Author Archives: Will Gray

Liverpool riots 1909


A disturbance arose in Liverpool on Sunday during the passage of a procession of Catholics of St. Joseph’s parish through a part of the city in which an Irish population predominates. [It was Liverpool Scotland ward, which returned the only Irish Nationalist M.P.outside the island of Ireland, between 1885 and 1929.]  A disturbance a fortnight ago, reports The Manchester Guardian, resulted in the arrest and conviction of two members of the Orange party on a charge of smashing windows in the house of an Irish family. The party is said to have threatened reprisals, and yesterday there was serious rioting, followed by thirty arrests.

During the week notice was issued calling upon Orangemen to gather in force and prevent any “illegal procession “ taking place, the assumption being that the Catholics would carry in the procession the host, but this, it is said, was never intended. It is also asserted that a contingent of Orangemen arrived on Saturday night from Belfast. But whether this is true or not, it is certain that nearly an hour before the time fixed for the procession to start the Orangemen invaded the neighbourhood of St. Joseph’s Church in great force. Consequently, when the procession started, it was thought wise to confine it to the immediate neighbourhood of the church. The Orangemen seemed determined to prevent even this, and the two bodies came into collision. Bricks, bottles, and other missiles were soon flying, and the fight continued for a considerable time, in spite of the efforts of between 500 and 600 police, including a mounted contingent. Those arrested include both Catholics and Orangemen. A number of people were treated for cuts on the head and other injuries. The police assert that many Orangemen carried naked swords beneath their coats, which they brandished in a menacing manner when the two parties came into collision. During the whole evening the district remained in a ferment of excitement, although the police patrols prevented any further organised attacks. The prisoners will be brought up at the police-court this morning and charged with rioting.

Another message says that the police made charges upon the crowd, which would otherwise have got beyond bounds. Some took refuge in passages and backyards from the cover of which they pelted the police with stones. Several were struck and injured by other missiles. Meanwhile, quite a number of houses were being wrecked, and windows were smashed in a wholesale fashion. In one case a house was fired. Upwards of fifty arrests were made, many of the prisoners being injured. About a dozen policemen were also injured, and treated at hospitals.

For two or three days the rioting was followed by brawls and disturbances in the quarter affected. On Tuesday there was a conflict between the children of St. Polycarp’s Anglican Schools and of the Catholic Schools of St. Anthony’s. This caused a disturbance between their respective mothers. Uneasiness among the mothers increased during the afternoon, and they began to apply at the schools for the release of the little ones to get them home in safety. In many cases excitement outran discretion, and mothers forced an entry into the schools and dragged out the children by force. The result of this was that some fifty schools in the Scotland-road district were promptly closed by the Education Committee.

The above text was found on p.39,26th June 1909, in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at .



A couple of weddings in 1900


The marriage of Mr. Gervase Scrope, youngest son of the late Mr. Scrope, of Danby [ Simon Thomas Scrope (1822-1896) was Philip O’Bryen’s god-father ]  and Miss Juanita O’Sullivan, only daughter of the late Mr. John O’Sullivan and Señora Francisca Lozano O’Sullivan, of Saltillo, Mexico, was solemnised at St. James’s Church, Spanish-place, at eleven o’clock on Wednesday.[24th October] The ceremony was performed by the Right Rev. Bishop Brindle, assisted by the Rev. Joseph Browne, S.J., the Rector of Stonyhurst, and the Hon. and Rev. Basil Feilding. The church was decorated with ferns, palms, and Bermuda lilies. During the nuptial Mass Gounod’s Ave Maria, and Mendelssohn’s ” Coronation March,” were rendered. Bishop Brindle afterwards gave a short address.

The bride’s wedding dress was ivory satin duchesse, trimmed with flounces of Brussels lace and wreaths of orange blossom, and Brussels lace veil, surmounted by a pearl and diamond tiara, the gift of the bridegroom. She wore a pearl and diamond necklace, the gift of her uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. Purcell, and a pearl and diamond bracelet, the gift of her cousins, the Misses Purcell. She was attended by six bridesmaids : Miss Kathleen Orde-Powlett, Lady Agnes Noel, Miss Fitzherbert-Brockholes, Miss Mabel Lawson, Miss Helena Purcell, and Miss Anita Purcell. the bridesmaids’ dresses were cream satin skirts, lace boleros, with front of cream crepe de chine, sashes of turquoise blue crepe de chine, black velvet picture hats lined with white chiffon, and trimmed with black ostrich feathers and turquoise blue panne. They wore pearl and turquoise butterfly brooches, the gift of the bridegroom, and carried bouquets of white lilies tied with turquoise blue ribbons. Mr. Charles Vaughan acted as best man. A reception was held at the Coburg Hotel after the wedding. Later in the day the bride and bridegroom left for Danby Hall, where the honeymoon will be spent. The bride travelled in a dress of pale blue cloth embroidered in gold, and trimmed with bands of chincilla, toque of grey velvet trimmed with grey ostrich feathers and blue panne, and a chincilla cape.

The following accepted invitations to be present : Mr. and Mrs. Purcell, the Misses Purcell, Mr. James Purcell, Mr. Scrope of Danby, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Scrope, Mr. Geoffrey Scrope, Mr. Stephen Scrope, Mr. and the Misses Scrope, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Lord, Madame de Laski, Mr. and the Hon. Mrs. Maxwell Lyte, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Radcliffe and Miss Radcliffe, Mr. Philip Chesney Yorke, Mr. Andrew Berkeley, Mr. Dwyer, the Hon. Mr. and Mrs. Henry Orde-Pawlett and the Misses Orde-Pawlett, Mrs. Holmes, Miss Charlton, Sir John, Lady, and Miss Lawson of Brough, Mr. Charles Vaughan, Mrs. Duff Baker, Dowager Countess of Denbigh, Major, Mrs., and Miss Berkeley, the Rev. Eric W. Leslie, S.J., the Rev. Joseph Browne, S.J. Mrs. and Miss Foster, Mr., Mrs., and the Misses Fitzherbert-Brockholes, Miss Weld of Leagram, the Earl and Countess of Denbigh, the Hon. Mrs. A. Fitzmaurice, the Right Rev. Bishop Brindle, the Hon. and Rev. Basil Feilding, Miss Stone, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Marshall, Mrs. Philip Gordon, Mr. Francis Gurdon, Mrs. Malony, Miss Lily and Miss Flora Weld, Miss O’Sullivan, Sir Walter and Lady Smythe of Acton Burnell, Miss Clifford, Mr. and Mrs. Francis Berkeley, the Hon. George Savile, Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Kelly, the Misses Blount, Count and Countess de Torre Diaz, the Misses Zulueta, Mr., Mrs., and Miss Colgrave, the Misses Macfarlane, Mr. de Laski, Mr. Clement Young, Lady Isabella Keane, Mrs. William Langdale, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Langdale, Mrs. and Miss Stanley Cary-Caddell, Lady Catherine and the Misses Berkeley, Mr., Mrs., and Miss Heaven, Mr. and Mrs. Edenborough, Mrs. Charles Riddell, Miss Teresa Riddell, the Earl and Countess of Gainsborough, the Ladies Agnes, Norah, and Clare Noel, Captain C. E. Wegg-Prosser, Mr. and Mrs. Harrison, the Hon. Marcia Maxwell, Mr. and Mrs. MacDonnell. Mr. and Mrs. William Malony, Mr. and Lady Agnes de Trafford, the Misses Leopold, William Malony, Mrs. Randolph, the Hon. Everard Feilding, Mr. Leonard Lindsay, Mrs. Meynell, the Duc, Duchesse, and Mlles. de Boson, Mr. add Mrs. Vincent Acton, Mr. Gervase and Lady Winefride Cary-Elwes, Mrs. Bagnall, Mr. Maurice Berkeley, Mr. Wulstan Berkeley, Baron and Baroness Jacques de Gunzburg, Lady Mary Harris, Mr. and Mrs. Berkeley of Spetchley, Miss Pope, Mrs. Herman Lescher, Mr. and Miss Acton, Mr. Herbert Colegrave, Mr. Oswald Colegrave, Miss M’Cann Gordon, Major Fletcher Gordon, Mr. and Mrs. Snead Cox, Mrs. and the Misses Blount, Mr. Joseph Oates, Mrs. F. B. Stapleton Bretherton, Miss Lily Stourton, Miss Blundell, Mr. 0. Zauch Palmer, the Hon. Laura Lane-Fox.


