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The Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales is part of the worldwide Catholic Church in full communion with the Pope, who is currently Pope Benedict XVI. According to church tradition, it traces its origins to the original Christian community founded by Jesus, with its traditions first established by the Twelve Apostles and maintained through unbroken Apostolic Succession and its formal history dates from the early days of Christianity in the Western Roman Empire. In 597, the first authoritative papal mission, establishing a direct link from the Kingdom of Kent to Rome and to the Benedictine form of monasticism, was carried into effect by Augustine of Canterbury.

England adhered to the Western (Catholic) Church for almost a thousand years, from the time of Augustine of Canterbury; but in 1534, during the reign of King Henry VIII, the Catholic Church in England was separated from the broader Catholic Church, when a new ecclesial entity, the Church of England, was created with Henry as its 'supreme governor'.[1][2][3] Under his son, Edward VI, the Church of England became more influenced by the European Protestant movement but it rejoined the Roman Catholic Church during the reign of Queen Mary I in 1555. The two Statutes of Repeal to make the reunion with Roman Catholicism were worded as definitive but the reunion was short-lived. Mary's sister, Elizabeth I came to the throne in 1558, re-established independence from Rome in a 1559 settlement and was finally excommunicated in 1570. Roman Catholicism continued in England, although it was subject to various forms of persecution, with most recusant members (except those in diaspora on the continent or part of the aristocracy) going underground for all practical purposes until 1832 when the Catholic Emancipation Act came into force. Dioceses (replacing districts) were re-established by Pope Pius IX in 1850. Apart from the 22 Latin Rite dioceses, there is the Eastern Catholic diocese of the Apostolic Exarchate for Ukrainians.

In the last UK census in 2001, there were 4.2 million Roman Catholics in England and Wales, some 8 per cent of the population. One hundred years earlier, in 1901, they had represented only 4.8 per cent of the population. The percentage of Roman Catholics was at its highest in the 1981 census, with 8.7 per cent.[4] An estimate in 2009 put the total number of Roman Catholics in England and Wales at 4.5 million.[5] That same year an Ipsos Mori poll looked into the number of Catholics in England and Wales. It interviewed 5,500 people to ask them their religious faith. In order to distinguish between Anglo-Catholics and Roman Catholics, the survey included the option "Anglo-Catholic." Some 0.7 per cent of those polled ticked the Anglo-Catholic box which, when extrapolated, would amount to 380,000. The number of Roman Catholics came in at 9.6 percent: giving a figure of 5.2 million Catholics in the two countries.[6] Liverpool has the highest proportion of any city in Great Britain at 46 per cent; historically, this is primarily due to the large influx of Irish after the 1800 Act of Union, in which Ireland became part of the newly-created United Kingdom,[7][8] although that part of England also already had the highest concentration of recusants.




Early years

Christianity arrived in the British Isles in the first or second centuries. Records note that Romano-British bishops, such as Restitutus, attended the Council of Arles in 314, which confirmed the theological findings of an earlier convocation held in Rome (the Council of Rome) in 313. The Roman departure from Britain in the following century and the subsequent Germanic invasions sharply decreased contact between Britain and Continental Europe. Christianity, however, continued to flourish in the Brittonic areas of Great Britain, and was strengthened by missions from Ireland, especially that of Columba, which firmly embedded Christianity in northern Britain and began evangelizing the Picts. During this period Christianity in Great Britain began to take on a distinct flavour sometimes referred to as Celtic Christianity. Distinctive features of this uncentralized breed of Christianity include its ecclesiastical structure, which organised around monasteries rather than diocese, and unique monastic tonsure and calculations for the date of Easter.[9] Regardless of these differences, historians do not consider this Celtic or British Christianity a distinct church separate from general Western European Christianity.[10][11]

In 597, Pope Gregory the Great sent Saint Augustine of Canterbury and 40 missionaries from Rome to evangelise the Angles, a process completed by the 7th century. This is of particular interest in the Catholic Church as it was the first official Papal Mission to found a church. With the help of Christians already residing in Kent, he established a bishopric in Canterbury, the old capital of Kent, and, having received the pallium earlier (linking his new diocese to Rome), became the first in the series of Catholic archbishops of Canterbury, four of whom (St. Lawrence, St. Mellitus, St. Justus and St. Honorius) were part of the original band of Benedictine missionaries. (The last Catholic archbishop of Canterbury was Reginald Pole, who died in 1558.) During this time of mission, Rome pursued greater unity with the local church in Britain, particularly on the question of dating Easter. Saint Columbanus, Columba's fellow countryman and churchman, had asked for a papal judgement on the Easter question as did abbots and bishops of Ireland.[12] Later, in his Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum, Bede explained the reasons for the discrepancy: "He [Columba] left successors distinguished for great charity, Divine love, and strict attention to the rules of discipline following indeed uncertain cycles in the computation of the great festival of Easter, because far away as they were out of the world, no one had supplied them with the synodal decrees relating to the Paschal observance."[13] A series of synods were held to resolve the matter, culminating with the Synod of Whitby in 644. The missionaries also introduced the Rule of Benedict, the continental rule, to Anglo-Saxon monasteries in England.[14] St. Wilfrid, a Benedictine consecrated archbishop of York (in 664), was particularly skilled in promoting the Benedictine Rule.[15] Over time, the Benedictine, continental rule engrafted upon the monasteries and parishes of England, drawing them closer to the continent and Rome. As a result, the pope was often called upon to intervene in quarrels, affirm monarchs, and decide jurisdictions. In 787, for example, Pope Adrian I elevated Litchfield to an archdiocese and appointed Hygeberht its first archbishop.[16] Later, in 808, Pope Leo III helped restore King Eardwulf of Northumbria to his throne; and in 859, Pope Leo IV confirmed and annoited Alfred the Great king, according to Anglo-Saxon Chronicles. Individual Benedictines seemed to play an important role throughout this period. For example, before Benedictine monk St. Dunstan was consecrated archbishop of Canterbury in 960, Pope John XII had him appointed legate, commissioning him (along with Sts. Ethelwold and Oswald) to restore discipline in the existing monasteries of England, many of which were destroyed by Danish invaders.[17] Two continental (Italian) Benedictines were also prominent during this time: Lanfranc and St. Anselm. Both became archbishops of Canterbury (1070 and 1093, respectively), received their palliums, and made notable contributions to the church. St. Anselm later became a Doctor of the Church. A century later, Pope Innocent III had to confirm the primacy of Canterbury over four Welsh churches for many reasons, but primarily to sustain the importance of the Gregorian foundation of St. Augustine's mission.[18][19]

Medieval era

During medieval times, England and Wales were part of western Christendom. During this period, monasteries and convents, such as those at Shaftesbury and Shrewsbury, were prominent features of society providing lodging, hospitals and education.[20] Likewise, schools like Oxford University and Cambridge University were important. Members of religious orders, notably the Dominicans and Franciscans, settled in both schools and maintained houses for students. Clerics like Archbishop Walter de Merton founded Merton College at Oxford and three different popes – Gregory IX, Nicholas IV, and John XXII – gave Cambridge the legal protection and status to compete with other European medieval universities.

Pilgrimage was a prominent feature of medieval Catholicism, and England and Wales were amply provided with many popular sites of pilgrimage. The village of Walsingham, Norfolk became an important shrine after a noblewoman called Richeldis de Faverches experienced a vision of the Virgin Mary in 1061, asking her to build a replica of the Holy House at Nazareth. In 1170, Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral, by followers of King Henry II and was quickly canonised as a martyr for the faith. This resulted in Canterbury becoming a major place of pilgrimage and inspired the Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer. There were also shrines at Holywell in Wales which commemorated St Winefride and at Westminster Abbey to Edward the Confessor to name but a few.

