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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Recusancy   Thu 03 Oct 2013, 11:16

When Temp took a swipe at John Howard - 1st Duke of Norfolk - several of these, just to confuse - an interested glance at the Norfolk family tree led my fascination into even deeper waters.  Looking up recusant families, for instance, according to WIki both Shakespeare's parents came from recusant stock. I thought that enough to take in before breakfast and stopped there. I have yet to find out what happened to the Howards during the Civil War- but one thing seemed cleared 'dem bones, dem bones...' ought have Catholic rites. And doesn't the Dukedom of Norfolk have a lot of clout, eh? Well on paper anyway though what the Marshall bit means today I'm uncertain.
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PostSubject: Re: Recusancy   Thu 03 Oct 2013, 12:23

Yes P, I too have always been surprised at how the Howards as a family have not only survived but have generally prospered, despite being recusants. Individual Howards (and their close relatives), have at times been imprisoned and even lost their heads - although usually for their political machinations rather than for just being catholic - but the family as a whole seems to have been very adept at bending, reed-like, with the all the contemporary political breezes. So much so that the dukedom still retains, since at least the 15th century, the hereditary title of Earl Marshal of England, (thereby responsible for all State occasions) and by virtue of this office also the hereditary position of judge in the Court of Chivalry and Head of the College of Arms. These positions are maybe less important these days but were immensly influential in days past. And even today after the 1999 revamp of the House of Lords, the duke as Earl Marshal (along with only the Lord Great Chamberlain), still automatically has a seat in the upper house of Parliament.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Recusancy   Thu 03 Oct 2013, 16:42



Hilary Mantel's description of the Catholic Thomas Howard (Anne Boleyn's uncle) - how he positively jingled with all the relics he had suspended from his person - made me laugh. He was like a walking Christmas tree apparently. Will try and find the quote from Wolf Hall.



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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: Re: Recusancy   Thu 03 Oct 2013, 19:56

I'm going from memory here but I lived and worked in East London for a time. There's a Catholic church in Mile End that a family called Howard made a financial contribution towards when the church was first built (much later than Bluff King Hal's times of course). I think they are the same Howards. The church is Guardian Angels in Mile End.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Recusancy   Sun 06 Oct 2013, 14:36

Clare Asquith, in her book, Shadowplay, argues that not only was William Shakespeare a secret Catholic, but that just about all his plays and poems contain coded references to the Old Faith. I found her study fascinating, but I should add that most critics have dismissed her book as complete nonsense:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/3646624/Kept-in-a-dark-house-visited-by-the-priest.html

One old aristocrat who defied even Elizabeth Tudor was the grandmother of that beautiful, wilful boy, the Earl of Southampton. Magdalen Browne, Viscountess Montague, spoke out openly against the Oath of Supremacy at the beginning of Elizabeth's reign, and would "pace abroad" with the forbidden rosary and crucifix in full view. Asquith suggests that the Queen herself was "plainly awed" by her. She was probably very fond of her too. "Almost alone among prominent Catholics, she was permitted to practise, and indeed flaunt, her religion unmolested."

The three Montague residences were apparently stuffed full of Catholic paraphernalia: statues, chalices, relics and such like; the Montague house at Cowdray was known as "Little Rome". What is really amazing is that  they were also well-known centres of refuge for priests and that Mass was celebrated openly and with full ceremony. Not only did the redoubtable Viscountess get away with all this, in 1591 having spent some time at the Montague home in Battle, the Queen actually told her Catholic hostess that "she fareth much better for your prayers, and therefore desireth you ever hereafter to be mindful of her".

But the family of Magdalen Browne, who had been born a Dacre, were a remarkable lot. Her father, Lord Dacre, a great power in the North, was accused by Henry VIII of treason and put on trial in 1534. Astonishingly, he was found "not guilty" by his peers; such an acquittal was a rare achievement in the bloody annals of Tudor treason trials. Henry's response to the acquittal - as far as I know -  is unrecorded. But the story I like best about Lord Dacre is one told by Richard Rex: "...it was also rumoured that once Henry had broken with Rome and established the royal supremacy, he asked Dacre what he thought about it, only to receive this reply: 'Hereafter, then, when Your Majesty offendeth, you may absolve yourself.' " Even after five hundred years one goes pale pale at this breathtakingly insolent reply: it is surely unlikely that any man - or woman - would dare say such a thing to the great Henry; but, as Rex goes on to say, "the story gives us a sense of what a typical Catholic peer really thought of Henry's proceedings."
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PostSubject: Re: Recusancy   Mon 07 Oct 2013, 10:01

Really interesting stuff, Temps, as the say in 'Grease' - "Tell me more, tell me more, tell me more" ... with me not even being on the Catigern Scale of Historians, my assorted resources are awfully limited.
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PostSubject: Re: Recusancy   Mon 07 Oct 2013, 14:03

When I looked up Magdalen Browne just now on Wikedpedia, I noticed a reference to Antonia Fraser, the notorious Catholic proper historian. So I had a little look in my copy of The Gunpowder Plot: Terror and Faith in 1605 and discovered how you got away with being a recusant. Fraser writes here of Magdalen Browne's other step*-grandson, Lord Montague, who found himself in big trouble after November 5th, 1605:

The Catholic peers who had been arrested at the time of the discovery of the Plot were subjected, like the conspirators' families, to a process of political forgiveness - provided they paid up. Lord Montague, who should somehow have known better than to employ a young Yorkshireman called Guy Fawkes as his footman fifteem years previously, was one who had always spoken up fearlessly for "the ancient Faith". At the moment of the Plot's discovery, he was questioned on the subject by his father-in-law, the Earl of Dorset. Montague expressed his absolute horror at such an undertaking and still further shock at the vey idea that he, Montague, could be involved. 'I never knew what grief was until now," he told Dorset. Montague also asked his father-in-law's advice on how to get back into the King's good graces without violating the integrity of his religious principles. The short answer was, of course, money. Montague paid a fine and also underwent a short spell of imprisonment. Thanks to Dorset's influence, however, he escaped trial.

