England in 1819 by Percy Bysshe Shelley

An old, mad, blind, despised, and dying King;
Princes, the dregs of their dull race, who flow
Through public scorn,—mud from a muddy spring;
Rulers who neither see nor feel nor know,
But leechlike to their fainting country cling
Till they drop, blind in blood, without a blow.
A people starved and stabbed in th’ untilled field;
An army, whom liberticide and prey
Makes as a two-edged sword to all who wield;
Golden and sanguine laws which tempt and slay;
Religion Christless, Godless—a book sealed;
A senate, Time’s worst statute, unrepealed—
Are graves from which a glorious Phantom may
Burst, to illumine our tempestuous day.

Will of Patrick Grehan I,

Source: National Archives Kew England

Written: January 14, 1830

Recorded: June 17, 2017

In the Name of God Amen. I Patrick Grehan formerly of Saint James Street Dublin Brewer being of sound mind do publish & declare this to be my last Will & Testament revoking all former ones I direct that my body may be interred in the most private manner in St James St Church Yard should I happen to die in Dublin or within three miles from it but not otherwise I direct all my just Debts to be paid if not more than four years standing I leave to my dear Daughter Jane Grehan now a member of the Religious Community residing at New Hall Essex the Dividends on one thousand five hundred pounds three P Ct reduced Stock or Annuities part of a sum now standing in my name for & during the term of her natural life I leave to my dearest sister Mary Roche fifty pounds as a token of my affection and regard I leave to my nephew Andrew Grehan and my niece Mrs Butler fifty pounds each for mourning I leave to Thomas Lynam formerly my Clerk fifty pounds I direct also my Executors to pay him two hundred pounds to be distributed by him amongst the most necessitous of my father’s Relations at his discretion taking into Consideration those who now receive an allowance at my hands if alive at the time of my Death I direct the sum of One hundred Pounds to be given for Masses for the Repose of my soul I leave Fifty Pounds to the Catholic Schools of St James Parish and fifty pounds to be distributed amongst the poor of the said parish as the Revd Doctor Lube or his successors think fit I leave to the Catholic Schools of St Catherines Parish thirty pounds to the Catholic Schools of the parish of St Andrews Townshend Thirty Pounds to the Catholic Schools of St Mary & Thomas Thirty I leave to my grandson Patrick Grehan one thousand pounds As to all the Residue & Remainder of my property I leave it share and share alike to be equally divided between my two sons Edwd Grehan or Graham and Patrick Grehan lastly I do appoint my two sons to be Executors to this my last Will and Testament written with my own hand this fourteenth day of January one thousand eight hundred and thirty _ Patrick Grehan Done at my sister’s Mrs Roche’s house No 50 Harcourt Street Dublin (Appearance by John Donnelly of No 28 Denmark Street Dublin as to manner and character of the handwriting of the deceased on 29 March 1832)

Proved at London 14 June 1832 PCC Prob11/1801

Massively, massively off topic – but I laughed and laughed

This was posted on the Sainsbury’s website on the 16 September 2017, and it actually reduced me to tears of laughter. I’m so delighted that they had up-to-date electrics

Sainsbury’s Home Stainless Steel 4 Slice Toaster

 

Blew up after 2 weeks

While it was working I would have given this 3 stars. The main problem is that the slots are not very deep so much so that with some bread you needed to either cut each slice in two or turn it around and put it on again. However after 2 weeks of ownership and very light use it blew up. My wife put the bread in, pressed down the lever, there was a ‘crack’ and all the electrics in the house went off. Luckily we have very up to date electrics with trip switches so no harm was done. Unfortunately we didn’t keep the receipt as we bought it along with our weekly shop so can’t get a refund. Hey ho we live and learn..

An English response to the Battle of Mentana 1867

I find the tone in both of these quite extraordinary, but then at the time of the first article, the Church had been a temporal power for almost 1500 years.

The Roman Question.

