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English College Lisbon July 2012

The Lisbonian
The Editor Kevin Hartley 8 Hanbury Hill Stourbridge DY8 1BE

– The magazine of the Lisbonian Society
All correspondence should be addressed to:

The Lisbonian is the bi-annual magazine of the Lisbonian Society, appearing in January and July, and covers a wide range of topics of current and historical interest. The magazine is distributed to all members of the Society and to those who have expressed an interest in the College. Articles relating in any way to Lisbon past or present and especially to former students of the College are always very welcome. Anyone wishing to submit an article for consideration should in the first instance contact Kevin Hartley as above or by email:

Lisbonian Society Lisbonian Society
Correspondence relating to the new address Hon Secretary Lisbonian Society V Rev Canon Gerard Hetherington, KHS 41 Rosaire Court, Rosaire Avenue St Peter Port GUERNSEY GY1 8UG Email: 2 | The Lisbonian magazine – July 2012

should be addressed to the


Editorial.............................................................. 4 Letters to the Editor............................................ 5 John Gother or Goter.......................................... 6 Report of School Fees......................................... 8 Make Time for Madeira.......................................12 A Visit to David Magalhães…..............................16 Reflections – Saint Blaise.....................................19 The George Tancred Centre................................20 The Bridgettines in Lisbon...................................22 Obituary – Joseph Kinnane.................................37 Obituary – John Grady........................................39 Obituary – Michael Donnellan............................39

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Past and Future Times By the time you read this the results of the local council elections will have, for better or worse, changed the political face of much of the country. Or not, as the case may be: plus ça change, plus ça rest la même chose, and one can always blame the other fellows for causing the disaster. Two articles in this issue of the magazine serve to remind us of other times of political and religious upheaval. John Gother became a renowned defender of the Catholic cause in the latter part of the seventeenth century. Gother was the product of an institution devoted to the preparation of priests for the English mission. In the case of the Bridgettines, Lisbon was merely an asylum until such time as they could return to an England restored to the Catholic faith. Brethren will be interested to read about further attempts to ensure that a commemorative plaque is placed at the College. It is perhaps ironic that the defunct
Kevin Hartley your editor welcomes feedback and articles!

Irish College has for some time had such a plaque, reminding passerby of what the building on the Escadinhas de São Crispin was once used for. Perhaps the presence of a sympathetic Irish community in Lisbon has something to do with that. Jubilarians and Old Friends A word of congratulation for the Golden Jubilarians: the survivors of the class of ‘62 are John Helm, Eddie Matthews, Tim Healy, Alex Fleming, and Kevin Hartley (no longer in the active ministry). We also remember in our prayers Mick Finlan and Frank Mooney and John Grady (who died just one month short of his anniversary date) who have gone before us: Also please pray for the repose of the souls of Joe Kinnane and Michael Donnellan (ordained 1966). May they all remember us before the Lord as we remember them in our prayers. For over ten years the revived Lisbonian has kept members and friends in some sort of contact with the Society. So far, by some miracle, enough material has filtered through in time for the copy to go to the printer but this might be the moment to review the future of the magazine.•
Kevin Hartley

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Letters to the Editor
From: Fr Ulick Loring, Parish Priest of St James, Twickenham From Sister Hedwig, Cameroon

Thank you for your letter enquiring about the George Tancred Centre: I refer you for more information to the headmistress of the our school [See separate article – Ed]. We still have the silver King Manuel donated to the church. I don’t use the cruets because one of them is broken and I have not succeeded in having it mended properly. We now have a memorial to the King and Queen in the church, which was unveiled with much pomp and circumstance in 2009. Dom Miguel of Braganza and the Ambassador came, and many more. I would have invited you had I known about the Lisbonians. There is also a book about King Manuel by Malcolm Howe. I have copies for sale [£10 ex-postage]. There is also a parish history with pictures of the sacred vessels. There have been 2 documentaries made about King Manuel I may have a spare copy of one of them but I am not sure. Kind regards Ulick Loring

I am sorry to be sending my thank you only now. I was given the money by Father Nol in the Mill Hill House Bamenda, and with the other money that I had we just went to the schools to use it to pay the school fees of orphan children .Attached is the report for fees payment for Lisbonian Society [See following article – Ed]. Please thank them for us. The money just came at the right time for us to pay the fees of the children. As I wrote to you about the Home for vulnerable children, with the help of friend benefactors like you, the house is ready for use now. The name is St. Francis Home for Skills Training. We shall start with 5 workshops for now. Sewing, Knitting, Shoe making, Motor bike, Carpentry. We already have 40 orphan children to start with for now. We shall send you the picture of the home. Be sure of our prayers for you Sister Hedwig Vinyo
Blessed are they… who pay their Society subscriptions without need of a reminder!

Opinions and views expressed in The Lisbonian are deemed to be those of the contributors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Editors or the Lisbonian Society.
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by Peter Codd
A Lisbonian Notable
John Gother, a Lisbonian, ‘was the most distinguished secular priest in England in the early eighteenth Century,’ according to Professor Eamon Duffy. Much of this short article is based on information in Duffy’s own essay published within his edited work, Challoner and His Church.1 In an article for Recusant History Dom Geoffrey Scott made reference to Gother: ‘Another secular priest working in London after training at Lisbon was John Gother, who was to be the most formidable apologist and catechetical writer in the last decade of the [17th] Century.’2

Author and Catechist
Notable amongst his early writings was his Papist Misrepresented and Represented . This was followed by I nst r uct ions for Par t icular States and Conditions of Life and Eighteen books of Instruction on the Liturgy, together with several other catechetical publications. Many of his writings were republished repeatedly during the 18th Century, some edited by his convert and prodigy, Bishop Richard Challoner.

Books of Prayer
Gother wrote a series of little

Seminary Priest
John Gother was born in Southampton, became a convert in adolescence and studied for the priesthood in the English College, Lisbon. He was ordained priest in 1676, spent five years as Prefect of Studies in the College and then returned to England, during the reign of James II. He worked in London, catechising the poor and became a prolific and accomplished controversialist [a man after my own heart!]
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books which ranged from a prayerbook designed to encourage active and intelligent participation in the Mass, to Instructions for Masters, Traders, Labourers, Apprentices and Children and devotions for the sick and for prisoners especially those facing the death penalty. These books were themselves the crystallization of a tradition of piety derived from the work of St Francis de Sales.

Gother’s series of instructional and devotional books for laity… became a great source of help to the clergy in their difficult task to foster the faith in penal times…
set off for Douai, Gother set sail for Lisbon, where there had been trouble in the Seminary. Gother had been appointed President but he died on the voyage, so never took up the appointment. His death was in 1704 and it is said that the ship’s Captain was so impressed by the sanctity of Gother that he declined a burial at sea and conveyed Gother’s body to the College, where lies his tomb to this day, so far as I know. In a footnote to the Essay quoted above, Professor Duffy says the best account of Gother is found in The Seminary Priests, Anstruther, vol.3, pp. 81-4.3

John Gother and Challoner
Gother’s series of instructional and devotional books for laity were amongst many other publications current at that time and became a great source of help to the clergy in their difficult task to foster the faith in penal times in England after the Rebellion of 1688 when King James ll was deposed. After the Rebellion, Gother became a chaplain in Northamptonshire in the Warkworth Manor House of Lady Anastasia Holman. Grace Challoner was employed as a housekeeper and so it was that her son, young Richard Challoner, came to the notice of Gother, known then as ‘Mr Lovell’. After Richard was received into the Church, Gother and Lady Anastasia made arrangements for Richard, aged thirteen, to go to Douai, where eventually he was ordained priest.