The marriage of Mr. George Blount, eldest son of Mr. Alfred John Blount, and Miss Melesina Mackenzie, second daughter of the late Major A. C. Mackenzie, Royal Engineers, and of Mrs. Mackenzie, of 7, Ormond road, Richmond, was celebrated at the Oratory, Brompton, at 11 on the 18th inst. The bride and bridegroom received the Papal Blessing. The bridegroom was supported by his brother, Mr. Edward Blount, as best man. The bride was given away by her brother, Captain Mackenzie, Royal Engineers, and was attended by Miss Margaret Mackenzie, her sister, and Miss Ethel Blount, sister of the bridegroom as bridesmaids. The bride wore a dress of white duchesse satin and crêpe de chine, trimmed with Brussels lace, lent by her mother, and orange blossoms ; her court train was of crêpe de chine, lined with brocade. The bridesmaids wore black picture hats and white mousseline de soie dresses, and carried pink bouquets, which, with gold and turquoise brooches, were the gift of the bridegroom. The Very Rev. John Bennett, Provincial C.SS.R., uncle of the bridegroom, assisted by the Revv. Charles and Edgar Blount, S.J., uncles of the bridegroom, performed the ceremony. The Rev. Charles Blount said the Nuptial Mass, which was served by Masters Cecil and Francis Blount, brothers of the bridegroom. The wedding ceremony took place at the lady altar, which was decorated with flowers. Owing to mourning in the bride’s family, only relations were asked to the reception, which was held at 19, Cranley place, the residence of Mrs. Woodward, grandmother of the bride. Nevertheless many friends were present in the church.

The bride and bridegroom’s presents numerous, and included a half-hoop diamond ring, muff-chain, pearl earrings, &c., &c., from the bridegroom to the bride ; silver-fitted suitcase, &c., &c., from the bride to the bridegroom ; from Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Blount, chest of plate, dining-room furniture, cheque, and diamond and pearl pendant ; Mrs. A. C. Mackenzie cheque and silver tea set ; Mrs. Woodward, cheque ; Madame Melville, tea-pot and milk jug in Breton ware ; Miss Elphinstone, 4 bon-bon dishes in case; Mr. C. Fleming, silver and ivory bread-fork ; Sir Robert and Lady Egerton, silver cream-jug ; Lady Stephen, china; Mrs. Buckmaster and family, silver smelling salts; Mr. and Mrs. Palliser, silver patience case ; Mrs. Meynell, silver frame; Colonel and Mrs. Woodward, cheque ; Mr. and Mrs. George Lynch, case of silver and silver-gilt fruit spoons and sugar-sifter ; Miss Jennings jewel-case ; Miss Ethel Mackenzie, house linen ; Mrs. Henry Crofton silver Eau de Cologne bottle ; Lady Vavasour, picture of “The Last Supper “ in frame ; Mr. P. Lynch, silver salt-cellars ; Miss Griffin picture of Madonna in frame; Mrs. Macdonald, cheque ; Captain R. J. Mackenzie, cheque ; Mrs Mason, cushion ; Miss Angela and Mr. Cecil and Mr. Francis Blount, cut-glass and silver mounted scent-bottles, aneroid barometer ; Miss Dorchill, silver-mounted claret jug ; Mr. and Mrs. Boyd, antique silver mounted cut-glass bottles; Mrs. and Miss Bigges Miller, cut-glass vases; Mr. and Mrs. Schiller, entrée dishes ; Mrs. and Miss Whicher, Russian-leather purse ; Mr. Stephen Scrope, silver apostle tea-spoons ; the Misses Tegart, brass inkstand ; Mrs. Webber and Miss Tottenham, apostle spoons ; Miss Ethel and Mr. Edward Blount, silver bowl ; Colonel Charles Woodward, cheque ; the Misses Smith-Pigott, brass ink-stand and candlesticks ; Miss Ella Wood, umbrella ; Miss Ashford, silver-mounted leather purse ; Mr. and Mrs. Gordon, picture in frame; Dr. and Mrs. Ball, silver flower-bowl on stand ; Miss Polenghi, glass and silver vase ; Mr. and Mrs. S. H. Petre, silver candlesticks ; Mrs. Barton, silver-mounted blotter ; the clerks of Messrs. Blount, Lynch and Petre, case of table silver; Miss Margaret Mackenzie, diamond brooch, copy of Browning ; Mr. Patrick Lynch, silver coffee-pot ; Mrs. Wray, cheque ; Mrs. F. Woodward, dinner-set and dessert-set ; Mrs. Henry Lynch, frame; Mr. and Mrs. McCarthy and Miss Helena McCarthy, pictures in frame ; Mrs. Privet, pair of glass vases ; Colonel Wetherall, silver frame ; Mrs. Wetherall, silver cream jug ; Mr. and Mrs. Payne, sachet ; Colonel and the Hon.Mrs. Tredcroft, breakfast-service ; Miss McCarthy O’Leary, toast-rack ; Mrs. Daly, Irish lace fichu ; Mr. and Mrs. Reginald Hill, flower-bowl ; Mr. and Mrs. Eustace Lonergan, fan ; Mr. Reginald Colley, silver cigar-case ; Major and Mrs. Fletcher Gordon, rosewood revolving book-case; Mr. and Mrs. Eric Bruce, silver match-box ; Mr. Kenneth Mackenzie, silver and glass match-stand ; Messrs. F. and A. Mackenzie, silver and ivory paper-knife ; Major and Mrs. Crowe, silver dessert-knives and forks ; Mr. E. Kennedy, china statuettes ; Mrs. and Miss Hood, silver frame ; Mr. and Mrs. John Talbot, brass reading-lamp ; Sir Henry and the Hon. Lady Cunningham, silver lamp-candlesticks ; Mr. and Mrs. G. Wray, Missal bound in silver ; Miss Ada Keene, opal ; the Rev. J. W. Cunningham Foot and Mrs. Foot, topaz cross ; Dr. and Mrs. Gillespie, silver frame ; Mr. Kenneth Mackenzie, brass kettle ; Miss Margaret Broder, silver bowl ; Dr. and Mrs. Baker, breakfast-dish ; Mr. and Mrs. A. G. F. Francis, silver-mounted claret-jug; Mrs. H. Lescher, travelling-clock : Miss F. Woodward, silver-backed hair-brushes ; Messrs. F. and A. Mackenzie, silver-mounted manicure case; Redemptorist Convent (Clapham), hand-painted statue of the Holy Family ; the Misses Williams, china tea-set; Lady Annabel Kerr, table-linen; Mr. Charles and Mr. Edgar Payne, card-table ; Mrs. Carr, pair of Dresden candlesticks; Lieut. Foot, R.N., and Mrs. Foot, silver telegraph-form case.

The above text was found on p.28,27th October 1900 in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at .