” The King is not saved by much valour: and the giant will not be saved in the multitude of his power. Vain is the horse for safety?? : but in the abundance of his might he shall not be saved. Behold, the eyes of the Lord are on them that fear him; and on them who hope in his mercy. Psalm xxxii.”

Will you reproach us that, writing from Rome, and in these days, we note the song of the shepherd King? They were not clad in coats of mail, no pennon dangled on their lance, but those youths with the down of manhood hardly on their face wore as true crusaders as ever died in Palestine. They were as modest and as resolute as ever was David when Saul said to him, “Thou art not able to withstand this Philistine nor to fight against him, for thou art but a boy; but he is a warrior from his youth.” And who has wept the death of one of the Zouaves? A tear no doubt has stood in the brother’s eye: the sister and the mother will say he is gone before ; but those tears are the incense of love and not the pining of regret, If the coat of Nelson is preserved at Greenwich,and lights burn at the tomb of Wellington, will you blame us that we hold that plain grey uniform in honour; and if we do not place it in glass cases, that we reverence the names of those who wore it, and hold up our hands at the altar of Christ gladly on their behalf?

Will you tell us that his Church militant upon earth has no country and is a mere myth ? Here at least in Rome you cannot, for we kneel by the sepulchres of his prophets, and the voice of St. Paul answers, ” All who will live piously in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution: but evil men and seducers shall grow worse and worse, erring and driving into error.”

Here you cannot, for the Church had no sooner celebrated the chains of St. Peter than she says Mass in honour of the martyrs of the Maccabees. They were Jews; but they were true to their God. Shall the Church, which has not forgotten them, forget to celebrate her champions now? St. Gregory, of Nanzianzum, says well, ” Though among many they are not held in honour that they did not undertake that contest after Christ, yet are they worthy to be honoured by all, because they showed themselves strong and constant for their country’s laws and institutions.”

To what else have the Romans now been true, and for what else defended their city?  ” And Judas and his brethren saw that evils were multiplied, and that the armies approached to their borders, and they knew the orders the king had given to destroy the people and utterly abolish them ; and they said every man to his neighbour. Let us raise up the low condition of our people, and let us fight for our people and our sanctuary.”   And now the Romans have done it, and you cannot deny that they had a right to do it.

But will you say that the Catholics of every nation who fought by their side were needy adventurers who had no right to be there ?  Yes, they were adventurers; adventurers in the fields of honour and of duty ; adventurers for religion on the walls of the chosen city. For Rome is the city of all Catholics ; there they have a right to their Father’s blessing, and how much more if they died defending him to his prayer for their souls. For these are no common rights, but immeasurably greater than the rights of nations ; and yet it was not until the law of nations was cast to the winds that Catholic Rome vindicated her honour in the courage of her sons.

But still will you say that the French had no right to come? Every man has a right to resist injustice; and it is only a question of prudence if he does not. Were the Catholics of the world to’ wait till Piedmont had done in Rome what. she has done in all her usurpations : stripped the altars, emptied the convents, melted the sacred vessels, cast venerable men into prison, driven out religious women to starve ? The ideas of Henry VIII. and Elizabeth have not yet reduced Romans to that. Why were Frenchmen to wait? You can give no reason except your own wish. And France was more bound to interfere, because by a mistaken policy she had let the mischief loose upon Italy, because no faith had been kept with her, and her honour was at stake. We say nothing of her traditions and her Catholic name.

God knows how much France has suffered. He knows how her faith will be revived. Do we not grieve, then ? Not for the dead, but for the living. They are at peace, and the torment of malice can reach them no more. But Europe is not at peace; and how can it be,? You will say that it is the princes who are to defend the Church if they think it worth defending. But the princes have not defended the Church, and the Church has a right to defend herself. Do you think that be-cause the Catholics of Europe are disunited, because they are peaceable, and weak to resist aggression, that you can ride over them as you please ? They have hearts and hands and swords. In your insane bigotry and injustice will you seek by diplomatic intrigue to do what by the sword you dare not do ? And if you think you could persuade men to please you by making the Sovereign Pontiff a puppet, will you not see on a larger scale what we have just seen on a smaller one ?