Incidentally, James VI seems to have been terrified of Magdalen Browne too. Although her houses were now regularly searched at Easter, this representative of "the grand old, unswervingly loyal Catholicism", had no intention of being ordered about by some Protestant Scot, even if he was the King. There were five priests in her house who celebrated Mass on the day before she died in 1608, and William Byrd (another Catholic) wrote an elegy to mark her death.

*PS Antonia Fraser refers to Magdalen Browne as Lord Montague's grandmother, but I think she is making the same mistake as I did when I said (above) that the Earl of Southampton was her grandson. Montague and Southampton were the redoubtable Viscountess's  step-grandsons: her husband, Anthony Browne, had had issue by his first wife, Jane Radcliffe.

This is a minor detail, I know, but as we are privileged to be in the company of Proper Historians study like you-know-who, it behoves us all (what an odd word, the Americans spell it "behooves" which is even odder) to be accurate. We should not romp.
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PostSubject: Re: Recusancy   Tue 28 Jan 2014, 09:06

I wasn't sure where to post this but apparently the nuns [there are only three of them now I am told] will be leaving the convent in my home town later this year, in other words it's closing, though it's hoped to keep the Nursing Home there open. One of the 3 parishes in the town has no parish priest, so the priest from up the north end now has the responsibility for that parish as well as his own.  The churches still get full at Christmas but not on average Sundays.  It's different from the mid to late sixties when a new parish was introduced in the town and two new primary schools and a new secondary school were built; the schools and churches were bursting at the seams. Actually the schools still have healthy numbers.  I went to senior school at the convent but that school closed in 1971. It seems indifference - or maybe disenchantment as a result of how some children's homes were run, revelations about bad priests etc - are achieving what "dungeon, fire and sword" could not. Though to be honest, if I had lived at an earlier age when Catholics were persecuted, I am not certain I would have had the courage to die for being a Catholic, very likely I'd have become a "proddie-dog".  I am aware that depending on which monarch was on the throne, there were also times when Protestants were persecuted.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Recusancy   Sun 23 Feb 2014, 14:59

I caught ferval's 'flu last week and, for the past 48 hours or so, have been lying on the sofa doing a pretty good imitation of the Death Scene from La Boheme; I have been coughing and spluttering into my hankies in true consumptive fashion.

I have also watched the whole of the 1981 Brideshead Revisited box set again.

The Flytes of Brideshead were such a grand old Catholic family. Evelyn Waugh, who was a terrible snob, caught the Catholic bug, I believe, and became a born-again Catholic. The whole thing should be utterly ridiculous, but somehow, even after thirty years, it's not. I had forgotten how I loved Anthony Blanche ("too m-m- macabre, my dear"). Brideshead was the real Dowton Abbey.

I'm re-reading the book at the moment (got bored with Plato), and I thought of Priscilla's thread when I go to this bit - all about  the beautiful Julia Flyte's problems when it came to finding a husband:

She outshone by  far all  the girls of her  age, but she knew  that, in
that little world within a world which she  inhabited,  there  were  certain
grave disabilities from  which  she suffered. On the  sofas against the wall
where  the old people counted up the points, there were things  against her.
There was the scandal of her father; they had all loved him in the past, the
women along the wall, and they most of them loved her mother, yet  there was
that slight,  inherited stain upon her  brightness  that seemed  deepened by
something in  her  own way of life  -- waywardness  and wil-fulness,  a less
disciplined habit than most of her contemporaries' -- that unfitted  her for
the highest honours; but for that, who knows? . . .

    One subject eclipsed all others  in importance for the ladies along the
wall;  whom would  the young princes  marry? They Could  not  hope for purer
lineage or a more gracious  presence than  Julia's; but there was this faint
shadow on her  that unfitted her for the highest honours; there was also her
religion.

    Nothing could have  been  further  from Julia's ambitions than a  royal
marriage.  She knew, or  thought  she knew, what she  wanted and  it was not
that.  But wherever she turned, it  seemed, her religion stood  as a barrier
between her and her natural goal.

    As it seemed to her, the  thing was a dead loss.  If  she  apos-tasized
now, having been brought  up  in the Church, she would go to hell, while the
Protestant  girls of  her  acquaintance, schooled  in happy ignorance, could
marry  eldest sons, live at peace with their world, and get to heaven before
her. There could be no eldest son for her, and younger  sons were indelicate
things, necessary, but not  to  be much spoken of.  Younger sons had none of
the privileges of obscurity; it was their plain duty  to remain hidden until
some  disaster perchance promoted them to their brothers' places, and, since
this was  their function, it was desirable that they should keep  themselves
wholly suitable for succession. Perhaps in a family of three or four boys, a
Catholic might get the youngest without opposition. There were of course the
Catholics themselves, but these came seldom into  the little world Julia had
made for herself; those who did were  her mother's  kinsmen,  who,  to  her,
seemed  grim and  eccentric. Of  the dozen or so wealthy and  noble Catholic
families,  none  at  that time had  an heir  of the right age. Foreigners --
there were many among her mother's family -- were tricky about money, odd in
their  ways, and  a sure mark of failure in the English  girl who  wed them.
What was there left?