Simon Scrope of Danby Hall

According to an O’Bryen family bible, Philip O’Bryen’s (1861 – 1913) god-father was ” Simon Scrope of Danby Hall, Yorkshire. ” It’s always been slightly surprising because there doesn’t seem to be any particular reason for John Roche O’Bryen and Simon Scope to have even met. There were a series of three  Simon Thomas Scropes between 1758 and 1896. This one, Simon Thomas Scrope (1822-1896) seems the most likely candidate. The following is his obituary from the Tablet

Danby Hall, Wensleydale


The funeral of Major Simon Thomas Scrope, J.P., of Danby Hall, Wensleydale took place at eight o’clock on Saturday morning last. The remains were interred in the family vault at Ulshaw Bridge [the Roman Catholic chapel of St. Simon and St. Jude, which dates from 1788], according to the wishes of the deceased in as private a manner as possible, Father Kirkham, the family chaplain, officiating. Nevertheless, besides the members of the family a large number of the gentry of the neighbourhood attended, amongst whom were Mr. C. E. Riddell, J.P. (Leyburn), Mr. H. Rouse, J.P. (Firby Hall, Bedale), Mr. Maxwell Rouse, Colonel Garrett (Crakehall), Mr. E. D. Swarbreck (Bedale) several of the tenants, and the servants at Danby Hall. Wreaths were sent. by Sir P.Radcliffe and family, Mr. F. and Mrs. Fawcett, Mr. and Mrs. C. E. Riddell, Mr. Robert and Lady Catherine Berkeley, Major C. H. Lord, Mrs. Adela Fitzmaurice, Mrs. Williams, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Berkeley Jun., Dr. Marsh, Lady Bolton, Sir Frederick and Lady Milbank, the A company (Wensleydale) 1st Volunteer Battalion Yorkshire Regiment, &c., and the servants at Danby Hall.

Major Scrope was in his 74th year at the time of his death. He was educated at Stonyhurst College. In 1855 he married a Miss Berkeley, of Spetchley, in Worcestershire, who survives him, together with five sons and five daughters. For some time after his marriage he resided in the vicinity of Malvern, but upon the death of his father he succeeded to the Scrope estates, and came to live at Danby Hall in 1872. Since that time he has lived the quiet life of a country gentleman, beloved and respected by everyone with whom he came in contact. He was an ardent sportsman, an excellent shot, a regular rider to hounds and later in life an enthusiastic fisherman. He was for many years an active member of the Yorkshire Fishery Board. In the early days of the Volunteer movement Mr. Scrope came prominently to the front, and was for some years captain of the Leyburn Rifles, while he was deservedly promoted to be a major of the 1st Volunteer Battalion Princess of Wales’ Own Yorkshire Regiment. When he retired from the regiment, about twenty years ago, he was permitted to retain the title of major and wear the uniform of the battalion for his services to the cause. He also filled the office of a Deputy-Lieutenant of the North Riding, while as a Justice of the Peace of the Hang division, until his health failed, he was regular in his attendance at Leyburn Sessions, and was greatly respected by his brother magistrates. In politics he was a convinced follower of Mr. Gladstone and an ardent Home Ruler. In 1892 he was nominated as Liberal candidate for the Richmond division, but a fortnight later was compelled to withdraw from the candidature owing to weakness of health. He was a kind master as may be judged from the fact that many of his servants have been in his service for over twenty years. His charity to the poor was unbounded, and no one was ever turned away empty from his door, while his charity to the poor of his district was dispensed lavishly though quietly. His family has been connected with Wensleydale since the days of William the Conqueror. His ancestors fought on Flodden Field, on the plains of France, and in the battles of the Border, while a descendant was in charge of Mary Queen of Scots when she escaped from Bolton Castle.

Deceased is succeeded by his eldest son, Mr. Conyers Scrope. The other sons are Messrs. Henry and Geoffrey Scrope—who with one sister are at present in New Zealand—Stephen and Gervase Scrope, who took part in Jameson’s raid, and whese account of that famous ride was published in a recent number of The Tablet. Major Scrope had been in failing health for over a twelvemonth, but the fact was unknown even to his own household that he had been for some months affected with a serious and even dangerous internal malady. When Dr. Teale of Leeds, was recently called in to give his opinion, he decided upon performing an operation. It took place on the 2nd inst., at the residence of the patient, affording much relief, but a second was deemed necessary on the following Wednesday. It was successful, and the question was whether the exhaustion consequent would bring on a fatal termination. About four hours after the operating surgeon, Dr. Teale, had left the house, syncope of the heart supervened, and in a few minutes the patient sank, dying apparently without any pain. His end was truly a peaceful one—he was firmly persuaded that he would not recover, and was completely reconciled to die. Seldom can so Catholic a death-bed be witnessed. His wife, four of his daughters, and three of his sons, were present at the death testifying by their uncontrollable grief how much they felt the loss of one who, beloved by all, was immeasurably more loved by them. The deceased had every possible spiritual consolation. He made a general confession to Father William Eyre, S.J., and died fortified with all the last rites of the Church, for he bad received the Viaticum, bad been anointed, and the last blessing had been given him by Father Kirkham, the family chaplain.

Among other blessings granted to this faithful servant of God may be mentioned that one of his sons, Mr. Gervase Scrope, who was in the thick of the fight in what is known as Jameson’s raid, came out of it without a scratch, and, by a remarkable Providence, was with the family circle during his father’s last illness. Still more remarkable, many will think, was the fact that so many of the family were gathered together at the home, to which they were all so attached that it was the centre of their affections, and that, being all grown up, they caused none of that anxiety to their dying parent which presses so heavily on those who leave behind them helpless children whose education and future career are unprovided for ; all, too, without exception, are devout Catholics. On Friday, 6th inst., the dirge was sung in the little church at Ulshaw Bridge, Bedale, where during his life the well known figure of the Major was to be seen devoutly worshipping, with unfailing punctuality. The burial took place on the following day. In the spirit of faith in which he performed every act Major Scrope was buried in the Benedictine Habit, by his own order. All felt how truly the petition made in the prayer recited at the conclusion of the service, that though dead to the world, he might live to God, had been verified in the person of the lamented deceased. R.I.P.

The above text was found on p.25,14th March 1896, in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at .

Great great Granny gets a picture.

Her Majesty the Queen of Montenegro has forwarded officially a signed photograph to Lady Roper Parkington, in recognition and appreciation of the services she, as Hon. Treasurer, has rendered to the Montenegrin Red Cross and Relief Fund.

The above text was found on p.29,4th August 1917 in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at .

Downside’s War Memorial – The Nave Of The Abbey Church. August 1925

Downside Abbey

This contains a brace of great, great uncles and aunts, a recently widowed great, great uncle, and a first cousin twice removed.


The dignity, the magnificence and the friendliness which mark great functions at Downside were present in more than their usual abundance last Saturday on the occasion of the solemn opening of Downside’s war memorial—the nave of the abbey church. The weather was perfect; the capacity of the place was tested to its utmost by a representative gathering of interested well-wishers; the hospitality of the monks was worthy of their best traditions; and the ceremonies had all the stateliness and symmetry peculiar to Downside. Even in its curtailed stages the abbey church lent itself well to great ceremonies; but on Saturday, and now nearly complete, the spectacle of the crowded building during High Mass was truly magnificent. The fine sanctuary with the two Cardinals and their assistants; the choir filled with the clergy of the diocese, specially invited; the monks and the choir; the body of the building filled with the school and the friends of Downside, made a vivid, wonderful picture. High Mass was sung by His Eminence the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Gasquet being present in the sanctuary. The separate processions of these dignitaries as they entered and left the abbey church, composed of Bishops and Abbots, the secular and regular clergy of the diocese and the monks of the community, winding their way through the aisles of the old and new building, were most impressive in their mixture of humility and medieval splendour. Cardinal Gasquet’s pro-cession, as a son of the house, was singularly picturesque and touching. The Mass was Christopher Tye’s Euge Bone; the proper of the Mass was plainchant. The deacon of the Mass was Dom Aidan Trafford; the sub-deacon Dom David Knowles; assistant priest, Dom Hugh Connolly. The two assistants at the throne, Dom Ethelbert Horne and Dom Lucius Graham; assistants to Cardinal Gasquet, Dom Odo Langdale, Dom Stephen Rawlinson. The master of ceremonies, Dom Charles Pontifex, assisted by Dom Paul Brookfield.