You will; for the Pontiff has rights which you do not understand, but which the Church throughout the world understands and cherishes. And if obedience is impaired it still exists, and the Catholic people will hear their pastor again if you compel him to say as he has said now, “Venerable brethren, by this race of abandoned men we are surrounded on every side.” For nothing that you can do will ever destroy the temporal power of the Church ; no art or menaces induce the Pope to remain in Rome in the condition to which you seek to reduce him. If, then, you are not prepared for war, it is your part first to set the example of peace. For it is your continual hounding on of the dogs of Piedmont which has brought about the present crisis. And if you think it pleasant to fiddle while Rome is burning, we do not; and Europe will not submit to your dictation. Lead civilised lives yourselves before you undertake to reform your neighbours.

And if you do not believe in the providence of God, which has given the Church a civil principality, remember that even in this world He seldom suffers flagrant violations of public right to go unpunished. Here in Rome, freed at least for the time from your machinations, we will pray for the conversion of your country, and that the Almighty will cease to visit the sins of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Him.

AN ENGLISH PRIEST,

Rome, Octave of All Saints. [ which would have been the 9th November 1867]

The above text was found on p.7, 23rd November 1867 in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at http://www.thetablet.co.uk .

 

And then 100 years later in The Tablet, almost as strong a view

Papal Guards

The year 1967 is not quite so rich in.centenaries as 1966 was, but it has one outstanding one. It is the centenary of the last victory of the Church in arms, in the series which began with the Milvian Bridge, includes Lepanto and Vienna, and had added to, it in 1867 the victory over the Garibaldian invaders of papal Rome at Mentana. The thirty thousand Garibaldians who marched on Rome in three great bands in 1867, faced only by the twelve thousand defenders of the papacy, must have imagined that Rome was well within their grasp. If they suffered a check from the Catholic Zouaves at San Francesco in their opening moves, their overwhelming force brought them eventually to the bridges over the Teverone, a bare three miles from Rome, ten thousand strong against General Kanzler’s papal army of three thousand. This, though it included some of the Pope’s own Romans, counted as its best elements young men, and old men, drawn from every province in Christendom. Collingridge, the heroic young Londoner, and Peter Yong, the virile young Dutchman, who fell together at Monte Libretti; Bach the Bavarian, a leader of Ney’s quality: these were typical of those Catholic volunteers ” prepared, like Jacob, to wrestle with the angel “ in a far more literal sense than most of us. Alas that the final battle was not ornamented by the kilts of the regiment of Glasgow Highlanders that Scotland contributed to the cause! But these, as unpaid as the other volunteers, had less financial capital to keep their unit in being, and disappeared in the ranks of the papal forces, to live on soup and macaroni, deprived of the garb of Old Gaul.

The sudden appearance of Napoleon III’s French-men in support of the “papalisti” ended the Garibaldian hopes, as admirers of Lothair will remember, the new French breechloader ” doing marvels “ and causing that strange cessation in the battle remembered by one volunteer on the papal side. Then the Garibaldians surrendered or fled, and Julian Watts-Russell, little more than a boy, fell in the moment of victory, among his fellows of the papal Zouaves. The House of Savoy, which had eaten up Italy ” like an artichoke,” had to wait three years before Rome, the last leaf, was swallowed, apart from that undigestible morsel of the Vatican; and where is that ancient house today?

The above text was found on p.11, 7th January 1967 in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at http://www.thetablet.co.uk .

