Catholic country manors and hiding pesky priests...

by David Swatton June. 26, 2019 461 views

Boscobel House in Staffordshire was owned by a Catholic family whose religion was suppressed in England after the excesses of Mary Tudor (reigned 1553-58) and her penchant for burning Protestants. Under Elizabeth I (reigned 1558-1603) the crackdown was reinforced after Pope Pius V, in his 1570 papal bull "Regnans in Excelsis", excommunicated the Protestant Elizabeth and encouraged all faithful Catholics to do all they could to depose her.

Sanction of assassination of the Queen by the pope after the execution of Mary Queen of Scots (1587) and the failure of the Spanish Armada (1588) accelerated the Catholic persecution in England.

Jesuit priests, deemed seditious, were hunted down as traitors.

Rich families who adhered to the Catholic faith were forced to perform their ceremonies in secret and built "priest holes" to hide priests in the event of raids by the authorities.

Boscobel House has two such priest holes, one below a cupboard in a bedroom and the other under the top of a staircase leading up to the attic room (shown in the final pic here).

In the middle 17th century it was this hiding place that was also used by the fugitive Charles II after the battle of Worcester.

The first priest hole is under the floor of the cupboard to the right in this pic.

The first priest hole is under the floor of the cupboard to the right in this pic.

The second priest hole is built under stairs at the top of the house.

The second priest hole is built under stairs at the top of the house.

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Russell Smith 2 years, 3 months ago

Rather interesting thank you for teaching me something new. I do rather love the images and that style house.

2 years, 3 months ago Edited
Marilyn Grimble 2 years, 3 months ago

Fascinating... great for hide and seek.
Perhaps we could hold up Boris!

2 years, 3 months ago Edited
Jay Boggess 2 years, 3 months ago

Nice work! 
It's so crazy what people do, throughout history, in the name of God.......sigh.....
It must be the devil's favorite entertainment............

2 years, 3 months ago Edited
Björn Roose 2 years, 3 months ago

Interesting story, David.

2 years, 3 months ago Edited
David Swatton Replied to Björn Roose 2 years, 3 months ago

Fascinating times but not ones I would really want to live in!

2 years, 3 months ago Edited
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