The Bishop of Clifton preached the sermon, his whole chapter being present capitulariter. A close friend of Downside, he knew many of the boys whose memories were that day being perpetuated; and his words, scholarly, sympathetic and paternal, met with the demands of the moment, for they stimulated as well as they soothed. In illustrating the fight of centuries between ” barbarism and the Creed of Christ “ he showed how Europe in the sixth century, through the savagery of Totila who loved war, and the saintliness of St. Benedict who loved peace, became divided into two main camps, and how ” after years of slumbering hostility the last culminating conflict between the modern representatives of those two camps came in our own day.” The Great War was, he said, ” the crowning struggle between the brood of Totila and, whether they knew it or not, the heirs of the centuries that had been moulded by Rome and St. Benedict . . . And so among the youth and manhood of England the sons of Downside, both as soldiers and chaplains, were well to the front when in Belgium our first small but gallant force bore the brunt of the enemy’s onslaught; and, when recruited and augmented, they entered upon that long weary and wasting war in the trenches. . . . And so they went down, cheerfully and gallantly, one hundred and nine of them, some of them mere boys. . . . In that day Deborah sung and said ‘ 0 ye of Israel that willingly offered your lives todanger, bless the Lord’; but this day (to-day) the cry of the Prophetess is taken up by the Foster-Mother of our own warriors, nor Mother of the fallen only but of them, too, who came out of the fiery ordeal unscathed. . . . She seems to say I sent you forth with mourning and weeping, but the Lord has brought you back to me with joy and gladness for ever. This soaring nave, these graceful aisles . . . will stand unto all time as a memorial to you, not an empty memorial . . . but a living home where Heaven and earth ever meet. Where soul can draw nigh to soul. . . . Your spirits will for ever haunt this holy place; the memory of your deeds, of your simplicity and gallantry, of your long-sustained patience, of your cheery comradeship, of your fidelity to God and country, will be for ever graven on the hearts of children yet to be mine, who will worship where you worshipped, nourishing the same holy thoughts and high inspirations and drinking large draughts out of the heart of Him over whom death bath no longer power.’ ‘ . . . Ending his eloquent and touching discourse with the hope that with religion in a more flourishing state, wars might entirely cease, he said, ” Thoughts and hopes and visions such as these must assuredly rise in the hearts and gather to the eyes of all of us whose lot it is to take some part in the solemn festivities of this memorable and happy day.”

Turning to the two Cardinals, the Bishop concluded his stirring and beautiful sermon with the words : ” My Lord Cardinal of Westminster, none but yourself could have lent so proper and becoming a lustre to this monastic celebration; for on your shoulders lies the Roman pallium, the emblem of jurisdiction worn by Augustine of Canterbury, and Dunstan of Glaston, and Elphege of Bath, and Lanfranc and Anselm of Bec, all of them monks of St. Benedict, whose example in upholding the faith of our forefathers you emulate so nobly. And without your presence, my Lord Cardinal of Santa Maria in Campitelli, Downside’s cup of joy would have been far from full to-day. Just twenty years ago, at the opening of this choir of your beloved Abbey, you told in touching words the story of the makers of Downside. Downside proclaims to-day with gratitude and with love that among the names of her makers, all great men and holy, last but by no means least, your own will be ever included.”


Sir Giles Gilbert Scott

” This holy place “ is the new building—seven bays of a spacious nave, designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott; and they form a noble building which, bridging the ornate handsome transept, carries on and completes in harmonious fashion the chaste severity of the choir. The total length of the nave is, at present without the future three bays, 112 feet, the portion just added is too feet, and the total length of the church when finished will be 362 feet. The width of the nave, with aisles, fifty-six feet. From floor to groin the height of the nave is seventy feet. The new nave is not only a noble and gracious structure from the artist’s point of view but it is a church inspiringly devotional. One of its many beauties is the fact that its acoustic properties are perfect. Small, light voices in the sanctuary can be heard at the great west door. This surely is the test of good building.

The music, arranged and conducted by Dom Thomas Symons (choirmaster), was admirable. The choir, its sweet precision augmented by the fervour of the whole school, gave a rendering of O felix Roma, which was a stirring addition to the programme. The organ was played with skill by Dom Gregory Murray, the voluntaries being chosen with taste and executed in felicitous style.


Mass over, the Abbot of Downside, Dom Leander Ramsay, the monks and the school, who together with the guests, clerical and lay, numbered about seven hundred (guest-master Dom Christopher Batley), sat down to luncheon in a marquee erected on the cricket field. A Royal Artillery Band played during the meal and in the afternoon. There were five short speeches : by the Cardinal Archbishop, Cardinal Gasquet, the Bishop of Clifton, the Abbot of Downside, and Sir Giles Gilbert Scott..


Proposing the health of the guests, with which he coupled the names of Their Eminences Cardinals Bourne and Gasquet, the Abbot of Downside spoke of the completion of the nave of the church as not only an addition to that edifice itself but a multi-plication, as the beauties of the earlier parts of the building had now been greatly enhanced. Years ago, said the Abbot, during the agonies of war, that form of a memorial to the old boys of Downside School had been discussed by the school authorities, and the idea met with ready acceptance. Thus their new nave would stand as a memorial of the Old Boys of Downside, and also as an external memorial of the Christian ideals for which they gave their lives, besides being a further work accomplished for the glory of God. He trusted that the boys who in the future came to worship in that portion of the church which was built under such conditions would receive influences which would have an effect upon their whole lives.

Welcoming the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, the Abbot said : ” We thank him for his presence to-day ; and also for singing solemn Mass. We thank him also for the personal friendship he has always shown to Downside, and also because he comes to us as the representative of the hierarchy of England. By his presence Cardinal Bourne has shown his continued interest in the work which this community is endeavouring to do in the far west and has for some time been trying to accomplish to further the work of the Church of God in this country.” Abbot Ramsay spoke also of the pleasure given them that day by , the presence of Cardinal Gasquet, who really looked on Downside, the speaker believed, as his home. It was to the Cardinal that Downside owed the origin, fifty years ago, of the scheme for building its abbey church ; the inception of that difficult task was due to His Eminence’s initiative and courage. At that time their financial resources were more slender than they had since become ; but Cardinal Gasquet faced the enterprise, and their great abbey church might virtually be looked upon as his memorial. Continuing, the Abbot thanked the Bishop of Clifton for his sermon. He believed, he said, that his lordship looked upon Downside as his second home. Members of that community were always glad when the Bishop came amongst them, and he really was, in a true sense, ” one of the family.” The Bishop of Clifton had identified himself in a wonderful way with the fortunes of their monastic house. Next the Abbot welcomed at that celebration many Old Boys, some of whom he knew had submitted to the same hazards and dangers of war as had the fallen whom they commemorated that day. They had done their duty in like manner ; and had earned the gratitude of their fellow-countrymen. The Abbot next welcomed, the parents of the Old Boys whose memory they commemorated ; and finally extended a welcome to Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, the architect of the new nave. He congratulated Sir Gilbert on the manner in which he had accomplished his task. He had added to the work of two previous schemes of construction which already existed, and had succeeded in expressing his own individuality, without destroying the character of the earlier work.


