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Ampleforth and its origins: Essays on a…
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Ampleforth and its origins: Essays on a living tradition by members of the…

by Justin McCann

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Points of interest:
Most of Westminster monks came from on or near the estates of the Abbey
Occasionally a monk became a recluse in the abbey. Richard II confessed to one before meeting the rebels in 1381, Henry V on his accession.
Abbey was acting as a school by fifteenth century.
After 1520 religious names change - names of virtues become common instead of the monk's home town.
T. Cromwell was steward of Westminster estates.
1614 - E.B.C. decided to use title Dom.
Dieulouard depended heavily on benefactions from England.
Thomas Arundell of Wardour, thrown in Tower 1588, contributed to cost of defence against Armada
Gifford became Archbishop of Rheims at Guise' request: they had no one of the right age and did not want another French family in the position.
William Baker, though a church-papist, was very devout.
In 1607 entrants to Douai had to take an oath not to disturb the peace of the college!
in 1783 it was against French law to take religious vows when under 21.
Fr Bolton was charged with treason for making a convert, 1786 - said to be the last such case.

There are a lot of gaps - very little on Dieulouard after c 1620; nothing on Bishop Hedley; and, above all, there is far too little on the work of the school and abbey and missions after 1830. The chapters also assume a good deal of background knowledge, and I am not surprised that many people find them stodgy. But, with the exception of the first two, they are certainly scholarly. Fr Hugh's on Tudor Westminster is original research. Fr Paul's on modern Ampleforth has to be reticent but contains character-studies of men whom there will soon be no one left to remember. Fr Justin's and Mr Partin'sgather together material which, it appears from their references, has hitherto been widely scattered. If this book is intended to be a general history for popular consumption, it is a failure; but as a commection of specialist essays it is useful.
(notes written 1954)
  jhw | Apr 17, 2006 |
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