs of his clients. He was executed at Tyburn, London, on 14 July 1679. According to the Benedictines at Tyburn Convent, "He declared on the scaffold at Tyburn, that not only a pardon, but many preferments and estates had been offered to him if he would for sake his religion.As the hangman was placing the rope round his neck, he took it into his hands and kissed it."

On 15 December 1929, he was beatified by Pope Pius XI.

As I've noted before on this blog when discussing the Popish Plot, England's justice system benefitted the accuser and gave little leeway to a defendant trying to prove a negative: Langhorne could not prove their interpretation of his letters was wrong. Samuel Pepys and other defendants finally received some measure of justice because Judge Scrogg figured out Oates' and his confreres' perjury. Samuel Pepys was accused that same year of giving naval secrets to the French and of being a Catholic, just because of his loyalty to James, the Duke of York. He spent six months in the Tower of London and eventually established, not his innocence per se, but his accuser's guilt. Pepys was cleared of charges and reinstated as Secretary to the Admirality--in 1684!

Coming Next Month, On the Radio

On Saturday, August 4--at 2:00 p.m. Central Time--I will host my very own live call-in hour long radio show! Yes, live from our basement in Wichita, Kansas, I'll present the story of the English Reformation every Saturday afternoon for 12 weeks, until October 20 on Radio Maria, US. I think we will call it something creative like "Catholics and the English Reformation" and the content will be based on my book, Supremacy and Survival: How Catholics Endured the English Reformation.

Radio Maria US is part of a worldwide Catholic radio network that began in Italy and has stations in Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Texas, and Wisconsin. It streams live on line and has apps for Blackberry, Android, and the iPhone, too. If Radio Maria is happy with my effort, and I am also willing, we might collaborate on another series, with another topic from Church History--something on Blessed John Henry Newman, maybe?

This all came about because I sent a review copy of my book and my CV to the host of one of their shows, "Meet the Author"! When you are trying to reach different audiences, I guess you never know what opportunities might present themselves.

I will provide updates on the program every week here on this blog, so just check back often! It's just three weeks away, you know!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Wales and the Catholic Church

With the commemoration of St. John Jones the Welsh Franciscan martyr yesterday, I thought I'd mention a couple of interesting links on the Church and Wales, occasioned by this article in the National Catholic Register:

For centuries, they came. Trudging along narrow footpaths, often precariously perched atop steep cliffs that plunged down to the Irish Sea, the pilgrims had one mission: to reach Bardsey Island.
Bardsey Island sits off the blustery northern coast of Wales, and evidence indicates it has been a site of worship since the Bronze Age (3600-1200 B.C.). In the sixth century, St. Cadfan began construction of a monastery there that eventually became home to many devout monks, causing Bardsey to become an important site for the Celtic Christian Church. Over time, the faithful began flocking to the island on pilgrimage. As their numbers swelled in the Middle Ages, the Pope declared that three pilgrimages to Bardsey Island equaled one pilgrimage to Rome.

Eventually, the island became known as the “Island of the Saints,” and it was said 20,000 holy people were interred there.

Of course, you've noticed that the two groups of martyrs canonized and beatified are the "Forty Martyrs of England and Wales" and the "Eighty-Five Martyrs of England and Wales": Here is a site dedicated to telling the stories of the Welsh martyrs.

And of course, one of the most evocative of all the monastic ruins, Tintern Abbey, is in Wales: Here is a site dedicated to the Welsh Abbeys and other holy sites in Wales. Tintern Abbey, of course, inspired William Wordsworth. (Image credit: wikipedia.)

The Hound of Heaven

Pat McNamara blogs on the life and works of Francis Thompson, highlighting his most famous work:

It's a poem that every Catholic schoolchild knew once upon a time. Eugene O'Neill could recite Francis Thompson's "Hound of Heaven" from memory, and J.R.R. Tolkien was an admirer of it. G.K. Chesterton considered Thompson one of the great English poets, a "shy volcano." Although Victorian poetry may be out of fashion today, many still find comfort in Thompson's image of a loving God relentlessly pursuing the wayward soul:

I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;

I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
Up vistaed hopes I sped;
And shot, precipitated,
Adown Titanic glooms of chasmèd fears,
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.
But with unhurrying chase,
And unperturbèd pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
They beat-and a Voice beat
More instant than the Feet-
'All things betray thee, who betrayest Me.'