Wilfrid Watts-Russell October 1879

 

THE LATE MR. WILFRID WATTS-RUSSELL.—We deeply regret to announce the death, at Clapham, of Wilfrid Watts-Russell, Esq., eldest son of the late Rev. Michael Watts-Russell, and grandson of the late Jesse Watts-Russell, Esq., of Ilam Hall, Staffordshire, and Biggin House, Northamptonshire. Mr. Watts-Russell served with distinction under Colonel Allet, in the Pontifical Zouaves, up to the time of the invasion of Rome by the Piedmontese troups in September, 1870. His younger brother, Julian, also a Pontifical Zouave, it will be remembered, was killed at Mentana. Mr. Watts-Russell’s surviving brother is the Very Rev. F. Michael Watts-Russell, Passionist, Rector of St. Saviour’s Retreat, Broadway. The deceased was thirty-three years of age. A solemn Requiem Mass was sung at the church of Our Lady of Victories, Clapham, on Thursday, by the Very Rev. F. Coffin, Prov. C.SS.R., assisted by the Revv. FF. Watts-Russell, C.P., and Coventry, O.S.M. Amongst the other clergy present in the sanctuary, in addition to the Redemptorist Fathers attached to St. Mary’s, were the Right Rev. Mgr. Goddard, of Chislehurst, the Revv. FF. Gallwey, S.J., and Vincent Grogan, C.P., and the Revv. G. S. Delaney, J. Palmer, and A. J. Hogan. The interment took place at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Mortlake, where the prayers at the grave were said by the Right Rev. Mgr. Goddard. R.I.P.

The above text was found on p.25, 18th October 1879 in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at http://www.thetablet.co.uk .

 

The restoration of Julian Watts-Russell’s grave, June 1894

Campo Verano cemetery, Rome – General view

The restoration of the grave of Julian  Watts-Russell is now completed, after having  cost £17. [A modern day equivalent of £12,000] Among the latest contributors have been Lady Ellenborough and Lady Frances Lindsay. The grave is surrounded by low marble walls, sup-porting six small marble columns connected by a low bar, while the bed within is sown with rose trees, chrysanthemums, junipers, and violets. In the winter season there will be a cross of snowdrops and pansies. The old headstone stands in its place. This is a copy of the declaration put in the casket with the bones :

“The grave of Julian Watts-Russell, Pontifical Zouave, who was killed in the battle of Mentana, Nov. 3, 1867, was opened, and his remains examined on May 16, 1894, in the presence of the undersigned. The undersigned hereby declare that owing to the vault in which the coffin was placed having been imperfectly closed in the first instance, the rain was found to have penetrated into it, the consequence of which was that much damage had been done. The outer wooden coffin had gone to pieces, and the zinc coffin holding the remains was much damaged and broken. On the latter being opened it was further discovered that the moisture bad found entrance into it, causing such a condition of things as to necessitate the remains being transferred to this zinc casket. The remains were found to be very far advanced in decomposition, and it was only the bones of the skeleton, themselves much damaged by the wet, that were enclosed in this casket. The casket containing the bones, before being placed in the vault, was blessed by a Capuchin monk of the Church of San Lorenzo. All this was done in the presence of the undersigned, on the date above indicated.”

Then follow the signatures of those who attended the ceremony of exhumation on May 16 of the present year.

The above text was found on p.17, 16th June 1894 in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at http://www.thetablet.co.uk .

The exhumation of Julian Watts-Russell 16th May 1894

Julian Watts-Russell was a Pontifical Zouave, who was killed in the battle of Mentana, Nov. 3, 1867. “A monument had been erected to Julian Watts-Russell on the site of his death, and his heart had been buried there.” In 1894,  the Rev. Mr. Lindsay who had just arrived in Rome, to study at the Academia Ecclesiastica,  prior to his ordination the following year, ” found the monument in the cellar of the principal café of the little village” of Mentana.  “By his generous care it was brought from Mentana to Rome on Friday, February 23,”..it will be erected in the Church of St. Thomas, adjoining the [English] College.

