On 18 November 1569, a thousand and a half horsemen gathered in the market place in Ripon, under the Standard of (almost certainly) the Arms of Christ: the Five Wounds of our Redeemer. It had been embroidered by a daughter of 'Old Norton', the Sheriff of Yorkshire, the menfolk of whose family were prominent in events which preceded and followed.
One of those present had been complicit in plots to rescue the Queen's Majesty of Scotland, who was imprisoned in nearby Bolton Castle.
The insurgents marched off and took Barnard Castle, and a little later the Old Religion was magnificently restored in Durham Cathedral. But it all ended in tears; Bloody Bess issued orders to "make the examples great in Ripon and Tadcaster", and two Nortons were martyred at Tyburn.
Someone who got off comparatively lightly was Sir Thomas Blackburn, chantry priest at Ripon Minster, records of whom span the period 1540-1570, making him a sort of parallel figure to Duffy's Parson Trickay. He was among those who, at Elizabeth Tudor's accession, carefully stored away in a vault some 49 Catholic liturgical books. He also, together with four other of the Minster's Vicars, hid altar stones and secreted underground a number of English alabaster tablets (including the Resurrection and the Coronation of our Lady) which must have been elements in the reredoses of altars.
Before the Rising, he had been in trouble for failing to 'take down' the stone Altars, and admitted to performing Catholic Sacramentals, such as Churchings. He strenuously denied removing objects of idolatry from the Church: his protestations were presumably made with a good conscience, since he had not removed them but carefully buried them! After the Rising, in 1570, he was found guilty of offering the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass; and other Catholic liturgical activity. He was fined ten marks (£6 13s 4d) and ordered to do public penance in a white sheet. I wonder how a fine of ten marks would correspond, in real terms, to the fines available to the current regime for those pulicly offering Mass.
Trickay in Devon, Tregear in Cornwall, Blackburn in Yorkshire ... and how many hundreds others ... clerics and laics ... the good men who were not among the martyrs. They just did their best and kept their fingers crossed and hoped for better times. They are a special category who should surely not be forgotten (especially in the Ordinariates).
As S John Henry put it: "It took a long time to do [the Reformation] thoroughly; much time, much thought, much labour, much expense; but at last it was done. ... What a martyrdom to live in it and see the fair form of Truth, moral and material, hacked piecemeal, and every limb and organ carried off, and burned in the fire, or cast into the deep! But at last the work was done. Truth was disposed of and shovelled away ..."