IN THE years when "one after another the cables were cut which through the Middle Ages had held this country to the Catholic Church" two fine Cornish manor houses were built which display in their history the drastic effects of the disconnection.
The quotation is from A L Rowse who in his biography of Sir Richard Grenville of the Revenge also describes how "unlike the people of Lanherne, who remained straightest and most unyielding of Catholics, the Trerice Arundells went hand-in-hand with the Grenvilles in sympathy with the Reformation and with the new trends in national policy."
Lanherne and Trerice were built by members of the same family — the Great Arundells at Lanherne and their cousins at Trerice.
In the reign of Edward VI Sir Humphrey Arundel' of Lanherne led Cornishmen in their protest at the Government's pillage of their churches and imposition of a Book of Prayers whose recitation in the vulgar tongue reminded them of a Christmas game. Inevitably Sir Humphrey lost and paid the penalty of death, In Elizabeth's reign Sir John Arundel' of Lanherne was sent to the Tower for his religion and on release was forced to disperse the household at Lanherne: he himself was moved about under house arrest and his son and heir, under
surveillance, released on bail after his father's death but was again shut up later in Banbury Castle. Their property at Lanherne, meanwhile, sank into ruin through twenty years of its landlords' absence.
A continuing stream of priests found shelter at Lanherne, traces of their hiding places can still be seen. Finally by bounty of the Arundel's a priest was kept at Lanherne, living in three rooms in the north-east corner of the house and Mass continued to be offered there. The family lived at Chideock Castle in Dorset, having been permitted to go there when debarred from their own ancestral home.
Arundells of Lanherne shared a common ancestor in the early 16th century with the noble family of Arundells of Wardour (in Wiltshire). In 1739 the two houses were united by marriage. At Wardour, an ancient castle and magnificent Palladian mansion, Arundel's maintained a citadel of Catholicism which still serves the neighbourhood.
At Trerice Arundells have a different history. The estate had come to them through marriage in the reign of Edward Ill and Arundell it remained until late 18th century.
A Sir John Arundell completed the building in the fifteenth year of Elizabeth. His father, another Sir John, lived through five reigns serving four monarchs with a loyalty that brought much wealth to the family.
The grandfather of the builder had
married Jane, daughter of Sir Thomas
Grenville of Stowe in the north of the
sank with the Mary Rose, the father of Richard Grenville of the Revenge.
Revenge of some sort would appear to have been a motive for Richard Grenville, during his year of office as Sheriff, to have struck so hard against the Catholics.
The account is well known of his thrust with hand on dagger at Francis Tregian in the doorway of Golden Manor where Cuthbert Mayne lay hid "being very bold because he had a great company with him."
After Mayne's execution the Government proceeded to a general round-up of the resistant Catholic squires and made great use of Richard Grenville's services.
Two other great families in the West came late to Catholicism — the Dorset Cliffords and Welds. The greatgrandson of the first Clifford to own Chudleigh was created Lord Clifford of Chudleigh and chief Minister to Charles II. He became a Catholic and in consequence had to resign his offices of State under the Test Act demanding an Oath repudiating Transubstantiation.
Since then Mass has been offered continuously at Ugbrooke, the family seat. A son of the 7th Lord Clifford of Chudleigh became the first Catholic Bishop of Clifton in 1857; his brother a Major-General winning the VC at I nker rn an.
Humphrey Weld, of a devout
Protestant family, who with his brothers became Catholics in the middle of the reign of Charles I, bought Lulworth
Castle for his bride Clare Arundel!. For Humphrey and his successors maintenance of their estate became increasingly difficult under the antiCatholic legislation.
In the struggle to survive in the time of William Ill when their London house was plundered, Humphrey Weld proposed a fund "to provide a priest for the poor , people" in case "the family should not be here". However, King George I I I was often received by the Welds at Lulworth and he gave permission for the building of a free standing chapel in the park. To all appearance an imposing garden pavilion, it is, for Catholics. the parish Church of St Mary, Castle Grounds.
Thomas Weld early in the next century bought from Lord Arundel of Wardour the estate of Chideock near Bridport where the Arundel's of Lanherne had been given leave to live after being disbarred from their ancestral home. There and at Marnhull (between Shaftesbury and Sherborne) Catholic parishes have grown from roots implanted by Arundells and Welds.
Trerice, St Newlyn East, 3m E of Newquay opens daily April to end of October. Ugbrooke, nr Chudleigh on A38 between Exeter and Torquay opens daily June to September: in May Suns and Bank Hol Mons only. Wardour Castle, 2m sw of Tisbury. just N of A30. opens July to Sept Mon, Wed, Fri. Mass
in chapel Suns & Hots. Lanherne, the oldest Carmel in England: Mass in chapel Suns and Hols.