It wasn’t entirely clear why Father Lindsay was searching for any traces of Julian, but there seemed to be some sort of family connection. It turn out that  Claud Lindsay is a sort of first cousin. He and Julian Watts-Russell share an uncle in Charles Towry-Law, though by different wives. By 16th May 1894, the monument has been found, restored, and installed in the church of St Thomas of Canterbury in Rome.  Someone seems to have visited his grave in the Campo Verano cemetery in Rome and found it rather damaged, so the decision was made to exhume the body, and rebury the remains of “one who may be called the last of the English martyrs “, 

Campo Verano cemetery, Rome – General view

“The exhumation of the body of Julian Watts-Russell took place between 6.15 and 8.15 on the morning of Wednesday, May 16. There were present : Mgr. Merry del Val, Mgr. le Duc de Stacpoole, the Rev. Torquato Armellini, S. J. (Julian’s confessor), the Rev John Prior, D.D. (Vice-Rector of the English College), the Rev Arthur Hinsley, a former student of Ushaw College (the alma-mater of Julian Watts-Russell) the Rev. Claud R. Lindsay (representing Julian’s brother and sister) Dr. Eyre and Count de Raymond (a relative of Julian, and whose mother, the Countess de Raymond was intimate with him and present when the coffin was last opened). The remains were found buried in a concrete vault and in two coffins, the outer one wooden, the inner one of zinc, both of which had been injured by rain &c., owing to the defective manner in which the vault was closed. The zinc coffin was brought to the surface, and the remains transferred to a zinc casket. A crown of roses which had been placed on his head had decayed, except with regard to the general form and primary fibres, but had remained as a crown upon the skull, while the flesh had disappeared beneath it. The head thus resembled that of the relics of so many Roman martyrs to whose life also Julian’s had borne so deep a resemblance. After a portion of the burial service had been performed and the casket blessed by a capuchin friar of San Lorenzo, the remains were re-interred in the vault. The ceremony was very satisfactory to all present, and the remains are now secured from further injury. the work was superintended by Signor Caviliere Tricchi, Official director of the Cemetery, who deserves every praise for his courtesy, and respect to the remains of Julian. The work of the grave will be concluded in twenty days, and it is intended to keep it in a good state of repair henceforward. For this purpose further subscriptions have been contributed by the following persons: Lady Herbert of Lea (who is paying her annual visit to the Eternal City), Mrs George Vaughan, Mr W. Osborne Christmas, Mgr. le Duc de Stacpoole, the Rev Thomas Belton, C.R.L., the Rev G.B.Tatum, M.A., the Rev. Claud R. Lindsay, the Rev. Arthur Hinsley, Mrs Meynell, and an anonymous priest from New York. The total so far collected is about £42, [A modern day equivalent of £30,000]  and it is intended to apply what remains to the present restoration of the grave. The Rev. Mr. Lindsay is anxious that the sum should be increased to sufficiency by the contributions of former Zouaves, and will be thankful for any offerings sent to him at San Silvestro in Capite. Should any money remain over after the restoration of the grave, it will be devoted to keeping it in a permanently good condition. The inscription on the coffin which was soldered on to the side of the new casket, was as follows;

JULIAN WATTS RUSSELL

PONTIFICAL ZOUAVE, 2ND COMP., 1ST BAT.,

DIED AT MENTANA 3RD NOVEMBER, 1867,

AGED 17 YEARS 10 MONTHS.

RESQUIESCAT IN PACE.

MISSING

The above text was found on p.17,26th May 1894,  in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at http://www.thetablet.co.uk .

Julian Watts-Russell: An Interview with Father Armellini, S.J. March 1894

Julian Watts-Russell was a Pontifical Zouave, who was killed in the battle of Mentana, Nov. 3, 1867. “A monument had been erected to Julian Watts-Russell on the site of his death, and his heart had been buried there.” In 1894,  the Rev. Mr. Lindsay who had just arrived in Rome, to study at the Academia Ecclesiastica,  prior to his ordination the following year, ” found the monument in the cellar of the principal café of the little village” of Mentana.  “By his generous care it was brought from Mentana to Rome on Friday, February 23,”..it will be erected in the Church of St. Thomas, adjoining the [English] College.