Of course she married the awful Rex Mottram, a rich and vulgar colonial. Unfortunately I can't find the bit where Rex receives instruction in the Catholic faith, so this will have to do:











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PostSubject: Re: Recusancy   Sun 23 Feb 2014, 20:54

Temperance,

to me "Brideshead revisited" don't say that much. Not sure but I think I saw some episodes of "Dowton Abbey". We had overhere also such series about the landed nobility in our countryside, which btw don't exist anymore as the city network became so dense that the whole Belgium is nearly one city. A kind of Los Angeles on the European continent, just a bit less sun...And all these series became old-fashioned...nowadays it are some endless family series on the example of the one and original "Dallas"...not to speak of "The bold and the beautiful"...Give me, personally "Keeping up appearances" any time...and yes I have still a visual memory of the dead scene of "La Bohème"

And now, that said, I come to my point... Wink 

"The Flytes of Brideshead were such a grand old Catholic family. Evelyn Waugh, who was a terrible snob, caught the Catholic bug, I believe, and became a born-again Catholic. The whole thing should be utterly ridiculous, but somehow, even after thirty years, it's not. I had forgotten how I loved Anthony Blanche ("too m-m- macabre, my dear"). Brideshead was the real Dowton Abbey."

I only read the trilogy: "Sword of Honour" from Evelyn Waugh. And by that became a fan of him. Thought first that it was a woman. And now see in the wiki biography that he was once married to indeed a "female" Evelyn...Those of the British Isles seems a bit difficult in their language and their first names...yes and it was in that book that I read about the breast of a man, which was quite understandable and normal for me, but in modern English it don't seem to exist anymore...

Back to Evelyn...your comments sparked some curiosity about the life of my favourite...and indeed what a life...and what an old fashioned clumsy traditional born-again Catholic he was...unbelievable when one read "Sword of Honour" nevertheless it seems from that period...now I feel betrayed Wink ...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evelyn_Waugh

Temp, I wish you an early recovery...or how do they say it in English?...strong in literary messages, but common expressions in English...as I am not used to the everyday spoken language...

Kind regards and with esteem,

Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Recusancy   Sun 23 Feb 2014, 21:25

Addendum to the previous message.

And now learned from the dictionary that "recusant" is:
1.(in the 16th to 18th century England) a Roman Catholic who did not attend the services of the Church of England.
2. any person who refuses to submit to authority.

Not sure if someone from the US or Australia...not to speak about those from the European continent...not that we, on the continent, haven't had our Catholic-Protestant peculiarities too...

Kind regards from your "dedicated" Paul.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Recusancy   Mon 24 Feb 2014, 07:45

Thank you, Paul - I am on the mend now, but it has been a bad bug. I wonder if ferval had the same? Absolutely no energy - which is not like me -  and a terrible cough which I do not seem able to shake off.

But enough whingeing - back to the thread. I found this article which I think is interesting:

http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/article/still-here-case-british-catholics

What emerged from the scrutiny in the press, the blogs, and the endless hours of often heated television discussion was confirmation of the quiet but profound change in English Catholicism.

In Brideshead Revisited , the novelist Evelyn Waugh portrays an aristocratic family of Catholics as dysfunctional and eccentric, with their own chapel in their stately home, and their resident priest. In class-conscious Britain even Catholicism is socially stratified. This was Waugh’s reference to the aristocratic families in England and Wales descended from high-profile recusants like the Howards—the family name of the Duke of Norfolk—who managed to hold on to faith, heads, and lands. Their dissent added strength to Catholic resistance.

But because the growth of Catholicism since the nineteenth century was the result primarily of immigration, the larger image of English Catholics was for years synonymous with Irish culture, and Catholics were seen as loyal to a foreign religion—just as some in the United States warned that presidential candidate John F. Kennedy would, if elected, be taking secret orders from the Vatican.

Paradoxically, the two successful papal trips to Britain almost three decades apart helped integrate English Catholics. As did a robust Catholic intellectual tradition that included G. K. Chesterton, Waugh, Graham Greene, and the historian Antonia Fraser—the last three being converts to the church, Fraser at the age of
fourteen.


Tony Blair is the latest high-profile convert, of course. Mmm.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Recusancy   Mon 24 Feb 2014, 08:01

I can't find this bit on YouTube, but here's the extract concerning Rex Mottram's instruction in Catholicism. John le Mesurier was wonderful as the bemused Father Mowbray:



   "Rex," she said. "I sometimes wonder if you realize how big a thing you
are taking on in the Faith. It would be very wicked to take a step like this
without believing sincerely."

    He was masterly in his treatment of her.

    "I don't  pretend to be  a  very devout man,"  he  said, "nor much of a
theologian, but I know it's a bad plan to have two religions in one house. A
man  needs a religion.  If your Church is good  enough  for Julia, it's good
enough for me."

    "Very well," she said, "I will see about having you instructed."

    "Look,  Lady Marchmain, I haven't the time. Instruction will be  wasted
on me. Just you give me the form and I'll sign on the dotted line."

    "It usually takes some months - often a lifetime."

    "Well, I'm a quick learner. Try me."

    So Rex was sent to Farm Street to Father Mowbray, a priest renowned for
his triumphs with obdurate catechumens. After the third interview he came to
tea with Lady Marchmain.

    "Well, how do you find my future son-in-law?"

    "He's the most difficult convert I have ever met."

    "Oh dear, I thought he was going to make it so easy."

    "That's exactly it.  I can't get anywhere  near him. He doesn't seem to
have the least intellectual curiosity or natural piety.

    "The first day I wanted to find out what sort of religious  life he had
had till now, so I asked him what he meant by prayer. He said: 'I don't mean
anything. You tell me'. I tried to, in a few words, and he said:  'Right. So
much for prayer. What's the  next  thing?' I gave him the  catechism to take
away.  Yesterday I asked him  whether Our Lord had more  than one nature. He
said: 'Just as many as you say, Father.'

    "Then again I asked him: 'Supposing the Pope looked  up and saw a cloud
and said "It's going to  rain," would  that  be bound to happen?' 'Oh,  yes,
Father.' 'But supposing it didn't?' He thought a moment and said, 'I suppose
it would be sort of raining spiritually, only we were too sinful to see it.'

    "Lady Marchmain, he doesn't correspond to any degree of paganism  known
to the missionaries."

    "Julia," said  Lady Marchmain, when the priest had  gone, "are you sure
that Rex isn't doing this thing purely with the idea of pleasing us?"