An Englishman, Nicholas Breakspear, became Pope Adrian IV from 1154 to 1159.

Tudor era

A banner showing the Holy Wounds of Jesus Christ which was carried by partisans during the Pilgrimage of Grace.

England remained a Catholic country until 1534, when it officially separated from Rome in 1534 during the reign of King Henry VIII. In response to the Pope's refusal to annul Henry's marriage to Catherine of Aragon, Parliament denied the Pope's authority over the English Church, made the king Head of the Church in England, and dissolved the monasteries and religious orders in England. Henry did not himself accept Protestant innovations in doctrine or liturgy – but he extended toleration, and even promotion, to clergy with Protestant sympathies in return for support for his break with Rome. On the other hand, failure to accept this break, particularly by prominent persons in church and state, was regarded by Henry as treason, resulting in the execution of Saint Thomas More, former Lord Chancellor, and Saint John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, among others. The See of Rome Act 1536 enforced the separation from Rome, while the 'Pilgrimage of Grace' of 1536 and 'Bigod's Rebellion' of 1537, risings in the North against the religious changes, were bloodily repressed.

The 1547 to 1553 reign of the boy King Edward VI saw the Church of England formally adopt Protestantism, with the (Latin) Mass replaced by the (English) Book of Common Prayer, representational art and statues in church buildings destroyed, and Catholic practices which had survived during Henry's reign, for instance the public saying of prayers to the Virgin Mary such as the Salve Regina, ended.

The institutional Church in England briefly acquiesced to Catholic practice during the reign of the Catholic Queen Mary I from 1553 to 1558. Mary believed she had a mission to bring back the whole of England to the Catholic faith. This aim was not necessarily at odds with the feeling of a large section of the populace; Edward's Protestant reformation had not been well received everywhere, and there was ambiguity in the responses of the parishes.[21] Mary also had some powerful families behind her. The Jerningham family together with other East Anglian Catholic families such as the Bedingfelds, Waldegraves, Rochesters together with the Huddlestons of Sawston Hall were "the key to Queen Mary's successful accession to the throne. Without them she would never have made it." [22] However, Mary's executions of 300 Protestants by burning at the stake proved counterproductive, as they were extremely unpopular among the populace. For example, instead of executing Archbishop Cranmer for treason for supporting Queen Jane, she had him tried for heresy and burned at a stake.[23][24] With the assistance of Foxe's Book of Martyrs, which glorified the Protestants killed at the time and vilified Catholics,[25] this practice ensured her a place in popular memory as Bloody Mary – for centuries after the idea of another reconciliation with Rome was linked in many English people's minds with a renewal of Mary's fiery stakes.

When Mary died and Elizabeth I became Queen in 1558, the religious situation in England was confused. Throughout the see-sawing religious landscape of the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI, and Mary, a significant proportion of the population (especially in the rural and outlying areas of the country), are likely to have continued to hold Catholic views, at least in private. By the end of Elizabeth's reign, however, England was clearly a Protestant country, and Catholics were a minority.

Elizabeth's first act was to reverse her sister's re-establishment of Catholicism, but during the first years of her reign there was relative leniency towards Catholics who were willing to keep their religion private, especially if they were prepared to continue to attend their parish churches. The wording of the official prayer book had been carefully designed to make this possible by omitting aggressively "heretical" matter, and at first many English Catholics did in fact worship with their Protestant neighbours, at least until this was formally forbidden by Pope Pius V's 1570 bull, Regnans in Excelsis, which also declared that Elizabeth was not a rightful queen and should be deposed, and formally excommunicated her.[26]

In the setting of England's wars with Catholic powers such as France and Spain, culminating in the attempted invasion by the Spanish Armada in 1588, the Pope's bull unleashed a nationalistic feeling which equated Protestantism with loyalty to a highly popular monarch, rendering every Catholic a potential traitor, even in the eyes of those who were not themselves extreme Protestants. The Rising of the North, the Throckmorton plot and the Babington plot, together with other subversive activities of supporters of Mary, Queen of Scots, all reinforced the association of Catholicism and treachery in the popular mind. Elizabeth's government declared all Catholic priests, and all those who sheltered them, to be guilty of treason. Elizabeth didn't believe that her anti-Catholic policies constituted religious persecution, finding it hard to distinguish between those Catholics engaged in conflict with her from those Catholics with no such designs.[27] The number of English Catholics executed under Elizabeth was significant, including Edmund Campion, Robert Southwell, and Margaret Clitherow. Elizabeth herself signed the death warrant that led to the beheading of her cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots.

Because of the persecution in England, Catholic priests in England were trained abroad at the English College at Douai. Given that Douai was located in the Spanish Netherlands, part of the dominions of Elizabethan England's greatest enemy, they became associated in the public eye with political as well as religious subversion. It was this combination of nationalistic public opinion, sustained persecution, and the rise of a new generation which could not remember pre-Reformation times and had no pre-established loyalty to Catholicism, that reduced the number of Catholics in England during this period – although the overshadowing memory of Queen Mary I's reign was another factor that should not be underestimated.

Stuart era

The tarring of Catholics as traitors, and harsh persecution, continued during the reign of James I (1603–1625), especially after the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot conspiracy of a small group of Catholic conspirators, who aimed to blow up both King and Parliament. Ben Jonson and his wife, for example, in 1606 were summoned before the authorities for failure to take communion in the Church of England.[28] However the King did tolerate some Catholics at court, such as George Calvert, to whom he gave the title Baron Baltimore, and, of course, the Duke of Norfolk, head of the Howard family.

The reign of Charles I (1625–49) and his Catholic Queen Henrietta Maria saw a small revival of Catholicism in England, especially among the upper classes. As part of the royal marriage settlement the Queen was permitted a Catholic royal chapel and chaplain. Henrietta Maria was in fact very strict in her religious observances, and helped create a court with continental influences, where Catholicism was tolerated, even somewhat fashionable. Some anti-Catholic legislation became effectively a dead letter. The Counter-Reformation on the Continent of Europe had created a more vigorous and magnificent form of Catholicism (i.e., Baroque, notably found in the architecture and music of Austria, Italy and Germany) that attracted some converts, like the poet Richard Crashaw. Ironically, the explicitly Catholic artistic movement (i.e., Baroque) ended up "providing the blueprint, after the fire of London, for the first new Protestant churches to be built in England."[29]

While Charles remained firmly Protestant, he was personally drawn towards a consciously 'High Church' Anglicanism. This affected his appointments to Anglican bishoprics, in particular the appointment of William Laud as Archbishop of Canterbury. How many Catholics and Puritans there were is still open to debate.[30][31]

Religious conflict between Charles and other "High" Anglicans and the more extreme Protestants - at this stage mostly still within the Church of England (the Puritans) formed a strand of the anti-monarchical leanings of the troubled politics of the period. The religious tensions between a court with 'Papist' elements and a Parliament where the Puritans were strong was one of the major factors behind the English Civil War, in which almost all Catholics supported the King. The victory of the Parliamentarians meant a strongly Protestant, anti-Catholic (and, incidentally, anti-Anglican) regime under Oliver Cromwell.

The restoration of the monarchy under Charles II (1660–85) also saw the restoration of a Catholic-influenced court like his father's. However, although Charles himself had Catholic leanings, he was first and foremost a pragmatist and realised the vast majority of public opinion in England was strongly anti-Catholic, so he agreed to laws such as the Test Act requiring any appointee to any public office or member of Parliament to deny Catholic beliefs such as transubstantiation. As far as possible, however, he maintained tacit tolerance. Like his father, he married a Catholic, Catherine of Braganza. (He would become Catholic himself on his deathbed).