It’s not entirely clear why Father Lindsay was searching for any traces of Julian, but there seems to be some sort of family connection. By this point, there are rather dubious references being made to him as “one who may be called the last of the English martyrs “, The Tablet 3rd March 1894, and what almost seems to be a campaign to have him regarded as such.  English martyrs were fashionable in Rome at the time, the Pope had beatified John Fisher and Thomas More eight years earlier, along with a further fifty two English martyrs. Another nine were to follow in 1895.

This is the second of two articles published about Julian Watts-Russell on St Patrick’s Day 1894, and is an interview with his spiritual confessor.

Palazzo Borromea, Rome

No sort of difficulty attaches to a visit to Father Armellini, S.J.  [According to a note in the article, he was the postulator of the cause of the English Martyrs.]  He lives in the Via del Seminario at the Palazzo Borromea, become, after many phases of transformation, the Gregorian University, and known, by autonomasy, as the Roman College. It is only a question of finding the room of the particular Father you want among the many who live there, and of making the porter sure of your integrity. Thus the supernumerary porters are dispensed from running on multitudinous errands. The house is the residence of the Roman Provincial [of Jesuits], the teaching fathers forming only a nucleus of the’ community.

Father Armellini was at home, and at once most graciously acceded to my request for an interview, and spontaneously gave me a most interesting account of all that he remembered about Julian Watts-Russell.

“You had more to do with Julian Watts-Russell during his stay in Italy, than any other priest, not excepting even Father Cardella, who, for the rest, may be considered more in the light of a friend than as his spiritual father?”

“Yes,” he said, ” I had to do with Julian and his brothers from the beginning. They were three and they came to live in. the College of Nobles,[ Another note added:  Many English youths of the best families have belonged to this College, and in particular, the memory of the late Bishop of Clifton is still fresh. The Church where they performed their spiritual exercises adjoins the College, and is dedicated to St. Malo the Briton, and is recorded from the days of Cencius Camerarius (A.D. 1192).]   in this very house, where they stayed something more than a year. I was their confessor both them and afterwards; and I retain the most gratifying remembrances of our relations.

” One day I was informed that two of the pious youths had determined to become Zouaves in the Papal Army. The, third, as you all know, became a Passionist Father.”

” But your connection with them did not end here ?”

” No, I continued to see both the young soldiers frequently afterwards. When the time of war came, they were both stationed in the barracks, which were then, as now, in the Castle of St. Angelo. providing against a possible revolt, which might have been feared from the Garibaldian emissaries, but which did not actually take place, General Kanzler had divided the city into five quarters, and forbidden all intercommunication effectually securing his regulation by placing troops on the bridges and other points of vantage.

Santa Maria in Transpontina

This regulation prevented Julian from coming to make his last confession to me, as he had intended to do. He told his brother that he went instead to the neighbouring Carmelite Church of Santa Maria in Traspontina. I may add that his brother, being then unwell, was not called into active service for the battle of Mentana. It is, therefore, regrettable, from my point of view, that I had not an opportunity of bidding him a solemn farewell. My personal recollections after this are less directly concerned with Julian. But I may tell you that it was noticed at the time that his death was caused by a shot in the eye, and it was also remembered that an English member of the Garibaldian army—a newspaper correspondent, I believe—was a crack shot and delighted in shooting his victims in the eye. He shot from the window of a house in Mentana, and thus had the advantage of resting his gun upon the window-sill. [An interesting piece of spin, ]  In any case Julian’s suffering must have been of short duration, as he died at the end of the battle and in close proximity to the village.