What many didn't know was that this poem, hailed as one of the great Catholic poems, was the product of a deeply troubled soul, a man who battled addiction, poverty and depression throughout his adult life.

Read the rest here, if you please.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

St. John Jones, Franciscan English Catholic Martyr

Saint John (Godfrey) Jones 1530? - 1598: John Jones was born to a Catholic family in Clymag Faur in the county of Canaervon in Wales around the year 1530. In his youth Queen Mary Tudor accomplished the restoration of the Catholic Church after the brief reign of Edward VI had taken the Church of England into the Calvinist fold. Mary's accession had allowed the English friars who had fled into exile to Flanders and Scotland to return and in April 1555 the friary at Greenwich, in which Mary and Elizabeth had been baptised, was reopened. John joined the friary and took the name Godfrey Maurice, becoming known for his piety. At Mary's untimely death in 1558, however, her half-sister Elizabeth assumed the throne and it was not long before Catholics were once more persecuted in England. John Jones, although still a novice was forced to flee to France. The English Observant Franciscans fled to a friary in Pontoise where John was professed and trained. He was probably ordained a priest at Rheims, where there was another friary of the exiled English Province.

Towards 1590 John was sent to the friary of Ara Coeli in Rome, the General headquarters of the Order. From there he wished to return to England to take part in the mission to care for faithful Catholics, who risked their livelihoods and often their lives to sustain their missionary priests. The priests themselves were subject to the dreadful death of hanging, drawing and quartering as traitors for the simple fact of exercising their priesthood. John begged an audience with the Pope and Clement VIII embraced him, gave him a solemn blessing and told him: “Go, because I believe you to be a true son of Saint Francis. Pray to God for me and for his holy Church."

In England John Jones exercised an heroic hidden ministry, animating the Catholic faith among recusants and prudently seeking to reconcile those who had submitted to Elizabeth's Church of England. The existence of a missionary priest in England was one of frequent moves, constant vigilance and continued flight from Elizabeth's vigilant secret services, supervised by William Cecil and Francis Walsingham.

Despite his care, John Jones was caught in late 1595 or early 1596 by Richard Topcliffe, who nurtured a cruel hatred for the Catholic faith and was sanctioned by the Queen to maintain a private torture chamber in his house for the Catholic priests he apprehended. John Jones was accused of being a spy and sent to the notorious Clink prison, from which we derive the expression “being in clink”. There he languished for nigh on two years awaiting trial. In prison Jones continued his ministry and converted many, including Saint John Rigby, who was himself martyred two years after John Jones (on 21st June 1600). On 3rd July 1598 John Jones was finally brought to trial for having exercised his ministry as a Catholic priest in England. He was sentenced to hanging, drawing and quartering at Saint Thomas Watering, but was meanwhile imprisoned at Marshalsea prison. The Jesuit Henry Garnet recounts in a letter that on 12th July 1598 John was tied to a trellis and dragged to the place of his torment. [The executioner had forgotten to bring ropes, so there was a delay.] He was held there for an hour before execution during which time Topcliffe harangued the crowd with his supposed crimes. Garnet recounts that the crowd was touched more by John's prayers than by the calumnies of his torturer and executioner. His remains were hung up on the road between Newington and Lambeth.

With 39 other English martyrs, John Jones was beatified by Pius XI on 15th December 1929 and canonised by Paul VI on 25th October 1970. The Franciscans in England remember all their martyrs, Supremacy (Henry VIII), Recusant (Elizabeth I to Charles I) and Popish Plot (Charles II) on the 12th of July--St. John Jones is pictured above with St. John Wall, a Popish Plot martyr of 1679.