James II is to date the last Catholic to reign as monarch of England.

Charles' brother and heir James, Duke of York (later James II) converted to Catholicism in 1668–1669. When Titus Oates in 1678 alleged a (totally imaginary) 'Popish Plot' to assassinate Charles and put James in his place, he unleashed a wave of Parliamentary and public hysteria which led to anti-Catholic purges, and another wave of sectarian persecution, which Charles was either unable or unwilling to prevent. Throughout the early 1680s the Whig element in Parliament attempted to remove James as successor to the throne. Their failure saw James become, as James II in 1685, Britain's first openly Catholic monarch since Mary I (and last to date). He promised religious toleration for Catholic and Protestants on an equal footing, but it is in doubt whether he did this to gain support from Dissenters or whether he was truly committed to tolerance (Contemporary Catholic regimes in France and Spain, for example, were hardly tolerant of Protestantism).

James' clear intent to work towards the restoration of the Church of England to the Catholic fold encouraged converts like the poet John Dryden, who wrote "The Hind and Panther," celebrating his conversion.[32][33] Protestant fears mounted as James established a standing army with Catholics in the major commands, dismissed the Protestant Bishop of London and dismissed the Protestant Fellows of Magdalen College and replaced them with a wholly Catholic board. The last straw was the birth of a Catholic heir in 1688, portending a return to a Pre-Reformation Catholic dynasty.

The Glorious Revolution deposed James, the last reigning Stuart monarch, and established his Protestant daughter and son-in-law and nephew, Mary II and William III, on the throne (1689–1702). For some, however, the revolution was "fundamentally a coup spearheaded by a foreign army and navy."[34][35][36] Nevertheless, the King fled into exile, and with him many Catholic nobility and gentry. The Act of Settlement 1701, which remains in operation today, excludes any Catholic or anyone who marries a Catholic from the throne.

Interestingly, Henry Benedict Stuart (Cardinal-Duke of York), the last Jacobite heir to publicly assert a claim to the thrones of England, Scotland, and Ireland, died in Rome in 1802. A monument to the Royal Stuarts exists today at Vatican City. The current duke of Bavaria, Franz Bonavertura Adalbert Maria von Bayern, head of the Wittelsbach family, is the closest blood descendant of King Charles I and considered by Jacobites to be the heir of the House of Stuarts.[37][38]

Eighteenth century

The years from 1688 to the early nineteenth century were in some respects the nadir for Catholicism in England. Deprived of their dioceses, four Apostolic Vicariates were set up throughout England until the re-establishment of the diocesan episcopacy in 1850. Although the persecution was not violent as in the past, Catholic numbers, influence and visibility in English society reached their lowest ebb. Their civil rights were severely curtailed: their right to own property or inherit land was greatly limited, they were burdened with special taxes, they could not send their children abroad for Catholic education, they could not vote, and priests were liable to imprisonment.

There was no longer, as once in Stuart times, any notable Catholic presence at court, in public life, in the military or professions. Many of the Catholic nobles and gentry who had preserved on their lands among their tenants small pockets of Catholicism had followed James into exile, and others, at least outwardly, conformed to Anglicanism, meaning fewer such Catholic communities survived intact. A bishop at this time (roughly from 1688–1850) was called a Vicar apostolic. A Vicar Apostolic was a titular bishop (as opposed to a diocesan bishop) through whom the pope exercised jurisdiction over a particular church territory in England. (Interestingly, English-speaking colonial America came under the jurisdiction of the Vicar Apostolic of London. As titular bishop over Catholics in British America, he was important to the government not only in regard to its English-speaking North American colonies, but also after the Seven Years War when the British Empire, in 1763, acquired the French-speaking [and predominately Catholic] territory of Canada. At the time, Richard Challoner, 1758–81, was titular bishop when Great Britain gained Canada. Only after the Treaty of Paris in 1783 and in 1789 with the consecration of John Carroll, a friend of Benjamin Franklin, did the U.S. have its own diocesan bishop, free of the titular bishop of London, James Robert Talbot.)[39][40][41][42][43]

Geographical distribution of English Catholic Recusancy, 1715—1720.

Most Catholics retreated to complete isolation from a popular Protestant mainstream, and Catholicism in England in this period is politically, if not socially invisible to history, Alexander Pope being one memorable English Catholic of the 18th century and the other being a member of the Catholic gentry, the Duke of Norfolk, the Premier Duke in the peerage of England and as Earl of Arundel, the Premier Earl. In virtue of his status and as head of the Howard family (which included the Earl of Carlisle, the Earl of Suffolk, the Earl of Berkshire, and the Earl of Effingham), the Duke was always at court. Pope, however, seemed to benefit from the isolation. In 1713, when he was 25, he took subscriptions for a project that filled his life for the next seven years, the result being a new version of Homer's Iliad. Samuel Johnson pronounced it the greatest translation ever achieved in the English language.[44] Over time, Pope became the greatest poet of the age, the Augustan Age, especially for his mock-heroic poems, Rape of the Lock and The Dunciad. Around this time, in 1820,Clement XI proclaimed Anselm of Canterbury a Doctor of the Church. In 1752, mid-century, Great Britain adopted the Gregorian calendar decreed by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582. Later in the century there was some liberalization of the anti-Catholic laws on the basis of Enlightenment ideals.

In 1778 a 'Catholic Relief Act' allowed Catholics to own property, inherit land and join the army. Hardline Protestant mobs reacted in the Gordon Riots in 1780, attacking any building in London which was associated with Catholicism or owned by Catholics. Other reforms allowed the clergy to operate more openly and thus allowed permanent missions to be set up in the larger towns. Stonyhurst College, for example, was re-established in 1791 for wealthier Catholics. In 1837, James Arundel, the tenth Baron Arundel of Wardour, bequeathed to Stonyhurst the Arundel Library, which contained the vast Arundel family collection, including some of the school's most important books and manuscripts such as a Shakespeare First Folio and a manuscript copy of Froissart's Chronicles, looted from the body of a dead Frenchman after the Battle of Agincourt. Yet Catholic recusants as a whole remained a small group, except where they stayed the majority religion in various pockets, notably in rural Lancashire and Cumbria, or were part of the Catholic aristocracy and squirearchy.[45] One of the most interesting contemporary descendents of recusants is Timothy Radcliffe, former Master of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans)and writer. Radcliffe is related to three former cardinals—Weld, Vaughan and Hume (the last because his cousin Lord Hunt is married to Hume's sister), and his family is connected to many of the great recusant English Catholic families, the Arundels, Tichbournes, Tablots, Stonors, and Weld-Blundells.[46] Finally, history cannot forget the famous recusant, Maria Fitzherbert, who during this period secretly married the Prince of Wales, Prince Regent, and future George IV in 1785. The British Constitution, however, did not accept it and George IV later moved on. Cast aside by the establishment, she was adopted by the town of Brighton, whose citizens, both Catholic and Protestant, called her "Mrs. Prince." According to journalist, Richard Abbott, "Before the town had a [Catholic] church of its own, she had a priest say Mass at her own house, and invited local Catholics," suggesting the recusants of Brighton were not very undiscovered.[47][48]