President of Lisbon College
The same year as Richard Challoner

Rt Rev Richard Challoner ( Bishop of Derbra) from an engraving published in 1781

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Ed: The College Register records that Gother sailed for Lisbon on board an Italian ship, the Saint Cajetan, but died on 13th October 1704. There must have been at least one other priest on the ship because he received the last rites. The ship’s master, one Nicholas Campanella, had the body embalmed and carried it to Lisbon. Collected from the ship by Nicholas Waldegrave, the Procurator (always a man for the odd jobs!), Gother’s body was buried under the altar of St Thomas of Canterbury on 28th October 1704 (As a student, Waldegrave – a nephew of Bishop Russell – had been dispensed from his oath to return to England and

after ordination had been sent to Coimbra to study Canon Law. He abandoned his studies after his uncle’s death in 1693 and returned to the College.) Perhaps strangely, in view of Gother’s reputation, the Register says of him only that he returned to Lisbon ‘post multos in Anglia insumptos annos in libris scribendi aliisque laboribus missionis.’•
Endnotes 1 Challoner and his Church, page 1. Essays edited by Eamon Duffy 2 The Poor Man’s Catechism by Geoffrey Scott O.S.B. Recusant History, May 2005 Vol.27, No.3 page 373ƒƒ 3 The Seminary Priests Godfrey Anstruther, Publ. Great Wakering 1975-77

Payment For Pupils For 2011/2012 Academic Year

by Raymonda Fonyuy and Sr Hedwig Vinyo
In the effort to restore the right and dignity of children from families infected and affected by HIV/AIDS the Tertiary Sisters of Saint Francis carried out a project aimed at helping to pay the school fees of affected and infected AIDS orphans for the 2011/2012 academic year in the North West Region of Cameroon. Based on the goal 592 pupils distributed over 40 primary schools were assisted through the payment of their school fees
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for the 2011/2012 academic year. These 592 pupils were considered to be the most desperate from families that could not afford to

Moslem School Children – © Sr Hedwig 2012

pay for their children’s school fees. These desperate cases were chosen without any consideration of sex, religion as well as ethnic origin. The payment of the school fees

Moslem Children in Class with Teacher and her baby – © Sr Hedwig 2012

was allocated and carried out during the month of September 2011.

Village Schools
The schools are distributed within a wide range of villages in the

North West Region of Cameroon namely: Ngondzen, Kuvlu, Bali, Ngarum, Simonkoh, Sho, Ber Jakiri, Shisong, Mbveh, Ndevru, Juction, Tatum, Tobin etc. We move through 40 primary schools in these villages to pay the fee for 592 pupils. In all schools we visited to pay the school fees of the pupils, we were warmly welcomed by the parents/ guardians of HIV/AIDS infected and affected pupils who waited for us at the school campuses and the teachers of the pupils who were very grateful and highly appreciated our effort. The pupils on the other hand were very, very happy knowing their schools fees have been taken care of. Through monitoring and evaluation we realized the

A New Moslem School – © Sr Hedwig 2012

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following positive results. The assistance provided through the payment of fees led to regular attendance and participation of the 592 pupils in class room and school activities. Through the assistance provided through the payment of school fees, the pupils were able to acquire other basic schools needs such as exercise and text books these therefore enable the pupils to improved on their performance Due to this assistance the teachers timely cover their curricular activities for the term due to the regular attendance and participation of the pupils in school.

Through our field visits to pay the school fees of 592 pupils, an estimated number of about 300 desperate cases were being presented to us by the teachers of the pupils. Also there was the problem of a lack of text books, whereby in class of 50, pupils due to poverty, only 4 pupils possess a text book. The head teacher said that this inadequate supply of text books makes the pupils unable to participate fully in the learning process. He also said this problem of text books gives teachers a lot of work since they have to copy from the text book to the board.

School Lunch – © Sr Hedwig 2012

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Learning is also made difficult due to the old and dilapidating learning structures with cracks and almost collapsing walls of the class rooms. They thus lack a conducive environment for studies. They were also problems of overcrowded classrooms with pupils packed in a single bench due to shortage of classrooms and benches. The teacher – pupil ratio is also very low in these schools, for instance one teacher to more than 60 pupils As a team moving around to pay the school fees we did encounter a lot of transportation problems. This is due to the poor nature of the roads, so we move around on motor bikes and some times trek to the various schools.

Through our field visits to the various schools to pay the school fees we were presented a great number of more desperate cases, but with our limited funds we were unable to give them assistance. The pupils, guardians/parents and teachers send immense thanks to the donors and being very happy for the burden lifted off their shoulder. Special thanks to Father Bob, Daneil Bohm, Father Peter Codd with Lisbonian Society Greg Langevin and Victoria Dawn Maresco, Meier Wulf and the volunteers who went to villages to pay the fees for making this programme possible.•

A Collapsing School Roof and its Pupils – © Sr Hedwig 2012

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Make Time For Madeira
by Trevor Elliott
Although many years ago, I can still remember how much I enjoyed my first Madeira wine. The intensity, the wonderful flavour and the length of time the taste lasted really impressed me. The wine was a 3 year-old sweet Madeira, deep amber-tawny in colour, with aromas of honey and raisin. Rich and full-bodied, it had flavours of caramel, honey, nuts and spices. Although sweet, it was not cloying and had a long and surprisingly clean finish, due to the fresh acidity. This fired my interest, enthusiasm and fascination for Madeira and its wines. During the past 20 years, I’ve been a regular visitor to the island and its wineries. Having been impressed by the 3 year-old wine, I was amazed to find how much more complex and intense were wines that had been aged for 10 or 15 years. Even more remarkable was been the privilege of tasting wines dating back to the 1800s. How can a wine last that long? What is so special about these wines?

Porto da Cruz – Madeira – © Hugo Reis 2011

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The unique character is due to the heating and prolonged oxidation during production, during the ageing process. As the wines age,many changes take place, including the caramelisation of the sugars, giving rise to a wonderful range of aromas and flavours: fruits, nuts, spices, dried fruits, caramel, honey, toffee and chocolate. But the extraordinary thing is that they retain their incredible freshness. The Portuguese island of Madeira, lying in the Atlantic, 600 miles southwest of Lisbon may be better known these days as a tourist destination. Land here is at a premium and the humid, volcanic difficult-to-farm vertiginous slopes don’t help. There are just eight producers where once there were

Latades and grapes

many and only four million litres of these wonderful wines are now produced each year. With the exception of Henriques & Henriques, the producers do not own vineyards. Grapes are grown by more than 1,600 registered growers with an average holding of only 0.3 hectare. For most,

Madeira Wine Casks – Blandys

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Wines were exported from Madeira to the Indies but sometimes were returned unsold when they were discovered to have improved in quality despite the high temperatures encountered in their journey through the tropics…
growing vines is not their main occupation. Traditionally grapes are grown on latades (pergolas) and tending, weeding and harvesting the vines is extremely hard work.