Julian and Gregorian Celebrations of Victories in Ireland

William III won two great victories in Ireland in July, at the Boyne against James II, his father-in-law and at Aughrim, against the Jacobite forces led by the Marguise de St. Ruth. The Orange Order celebrates the former on July 12 on the Gregorian calendar (it occurred on July 1, 1690 on the Julian calendar); the latter, they used to celebrate on July 12 (1691) on the Julian calendar until the adjustments of the Gregorian calendar moved the day to July 22.

After these decisive victories in Ireland, and the Jacobite surrender of the seige of Limerick, more punitive Penal Laws were passed against Irish Catholics, including, but limited to:

~Exclusion of Catholics from most public offices (since 1607)

~Ban on intermarriage with Protestants; repealed 1778

~Catholics barred from holding firearms or serving in the armed forces (rescinded by Militia Act of 1793)

~Exclusion from the legal professions and the judiciary; repealed (respectively) 1793 and 1829.

~Education Act 1695 – ban on foreign education; repealed 1782.

~Bar to Catholics entering Trinity College Dublin; repealed 1793.

~On a death by a Catholic, his legatee could benefit by conversion to the Church of Ireland;

~Popery Act – Catholic inheritances of land were to be equally subdivided between all an owner's sons with the exception that if the eldest son and heir converted to Protestantism that he would become the one and only tenant of estate and portions for other children not to exceed one third of the estate. This "Gavelkind" system had previously been abolished by 1600.

~Ban on converting from Protestantism to Roman Catholicism on pain of Praemunire: forfeiting all property estates and legacy to the monarch of the time and remaining in prison at the monarch's pleasure. In addition, forfeiting the monarch's protection. No injury however atrocious could have any action brought against it or any reparation for such.

~Ban on Catholics buying land under a lease of more than 31 years; repealed 1778.

~Ban on custody of orphans being granted to Catholics on pain of 500 pounds that was to be donated to the Blue Coat hospital in Dublin.

~Ban on Catholics inheriting Protestant land

~Prohibition on Catholics owning a horse valued at over £5 (in order to keep horses suitable for military activity out of the majority's hands)

~Roman Catholic lay priests had to register to preach under the Registration Act 1704, but seminary priests and Bishops were not able to do so until 1778

~When allowed, new Catholic churches were to be built from wood, not stone, and away from main roads.

~'No person of the popish religion shall publicly or in private houses teach school, or instruct youth in learning within this realm' upon pain of twenty pounds fine and three months in prison for every such offence. Repealed in 1782.

~Any and all rewards not paid by the crown for alerting authorities of offences to be levied upon the Catholic populace within parish and county.

These repressive penal laws wouldn't be repealed until the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century Catholic relief acts, while other practices, like Catholics paying tithes to the Church of Ireland survived even those legislative milestones. The Orange Order marches on The Twelfth still provoke disorder, conflict and violence.

After these Jacobite campaigns in Ireland, the field of battle changed to Scotland, with the '15 and the '45.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

St.Benedict and England

As today is the feast of St. Benedict, patron saint of Europe, it's appropriate to look at the Benedictine order in England, before and after the English Reformation. Of course, the crucial events of that history are the foundation of the great Benedictine, Cluniac and Cistercian monasteries throughout England, their suppression and destruction during the Dissolution of the Monasteries, and finally their revival after Catholic Emancipation in 1829 and the Restoration of the Hierarchy in 1850. (The image on the right is courtesy of wikipedia commons, depicting the ruins of Whitby Abbey at sunset.)