In a new study of the English Catholic community, 1688–1745, Gabriel Glickman notes that Catholics, especially those whose social position gave them access to the courtly centers of power and patronage, had a significant part to play in eighteenth-century England. They were not as marginal as one might think today. For example, Alexander Pope was not the only Catholic whose contributions (especially, Essays on Man) help define the temper of an early English Enlightenment. In addition to Pope, Glickman notes, a Catholic architect, James Gibbs, returned baroque forms to the London skyline and a Catholic composer, Thomas Arne, composed "Rule Britannia." According to reviewer, Aidan Bellenger, Glickman also suggests that "rather than being the victims of the Stuart failure, 'the unpromising setting of exile and defeat' had 'sown the seed of a frail but resilient English Catholic Enlightenment.'" [49] Yale University historian, Steve Pincus, likewise argues in his book, 1688: The First Modern Revolution, that Catholics under William and Mary and their successors experienced considerable freedom.[50]

Nineteenth century

Statue of Cardinal Newman outside the Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, London

After this moribund period, the first signs of a revival occurred as thousands of French Catholics fled France during the French Revolution. The leaders of the Revolution were virulently anti-Catholic, even singling out priests and nuns for summary execution or massacre, and England was seen as a safe haven from Jacobin violence. Also around this time (1801), a new political entity was formed in London, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, which merged the Kingdom of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland, thus increasing the number of Catholics in the new state. Not surprisingly, in 1829 came the culmination of the liberalization of the anti-Catholic laws.[51] Parliament passed the Catholic Emancipation Act, giving Catholics almost equal civil rights, including the right to vote and to hold most public offices. If Catholics were rich, however, exceptions were always made, even before the changes. For example, American ministers to the Court of St. James were often struck by the prominence of wealthy American-born Catholics, titled ladies among the nobility, like Louisa (Caton), granddaughter of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, and her two sisters, Mary Ann and Elizabeth. After Louisa's first husband (Sir Felton Bathurst-Hervey) died, Louisa later married the son of the Duke of Leeds, and had the Duke of Wellington as her European protector. Her sister, Mary Ann, married the Marquess of Wellesley, the brother of the Duke of Wellington; and her other sister, Elizabeth (Lady Stafford), married another British nobleman.[52][53][54][55] Though British law required an Anglican marriage service, each of the sisters and their Protestant spouses had a Catholic ceremony afterwards. At Louisa's first marriage, the Duke of Wellington escorted the bride.[56]

In the 1840s and 1850s, especially during the Great Irish Famine, while the bulk of the large outflow of emigration from Ireland was headed to the United States to seek work, hundreds of thousands of Irish also migrated across the channel to England and Scotland (never leaving their country), and established communities in cities there, including London, Liverpool, Manchester and Glasgow, but also in towns and villages up and down the country, thus giving English Catholicism a Celtic flavor and a huge numerical boost. Also significant was the rise in the 1830s and 1840s of the Oxford Movement, which sought to revive some elements of Catholic theology and ritual within the Church of England (creating so-called Anglo-Catholicism).

Many of the Anglicans who were involved in the Oxford Movement or "Tractarianism" were ultimately led beyond these positions and converted to the Catholic Church, including, in 1845, the movement's principal intellectual leader, John Henry Newman. A steady stream of new Catholics would continue to enter the Church from the Anglican Church, often via high Anglicanism, for at least the next hundred years, and something of this continues. Among a large number from Anglicanism were some who brought British Catholicism a certain amount of public prestige.

Prominent British intellectual and artistic figures who turned to Roman Catholicism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries included the leading architect of the Gothic Revival, Augustus Pugin, the artist, Graham Sutherland, and literary figures such as Newman, Gerard Manley Hopkins, two sons of William Wilberforce, Samuel and Robert, G. K. Chesterton, Ronald Knox, Siegfried Sassoon, Evelyn Waugh, Edith Sitwell, Graham Greene, and Muriel Spark.[57] Prominent cradle Catholics included the film director, Alfred Hitchcock, writers like Hilaire Belloc, Lord Acton, and J.R.R. Tolkien and the composer, Edward Elgar, whose oratorio, The Dream of Gerontius, was based on a 19th century poem by Newman.

There is no doubt that at various points after the 16th century real hopes have been entertained by many English Catholics that the 'reconversion of England' was near at hand. To some the sign of this being imminent was the steady trickle of establishment converts from the second quarter of the 19th century on.

More important was the arrival of immigrant masses of Irish Catholics in Britain (mentioned earlier). Together these trends were seen by some as constituting a "second spring" of Roman Catholicism in Britain. Rome responded by re-establishing the Catholic hierarchy in 1850, creating Catholic dioceses in England from existing Apostolic vicariates and appointing diocesan bishops (to replace earlier Titular bishops) with fixed sees on a more traditional Catholic pattern.

The re-established diocesan episcopacy specifically avoided using places that were seats of Church of England dioceses as seats, in effect temporarily abandoning the titles of Catholic dioceses before Elizabeth I because of the Ecclesiastical Titles Act of 1851, which in England favored a state church (i.e., Church of England) and denied arms and legal existence to territorial Catholic sees on the basis that the state could not grant such "privileges" to "entities" that allegedly did not exist. In the few cases where a Roman Catholic diocese bears the same title as an Anglican one in the same town or city (e.g. Birmingham, Liverpool, Portsmouth, and Southwark) — this is the result of the Church of England ignoring the prior existence there of a Roman Catholic see and of the technical repeal of the Ecclesiastical Titles Act in 1871. Of course, the Act was only carried out in England. For example, the official recognition afforded by the grant of arms to the archdiocese of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, brought into being by Lord Lyon in 1989, was made on the grounds that the Ecclesiastical Titles Act of 1851 never applied to Scotland.[58] In recent times, former Conservative Cabinent Minister, John Gummer, who is a prominent convert to Roman Catholicism and columnist for the Roman Catholic newspaper the Catholic Herald in 2007, objected to the fact that still no Roman Catholic diocese can have the same name as an Anglican diocese (such as London, Canterbury, Durham, etc.) "even though those dioceses had, shall we say, been borrowed."[59]

Twentieth century and the present

English Catholicism retained its renewed strength throughout the first half of the twentieth century, when it was associated primarily with elements in the English intellectual class and the ethnic Irish population. Numbers attending Mass remained very high, in stark contrast with the Anglican and Protestant churches, and conversions and vocations to the priesthood and religious life were (as mentioned above) also plentiful. This has changed since the 1960s, due to similar influences as have affected the Church elsewhere: the increased pressures of secularisation and sexual libertarianism.

As in other English-speaking countries such as the United States and Australia, the movement of Irish Catholics out of the working-class into the middle-class suburban mainstream often meant their assimilation with broader, secular English society and loss of a separate Catholic identity. The Second Vatican Council has been followed, as in other Western countries, by divisions between traditional Catholicism and a more liberal form of Catholicism claiming inspiration from the Council. This caused difficulties for not a few pre-conciliar converts, though others have still joined the Church in recent decades (for instance, Malcolm Muggeridge and Joseph Pearce), and public figures (often descendants of the recusant families) such as Paul Johnson; Peter Ackroyd; Antonia Fraser; Mark Thompson, Director General of the BBC; Michael Martin (politician), first Catholic to hold the office of Speaker of the House of Commons since the Reformation; Chris Patten, first Catholic to hold the post of Chancellor of Oxford since the Reformation; Piers Paul Read; Helen Liddel, Britain's High Commissioner to Australia; and the last Prime Minister's wife, Cherie Blair, have no difficulty making their Catholicism known in public life. The last Prime Minister, Tony Blair, was recently received into full communion with the Catholic Church.[60] Catherine Pepinster, Editor of Tablet, notes: "The impact of Irish immigrants is one. There are numerous prominent campaigners, academics, entertainers (like Danny Boyle the most successful Catholic in showbiz owing to his film, Slumdog Millionaire), politicians and writers. But the descendants of the recusant families are still a force in the land."[61][62][63]

Since the Council the Church in England has tended to focus on ecumenical dialogue with the Anglican Church rather than simply winning converts from it as in the past. However, this somewhat cosy world has been disrupted from the Anglican side as the 1990s have seen significant numbers of conversions from Anglicanism to the Catholic Church, largely prompted by the Church of England's decision to ordain women as priests (among other moves away from traditional doctrines and structures). The resultant converts included members of the Royal Family (Katharine, Duchess of Kent, her son Lord Nicholas Windsor and her grandson Baron Downpatrick), a number of Anglican priests and even whole congregations. Catholics in Britain, for this reason, tend to be more conservative and even traditionalist than those on the European mainland, often opposing trends within the Catholic Church similar to those which induced them to abandon Anglicanism in the first place. However, of late, such converts have felt braver owing to recent statements coming from Rome, reasserting the position that "only Catholics" constitute the true church; that Anglicans (and other non-Catholics) "suffer from defects"; and that Anglican orders, as stated in Apostolicae Curae, are still "null and void."