Grape Varieties
There are five main grape varieties used. The four classic white varieties are each used to make a particular sweetness ‘style’: Sercial (dry) Verdelho (medium dry) Bual (medium sweet) and Malvasia (sweet). A red grape, tinta negra, is the most widely planted and is also used to make all four sweetness styles.

Fermentation and Processing
During fermentation the wines are fortified by adding grape spirit. The sweeter the wine, the earlier the fortification will take place. Afterwards the wines begin their ageing process. The first stage involves heating the wine
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– a process alien to all that I had previously understood about wine making. It can be carried out in two ways. In the Canteiro process, the wines are aged in wooden casks of varying sizes. They are kept in lofts and lodges heated by the sun, for a period of two years. A visit to one of the lofts is an interesting experience as they can become quite hot (30°+) and very humid. The process was developed following a discovery in the 17th century. Wines were exported from Madeira to the Indies but sometimes were returned unsold when they were discovered to have improved in quality despite the high temperatures encountered in their journey through the tropics. The Canteiro method is used for most wines aged five year or more. The Estufagem process, dating from the 18th century, is quicker and more intense and involves heating the wines, nowadays usually in stainless steel tanks, between 45° and 50° for a period of three months. This process is normally used for wines to be sold young and made from the more widely planted tinta negra. After the initial stage, wines are tested for quality and potential for further ageing in casks. Three and five year-old wines, particularly the sweeter styles, can provide a most enjoyable introduction to Madeiras. However, I believe it is the 10 to 15 year-old wines that

show what a huge difference extraageing can make. They bring the whole taste experience to a new level and the ultimate pleasure for me is to taste really old vintage wines. How many other wines can last for decades or even centuries? Once opened, the wines can, if temptation is resisted, be enjoyed over a very long period as they will not deteriorate. Unlike table wines, bottles should be stored upright to prevent seepage. The wines can be served at room temperature, although some producers recommend slightly cooling dry wines, particularly if they are to be served as aperitifs. If, as a wine lover, you have not yet experienced the delights of Madeira wines, don’t delay: try some now! •
(This article is reproduced with permission from the Wine Society’s Society News. Trevor Elliott’s book, Wines of Madeira, can be purchased directly from Trevor at 17, Beechcroft Road, Gosport PO12 2EP)

Well! Just A Taste – maybe?

Something for You to Dig Out?


T he Lisbonian welcomes your letters and e-mails. Correspondence should be addressed to the Editor at the address on page 2.

Pictures and memories associated with the College and life in Portugal in past and present times are always appreciated to make The Lisbonian more interesting to the readers. Send us your pictures and we can scan them, if of suitable quality, and return them to you if you wish. Ed
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A Visit to David Magalhães
17th-19th OCTOBER, 2011

by Gerry Hetherington
Mission CATEW
One morning last September I was in the middle of packing my belongings to send them on ahead to Guernsey when the phone rang. It was Lorraine from CATEW. I was asked to visit Lisbon in connection with the proposed sale of land at Pêra and it was agreed that Tony Flynn should accompany me. On the 17th Tony flew from Manchester and I from London to meet up at the Hotel Lisboa-Tejo just off Praça da Figueira where we planned our programme for the morrow. We had a reasonable and enjoyable dinner in a small local restaurant.

A Stroll in Lisboa
Next morning we went for a pre-breakfast stroll to Igreja São Domingos. The church is still as it emerged from the disastrous fire of 1959. I don’t think the Health and Safety people here would be very happy with it but, while you do have to look where you

River Tagus – Ferry to Caçilhas

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walking, the church is well used and has a good feel about it. There were four morning Masses on the half hour, one round midday and another at 6 pm. The morning ones were well attended by both male and female of all ages. It was an encouraging experience. There is a homily of about eight minutes at all Masses and of course the inevitable collection. As we hadn’t booked for breakfast at the hotel, we went to a bar across the street – 2 coffees and two croissants came to 4 euros, a saving of 26 euros on the hotel breakfast! Thus fortified we set out to visit David.

Cristo Rei – Lisboa

For Old Times Sake
We caught the ferry across the Tejo from the new ferry port at Cais do Sodré which took us to Caçilhas, from where we took a taxi to Quinta de Pêra. The whole area has greatly changed since our student days and the development appears to go nearly all the way to Caparica. David was obviously very pleased to see us and made us very welcome, giving us a tour of the property. I hadn’t realised its extent. We then went back to David’s home for discussion and refreshments. He has obviously worked hard on improving his little house and making it into a comfortable home. There are many items from the College around the place. In pride of place is the statue of Our Lady

of Lourdes (I think) from Quinta de Luz. He also cultivates a plot of land which provides him with vegetables and a place for his chickens. No problem about free range! David obviously wishes to remain at the quinta for as long as he is able to cope.

2011 © Tony Flynn – David Gonçalves Magalhães Comprador do Colegio dos Inglesinhos, Lisboa

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A Bus Ride
From Pêra we caught the local bus to Caçilhas – quite an experience. The bus filled up with teenagers and became rather crowded. What struck me was the respect that most of them showed to each other and to their elders. Most of them left the bus around the statue of Cristo Rei, now a very built-up area leading down to Caçilhas, from where we caught the ferry back to Lisbon. We had arranged to meet with the lawyer in the afternoon, but this was changed to the following day. This gave us the opportunity to visit the former Irish College on the Escadinhas de São Crispin, to view the plaque which had been placed there some years ago. From the College it was an easy walk back to the Hotel for a rest and sharing of thoughts before dinner.

of residential property, offices, stores and shops. We eventually located Sr Perez’s office, where we were pleasantly received. The purpose of the visit concerned the plaque which CATEW wishes to place on the College building and to explain the difficulties we were experiencing with the developer. We came away satisfied that he understood what was wanted and would carry it forward and report back to CATEW. He was familiar with the former Irish College, having worked in the building when it was used as a Court.

Time Passes
Sr Perez was somewhat pessimistic regarding the selling of the Quinta de Pêra land in the present economic climate. If however, that should happen, a great deal of work would be required before any development could begin on the site. So it seems that David is safe for the present. We bade Sr Perez goodbye and caught a taxi back to Praça da Figueira, paid the hotel bill, made a last visit to the friendly bar, caught the airport bus and so back to Manchester and London and on home. This unexpected visit turned out to be a very enjoyable one. I was glad to have Tony’s company, not only for his fluency in Portuguese but for being there. What a lost opportunity I thought, not for the first time, that I hadn’t applied myself to the local language!•

A Little Matter of Law
On Wednesday morning we took a taxi to Poço do Bispo to find the Lawyer, Sr José Perez. I thought I had a fair knowledge of Lisbon, but visiting Sr Perez took me to places I had never seen before. It was obvious that this area had been fairly prosperous residential area in late Eighteen Century. But now was a great mix