Castel SantAngelo, Rome

” When the news of the victory was brought me, I received a visit from a pious French gentleman, whose name I do not well remember at this moment, who wished me to break the news of Julian’s death to his brother. I was naturally reluctant, but finally ceded to his wish. We went together to the Castle of St. Angelo. When I broke the sad news, the youth burst into tears. I tried to comfort him, saying : ‘ Do not weep, your brother is most certainly a martyr.’ This he at once recognized and then smiled, and quickly added : ‘ Still, let us pray for his dear soul. We all knelt and said the “De Profundis” for the repose of the youthful martyr.”

“This was the most optimistic and yet the truest view of the case.”

“Yes, and it was the view taken by Julian’s most exemplary Christian father. He was at Marseilles when the news came, and he said, with the spirit of true Christian paternity, that if he had ten sons, he would be willing that they should all be thus gloriously sacrificed in so holy a cause.”

” And your general recollection of Julian ?”

“My general recollection is of a truly candid youth, marvellously energetic for the cause of God and the spiritual life, a mere youth, it is true, but endowed with a certain earnestness, which had for its object his own spiritual advancement, and which seemed to foretoken the great glory of his end. In this way he seemed old beyond his years, and his life seemed to be conformed to the manner of his death.” 

The above text was found on p.19, 17th March 1894 in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at http://www.thetablet.co.uk .

FATHER TORQUATO ARMELLINI, S.J.

On September 3, Father Torquato Armellini, S.J., died at the Gregorian University, Rome, aged 78 years. He will be remembered by numerous visitors to Rome as one of the most popular of English .confessors. After the death of Father Boero in 1884, he became Postulator for the Canonisation of the English Martyrs. The energy and perseverance which he displayed in this post helped very materially to the passing of the various decrees, in virtue of which we can new salute so many of our Martyrs as Blessed and Venerable. About three years ago the infirmities of old age compelled him to resign this important office to its present holder, Father Camillo Beccari, S.J. R.I.P.

The above text was found on p.15, 14th September 1901 in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at http://www.thetablet.co.uk .

Julian Watts-Russell March 1894

Julian Watts-Russell was a Pontifical Zouave, who was killed in the battle of Mentana, Nov. 3, 1867. “A monument had been erected to Julian Watts-Russell on the site of his death, and his heart had been buried there.” In 1894,  the Rev. Mr. Lindsay who had just arrived in Rome, to study at the Academia Ecclesiastica,  prior to his ordination the following year, ” found the monument in the cellar of the principal café of the little village” of Mentana.  “By his generous care it was brought from Mentana to Rome on Friday, February 23,”..it will be erected in the Church of St. Thomas, adjoining the [English] College.

It’s not entirely clear why Father Lindsay was searching for any traces of Julian, but there seems to be some sort of family connection. By this point, there are rather dubious references being made to him as “one who may be called the last of the English martyrs “, The Tablet 3rd March 1894, and what almost seems to be a campaign to have him regarded as such.  English martyrs were fashionable in Rome at the time, the Pope had beatified John Fisher and Thomas More eight years earlier, along with a further fifty two English martyrs. Another nine were to follow in 1895.

This is one of two articles published about Julian Watts-Russell on St Patrick’s Day 1894

JULIAN WATTS-RUSSELL. Father Giuseppe Franco, S.J., in a book condemned and prohibited by the Government  (I Crociati di S. Pietro, Rome 1869) gives the following interesting details about Julian Watts-Russell, which I communicate because they are, likely to be inaccessible in England. After the battle of Nerola, a Zouave station was placed by General de Charetto in a little chapel of St. Antony which had been lately ruined by the Garibaldians. At evening the corpse of a pontifical soldier was brought in, and his comrades celebrated his obsequies as best they could in the absence of a priest, and Julian Watts-Russell acted as priest (fece da sacerdote) reciting the De Profundis and other prayers, and then sought a lamp which he placed, according to the pious Catholic custom, at the foot of the corpse. The soldiers then took some needed rest, sleeping upon the ground as best they could. Just then Captain Thomalé entered and said, “Boys, I have not come to give you commands, but I have need of 12 men of goodwill, to maintain a difficult position.” Julian was the first to spring to his feet, and a picket formed from the exhausted soldiers at once marched to take up the desired position (p. 163-4, vol.ii)

HIS MONUMENT IN THE CHURCH OF ST. THOMAS OF CANTERBURY.