The spirit of ecumenism fostered by Vatican II resulted in 1990 with the Roman Catholic Church in England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, joining Churches Together in Britain and Ireland as an expression of the churches' commitment to work ecumenically. Recently, for example, a memorial was put up to St. John Houghton and fellow Carthusian monks martyred at the Charterhouse in London, 1535. Anglican priest, Geoffrey Curtis, campaigned for it with the current archbishop of Canterbury's blessing.[64] Also, in another ecumenical gesture, a plaque in Holywell Street, Oxford, now commemorates the Catholic martyrs of England. It reads: "Near this spot George Nichols, Richard Yaxley, Thomas Belson, and Humphrey Pritchard were executed for their Catholic faith, 5 July 1589."[65] And at Lambeth Palace, in February, 2009, the Archbishop of Canterbury hosted a reception to launch the book, Why Go To Church?, by Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, OP, one of Britain's best known Religious and the former Master of the Dominican Order. A large number of young Dominican friars attended. Fr. Radcliffe said, "I don't think there have been so many Dominicans in one place since the time of Robert Kilwardby, the Dominican Archbishop of Canterbury in the 13th century."[66]

The Church's principles of social justice influenced initiatives to tackle the challenges of poverty and social inclusion. In Southampton Fr Pat Murphy O'Connor founded the St Dismas Society as an agency to meet the needs of ex-prisoners discharged from Winchester prison. Some of St Dismas Society's early members went on to help found the Simon Community in Sussex then in London. Their example gave new inspiration to other clergymen, such as Rev Kenneth Leech (CofE) of St Annes Church in Soho who helped found the homeless charity Centrepoint, and Rev Bruce Kenrick (Church of Scotland) who helped found the homeless charity Shelter. In 1986 Cardinal Basil Hume established the Cardinal Hume Centre to work with homeless young people, badly housed families and local communities to access accommodation, support and advice, education, training and employment opportunities.

Significant interfaith cooperation and leadership was shown by Archbishop Derek Worlock, of Liverpool, who worked with his Anglican counterpart Bishop David Sheppard and members of the free churches, to present a united Christian approach to the economic and social challenges facing that city during the 1980s and 1990s.

In 2006 Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor instituted an annual Mass in Support of Migrant Workers at Westminster Cathedral in partnership with the ethnic chaplains of Brentwood, Southwark, and Westminster.

Polish Catholic immigration

Polish speaking Catholics from the Continent first arrived in England in some numbers after the partitions of Poland during the 19th century. One of the most notable Poles at this time, who eventually settled in England, was Joseph Conrad. At the end of World War II many Polish servicemen were unable to return to their homeland following the imposition of a communist regime hostile to their return, and the Polish Resettlement Corps was formed by the British government to ease their transition into British life. They were joined by several thousand Displaced Persons (DPs), many were their family members. This influx of Poles gave rise to the 1947 Polish Resettlement Act which allowed approximately 250,000 Polish Servicemen and their dependents, to settle in Britain. Many assimilated into existing Catholic congregations. According to the Polish Catholic Mission in England and Wales in 1948 the Catholic hierarchy in England Wales agreed the appointment of a vicar delegate, nominated by the Polish Episcopate, with ordinary power over the Polish clergy and laity throughout England and Wales with certain exceptions relating to marriage. Subsequently whenever a Polish Catholic community emerges within England and Wales, the vicar delegate appoints a Polish priest to organise a local branch of the Polish Catholic Mission. A priest thus appointed is the priest in charge, not a parish priest. There are no Polish parishes or quasiparishes in England and Wales (in accordance with Canons 515 §1 and 516 §1) with the exception of the church at Devonia Road in London. A Polish Community is sometimes referred to as a "parish" but is not a parish in the canonical sense. Hence the Community is not a juridical person. The canonical juridical personality which represents the interests of all Polish Communities is vested in the Polish Catholic Mission.[67]

Since the 2004 accession of Poland to the European Union there has been further large scale Polish immigration to the UK. Currently the Polish Catholic Mission includes around 219 parishes and pastoral centres with 114 priests.[68] The current rector of the Polish Catholic Mission is Monsignor Tadeusz Kukla. In Poland, the Polish Bishops Conference has a position of delegate with special responsibility for émigré Poles. The current postholder is Bishop Ryszard Karpiński. The Tablet reported in December 2007 that the Polish Catholic Mission says these parishes follow a pastoral programme set by the Polish conference of bishops and are viewed as "an integral part of the Polish church".[69]

In December 2007 Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor said "I'm quite concerned that Poles are creating a separate Church in Britain – I would want them to be part of the Catholic life of this country. I would hope those responsible for the Polish Church here, and the Poles themselves, will be aware that they should become a part of local parishes as soon as possible when they learn enough of the language." Mgr Kukla stressed that the Polish Catholic Mission continues to have a "good relationship" with the hierarchy in England and Wales and said "Integration is a long process."[70]

Significantly, the Polish Mission co-operated fully with the English hierarchy's recent research enquiry into the needs of migrants in London's catholic community. "The Ground of Justice" report by the Von Hügel Institute at St Edmund's College, Cambridge was commissioned by Archbishop Kevin McDonald of Southwark, and Bishop Thomas McMahon of Brentwood. 1000 people attending Mass in three London dioceses were surveyed using anonymous questionnaires available in Polish, Lithuanian, Chinese, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and English. The congregations were from mainstream Diocesan parishes, ethnic chaplaincies, and churches of the Polish Vicariate. The report findings described how 86% of eastern Europeans said the availability of Mass in their mother tongue was a reason for their choosing to worship in a particular church. The report recommendations emphasised cooperation with key overseas Bishops Conferences, Dioceses, and Religious Orders on the recruitment and appointment of ethnic chaplains; the recognition of language skills as a legitimate training activity and cost for seminarians, clergy, parish volunteer and lay employees; and the consolidation of dispersed charitable funds for pastoral development and the poor in London.[71] The results of this survey will inform the upcoming meeting between Cardinal Murphy O'Connor and the Polish Bishops Conference on 5 March 2008 to discuss the pastoral care of Polish immigrants.


The Church in England and Wales has five provinces: Birmingham, Cardiff, Liverpool, Southwark and Westminster. There are 22 dioceses which are divided into parishes. In addition to these, there are two dioceses covering England and Wales for specific groups which are the Bishopric of the Forces and the Apostolic Exarchate for Ukrainians.

The Catholic Bishops in England and Wales come together in a collaborative structure known as the Bishops' Conference. Currently the Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Gerard Nichols, is the ex officio President of the Bishops Conference. For this reason in the global Catholic Church (outside England), he is de facto Primate of England though not in the eyes of English law and the established Church of England. Historically, the avoidance of the title of "Primate" was to eschew whipping up anti-Catholic tension, in the same way the bishops of the restored hierarchy avoided using current titles of Anglican Sees (Archbishop of Westminster rather than "Canterbury" or "London"). However, the Archbishop of Westminster had certain privileges: he was the only Metropolitan in the country until 1911 (when the archdioceses of Birmingham and Liverpool were created) and he has always acted as leader at meetings of the English bishops.

