A tribute to the life and work of Brian Torode

Gloucester Catholics and King James II

Gloucester and its Catholics during the Reign of James II

Richard Barton and Brian Torode (1990)

Gloucester Cathedral 5

During the year 1986 Brian Torode and I submitted a short article for publication in the Local History Bulletin, produced by the Gloucestershire Rural Community Council, bearing the same title as this essay. Further research has revealed flaws in the earlier article so I have compiled this essay as a fuller introduction to this fascinating subject for members of the Gloucestershire and North Avon Catholic History Society. Between the Accession of King James II in February 1685 and his departure, from England, into exile in January 1689, a group of Catholic laymen enjoyed important civic office and not only a Dominican priest but also a Benedictine monk were at work in the City. During that period the City hosted a royal visit and the King attended a celebration of Mass. Finally, members of the small Catholic community were to experience removal from office, destruction of property, imprisonment and heavy fines.

This essay is the result of collating information from a variety of secondary printed sources, particularly City and County histories, volumes of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, volumes of Gloucestershire Notes and Queries and a thesis, by Ripley, entitled ‘Gloucester 1660-1740’ This reading has been supplemented by relevant Catholic histories and biographies. During the last few years two important books have been published which are relevant to this topic. ‘Shadow of a Crown’, by Meriol Trevor, is an extensive biography of James II and, unlike many earlier works, portrays James as a potentially strong king, convinced of liberty of conscience in matters of religion for all. His desire for the removal of the Penal Laws and the Test Acts might have eased life for both Catholic and Protestant non-conformists. This view that James’s desire for liberality was actually genuine would be held in question by many other historians. Meriol Trevor’s James is far from the satirical coward, religious fanatic and unintelligent bigot we have so often read about in the past. A second important book for the study of this period is Suzanne Eward’s ‘No fine but a Glass of Wine – Cathedral Life at Gloucester in Stuart Times.’ This study contains a wealth of valuable material and provides a useful backcloth, covering the years 1603-1714, of life in the most important religious institution in the County. Further research could be undertaken in Corporation and other contemporary records.

So as to provide an historical context in which to place events in Gloucester it is perhaps useful to include a brief timeline of the important dates for the reign.

6th February 1685: Accession of James II

23rd April 1685: Coronation of James II

Summer 1685: Monmouth Rebellion

4th April 1687: First Declaration of Toleration and Liberty of Conscience

Summer 1687: Canvassing for the repeal of the Penal Laws and Test Act

3rd May 1688: Consecration of the three Catholic Bishops

10th June 1688: Birth of the Prince of Wales

June 1688: Second Declaration of Toleration and liberty of Conscience

29th June 1688: The Trial of the seven Anglican Bishops

5th November 1688: Arrival of William of Orange at Torbay

18th December 1688: Final Departure of King James II from London

13th February 1689: William and Mary accept the British Crown – ‘The Glorious Revolution’


The most prominent Catholic layman in Gloucester during this period was probably John Hill. He is very likely the same John Hill, described in 1674 as a gentleman in the Cathedral archives, who paid ‘No ffine but a glasse of wine’, for a little garden plot in trust for Mrs. Carpenter’s children. He is probably related to Robert Hill, another gentleman, who acquired a messuage at Sandhurst from the Cathedral authorities, during the same period.

During the year 1681, John Hill was elected as one of the two City Sheriffs and, two years later, he became an Alderman of Gloucester. His Catholicism was probably not declared until 1686 when he became the Mayor and we know that he was dispensed, by the Crown, from all oaths under the Test Act. During the following year the King intervened in the appointment of the Mayor and nominated Hill, who was to serve a second term. His mayoralty ended in October 1688 but he continued as an Alderman until the following year. The record of his burial in the register of St. Michael’s Church, Gloucester, dated 20th December 1705, includes the remark – ‘who declared himself a Papist in James’ reign.’

Hill’s successor as Mayor of Gloucester was Anselm Fowler, a landowner, and, possibly, a member of the Fowler Family of Moorhall, Cashes Green. On 20th April 1687 he was made a Burgess and elected Alderman by command of the King. His exemption from oaths would seem to indicate that he was also a Catholic. His mayoralty was curtailed by William of Orange’s invasion and, probably as a direct result of this, he resigned as both Mayor and Alderman on 29th November 1688. His will, of 1696, states that he regretted that he could not now provide so handsomely for his wife and sons and he blamed, ‘a concurrence of misfortunes (that) happened to me by reason of my persuasion.’

