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Jesuit collegiate education in England, 1794 1914

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Disciplines
  • Education
  • Political Science

Abstract

In 1773 the Society of Jesus was formally suppressed and the Fathers of the English Province entered a period of limbo which their school at St. Omers survived in a variety of guises. The first chapter of this thesis describes the arrival of the teachers and pupils of this school in England; and examines the manner in which the College and Order were reconstituted on English soil. The nature of the curriculum, finances and social class composition are considered -inter alia. The second and third chapters relate the way in which the work undertaken at the founding College, Stonyhurst, was expanded. These chapters describe the revival of day Colleges by the Society, and analyse the way in which the new Colleges, both day and boarding, were managed. An important feature examined, is the extension of educational provision for middle class pupils coupled with the curricular and financial adaptations undertaken. One element which is common to all chapters is an analysis of the relationship of the Order to the Hierarchy. In Chapter 4 this becomes a central concern of the study as the attempts by the Jesuits to begin a College in Manchester resulted in a direct confrontation with the local Bishop and ultimately with the whole English Hierarchy, The attitude and machinations of the Cardinal Archbishop, Henry Edward Manning, led to the defeat of the Order in a canonical dispute in Rome, a result which blighted the Jesuits' work for more than a decade. The chapter also examines the educational circumstances and effects of this dispute, the case in canon law awaits exploration. Chapters 5 and 6 examine the work of the Order in the light of the Bull Romanos Pontifices which followed the defeat in Rome. The former considers the Fathers' efforts to improve their educational service to Catholic youth while effectively prevented from opening new schools. The latter examines the revitalisation of the English Province's Colleges in the Archiepiscopate of Cardinal Vaughan, but also demonstrates the inexorable financial difficulties facing the opening and conduct of schools. In the penultimate chapter, a departure is made to examine the progress made by the Jesuits in boarding education in the Stonyhurst tradition. The opening and evolution of Beaumont College and the assimilation of the Order's schools into the community of Public schools are important factors under scrutiny. The final chapter considers the relationship of the Jesuit day Colleges to the State. As the State expanded its role and the Jesuit schools sought additional finance, they were ineluctably drawn together. The evolutionary nature of this relationship and its political ramifications are considered as they moved to a position of mutually agreed neutrality, if not satisfaction, an appropriate point, before the overwhelming cataclysm of the First World War, to terminate this thesis. The foundations upon which this thesis was constructed lie in the study of much manuscript material. Like many of the sources for Catholic history, these records are widely dispersed and have had to be correlated. As the study makes clear, there are few secondary guides. University theses have often contained the only indications of the work of the Bishops, or other Catholic educators. It is hoped that this thesis will, in its turn, serve to guide others in a terrain where there are many areas yet unexplored.

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