The current English Benedictine Congregation sketches that history, noting that the preservation of the link between pre-Reformation Benedictine monasticism in England came down to one survivor in 1607, in the early years of James I's reign:

The present day English Congregation can claim canonical continuity with the congregation erected in the thirteenth century by the Holy See. The oldest monasteries of that congregation claimed continuity with the monasteries restored by Ss Dunstan, Ethelwold and Oswald in the tenth century. These monasteries had bound themselves together by a document known as the Regularis Concordia or Rule of Agreement. These monasteries in turn claimed moral continuity with the monasteries founded by Ss Wilfrid and Benet Biscop in the seventh century, who in turn were inspired by what they saw at St Augustine’s monastery at Canterbury. St Augustine had been a monk at Pope Gregory the Great’s monastery in Rome and had been sent by the Pope to England in 597. The seventh century monasteries had been destroyed by the Viking invaders in the ninth century.

From the tenth to the sixteenth century the black monks of St Benedict played an integral part in every aspect of English life: religious, social and economic. Under King Henry VIII the congregation nearly came to extinction with the dissolution of the monasteries in the 1530s. Queen Mary I took the ancient royal Abbey of Westminster, refounded by King Edward the Confessor in the eleventh century, and restored it to a surviving band of monks on 21 November 1556. However, this revival ceased on the accession of Elizabeth I in 1558.

By 1607 only one monk of the pre-Reformation congregation survived, Dom Sigebert Buckley. On 21 November 1607 he aggregated two young English monks of the Cassinese Congregation to the English Congregation, thus ensuring a moral continuity of the link to St Augustine. These two monks joined other English monks exiled in France who were training for work on the English mission. It is through this missionary work that the present day congregation finds part of its work in parochial duties throughout the country.

By the nineteenth century monasteries were once again established in England. The monks from Douai came to England in 1795 to Acton Burnell, in Shropshire, the seat of Sir Edward Smythe, relocating to their current home at Downside near Bristol in 1814. Those of St Laurence's, Dieulouard, coming to Ampleforth near York in 1802. The monks of St Edmund’s in Paris moved first to Douai after the French Revolution and returned to England to Douai near Reading in 1903. The nuns in Cambrai moved to Woolton, then Salford (Warks), finally Stanbrook near Worcester in 1838, and those from Paris to Cannington, then Colwich near Stafford in 1836.

Read the rest here.

Several Benedictines suffered in the aftermath of the English Reformation: Downside Abbey honors several saints on their site. St. Benedict, Pray for Us!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The 2012 Catholic Writers Conference

Although I can't attend this year because of a European trip planned later this fall, I want to let you know about the Catholic Writers Conference, August 29-31, 2012 - in Arlington Texas at the Arlington Convention Center, held in conjunction with the Catholic Marketing Network Trade Show. According to the Catholic Writers Guild:

This year's conference will be focused on "Writing and the New Evangelization." Our vocation calls us to write, but what do we do then? Our conference allows you to connect personally with Catholic publishers and retailers, to learn more about the art, show your work, learn the craft and network.

This year we are hosting:
•workshops on marketing and writing
•presentations on marketing and selling your work
•in-person pitch sessions (Ignatius Press, Ascension Press, Servant Books and Christus Publishing)
•group critique sessions
•national CWG Members meeting (guests welcome, of course)

Our Schedule is still being finalized, however speakers will include Father Andrew Apostoli, CFR, Author Patti Armstrong, author and Ave Maria Radio personality Teresa Tomeo, and author and editor Ellen Hrkach. You'll also have lots of time to walk the trade show floor (which is FABulous). We are also invited to attend all the Catholic Marketing Network events - you don't wanna miss those. We've also arranged for our registrants to be able to attend the blogging track of the Catholic New Media Conference --occurring at the same time--at a very low fee (a fee code will be emailed to you upon registration for our conference).

All combined daily Mass, rosary, adoration - how can you go wrong?

There are also opportunities for CWG members to promote books at our show booth.
A fun, spiritual and inspirational time will be had by all!

I have attended the meeting the past two years, and even made a presentation last year, so I hope to go again in 2013. More info here.

Monday, July 9, 2012

On the Radio

I'll be on the Son Rise Morning Show tomorrow morning at 7:45 a.m. Eastern (6:45 a.m. Central). Brian Patrick and I will discuss my cover story in the July/August issue of OSV's The Catholic Answer Magazine, "Two Kinds of Saints: Martyrs and Confessors".  You have to be a subscriber to the print magazine to read the story on-line, but you can listen live here and get the gist of the article.