    "I don't think it enters his head," said Julia.

    "He's really sincere in his conversion?"

    "He's  absolutely  determined to  become a  Catholic,  Mummy,"  and  to
herself she said: In her long history  the Church  must have had some pretty
queer  converts.   I  don't  suppose   all   Clevis's   army   were  exactly
Catholic-minded. One more won't hurt.

    Next week the Jesuit came  to tea again. It was the Easter holidays and
Cordelia was there, too.

    "Lady Marchmain," he said. "You  should have chosen one  of the younger
fathers for this task. I shall be dead long before Rex is a Catholic."

    "Oh dear, I thought it was going so well."

    "It  was, in a sense.  He  was exceptionally  docile,  said he accepted
everything I told him,  remembered  bits of it, asked no questions. I wasn't
happy about  him. He seemed to have no  sense of reality, but I  knew he was
coming under a steady Catholic  influence, so I was  willing to receive him.
One has to take a chance sometimes -- with semi-imbeciles, for instance. You
never know quite how  much they have understood. As long as you know there's
someone to keep an eye on them, you do take the chance."
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PostSubject: Re: Recusancy   Mon 24 Feb 2014, 12:30

Delicious, Temps. I had quite forgotten that bit. Somewhat like a cousin trying to convert me to Waitrose from Tesco. Not really bothered as long as someone else would take on the shopping list; passion for anything is subjective.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Recusancy   Mon 24 Feb 2014, 15:10

Smile

I suppose shopping at Waitrose is the supermarket equivalent of being received into the Church of Rome. Morrison's is very Low Church. Sainsbury's is nicely Anglican - not too high, not too low. But Tesco? - Not sure about that one.
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PostSubject: Re: Recusancy   Mon 24 Feb 2014, 21:47

Temperance,

glad that you are "on the mend". Thank you for learning the good English...had to look in the dictionary...although I could guess what it meant...we say "aan de beterhand" (correct Dutch: aan de beterende hand) (on the bettering hand)...

"Paradoxically, the two successful papal trips to Britain almost three decades apart helped integrate English Catholics. As did a robust Catholic intellectual tradition that included G. K. Chesterton, Waugh, Graham Greene, and the historian Antonia Fraser—the last three being converts to the church, Fraser at the age of
fourteen.

Tony Blair is the latest high-profile convert, of course. Mmm."

For us here in Belgium all this difficulties with conversions seems a difficult thing to grasp. As we have only one choice (OOPS: I forgot, recently we have some converts to Islam, and as new converts they are sometimes extremists...going to fight to Syria for instance...)
I can understand, for instance in the Netherlands where it is nearly fifty fifty Catholics-Calvinists, as there is even after all those years some friction, a conversion is not that easy...Perhaps the same in Germany where at least in the West for instance Rheinland-Pfalz there are also a lot of Catholics mixed with Lutherans even in the same town. Then you can see at the entrance the hours of the Mass for the Catholics and the hours for the Church of the Protestants...

No if there were conversions in Belgium it weren't real ones Wink . Only a gradual change to atheism or a related -ism, mostly not openly mentioned as people don't want to disturb other people...Or it has to be the in my eyes rather "extremists" of the "Humanistisch Verbond" (Humanistic Union), who has shaped an alternative lookalike of the Catholics with a "Lentefeest" (Spring feast? I don't find a translation in my dictionary) instead of the Holy Communion...after all they too  need some "ritus" as in the Catholic church...and they (those Humanists) are proud Wink  to show to the rest of the world that they are "others"...

And yes you have also those, who convert to the new faith of Marxism...

Kind regards Temp and with esteem,

Paul.
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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: Recusancy   Mon 24 Feb 2014, 21:49

The chain built up by Mr T E Cohen, Temps? Think on it.
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PostSubject: Re: Recusancy   Mon 24 Feb 2014, 22:15

Priscilla,

the only "T E Cohen" that I find and that has some credibility is some lady "T E Cohen-Overbeek, doctor of prenatal diagnostic"...at least in the first thousand hints... Wink 

Kind regards and with esteem,

Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Recusancy   Mon 24 Feb 2014, 22:21

Jack Cohen was the lad's name (the TE and S came from TE Stockwell, tea merchants). Isn't Wikipedia a marvellous thing?
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PostSubject: Re: Recusancy   Mon 24 Feb 2014, 22:57

Yeh, well, in truth I didn't look it up but trusted old memory of a member of my staff who dated a (the?) son and heir - apparently even the possible lure of wealth did not take the relationship very far... she did though mention initials being a family thing in making the name as the  evening's  sparkling chat-up line. If that was not so, then, sigh - I ought to have known better; staff always let you down.

What on earth are Paul and Nordmann of all people doing checking on anything I might declare? You both ought to know better..... I am only an approximate sort of historian, as you  well know. Why ruin a good story/explanation with the truth? I think it resolves Temp's dilemma.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Recusancy   Tue 25 Feb 2014, 07:52

@Priscilla wrote:
 You both ought to know better..... I am only an approximate sort of historian, as you  well know. Why ruin a good story/explanation with the truth? I think it resolves Temp's dilemma.



I like the idea of being an approximate sort of historian. Isn't that the only sort there is?


PS Must add that Cohen, T.E. or J. E. (John or Jacob Edward), didn't cross my mind when I spoke of supermarkets - it were just a little joke.

PPS I have just looked up "dilemma". I didn't know you could also have a "trilemma", a "tetralemma" or even a "polylemma". I shall make every effort today to slip "polylemma" into a conversation.
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PostSubject: Re: Recusancy   Tue 25 Feb 2014, 08:15

It was a bit cheeky of the crown to label unwilling converts as recusants when you think about it. The term had been coined long before by the Catholic church to cover anyone not giving up a heretical belief without an argument when ordered to do so by the big Roman papa. Hijacking the term was really one in the eye for "Papa Clemens Septimus" (aka Giulio di Giuliano de Medici) who had just made it an excommunicable offence for any head of state to presume or obstruct the authority of Rome. This bull (in two senses) also specifically listed terms that could not be used in secular legislation, including recusare, since to "reject with cause" was a definition which could only be applied to an individual with papal approval.