Live forever, Alma Mater, be her sons for ever blest…
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What Would Saint Blaise Think? Embarrassed Faith?
I must admit that I feel a touch self conscious as I am regularly asked before Mass on the 3 rd February; ‘Are you going to be blessing thoughts, Father…?’ The expectation from the person asking the question is that I will invite them up after the homily, at which I have tried to expound the virtues of a person whose biographical details are scarce in comparison to the embellished legends which surround his life and the popularity of his cult. As if knowing exactly what this ceremony is about, I take up my position at the chancel step as the faithful make their way towards the crossed candles waiting to receive their exposed neck at throat level. images of limbs and organs placed on side altars in most of the City’s churches. I looked a bit like the ‘spares’ department of Madame Tussaud’s workshops. It was not easy to get to the bottom of this seemingly grotesque practice, but it seems to revolve around making an offering to God of the body part for which healing is sought, or for which healing has been received. I remember thinking, when seeing those magnificent monastic churches of Alcobaça and Batalha, that this is what churches look like that have not experienced the Reformation. The big monastic

Waxing and Wondering
Why crossed candles? My hunch is that it is because they are the most recently blessed items in the church – having been blessed the day before on the feast of the Presentation of the Lord/ Candlemas. And maybe there is a bit of ‘belt and braces’ attitude about this ceremony – in case invoking the Saint is not enough, then add crossed candles. But what is it with wax anyway? My first experience of Catholic life in Portugal shocked me a bit. Wax

The Blessing of Saint Blaise – crossed candles

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houses I know in England have the marks of the Reformation in their very fabric; statues with faces chiselled off and murals white-washed over. Now they are adorned with Victorian brass, silver and alabaster, and heavy brocade and velvet frontals – the fruit of industrious embroidery guilds whose patience and attention to detail produced some magnificent pieces. The churches of Alcobaça and Batalha on the other hand looked as it they were all set for some medieval period drama – all that was necessary was the entrance of the characters. The statues and wrought-iron candlesticks were most certainly not of the style one finds in the catalogues of the establishments that exist to supply these items today. Maybe the crossed candles belong

to that time. There is no rational explanation for using crossed candles, or for placing wax limbs or organs on altars, but then neither is there any rational explanation for the miraculous, other than faith itself, which is also beyond rational description – like falling in love. I wonder if the Reformation brought with it a greater emphasis on the rational, and all we have left in England of the pre-Reformation era is the crossed candles – and of course, the mass stipend.•
Contributions to Ref lections are invited, on condition of strict anonymity, from any member of the Society. The subject is entirely at the choice of the contributor and should be of approximately 500 words in length. The views of

the contributor do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of The Lisbonian. Ed

The George Tancred Centre,
St James’ Catholic Primary School, Twickenham Happy Memories
Many of us will remember George Tancred, from having shared with him the Lisbon experience, from his ever-lively and diverting presence at College Reunions, and from a spectacular Quinta Day in the presbytery grounds at Twickenham. George was an energetic parish priest with a
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keen interest in St James Primary School, founded over a hundred years ago by the Sisters of Mercy. The headmistress, Mrs Veronica Heffernan, remembers him as having a particular interest in children with disabilities. When the school expanded to three-form entry George eagerly supported the introduction of a specialist

unit devoted to the development of children with autistic spectrum conditions, so when it came to giving the unit a title his name was the obvious choice.

are teaching us new things on a regular basis.’ It is good to know that the memory of a Lisbonian is being perpetuated in this way.•

Speech and Language Therapy
T h e G e o r ge Ta n c re d C e n t re specialises in speech and language therapy and occupational therapy with a view to helping children to enter as much as possible into the mainstream curriculum. Annemarie Fernando, teacher in charge of the unit, says: ‘We have a fabulous group of 9 boys. We take a maximum of ten and are awaiting the arrival of another pupil shortly. The school’s motto is “Put into the Deep” and while I’m sure an interpretation of “sink or swim” was never intended, the children who arrive at the centre are often those who would be less likely to swim if they were in full time mainstream. We offer a small structured environment and follow the mainstream’s RE curriculum, join in with Masses and assemblies, but have the opportunity to focus on social skills and smaller group teaching. Children have an individual inclusion program which is based on their strengths and needs. We also plan many outings to enrich their curriculum. They also offer mainstream pupils an opportunity to show acceptance, support and tolerance. They

M o n s i g n o r G e o r g e Ta n c r e d – Governor and Friend – of St James Primary School, Twickenham

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The Bridgettines In Lisbon
English Refugees
The group of women and men, nuns and brothers of the Order of St Bridget of Syon, who came ashore in Lisbon on Good Friday 1594 in search of a place of sanctuary after thirty five years of wanderings through the Low Countries and France, brought with them, together with their precious archives and relics, a good deal of history. Brigid of Sweden, and following the Rule of Saint Augustine, was introduced into England after Henry Lord Fitzhugh, Constable of England and Chamberlain to King Henry V, had come across the Mother House at Vadsten on a visit to Sweden in 1406 and agreed to grant the Order his manor of Cherry Hinton in Cambridgeshire if some of the community could be sent to form a house in England. A couple of brothers came to England in 1408 but it was not until King Henry

English Foundation in 1408
The Order of St Saviour, founded in the Fourteenth Century by St

An artist’s rendition of the original Isleworth Syon Abbey Church ca 1530

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became interested that things began to move. In 1415 at Isleworth (also known as Twickenham Park) the King laid the foundation stone of the Monastery of St Saviour and St Bridget of Syon and dedicated the monastery ‘to the glory of the Most High Trinity, the most glorious Virgin Mary and all saints.’

First Professions
It would be another five years before the monastery was completed and the first profession at Syon took place. The Archbishop of Canterbury presided over the ceremony, at which 27 nuns, 5 priests, 2 deacons, and 3 lay brothers pronounced their vows. The habit was grey, and over the nuns’ headdress strips of white linen formed of a cross, with the addition of five red patches, representing the five wounds of Christ. The brothers’ distinctive mark was a red cross on the habit, over the heart. The choir sisters were drawn mainly from the nobility and the London gentry, and the lay sisters came mostly from the London lower classes. The priest members of the community were mature men recruited from the secular clergy; many were Cambridge graduates. The sisters were strictly enclosed emphasising scholarship and study, but the monks were also preachers and itinerant missionaries.

In 1422 the Pope, Martin V, directed that double monasteries should be abolished, but Syon obtained an exemption and the community continued to grow. Low-lying Isleworth proved unsatisfactory and in 1431 the community, now comprising 41 sisters, 7 priests and 6 lay brothers moved to what is now known as Syon Park and became one of the richest, most fashionable and influential nunneries in the country.