Cardinal Bourne

Replying to the toast, Cardinal Bourne spoke of that day as an occasion for devout thankfulness for what had been accomplished. His Eminence complimented Cardinal Gasquet upon the unhesitating boldness with which he had embarked on the scheme for building the abbey church fifty years ago. For the Catholics of this country, he said, no dreams could be too great, no schemes too large, no enterprise too far-reaching, it they were to do the work which God had committed to their hands. They owed a debt of gratitude to all who had been associated with this work. The Cardinal recalled that one of his previous visits to Downside was some thirteen years ago, when the new school buildings were opened. He paid another visit some four years ago, when the relics of their Irish Catholic martyr, Blessed Oliver Plunket, whose sufferings formed a bond of association between the Irish and the English Catholics, were placed in their present shrine. Through the prayers of that martyr, no doubt great spiritual blessings had already rested upon that foundation. Many of their countrymen who did not yet accept the authority of the Holy See must be impressed by the evidence all over the country of what their communion could accomplish in England.


Cardinal Gasquet

Cardinal Gasquet, who followed, told a story of his Downside days to illustrate his point, subsequently made, that for years it has been a mistake on the part of many Catholics to embark upon building schemes which turned out ultimately to be far too small. When, said His Eminence, he first urged, he desirability of building the church at Downside the President-General was appealed to to stop ” this lunacy.” The Cardinal, in his speech, traced the successive steps in the building of Downside Abbey. First came the transepts and the choir, then the lady chapel and the other beautiful chapels, and finally their nave. All that now remained was to complete two or three bays and the tower. Cardinal Gasquet announced that a holiday would be granted to the boys next term in commemoration of this celebration, and concluded by proposing the health of the architect.

Sir Gilbert Scott briefly replied.

The Bishop of Clifton, in a short and happy speech, expressed his thanks for the many kindly references made to himself by various speakers that day. The Catholics of England, said his lordship, had a very good leader in Cardinal Bourne, who knew the mind of the Church and always let the public have it. They were greatly indebted to the presence of His Eminence.


On Sunday the Mass, sung by the Bishop of Clifton, was for the Old Gregorians who returned from the war. The great requiem for the fallen, on Monday, a most impressive Mass, was sung by Bishop Keatinge, Army Bishop; all the ministers on the altar on this occasion being ex-chaplains; Cardinal Gasquet present on the throne; the O.T.C. in the body of the church in full uniform. This stately ceremony rivalled the function of Saturday, some thinking the austere beauty of the latter outshone the magnificence of the former; but each in its lofty fashion suited the occasion.

After the Mass Sir Hugh Clifford, G.C.M.G., in the presence of the O.T.C., the monks and friends, unveiled the memorial tablets at the west door, on which are recorded the names of the dead : and with that solemnity the ceremonies at Downside ended.


The prelates and clergy present included : His Eminence Cardinal Bourne, Archbishop of Westminster, His Eminence Cardinal Gasquet, the Bishop of Clifton, the Archbishop of Cardiff the Bishop of Lancaster, Bishop Butt, Bishop Vaughan, Bishop Keatinge, the Abbot of Buckfast, the Abbot of Belmont, the titular Abbot of Glastonbury, Mgr. Provost Russell ; Canons Lee, Chard, Davey, Lyons, Sugden, Murphy, O’Riordan ; Mgr Barnes, Mgr. Watson, Mgr. Pyke, Mgr. Coote ; Father Bede Jarrett, Provincial O.P. ; Father Prior of Wincanton, O.D.C. Father Daniel, O.M.C. ; Father Guardian, O.F.M., of Clevedon Father Meyer, S. J. ; Dora Philip Langdon, ; Fathers Bilsborrow, Carroll, Byrne, Jackson, Long, Groomes, Hackett, Grorod, Hudson, Morvin, O’Sullivan, Valluet, Iles, Hayes, Ellis, Cashman, and O’Connell.