Incidentally there was a huge difference between a heretic and a recusant in church legal terms. A heretic had gone beyond the point of redemption and negotiation on the matter of his or her beliefs. A recusant was still technically in a position to debate their case within the appropriate church machinery set up to define heresy. Given that this would have been well known to Henry, his pals and his successors it is rather telling that it was this term that came to be applied to those who would not recant their Catholic allegiances. A very cagey, pragmatic and ultimately conciliatory designation and not one that was paralleled in all other European states that embraced hard-line Protestantism in the period.
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PostSubject: Re: Recusancy   Tue 25 Feb 2014, 08:45

That's interesting. When was the term first used officially - was it the Elizabethan 1593 Act Against Recusants? I've never come across it in anything to do with Henry VIII's legislation. That surprises me, because the word really means to "refuse", does it not? Refusing the royal supremacy usually meant curtains for Pope Catholics or for anyone else. It was all about royal authority, not religion. Not surprised Henry pinched the idea from the Holy Father, but can't find any evidence he or Cromwell used the actual word - that seems to have been left to E.T.
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PostSubject: Re: Recusancy   Tue 25 Feb 2014, 08:59

Well only the "re" bit can mean refusal. The "-cusant" from "cusare" root of the rest of it is to do with cause (causare in older Latin). It is possible that its church usage had entered colloquial English (and French) speech as any obstinate dissenter even before Henry's time but my OED manages only as far back as 1550 for its first recorded use and by then it was being levelled in particular gainst Catholics in England so this is hard to trace. By 1610 it had most definitely come to be synonymous with the more modern "refusenik" but the question is really about isolating when the "cause" element lost its meaning - we know it hadn't as yet when English speakers heard the term as used by early to mid 16th century popes.

The 1550 source is a private letter from a London merchant but the context is vague regarding the word's actual legal status or widespread acceptability. However it does pop up later in legislation during Elizabeth's reign, as you say, and in that specific context can be compared directly with similar legislation (property confiscations) being enacted in Hanover at the same time. There the term used was "ketzer" which is emphatically "heretic" in meaning. Given that both legislators were being unambiguous and therefore using terms that had come to be understood to represent the same thing we can assume with some confidence that "recusant" had won out in England over "heretic" long before in best describing die-hard Catholics. In that sense it represents a much softer attitude towards Catholics than European counterparts at the time.
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PostSubject: Re: Recusancy   Tue 25 Feb 2014, 10:23

But did they mean the same thing? "Die-hard Catholics" were never accused of "heresy": they were traitors. I'm thinking of the remarkable parallel executions on July 30th 1540 of three religious radicals, Barnes, Jerome and Garrett - all burnt for "heresy", i.e. offences against Henry's Six Articles - and of three "Papists", the conservatives, Richard Featherstone (sometime tutor to the Princess Mary), Edward Powell and Thomas Abel, who were hanged as traitors for having spoken in favour of the Pope. Actually, all were recusants, I suppose - they all died because they defied - or denied -  Henry's authority.

Henry's firm but fair approach - all six men, "Pope-Catholics" and Lutherans, were dispatched together as a job lot at Smithfield - was pretty shocking. The crowd was reportedly stunned. But a dramatic, vivid and public point had been made - call it what you like - correct religious policy - or belief -  was the maintenance of the King's religious policy - whatever that happened to be at the time.

Recusants were not just Catholics:

Records of books containing names of people, mainly Catholics, who refused to conform to the Anglican doctrine known as recusancy. The rolls recorded the punishments and fines of those who refused to conform to the Anglican doctrine. After 1581, recusancy became an indictable offence, so recusants often appear in Quarter Session records and the fines levied were recorded in the Pipe Rolls. After 1592 a separate series of rolls called Recusant Rolls was created which continued until 1691 (previously recusancy was recorded in the Pipe Rolls). The Rolls could include other dissenters or nonconformists (my emphasis) and show the fines and property or land surrendered by the accused.

PS Checked the Shakespeare Concordance - WS never used the words "recusant" or "recusancy", but he did use "heretic" seven times and "heresy" six times. I suppose by then "recusant" was a term best avoided - especially if your dad had been one.
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PostSubject: Re: Recusancy   Tue 25 Feb 2014, 10:42

I agree that the supremacy issue meant that the issue transcended religious belief and was also very much a secular offence. However it wasn't treason per se either since many Catholics, some very high profile indeed, retained their allegiance to Rome by definition of their never having relinquished their faith. They were recusants too, though never accused of - let alone tried for - actual treason.

The Transylvanian Diet of Turda resulted in one very nasty piece of legislation which highlighted the fine but vital line between recusancy and hereticism. There the legislators decided that Catholicism was best and Lutheranism merely recusant. However Calvinism was heretical and to be a Calvinist was to fail to submit to the authority of the state (treason). The bottom line was that members of a religion declared "recepta" could not be done ipso facto for treason even if they withheld absolute submission to the authority of the state leader in religious affairs. Those "irrecepta" however were by definition synonymously heretical and traitors. As far as I am aware this notion never made it into English statutes - there was always an in-built escape clause for recusants to demonstrate that they were not de facto traitors. This meant that in the case of recusants, if accused of treason, it was incumbent on the prosecution to demonstrate that their religious affiliation was just one symptom and that their perfidy was provable through other actions too.
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PostSubject: Re: Recusancy   Tue 25 Feb 2014, 10:53

Quote :

As far as I am aware this notion never made it into English statutes - there was always an in-built escape clause for recusants to demonstrate that they were not de facto traitors. This meant that in the case of recusants, if accused of treason, it was incumbent on the prosecution to demonstrate that their religious affiliation was just one symptom and that their perfidy was provable through other actions too.