In the same work (vol. iii., p. 524)  Father Franco describes the monument which stood at Mentana as having on top a Greek cross of marble in the form of the Mentana medal. I learn from private letters written at the time that this cross was ruined on September 18, 1870, but that the column with the inscription was left standing till November 3, 1870, when it was thrown down. Fortunately the Vandals did not know that his heart was there, so that it was thus saved from profanation. On the same night Signor Pietro Santucci removed the heart previously to its transmission to England and he also placed the column on a part of his own property. It is now proposed to restore the cross in its original form, and place it on the column in the Church of St. Thomas. The sculptor, Ugolini, is engaged, and the monument will be set up in a very short time. 

The above text was found on p.17, 17th March 1894 in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at http://www.thetablet.co.uk .

 

Bastille Day Requiem Mass – Westminster Cathedral 1916

the Marchioness Imperiali
The Marchioness Imperiali

frenchflagFRANCE’S DAY : REQUIEM AT THE CATHEDRAL.—France’s Day was celebrated with much rejoicing in London on Friday, and the tricolour was sold in the streets for the benefit of the Red Cross Society of France. For the gallant soldiers of our Ally who have made the supreme sacrifice since the commencement of the war, a Requiem Mass was celebrated in Westminster Cathedral in the presence of the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster. Representatives of the Allies engaged in the war were present, including M. Paul Cambon, the French Ambassador, and the Embassy Staff, the Italian Ambassador and the Marchioness Imperiali the Russian Ambassador, the Portuguese Minister, and Lieut General Orth, of the Belgian Legation. There were also present the Greek Minister, the Serbian Minister, Mr. and Mrs. Asquith, the Duke of Norfolk, the Mayor of Westminster, the Duke of Somerset, the Speaker of the House of Commons, Lord Edmund Talbot, Sir Peter and Lady McBride, Major-General Sir Francis Lloyd, Sir Roper Parkington, and Lord Claud Hamilton. His Majesty the King, was represented by Lord Sandhurst, and Queen Alexandra by Colonel Sir Henry Streatfeild. The Catholic Women’s League was represented by the president, Mrs.  James Hope, and the hon. organizing secretary, Mrs St. George Saunders. The League also placed a wreath of lillies and laurel before the mosaic of Joan of Arc, with the inscription ” Aux Heros de la France morts pour la Patrie, la Gloire et la Victoire, Hommage de la Ligue des Femmes Catholiques d’Angleterre.” mosaic of joan of arcVarious religious, orders were also represented including the Sisters of Charity, many of whom are engaged in the military hospitals in France.

A catafalque draped with the French colours was erected in front of the high altar, and was provided with a guard of honour of Irish Guards. In the gallery at the western end of the Cathedral were the massed bands of the Brigade of Guards and previous to the commencement of the Mass they played Bizet’s overture ” Patrie,” and later Sullivan’s overture    ” In Memoriam.”

 

westminster-cathedral-1High Mass coram Cardinali was celebrated by Bishop Butt, the assistant priest being Father Edwin Burton, Vice-President of ,St. Edmund’s. The absolutions were pronounced by his Eminence, and the military band gave a splendid rendering of the Dead March in         ” Saul,” preceded by a roll of muffled drums. Then came the “Marseillaise” At the conclusion of the Mass the  “Last Post” sounded by the buglers of the Coldstream Guards followed the National Anthem, and a fitting termination to the impressive service was given by the band playing Gounod’s “Marche Solennelle”.

The above text was found on p.27, 22nd July 1916,  in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at http://www.thetablet.co.uk .