Two other Corporation officials were possibly Catholics as, in 1687, William reeves and Isaac Lambard were appointed as the Sheriffs and neither was required to tender oaths under the Test Act. Ripley refers to both of them joining the Council after thirteen leading Tories, together with the Recorder, were purged on the 8th December 1687. They were replaced by what has been described as, ‘a motley group of dissenters and Catholics lead by the unpopular new Recorder, Charles Trinder.’ Lambard served as Sheriff for only one term but Reeves was re-elected in 1688 but resigned with his Mayor, Anselm Fowler, shortly afterwards, in the November of that year.

One of the City’s parliamentary representatives is also believed to have been a Catholic. John Wagstaffe was an Alderman from 1663-1689, Mayor in 1669 and 1678 and  parliamentary representative in 1686. He was replaced in 1690and died on 20th March 1696, aged seventy-eight years. A tablet was erected to his memory in the Cathedral.

Two Catholic lawyers involved in civic affairs were Robert Brent and Charles Trinder; Brent was also a County Magistrate. Trinder, a sergeant-at-law, was appointed Recorder after William Gregory had been deprived of office, with the thirteen Councilmen, in December 1687. Trinder served as Recorder until his own resignation in 1690.

Unlike the persons mentioned above, Trinder and Brent are well-documented Catholic recusants. Trinder was the eldest son of Charles Trinder, a gentleman of Holwell, Oxfordshire. He was listed as a reputed Papist of Lyons Inn in 1679. Besides his estate at Holwell, he also owned property at Bourton-on-the-Water. Robert Brent was the nephew of William Brent, a Catholic lawyer of Larkstone, Warwickshire, which was then part of the County of Gloucester. He married Catherine Heywood and became the father of six daughters. The Brents had property in Banbury, Oxfordshire, and members of the family later lived in London.

Sir William Compton of Hartpury was another prominent local Catholic. He represented the fourth generation of Comptons to live at Hartpury and he was created a baronet, by King James II, on 6th May 1686. Mary Habington, his mother, was a member of an ancient recusant family from Hindlip Hall, near Worcester. Catholic recusancy continued in the Compton Family for many years after the death of the first baronet, in the year 1698.


The rise in the number of Catholic representatives to civic office was directly the result of intervention by the Crown. Throughout his reign, James claimed that he wished to provide for his citizens’ freedom of religious conscience by repealing the Penal Laws and the Test Act. Much of his tampering with local government and parliamentary representation was done so as to find men who would carry forward these objectives. Certainly, he had also wanted to increase the influence of Catholics in national life but there is no evidence to suggest that he had any definite plan to destroy the Established Church.

In April 1687 he issued his first Declaration of Toleration and Liberty of Conscience but this was only seen as a temporary measure until he could get the Penal Laws and Test Act repealed by Parliament. As a means of ascertaining the mind of Parliament, should it be called, and the opinion of the electorate, who would be selecting representatives, he instructed his Lord Lieutenants to question all Deputy Lord Lieutenants and Magistrates on their feelings regarding the matter. Three questions were posed and all three required answers:

  1. ‘If in case he should be chosen Knight of the Shire, or Burgesse of a Towne, when the King shall think fit to call a parliament, whether he will be for taking of the Penall Lawes and the Tests.
  2. Whether he will assist and contribute to the Election of such members as shall be for the taking of the Penall Lawes and Tests.
  3. Whether he will support the King’s Declaration for Liberty of Conscience, by living ffriendly with those of all perswasions, as subjects of the same Prince, as good Christians ought to doe.’

The results of this survey are given in the Transactions for 1939 of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society. Out of the sixty-two persons questioned in Gloucestershire only forty-two replies are known, of which eleven are described as Catholic Magistrates and these were presumed to consent to all. Fourteen stated that they would refuse the first two questions but would consent to the third. Ten made various other replies.

The Catholic Magistrates are of particular interest and include some of the names referred to above:

John Hill Esq – A Catholick, now Mayor of Gloucester; consent to all.

