Papers relating to Lancashire Catholics

Scope and Content

Papers primarily concerning the collectors and collections in Lancashire responding to the Queen's request on behalf of Charles I for financial aid from Catholics. These papers probably belonged to Charles Towneley, one of the collectors.

Comprising letters, chiefly to Charles Towneley, from Roger Bradshaigh (a collector), Antony Champeneys, George Gage, Sir William Gerard (a collector), Radcliffe Houghton, Robert Molyneux (a collector), Richard Osbaldeston, John Redman, James Sandes and Bernard Towneley. There are also five letters, probably copies, from Charles Towneley, and a receipt from Digby and Basil Brooke to Towneley for £312 9s. 2d. Several later papers concern the Towneley family.

The papers include copies of the circular letter 'advice and notices' sent to clergy across the country and other cover letters, details of the amount received for each parish, and a list of parishes showing priests responsible for collection and the chief Catholic landowners. This list is particularly rare, as it would have been dangerous to commit this information to paper.

The papers also include miscellaneous items related to Catholics in Lancashire and the Towneley family in particular, dating from the late seventeenth to the early nineteenth centuries. These items include: an 'Epitaph on Lady Elizabeth Mansel by her Brother Lord Hervey' [Betty Mansell, the sister of Lord Hervey (1696-1743), died sometime before 1728 when her husband remarried]; a poem by J.D. Whitaker dedicated to 'Charles Towneley on his return from Italy', concerning the death of Charles Towneley in 1644, dated 13 July 1744; a threatening letter sent to Thomas Hawkshead of Chorley, 1794; a letter concerning the trusteeship of the British Library held by John Towneley and later Edward Towneley Standish, ?1824.