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Saturday, 1 March 2014

Nuns in Persecution Part Two

I have been researching the number of women who left England in order to become nuns on the continent, owing to the persecution of the Catholic Church in Great Britain.

Between 1600 and 1800, at least 4,000 women left England to be nuns in France and Belgium and Flanders, mostly. What was England's loss was France's gain. I am trying to trace some of these nuns.

As seen in another post, the More Family produced several nuns.

Two other women from a famous family also became nuns on the continent.

Here is a short article from the blog Idle Speculations.

Throckmorton Nuns

Nicolas de Largillierre French, 1656 - 1746
Elizabeth Throckmorton, 1729
oil on canvas
Overall: 81.5 x 65.7 cm (32 1/16 x 25 7/8 in.) framed: 115.6 x 89.5 cm (45 1/2 x 35 1/4 in.)
The National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

Nicolas de Largillière (1656 - 1746)
Portrait of Anne Throckmorton as a Nun 1729
Oil on canvas 80 x 63.5cm
Coughton Court, Alchester

The Coughton estate in Warwickshire has been in the Throckmorton family since 1409

The Throckmortons and Coughton Court have since the Reformation been notable in their deep and continuous adherence to the Catholic faith, in spite of the costs.

The above two paintings were part of a group of three portraits of English Augustinian nuns from the Paris convent painted by de Largillière which once hung together at Coughton Court.

Elizabeth Throckmorton was the daughter of Sir Robert Throckmorton of Coughton Court.

She joined the convent where her Aunt was a member as a schoolgirl aged 14. In 1714 she took her vows with her sister Mary. Although not always in good health, Elizabeth Throckmorton was twice elected Abbess and her death was recorded as a great loss to the community. Her interest in reading and study is emphasised by the book in her hand. She died in 1760.

Anne Throckmorton (1664 - 1734) was Abbess of the Augustinian Convents of 'Filles Anglaises' in Paris from 1720 to 1728. She was the daughter of Sir Francis Throckmorton, 2nd Baron and sister of the 3rd Baronet.

See also