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Of the priests who served Wensleydale during the long dark Day of Persecution, I can only give a very meagre account. The Rev. F. Huddlestone, who administered the last rites of the church to King Charles II. on his deathbed, is said to have resided at the Grove House, Leyburn ;(1) but this circumstance rests mainly on tradition. The earliest register at Leyburn is by the Rev. Francis Oakley, commencing in 1742. Previous to that date, however, a chaplain was almost always resident at Danby Hall, with the Scrope family, and fre

term of her long dominion is approaching. She saw the commencement of all the governments, and of all the ecclesiastical establishments that now exist in the world; and we feel no assurance that she is not destined to see the end of them all. She was great and respected before the Saxon had set foot on Britain -before the Frank had passed the Rhine-when Grecian eloquence still flourished at Antioch—when idols were still worshipped in the Temple of Mecca. And she may still exist in undiminished vigour, when some traveller from New Zealand shall, in the midst of a vast solitude, take his stand on a broken arch of London Bridge to sketch the ruins of St. Paul's. We often hear it said that the world is constantly becoming more and more enlightened, and that this enlightening must be favourable to Protestantism, and unfavourable to Catholicism. We wish that we could think so. But we see great reason to doubt whether this be a well-founded expectation. We see that, during the last 250 years, the human mind has been in the highest degree active--that it has made great advances in every branch of natural philosophy—that it has produced innumerable inventions tending to promote the convenience of life—that medicine, surgery, chemistry, engineering, have been improved, though not quite to the same extent. Yet we see that, during these 250 years, Protestantism has made no conquests worth speaking of. Nay, we believe that, as far as there has been a change, that change has been in favour of the Church of Rome. We cannot, therefore, feel confident that the progress of knowledge will necessarily be fatal to a system which has, to say the least, stood its ground in spite of the immense progress which knowledge has made since the days of Queen Elizabeth.”

Right Hon. T. B. Macaulay. Edinburgh Review, Oct. 1, 1840. (1) After the fatal battle of Worcester (Sept. 3, 1651), King Charles II. was sheltered at Moseley, in Staffordshire, the seat of Mr. Whitgreave. His Majesty was concealed in the Priest's hiding hole, and Mr. Huddlestone was his constant companion; the king on his departure took solemn leave of him, with assurances of his friendship. Mr. Huddlestone afterwards retired beyond sea, and became a Benedictine monk; but returning upon the Restoration, he was appointed one of Queen Catherine's chaplains, and was always excepted by name in proclamations against the Catholics. Hence he had, at different periods of his life, the high gratification of saving the body and the soul of his Sovereign. It is somewhat remarkable that three generations of the Whitgreave family lasted from 1651 to 1816, or 165 years, which is 47 years to a generation, and may be reckoned three liyes to a century.

quently in danger from the indefatigable pursuivants. Under one of the rooms in the old hall there is a hidingplace in which the reverend missioners were often and successfully concealed. There is a similar hiding-place at the Grove, Leyburn, the seat of Frederick Riddell, Esq., formerly belonging to the Thornbrughs.

These retreats speak forcibly of the Past, with all its terrors, when the fact of their existence rendered the porprietors who sheltered the servants of God in them liable to a cruel death—when Mass was necessarily celebrated secretly in obscure chambers, and dark recesses, and when Catholics of both sexes and every rank were liable to be dragged from assisting at the Holy Mysteries, to prison, torture, and martyrdom itself. In 1745, Mr. Oakley remarks, “I baptised at Ulshaw Bridge, James Topham, of Middleham, for which I hardly escaped banishment.”(1)

From 1759 to 1785 the Wensleydale Mission was supplied by the Revs. Edward Boone and William Postlethwaite. The last named gentleman died at Hill-Top House, Leyburn, where he placed the sundial which is still there. During the following nine years, distant priests supplied the Mission; until in 1794 the Rev. Delalonde arrived, who remained till 1801. He was followed by the Rev. Dupont, who, in 1803, was succeeded by the Revs. J. Maini, of Jolly Pot; (who left in 1806) and Richard Billington, who died at the Grove House, Leyburn, then occupied by the late John Clifton, Esq., October 6th, 1830, aged seventy-three years.

(1) So recently as the reign of George III., (Queen Victoria's Grandfather), the then Earl of Shrewsbury, who was a priest, was tried for saying Mass, and only acquitted for want of sufficient evidence. Still later, in 1852, the funeral rites of John, sixteenth Earl of Shrewsbury, (England's Premier Earl), were partially mutilated, in obedience to a proclamation promulgated by the Queen's then minister, Stanley, Earl of Derby; which denies to Roman Catholics the free public use of their church's ceremonies; a privilege which is most readily granted to all other societies, including Ranters, Jumpers, Latter Day Saints, and the many other mongrel tribes.


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Many who read these pages will, like their writer, well recollect that venerable man; and it will be a treasured and pleasant memory of their youth. His piety, his simplicity, and his urbanity endeared him to all, Catholics and Protestants alike.