Although the bishops of the restored hierarchy took "new" titles, like that of Westminster, they saw themselves very much in continuity with the pre-Reformation Church. Westminster in particular saw itself as the continuation of Canterbury, hence the similarity of the coat of arms of the two Sees (with Westminster believing it has more right to it since it features the pallium, no longer given to Anglican archbishops). At the back of Westminster Cathedral is a list of Popes and, alongside this, a list of Catholic Archbishops of Canterbury, beginning with Augustine of Canterbury, and the year they received the pallium. After Cardinal Pole, the last Catholic incumbent of Canterbury, the names of the Catholic Vicars Apostolic or titular bishops (from 1685) are recorded and then the Archbishops of Westminster, in one unimpaired line, from 597 to the present, according to the archdiocese of Westminster.[72][73] To highlight this continuity or unimpaired line today, the installation rites of pre-Reformation Archbishops of Canterbury and earlier Archbishops of Westminster were used at the recent installation of the new Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Gerard Nichols.[74]

Diocese Province Approximate Territory Cathedral Creation
01Diocese of Arundel and Brighton
Bishop of Arundel and Brighton
15Southwark Surrey and Sussex Arundel Cathedral 201965
(from Diocese of Southwark)
02Archdiocese of Birmingham
Archbishop of Birmingham
01Birmingham Oxfordshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands, Worcestershire St Chad's Cathedral 021850
(elevated to Archdiocese 1911)
03Diocese of Brentwood
Bishop of Brentwood
19Westminster Essex Brentwood Cathedral 171917
(from Archdiocese of Westminster)
04Archdiocese of Cardiff
Archbishop of Cardiff
04Cardiff Eastern Glamorgan, Herefordshire, Monmouthshire St David's Cathedral 031850
(originally as Diocese of Newport and Menevia; as Diocese of Newport from 1895; elevated to Archdiocese of Cardiff 1916)
05Diocese of Clifton
Bishop of Clifton
02Birmingham Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire Clifton Cathedral 041850
06Diocese of East Anglia
Bishop of East Anglia
20Westminster Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk Cathedral of St John the Baptist 211976
(from Diocese of Northampton)
07Diocese of Hallam
Bishop of Hallam
08Liverpool South Yorkshire Cathedral Church of St Marie 221980
(from Dioceses of Leeds and Nottingham)
08Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle
Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle
09Liverpool North East England St Mary's Cathedral 051850
(originally as Diocese of Hexham; as Hexham and Newcastle from 1861)
09Diocese of Lancaster
Bishop of Lancaster
10Liverpool Cumbria, north Lancashire Lancaster Cathedral 181924
(from Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle and Archdiocese of Liverpool)
10Diocese of Leeds
Bishop of Leeds
11Liverpool West Yorkshire, western North Yorkshire Leeds Cathedral 131878
(from Diocese of Beverley)
11Archdiocese of Liverpool
Archbishop of Liverpool
07Liverpool northern Merseyside, West Lancashire, Isle of Man Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral 061850
(elevated to Archdiocese 1911)
12Diocese of Menevia
Bishop of Menevia
05Cardiff Brecknockshire, Cardiganshire, Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire, Radnorshire and Western Glamorgan Saint Joseph's Cathedral 161898
(from Vicariate Apostolic of Wales)
13Diocese of Middlesbrough
Bishop of Middlesbrough
12Liverpool eastern North Yorkshire, York, East Riding of Yorkshire Middlesbrough Cathedral 141878
(from Diocese of Beverley)
14Diocese of Northampton
Bishop of Northampton
21Westminster Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and parts of Berkshire north of the Thames Northampton Cathedral 071850
15Diocese of Nottingham
Bishop of Nottingham
22Westminster Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Lincolnshire Nottingham Cathedral 081850
16Diocese of Plymouth
Bishop of Plymouth
16Southwark Cornwall, Devon, Dorset Plymouth Cathedral 091850
17Diocese of Portsmouth
Bishop of Portsmouth
17Southwark Hampshire, parts of Berkshire south of the Thames, Channel Islands Cathedral of St John the Evangelist 151882
(from Diocese of Southwark)
18Diocese of Salford
Bishop of Salford
13Liverpool Greater Manchester, south-east Lancashire Salford Cathedral 101850
19Diocese of Shrewsbury
Bishop of Shrewsbury
03Birmingham Cheshire and Shropshire Shrewsbury Cathedral 111850
20Archdiocese of Southwark
Archbishop of Southwark
14Southwark Kent, south-east London St George's Cathedral 121850
(elevated to Archdiocese 1965)
21Archdiocese of Westminster
Archbishop of Westminster
18Westminster Middlesex, Hertfordshire Westminster Cathedral 011850
22Diocese of Wrexham
Bishop of Wrexham
06Cardiff Anglesey, Caernarfonshire, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Merionethshire and Montgomeryshire Cathedral Church of Our Lady of Sorrows 241987
(from Diocese of Menevia)
23Apostolic Exarchate for Ukrainians 23Ukrainian Greek Catholic (Eastern-rite) Great Britain Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family in Exile 191957
24Bishopric of the Forces 24Bishopric of the Forces HM Forces both in Britain and abroad Cathedral Church of St Michael and St George 231986


Further information:Catholic Chaplaincies in England and Wales

Eastern Catholic rites

There exists the Apostolic Exarchate for Ukrainians which serves the 15,000 Ukrainian Greek Catholics in Great Britain, with a cathedral and various churches across the country.

The Lebanese Maronite Order (LMO) runs in England and Wales. The LMO is an order of the Maronite Catholic Church, serving Maronite Catholics in England and Wales. The Revd Augustine Aoun is the parish priest for Maronites. The LMO runs a few churches, for example Our Lady of Sorrows in Paddington and Our Lady of Lebanon in Swiss Cottage.

There are also Catholic chaplains of the Eritrean, Chaldean, Syriac, Syro-Malabar and Melkite Rites. For information about the Syro-Malabar chaplaincy within the Diocese of Westminster in London, see Syro-Malabar Catholic Church of London.

