Saturday, 19 December 2015

Facts Illustrative of the times of Elizabeth Queen Of England. Part 25.

Jesuits In Conflict: Or Historic Facts Illustrative of the labours of the English Mission and Province Of The Society Of Jesus. In the times of Queen Elizabeth and her successors. By a member Of The Society Of Jesus.


Our confessor's zeal in challenging the ministers, and petitioning the bishop and Council, had the effect of convincing the Queen's Ministers that a conspiracy was on foot. Pounde soon felt the consequence (as we have already seen in the first part of this notice); the Bishop of London, Elmer or Aylmer, having removed him from his companions in the Marshalsea (September 18th, 1580), and sent him heavily ironed into solitary confinement at the then half-ruined episcopal castle of Bishops-Stortford. Pounde, therefore, on the eve of his departure, either delivered Father Campion's paper to the keeping of some one even less retentive of a secret than himself, or else communicated it through an unwillingness to be checkmated by the Bishop of London, whose conduct he regarded as a mere device to stop all mention of a public discussion, or from a conviction that Father Campion's challenge was much more calculated to embarrass the Council than his own had proved to be. Actuated by one of these motives, Pounde communicated the paper to his neighbour, Benjamin Tichborne, Tichborne to William Horde, and he to several others, and especially to Elizabeth Saunders, a Nun, sister to Dr. Saunders, who was at this time with the Italian expedition in Ireland. 1

The paper or declaration of Father Campion was not printed, but circulated extensively in MS. It was called " The great bragge and challenge "—" A seditious pamphlet," &c, and was regarded as a gauntlet thrown down by the Jesuits. 2 As the subject of our notice may (as before observed) be regarded as the author or first mover of this famous though simple declaration of intentions to the Council, we will make a short digression to mention a few instances of its effects.

John Watson, the pseudo-Bishop of Winchester, on the 18th of November, or thereabouts, laid hands on the above-named parties (except Tichborne), including the Nun, Elizabeth Saunders, and committed their bodies to the house of correction. It was about the same time that the copy with the letters, &c, of Thomas Pounde, were discovered, and sent by the Sheriff of Wilts to the Privy Council. From this time it became well known all over England, and many persons got into trouble for circulating copies of it. 3 Frequent mention is made of it amongst the State Papers. The following is a copy of the letter of the said Bishop of Winchester, and others endorsed, " 18th of November, 1580. From the Bishop of Winchester and others, with the examination and other things taken of Dr. Saunders' sister apprehended at Alton and committed at Winchester.

Also the confession of William Hoord touchinge the challendge of the Jesuites, whome they have committed likewyse at Winchester." 4

"Our duties to your Hon. Lordshipps humblie remembered. For that of late in Hampsheer, there happened to be apprehended by Sir Richard Norton, Knt., one Elizabeth Saunders, the sister of Dr. Saunders, and a professed Nunn beyond the seas, as she saith, with whome were certain lewd and forbydden bookes, and the copye of a supplication, protestation, or chalendge, the which copye, together with her examinations, we have thought herewith to sende vnto youre honors. And for that we finde by her sayde examination grete dissimulation and varietie in her, and also grete obstinacie in her perseverance of her profession; we have thought thereupon presentlie to committ her to safe keping in the house of correction, within the Castle of Winchester, where she is to remain vntil such further order shall be taken for her, as by youre Lordshipps shall be thought mete. We have further thought good herewith, also, to send vnto your honours, the examination of one William Hoorde, gentleman, remaining at this present in the house of correction thither committed, for that he is a verie backwarde and obstinat person in matters of religion, and soe he continued all the tyme of Her Majesties raigne, whome we believe to be the first bringer, and dispenser of the seditious challendge aforesaid in this countie; and yet beinge examined, refused to declare of whom he received the same. The rather we have signified the premises to your Hon. for that the sayd challendge at the first publication whereof, in these partes, seemed vuto such like backwarde persons, verie plausible. And soe we humblie committ your Honors to the tuicion of Allmightie God.

"St. Crosse, 18th November, 1580."

1 Simpson's Campion, p. 163.

2 Mr. Simpson, in his very valuable Appendix of Father Campion's works, and of the numerous publications connected with him, mentions eight upon the subject of the challenge mentioned above.

3 Simpson's Campion, p. 163, Dom. Eliz., Ireland, State Paper Office, 17th February, 1581.

4 1580. Dom. Eliz., State Tapers, Vol. cxliv., No. 3. 1 J 2