Could this fluidity of definition be related to the English having an unwritten constitution?  Or was it just pragmatic sense - the recusant families of the time also having considerable clout enough to keep a reasonable balance?
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PostSubject: Re: Recusancy   Tue 25 Feb 2014, 11:24

It probably all boiled down indeed to who had balls enough to take down the Howards, but even if this was the root cause of it all it inadvertently led to a guarantee of some level of tolerance in the machinery of state.

It definitely had nothing to do with constitutions, written or unwritten (I have argued before that the latter is an oxymoron). No one had such a thing in those days anyway, or at least one that couldn't be revoked or ignored by the next bum on the big seat.
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PostSubject: Re: Recusancy   Tue 25 Feb 2014, 14:19

Not just the Howards needing taking down. The great Northern Catholic earls gave Henry a hard time in 1536/37 - the Pilgrimage of Grace sorted out, ironically, by Catholic Thomas Howard. Elizabeth, too, had reason to fear the earls of Westmorland and of Northumberland. The Northern Rebellion of 1569 was a nasty shock - this time Thomas Howard, the old Howard's grandson and 4th Duke of Norfolk, was implicated. He hoped to marry Mary, Queen of Scots.

Pope Pius V didn't help - the publication of his Bull, Regnans in Excelsis in 1570, which excommunicated Elizabeth and "released" English Catholics from their loyalty to their queen, was utterly idiotic.
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PostSubject: Re: Recusancy   Tue 25 Feb 2014, 14:44

Ah, but by the same token (and logic) everyone was also released under the same bull from their allegiance to the Great Flying Spaghetti Monster, which must have contributed greatly to the later foundation of d'Empire in the name of Godfrey King and Country (an obscure West Country folk band from the 1960s) as it kept things relatively simple with regard to what was worth dyeing things for. Or something.

But seriously - the stuttered, at times reversed, and ultimately codicillary transition from a Catholic to a Protestant state in England meant that there was actually never a time when the legislator, no matter how powerful they might be, could know in all honesty that a blanket proscription imposed on all Catholics at any particular moment in time would not quite quickly bite them right back in the royal bum. A lot of the "tolerance" this led to could equally be put down to actual "fear" within the establishment. The fear was to be at its most vocal over a hundred years later but even then, at the height of papist paranoia, it would have been a reckless ruler indeed who would have imposed such a measure.

I have often thought the extremely draconian anti-Catholic legislation imposed on the Irish (in direct contravention of the truce terms both sides had just agreed) by virtue of the Penal Laws was actually the English establishment finally giving in to an itch it had been afraid to scratch since Henry's time but which now could be indulged in without fear of a backlash and in consequence with absolute vitriolic vigour in its execution. Boy did they get that one wrong (and in the process prove just how lucky they had been in England to have had their hand stayed through trepidation)!
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PostSubject: Re: Recusancy   Tue 25 Feb 2014, 15:15

@Temperance wrote:
Not just the Howards needing taking down.....



Yes the Howards do tend to get most of the flak ... but there are other great recusant families who have not just survived but obviously profited notwithstanding their faith.  What about say, the Percys?  ... the Earls of Northumberland when they were condemned after the Pilgrimage of Grace ... but nevertheless still very much in power today as the Dukes of Northumberland, and still living in the same ancestral castle at Alnwick/Hogwarts:



I don't know whether any of the current Percy generation still profess to the old faith, but over the past few centuries as a family they certainly seem to have been able to have put behind them such faux pas as when in 1537 Thomas Percy the 5th Earl was convicted of treason, and so was hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn, and all his (not inconsiderable) property seized by the crown, after his involvement in the Bigod Rebellion which followed the 1536 Pilgrimage of Grace.
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PostSubject: Re: Recusancy   Tue 25 Feb 2014, 20:29

@Meles meles wrote:


I don't know whether any of the current Percy generation still profess to the old faith, but over the past few centuries as a family they certainly seem to have been able to have put behind them such faux pas as when in 1537 Thomas Percy the 5th Earl was convicted of treason, and so was hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn, and all his (not inconsiderable) property seized by the crown, after his involvement in the Bigod Rebellion which followed the 1536 Pilgrimage of Grace.



The Percys' involvement - or non-involvement - in the Pilgrimage of Grace was all very complicated. The Thomas Percy whom you rightly say was involved and who was executed at Tyburn was never the Earl of Northumberland. He was one of the younger sons of the fifth Earl who died in 1527, and he was the brother of Harry Percy, the sixth earl.The fifth Earl was a bullying man, a nasty piece of work who, with Wolsey, wrecked his elder son's - Harry Percy's -  chances of happiness with Anne Boleyn. These two had a youthful love affair in the early 1520s which was broken up. Harry Percy was made to marry  Mary Talbot whom he detested. In 1536 he was forced to be one of the jury at Anne Boleyn's trial - but that's another story.

By the time of the Pilgrimage of Grace rebellion got going in the autumn of 1536, Percy was a broken man: not only was he estranged from his wife, he was estranged also from his brothers, Thomas and Ingleram. Of all people Harry Percy should have turned on the King, but he did not. He refused to join in the rebellion and decided that, as he and his wife had had no living issue (one child, somehow conceived despite their mutual hatred, was stillborn in 1529), he would leave everything to his nephew or to the Crown.

He died in 1537, probably of secondary cancer of the liver or of chronic liver disease (did he drink himself to death perhaps?) - he was described at the end as being "yellow and distended".

After his death the title went into abeyance, but his two nephews, Thomas and then Henry Percy, both sons of the executed traitor Thomas Percy, later were allowed to inherit. Thomas became the seventh Earl and Henry the eighth.


