Catholic History Day, Bar Convent, York

Catholic Record Society/Postgate Society/English Catholic History Association


The Bar Convent, York

Saturday 3 June 2017


10.00  Arrivals and coffee

10.30  Welcome and introduction to the day

10.35  Dr. James Kelly: Rendering unto Caesar? The secular, the sacred and the formation of an English Catholic identity c.1558 – 1829

11.40  Break

11.50  Dr. Cormac Begadon:  Exile and Mission: the English Catholic Clergy 1568-1793

1.00  Lunch

2.30  Dr. Hannah Thomas From Exile to Integration: English Convents across the Channel c.1597 1794

3.30  Tea

3.45  Dr. Caroline Bowden “We must have a school for our daughters” –  what were the choices?

 5.00  Vigil Mass of Sunday in the Convent Chapel

COST: £15.00 (Students £7.50) includes tea and coffee but not lunch. Light lunches available in the restaurant, bookable on the day. Telephone 01904 464 910 to reserve a table.

For more information and to reserve a place please contact Judith Smeaton on 01904 704 525 or at

Report of an archives training event at Hereford Archives and Record Centre (HARC), 13th March 2017

Richard Wade is one of the four archivists at HARC who has worked with many different types of archives. He gave a very useful general introduction on archives in an afternoon session organised by the Catholic Archives Society at HARC.

We had submitted questions in advance which he used to plan the talk. He covered general archive management and more specifically how to deal with archives as well as giving lots of practical tips and making everyone think about their own archives.

Although based on his own experience in Hereford, Richard stressed throughout how important it was for policies and procedures to be relevant to our own institutions. He also assured us that all collections had backlogs – we were not alone!  Even small tasks could take all day if extra research was needed.

He covered the definition of archives, the value of archives, policies and procedures, accessioning archives, the arrangement and description of archives and even the packaging requirements.

Some complex issues such as data protection would need a separate session, but he gave a few useful pointers about personal information and ways of handling such enquiries. He advised making sure that current material is not put in archive collections as it could create too many issues including legal problems.  He explained about the value of a consistent retention schedule: if you agree to keep items for a fixed period you must ensure they are not kept after that period (this may be a requirement of Data Protection regulations).

He suggested that with electronic and some financial records it would be sensible to get into discussions at an early stage of the record cycle; the best way of keeping electronic records for the future is still work in progress.

The importance of consistency in arrangements, cataloguing and descriptions were some of the key points, as was keeping collections together; the provenance and original order can be valuable in making the most of the item, whilst catalogues and indexes can link related items in different collections.

Richard gave us some exercises on how to sort different archives; these gave him the chance to highlight some of the potential pitfalls.  He encouraged all to avoid using the term “miscellaneous”!

It was an extremely interesting and useful afternoon, giving all the participants plenty to consider when they start on their own archive collection work.

The event will be repeated on Monday 30th October. Please contact the Catholic Archives Society for more details.

Una Morgan
Ledbury  Parish Secretary

Religious Archives Group, Conference 2017

A reminder that there are still places for this year’s Religious Archives Group Conference, 2017. The conference will be held at Our Lady of Mercy in Bermondsey, London on Friday May 5th, 2017 and this year’s theme is Women in Religious Archives. Further details and the booking form can be found here:

If you would like to attend, please return your form as soon as possible. The deadline for bookings is Friday 26 April 2017 and please note that your booking is not confirmed until you receive an acknowledgement from us.

Best wishes
Jeff Gerhardt
RAG Chair

2017 subscription reminder

This is a reminder that subs for 2017 are now due. The annual subscription is £20.

Many have set up direct debit or standing order payments for their annual subscription which greatly helps with our administration. Otherwise, cheques should be made payable to Catholic Archives Society and forwarded to the Treasurer: Sister Benignus O’Brien, Langdale House, 42 Petitor Road, Torquay TQ1 4QF, Devon UK.