The Great Matter
Trouble loomed in the middle twenties of the sixteenth century as King Henry VIII began moves to have his marriage with Catherine of Aragon annulled. At first, Syon appears to have been ready to follow the official policy on the ‘Great Matter’; Cardinal Wolsey

Cloisters South Brent Abbey

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Executed at Tyburn in the usual barbaric manner and their quartered remains exhibited… impaled on a pinnacle of the monastery at Syon as a dreadful warning…
even used Syon as a place of confinement for Richard Pace, a high-ranking diplomat and cleric opposed to the King’s suit. But their involvement with Elizabeth Barton, the so-called Holy Maid of Kent, brought them onto dangerous ground. At her trial it was stated that her ‘revelations’ had been shown to many at Syon, including the Abbess Elizabeth Jordan and the Confessor-general, and another priest, Richard Reynolds. She was alleged to have been influenced by St. Bridget’s writings and to have been supplied with some of the material for her ‘visions’ by the Syon community. Thomas More had been told of her visit to Syon, had seen her in the chapel there, and later discussed her visions with the brethren, warning them against her.

the sisters to follow suit. Then in 1535, when the leading figures of the country were asked to assent to the Act of Supremacy declaring Henry to be supreme head of the Church in England, Richard Reynolds was among those who refused to take the oath. On 4 May 1535 he, together with three leading English Charterhouse monks, John Houghton, Robert Lawrence and Augustine Webster, was executed at Tyburn in the usual barbaric manner and their quartered remains exhibited around the country. One of Richard’s parts was impaled on a pinnacle of the monastery at Syon as a dreadful warning to the others.1

The Act of Supremacy
Because of its prominence in the religious life of London and beyond, Syon continued to be a centre of royal interest. The community was urged to sign a document in favour of Henry, but the brethren refused and advised
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Fragment Syon Abbey pinnacle

Although some of the community were willing, under such duress, to take the oath, a few stood out. Finally, in 1539, came the suppression of all the English monasteries and the community at Syon, twelve monks, five laybrothers, fifty-two choir sisters and four lay-sisters were pensioned off and turned out,defiantly taking with them their keys and the seal of the Order. They may have hoped that their eviction would be temporary. The Abbess, Elizabeth Jordan, with a pension of £200 a year, rented a farm house near Denham in Buckinghamshire, where she accommodated nine of the sisters, and others found refuge elsewhere. Sister Catherine Palmer gathered around her all the monks and nuns of Syon House still able to carry out the severe rule of their Order, about twenty in all, and conducted them to Flanders, where they lived for a time with the Austin Canonesses in Antwerp. Later, they went to Termonde where they occupied a part of the Bridgettine monastery. There they were visited by Cardinal Pole and no doubt were encouraged by him to hold fast and wait for better times. A gruesome detail may here be added. Upon King Henry’s death in 1547, when his body was being taken from the Palace of Whitehall to be buried at Windsor, it was lodged for the night in the

abandoned Syon abbey. In the morning the putrefying body was discovered to have burst and dogs were licking at the remains. This was popularly regarded as a divine judgement for his desecration of the abbey.

Syon Community In Exile
The dispersed community waited out their exile through the remainder of Henry’s reign but the accession of Edward brought no relief as they watched the Church become ever more Protestant. After Edward’s death in 1553 and the brief hiatus of the tragic young Jane Grey, the beginning of Mary’s reign must have seemed the fulfilment of their longing for restoration. By the following year they were back in Syon, grants of land were given and there was a great bustle of rebuilding work, abruptly cut short when Elizabeth came to the throne on the death of her halfsister. This time there was to be no pension for the dispossessed community, except for those willing to subscribe to the 1559 Act of Uniformity. Through the good offices of the Spanish Ambassador they obtained licence from the Queen to leave the country, taking with them that part of the Syon gateway that had once borne a part of the martyred body of Richard Reynolds. They settled once again in Termonde to begin with but Flanders was undergoing
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religious turmoil too. Marguerite de Parme, then Governess of the Low Countries, obtained for them an abandoned Monastery, called Bethany, at Zurick Zee in Zeeland. The unwholesome climate of the place proved such a drawback that Dr Nicholas Sander, whose sister was a member of the community, bought a home for them at Mishagen, near Antwerp. Here they remained (1568-1571) harassed continually by the Calvinists and Lutherans, and were finally forced to take refuge in Antwerp itself. In 1572, they went to Mechlin, where they obtained a house through the generosity of Sir Francis Englefield, then the leader of a certain section of the exiles, and they remained at Mechlin until 1580, with a community numbering twentytwo in all. During the religious troubles at Mechlin in 1579-1580, the Bridgettines abandoned their home in the town and, under an escort of English soldiers from the army of the Prince of Orange, went to Antwerp, where they embarked for Rouen. Here they were welcomed by John Leslie, the exiled Bishop of Ross, who was acting as coadjutor to the Cardinal Archbishop of that city, and by the many other English Catholic exiles who lived there. With their departure from Spanish controlled territory they lost the pension awarded to them by the Spanish Crown. Their financial situation became critical. The
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Abbess was obliged to send some of the nuns back into England, to be maintained by their parents and to collect alms for the rest. They were arrested on their arrival and were committed by the Queen to the custody of various persons. Eight of them were lodged at Lyford Grange, in the house of a Mr Yates, whose widowed mother eventually joined the community. It was during his visit to them at Lyford that Edmund Campion SJ, on his way to Norfolk, was taken by the pursuivants. The nuns eventually were able to return to Rouen but France was in the throes of the War of Religion and in 1593, and after an attempt by the Huguenot leaders to send all the nuns back to England, it was decided to move yet again, this time to Portugal, then under Spanish rule.

Refuge in Portugal
The journey seems to have been taken without much preparation, for on their arrival they were obliged to prove their status as religious to the Archbishop of Lisbon, who put many obstacles in their way in order to prevent them from founding a monastery in his diocese, placing them with a convent of Franciscan Nuns. In the meantime Philip II awarded them 800 crowns to cover the expenses of their voyage and the Lisbon city magistrates gave them a pension of 5 crowns a day.

The Archbishop was perhaps concerned about their independent spirit: under whose jurisdiction were they to come? He wasn’t happy about the nature of the ceremony of their profession, which he held was contrary to the Roman Pontifical and the decrees of the Council of Trent. In the end it was Robert Parsons SJ who was in Spain, who carried the matter to Rome, with the result that Pope Clement VIII. placed them under his own protection in 1596. The community might have been in exile but they still kept alive the hope that theirs was to be only a finite exclusion from the land of their birth. They would have been fully in tune with Parsons’ Memorial for the Reformation of England, written in 1596 in Seville, which gave a blueprint for the kind of society England was to become after its return to the faith. To allow themselves to be under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Lisbon, with the possibility of being obliged to accept Portuguese postulants, would have proved fatal to their continuance as a distinctly English establishment. The house was to remain under the immediate jurisdiction of the Holy See for the rest of their stay in Portugal. The question of where to set up home was solved when a noble Portuguese lady of Lisbon, Isabel de Azevedo, made them a gift of part of her town residence, where

The community might have been in exile but they still kept alive the hope that theirs was to be only a finite exclusion from the land of their birth…
they set up their Monastery. Although the nuns were enclosed, the lady obviously had no wish to relinquish all rights over the property. Clement VIII. by a Brief of February, 1603, gave her permission to enter that part of the house at pleasure. Paul V revoked this privilege by a Rescript, March 8, 1614, and in 1622, she petitioned Gregory XV for its restoration. The Pope permitted her to enter four times a year, but not to remain in the Monastery overnight. In 1651, a fire at the Convent destroyed most of the archives, and the documents relating to this canonical dispute between them and the diocesan authorities were lost. In consequence we have little definite information about the English monks of the Order. The arrivals of 1594 were soon augmented. The English Consul in Lisbon noted in 1607 that a lately arrived vessel, the Seaflower, out of London, brought two gentlewomen ‘whom the first night of arrival were privily conveyed unto the Monastery of English Nuns.’ It was rumoured that one of them was related
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to Robert Catesby, the leader of the infamous Gunpowder Plot conspiracy.

