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Durham e-Theses
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The Giffards of Chillington, a catholic landed family 1642-1861

Doyle, Patrick Joseph (1968) The Giffards of Chillington, a catholic landed family 1642-1861. Masters thesis, Durham University.



This thesis explores the economic and political effects on the Giffards of three centuries of recusancy, their contribution to the organisation of Catholicism in the Midlands, and to the priesthood and the religious life. Further it examines the exclusiveness of the recusant community, and attempts to explain why the Giffards, like so many other recusant families, ceased to be Catholic in the nineteenth century. The introduction outlines the origins of the family s recusancy, but 1642 is the commencing date. During the Civil War the Giffards distinguished themselves in the Royalist cause, and were instrumental in the saving of Charles II after the battle of Worcester. Their loyalty was rewarded by a partial dispensation from the penal laws, but it was not until their discharge from the double land tax in 1851 that the Giffards were finally relieved from all religious disabilities. The terminal date of 1861 marks the death of the last Catholic squire. The Civil War resulted in the sequestration of the Chillington estate; otherwise their recusancy had little effect on the family's fortune indeed in the eighteenth century their rental increased remarkably. The crisis, which beset the estate in 1790, was a result of extravagance, in particular the rebuilding of Chillington Hall. Therefore the last decade of the eighteenth and the nineteenth century was a period of retrenchment and land sales. The family had mining interests in Stow Heath, Wolverhampton, and the inheritance of the Plas Ucha and Nerquis estates on the North Wales coalfield, and the intersection of the Staffordshire properties by canal & railway increased their interest in industrialism and shareholding. But the Giffards remained essentially landed proprietors. The greatest change was from Cisalpine Catholics to Tory Anglicans.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1968
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Mar 2014 16:28

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