Having no children, Northumberland now began to arrange his affairs. In February 1535 he wrote to Thomas Cromwell that he had decided to make the king his heir, a decision he confirmed later. In 1536 he was created Lord President of the Council of the North, and viceregent of the Order of the Garter.[1]

In September 1536 he had a grant of £1,000 to come to London in order to make arrangements about his lands. The matter was incomplete when the Pilgrimage of Grace broke out. Northumberland's brothers and mother were open sympathisers with the rebels, but the Earl himself remained loyal. The rebel leader Robert Aske and his men came to Wressle Castle, where he was ill in bed, and asked Percy to resign his commands of the marches into the hands of his brothers, or at least go over to the rebels. He refused both requests; and when the lawyer William Stapleton went up to see him, he was in despair.’ Aske sent him to York, to protect him from his followers, who wanted to behead him.[1]

Finding himself always ill, he made a grant to the king of his estates,[11] on condition that they might pass to his nephew. When, however, his brother, Sir Thomas, was attainted and executed, he made the grant unconditional in June 1537.



Poor Harry Percy - he had a lousy life, but it seems he did have a few months of happiness with the young Boleyn. I wonder if he - like Thomas Wyatt -  was appalled at what she turned into? At her trial, when the verdict was given, he actually collapsed and had to be taken out.

PS A nice touch which I'm sure was arranged by Anne - Harry Percy was the man sent to arrest Wolsey at Cawood Castle, North Yorkshire in November 1530. The boy whom Wolsey had, just a few years before, humiliated - reduced to tears, in fact -  in public, berating him for his attachment to "that foolish girl yonder in the court, I mean Anne Boleyn"  had a kind of revenge when the proud Cardinal, according to Cavendish,  "soberly subjoined, 'My Lord, I submit, and surrender myself your prisoner.' "

Here's the Wiki page for the sixth Earl of Northumberland:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Percy,_6th_Earl_of_Northumberland

EDIT: - sorry, gone on a bit there, but I have a soft spot for Harry Percy.

I think the Percys became good Protestants after the ninth Earl, yet another Henry Percy, aka "the Wizard Earl", was brought up in the reformed faith. He was always a bit suspect, though. James I didn't trust him an inch.
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PostSubject: Re: Recusancy   Tue 25 Feb 2014, 21:27

@Priscilla wrote:
Yeh, well, in truth I didn't look it up but trusted old memory of a member of my staff who dated a (the?) son and heir - apparently even the possible lure of wealth did not take the relationship very far... she did though mention initials being a family thing in making the name as the  evening's  sparkling chat-up line. If that was not so, then, sigh - I ought to have known better; staff always let you down.

What on earth are Paul and Nordmann of all people doing checking on anything I might declare? You both ought to know better..... I am only an approximate sort of historian, as you  well know. Why ruin a good story/explanation with the truth? I think it resolves Temp's dilemma.

 Priscilla,

now you know that even details in your messages can be up for scrutiny... Wink . No, to be honest, when I don't understand something I am nearly obsessed Wink  to find out what it really means...it is one of my faults, as I, by that, loose valuable time that I could use to learn more important items. It was one of my big difficulties during studies...although it brought me sometimes a bit recognition in the work circle later, while I of all the colleagues found the solution of a very difficult problem, because for the other more superficial ones it was not worth to seek in depth...and perhaps my quality is also a "trump" for historical research Wink ?

Yes, yes and now I see, thanks to Nordmann...Tesco is the link...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Cohen_(businessman)

And BTW Priscilla, be aware...a "detaillist" is always watching you...but be assured with no malicious intentions... Wink 


Kind regards and with esteem,

Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Recusancy   Wed 26 Feb 2014, 07:20

Re ninth Earl of Northumberland, Henry "Wizard" Percy, may I just add a bit more? Got this off good old Wiki. The Thomas Percy mentioned was not an important Percy - he was only a distant relation of the Alnwick family.

The Percy family was still largely Catholic, while Henry was at least nominally Protestant. When it became clear that the Protestant James VI of Scotland was likely to succeed Elizabeth, Henry sent Thomas Percy, a recent Catholic convert, on a secret mission to James's court three times in 1602. He said that English Catholics would accept James as king if he reduced the persecution of Catholics. Henry employed Thomas Percy as a rent-collector at Syon House. Thomas was the great-grandson of the 4th Earl of Northumberland, but was unscrupulous, with 34 charges of dishonesty brought against him. Henry wrote to James "It were a pity to lose a good Kingdom for not tolerating a mass in a corner". Through Thomas Percy, Henry received loosely-worded assurances of religious tolerance from James.[3][4]


Shortly before James's accession to the English throne in 1603, Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury through Lord Henry Howard particularly warned the king against Henry Brooke, 11th Baron Cobham, Sir Walter Raleigh, and Percy.[5] This theory of the "diabolical triplicity" rested on innuendo, about the occult interests supposedly cultivated by the intellectual circles led by Percy and Raleigh, and possibly on the traitorous intent suggested only by rumours from the 1580s that Percy would marry Arbella Stuart.[6][7] Brooke led the Main Plot against James, and Raleigh soon lost his freedom. Percy, on the other hand, was appointed to the Privy Council.

Thomas Percy went on to become one of the five conspirators in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. When the plot was discovered Thomas fled and was besieged at Holbeache House in Warwickshire. On 8 November 1605, a marksman shot dead both Robert Catesby and Thomas Percy with a single bullet. As a result, the Earl of Northumberland was suspected of being part of the plot and spent the next 17 years as a prisoner in the Tower of London. He also paid a fine of £30,000.
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PostSubject: Re: Recusancy   Wed 26 Feb 2014, 08:17

Thanks for that Temp ... I'd forgotten a Percy was involved in the Gunpowder Plot.

I have a soft for the Percys - my father was from near Alnwick so we used to regularly holiday around there and I always liked the lions on Alnwick castle gates and bridge, with their distinctive arrow-straight tails.

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PostSubject: Re: Recusancy   Wed 26 Feb 2014, 09:33

I've never seen those lions before, MM - I love the tail!

