Tuesday, March 15, 2011

On St. Patrick's Eve, £40 For Every Jesuit

On St. Patrick's eve, 1604, Father Christopher Holywood landed in Ireland as successor of Father Richard De la Field in the government of the Irish Mission, S.J. In the last week of Lent he reached the town (of Clonmel?) where Fathers Leinick and Murony were staying, and was soon joined by Father De la Field and by Fathers Walter Wall and Brian O'Kearney, two distinguished Jesuits, who had recently come to labour in this country, and were destined to render signal service to the cause of religion. Father De la Field informed the new Superior that he had not received a single letter from the General for more than five years.
In June, 1604, the house in which Father De la Field lodged was attacked by the pest which then raged in and around Dublin ; but he and his brethren had more formidable foes than the pest. The Lord President and Council of Munster did
"strictly command that all Jesuits do, before the 30th of September, depart and forsake any manner of residence within the province, and so to continue for the space of seven years ; and what person soever shall receive or relieve any of them shall suffer imprisonment during His Majesty's pleasure, and forfeit for every such offence, as often as committed, £40, the one half to the informer, the other to His Majesty's use. And whoever shall bring unto the Lord President and Council the bodies of any such shall immediately receive a reward of £40 for every Jesuit, and for every seminary £6 3J. A,d., and for every Massing priest, £5."
And the Lord Deputy and Council of Ireland report that " few of the best houses of the Pale are free from relieving and receiving the Jesuits, seminaries, friars, and priests. The Council suggest a Proclamation from His Majesty for the expulsion of the Jesuits, &c., and for the punishment with severe penalties all their relievers and abettors,"
Link (here) to The Month, the article is entitled, Irish Worthies of the Sixteenth Century published in 1891.

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