Catholic Recusancy


Elizabeth’s excommunication, by Pope Pius V in 1570, further polarised her subjects.


His Bull, Regnans in Excelsis, absolved Catholics of their allegiance to the Queen, necessitating once again a new and political choice between loyalty to the Crown and loyalty to the Pope.

The Gunpowder Plot conspirators who attempted to blow up Parliament in 1605


Catholics showed much courage in living out their faith. Seminaries such as Douai in France and the Venerable English College in Rome trained priests for clandestine service in England. Those caught were tortured and executed. Despite periodic outbursts of persecution, there was a good deal of co-existence and Catholicism remained strong, notably in some great aristocratic houses.

A priest’s hole:  Harvington Hall, Worcestershire


    Stonor Park, Oxfordshire