Roman Catholicism


Victoria County History



R W Dunning, C R Elrington (Editors), A P Baggs, M C Siraut

Year published


Supporting documents



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'Cannington: Roman Catholicism', A History of the County of Somerset: Volume 6: Andersfield, Cannington, and North Petherton Hundreds (Bridgwater and neighbouring parishes) (1992), pp. 89. URL: Date accessed: 23 October 2014.


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There was a recusant teacher in the parish in 1612. (fn. 26) The Cliffords were recusants and in 1715 there were two Roman Catholic landowners. Three members of the Knight family were ordained priests in the 18th century. (fn. 27) Nine Catholics were recorded in 1767 and six in 1776 when the chapel at Court House had a monthly service. (fn. 28) In 1795 a chaplain was paid £15 a year and 2 gn. for wine for the chapel, which was probably refitted in 1805. (fn. 29) In 1807 a group of Benedictine nuns came to Court House at the invitation of Lord Clifford and remained until c. 1835. (fn. 30) Apartments were used by the bishop of the Western district in 1847. (fn. 31) The house was again occupied by nuns from 1863 to 1867. (fn. 32)

The chapel in the Court House was rebuilt in 1830 and opened for public worship in 1831, dedicated to the Holy Name. (fn. 33) The chapel register survives from 1779 to 1838. (fn. 34) There were 127 Catholics in 1858 and 73 excluding schoolchildren in 1896. (fn. 35) The chapel closed c. 1919. (fn. 36) In 1982 services were held in the village hall by a priest from Bridgwater.


26 S.R.O., D/D/Ca 175.
27 Cath. Rel. in Som. (1826); G. Oliver, Hist. Cath. Religion (1857), 341.
28 H.L.R.O., list of papists, 1767; S.R.O., D/D/Vc 88.
29 Clifford MSS., acct. 1795-1809.
30 Cath. Rel. in Som. 40-1; Taunton Courier, 19 Aug. 1835.
31 Clifford MSS., IV/6/3.
32 Proc. Som. Arch. Soc. civ. 86; Clifford MSS., Som. estate corresp.
33 Oliver, Hist. Cath. Religion, 60; H. M. Colvin, Biog. Dict. Brit. Architects (1978), 630; S.R.O., Q/RR meeting ho. lics.; above, manors (Cannington).
34 S.R.O., T/PH/sog 1231.
35 SW. Cath. Hist. ii. 48-9.
36 Kelly's Dir. Som. (1919).