See also



  1. ^ The Catholic Encyclopedia says this: "Before the breach with Rome under Henry VIII there was absolutely no doctrinal difference between the faith of Englishmen and the rest of Catholic Christendom, and 'Anglicanism,' as connoting a separate or independent religious system, was unknown. The name 'Ecclesia Anglicana,' or English Church, was of course employed, but always in the Catholic and Papal use of the term as signifying that part of the one Catholic Church under the jurisdiction of the Pope which was situated in England, and precisely in the same way as the Church in Scotland was called the 'Ecclesia Scotticana,' the Church in France, the 'Ecclesia Gallicana,' and the Church in Spain the 'Ecclesia Hispanica.' That such national or regional apellations were a part of the style of the Roman Curia itself, and that they in no sense could have implied any indication of independence from Rome, is sufficiently well know to all who are familiar with pre-Reformation records."
  2. ^ Martin Marty, "Protestantism," The Encyclopedia of Religion (New York: Macmmillan Publishing, 1987) Vol. 12, 26. Marty, a University of Chicago historian and Lutheran, says this: "Although it [the Church of England] has kept faith in the apostolic succession of bishops and has retained many pre-Reformation practices, the Anglican communion as it has existed since the break with Rome under Henry VIII in the sixteenth century is vastly different from the Catholic church under Roman papal obedience in England before and since the Reformation. In short, the Waldensians, the Czech groups, and the Anglicans alike were, and were seen to be, part of the Protestant revolt from both the viewpoints of Roman Catholic leadership and historical scholarship ever since.
  3. ^ T. S. Eliot The Varieties of Metaphysical Poetry (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1993), 87. Eliot says this about pre-Reformation Europe: "Men had lived for centuries under a church which was the incorporated 'sensus communis' of Europe."
  4. ^ Catholic population from 1901 to 2001
  5. ^ Catholic Church names new leader BBC News 3 April 2009
  6. ^ "Numbers Game," The Tablet 31 October, 2009, 16.
  7. ^ Great Britain, Statistics by Diocese, by Catholic Population
  8. ^ Kevin Phillips, The Cousins' Wars (New York: Basic Books, 1999), 480–84. Phillips notes: "The subjugation [of the Irish] of the seventeenth century was almost complete.... During the first quarter of the eighteenth century [after the Treaty of Union], Catholic bishops were banned and priests required to register. Catholics lost their right to vote, hold office, own a gun or a horse worth more than 5 pounds, or live in towns without paying special fees... Once again the Irish were pushed west to poorer lands, an exodus that prefigured the disposition of the American Indians over the next two centuries."
  9. ^ Charles Plummer, "Excursus on the Paschal Controversy and Tonsure", in his edition Venerablilis Baedae, Historiam Ecclesiasticam Gentis Anglorum, 1892 (Oxford: University Press, 1975), pp. 348–354.
  10. ^ Kathleen Hughes, "The Celtic Church: Is This a Valid Concept?", O'Donnell lectures in Celtic Studies, University of Oxford 1975 (published in Cambridge Medieval Celtic Studies, 1 [1981], pp. 1–20).
  11. ^ Wendy Davies, "The Myth of the Celtic Church", in The Early Church in Wales and the West, Oxbow Monograph, no. 16, edited by Nancy Edwards and Alan Lane, 12–21. Oxford: Oxbow, 1992.
  12. ^
  13. ^ H.E.,III,iv
  14. ^ Peter Ackroyd Albion (New York: Anchor Books, 2002), 33.
  15. ^ St. Wilfrid.
  16. ^ Hygeberht, Adrian I
  17. ^ St. Dunstan
  18. ^ Lanfranc, St. Anselm, Innocent III, Hubert Walter, Canterbury.
  19. ^ Note Venerable Bede in his Hist. Eccl., I,xxxiii: " When Augustine, the first archbishop of Canterbury, assumed the throne in that royal city, he recovered therein, by the king's assistance, a church which, as he was told, had been constructed by the original labor of Roman believers. This church he consecrated in the name of the Saviour, Our God and Lord Jesus Christ, and there he established an habitation for himself and his successors."
  20. ^ Charterhouse in London : monastery, mansion, hospital, school / by Gerald S. Davis – Davies, Gerald S. (Gerald Stanley), 1845–1927 26 27 31
  21. ^ In Ludlow in Shropshire the parishioners complied with the orders to remove the rood and other images in 1547, and in same year spent money on making up the canopy to be carried over the Blessed Sacrament on the feast of Corpus Christi. (Eamon Duffy, The Stripping of the Altars, p. 481, Yale University Press, 1992).
  22. ^ Keith Miles, "Portrait of Mary Tudor," The Tablet 12 September, 2009, 20
  23. ^ Diarmard MacCulloch Thomas Cranmer: A Life (London: Yale University Press, 1996), 538–41 ISBN 0-300-06688-0
  24. ^ Diarmaid MacCulloch, The Reformation, A History (New York: Viking, 2003), 272–7.
  25. ^ "Mary's Protestant Martyrs and Elizabeth's Catholic Traitors in the Age of Catholic Emancipation", John E. Drabble / Church History, Vol. 51, No. 2 (Jun., 1982), pp. 172–185.
  26. ^ (Russell, Conrad, The Oxford Illustrated History of Tudor and Stuart Britain, p. 281, Oxford University Press, 1996)
  27. ^ Darrell Turner "Christian against Christian in 16th century England" National Catholic Reporter 16 September, 2005, 13
  28. ^ Jonas Barish, ed., Ben Jonson (Englewood Clifts: Prentice-Hall, 1963), 175.
  29. ^ John Morrish writing on BBC production, "Baroque! From St. Peter's to St. Paul's" in Tablet 7 March, 2009, 29.
  30. ^ Kevin Phillips The Cousins' Wars (New York: Basic Books, 1999, 52–3. Phillips says this: "Religious historians beg off from stating firm numbers for either camp. If Puritans probably represented 10–20 percent of the national population, most of them still worshiping within the Church of England, Catholics were much harder to count. Open 'recusants' – Catholics who paid fines to avoid attending the Church of England – numbered sixty thousand in 1640. Many more, however, reluctantly attended services on Sunday with scowls or for as short a time as possible. The more identifiable of these were called 'Church Papists'; the less important, ordinary grumblers who merely talked of preferring the older ceremonies were uncountable. In the north and west, at least half the population outside the towns were Catholic to some degree. By this broad definition, Catholics would have numbered 10–15 percent of the total English population. Practicing Roman Catholics, however, could not have been more than 2–3 percent. Catholicism survived most strongly among the nobility, of whom 15–20 percent clung to the old faith, including many leading magnates in an arc from Cumberland, Westmoreland, and Lancashire south to Derby, Worchestershire, and Hereforshire. However, even solidly Protestant East Anglian counties like Suffolk and Essex each had three, four, or a half-dozen aristocratic families holding to the religion of their forebears. This is perhaps one reason why the populace took Catholic 'plots' so seriously: What they called popery was especially visible among the powerful and influential."
  31. ^ Also see: John Morrill's The Nature of the English Revolution (1993); Conrad Russell's The Causes of the English Civil War (1990); and Barry Coward's The Stuart Age 1994).
  32. ^ Ackroyd, 185.
  33. ^ Works of John Dryden at Project Gutenberg
  34. ^ Alan Taylor, American Colonies (New York: Viking, 2001), 278.
  35. ^ Historian Diarmaid MacCulloch says this: "His [James II] replacement on the throne in 1688 by his Dutch son-in-law Willem of Orange was virtually bloodless because the whole English establishment [including the Church of England's Seven Bishops ] stood by and let it happen, earning the event the name of the Glorious Revolution. This happy title is a disguise for the fact that Willem was (so far) the last foreign ruler to lead a successful military invasion of England, and the English did nothing to stop it." Diarmaid MacCulloch, The Reformation (New York: Viking, 2004), 514.
  36. ^ Also: Lisa Jardine, Going Dutch: how England plundered Holland's glory (New York: Harpers Perennial, 2009). Her point: the "Glorious Revolution" amounted to a Dutch military takeover with English collaboration.
  37. ^ Christopher Howse "Christopher Howse's Presswatch" The Tablet 10 May 2008.
  38. ^ Richard Alleyne and Harry de Quetteville "Act repeal could make Franz Herzog von Bayern new King of England and Scotland" Telegraph 7 April 2008.
  39. ^ John Carroll
  40. ^ Taylor, 429–433.
  41. ^ Ned C. Landsman, "The Provinces and the Empire: Scotland, the American Colonies and the Development of British Provincial Identity," in Lawrence Stone, ed., An Inperial State at War: Britain from 1689 to 1815 (New York: Routledge, 1994), 258–87.
  42. ^ Elusive Empires: Constructing Colonialism in the Ohio Valley, 1673–1800 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997)
  43. ^ La Salle and His Legacy: Frenchmen and Indians in the Lower Mississippi Valley (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1982).
  44. ^ Gary Wills, "On Reading Pope's Homer New York Times Review (1 June 1997), 22
  45. ^ Christopher Martin A Glimpse of Heaven: Catholic Churches of England and Wales (London: English Heritage, 2007)
  46. ^ "An enigma wrapped in a cowl," The Tablet, 17/24 December, 2005, 8
  47. ^ Maria Fitzherbert
  48. ^ Richard Abbott, "Brighton's unofficial queen" The Tablet, 1 September 2007, 12–13.
  49. ^ Aidan Bellenger, "LEft foot forward," The Tablet, 10 October, 2009, 24. Also see: Gabriel Glickman, The English Catholic Community 1688–1745: politics, culture and ideology (London: Boydell and Brewer, 2009)
  50. ^ Steve Pincus, 1688: The First Modern Revolution (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009), 432-434. ISBN 0300115474
  51. ^ Michael Wheeler, The Old Enemies: Catholic and Protestant in nineteenth-century English Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007)
  52. ^ Grace Donovan "An American Catholic in Victorian England: Louisa, Duchess of Leeds, and the Carroll Family Benefice," Maryland Historical Magazine Vol. 84, No. 3, Fall, 1898, 223–234.
  53. ^ Wellington to Hervey, 3 July 1817, Leeds papers, Yorkshire Archaeological Society.
  54. ^ Charles Carroll to Mary Caton, 28 January 1789; to Louisa, 19 September 1803, Carroll Microfilm.
  55. ^ John Carroll to Charles Carroll, 15 July 1800, Caroll papers, Ms. 216, MD Historical Society.
  56. ^ Donovan, 226
  57. ^ Abigail Frymann "Emancipator and Sons," Tablet 24 March, 2007, 6–7
  58. ^ Adrian Turner, "Taking up arms," The Tablet, 9 September 1989, 1027
  59. ^ Isabel de Bertodano "Bill demands end to anti-Catholic laws," The Tablet, 24 February 2007, 36
  60. ^ Patricia Lefevere "The faith of Tony Blair" The Catholic Reporter 6 March 2009, 11
  61. ^ Catherine Pepinster, "Britain's Top 100 Lay Catholics," The Tablet, 18 March 2006, 25–32.
  62. ^ John Jolliffe, ed., English Catholic Heroes London: Gracewing Publishing, 2008 ISBN 0852446047
  63. ^ "Red-capet Catholic" The Tablet 28 February, 2009, 18
  64. ^ Ut unum sint," The Tablet 6 May, 2006, 18
  65. ^ Thomas Norton, "When is a martyr a traitor?" The Tablet 25 October, 2008, 16–17.
  66. ^ "Just good friends," The Tablet, 28 February, 2009, 18.
  67. ^ The Polish Catholic Mission in England and Wales[1], 2005
  68. ^ Polish Bishops may loosen grip on British mission churchesThe Tablet, 26 January 2008
  69. ^ Polish anger mounts over cardinal's criticismThe Tablet, 22/29 December 2007
  70. ^ Britain's Polish immigrants 'are abandoning faith'Catholic Herald, 31 December 2007
  71. ^ The Ground of Justice: The report of a pastoral research enquiry into the needs of migrants in London's Catholic community. Commissioned by the Diocese of Westminster, the Archdiocese of Southwark and the Diocese of Brentwood Von Hügel Institute, St Edmund's College, University of Cambridge, 2007
  72. ^ For a good general study in this area, see Nicholas Schofield and Gerard Skinner, The English Cardinals (London: Family Publications, 2007)
  73. ^ Michael Walsh Westminster Cardinals London: Burns and Oates, 2009 ISBN 0860124592
  74. ^ Elena Curti and Christopher Lamb, "Cathedral countdown to installation," The Tablet, 16 May, 2009, 39.