A Tea at Trianon Review

The Divorce of Henry VIII (UK title: Our Man in Rome) by Professor Catherine Fletcher of Durham University is an indispensable addition to the library of any serious scholar of Tudor history. I say "serious" scholar because, while the book is not overlong, it is not light reading. It might be challenging for some to keep track of all the various players and intertwining events unless one is already deeply immersed in the politics of the King's Great Matter. However, after glancing at the author's extensive bibliography, I must commend her for being able to concentrate so much detailed research into one volume. It includes material rarely covered by other works about Henry VIII, shedding light on the fascinating world of sixteenth century ambassadors.

The narrative centers on the adventures of the Casali family of Rome whose sons made a living by working as diplomats for various princes, both local and foreign. The complicated inner workings of Renaissance Italian politics are beyond modern imagination; compared to those Renaissance rascals most Americans do not know the meaning of intrigue. Growing up in a diplomatic and political scenario was helpful for those who wished to have a career in statecraft; it all depended on whom you knew and how well. Gregorio Casali was employed by Henry VIII to represent his case before the Pope. Now getting in to see the Pope, even for the ambassador of a king, was not always an easy matter. Bribes were usually necessary and what made the difference between a good ambassador and a sloppy one was knowing whom to bribe. . . .

Read the rest here.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Blesseds Knights Fortescue and Dingley

On July 8 or 9 or 10, 1539, Sir Thomas Dingley and Sir Adrian Fortescue, Knights of St. John, were executed by order of Henry VIII. In the common pattern of injustice at the time, they were never tried and were attainted in documents that included Margaret Pole, the Countess of Salisbury (who would be finally executed on May 28, 1541).

Adrian Fortescue had been in very high favor at Henry VIII's Court; his mother was Alice Boleyn, Anne Boleyn's aunt. In the early years of Henry's reign he accompanied his king to Calais and to the Field of the Cloth of Gold. He was made a Knight of the Bath in 1503, along with Henry, then Prince of Wales. Sir Adrian married twice and had four daughters and three sons.

In 1532 he entered the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, and by the mid 1530's that Order's opposition to Henry VIII's religious policy resulted in suppression of the Order and seizure of its property by the Crown. Knights of the Order were not welcome at Court and were forbidden to wear the habit or badges of their Order. Sir Adrian was imprisoned at Marshalsea, released, and arrested again on February 14, 1539, held in the Tower of London until his execution. He was then attainted and his possessions first cataloged, then seized by the Crown.

The Bill of Attainder contains vague language about his crime, speaking of "sundry treasons". Since the Pole family was the main target of this Bill, including not only the Countess of Salisbury, but also her exiled son Cardinal Reginald Pole and other of his associates, Fortescue's association with the Poles (his son Anthony married Catherine Pole) contributed to his condemnation. [Catherine Pole was Margaret Pole's granddaughter. Catherine's father was Sir Geoffrey Pole, who may have betrayed his brother, Henry Lord Montague--executed on December 9, 1538 with Henry Courtenay, the Marquis of Exeter--and was pardoned by Henry VIII.]

Sir Thomas Dingley was a prior of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem; he also was attainted and condemned without trial, accused of travelling to foreign courts in the interests of the king's enemies.

The date of their executions is reported variously--July 8, 9, or 10--and their place of burial is not known. Clearly they did not merit the usual "obsequies perform'd" according to the state.

Sir Adrian's eldest son John held posts in the Courts of Elizabeth I and James I; he contributed books owned by Sir Adrian to the Bodleian Library in Oxford. His youngest son, Anthony, was involved in a conspiracy against Elizabeth I in 1561 and was exiled.

The cult of these two martyrs, beatified by Pope Leo XIII in 1895, is honored among the Order of Malta. The Catholic priest and scholar, Adrian Fortescue, 1874-1923, is a direct descendant of this martyr.