Robert Brent Esq – A Catholick

Charles Trinder Esq – A Catholick

John Wagstaffe Esq – Consents to all

Wagstaffe is not shown as being a Catholic but this may not be of particular significance as members of the Winter Family are not listed in this way either. Other Justices of the Peace who are listed in these returns as Catholics include:

Henry Hall Esq (now Sheriff)

John Ashton of Ashton Esq

Philip Draycott Esq – Sheriff of Staffordshire

John Vaughan Esq

William Rogers Esq

Henry Benedict Hall Esq

Benedict Wakeman Esq

Thomas Bartlett Esq

Whether the canvassing took place before or after the King’s Visitation to Gloucester is not clear but we do know that the removal of the Recorder, three Aldermen and ten Councilmen, in December 1687, took place sometime later and would, clearly, have been the royal reaction to this kind of canvassing. The London Gazette, dated ‘from January 16th to January 19th, 1687’ (1688 in modern calendar) included the following Address from the purged Council of Gloucester:

‘The Reason and Equity of General Indulgence for matters of mere Religion is so manifest in itself, so clearly illustrated by your Majesties Gracious Declaration for it, that all we can say on that subject can but resemble an eclipse of the Sun by the interposition of a meaner light.

Nothing then can be more our duty, both as Christians and Subjects, than first to render into the King’s heart to do so good things for his people. Next in all humility, to express, not only our acquiescence, but height of satisfaction, in your Majesties so pious, so prudent, so charitable, and kind a determination towards all your subjects. To assure your Majesty of our united and utmost endeavours to elect for Parliament, when called, such members as we may reasonably hope shall joyfully and readily meet and join with your Majesty therein; and likewise in the repeal of the Test Acts, so subject to dangerous interpretations.

Yet at last we humbly crave leave to congratulate with your Majesty, the blessing of our Royal Consort’s conception, which we consider as the reward of Heaven upon this your unparalleled Goodness, and with the most fervent zeal, offer up our prayers to Almighty God that she may to the unspeakable happiness of all your Kingdoms, produce you a Son, so much the image of your heroic mind, as the product of your Royal body. Subscribed also by the Grand Jury and Borough Jury consenting,’ etc.

A similar humble address was prepared by, ‘the Mayor, Aldermen and Common Council of the Borough of Tewkesbury… together with the concurrence of the major part of the grand jury at the general quarter sessions of the peace there held for the same Borough, the twelfth day of January… anno domini 1687 (1688).

In the light of these two addresses it seems strange that the Second Declaration, issued in June 1688 should have produce such an adverse reaction. On the 10th June the Prince of Wales was born during the wrangles over the failed reading of the Declaration in churches on two successive Sundays in the May. Seven bishops of the Established Church ended up in prison and Bishop Frampton of Gloucester, although not one of them, spent considerable time visiting them in the Tower of London. As the months progressed there was a further deterioration in relationships so that, by December 1688, it was clear that an Orange invasion could actually succeed.


The Royal Visit to Gloucester took place between the 22nd and 24th August 1687. Beforehand, the City Corporation was involved in expensive preparations as this was the first recorded visit of a reigning monarch to the City since that of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn – the latter being described in the Council books of the Corporation as, ‘his most dere and entirely beloved lawful wiff.’

 James had visited the Gloucester area beforehand. In September, 1643, he stayed at Matson House with his father, Charles I, and his own brother, Charles II. Two notches in the stone frame of a window in the south-west gable were supposed to have been cut by the two princes, aged only nine and thirteen years, on the morning of their departure to Painswick.

The preparations for the Visit included the erection of a statue of the king. Abel Wantner (1639c-1714), an early Gloucester historian and the Parish Clerk of the Church of St. john the Baptist, wrote:

‘John Hill being Mayor of the City … caused ye Effigies of King James the Second (in full proportion, wrathed about ye head with a Laural branch, holding a Batune in his hand)to be very finely cut in Stone, and placed it upon ye Top of Trinity Conduite looking westward, where was written underneath it, in letters of Gold, Johannes Hill Praetori.’