The laity present were : Mr. and Mrs. Allan, Mr. and Mrs. Allen, Mr. and Mrs. Armour, Mrs. Awdry, Mr. and Mrs. Baker, Mr. E. J. Bellord, Mrs. Bethell, Count and Countess Blucher, Mr. and Mrs. Bradley Dyne, Mrs. Byrne, Mr. and Mrs. Bisgood, Mrs. Callender, Mrs. FitzGerald, Mrs. Cawston, Mrs. Cocquerel, Mr. and Mrs. Coke, Mrs. Collingridge, Mrs. and Miss Coppinger, Capt. and Mrs. Crichton-Stuart, Mrs. Cryan, Mrs. and Miss Chichester, Mrs. Maidlow-Davis, Mr. and Mrs. de Cosson, Mr. and Mrs. Devas, Major and Mrs. Dorehill, Mr. Julian Duggan, Col. and Mrs. Ellis, Mrs. W. A. Fitzgerald, Mrs. Finnigan, Mr. Justice and Mrs. Foster, Mrs. and Miss Gleadell, Sir Charles and Lady Gordon-Watson, Mr., Mrs. and Miss Green-Armytage, Mrs. Greenwood, Mrs. Hayward, Mr. and Mrs. Hernu, Mrs. Leary, Mrs. Heydon, Mrs. Sherborne, Mrs. and Miss Inns, Mrs. Keenan, Dr. and Mrs. Kennedy, Mrs. Kestell, Mrs. Lattey, Mr. and Mrs. A. Le Sueur, Mrs. Lethbridge, Mrs. Lewton-Brain, Mrs. Mackenzie, Mr. and Mrs. McCormack, Mrs. and Miss MacDermot, Col. and Mrs. Macmillan, Mrs. Marshall, Lady Ware, Mr. T. Mathew, Professor and Mrs. Maxwell-Lefroy, Mrs. May, Sir Thomas Molony, Mr. and Mrs. Morgan, Mrs. and Miss Morrison, Mrs. Murray, Mrs. O’Connor, Mr. and Mrs. Oldham, Major and Mrs. Pettit, Mr. and Mrs. Pettit, Mr. and Mrs. Pierson, Mrs. and Miss Poett, Mr. Powys-Lybbe, Mrs. Purdon, Mrs. Powers, Mrs. Radcliffe, Mr. Everard Radcliffe, Sir James and Lady Reynolds, Mr. and Mrs. Robertson, Lady Rose, Sir Mark and Miss Sheldon, Sir Dodington and Lady Sherston-Baker, Col. and Mrs. Sleeman, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Mr. and Mrs. Squire, Mr. and Mrs. Steel, Mr. Wolseley, The Misses Stonor, Mr. and Mrs. Stowell, Mr. E. Sumner, Mr. and Mrs. Taylor, Mrs. Thompson, Miss E. Eckersley, Mr. and Mrs. Thornely, The Baroness Van der Straten-Waillet, Mrs. Walford, Capt. and Mrs. Wegg-Prosser, Mr. Francis Weld, Dr. Ware, Capt. Joseph Warrington, Lt.-Col. Alfred V. Agius, Mr. and Mrs. J. J. Arathoon, Mr. and Mrs. C. J. Baker, Mr. G. Bellord, Mr. C. F. Blount, Mr. C. F. Bull, Mr. H. J. Bunbury, Mr. C. F. Bates, Mr. and Mrs. Gerard E. H. Butterfield, Mr. C. J. Byrne, Mr. D. N. Byrne, Mr. F. L. Byrne, Viscount and Viscountess Campden, Mr. H. C. Callaghan, The Hon. Charles Clifford, Mr. A. Cryan, Mr. J. Cuming, Capt. D. W. Daly, Mr. R. D. S. Daly, Mr. Francis W. Denman, Capt. Hubert de Trafford, Mr. Rudolph de Trafford, Mr. P. H. de Bromhead, Mr. A. Divan, Mr. G. D. Dillon, Mr. A. J. Ellison, Mr. R. C. S. Ellison, Mr. H. O. Evennett, Mr. J. Ferrers, Mr. Roger Ford, Mr. T. E. Fox-Hawes, Mr. C. H. French, Mr. B. F. Giles, Mr. F. W. Grey, Capt. Hubert Hanley, Mr. G. E. Hecht, The Hon. Martyn Hemphill, Mr. Matthew Houghton, Capt. Noel Huth, Mr. B. Rawdon Jackson, The Rev. F. R. James, Mr. N. D. Jennings, Lord Killeen, Mr. M. B. Koe, Mr. Francis Langdale, Mr. R. Lamb, Mr. R. F. Lethbridge, Mr. T. M. Ling, Mr. James MacLachlan, Mr. R. Maidlow-Davis, Lt.-Col. and Mrs. Maskell, Mr. M. W. B. May, The Hon. Michael Morris, Mr. J. J. Mostyn, Mr. and Mrs. John Mulhall, Mr. James Mathew, Mr. Robert Mathew, Mr. C. Nichol-son, Mr. L. V. Parker, Mr. J. A. Pearson, Mr. George Rendel, Mr. T. St. A. Ronald, Mr. R. N. Roskell, Mr. Leslie Rowell, Mr. W. B. Rumann, Mr. G. L. Russell, Mr. and Mrs. H. F. Ryan, Major T. W. Ryan, Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Ryan, Mr. and Mrs. A. E. Stokes, Mr. Martin Saunders, Mr. George Sumner, Mr. R. R. Stokes, The Hon. John Stourton, Mr. Anthony Stokes, Mrs. P. S. Stokes, Sir Richard Throckmorton, Mr. Harold Turnbull, Mr. K. Turnbull, Mr. H. P. Turnbull, Mr. B. R. Turnbull, Mr. T. F. Turner, Mr. S. N. Turner, Baron Guy Van der Straten-Waillet, Mr. William Vowles, Mr. R. R. A. Walker, Mr. M. C. Walter, Mr. R. J. Woodroffe, Mr. A. B. Woods, Mr. and Mrs. Bulfin, Miss Symes, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Baker, Mr. Thomas F. Batt, Mr. and Mrs. Cary-Elwes, Mrs. Chute, Sir Hugh and Lady Clifford, Mr. and Mrs. Kidston, Mr. and Mrs. Segrave Daly, Mr. and Mrs. Ellison, Mr. and Mrs. Eyre, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Fisher, Mrs. Fogarty, The Countess of Gainsborough, Mr. George N. Gresley, Mr. Herrenberger, Mrs. Hyatt, Lt.-Col. and Mrs. Mainwaring, Dr. and Mrs. Langran, Mrs. Monk, Mrs. P. M. Payne, Mr. and Mrs. Pontifex, Mr. J. F. Radcliffe, Dr. Ryan, Mr. John Thatcher, Col. and Mrs. Trevor-Cory, Miss Agnes Wilson, Mr. and Mrs. Alban Woodroffe, Mr. A. R. T. Woods, Mr. and Mrs. F. G. Sumner, The Rev. Mr. Mostyn and Miss Mostyn, The Rev. Mr. Freeman, Mr. Dean, Sir John O’Connell, M. and Madame Unzue, Commander and Mrs. Hippisley, The Hon. Mrs. Strachey, Mr. and Mrs. J. Sumner Dury, Mr. and Mrs. Barlow, Lady Hoare, Miss Freame, Miss Christmas, Mr., Madame and Miss de Navarro, Col. Huntley G. Spencer, Mr. and Mrs. Thatcher, Mr. and Mrs. Pike, Major and Mrs. Leadbitter, Mrs. Brookfield, Mr. Parnell, Mr. Glyde, Mrs. Scrope, Lady Hylton, Mr. and Mrs. White, Mr. A. K. W. Peacock, Major and Mrs. Stapleton-Bretherton, Mr. and Mrs. King, The Rev. and Mrs. Sparrow, Dr. John Taylor, Miss Denham, Mr. Ward, Dr. Wigmore, Mr. George H. Wheeler, Mr. Alec Waley, Sir George Oatley, Mr. George Gregory, Dr. and Mrs. Jones, Mr. Alfred Jones, Mr. and Mrs. W. R. Le Sueur, Mr. Wylie, Mr. and Mrs. Lush, Mr. and Mrs. Watts, Mr. and Mrs. Campbell, Mr. Cunningham, Monsieur and Madame Cartel, Mr. and Mrs. Woollen, Mr. and Mrs. Moorat, Mr. and Mrs. Davies, Mr. Leeming, Mrs. Emery, Mr. and Mrs. Brameld, Mr. Goosens, Major Fryer, Mr. and Mrs. Harriss, Dr. and Mrs. Pollard, Mr. and Mrs. Richardson, Miss Hickie, Miss Holden, Miss O’Neill, Dr. Scales, Mr. Chambers, and Dr. and Mrs. Mitchell.

The above text was found on p.12,1st August 1925, in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at .

Rome 1st June 1878


Rome, May 25, 1878

The Vatican:  The Marquis de Gabriac, the new French  Ambassador, and the secretaries and officials of the French Embassy, were driven in three state carriages to the Vatican on the 20th of May. The Marquis was met at the entrance to the Pontifical apartments by two of the Camerieri di Spada e Cappa and conducted to the Sala degli Arazzi. The Pope, attended by his Court in full uniform, and preceded by his cross-bearer, entered the Throne-room about 11 a.m. The Swiss Guards and Pontifical Gendarmes, the Palatine Guard, and a detachment of the Noble Guards were present in the antechambers. Monsignor Martinucci, Prefect of Pontifical Ceremonies, conducted the Ambassador to the Throne-room, and the Acting Master of the Chamber, Mgr. Van der Branden, introduced him to his Holiness. The Ambassador presented his credentials and was cordially received by his Holiness. The Pope then signified his pleasure to make the audience private, and, all other persons withdrawing, he was left alone with the Ambassador. At the termination of this private interview, the secretary and gentle-men of the Embassy were presented to Leo XIII. The Ambassador subsequently paid a visit of ceremony to Cardinal Franchi, the Secretary of State.

On the same day, the 20th, about 300 persons, lay and ecclesiastical, were admitted to audience in the Consistorial Hall and in other apartments of the Vatican. Mgr. Kirby was honoured by a special audience on the 20th to present to his Holiness a richly bound copy of a dissertation, entitled De Rom. Pontificis jure Appellationes excipiendi,&c. This dissertation was written in the year 1835, when the Pious Society of the Priests of St. Paul offered a prize for the best essay on the subject of the right of the Supreme Pontiff to hear appeals from all the faithful without exception. Mgr. Kirby at that time was in holy orders and an alumnus of the Roman Seminary, the Apollinare, and Leo XIII. was then the Rev. Gioacchino Pecci. Both, as well as many other young priests, competed for the prize offered by the St. Paul’s Society. And the prize was won by Father Pecci. But the essay of Father Kirby was next in merit, and was honoured with a second prize, the censors describing it as powerfully written and replete with erudition. Leo XIII. a little time ago reminded Mgr. Kirby of their early days as fellow students, and of the concursus for the prize offered by the Society of St. Paul. The Pope suggested that Mgr. Kirby should print his essay, and gave permission that it should be dedicated to himself. The essay was accordingly searched for, and was printed at the Propaganda Press, and was then presented, as already related, to his Holiness.