If you would like to create an automatic electronic annual subscription from your bank to Catholic Archives Society’s bank then please contact Sr Benignus O’Brien for the necessary details. Her email address is

Please advise Treasurer Sister Benignus of payee’s name, date of payment and unique reference if the name of the subscriber is different to the name of the account.

Thank you!


Catholic Record Society conference

The call for papers is now open for the Catholic Record Society’s 60th annual conference, which will take place at Murray Edwards College, Cambridge, 24–26 July 2017. The call for papers will close on Friday 21st April 2017. The Society invites proposals on any topic relating to Reformation and post-Reformation Catholic History in the British Isles and welcomes proposals for 20-minute papers.

The Society offers up to five bursaries to postgraduate students to contribute to the cost of attending the conference, the value of which will be equivalent to half the cost of attending the conference (excluding travel costs). Recipients of the bursary are expected to deliver a Short Communication on the subject under study.

Please see for more information.

Bookings for the conference are also open, please note that residential bookings must be made by Monday 24 April 2017.

Catholics in England 1680-1840 database launch

The Catholic Family History Society (CFHS) is planning the launch of a major new electronic database with a paper delivered by Br. Rory G Higgins FSC of Australia at a seminar on Saturday 7 October 2017 in the Conference Rooms, 24 Tufton Street London SW1P 3RB 10am-4pm.

An Index to the Names and Details of over 250,000 Catholics and their Friends in England 1680 – 1840

Rory Higgins has spent many years compiling this work with support from the Catholic Family History Society, his Superiors and others. The database will be a hugely valuable resource for church, social, political, local and family historians, both in England and around the world. On it are men, women and children from all walks of life, including priests and foreigners living in England. Where available there are details of age, of occupation and of location. References guide the user to the many sources which he has trawled, both original and printed, in order to collect the information together into this database. His earlier successful database is the Australian Nuns Index. Individuals and representatives of organisations involved in records and archives, as well as historians of all interests, will find his latest database to be the research tool everyone has been waiting for.

CFHS hopes you will not miss this opportunity to be amongst the first to explore the potential of this new resource. To express your interest and reserve a place contact:

The period 1680-1840 covers the centuries when Catholicism was effectively outlawed. Records of Catholics are scattered in civil record offices, in Catholic and in Anglican Church archives throughout the country. CFHS are pleased to have William D. Shannon, PhD, to speak on his research in in this era under the title:

Using the Records of the Forfeited Estates Commission (1715-1724) at TNA to reconstruct Catholic Lancashire before and after the First Jacobite Rebellion.

Dr Shannon has delved into the fate of the Catholics involved in the 1715 Battle of Preston, not just those executed, imprisoned or exiled, but also those less directly involved.

Philip Gale will arrange a presentation on the development of The National Archives finding aid Discovery, with particular reference to Catholic records.

New book and invitation to book launch

A new book about François Longuet, the French émigré priest who founded the Catholic parishes in Reading has been published. It is François Longuet and the Reading Mission by Lindsay Mullaney. A book launch is being held at St James’ Church, The Forbury, Reading, on Sunday 12 February 2017 at 3pm to which you are warmly invited.The launch party will consist of a short illustrated talk about François Longuet, followed by afternoon tea and a chance to buy the book, which costs £8.00. Offers of additional cake will be gratefully received by Lindsay. RSVP to Lindsay

Father Longuet may be considered the founder of all the Catholic parishes in Reading. He was a refugee from religious and political persecution in Revolutionary France at the end of the 18th century, a time when local Catholics were still regarded with great suspicion. After coming to Reading in 1802 he founded the first purpose built Catholic chapel in Reading since the Reformation. Sadly, he was murdered by an unknown attacker, exactly 200 years ago and he is now buried at the foot of the altar.

Details of the book, which can be ordered from Scallop Shell Press or through Lindsay Mullaney, can be found below.The postage will be about £1.00.