The Trinity conduit stood in Westgate Street, under the tower of Holy Trinity Church. The church, itself, and that of St. Mary de Grace, had been demolished earlier in the seventeenth century. The Corporation accounts include two references to incidental expenses connected with the erection of the royal statue, ‘Pd at the Ffleece to the workmen that brought the stone by Mr Maior’s order to make them drink and for unloading 1-6d’ and ‘Paid at the ffountaine upon workmen yt work at the Conduit by Mr Maior’s order 3-0d.’

Gloucester Cross.jpg

Besides the erection of a statue, the Corporation also prepared their chapel as a place for the King to hear Mass during his stay in the City. The Tolsey House, which stood on the site now occupied by Burtons, on the Cross, was used during this time as the Council chamber, for Sheriff’s court and for other civic functions. A small church, consisting of an aisle and chancel, dedicated to All Saints, previously occupied the site and part of that building was converted into a chapel for the Corporation. In 1648 the former church had been partially demolished to provide the Sheriff’s court and, in 1685, the chamber over the court was converted into the chapel. The need for a chapel arose as, apparently, the result of a dispute between the members of the Dean and Chapter and the members of the Corporation over the position of the Mayor’s seat in the Choir of the Cathedral. This small civic chapel, then, was to be used by King James as the place where he would attend Mass. Later in its life, it was given the name of the ‘Mass Room’ or ‘King’s Chapel.’

Costs incurred by the Corporation for adapting their chapel for royal usage included;

‘Charges for the Kinge’s canopy and Chaiering Chappell

Paid Mr Thomas Webb for velvet silk for gold fringe as by noat £31-5-0d

Paid Henry Elliotte, Joyner, for work done £9-0-0d

Paid John Elliotte the Upholster £2-14-0d

Paid Giles Reeve for Ironwork done there 11-6d

Total £43-10-6d’

Preparations for the Royal Visit were necessary throughout the City and Suzanne Eward vividly describes the work that was carried out within the Cathedral Close.

Eventually the day arrived. James left Windsor on 17th August and, after a visit to Portsmouth and Southampton, he made his way to Bath. On 22nd August he was met on the borders of Gloucestershire by the High Sheriff and a splendid retinue escorted the King to Badminton where he was entertained, most sumptuously, by the Duke of Beaufort, the Lord Lieutenant. He then progressed to Gloucester via Tetbury and Nympsfield. The Nympsfield parish register records the following:

‘Monday August ye 22nd Anno Domini 1687, King James ye 2nd, went in his progress from Bathe to Gloucester through this parish.’

There are two principal accounts of the Visit of King James II to Gloucester, one by Abel Wantner and the other is used by Fosbrooke in his, ‘Original History of the City of Gloucester,’ published in 1819. Fosbrooke writes:

‘about two miles from (the City) the Bishop (Frampton), attended by many of the clergy, waited for him, and upon his approch drew near in his own and clergys name, to gratulate his coming into that his City, but before he could do more than pay his respects, the King without hearing him says, “My Lord, it will be better for you to withdraw to your Clergy” and so rode on for Gloucester…’

At the South Gate of the City, the Mayor formally delivered to King James the sword of office and the cap of maintenance. From there, ‘escorted by the Mayor and Corporation, “with all sorts of Instruments playing, the Conduits running with Wine, the Bells ringing, the streets and windows thronged with multitudes of people loud in their acclamations” of loyalty, he rode to St. Edward’s Gate, where the Dean welcomed him with an elegant speech.’ (F. Hyett – ‘Gloucester in National History’)

Abel Wantner spoke of the King being received most magnificently by the Mayor, Aldermen, Sheriffs, and the Council on horseback, in their ‘formalities.’ The main streets and lanes of the City had been covered with gravel and sand and had been decorated with green boughs, branches and a variey of flowers. The king rode through the City to King Edward’s Gate, being the main entrance into the upper College Churchyard. Here the Dean and Prebendaries of the Cathedral greeted him ‘in their vestments’ and on their knees and then attended him to the Deanery where he resided.

Wantner added that on the following morning His Majesty visited the Cathedral and the whispering place. In the afternoon he was pleased ‘to Stroak and Touch several Persons that had ye Disease called Struma or King’s Evill, in ye Ladies Chappel of ye said Cathedral and gave to each of them a Medall of Gold to Hang about their Necks.’