PS Determined to get to Alnwick this year - and Hadrian's Wall -  both on my list of "to do before I die"!!
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PostSubject: Re: Recusancy   Wed 26 Feb 2014, 09:47

Then you can do Bamburgh castle too (which also, with Alnwick, appeared in the 1970s film 'Mary Queen of Scots') and the field of Flodden and Lindisfarne and .....
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PostSubject: Re: Recusancy   Wed 26 Feb 2014, 10:13

We went to Alnwick (which we pronounced beautifully phonetically till we heard someone in a cafe talking about it), and were there when the Duke's daughter was being married.  It meant part of the gardens were closed, but has given me something to remember. Lovely place.
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PostSubject: Re: Recusancy   Wed 26 Feb 2014, 13:40

Been googling a bit more about the Percy family.

Thomas Percy, the seventh Earl (son of Thomas whom MM mentioned as being executed at Tyburn in 1537) was also executed - beheaded at York because he was involved in the Uprising against Elizabeth in 1569! What's more he was beatified - he became a Blessed Percy!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Percy,_7th_Earl_of_Northumberland

On Elizabeth's accession the earl, whose loyalty to the Catholic Church was known, was kept in the North while the anti-Catholic measures of Elizabeth's first Parliament were passed. Elizabeth continued to show him favour, and in 1563 gave him the Order of the Garter. He had then resigned the wardenship and was living in the South. But the systematic persecution of the Catholics rendered their position most difficult, and in the autumn of 1569 the Catholic gentry in the North, stirred up by rumours of the approaching excommunication of Elizabeth, were planning to liberate Mary, Queen of Scots, and obtain liberty of worship. Earl Thomas with the Earl of Westmorland wrote to the pope asking for advice, but before their letter reached Rome circumstances hurried them into action against their better judgment. After the Rising of the North failed, Thomas fled to Scotland, where he was captured by the Earl of Morton, one of the leading Scottish nobles. After three years, he was sold to the English Government for two thousand pounds. He was conducted to York and beheaded in a public execution, refusing an offer to save his life by renouncing Catholicism.[1] His headless body was buried at the now demolished St Crux church in York. His wife survived him, as did four daughters who were his co-heirs. The earldom passed to his brother.

Pope Leo XIII beatified this Thomas Percy in 1895.

PS Caro's mention of the Duke of Northumberland made me wonder when the Earldom became a Dukedom - sometime in the 18th century, I think, although there had been a famous Duke of Northumberland - briefly - in Tudor times. John Dudley made himself 1st Duke in 1551, during the reign of Edward VI - his tenure only lasted two years.
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PostSubject: Re: Recusancy   Wed 26 Feb 2014, 18:32

Fascinating stuff, Temps, thank you. Would that the BBC -or H. Mantell - would take The Percys as a subject to develop in drama and tales. We, in UK, must be beyond saturation point on The Tudors and the public who are interested  now knowledgeable enough to understand the circumstances. To prefer to be a beheaded Catholic rather than a pragmatic Protestant would not rock any boats. Actually their true story is more interesting than the florid, fantasy Game of Thrones
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PostSubject: Re: Recusancy   Wed 26 Feb 2014, 19:29

@Priscilla wrote:
Fascinating stuff, Temps, thank you. Would that the BBC -or H. Mantell - would take The Percys as a subject to develop in drama and tales.

Sorry P - I just couldn't resist....

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PostSubject: Re: Recusancy   Sun 23 Mar 2014, 12:54

@LadyinRetirement wrote:
I'm going from memory here but I lived and worked in East London for a time. There's a Catholic church in Mile End that a family called Howard made a financial contribution towards when the church was first built (much later than Bluff King Hal's times of course). I think they are the same Howards. The church is Guardian Angels in Mile End.

Back in the 1980s I remember seeing copies of a periodical called the Essex Recusant archived in a library (on the other side of the Thames) in Kent. I remember thinking what an incredibly rarified and specialised topic for a magazine that was. It's the sort of obscure publication worthy of featuring on the complete-the-headline section of BBC television's Have I Got News For You quiz.

Apparently there was also a sister publication called the London Recusant. It seems, however, that they've since both been merged under the much blander sounding title South-Eastern Catholic History. The magazine is published annually by the Essex Recusant Society.
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PostSubject: Re: Recusancy   Sun 23 Mar 2014, 18:21

@Vizzer wrote:


Back in the 1980s I remember seeing copies of a periodical called the Essex Recusant archived in a library (on the other side of the Thames) in Kent. I remember thinking what an incredibly rarified and specialised topic for a magazine that was. It's the sort of obscure publication worthy of featuring on the complete-the-headline section of BBC television's Have I Got News For You quiz.



What a pity Priscilla is in furrin parts at the moment (well, I think she is); I bet she'd complete a headline - one beginning with "Essex Girl" and ending in "transubstantiation" perhaps?
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PostSubject: Re: Recusancy   Sat 29 Mar 2014, 11:53

I was looking on "Wikipedia" for information about "Elizabethan" Theatre  (which Wiki says ought to be called "English Renaissance Theatre").  I was trying to find out what happened to Christopher Marlowe - and there seem to be as many theories about that gentleman as about what happened to the Princes in the Tower.  I clicked on the link to Ben Jonson and was surprised to learn that despite being of Protestant stock he converted to Catholicism for a time but re-converted to Protestantism later. I believe the composer William Byrd was a lifelong Catholic in the time of Queen Elizabeth I but managed to retain his head.

Referring to my (considerably - some months) earlier post about Guardian Angels Church, I am posting a link to that Church's website which gives a brief outline of its history.  The Howards' involvement is cited in the fourth paragraph down.  http://parish.rcdow.org.uk/mileend/about-the-parish/


Last edited by LadyinRetirement on Sat 29 Mar 2014, 11:59; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Wanted to add a link about the Howards' involvement in building a church in Mile End.)
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