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Sunday, 14 June 2015

The Great Houses-The Great Families

I rediscovered two cool books I have had for a long time and want to share some of the insights with you.

The first is a 1995 publication of  The Catholics and Their Homes, by Leanda de Lisle and Peter Stanford. My mother gave this to me for Christmas after I came back from England the first time i 1995. The book reveals the great recusant houses of England during the persecutions.

The houses covered are, and under these titles:

The Sixteenth Century: reformation, rebellion and recusancy
Warblington Castle, Hampshire
Hendred House, Berkshire
Stonor Park, Oxfordshire
Oxburgh Hall, Norfolk
Broughton Hall, Yorkshire
Norbury Manor, Derbyshire
Baddesley Clinton,Warwickshire
Hoghton Tower, Lancashire

The Seventeenth Century: plots, penalties and persecution
Mapledurham House, Berkshire
Coughton Court, Warwickshire
Wardour Castle, Wiltshire
Boscobel House, Shropshire

The Eighteenth Century: out of the shadows
Wardley Hall, Greater Manchester
Traquair House, Peebleshire
Ince Blundell Hall, Merseyshire
Ingatestone Hall, Essex
Stonyhurst, Lancashire

The Nineteenth Century : emancipation and the reconversion of England?
Grace Dieu Manor, Leicestershire
Mount Stuart, Isle of Bute
Tichbourne House, Hampshire

Over the next few days, I shall share some details of some of the families and houses. These are the great houses of strong, loyal to Rome in very way, Catholics.

Years ago, STS' dad knew one descendant from one of these houses, I worked with one descendant of another and I knew quite well a third descendant.

These families were, and a few still are, stalwart Catholics, with martyrs in their families. The heads of the families, either male or female, stood with the Papal authority and did not become Protestant, except some families, like the one from Coughton Court, site of the planning of the Gun Powder Plot, did have some members veer off into heresy and split the family, some even going to the States.

The common denominator of virtues in these families were courage, steadfastness to Rome, liturgical correctness, and love of the priesthood.

Some had boys who grew up to become priests, even young men who witnessed persecution.

I am wondering whether there are any families of this stature in England or America who will keep the Vatican banner flying from the turrets when the persecution comes?

I am afraid too many great houses, wealthy people, as well as members of the middle class and poor, will "cave" as the young ones say.

We cannot cave....but where are the families who will hide priests, raise boys up to the recusant priesthood, have secret Masses? Are there any such families left? And, if not, why not?

The laity kept the Faith alive before....but is the Laity strong enough now to do so? Are there any wealthy, orthodox families, or have they all capitulated to compromise and heresies?

to be continued...on Tuesday....