James spent two nights at the Deanery and whilst staying in Gloucester he attended Mass in the Tolsey. Mass was presumably celebrated by Father John Warner S.J. – a Court Chaplain, who had been Provincial of the Jesuits from 1679-1683. He was to die in 1692 in King James’s Court in exile at St. Germain. Fosbrooke stated that the King had shown Bishop Frampton far more respect than he had shown on his arrival and he gave him free admission to his presence, however, Frampton was mortified when Father Warner was called upon to say the Grace – ‘The good Bishop would not hear and so withdrew.’

The King left Gloucester on 24th August and he went on to Worcester where the Mayor and Corporation, there, declined to accompany him to Mass.

The Royal Visit certainly proved to be a costly affair and the Corporation was faced with many bills to settle:

‘Charges for the present made and the Homage fee, And for entertaining the King Maj tie (James 2nd) the 22nd August 1687, when he Honrd. Our Citye with his Presence.

Impris. a present made by the Maior, Aldrm. And Common Council of a 100 broad pieces of Gold at 11b 3s 6d a piece £117-10-0d

paid the homage fee due to his Majties Officers to Sir Thomas Duppa £36-6-8d

(Then follows the various and numerous items for Musik, Wine from London, Sea fish and fowle, etc.) The sum total for the gifts and entertainment of £281-4-10d


So far, we have looked at certain prominent Catholic laymen and the relationships between the Corporation and the Crown. Thirdly, is the more difficult task of assessing the extent of Catholic practice in the City at this time. One hundred years beforehand Gloucester had been the place of execution for two priests and Tyburn had seen the death of one of the City’s sons, Father Thomas Alfield. The Lampley and Webley Families of Gloucester were also to provide Catholic martyrs. At the same time their Protestant memories would have had memories of the burnings during the reign of Queen Mary, the last Catholic monarch. It is difficult to say how many Catholics were living in Gloucester at the time of the Accession of King James II but the answer is probably very few. In 1676 only one papist was recorded as residing in the City.

We do know that a priest was stationed in Gloucester at the request of the King but John Jurica, writing in the Victoria County History, says that he ‘gained few converts.’ This priest was Father Pius Gervase Westcote, alias Littleton. He was born in about 1649 of a Worcester recusant family. He became a Dominican and received the habit at Bornhem in 1674. He was Procurator of the Dominicans at Bornhem until 1683 when he joined the English Mission. He is described a being a fluent and eloquent preacher and as diligent in fulfilling his mission in Gloucester. It is possible that he was appointed as a result of the Royal Visit or he may have arrived in the City before then. There is no definite evidence to indicate whether he was permitted to celebrate Mass in the ‘King’s Chapel’ or ‘Mass Room’, after all it had been adapted for Catholic usage for the King’s visit. However, John Wagstaffe did become responsible for both the priest and the chapel during the events leading up to the Glorious Revolution.

Another religious working in Gloucester was Dom Richard Wilfrid Reeve O.S.B. He was born in Gloucester on 22nd June 1642, son of William Reeve. A stroke ‘when a quarter old’ left him incurably lame. He spent four years at the school attached to the Church of St. Mary de Crypt before transferring to the Cathedral School. Reeve later studied at Trinity College, Oxford, where he graduated in 1665, two years before becoming a Roman Catholic. From 1668 until 1673 he worked as usher and later as Master of Magdalen College School, in Oxford. As a result of his proselytising he was ejected from the school, ‘unless he conformed to the established church.’ After a brief stay in Gloucester, Richard Reeve went into exile on the continent and he became a Benedictine in the year 1674. He taught classes of grammar, poetry and rhetoric, as well as Greek, at St. Gregory’s Douai and, later, at La Celle but he was unable to receive Holy Orders on account of his lameness.

 Despite his religious convictions he was respected by all as a fine schoolmaster and as the ‘best Grecian’ in England. He was praised by those who knew him for the freshness and originality of his teaching methods.

In January 1688 James II brought Brother Wilfrid back to England from France and he was re-instated as Master of Magdalen College School. He declined the appointment and in 1688, by Royal mandate, was appointed as Master of the Blue Coat School at Gloucester, It is interesting that D.J. Watkins, writing in 1975, makes no mention of Reeve as Master of that school in his, ‘History of Sir Thomas Rich’s School, Gloucester.’ John Abbott is listed as the Master from 1677 until 1733.