Close lInks English Exiles in Lisbon
The Abbess Hart, under whom the community had left Rouen for Lisbon in 1594, and one of the sisters who accompanied her, were probably related to the Rev William Hargrave, who was appointed President of the English College of Lisbon (1634-1637). And there was continuous contact between the two establishments of English exiles. Francis Thorold, also known as Francis Benson, studied in Seville up to the end of his first year of theology and in 1638 came to Lisbon, where he was accepted as a guest while he waited for testimonial letters from England. When they were not forthcoming he went back to England en route for Douai, where he was ordained. Going back to England, he was imprisoned for a couple of years and on his release came back to Lisbon in 1643. On the completion of his studies he joined the Bridgettines community, where he became Confessor General. William Sutton already had an aunt in the Bridgettine’s convent when he came to the College in 1648, aged 16. His aunt paid his fees for a while but when she could no longer do so he was
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supported by the Dean of Lisbon and subsequently went to study theology in Coimbra, from where he moved to Paris at the invitation of the Oratorians. He returned to the College the following year and was ordained priest in 1655. He left Lisbon for France but later returned to Lisbon and joined the Order. George Griffin was from Warwickshire. He came to Lisbon in 1640 aged 19, contributing 80 pounds a year for his lodging. However, in 1646, at the end of his third year in theology, he left to become a soldier – presumably in the Portuguese army for there is mention of him being stationed near the Spanish frontier. There seems to be no record as to when and where he was ordained, but he eventually came back to Lisbon and became a Bridgettine, as did Laurence Mason who arrived in the College in 1670 but was epileptic. He had to return to England but eventually came back to Lisbon and joined the Order as a lay brother and remained with them until his death some years later. James Blount, who came to Lisbon in 1643, was ordained priest in 1649 and went on the English mission the following year but returned to Portugal to join the community, where he remained until his death in 1694 marked the end of the male Iine of the English Bridgettines.

In 1634 and again in 1652, English Bridgettine monks had petitioned Propaganda to be allowed to do missionary work in England so as to collect alms for the Lisbon monastery, which was then in debt. In 1692, the nuns asked Propaganda Fide to allow them to have as confessor a priest from Lisbon College who might join them at any time despite the student-oath of not entering religion. There exists another petition of 1726 asking for a priest from the College to be allowed to start the Order anew, but nothing came of it. However, the link between the English College and the English Bridgettines continued to be close until the end. In 1790 the then President, William Fryer, wrote to the Vicar-General of the Northern District, asking if Joseph Glover, who had been Vice-President several years previously but who had left the College and was by then serving in the city as a tutor, could become Procurator for Syon House. Perhaps it was just as well for Syon that the request was turned down. Mr Glover was described as having ‘a constant nervous complaint and what is worst of all is lately troubled with frequent Vertigos’. The failure to sustain a male presence in the community is perhaps not surprising: the monks were intended to be preachers and missionaries, for which

vocations there was little scope in a country speaking a difficult foreign language and already well supplied (some would have said over-supplied) with clergy. Lisbon was not their home: to the last the Bridgettines sought to maintain their English identity and looked forward to that future time when they could return to an England restored to the bosom of Holy Mother Church, or at least reconciled to the presence of active Catholic religious communities. In 1662 they published a treatise on ‘English Saints of Kinges and Bishopps in the primitive times of the Catholique Church when our countrie of England was governed by Heptarchie of Seven Kinges’ It must have been about this time that the ‘portraits’ of the monarchs of this ‘Catholique’ past were

Portraits of Catholic Monarchs – painter Francisco Pacheco

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commissioned from the Spanish painter Francisco Pacheco and displayed in the convent. The Bridgettines may have been in exile but they were determined, in their own way, to maintain their English identity. Postulants were reminded of what their situation would be were they to get no income from their (English) investments. The cloistered nuns always welcomed visitors, whether Catholic or Protestants, who would bring a touch of England to their cloistered existence. Rose Macauley, in her entertaining book, ‘They Went to Portugal’, recounts how, in 1735, when there were British Naval vessels using the Tagus as a base (possibly being used to assist in the protection of Portuguese convoys bringing gold from Brazil against attack by Barbary Coast corsairs), the Lady Abbess had to ration the visits of the sailors who came in search of the culinary delights concocted by the sisters.

Napoleonic War
During the Peninsula Wars, a group of English protestant sailors, having observed that the Syon monstrance was inferior to others in Lisbon churches, ‘exclaimed with an oath that their countrywomen should have as fine a house for their God as the Portuguese’, and subscribed for a very handsome monstrance which the sisters continued to use even after their return to England.2
[It would be interesting to know where it is lodged today - Ed see endnote 2].

Lisbon Earthquake 1755
The great earthquake of 1755 did not spare the community. A letter appealing for financial assistance from their friends in England writes of how for three days the nuns felt it unsafe to remain in the convent building and camped out in the garden. One sister had the courage to enter the building and fetch all the eatables she could find. ‘We have neither house nor sanctuary left wherein to retire; nor even the necessaries of life; it being out of the power of our friends and benefactors here to relieve us, they having undergone the same misfortune and disaster; so that we see no other means of establishing ourselves here than by applying to the

Lisbon Earthquake 1755 – artistic impression

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nobility, ladies and gentlemen of our dear country.’ A petition to the Catholics of England was printed and sent out, and with the alms which came in the house was repaired. Rose Macauley records a much more graphic and touching letter from Sister Kitty Witham. Writing to her dearest Mama, Kitty explains: ‘We had all been att Commuinion, and had done the quire and then went to gett our Breakfasts which is tea and bread and butter when ‘tis not fasting time; we was all in different places in the Convent, some in the Refectory, some in there Cells, others here and there; my Lady Abbys her two neces Sister Clark and myself was att Breakfast in a Little Room by the Common, which when they had done they went to prepair for Hye Mass. I was washing up the tea things, when the Dreadful afair hapned. It began like the rattleing of Coaches, and the things befor me danst up and downe upon the table, I look about me and see the Wall a shakeing and a fallling down then I up and too to my heells, with Jesus in my mouth, and to the quire I run, thinking it to be safe there, but there was no Entrance but