  • Peter Ackroyd Albion: The origins of the English Imagination (New York: Anchor Random, 2002) ISBN 0-385-49773-3
  • Virginia Blanton Signs of Devotion: The Cult of St. AEthelthryth in Medieval England, 695–1615 (University Park: Penn State University, 2007) ISBN 0271029846
  • Michael Burleigh Sacred Causes (New York: HarperCollins, 2007) ISBN 978-0-06-058095-7
  • Thomas Clancy, S.J., English Catholic Books, 1641–1700 (Cambridge: Scolar Press, 1996) ISBN 1-85928-329-2
  • Thomas Clancy, S.J., English Catholic Books, 1701–1800 (Cambridge: Scolar Press, 1996) ISBN 1 85928-148-6
  • Eamon Duffy The Voices of Morebath (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001) ISBN 0300098251
  • Eamon Duffy Marking the Hours: English People and their Prayers 1240–1570 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007) ISBN 0300117140
  • Eamon Duffy Fires of Faith: Catholic England under Mary Tudor (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009) Excellent for background and policies of Cardinal Pole. ISBN 0300152167
  • Mark Turnham Elvins, Old Catholic England (London: Catholic Truth Society, 1978)
  • Antonia Fraser Mary Queen of Scots (New York: Delta Random, 1993) ISBN 978-0385311298
  • Howard Esksine-Hill Alexander Pope: World and Word (Oxford: Oxford University Press for the British Academy, 1998) ISBN 0197261701
  • Stephen Greenblatt Will in the World (New York: W.W.Norton, 2004) ISBN 0-393-05057-2
  • John Guy A Daughter's Love: Thomas and Margaret More (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009) 0618499156
  • Clare Haynes Pictures and Popery: Art and Religion in England, 1660–1760 (Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate, 2006) ISBN 0754655067
  • Robert Hutchinson House of Treason: the Rise and Fall of the Tudor Dynasty (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 2009) ISBN 0297845640
  • Emilia Jamroziak and Janet Burton, eds. Religious and Laity in Western Europe, 1000–1400 (Europa Scra 2.Turnhout: Brepols, 2006)
  • Julie Kerr Monastic Hospitality: Benedictines in England, c.1070-c.1250, Studies in the history of Medieval Religion 32. (Woodbridge, U.K.: Boydell,, 2007) ISBN 1847251617
  • K.J.Kesselring The Northern Rebellion of 1569: Faith, Politics, and Protest in Elizabethan England (London: Palgrave MacMillan, 2007) ISBN 978-0230553194
  • Peter Marshall Religious Identities in Henry VIII's England (London: Ashgate, 2006) ISBN 0-7546-5390-0
  • Peter Marshall and Alex Ryrie, Eds The Beginnings of English Protestantism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002) ISBN 978-0521802741
  • Goeffrey Moorhouse The Pilgrimage of Grace: the Rebellion that Shook Henry VIII's Throne (London: Weidenfeld and Moorhouse, 2003) ISBN 978-1842126660
  • Hazel Pierce Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury 1473–1541: Loyalty, Lineage and Leadership (University of Wales Press, 2009) ISBN 0708321895
  • Linda Porter The First Queen of England: The Myth of "Bloody Mary" (New York: St. Martin Press, 2008) ISBN 0312368372
  • Michael C. Questier Catholicism and Community in Early Modern England: Politics, Aristocratic Patronage and Religion, c.1550–1640 Cambridge Studies in Early Modern British History (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006). This re-evaluates post-Reformation Catholicism through windows of the wider Catholic community in England and through aristocratic patronage. ISBN 0521068800
  • Karen Stober Late Medieval Monasteries and their Patrons: England and Wales, c.1300–1540 Studies in the History of Medieval Religion. (Woodbridge, U.K.: Boydell, 2007) ISBN 1843832843
  • Charles E. Ward The Life of John Dryden (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1961) B00IUBM07U
  • James Anderson Winn John Dryden and His World (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987) ISBN 9780300029949

External links


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