The determination of King James to bring about freedom of conscience and toleration in religious matters culminated in the events surrounding the Second Declaration of June 1688. The acquittal of the bishops of the Established Church, on 30th June, was met with national rejoicing and, in Gloucester, the Cathedral bells rang out to proclaim the news. These reactions, skilfully manipulated by the King’s enemies, heralded the arrival of William of Orange at Torbay in the November of that year. By January 1689 James II had fled into exile and he was to remain in France until his death in 1701. A Protestant backlash erupted and Catholicism was, once again, driven underground. The end of this progressive talk of religious toleration and freedom of conscience had an impact on Gloucester too.

The new regime quickly took control and the changes were symbolised by the removal of the statue of King James. Abel Wantner wrote:

‘(his) effigies of Stone was most contumeciously abused, and throwne downe to ye Ground, and broaken to pieces by some of the souldiers of ye Duke of Boulton’s Regiment, and part thereof (in contempt of Majesty) was most scornefully and degrediously put into (a) wheel-barrow and Ruggeld downe to ye Key, and there throwne into ye River Severne.’

The King’s Chapel was ransacked and most of the costly furniture was burnt and destroyed. Captain Pyrke and his Foresters assisted in seizing the chair in which King James had sat and which was apparently cherished by the citizens of Gloucester, and made a bonfire of it. It was said that if the Mayor had not retreated he would have been offered up to Moloch.

Besides destroying the visible reminders of Catholicism and the Visit of King James, there was also a backlash against the Catholic laity. Catholic homes, including that of Sir William Compton of Hartpury, were attacked. The Mayor, Sheriffs, Parliamentary representative, Recorder and other dignitaries were quickly deprived of office or they, themselves, resigned. Robert Brent was particularly a target for the Orange supporters, probably because he had been ‘much employed by the Government.’ On 28th February, 1689, a ‘proclamation for the discovery and apprehension of Robert Brent, a gentleman,’ was published and a reward of £200 was offered. Brent would seem to have escaped to the Court of King James in Exile but his wife was actually arrested on suspicion of High Treason. She was thrown into the Gatehouse Prison at Westminster, in the August of 1689, where she was joined by her daughter, Ann. They were eventually released and Catherine died in Gloucestershire in 1706. It is not known when or where her husband died but her epitaph in the churchyard at Old St. Pancras, in London, reads ‘Here also lyeth Catherine Brent, widow of Robert Brent of Larkstone, Gloucestershire, Esquire dyed 18th Dec. 1706. Removed hither R.I.P.’

Trinder, on the other hand, continued to live at Bourton-on-the-Water until his death in 1718. Details of his later life appear in Journal 12 of the Gloucestershire and North Avon Catholic History Society and in Dom Geoffrey Scott’s essay entitled, ‘English Benedictine Missions in C17th and C18th Gloucestershire’ (Worcestershire Recusant, No. 50)

The two who probably received the worst treatment were Brother Wilfrid Reeve and Father Pius Littleton. We know that Reeve took refuge, at the outbreak of the Revolution, in the home of Charles Trinder at Bourton where he, apparently, continued to educate some children. It was here that he was arrested on 12th December 1688 for being a Catholic priest and ‘a Jesuit.’ He was imprisoned for eight months in Gloucester until his release in August 1689 when he returned to Bourton-on-the-Water. After spending some time at Kidlington, near Oxford, he died in Piccadilly on 31st October 1693 and was buried at St. Martin-in-the-Fields. There is a tradition that during the course of his career he had educated sixty Anglican clergy and forty Catholic priests.

Father Pius Littleton was also imprisoned for a time and, apparently, suffered greatly during the years after the Revolution, being ‘driven from place to place.’ In 1700 he received the honour of being made a Preacher-General at the request of Dominic Maguire, Dominican Archbishop of Armagh. The Archbishop was living in exile in Paris and he desired for the honour to be conferred upon Father Pius for his zealous work as a missionary. Sometime before the year 1709 he was appointed as Chaplain to Marmaduke, Baron Langdale, and, after a period at Stonecroft, he finally worked at Holme in Spaldingmore where he died on 10th June 1723.