all falleing rownd us.’ They spent the day in prayer and fearful apprehension, terrified by the continual aftershocks. ‘After a week camping out “the good fathers made us anothr little place with sticks and Coverd with Matts, where we some of us rested there a few nights with the two fathers who came to us’ until they put together a “wooden houes” where “the two good Fathers and aboute half of us lives and lays there.’ One might wonder about the identity of the ‘two good fathers’: were they perhaps from the English College? She bemoans the lack of clean clothes but explains how they try to keep some sort of religious routine alive. The convent building survived though badly damaged: ‘Out of five and thirty Cells we have not One that we can lye in, till they are Repaired, the Church Door has never been Opend Nor Mass sayde in itt since, tis so full of rubbish, as also the Quire and Refectory and the Kitchen entirely downe, so we must dow as well as we can till itt pleases All Mighty God to send us a forturn.’ She explains how ‘the poor Presedent of the English College was Killd as he was prepairing for Mass. tis though he lived aboute
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‘They are liberal to everybody of chocolate, cakes and sweetmeats. Nuns in all countries are soft and obliging speakers; but these are certainly the softest and most obliging that ever fell in my way…’
four and twenty houres in that Misery for when they found him he was nowhere Brused by reason he was under a bench.’ In a postscript she suggests wishes that ‘some good frend in England that has itt and Can afoard itt would send us a Brace of hundred Pounds to help to Buyld up the Convent.’ Joseph Baretti in his Journey from London to Genoa published in 1770 but recounting a journey made ten years earlier, in describing the aftermath of the devastation caused by the earthquake, writes of his own visit to the sisters. ‘It is called the English nunnery, because no girl is admitted in it but what is born a subject of England. It consists of little more than 20. The chief anxiety of the community is to keep their number full. They are liberal to every body of chocolate, cakes and sweetmeats. Nuns in all countries are soft and obliging speakers; but these are certainly the softest
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and most obliging that ever fell in my way. Not a syllable issued from their lips but what was dictated by modesty and meekness, humility and benevolence. The King allows them such a sum as enables them to find themselves in victuals, linen and raiment. Yet life, even by recluse women, cannot be passed very comfortably with mere necessaries, and some addition is wanting to keep it from stagnating. These minute superfluities, which the French call douceurs, are left entirely to their industry; and these they procure partly by work, and partly by making trifling presents, which are often returned with liberality. Some have small pensions paid by their friends, and whatever is got by one is shared by all.’

Welcome to Parlour for Chocolate and Cake
He interpreted their readiness to entertain visitors as being motivated by a desire to attract new postulants. They were anxious to keep their numbers up ‘lest the government take it upon itself to fill them with Portuguese maidens and so cause such feuds and parties amongst them as they have hitherto been strangers to ever since the first foundation.’ Every death of a sister made them

anxious, he says, to fill the vacancy and they keep in close contact with friends and acquaintances in England and Ireland. Any English speaker ‘has a kind of right to visit them at any time of the day, and is received with such kindness that the “parlatory is never empty”, guests being plied with chocolate, cakes and sweetmeats.’ He is surprised that no Portuguese families entrust their daughters to the convent as boarders but he thinks that the Portuguese by and large are not interested in improving their daughters’ education and knowledge of English. Most Portuguese, he says, think that all English books are against religion!

More Hard Times
The Peninsula Wars brought their own particular hardship for the community in Lisbon. In the face of the plundering of convents by the French, the sisters decided to retire to England, and in 1809 most of them left for a country which was by now far more welcoming than the one from which their ancestors had fled in the Sixteenth Century. However, one of the sisters, Anthony Allen Gomes, was too ill to travel and she together with the six remaining nuns remained in the city under the care of her brother, Jerome, who was one of the College staff (Jerome was responsible for the ‘observatory’.

The College Register paints him as a troubled soul, beset by scruples in his later years). The departure of the French didn’t make things much better for the sisters. On the orders of Arthur Wellesley, the future Duke of Wellington, the convent was converted into a hospital for sick British soldiers and the sisters went to stay with the Irish Dominicans at Bom Successo. The Civil War in Portugal (18261834) led to a government that was strongly anti-clerical and initiated an era of persecution and robbery of the Church. The enemies of the Church, now in full power at Lisbon, were keen to include the English house in the general confiscation. It was at this time that the nuns were turned out of the convent in rua do Quelhas, that had been their home since Isabel de Azevedo had granted them the use of her property. It isn’t clear where they moved to but, not far away from rua do Quelhas is the Travessa das Inglesinhas and perhaps it was there that the remnant of the community found themselves.

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Former Bridgettine House Rua de Quelhas – Lisbon

Return to England
By 1861 the political situation in Portugal was so bad that the Lisbon community decided to remove the convent to England. This was strongly recommended by Dr Baines, the President of the English College and Confessor to the community of Syon, who pointed out that there was a great revival of the Catholic religion in England and that religious houses were rising rapidly and flourishing without let or hindrance. The Augustinian Canonesses at Spettisbury, who were building their new convent at Abbotsleigh, hearing that the Bridgettines contemplated a return to England, offered to lease them the convent at Spettisbury, an offer which they accepted.
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The removal from the city of Lisbon that had sheltered the Syon community for the best part of three hundred years was a great undertaking; much had to be left behind on account of the expense of transport. The Times reported their arrival on 2nd September 1861 in the Shipping News: ‘The screw steamer Sultan arrived at Southampton at 9am on Saturday. The number of passengers was 46 of whom 12 were nuns from the convent of Sion (sic) House at Lisbon.’ It must have been an interesting voyage: as well as passengers, the mixed cargo included 6 casks and 2 cases of wine, 114 cases of eggs, 651 boxes of grapes, 200 bags of almonds, 176 boxes of apples, 103

half-chests of lemons, 2 boxes of oranges, 38 boxes of plums, 25 boxes of tomatoes, 4 boxes of quinces, 87 packages of sundries and 18 bullocks. Another London newspaper gave more detail of the nuns’ arrival. ‘The Sultan, on Saturday, brought over twelve nuns of the ancient convent of Sion House, who return to England, having purchased an establishment at Spetisbury, in Dorsetshire. The sisters bring with them the antique stone cross which formerly stood over the gateway of Sion House at Isleworth, also several ancient statues which adorned the original church, and a portrait of Henry V of England, their founder, which is said to be a likeness, and to have been painted during the monarch’s lifetime. This order of Bridgettines has been settled at Lisbon since the year 1595: but there being now more religious liberty in England than in Portugal, and more prospects here for the prosperity of the order, the sisterhood have determined to return to their native land. The Duke of Northumberland, to whose ancestors the ancient Sion House, with its lands, was granted by Henry VIII, has given the poor nuns a handsome donation to

assist them in defraying the expenses of their journey and change of establishment.’ The journey home was described by Sister Bernard Eccles: ‘A day or two before the departure of the community a number of galagoes carried the luggage away in true galago fashion, and on Tuesday the 27th August 1861, early in the morning, D. Baines [the English College President Ed] said Mass at the convent church and then he, with Rev William Browne – one of the professors – and Canon Park, entered the Enclosure, where finding all the nuns prepared to travel (wearing mantles, hoods and face veils) all assembled at the Portrea, and joined in saying the prayers for a safe journey. Having reached the landingstage, we were conveyed to the steamer in the King’s barges – a special mark of respect and honour procured by an Admiral, who also offered his rooms in the Arsenal in case of the nuns having to wait for the boats. Dr Baines accompanied us down the River Tagus as far as Bellum where he most feelingly bade us adieu and (as we afterwards heard) watched the vessel till it was out of sight.
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About noon we entered the Atlantic – during the night stopped off Oporto: the next day at Vigo and took cargo, and in the evening entered the Bay of Biscay. On Saturday morning, after a favourable voyage, we found ourselves in the English Channel, surrounded by a dense fog. In consequence of the fog the steamer sailed very slowly, and indeed stopped, so it was about noon before we could land.’ They were welcomed in Southampton and taken to a convent for the night. The following morning ‘the doors were then opened – crowds surrounded the convent, who had been waiting since three in the morning, and we proceeded at once to the Rev R. Mount’s. After a visit to the Blessed Sacrament in thanksgiving for a safe journey so far, we partook of a sort of dinner-lunch. We left Southampton about half past one and reached Spettisbury about 3.30pm on 31st August 1861, where we were met by Canon Parke and were cordially received by the Augustinians.’ Canon Parke had been ordained at the English College in 1837. He had originally worked in Lichfield, and then Poole, and then was with the Bridgettines in Spetisbury until his death in September 1866.From Spetisbury, which had become too large for
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them, the Bridgettine community removed to Chudleigh. In 1925 they moved again, to Marley House in South Brent, Devon, and in 1990 into the former stables of Marley House. The remaining three nuns now live in retirement, the last relics of the only English community with an unbroken existence since its foundation before the Reformation.•
Endnote 1. The gateway pinnacle – The pinnacle and cross from Syon gateway were among the precious relics the community carried with them on their wanderings. Richard Reynolds is reputed to have been born in what is now the parish of the Blessed Sacrament, Heavitree, Exeter. When the nuns left South Brent they bequeathed both cross and pinnacle, on which had hung part of Richard’s dismembered body, to the parish where they are now venerated. 2. Monstrance – a reference in the Syon Abbey Society Newsletter notes that at the final closure of the convent at South Brent the valuables were transferred to the safe keeping of the Benedictines at Buckfast Abbey in recognition of their long mutual association with the nuns of Syon.