On Thursday, the 23rd, the German pilgrims, over 150 in number, were received in audience in the hall of Consistory. The deputation included Count Felix Löe, President ; Counts Louis Arco, Preysing, Maximilian Löe, Korff-Schmising, Hahn, Hoensbroech ; Barons Ketteler, Beckendorff, Vequel, and Reichlin-Meldegg ; and Messrs. Eheberg, formerly Councillor of State, of Munich ; Dr. Lingens, Deputy to the Reichstag; Haas, Director of the Postzeitung of Augsburg ; Dr. Kalt, Mgr. Zehrt, and Mgr. Orsbach. The address, which was in Latin, was read by Count Felix Löe. The Pope replied in Latin, and said he was encouraged by these numerous and influential pilgrimages to hope for better times for the Church, against which and against its head a bitter war was now waged. He was convinced that the same proofs of devotion and loyalty which were so constantly rendered to Pius IX. would be also manifested towards himself. He, for his part, would never cease to return his most cordial love and affection to those who thus boldly laboured in behalf of the Catholic religion. He recommended them to persevere in their works of charity and faith, and especially to promote good education among Catholic children, to fit them for contending against the evils of the age. He prayed for the conversion and reformation of the foes of the Church. He then pronounced the solemn benediction.

At 6 p.m. on the 23rd, his Excellency Bedros Effendi Kujumgian had farewell audience of his Holiness, and left Rome the same evening.

The Earl of Denbigh and Mr. Kenyon had a private audience on Thursday, the 23rd, and in this interview, which lasted for forty minutes, Lord Denbigh presented his Holiness with a beautifully bound copy of the late Mr. Urquhart’s essay on the restoration of public law among nations. The late Mr. Urquhart was a Protestant, but considered the Pope to be the arbiter of all international disputes. Leo XIII. was much interested in this dissertation. Lord Denbigh, on this occasion, obtained a special blessing from the Pope for the members of the Catholic Union and of the Poor School Committee of England. Mr. Kenyon obtained a similar favour for the members of the League of St. Sebastian.

His Eminence Cardinal Cullen, who had spent a few days at Albano, returned to Rome on the 22nd of May, and on the 24th had a private audience with his Holiness, to whom he presented a richly-bound and beautifully illuminated address from the Convent of Loreto, near Dublin. This address was signed by Lady Power of Edermine and by Father Barron, S.J., the Spiritual Director of the Convent.

The German pilgrims:  Mass was celebrated on Sunday, May 19th, for  the German pilgrims in the church of Sta Maria dell’ Anima, by Archbishop de Neckere, and a sermon was preached by Canon Zehrt, of Paderborn. Cardinals Hohenlohe, De Luca, and Franzelin were present.

The Consecration of Cardinal Borromeo:  The archpriest of St. Peter’s, his Eminence Cardinal Borromeo, was consecrated to the archbishopric of Adana in partibus infidelium on Sunday, the 19th of May, in the Sistine chapel, by his Holiness Leo XIII., assisted by Archbishop Sanminiatelli, his private almoner, and Bishop Marinelli, the sacristan of the Vatican. The function began at 8:30a.m., and terminated a little before 11 a.m. Admission to the Sistine was by ticket of invitation. The Princess of Thurn and Taxis, with her children, were in the royal tribune, and the Ottoman Envoy, Bedros Effendi Kujumjian, and his son, Ohannes Bey, were in the seats set apart for diplomatists. Cardinals Sacconi, Randi, Chigi, and Franchi were present. The Earls of Denbigh and Gainsborough, Lady Edith Noel, Mr. Kenyon, Mr. Hartwell Grissell, and many of the English deputation were invited to the ceremony. After the functions were concluded the Holy Father proceeded to the private library, where tables were laid for refreshments for the distinguished visitors. At one of these tables his Holiness sat, having on one side Cardinal Borromeo, and on the other the Princess of Thurn and Taxis. At this table the other Cardinals who had attended the consecration were seated. Cardinal Borromeo wore on his breast a splendid pectoral cross of gold, adorned with rubies, diamonds, and emeralds, the gift of the Holy Father.

Sant’Agnese in Agone, Piazza Navona, Rome

Marriage of Prince Colonna:  On Monday, the Prince of Avella, Don Fabrizio Colonna, and Donna Olympia, sister of Prince Doria, were married in the church of St. Agnes in Piazza Navona, by his Eminence Cardinal di Pietro, Dean of the Sacred College and Camerlengo. Monsignor Cataldi officiated as Master of Ceremonies. Prince Alessandro Torlonia and the Duke of Marino acted as witnesses for the bridegroom, and Prince Marcantonio Borghese and Prince Don Alphonso Doria were the bride’s witnesses.

Among those present were Prince Giovanni Andrea Colonna, Prince Assistant at the Pontifical Throne, the father of the bridegroom ; Prince Orsini, Prince Assistant at the Throne ; Princess Orsini, Princess Borghese, Prince and Princess di Fondi, Princess Pallavicini, the Duchess of Marino, Duke and Duchess Sforza-Cesarini, Duke and Duchess of Ceri, the Marchesa Sacchetti, Duchess of Rignano, Count and Countess Somaglia, &c., &c. The bride and bridegroom drove to the church in the state carriages of their respective families, and after the solemnisation of the marriage went, according to custom, to the Basilica of St. Peter’s to venerate the tomb of the Prince of the Apostles. The newly-married pair went to the Villa Doria at Albano, and after a few days spent there, left for the Colonna Villa at Capodimonte.

San Clemente, Rome

San.Clemente: The following persons lately paid visits to the Church of S. Clemente and were conducted through the subterranean churches by the Very Rev. Father Joseph Mulloolly, the Prior :—Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Genoa, her Royal Highness the Princess of Thurn and Taxis, with her son Prince Max Albert and her daughter Princess Louise. The Earl of Portarlington, Sir Augustus Paget, and Count Corte, the Italian Foreign Minister, were among the recent visitors to this interesting church.

Spanish Pilgrims: A number of Catholic pilgrims from Spain arrived in Rome on the 22nd of May, and will be received in audience on Monday, the 27th.

The Late Count Oreste Macchi:  On the evening of the 20th of May the mortal remains of the late Count Oreste Macchi were deposited at Campo Verano, in the vault of the Venerable the Archconfraternity of the Most Precious Blood. The brethren of the Archconfraternity attended the funeral and carried the coffin on their shoulders, reciting psalms and prayers for the repose of the soul of the defunct. Mgr. Luigi Macchi, Maestro di Camera to Leo XIII., the son of the deceased Count, attended the funeral.

The New Bishop of Dunkeld: Dr. George Rigg, Bishop of Dunkeld, in Scotland, was consecrated on the 26th of May by his Eminence Cardinal Howard, in the Church of the Scotch College. The assisting prelates were Mgr. Walter Steins, S.J., Archbishop of Busra, in partibus infidelium, and Vicar-Apostolic of Western Bengal, and Mgr. Giovanni Jacovacci, Bishop of Eritrea,in partibus infidelium, and Secretary of the Sacred Congregation of Esame dei Vescovi. Mgr. Cataldi, Master of Pontifical Ceremonies, acted as Principal Master of Ceremonies, while Mgr. Luigi Sinistri, also a Master of Pontifical Ceremonies, acted as Master of Ceremonies for the Bishop-Elect. Among the persons present at the consecration were Mgr. Van der Branden, Private Chamberlain to his Holiness; Mgrs. Weld, Stonor, Milella, Kirby, domestic prelates to Leo XIII. ; the Father-General of the Redemptorists, with Fathers Douglas and Morgan ; the General of the Dominicans and Father Mullooly, Prior of S. Clemente ; Very Rev. Dr. James Maher ; Very Rev. John Egan, Vice-Rector of the Irish College; the Rev. Dr. O’Callaghan, Rector of the English College • Very Rev. Dr. O’Bryen ; Canon Walsh.; U.S. ; the Very Rev. Dr. Hostlot, Rector of the North American College ; Father Costello ; Mrs. Savile Foljambe, Mrs. Kinloch Grant, the Misses Sperling, Miss Isabel Fane, Miss Senior, Mrs. Vansittart, the Misses Gorman, Mr. and Mrs. Handley, Mrs. Hall, the Misses Steele, Mrs.Martin, Miss Whelan, Mr. William Palmer, Messrs.English and Youngman, Commendatore Winchester, Mr.Douglas Hope, Mr. Hartwell Grissell, Mr. Bliss, Mr. Justice O’Byrne, the Very Rev. Father Keogh, Prior of Sta. Maria in Posterula ; Mrs. Posi, Miss Lewis, &c. After the ceremony the Cardinal and the invited guests were conducted to an apartment in the College, where refreshments were served. Cardinal Howard entertained subsequently to dinner, at his palace, the new Bishop, the assisting prelates, and Cardinals Franchi and Bartolini.