The Orange invasion was not welcomed by all non-Catholics. A number of Anglican clergy committed to the Jacobite cause and were prepared to refuse to take their oath of loyalty to William and Mary. For them, as for their Catholic neighbours, William of Orange was nothing more than a usurper. Amongst their number were Abraham Gregory, a member of the Cathedral Chapter, and William Robson who was Vicar of Stonehouse. The first is thought to have suffered imprisonment whilst the latter ceased to work as incumbent, although he was not actually deprived of his living. Both of these principled men died in 1690.

The most celebrated local Non-Juring cleric was Bishop Robert Frampton, himself. His biographer, T. Simpson Evans, speaks of the anxieties that Catholics and others had caused him during his time as bishop. Ironically, he was ejected from the See of Gloucester for refusing the oath to William and Mary. He was allowed to retain the living of Standish and performed service there until his death in the year 1708. During his years at Standish it is said that Bishop Frampton always, conscientiously, refused to pray for King William and Queen Mary.

For Catholics, during the years after 1688, new penal laws were enacted and old laws enforced with new rigour. Again, families became ostracized and isolated, deepening the demoralisation felt by many after the purge following the Popish plot of 1678. Deprived of all the externals of their religion, a process of slow disintegration set in. In 1735, only two papists were recorded in Gloucester. In the event, the short reign of King James II had proved to be something of a disaster for the Roman Catholic cause in Gloucester. Furthermore, legislation to further religious toleration was delayed for another century.


  1. Suzanne Eward: No Fine but a Glass of Wine, Michael Russell 1985
  2. Thomas Dudley Fosbrooke: An Original History of the City of Gloucester, 1819, Alan Sutton edition
  3. Francis A. Hyett: Gloucester in National History, john Bellows, 1924
  4. Samuel Rudder: A New history of Gloucestershire 1779, Alan Sutton edition 1986
  5. John Jurica: Victoria County History, Volume 4, Gloucester , 1988
  6. Christopher Dove: The Story of Nympsfield, Nimsfeilde Press, 1977
  7. Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society Transactions: 1939 P.P. 287-293;

1907 P. 101; 1914 P. 8; 1894/5 P. 149; 1946/8 P. 50 and 1981 P.P. 170-172

  1. Gloucestershire Notes and Queries: Vol 1 P.P. 394-395; Vol 2 P.P. 546-547; Vol 3 P.P. 419-420 and 501-503; Vol 4 P.P. 100-102 and Vol 7 P.P. 180-181.
  2. Ripley: Gloucester 1660-1740, P.P. 150-151
  3. John Burke: Extinct Baronetage 1844
  4. Audrey Jennings: A History of Matson House
  5. J. Watkins: History of Sir Thomas Rich’s School, Gloucester, 1981
  6. Meriol Trevor: The Shadow of the Crown, Constable, 1988
  7. James Lee-Milne: The Last Stuarts, Chatto and Windus, 1983
  8. Theo Aronson: Kings over the Water, Cassell, 1979
  9. Mrs Bryan Stapleton: A History of the Post-Reformation Catholic Missions in Oxfordshire, Henry Frowde, 1906
  10. Roche: The Story of St. Peter’s Catholic Church, Gloucester, B.P. Co., 1948
  11. Carolyn Heighway: Gloucester, Alan Sutton, 1985
  12. Dr George Oliver: Collections illustrating …, Dolman, 1857
  13. Joseph Gillow: Biographical Dictionary of English Catholics, Volume 5, Burns and Oates, 1902
  14. B. Snow: Necrology of English Congregation of the Order of St. Benedict, Burns and Oates, 1883
  15. David Lunn: English Benedictines 1540-1688, Burns and Oates, 1980
  16. Geoffrey Holt S.J.: English Jesuits 1650-1829, Catholic Record Society, 1984
  17. Bernard Basset S.J. English Jesuits, Burns and Oates, 1967
  18. Walter Gumbley O.P.: Obituary Notices of the English Dominicans 1555-1952, Blackfriars, 1955
  19. Catholic Record Society: Dominicana, Volume 25
  20. Journals of the Gloucestershire and North Avon Catholic History Society
  21. Simpson Evans M.A.: The Life of Robert Frampton, Bishop of Gloucester, Longmans Green and Co., 1896

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