The Editor of T he Lisbonian welcomes your ideas and suggestions for articles to appear in the magazine. Authors are especially welcome!

Obituary – Joseph Kinnane
by Jack McLeish
for so many years, and a worrier by nature, the academic two-year course was a serious challenge. Nevertheless he struggled through lectures and exams and managed to enter Theology. And, for someone not gifted with athletic prowess, he managed with laudable consistency to join that group of students who played the lethal version of football in the Yard, even taking on the role of goalkeeper. A brave man indeed! Joe was a great example in his prayer life, and with his simplicity, true holiness, humility and patience in accepting struggles and the tensions which were peculiar to his years of study he did a lot of good where his fellow students were concerned. It was indeed a sad day when the decision was made that Joe should return to England. Yet, as one door closed so another opened even in those far-off days before Permanent Deacons. He returned to Blackrod and became a most faithful son of God’s Kingdom well past his 90th birthday, when ill health and old age combined to prevent his practical work. The good fun, the smile, the quiet prayer, the nightmare and worry of exam time – all are memories of Joe Kinnane, but perhaps above
The Lisbonian magazine – July 2012 | 37

© Frank Austin – Joseph Kinnane

Joe began his Philosophy studies in October 1952, a member of the year with the largest intake of students since the College reopened after the War. Most of them were in their teens and early twenties whereas Joe was in his mid thirties, which earned him the title ‘Pop’. He settled in well with so many younger men and it was a great tribute to his character that he never tried to take advantage of his seniority and was a very popular student, highly regarded by Profs, fellow students and Portuguese staff. Studies proved a great cross for Pop. I am sure that most of us would admit that the theories of Kant and Descartes aren’t the first things we study each day and for Joe, away from studies and exams

all the quiet acceptance of God’s will with humility and obedience and without bitterness – this is the legacy left to us by ‘Pop’.
Frank Austin writes:

I first met Joe Kinnane when I arrived at the College in September 1954, in company with John (Velho) Nolan, John Keefe and Pat Tierney (Gerry Burke was later to join us for Theology). I didn’t know Joe particularly well in College but Jack McCLeish paints a very good picture of the man I did know: a man of remarkable cheerfulness, simplicity, humility and patience. Joe coped very well indeed with the leg-pulling and readily laughed at himself. I came to know him much better in the years since College – at our annual gatherings and especially through personal friendship with him in recent years. His health didn’t allow him to travel to the meetings in the past two or three years but, believe me, a more enthusiastic Lisbonian has never lived. He always flew the flag at every conceivable opportunity. From time to time he and I went to see Benny Ruscillo, first at the shrine of Ladyewell, which Benny built up and ran so successfully, and then in his retirement cottage nearby. Joe was very much involved in his parish of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in Haigh, one of two parishes in Wigan which belong to Salford diocese. Until a few
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years ago, Joe attended Mass at a chapel-of-ease, St Andrew’s, near his home. When St Andrew’s closed a neighbour took Joe by car to the parish church. He was a Eucharistic Minister, taking Communion to the sick, but was not keen on ministering in church. He was so well valued that Bertie Moriarty, the Parish Priest, wanted him to become a Deacon. However Salford has never had deacons and Joe himself probably would not have wanted to take that step. Joe and I went on holiday together with Bertie, getting as far as Fatima. His love for Lisbon was only matched by his love for Wigan and for Wigan Rugby League Club. He wasn’t best pleased when Blackrod was transferred from Wigan’s responsibility to that of Bolton We sometimes went out for lunch which for him always had to be cod and chips AND NO VEGETABLES THANK YOU! He lived into is ninety-third year. As I said at the Requiem Mass, I will miss the Joe I knew for a number of reasons, but particularly for his steadfast and exemplary Catholic faith. May he rest in peace and rise in glory. May He Rest In Peace ✛✛✛

Obituary – John Grady
John was born in Wigan in 1935, the son of Michael and Helen Grady. He was educated at St John’s School in Wigan and then at Upholland before coming to Lisbon in 1956. He was never robust during his time at College, a presentiment of a life-time of poor health. He became interested in photography while in Lisbon and had great fun developing, printing and enlarging black and white photos, though his efforts were never a danger to Fotocolor™ ! He was ordained in College on 16th June 1962 and was appointed as assistant priest to St Silvester’s in Liverpool, where he stayed for four years before going to the parish of St Mary of the Isle, Douglas, in 1966. His stay there was short. In November of that year he moved to St Patrick’s in Clinkham Wood, and three years later went to St Laurence’s in Kirby and then to St Jude’s in Wigan. In 1980 he was appointed as parish priest to St Cyril’s, Netherley, but ill health forced him to retire two years later. He died on 18th May, 2012, just a month short of his Golden Jubilee. May He Rest In Peace ✛✛✛

Obituary – Michael Donnellan
by Barry O’Leary
Michael was born in 1926, a native Taughboy, Ballyforan, Ballinsaloe, County Roscommon Ireland. He was ordained priest for the Archdiocese of Cardiff, at the English College Lisbon, on June 4th 1966 with Nigel Leaper, Rickey Davies, and I. Michael had been sent to Lisbon in 1962, together with me, to study theology. We both felt a disadvantage of having to join an existing group of students who had already been inculturated in the language and the customs of the country. On the whole we remember being well accepted provided we recognized the rule of seniores priores. Michael’s skills as a nurse were recognized and as Infirmarian he was entrusted with the care of the sick students, including the Profs. Few students enjoyed the power of the syringe!! Michael served in a number of parishes in the archdiocese of Cardiff before joining the new diocese of Menevia in 1987. There he worked as a parish priest at St Joseph’s Neath, and St Illtyd’s Swansea, before he retired to his home in Ireland some years ago. Few Lisbonians, will have known Michael since he was not accustomed to attend the annual general meeting. But by those who knew him he will be remembered as a gentle, rather shy man, who was fully committed to the service of his people through his priesthood. May He Rest In Peace ✛✛✛
The Lisbonian magazine – July 2012 | 39

English College Lisbon

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