Feast of S. Giro in Portici:  The Italian Government has not yet forbidden processions through the streets (at least in Southern Italy) as the Government has done in France, where in Marseilles the Archbishop has been unable to procure permission for the time-honoured processions, though he made a journey to Paris with that intent. In Southern Italy all the rejoicings of the lower classes are so interwoven with religion that a procession of the effigy of the patron saint, accompanied by his relics, forms, as a matter of course, the opening of the Festa ; and even in Naples itself the procession of S. Gennaro retains all its ancient splendour. At Portici, which lies at the very foot of Vesuvius, S. Giro is the patron. He was a native of Alexandria, a doctor by profession, who became a hermit, and was martyred in A.D. 288, in a city called Canopo. After the conversion of the Emperor Constantine his relics were brought to his native city, and were placed in the church of St. Mark. In the time of Pope Celestine I., by order of the Emperor Theodosius, they were brought to Rome, and were venerated in the Church of Santa Prassede. Many centuries elapsed, and the relics, which had attracted but little attention, became an object of special devotion to a great saint, S. Francesco Girolamo, who was inspired by Divine Providence with an extraordinary devotion to S. Giro. At the death of this saint, which occurred in 1716, this devotion bore fruit, and the relics he had procured for Portici were held in high esteem. In 1763, a famine occurred, when Ferdinand IV. was Regent. In the following year food was so dear that the state of suffering became very great, and a plague followed the famine. Then the inhabitants invoked the intercession of S. Giro, doctor of the body as well as of the soul, and innumerable cures were wrought. In 1770, mindful of these favours, a famous artist, Ferdinando Sperandeo, was charged with the task of making a noble statue of S. Giro, and there is a beautiful legend that, while he was thinking how he could best fashion the countenance, the Saint himself appeared to him, and that celestial vision enabled him to produce the statue which was carried in procession last Sunday. It is of beaten silver, and exceeds life-size. The hands, feet, and face, are enamelled in natural colours. The face is truly noble, ascetic, and benign, and the attitude is dignified. In his left hand he holds a crucifix, to which he points with his right. The cranium of the Saint is in an antique reliquary fixed to the pedestal. Here and there along the line of the procession a carpet of flowers had been made with much taste and skill. The procession opened with the band of the town in bright unforms. Then followed the Confraternity called by the Saint’s name, in habits of white merino, with red silk capes, and here and there were carried handsome gold embroidered banners. Next came the Guild of the Immaculate Conception, similarly costumed, only that the capes were blue silk, and all wore large silver badges. The music of the township of St. George (the men dressed in very handsome uniforms and plumes) and that of S. Giovanni Teduccio enlivened the scene. Four thuribles, with incense, were waved before the statue, which was carried under a white and gold satin canopy. As this went past, immense quantities of rose leaves were thrown from the windows of the houses. Crowds of poor people followed, who were reciting a Litany in the Saint’s honour in thanksgiving for favours received through his intercession. In the church of S. Giro is a votive altar of very costly marble, erected in 1778, with an inscription formally declaring him the patron of the town. The devout crowd, the music, flowers, and gay procession, all bathed in a southern sunshine, made a very striking and edifying scene.

The above text was found on p.15, 1st June 1878, in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at .

The Founding of Westminster Cathedral, 1883.

Westminster cathedral

This is included for a few reasons, but two of them are family related. Herman Lescher, the auditor of the Westminster Land Company is a 1st cousin, four times removed, as is his brother Frank. Frank Harwood Lescher’s wife Mary is also a 1st cousin, in her case three times removed. It’s also here because Alfred Purssell was a founder-donor to the cathedral with his name in the loggia, if I remember rightly.


The Westminster Land Company and The New Cathedral 1883.

We have already given our readers full information on the formation of the new company, as far as it concerned the site for the new cathedral of this diocese. Some incomplete particulars, however, having found their way into a bi-weekly paper, we feel it necessary to give the facts in greater detail :— It will be remembered that we stated that the law binds the Home Office to re-convey the site of Tothill-fields Prison to the Middlesex magistrates. This formal re-conveyance, we understand, has to be made some time within six months, and will therefore in all probability be effected shortly after Christmas. In the meantime the land was purchased from the magistrates by the Earl of Denbigh, Lord Beaumont, Sir Charles Clifford, and the Count de Torre Diaz. These four gentlemen have entered into contract with the Westminster Land Company, which is now duly formed, registered, and in working order.

The Memorandum of Association, which had to be filed at Somerset House on registration, bears the following signatures :—The Earl of Denbigh, Hon. Henry Wm. Petre, Francis Charles New, Sir Charles Clifford, Count de Torre Diaz, Herman Lescher, Alfred Blount.

The new company has now, by a draft Agreement between them and the four purchasers, taken over from the latter the prison site and the land in possession of the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster. In this draft Agreement, to the signatures of the four purchasers are added the names of eight of the original founders or guarantors of the deposit, the remaining two being among the purchasers. These signatories are :—

  • The Earl of Denbigh.
  • Lord Beaumont.
  • Sir Charles Clifford.
  • Count de Torre Diaz.
  • Edward Devenish Walshe, Esq.
  • The Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster.
  • Lord Clifford of Chudleigh.
  • Lord Arundell of Wardour.
  • Thomas Weld Blundell, Esq., of Ince Blundell.
  • Walter Hussey Walsh, Esq.
  • Herman Lescher, Esq.
  • Alfred Blount, Esq.

The Westminster Land Company are, therefore, in equitable possession of the land of which the Middlesex magistrates have the power to dispose, and by their agreement with the purchasers and founders take over all the liabilities. The Company’s agreement with the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, whereby they take over the adjoining portion of land in his possession in exchange for a part of the prison site on the payment of the difference in money value, is in course of preparation for signature. The Company’s registered capital is £130,000, in 15,000 shares of £ 10 each. The Board of Directors and the officers of the Company have been constituted as follows :—

  • Earl of Denbigh.
  • Lord Beaumont.
  • Lord Clifford of Chudleigh.
  • Sir Charles Clifford
  • Directors
  • Hon. Henry William Petre.
  • Edward Frederick Devenish Walshe, Esq.
  • Walter Hussey Walsh, Esq.

Solicitors—Messrs. Blount, Lynch, and Petre, 4, King-street, Cheapside, E.C.

Auditor—Herman Lescher, Esq., T, Princes-street, Bank, E.C.

Surveyors—Messrs. Vigers and Co., 4, Frederick’s-place, Old Jewry, E.C.

Secretary—Francis Charles New, Esq.

Offices—T. Princes-street, Bank, E.C.

The above text was found on p.8, 6th October 1883 in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher” The Tablet can be found at .