The Catholic Archdicese of Birmingham Archives

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R - ‘R’ Series of Historical Documents

Dates: 1656-1899

Number of records in this collection: 2060

 

The papers in this collection cover the period from 1650 to 1899 and supplement the earlier A, B, and C Series. The papers were discovered after these earlier collections had been deposited and appear to have been added to the Birmingham Archdiocesan Archives in stages, which explains their idiosyncratic chronological arrangement. The provenance of most of the collection is unknown, the exceptions being the Newman/Braye Correspondence, the Newdigate Papers, and the Ilsley Papers (see the introduction to each of these series). It is, for example, difficult to understand why there should be such a considerable number of items relating to Pierce Connelly in the collection. As with the earlier collections, the bulk of material is correspondence on a variety of topics, testifying to the increasing self-confidence and organisation of the Catholic community over the period and illustrating its development and concerns, as it grew numerically and structurally. Financial and administrative considerations loom large, not least in the large number of items concerned with the Clergy Funds. There are items illustrating the recusant tradition, including the cult of the martyrs, the engagement in polemical and apologetic controversy, and the growing efforts to repeal the penal laws and ensure Catholic Emancipation. There are many single, unrelated items, some of a curious nature, which explains the fairly large part of the collection that is of a miscellaneous nature.

 
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