12 July 2023

Recusant Ickford

Ickford is only a couple of miles along the River Thame from the recusant centre at Waterperry. Ickford church has a number of monuments to the Phillips family, who seem to have oscillated between being Recusants and Church Papists. Fr Thomas Phillips, in the first part of the eighteenth century, joined the Society of Jesus; I feel he was a man after my own heart, because he developed a great love for teaching the Humanities. 

When his superiors refused his plea to be allowed to teach a course in that subject, in a fit of pique he left the Society and acquired the patronage of King Charles III. His Majesty secured him a canonry at Tongres and a dispensation to apply its income to his work in the English Mission. He ended his life chaplaining in great Catholic houses, such as that of the Earls of Shrewsbury; among his works was a lengthy biography of Cardinal Pole. 

Perhaps we could see him as a link between the dangerous recusancy of the seventeenth century and the first glimmerings of the Catholic Revival which was to happen in the nineteenth; and as a precursor of the learned gentleman clergy in the English Catholic Church ... Lingard ... Tierney ... Oliver ...


Albertus said...

My mother's mother was of Recusant Catholic ancestry, a descendant of the Fenwicks. My mother's father was Catholic from Yorkshire, but it might be that his own Catholic grandparents were either converts to Catholicism, or else descended from Crypto-Catholics who outwardly conformed to the CofE until Catholic emancipation. A complicated yet fascinating history.

Matthew F Kluk said...

Is the Pole biography available anywhere online Father?