London: Burns & Oates, 1954. First edition. Octavo, original green cloth, original dust jacket. About-fine book, faint spotting to spine crisp, clean dust jacket. An excellent copy. Item #874
"FOR MANY A LONG YEAR ENGLAND HAD NO CATHOLIC BISHOP" First edition of this history of the eighteenth-century Vicars Apostolic of England by Dom Basil Hemphill, O.S.B.—a valuable study of Catholic England before the arrival of Bishop Challoner. After the establishment of the Church of England, England was determined by the Holy See to be a "missionary country" and divided into four districts (Northern, Western, Midland, and London). Prior to the arrival of Richard Challoner in 1750, each of these district was governed ecclesiastically by a line of Vicars Apostolic. The Introduction (quoting Pollard and Burton's introduction to Kirk's Biographies of English Catholics) captures the previous neglect of this little-known period in Catholic England: "We know more, far more, about the thirty years that succeeded the landing of Fr. Campion in England than we do about the 140 years that passed between King James's flight from Whitehall and the Emancipation Bill." The ten chapters are appendixed with a series of documents, concluding with "Festivals and Fasts in the Penal Times" as well as a brief Bibliography (of the printed books supplementing the manuscripts studied) and an Index. With an epigraph by Pollard and Burton on the title page: ("A period in which men were called to endure, rather than acheive") and illustrated with three portaits drawn from the Library at Ushaw College (including a frontispiece of Bonaventure Giffard, Bishop of Madaura), a "Chart Showing the Four Contemporary Bishops at any Given Time," and a map of the four districts of England and Wales. Approbations.