He was a scholar, and a ripe and good one ;

Exceeding wise, fair spoken, and persuading. A pattern to every one who knew him, through life he was universally beloved, and in death sincerely lamented. The faithful pastor of his little scattered flock for seven and thirty years had acquired general love and esteem; and when his labours being finished, his mortal remains were deposited in the churchyard of West Witton, it was amidst the unfeigned regrets of the inhabitants of Wensleydale. No stone yet marks his humble grave, but a tablet in Leyburn chapel commemorates him. Requiescat

in pace.

The missionary priests whom I have enumerated were not rich in worldly goods: their treasures were elsewhere. Often in peril, and at all times proscribed, they dressed as laymen' to escape observation' till a very recent period. Their food and lodgings, like their raiment, were humble. A pair of saddlebags are yet preserved, in which they used to carry home the poultry and other similarly useful gifts presented by the members of their flock on their welcome visits. And thus these good men-gentlemen and accomplished scholars be it remembered-joyfully underwent hardships few modern labourers would endure.(1)

(1) It is a very mistaken idea to suppose that pecuniary wealth, or lands and palaces are requisite to secure for the clergy a becoming respect. “ The Orientals possess, in addition to their patriarchs, the three orders to be found in the English church. But the eastern bishop differs as widely from the Anglican prelate in his temporal circumstances as in external appearance. A venerable beard flows over a long vest of purple, covered by a gown of dark cloth, His shaven head is concealed by a black turban, twisted in a peculiar fashion, and a darkcoloured shawl encircles his waist. An attendant deacon precedes his steps, bearing a silver-tipped staff. The income of an official dignitary would be considered munificent if it exceeded £100 per annum. Few receive more than an

Yet, despite this untiring zeal, often were the scattered Catholics deprived of the consolations of religion; and sometimes even the dying were unable to procure the distant or hidden priest to administer the last sacred rites

annual stipend of £80, and some can scarcely be said to have any revenue at all, their necessary expenses being furnished from the rents of the monastery where they reside. The priest's income is, of course, much less than that of his superior, and would be thought fairly represented by the average rate of £29 per annum. The deacons rarely receive anything, as they are generally men of business, from whom the canons of the east do not require the surrender of their worldly calling, unless they wish to advance to the higher grade of priesthood. The monks are supported as in Europe, by the revenues attached to each monastery, which afford an ample supply for their slender wants. By the rules of the eastern churches, most of the laity would be restricted from the use of animal food during a third portion of the year; but the abstinence of the monks is, of course, more rigorous and severe. Their garb is not so varied or distinctive as that of monastic habits of Europe. They are a pale, mild, and gentle race, often ignorant, and not very liberal in their views; but during the frequent intercourse I have had with them, I never knew one who was a hypocrite or a secret debauchee, two characters which have been supposed by some inseparable from the system of monachism. I have seen these men eat, thankfully, food which the lowest English labourers would not touch. I have heard them engaged in praising God at an hour when English rectors and curates have been quietly sleeping or returning from some social party; and I have watched them delving and digging in their little plantations till the perspiration poured from them in streams. The poverty of the clergy may, at first sight, seem to infer their abasement and degradation; but the respect in which their persons are held fully compensates for any inconvenience which they might suffer, were they the in habitants of more civilized countries. The stout and prosperous merchant, the ricb shopkeeper, or the stalwart squire, who condescend to pity and to patronise the threadbare curate or the ill-paid vicar, will be astonished to hear that at the approach of some ragged priest or bishop, a wealthy and well-dressed assembly rise with respect and reverence to press his hand to their lips, and to seat him in the most comfortable corner of the divan. Money and a home are little wanted where hospitality is a national virtue, and in these parts it is a priest that seeks for it, in the name of the God whom he serves. Nor are the clergy less beloved on account of their general familiarity and condescension to even the meanest members of their flock. I have often witnessed the small room of a bishop crowded from morning till night with the poor, the distressed, and the unfortunate, each seeking from his spiritual pastor advice, assistance, and consolation. The slender purse of a self-denying prelate often furnishes many with the means of life, and those who lack the direction of a man elevated above the passions and prejudices of the world may find it freely dispensed by one who is, in every respect, the father of his people. The patriarch of each community is responsible for the kharadj or poll-tax paid by each individual Christian. He even possesses the power of inflicting imprisonment or stripes in certain cases, and it is extremely difficult for an Oriental Christian to quit his own community, and transfer his obedience to another church.”—Fletcher's Notes from Nineveh.


of the church. Laymen as well as clergy suffered grievously, but faith forsook them not, through all that long dark day; and Mr. Billington lived to see its deepest gloom departing, for on the 13th of April, 1829, the year before he died, the Catholic Emancipation Act passed. Perfect liberty indeed was not obtained, but still it might almost have been said in the poet's words“Go forth to the Mount-bring the olive-branch home, And rejoice, for the day of our freedom is come! Bring myrtle and palm-bring the boughs of each tree That is worthy to wave o'er the tents of the Free.” To Mr. Billington succeeded the Rev. Thomas Middlehurst, on whose removal, the Rev. William Parker followed. In 1838, this gentleman left, and being subsequently appointed to St. Patrick's, Liverpool, died there, universally respected and regretted, of malignant fever, during the great prevalence of that disease, March 30th, 1847, aged forty-three years. He was succeeded by the Rev. Richard John Bolton, the present much respected priest. Reader! we have now seen Wensleydale in the Day of Persecution and of CHANGE.

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